Preview and Chat: The Portland Trailblazers

Darius Soriano —  October 31, 2012

The Lakers loss last night offered varying levels of frustration for everyone. In case anyone thought otherwise and needed proof, there’s no flip to switch from preseason to regular games, there’s only a path to travel to try and get better as a group. And while there were some very good individual performances, the group as a whole didn’t do well. Thus the team is zero and one to start the year.

There are a few takeaways from last night that deserve mentioning because they’ll serve as the back drop for tonight’s contest.

First is that the Lakers’ biggest issues, despite popular belief, are actually on the defensive side of the ball right now. The Lakers big men were slow in their rotations to confront dribble penetration. This was compounded by the fact the guards in front of them allowed too many opportunities for those big men to be late. As individuals, Howard did not yet look himself in stepping up to protect the rim while Gasol took some poor angles in P&R defense that left holes in the middle of the floor that the Mavs exploited.

The Mavericks also did the opposite of what teams used to do to the Lakers on defense. Rather than attack the center in the P&R, they went away from involving Dwight in any on ball actions where he could thwart an initial drive attempt and instead picked on every other Laker. Gasol, Hill, and Ron all had to be the hedge/recover man in this action and all were taken advantage of on more than one occasion. With Howard reacting slowly on the back end, this led to trouble.

Offensively, the Lakers still lacked balance. Ask Steve Nash and he’ll tell you that he could have been more aggressive in attacking with the ball rather than initiating the Lakers’ sets via quick passes to the wing and floating on the weak side. Nash did start to attack late in the game but by that point the deficit was too large and the rhythm of the game favored the Mavs. Doing more of that earlier — while still not abandoning the actions that allowed Gasol and Kobe to thrive — is something that Nash is burdened with nightly. It will be this way all season and his ability to carry that burden will often dictate how the offense looks. Not to put it all on Nash, but when he’s in the game he may be the most important Laker simply because he’s driving the car.

Tonight then, the Lakers have another challenge waiting for them. They visit an arena that they typically leave as losers and do so on the second night of a back to back against a team playing in their home opener. Add in the fact that the Lakers will get every team’s best effort and tonight is a challenge regardless of what quality you deem the Blazers to be.

With that in mind, here are a few things to look for tonight:

  • How tired is this team? Dwight played 38 minutes last night. Pau played 40. Kobe and Nash played in the 35 and 34 respectively. If this were a few weeks into the season I’d be less concerned but this is the most real game action these players have seen and with the increased stakes of the regular season they’re bound to feel the affects a bit more than if they were coming off a preseason game. Sustained effort from these four will be key, but so will the reserves behind them providing some sort of relief in the form of minutes and production.
  • Speaking of the bench, Mike Brown’s rotations have already come into question and it’s only been one regular season game. Last night was actually the first time — even through the preseason — that every player in Brown’s rotation was available in the same contest so I’m not going to jump on his back about rotations at this point. He deserves time to figure it out. That said, he did substitute Nash and Kobe at the same time while leaving Dwight and Pau to shepherd the back up guards on offense. Later, he went with units that featured only one of the big four for stretches at a time (usually either Gasol or Howard). These lineup combinations were hit and miss (there was some success with Pau the only starter on the floor anchoring the bench) but I’d be lying if these rotations didn’t feel strange while also inspiring various questions about what his plan was (here would also be a good time to ask about Devin Ebanks’ DNP-CD). Again, it’s one game in and I’m not casting final judgement but I will be keeping a close eye on personnel groupings and how the rotations play out.
  • Can the Lakers manage both transition games better? The Mavericks pushed the ball hard up the floor every time down and that led to a D on its heels and multiple in rhythm shots being taken and knocked down. Blazers’ rookie Damian Lillard will try to duplicate this tonight (as he did during the preseason). The Lakers must do a better job of getting back, building a wall and forcing the ball to the wing rather than allowing it to get middle. On offense the Lakers must push the ball more, but that comes with two caveats. First is that the team must get stops. It’s harder to push the ball when taking the ball out of bounds after a made basket. Second, the team must rebound better. Even though the Mavs didn’t earn many second chance points, they succeeded in slowing down the Lakers transition game solely by grabbing offensive boards and by disrupting rebounds from being grabbed cleanly. Even on rebounds that were eventually secured, Dwight and Pau had the ball tipped away too often. They must be better in this area tonight.
  • This team can’t shoot better from the field than they do from the FT line. Dwight and Hill went 4-20 from the line. I understand that one of the tradeoffs from Bynum to Howard was a dip in free throw effectiveness. However, making 50% isn’t too much to ask. It’s what he shot last year (actually 49.1%) and that was a career low. Hill has no excuse as he’s a career 66.5% foul shooter. Dwight will continue to be fouled and there are already reports that the Blazers will use the hack-a-Dwight tactic tonight. I’m not looking for him to turn into Steve Nash at the stripe but making half is a place to start. Also, if Howard is getting fouled a lot, that means the team will get into the penalty earlier and it should lead to more FT’s for other players should they attack the paint. When they go to the line (that means you Ron and Hill and Pau) those must get knocked down with better consistency.

The Lakers are in an interesting place right now. Based off the steepness of their learning curve, their output is less than the sum of its parts. This is frustrating to watch. The end game is, hopefully, them finding their stride evenutually. But, and this is me sounding like a broken record, it will take some time. In the interim, they need to do other things better to compensate for the things that they’ll not yet do well consistently. That means better defense and better rebounding. It means sustaining effort throughout the entire game. It also means Mike Brown starting to find his way with who he plays together, for how long, and at what part of the game.

It can start tonight in Portland. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope it does.

Darius Soriano

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132 responses to Preview and Chat: The Portland Trailblazers

  1. I just deleted a trolling comment. If you’re going to troll do it somewhere else. If you do it here, I’ll delete the comments and ultimately ban you if you can’t help yourself. Thank you in advance for your respect of the site.

  2. Mike Brown needs to let Nash be Nash or he should start packing. Pack those DVDs first.

  3. Longtime lurker, but finally have to post an opinion. Mike Brown is a horrible coach. I understand he hasn’t had time to see a full, healthy squad to set a regular rotation. Having said that, it doesn’t seem like he’s doing any actual coaching. I haven’t seen any adjustments in game or any effort to adjust his system to maximze his players. Furthermore, he says he will monitor player’s minutes to not tire them out and save them for post season, but right away he plays them too long (Pau for 40min in game #1) to try to win the game. That’s fine and I understand that temptation as a fan to win as many games as possible since I would want to do the same thing, but it’s horrible when you overplay the starters AND lose. I see Mike Brown as the weakest part of this Lakers team.

  4. The Lakers need to start admitting they just aren’t playing well and stop making excuses. The 2000 Lakers learned a new offense in the triangle that is much more unique than the Princeton with Kobe out most of training camp due to a broken wrist and they jumped out to a fast start finishing the year with something like 66 wins. They had a whole training camp in which Dwight didn’t miss a practice and have a home friendly schedule early on. There just shouldn’t be a reason not to rack up the wins if they are as talented as we think they are. Even if as Bill Simons said “Dwight is only at 70 percent.”.

    To hit on the Princeton offense and Steve Nash… Kidd, Arenus, and Rubio have all looked great running PnRs out of this offense. If Nash is playing too much off the ball (and he is) its Steve’s own fault. I have a feeling that will change as he gets more comfortable dominating the ball with his new teammates watching.

  5. Strange to see so many posters calling out Mike Brown. I have been a non-fan of his since day one but was often called out. Mavs had 9 new players and two starters out yet out played the Lakers in every facet of the game. Either just a weird bad day for every Lakers or reality. Brown now has everyone befuddled and confused, even some of the smartest players in the NBA.

    Clock is ticking on Mike’s coaching career.

  6. “their output is less than the sum of its parts”

    And whose responsibility would it be to make sure that does not happen? : )

    We need a “W” in the worst way. Back to back nights with the second being on the road is not the best place to try to get a must win. However – we must do it.

  7. Ko: Yes – you were negative on MB from the start, and yes it seems everyone is now negative on him. In my case, I was neutral last year (we did not have enough talent), and I gave him a free ride in pre-season. However, as you can see – that free ride is over. I am still hoping that the MB era can be salvaged, however the rescue mission must start pronto. There is very little I can say positive about him now. I do not like the offense, I could throw the guys out there and get what he has out of them on defense (and he is a defensive genius?), the team is listless, we seem tired, and I don’t like the rotations. I mean I guess he dresses pretty well, but nothing compared to Riley, and PR had MB beat in just about all other categories. I am not piling on, but the only positive thing I think I have seen anyone say is to give it more time. And yes – I will. However – MB needs to earn his keep. This is a great roster and we need results. Nothing less than a WC Title is even remotely acceptable.

  8. Mike Brown NEEDS to involve Kobe more in the offense. How can the games greatest scorer get buckets if you just park him in the 3pt line and wait.

  9. If we took Rick Adelman instead of Mike Brown, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I finally reaziled yesterday, that Mike Brown just doesn’t get it. And I don’t think he’ll ever get it.

  10. The bench will be needed for some scoring. Portland’s opener, their crowd and the back to back are all working against us tonight. It’ll be interesting to see how Lakers defend the 1/4 PnP with Lillard and Aldridge.

    I don’t expect a win tonight just 5 guys looking like a team like yesterday’s 1st half. To progress!

  11. @Aaron

    Now you’re comparing a game to that 2000 Lakers winning 66 games? That was 66 games, Lakers 2013 only played just 1 game. Talk about that when the regular season is finished.

    Looking forward to this game against Portland. How will Gasol guard LA.

  12. Ko: props for always being a MB doubter but I really don’t think any one on here was ever completely sold on him. Some may have talked themselves into him but it’s exquisitely clear at the very least he has no clue how to set and maintain a consistent rotation. I think he’s felt the heat of being the HC of the LA Lakers from day 1 and that is part of the reason he has overplayed the starters in regular season. I can only hope that you are right about his days being numbered…maybe PJ has one last run in him!

  13. PJ would be good with this team. Sloan maybe. Thinking of my own life. Once had a new coach in college. Changed our offense and team looked bad. Started doubting ourselves and it reflected in turnovers and a lesser effort on defense. Team lost and several players transferred the next year. Moral to story: don’t over think things and let the player play and the coach stay out of their way.

    Hope things change tonight as it would be humiliating going into game with Clippers 0 and 2 in last place.

  14. Do we need the Princeton Offense in order to win in Portland? Whatever Halloween miracle needed Lakers has to W tonight to redeem their reputation. There are four players there going to hall of fame, please don’t drag it to hall of shame by being punished by a pathetic team who are not even sure of getting to the playoffs. D-O-M-I-N-A-T-E all facets of the game,no mercy. Please Kobe, Nash, do whatever needed to win, even to the insubordination to complicated offense, the road to Championship starts tonight.

  15. Wow, I am impressed with the ever changing format, this is D/O – Darius Offense against the blog of blogs. Go FB & G.

    More power to you and also to the Lakers, I know you have had a hard time lately in defending Mike Brown to the wave of blog passion in every game. You are a good attorney but keep the cool aide nearby.

  16. From the beginning of hiring Brown, i did not like it, ask yourself a simple question: if MB is good then why San Antonio and Popovich did not hire him back as next head coach when Popovich retires ? last season, people in Minnesota said that coach Aldeman had to run simple Princeton offense because Minnesota did not have enough talent players to run it, but you saw his team still can score over 100 pts, so don’t blame on the Princeton offense. People should not compare Miami Heat and Lakers, when they got LeBron, Bosh, they are young; Nash ,Kobe, Gasol are old. I compare Lakers to the Boston Celtics, and Rondo has to carry the Celtics in the playoffs, can Howard do the samething with Lakers ? we’ll find out, right now. let’s wait and see after 10 games.

  17. Is anyone watching these? Talking about D-O-M-I-N-A-T-I-N-G, James Harden putting on a show on League Pass. The dude with a sick stat line of 37pts 12ast 6reb, 3 stls

    I still can’t believe the Thunder chose Ibaka over Harden!

  18. There is only one thing that stops me from calling for Brown’s head right now, which is that none of the players so far has called Brown out indirectly or directly this season.

    I have this feeling that Kobe supports Brown and since it’s Kobe’s team, everyone sort of grudgingly is following Kobe’s lead. Pau and Metta definitely seem somewhat bothered by Brown’s coaching (or lack thereof). Pau not so much this season but we’ll soon see him snipe about his minutes being too much and Metta is already feeling disappointed that his workouts was for naught as he is not being utilized enough when playing along starters.

    I just hope that when Kobe and the players pipe up, it wouldn’t be too late. Or, there is something that we don’t quite know but the players are pretty much sold on, something that the Basketball geniuses of Kobe, Nash and Pau can accept.

  19. “Do we need the Princeton Offense in order to win…?”

    Edwin, I left out your “in Portland” there. As Moose Johnston said about the Greatest Show On Turf Rams, and I’m slightly paraphrasing here: It was great that a team finally came along and said, we don’t care what you do, this is what we do, try and stop this…

    Or if you prefer, there’s William Halsey, who shortly after taking command of US naval forces in the Southwest Pacific, issued a simple, all-embracing order to the fleet, to wit, Attack–Repeat–Attack

    But instead of attacking, the team has it’s 4 HOFers playing read and react. Does Eddie Jordan not know that he finally has talent on the team? A 1st unit that ought to be able to impose its will?

  20. Does anyone have a link to watch the game online? NBATV is killing me.

  21. Metta looked bad last 4 games. Careless.

  22. Oh god these announcers are horrible.

  23. MWP is painful to watch on offense.

  24. Bench and Blake are not good. Same turnover confused offense.

  25. Get this garbage off the court. Worst poorly coached bench ever. Release Jamison he is done.

  26. I’m sorry but I just don’t understand the logic behind these rotations. with this team why would lineups of pau-hill-jamison-ebanks-blake or howard-jamison-metta-ebanks-blake ever see meaningful minutes? why does he insist on taking out 3 of the big 4 at a time?

  27. The problem with keeping 2 of them on the floor at the same time is you have less time with all 4 on the floor – the best lineup.

  28. 5 bench players on the floor at once? That can’t happen. I understand the need to rest the starters, but all at once???

  29. I don’t know if jamison is playing out of position but he has been garbage since coming to the lakers. can we dump him? id rather take chances on delonte west and see if his guard skills can help the bench.

  30. are the blazers that good at shooting? seems like everything is going in for them.

  31. I dont care what you think about the offense but Lakers defense right now really stinks.

  32. Just give Kobe the ball and get the eff out of his way. It’s like Kobe’s on shackles on this system.

  33. Nash is worse on defense then I thought he was.

  34. 13 turnovers???

  35. Howard is an underrated passer. That pass to Kobe when Nash fell down was pretty. This team shows flashes of brilliance on offense…they just need to get it together on defense.

    I’m with everyone else about the rotations, but that is something that will be fixed throughout the year. I’d like to see a Nash/Meeks/Kobe/Gasol/Howard lineup for a bit.

  36. Steve Nash limping, not what the Lakers need.

  37. inwit, to me it’s more beneficial to have either kobe or nash on the floor at all times than to put lineups out there that include blake and ebanks in the backcourt in order to play kobe and nash together almost exclusively. the big 4 should open and close the game obviously but it doesn’t make sense to ever have a true “bench unit” with a team this top heavy.

  38. The Lakers are not imposing their will on the opponent. No attitude and no joy on the court. Steve Blake is merely a 5th
    body on the floor, he doesn’t even look to take available shot opportunities.

  39. Jamison is in troy Murphy territory now. He gets garbage minutes let Ebanks play the 3 and Meeks (who hasn’t played) backup Kobe. It’s sad to see Ron turn into a vet minimum player before our eyes but it’s happened.

    Great to see Dwight making free throws but the defense is showing no resistence. Adjustments need to be made to pull this one out.

  40. Don’t like seeing Steve Nash limping. Hope it’s not serious.

  41. Portland played about as good as possible that half, shot absolutely lights out. I will be surprised if they keep up the 80 percent shooting up the whole game.

  42. f^%$# 62 points given up? where is mb’s awesome defense? obviously the players have to execute it but cmon!!!!!!!

    no confidence in mb being able to make any in game adjustments. :-(

  43. You might be right EJK3, but against the best teams I want my best lineup as much as possible. But developing a bench will be tough this year. That will be a big test of Brown.

  44. Fire defense coach. 62 points!

    Oh that right Brown is D genius

  45. Steve Nash suffered a kick in the left shin, but will return according to Lakers PR dept

  46. Can the Lakers hit 30 turnovers tonight??

  47. Too many turnovers in the half and the Blazers are on fire so far tonight .. Nash still favoring that ankle.

  48. Kevin: “Troy Murphy territory” Now that was just wrong : )

  49. I’ve been following Nash since he played ball in highschool in BC – he’s not as bad a defender as people think – he’s good positionally and plays good help – where he has problems is because of loss of lateral defensive quickness due to age. He looked worse than he was in Phoenix because he had zero help backing hm up – and that he gave up on some plays in frustration last year. And anyone who says he’ll get torched by westbrook, parker etc… guess what – everyone gets lit up by the premier points guards – even all the other point guards. Nash will take charges and help well – the coaching staff knows this and makes sure he has help accordingly – but when that help doesnt come, thats when he looks terrible because he seems so slow

  50. Old teams mean a season of injuries. This is why Mitch screwed up by having the worst two back up PG in the NBA. Long season coming.

  51. Refs calling some ticky tack fouls right now.

  52. 17 turnovers

  53. Metta is just a bad out of control bench player. Why did they keep him. 10% of his games were good the rest terrible.

  54. Kobe got bailed out right there. Steve Blake is doing a darn good job running the offense in Nash’s absence.

  55. God, MacDonald is a terrible announcer, so annoying. I must not be the only one who, every time I hear his annoying voice, thinks about how we nearly had Spero Dedes and wonders about what might have been.

  56. frick – this is going to be a looooooooooong season. crap!

  57. Wow. Bad offense and turnovers are crushing us.

  58. Sit the starters the 4th Brown for everyone sake. This is embarassing Jim can’t like this. Espicially when there are qualified high end coaches out there.

    There’s a defense for losses but not pathetic performances. This is not Lakers basketball.

  59. sweet Kobes

  60. Pau Gasol still putting up weak shots.

  61. World peace handles the ball way too much. Usually it ends up in a turnover.

    The lakers are just awful right now. I understand Howard is a great help defender but that doesn’t mean you just don’t play defense at all. The lakers are just to slow on the perimeter.

  62. Andrew who? Dwight Howard is pretty good even at 75%.

  63. I laugh at the experts who said this was a 65 win team. Out coached and out played again. Lucky to win 50. This could be a 5th or 6th seed unless they hire a real coach the players respect. Fans are laughing at this team in Portland.

  64. Love watching Howard go to work. I hope that 3 pointer gives Blake some confidence to keep shooting!

  65. Howard is a monster already. This is a very good thing. The box score reminds me of 2000-2002

  66. Where is rr tonight? I’d like to tell him–small sample size—but he’s right so far–on the offensive end at least, Kobe does not appear to be a problem….Only 23 shots in over a game and a half….

  67. Three really bad possessions by Kobe.

  68. It took Blake 14 seconds to make the first pass on one possession.

  69. I have no words for the last few minutes of that quarter. You simply can’t win games making the mistakes that the Lakers are making right now.

  70. Ugh. This is embarassing.

    Are the Lakers players this bad? Or are they just terribly coached?

    I don’t typically call out coaching, but this is terrible team defense. Portland’s not even favored to be a playoff team this year.

  71. Not a good last two minutes of the third quarter.

  72. This team is a embarrassment to Laker Basketball. Just got killed by two teams that were not making the playoffs. Worst coach, worst defense and this genius Brown just sits.

    Must be writing his post game excuse speech,.

  73. Three 30 point quarters for Portland. Everybody is pressing and individual talent is winning not coaching or teamwork.

  74. I don’t know if they will be right, or if they will be wrong—-but that last few minutes of that quarter will be what “they” use as the latest exhibit in “the clock is ticking on the Mike Brown era” tomorrow—it isn’t fair, but it is what it is….

  75. My hat is off to Howard for his dominant terrific play on offense. Defensively, I have huge concerns about this team, it is just so bad…..

  76. Lakers are absolutely putrid on defence. Any scoring drought by them in a game pretty much means a loss, can’t get stops.

  77. los feliz laker October 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    The players look like they have called it a night. Down by 17 with 9:38 to go.

  78. We either foul or play no D. And how about grabbing a board?!

  79. In an absolute blowout Brown puts the starters back in. Concede defeat and try again next time.

  80. 0-10 . . . sigh.

  81. This new format on FB and G is killing us! Fire the programmer!

  82. I have newfound respect for LeBron now. Not only did he take a rag-tag team to the finals, he did it despite Mike Brown. Wow.

  83. Is it possible the players are trying to make a point to Buss family about how bad a coach Brown is? You know the same Labron did in Cleveland.

    Last place, probably 0 and 3 Lakers who are 0 and 10 this year. Nice.

  84. Where is Steve Nash??? I can’t watch the game but i’m looking at box score and blake has more mins than Nash???

  85. Nash hurt his ankle or knee on a run in with Lliard – hes out of the game since 1045 of 3rd q

  86. Really frustrating to watch right now. Duhon was making good defense and suddenly replaced by Blake after few minutes.

  87. los feliz laker October 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    This is when Popovich would shrug and sit the starters. What’s the point of them being in there now?

  88. on the bright side, well atleast the Lakers got Howard for the future…

    beyond that, that rest of the team is toast!
    Nash, too old and fragile
    Bryant, too old – A TURNOVER MACHINE
    Gasol, too slow – ALWAYS INCONSISTENT
    Peace – painful watching this guy
    Bench – weak, weak, weak
    Coaching – worst coach in the NBA

    BUss and Kupchack have alot of work to do….

  89. How bad did Nash’s injury look?

    Do you think he might miss multiple games?

  90. i think everyone in their right mind is starting to realize we’re not going to win it with brown as coach. the only person that makes sense to save the season is phil jackson – we need to make a move on phil fast, so he doesn’t make any other commitments. larry brown might be a remote possibility. we can get to fifty wins and improve, but i just can’t see the quantum leap required to take down the heat under brown.

  91. This is lottery-team-bad defense for a second night in a row.

    To the site mods—you guys do a great job breaking down the x’s and o’s, and I will be the first to admit that I pick up on the nuances of offense better than defense—but can anyone tell me what our defensive scheme even is right now? I can’t even discern that there is one, other than let people have wide-open 15-18 foot jumpshots.

  92. Now I am not as worried that the Thunder made a mistake with Harden, given the Lakers’ poor showing so far.

    Is this more about the bench and rotation than the starters’ lack of chemistry?

  93. Not sure about Nash – they haven’t confirmed if its his knee or ankle – ran into blazers player. Don’t think its serious – would be surprised if he’s not back Friday

  94. Does every team in the league have great 3 point shooters except the Lakers?

  95. Small part of this loss – 2nd half reffing has been completely one sided, pretty much every call going for Portland. Doesn’t explain our terrible D, but we might have a shot if they jet let them play.

  96. WRT the D: I agree with Joel upthread–too old and slow on the perimeter. Every perimeter player except Meeks and Ebanks is 32 or older.

  97. Anon

    That’s even negative for me.
    Kobe sat out a week and will be fine.

    Other then that the rest looks spot on.

  98. Right from the start I never liked the Mike Brown hiring for a couple of reasons:
    • The extreme emphasis on preparation, detailed game plans, excruciating practices tells me one thing: Coach Brown is high on “control” and micro-managing. The practical consequence of this approach manifest itself in the lack of strategic flexibility/creativity (especially on the offensive end) and a difficulty to make effective “in-game” adjustments.
    • The core of this particular roster is composed of veterans with a high basketball IQ . The lack of flexibility in Brown’s system really cages and limits the players’ “decision-making” abilities. Players of this level of talent and basketball IQ thrive when given an adequate amount of freedom to exert their strengths, without compromising accountability. This is why PJ system was such a great fit for this group.
    • Only a brilliant and mature mind (not just basketball wise) can achieve this balance between freedom and accountability. With this group of players (hardly impressionable) only basketball brilliance commands respect. For my money, strategic inflexibility is never a brilliant approach. Coach Brown just doesn’t command that respect. The respect that make players really go hard on both sides. I don’t see that commitment from this roster.
    • In my opinion the Lakers, as currently constructed, need a seasoned coach in the mold of PJ, Pat Riley or even Sloan…Coach Brown is, at best, a good defensive coordinator…an assistant.

  99. Something to think about – last time a coach decided to impose a system on Steve nash and take away his ability to run the game as he sees fit, – Terry Porter lasted all of 50 games before being fired mid season. Just saying…… as Bill Simmons says : #freestevenash

  100. Not happy with this defense so far. I felt like the officials didn’t call this game equally, but I know I’m in the minority there. I give MB 10 games. If this team is 5-5 or worse, then I see him on the hot seat.

  101. The game was a blowout through 3. Somehow, Pau plays 39 mins, Dwight plays 41 mins and Kobe plays 38 mins. Fire Mike Brown right now…

    Similar story from last year Lakers down double digits Brown leaves the starters in when there’s no possible way to comeback and win and plays the starters too many minutes.

  102. Last night–free throws–miss 19 of them and lose by eight

    Tonight–defense and turnovers—have a (-12) turnover differential, which results in a (-11) fga differential–both teams shoot around 50 pct….voila—lose by about ten.

    Going back to last year, I can’t remember a longer stretch of mediocre defense—-everyone is getting wide open jumpers against LA….

    @ KenOak and Joe:

    I thought the officiating was—-let’s call it “uneven” tonight—I don’t mean “unfair” as much as “weird”—but that doesn’t explain it. LA’s defense is consistently one rotation short–LA is at least sometimes stopping the first option and sometimes the second and third pass–but eventually someone gets a wide-open jump shot. At least there isn’t a parade of easy layups like what plagued the team at times during the latter part of last year—but pros are going to make those wide open shots—LA’s size doesn’t matter against that.

  103. Talk about great coaching: you play your aging 34 year old superstar, with 41,000 plus minutes on his odometer, on a second game of a back to back, on his 85% percent foot, wait for it……. 38 minutes.

    Mike Brown for you ladies and gentlemen!

  104. All hail Time-Warner. I seriously am thinking about boycotting Laker games this year.

    Looking at the box score and Kevin above — if we are going to play Kobe and Pau 40 min/game we are not going to have them for the entire season, never mind their condition for the playoffs.

    My real problem is that this is a continuation of last year, thus I don’t think in terms of a temporary situation. Does this coach really have a brain?

  105. This team isn’t shooting 50% because of the offense, its because the players are so talented – they should be rolling over portland, dallas etc… and playing way more uptempo. This half court crap is killing them. Again – 10 plus fga less than the opposition. When you have great players, then take lots of shots – don’t artificially limit their attempts running a set offence.

  106. Off season, training camp and 8 preseason this is the Lakers after all that time. Portland new head coach, rookie pg, new players just schooled us.

    Dwight has not signed an extension and went through a complete mess last year. It’s better to do something now than go get a head coach so he won’t have to go through 3 messes for 3 straight years.

  107. There was a pretty good ball movement out there besides those turnovers but I really don’t want to accept those easy buckets that the Blazers made. Lakers really being lazy on DEFENSE. 24 TO’s and down only by 10 is winnable. They just need to play defense 48 MINUTES.

  108. Sorry MB there is no evidence that you have an imprint on this team after 100 games.
    The coach is always the first to go when players don’t execute or play hard.

    PJ or any coach is waiting in the wings, make MB the assistant coach.

  109. Lakers did play a bit more up-tempo starting out tonight and was scoring well, they just could not get stops at all. Defense lost this game for them and 23 turnovers did not help. The defense thus far has just been terrible. I am not sure the Lakers have the capability to be a shut down defensive team with all their age. Nash and Blake cant stop the ball and the team is just too slow on rotations.

  110. I agree with Kevin; the minutes were inexcusable tonight.

  111. rr: it’s not just the minutes it’s consistency. I saw about 3 head scratching lineups tonight. It makes too much sense to play Meeks at sg and Ebanks at sf in rotation but Brown refuses too.

  112. This was a great loss. The fact Dwight looked way more mobile on the second game of a back to back is very encouraging. Brown said he isn’t 100 percent yet in regards to rebounding and defense… But to me the fact he is improving so quickly is better than a goos sign. And Blake has played two quality games in a row. I mean I can take two losses if both those things keep happening. All we need now is Nash not to look 38 amd we will win a championship. Oh… And when will Mike Brown admit Jamison is done? The guy can’t move at all. It’s easy to see its over for him.

  113. Kevin,

    I agree there as well. I made my view of the rotation clear a couple of weeks ago.

    I have stayed agnostic on Brown, but it looks to me like:

    a) He is not the guy for the job.
    b) The Lakers need to pick up a cheap 1 or a cheap 3 who can move his feet and play decent perimeter D for 15 MPG.

  114. I’ve got mixed feelings about the starters playing such long minutes in what was a blowout going into the third quarter.

    Normally, I’d be screaming my head off on the continuation from last season of Brown not yanking old starters to save them minutes in an all but unwinnable game. In this particular case, however, it might have actually helped them getting some additional time on the court together, even if it was without Steve Nash.

    I was far more bothered by some of the headscratching lineup choices.

  115. rr: I think if the rotations are set in stone and Brown uses that for 10 games doesn’t alter them we’ll see progress. But if there’s no consistency on the bench there won’t be any on the court.

  116. Thats the problem though Joe – Lakers shouldn’t be trying to be a shutdown defensive team – but they should be a spectacularly awesome super efficient offensive team with the talent they have. If they are scoring 105-110 regularly then that means the starters are getting easy buckets, early in transition which means easier minutes instead of making every possession a bump and grind in the half court. The Lakers have the talent to be a great defesinve lockdown team in spots – but not the stamina or age to do that for an entire season and make that their identity. they should simply be the best offensive team and steamroll their way thru the opposition so that the starters can have early nights and the bench plays more. If you try to define yourself as a great defensive team then that means you are not attacking and forcing the action, you’re letting the other team dictate the flow and pace of the game. The Lakers should not be holding back but should be playing open court and faster – then use those easy buckets to save energy for defense and force the other team to press offensively. Anyone who says Nash is too old is an idiot – he’s not – but MB is slitting his own throat trying to force guys into this offence when you have 2 of the best creators in the game in Nash (for others) and Kobe (for himself) stuck looking for cutters and what not instead of imposing their will on the game. The reason this offence had some success and worked somewhat in Washington under Eddie jordan was because you had 3 chuckers in arenas, jamison, and Butler – and everyone else deferred to them on the team – and they also played at a high tempo and shot an insane amount of attempts which – guess what – cuts down on TO’s because you’re shooting it everytime you touch the ball instead of waiting for someone to pass it to (unless you’re Ron Artest who it seems has the green light and somehow is always wide open when the ball comes to him). Kobe doesn’t need to defer to Nash or worry about touches being limited – he will get tonnes of shots because Nash always finds the guy that is open and passes them the ball in the spot where they are best able to do the maximum amount of damage. MB is making this way more complicated then it needs to be.

    Funny, the perfect guy for this team would be Mike D’Antonio – who guess what – coached Nash in Phoenix and is the offensive coordinator for Team USA so Kobe loves him too. MB should be the defensive coach – but too late for that.

  117. Not a good visual when your starting backcourt, respectively, 38 and 34 years of age, leave the court limping in just the 2nd game of the season. Not good @ all.

  118. I like that Aaron is the voice of comfort here after another loss.

    It wouldn’t be the Lakers if everything was easy. I’m going to try to stay patient.

  119. If Brownie and Jordie kept on insisting this Princeton Offense, they have no alternative but to play the starters for long minutes. How many games do we have to watch and conclude that Lakers do not have a bench? Sacre, Ebanks, Jamison and Duhon are pathetically weak. Are there any D’League or Euro players who could replace these guys? Once they come in, the spread becomes larger and blow out in a few minutes. Gasol continue to be Gasoft but at least he’s making some shots, Peace is not consistent but he’s hustling therefore without Howard and Kobe tonight, where would this Lakers be? If you remove these two players can they compete in NCAA? 0-10 and 11 is coming…tick, tick, tick, tick the good news that we are coming nearer to the great exodus. lmao!

  120. Emmanual

    You just elegantly and intelligently said what I gave been driving people crazy both on this board, Laker Line and ESPN Radio about for 100 games.

    Mike Brown is a high school coach. At best.

  121. I told ya’ll at beginning of last year. Mike Brown is a rocket scientist. Just give a listen to him on youtube when he coached Lebron. Brillant. Nash, Kobe and Gasol will figure this out when the rocket lifts with Mike Brown onboard. Till then, there’s gonna be a lot of posts ‘raggin’ on the coach. Even the guru of this here site said we should wait and see, give MB a chance. “Mike Brown is a ‘defensive’ dude. Yeah right. Nash is like Peyton Manning, give him the ball and he’ll know what to do. Give Coach Brown hall of famers and we’ll go 2 and 12.

  122. I have some bright ideas but it is also as clear as mud. While Nash is injured, play Meeks and Blake with Howard. Go with the simple triangle inside and outside, I think Blake and Meeks could combine make 50% FG’s on outside while Dwight could get 65% FT’s and 90%FG’s. Gasol and Kobe becomes the loose ends who would do mid-jump shots.

  123. Both the offense and Defense are problems.

    Yes we shot 50+% but the eyeball test can tell us that something is simply wrong with it and the FGA stat does tell us something, if turnovers improve this could work out but a lot of the turnovers are happening because of suspect guard play and the movement in the offense itself

    The positives from offense were Kobe being Kobe, Dwight being Dwight and Gasol mixing it in – they all played their games and that is what made it close – this had nothing to do with the Princeton – We had a good old dump and kick offense with Howard for most of the night where both him and Kobe got most of their points – Gasol got his in the flow of the princeton but it feels like he is the – only – player on the entire team that can play well in this offense because of his versatility at the high post.

    Defensively – we couldnt stop their stars from having monster games – Aldridge was essentially lights out and lillard was able to do whatever he wanted on the court – he broke our defense right away which lead to multiple open 3s – what I thought really hurt us were all the bounces going their way and Hickson and others from outhustling our guys.

    I am hoping that whoever said Blake was able to get us in our sets was joking because somehow he has found a way to hold the ball more than Nash (who we want to have it) deep into the shot clock and just got stuck picking up his dribble beyond the 3pt line multiple times, while also hesitating to shoot most times he was open.

    Meeks cannot guard larger 2s and has no handle on the ball – when him and blake are in the game at the same time we essentially have no offense – Jim might be a numbers guy but the eyeball test here is that we need a guy on the bench that can break his man down on the dribble, which with Kobe’s handle becoming suspect we may not have on the entire roster except for maybe Dwight but he plays in the post and that’s his iso move. Even Nash most of the time needs a pick to be set free and with all the Princeton movement/congestion in the paint there is no space for him to operate.

    Other things to notice, Lillard is a stud, ROY level talent, officiating was biased, their energy and chemistry were way above ours, rotations were all over the place for us and set for Portland and Dallas – they know who they are as a team and a bench and we are still searching and both of them have just as many new players as us and Dallas has just as many injuries.

    Agree with others saying our guys are playing waaay too many minutes but I figure that brown is aware that he is under the microscope and is trying to keep games relatively close to save face so that he can keep his job – from his standpoint it makes sense to tire our guys out but in the long run this will cost us.

    Shaw should have been the coach when he had the chance and that’s what we all wanted, there was no reason to move away from an offensive concept that won us 5 titles -7 finals appearances and 11 titles in total over the past 2 decades – it is the proven winner and we have the players to play it. MB Snakeoiled his way through the interviews with Mitch and Jim by having crammed hard before the test but now its a few months later and everything that he said the would do in the interview – twin towers, upgraded defense (Our defense fell from when Phil was still here) is out the window and he has completely changed concepts year to year with a full makeover in personnel who all left because they would rather coach in Russia than with Brown

    Darius I know that you want to keep giving him a chance, its early and because of this I am sure that you are a nice guy in real life and are willing to give people the benefit of the doubt but there are hundreds of people calling for him to be let go on this board, analysts,players,and other coaches openly questioning his fit for the team, his ability, tactics, rotations…. I mean if this were a Poll or an actual stat we have the 1000+ responses to know that we all think he is doing a bad job and its not even close – he has maybe a 10% approval rating

    We need a Riley – 1-14

    RR – the 2 guys u are talking about are called Delonte West and Michael Pietrus – both guard well, both shoot the 3, Pietrus has played with Nash and Howard, and west has a good enough handle to break down his man time to time.

  124. Edwin

    Might work considering Metta with 6 TO tonight looks bad and got beat all night on D. But then you need a coach who has vision.

  125. Im not a twitter guy but there was a post on hoopshype that said #firemikebrown was trending – there are hundreds… with an S tweets

  126. Well, nice job Darius on your website remodel here, this is the first time that I have seen it, very good indeed. I now have the Lakers on AT&T U-verse and will be able to watch every game, that makes me happy today. Second loss in a row is no big deal (even Aaron is with that), but the injuries are. As long as the team continues to make improvements, and we make the Playoffs un-injured, that is all that matters this season. I agree though that the current Lakers bench, is not like the old days when we had the ‘bench mob’.

    Go Lakers.

  127. A few on court observations besides 3 vet minimum players getting 14 mil this year.

    It’s going to be a real tough year unless another move is made because of our bench. Nobody has the ability to score points. Blake has played OK but he’s looking to pass instead of shoot. They are supposed to have an easier time scoring paired with starters but it looks like the starters will have to shoulder a heavy load all year. Jamison was brought in to be that guy but he’s done. I’ll start calling for Sacre soon, possibly our best bench player.

    Ron needs to stop dribbling. Every time he’s dribbled this year something bad has happened. Oh, and expect another suspension from him. That swipe to Batum’s head was a total cheap shot.

    Kobe is going to have to score 24+ pts per as currently constructed. And that’s not good for effiency and the long term health. I was convinced Kobe would shoot over 50% this year but not if he has to score 20+ pts every night for the team to win. I saw a Wade roam around and chip in role for him. that’s not going to happen.

    Nash looked more comfortable tonight. Need him back healthy we’ll lose Friday anyway he should rest.

  128. Jerke, almost every team that has won the championship within the last 20 years has been a great defensive team, find me one team that hasn’t. So yes, to me the Lakers need to be great defensively, not just on offense. A championship team is great on both sides. This team just cant pick and choose when to make big stops if they want to win it all. If it is mostly offense n the regular season and the Lakers want to conserve energy, fine. But come playoff time, this team needs to be able to defend at a high level consistently. They are not the only high powered offensive team.

  129. I didn’t get to watch the game because of work, but I was able to follow some of it on my mobile device. Seems to me that the game got out of hand at the end of the third quarter when the lead mushroomed from 5 to 16 in the last two minutes. Pavlovic hit seven quick points to really push the lead. It coincided with Kobe coming out of the game. It was eerily similar to what happened at the start of the 4th Q of game 5 of last year’s playoffs vs. OKC.

    I’ve read all the comments on this thread and all that’s missing is the mob with pitchforks and torches storming the Lakers’ practice facility demanding Mike Brown’s hide. I’m no fan of his, either. As I’ve watched early season games around the league, I’m struck by the intensity with which teams are playing. The Lakers, in turn are sleepwalking. They are playing as if they don’t realize the season has started. I have to place some of the blame at Brownie’s feet. He seems to have a team of confused players who have yet to find their identity as a unit. We all knew it would take time for the team to gel, but in the meantime, Mike has not imparted his so-called defensive wisdom to his charges. The defense is not going to win anything without drastic improvement. I’m hopeful, but worried at this point. If Mike has to be replaced, it would disrupt team continuity and perhaps sabotage this entire season.

  130. Joe – don’t worry, I agree with you that this team needs to play consistent defence – the point I’m making is that this team should be stronger on the offensive side and be cramming the ball down the other teams throats – not sitting back and expecting to be a lockdown defensive team after every possesion. Yes the lakers have some good individual defenders and should be able to play a goodt eam game – however age and stamina of nash and kobe in particular dictate that they can’t give 100 per cent effort on d all the time. Kobe isn’t as great a all the time defender as people think and coasts at times to save himself for offense and I’ve already detailed Nashes issues above – this team simply doesn’t have the horsesto b young legs to play high powered D all the time especially on turnovers and missed shots – but they can be much better than average when theyre set and have a chance to get back and put pressure on the other team by being aggresive. The reality is this team is by far the most offensively talented team (howards free throw issues aside) in the entire league. Howard is the most efficient post player and nash is the most efficient guard and kobe and gasol are also high efficientcy guys when they aren’t forced to be the focus night after night.

    If the starting five is allowed to play to their strengths on ofense then that means that the other team has to take the ball out of the basket more -which means the Lakers can get back and get setin defence – instead of scrambling and play good/great team defence and help properly. I’m not saying they don’t need a great defence but in this case, their offensive prowess puts pressure on the other team, ups the pace, and creates time for the lakers to get back and setup. Plus as the pace rises, there is a greater opportnity for the lakers to score in spurts especially having great rebounders in Gasol and howard – which In turn creates breathing room on the scoreboard – which allows the starters to get rest – which allows the bench to get more time and confidence,

    When the starters can get good quality rest (instead of the travesty of mins handed out in a game that was clearly out of reach tonight) – then they will have much more energy and focus to lock down on the defensive end. Ergo – let the horses run free on the offensive end creating lots of high efficiency shots and transition buckets, and be that brilliant offensive team which is what that starting five should be. Then let those makes feed your defense.

    The defense is going to take some time to come around as that requires the most communication, teamwork, and chemistry. But at least allow your high powered offensive talent to put you in a position to win games in the meantime. It feels like MB wants to make a point – “I’m my own man, not gonna use the triangle/not gonna run ssol fast break ball – I’m gonna do things my way and take an offense suited for a team of lesser talented players and shove it down my guys throats because I want to do it my way”. The thing is, for all the worry about Kobe not being able to defer – he is just fine when he’s surrounded by players he considers to be of high caliber. He knows that he will get his touches if Nash handles the ball more – and that he won’t be turned into a spot up shooter etc… Don’t be surprised if the offense suddenly takes a turn to be more Nash driven.

    One final note – having followed Nash in Phoenix – this is a very similar situation to the Terry Porter hire/fiasco where a supposedly defensive minded coach tried to make his imprint on the offensive side because he thought he knew what was best – regardless of who his best player was. Nash dutifully ran Porters system over and over and over into the ground – exactly like what he is doing here – almost to make a point Until Porter was fired. Nash is in no way a coachkiller – but there is a very short list of guys in the NBA who have the respect of management and wherewithal to go to the gm or ownership and say “this coach is not the guy”. That’s what happened in Phoenix thru back channels and you have two of those guys on this team in Kobe and Nash (the only others in the league that are that well respected by any management would be Duncan, Lebron, and Nowitkzi – maybe Pierce.)