Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  April 26, 2013

Maybe you thought the injury bug had passed, that Kobe’s Achilles tear would be enough to appease the dark basketball gods who inexplicably dogged the Lakers all season long. Wrong and wrong again. The maladies cycle and regenerate in direct correlation to whatever the team’s greatest needs and weaknesses are at any given moment. It is beyond reason now, it has gone viral. It has become a macabre plot device – the last man standing, a post-apocalyptic scenario in which the remaining players exit the bunker and look around – are we the only ones left? Until some sadistic winged creature swoops down and grabs another one in its wretched scabby grip. There is no safe place to be. Give us more.

The Kamenetzky Bros offer up another fine podcast on their Land O’Lakers blog – on injuries, the future of Mike D’Antoni,, PJ scenarios and trips to Mars.

C.A. Clark for Silver Screen and Roll examines the Lakers gift that keeps on giving – turnovers.

Dave McMenamin for ESPN Los Angeles writes about the likely loss of Steve Blake, Steve Nash and Jodie Meeks for tonight’s game.

Speaking of Meeks, Mark Medina of the LA Daily News is reporting Meeks’ MRI shows a “partial ligament tear. That doesn’t sound good.

Ben Bolch for the LATimes also chronicles the guard corps woes.

Dan Devine for Ball Don’t Lie on a hopeless scenario and Magic Johnson’s affirmation of same.

Sam Amick from USA Today has a different take, this from Dwight Howard who says he’s not going down without a fight.

Mark Medina for Inside the Lakers brings Dwight’s take on the Spurs’ art of flopping.

Finally, Ross Gasmer for Lakers Nation has put together a chart of the Lakers injuries this season.

And more finally, a late-breaking misery loves company report, Russell Westbrook is out for the season. You never want to see a player go down, no matter whose team it is.

***

Things are seeming grim, just two games into the first round playoffs. But what about the newly-named NBA Development League’s Most Valuable Player? The inside-out game won’t work without perimeter threats. Enter Andrew Goudelock, the 2011 College Three-Point Champ, also drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters for his 4-point ability. The problem of course is the small matter of defense – it’s really not Glock’s forte. Which is why we have Darius Morris, no? At 6-4 he’s got some size and played a bit more this season than last. End of year report cards have indicated potential and he’s managed a place on the roster for insurance reasons. And then there’s Chris Duhon, the nine-year journeyman and third cousin to Robert Sacre.

Sometimes things go so calamitously wrong that you wind up using those guys on the padded leather chairs at the end of the line. They fill a variety of roles – some are practice bodies, some possess a particular skill set and some still have vestiges of the star power that once made them the face of a franchise. Tracy McGrady was recently signed by the Spurs after stints in China and his living room couch. What would you rather have, a guy who was once the truth or a young gunner straight off a minor-league MVP award? Players like Duhon, Morris and Goudelock are often dismissed by virtue of definition – they’re at the end of the bench for a reason. Sometimes the reason becomes the reality you never expected – they’re needed. Here’s hoping the 41st and 46th picks of the 2011 draft do us proud. Just keep an eye on the Staples Center rafters for those screaming death-spiral birds of prey. They might still be hungry.

 

Dave Murphy

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14 responses to Friday Forum

  1. Finally, the Lakers can stop hiding Morris and Goudelock.

  2. Just keep an eye on the Staples Center rafters for those screaming death-spiral birds of prey. They might still be hungry.
    _____________
    Sure feels like that Dave –
    I still hold out hope for at least 1 win, but if I may, I´m gonna take a page from many of your posts:

    I´m kinda feeling like the Joker may have felt peering out of a dusty window of the Thief´s hideaway, both of `em weary from a thousand miles of hard traveling;
    in this excerpt from a Dylan classic

    Outside in the distance
    A wildcat did growl
    Two riders were approaching
    The wind began to howl
    ______
    Go Lakers

  3. Russell Westbrook is now apparently done. Meniscus tear. It’s a war of attrition now in the West.

  4. PurpleBlood: To expand upon your All Along the Watchtower reference: We thought this season was going to be Golden, but it ended up being a Purple Haze.

  5. Robert,
    hahahaha – you ain´t just whistlin´ dixie!
    Whew! Jimi could´ve laid down a deep, deep blues `bout our Lakers this season –
    (maybe he´d have put it in his shoe and taken it with him)

  6. I think Morris has some talent. Here’s hoping that Morris, Goudelock, and (c’mon!!) Ebanks get some run and pull off an improbable win. Wonder what would happen if one of these dudes turned out to be a stud after sitting on the bench the entire season …

  7. And our starting lineup tonight is right out of Desolation Row.

    Come to think of it: Einstein disguised as Robin Hood could probably post up Morris or G-Lock.

  8. I am not as concerned defensively as I am offensively. On D G-lock has to be better then a limping Nash and Morris has demonstrated some defensive ability. It’s going to boil down to making shots. This is probably the biggest game of both of their lives. Can they handle the pressure and spread the floor by making shots. And can Morris slow down and play under control. We will also need Jamison, Metta and Clark hitting their open looks as well. The good news is that we are at home and role players tend to shoot better on their home court.

    Laker Nation has a rich history full of legendary performances from role players. It would be great if this group could join those legendary players by upsetting the mighty Spurs.

  9. Earlier today, MWP tweeted a pic of a syringe filled with nasty yellow fluid drained from a Bakers cyst on the back of his knee. And he was grinning about it.

  10. Wow. Didn’t see the Rockets-Thunder game, so I had no idea Westbrook even got injured. This is horrible. We just got 1 step closer to Vinny del Negro being able to say he coached a team to the finals.

    From a basketball fan’s perspective, this gets interesting. Durant finally gets to unleash. We’ll at least get a small sample of evidence in the debate between those who say Westbrook’s shots hold Durant back (the Skip Baylesses) vs those who say Durant and the Thunder need Westbrook’s aggressiveness to draw defensive attention. This’ll be interesting to watch; less so against the Rockets, and more so against a team that has a good defensive scheme.

  11. Rusty Shackleford April 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Lakers finally bringing out their secret weapons in Goudlock and Morris.

  12. Undermanned Heat team vs Celtics in 2010 were at the hands of a gentlemen’s sweep. 2nd best player on his team Michael Beasley. Wade won a game himself. Only win: 46 pts 5 reb 5 ast 2 stls.

    Undermanned Lakers team vs Suns in 2006. 2nd best player on the team was Lamar Odom, maybe Luke. Kobe took them to 7 games. 07 was a similar situation Kobe took one game on his way out. Only win: 45 pts 6 reb 6 ast 1 stl 1 blk

    Underdog Timberwolves team vs Lakers 2003. 2nd best player on the team was Troy Hudson. Garnett took the Lakers to 6 winning a road game. Win: 33 pts 14 reb 4 ast 4 blk 2 stl. In Minny Win: 35 pts 20 reb 7 ast 1 blk 2 stl.

    Underdog Celtics team vs Pacers in 2005. 2nd best player on the team was Ricky Davis. Pierce took the Pacers to 7 games. Win: 30 pts 7 reb 8 ast 5 blk 1 stl in 1 game.

    Undermanned Hornets team vs Nuggets in 2009. 2nd best player on the team was David West. Chris Paul took one game in a series full of blowouts. Only win: 32 pts 5 reb 12 ast 1 stl.

    I’m sure there are other players on teams who had great performances but I’ll stick to the era I know. It’s a laundry list of games from LeBron out there too. Truly great players in their PRIME an undermanned series take one game. They put it all out there. Every arsenal shots, defense and will their team to at least one game in a series where the inevitable is obvious. Dwight needs to do something like this with the Lakers. At least one game where he’s unstoppable and gives fans something to look forward to in the future.

  13. Don’t worry, Kevin. Maybe Dwight will go to Houston in the offseason. It could be Him, Harden and a bunch of shooters to spread the floors. That would probably take them from an 8th seed to a top four seed. Meanwhile the Lakers will be waiting on that once in a generation franchise player that you seek (and missing the playoffs in the process). Maybe OKC will amnesty Durant. Maybe Pat Riley will give an assist to his old team send us LeBron. Who knows? At least we’d be rid of Dwight, right?

  14. T. Rogers: i think you missed the whole meaning of that post. I admitted the Lakers are the undermanned team this series. And gave instances where the best player on that undermanned team rose up to the occassion and took at least one game on his way out. This specific post wasn’t taking a shot at Dwight more so a challenge and inspiration where he can overcome the odds to show the Spurs what’s more to come. I’ll end this post like I end the previous one. At least one where Dwight’s unstoppable and gives fans something to look forward to in the future.