Preview and Chat: Lakers vs. Jazz

Darius Soriano —  February 11, 2014

At this point, there really isn’t anything new to say about the Lakers. They are incredibly banged up and won’t improve in that area until at least after the all-star break. They are low on talent and feature an unbalanced roster with a glut of point guards and big men, but low on wings. They have the potential to improve as they get healthier, but most observers long ago abandoned hope of making any sort of miracle run this year and instead are looking how to maximize their assets heading into the trade deadline and then, again when heading into the draft.

So, while there have been (and will be more) moments that inspire celebration this year (the random Nick Young explosion, a pretty play by one of the point guards, Pau Gasol having a throwback game, a particularly fun win, etc.), I equate them to a ray of sunshine that peaks out momentarily before the skies again turn gray and another downpour begins. They are fleeting moments of joy in our otherwise sad state of fandom. Such is the case when you root for a bad team.

Speaking of bad teams, hello Utah Jazz.

Well, actually, maybe that’s not fair. The Jazz are a half a game worse than the Lakers, sitting at 17-33. However, after starting the season by winning only one of their first 15 games, they have played almost .500 ball going a decent 16-18. That said, they have lost four of their last five. That said again, they just beat the Heat! Confused yet? Yeah, me too.

In any event, we are all pretty familiar with the Jazz by now. They have a dynamic young point guard in Trey Burke who, when he’s been available to play, has shown why he was one of the top prospects in last June’s draft. However, he is questionable tonight with a sore lower back. The Jazz also have some nice young big men, including Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Favors is a very good defensive player with a burgeoning offensive attack. Kanter can run hot and cold offensively and isn’t quite the defender he needs to be, but he’s a bull under the basket and can outmuscle most like-sized players to get baskets in the paint.

And, of course, they have Gordon Hayward. Hayward is a guy who almost everyone loves as a player. He has all the skills you’d want offensively, is a good athlete, and plays hard on D. He is smart, is a team player, and by all accounts works hard. The fact that he’ll be a restricted free agent soon has some questioning his value and whether he’ll get a max offer from anyone, but any team would be lucky to have him. The price is the only question.

When looking at this game, then, in order of importance of slowing down I would say it is Hayward, Burke (if he plays), Favors, and then Kanter. If the Lakers can keep the perimeter players somewhat in check, collapsing on the big men to make their lives harder should be easier. If the wings run wild, expect the Jazz big men to be able to do relatively well against single coverage.

From the Lakers’ side, Chris Kaman will start in Robert Sacre’s place and that should mean a bit more offensive flexibility to start this game. I appreciate Sacre’s efforts and love how he attacks the paint as a dive man in the P&R, but defenses simply don’t respect him the way that Kaman does and he’s not nearly as skilled. Having Kaman to occupy Favors defensively should open up more chances for Nash, Blake, and Wes Johnson on the perimeter. If Kaman can also spot Kelly for a few open jumpers, it should also open up his post chances a bit more by negating any big on big help that the Jazz might employ.

Another key tonight will be how well the Lakers “reserves” play. (Note, I say “reserves” because guys starting are really “reserves”, but I digress.) Kendall Marshall will need to hit some shots. Jordan Hill will need to do his typical dirty work, but will also need to get some baskets in and around the paint. Shawne Williams will need to do more than just act as a decoy around the three point line. These guys will need to be near their best and make a Jazz team without a lot of reliable depth themselves pay when the second units face off.

Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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69 responses to Preview and Chat: Lakers vs. Jazz

  1. For the future winner of Ko’s case of wine!

  2. Thanks, Manny, I appreciate it…

  3. Expecting a contender or two to approach the Lakers, about acquiring Chris Kamen by the trade deadline. Guy is 7 ft, only 32, making a little over $3 mill, and averaging 19 & 7 since MDA decided to give him some quality minutes. Thunder, TrailBlazers, Warriors, Heat, & Nets are just a few of the teams who can use his talents. What would it take for the Lakers to pull the trigger on a deal for Kamen. What can they expect?

  4. *I’m not discussing specific players, so please don’t chop me up*

    A draft pick and/or a trade exception. He’s dollar-for-dollar savings off the tax if he’s moved for any lower salary. I can’t imagine he’d fetch a first-rounder, but a high second-rounder might be a realistic expectation. The trade exception I’m less sure about, that part of cap rules has eluded me, but if they could get one from a trade partner it could be included in a future deal for someone else or just left to expire for the tax savings.

    As for what it would take, probably about six more healthy bodies that they could put out on the floor. Right now he’s hugely important to the Lakers just by virtue of being able to stand, jump, run, etc.

  5. Once again Sacre and Kelly go in and Lakers fall apart. Too bad there is no one who can read stats.

  6. Nash is not helping out there.

  7. Chris Kaman making up for a lack of playing time with 16 FGA in the first half.

  8. Nice half by the Laker backcourt 2 Steve’s.

    2 for 8

    Utah guards 15

  9. Steve Nash is out for the second half with nerve root irritation, the same issue that’s plagued him all season per Mike Trudell Lakers Reporter.

  10. 10pts in the second Q, Nash out again – the nightmare won´t let up.
    but still hoping for a win

  11. I left the game Lakers up by 15, let me check the score they must be beating down this weaker Jazz team, daaaa!! Whats this? kill it!!! kill it and set it on fire!!!!!!

  12. Nash needs to man up and show some class and retire.

  13. And Nash is gone again bc another nerve flare up, seriously man, get a hint…

  14. Chris is by far the best player Lakers have. Might be better then Pau at this point.

    And to think he didn’t play a minute in 12 games this year.

  15. It’s too bad the Lakers can’t force Nash to retire.

  16. One of the 3 worst players in the NBA. Glad they signed Sacre for another year.

  17. 3laker guards are 4 for 25.

    I can see why Mike prefers guards instead of bigs.

  18. Nice game guys. You moved into a tie for 5th worst team in NBA and longest home losing streak in a Laker history.

    I knew you could do it Mike!

  19. So now that Nash can’t help the Lakers with medical retirement option , I bet he will retire. Sometimes I think he and Mike D were hired by some other billionaire team owners to ruin the Lakers as far as Lakers ownership and management lets them to.

  20. Dear Steve:

    Please retire. We need to move on from this charade of rehabilitation, and the hope that you’ll get healthy and lead us up from the depths to which we have fallen. You’ve had a Hall of Fame career, and have carried yourself with class, but it’s over.

    And take Stu Lantz with you.

  21. Nash and Mike D please go away forever and ever. Thanks for the nightmares.

  22. Well, another loss and another opportunity for fans to pick on Pringles and complain about his top assistant’s nerve irritation woes…..
    Losses hurt, but double edged for us atm

    Get well soon Lakers!

  23. Looking at the Lakers remaining schedule and I see a minimum of 21 losses. My revised prediction for their record is 24-58. (Which will be close to a bottom 3 or 4 record.) Is it too late to get in on the competition ko?

    How has Kaman been riding the bench all year? He and Pau are going to be shipped. Actually, can that really happen? Who would play starting Center for us next year because it simply can’t be Sacre. What do FA’s look like next year at Center?

  24. Ko: Just what the Dr. ordered. If all goes well, the team will finish no higher than 4th in the league.

    Anon: Sacre was signed for 1 more owing to the need for The Tank: Part Deux, starring Kobe 5 Rings Bryant and the hapless Robert Sacre Bleu. Don’t miss a moment of the action, as 5 Rings makes his assault on the all-time scoring record with laughs and hair pulling aplenty from the foibles of his sidekick Sacre Bleu. Batman and Robin have nothing on these two madcap adventurers. Buy your ticket now…

    We otherwise hope that The Plan (all rights reserved) is major stinkitude, leading to no. 1 pick (Durant). Then yet more major stinkitude during Part Deux, leading to no. 4 pick (Westbrook). Then, since this isn’t simply a Part Deux’er, as it were, but a trilogy, yet some more stinkitude leading to the no. 3 pick (Harden). And then pencil the real Durant in as the teams’ marquee FA going into year 4 of The Plan (all rights reserved). And for how utterly cunning The Plan (all rights reserved) is, Jimbo The Cap Buss flips Pau The Gallant Spaniard Gasol for a late 1st rounder, say, 24th, and that pick turns into another Spaniard, Sergio El Basque (or Sergio the Basque, whose game appears to mirror that of one Serge Ibaka).

  25. Nash will do the right thing whenevwr and whatever that becomes.
    Nash is a class act and the reason he is still out there giving it his all is because the franchise respected him by giving him a contract and he intends to do his best to honor it.

    I object to any derogatory comment regarding Stu Lantz. I have met him on several occasions and he is a true gentleman. He is a pillar of integrity and a model of professionalism.

    Comments deriding Nash and Stu are petty and inappropriate.

  26. What do FA’s look like next year at Center?

    http://hoopshype.com/free_agency/centers_2014.htm

  27. Nash plays in his 10th game, thus eliminating the possibility of a medical retirement this season that would’ve taken his salary off the books. Nice. On a positive note, we’ve dropped below Utah in the standings.

  28. Ken

    Contest is still on. 24 would be epic.

    As for Center who needs it. Lakers went with 3 guards lineup tonight and Utah 3 guards out scored them by 27 points!

    Who needs a center, we have Mike Daaaaaa?

  29. In the reality of this league, this was a great loss. We just moved in front of Utah.

    To the people who watched the game, did Kaman look like a starting center on a championship team (his stats sure did). I have always been confused about this guy, at times he puts up stats like a major star.

  30. @rr
    Thanks man! I guess if MDA is going to be here, then Frye would be his choice. Doesn’t matter, really, because we’re picking #1 (basketball reasons) and nabbing Embiid. I must say, though, that this feels like another one of those years where the consensus #1 pick is the big guy, but the real superstars are gonna be Parker, Wiggins, and Exum. If any of those 3 get in the weight room and the gym with Kobe…it’s goodnight league.

  31. Breaking News!

    Time Warner cancelled LA Lakers for rest of season due to poor rating and lack of interest.

    Laker games may move to the Food Channel.

  32. Took him long enough to start Kaman. And Sacre is just terrible… While Kelly can be a 9th-10th man on a good team (to play a few minutes), Sacre is just a D-League fill in. No point on keeping him, but he’s the one who’s signed.

    So, here’s my take on upcoming big men free agency. Monroe should be our main goal. The Pistons are tied to Smith and they dertainly won’t part ways with Drummond, so why not nab Monroe from them? As long as we don’t pay max money, he’s the type of player that if we could get even with a slight overpay, then we should try and get him.

    Also, there are two very good veteran centers who would contribute to a good campaign next season: Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman! How about that? As long as we don’t overpay them, why not? They are both quite good…

    Obviously, this only makes sense if Pringles is gone because he doesn’t know how to use them and won’t use them. You know, like he has done throughout the season. And I know our team isn’t good, but if you play defense against a team like the Jazz then you’re supposed to win on your homecourt. How is it possible not to improve in that area?

  33. If Nash retires after this season is over, what would be the implications for salary cap and money available for free agents this offseason? Sad to see him go out like this; I really wanted him to win a ring as a Laker.

  34. I loved that Hayward drive and layup over Kelly. You know, that play where Kelly has his back turned to the ball handler and is searching for his cover on the weakside. That’s the kind of play that should make a coach go ballistic. And don’t tell me he’s still learning, that was help defense 101…

    I’m glad it made the highlights, because I wanted to watch it again just to make sure.

  35. “Dear Steve:

    Please retire. We need to move on from this charade of rehabilitation, and the hope that you’ll get healthy and lead us up from the depths to which we have fallen. You’ve had a Hall of Fame career, and have carried yourself with class, but it’s over.”

    Amen!

  36. The Lakers have now gained a spot in the bottom 5, the perfect spot to win top 3.

  37. Ko, don’t take the food channel away from us! In all seriousness, though, I’m of the opinion that as much as we’d like to believe that the season is going to turn around and as hard as it is to watch the losses pile up, every loss benefits us. The closer we get to a top pick, the better.

    With regards to Nash, everyone else here has said it. His body looks like it’s given up on him and just can’t do it anymore. Retirement is probably the right thing for him here. But since this season is looking like a wash anyway, I really think that letting him continue to try to rehab and play through it may be a blessing in disguise. Every time he comes back and reinjures it within a few games has to take him closer and closer to the realization that his body just can’t withstand the game anymore. But we really ought to give the man a break. He’s one of the greats and he deserves the chance to try to retire on his own terms. It’s not like we’re developing a great young point guard who should be getting his minutes anyway, unless anyone here thinks Kendall Marshall is the future of the Lakers at the pg spot…

  38. Nefariousgnome,

    Since Farmar is also injured, I agree with you. When he comes back, I believe Farmar should get the lion’s share of PG minutes…

  39. Nash issue was wholly avoidable. Trading 2 picks for a washed up injury riddled Nash was stupid. Said it repeatedly at the time, and I am not in Lakers FO. It was easy to see.

    Mitch and Nash’s ego allowed him to play 10 games removing possible medical exception. They still may be able to get it if Nash retires now. There is no reason for him to ever play again for the Lakers. Nash is not part of the Lakers legacy any more so than Karl Malone or Gary Payton.

    At this point time to look forward at top draft picks like Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, etc.

    If Jordan Farmar gets healthy Lakers will win games and be exciting to watch again.

  40. Trey
    You just repeated my rant word for word on Laker talk last night. In addition tired if hearing how he feels he owed it to the Lakers. He owed it to his bank account all $27 million in my opinion.

    Can you imagine another year of this “Nash injured eating his Tuna sandwich today “. Not one good thing has happened to the Lakers since that signing. If he came from Costco you could return him for a full refund!

  41. Rusty Shackleford February 12, 2014 at 7:41 am

    It made me laugh when Luke Walton said Shawn Williams is playing like he doesn’t want to go back down to the D-League. Shawn doesn’t have to look any further than Manny Harris to see that he has one more 10-day contract at the most. Manny wasn’t retained and he was the only healthy shooting guard the Lakers had. #blounts&syrup

  42. Question regarding a possible Nash retirement:

    Had Nash not played his 10th game he would have been eligible for a medical retirement that would have paid him all the money left on his contract. That’s my understanding. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    But since he played his 10th game medical retirement is no longer an option. He can retire at the end of the season, but would he now forfeit the rest of the money left on his contract?

    If anyone knows please let me know. Thanks.

  43. Treylake — I’m right there with you. I remember being at a Fourth of July party the day that went down, and people there who knew I like the Laker kept coming up to say, “Congratulations, your team got Steve Nash.” Meanwhile, I wanted to puke because I saw they’d just dealt picks and nearly $30 million to a relic who couldn’t guard a player like Paul or Westbrook or Tony Parker when he was 27, let alone 37.

    I hated the Howard trade too, mainly because I never liked Howard. But from a basketball perspective, I could understand Jim Buss and Mitch’s intentions there. It didn’t work out as they hoped, but one could follow their logic, even if one disagreed.

    But the Nash deal? That never made sense on any level, from Day One. Absolutely one of the franchise’s worst moves ever.

  44. This news flash just in: Steve Nash has re-injured himself brushing his teeth. He has been placed in traction and is hanging from the ceiling. A witch doctor has been called in since all prior medical advice has failed.

    D’Antoni says he is “probable” for OKC.

  45. The Lakers are facing a downturn similar to an economic recession. Let me explain:

    When all economic systems are operating efficiently the economy grows. This is like when Kobe and Pau first teamed up – there was nothing but upside and smooth sailing ahead.

    When things start to slow down a little there are tricks that the government/Fed can play to keep up the appearances that things are fine. This is similar to the recent moves that the FO put in place to ‘extend’ Kobe’s championship window.

    However, at some point the economic growth engine stops and all of the policies that were put in place to prop it up have to be unwound. We’re seeing that now, the Lakers are left with aging stars an injury prone roster with little depth and few trade assets. Just like with a recession — fixing the Lakers is not going to be painless nor quick.

    Eventually, in economics, ingenuity takes the lead over fear — and growth begins to pick up again. For the Lakers this tipping point will be driven by talent acquisition. We just have to have faith that the FO will draft well and spend cap space wisely.

  46. Wow – nice reading above. I see questions about the Nash deal, Dwight Howard, Mike D’Antoni, etc.. The bottom line is none of them worked out. They are 3 of what I consider to be the 6 biggest decisions of the Jim Buss era The other three being the VETO trade, Mike Brown, and the Kobe extension. So I have 0-6 on my scorecard. Whether it is bad luck or not, when I play poker, if I had 6 bad beats in a row, I would leave the casino (what a concept !)
    TreyLake: “Nash is not part of the Lakers legacy any more so than Karl Malone or Gary Payton.” Well – I see your point. However Malone and Payton were both here for one year and went to the Finals. Are you not short changing them?

  47. Since people have been making some pretty vocal claims about not liking the Nash deal when it was made, I actually went back and looked at the July 2012 archives. Chris J did in fact express opposition to the deal, and brought up Goran Dragic as a better add. Give him credit there. The argument that the Nash deal never made sense at any level is demonstrably false, though, and Chris J’s posts on the subject from the time in question are fairly measured. Here is one of my own posts on the deal:

    ____________

    rr July 5, 2012 at 7:42 am

    The only thing I don’t like is the 2015 1st rounder, which, AFAIK, is not lottery-protected. That may sting real bad when the time comes. Also, the lineup, if they keep MWP, will be 39,34,33,32, and a slow 25-year-old if they keep Bynum.

    That said, Nash’s shooting, passing, handle and overall approach to the game made it worth doing, and I think all can agree we are much more excited about the 2013 Lakers than we were 24 hours ago.

    And the Lakers stuck it to Cuban.

    ___

    Others who have made these claims do not appear on the threads I have looked at saying so, which of course does not mean that they didn’t.

  48. Kings win! This is all we have left guys…

  49. Jazz win! Lakers are picking up momentum in the race to the bottom!

  50. Nice analogy Tim. Only problem is I wouldn’t ‘t trust Jr with my money or the keys to the economy. You need to build something before you can sustain it.

    Jim is like the mayor of Detroit and got the job because his dad left it to him. Nothing says he knows how to rebuild.

  51. The argument that the Nash deal never made sense at any level is demonstrably false, though

    ———

    I disagree, now and then, and here is why: Yes, Nash was a great shooter, had handle and was a good locker room guy at the time that deal was made. But he was nearing 40 and couldn’t defend well even as younger player. To tie up nearly $10 million a year, and give up high draft picks for what even a healthy Nash would have offered just didn’t make any sense to me then.

    In the 2002 playoffs, the Lakers were scorched by younger, faster, athletic guards. Ty Lawson averaged 19 a game in the first round, and vs. OKC Westbrook (25.6 ppg) and Harden (16 ppg playing less than 30 minutes per game off the bench) killed them almost as much as Durant. Tony Parker would have done the same had the Lakers made it past the Thunder. Chris Paul was in the division by then, and now there’s Bledsoe and Lillard, as well… Dragic, too. (That one still stings me, as he was a restricted free agent that summer.)

    Even then, more so now, the Lakers needed to get younger in the backcourt. For all Nash’s positives, his lack of speed and advanced age trumped everything else, which is why I say that deal never made good basketball sense. (Particularly when he would have been paired with an older Kobe.) The fact that his age likely added to his injuries only made the case for getting him even less solid, though we could only have speculated as much at the time.

  52. Chris J’s posts on the subject from the time in question are fairly measured.

    ——-

    They were measured. It was fair not to wholly judge the deal before the guy had ever suited up. But from the jump I said I was not sold on the deal, and would wait to see what else the front office had in store. I also wrote I did not see the addition of Nash putting that Lakers roster over the Thunder, and correctly said even the then yet-to-be-consummated Bynum-for-Howard deal would not accomplish that goal, either.

    I noted the roster needed someone who could “stay in front of burners like Westbrook/Tony Parker, or at least be quick enough to rotate out to guys like Harden.”

    I stand by every word I wrote at the time of the deal, and my comment earlier today that this was one of the worst deals in franchise history. I obviously didn’t know it would turn out this badly two summers ago, but the concerns in place then unfortunately came to fruition– in spades.

  53. What’s not being said by Chris J is that the Lakers had no chance at a guy like Dragic. They used their TPE from the Odom/Mavs trade to make the Nash deal. The picks were the enticement to get the Suns to trade. We can speculate that a similar deal would have fetched Dragic, but the Rockets renounced him in order to make the Lin & Asik deals in RFA that were high money contracts.

    The Nash deal must be viewed through the lens of signing Sessions to a contract that he wanted or not having either Nash or Sessions and going into the season with only the mini-MLE to sign a PG or going with only Blake and Morris (and later Duhon after the Howard trade). In that scenario their TPE from the Odom deal also expires without being used and they have nothing to show for that trade. It was fair to wonder how much Nash would help and be skeptical. But all the metrics showed Sessions being a poor defender while also having a poor playoffs overall. Replacing him wasn’t something many were upset about at the time.

  54. which is why I say that deal never made good basketball sense.

    The Lakers erred in constructing that team by failing to add a couple of young athletes to the core that could help with the perimeter defense; it was a case of having too many guys with the same weaknesses. Many people, including me, expressed concern about the perimeter defense at the time. The Ebanks/Morris/Duhon part of the roster was very damaging to that team given the injuries that the 2012/13 Lakers had. The idea behind the team was that the offense would be Top 5, and that Howard would drag the defense into the top 10-12, which would get the team into contention. For a variety of reasons, it didn’t happen, although the team did manage to go 28-13 over the second half once Howard started moving better and the team defensive numbers improved. As to Nash’s age and injury history, that was why the deal was a gamble. You can argue that it was a bad gamble as opposed to a good one, but there is not much of an argument to be made that it was a foolish, senseless move. In concert with the Howard add, and with the circumstances that Darius notes. it made sense in many ways–which is why most observers endorsed it.

    And, if you are going to talk about Howard in terms of not getting the team past the Thunder, and how correct you were about that, you should also note that the interior defense has fallen apart entirely without him, as many here correctly predicted that it would. Houston, meanwhile, pushed their record to 36-17 with their eighth straight win tonight. As I said a few days ago, the 2014 Lakers can be added to the list of teams whose record cratered when they lost a top-tier center for little or no compensation. The lesson of Howard’s departure is encapsulated by the fact that many people in the fan base are now openly hoping that the Lakers will get a chance to draft Joel Embiid, who is a fine prospect–but who will probably never be as good as Howard.

  55. Just curious.

    Who was the last starting PG the Lakers had who was a top defender?

  56. Gary Payton when he was at home reviewing the biggest coaching blunder in the NBA Finals… (hint: it involves George Karl)

  57. To those who think the 2015 1st rounder we sent to Phoenix wasn’t protected, it is. Its top 5 protected. Should we be top 5 again next season (God, I hope not) then we will retain the pick and transmit them the next available pick in 2016 and 2017 but only top 3 protected then.

    If we are top 3 in 2016 which is VERY unlikely after being top 5 in 2015, and top 3 again in 2017 after being top 3 in 2016, we give the 2018 1st rounder unprotected to Phoenix but at the same time extinguish our obligation to Orlando by giving them 2 2nd rounders in 2017 and 2018.

    PS I doubt we will be a lottery team next season.

  58. In the battle for Ping-Pongs this was a great loss, and several other results are helping right now. Looks like a top 5 ranking is possible. That would be great.

  59. Re the Nash signing, I think it’s also relevant to consider that it followed shortly after the Lakers lost CP3, courtesy of David Stern and the Veto.
    FO probably figured that a hall of fame PG like Nash, even in the last stages of his career, would be a huge upgrade from Sessions and once Howard was obtained, it looked, on paper at least, like we had the makings of the greatest P&R combo in history. Their 28-13 finish last year was a fairly strong indicator that things were heading in the right direction at least.
    For example, the Dallas Mavericks won just a title with an aging Jason Kidd at the point and with Tyson Chandler anchoring the defense.
    I recall hearing a lot of complaints about Derek Fisher’s lack of speed, and that guards like Westbrook and Parker blew by him consistently.
    But Westbrook and Parker blow by everyone. That’s why they’re all-stars.
    The Lakers won five titles with Derek Fisher.
    The level of vitriol aimed at Nash at this point is a bit shocking.
    Rather than piling on Nash for doing his best to honor his contract, I am instead a bit saddened and respectful of this innovative legend as he publicly faces his professional mortality with all the dignity and grace he can muster.
    From a financial standpoint, I assume (not sure) that by playing out this season, he fulfills his contract – and the team can then exercise the stretch provision, paying him 3 mil for the following 3 years instead of 9 mil next year.
    I don’t know Nash’s financial condition, but I do know he is divorced and has children.
    I challenge anyone on FBG to honestly say they’d forego $9 million on the eve of retirement just to satisfy the bloodlust of a disappointed and vicious public.

  60. And another thing :)
    Nash isn’t the cause of the team’s troubles at this point. In his limited minutes he isn’t stunting the growth of Marshall, who has a long career ahead of him and I’m sure is thrilled with the opportunity he’s getting. And Farmar is injured too!
    Even if Steve Nash retired today, the Lakers would still be lottery-bound.
    All I’m saying is, let’s give the guy a break.

  61. Warren

    Me to but just in case Lakers need to hire Mr. Peabuddy to figure out draft status.

    By the way Griffin and Paul are the best 1-2 in NBA right now. Scary good.

  62. I look at everyone on the Lakers as an expendable asset other then Kobe. I see people saying they don’t want to trade X player because they want them back next year, hey we have his bird rights! Things like that matter when you are trying to hold a title contender together. This is a complete strip down and rebuild. Even the guys the Lakers will offer to come back are not going get offers that they could not find elsewhere. The FO really should just be looking to extract as many picks as they possibly can before heading out into the market this summer with a check book. Signing free agents and accepting salaries from other teams for desirable players.

    I find the constant nitpicking of every game where x player didn’t get enough minutes just iritating. No coach with this cast of players with this many injuries and this record is bringing home an NBA trophy.

    I have high hopes for next year and have faith in the FO getting it done.

  63. Hindsight is always 20/20 obviously. We all have our track records as to which of these deals we favored or not at the time. I obviously out came against both coaching decisions, and losing DH, but I was OK with most of the Nash deal (3 years was too long and we slightly overpaid, but overall I was OK). I was also opposed to the KB extension (while appreciating that we would keep KB). But who cares? The point is that the FO made/or did not make all of these moves. Whether Robert, rr, Darius, Chris J or anyone else favored or did not favor these, does not change the track record. And yes you can cite extenuating circumstances as to why these things did not work out (such as the VETO, injuries, people not getting along, players acting unprofessionally, etc.), but that also does not change things. The Lakers major decisions of the past 3 years have all turned out badly. One or two bad decisions can be attributed to luck and circumstance but when it starts to go up to 5-6 bad decisions then it is more than that. We certainly do not have the luck of Jerry Buss (RIP) – at this point – and that is another fact.

  64. hey darius: in the interest of reverse psychology, let me just put this out there just so that it will get in everyone’s crawl and hopefully will get to we all know who:

    THE BOSTON CELTICS, NOT THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS WILL RECOVER FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE MALADIES SOONER AND WILL BE ONCE AGAIN A WINNER AND RESPECTED PROFESSIONAL NBA BASKETBALL TEAM.

    pass it on.

    Go lakers

  65. @Tim, that analogy of the Lakers was priceless.
    @Robert, I generally agree with you, however I’ll have to correct that record of 0-6, to 1-5. I’m sure you know which move young Buss made that appeals to me.

    I can always come to this site and read good articles about the Lakers, and from the posters I get a good chuckle and on occasion an actual ‘spit take’, because some of you are quite humorous.

  66. C.Hearn: Out of respect I am also going to change my count to 0.5 – 5.5 : )
    Tim: C Hearn’s post caused me to read yours which I missed originally. So I like your comparison, however in an economic downturn, the President usually takes the blame and the people get to vote him out. We will have no such opportunity. We are in a monarchy (literally). So this is not a 21st century economic downturn. Rather it is a 12th century famine known as the Dark Ages. I for one am hoping for the Renaissance and the arrival of a new King.

  67. Robert-“I for one am hoping for the Renaissance and the arrival of a new King.”

    Likewise :)

  68. And, if you are going to talk about Howard in terms of not getting the team past the Thunder, and how correct you were about that…

    ———–

    Re-read my statements and don’t add your own context to it.

    My point there wasn’t critical of Howard; I was saying that adding Howard and Nash were not enough to put the Lakers ahead of the likes of Oklahoma. I felt more was needed. I’ve ripped Howard plenty, but in that case my criticism was not directed at him; it was merely stating that he alone was not enough, and Howard paired with Nash was not enough.

    I had later hoped that the addition of Meeks to that pair would add the outside shooting/defensive quickness that was previously lacking, but it just didn’t come together last season.

    As to Darius’ remarks about Dragic, admittedly, landing him would have been a long shot — basically hoping he’d sign for an MLE. Slim chance, I know.. That said, Dragic was more reflective of the type of player I wanted the Lakers to pursue. D.J. Augustin was available that summer, as was Aaron Brooks and Jordan Farmar. Nash had the better resume, but I had hoped the Lakers would go younger, more athletic — but not Sessions after his playoff flameout.