Preview and Chat: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic

Phillip Barnett —  January 24, 2014

While the results of the previous two games weren’t ideal, the Lakers have been playing better basketball in recent weeks and will look to continue their collective improvement in Orlando against a struggling Magic team.

Coming in, the Magic have been one of the few teams struggling more than the Lakers on the year. Since the turn of the new year, the Magic have won one of 11 games and have been worse on the defensive end than the Lakers — which only took a step in the wrong direction when center Nikola Vucevic went down with a concussion on Jan. 6 against the Clippers. Since then, the Magic have given up at least 100 points to their opposition in every game save for a 93-91 win over the Celtics.

One of the reasons the Magic haven’t been able to find much success is their putrid bench unit. Jameer Nelson and rookie of the year candidate Victor Oladipo have been having a decent season while swing man Arron Afflalo is a fringe all-star candidate. Up front, Glen Davis and Tobias Harris have been serviceable, but that’s about where Orlando’s talent ends. On the bench, Orlando has a collection of marginal talent that makes it a little easier to look at the Lakers roster. The Lakers will face the likes of Jason Maxiell, Maurice Harkless, E’Twaun Moore, and Doron Lamb off the bench.

For the Lakers, there has been a huge improvement in the play of Pau Gasol, and for the first time since late November/early December, the team has the feel that any guy on the roster could have a decent game and cary the team. Against Miami, it was Jodie Meeks and Gasol who had decent nights. In the two games against Chicago and Toronto, Nick Young averaged 30 points while Ryan Kelly averaged 15 points in the same two games in his new role as a starter in D’Antoni’s system.

Tonight, the Lakers should look to give the Magic a healthy dose of Pau early and often. The Magic starting front court will be 6-9 Glen Davis and a much thinner 6-9 Tobias Harris. We should expect to see Gasol double teamed with either guy attempting to defend Gasol, who will have a huge height advantage over both, a speed advantage over Davis and a strength advantage over Harris. With the double teams, shooters should be freed for open looks on the perimeter.

Like every night, the Lakers cannot allow misses on long shot turn into transition opportunities nor can they afford to turn the ball over at a high rate. Giving teams extra possessions has been the team’s issue all season, but can’t allow a team like the Magic to lead in either category. While it’s debatable, tonight is going to be one of the few nights where the Lakers will have a talent advantage, but turnovers and the allowance of offensive rebounds can level the playing field and make this game a lot tougher on them as possible.

If the Lakers can commit to playing inside out against a team that doesn’t have much size to offer, the Lakers can pull to .500 on the Grammy trip with an opportunity to finish it with a winning record in New York on Sunday.

Where to watch
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet at 4 p.m. PST
Radio: ESPN Radio 710AM

Phillip Barnett


to Preview and Chat: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic

  1. This is for Mike D’Antoni (trying something new- cause nothing else works)

    Phillip: I agree – we are ahead of where most probably thought we would be on this trip, and we aren’t playing that bad – relatively speaking. This game is winnable, but let’s see where the heads and legs are at on the second night of a B2B.

    From Last Thread: Coaches vs. Players on who is at fault for boards an defense: Of course it is both, as well as the roster (which is on the FO and the injuries). Boxing out is coaching and desire. If you do that and a guy out jumps you by sheer athletic ability – that is talent. If you miss your defensive responsibilities and don’t do some fundamentals like staying between your man and the bucket, that again is desire and coaching. If he is just quicker than you – that is talent. It is obviously all of the above, and does not reflect well on anybody. The main issue that we have is that you can be a losing team, and have a reputation or being gritty, and fundamental. We have a reputation, for not being able to rebound, turning the ball over, and playing poor defense. However if we get hot and hit a few threes at the right time – look out – cause we might beat you. Think of the philosophy and work ethic of the Utah Jazz of the Sloan years and we are on the opposite end of that spectrum.


  2. We played 2 good games against the champs and a playoff (in the East) team, knowing this team by now i wont be surprised if we lay a gigantic egg against a garbage team on the road, we laid a bunch of them against garbage at home if we finish the Grammy trip at 3-4 that would be an almost unbeliavable bonus totally unexpected.


  3. I’m sorry for the 1st-post thing guys… even I cannot keep our players healthy. Go Lakers!


  4. Parrothead Phil January 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    The Lakers have already won two more games on this trip than I expected. That being said, the next two games are definitely winnable. Even in my wildest dreams, I did not imagine this current squad to have a winning road trip.


  5. Ahhhhhh

    I think they can beat these guys?


  6. What does Rob contribute?


  7. 11-0 run by a glorified D-League team, egads the Lakers suck.


  8. Meeks just can not pass the ball.


  9. What has happened to Johnson. Looked great the 1st month.


  10. Yep 10 points down, another egg against a piece of crap team.An 11-32 disaster of a team. Feel like puking.


  11. Another sad performance against the 2nd worst team in the NBA.


  12. Third quarter woes for the Lakers, can they dig themselves out of this hole and bring home a win?


  13. That 14-0 run at the end of the 3rd Q by Orlando probably sealed the game. Lakers missed about 6 point blank shots in that stretch. Argh!!


  14. It’s amazing that this coach thinks Sacra is better then Kamen. He can’t shoot, rebound or pass.


  15. Im so disgusted, i know we are not good but c’mon we have to be better than the Magic!!i saw this loss coming.


  16. Kelly and Sacre 29 minutes 2 rebounds

    Hill 19 minutes 10 rebounds.

    Now that’s coaching


  17. Worst team in NBA.


  18. melcountscounts January 24, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    There is no D’Antoni system, just bad coaching. Good guy, bad hire. What a mess.


  19. Melo just surpassed Kobe’s record – 61 pts – of most points in a game scored at the present Madison Square Garden.


  20. Sacre and Kelly had 3 rebounds in. 40 minutes.

    Kamen had close to the same and didn’t play.

    Good thing Lakers don’t need rebounding.


  21. These games get harder and harder to watch. It’s all too predictable. D’Antoni might well be a great coach with another roster, but not this roster. The Lakers have three big guys who will all be playing next year in the NBA somewhere who are often playing limited minutes or less–seldom together at one time. The Lakers are currently playing a number of players at other positions who may not be playing at all in the NBA next year–unless it’s with the Lakers–and it shows–especially in defense.

    The Lakers are always out rebounded, give up more points in the paint, give up more fast break opportunities. They sometimes hit a high percentage of three point baskets–and it keeps them in games–but when they miss, it’s fast break city for the opponents. Pau is by far the best player on the current team surrounded by players much like the Grizzlies when he left so many years ago. He does what he can, but more hopelessly than joyfully.

    Now just plug in tonight’s loss.

    It’s hard to imagine how things will change, step by step, when the veterans return, and a bench reappears. It will definitely be a slower pace, with a more balanced attack, but how will the defense get better? How long will it take to readjust each time a veteran gets re-involved?

    And what about next year?

    The same concerns, over and over, win or lose–mostly lose.


  22. Can’t wait for dantoni to be fired


  23. It appears that sentiments towards Mike D’Antoni are not very “Melo”


  24. Soft like a Marsh Melo Robert.


  25. I was going to comment. But everyone’s already said what I was going to say.

    Good-bye, MDA. It may take 3 more months but…don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


  26. Food for thought.

    Kamen is not playing because they will move him in next 10 days and don ‘t want injury.

    Hill is playing less minutes then Kelly for same reason.

    Nash is oddly coming back Tuesday to proof he can still play and move to Toronto.

    Wow I just figured out the minds and plans of the FO!

    Thank me!


  27. OK. I will comment.

    Jordan Hill had 10 rebounds in 19 minutes. Wow.

    Ryan Kelly had 3 rebounds in 30 minutes. Wow. A different kind of Wow. But, nevertheless, Wow.


  28. Boston lost by 18 at home to OKC–which was without Durant, and, of course, Westbrook.


  29. I find it a little odd that some people have turned against MDA *now*. D’Antoni has never coached a team that finished higher than 13th in DRTG, except for the 2012 Knicks–sort of. That team went 18-24 with MDA, then 18-6 under Woodson and was 5th in DRTG. Most D’Antoni teams have been in the 17-23 range in DRTG. These facts were known when he was hired. And, of course, the Lakers lost Dwight Howard, so in preseason, some observers, including the KBros, suggested that the Lakers would be doing well if they avoided being historically bad on D. They are 26th at the moment.

    So…yes, I am sure that there are some little fundamental things that they are doing that they could be doing better, but:

    a) D’Antoni is who he is, and he is the same guy that he was in November of 2012.
    b) Howard is gone, so the fact that they get killed in the paint is about as surprising as Nash having health problems has been. Even with Howard, the Lakers’ perimeter D was so bad, that combined with Howard’s back issues last year they allowed the 7th highest FGA inside 5ft and 9th highest percentage, but they were better on D the second half, as Howard started moving better. But this year they have allowed the most FGA inside of 5 ft–by far–in the NBA and the 7th-highest percentage. (Note: Howard has not helped Houston all that much in these areas, but that is because he has replaced an excellent defensive center, Asik.).
    c) Rambis is supposedly running the defense. Early in the season, when the team was playing better and people were talking about how much better things were than what we expected them to be, Rambis was getting some credit. Now, with the team losing, I never see his name mentioned in all the get-rid-of-D’Antoni posts.

    Finally, marathon out-of-time-zone trips are tough. Indiana, who comes here in a few days on their own long trip, got blown out in PHX a couple of days ago and had to huff and puff in OT tonight against a Sacto team playing without Gay and Cousins.

    As I have said, there is a case to be made against D’Antoni. But that case was there long before this road trip, and I don’t think the team has quit on him.


  30. They didn’t “just” lose Howard , but also Metta and Kobe, arguably their best three defenders. At the very least, they lost Howard and two hard men.

    Swaggy can only do so much to pick up the slack.


  31. Does Melo’s performance tonight change the way anyone feels about him as a FA?


  32. Kobe was very bad on D last year. Metta still had his plusses on d and some positive metrics, but he was very borderline as a starter and was too slow for many 3s.


  33. I am sure he would be a better option then Williams, Johnson or Kelly was this year.

    Just imagine Kobe, Anthony and Young on the court at the same time?



  34. Does Melo’s performance tonight change the way anyone feels about him as a FA?

    Not me. If Kobe were 30 and Melo were 24…maybe I would want the Lakers to try it. But Kobe will be 36 and Melo will be 30 when play starts next year. Both of them have issues on D, and Melo is not a conditioning freak by NBA standards. If Anthony wants to leave NY, Chicago is probably the best place for him.


  35. I’ve always liked Melo’s game because he doesn’t just jack up shots but he does it inside. He is an old-school type of player. Of course the high-usage, high-volume shooter description cannot be done away with coz thats what scorers do.

    Integral to every team’s success is a reliable scorer that can put up points night in and night out. Much as we love to see team basketball happen, I am a realistic guy in terms of how the hierarchy of scoring is. The Melo performance last night does not change about how I feel about him because I’ve liked him from the start. If anything its made me realize that even if we pay him some 29 million on his fifth year, if he can produce us one or two championships while Kobe is still a Laker, it will be worth it.

    The choice of free agents is dependent on the year you have cap space. Alot of teams would love to have a Melo problem right now. Next season, when all’s said and done, I have a good feeling he will be a Laker. Of course for most of what I see here, its a bad feeling.


  36. The only possible trouble with signing Melo next season is our inability to sign Kevin Love in 2015 and Russell Westbrook in 2016. When 2017 comes around, you can bet people will be speculating on Kevin Durant becoming a Laker.

    This is just normal life for our fanbase. I understand why we are spoiled, I just like very tempered posters like Craig W. who do give off very sound criticisms and insights as opposed to the others that just keep on barking at the moon.

    Change the coach! Thats understandable. But change the owner?! Thats some talk that really doesn’t get you anywhere.


  37. “We are who we are right now .. bottom line, when you lose against the worst teams in the league, you got to ask yourself why and, kind of, what does that make you?”

    Easy question, that I’m pretty sure everyone within our FB&G Community has an answer for. Although the reasoning for said answer would need to constructed in a multiple choice format:

    A) D’Antoni
    B) Injuries
    C) The Front Office
    D) Commissioner Stern
    E) All Of The Above

    Therefore, on 2nd thought, when one takes into account the comments (answers) that have been submitted throughout the year from everyone within the community as for who’s to blame for this tumultuous season, maybe Pau’s question is a lil more complex than originally assumed.


  38. Let me say it again, i dont want a 30 y/o Melo on the team, that would be the stupidest most assinine signing the Lakers could make, for what ? To have the same problem with age we have right now with aging players in 2 years? Melo is a great scorer but cant guard worth a damn, thats what the Lakers need another defensive challenged player. He is not a leader that would bring a championship either, if Melo was 25? Sure but at 30? I just dont get why people would like him in the team. In fact im in favour of not making any mayor move this summer, there is not a single player in that FA class that would be wort signing,2015 is the summer that we can make a long term splash.


  39. It certainly is credible to regard D’Antoni as the fall guy, but he’s not going easy. He’s proving his concept night after night, against all odds–and the players continue to play their hearts out for him. If Kobe had been playing all these recent games, we’d have never seen a true D’Antoni solution. If Kobe comes back for the rest of the season with Nash, we won’t see D’Antoni’s vision any more. If the Lakers try to reassemble a Kobecentric team next year, it is reasonable to expect a new fall guy in place–but is one fall guy enough?

    Rather than being “path to an NBA championship,” this could be “path to new ownership,” and the intended fall guy(s) might be much higher up the food chain. Even with D’Antoni gone, would Melo (or any other free agent) want to come to LA to play for Jimmy Buss–or even a fractured Buss family?


  40. New ownership, really, are we talking about the Maloof brothers here? The Lakers have made the right decisions all this started with the VETO, that was a stroke of genius, when that didnt worked out they were after Nash and Dwight, both great decisions on paper, they just did not worked out, it happens. People talk about Jeannie Buss but she dont have a single day of experience working on basketball operations and even PJ dont have it either. All this cascaded from the VETO and this season has a lot to do with the crazy ammount of injuries this team have. The Lakers front office did everything it could to keep the team a contender, it didnt worked out so its time to step back take our lumps and start again. There is a plan in place, Kevin Ding laid it out for all to see yesterday and is a sound plan. People are so thin skinned they cant even take a couple of transicion losing seasons, sometimes i think we deserve to have 10 straight losing seasons to bring these spoiled instant gratification fans some perspective.


  41. rr: I agree. I think the roster and the injuries would make coaching this team difficult for anyone. I have questions with MD’s rotations, pace, and public statements, but overall the on the court job is reasonable considering the mess. That said – you are right nothing has changed from 11/2012. I said at that time he should not be our coach and I am still saying that. I did say he could stay if he could demonstrate that he was a plus for FA. Short of that I agree with the posters above – out of here. And on this point – I have been very redundant – I mean consistent.
    Melo: I am not a huge fan of signing Melo. I use him as an example of where MD has demonstrated the opposite of being a plus for signing FA. He did not get along with Melo, DH wanted him gone, and there have been questions about Kobe’s “fit” (remember those on this board – I do).
    Ko: “Kobe, Anthony and Young on the court at the same time” Now that is funny. And you forgot to add that 7 second Mike will be coaching them. We would need 3 basketballs to play a game, and the letter “D” would be taken out of the English language all together.
    Tra: It is E.
    Fern: Not Jeanie. Jerry was great for his entire time. However we know longer need a Buss. We need a much faster method of getting to where we want to go.
    WWL: With regard to your Buss comment: Those of us who criticize Jim realize that an actual ownership change is a long shot. Then again that is true of many things. People criticize politicians who have years left in office. So is the emperor beyond criticism, because he is emperor for life? What if the emperor has no clothes? I for one am simply going to state that the emperor is naked. Except for his cap of course (wow – that is a bad visual). And with regard to “Barking at the Moon”: It is not like you to use a heavy metal reference, however since you used it in reference to ownership, I will reply in kind and state that I think Jim could getting a little “Paranoid” as this team is slipping “Into the Void”.


  42. rr sorry but the goid doctor as great an owner as he was he wasnt great the whole time. The years after Magic and before Shaq and more recently it took Kobe Bryant being on the verge of going elsewhere to get him to do something, he was a great great owner but he wasnt infallible and made a lot of mistakes like everyone else. Its just that his greatness during most of the time being the owner eclipssed his mistakes, having great GMs like Jerry and Mitch made him look good too, they were in reality the architects of the team sucess. Much of Dr Buss sucess had to do when to know to get out of the way, he had a vision but he let the ones in charge of making it happen do their job. Thats why he was such a great owner.


  43. Fern: Don’t get me and rr mixed up : ) I’m not sure who you would be insulting if you did : )
    “he let the ones in charge of making it happen do their job. Thats why he was such a great owner.”
    Exactly. This is not happening now.


  44. rr, et. al.,

    Some of us who have soured on D’Antoni were fully aware of his coaching predilections and record prior to his coming to the Lakers. I for one was more than willing to give him a chance. I was particularly interested in seeing how he was going to use Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill this year, two traditional bigs who did not fit in with his usual spread-the-floor style of play but two players who could, without a doubt, contribute in significant ways.

    But for MDA to completely bench Kaman in favor of Robert Sacre (!) who, last night, had zero points, zero rebounds, and zero assists in 10:44, and to use Jordan Hill as sporadically, inconsistently, and indecisively as he has, has more than tested my patience. It has made me lose faith in him.

    It’s not a matter of “turning on” D’Antoni. I was more than willing to give him a chance. And I did. For a number of reasons, some of which are due to injuries, some of which are attributable to his own stubbornness, he has failed.

    In the business world, which I’m very familiar with, you must produce. Period. End of sentence. No excuses. And you use your talent. You adapt yourself to the people whom you have working for you. You take advantage of their strengths. MDA, IMO, has done none of that.

    I, personally, have not “turned on” him. But I have adjusted my views. I no longer think that MDA is THE coach who will lead this team to strength in the future, let alone to a championship. He simply does not seem to respect the strengths of the players that have been given him. He insists on imposing his philosophy on the team, whether or not that philosophy is appropriate to the talent at hand. And that is a serious issue.

    The results, clearly, have been disappointing. There is nothing intemperate about asking for a coaching change. It happens all the time. And that time, I believe, will come soon enough.


  45. Oh crap my bad Robert lol, rr is a good guy it seems. Well ROBERT we are not privvy to the internal workings of the FO but the situation the team is is not entirely his fault, things just havent work out, if the VETO didnt happen im convinced people would be looking at him in an entirely different light, things did not worked out bc of things pretty much out of his control. And as far as i know he dont have Mitch on a short leash, the Lakers current actions seems to be the product of joint decisions not Jim changing his name to Steinbrenner. Lets remember that Dr Buss supported MDA signing too.


  46. Excellent points rr, especially about Rambis. Since he was supposedly brought in to improve the defense, I don’t understand why he isn’t getting his fair share of criticism for our defensive disaster. Part of the problem is personnel – we don’t have a great rim defender.
    Considering the players we are putting out there, I think MDA is doing a very good job, especially since we now aren’t even able to run his system. That was about 3 point guards ago. MDA wants a point guard that can penetrate, keep the dribble alive and either shoot or pass to open players on the outside plus the guard must have the ability to run the pick and roll with the player rolling HARD to the basket. When have we seen that lately, oh yeah when Steve Blake was playing. That hot mess last night with guys passing the ball around the perimeter and jacking up 3 pointers is not his system.
    My problem with the MDA hire is that I don’t see how it fits in with the kind of basketball Kobe plays. It made sense with Nash & Howard (we all know the issues there) but still I had huge concerns about how Kobe would fit in. A much better hire initially would have been Rick Adelman (no Mike Brown, no MDA) but that ship has sailed.
    I have no problem playing Kelly – he seems to have a lot of pluses and the FO needs to evaluate him for the future. That charge he took on LBJ was either courageous or crazy but he put his body on the line.
    I do feel bad for Kaman – He wants to play, is still very productive and had other options. It was an odd signing (square peg, round hole) and for his sake, I hope he gets traded.
    No to Melo. It would be fun for one year but that kind of fun I think we can do without.


  47. Just not going get worked up about losses at this point. Too many injuries to really expect that much. Team has surprised me with the high effort level. It speaks well of the guys we brought in this year. And yes I think calling for MDA’s head is ridiculous.

    On the Melo front. I don’t think he worth a max contract beyond the next year or 2. And as pointed out would stop the Lakers from getting guys who would more fit in with long term plans. The only way I would bite on picking up Melo is if the Lakers win a top 3 lotto pick. Then the win now gamble might pay off. Even then I would be warry of more then 3 years.


  48. Thanks for the Ding article, Fern. Interesting read.

    I personally hope we make a move now in the name of Love (see what I did there!) and then move to grab the Slim Reaper in free agency.


  49. The argument about Jim Buss is not that he should sell the team, but that he should step back from the day-to-day basketball operation and player personnel moves. Brian Kamenetzky, for example, has been saying this since Jim Buss took over. And, again, whether one agrees with that idea, the fact is that Jim Buss is in many respects less qualified for his job than any other NBA exec with similar power, as he has neither played nor coached at a high level, and he has no college degree of any kind, much less one relevant to the job that he now does. Yes, he has been around the Lakers his entire adult life, and that certainly counts. But the other facts count as well.

    The Lakers at the moment are run a lot like the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones and his son Stephen run the football side of the Cowboys, and Jerry Jones, Jr. and Charlotte Jones Anderson have high exec positions on the business side. There are a lot of historical parallels between the Lakers and the Cowboys, and this is another one.

    WRT D’Antoni, I thought he made sense when the idea was to run a lot of the O through Nash and to try to get Howard emotionally connected to the Lakers. But since apparently Howard never really wanted to play for MDA and flat-out said so when he left for Houston, the decision was very questionable. But MDA had a track record when the hire was made, and I think his work here reflects that. That will be the cue for Robert to pull out the Del Harris jokes, but that is not really what I mean. MDA is good in some areas and not as good in others, like basically all coaches.

    So, the question is whether he suits the needs of the Lakers going forward, and that, as Robert suggests, revolves largely around whether he can help the team attract FAs, specifically Love and Westbrook, since I see no reason to think that James and Durant will want to be here. People can talk as much as they want about boxing out and cohesiveness and building the new bench mob and what a great job MDA has done with Kendall Marshall and what a terrible job he has done with Chris Kaman, but the reality is that the Lakers will either attract/draft/acquire some elite talent, or they will continue to be an also-ran team.


  50. Fern,

    Just remember that Robert is the guy who uses the smiley faces, and that I am the guy who says, “That said” a lot. Heh.


  51. The Ding article…that is just the latest version of the “We’re the Lakers, so people will want to play for us” thing. Portland is 32-11 and has a group of good players in place who are all on the same timeline, and I am pretty sure that Paul Allen will blow past the luxury tax to contend. So, I see little point in speculating about Aldridge right now. James we have covered. Marc Gasol is a very good player, but he will be 30 when he hits FA and who knows what Pau has told him about playing here. Durant…it is fun to think about, but Durant is not a FA for three years, has no ties to LA, and plays for an org that has been a consistent contender and shows no signs of not being one any time soon.

    Also, Ding errs badly in grouping Anthony Davis with Kyrie Irving and John Wall. Davis is a monster–and Irving and Wall are both very good so using them as examples of how the #1 choice is not a big deal is a mistake. There are exceptions–Bargnani, Bennett–but usually having the #1 pick is a pretty big deal.

    And, if the plan is to focus on FA, then the FO should have tried to get Kobe to take less money.


  52. Reading posts above I will throw my 14 cents in(inflation)

    The personnel we have is not as bad as it plays. Howard signing and Nash for drafts were very bad moves. Blame that on Jimmy but all else was bad luck(or bad karma).

    The worst decision was MD. I feel many or most of the injuries have been caused by pace and playing to many minutes. Also players returning too soon due to desperation of coach and team.

    Think of this same roster with pops coaching. You know he would play Hill and Kamen more. slow things down and rest his stars. Still not a contender but closer to a .500 team. In addition look at Pops drafts the past 10 years. Very few mistakes with low draft choices. Name the last good one by the Lakers and no it’s not Kelly he is a one way player who is 12th man on all other teams.

    Point is the single worst move is this coach. He is like Madoff with a ponzu scheme. Show a couple of wins when 3s fall but at the same time become the worst team in Laker history (35 wins).

    Your out rebounded every game yet play Kelly/Sacre 40 minutes for 3 RBS. Single game leader with 17 Kamen plays none and Hill 10 in 19 minutes. Stupid. Also this garbage about needing a stretch 4. Williams shot 23% and Kelly 29% while giving up careers bests to the other team.

    Name the top 10 4s in the NBA. Not one could play for this guy. The shoot 2 pointers, rebound and go to the basket.

    FO has made some goofs like Dwight and 50 year old Nash but the single biggest reason this is the worst team in Laker history is the hiring of Mike Madoff and his brother Dan and their one trick pony coaching and ignorance of defense.

    Change that next year and things will vastly improve.


  53. Change the coach! Thats understandable. But change the owner?! Thats some talk that really doesn’t get you anywhere.


    True Warren, however the same reasoning applies to continuing (yet thankfully tapering off) complaints about The Veto.Even though that ship has sailed, that train has left the station, (or insert favorite cliché here).


  54. rr im not saying that the plan is fool proof but the thinking is sound and yes we are the Lakers and players will want to play for us. Portland has a lot of homegrown talent but you wont see FAs tripping each other to play there, im hoping we get a nice youngling on the draft but we could get another Anthony Bennet. The Lakers have a lot of advantages not other team in the league has and building thru the draft is a lot of plain ol’ dumb luck, the Lakers are not a team that builds that way and let me quote something i read somewhere i forgot where. “There is nothing scarier in the NBA than the Lakers with cap space” And that quote is from like 2 or 3 months back and still will apply in the future.


  55. Lets wait for the final verdict once the Lakers use or misuse their cap space. The Lakers are scary with cap space indeed and the entire league knows it.


  56. Although i disagree with playing Kelly, he is a stretch four and fits in MD’s system. In that regard, there is at lease SOME merit to it.

    What I cannot comprehend is playing Robert Sacre ahead of Chris Kaman. Sacre is worse than Kaman in basically every single aspect of offense and defense –why is it that we are playing Sacre instead of Kaman?


  57. Only 2 possible reason.

    He dislikes Kamen for reasons we are not privy to.

    They are trading his $3 mill contract and don’t want to risk injury.

    I brought this up on Laker talk last night and not the host A. Matinez or one caller had an answer.

    Last night Kamen had the same points and rebounds as Sacre . ZERO


  58. Regarding Melo. I don’t necessarily believe that we should pay him max dollars for 4 years unless all we plan on doing is sitting on the cap space. Melo would be exciting to watch and would put butts in the seats alongside Kobe for the next couple seasons.

    We currently have the 6th worse record in the league…pick as high as we can and pick up the best available FA that will come our way. Then go from there.


  59. Mid,

    WADR, D’Antoni’s dislike of Hill’s game (and some say of Hill as a person) was well-known before D’Antoni was hired here, and several of us, including me, suggested in preseason that Williams would wind up starting at the 4. It was very clear after last year that MDA was not going to change some of the major aspects of his style. Again, last year’s team was 3rd in 3PA, 19th in 3P%, and 5th in Pace. The FO stuck with MDA through Howard’s free agency even after it had become public knowledge that Howard didn’t like him, and Jim Buss’s own story about the MDA hire was that Dr. Buss wanted D’Antoni very badly to lead a “return to Showtime.”

    Given all these points, it has never seemed like a good bet to me to hope/expect that MDA was going to adjust his style to accommodate Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman.


  60. Also, people complaining about Sacre might note that he is the only player other than Kobe to whom the FO is committed, albeit at a small salary.


  61. Howard signing and Nash for drafts were very bad moves.

    Considering that Bynum is at present out of the NBA and didn’t play a single game, there is no basis on which to criticize bringing in Howard. Any FO would have done that in the Lakers’ place.