Preview and Chat: Lakers vs. Grizzlies

Darius Soriano —  February 26, 2014

Just as I said there was no reprieve for the downtrodden in my preview for Tuesday’s match up with the Pacers, there is no rest for the weary as the Lakers head into Memphis today to face the Grizzlies on the second night of a back to back. The Lakers took another loss on the chin in Indiana, with the trend of a relatively close first half turning into a blowout loss continuing for the umpteenth time this year.

After that game the Lakers’ two veterans with championship experience spoke their minds about their team and, not so subtly, took shots at their head coach in the process:

As I mentioned after the game, comments like these are rarely the response to the game that was just played — especially when said game was against one of the league’s best teams. No, these are more likely issues that have been brewing for some time and, with another 20 point loss, came to a head last night.

As mentioned, Pau and Jordan are the only two Lakers who have championship experience on this roster. They, more than their teammates, have an intimate knowledge of competing at the highest levels with the stakes are highest. For that reason, I tend to give their comments a bit more weight — though, if these words came from any other Laker I would still see them as valuable and informative.

It should also be noted, however, that Pau and Jordan are players who likely have the most individual reasons to speak out at this point in the year. It’s no secret that Pau hasn’t looked to fondly at his role within D’Antoni’s offense or how the big men have been used in general. He’s recently commented about a preference to play bigger lineups (again mentioning that playing small hurts the team last night) and has talked about running the offense more through the post since this coach’s arrival last year. Farmar, meanwhile, is in a real timeshare at point guard with Kendall Marshall, playing only 24.5 minutes a night his last 5 games and only 24 minutes a night in his last 10. Add to this that he’ll no longer likely see any minutes in a small backcourt next to Marshall with the arrival of Brooks and Bazemore (as well as Meeks’ return from injury), and a thirst for heavy minutes (30+ a night) will not be quenched the remainder of this year as long as relative good health endures for the rest of the perimeter players.

I’m not saying these issues should make statements made by these guys less true or that they should hold less weight, but it’d be disingenuous to not mention these things. Especially with both players entering free agency this summer.

In any event, it will be interesting to see how D’Antoni navigates these waters over the last part of the season. One of the main strengths of this team this year has been their willingness to play as a unit and not speak too much in terms of their individual goals. Credit should be given to the coach for this (as well as the players), but as the losses mount and other pieces who have not been part of the team’s fabric of unselfishness are incorporated into the group, this situation can get more difficult to manage quickly. If the Lakers are evaluating D’Antoni using other variables besides wins and losses, managing the players’ egos and keeping a healthy locker room is likely one of the key areas and he will need to show he’s able to perform in this area (and better than he did last year, I’d imagine).

As for tonight’s game against the Grizz, one of the key things to watch is the coach’s lineup construction and how he matches up with the size his group will face.

Starting Wes Johnson at PF seems like a real possibility and he will be tasked with guarding Zach Randolph. Z-Bo is that rare mix of a finesse finisher who gets position on the block like a bull, so Wes will have his hands full in trying to keep Zach off his spots. Doing so without fouling will be even more difficult. My hunch is that we’ll see a fair amount of Kaman and Hill tonight (and probably even Sacre) to try and battle Randolph down low, but Wes will get his shot too and how he performs will, at least in part, reflect on the coach who put him in this position.

Another defensive question that must be answered is who guards Mike Conley. The Lakers have tried to hide Kendall Marshall in certain match ups and one against Conley would be one that makes sense to do so again. Conley’s quickness and ability to create shots in the half court for himself or teammates by working off the dribble is an area that Marshall can struggle to contain. Putting Bazemore or Meeks on Conley might make more sense, but that leaves open the question of who Marshall then guards. Lee is a fine off-ball worker who has regained some of the form offensively that had him as one of the more respected role-player-guards in the league. Tayshaun Prince isn’t much of an offensive threat, but he’s a fine post up option against smaller players. Putting Marshall on either player presents issues that would need to be addressed and can create holes in a defensive scheme that is already extremely leaky.

On the other end of the floor the Lakers should try to establish the post early and hope that Pau can find his groove against his brother Marc to a level that creates openings on the perimeter for the Lakers’ wings to get (and make) open threes. The team would also be wise to involve Randolph in enough P&R’s defensively that Marc Gasol is forced into help situations early in possessions with the result being other players having to recover on the weak side to Pau and shooters posted in the corner. If the Lakers can get the Grizz scrambling defensively, they can hang tough in this game. If they can do so in the 2nd half, they can even be close down the stretch where anything can happen.

Of course, that’s a lot of ifs. And the Lakers are severe underdogs for that exact reason. But if the goal is still to compete and win games down the stretch, these are things they’ll need to do well. And if they want to erase some of those hard feelings expressed after the Pacers’ game, being competitive in (or even winning) a game like this would help do that.

Where you can watch: 5pm start time out West on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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80 responses to Preview and Chat: Lakers vs. Grizzlies

  1. With new players getting big minutes, and others returning, you’d expect some turbulence and frustration. D’Antoni’s job is to teach and get the guys playing to play well together. That takes time, and I think that’s what Farmar was getting at in his comments. Pau’s not happy, hasn’t been very happy since D’Antoni was hired, and it’s easy to see why. The defense and rebounding is wretched, but D’Antoni believes in playing a certain way, and if he’s true to form, he’ll want to play to his strengths, not try to match up with Memphis. Lakers have to play their game really well to have a chance.

  2. Laker veterans under MDA:

    Kobe – according to Nash, Kobe decided to take over PG duties midseason without discussing it with MDA. The players also decided to slow down the pace and go through the post in a players only meeting. That doesn’t sound like a team that has much respect for their coach.

    Jamison – accused MDA (amongst other things) of not making a single adjustment in the playoffs from game to game or from quarter to quarter. Maybe MDA was intentionally tanking in the playoffs to prepare for this season?

    Gasol and Kayman have also been vocal, and now Farmar? That pretty much covers every single veteran in the past two years except for Nash, who has been injured the past two seasons.

    If the Lakers want to sign a quality veteran free agent, like Carmelo, Lebron, Love, etc., I have a hunch that MDA is not going to be an asset.

  3. “Lakers have to play their game really well to have a chance.”

    And, talking to myself, that would be true no matter who the coach was, or what style the Lakers play, as Memphis has a stronger roster.

  4. Like to see tithe history of Pau vs his brother. I guess he is under 14 per game against him. As for Wes if the coach starts that same lineup)over onus 25 first 5 minutes in last 2 games) I might scream. Expect another 35 point 1st quarter and 3 fouls on Wes.

    Was it a coincidence Pau voiced his displeasure day before going back to Memphis?

  5. rfen: Nobody could coach this roster to greatness. To that I think we all agree. However, you are also pointing out that Pau is not happy. DH was not happy. Antawn was depressed. Hill is not happy. Kaman is not happy. That is a lot of unhappy people. Now to be fair – there are some happy guys too. Most of whom would be unemployed if they were not on our roster : )
    C Hearn: Well I am not going to disagree with you with regard to Phil Jackson’s impact on Kobe (or MJ for that matter). If Del Harris had remained coach of the Lakers would Kobe have 5 rings? If Doug Collins had remained coach of the Bulls would Jordan have 6? There are some who think so. I am not one of them.
    Jerke: While we do not agree with general sentiments about MD, I do agree with your conclusion. We are cleaning the slate of most of our players one way or the other. If our plan is to try to sign big time FA and make a move significantly up the standings next year, then that is when we shop for a coach. However if we are going to be minor players in the summer of 14, and we are simply adding our pick to the rag tag squad we have (sans the bigs of course), then fine let MD stay. As you say – he is good with the youngsters, so why bring someone else in if we are already paying MD and we have no plan to make a big move?

    My question for C Hearn + Jerke: Can MD handle the super star youngster. We know he is good with marginal guys. How about the primadonna draft pick. How’s that gonna work?

  6. No surprise here. As many of you know, I’m a bottom line guy. Let’s face it, MDA is tanking, and he’s doing so with the blessings of his superiors. It’s not rocket science. They s/h moved Gasol & Kaman, no need to drag them thru this.

  7. “My question for C Hearn + Jerke: Can MD handle the super star youngster. We know he is good with marginal guys. How about the primadonna draft pick. How’s that gonna work?”

    He didn’t seem to do too well with one prima donna superstar in Melo…After Pau, Hill, and Kaman run screaming from MDA how are we going to lure a big man to come play here? Although maybe K-Love would be more likely to come if MDA is still here? He salivates over a stretch 4 that good.

    *edit @Bigcity- I would tend to agree with this line of thinking, but I was scoffed at for bringing it up. I claim Mitch and Jim told MDA to ‘Make it look good.’

  8. KenOak: Like I said – if Kevin shows him the “Love” then I will immediately become a huge fan. And in my case – I do disagree with you and BigCity. I do not think MD is trying to tank. I do find it amusing that this is the only way you can explain his actions : )
    BigCity: So if we are not trying to tank, then I guess you really don’t think much of MD : ) And yes if we “really” were trying to tank then why didn’t we move Pau and Kaman and Hill for that matter? Any way you slice it. Someone is not doing their job. So I guess I can live with that. Same conclusion for completely different reasons : )

  9. @Robert
    The answer is simple! The Los Angeles Lakers do not tank. They can’t be seen as just shedding salary for the sake of shedding salary. If they were going to move Pau or Kaman or Hill, then it had to be for some sort of assets. My claim stands! MDA is making it look good. Mitch is the master of tanking without tanking. (See also- Bruce Lee’s art of fighting without fighting!)

  10. Robert –
    if you want a textbook case of how to deal with and develop young player – prima donna w tonnes of potential/doesn’t know anything about bball really, never mind the huge lack of maturity, especially after dealing with a horrible dysfunctional team that had stephon marbury et al – then the answer that i give you is Amare. He had his best years of his career under MDA, blossomed into 1 of the top 4 power forwards in the games (toss up between him, duncan, garnett, dirk at the time), remained a team player, developed into a good teammate, and fully developed his game to go from just dunking, to having legit short/mid range game, and able to finish of the dribble, from post up or face up – never mind trailing/cutting for dunks and layups. The only caveat on MDA and Amare is that Amare didn’t develop on the defensive side as much as his physical gifts would seem to warrant. Some of that you can hang on MDA, but for all his skill – Amare could be distractible, unmotivated on that side of the ball, and has a low bball iq when it comes to D related issues.

    The knock on MDA as not developing or being a big mans coach is partially true. If you’re looking for a guy to develop a back down/slow down offense where post up is 1st, 2nd, 3rd offense – then no I don’t think he’s a good match for developing that player. If they get a wing/mobile scorer then I think you want MDA working with him. Even if the Lakers got a guy like Chris Bosh, I think you keep MDA and let him feature Bosh or whoever they get. You then pick up good all around defensive guys to back that player up in the post. Best team Phx had under MDA had Kurt Thomas backing up amare at center, playing good low post d, and didn’t demand the ball. Kurt could also step out to 15 and hit those shots regularly which cleared the post for Amare.

    If they go big and the guy is mobile – keep MDA, feature the draft pick on offense, bring in character guys to mentor him on d and back him up. but if they go back to basket/post up guy – i’d say 50/50 chance MDA walks on his own as he doesn’t want to coach that style anyways.
    Lakers should just take best player available to them and build from there. you can always move a good player if it doesn’t work out or he doesn’t fit because he still has skill or potential to entrance other teams – but when teams try to draft for need or to fit some big huge vision they always seem to over think it and it ends up biting them in the ass.

  11. They should of fire mike along time ago….they should do it now…like it did wit mike brown

  12. @KenOak, history tells you the majority is often slow to realize and/or acknowledge the truth &/or accept change. How boring would this site be if all of us always agreed with each other and believed as fans anyone associated with the Lakers would be above possible criticism or second guessing.

  13. The Lakers are not triying to tank i believe, we just stink that bad, we are going to get outrebounded every single game, our only hope is speed and 3 pointers, and we dont have the talent to go big we have some talent on fastbreaks and 3 point shooting thats it. That they were asking for a lot for Pau and Kaman shows that they are not tanking, if we were the team would had a couple of new/used washing machines. I think there is a matter of pride involved, as it should be, Mitch has said a several times that the team is not tanking. If the team was healthy all year we would be at least in the playoff race. My thinking is that the Lakers are going to stay put this summer keep the guys that passed the audition and fill the team with a lot of one year deals again and then break the bank in 2015. I really doubt we will be a lot better next year we wont be worse bc thats almost impossible but we wont be that good next season either so we better brace ourselves for some more pain.

  14. @Robert, pertaining to Pau & Kaman, you’re right, moving them would have been a LOGICAL PLAN, lol, but so far Little Jimmy has not shown he has that ability. Right now he looks like he’s bought checkers to a chess game. He appears to be a lot more like Dolan of the Knicks and Gilbert of the Cavs then his pops. All I’m looking for right now is a plan, I don’t think that’s too much to expect.

  15. Can we please stop advocating for the Lakers to sign (or even consider!) signing Carmelo Anthony this summer?!?
    Also under no circumstances (with or without Kevin Love) should we EVER consider re-signing Mike D’Antoni! His coaching style has NEVER and will never win championships. At best he won a lot of regular season games while I would add teams like the Lakers and Spurs were “saving themselves” for the post-season! And the ONLY success (if you count never getting out of the second round of the playoffs success) ever came with an in-his-prime Steve Nash, Shawn Marion, and Amar’e Stoudamire! Face it, he’s a one-trick pony who cannot (will not?) make adjustments on offense, doesn’t care (or know?) how to coach defense, and was only ever “successful” when he was in the right place, at the right time, and had possibly the only players that would have been successful in his “system” while they were in their prime.

  16. I read elsewhere that Wesley Jonhson is gping to guard little Gasol, must be MDA messing with us pregame bc i cant picture something that stupid being serious.

  17. Bigcity if they have a plan wich im pretty sure they do they are under no obligation to share it with us/other teams. Just saying.

  18. the other Stephen February 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Whether it’s Marc or Z-Bo, I feel like asking Wes to guard them is like serving them a platter of BBQ chicken wings.

  19. Bleacher report predicts Laker finish with 25 wins. All time Laker low. Congrats to Jimmy, Mikey and Michey. Takes a lot to break a all time record like that.

    They should all receive raises. If he starts Wes on 7 foot Gasol he will be a real hoot.

  20. Putting Wesley to guard Marc sound like sticking it to Pau. I dont like to join the choir, but this is a totally ilogical move that has no basketball sense, personal? looks like, i want to know if he ever put Marion to guard Shaq when he coached the Suns.

  21. If this were 20 years ago, would MDA have Wes Johnson (or even worse, Ryan Kelly) guard Karl Malone?

  22. I be saying 25 wins bit i put “if lucky” so i dont know if i qualify lol.

  23. My comment was modded?

  24. Mid

    If this was 20 years ago West and jerry would never hire MD.

    Moot point.

  25. Regarding the “how to hide Marshall on defense” mentioned on Darius post, I need to just put this out there…

    Is there a single winning team that needs to hide a player on defense (unless for the occasional foul trouble)? I know this team is terrible and we’re not winning many games until the season is over, but that question alone tells us all we need to know about Marshall. He needs to go back to being a 10-12 mpg player that occasionally can jump start our offense with his court vision. How about giving Farmar his 32 mpg and have him guard the opposing point guard, since he can actually play defense? I’m still puzzled that we still try to discuss offense or improve our offense when the easier thing to fix is always through defense (and leads to more success).

    And if Wes guards Marc or Z-Bo tonight, then we don’t need to discuss MDA’s coaching ability anymore…

  26. The main objective now (other than tanking) is to identify which players are competent offensively and defensively. On a talent challenged squad, there is no room for specialists: everybody has to play hard at both ends to win games. Right now these are the guys most likely to stick given the needs of the team: Farmar, Meeks, Henry, Young, Bazemore, Kelly. Marshall is likely back as a cheap back-up pg (one-way player) Sacre is already under contract, Nash will retire or be bought out (stretch provision), Kobe? Johnson will only make it back on a minimum deal. Likely 4-5 open roster spots. Not a lot of thrilling options in free agency. Look for value signings (again) such as Earl Clark who played well enough for D’antoni to garner a deal with Cleveland. He’s a better stretch four (especially defensively) than anyone else we have or might find on the cheap. Hope may come only in the form of a high draft pick.

  27. Renato

    I brought this up last night on Laker talk. He has been scouted. Only goes right, needs 10 seconds to get his underhand 3 pointer off, his cross court passes stopped and slow on defense.

    Nice guy but not a starter in the NBA. Last 3 games more turnovers then points is perhaps reality.

  28. @KO
    I think I have the best shot with my 24 win guess. The remaining schedule is absolutely brutal and If Wes Johnson is going to be guarding guys like Z-Bo and Tim Duncan….yeah.

  29. I wouldn’t be surprised if MDA does put Wes on MGasol as to piss off pau – we have seen that he is emotional/vindictive when he gets into public arguments with players

    Jerke – Ha – thats funny I remember Kwame Brown outplaying Amare in 05 or 06 when we went 7 games and the height of MDAs fame was a tim thomas 3 away from never existing

    As for our roster – think of that roster in 05/06 – Phil took a team with smush parker and kwame brown to the playoffs and then completely slowed down other more talented teams by focusing on a post offense and working through Kobe – we could have went this route and won more games this year but im ok with the tanking to get another, hopefully superstar sinc we lost out on dwight, partially because of mda, and if we lose Pau, because of MDA we will need to rebuild our overall talent pool

    No star is coming here as an FA to play for MDA – in addition to the guys mentioned above he also alienated randoph and ruined amares career by running him into the ground with mins early in his career resulting in amare needing mutliple knee surguries just like he might have ruined the rest of kobe for us – MDA will go down as possibly the worst coach in lakers history

  30. I cant believe that with a former all star like kaman on the roster were starting wes against zach

    hahahah Stu Lantz – keys to the game

    1. Rebound
    2. Please Rebound

    with this line up? ”Good luck, right” – Pau

  31. “rfen: Nobody could coach this roster to greatness. To that I think we all agree. However, you are also pointing out that Pau is not happy. DH was not happy. Antawn was depressed…”

    I, and many others, said it when D’Antoni was hired. Bad fit. And the Laker FO has continued to make some moves that put coaching philosophy and players together that don’t fit. It is what is. If D’Antoni is the coach and system they want, then we’ll need to see Kupchak providing the right talent. That takes time. But I see no good reason to keep D’Antoni just for next year. They either believe in that direction or not.

  32. NM Kaman is out with a bad back …. not sure if this is now out rotation by necessity – but with Kelly as Wes’s backup at the 4 will be hilarious later in the game

  33. Can MD handle the super star youngster. We know he is good with marginal guys. How about the primadonna draft pick. How’s that gonna work?

    As Jerke stated above, Amare was the lone attributable player to start his career with this coach and elevate his game to an all-star level. The question is, “Is Amare the model that the Lakers would like their draft pick to emulate?” Amare was superb running pick and roll, and pick and pop with Nash as the distributor, but his tenure in New York exposed his deficiencies. With no Nash to spoon-feed him on his dives, he was easy to neutralize, as he is a black hole incapable of creating his own shot. I still consider Nash as the instrument that made the offensive tempo impressive. No team has excelled with that schematic without a ‘stud’ of an NBA player. Lebron and the Heat play defense, so they cannot be included as a prototype. Durant and Westbrook is a two-headed monster, and they play defense thus they are excluded. The Clippers, Warriors, and Phoenix all play a quick hitting offensive strategy, still their rosters are loaded with all-stars, and it is yet to proven that a high-octane offense will do anything more than titillate in the playoffs.

    So, to answer your question: Sorry, but he won’t do as the coach for a draft pick, I don’t want the Lakers draft pick trained as a one trick pony. This coach’s ideology about offense in the NBA will infect any future draft pick negatively. My opinion.

    How I’d like to be a fly on the wall of an opposing team when they view the Lakers starting lineup.

  34. Seen this movie before.

  35. Marshall playing himself out of NBA.

  36. clean block

  37. KenOak: Well go ahead and stick to your claim. It is an explanation for everything, which is more than I can come up with.
    BigCity: You could be right, but those checkers are coated with platinum. They were a gift from Jerry on his 12th birthday. Jerry was gonna buy the chess set, but did not think Jim had the patience for it.

  38. Robert

    Wrong. Jerry bought him marbles.

    Sadly he lost his marbles!

  39. We know D’Antoni doesn’t adjust much to each team he faces. Maybe just listen to what the guy says, and it becomes easier to understand. He wants to play his way, to rely on his way, and to get his players better at it. Whether Kaman is available or not isn’t going to change D’Antoni’s opinion. He has no confidence that the Lakers offense can produce without playing stretch and uptempo, or have a good chance trying to match up with big teams. You start and go as far as you can go with what you do. So we get to watch some very bad defense at this stage of process.

  40. Jerke: We agree again. Best player available (rr made this point as well). So perhaps the sequence is we draft, we then decide on MD, we then decide how to pursue FA.
    rfen: Well the only point to keeping MD for only 1 more year, would be if we are not going to significantly better ourselves. If we continue in this mode (whatever this nightmare is), then why bring in a new coach? Wait until we have a way out of the hole until you subject someone else to this. Bringing in a new coach without new talent would not be a good thing. Just ride it out with MD. Having this team without MD would be like being at a kids birthday party without a piñata.

  41. hahaha pinata … meanwhile Farmar and Hill are deciding to freeze out all the other guys on their line

  42. Honestly guys. Is there a worse player then Sacre?

    If so please name him.

  43. I hate this brand of basketball … so boring … playoff defense is some of the most entertaining basketball to me because of the level of competition and execution needed to score … basketball like this is just a joke like the all star game

  44. “If we continue in this mode (whatever this nightmare is), then why bring in a new coach? Wait until we have a way out of the hole until you subject someone else to this.”

    Does the FO see a season as meaningless, or as part of a multi-year process to build in a specific direction? Time is a valuable asset to waste. I think if they keep D’Antoni next season, it’s because they still believe in him, or at least are still evaluating him. I think they’re evaluating him now.

  45. D’Antoni not happy with a call and get himself a technical foul.

  46. Pau has never had a good game vs his brother that I remember.

    Lakers out there are a D league team. Looks like a game I used to play in on the beach in Laguna.

    No coaching just 5 guys running around. How can Mitch watch this with a straight face. Marshall 2 points 3 games

  47. Shaun: Well yes – it is like the all star game where one conference is crushing the other.
    Ko: You could be on to something with the marbles. Could explain why we do not care about defense and try to stockpile “shooters”

  48. heads down, shoulders slumped; it’s halftime!

    the stench from those who stink should remain in the locker room until they figure out exactly who’s shoe has stepped in it tonight. take a deep breath fellas, the stink you smell will stay in tact until the end of this merciless laker nba season.

    on the bright side though, in an effort to rest his players for their annual playoff berth, coach papavich will rest all his players in the regular season finale against these fishy, fishy lakers.

    needless to say, go lakers

  49. Marshall has missed 13 shots in a row over last. 3 games. And he still starts.

  50. Orlando wins! Boston and Utah up in their games!

  51. Good effort 2nd. Half.

    Nice game Jody and Wes.

    No Laker starting PG to play 20 plus minutes a game has had zero points 2 games in a row the past 7 years. Time to start Jordan?

  52. Gotta love MDA going to the media to tell Pau to keep things “in house.”

  53. Shaun – get your facts straight – in your seven game series that Kwame supposedly outplayed Amare in 05/06, Amare played a grand total of 3 games in late march due to eye injury and never played the entire playoffs. That was also a Phx team that was forecast to barely make the playoffs if at all and still managed to win 55. Sure Phx was a Tim Thomas 3 away from losing, but Lakers had several chances to close out and finish the series and didn’t.

  54. I think D;Antoni just answered the question. Pau made his point, which he could have made in-house. The new players made a step in the right direction tonight, and D’Antoni isn’t changing the way he plays, so nothing really gained by Pau stating the obvious. But he’s a champion, and his frustration is bound to make a public appearance at times. It’s in the past now anyway.

  55. Robert,

    In my view, D’Antoni cannot be allowed to coach what could be the cornerstone of the Laker franchise moving forward. Why? Because when the chips are down, this coach fosters a toxic atmosphere and culture. I’m afraid that another poor season, with an unhappy Kobe and ???, could permanently setback any high draft pick, but especially a big man. It could also set the Lakers further down the path toward sustained mediocrity, something all of us have seen with other franchises.

    Now, MD as coach of a band of gritty misfits trying to earn their keep? Fine, but that’s really not what next year is about, is it? This franchise cannot afford another lost year that includes the negative development of a top five pick. Of course, I’m sure others disagree, but that would be my primary reason not to keep him.

  56. rr- Gotta love MDA going to the media to tell Pau to keep things “in house.”

    I don’t believe that this coach has the respect of his players. This is pure conjecture, but it is what it is.

    Someone earlier was attributing Amare’s success to MDA and I respectfully disagree. Stat was a phenomenal athlete, in his prime, and he just so happened to play alongside one of the best pg’s of this generation. MDA didn’t make Amare- Nash did.

  57. In 3 games, Jordan Hill’s minutes have gone from 29 to 10 to 6. Whenever Hill has one bad quarter (as he did tonight), D’Antoni makes him sit for the rest of the game. There is no other player that is on a shorter leash than Jordan Hill.

    My sense is that D’Antoni seems to harbor an almost personal dislike for Hill. (That may or may not be the case. But that’s the impression that I have.) To assign such wildly inconsistent minutes to a player as he is doing with Hill is almost guaranteed to undermine that player’s timing and confidence. To my eyes, Dantoni’s actions at best are obtuse. At worst, they’re almost malicious.

    Is the FO paying attention?

  58. Well. MDA might be losing the respect of the players, but he is rapidly losing the respect of the fans and it seems that Lakers fans and players should be supporting MDA, to have faith in him, from his comments.

    Even if MDA gets fired, do you really want Buss to hire the next coach?

  59. Even if MDA gets fired, do you really want Buss to hire the next coach?


  60. There are many fans out there. As is the norm, it is the vocal minority that make the most noise. This doesn’t mean there aren’t many fans who feel somewhat differently – just that they don’t bother to comment all the time.

    Whether or not MDA is let go, it is Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak who will decide the next coach. All the comments in the world won’t change this fact. We know the vocal minority don’t like this, but the continual complaining is just tiresome. We have heard you over and over and over already. We assume you won’t change your mind, but could you move on to a new topic?

  61. Maybe i should submit a resume, Bryan. Better than D’antoni.

    “ok, um, get the ball to Kobe and Pau… And play some D, …you, what is your name?”

    “Kaman… I’ve told you that three t…

    “…yeah yeah, you look tall, get some rebounds… that is all… Now where is Jim with my paycheck?”

  62. I think is safe to asume that the leaders of this team said screw it and tuned out MDA.

  63. Fern,

    Agreed. Somehow, that moves to the top of the list on my concerns about MDA…

  64. We need to stop “hiding” Kendall Marshall. Dude needs to learn to play defense, and I know he’s got slow footspeed, so he’s just gotta put in some extra effort to compensate for that.

    In any case, I’m with most other commenters here that Jordan should be receiving the lion’s share of minutes at the point, with Marshall getting the remaining 10 – 12 at best.

  65. World Peace, Brown, Clark and Butler all released.

    This is not the sign of the Laker in Chineese Calander.

    Either current or past .

  66. It’s obvious to everyone that Dantoni isn’t effective this season.
    The problem is that FO fired Mike Brown a bit too quickly,
    so the pendulum swings and Dantoni benefits.
    FO doesn’t want to appear too hasty again.
    Injuries once again can be used to excuse mediocrity.
    But as Mid Wilshire says above, the misuse and abuse of J Hill is outrageous.
    I expect a players-only meeting and subsequent insurrection to come soon.
    If Dantoni is retained next season I won’t be able to watch a single game.

  67. rr: Please see above. I am no longer a moderate on the subject. I believe I may now be a liberal.
    Teamn: I think my views on MD have been well known for 2 years. That said – we need to make sure we would not set the new coach up for failure. Bringing in a Hollins or Thibs without significant roster improvement would not be good. This is why I liked Shaw previously. A new/young coach could grow with the team. A veteran coach will be expected by many to produce results. We could go with Rambis or similar as an interim. Or we could sit tight with MD if the roster is not going to change significantly.

  68. It’s a tough season. Heck, the other day I called time warner to cancel my HD package, because no point watching Lakers getting blown out in high definition mode. It’s just sad. We all want to blame somebody, and rightfully so. MDA should take most of the heat, because that is what he is paid for.

    I saw the clippers vs Rockets game last night. Lakers could have Chris Paul, and would definitely keep DH without a doubt. I think the previous commissioner should be blamed for this. He was acting in conflict of interest. He also took advantage of the situation against an aging and ill owner with an inexperienced son taking over.

    MDA should stay until end of the season, so that when Lakers make pitch to the new free agents, selecting a new coach is part of the perk… Ha Ha

  69. Chearn, When Amare first came to NY he was a beast. He didn’t start to decline until Carmelo came to the Knicks and is now a shell of himself after injuries.

  70. Im with Simonoid, we nees to stop hiding players and make them work on their D, to hide them encourage them not to work on their overall game because someone is going to bail them out. I kinda understand Nash being hold and hurt but Marshall? He is freaking 23 years old!! There is no reason that prevent him to improve his defense. Put some work in practice, im not asking for a defensive stopper but dont be one of those orange cones at the All Star Game skill challenge.

  71. @vasheed, the Knicks got a nice thing going with that team when STAT signed up, but Dolan being the moron that he is didnt want to wait 3 more months and traded half the team for Melo, if he waited he could had signed Melo and keep all those guys he traded so he could sell some extra jerseys 3 months in advance and the Knicks would had been a contender. In MDA’s defense he didnt wreck the Knicks, Dolan and Melo did.

  72. Fern

    Suns have a history of finding good PG. My friend who works PR for them in Phoenix said they gave Marshall plenty of attention but you can’t teach speed. They gave up on him for a reason. You can’t have a starting PG go 0-0-2 in 3 straight games and get beat consistently on defense.

    Time to bench him. On to the next long shot.

  73. @fern – bang on. People look at MDA’s record in NYC but forget that Donnie Walsh originally hired him to come in and do cleanup duty w the mess that Isiah Thomas et al had left there and they knew it would take 2-3 years of losing before they cleared contracts but MDA was willing to take the hit to his career w-l numbers. MDA never wanted Melo on the team for the same reasons the Lakers shouldn’t sign him now and had a good young nucleus which got decimated because Dolan couldn’t be patient.

    It’s funny – there’s a big chunk of Laker fans that are playing the Dolan role – they want the big superstar/quick fix irregardless of what it costs or how it hamstrings the team finances instead of building a concrete team. It’s just too expensive to buy a championship and you can’t get a “big 3” together now unless you develop at least one or two guys in house and have them on a rookie scale/or one guy is a late bloomer on a low contract. You can do a one off year like the Lakers tried w Dwight/Nash/Kobe/Pau but thats it. At least the FO has managed to clear the decks and there is a blank slate – instead of like the Knicks where they fix things, go 5 steps forward, and within a season go 27 steps backwards.

  74. “You can’t teach speed”–Ko. Ah! There’s the rub. The Wizard of Westwood always said the same (“quickness”). If there’s any good news lately it is that Marshall’s deficiencies at the defensive end are becoming painfully more visible to even the most casual observer. With the type of roster talent we are likely to have next season, it is imperative to have guys who can defend at every position. This is even more critical if Kobe returns to form, as he is no longer able to defend at a top level. Let’s hope there is a parting of the ways with Butter.

  75. bryan S.

    Priceless!!! “Butters” from South Park I presume.

  76. Melo for $20 Million would not be bad. Anything more would be. The best would be a Lowry or Bledsoe for $32M/4yrs (or getting lucky and drafting Exum) and finding a capable small forward that can start and move Wesley to the bench. I would love to see the Junior Mamba (Westbrook) and Love in 2015. Oh and please get rid of BUTTERS and get Adelman, Thibs, Karl or Hollins as coach. Shaw has not impressed at all even though he may work well with Kobe.

  77. Well Ko i dont know, you cant teach speed but there are ways to compensate for that, im not even asking for him to become an elite defender, not even a avg one just not a total non factor. If he wants to stay in the NBA he needs to improve at least a little bit. Fisher was a horrible defender but he had his moments. Marshall is like is not even triying.

  78. @jerke ahhh the Knicks “the Zeke years” what a magnificent mess that was, those were good times, good times. People complain about the FO they should have a look at the Knicks and count our lucky stars.

  79. have heard you over and over and over already

    Actually, as he notes, Robert, the original anti-MDA guy, is now going easier on D’Antoni than a lot of people are, and the anti-MDA crowd is gaining new adherents.

    You also seem to miss is that certain people, like Jerke and yourself, are very repetitive in defending the FO/MDA, and in your personal case, that you have made basically the same statements about the fans and our lack of influence/knowledge etc. on many, many occasions–including three or four times this week that I have seen.

    We have a group of about 50 or so people here who literally talk about the Lakers 355-360 days a year. Some repetition is inevitable, so we should all try to be patient about it. Lakers fans have enough problems.