Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  August 17, 2012

Earlier today, Darius wrote about additions to the Lakers coaching staff, and ways that the Princeton offense and pick and roll can coexist. If Jordan, Bickerstaff & Clifford do indeed finalize their deals, they’ll be joining fellow assistants Kuester, Ham & Person. Along with with head coach Mike Brown, that’s a large coaching staff to go with a formidable new All-Star lineup. It should be apparent by now, that the team is going all in this season, with players, personnel, and an ambitious melding of strategies.

Henry Abbott at TrueHoop, wonders whether Kobe Bryant & Steve Nash could be the next great ‘good cop/bad cop’ combo.

The Kamenetzy brothers at the Land O’Lakers offer a summer roundup podcast.

Kevin Ding at the OC Register reports that assistant coaches Eddie Jordan, Bernie Bickerstaff and Steve Clifford are set to join the Lakers staff.

C.A. Clark from Silver Screen & Roll is joined by J.A. Sherman from Welcome to Loud City, as they discuss the Lakers and the OKC Thunder.

Mark Medina at the L.A. Times talks with Brian Schmitz from the Orlando Sentinel about the adjustment period that Dwight Howard could face.

Jabari Davis at Lakers Nation asks if Dwight Howard & Pau Gasol could be the best center/power forward combo in NBA history.

In other news, Kobe Bryant is still not on Twitter, great imposters notwithstanding. Maria Burns Ortiz at ESPN Go has the story.

***

While the upcoming season promises a multitude of storylines, the lead-ins will often target Kobe. This isn’t some vague conspiracy rant, although I have been known to do that. There are precedents here, and lots of them. Put a super-team together and you’re daring observers to question it, or preordain it for greatness in a classic expectations game. This goes with the territory, it is part and parcel with NBA basketball which is more closely aligned with entertainment and pop culture than any other major league sport in this country. And all of this is fine, it is familiar territory for the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans. Bring us your lights, your cameras, your huddled commentators yearning to breathe fire. There’s plenty of room at the table.

 

– Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

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88 responses to Friday Forum

  1. Eddie Jordan Washington teams never placed higher than 23rd in league in assists. 18.7 (29), 19 (28), 18.5 (25), 20.2 (23), 19.5 (27). Lakers were 22.5 (7) assists last year without a true offense.

    Washington FG% 03-08: 42%, 43%, 44%, 45%, 44%

    In New Jersey with a Prime Jason Kidd they placed 3rd and 7th in assists and shot 44% both years.

  2. Oh, Henry Abbott, I feel so sorry for you.

    “from the league’s player most likely to ignore open teammates..” in reference to Kobe.

    Is that really the case? This guy really just won’t quit. It’s sad.

  3. Rick Adelman’s Sacremento teams assists 98-03: 22.5 (4), 23.8 (5), 22.5 (10), 23.8 (4), 24.8 (3)

    Sacremento FG 98-03: 44%, 45%, 44%, 46%, 46%

    Those Kings teams pair up better with Lakers talent. With similar systems and a Webber/Divac Pau/Dwight combo this is a nice barometer to measure the team.

  4. All In: Yes – we are all in. I screamed for this for a year. The FO has done that (partially cause the read this board of course). And I think we are all in for 2 years at least. They would not do this just for 1 year.

    rr: I agree that we are old, but still: D12 should be 1-3 in the league on defense and he should really be #1. KB was 2nd team all defense last year (he needs to live up to that and re-commit to get back to first team). And Ron is definitely capable and fit enough. If you have 3 of the top 10-12 defensive guys in the league, then it is contagious to others on the roster. Add in the resident genius defensive coach and voila = Defensive Monsters. You and I screamed for talent all last year – well now we have it – and it must perform – so yes the pressure is on – starting with MB, KB, D12, and the rest of the roster. Did anyone remind these guys that we don’t hoist banners for the Pacific Division?

  5. “a classic expectations game”

    Maybe they could have a classic expectations tour to raise money for charity.

  6. test: clasic expectations

  7. test: clas-sic expectations

  8. test: classic expectations

  9. Here’s another suggestion for the updates site – change the “hold for moderation” software so that it allows un-moderated posts id they contain the ay ess ess string, as long as they are in non-profane words such as cl ay ess ess ic.

  10. Off topic:

    Watching the 2006 81 point game against the Raptors… I feel awkward watching our starting 5… there is no way D.George, Kwame, Smush, Walton, Odom be playing on a starting role … 3 of them are not playing in the league anymore, Kwame Brown is in Philly as a sub. Yet, some people derided Kobe for the lack of assists.

    Just mind boggling… unbelievable that Kobe was able to lift those guys into the playoff…

    LBJ’s team that time was twice better… He had Varejao, Mo Williams, HIckson, West, Ilgakuskas,

  11. Robert,

    I agree to an extent, but no matter committed or well-conditioned a guy is, quickness and lateral movement take a dive with age. The Lakers can compensate for that with Howard, good schemes, smarts etc somewhat, but I still cannot see the team as a Top 3 defensive squad at this age. But they can be top 6-8 IMO, and to actually win the title (we need to always remember how good MIA and OKC and SA are), they will need to be. And as you note, a lot of that will be on Brown.

    And yes, Kobe needs to work harder in D. When Pau Gasol is your 4th option and your second best big guy, you are going to score, and Meeks and Jamison will help the bench output. But there are no guarantees on D.

  12. Please, please, PLEASE stop linking to Abbott?

  13. ^Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but I believe TrueHoop/ESPN and FB&G are partners of some sort…

  14. I’ll jump in the discussion on the Lakers defense; I think defensively, this team could be no worse than a pre-Dwightmare, Stan Van Gundy-coached team. I’m too lazy to look up the stats, but I’m assuming they performed pretty well. And his teams featured the likes of players like Hedo Turk, Rashard Lewis, Ryan Anderson, J-Rich/Arenas/Carter, Reddick, Jameer Nelson (remember when Fish drained that three on him in the finals?) etc, etc….

    Yes, defensively, there is potential on this team. Assuming Dwight Howard is the same Dwight Howard.

  15. WordPress won’t allow me to manipulate that, exhelodrvr. So, we’re stuck with how it works now.

  16. OK, thanks for checking.

  17. Jesse P.,
    FB&G’s affiliation to ESPN through the TrueHoop Network has zero to do with why we link to Henry Abbott. ESPN does not dictate content to me. Just thought I’d clarify that.

  18. I think I’ll jump in on Abbott as well. There are obviously sites that I link on a regular basis, due to the amount of pertinent Laker info, as well as good writing (K-bros, SSR, OC Reg, etc, etc.). When it come to non-team pages, I’m always on the lookout for articles that I find interesting. Sometimes I find them through mainstream sites and sometimes through more obscure means. Anybody who reads Searching for Slava knows that my style isn’t exactly mothership. Still, I link stuff that I think is interesting and relevant. I’m always fully aware that there will be some blowback when it comes to certain writers. I have to say in all honesty though, that I felt Abbott’s article to be very relevant to an ongoing Kobe narrative, and one that will only pick up steam as we head into the season. Criticism has its place in the discussion, so long as it’s not disrespectful. And I do think that Abbott makes a point to look at both sides of the coin – the overlying premise after all, was the advantage to a good cop/bad cop mentality and he cites Jordan/Pippen as examples.

    Sorry to go on at such length here. I often feel frustrated that there aren’t as many quality links as I would like to use, although I’m sure I miss plenty of good ones. That’s why I really appreciate it when y’all add links as well. And look, some of us remember the days before the internet when we’d open the paper during the summer, and wish there was something to read apart from “team notes”.

    One thing I’d especially appreciate is recommendations about writers that I may be overlooking. Not just articles, but writers that you feel bring something extra to the table. And, please feel free to remind me time and again because seriously, sometimes this stuff just escapes me.

  19. @ Darius, if you are under no directive to post Abbott’s stuff please do the Nation a favor and stop posting his stuff. No need for the negative energy.

  20. For those questioning Kobe’s greatness, I have bad news for you: Kobe already reached greatness! Long time ago.

    He is the GPSP (Greatest Player Still Playing) and there’s nothing in the world that will change that. It’s done. Past.

    LeBrawn, Durant, etc can only concentrate on being the best NBA player. Greatness takes time and effort. Those guys are on the right path but haven’t reached the destination so far, which is fine due to their age. Their time will come.

    Meanwhile, Kobe is about to write the last chapter of his career and it’s gonna be sweet…

    And don’t forget; in 2 years, the Lakers will have Nash on a team’s option AND Dwight Howard AND tons of cap space. I bet Kobe will sign a 1-year for the vets min just so he’ll not miss the big party.

    I love the Lakers!

    And all this without using moving screens or flopping.

    Class act!

    Go Lakers!

  21. The format and the way things are run at FB&G are great. I’m sure all posters feel we could do without posts stuck in moderation for hours though.

    Lakers have the chance to be a top 3 defense. Our main problem last year, aside from stopping Durant and Westbrook which no single player can do, was stopping PnR defense, help defense and giving up too many offensive rebounds. We were great in isolation but our bigs struggled to contain guards off the screen and the awareness on help defense was non exsistent. Drew had a tough time with timing, awareness and angles on defense. Dwight doesn’t. With the right scheme and commitment on paper this has a 95 pt defense written all over it.

  22. I meant 90 pt defense but the talent and defensive coaching is there. Just have to put it together.

  23. Dave,

    Zach Lowe at SI.com is very good. He is a Boston fan, but pretty even-handed most of the time and covers the whole league.

    As to Abbott, the piece was better than usual, but he always needs to get a couple of little backhands in. As to what he said, I don’t really have an issue with it, but I think guys like him spend too much time thinking about Kobe’s personality and generally overstate how much it affects the team.

    WRT the defense, I hope Kevin and Robert are right and I am wrong.

  24. the Abbott piece was a classic example of how to drag someone through the muck while still appearing to be impartial. the disgusting thing about it is that Abbott is a vampire. the person he constantly derides is the source of his income.

    Abbott has the ability to make something up like “If Pau Gasol misses a big shot, Nash would run over to say something like hey, you’re a great shooter, keep shooting. Bryant, on the other hand, has long been prone to “you believe these crappy players I have to play with” looks of disgust.”

    this sounds like it’s factual in that it fits Kobe’s image. the fact is, there have been MANY time that Kobe has told Pau to be more aggressive because he is one of the best in the world. Laker fans know that he has done that during games. Kobe may be critical. he may be a drill sargeant at heart, but he is often supportive, especially of Pau.

    it was Kobe who made the “good cop, bad cop” analogy in the phone call between himself and Nash, when Nash was being courted. weeks later, Abbott is turning it into news, bleh.

    all he’s really doing is implying that Kobe is an inhuman monster who the rest of the team cowers in fear of 24-7. this may be true if a teammate is slacking in their assigned duties, but if that’s so, i’m pretty cool with that.

    it’s just as likely, no! MORE likely, looking at all those teammates that he’s taken aside and given hints about how to be effective, Coron Butler, Trevor Ariza, Shannon Brown, and looking at their careers before and after Kobe, that he’s not a bad teammate entirely.

    looking at teammates that he forged bonds with, Derek Fisher, Pau, even LBJ, CP3 and Dwight, and watching how he teaches youngsters and his work overseas spreading the game, it’s clear that the man just loves basketball and hardcore competition. that’s why a Blazer fan seethes with hatred and i’m glad that i’ve been fortunate to see him on “my” team.

  25. from previous thread:

    rr —

    Well, my point is that in order for this team to succeed, in my opinion, Kobe must play differently than he’s ever had to before. He faces a BIG adjustment, one that he’s never faced before, a bigger adjustment than Nash or Howard. He has to–and, again, I’m getting tired of this word–‘adjust’. He no longer is a top player in the NBA, he no longer is the best player on our team. There’s so much potential to this team that Kobe must look at Nash, Howard, Gasol, and acknowledge the opportunity.

    Kobe played last season like a young Kobe would, whether that could correlate to a ‘talent issue’ is something I understand, and by looking at the past, I agree with.

    Regardless of the talent around him, Kobe has always been the primary focus on offense. The triangle balanced and hid the limits of his game (yes, he does have weaknesses, dare I say). Last season there was no triangle, it was Kobe offense with no complaints from MB. Yes, I understand part of that was not having a good ball-handler etc., but I also understand part of that had to do with Kobe’s decision making and his intense desire to win, which for obvious reasons, can hurt the team at this stage of his career.

    The offense shall not be run through Kobe. That will not/should not be the case anymore, there has to be a collective focus, some leeway for impact players like Dwight and Nash…

    “Kobe doesn’t play basketball on an island and visit the other four guys on the floor in his helicopter from time to time.”

    I never said that–stop relating Abott’s or Mason’s or whomever’s opinion to mine.

    I do believe; however, that Kobe needs to, maybe for the first time in his career, confine himself to a role that maximizes the team’s potential. Kobe’s personality is understood, but for the first time in his career, he might need to let his ego, or whatever drives him, he might need to keep that out of the way…the offense shall not run through Kobe any longer. Kobe didn’t let the offense run through our biggest strength last season–the two big 7 footers in the paint. My concern for this season is similar.

    I have faith, though. I’m a Laker fan, and a Kobe fan. His greatness, and his accomplishments, are something to cherish. He’s one of the greatest players of all time, and probably will end up being a top 5 all-timer.

    But in present time, his game is on decline, his basketball prime a memory, and it’s clear to us it’s time for Kobe to take a step forward to a new phase of his career. Kobe, the player, alone, is no longer an overpowering force.

    I’ve said it before, I think the Princeton offense is a good idea to settle the team offensively, so long as everyone follows the plan and our coaching staff is competent enough to implement the system thoroughly in one season.

    And for the record, I’m not a fan of Beckley Mason, nor Hollinger, and I do read truehoop but only for their daily links. I don’t care for Abbott’s writing at all, especially since he joined ESPN, as I don’t like reading ESPN articles written by writers with hidden agendas.

  26. I’m pretty sure Abbott has some sort of a mental handicap. Perhaps Kobe has personally offended him a long time ago? Because there is no reasonable explanation for a grown man having that kind of an unhealthy obsession with another grown man.

    And yes, he would have a lot of interesting articles, but it’s really become quite tiresome to open an article of his that has the Lakers as its subject and you know well in advance that no matter the topic a thinly-veiled diss against our franchise player is waiting for us.

  27. Has the la times website stopped being a free site? If it is then ill have now one less source of laker reading materials

  28. In the words of the great Kat Williams, if you dont have haters hating on you then you must be doing something wrong. Success brings about crabs ready to pull you back down to their level. Abbot is about hits and making a living on one of the most beloved and hated athlete of his time or any period of time. I cant knock his hustle if it keeps him employed. Mr. Bean’s mark on the game will only be established once he is long gone from the game he so passionately loves.

  29. L.A. Times: Don’t go there too often or they will require you to subscribe – for a fee. The solution is to use it less frequently, i.e. go there, find what you want, and leave – don’t browse.

    Kobe:
    First: Abbott is a Blazers fan and has never gotten over the Lakers coming back on them in the 4th qtr of the 7th game.
    Second: Kobe offended a number of writers in his first four years; some never forgot this; hence the persistence of seeking only bad information.
    Third: Every player writers build up they eventually want to tear down. Journalists need to have a story and bad is so much more long lasting in interest than is good. Jordan uniquely avoided this because he was the first ESPN baby – it’s not nice to make momma ESPN angry – and didn’t get the scrutiny of later players, even tho he had plenty of warts. Besides, his smile was second only to Magic’s at the time.
    Fourth: Kobe did come into the league with somewhat an abrasive attitude.

  30. Today is the last time I will ever knowingly click on a Henry Abbot link. Every article he posts has some zingers aimed at Kobe. But, worse still, he constantly shows blatant ignorance.

    He claims he had to search for an example of “good cop, bad cop” leadership in anticipation of what the Kobe/Nash duo might be like. Did he completely forget that Kobe and Derek Fisher put in years on the Lakers using the “good cop and bad cop” strategy to great effect?? Kobe is on record as saying as much in numerous articles. Abbot is maddening.

    It is particularly irksome to me when he claims in the article linked above that Kobe is the player who is “least likely to pass the ball to an open teammate”. Kobe is close to 5 assists per game for his career. It’s actually 4.67, but if you forget the first 2 years as a Laker when he only averaged about 20 mins. per game, it increases to 5.03 apg. Kobe’s best year for assists was in 2004-2005, which was smack dab in the middle of the Smush/Kwame era. He averaged 6.03 apg that year with a weak team that Shaq had just left. Not bad for a ballhogging shooting guard.

    I will no longer aggravate myself by reading Abbot’s drivel. No more hits from me, Henry.

  31. Here’s an article I did enjoy reading….

    http://basketball.realgm.com/article/223028/How_Dwight_Howard_Instantly_Improves_The_Lakers

    That article is pretty close to my thinking and it exactly describes what I’m hoping for next season.

  32. Welcome to the other Edwin on this site.

    Will the convergence of howard and nash plus the addition of three new asst who are formerly stalwarts from other team guarantee “success”? That is the question to be answered by actuality. They need to fraternize and win games before we could say that it is real. Based on historical data, we could predict success but the word “success” refers to actual phenomena. Some questions have to be answered such as: the rehab of Howard, the back of Nash, the chemistry of the new Lakers which Magic J has envisioned before, the chemistry of new assts. with the team and with the head coach. Sometimes in an office environment the composition of Superstars employees do not spell success. It also lies on the management of the group in creating them as a power group motivated to succeed than a group with super egos turned into a pressure vessel that is about to explode.

    I wonder if anyone here knows how much does the F/O are paying the new asst. coaches? That’s another Wow to Jim/Mitch, they really opened their Lakers coffers in order to make our wishes come true. It will be a great travesty if this super project fails.

    Success should no longer be treated as a wish but it should be a daily habit starting today : from planning to honing of skills; to prepare preseason of the second unit individually and as a team by September; Coaches should to meet often, discuss the laden strategies and its pitfalls, study the enemies and the strength and weakness of our current team. Since they are in the spotlight of the hungry Hollywood media, as much as possible they should avoid publicity from BSPN. Talk to media when they already have the trophy not before when they’re in the planning stage.

  33. I never said that–stop relating Abott’s or Mason’s or whomever’s opinion to mine

    ___

    Please don’t tell me what to say, particularly when I never said that you said that, nor even implied it.

    I used that phrase because you are similar to Abbott in that you place enormous emphasis on Kobe, and IMO, not enough on how he fits into the team. This quote is a good example:

    “Kobe didn’t let the offense run through our biggest strength last season–the two big 7 footers in the paint.”

    You assume that Kobe controlled how the team and offense worked, which, if true, is largely a coaching issue. Also, as has been noted many times, suggesting that Gasol and Bynum could have maintained their efficiency with higher usage is questionable. They were unable to do so when Kobe was out and they shot the ball more.

    And, as noted, the Lakers lacked talent and shooters, which clogged the paint, among other things. Kobe’s response to this was to jack his USG up to .357 while shooting 43% from the field, numbers that are worthy of inspection and likely criticism. OTOH, the Lakers went 41-25, got the 3rd seed, and lost to OKC in the conference semis. It is extremely difficult to construct an argument saying that they had the talent to do better than that.

    So, it is not that Kobe is perfect or that he does not deserve to be criticized. It is that when he is criticized, it needs to be done in terms of how he fits into the team and how the team performs. Guys like Abbott never, ever do this. They assume Kobe has enormous power over everything and everyone around him, and base everything they say on their perceptions of his personality, and find evidence (like Phil saying Kobe was “uncoachable” back in 2004 for his book) that supports that and ignore counterevidence (like the fact that Phil returned to the team and won two titles with Kobe) that doesn’t.

    You are not Abbott of course, but I have yet to see any substantive evidence that tells me that I should be more worried about Kobe’s personality than about Howard’s and Nash’s backs, or about the oldest backcourt in NBA history being unable to stay in front of opponents 15 years younger than they will be when play starts. And as I have shown, I can criticize Kobe when I think he deserves it–like last year’s 6/28 debacle in Denver.

  34. I think it’s well-established that Abbott is a pr*ck that lets his personal feelings get in the way of journalistic integrity. Honestly I don’t know why people read his stuff. Can we please talk about the Lakers rather than some lonely “advanced stats” cancer patient lookalike that has an agenda against an undisputeable top 10 all time player.

  35. David Friedman tends to be just a touch too PRO Kobe at times, but his stuff is very good.

    http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/

  36. So every superstar on Okc has an extension except Harden. I hope he messes up their chemistry trying to get paid next summer.

    And don’t tell me he won’t be thinking about getting paid or that Bobcats trade rumor either.

  37. Truehoop and Abbott are one of the few places where you can read actual smart people write actual smart things about basketball. I urge everyone not to fight it and let it sink in.

  38. Truehoop and Abbott are one of the few places where you can read actual smart people write actual smart things about basketball.

    Like I have said, finding examples of Abbott’s bias about Kobe is very easy. I have cited several over the last few days. So have others, here and elsewhere. If you can’t see the bias, that is simply your own issue. If your argument is that he at times makes decent points in spite of the bile and bias, I agree to a slight extent.

    Mason is OK as long as he is not writing about the Lakers. Arnovitz is pretty good, and Abbott is OK on some topics. But Zach Lowe, Kevin Pelton and others are vastly superior to Abbott.

  39. rr: I guess it does come down to age. I think this is the best team, while you think they are #3 I believe? They could be #3, while being only 6-8 on defense, although it would be tough. With regard to my rating; in order for the Lakers to be #1 and win the title, they must be top 3 on defense. If they are 6-8 on D – then no title.
    However, IMO we are going to be outstanding on defense (we better be – else bye bye MB), and we are going to win it all this year. I will expect nothing less. We are the Lakers – winning titles is what we do.

  40. ex, thanks for linking the Roundfield article, it was wonderful.

    rr, Kenny T, Jim C, etc., thanks for the suggestions – I’m noting them and will continue to. I like Zack’s writing too.

    Edwin – the subscription thing bugs me as well. I communicated with various people there, letting them know that I don’t feel motivated to pay money in order to bring the Times more readers. So far, they’re failing to see the wisdom of my request, haha. It’s a shame to see all the changes that Tribune ownership has brought in recent years.

    As for the Abbott brouhaha, I think I’ve already explained my position on linking his stuff but if nothing else. it fosters discussion and that in of itself is good.

  41. Kobe: Abbott does not matter. He is just representative of a large group of “Haters”, many of whom are Laker fans. If Abbott did not exist, someone else would be doing what he does, because there is demand for it. KB has been a polarizing figure since year one: In the beginning: He was arrogant, he had no street cred, he had a funky doo, he was Euro elite, he did not respect authority, and did not respect veterans. Then came the Shaq feud, the fact that he shot too much, Colorado, and he wasn’t a good teammate. Now it is that he doesn’t know when to pull back, he is selfish, he is more concerned with records than titles, and he has lost too much speed. The years go by and the haters will always have a list. I have lists too, and I publish them periodically under the Kobe Alert (7 trips to the Finals, 5 titles, 14 All NBA selections, 12 All Defense Selections, And Counting)

  42. Robert,

    I am not really into the #1, #6 stuff. The KBros are–you should listen to their PodKast on D12. I look at teams and players more in tiers. I think the Lakers are on the top tier, along with Miami and OKC, with SA on the very top of the second tier, and not all that far back.

    On that top tier, I think that at this point they are, by a small margin, the least likely team to win it for two big reasons:

    age/health
    coaching

    That conceded, I agree with the KBros and others, inclduing perhaps you: if things break right for the Lakers, they could very well be the best team in basketball. Howard, Nash, Meeks, Jamison and full year of Hill correct, on paper, most of last year’s deficiencies. If things mostly go well, they certainly can beat Miami and Oklahoma City.

  43. 1) Abbott. I stopped reading Truehoop a year or two back and don’t miss it one bit. When I do mistakenly click on a link to it and think “Hell, this is really well-written!” it turns out to be Arnovitz every time.

    1a) One of my friends worked in web publishing and pointed out this story to me particularly as the kind of fake-inflammatory stuff people sometimes do in order to get hits. An average Gizmodo story gets 90k or so impressions, that one is at 1.1 million. Abbott knows his Kobe articles get many times the hits and comments of anything else he writes, and he’s got to know why. It’s cynical link-baiting. Vote with your feet if you don’t like the approach.

    2) The LA Times. It’s naughty, but it works. Turn off JavaScript (settings vary by browser, the NoScript extension is probably the easiest way) for *.latimes.com. No paywall!

    3) Darius, without knowing the moderation plugin you’re using (or if it’s WP’s native one), you should be able to add words like “c-l-a-s-s” and variations of it to a whitelist. Maybe.

  44. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F0eknSMb3g

    :11 Replace Dwight with Bynum here and either it’s blocked or he pulls back because of the threat of a block. And that’s a effort play.

    1:23 How many times did we see these frustrating plays last year. That’s the awareness I was talking about. That should be a steal or block.

    2:08 With a much improved PnR defender this won’t happen.

    2:27 Same here Bynum was at the FT line on a screen at the 3 point line.

    3:04 Lack of awareness.

    3:27 No help defense.

    Not harping on a player defencies but pointing out what Howard brings the little things make such a big difference. Those plays happened countless times all year. Help defense, PnR defense and awareness around the basket are much improved. Still need to get down communication to stop those open 3s.

  45. Lowe did a piece during the playoffs in which he suggested that the Lakers were in effect starting every game “behind 10-0″ due to transition defense issues, and Lowe put a lot of that on Bynum. I thought Lowe was excessively nasty in that particular piece, but a healthy and active Howard will certainly make a difference in the areas Kevin notes.

  46. http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/05/15/okc-exploits-andrew-bynums-weakness/

    rr: I think this is the piece you were talking about. Lowe does do a really great job with analysis so does the SSR writer Rosales and everyone else linked above. I just read it again and I saw a staggering statement.

    “The net result: In eight playoff games, the Lakers have allowed 109 points per 100 possessions with Bynum on the floor and 98.9 when he has been on the bench, per NBA.com. That’s roughly the difference between the league’s fifth- or sixth-ranked defense and one that would have ranked last in the regular season.”

  47. That is actually a diff. piece. Lowe said this of Bynum on Twitter on May 11:

    Zach Lowe?@ZachLowe_SI

    Andrew Bynum’s transition defense is so bad, the Lakers are basically starting every game down 10-0.

  48. Didn’t catch that piece. I hope Howard improves transition defense as well. With more floor balance and practice time hopefully Lakers can iron that out too.

  49. I second some of the suggested names above, as far as Dave asking for writers. Lowe and Arnovitz are great analysts, and Ben Rosales from ssnr does very good work too. Ben Golliver is also good, although I haven’t had time to read his stuff for a while.

    The last post on the Princeton by Darius was great. Looking forward to (hopefully) some video breakdowns once the season starts.

  50. Transition: Nasty or not, Lowe was correct. The Lakers were not swift afoot last year, and then the lack of effort made them abysmal. We allowed teams to waltz down the floor on too many possessions and did not make things a half court game as the playoffs should be. The Celtics did this to teams in the East, and there was no excuse for us getting into losing track meets with OKC. With Howard – this will all change. He is a one man wrecking crew on defense and he runs the floor. With him getting back (where AB did not), teams will be forced to set up way more often, thereby forcing the half court game, that we win. Nash will also help in that he is good at running after made buckets etc. which keeps the other team on their toes. Last year, the Lakers were a dream to play against from a stamina standpoint. We did not run much, and we were terrible in transition. All of this off season change, helps the age factor that rr points out, as opposed to last year, where due to our poor effort in transition, we maximized our own weakness. With the conditioning of KB, MWP, and SN, I am not anticipating the age will be a negative factor for us next year. Again MB is the key in that he must force appropriate tempo, he must appropriately regulate minutes, and we must have a good plan to come into the playoffs fresh and with a scheme where we dictate pace. This is like an Olympic relay. The ownership and the GM ran the first two legs, and now the baton is with MB. He needs to set this thing up for the players to run the last leg home for the title.

  51. The definitive takedown of Abbot’s bias as presented by our friends over at Silver Screen and Roll in the form of C.A. Clark.

    http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2011/1/28/1961684/how-to-be-statistically-biased-henry-abbott

    A couple of satirical examples of what Abbot’s articles would be like if his target was Rose or Lebron.

    http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-if-espns-main-basketball-blogger_08.html

    and

    http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-if-espns-main-basketball-blogger.html

  52. Why is Aaron still here. I thought he was traded for peanuts to the city of brotherly love.

  53. Dwight Howard just a dropped a cool 20 million For a home in Newport Beach. (same neighborhood as Kobe)

    Any rumors of Dwight leaving or going to Dallas just went out the window.

    Now let’s go back to talking about championships and how many games were going to beat the Heat in June.

  54. As pointed out many times, Bynum’s biggest weakness was his lack of quickness and speed. It’s a simple game, but if you can’t run it’s hard to play. Dwight can run the floor very well. That in itself is a major upgrade.

  55. Ha now both Kobe and Dwight live in my city. I will be buying fruits and nut at the same grocery store. Should be a great year.

  56. “The net result: In eight playoff games, the Lakers have allowed 109 points per 100 possessions with Bynum on the floor and 98.9 when he has been on the bench, per NBA.com. That’s roughly the difference between the league’s fifth- or sixth-ranked defense and one that would have ranked last in the regular season.”

    I wonder what Aaron would have to say

  57. @57: he would just ignore it.

  58. 31 I thought devastator is made up of 6 constructors, not 5…

  59. @JB #44 you hit the target on that one. Its all about hits. And for Abbot to get a million hits is to take a shot at Kobe. Imagine how many fans Kobe has during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing? That alone would bring Abbots net hits to a millon. Same thing in boxing, if you want your Article to get many hits, just take a shot at Manny Pacquiao whether the article is full of crap it will get a lot of hits and comments from PAC fans that will defend their idol.

  60. As to Abbott just cyncially trolling for page hits, I thought that for awhile, but after my email exchange with him, I am not so sure. I am sure that there is a commercial motivation, but I tend to think that he also sees what he does as a necessary service in objectivity for NBA fans. YMMV.

    Also, while I can’t speak to hits, the number of comments on the Kobe stuff have dropped off precipitously as he has gone to the well again and again, and a lot of them say stuff like, “This again? Come on, Henry.”

  61. Nice summation 1/2 D & R

    I don’t hate Abbot because I don’t read his comments. No read, no hate as simple as that.

  62. Most big media bloggers are paid for hits on their articles. ESPN absolutely knows which topics are going to be hot-buttons and I’m sure his editors encourage him to write more on the subjects that get the most traffic, thus his weekly backhand slap at Kobe.

    And it’s not just Kobe he hates–being a Blazer fan himself, I can remember when he called Trevor Ariza “dirty” for a hard foul on super-flopper extraordinaire Rudy Fernandez (to be fair, it was a hard foul, but one serious hit does not a dirty player make), and I believe he called Andrew Bynum “the dirtiest player in the league” after his lung-collapsing shot on Gerald Wallace. That was also a hard foul, but again, one time does not make a trend (Andrew’s other notable cheap shots were still years in the future). He’s a Blazer fan first, a Laker hater second (perhaps those two swapped), and thus hates the Lakers’ best player most of all. It’s not a Kobe conspiracy–just wait three or four months to see some overwrought and hilariously tenuous examples of why he thinks Dwight Howard is the worst person since Torquemada.

  63. Henry Abbott is in fact stupid. Just because he is hired by ESPN doesnt mean he is smart. There are a lot of stupid people on ESPN payroll.
    When a man writes the same inaccurate statements over and over and hopes that its becomes true, what else can you call him but stupid.
    Now to the the “from the league’s player most likely to ignore open teammates..” reference to Kobe.
    Well I like these stats that someone shared with Abott.

    “Here are Jordan’s playoff averages from 1996-98 when the Bulls won three championships:

    1996: 30.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, .459 FG%, .403 3FG%, .818 FT%
    1997: 31.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 4.8 apg, .456 FG%, .194 3FG%, .831 FT%
    1998: 32.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, .462 FG%, .302 3FG%, .812 FT%

    Here are Bryant’s playoff averages from 2008-10 when the Lakers made three straight trips to the Finals and won two championships:

    2008: 30.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, .479 FG%, .302 3FG%, .809 FT%
    2009: 30.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.5 apg, .457 FG%, .349 3FG%, .883 FT%
    2010: 29.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.5 apg, .458 FG%, .374 3FG%, .842 FT% ”

    But according to Abbott and so called ESPN numbers guys Kobe is selfish.

    Only an ignoramus is blind to this fact: to record an assist the receiver of the pass has to actually make a basket.

  64. dave m: we agree, without the occasional contrarian, whose name herewith remains anonymous; i mean obvious, we don’t always get the usual banter and insightfulness necessary to carry an idea, a casual conversation into the stratosphere we call Forum Blue And Gold.

    Further stating the obvious, here it is sunday again and can’t wait for the next laker acquisition. it’s gonna happen, i feel it. i know you do. and when it does, we can again begin to contrast the contratian and agree amongst the sane that all is good in lakerland.

    Have a great week.

    Go Lakers !

  65. -Jim C. @52
    Loved those articles when they were written and, upon reread, they are still pretty damn awesome! Josh Tucker from SS&R went off on Abbott a few times and it was epic. Of course, True Hoop is just about the only place where smart people write smart articles about basketball, but maybe Abbott forgets to eat his smart food before he writes?

    David Friedman is a great writer over at 20 second and if you haven’t read his interviews with Dr. J, then you have to give them a read. Erving did everything that Jordan, and then Kobe, ever did except no one ever saw him do it. Once he came into the NBA, and basketball got popular again, he was already getting older and had lost a step or two.

    Anyway… thanks for bringing those to my attention again!

  66. Not sure if this was linked before but Rob Mahoney takes an in-depth look at the Princeton O and our personnel:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1300520-is-the-princeton-offense-a-good-fit-for-the-new-look-lakers

  67. KenOak

    You are right on about Dr J. He is truly the father of the modern basketball era. While MJ was kobe’s idol, Dr J was MJ’s! Some of the things I saw him do are mind blowing. One time I saw him basically fly underneath the backboard across the lane across, reach out and flip the ball off the backboard and in. He was out of bounds when he landed. Amazing. People unfamiliar with him should check out some of his highlights on You Tube.

  68. Lakers offense last 5 years 07-12 ppg

    108.6, 106.9, 101.7, 101.5, 97.3

    Steady drop from year to year. Insert Nash, Jamison, Meeks and by common sense that number rises.

    Nash offense 07-12

    110.1, 109.4, 110.2, 105.0, 98.4

    3 different coaches and a decrease in talent remarkable for it to be higher than the high powered Lakers.

  69. Lakers defense last 5 year 07-12 ppg

    101.3, 99.3, 97.0, 95.4, 95.9

    Insert Dwight does that number fall even more? Was surprised to see the championship years Lakers allowed 100 points those 2 years but those teams did get stops when they needed too.

    Dwight’s defense last 5 years 07-12

    99.0, 94.4, 95.3, 93.7, 93.4

    Better defense than Lakers without the big names. I guess some of this can be contributed to a weak eastern conference. But allowing so few points on a team with Turk, Carter, Nelson, Lewis, Anderson.

  70. I’m concern on how and when the Lakers will apply the Princeton offense. With Nash and DH on the roster that seems to me like a bad idea. This offense is better fit for a team like the Pacers, imho.

    Besides, neglet the P&R is something that is out of the scope. It’s the most used/popular/effective offense on the NBA and we have the 2 best P&R players in the world. Simply ignoring the P&R between Nash and DH would be something out of my imagination.

    What do you guys think?

    Cheers.

  71. Michael H
    One of my favorite basketball plays of all time! That was so amazing. Too bad that it happened against Kareem and our Lakers.

  72. MagicPhil: I’d like for Brown to come out and say how much Lakers will run the Princeton offense. I can’t see that being our primary option because he ran PnR to death with LeBron, was going to run PnR with Paul, wanted to run PnR with Sessions and now he has a PnR PG Nash. I think the Princeton offense is to make Pau and Kobe more comfortable and instill structure and discipline. He couldn’t do it last year so he brought in some no nonsense guys this offseason.

    How can Brown not run PnR? Nash’s team have shot 50, 50, 49, 47, 45 % the last 5 years in the West. Compare to Lakers championship teams who shot 44%.

  73. Darn keypad 47% for Lakers championship teams.

  74. How about that guy Kobe dropping a sick stat line of 68pts (29-33fg) in 15 minutes of running time. All 68 points of his points scored were scored in the 2nd half in a charity game in china. What a guy!

  75. Magic Phil,

    I’ve wondered the same thing. Howard and Nash are a match made in pick and roll heaven. That combo should produce the most devastating PNR attack in the league. But hey, there is a reason no one is paying me to be an NBA coach. I’m sure the men in charge know a lot more about what’s best for the team than I do.

    It will be interesting to see what kind of consistent offense the Lakers run.

  76. I will be extremely surprised if the we do not see the Lakers running a lot of PnR with Nash and Howard, regardless of what the team’s base offense is.

  77. Princeton offense sounds good for our bench, or the times when Nash has to sit and Blake has to ‘run’ the offense.

    In fact, I hope that the emphasis on PO is because everyone realizes we have an old backcourt that shouldn’t log more minutes than their age…

  78. Good evening FB&G.

    Watching the OKC-MIN game that went into 2 overtime. The Minnie offense is beautiful to watch. It’s the Adelman offensive set from the Princeton offense. I am starting to believe that this offense is really excellent for the current roster composition.

    What I am concern though is its learning curve.

    Will the team be able to implement it to its nuances or will it take the whole season to have everybody be comfortable running it.

    I understand that it takes at least 2 years for players to really be comfortable with the triangle offense.

    Watching it seems a little bit simplier than the PhilJax tringle.

    What does everyone say about this?

  79. Adelman’s team runs plenty of high pick and roll with the PF and PG, while action is constantly done on the wing in reaction to the defense reacting to the P&R.

    It seems to me, Nash, Pau, and Kobe could really look very good in this offense.

  80. many of us are still wondering on what LAKERS offense will look like..we all that excited…i hope that traning camp will be near so that we can see the real deal.

    The expectations are very high indeed..but more pressure is on coach Mike Brown…its simple as that..the FO give you all the assets that you want to be a championship caliber contender team..if it fails…i want Phil to come back…but lets all support the LAKERs..

  81. If the Coaching Staff adopts the Princeton Offense as its major offensive principle, it’s pretty much a guarantee that it will not be run exclusively. What sense does it make to acquire Nash if you’re not willing to utilize his strengths (pick n roll). I believe that the offense will consist of the Princeton Set, Pick n Roll and definitely Iso’s (Kobe’s strength). All to different degrees, depending on the opponents. This Offensive Philosophy/Strategy, imo, is the best course for us to take in order to maximize the talent that we have assembled.

  82. I am also perplexed why do they advertise the type of offense to be employed? Is this not preparing the opposing teams what would be their counter strategy?

    Secondly, these guys are all professionals and basketball is their job. Can you not mix up P&R and Princeton etc. whatever works – the objective is to score more than the enemy and win more ball games.

    Thirdly, Nash, Kobe, Artest, Jamison, Gasol are regarded seniors, the new coaching staff should adopt something that will promote their longevity in the game. As the saying goes: ” it is hard to teach old dogs with new tricks.” lol!

    Advertising what you want to employ means a sign of weakness. This is like conducting a market research in order to gauge the consumer pulse. They seemed not sure what to do, so try to bask the new coach forte’ in order to intimidate other teams or improve his image standing as new appointed sheriffs in town. Unfortunately, this is a different kind of town. We don’t evaluate coaches from their resume and credentials but on the Championship they could bring, it is either you win this thing or busted at the end of the season. Just my take.

  83. Edwin,

    If the front office hires a certain coach, the media and fans usually demand to know why the hire was made and how their skills will be employed. Moreover, the Princeton offense is not a new unknown, as coaches have been used by coaches for decades. Information and game tape on the system is readily available.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_offense

    Teams also have an entire season and post-season to watch tape and game plan against us. And I can bet you right now that no coach is wasting time game planning just for the Lakers without even seeing a whole new starting 5 playing together on the court.

  84. #6 on Lakers countdown…

    My guess is 02 Lakers. Just a hunch. They may be higher because it’s a 3 peat team but 80s Lakers seem destined to dominate the top 5. And the 72 team should be in top 5 too.

  85. 87,

    If Princeton Offense is as old as the NBA, why brag about it as the new Lakers offense? It is just another theory, it matters most on the players using it. My point is why announce a strategy that is popular among coaches? Imitate Napoleon by citing another name, shout another name that will tweak their heads that the Lakers will apply the Bruin defense in combination with Coach K’s Olympic offense. That will be something new for them to evaluate and get worried.