Lakers/Mavericks: Well, Hello There, Lakers

Rey Moralde —  November 24, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 115, Mavericks 89

On one hand, I was thinking to myself, “Is this a mirage?”

On the other hand, I was grinning from ear to ear. And I’m sure so did a lot of you readers and the other Laker faithful.

The Lakers absolutely hammered the Mavericks from the start. And I can describe the difference with just one word: energy.

They did not look like a team that played their fourth game in five days. Metta World Peace set the tone by scoring the Lakers’ first ten points. He made his first six shots and finished the first quarter with 16 points.

From there, the rest of the Lakers got involved. Dwight Howard was altering nearly every shot the Mavs put up. Darius Morris, while still raw, was fearless driving into the hole. Kobe Bryant had a huge second quarter. Pau Gasol was schooling people in the post. Antawn Jamison was everywhere. Chris Duhon was providing some timely plays. And Jodie Meeks seemed to hit everything in sight. All in all, it was the best collective game by the Lakers this season.

They beat the Mavs in nearly every facet of the game. The Lakers manhandled the Mavs on the boards (61-39, Jamison had 15 rebounds to go along with his 19 points). Suddenly, they looked like a fantastic three-point shooting team; they made 8 out of 10 in the first half and ended up shooting 12/22 (.545) from behind the arc. And it was nice to see great defensive rotations by the Lakers, which had been a problem all season. Very surprising to see Dallas come out flat but, of course, very encouraging for the Lakers.

If there was anything that Laker fans should be nitpicky about? The 19 turnovers. They were very good at taking care of the ball under D’Antoni in their first three games but they’ve had 37 giveaways over the last two. Jodie Meeks probably shouldn’t be allowed to dribble a basketball and Kobe forced too many bad passes and shots (he had six turnovers in the game). And while the Mavs did go on a 14-1 run late in the third quarter, the Lakers were able to suppress the Mavs in the fourth quarter.

The Lakers scored 115 points in this game but nobody scored 20. How’s that for balance? And holding the Mavs to 89 points is even more impressive. They held O.J. Mayo to 13 points (he was 7th in scoring coming into the game with 22.2 PPG) and Darren Collison was handcuffed to 1 for 10 shooting and 2 points. Scoring on the Lakers tonight was like people trying to beat Battletoads for the 8-Bit Nintendo; it was just too hard to do.

So the Lakers get their first road win out of the way and are now back on .500. They don’t play again until Tuesday when they go back to Staples to battle the inconsistent Indiana Pacers. But who am I to call the Pacers inconsistent when the Lakers have been just as bad? I suppose we’ll see on Tuesday.

Sometimes, you have to hit the bottom first before you make that way back to the top. Great win by the Lakers.

Now go drink some beverages on this beautiful Saturday night!

Rey Moralde

Posts

52 responses to Lakers/Mavericks: Well, Hello There, Lakers

  1. The shackles have come off Jamison, we’re finally seeing the guy I thought might have a shot at the 6th man of the year award.

    If we can play like that on the last leg of a 4 game stretch, I see no reason why we can’t show that sort of effort every single game. Energy and defense!

    I can’t wait to see Nash run this team.

  2. Lol @ Nes battletoads – awesome yet stupidly hard game:)

    Lots to build on from tonight and nicely balanced. Only blemish was the turnovers – a lot of which were forced or unnecessary.

    Re Nash: he’s taking part in shootarounds now – limited to stationary but that’s a start at least.

  3. I think playing limited minutes(27 last night and 28 tonight) will help Gasol play more up to expectations. Playing him as a center will help also.

  4. Under Brown Jamison and Duhon were on their way to working for me as Retired NBA players.

    Under Mike D, Jamison is out scoring and out rebounding the bigs and Duhon is looking better then Blake did.

    I think we are going to be ok now. Less thinking and more balling!

  5. Didn’t this site used to do a “week in review, week to come” post? Lakers fans should be required to at least stop freaking out after every game and take at least a SLIGHTLY bigger picture.

    That post might help. I jest of course. Great win tonight.

  6. Question, have you guys heard any reports about Pietrus? I hear LA is interested in him. What are your opinions?

    Also, are we a top tier 3pt shooting team?

  7. In this offense you can expect nights like this against inferior opponents. It defnitely came by surprise but a good win nonetheless.

    I will say a few roles seemed to be defined after a few games and that’s something Brown couldn’t do in a year.

  8. I can’t stop thinking how the “hit-your-shots” factor is becoming so important lately. Many reasons on why we won tonight, but it all started with our SF doing what I expect a very good SF should do: 1) Play good D and 2) Hit 3s. And MWP did exactly that. From there, we build a solid start and the rest is history. Dallas tryed to come back by…hitting their shots, and when they started to brick, the game was over.

    What bothers me the most is not hitting your wide open shots. We can’t afford to do that. Tonight, we made them. Nice!

    Cheers.

  9. Jordan hill should not oblige to taking 20 footers. There’s a reason why he finds himself unguarded from that range. Hand it off pls.

  10. Kobe topped 50% shooting last year 18 times in 70 games. 36 times in 10-11 in 92 games. He’s done it 10 of first 14 games this year. On current pace he’ll do it 58 times this year to set a new career high fg%. At 34 Jordan scored 28 pts per on 46% shooting. Could be watching a historic season from Kobe.

  11. And I guess now we know why Pau has been so slow… He says he has bad tendinitis on both knees.

  12. Great Win. I hope they can keep it up. Never play Pau and Dwight extended minutes together!!

  13. Yea, Aaron, Pau started wearing those round rubber bands around his knees after the 2nd or 3rd games of the season. Due to Kobe’s influence the Lakers do not whine to the media about injuries they just take the abuse from fans and the media regarding their play. Remember Metta did for two years and Kobe…well, Kobe is always injured but finds a way to play at a high level anyway.

    Darius Morris is rounding into a legitimate NBA pg in only his 1st season of real playing time. Hope he gets in the gym next summer and adds to his game. Ever since the 1st game he’s improved on decision making and offense. But his defense is where he adds the most to the Lakers, as he is hounding the pg down the floor and keeping his man in front of him. Yes, he makes mistakes but there is a learning curve as he plays the elite pg’s for the first time in his career.

  14. I liked D’Antoni shortening the minutes for the starters in the first half and going to the bench earlier. It seemed to make a difference and kept the pace and energy on point.

  15. Wow since Gasol has tendinitis, this brings new meaning to rest for Pau. He simply can’t play extended minutes until he recovers. Hope Jamison can continue his hot streak so D’Antoni can rest Gasol.

  16. Glad to see them win. I still am unsure what to think. This team has two personalities. They can look listless and distracted against Sacramento. Then they can look dominant and aggressive a couple nights later against Dallas. Their 7-7 record perfectly illustrates their dual identity. For that, I can’t get too excited about this win.

    Thirty point wins are anomalies. I’d take a string of consistent 8 to 10 point wins, though.

  17. @Aaron….

    That’s interesting news about Pau’s knees. That would explain his lack of lift and explosiveness. It is imperative upon the staff to limit Pau’s minutes, now more than ever.

    It was great to see EVERYONE on the team play hard and without hesitation. The Lakers really played some great defense as well. Metta set the tone. I guess they just got tired of losing.

    Teamwork. Togetherness. Toughness. I think this team is starting to realize the amount of effort it will take for them to get the job done. Every team in the NBA is out to take them down. Every road game is going to have playoff-like intensity. Once the Lakers understand and embrace that fact, they’ll be OK.

  18. I’ve been clamoring for pietrus for months if it happens – fantastic

  19. @Ko Gee, talk about being fairweather.

  20. Rusty Shackleford November 25, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Do you think one of the other coaches reminded D’Antoni that Ron was shooting lights out when he pulled Ron out with 6 minutes to go in the 1st quarter then put him back in 2 minutes off the clock later? I was shocked. All the Dallas announcers were talking about was Ron scoring the Lakers’ first 10 points then, all of the sudden, he was sitting on the bench. I think D’Antoni just made the sub out of habit; as Ron hasn’t started out hot like that since D’Antoni has been around.

    Kobe Bryant = MVP this year. He completely controlled this game Magic Johnson style. Facilitated the 1st quarter then went off in the 2nd and continued a balanced attack throughout the rest of his time in the game. Kobe haters are eating that high fg% right now.

  21. Can anyone tell me why Jordan Hill is in the doghouse? Just last week I was thinking maybe they should move Pao to the bench and start Jordan. Does MDA hold a grudge against him?

  22. Best overall (Offensively & Defensively) performance of the year thus far. Excellent ball movement, which allowed everyone to be involved and they were able to maintain their energy throughout the game.

    Really impressed with the development of Morris. Still has some ‘out of control’ moments, but one can see that he’s learning to slow the game down and allowing it to come to him instead of forcing it. Once the General returns from the IL (Injured List), Coach D. will have some interesting choices to make in regards to the backup 1 position. Seeing Morris flourish and Duhon’s steadiness within this offense leads me to believe that, once healthy and in NBA shape, Blake will thrive also. As a matter of fact, Coach D. insinuated this during his introductory press conference by revealing that he’s been trying to get his hands on Blake for years. Bottom Line: At this stage of his career and coming off a broken leg, 3 competent (hopefully) backup PG’s is a good ‘problem’ to have for Coach D.

  23. Ethan: Hill had problems with D’Antoni in New York.

  24. Nice win, balanced scoring, balanced shot opportunities. In a blow-out game like this, one of the 1st categories I look at is “minutes played”. Kobe led the way with 33 minutes. Meeks logged 20 minutes. If the coach can’t keep Kobe on the bench for 18-19 minutes in a 26 point blow-out (27 point halftime lead) trusting the other Lakers, including Pau & D-12 to hold the lead, we have a bigger issue than we’re talking about.

    Kobe is averaging 36.5 mpg thru 14 games this season. Exactly the amount of minutes he’s averaged over his entire regular season career of 1175 games. Kobe has only played under 33 minutes in a game twice this season. 31minutes in their 29 point blow-out of the Pistons, & 32 mins in their 24 pt crushing of the Kings.

    D’Antoni must find a way to cut down on Kobe’s minutes if the Lakers want this guy to be at his best in the post-season. And please, I’m growing tired of “when Nash gets here”. If everything changes and the Lakers go on to become all that every Laker fan envisions this team can be, Nash should be this season’s league MVP.

  25. In an aside to last night’s game, Cuban called out the the Lakers fanbase for its “Twitter courage” and in an amusing Hollingerian moment, said that talking about the Lakers is “not worth it”–and then went on to bag on the fans and the team, claiming that “most” Lakers fans are Twitter warriors and went on to say that he thinks that some guys (obviously Nash and Howard) “don’t really want to be there.”

  26. Hill gives the team energy and young legs that it will need against most teams.With Pau not 100%,he`s needed more than ever. Not sold on MDA`s system with this team;would like to see Blake and Ebanks get some minutes to see how they fit,or don`t.

  27. Condolences to the McHale family, awful news.

    Simonoid – I’d completely forgotten about Hill under D’Antoni in NY. That’s a good point. It’s great that Antawn is playing so well, but it’s a difficult balance if he’s squeezing out Hill’s minutes, who I still believe is our best bench player. You can start to understand why MB was trying to make Jamison at the 3 work. Our bigs are a bit overcrowded.

    If Jamison keeps this play up, I’ll happily eat crow. I thought he was an inefficient has-been when we first signed him, but if he can become a consistent contributor, I’ll be happy to admit I was wrong.

  28. Lud

    To me being a fan means pointing out when they don’t play hard or if they don’t have the right coach. At the same time when they do and it falls into place I will say so. I was harsh on Brown and I was right. I have been tough on Jamison and he proved me wrong and showed he just needed to be put in the right position with right coach.

    If Aaron is correct on Pau then it makes sense but also reinforces my thoughts that he is not close to the Pau of the past. Games like last night show the system can work and the bench can compete. That’s
    enough for me. I suggest that is not a fair weather fan but ones who
    understands the game and not willing to sit on his hands when the
    team plays below their ability.

    People who except mediocre should then be prepared for failure.

  29. Jordan Hill is a solid reserve, but his game is far better suited to Mike Brown’s half court style. Many of us have wondered why Jamison was getting so much burn at the SF position when it is clear that his best position is PF, and D’Antoni seems to recognize that. I’m not sure that it means Hill is in the dog house, but Hill has never put up numbers like what Jamison did last night. I’d imagine that we’re going to continue to see more of AJ and less of JH.

  30. But I don’t see the issue of putting Hill at the five at as well as Jamison at the four at times.

    Is there something i’m missing?

  31. Well ideally you’d play them both like Formalhault said.

    Essentially Gasol-Hill & Jamison-Howard combos, to maximize their complimentary styles. The problem is, we haven’t exactly been lighting it up and blowing people out, so the reserves have been getting less run and we had to play Gasol-Howard for longer stretches, which limits the minutes the backup bigs have been getting.

    That’s the real problem, I think. Once we get a little more on track (so to speak), I think you’ll see D’Antoni play Gasol/Hill and Jamison/Howard for longer at times, for he seems to recognize and understand the concept of complimentary pieces – fortunately.

  32. Right now, MD’A is evaluating his talent and defining their roles. He still doesn’t have his full complement of players, but what I like about him is that he expects the team to win games as they are figuring out his system. He seems to be old school in regards to going with the hot hand rather than having set-in-stone rotations. In the few games that he has coached, Mike D. has shown more flexibility than Brown ever did.

  33. That news is not helping Pau’s trade value, Smart move gasol.

  34. Getting Nash back will help obviously, but I’m really encouraged by what we’re seeing from Morris and Duhon. It’ll be interesting to see if Blake looks better in this offense too. Regardless, I feel a lot better about the prospects of keeping Nash’s minutes down with the way the other PGs are playing right now.

  35. Missed the 1st half, but I like how Pau was posting up. Almost 3 possessions in a row when he and Jamison were the bigs. Something that seemingly disappeared during the memphis loss.

    I understand that there’s less post ups in this offense, but need to mix it up with the likes of gasol and howard. Can’t get too dependent on three pointers.

    Oh and don’t post on here really, but with directTV, I’ve been reading up a lot. I’ve read tons of complaints on here about duhon, but he’s been solid. Goes to show, can’t believe everything you read online.

  36. Steve Blake will be like a new player under this offense. Blake was a quality backup before he came to the Lakers and I think that’s the guy we’re going to see when he returns.

    The Lakers have done pretty well considering all of the upheaval and especially considering we are without our starting and backup PG.

    In any case we’re so far ahead of the game in my mind just because we ditched Mike Brown. I would say I’d be shocked if he ever got another job… but this is the NBA. I’m just glad that particular nightmare is over.

  37. Formalhault – the issue with playing Hill at the 5 essentially means you’re eating into Howard or Gasol’s minutes, instead of Jamison’s. It’s generally agreed on that Gasol should be at the 5 every minute Howard isn’t in the game, to maximize his low-post touches. That slides Hill down to the 4.

    I’d argue Hill’s best traits have value in any system, but it’s true his relative offensive limitations make him less appealing to D’Antoni than to Brown. We probably do need the offensive firepower off the bench, if Jamison can keep up this pace. But Hill’s PnR defense and offensive rebounding are excellent for a reserve, and his consistency has been stellar compared to the rest of our bench. It’ll be easier to discuss this after 1 more month of Jamison in D’Antoni’s system, and then we’ll have a better idea of what pace/consistency he’ll bring to the table.

  38. I see no point in playing Blake once he’s healthy unless D’Antoni wants a veteran at the healm at all times. Other than experience and shooting Morris trumps Blake in every category while Nash brings those other two. Morris and Duhon have a rhythm with the current group. They should be rewarded with their play.

    It may have been as simple as switching Jamison to PF to get him going. He appeared dead but switching back to his natural position has given him life again. The past two games are no fluke either he did what he’s done his whole career scrap for rebounds slash and hit shots. He won’t go 7-11 every game but him playing well will solidify our 3 big rotation.

    Lakers play 2 games in the next week should be enough time to heal some wounds and keep up the momentum they have.

  39. Spot on Snoopy – D’antonis system require some almost all players on the floor to be a credible offensive threat because then no one can double. Since Hill isn’t that by himself – pairings with another post threat in pau or howard will be required – but once Nash is back and can get Hill easy buckets, you’ll see that hill, jamison front court w meeks, kobe,and nash. Which would be a very nice spread offense.

  40. @kevin actually I think we may see alot of blake when he gets back – if only because he’s the only tradable asset of the 3 backup pgs. Morris can’t run the offence but is a legit change of pace/defensive guard when paired with kobe in the backcourt, duhon knows D’Antoni’s system and has played well (and his contract is pretty much untradeable by itself) – and both morris and duhon are keeping defenses honest with their 3 pt shooting. Blake doesn’t do anything that much better or different to warrant making him untouchable over those two. He may become a lights out 3 shooter in this system – but given rons improvement, meeks, jamison, kobe (he’ll be lights out once finally getting open looks from Nash), nash, plus the other pgs, there is enough legit 3 pt threats that I still think that makes Blake superfluous to the Lakers – so may be best to showcase him for a month or two prior to trade deadline and build value in case Mitch needs to shore up another weakness.

  41. Pau will be okay once D’Antoni figures out how to use his talents and mask his shortcomings on offense. On defense, it may require a tad bit more tinkering, but it can be done. If all else fails, he can always be our backup to Dwight, especially at the end of games when we’ll need a FT shooting big.

    If I were D’Antoni, I’d convince Pau to start from the bench and play only 20-25 minutes per. Tell him that it is to preserve him for the postseason, and I think he’ll buy it. And we’ll really need him to perform with confidence and energy in the PO.

  42. This is off topic but I’m going to be in town the weekend of January 11th when we play OKC. Anybody have any hook ups on tickets? Also, this will be my first time in L.A. what are some spots I have to go to? I’ll be doing the whole sight seeing thing so I’m sure I’ll be passing by the Walk of fame and other touristy places but wanted to know of cool local spots that I should go to. I’ve gone to plenty of Lakers vs Heat and Lakers vs Magic games since I live in Florida but never actually been to Staples. Any help would be appreciated.

  43. Rusty: KB should be an MVP candidate, however that has also been true many other years. He only has 1. The press looks for another darling to give it to every year and lately that is going to be LBJ.
    Pau: He is worth more to us than anyone else. He is not able to be traded. I make these statements without regard to how anyone feels how bad he is. Both statements are still true : )
    Concern: I am still concerned. How can you not be at 7-7? However that was clearly our best game of the season and is something to build on. Kobe really is the MVP by the way : )

  44. Jerke: By all accounts Lakers have tried to trade Blake and Duhon for weeks and obviously haven’t had success. I don’t think a good run in D’Anotni’s offense will entice a gm to trade for him or change their opinion on what type of player he is. I’ll take 20 mins from Morris and Meeks each when Nash gets back.

  45. D’Antoni doesn’t need to solve the rotation problems in November. It’s fine to experiment with different combinations to find out what works best.

    I don’t rule out the possibility that guys like Blake and Ebanks may yet earn a regular shift on this team. I mean, not to wish him any hard luck, but just because World Peace plays well for 14 games doesn’t mean he will continue that for the remainder of the season.

    Just because a 34 year old Kobe is off to a hot start doesn’t mean his shooting percentages won’t sag the way they have in recent years.

    Point is that it’s a long, long season ahead. I expect Dwight to play better than we’ve seen so far Now is the time to experiment. Go deeper into the bench and find out what some of these guys are capable of. .

  46. @kevin – I think the accounts of the front office trying to offload those guys was probably overblown a little. I’m sure they tried to move at least one of them earlier this summer post trades – but by that time fat luck on any team helping the Lakers out and once everything went into south w MB and the injuries etc.. there is really no chance that either of them have been shopped at all since game 2. That being said and hear me out – come Feb /post xmas I think there will be a market for one of thse two that mitch can turn into something useful.

    My initial thinking was that Blake had a more reasonable contract at 2.5 mil but i got mixed up based on what he got prorated last year post lockout. Anyways – they’re both pretty much equal at 4mil for Blake and 3.5 for Duhon – they’re both sorta a little overpaid/ but not horribly and they are virtually the same player. Anyways – to my point – they’re not actually that bad. Low turnovers (just shy of 3-1 ass/to which is decent), they’re more than competent 3pt guys (Duhon is better than I thought actually), and they’re veterans that can actually run a team and get it into its offense and not make too many dumb mistakes (it gets different when they’re exposed by playing too many mins – say over 20 – or against top flite comp more than 1 night in a row).

    My point is especially early in the season w Nash recovering and easing back in – both these guys are going to see lots of time – which given the talent that surrounds them and the system they are in – lead to them looking like pretty decent players – in fact they’ll prob look better than they have in years. Now by the time we get to Jan – teams are going to start looking for good backup pgs because of injury etc… – that will be the time that one or both of these guys looks really appealing. And when you look at salary ranges etc.. between 3.25 to 4,250,000 – there is a lot of talent out there that could possibly be taken

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/contracts/players.html
    (keep in mind that we aren’t getting any guys that were recently extended/expiring unlikely/or on rookie contracts – but at least that gives you an idea of what Mitch can expect in a straight up trade – and for those that still want Pau moved – that would equal 23,000,000 in salary over the next 2 years – so niether of them are getting bundled in w Pau)

    if someone needs a backup pg to hold down the fort especially they’re planning a playoff run and need some experience. I understand why some people may not like them both for style of play and asthetic value but they’re not bad players. They’re just decent backups who look bad when played more than 20 mins a night.

    As for Morris – a great change of pace/d first pg – but he’s just too immature to run a championchip caliber team yet – him on the court just puts too much pressure on Kobe to create for everyone. Morris struggles making entry passes at times (you’ll notice Howard setting multiple picks over the course of the game – just to free him up to make the pass) and he telegraphs way too much especially up top and gets picked off. I’m not saying he won’t be good or can’t contribute – but he needs some seasoning and mentoring. Given the games the lakers have spotted everyone else in the conference this isn’t the year for trial by fire so he’ll nee to sit and learn from a consummate professional in Nash then – come out playing hard for his 5-10 mins per game.

    Nash is gonna get his 30+ depending on how game is going – that leaves 18 for blake/Duhon/Morris depending on matchups. If its someone that needs to be worn down who’s fast or w defense – then Morris is going to get lots of that time – otherwise i think Blake and Duhon are going to get the majority of nack up mins while D”Antoni/Mitch build a case to find a taker for one of them

  47. hah – hate the small reply window – didn’t realize i wrote a book till it posted lol

  48. One thing we might try is this: During rotations where both Pau and Dwight are in the lineup, play Pau at the 5 and Dwight at the 4 on the offensive end of the floor, and then switch back to Pau at the 4 and Dwight at the 5 on the defensive end. Might get Pau the post touches he says he needs to get going.

  49. When Nash gets back he will probably not be able to average more than about 28min/game. This is what he averaged in Phoenix – and they have probably the best physical support staff in sports. If Mike D. starts to average him 30+ min, then we are going to see more injury time for him – IMO. Certainly Mike D. knows him better than he knows any other player on the team.

    With that in mind, we need to account for 20min/game of PG play. I think that is enough to give minutes to two additional PG. We have four – Blake, Duhon, Morris, DJO. I think Blake and Duhon have the edge, in the coach’s mind. Morris is an injury backup and DJO should spend much of the year in the D League.

  50. @craig – Nash averaged just under 32 last year and it was a hard 32 mins a game – the same way Kobes 40 mins per game was during the smush/kwame era – lot tougher when you’re the only real threat on your team and all opposing teams design their entire gameplan around making you work for everything and roughing you up (he’s been run off a lot of screens over the years). Once he’s healthy they want to keep him around 30 mins a game – unless they have so many blow out wins its not necessary. Phoenixs medical staff is great but Nash does mostly preventative stuff and works w a specialist out of Vancouver to handle his back if he starts have major probs (and he’s had very few games actually missed due to his back over past 10 years – has missed more to ankle rolls and flu/stomach viruses, than back issues) The issue is he needs to stay stretched out during game time which is why he lies down in between shifts to keep back from tightening – but he also needs to stay warm w regular mins on the court. Nashes rotations work w D’Antoni giving him around 6-7 mins to start each quarter; then depending on the game he usually comes in aroun 10-8 mins left in the 4th if need be and plays what is needed and hits around 30 at end of game (more or less depending on blowout status or close/importance of game etc…). That being said once a game becomes a blowout or close to it – Nash will be the first guy out and shut down for the rest of the night – to limit his mins as they’re trying w all the starters and because its not healthy for his back and causes issues if he has to warm back up after sitting for a long time. Nash is never going to be a guy that plays forever as a backup w his mins dwindling to under 20 mins a game or so – he just can’t physically be a instant energy guy or sit for long time then play as his body won’t allow it.
    Also issues last year with GHill and Nash sitting out games to keep them fresh – those were only on the middle games usually of the triple headers – which are hard on anyone over 30 :P

    Not trying to be annoying w posts regarding Nash/D”antoni’s system – just to give context so it at least looks like I’m not totally speaking out of my ass – I’ve followed Nash since I highschoolball when I was 14 and he was 16 – He was easily best guard/wing in the province and averaged basically lebron numbers (27,7,7) throughout highschool. Still have a newspaper somewhere from 1992 w my teams results and his statline as player of the month which was a ridiculous triple double. Just started following FB&G after cheering Nash and the Suns for the past 8 years (and before that Dallas, and before that the Suns and Santa Clara lol) so I’ve seen my share of him and D’Antoni (please stop saying he needs a stretch 4 – he never used a stretch 4 ever except for tim thomas for 26 games + playoffs).
    The highlight being – flying to LA for the 07/08 Xmas game between Lakers/Suns and watching at Staples – not sure how much I like Kobe personally but after seeing him play live – wow. You can’t really appreciate what he does or how good he is unless you see him live – tv just isn’t the same. For better or worse you Laker fans are a different breed – little bit of culture shock over here compared to other true hoop forums/valley of the suns – but its all good lol.

    Really good look at salaries/contract details here –
    http://www.storytellerscontracts.info/resources/LALakers.htm

  51. Lakers are now 7-7 which is .500 can’t really project that much out of that number but it also gives us a room for optimism in achieving that goal with half of the team were mostly newcomers and the coach is feeling out his run-and-gun offense on veterans, also without Nash and Blake.

    Here are my suggestions to our players:

    1. Kobe, trust your teammates like what you said in the beginning. Recognize your strengths as well as your faults in a timely fashion and work from there since you’re the leader of this team;

    2. Dwight, your biggest drawback is free throw shooting and because of that flaw, the team could not pass the ball to you down low. You really have to improve in that area if you want to regard yourself as a super Center;

    3. Pau, you have the highest IQ among imports, can you not imitate American players in putting a little brutish moves in your basketball. Dwight and Hill are there to teach you how to conquer your fears as you can also transfer knowledge on how to cure their psychological handicaps on FT’s;

    4. Nash, get well soon this team needs you;

    5. MWP, you secured your position, it’s also your role to make your teammates better.

    2nd team – what is needed from all of you is to maintain consistency in every game as a support group. For the last two games, you’ve proven that there is hope in Lakers bench. Chart your individual progress and help the team by committing less turnovers and defense. Teach the Coach that he needs also to include defense bench mob in his run-and-gun offense on the starters.

    On the business aspect, a 7-7 record with $130M payroll does not provide a rosy picture. So far this team has faced few contenders with this record, lost the games to Clippers, Spurs and Grizzlies. Won against the Nets.