Preview & Chat: The Chicago Bulls

Darius Soriano —  January 21, 2013

Records: Lakers 17-23 (12th in the West), Bulls 23-16 (5th in the East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 106.0 (6th in the NBA), Bulls 100.1 (21st in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.6 (T 18th in the NBA), Bulls 98.0 (4th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard
Bulls: Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton, Jimmy Butler, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Blake (out); Bulls: Derrick Rose (out), Luol Deng (questionable)

The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers continue to show that they’re not a real contender yet and, with losses like the one to the Raptors, that they may not be one all season. The positives that were on display in wins against the Cavs and Bucks (as well as the loss against the Heat) were non-existent against the Raptors yesterday. The defense failed, the offense failed, and the team — though willing to fight back at the end — failed again. They’ve dipped to 12th in the conference in the midst of their recent skid (the Mavs have passed them for 11th) and there seems to be few reasons to believe this team will turn it around beyond the star studded top of the roster and the cache that the Laker brand brings historically.

This assessment may sound harsh but it is today’s reality. Be it coaching or roster construction, the pieces simply do not fit together very well often enough to sustain good play on offense. Defensively, they lack the talent to guard well and that has brought on a cross-matching and switching style of D that rarely works over the long haul. It’s one thing to break out a defensive switch for several possessions or even a playoff series, it’s another to build an entire defensive attack around hiding a player over the course of an entire season. This is, after all, the NBA and there are capable players in every starting lineup that can hurt you if given enough time to gameplan for how to maximize them.

Where this team goes from here remains to be seen. Tonight’s game is the literal halfway point of the season and the best the Lakers can close the night is 5 games under the .500 mark. There’s still time to make up ground and start to find their stride, but it’s hard to believe — based off recent play — that this team will find that elusive positive momentum. Said another way, in season’s past, when the Lakers have been a good team, I’ve preached not judging them by their worst days as every team has those lows. Well, now that the Lakers seem to be a bad team, I think it’s only fair to say don’t judge them on by their best days. Just because they’ve shown they’re capable of playing well doesn’t mean that will last. This season’s record, regardless of reasons, is proof of that.

The Bulls Coming in: If you’re looking for a model of how a team needs to perform when they have a bunch of excuses to play poorly, simply look at the Bulls. Their best player and former league MVP hasn’t played a game this year while recovering from a torn ACL. Their front office, in what can only be described as a short sighted strategy to cut payroll, gutted one of the best benches in the league by letting key free agents walk and trading their best shooter. They’ve had other nicks and bruises as well that could have (and probably have) cost them some games.

Guess, what? None of that has derailed their season. They still have the 5th best record in their conference and sit 7 games over .500. Carried by Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, and coach Tom Thibodeau, this team simply continues to play hard and push through to get wins. They play lock down defense and try their best to play to their strengths on offense. Thibs has been able to turn guys like Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli into every day contributors, has gotten second year pro Jimmy Butler to play to his potential, and has ridden his veteran leaders to be the examples of how they need to play. The coach is not without his flaws (his heavy minute approach to some of his key performers may catch up to this team), but he’s been effective. More than effective, in fact.

Bulls Blogs: Check out By the Horns and Blog-a-Bull for great coverage and insight.

Keys to game: The Lakers are on the 2nd night of a back to back, but at least one Laker should be well rested. After getting ejected in the 2nd quarter yesterday, Dwight Howard should have plenty of energy to play with tonight.

Dwight is always important to the Lakers’ chances but tonight that’s even more true. Tonight he matches up against Joakim Noah, who will give Dwight everything he can handle through his unrelenting energy and smarts. Noah’s activity on defense, the glass, and in the Bulls half court offense will keep Dwight occupied all over the floor and he will need to respond with the same intensity his opponent brings in order to not be outworked.

Furthermore, Dwight will need to put his mark on this game offensively through getting some much needed points. In the last two contests, Kobe Bryant has pretty much stunk offensively. Maybe it’s the energy he’s expending on D, but his jumper has been off and his willingness to attack the paint hasn’t been there consistently. And while Kobe has vowed to start to hit the shots he’s missing, the fact is that he’ll need help from his big man partner; from the supposed next face of the franchise. Dwight will need to work to establish the deep post and his teammates will need to look for him when he’s open. Too often the Lakers’ failures have been related to miscues where passes are either forced when no one is open or deferred to launch long jumpers when someone is open. They can’t make that mistake tonight against an active Bulls defense.

Defensively, the Lakers must find a way to hunker down and be attentive. With Rose out and Deng questionable, there aren’t a lot of name players left to inspire this team. Instead the Bulls will rely on ball movement and teamwork (and some streakiness from Nate Robinson and Belinelli) to get them going. The Lakers must lockdown on those guys while also moving together, as a team on D to slow the Bull attack. They’re not the most reliable offense (even with Deng in the lineup) but any team can score points against an unreliable defense (like the Lakers have been this year). L.A. must clean it up or they will suffer.

There’s really nothing else to be said about this Laker team that we haven’t said multiple times this year. At some point they have do more than just talk about what they can be and, instead, must go out on the floor and be that team. Losing can cause the type of fraying that we’ve seen, with barbs tossed into the media scrums that be spun into the wire that can divide a team. At some point they’ll need to find the positive chemistry they need to mend their issues in order to move forward together. If they look across the floor tonight, they’ll see a team they can emulate. Here’s hoping they find some of that spark and use it get a win tonight.

Where you can watch: 6:30pm start time TWC Sportsnet and TNT. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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159 responses to Preview & Chat: The Chicago Bulls

  1. This ones for Warren!

  2. Posting what I posted in the previous topic before Darius had this one up!

    I’m in no way sticking up for MDA, but to say he’s been a bust already is a JOKE. The great Doc Rivers in Boston, how’s he doing this year? They’ve been equally as woeful as the Lakers have.

    You’re only as good as the players you have playing for you, where were the Clippers last year? On the verge of sacking Vinny Del Negro, look at them now with a well rounded squad.

    I put the blame sorely on the FO, first with the sacking and the hiring of MDA knowing full well this roster is not compliant with the way MDA likes to run things.

    Pau looked good offensively in the position he should always be in, he’s a liability at PF vs agile and quick forwards. Well too bad, we have the best C in the game on the roster. Pau either adjusts or is dealt.

    Whether that happens or not will depend on what D12 does with his contract, Pau is our security blanket incase D12 bolts. Not having both would be a disaster.

  3. I’m placing my money on Warren being 3-1 in 2013 after today.

    Let’s get this win Warren!!!

  4. Rusty Shackleford January 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    After watching yesterday morning’s game I’m terrified to see how bad this team get’s beaten on the glass. That play in the 2nd quarter yesterday where Aaron Gray came in behind Pau and “jumped” above Pau to grab another offensive rebound when Pau just stood there broke something inside of me. Stu Lantz ripped the Lakers throughout the entire game yesterday and I couldn’t agree with him more.

    While I will continue to hope the Lakers succeed I just can’t help but feel that this team is what it’s record shows – a bad one. It will be very interesting to see what happens if this team really does fail to make the postseason……..The Lakers still have their amnesty clause.

  5. Darius, your reference to Howard as the “supposed” future face of the franchise speaks volumes about how much of a fraud Howard has felt to a lot of us. Health is a legitimate factor in ones play. Heart shouldn’t be.

    Along those lines, I saw an interesting ESPN poll last weak where 60% of the voters (50k sample size) consider him a liability to the team, versus an asset.

  6. Darius: Nice game preview. And to come up with something that good, in times as frustrating as these, is an accomplishment.

  7. Re-posted.

    Brown and D’Antoni the two ‘spuds’ in press conferences were/are afraid to talk forcefully about the team’s effort in games. While Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers speak with venom about the team as a whole and are not afraid to call them out, veterans, rookies, the water-boy. About the Celtics losing games Doc Rivers said, “I think this team wants everything easy,” Rivers said. “They want the easy way out. They want to win easy. And I told them the only way you’re going to win easy is you’re going to have to play hard. The harder you play, the easier the games become. We’re taking the wrong approach. I’ve got to either find the right combination, the right guys, or we’re going to get some guys out of here. It’s the bottom line. Because this group right now, they are not playing right. It’s in them to play right. But right now they haven’t been — either because I’m not getting to them, or they are not getting to each other. But at the end of the day, either we’ve got to do that, or we’ve got to make changes.”

    Brown and D’Antoni are not solid NBA coaches with a background that commands respect from management, the players, referees or the press. Thus they are reticent to speak what’s on their mind, as their position as head coach is tenuous at best.

    We can talk about Pau as an efficient center until cob webs develop in the corner of your office, but the truth is that Pau wants to play on the offensive end of the floor; with some success. But, rebounding, defense, PNR defense, helping the helper, manning the paint, running end to end, and putting fear into opponents driving to the basket; are all areas that he is woefully ineffectual. Yes, he occasionally gets a block and rebounds. Yet, he does not do it enough of the time to alter the outcome of the game. Yesterday was a perfect example. In the waning minutes of the game he got the ball on the block with an opportunity to pull the Lakers within four points of a tie. Gasol was pushed out further than he wanted to be and doubled, so he threw up a weak shot that glanced off the backboard. He then got walked under the basket on a defensive rebound that was crucial for the Lakers in the last minute and a half of the game. All of these aspects of Pau’s game have been evident for years, even when he did not have the itis’s; tendinitis, plantar fasciitis.

    On the other hand, Dwight Howard is more difficult to discern, as this is his first year with the Lakers and his first year not being the focal point of the offense, becoming acclimated to the players (Kobe) and the revolving door of the coaches. Add to his continued recovery from back surgery which may or may not ever heal to the point that he will return to the dominant player he was in Orlando. Yet, his dominant games have equaled Pau’s very best games to this point. Positives: Howard leads the league in rebounds (something Pau has never done). Dwight was slated to return to the Lakers at this juncture in the season, yet he’s been on the floor since the first couple of games in 2012. He is 26 years old and could learn to be a winner with the Lakers. If he can never get back the pop he needs athletically to be the player he was with the Magic, he has the opportunity to become a Bill Russell/Tyson Chandler type center. Dwight has played more games than Andrew Bynum.

    Someone mentioned in the last thread that the Lakers looked better the games that Pau did not play. They returned to the same lethargic defense and ability to score with Pau back in the lineup. There has to be a correlation.

    The Lakers win today. There are no other options.

  8. Kobe Alert: KB moved into a tie for 25th in all time games with J Howard, and is now 6 games behind Shaq. When you start closing in on guys like Shaq for things like this, you have been around a long time. Kobes also cruised by Oscar for 14th on the minutes list and will soon play in his 44,000th minute. Next up on this list is Hakeem Olajuwon. As many have pointed out, he is perhaps climbing the minutes list a little too rapidly. KB needs 5 more 3 pointers to become the 11th man to get 1600. He has 752 left to catch Wilt.

  9. All Pau needs to do is get rid of his ego and take a 6th man bench role. Phil and Brown had trouble with the twin tower lineup and d’antoni doesnt seem capable of making it work either. Gasol is still able to produce offensively as we saw yesterday but he can only produce as a backup center. If Amare can come off the bench, I dont know why Pau can’t.

  10. Nash: is one of the best orchestrators of an offense ever at pg. he’s proven that over the years and can help get the team run a more fluid offense. Which would result in makes helping the team get back on defense or better shots hopefully putting the players in better position to get back on defense. he fumbles and turns the ball over too much but has done more good for the offense than bad.

    Kobe: His muscle memory and tendencies have hurt him so much as the season has gone on. He breaks off plays staggering the offense before the team gets in a set. Goes for post position and the team stands around that’s not helping the offense. If he can learn from Wade that sometimes less is good and let a Nash and Pau be the set up guys for the offense. Kobe doesn’t want to stick around and score 20 pts like he told sas but Lakers won’t win squat if he keeps shooting at this rate. Maybe D’Antoni shouldn’t play him 40 mins every night and some things may change.

    Metta: has fallen off a cliff. Trade value plummeting but I think him not engaged in the offense has led to his poor play of late. Nash has to find ways to get him involved.

    Pau: one of the best passers ever at his position. Him and Nash should be setup guys for the offense. D’Antoni has made an effort to get him on the block pre game. But the team should utilize his set up abilites. More cuts so he can find guys.

    Dwight: is one of the most devastating finishers ever. And the team hasn’t found a way to get him going offensively. Injury has hurt his play but guys aren’t looking for him as often as they should. Definitely turns the ball over too much but has also done more good than bad this year.

    Lakers have to find a way to mesh all theses guys skills and players have to sacrifice certain parts of their game for the better of the team. And if we’re honest the only guy not sacrificing is Kobe on a night to night basis. Not a big Wade fan but he has handled his transition with ease and the team hasn’t missed a beat transitioning to lebron’s team. Kobe is forcing his will upon the team more focused on him first and not the team. He has to try hard to focus on team and not fall victim to his natural scoring abilities because that style of play hasn’t worked last 2 years.

  11. Gary weve seen that…pau cant defend anything….against miami lebron was licking his chops when pau came in for dwight…attacked him time and time again right at the rim and converted time and time again…pau has no place on this team anymore…i dont see him even trying….if he hustled and put his body on the line and just couldnt do it thats one thing but pau gasol isnt trying…so i say goodbye to that

  12. Darius’ preview was indeed very good, and struck the right note of justified pessimism and balanced analytics, as opposed to picking out a hobby horse and riding it.

    I will say that the Lakers need to CHANGE something, very, very soon. It could be personnel at the margins, defensive philosophy, hiring an assistant/consultant, trading Pau, shopping Howard, or some combination thereof. But I see no indications that the current combination of talent/usage/philosophy will be successful.

  13. rr,

    Net Points
    +71 (on court)
    -14 (off court)
    +85 (net)

    That’s Pau to date this season. For how singularly and utterly misguided is the SS&R piece, that +85 net takes into account the fact that D’Antoni has made Pau a net minus player under his regime. So coach is a clown, completely and utterly.

    For how otherwise absurd the SS&R piece:

    Blake-Bryant-WorldPeace-Gasol-Howard 103 1.09 .94 33

    As you know, Blake has not played under D’Antoni. So in 103 minutes sans D’Antoni, the Lakers are +33 with their “twin towers” and Blake running the point. The other options:

    Nash-Bryant-WorldPeace-Gasol-Howard 116 1.17 1.09 20
    Morris-Bryant-WorldPeace-Gasol-Howard 192 .99 1.04 -12

    Same lineups save for the PG. As you can see, even with Dumbtoni making Pau a net minus player with Nash, the problem was Morris at PG.

    Now for comparison purposes:

    Westbrook-Sefolosha-Durant-Ibaka-Perkins 586 1.10 1.01 113

    Take the 103 MP with a +33 and multiply by 5, which equals 515 MP and +165. Can’t say that the Blake, Kobe, Ron, Pau and Dwight lineup would produce the same over a multiple of 5, but if they did, they’d be better than OKC’s starting 5.

    Now, add the Blake/Nash lineups, so 219 MP and +53. For comparison purposes, since the minutes match:

    Westbrook-Martin-Durant-Ibaka-Perkins 219 1.12 1.04 36

    So, 219 MP for Blake/Nash, Kobe, Ron, Pau and Dwight, at +53, versus 219 MP for Westbrook, Martin, Durant, Ibaka and Perkins, at +36.

    Again, all these numbers account for D’Antoni making Pau a net minus player. Again, even with D’Antoni making Pau a net minus player, Pau is still +85 net over the season (on court versus off court). So the problem wasn’t and isn’t Pau, but the coach.

    The entire premise of the SS&R piece is a flawed, since the lineup isn’t the problem, the scheme is. As evidenced by the very fact that Pau is still at a net of +85 while on the court versus off the court, even though during the D’Antoni regime he’s been a net minus.

    All that I will otherwise say is that Pau is making 19 mil per season over 2 seasons, so 38 mil total. Clown for a coach is making 4 mil per season for a total of 12 mil over 3 seasons.

    And so it really is clear who ought to be surrendering the field. And for the simply mind-numbing stupidity of the FO, you don’t hire your coach to meet the needs of your 38 year old PG.

    Lastly, and by the way, the soul who wrote the SS&R piece might try reviewing the other relevant stats, or rather, the stats and the play by play. The failed twin towers went 41-25 last season with no real preseason while with a new coach, good for 1st in the Pacific Division. This clown is at 12-18. The other relevant matter is the play by play of Games 2 and 4 versus OKC last season. We can start with Game 2:

    1:48.0 Turnover by K. Bryant (bad pass; steal by K. Durant) 75-70
    1:39.0 Turnover by S. Blake (bad pass)
    1:22.0 Defensive rebound by A. Bynum
    1:01.0 K. Bryant misses 2-pt shot from 16 ft (block by J. Harden)
    0:36.4 K. Bryant misses 3-pt shot from 24 ft
    0:03.9 S. Blake misses 3-pt shot from 23 ft

    Hard to blame the twin towers for losing that 5 point lead late. Game 4 was Kobe going for 1-8 when it mattered in the 4th. Came in with an 11 point lead at 89-78 with 8:19 on the clock in the 4th. Thereafter was:

    78-89 K. Bryant misses 2-pt shot from 9 ft
    81-92 +1 K. Bryant makes technical free throw
    83-92 K. Bryant misses 2-pt shot from 16 ft
    87-94 K. Bryant misses 2-pt shot from 21 ft
    90-96 +2 K. Bryant makes 2-pt shot from 17 ft
    92-96 K. Bryant misses 2-pt shot from 22 ft
    92-96 K. Bryant misses 2-pt shot from 5 ft
    96-96 K. Bryant misses 3-pt shot from 25 ft
    98-97 +1 K. Bryant makes free throw 1 of 2
    98-98 +1 K. Bryant makes free throw 2 of 2
    98-98 Turnover by P. Gasol (bad pass; steal by K. Durant)
    101-98 K. Bryant misses 3-pt shot from 26 ft

    So 1-8, with a tech FT and 2 reg FT. The rest was garbage time, with OKC up by 5:

    103-98 K. Bryant misses 2-pt shot from 19 ft (0.09 seconds left)
    103-100 +2 K. Bryant makes 2-pt shot from 14 ft (0.07 seconds left)

    So I’ve a hard time swallowing the notion that the twin towers failed. Perhaps I misunderstand our man at SS&R, since he spoke to “two predecessors”, which could either be Brown and Phil, or Coach B and Brown. Coach B doesn’t work for me, since they went 4-1 under his regime and hard to call that a failure. And if he meant Brown last season, well, again, Games 2 and 4 weren’t lost owing to twin towers failure, but instead Kobe simply melting down late in Game 2 (0-2 with 1 TO in the final 1:48) and melting down over the final 8 minutes, well, the relevant 8 minutes of the 4th in Game 4 (the 1-8). And, again, twin towers went 41-25, good for 1st in the Pacific Division. This version went 1-4 with Mr. Potato Head, a sterling 4-1 under Coach B, and now 12-18 under Mr. Pringles. Perhaps the lesson is not rock and a hard place, or if it is, the rock and the hard place is any scheme, since his scheme and Brown’s scheme didn’t work this year, but the playground offense under Coach B went 4-1. So maybe they should be playing playground basketball, and forget any scheme.

    Coach clown’s system cannot otherwise work this season, since this team simply lacks the quality 3 PT shooters. Those Suns teams that went to the WCF each had 2 guys shoot more than 100 3s at well over .400. Joe Johnson put up 177 at .478. And for the simply staggering, Quentin Richardson put up a monstrous 631 3s at a .358 clip. So you and the rest get the reality of that last, if Kobe had shot that .358, would be the 3rd highest 3 PT % of his career. And he has only topped 400 3 PTA but a single time. So we won’t be getting a Quentin Richardson performance. Barbosa was good for 139 at .367 and Jim Jackson was good for 148 at .459. That’s the 04-05 Suns.

    The 05-06 Suns had:

    .442 (446 3PTA) Raja Bell
    .444 (196) Barbosa
    .389 (316) Eddie House
    .386 (285) James Jones

    This team has no souls who will be doing that. So why even pretend to try?

    Sorry, I lied, but the sole Laker who might shoot the 3 ball remotely like that is Meeks, and he isn’t even seeing the floor now. And, besides, or in any event, absent the one season of 348 attempts at .397, the best has otherwise been:

    .365 (266)
    .362 (163) this season

    So no two guys shooting any significant # of shots over .400, and no Quentin Richardson to jack 600+ at .358.

    And that 04-05 team that bowed out 1-4 in the WCF versus the Spurs otherwise had a prime Amare, Marion, Joe Johnson and Nash. No one on this team can score like Amare did back then, and there is no defender on this team like Marion. And that Nash isn’t this Nash, not even close.

    And he didn’t even know how to use Shaq. Shaq in 07-08:

    12.9 PPG, on 8.2 FGA at .611 and 5.7 FTA at .513.

    The next season, Porter and Gentry using Shaq:

    17.8 PPG, on 11.2 at .609 and 6.9 FT at .595.

    The guy goes for .600+ and you get him the ball in a favorable spot as often as you can. Really is that simple.

  14. I do not care to watch Mr. Pringles and his team tonight, it i getting to frustrating for me. I am going to keep track on gamecast.

  15. Nash Alert (with apologies to Robert): Nash is closing in on our very own Magic for 4th on the all-time assists list. He needs 85 to pass the Magic Man. He also has a chance this season to pass (surprisingly) Mark Jackson for 3rd on the all-time list. He has practically no chance to catch #1 or #2 on the list, Stockton and Kidd.

    We have the 5th all-time leading assist man on our team along with the 5th all-time leading scorer. Some have called for Nash to shoot more and Kobe to shoot less, but I think it’s entrenched in both their playing styles to keep doing what they’ve been doing for the past 17 years. For Kobe especially, I think having Nash as a pass-first distributor and D’Antoni as a shoot-fast coach is feeding his natural desire to shoot. So it’s not surprising that his shots are up.

    I’ve mostly given up on this season except to stat-watch and to enjoy the analysis on this site. I feel like it’s too much of a mess to have one single thing (eg. coach change, trade, wait for Kobe/Dwight/Nash/Pau to suddenly change, wait for role players to step up) be able to turn us around. I will keep rooting for the Lakers for the rest of my days but I just hope we’re not entering a dark ages here.

    Need something positive. What ever happened to the countdown of Laker role players? Was that ever finished? That would be fun to read.

  16. Slappy,
    Not to throw water on your post because there are salient points in there. That said, when a team underperforms to the level that they have this year, it’s everyone’s fault. Mitch, Coach Brown, Coach D’Antoni, Kobe, Dwight, Pau, Nash, Ron, Jamison, Morris, Duhon…everyone. Maybe Earl Clark is exempt.

    So while I appreciate the painstaking task of looking up everything you did on Kobe’s play or D’Antoni’s history of failure, it’d be just as easy to look at how Dwight’s injury has been handled or his up and down play while he’s recovering. Or how Gasol hasn’t been able to buy a bucket inside for most of the season or how his defense — once a part of his game that was underrated — has been bad in several key areas this year. Or how Nash and his injury have affected team building and, since his return, how his turnovers (something that was supposed to go down with his return) and his defense have continued to help other teams get the types of easy buckets this team needs to avoid.

    I could go on and on, but that’d be pointless. The team’s failure is the *team’s* failure. Some people likely deserve more blame than others, but even with that being the case it’s hard to separate them out simply because of the interconnectivity of basketball as a team sport and how those other player’s mistakes have contributed to losses.

    At this point, this team is what it is until it proves otherwise. It’s basically the point I was making in the post. Everyone needs to do their jobs better. We’ll just have to see if they’re actually capable.

  17. As an aside, when Phil retired after the 2011 season I said I wanted Brian Shaw or Rick Adelman (in that order) to coach the team. When Brown was fired this season, I said I preferred Phil.

    When neither of those things happened I supported the hires that were made because 1). on the surface the coaches that were brought in had qualities that could help the team and 2). those were the coaches that were hired and nothing I wrote was going to change that. In a way, it’s similar to what Kurt wrote about Ron Artest when he was signed as a free agent when Trevor Ariza was allowed to walk. Kurt never really liked Ron for this team, but in acknowledging that wrote that he’s now a Laker and he would support him while analyzing the ways he could help the team.

    For me, it was a bit different in that I was happy with the guys that were hired because I figured they’d be better than they had (and with D’Antoni have) been. But complaining about that day in and day out isn’t going to change anything at this point. Maybe this team turns it around (as I’ve written, that is hard to believe right now but is possible). Maybe a move is made in the off-season. But, right now, what’s the point in saying “this guy should be fired”.

    I hate to say this again and again, but this site isn’t really about venting about things that can’t be changed. One of the reason’s we don’t allow trade speculation here is because we focus on analyzing things that are real, not the made up fantasies of armchair GM’s. But more and more commenters come to these boards to bitch and complain about the team and throw out ideas about trading guys, firing the head coach, to tell Jim Buss to resign as if those things are going to happen simply because you say them here.

    In one respect, the comments are here to reflect the mood surrounding the team. It’s why I’ve never really been about the “positivity” or the “negativity” of the comments even though in season’s past it’s seemed that way. What I’m really about is creating and fostering a discussion of high level analysis that seeks out the gray area rather than consistently shifting to a black and white discussion. I seem to be failing somewhere, though I’m not exactly sure where.

  18. Slappy,

    I didn’t link the SSR piece to end any arguments or as a trump card. I don’t work that way. I am interested in introducing information to the discussion. Note that I linked it without comment–I didn’t say “Look at this!”. If you have an issue with the piece, take it up with the SSR stat guy, not with me.

    Like I said in the other thread, if you work backward from the conclusion, as you do (D’Antoni is an idiot; Kobe is a selfish punk and they are killing the team) then that is the conclusion you will reach. The fact that you cherry-picked Games 2 and 4 of the OKC series is, shall we say, pretty revealing. That series is over. Brown is gone.

    Also, I have said several times in the last few days that MDA has not adjusted well. I also have specifically said:

    a) That I disagree with benching Meeks.
    b) That the Lakers lack the speed and shooters to run this system all the time. That is one of many reasons why (sorry, Robert) I favor the two-star platoon system with this team, as I said before they had played a preseason game.

    As I pointed out to Lakers17, a lot of what you said there is not new.

    Further, I think you missed the point of the piece. It wasn’t “Pau sucks and D’Antoni rules.” It was that Pau doesn’t fit what D’Antoni wants to do, which he doesn’t. What to do with that information, and what it means, well, that in a way is what the arguments the last few days have been about.

    Both you and Lakers17 seem to think that because I am not calling D’Antoni names like you guys are or taking subtle shots at him like Robert often does, that I am his #1 defender. Not the case. I think he is part of the problem, and like I said in the post above, something needs to change with this team, and soon, and that includes some of the approaches of the coach.

    Lastly, Pau is actually my favorite player on this team. But at this point it might be better for all concerned for him to move on.

  19. Good post, Darius. I made some of the same points in a post that is stuck in mod.

    And, while you and I have had some serious disagreements, you haven’t “failed” in the way you suggest. When people are angry, they post angry.

  20. I also was on record at the time as preferring Adelman or Shaw. But I backed the MDA hire. So far, it hasn’t worked out.

  21. rr,
    If I wanted a site where everyone agreed with me, I’d delete nearly every comment. Haha.

  22. Just a note to several on this site that feel our comments are not heard.

    John Ireland, who is much closer to the FO than anyone here, said today that the FO is very sensitive to heavy criticism and several season ticket holders and fans have written letters or called the office(me included) saying something had better be done soon.

    I know Jeanne for one is concerned by this negative trend from the fans and I feel voicing our concerns on this and other forums does get heard. Lakers ownership is proud and unlike some others cares about it’s fan base.

  23. Ken,
    I’ve no doubt that the franchise is sensitive to fan negativity. The Lakers are a business that must concern themselves with customer satisfaction.

    The flip side of that, of course, is that any franchise that worries itself too much with what fans say — especially in regards to personnel decisions and/or coaching hirings/firings — likely isn’t a good franchise. Organizations have front offices have scouts and executives for a reason. There’s also a reason those people aren’t typically fans off the street or guys commenting on blogs.

  24. I can’t help but think of the guy that got slaps on his back, you the man comments and a bonus for locking the Lakers into the Times Warner deal. What is his company saying to him now! LOL

    Every Laker needs to STOP trying to make fancy passes! They become steals, back court and out of bound passes.

    Play Ebanks and Meeks tonight, D’Antoni.

    More duke, duke, duke, Duke of Earl!

    Lakers crowds can shout DUKE like they used to say LUKE, at Staples.

  25. I agree Ken. Considering this is one of the most known Lakers forums out there, peoples voices and opinions do get heard. While this site alone may not be the single thing that changes anything, it certainly contributes. While analyzing things can be helpful and fine, sometimes the horrible truth just needs to be said, and we need to express how we as fans feel and what we want.

  26. Clark in for starters, Pau to the bench. I hope this thing will work well.

  27. Darius: This site (both the main articles and the comments) is a huge success. As rr stated above – yes – you and I have had some differences as well – but so what does that mean – we both have strong opinions about the Lakers? Uh – well – yea. Besides – I have been agreeing with you on most things : ) (Shaw, Phil, DH to name a few big ones).That said – this site far exceeds the conversation level on other sites. I am very interested in what you and all the posters have to say about the Lakers. As to the venting: I understand your point of view on that – but one man’s vent is another man’s logical commentary. Unless we think people in the organization really do read this site (maybe they do), then we really can’t influence who owns the team, who coaches it, who is on the roster, or the x’s and o’s on the court. So why discuss it? Well because it is fun and somewhat therapeutic for what ails all of us now : ) and it is fun to play GM and Coach or Owner. And nobody will ever convince me that I personally did not have something to do with DH ending up here : ) So those of you who don’t like him – blame me : )

  28. ,I also blame you Robert for Duhon, Sasha, Walton, Smush and the security guard who once ejected me for yelling at Fisher.

  29. There have been stretches where they have showed signs on offense of transcending their disconnectedness. But they have been few and far between. This usually happens when Kobe is making plays for other players, contributing hockey assists, and staying within an offense. That is when the Lakers are closer to being greater-than-the-sum-of-their-parts. When he defaults into Kobe-mode, their connectedness evaporates. If he starts to get hot, than they really suffer when he stops shooting.

    Kobe has to play smart at all times. He has to commit to it. That is the only chance that the Lakers have of being better than they are. They might not be contenders, but they would be more unpredictable and dangerous.

    They need a transformation if they are going to become a team. The greatest way that he could be a leader is to be the coach on the floor, rather than the saviour. It would infuse an enormous amount of energy into the team.

  30. Trust me Robert, while the Lakers FO probably has not ever read anything on this site (they have much better things to do), many other people have. People feed off of what others say, and the word continues to spread around. None of this just stays in the forum. We may still only contribute less 1% of how the FO makes their decisions, the point is that we still contribute. I agree it is degrading and mean to completely bash a team time and time again and give them no credit at all, I probably do it more than I should, but I always give Kobe credit and I appreciate guys like Clark and Sacre because they give it their all. But I don’t appreciate players who underachieve greatly and are crybabies about it and so yes, I will bash out those players for that. Those are things that no Lakers fan should have to tolerate. All this talk about Dwight being too nice, wouldn’t be surprised if it originated in a Lakers forum.

  31. Pau off the bench indefinitely… Thoughts?!?! I, for one, am nervous. Pau is as gracious as they come in the NBA, but I’m not convinced he’ll be able to forgive this one.

  32. So sick of Dwight’s goal tending

  33. So D’Antoni can’t figure out how to use Pau in the starting lineup, whose failing is this:

    1. D’Antoni’s for not adjusting his system;
    2. Pau’s for not adjusting his game; or
    3. Front office for not trading Pau after getting a new starting center and knowing how bad Pau struggled at the 4 since he got forced there by Bynum.

    I am going with #3.

  34. Dwight is looking very low energy again, dude needs some red bull

  35. What exactly is the Lakers offense? Nash dribbling into double coverage?

  36. Dude needs some BB IQ Joe.

  37. Dwight just seems to want to park himself in the post – where he gets stripped regularly IF they can get him the ball without a turnover…how about some movement, some p&r…some anything!!!???

  38. I am just done with Dwight. Just stands there like a statue. This guy has no heart, no desire. Boozer making him look like a fool. Lakers must move him.

  39. Kobe set up Nash off a screen for 3. Next screen found nash for a runner. Then another screen was wide open because of the two previous plays. Defense needs to tighten up.

  40. Hey Kooo: Your list earlier where you were the GM and I was the PR guy was good. I sent one like that a couple days ago to rr. In mine, I was the owner (if i am going to dream – why not be a billionaire), rr was the GM, Aaron was the Trainer since he diagnosed DH correctly via the net somehow, WWL was the accountant since he is always trying to get our taxes and salaries down, and I put you in charge of concessions (beverages) and the cheerleaders (I am sure you agree that you are qualified).

  41. I’ve been a big Pau defender, but if the comments they were just reading on the air are actually what Pau said, he needs to get a clue. If Pau wants to know why he’s coming off of the bench and being relegated to a “role” he should watch the video of his performance in this game so far—gets the ball two feet from the basket and instead of going up strong, pivots out for a fall-away scoop shot—then gets blocked on a three pointer—if you don’t like your “role” Pau, play harder so idiots like me that keep insisting that the “Gasoft” nickname isn’t fair don’t look so stupid.

  42. I’ll just say it: Thibs has kept Chicago’s D at the top of the NBA while starting Boozer, quite possibly one of the worst defensive players in the league.

    So you can play good D while playing subpar defensive players….hmmmmm….

  43. Lakers body language indicates a loss is on its way. No enthusiasm or belief. Compare that to Boozer and Noah whooping it up. I predict Nate Rob will have a big night. LA has no matchup for him. Hope I’m wrong.

  44. Fire D’Antoni January 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    TIme to bring on the “Fire D’Antoni” chants at Staples on Friday. Show the old man how unhappy we are not only with his coach but with his moron son for hiring another awful coach.

  45. Not a very good 1st Q. The writing on the wall has been there for quite a time but it takes a little bit of time in real life to make “harsh” decisions such as benching Pau Gasol. Now its time for the FO to realize that the team is actually better with Pau Gasol traded at the risk of further alienating the team.

  46. Benching Gasol if you are going to trade me is like shouting “please take this guy for free”.Moronic.
    If you are not trading him, keeping a NBA all star with a 20millions contract to play 20 min a game.Plain stupid

  47. Does anyone else think that Earl Clark is embarrassed to play for this team?

  48. So we’ve wanted Meeks—he gets in and promptly loses Nate Rob on a screen for a three (facepalm)

  49. Fire D’Antoni January 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    #FireDAntoni on Twitter. I don’t actually believe they’ll fire him but we need to show Buss & Co. that we’re unhappy

  50. Meeks freed!!!!

  51. Kenny T – You picked it with Nate Robinson. LA can’t guard him. And the energy levels seem very low. Tough to watch today.

  52. HeyJerry, they are laughing again at your team on TNT.

    Have you no pride left. Honey Bo Bo will have better rating by March then Time Warner Laker games.

  53. Howard always loses the ball. Man got butterfingers like kwame brown.

    Did dwight just get another technical? No bb iq at all.

  54. Yea because MDA is the sole reason to Lakers woes, fans are a fickle bunch people.

    This team has far bigger issues that go way beyond MDA and his coaching.

  55. Proper call, Bulls player flopped, that is why he got the foul called against him.

    Of course it doesn’t matter because Dwight gets paid 20 million a year and can’t hit a free throw.

  56. Lakers seem to always be down by 10, no matter who they play.

  57. Refs seem to be complicit with yesterday’s crew concerning Howard…Chi is holding him, trying to bait into something stupid…I’ve seen about 3 clear fouls on Dwight since he re-entered the game and none were called.

  58. PLAYOFFS!? You talk about PLAYOFFS?!

  59. If Dwight Howard is a all-star then I am classical ballet dancer. The guy is a stiff.

  60. AusPhil…. Definitely hard to watch. Team has zero confidence.

  61. mindcrime: I think what you are saying is that Pau should “Take Hold of the Flame” and what he is doing is “Walking in the Shadows”

  62. LA showing some life…42-40.

  63. To much hero ball playing on Lakers! These huge EGOS kill us!

  64. Metta has hit a wall really struggling on both ends. Friend just said Dwight is nothing more than an athletic ben wallace and I can’t disagree with him. Game is still there for the taking.

  65. What is interesting to me is that Pau was outplaying Dwight at center….maybe Dwight should be the one coming off the bench on playing the stretch 4

  66. When is someone going to look at Metta’s game. Gets lost often on D and has become a terrible shooter. Again

    Just a lot of below average players on this team.

  67. @ Robert:

    Pretty much–I’m issuing a “Warning” that he will find “No Sanctuary” from criticism here–if he thinks otherwise–we could all find ourselves on one of many “Roads to Madness”….if he gets with the program, maybe he will help LAL find some “Deliverance” from their present issues….

    Relatedly, I wish Pau and Dwight could play together like DeGarmo and Wilton—but no beautiful music so far….

  68. I would seriously play Pau at center as much as possible in the 2nd half and keep Dwight on the bench, he appears to be a complete head case right now.

  69. Kobe has taken 8 shots, hit 4, and has 1 TO, but they are still down 7, and have only 40 points, even though the Bulls are without Rose and Deng.

    Like Darius said: it’s everything and everybody, not just one thing.

  70. Robert,

    I also think that you should hire Darius (Quality Control Coordinator) and Dave Murphy (Internet Public Relations Coordinator).

  71. rr: Kobe and Nash’s play have kept the team in the game along with the steady bright spot Clark. Lakers can still win this one if Dwight quits being a diva.

  72. @ rr

    Agree wholeheartedly and will go a step further—it’s everything, but something different every night–tonight, it’s that Howard and World Peace can’t do anything offensively, and the bench (other than Pau) is a nonentity (zero points, three rb and 1 dime from all members of the bench that didn’t go to med school); next game it will be a complete inability to clean up the defensive glass; next game it will be a rain of threes from the other team (CHI is 6 for 12 from deep tonight by the way–a big part of the reason LA is down seven).

    The sad thing is, about the only “constant” right now is that EC, regardless of result, will bring 100% effort every night….which begs the question–if LAL could start by at least getting consistent “effort” then would the “results” eventually take care of themselves….?

  73. Kevin,

    Agreed.

  74. The kid Butler is playing some good individual defense on Kobe, but the Bulls, as a whole, play excellent team defense. Seems as if every Laker field goal attempt is being contested and they’re cutting off our driving lanes. On offense, they’re setting solid screens to get players like Rip and Bellinelli open looks. Even without D-Rose, and @ least for tonight Deng, they’re a solid TEAM.

  75. Everybody here is blaming the players. If Howard is that BAD, why every GM in the league wants to get their hands on him???? The Lakers’ problem is Coaching. What we are witnessing is how bad coaching can hurt a talented team. Plain and Simple. With hiring of Mike D’Antoni, we are NOT going to make the playoff this year and loss DH12. I think DH12 has seen enough of D’Antoni. With him as coach, The Lakers has no hope. DH12 will split.

  76. My assessment of Dwight is that he is currently checked out, I am not sure if he is just sulking or he is hurting, one or the other, either way he should sit until he can play like Dwight can – right now he is a huge liability.

  77. If Dwight Howard is the franchise of this team, then I am a medieval Opera singer.

  78. mindcrime: I am going to dream about happier Laker times and enjoy some “Silent Lucidity” If Pau and Dwight are DeGarmo + Wilton, does that make Kobe = Tate?
    rr: Darius and I have been in agreement quite a bit lately, however for his sake, let’s not take this too far : )
    Metta/DH/KB/Pau: Would be a hard team to coach for anyone. And I mean that sincerely.

  79. @ Robert–I just hope that the “Empire” isn’t about to crumble forever—I also hope Kobe isn’t Tate, because Geoff quit the band awhile back…..

  80. Kobe must be burned out. 3 bad games in a row. He is just terrible out there again.

  81. Robert and Mind

    You guys are way to smart and classy to be Laker fans!

    Or you don’t get out much.

  82. So hate to sound like a broken record here but pretty much everyone on the Lakers is getting something open on the offensive end off Kobe and Nash passes EXCEPT Dwight who is not moving at all out there (we are lucky the refs have decided the 3 sec. rule won’t be called tonight).

    If dude is hurt then we have a perfectly serviceable ‘back-up’ in Pau, if he is sulking then play anyone else who will play with effort.

  83. rr: I read guys like Andy’s posts. I try to think like you and say to myself – OK – this guy is upset and is posting something a little extreme. Then I re-read it, and I just can’t bring myself to disagree with anything he said. Sorry : ) And the DH part of Andy’s post is totally accurate. Top free agent this year for sure.
    mindcrime: Saw them on the last tour right before Tate quit

  84. I like aggressive Nash.

  85. Craig Sager and Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier must have the same stylist.

  86. So when does MDA wake up and play Pau instead of Dwight in this game, he is not exactly the master of grasping obvious solutions to problems so could be a while yet…

  87. @ Robert–glad you saw them one more time—wish I could say the same…

    Meanwhile–what has been an ok-officiated game to this point has gotten a little sideways in the last couple of minutes…

  88. Get Dwight OUT of there! Cancer on and off the court. Guy has ZERO post game. Bad bad bad bad.

  89. Where is the offensive excellence????

    Do we even run set plays anymore?

  90. Bulls 7-13 from 3. Big factor in this game.

  91. Didn’t Noah complain about floppers a year or so ago, he has been doing a pretty good flopping job tonight.

  92. Heinrich is killing Nash. Noah is flopping like a seal. Lakers hanging in. Gasol was stepping up until that airball.

  93. You can just see that Kobe has no legs left…who would have thought playing a guy in his 17th season near 40 minutes a game would burn him out…not MDA apparently.

  94. Lakers always give you reasons to believe. Playing tough on 2nd of back to back, but have to start winning these games. 3rd game in a row where it’s played tight through three. Need a win.

  95. 69-69 going into the fourth. Hope the Lakers can pull this one off.

  96. No clear leadership on the Team. The one true leader-Kobe is critiqued every second. Oh & the on & off leader Nash is the one that is too nice.

  97. @ KOOO–Robert is the former—I am guilty of the latter….

    Searching the box and my memory banks for how LA is in this—the only obvious things that leap out are (1) only one TO in the third quarter (I have now jinxed them, I know); and (2) CHI can’t consistently make anything that isn’t a three

  98. Duhon, Antwan, Morris are all very useless on this team.

  99. Why are they keep on shooting?! Attack the basket, Gibson ain’t no shot blocker.

    What a mess…

  100. In some ways if they lose this this will be the deepest cut of all. Just zero energy once they caught up, terrible selfish play on offence. That spurt there at the beginning of the 4th is some of the most infuriating moments I have seen in this very tough season.

  101. And now Dwight will be back to destroy any chances of winning the game.Just wait and see.

  102. Lakers are better without Ron Howard on the court. Guy is just worthless.

    Kobe looks done. Bad decisions.

  103. Yes, Pau!!! Way to be a professional and not pout! He’s playing like the Pau that I remember.

    Looks as though something is developing.

  104. Dwight is the dumbest basketball player I ever saw. Dump him please.

  105. Another PG having a field day with our lot.

  106. No one on this team can create a shot except for Kobe and his legs look done right now. He has played way too many minutes this season. It’s sad because they have played decent defense, and as a result are within striking distance.

  107. Howard is definitely dumb. Why move his body into the defender? he knows he has 4 fouls.

  108. Dwight Howard not the sharpest tool in shed

  109. In seeing what Kurt hinrich is doing for Chicago on his 2-3mil$ contract at 5-6 years younger than Nash compared to Nash makes Nashs contract seem ridiculous

  110. Anyone else happy when Howard picked up number 5? I mean at least he doesn’t have to demoralize the team with big missed free throws.

  111. Nash’s defense is not compensated by his offense.

  112. Geez, Kobe. What has happened to you? Seriously.

  113. Everyone’s an all-star when you play the Lakers

  114. Kobe has stunk yet again, got to be tiredness.

    3 straight games where he’s looked anything but like the Kobe Bryant we’ve all come to admire.

  115. Really? We can’t stop a Bulls team without their 2 best players? I mean really? I think this team has a new goal in mind, to be the worse in the Western conference!

  116. Another terrible loss for the Lakers, Dwight might as well got kicked out of this one in the 1st Q, he has been MIA all game.

  117. 17-24 folks, GAME OVER…

  118. Lakers have only scored 10 points in the 4th quarter =(

    p.s. why do I get “You’re posting comments too often. Slow down.” when I post my first comment in over a week?

  119. How long does the losing streak have to continue before the FO fires D’Antoni or he quits in shame? This is pretty pathetic and the blame has to go on everyone, but something isn’t right.

  120. Dwight quit on Orlando last year and is quitting on the Lakers. 5 shots for him and has fazed himself out the offense all game.

    Kobe is such a trooper he won’t complain about playing 40 mins a night even though it has obviously affecting him physically. D’Anotni has run him into the ground the same way Brown did Kobe and Pau last year.

  121. Oh, and Kobe will have played another 40+ min game because D’Antoni has no idea how to sub for him because he can’t coach anyone who is not a complete replica of the 2005 Phx Suns.

    So Kobe won’t be shooting any better soon as those legs won’t get untired playing like this, what a calamity.

  122. .Kobe is done. 3 rd game in a row he is losing game. That his again his man scoring 8 points in 2 minutes.

    No way in the world does this team make playoffs.

    Only good thing is I am sure Dwight will not sign.

    Yea for that. Go way go away

  123. When Kobe plays defense, it leaves nothing for his offense. He can’t do both.

  124. Kobe is not going to find his legs the rest of this season. Too many minutes in another season, yet again. He is making mental mistakes just as he did last year against the Thunder.

    Kobe refuses to accept the fact that he is older and has had his moment in the spot light. Sadly, I’d still take Kobe at this point in his career over 95% of the players in this league. At least he plays like he wants it.

    We have lived off of Kobe’s offense and defense for too many years.

  125. Hinrich just shucked Nash like he was playing his kid in the driveway.

  126. Another late collapse—Robert, I’m “Breaking the Silence” one more time to let you know I’m heading for “My Emply Room” because “The Mission” may be impossible now…

  127. Correction Kobe cannot be asked to carry both the load on offence AND defence – his offence was fine until D’Antoni decided to wear him out even more by having him chase quick point guards all over the floor.

  128. I have no words.

  129. Worst season ever

    I actually didn’t mind the 2005-2007 years as I liked being able tonwatch the teams go and really believed that we could beat phoenix those years we got bounced in the 1st round.

    Now, this is just bad. The effort isint there, the strategy isint there, Clark is maybe the one player we can enjoy watching now but as we are showing him off he will be out of our price range next year.

    No picks for a while – complete blow up of the the team either this year or next, becoming the Isiah Knicks of this generation, the future is not looking bright for us for a while

  130. Somewhere, just right now, Phil and Brown high-fived each other and sipped some more wine.

  131. Dwight Howard is Ben Wallace and needed 3 pt specalist to thrive in Orlando. Nothing more than a system player not a franchise player. Time to cut bait.

  132. I feel like in years past, the Laker teams would weather the bad Kobe shooting nights by riding his good ones.

    Problem is this year, they already wasted away his good shooting nights earlier this season, so now the bad ones are digging us into a serious whole.

    I think it’s key now that when Kobe isn’t hot, he needs to defer for a team like this to succeed. Try and ride Nash or Howard for stretches instead.

  133. If the Lakers continue on this path we fans can get ready for next year Wow I thought we were championship bound this year but man we look bad get rid of D’antoni and blow the team up like Magic said

  134. OK mindcrime: I don’t really want an “Empty Room” – I am thinking more like a “Jet City Woman” to help me forget this.
    KenOak: There is no doubt – We are On Tilt
    Kooo: Good thing you are in charge of concessions and the Laker girls, cause everyone else is fired.

  135. yo Jane, i’m right there with you.

  136. Simonoid- How should this team ride Nash’s back? He can’t beat his man! He has a horribly difficult time beating anyone- even off of screens. Howard can’t beat his man right now either. Kobe is literally the only guy that can create a shot and he’s going through a ridiculously bad shooting slump. Most likely due to fatigue.

    This pains me to say…but it looks as if Aaron was right. If this is the Dwight Howard that we are going to see for the rest of his career, then he isn’t a franchise player and wasn’t worth giving Bynum up for. The Lakers would be better off trading him and keeping Pau.

    Sad days to be a Lakers fan.

  137. This Lakers team is going to be known as the biggest flop, biggest embarrassment, biggest disappointment in NBA history

  138. Remember when Kobe told Dwight that if he came to the Lakers he’d be the third option, and everyone got upset that Kobe scared Dwight away? Maybe, just maybe, Kobe knew what he was talking about.

    The Lakers do not like each other, regardless of what they say. That game was there for their taking.

    Pau looks more like his self.

    Duke of Earl!!!!! With another solid game in limited minutes.

  139. The same predictable way of losing games, show hope and then play like a team who has no identity.

    For a so-called high IQ veteran team, I see a lot of bone-headed plays late in the game.

    Teams ahead of us are actually losing games, how do we expect to get into the play-offs if we continue to lose.

  140. Robert-
    Not only are we on tilt…we are down to a gut-shot straight draw for all of our chips. This is just sick.

  141. Look for all of the complaints, the one that doesn’t stick for me is the substitution pattern, and the minutes for the starters. Dantoni has to play Nash and Kobe to get some kind of cohesion going but also because the bench is awful, more or less. So its a rock and a hard place. He subs out the good guys and leaves who Duhon, Morris and Jamison to rum this? I get that they could be seriously gassed but it also feels like they are disheartened and playing with no confidence and no energy. And how are you going to win with Kobe who needs and wants the ball, and will take his 20 shots (or more) no matter what, shooting so badly.

    Howard won’t run a pick and roll or doesn’t seem to know how to, but then is not at all efficient in the block, with just tons of turn overs and poor execution down low. It seems to me, what MDA is trying is just about everything that he can imagine. But when you have guys that aren’t effective insisting on a style of play that they are actually not good at, but are yet considered the future and the franchise (DH) I don’t see that as a very workable situation.

    It seems to me the inability to get a pick and roll for DH, is the biggest frustration of all. That was supposed to be the bread and butter of this configuration (i.e. bringing in Nash and DH).

    Can’t imagine what the locker room is like tonight.

  142. I wonder what Dwight and Booz were talking about at the end of the game

    extended conversation

    Anyway Lakers are 2-9 in last 11 games.

  143. What happened tp D12? he used to dominate, especially In the paint I remember him dominating Pau and Drew when the Magic played the Lakers now all he does is get stripped and commit offensive fouls. what happened to his game?

  144. Jane: you should review some of the recent threads. i think you will find them amusing based on the last time we spoke.
    KenOak: Yes – and Mike + Vince know from the pocket cams that some of our outs are gone.
    Joe M: Could go down as the biggest – yes.
    All: management (without regard to what you think of them) will have its work cut out just to hold things together here.

  145. CHearn….”Kobe knew what he was talking about”.
    Your comment rings so true that it hurts.

    Kevin….Ben Wallace brought it every night. He was an intimidator. Dwight, not so much. He isn’t stepping up at all. It seems as though he doesn’t want to be here. Some of it is poor coaching, especially defensively, but he needs a attitude adjustment.

  146. Im suprised people keep acting suprised when we suck.

    When the team was put together it was destined to suck

    When nobody else wants the majority of your players…you suck.

    There are no real trades to make..nobody wants these bums ….

    Nobody wanted MDA…not even the wizards

    Its time to be realistic….unless the nba gifts us a few players.. We will suck for a couple years

  147. 3 years ago we were the champs what happened to cause us to be so mediocre so quickly i cant understand what happened it s like the team hasn’t recovered since that sweep by dallas

  148. Dwight howard isnt trying because he knows this team sucks and hes probably thinking about leaving. I don’t know why I care anyway. He has a low bb iq and turns the ball over more than the primary ballhandler.

  149. Kennyt: true. Dwight used to bring it every game not sure what happened. He only thrives when he gets dunks and is having fun. Not sure he serious about winning.

    If lakers aren’t winning a title they should blow it up, bottom out and build for next year.

  150. Problem is with Pau kept and DH gone, they are pretty bad defensively it seems to me. So while tonight I get that it feels like pau is the keeper and DH is the trade bait, don’t really see that working longer term either.

    From my vantage point, and as flawed as this roster seems and as poor as there chemistry seems, the way they ran the show tonight, the substitutions and the rotations was the right way. They just executed it very badly and with no energy, and had a very bad shooting night against a very good defensive team.

    You substitute Pau for DH, you limit their time on the court together, but when they are on the court, you need to really dump it into them and get then to run that pick play they ran in the second quarter and some of the stuff Memphis and Utah runs for their two bigs. You also need real players in the back court, who can defend and hit the occaisional 3 to keep teams honest, who are not named Kobe and Nash who will then get a bit of a break. So if you had say, a Jared Dudley or a Tony Allen and a decent back up point guard (maybe even Blake), and Metta, that would work. That play in the 2nd quarter where the twin towers were in, but Duhon (I think) insisted on ignoring them and taking it to the hoop resulting in a stuff and a couple of 3’s by Nate Robinson just can’t happen. With that configuration I think you have a recipe for success. You just need to add some workable pieces to run with the two bigs that make a decent power ball 5, that give Nash and Kobe a rest, so that they can run the way they are currently running but with some energy.

  151. Interesting that some of the same complaints we now have about Howard were echoed last season about Bynum. I’m not sure what that means. But it is interesting.

    The sooner the Lakers can blow this team up the better. That probably won’t happen until next summer. But a wholesale tear down of the roster is in order. The coaching staff should probably go as well. Worthy’s point about the coaching staff not being able to motivate this team is a salient one. It seems that not only have the players tuned D’Antoni out, they’ve tuned each other out. It’s time for a reboot. The wing players are too old. The coach is in over his head. And the heir apparent may not even want to stay.

    There is no point in dishing out $100 million dollars to a group that won’t make the playoffs and seemingly doesn’t even like playing together.

  152. @Robert

    It’s safe to say that I don’t find anything amusing right now, least of all this team and related commentary.

    I’m flashing back to my Eagles and the great signings in 2011 (e.g., Rogers-Cromartie, Asomugha), and how they were acclaimed as a powerhouse that would annihilate all teams en route to the Superbowl. We all know how that turned out. I’m still reeling.

    The Lakers had to not be relevant again someday…I had hoped it would be post-ring #6 for #24.

  153. Brilliantly said T Rogers. Lakers have so many issues that I don’t think just one trade will help anymore. That was my thought process about a month back, but now it has changed big time after I have seen what this team really is. If anything, they are not really much of a team. Just a bunch of people who don’t like or trust one another, along with a very bad coach, and I hate to say it but, worse than Mike Brown. Keep Kobe, and just blow up the team and get rid of the coach. Lakers aren’t winning no title with this squad and coach.

  154. I cant remember who was the one that posted the idea of two 5 man teams. The first being a Kobe Gasol Metta – playing some sort of triangle type offense would be ok. The second a Nash and Dwight complemented by shooters (whatever can be gained before the trade deadline) and playing ala SVG Magics, just surround Dwight with a lot of shooters. rotate this two teams and limit the time Paul and Dwight play together. They should try it seeing how little they have to lose now…

  155. I guess I am alone, but the blow it up contingent doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either…You have Nash, Kobe and Pau on big contracts so even if you don’t sign DH, which I am still not sure is the right way to go, you have a huge salary base for next year as well. So this isn’t even an easy tear down, unless you are prepared to just give away Pau and Nash for nothing and not sign DH, which I would still consider a mistake even after these last 2 games.

  156. With the game tied, Kerr said, this is going to be chess match between Thibodeau and D’Antoni. That’s when I knew the Lakers were toast.

    If this game doesn’t show you the utter incompetence of D’Antoni, you know absolutely nothing about basketball.

    How many baskets does Hinrich need to make before he puts someone else on him???

    How do you keep Howard out until the Bulls are up by 10???

    He’s the coach, run a play. Tell Clark to stop driving to the basket trying to create his own shots.

    When Boozer is making basket after basket over MWP, how about putting Howard on him and having MWP guard Noah, who can’t create his own shot???

    This game isn’t entirely D’Antoni’s fault however. From the tip off to the middle of the 3rd, Lakers were just giving up on plays. As much as I think Kobe is GLOAT, he is just as much a factor in the loss as D’Antoni. Instead of trying to fight for rebounds, I saw him often running the other way. Can’t start the offense without the ball.

  157. I am really looking forward to the book.

    What? You ask what book?

    The one Dwight Howard writes next year from Dallas when he bashes the Lakers, Mike Daaaaaaaa and Kobe. You know it’s coming and no way he signs next year. Don’t give me that “oh he will make more money here”. Baloney. Call an accountant. No state tax plus Mark C
    will hand him tons of personal service and appearance deals in Texas he will make $40 million.

    Can ‘t wait for the book. “Blowing up the Lakers”by Dwight Superman!

  158. ESPNLA headline:

    Lakers to head to China

    ___________

    Maybe they will stay there for awhile and give us a break.