Around The World (Wide Web)

Darius Soriano —  October 18, 2012

From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Los AngelesAndrew Bynum is the Philadelphia 76ers’ to worry about now. The Los Angeles Lakers have quite enough to keep them up at night as Dwight Howard continues to work his way back from offseason back surgery. But with Monday’s news out of Philadelphia that Bynum received another injection of Synvisc – a gel-like substance that sometimes provides relief for inflamed tissue — in his knee, it raises a larger question: Whose problems would you rather be saddled with: Bynum’s chronically painful, injured knees or Howard’s still-unproven back? It was a question Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak had to answer over the summer before he made the trade that sent Bynum to Philadelphia in a four-team deal that brought Howard to Los Angeles from Orlando.

From Mark Medina, LA TimesAnytime the Lakers reserves stepped on the floor, an offensive drought ensued. They would cough up leads. They’d go on long stretches without a field goal. The Lakers were left wondering who would lead them out of the darkness. The team believed they had solved that problem by adding 15-year veteran Antawn Jamison, who’s averaged a career 19.5 points both as a starter and a reserve. The Lakers acquired this piece at the veteran’s minimum, no less. Yet through four preseason games, Jamison has hardly provided such scoring punch, averaging only 5.8 points on 27.6% shooting. But the Lakers hardly seem worried.

From Brian Kamenetzky, ESPN Los AngelesMark Stein delivered the news Tuesday afternoon. The original assumption, that CBA rules prevented Derek Fisher’s return to the Lakers until March 15, turns out not to be true. Because Fisher was bought out by the Houston Rockets following last year’s deadline deal before he was eligible to pick up his extension for this year, he’s able to sign wherever he’d like, including with the Lakers. Stein reports at least theoretical interest from both sides, though I’d be almost shocked if it actually happened. Still, for a lot of fans, the lure of Fish is still strong. I get it. This is a Lakers blog. If you need the significance of Derek Fisher explained, I suspect you’re new around here. But strip away the sentimentality, and it becomes clear bringing him back isn’t a good idea.

From Jeff Miller, OC RegisterHe arrived with three names. Kobe Bryant didn’t know any of them. So, for the first couple of days of Lakers training camp, Bryant called him “Rook,” as in rookie, as in maybe you made a name for yourself in college but here you show up as a nobody. You start at name zero. “And then one day it was ‘Odom,’ ” Darius Johnson-Odom says. “The next day it was ‘Johnson-Odom.’ The next day it was ‘D.J.’ So you can kind of feel it. You can kind of feel when you gain their respect.” From the outside looking in, the Lakers have a dynamic collection of big personalities and large talent, a starting five at least 80 percent of which should end up in the Hall of Fame. But what about from the inside looking out? Apparently, the view isn’t much different, especially when you’re still something of an outsider yourself.

From “Basketball Reasons”, Silver Screen & RollWith the talent at hand, hitting the ground running may be as simple as plug and play for Nash and company. However, the level of execution needed to reach the top for the Lakers is going to take time. With the newly implemented Princeton principles still in the infancy stages, the offense is still a work in progress. The cast is still learning the script and defining their roles. The Lakers are reinventing the wheel for one last shot with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, while mustering all the incentive they can dig up for Dwight Howard to stay with the Lakers long term. At the heart of all of this, Nash will have to find a way to balance the flow of the game on his shoulders while it slowly comes together. The ball, and even more importantly, the offense is in his hands.

-Ryan Cole

Darius Soriano

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28 responses to Around The World (Wide Web)

  1. Man, did Mitch ever sell high on Odom–saved on luxury tax last season and flipped the TO for Nash. Amazing.

    Good lord, and they got DJO with the pick Dallas traded. Theft!

  2. As been mentioned before DJO brings an element of youth combined with athleticism nobody on the Lakers has. Coupled with the fact guys coming from Marquette have fared well in the nba. But the infatuation with DJO is interesting. What has he exactly shown us during summer league and preseason games that warrants such high praise. A few practice dunks isn’t enough to show if you can hold your own in the nba.

  3. Kevin,
    I was the Utah game at Staples… I saw him blow by his man again and again with such ease he looked like A.I. He didn’t need a cross over. He didn’t need a head fake. He simply went. Once he got to the rim he was able to finish in traffic with a rare combination of body control and leaping ability. The man just moves different.

  4. Aaron: I only saw highlights to that game so I’ll trust your judgement. Hopefully he can get some minutes to show his game. Parker’s an average pg, Morris is the next best thing and DJO looked like Iverson. No way you can go 0 for 3.

  5. Kevin,
    Tony Parker is an average to above average starting PG in the NBA. That’s a compliment. Have you seen the list of PGs in today’s NBA. To be in the 10-14 category is very impressive.

    And I said Morris was better than Blake. That’s not going far out on a limb as Blake was the worst PG in the NBA as soon as Fisher was moved to SG.

    I’m not saying DJO will be a starting PG in this league yet… Again I’m just saying he is better than Blake. Simply by being able to get to the basket and make a lay up that makes you better than Blake as he was rated the worst PG in the NBA in a recent study.

  6. Tony Parker went from “average” to “above average”? Next thing you know, it will change to best PG of all time.

  7. I think that there’s some truth to Aaron’s sentiments about Parker. I can probably name 10 great point guards equal or better than Parker off the top of my head. DJO as AI, I’ll hold off on that judgement until he, ya know, scores a bunch, wins an MVP, yadda yadda yadda.

  8. DJO is a SG. Far as I know, he hasn’t played PG before. I wish he were a true PG, though, so he could show what he could do as a backup to Nash.

  9. Kareem,
    Ha… I was in no way comparing him to AI. Just trying to make a point. The guy can blow by his man and it would be nice to have a guy that can create his own offense with that second unit. Hey… As Max Kellerman says… It would just be nice to have an NBA basketball player as the back up PG.

  10. Aaron,

    You continue to miss the point about the pg position and Laker needs. Fisher and Blake were both chosen as complementary players in the triangle under Phil. Last year, when the Lakers moved away from the triangle, neither Fisher nor Blake fit in very well, but neither did Sessions.

    This year, none of the current Laker pg’s mesh well as backups to Nash, and it is a huge problem. Blake does not penetrate and dish very well. DJO is more raw than sushi. If by some miracle, one of the top pg’s you tout became a Laker, his talents would be wasted as a Nash backup–and bad chemistry with the starters could easily lead to an explosion.

  11. Not that I want to get into the quicksand that is this particular ongoing argument, but ESPN ranked Parker the 16th-best player in the league and the 6th-best PG. PGs ahead of him, listed by rank and numerical score:

    CP3 (4th/9.52)
    Rose (5th/9.02, if there is a full comeback from the ACL injury)
    Westbrook (9th/8.76)
    D. Williams (10th/8.69)
    Rondo (12th/8.49)

    The rest of the PGs in the top 30 are (cut off at 30 to balance out his 16th/8.21 overall rating):

    Nash (19th/8.02)
    Kyrie Irving (22nd/7.83)

    Dropping him to “10-14 overall” would necessitate putting two more lower-ranked players at minimum. According to ESPN’s same rankings, the next two PGs are:

    Curry (40th/6.97)
    Rubio (47th/6.71, same ACL issue as Rose).

    Slotting Parker there would put him at 48th, which coincidentally is where they’ve ranked Ty Lawson, another PG. ESPN’s own rankings of the 10th through 14th-best PGs are as follows:

    10. Lawson (as mentioned, 48th/6.68)
    11. Kyle Lowry (51st/6.60)
    12. John Wall (55th/6.54)
    13. Brandon Jennings (61st/6.32)
    14. Mike Conley (65th/6.27)

    I know the “point” rankings are arbitrary, but all players were rated on the same scale so there can be some worthwhile comparisons to help you understand why the general opinion of your beliefs are laughable. By your measure, ranking of Parker 1.6 or so points lower than ESPN’s aggregate is about the same as knocking Chris Paul (9.52) to parity with Steve Nash (8.02), or Kyle Lowry (6.60) with Mo Williams (5.06).

    We all get that you think that he’s around the 10-14 range of NBA PGs, but the numbers and rankings, not to mention everyone else’s opinion on this site, don’t line up with it. Please stop flogging the dead horse already.

  12. Parker is without question in the top 10 PG range, that’s pretty outlandish to say otherwise.

  13. Rome was not built for one day.

  14. Agree with #13 Drew. I saw Parker kill the Clips last season at Staples. He got the ball in the 3rd and score at will.

    The guy is an all-star.

  15. Tony Parker, easily the Spurs best player currently.

  16. I vote for bringing Fish and Critendon back (I’m sure the Buss’ can pay his bail). While we are it, we should also bring back Machine, Farmar, Madsen, Turiaf and Congo Cash.

  17. To judge Parker objectively, without accounting for his past accolades, would be to do the trade test: would you trade your point guard for him?

    With Rose, Rondo, Deron, CP3, Westbrook… that’s a clear no. Maybe a case could be made for Rose due to his injury and Rondo due to his lack of a jump shot, but even then I’d prefer those 5 over Parker.

    But as for the rest? I could see teams holding off for chemistry reasons or particular fit with the systems they run, but I definitely see more than 20 teams going for Parker. That makes him top 10 among PGs.

  18. I was talking about Dwight offense yesterday did some research. He has almost as many 20-20 games (46) as 30 pt games (58). That speaks to his desire to play defense as much as anything as well as his unselfish play. In 8 years his best player was Rashard Lewis and he was focused more on defense than offense. The complete opposite of Bynum.

    Since we’re talking about pg’s Rondo and Westbrook could become the best 2 pg’s if Paul doesn’t make it out the second round. Rondo gets killed for his inconsistent jumper, Westbrook for shooting too much and Melo for only making it out the 1st round once. The consensus top 3 best all around player Paul has never made it past the 2nd. Rondo, Rose, Westbrook, Parker, Nash postseason resumes are all better than Paul’s. It’s time he’s held to the elite player standard that Kobe, LeBron, Melo, Durant, Dwight are all held too.

  19. CDR is who I’d like to see at back-up PG. He actually grew up as a PG – and a scoring PG at that, till he hit college where he teamed up in the backcourt with a certain Derrick Rose. I wish Coach Brown would give him some burn there.

    And I’m with Kevin on the DJO thing. I like what I’ve seen of him, but I haven’t seen him play realistic, extended minutes against top-tier, or even second-tier opposition to form an opinion of his capability.

  20. Speaking of CDR, Mark Trudell did a terrific interview with him recently. Story is on the Lakers’ blog:

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/121018_cdr1on1

  21. “I saw him blow by his man again and again with such ease he looked like A.I.”

    “Ha… I was in no way comparing him to AI.”

    Aaron for President.

  22. BTY, I can’t say for sure where Parker ranks among PGs, but is it safe to say Nash is the top 38 yo PG around?

  23. I don’t see LeBron joining the Lakers the talk of the next star to move should be cp3. Why would Sterling max him? He’s the ultimate penny pincher who already has a star attraction in Griffin to fill the seats, a up and coming PG with Bledsoe, has serious roadblocks to get to the Finals for years to come and I’m sure isn’t willing to pay repeaters tax, I think, espicially if he’s not winning rings. Sterling is not going to pay Paul 5yr/100 mil when he already has Griffin making close to that. And heavy contracts from Jordan, Butler and Crawford. Focus should be on cp3 it’s almost a given he won’t get maxed by Clippers.

  24. It’s a smart business decision actually if you have a serviceable starting PG who could get a Rondo deal rather than maxing someone who won’t be the best player on his team in 2 years. And your the second best team in your city. After that Brand and Baron fiasco no way Sterling takes that chance again.

  25. I’m in no way a Coach Brown basher. And this is probably my first comment on him. But it is mind baffling to me that after so many years of coaching, he decided to opt for a Princeton Offense which he himself is not an expert. Unlike Phil Jackson who has been a Triangle Man for most part of his coaching career and who implements it WHEREVER he goes. I also never heard of Coaches like Adelman or Carlise or Popovich suddenly deciding that “Hey That Idea sounds great. Let’s get an assistant coach to teach it. ” It sounds quite scary when I thought of it that way.

  26. arliepro,

    That was an awesome read – I’m even more of a CDR fan now. Thanks for sharing!