Lakers/Thunder: This IS Happening

Emile Avanessian —  January 12, 2013

Are there really no twists in this plot?

Nearly eight weeks removed from their lone, 24-hour peek over the .500 threshold, and losers of five straight since last sporting as many wins as losses, the Lakers took the Staples Center floor Friday night desperate, desperate to put a tally in the left hand column of 2013’s ledger, desperate to the salvage something from this week’s run through the Western Conference, desperate to resuscitate a heretofore stillborn season for the ages.

Admittedly, an encounter with the OKC is hardly an elixir for what ails the depleted and downtrodden Lakers. The defending Western Conference champions – hardly averse to putting a thumping on Kobe & Co. – entered Friday’s tilt in need of a victory to maintain a share of the NBA’s best record with the Clippers (yep, we’re there), the league’s most devastating wing attack in tow.

And then, in a game that tipped off against the backdrop of inevitable defeat, for 12 magical minutes, Lakers succeeded in not only in keeping the Thunder within striking distance, but actually had the score level. Despite seven shot attempts (and just one make) by Metta in the game’s first seven minutes, the offensive styling’s of Kobe Bryant, Jordan Hill 2.0, err, Earl Clark and evolutionary-Jack-Haley-turned-starting-center Robert Sacre, the Lakers weathered an early Thunderstorm (I am SO sorry for that) and, thanks to an 11-0 run that took place with Kevin Durant on the bench, and entered the second quarter tied at 25.

Then, as I drafted the official charter for the Earl Jam Fan Club while Etch-a-Sketching Bobby Sacre’s corporeal mural, oddly secure in the misguided pregame belief that the confluence of SO many antagonists had merely set the stage for contrarianism’s latest triumph, the worm began to turn. And man, what a pirouette it was. That Kobe Bryant and Earl Clark combined to outscore Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the opening stanza (13-12) was soon a distant memory, as the Thunder blitzed the Lakers, hanging 39 in the second quarter to open up a 64-48 halftime lead, a lead they’d extend to 73-52 two and a half minutes into the third quarter (yep, that’s 48-27 in 14.5 post-first quarter minutes), and ultimately stretch to 27 points.

With Russell Westbrook at less than his devastating best for much of the night, it was tempting to envision a scenario in which the Lakers might cobble together a scrappy collective effort and steal perhaps their unlikeliest victory of the season. But then, y’know, Kevin Durant.

In 39 minutes, KD delivered a soul-crushing 42 points (on 16-of-25 shooting), with 8 rebounds, 5 assists. Upon scoring his 38th point, Durant had seen the floor for all of 21 minutes, and attempted just 20. From the beautiful three-point play in transition that signaled his intent for the evening, to his 16-pont barrage in the second quarter, to his 13-point effort in third, Kevin Durant was nothing short of sublime on Friday night.

Stop me if you read this on Twitter during the game (or don’t – you can read it twice), but to say that Durant torched the Lakers is to grossly overrate the destructive power of fire.

By the time the story of this game was written, nightmare scenarios – both micro and macro – had become the Lakers’ reality. An inspiring start fizzled into yet another dispirited defeat. Laying down the bassline for tonight’s symphony of disappointment were two men from whom a significant contribution was expected at both ends, Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison. Not only did the duo fail to extract maximum effort from Durant in exchange for his points, they turned up the volume scoring to earsplitting levels, connecting on just 13 of 35 shots (1-of-12 on 3’s) en route to 31 points.

ALL of that said…

On a night on which the Oklahoma City Thunder could have elected to sit out the fourth quarter and still only lost by eight points, the most depressing development came from the Lakers’ bench. Tests on the hip that’s already relegated Jordan Hill to spectator status revealed that the heart of Lakers’ second unit, the team’s hardest worker and spark plug, will require season-ending surgery.

I will not suggest that Hill’s presence would elevate, frankly, a subpar unit often devoid of grit and determination to the heights to which we aspired over the summer, but his absence all but ensures the Lakers’ absence from such heights. A team in a desperate need of youthful exuberance and a blue-collar work ethic had found its man in Jordan Hill, and Hill, a year ago deemed a lottery bust, had grabbed his lunch pail and embraced his role on this team. I wish Jordan the best on the upcoming surgery and a very speedy recovery. He will be missed.

There is more to be said about this Lakers season. It’s swirling around. I just can’t get a handle on it.

I leave you with this: in order to reach the presumably playoff-worthy 45-win threshold, the now-15-21 Lakers will need to finish the regular season a 30-16 run.

Welcome to our nightmare.

 

Emile Avanessian

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47 responses to Lakers/Thunder: This IS Happening

  1. no firing d’antoni??? i guess well look forward to 2013-2014 season coz right now, only miracle can save the lakers….

  2. wow – that really feels like the end of the laker season. all the rest is just formality at this point. But Durant – that dude is amazing!! Hope he can be a Laker one day – and not when he is frigging 38 years old!!!

  3. If the Lakers had come into this game, say, 22-13, and lost by this score, I think people would just say “injuries” and move on. As it is, it did feel like some kind of end, emotionally.

    Cleveland and Milwaukee are the next two–and then Miami comes to town on Thursday.

  4. Yep, I think every Laker fan had the same feeling about last night’s game… Nothing short of a miracle can turn this team around.

  5. 15-21. 36 games in the books and 46 games remain. If we go .500 the rest of the way then we’re set to finish at 38 wins and 44 losses. Right now, winning 1 game is hard enough. To go 33-13 or better (48 wins) would be quite the improbable possibility.

    To question Jim Buss and the credence of the front office is quite a mockery. Sure it has not happened as we predicted, how could losses like this pile up and the injuries just keep getting worse. I just call it a lost season but that doesn’t mean we stop competing.

    “He who has little seeks more. He who has much seeks even more. When you lose it all, you realize that the little you had was actually enough.”

    So how do we fit into this mantra?

    I have stubborn faith in this front office. Unlike maybe 99% of most has already mocked them once or twice (around 500x or more this past few games) and I keep the faith that the brass know what they are doing, they know what needs to be done next, and that they will do right when the time is right. I am still waiting for January 15th, where the trading of more free agent signings this past summer become eligible to be moved. Plenty of teams want to make changes.

    Changes are for several reasons. Some buy players to compete, some sell theirs to rebuild. Some teams are fighting for a playoff spot for once in their 7-yr tenure and thus might be buyers this coming Jan. 15th or by the trade deadline. The front office cannot heal the injuries that have beset our team. But we can always do several other things that matter.

    The coaching staff is a bunch of used cloth put together to make-look like an elegant evening gown. Except right now the holes are too big to fill that it would require several more moves to assess what we do next.

    I do not call you to rally beside me. Most of you have lost all hope and have made it a mission to mock the front office and the coaching staff the rest of the way just to have someone to direct those emotions at. Count me out because like a blind man with no stick, my gut tells me we will do right very soon. Not that we would go 33-13 anymore but we can do the right things to prepare the team for a decent finish or a preparation for next season.

    I call on the front office, however, to fix the payroll. Its what most casual fans do not realize. We all just hate them for trading Odom for a conditional protected 1st rounder. We all just hate them whenever Trevor Ariza chooses to sign with Houston instead of re-sign with us for an amount we cannot afford. Shannon Brown was the same, we did not want to make the same Luke Walton contract reward we made a couple of seasons ago. We could not match Sessions’ asking price either.

    All this, point out to the inevitable trimming of salary. We can always find teams that want to gain assets by acquiring players although ours do not look well right now.

    In the ensuing days, look for the Lakers to be actively selling. How this exactly looks is bad for most that just want to buy without regard for budget. But we have reached a crossroad and as the deadline looms, and the dollar-for-dollar tax becomes a reality, the deep-pocketed Lakers can only ponder about whats next.

  6. Nah. Not unless they lose to the Cavs too then really its the nail to the coffin. 6 straight loss and very high chance it could be worse..

  7. The Lakers have fallen below the radar. When they stay close to other teams in a game it’s because the other team is disinterested and disregard the Lakers as a threat. DO NOT BE FOOLED into thinking that the Lakers can win. The other team toy with the Lakers much like a cat plays with a mouse until it devours it.

    It saddens me to say this as a life long fan.

    How did the Lakers get below .500? By their own insistence that they would get better when ________. When has a good club ever used the coach, the Princeton or injuries as a reason that they are incapable of winning games? Never, that’s when.

    The Lakers foolishly wasted the first 20 games of this season by playing the blame game. Little did they know that health would erode their season faster than they could flip coaches. That old saying that one should, “make hay while the sun shines” should have been the Lakers caveat. Meaning: Make the most of your opportunities when they are presented.

    Kobe has given his all to the Lakers, even playing through injuries that sidelined lesser stars. An accumulation of injuries, minutes, age and offensive load have depleted Kobe’s defensive acumen. Is this a surprise, well it shouldn’t be. My complaint with the Lakers for years was why couldn’t they find players with less offensive talent to be role players on defense and rebounding. Why should one of the greatest offensive weapons the Lakers have had in years be required to be an anchor on defense, when players like Ebanks, Metta, Clark, Darius, Hill, Sacre and Blake are on the team. That’s seven people that can forge an identity as defensive juggernauts, not Kobe. Kobe need only stay at home with his man and his defense will improve drastically.

    If Kobe, Nash, Metta, Pau and Howard do not sit down and decide to play for each other the Lakers will not win 30 games. They have to play like the Knicks under Riley to salvage this season.

    It’s not over till it’s over. Times like this season are when you really miss Chick Hearn. He would have no problem calling out the front office or the players.

    The players are the only ones that can change the outcome of this season. Either they care to or not, we will soon find out.

  8. On a bright side, now Mike will have to use Robert Sacre.

  9. at least you keep us laughing. well written emile.

  10. C’mon people, so we got demolished by a healthy Thunder team. Does anyone realize the Lakers front line is gone? I dont think this game means anything, if the Lakers were healthy and the Thumder were missing, Perk, Ibaka and Sefolosha what woild had happened? Now we have 2 gimme games even depleted as we are, im absolutely convinced this team will make the playoffs, they can do it, and for those bashing the FO you get Dwight, Nash, Jamison and Meeks in the offseason, on paper those are great adquisitions and dont give me they are old crap, the Knicks are older!!what we need is Dwight back at his DPOY self, Pau to toughen up, get Blake back yea i said it and another big( Kenyon) and keep Earl in the rotation we found something there, its freaking January there are 4 more months to play. This team will turn ot around at some time.

  11. Making the playoffs is not impossible, just improbable. If we lose to the Cavs, lots of soul searching to come. Not over yet, but we may be slow dancing in a burning room.

  12. Maybe if every comment was “trade X for Y” after I’ve constantly referred you to the commenting guidelines, wouldn’t have gotten blocked. Cursing me for deleting your comment didn’t help either.

  13. playoffs are a statistical improbability, so time to clean house like WWL says. need an off-season for MDA to get a coaching staff in place and go after players to fit the system. with KB24 eating up such a large % of the cap and a re-signed D12 and Nash consuming the rest, it is imperative to get a system fit for Pau via trade. whether that is even possible, we will find out soon enough. not looking good at this point.

  14. John Ireland noted yesterday that the Thunder were the best team he had personally seen in the NBA this year. Last night just reinforced that view.

    Remember when the Lakers were the best team in the NBA and we ran into a wounded middle-of-the-road team. They normally got pretty much destroyed – no I am not talking about a bad Charlotte team. Well the situation was reversed last night and we found out what it felt like.

    I agree, pretty much, with what Warren said and feel that ownership really has no choice now, but to recognize that they will have to cut salary over the next two years to prepare for avoiding the repeater tax in 14/15. It is going to happen people and we will have to adjust to it.

    Perhaps Mitch will pull a rabbit out of the hat, but that is unlikely and – really – we have no leverage to pay for the rabbit.

  15. Any of you read this article? http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/35385/popovich-defends-dantonis-defense

    Jim Buss said what he said. Doesn’t mean he can not say anything to negate what he said. In my payroll post, it has become clear that the Lakers are sporting a 100M payroll this year with 30M more in taxes. Next year, assuming Dwight re-signs it will be a 100M payroll on 8 guys! Meaning if we budget 10M for the next 5-6 guys, thats a 110M payroll, 40M above the tax line and a total tax payments of:

    7.50M – 1st 5M (70 to 75M)
    8.75M – 2nd 5M (76 to 80M)
    12.5M – 3rd 5M (81 to 85M)
    16.25M – 4th 5M (86 to 90M)
    18.75M – 5th 5M (91 to 95M)
    21.25M – 6th 5M (96-100M)
    23.75M – 7th 5M (101-105M)
    26.25M – 8th 5M (106-110M)
    =======
    127.5M in taxes? You have got to be kidding me.

  16. IMO, we should do nothing major at this time. This season may or may not be lost. With our cap situation, next season may not look the greatest either, unless you are like me (and Fern) and still have some misguided faith in the roster. Cutting salary and making trades now only adds to Buss profits – it does nothing on the court. The only exception is Nash and if anyone wants to get rid of him, then fine, because that frees up post 14 money. Other than that – the salaries leave on their own. If we can do some minor trades where we gain picks or second stringers, then fine, but that will totally be mortgaging the present (and some think that is OK). I say – ride it out – and make our moves – post 2014. Some decisions:

    1) Keep Howard or not? (I say yes)
    2) What to do with KB in 14? (do not stick our heads in the sand on this)
    3) MD: Why would we build the team around him and his specific philosophies? I would not do that for any coach unless he had already established a winner.

    Taxes do not matter on the court. Cutting salary does not matter unless you get under the cap, and that will not happen until 2014. The worst thing we could do is trade people like Pau for marginal players whose salaries go beyond 14.

    I have been wrong on a couple of things for sure. I over-rated Howard. I have also been right on a couple things – like MD. Let’s not pretend that anyone of us has been correct all the time (the archives are there), or that anyone of us has all the answers now. It has been a tough season.

  17. According to SSR, Howard, Gasol, Metta, Nash and Kobe have played 116 minutes together, total. Utah, Portland, and Minnesota all lost last night.

    That said, if the Lakers lose to Milwaukee and Cleveland, it is probably time to hang it up, and with the team they are putting out there now, they certainly may lose both games.

    As to MDA, I specifically said two things about him on the hire date:

    1. He was the best guy to get Howard going and to make Howard happy, using Nash and the system to do so. Howard is one of those guys who likes playing to be fun; so is Nash.
    2. He would adjust to the personnel.

    So far, I have been wrong. The Lakers have neither the speed nor the shooters to run this system on an 8.5 man rotation, that is why you get stuff like Metta going 5/18, Kobe loafing on D so much as he labors through 43 minutes of court time, and every team the Lakers see shooting 50% from the floor. Howard seems halfway out the door to me and even Nash seems hesitant at times.

    As to the FO, again: almost any FO with the Lakers’ situation in front of it would have made the Howard and Nash deals. But Kupchak blew off upgrading the backup 1, kept three useless point guards, was wrong about Ebanks, and ignored D in filling out the rest of the bench, getting a rebounder, a shooter, and an aging bench scorer who is a dreadful defender, and has ignored athleticism over and over and over again in making personnel decisions at the margins. If the Core Four were healthy and clicking, they might have been able to cover enough of that. As it is, they can’t.

    ISTM that the next step now is to decide if they are truly committed to D’Antoni.

  18. Robert,
    You did not overrate Dwight Howard. He has been the second best player to LeBron James the last six seasons. Dwight Howard before back surgery and Dwight after back surgery are different things.

  19. So Rudy Gay

  20. Sadly, this team has become New York Knicks West. Fans have to take solace in the fact (like Knick fans did with Lebron) that the Lakers are somehow going to be able to turn it around when the salary goes off the books that year. Because against the good teams in this league this year, the Lakers have never had the best player on the court.

    Obviously the most discouraging aspect of this year is that this summer the Lakers aren’t really going to be able to get any better. They have no first rounds picks and no real tradeable assets unless they want to mortgage their post 2014 future.

    But, if the Lakers are really bad next year as well, as least all reports account that that draft class is heavily stacked at the top. Were a terrible season to happen next year, then, at least fans could root for a high lottery pick.

  21. As to Howard, as noted, Aaron has been right so far and his comment to Robert is money. It is also important to note, however, that although Bynum is not well thought-of by NBA fans, due to the injuries, dirty plays, attitude, etc, Bynum played quite well last year and played almost the whole schedule, missing 4 games to suspension, sitting out the last game, and playing almost every other game.

    So, the Howard that the Lakers actually have is really not much of an upgrade on the 2012 Bynum and is arguably not an upgrade at all.

  22. Warren. As the bumper sticker created by Forrest Gump said “xxxx Happens”. On paper it looked like a contender but paper doesn’t play basketball. Would Phil have made the difference? Only if he had control of personal like he may have wanted.Losing leaders like fish and LO also may have helped but “xxx happens”.

    Now how do you fix it? In my opinion Dwight’s ego will have him packing and blaming Kobe and the coaches on the way out. He is our
    most valuable asset. Expiring $20 million contracts are worth gold in today’s NBA. Bring back younger, faster, athletic guys and buy back some if the drafts you gave away, That’s all I ask for as a fan.

    Give me one fresh, hard working Earl Clark for 5 used up Duhons,
    Jaminson, Meeks. I would rather be surprised with performance then disappointed and depressed with massive under achievement.

    On paper it looked great and sold lots of tickets and slots for TWC. But paper dosen’t always transfer to reality or I would be a billionaire with all my paper ideas over the years. Forrest Gump I guess was right!

  23. What is particularly aggravating is the possibility that at the end of it all we’ve traded away a lottery pick. That’s the icing on the cake.

  24. My post please?

  25. No way the lakers are a 11 seed if coached by pj. Did bynum finally decide to play defense during that 17-1 run and person got credit? Or did chuck actually implement schemes during that run? Does clifford have a defensive rep because of van gundy or is he here to baby dwight? Is b. Shaw a coaching candidate solely by sitting next to pj and why hasn’t he been hired? Are lakers players tuning out the coaches that’s why we see no adjustments on the court? Was pj that important to lakers success? I refuse to believe this is a 15-21 roster injuries or not.

  26. Chearn

    I agree with you 100%

    I still believe we WILL make the playoffs though.

    Maybe we face Clippers in first round & win simply because of location.

    Then get Golden State & win (location rule applies)

    Then Get San Antonio Spurs after they brawl & beat OKC & we WIN because we can!

    Then we are in the FINALS!! Anything can happen when you have KOBE!!

  27. As much as it’s a players issue it’s a coaching one too. Who’s in charge of the defense and what adjustments is he making? Person is busy coaching ft’s and clifford is in charge of holding howard’s pacifier. Dan is all offense and jordan is kind of a lame duck holdover from a coach fired 5 games in. Who’s coaching defense?

  28. I just dun understand why Lakers fans here are so crushed by the lopsided loss to a healthy Thunder team. Yes it is an ugly blowout, but seriously, did we “expect” Lakers to pull out a victory like business as usual, or we were just praying for a miracle? This Thunder team is simply way better than us at the moment, and we could have lose the game even with full strength. So when we said b4 the game that we have to go sthg like 33-15 to make the playoff, shouldnt we assume this game to be counted as one of the ’15’?

    I am not saying this team is definitely going to make the playoff, I have serious doubt like you do, but cmon, its one ugly loss and thats it. As Houston, Minnesota, Utah and Portland all lost last night, we didnt lose any ground to our major rivals in that 7th/8th spot race. As hot as Portland and Houston started out the season, i think they have as much difficulty as we do in winning 48 games. Instead of keep looking at the magic number ’48’, maybe we should shift our focus to ‘5’, the differential between us and the 7th team in the loss column.

  29. Rusty Shackleford January 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I got no problem rooting for my team to just make the playoffs.

    I buy the NBA League Pass every season. (Last season in the 66-game schedule there was no discount – WTF?)

  30. @ Warren Wee Lim January 12, 2013 at 8:52 am, Are you saying the overall payroll and taxes out, is going to be close to a quarter of a million dollars, for the Buss’ to have to pay, for a team like we have this year? Wow, and double Wow.

  31. This all started to become really apparent when the Lakers were swept by Dallas a couple years back and Bynum gave his historic cheap shot to Barrea. Bynum revealed the Lakers’ major trust issues on defense to the media.

    Then the team stopped trusting Phil or vice versa, in the following season and he left after being swept by the Thunder.

    The Lakers have had massive defensive holes for years. They have had trust issues for years. They have had offensive chemistry issues for years. They have had effort issues for years.
    Their habits have been awful for years.

    This has not started this season, and it isn’t going to suddenly come together. There are foundational flaws that cannot be masked anymore. I think the air of desperation in which they have been managed this season only reveals how lost this organization is.

  32. People talking about all the 1st round picks that we dont have anymore. Well who cares, you people realize that after next season the Lakers will have only Nash on his last year and posibly Howard on the roster and tons and tons of cap space, and that year FA class is stacked? The Lakers are going to stick with what they have this season and the next howard or not, if he dont sign well thats 20 million more of cap space.we are talking about 70 million cap space give or take. You people think the Lakers are actually sweating 1st round picks? Seriously?They are triying to let Kobe ride onto the sunset the right way, if it dont is not for lack of triying, cant blame them for that. If we dont retain Howard big deal but i seriously doubt it because, well, the Lakers and the oportunities that comes playing for them are better than anywhere else. We will be fine, we will make the playoffs and then we will see. But its total BS talking about not making the playoffs in freaking January, same as talking about championships

  33. ko can you find out from Laker FO who IS responsible for coaching the D?

  34. “and for those bashing the FO you get Dwight, Nash, Jamison and Meeks in the offseason, on paper those are great adquisitions and dont give me they are old crap, the Knicks are older!!”

    Well you just said it. On paper those are great acquisitions. Sometimes players are just overrated or coaches don;t know how to use the talent they have to the best of their abilities. And the Knicks top star players are not older than the Lakers top players, that is the difference. Age hurts the Lakers because those old players are who play the majority of the minutes. Lakers don’t need to blow up their team. But it is reasonable to suggest at this point that they need changes to be made. Anyone who thinks this team can still win a championship with the current squad they have and think things will just click is just delusional.

  35. Kevin: “I refuse to believe this is a 15-21 roster injuries or not.” You and me both. But we are 15-21, so either we are wrong (saved rr the trouble) or this team is coached improperly or both. It appears that most of us here either believe the roster is no good, or the coaching is no good, or both. The camp that believes it is all due to injuries appears to be pretty sparse, with a guy named Jim being one significant guy still there.

  36. What I took from last night’s game is that not only were the Lakers overmatched talent-wise, they were totally out-coached as well. OKC has a system in place where everybody on that team knows their roles and the continuity of playing a certain way. Nobody on the Thunder is bitching about touches or where they are catching the ball. They are playing together. They embrace having two of the League’s top scorers. Nobody’s counting Durant’s shot attempts over there. Perkins, Ibaka and Collison make it their business to set solid screens for the scorers and rebound like hell if a shot is missed.

    Last year, much was made of an alleged phone conversation between Kobe and Dwight in which Kobe encouraged Dwight to come to the Lakers. According to the story, Kobe tried to sell D12 on the merits of taking on a Tyson Chandler-like role for The Show. Supposedly, Dwight couldn’t accept that and saw himself as a primary offensive option.

    See, the thing is that Kobe was Dwight’s teammate on Team USA and saw him up close and personal in the 2009 Finals as well. Kobe knew that Dwight was not a go to guy in the post. Kobe played with Shaq, so he knows low post dominance. Dwight couldn’t accept the fact that he might have to take a back seat in order to win a C’ship. Kobe also knew that Dwight was the most brilliant defensive player in the Association and that his defensive chops were what the Lakers needed most from him.

    These Lakers have a glaring lack of depth compared to the top teams in the league. That is understandable because with such a top heavy payroll and years of eschewing the draft, the cupboard was bare. But, to me, the biggest problem that the Lakers have is a lack of clearly-defined roles. A guy like Pau can’t pout when he doesn’t get the ball in his sweet spots. Not when there are so many other ways for him to help his team. He can rebound, set screens, clog the middle, give some hard fouls, etc.

    This bunch of Lakers doesn’t have a clue of what it takes to be a really good team. That speaks to coaching. IMO, when MD’A didn’t choose his own staff, he left himself a built in excuse for not succeeding. He should at the least hired a defensive coordinator.

    I don’t think this team is beyond redemption. I believe if they can field a healthy team they have a chance, if not this year then next, providing Dwight re-signs. But the big 4 on this team is going to have to set the example and sacrifice for the good of the group. Things are not going to get better until players put the team first.

  37. Kobemoney: Absolutely love it !!!!

  38. Robert-

    It’s a combination of both roster issues and coaching. The roster would be old and slow under PJ, but at least PJ would command respect from the players and slow the offense down to compensate as much as possible. MD still seems like he is calling for the pace to be pushed…

    I cannot believe that this team would be 15-21 under PJ. Did his teams ever play defense this poorly?

  39. KenOak: I have not given you a Poker example in a while: So it is like this. We sat down at a table that was a little out of our league (roster); we then got terrible cards (injuries); and then we went on Tilt (coaching). Any way you slice it we are down to the felt : )

  40. Nice one Robert! :)

    Kenny T said:
    “Nobody’s counting Durant’s shot attempts over there. Perkins, Ibaka and Collison make it their business to set solid screens for the scorers and rebound like hell if a shot is missed.”

    Exactly! There are times when KD doesn’t take a shot for 5 or 6 times down court because Westbrook takes it himself. There are times when no one other than KD or RW shoots the ball for long stretches… Do Ibaka or Perkins or Sefolosha sit there and complain or refuse to play defense? Know your role! Play defense if that is what you are there for.

  41. Robert I need to get you down here to play in my weekly poker game. Made up of attorneys and 2 ex-NBA players. I often struggle to win like our Lakers.

  42. Form

    I am in trouble with some of my sources because I leaked the Seattle move.

    My big mouth is becoming an issue. But I am guessing nobody will take responsibility on defense.

  43. I know we’re not allowed to mention specific names for trade on this site, so I’ll just go ahead and say that there are some deals for Gasol out there that would net us quality role players and their contracts don’t extend past 2014. A part of our problem is that we have too many talented players who have all had to adjust to different roles and haven’t had time to do so. I love Gasol, but we are in a new league and we need role players. Having 4 HOFs is useless if you have to play them 40 + minutes with nit bench to back them up.

    But I think the season is a lost, I just don’t see a way for us to truly turn it around. I was never really hyped in this roster. The FO paid no attention to how the league wa a changing and somehow thought we could survive with one player who could create their own shot.

    And don’t bother mentioning Steve Nash in that category. He’s a great olayer, but don’t be fooled by his percentages, he doesn’t shoot!

  44. yes I LIVE in Seattle and I heard from a source Vahan from NBA Updates Favcebook page who gets updates before ESPN also leaked the Seattle dealings. And no one in my city knows that it’s finished. Looking at me stupid when I tell them.