The Growth Of Darius Morris

Ryan Cole —  November 19, 2012

Coming into the 2012-2013 season, it was well known Darius Morris would have to develop as player to earn minutes on this Laker roster. After a disappointing rookie campaign playing in only 19 games, it was clear that he would need to make some serious changes to his game if he were to blossom as a talent in the league.

So in the off-season he spent extra time in the gym working on developing muscle to improve his frame and also working on the mechanics of his jump shot to help improve his biggest weakness as a player. His efforts to improve his game led to more confidence – evident in how he carried himself on the floor — that he was ready to be a contributor on the Lakers roster. And with Mike Brown opening up competition at the back-up point-guard spot during training camp, his chance to solidify himself in the rotation was available.

Despite Morris’ growing confidence in his game, early indications from the preseason showed that he lacked the skills to be consistently effective. He struggled with initiating the offense, looked out of control at times, and the work he’d put in to improve his shooting was not being shown in games. A disappointing performance in the preseason left Morris where he was at the start of camp, slated as the third point-guard in the depth chart behind Steve Nash and Steve Blake.

Lots of questions from fans emerged regarding Darius Morris, and his place with this roster. Is he a true point-guard? Could he ever develop as a shooter? If not, then by next season he would wind up with his former teammate Andrew Goudelock in the D-League?

Then, seven games into the season, three significant events occurred that very well might change the landscape of Morris’ sophomore season. Head Coach Mike Brown was relieved of his duties, and both point-guards ahead of him in the rotation (Steve Nash and Steve Blake) suffered injuries that would force them to miss some time. A blessing in disguise, these events gave Morris his opportunity to prove his value to this Laker team.

With the transitioning from the Princeton Offense to Mike D’Antoni’s system along with Interim Head Coach Bernie Bickerstaff giving Morris the nod to start over Chris Duhon, Morris is now proving his worth to the Lakers and  many of the questions we had are being answered. Morris is a true point-guard, he does have what it takes to run an offense, he actually can knock down shots and be consistent on the defensive end. Through eight games Morris is averaging: 6.4 points, 2.9 assists and shooting around 44% from the 3-point line. Not stellar numbers, but indicating that he has grown up and matured as a player.

Morris has earned not only the respect of his teammates, but the coaching staff. Bickerstaff has continued to stress after every game that Morris can’t develop watching guys play, and that this experience is pivotal for his growth as a player. And while Bickerstaff has said that Morris has too much sugar in his game, he also seems to acknowledge the kid is heading in the right direction.

The Lakers staff is now faced with the issue of whether or not to continue to let Morris grow, or place him back at the end of the rotation once Steve Nash and Steve Blake return. New Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni has indicated that he likes Darius Morris – especially on the defensive end — and is still planning to find minutes for him even once the roster is back at full strength. The big question is: how?

The x-factor in this is Morris’ shooting. If he can continue to shoot at the level he has been so far this season, then we could potentially see D’Antoni play the combination of Blake and Morris in the backcourt, since new Laker acquisition Jodie Meeks has gotten off to a poor start this season.  A tough predicament that the staff will be placed in to say the least, but one I’m sure they are happy to have.

Ryan Cole

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49 responses to The Growth Of Darius Morris

  1. hey ryan cole: interesting thought, teaming darius morris and steve blake in the backcourt? might prove to be the impetus to get meeks going or fall off the end of the bench altogether.

    way too early to tell for the long term but things are starting to look more upbeat both in performance level and team camaraderie. could it be the bickerstaff influence or the coach d new participation/anticipation? either way, excellent idea to keep bickerstaff on the staff without the bickering. see no problem and yet am hopeful that he (bickerstaff) will take the reins when/if coach d is flipped during a game for behavior detrimental and conflicting with official’s renderings. the back up plans are starting to fall into place.

    things are starting to look up and familiar for laker nation.

    Go Lakers

  2. I do not see any controversy here. Blake and Duhon have proven repeatedly that they are not good point guards. Both have problems dribbling the ball in traffic. Morris never got a chance with Brown’s controlled offense. Maybe an offense that encourages aggression is more his style. Anyway the Lakers better hope that Morris keeps improving since the backup PG is going to get minutes even when Nash gets back.

  3. I like what ive seen of morris so far w the following caveats 1. He hasnt faced any top flight teams yet 2 sample size is very small, and 3 hes sharing the floor w 3 allstars and artest so w the attention they garner and their skills – its real easy for a pg to look half decent (also kobe is handling tonnes). Its one thing to be nash and totally lift a team like last seasons suns vs playing on an all star squad. I think we’ll get a true idea of his abilities when nash is back – and morris reverts to leading a squad w more bench players on court – then we’ll get a better idea of his skills and ability to creat/lead a team.

    @david. D’antoni likes at times to play small w one dominant/active big and did so at times in both phoenix and ny. Dont be surpised to see a lineup of morris, blake at 2, meeks at 3, jamison/artest at 4, w Pau/howard in middle. As people are starting to realize – D’antonis system creates wide open looks. Given that any nba player can knock down wide open shots- expect meeks to rebound and shoot better now that hes getting some run.

  4. I said a few weeks ago when I was complaining about Mike Brown’s rotations that this is roughly what the rotations should look like:

    Center: Dwight, Pau, Jordan
    PF: Pau, Jordan, Antawn
    SF: MWP, Ebanks
    SG: Kobe, Meeks
    PG: Nash, Morris, Blake

    With minutes being allocated roughly along these lines:

    Dwight – 36 minutes – all at center
    Kobe – 34 minutes – mostly SG, some SF or even PG in a pinch
    Pau – 33 minutes – mixture of center and PF
    MWP – 33 minutes – all SF
    Nash – 31 minutes – all PG
    Hill – 20 minutes – mix of backing up the C and PF spots
    Antawn – 18 minutes – almost all at PF, spot duty at best at SF for foul difficulties
    Meeks – 14 minutes – all at SG
    Morris – 15 minutes – all at PG
    Ebanks – 15 minutes – all at SF

    And nobody else plays unless fouls or injuries necessitate. Nothing I’ve seen before, during or after the Mike Brown era have swayed me on most of those thoughts.

    Obviously there are certain things that might necessitate some additional changes. If Antawn proves that he can play a little more defense on a good team than we’ve seen over the last few years, then by all means give him some minutes at SF and taken them away from Ebanks for example.

    But, that aside, more or less the obvious rotations that everyone was hoping for still seem to be the best ones.

    Backup PG was one of the few positions that seemed to be an open question. I advocated that Morris get that basically by default. My specific reasoning was, “Well, we KNOW that both Blake and Duhon suck and it is pretty irredeemable at their respective stages of their career…why not throw Morris out there for a while and see if Nash can mentor him into being a decent player?”

  5. I like Meeks as the designated shooter off the bench we just need to give him some burn just like we have given morris – Meeks played decent d in limited minutes last game

  6. Morris and J. Hill bring to the team what has been missing since J. Famar and ShanWOW left three years ago, youth and excitement. A mixture of veterans who know how to get the job done with youngster hungry trying to find a place at the table is exactly what this teams needs. I am looking forward to watching both players grow over the course of the season. There will probably be more downs than ups, but thats what growth is all about. Nash, Kobe, Dwight, Pau and Peace are here to show these guys how to win, they couldnt ask for a better situation to be in.

    Not really concerned about defense, as much as some are on the board. As long as the team shows improvement over the course of the seson everything will be fine. Defense is more about desire than talent, if the carrot of a championship is dangled in front of this bunch I believe they will do what needs to be done inorder too succeed.

  7. Ryan:

    I think Darius acquitted himself rather well for a second player against Tony Parker and the Spurs (to your point on facing top flight competition). If his shooting has actually improved to the point where he is a credible 3 pt threat, his defense nudges him a little ahead of Blake, IMHO.
    Then again, these are early days, and he is bound to hit a wall at some point during the season (he didn’t play enough last year to even sniff the wall). Overall, though, I feel comfortable with Nash, Morris and either Blake or Duhon (who hasn’t been too shabby either).

    Jim C:

    I think Jordan Hill has shown enough to warrant all the available minutes at PF (he has really worked on that 16-foot jumper) and C. His ability to connect from outside the paint, his defense and of course, his rebounding prowess make him a great fit with both Dwight and Pau.
    From where I’m looking, Jamison is on the outside looking in. I think the coaches are trying to solve this by hiding him at SF, but his true calling is to be that stretch 4, especially at this stage in his career. I agree with you, though, that Meeks should be given all of the back-up SG minutes.

  8. The two guys who need to play big for us off the bench are Hill and Jamison. If they do not it is going to seriously impact our chances.

    rr: With regard to our roster, Jamison is thus far my big question mark, and I would have been a little less confident pre-season if I had seen his first 10 game highlight reel (it is pretty short). Also, we have not seen the roster at full strength without MB being on the bench, which was obviously a liability. With regard to D’Antoni (and his systems) – if success is defined as a decent regular season and losing in the 2nd round or the WCF – then I would almost guarantee Mike D’Antoni will be successful. We need more than that – obviously our payroll demands more than that. If we do not, and we are already saying this is a roster problem – then D’Antoni truly has a no lose situation and a dream job! I am not at that point yet. We have won 4 out of 5 with an interim coach, DH at 75%, Nash out, and following a period of turmoil. This is a quality roster and it must win this year in order for the coach to be successful.

  9. Seems MDA wants to give Blake and Meeks a chance,and let their play dictate if they`re going to continue to get minutes. Morris is a hard worker,and those extra hours he spends on his shooting and video might give him the edge. DWill will be a good learning experience for him,and an example of how you can improve your game after you enter the league. Blake and Morris together? Have to see it in action.

  10. If this team is as good as we hope then yes, anything but a trip to the finals will be a disappointment – that means winning 60 games and playing 5+ in the finals if we lose. If we win 60 after this start then the Lakers should be a dominant team waiting to meet Miami at the end. If we’re around 55+/- we will be in a pack with okc and the spurs – and that’ll be a crap shoot. Good coaching and system will get this team to 50+ wins nprob – at that point it’s then on your personel to perform at a high level to get you over the top.
    Its gonna come down to how healthy this team can stay for the year. At the very least there is a much more positive vibe for this team vs the Payton/Malone version

  11. Jerke: That 2004 team seems to get a bad rap for some reason. The team went 56-26, was the second seed, and made the NBA Finals. If not for an injury to Karl Malone, I still say we would have won it all. I think the “vibe” difference is that more people were expecting a win then. The Lakers had a poster out for “Lakers Re-Loaded” and nobody would settle for anything less than a title. Somehow this year, people are now talking about entertainment, being so much better than the Brown led Lakers, and how much more fun it is now than during the first 5 games. In 2004 – nobody thought like that – it was a championship or failure (which is exactly where I am for this year). So, I pose to you these questions: Are we going to top 56-26? Are we going to get at least a #2 seed? Are we going to at least make the Finals? Would we win the finals if let’s say Nash or Pau was out (equivalent of Malone) ? Since the 2004 team did most of that stuff, they must have had some good vibes : )

  12. Blake in 7 games: 5.1 pts 2.4 reb 3.4 ast 1.2 stl 35% fg 40% 3pt. A total game manager and very poor defender.

    Morris in 8 games: 6.4 pts 1.8 reb 2.9 ast 0.6 stl 39% fg 43% 3pt. Has room to grow, can finish at the rim and is an adequate defender.

    It should be no doubt who is the backup PG. Morris may really thrive in this wide open system.

  13. Morris has lots to learn but right now he is already better then Blake. When was last time Blake scored 12 points? Morris has also had several steals and recovers on defense way faster then Blake. I for one would rather roll with and have Mike and Kobe develop the first real point guard for the Lakers in a decade.

    Nash and Morris are experience vs speed while Blake is just a very poor mans version of Nash. Make that very, very.

  14. Kevin,

    It is quite unfair to compare Blake during Mbrown era vs. Morris in the interim of Bernie Bickerstaff. I think we should wait when Blake comes back and execute this offense.

    Jim C.

    Consider Ebanks as gone for good, I would rather put Blake in his place although Blake is more of 2. If good shooters are trusted and given the green light like what Bernie B. did or Mike D will do, perhaps it will really open up the perimeter prowess to perfection. I saw Morris and Duhon thriving on open looks, even Jamison is getting back his groove gradually. I think Blake who is known for his long shooting would also fit well in this combination. With regards to Devin at this time, he’s just an excess who is turnover-prone, as I said before he and Clark are trade baits for future draft picks.

    1/2 D&R,

    True indeed, too late to cry over spilled milk but those were opportunity losses especially those 4 losses two weeks ago which are winnable under today’s Lakers. Wish they had a crystal ball and seen the symptoms during preseason. Well, it is too early to tell if this curve would go on progressing, this could be in euphoria at this time while “sky is falling” two weeks ago. Favorite cliche’ by homers who could not distinguish what is reality and fantasy.

  15. Edwin: I hope you’re not still waiting for the Blake who had the triple double before signing with Lakers. One of the best garbage time games and easiest 16 mil anybody has ever made. I hope Lakers trade Blake and Duhon so Morris knows he’s getting PT. The kid has confidence now let’s not shatter it by playing a worse player.

  16. Why do people think a new offensive system will magically transform Blake into a Allstar. We’ve all seen more than enough of Blake, He had his chance and his spot will be taken by the younger more talented player.

  17. Kevin,

    I am not referring to Blake as a PG but more of an SG or SF who would be a gunner. For those who are active in the roster like Pau Gasol, Steve Blake and Duhon why trade them now after 10 games? Winning cures all ills, isn’t it? Supposing Morris proves on the next few games that he could be better than Nash in defense and speed, should he take over Nash place? Again, samples are too small to crown the rookie. We should all be glad that they are all improving and stay on course, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  18. This team will be a top team in the league as long as D’ Antoni does not get in the way and try to over coach( which I dont think he will do). Thats why Brown is out the door, he couldnt get out of his own way. Why do you think PJ was willing to unretire, his let the players figure it out on their own style would have went a long way with this veteran group. The same folks begging for PJ to sit on the bench and not call timeouts, are now saying coaching will get this team over the Miami or OKC hump.. Get the boys in position to maximize their individual talents and stand back and watch. There is no defense in the world that can cover both D Howard(100%)and one Kobe Bean Bryant. Add Nash into the mix and it should be illegal in all 50 states, no skill overlapping, no egos, just title chasing.

  19. Kevin true but not.

    Easy money
    Walton
    Kapono
    M,Brown
    Kwame Brown
    Vice President Biden
    John Holmes

  20. What about this lineup for spot duty, just to give our starters extra rest?

    Morris-Blake-Meeks-Jamison-Pau/Howard

    It would obviously not be the primary (or even secondary) backup lineup, but can you imagine the mismatches it’d create and the floor spacing that goes along with it?

  21. Hate to say this but:

    Clips have best PG in tbe NBA
    2nd best PF in the NBA
    Best 6th man with Crawford who is way good
    Top 3 benches in NBA

    Clips are going to finish top 2 in the West and will get better when Chancy returns. How did this happen?

  22. Ko

    Guess what they dont have EXPERIENCE

  23. Delonte West anyone? Or could we bring back CDR?

    Seeing Jamison at the backup 3 is just not going to work.

  24. @Edwin – Blake was one of the worst 3-pt shooters in the league last season (33.5% or 98th out of 122 qualified players), and I don’t expect him to maintain that 40% figure on threes for too much longer. Most of his threes last season were wide open, contrasting with many of Kobe’s heavily contested threes that he had to take to beat the shot clock. Blake’s primary reason for getting playing time is his alleged ability to spread the floor, as he’s a poor passer, has no ability to run the P&R, no ability to get to the hole, no desire to shoot inside ten feet even when he somehow finds himself wide open, is a limited defender despite giving 100% effort, and frequently picks up his dribble when he gets in traffic instead of dribbling his way back into an open area.

    The only part of his game that he does better than Morris is that he has a more established track record of shooting from beyond the arc. If Morris can somehow approach Blake’s 3-pt percentage over the past two seasons of 35.9%, then he will be a vastly superior option as backup PG for this team.

  25. Let’s give this roster a chance. We have won 4 out of 5 without MB. We will have a new coach, Nash will come back, DH will get to 100%, and we still have Kobe and nobody else does.

    Ko: If the Clips and Lakers picked teams at recess, we have the first two guys chosen.

  26. it seems that Darius Morris has come into its own, when coach mike brown is the previous coach, Morris has no PT at all, now it change because of our old veterans (unjured), I know a lot of laker fans fascinate on how he plays, he gives tremendous energy, you can look his defense at Tony Parker (way back the Spurs game), he can be our back up point guard behind Nash,,But, here comes the problem when Coach Mike DAntoni comes on board, we all know that the previous Suns that he play is he will limit his rotation to eight or nine man team…Can Morris have a playing time?this is the main question many Laker fans are asking,,,maybe it differs on matchup situations. Hopefully, MDA will play him as a primary back up to Nash (no offense to Blake)..

  27. CDR drops 49 and 8 Assist in Dleague.

    https://player.vimeo.com/video/53882790

    CDR>DuiBanks,meeks,jamison.

  28. Ko – I noticed the same thing, clippers quietly got a lot better – cept when it comes to playoffs bench strength isnt going to matter much as starters on the court for 40 plus minutes. plus I wouldn’t put too much weight on chauncy being a force when he returns – 36 yr old pg who was already slow and unathletic before having his achillies tear isn’t exactly going to suddenly lose 10 yrs. He’s been over rated for a while and you won’t be able to play him beside cp because kobe will destroy him. If he backs up cp – well that works in Laker favour cause that becomes a pretty easy cover for Nash not having to chase or worry about penetration.

  29. We all are spending time talking about how much better EVERYONE looks since the Bernie/Mike show took over. Why can’t we apply the same observation to Steve Blake? He has had to put up with Phil Jackson and Mike Brown – two systems that slow everything down – and those systems don’t play to his strengths. That is the observation Mike D. made about Blake and perhaps we should consider that when evaluating him.

    We don’t have a “what have you done for me lately” mentality, we have a “what have you done for me today” approach. I say we wait until Steve Blake starts to play games before we call him the man with the cement shoes.

    It really isn’t necessary to have a scapegoat – it really isn’t!

  30. Wow – in the span of 48 hrs, fans on here decided Pau Gasol is garbage and needs to be traded immediately despite having been here and won championships – but in the same time frame w a couple games of extended playing time are now acting like Darius Morris is suddenly some prodigy and are completely ready to throw Blake under the bus when he hasn’t even played in the system yet.

    Two things -1, the sample size is incredibly small (8 games – 5 of which were over matched blowout wins for Lakers – 2 were losses to utah and clips, and the San antonio game where in 21 mins you got 1 pt, 1 asst, 2 rebounds on 0-5 fga) so thats not exactly a strong schedule/lengthy record to go on (plus kobe handled the ball way more when it came to initiating the offence than Morris did)

    and 2 – this is the SSOL system effect in play. All of a sudden Darius and Duhon look like legitimate guards again in this league becuase they’re playing in a system that gives them extra shots and opportunities and they are recieving the ball in the best position to shoot w a wide open look. Blake will receive the same boost relative to his stats as well once he returns. The one plus Darius has is he’s young and has the speed and length to get up on people and play d – which catches your eye immediately compared to the other guards on this team. The problem is he’s a 21 yr old pg who’s only played a grand total of 27 games in the league and has no experience at all running a team. Once Nash is back there will be a total of 15-18 mins at the pg position. So if darius is lucky, he’ll maybe get a 3-5 blow per game ( thats assuming duhon gets nothing.). He is a low turnover guy – but again that needs a grain of salt because he isn’t handling the ball anywhere near as much as a reg pg would. Yes it would be cool if Darius became a great backup to Nash – but this isn’t going to be the year that the Lakers work on player development – especially after a crappy start and playing catch up, D”antoni knows this team needs to win (remember all the crap that he’s gonna have to deal with if he doesn’t come close) so you can bet he won’t be taking any chances on young players getting pt unless they can offer something really special.

    As for the perception that D”antoni only uses a small roation – look up who sat the bench on his Phoenix teams and ask yourself if you could really make a run at 55-60 wins a season gving any of the guys 8-15 serious regular pt – he didn’t have a choice if he wanted to win. this Lakers team has a some good bench pieces that can complement and mix w 1 or 2 starts in a good way, but again – its a “win now” type team – so if you can’t produce in the limited time you do get – there probably won’t be an opportunity for you to get more reps to build your game.

  31. Clippers are tough what’s makes them legit contenders is they have 2 maybe 3 X-factors. Bledsoe and Crawford can legitimately swing the game in their favor any time they step on the floor. You know what you’re going to get from the starters but those 2 guys can possibly change a series. Lakers could have x-factors as well. Hill, Jamison and Morris. Hill won’t dominate a series but he can control the boards for extended periods of time. If Jamison gets his shot going he could be one. And Morris has the potential to possibly affect Lakers in a huge way on both sides of the ball. That’s why it’s important to ride the wave and if he hits a wall there’s a backup in Blake who could spell Nash minutes.

    Odom was Lakers x-factor for years just being able to come in at any moment and take over. Clippers have 2 of those guys. Lakers have to find theirs and it might just be Morris.

  32. We all know too well how D’Antoni’s system inflates stats. Will have to wait and see how Blake looks in this system to be able to tell for sure, but you don’t really need to look at stats to see who’s better on defense.

    Still, we’re feeling out where this team can go and what it will look like, so right now, it’s best to see things through.

    Also, remember that our guards, even Blake and Duhon, are likely to post better stats once the system starts to work… and when they do, it will make them more trade-able. All in all, best give them all a chance.

  33. It was about this time last year Blake went down with the rib cartilage injury. Goudelock came in and played very well but was benched even though he showed promise. Let’s not make the same mistake with Morris this year.

  34. CRAIG W!

    NO SCAPEGOATS? NOOOOOOO?

  35. I’m still holding out hope we can bring back CDR before another team snatches him…that boy can score, and apparently dish as well. I don’t want us to lose him like we did Gerald Green last year. Think of how D’Antoni’s system will help him.

  36. I really root for DMo. Particularly since he’s shown such good defensive chops lately. Being able to at least slow down some of the speed merchants at PG in the league makes Darius very valuable. I really hope he continues to grow as a player.

  37. Yes sir, I agree Mouse but doesn’t the Mavericks own the rights to CDR though? I really hope we DO snatch up CDR again.

  38. DJO got the nod over CDR for the final roster spot. DMo’s growth and good defensive instincts, albeit in a small sample size, make DJO expendable. 49 points & 8 helpers in any league is impressive. Bring back CDR!

  39. @Formalhault – CDR is not on any NBA roster right now. I agree, if Blake is available this week, we should pick CDR up soon and plug him in at backup SF. He can’t be worse than Jamison, and we won’t need five PGs by this time next week so DJO will need to go.

  40. @Craig W — Blake is a known entity. The PG in D’Antoni’s system needs to be able to run the P&R, and Blake has never been able to do that competently. Morris is already a better defender than Blake by leaps and bounds. Blake is terrified of shooting near the hoop, which puts a severe handicap in D’Antoni’s system. Opponents can simply play the passing lanes every time Blake drives toward the basket in this offense, knowing that he won’t attempt the layup even when it’s uncontested. The only things he can do competently are spotting up behind the arc, and bringing up the ball to the frontcourt. I do imagine that Blake will pass Duhon in the hierarchy when he returns, but I don’t expect him to start over Morris while Nash is still out.

  41. @Robert…

    Bynum has been having some strange hair issues to be sure. He’s starting to remind me of another talented player who went off the trail; Bison Dele aka Brian Williams. I hope his knees and offbeat attitude don’t rob him of a promising career.

  42. Maybe we should blow up league office phones and let them know to reconsider CDR. :p

  43. dude abides,

    I read what you posted last night about Blake. You may be right with your figures but those statistical data do not tell the whole story. On a basketball eye, we all know that Blake has potentials on outside shooting if given the green light. Is he a perfect player for PG? No, and I have doubts that he can be a good facilitator but Lakers would have use for him.

    I am the No. 1 complainer here during MBrown era just on the first game of preseason. However, today I am happy to appreciate the blessings we are enjoying with 4-1 record after Mbrown left. Can we not all be contented with what is happening and be grateful to the blessings or improvement of all our players? Wish the injured are watching and honing their skills as well. Where is the point of satiety among us in dissecting always every mistake, every missed shot and cling to the trading machine as though we are on a fantasy video machine? Eventually, trades will happen during ASG or at the end of the season but today, after 10 games we should all be happy that we are winning despite the stressful week we had as fans in choosing a new Coach. Step back please, everybody needs a break from analysis-paralysis.

    With regards to CDR, Lakers made a decision to cut him during preseason. We should all go forward and respect what has been decided. To think otherwise is just a wishful thinking that there is always better player than this player. I learned from business world that once a decision is made it should prevail. Try that course first before proceeding to another one. Too many changes could ruin the chemistry and players camaraderie. Everybody has favorites, everybody is entitled to an opinion but please let us rest our case, enjoy the moment and play ball.

  44. The Dude Abides,
    I am not really a big fan of Steve Blake, but just think we are all acting a little schizophrenic. At the NBA level, much of shooting is about confidence. In the systems he has been asked to play in – and the coaches he has played for (Lakers) – he has not had much chance to work to his strengths. Yes, we fans have already determined his strengths, but Mike D. seems to have another view of a player we already have on our roster. My point is that we should stop trying to lynch Blake before our coach has a chance to try him out. Of course, if we were able to trade him for someone who might fit our system better, I wouldn’t be one of those bemoaning the trade.

  45. We have seen the same messages for two seasons on this blog: D is desire and will come when the chips are down—-wrong. D is work and experience with one another to know how the ameoba works all its parts together. Can’t be switched on late in the season or play-off time. Practice fundamentals constantly and develop meticulous habits. Then, everyone execute with passion and you’ll have good D.

  46. @Edwin Gueco….

    If, as you say “that once a decision is made it should prevail”, the Lakers should have stuck with Mike Brown. A poor decision can be reversed. If DJO brings anything to the team, it must be during practice. CDR is known as a scorer and appears to be a Mike D’Antoni type of player. To my way of thinking, additional firepower and athleticism on the bench would be a good thing, but that’s JOMO (just one man’s opinion). CDR could be just what the doctor ordered…productive and cheap.

  47. @Formalhault, @KennyT:

    I like DJO too. I’d rather we auction off one of our PGs (Blake/Duhon) :) Not that I think they are incapable of thriving in D’Antoni’s system – just that with Nash and Morris, we won’t have a lot of minutes available at the PG spot. I think Duhon will be easier to move because his contract for next year isn’t guaranteed.

  48. I’m hearing reports that Lakers want to sign Gilbert Arenas when he’s done in China.

    Strange..