Preview and Chat: Lakers vs. Rockets

Darius Soriano —  February 19, 2014

UPDATE: Well, the first trade domino has fallen. Steve Blake has been traded to the Warriors for Marshon Brooks and Kent Bazemore, per Ken Berger of CBS Sports.

I’ll have more on this later, but my first thought is that I will miss Blake’s competitiveness and how he carried himself on and off the court. The man played hard all the time and always talked about his play within the context of the team, rather than his individual successes or failures. Winning teams need players like him and I think he’ll do well in Golden State — a team that sorely needs another capable ball handler and a guy who can play behind and next to Steph Curry in the backcourt. I wish nothing but the best to Blake and his family moving forward and wouldn’t mind it if he found his way back to Los Angeles next year to rejoin the team (whether that is likely or not, I’ve no clue).

After a much needed break for All-Star weekend, the Lakers are back in action tonight facing off against the Houston Rockets. For all the time off, however, the Lakers will still be shorthanded tonight as Pau Gasol will sit out due to continued issues with his groin strain along with Steve Nash also not available due to his nerve-root irritation (and an upper respiratory infection.

The team will have Jodie Meeks back, though, and he will be joined by Jordan Farmar who will also return from his strained hamstring. Meeks will be available for his normal minutes load, but Mike D’Antoni would like to limit Farmar to 20 minutes (or less) as he works his way back into the rotation. That leaves a starting lineup of Marshall, Blake, Wes Johnson, Ryan Kelly, and Kaman and a bench of Farmar, Hill, Meeks, and Sacre. It’s funny how nine players dressing seems like a lot these days, but that’s where we are with the Lakers.

The other news around the Lakers, of course, is the potential for the players they do have to soon be playing for other teams. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Lakers are said to be discussing multiple options with several of their front court players, including deals that would send Hill, Kaman, and even Gasol to new teams for either salary cap relief, draft picks, or both/neither. Teams the Lakers are supposedly talking with are the Hawks (injured player exception for Al Horford), the Nets (ditto, but for Brook Lopez), the Cavs, and the Suns.

For what it’s worth, I’d support trades of any of those players should the haul include any combination of picks, young players who have promise, or enough salary cap relief that gets the team under the luxury tax line this season. That last point is important because deals that shed salary need to get the team under the tax or they aren’t as worthwhile, at least in my opinion. Turning this season into one of the two consecutive years the team would be under the tax will help with flexibility in signing players over the next couple of summers and allow the team to have a longer window as a high payroll team over the next 5 seasons. If you’re in support of the Lakers needing to spend big money and not have to worry about the repeater tax — a tax that many teams will simply not be willing to pay — getting under the tax line as soon as possible is a worthwhile goal. That said, cutting payroll and not getting under the tax only saves money, and while that may be good for business, it doesn’t have as much tangible benefit in terms of team building and roster construction. I will always try to judge deals on all the factors and that includes what, if anything, comes back and how that can be used to help create a winning team in the near or immediate future.

In getting back to tonight’s game, the big story is Dwight’s return to Los Angeles but I’d be lying if I said that had much meaning to me. Not because of any ill will I hold towards Dwight or because of some silly idea that he was never a “real Laker”, but because this version of the Lakers has little to no connection to the team Dwight played on. Of the active players, only Blake, Hill, Meeks, and Sacre were even teammates of Dwight and with Pau and Kobe both out I just can’t find the energy to think that his return takes on some extra meaning beyond him being a former Laker. Yes, I understand his departure was ugly and I know that fans at the arena (and in comment sections of sites just like this one) will be merciless in their reaction to him tonight, but for me I can’t muster that same hate level. He’s a Rocket and he made a choice that he thought made the most sense for him. I’m not going to cry over spilled milk; what’s done is done.

The Lakers will have to deal with him tonight, however, and that will be an issue. He’s putting up numbers similar to what he posted last year, but it’d be silly to think he’s the same player. His explosiveness has returned and his effectiveness on D has gone up as a result. He’s still a beast around the rim and with his first step resembling what it was in past years, he’s able to create better looks for himself offensively. The Lakers will also need to keep him off the offensive glass where he’s always been very good. So, a lot of burden will be placed at the feet of Chris Kaman and Robert Sacre (and maybe even Jordan Hill) to try and play physically with Dwight and take him out of his comfort zone.

Also key will be trying to slow the perimeter attack of the Rockets which is led by James Harden, but supplemented nicely by Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, and stretch PF Terrence Jones. All three are capable of hitting from the outside and are deadly in transition so tracking them all over the floor in both the half court and in transition will be key. Harden is especially dangerous as he is a monster in both isolation and in the P&R and will look to get into the teeth of the defense to create shots for himself or teammates while also drawing a ton of fouls. Considering the Lakers’ depth issues, they can ill afford to have too many of their wings hampered with foul trouble. Not only will that limit their minutes, but it will hamper their effectiveness and lower their aggression level on both ends.

Ultimately, while X’s and O’s will be important, I think the biggest keys to this game will really come down to energy and playing smart. If the Lakers can play hard for 48 minutes, keep their fouls down, and move the ball well to get the Rockets’ D into some scramble situations that lead to open shots, they will probably be competitive for long stretches. That’s a tall task, however, and with only nine players they will have their work cut out for them. But if there is any time to be able to pull it off, it’s coming out of the break where they have fresh legs and are facing an opponent who will instantly have the crowd frothing at the mouth.

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

Darius Soriano

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80 responses to Preview and Chat: Lakers vs. Rockets

  1. Blake traded for 2 D leaguers from Warriors.

  2. D-leaguers maybe, but its a look towards the future. I like it.

    Gonna Miss Steve Blake alot. #whitemamba

  3. Steve Blake has just been traded per Mike Bresnahan. Steve Blake just acknowledged he’s been traded, says he’ll miss L.A. Didn’t rule out returning to Lakers in free agency in July.

  4. Basemore, Brooms, Kelly, Marshall and Williams could be your starting team by Friday.

    Not the D-Fenders

    The Los Angeles Lakers

  5. Love it. Great job Mitch. The trade saves $$ and increases chances of losing more, and thus getting higher pick. Hill, Kaman, and gasol better be dumped tomorrow. Team sucks with or without these guys. Might as well get under tax line and play d leaguers.

  6. I actually like marshon brooks – but he is more of a gunner like player in a nick young mode and he played well for the nets early in his career when he was starting but then got pushed to the bench = if we are going after guys like this I would love for us to get tyshon taylor from the nets – another Pgish player that was good in college but it seems like the nets have given up on him

    This will help us with more ping pong balls – I agree that over the 1.5 years Blake finally played his worth in terms of his contract but I hated his first few years here.

  7. darius: feels like the beginning of a busy front office workload ahead (for the next 24 hours or less); hopefully netting a star or two in a multiple team trade/transaction.

    thank you jerry west for assisting in getting the ball rolling back in laker favor. once and forever a laker.

    like you darius, hard to get up for tonite’s game versus the rockets. will keep one eye on the game and the other on the lower scroll on espn for another potential laker trade; and/or further development.

    good luck to you steve blake.

    Go lakers

  8. @ko Hilarious – brooms …. love that the humor is really getting out there these past few day

    Renato’s WWE Kaman line killed me

  9. So we save about 2 million on the cap with the trade

  10. I’m really going to miss Steve Blake. I appreciate that he plays hard and overachieves. Good luck to you Steve! Also, with this trade, it seems like Hill is definitely gone as they try to get under the tax line. Is Pau gone too?

  11. Good luck to Blake with the Warriors, he’s still in California and playing for a fun and exciting team. Thanks for your time with the Lakers.

    Funny Bazemore and Brooks are the exact type of players many on this board are advocating that the Lakers lose games to obtain in the draft. Both of those players were high draft picks. It looks as though the Lakers are going with this coach next season…sigh!

    LOL, I can’t wait to hear the comments after the Lakers lose games this year and draft players that aren’t capable of winning games.

    The ‘unknown’ is exactly why I’ve liked in the past about the Lakers system of letting other teams draft players to see if they can play in the NBA, and once they prove that they can,the Lakers would get those players via trade or free agency.

    That being said, I’d still draft Embiid if he were available.

  12. Bazemore went undrafted and Brooks was a late 1st round pick that hasn’t panned out – but I agree with the sentiment that have picks doesnt mean anything – see Wolves, Cavaliers, Bobcats, Bucks and you could argue even the magic since they are still losing a ton of games.

  13. Gave him away….money savings is relatively nothing…. Both players coming here are fa.A second round pick wouldve been nice…

  14. Well who needs another point guard?

    Lakers have Steve Nash at $9 a year. No problem.

    3 guys on bench again. Seen this before.

  15. LOL. I didn’t think Darius knew the trade machine existed… Seriously though. Can anyone deny that this is pretty much purely a money saving/tax dodging move? Which means…

  16. C. Hearn both players are young 1 yndrafted and the other a late 1st rounder, i doubt ANY team in the league would give even a top pick bust for Blake, dont get me wrong i like him and was happy when he signed with the Lakers and gave us some moments and is a pro but we need to shed that salary, and guards tend to thrive in MDA system, i have a a clue about these new guys yet, if they dont pan out oh well it dont matter, i dont expect anything from them unless you expected the Dubs were trading Curry or Iggy for Blake. It was a salary dump and a gamble to see if there is something salvageable from these guys. Why did i knew that Ko was going to complain about it? Oh yeah he still hoping we making the playoffs…

  17. According to Amin Elhassan of ESPN he believes this is the trade summary: Brooks cant be combined in trade. This was 3 separate deals. Blake to TPE. Brooks to TPE. Bazemore to minimum salary exception.

    I will miss Steve Blake, wish him the best in Golden State.

  18. savings are enough and we get worse – now it takes 1 more trade to get out of the tax

    right now according to hoopshype we are at 79 million and the tax line is 71 million … but this includes min level contracts to a bunch of guys that I dont think count against the cap as they get partially paid by the league.

    Overall I think we needed to lose 4 million in salary to get under the tax line which would mean that we will be giving away at least 1 other player.

    anyone know the specifics on this

  19. Oops thanks, Bazemore was undrafted, and Marshon was a late first round pick.

  20. good luck Steve, you´re now staring at the playoffs in the face – & thanks
    funny timing, that 3 he drained in dh´s face back in Houstonwas one of the lone highlights all season, & tonight we got `em again.

  21. ESPN trade machine states that [this trade](http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ma33dcd) cannot be made as Marshon Brooks cannot be traded in combination with another player.

    This could be structured as two different trades though : [Brooks+trade exception for Blake](http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=l6n55xg) and [Bazemore for some consideration](http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ns5qp5s) (cash/protected second round pick/whatever).

    I figure this means that either the Lakers really wanted Kent Bazemore, or that the warriors really wanted to get rid of him/his salary. (since the Lakers salary dump could have been made anyway)

  22. Brooks went to the Nets before the Lakers got to pick and I believe they wanted him at one time. Nick Young-mode because his game was modeled after Kobe. I can’t say that I’ve watched enough of him to know if he’s a diamond in the rough but this is the year to find out.

    I was not a fan of the Steve Blake signing but I have to admit that he’s played well this year when healthy and I do feel sad that he’s going because he’s going to be removed from his family. However, that’s the business and he’s being compensated well for it. Good luck and success, Steve.

    Now, Mitch, set Hill and Kaman free.

    Boo, Rockets. Go, Lakers.

  23. Shaun picks mean something when there is a draft that is suposedly the deepest one in 11 years and looks like we have a shot at getting someone worthwhile, every other year i agree with you, and i doubt the Lakers are done dealing so we might end up with one or 2 picks after all. I dont expect a new Kobe or Magic none of that, i wish for a solid dependable player anything more is a bonus.

  24. I live in canada so I dont get all the games, so this is my first in a while.. but watching these guys its pretty depressing – kelly is so bad but somewhat enjoying us being tied so far

  25. Is the coach not going to bring a 2nd guy when Dwight has ball? Chris will fouls out by half.

  26. Marshall is not bad in dantoni’s system and I believe we have a cheap lakers option on him for year 2 so it looks like he is a lock to stay with the team next year.

    I just mean that the picks we will likely get for rentals will likely not mean much – weve seen almost all of our own 2nd rounders not pan out

    going back to 2000 – luke walton, turiaf, ebanks, morris, goudelock, sacre and kelly actually saw court time and to me Luke was the only one that actually had value but I loved seeing ”Predator” on the bench

  27. Mr.Minus Robert Sacre.

    Worst player in league.

  28. In terms of guys I would like to see n the team next year – Farmar, Marshall, Meeks, Hill and Gasol/Kobe

    I’m hoping Nash gets stretched , gasol gets resigned at 10-12 million or less and we go after 1-2 not top but mid tier free agents in the 5-10 million range for david west type 2 year deals – would keep us competitive forthe next 2 years and if our pick turns out to be a parker or wiggans and kobe comes back strong we could make some unexpected noise …. but we would need to change coaches … we simply cant not play defense … maybe we can steal thibs

    NM for the game being tied

  29. Marshon was decent with the Nets, and I too believe that the Lakers coveted him when he was drafted. He needs volume shots to be an effective scorer.

    Hopefully, the Lakers can convince Bazemore to play defense and be an opportunistic scorer…not possible the Lakers don’t play defense.

  30. I agree there Shaun, if we get a pick for Pau and/ or Hill it most probably be late 1st and /or 2nd rounders, i would he fine with just a late 1st rounder. Dont really like to see too many rookies on the team 1 or 2 are fine.

  31. Shaun – i’m in Fort Mcmurray watching live streams for free right now,

    here’s the link, have been able to watch all Laker games nprb online

    http://www.drakulastream.eu/basketball-live-streaming-video.html

  32. Marshall look over matched tonight. 4 TO in 1st half? This game will not be pretty.

  33. I used to watch them all on front row sports the past few years but lets just say that the motivation hasn’t been there this year

    must be hard living in the oil fields but i’m guessing youre making a killing – you live there your whole life or move there for the work? Ive had like 3-4 friends move out there so far.

    Also for everyone else – fort mcmurray is where a good part of our oil production is in canada and, Jerke, correct me if im wrong, but almost everyone make 6 figures because there is a big discrepancy between people and work – Ive heard of stories where recruiters walk into places like McDonalds and offer everyone like a 5K signing bonus is they leave on the spot to work for their fast food joint across the street.

    If anyone on the board is looking for a place to make good money fort mcmurray could be an option

  34. you know whats funny – because we have so few players we cant play hack a howard

    hahahah – kelly trying to do a layup … hilarious

  35. My gosh is Kelly just an embarrassment? Another 1 for 6 shooting under 30% last 6 games. And the guy STARTS.

  36. Dwight is just embarrassing the non athletic Kaman. Snatched his shot out of the air as if Kaman was a 5 year old.

  37. Remaining players are ones no one in the NBA wants. Except Mitch and Jimmy.

    No wonder Time Warner sold last month.

    What a bad bunch.

  38. Lakers with 13 rebounds, Rockets have 14 offensive rebounds. Rebounding remains an issue for the Lakers.

  39. I read somewhere that if we trade Kaman and Hill we can keep Pau. I don’t know what I would go here. I love Pau, but keeping Pau could mean no Love in future. Decidions. Decisions.

  40. Based on tonight I think they have a good shot at top 3 draft.

    8th home lose in a row. A franchise record that will never be broken .

  41. If they resign Pau this summer I’m officially done watching this team.

  42. In my 40 years if being a Laker fan, this team and talent is the low point ever.

    No more excuses.

    Just a bad front office, players, scouts and coach.

    The worst ever in my opinion.

  43. Lakers is the nice organization, they help Golden State team or they want to get number one draft pick overall ? let’s find out when the season is over.

  44. yeah in my now 20 years following the team this is the worst they have ever been

    I actually like the idea of them resigning Pau – he was playing at 20-10 numbers before this last injury and him and kobe do gel well together …. look considering how bad we are this will most likely take a few years to get better

  45. Laker pride is a thing of the past.

  46. Last place in West.

  47. Don’t sleep on Marshon – he dropped 52 in college. The kid’s got upside.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQFhRBB8LQo

  48. D’Antoni thought his guys gave a good effort. Probably they were just tired after all the work they did over the break.

  49. Avidon

    This team is chocked full of guys who were really good Collage players and failed several times in the NBA. Add 2 more.

    Is this the new LA Lakers?

  50. Man, laker pride is a thing of the past? Looks like it sure is. As much as we’d like to believe that the Lakers are some mystical franchise that never goes through lulls, etc., but the fact of the matter is, it happens to every franchise. If we’re going to go through a lull, it’s pretty accepted that the easiest way to get better is to bottom out and build through the draft, or attract free agents. While injuries have kind of forced our hand this year, I’m not sure I can see it as anything other than a blessing in disguise. Our salary cap situation remains the same moving forward AND we increase our chances of a higher draft pick. I get that it’s hard to root for a team that’s losing constantly, but with the talent that’s available night in and night out, is anyone really that surprised? man, talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees.

  51. There’s more to team building than the draft and acquiring players. Vision and respect at the top. A winning philosophy, an identity. Great coaching. Demanding excellence.

  52. Breaking news!

    Jim buss traded the entire Laker team for the future rights for Cliff Paul! Jim yelled” Ha Stern I finally got him”

    No one had the heart to tell him it’s just a fake commercial. Lakers cheer squad to start aganist Celtics on Friday.

  53. Damn what a shellacking, but we beat this team before how could this be? Its not like the team is injured and its missing 5 players from back then and none if the starters from that day is available, oh wait they do and no they are not. I forgot the hysteria/whinning/spoiled effect. We are losing games like this because we are the most injury depleted team in the entire league by a mile. We are missing the playoffs we have a bunch of bench players that almost certainly will be gone after the season is over. The season is lost, done, over, too many catasthropic injuriers, if the Heat or Indy or any elite team lose their top 5 players to injuries they would not make the playoff either no matter who is in the FO. We have a D league team because what is still standing is end of bench players and we have 2 guys that can help returning from being sidelined for a while due to u guess it, injuries!!. Rest Kobe the rest of the season blow up the team and start from scratch next season. People act like” we need to make an impact in the trade deadline, thats the push we need to make the playoffs!” Please, the team is lost because of a million injuries. Shed salary get ready for the draft and start from there. This been a freak season we be lucky if we win 25 games. People need to stop the whinning and consider the million of adverse circuntances this team had to endure this season.

  54. “There’s more to team building than the draft and acquiring players. Vision and respect at the top. A winning philosophy, an identity. Great coaching. Demanding excellence.”

    Yes. You’re totally right. We need everything, starting with a good owner (well, his record isn’t good at all so far). Then we need a good GM (I think we’re ok with Kupchak). After that comes the coach (the only coach worse than MDA in the NBA is Mike Brown. So… we couldn’t be worse). The combination of those three guys gives you a winning organization, a system, respect at the top, etc. Then you need players that fit your system and talent. How can we work on the player front if the coach/owner combo is just terrible?

    We need to look at San Antonio. Granted that Tim Duncan was very important to them, but they keep finding good players late in the draft. They keep finding veteran free agents that fit what they do. And they keep winning… You know what they have? Great scouting, an amazing coach and an owner that recognizes that and simply let the people who “know” do their thing.

    On the game itself, it really was a bad game and matchup for Kaman. Doesn’t change anything. If Gasol was healthy, Kaman would give us 20 minutes per game and be effective in those minutes.

    And thanks Shaun.

  55. “He’s having a great year there, but I felt he did the same thing here,” Lakers guard Jodie Meeks said. “The numbers are almost identical. He had a pretty good year last year — and for whatever reason, some people didn’t think so.”

  56. Is it just me or alot of us here doesn’t get how the sausage is made? The Lakers are doing exactly as they should right now, and when we don’t lose more another set of complainers are sprouting out.

    The Steve Blake deal is one I had predicted. I still don’t get why we wait till the deadline to do it, but it happened exactly as I predicted. The only difference is that I didn’t think we’d get a free look at Bazemore and Brooks till seasons’ end. So chances are Mitch chose to get them so we can get a little bit of more healthier bodies.

    Expect Kaman or Hill to move within the next couple of hours. Could be both.

  57. Warren i believe they would had move him earlier but he was injured for a while ,hard to move a hurt player especially if a team like the Dubs need him right away.

  58. Yep. And Warren, the problem isn’t what we need to do now. It’s obvious that Kaman and Hill won’t resign with us due to all that has been pounded to the ground. We’re better off trading them for younger pieces/cap relief/draft picks as we can all agree. The problem lies in the path that led us here and that’s why I’m worried… The rebuild is easier when you have a competent owner, great scouts and good training and conditioning staff. I’m not sure we have those and without them getting a good rookie may not mean anything…

  59. This season has been over for a while now. The only thing that matters for the Lakers is getting below the tax line this year and next to avoid the repeater tax.
    For me, I’m withholding judgement on Jim Buss as owner. Kupchak is a good GM. They have put together some deals which no one believed were possible. The decisions I hold against Buss are the firing of the scout staff during the lockout and the coaching hires. These two decisions have had the most deleterious effect upon the Lakers beside injuries.
    D’Antoni is not a good coach. But, there is no reason to replace D’Antoni at this point. The Lakers would still have to pay him his (I believe $9M) salary while paying a top tier coach when they don’t have any realistic chance of contending next year.
    The plan moving forward which makes the most sense to me is to shed salary; get a good draft pick(no guarantee how the player will actually turn out); sign a bunch of players to 1 year deals or trade for players on expiring contracts; and reload in 2015. The reload would include hiring a top tier coach. The repeater tax will not be an issue and the Lakers can move forward with a definite design.
    If the Lakers can keep Young, Farmar, Johnson, and Henry, sans injuries, the Lakers could still be fun to watch because the players on the team will be scrapping for their next contract just like earlier this season.

  60. The decisions I hold against Buss are the firing of the scout staff during the lockout …
    ___
    completely agree, firing the scout staff struck me as…unseemly i guess the word would be.
    ___
    Allow me to remind some of you fellas that the CP3 deal, which HAD ALREADY BEEN AGREED UPON before, i think it was Fern who said `his statelyness´ or something to that end, D. `I think I need to take a good, long crap on a stroied franchise´ Stern stepped in as `owner´ and nixed it has really been, IMO, a malignant thorn on the side of our FO.

    With that in mind, Warren has got it right (February 20, 2014 at 5:19 am), Mitch & Jim are taking the most rational course of action at this juncture, considering the ongoing repercussions of that ill-fated CP3 `no-deal´. (To be sure, I am not taking an apologist´s stance on Jim or the FO.)

  61. woops, excuse the typos!

  62. What Fern said!
    There’s really no reason to gripe about how guys are playing or how the coaches are doing; it’s just a mess because of the injuries.
    On the defensive side, we have no rim protector and way too many players in & out of the line-up to play any kind of team defense consistently. If I understand it correctly, I don’t like the defensive scheme that Rambis has implemented, but with guys injured and half the team coming up from the d-league and no training camp, I don’t expect much.

  63. After trading Blake, is it ok to call it a tank now?
    Maybe Brooks is a decent prospect, but if we were in the playoff hunt and we wanted wins now, we’d have kept Blake.

    Steve Blake had established himself as a gamer, an unselfish team-first guy capable of a triple double or making a game-winning shot.
    He will be missed here and no doubt he will be appreciated by the Warriors.

  64. speaking of the nixed CP3 trade, Bill Simmons mentioned it in a column recently and pointed out that in retrospect, the pieces the hornets/pelicans got in return for CP3 actually would’ve been significantly better in the nixed trade than what actually happened. The only difference is that the pieces they got back were so bad that they were terrible enough to snag the top pick and get anthony davis. and yes, i know everyone’s tired of rehashing that whole debacle, but reading about it brought back memories that made me need to rant and my non-laker fan friends are all sick of me ranting about it.

  65. Jesse,
    Great organizations and coaches don’t make excuses for poor play, regardless of injuries, no matter how extensive. Actual NBA coaches say things like “next man up” and “we have enough”. Contrast Thibodeau for example, whose team ended Miami’s long winning streak last year despite a rash of injuries at the top end of their roster, to Coach D’aaaa, who won’t hesitate to seize on any available excuse (“wait till Nash gets back”).

  66. Whole heartily agree with Fern. This team is bad as it is because of injuries. As to why we got 2 players back from the Warriors? It keeps the Warriors out of the tax issue by sending back a little salary. The Lakers will need a few cheap contracts to finish out the season anyway.

  67. Although its a tough pill to swallow, it should be obvious to most we are in rebuilding mode. I suspect (or speculate) that the FO will try to dump Pau or Hill and Kaman to get under the cap this year and thus reset for a rebuild this summer.

    No one really wanted this to happen, but its here none the less. Its useless to dwell on the what-ifs of the CP3 veto or the Howard resigning. These things did not happen so no point in dwelling in the past (except maybe to understand how things can be improved going forward). I know we all want ‘chips right away, but we need to rebuild and reload. I truly believe this is the smart move to make going forward. You can cry about Jim, Mitch, failed trades, failed signings and whatever you want to cry about, but the best thing to do right now is hit the reset button and move forward – even if that means no ring for Kobe in the next two years. It sucks, but that is life.

  68. Blizzard – I disagree. Coaches make excuses all the time. Why do you think they complain about missed calls all the time? Also, coaches engage in plenty of what-if analysis. For example, Doc Rivers said that if he had a healthy Garnett, the Celts would have beaten the Lakers. Heck, even Phil Jackson said that if Bynum and Ariza were healthy that first finals, the outcome may have been different. And these are two “actual NBA coaches” with championship pedigrees.

  69. I have to shake my head at the team building comments. This is year one!!! I wont harp about the VETO anymore that dead horse is been beaten into dust. What we got? Howard left even after that, the people that actually know lauded the FO bc they assembled a competent roster out of that debacle, the team started ok and the plan was rebuild thru free agency without sacrificing the team competiveness this season was an audition to see who stay and who goes like the Lakers has done before, well that plan went down the crapper, kaput! we all know why and now the Lakers are triying to shed salary and position themselves to get younger and get under that cap albatross this team has on his neck like seems forever. Jim Buss has make some mistakes but i believe his attempts to bring the Lakers back to contention has been very good, no other team has made the attempts that this team has to go back to contention in the last 2 years this FO has made isnot even close. A rational Laker fan must give the entire organization a pass this season because this rash of injuries are something nobody could predict or control. Starting from this draft foward is were im going to start judging the decision this team will made, i have enough faith that this team will start moving in the right direction right away because a season like this could not be repeated, i dont expect a contender right away but whatever team we assemble next season cant be worse than this catastrophe we have endured this season. And PurpleBlood i refered to Stern as Empero Palpatine from the Star Wars movies, put a black hood on him and he is the Dark Lord of the Sith, at least for Laker fans lol

  70. I work for the Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State’s D-League Affiliate) as their primary statistician during games. Marshon Brooks is garbage. Very much a gunner like one of the other commentators stated. Frequently dribbles with his head down getting into trouble, then ends up leaving his feet to loft terrible passes, gambles on D and frequently commits atrocious fouls. Granted, some of this may be because he was just trying to get his numbers and could care less about our team chemistry or style of play in SC, but the guy did not stick out as a NBA level basketball player AT ALL.

    Bazemore on the other hand has shown flashes of having an NBA talent level and genuinely seemed to buy into our culture in Santa Cruz. He may have jacked up a ton of shots while he was down here, but he also bailed us out of a few losses with late game heroics. He’s not there yet, but he’s got potential.

  71. MannyP: “hit the reset button and move forward ” That is precisely what many of us want to do : ) However, are we saying we have to move forward with Jim, Mitch, Mike, a $23 million Kobe for 2 Years, less than our fair share of draft picks, an unhappy and soon to be gone set of big men (Pau, Kaman, and Hill), and a few decent bench guys? That is not hitting reset. Reset would be a clean slate and a path forward. We are far from that. Not reset, but rather, what that is doing is saying:
    It is what it is.
    And to that I fully agree : )

  72. Thanks for the insight Trevor really appreciate it, it rings true with what i have read around so far, the Lakers really like Bazemore and he is the one they are more willing to develop. brooks looks like a throw in.

  73. So what u want Robert? Run the team yourself? Jim Buss is goin to be there like it or not unless you have a billion dollars to buy him and all his siblings out. Deal with it.

  74. Robert: I hear you buddy, but you can’t fire the team ownership. Like I said before, we all better hope Jim exceeds our collective expectations, otherwise, we are in for a terrible decade. Dr. Buss was a great man, lets just hope he knew what he was doing – and that it works for all of us Laker fans in the long run.

  75. And Mitch is one of the best and respected GMs in the entire league, i would never ever presume that i could do a better job than him and even Jim Buss who is been around the team almost his entire life.

  76. MannyP: Agreed
    Fern: I just want to own the team. Then rr will run it : )

  77. Lol Robert me too but i am like 999, 999 million short :)

  78. If a billion dollars was the asking price for the Lakers it would have been sold already. I suspect walk away money for the Buss family would be closer to two billion dollars.

  79. “People need to stop the whinning and consider the million of adverse circuntances this team had to endure this season.”

    People watch the games and can see how the Lakers play. Who expects them to win consistently? Probably no one. Some talk about how they play, and some make excuses for them. I don’t care who’s out there. They’re NBA players. They can play the right way, and they can be coached well. Or not.

  80. They are not very good NBA players period. And they are going to het beatdown almost every night