Fast Break Thoughts

Darius Soriano —  April 18, 2014

Some random thoughts to take in while you find things to do besides watch the Lakers play post-season basketball…

The Lakers are going through their exit interviews now, nearly the entire team did them on Thursday, save for Marshon Brooks and Kendall Marshall who will go today. You can find highlights of each, here.

Some of the things that stood out to me from the interviews:

  • Nick Young really enjoys being a Laker. That may not keep him in LA (money will play a factor), but you can just tell he loves playing at home in front of these fans. In that way, Young reminds me of Odom and Ron. Those guys weren’t from Los Angeles, but they did come from NY and seemed to revel in playin under the bright lights in a big market. Young seems to be the same way.
  • Pau Gasol seems happy yet conflicted on his status as a FA. Like the guys mentioned above, I think Pau really enjoys playing for the Lakers and in Los Angeles. But these last few years have been hard mentally. From the trade rumors to the jerking around of his role to, recently, the losing it has been a lot to deal with. As always, Pau remains professional and operates with class, but he was non-committal about his future. I think he will take is time in making a choice, listening to many offers. It will be interesting to see how much Kobe can influence his decision (if at all).
  • Steve Nash, much like Kobe, is a brutally honest guy at this advanced stage of his career. From money, to role, to his body, to…well, every topic brought before him, Nash spoke his mind and didn’t hold back. He wasn’t agitated or anything, just a guy speaking the truth. Very refreshing.
  • Jodie Meeks is a gym rat. Despite his improvement from last year to this one, he wants to get better. I don’t know if he’ll be a Laker next year, but if continues to refine his game, I see him being a solid contributor on a good team.

As mentioned, the interviews wrap up today and will include Mike D’Antoni and Mitch Kupchak. Needless to say, hearing what those two have to say about this year and the upcoming ones will be interesting.

If I’m picking an upset in the first round of both conferences, I am going with the Warriors over the Clippers and the Nets over the Raptors. The latter match up isn’t really an “upset” in the classic sense as the Nets were one of the hotter teams in the East since the start of the new year and little separates seeds 3 through 6 in that conference. As for the Dubs/Clippers series, I don’t expect the Dubs to actually win the series. Missing Bogut will be a killer to their interior defense and hurt their rebounding. That said, the Dubs work best when they have a single big man playing with 4 guys who can play on the perimeter. Missing Bogut means more single big lineups because David Lee and Jermaine O’Neal will have to split time up front rather than sharing it. This means more Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes at the PF spot. And while I expect Blake Griffin to be able to score well in the post against either of those guys (as well as draw fouls), the spacing those guys provide on the other end will help the Warriors’ offense and make it so DeAndre Jordan has to move outside the paint to defend more often rather than just altering shots at the rim. Basically, I see this series being a lot closer than initial reactions to the Bogut injury would indicate it would be.

Out west, though, I love the match ups. Dirk vs Timmy. OKC getting a chance at revenge from last year’s playoffs drawing Memphis in the 1st round. Even Portland/Houston offers a chance for some excellent back and forth games with the potential of a Lillard/Harden duel in more than one game. The entire playoffs will be a bloodbath out west and I can’t wait.

In terms of some site news, we won’t be going away during a longer than normal off-season. We will have more draft stuff up than normal, check in on free agency, talk coaching, and do some historical pieces as well. If you have any ideas of things you would like to see, let me know in the comments and I will see what we can do.

Lastly, I just want to thank everyone for the support this year. The contributors — Phillip, Andre, Rey, Daniel — the site wouldn’t be going without them. And a special thanks to the community of folks who read every day, who comment every day, and support the site in general here an over social media. FB&G started a long time ago with Kurt interacting with a small group of diehards and it has grown from there. Some of those old-school guys are still here and along the way we have picked up more. So, salute to all of you who make the site great.

Darius Soriano

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75 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. Courtesy of Henry abbot twitter/espn stats:

    6 men who played for Phil Jackson went on to become NBA head coaches. They’re a combined 174 G under .500, all 6 have losing career records

  2. Mitch saying during interview, may consider trading pick

  3. Rusty Shackleford April 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Without Bogut the Warriors defend the rim like the Lakers. Even with Bogut I don’t think they’d have anyone who could run the floor like we all saw Jordan & Griffin do this year.

    Houston is my sleeper pick out West. They don’t play any defense either so I’ve no good reason behind my pick.

  4. Wow Darius never does predictions. I like it. And I agree with both. I agree so much I bet on both of those upsets yesterday.

  5. Parrothead Phil April 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Suggestions for blog posts during the summer:
    We’ve all seen, read about, or witnessed the championship teams. It would be great to read some historical pieces on the Laker teams that didn’t quite get over the hump and one on the Lakeshow from the 90s.

  6. Sooooo various members on here get completely innocuous posts held in moderation for hours on end but someone can post battlefield spam nprb?

  7. Jerke: So I guess the point with regard to Phil is that his coaching staff, his players (MJ + Kobe), his GM’s, and his team’s in general, could not win in his absense. I will add that to my list of Phil’s accomplishments.
    Parrothead Phil: Abridged version: Over the hump teams: We got screwed by injuries in 83, 89, 91, + 2004. We screwed ourselves in 1984 + 2008. We were one Horry shot way in 2003. With regard to the 90’s: I will let Darius or rr tell you about how much they enjoyed those teams – I will give you the quick version: Del Harris sucked.

  8. I actually didn’t enjoy those teams all that much, although they had their moments and were actually IMO “fun” in the sense that people were using the term about the 2014 team early in the season. My point has been just that the guys West drafted/acquired between the announcement and Shaq coming were IMO one of the main reasons that he came here. The team went 53-29 the year before Shaq signed. Building up assets to lead into a FA signing can make a difference–you can ask Dwight Howard if you don’t believe me. I know that you believe that Phil could have talked Howard into staying here, and you may be right, but the bottom line is that the few guys who are good enough to

    a) choose where they play
    b) get the max from multiple teams as UFAs

    are probably going to look a lot at immediate potential for winning over a window and the talent in place.

  9. The Warriors over the Clippers would be so sweet on so many levels, but without Bogut i agree with Rusty they are Laker level sorry down low. Unless Curry and Clay both go supernova at the same time they dont have a prayer, the Clippers are deeper and more talented( ugh i just threw up a little in my mouth) And for purely selfish reasons i want HOU to fell flat in their faces in the 1st round, i doubt it but i really dont think they are going past the 2nd round anyways on a side note with all the defensive prowess of the big lummox his numbers are not that different from last year besides a slight spike on ppg bc he improved his free throws a little bit he dipped in rpgs and most importantly blocks, he dont have the “im hurt” excuse anymore he got Mchale and Hakeem to teach him and he still the same player, he is not what he used to be he is a good player but he aint taking that Rocket team anywhere. But maybe im a lil biased lol

  10. @WindhorstESPN: .@LarryCoon projecting unexpected jump of $5M in salary cap for next year. If that holds, it’s a game changer for Melo & his CHI/HOU options

    Certainly doesn’t hurt LA

  11. Jerke i think Melo would be great with the Bulls, even with D- Rose they always struggle to score you put a scorer of Melo’s caliber in that team and even with other players picking up the slack for his horrendous defense i think they would be contenders. He is the kind of scoring punch that team needs.In Houston would be the same as LA they would not have enough basketballs for him and Harden to shoot and seeing Hardes being as bad defensively as Melo that could turn ugly. Chicago should be his best choice. Just no LA pleaseee

  12. @robert, when I think of pj, I’m reminded of Alec Baldwin and Glengarry glenross – ABC. Always be closing, that’s what he is- a great coach at maximizing a teams potential when the pieces are there. And that’s not a knock on pj, just that’s the type of coach he is vs being more developmental.

  13. Undef?3d was me.

    @fern. The chi/hou remarks were from the tweet but I fully agree, la shouldn’t touch melo w a 10 ft pole. That extra 5 mil though helps annul a little bit of the kobe contract and certainly gives them some extra room to play w

  14. Unless there a trade too good to be true this summer the Lakers wont blow their cap load, thise 5 mill are a welcome unexpected development but as Mitch said, they havent been working this flexibility for the last 4 years to blow it in one summer. We can add/ keep some good pieces this summer and get ready for 2015 with a team more or less ready to contend by adding a elite max player. Looks doable and thats the plan i believe but we will see.

  15. I wrote a piece for the site a couple of years back, before Kurt left, on the 1994-95 team. I can’t remember the exact date it ran but it was the type of look back Parrothead Phil was asking for if you care to dig through the archives here to find it.

    That was a fun team that played over its head, with no real expectation of a title but still an enjoyable season. And to rr’s point, the foundation it laid definitely helped pave the way for Shaq’s arrival in ’96. Along with the intangibles that came with the Laker brand, he could see a roster that included recent or soon-to-be All-Star players like Van Exel, Eddie Jones and Ceballos.

    The Howard comparison to what he saw in Houston last summer was apt, and both examples are yet another reason why it’s so critical to restock the deck so there’s more to join in L.A. besides Kobe at the tail end of his career, as others have said here often.

  16. Courtesy of Henry abbot twitter/espn stats:

    Abbott has an emotional investment in seeing Phil fail in New York; he really lit both Phil and the Knicks up after the hire. Also, W/L is a shaky way to evaluate a coaching tree, since new coaches usually get jobs with bad teams. This year, for example, the Popovich tree of former assistants included Brett Brown (19-63), Mike Budenholzer (38-44), Jacque Vaughn (23-59) and Mike Brown (33-49). If you add guys who played for Popovich, then you get Monty Williams (34-48) and also Doc Rivers (57-25).

    Vinny Del Negro, who was heavily ridiculed in Chicago and with the Clippers in spite of winning some, played for Popovich. PJ Carlesimo and Avery Johnson also are part of the Pop tree; Johnson won a lot of games in Dallas, but was fired for playoff failures, and then won only 60 games in two years+ in NJ and BRK. Carlesimo’s career record in the NBA was 239-315.

  17. @rr my ph died while in mid post but I was in the process of throwing the caveat in that as you said first time coaches do get crappy teams ala Rambis in minnesota – though he didn’t really help his own cause much – and I think shaw deserves a pass too due to circumstances much like mda’s injury wise in Denver. I also think that the guys that come from the spurs org tend to seek out similar good situations or good fo’s look for them, so they’re more likely to be put into a position to succeed either immediately or down the line.

  18. Jerke,

    Thanks. I was contesting Abbott more than I was you. Phil may not get it done in NY, but I think observers should give him a couple of FA cycles and a chance to get his own people in place before passing judgment. Abbott tends to imply that anyone in the NBA who doesn’t buy into analytics the way he does is doomed to failure. I support analytics, but like any tool, they have limits.

  19. re: Melo in CHI or HOU, nothing has changed, the estimated cap has only increased 300K from previous estimates. Neither possibility is likely unless NYK agrees to a trade. In the case of CHI, they have to dispose of Taj somehow either by trading him back to NYK or trading him into someone’s cap space. Signing outright would require disposal of Gibson in addition to renouncing/waiving several players including DJ and Hinrich. For HOU, they need someone (whether NYK or a team with cap space) to take Asik and Lin off their hands. In both cases Melo has to take less $. Not impossible but very improbable IMO.

  20. Chicago can still amnesty Boozer.

  21. Nice call Aaron!

    Yea Warriers.

  22. Darius

    The word that comes to mind is prophetic. But, the refs had too much airtime in the Clipper game. That game was won by the Dubs and the refs. Too many blown and/or blown calls.

  23. The officiating was disgraceful for both sides, if the refs are going to start calling fouls on any little contact they are going to ruin these playoffs i remember when this league wasnt so ….ssyified, it may had helped the Dubs but i dont care, nothing would make me happier than seeing the Clips bounced on the 1st round and wipe the smug out of Rivers face, overrated team, overrated coach.

  24. Did Paul choked or what huh?

  25. Clips keep on Clippin.

    Thought Dwyane Casey’s postgame comments were a little odd. He was talking like the series was over and he was trying to protect his players from the fans’ wrath.

    Still irks me how much the Warriors wear out the “exploiting mismatches” gambit. When they ran the PnR and got the Clips rotating in the 3rd quarter, their passing was a thing of beauty. But Mark Jackson insists on running the Klay Thompson post-ups into the ground when Paul is on him, and only ceased when Collison forced a TO. Their offense just becomes so stagnant on most of those post-ups.

    All-league defense from Klay Thompson. Few play CP3 that well.

  26. Oh, and Blake dumping water on the Warriors fan was hilarious. And completely intentional.

  27. I agree on the officiating from the Warriors/ Clippers game. Those refs made the game about them. Its the NBA playoffs. Give those guys some room to breath already. I’m not the biggest Blake Griffin fan. But the man was a legit MVP candidate this season. He should not be fouling out of a playoff game on some of the ticky tack stuff they called on him.


    I think Chris Paul is now at the point where his reputation is a little better than he is. That doesn’t mean he’s still not a top flight player in the league. But his age is starting to show.

  28. Halfway through the first day and we have a GM dropping an F-bomb on the opposing city, issues with the refs, a big star throwing water on a fan…nothing quite like the NBA Playoffs. 😉

  29. T. Rodgers: Paul is a great player on this league but he is not a true leader that can carry a team to a championship his flopping, whinning and playing to go to the ft line is not what a superstar do i understand the need to try to get contact to go to the line but he does it every single play and that detracts of his effectivness. He is 29 so he is in his prime. All this talk about him being tough a leader and blah blah blah is just that, talk. His 18-25 playoff record says it all . Replace him with a 29 y/o Kobe on that team and they would had won 1st seed and beatdown the Dubs today.

  30. Might be a bunch of Pacers available next year.

  31. Wow that Indiana team has just been pathetic. Overrated teams being exposed left and right.

  32. Skip Bayless must be giving the finger to all the people that trolled him when he said CP is not a superstar lol. CP is a star on this league thats all not a Superstar on the Lebron, Kobe or Durant galaxy.

  33. Report: Jim Buss Offered to Step Down If Lakers Don’t Recover in ‘A Few Years’

    That’s good news. Is he counting the past 2 years as.”a few years”?

  34. I wouldn’t count out the Clips or Pacers just yet.

    Even some mighty Lakers teams of yore lost first games of playoff series in route to championship glory.

  35. rr,
    now that our season´s official done, it seems you are truly relaxed and enjoying NBA evidenced by the winking happy face! Don´t think i´ve seen any of those on your posts before! 🙂
    Always love to see the Clippers lose; thanks, & Go! Warriors

  36. Purple,

    I will relax when Darius or another site writer is ending a post with, “We will have information on where you can watch the parade celebrating the Lakers’ 17th championship up tomorrow morning. It has been a tough road back, but we made it.”

    That noted, I can certainly appreciate the skill, subtext, competition, and confrontation of the playoffs without having a real rooting interest.

  37. Darius

    Based on the exit interviews what we know so far as that Kobe, Nash, Marshall and Sacre will all be back. We assume we will make offers to Pau, Swaggy, Johnsn and Meeks. Up in the air are Kelly, Bazemore, and Xavier. Gone are Kaman and Hill (especially if MikeD is back) and Marshon (no room). Are we going to get player grades or analysis of their season?

    I would like to see an article on who do think we are going after in Free Agency (who fits best with Kobe’s remaining two years), what are needs are, an analysis of the first nine potential draftees and their benefits as potential Lakes, player interviews during summer league would be awesome and things like that would be different and keep our attention during the long wait before the beginning of next season.

  38. rr: “Chicago can still amnesty Boozer.”

    Yes, that is the first step in addition to the other moves mentioned in my post. There is also the issue of Mirotic and paying his salary. Ken Berger broke it down pretty nicely here:

  39. I will relax when Darius or another site writer is ending a post with, “We will have information on where you can watch the parade celebrating the Lakers’ 17th championship up tomorrow morning. It has been a tough road back, but we made it.
    succinctness made virtuous, thanks as always rr

  40. Is trading Kobe an option?..He doesn’t want to play for D.A. Lakers are NOT going to win a championship in the next 2 seasons….His salary is based on the past…. He sent a bad message leaving early …plus not showing up for games…Let’s really rebuild…trade Kobe…Only upside can happen from it….

  41. Really???
    Are we still even mentioning trading Kobe?

    That ship sailed 10 years ago and isn’t about to go out again. The reason for signing him was to keep him here until he retires. It is fine if you don’t like his basketball (??????), but at least acknowledge that the franchise needs him business-wise.

  42. Lakers are gonna give it a shot with Kobe. He’s their guy, so live with it. It’s the entertainment they’ve set up for the next two years that will depend on his health. Chances of a championship are slim, but would be in any case. I’m cool with the plan, but with where the franchise is right now, I won’t be surprised if things don’t work out well.

    CP3 has been held up as the savior the Lakers got robbed of, but also is not considered a superstar or enough of a true leader. He’s made a franchise relevant. Is that not valued so highly by the all-or-nothing bunch?

  43. If for nothing else, gotta love gene for his consistency .. :>

    Just when it looked as if the Spurs would join Indiana as a #1 Seed to lose game 1, and homecourt advantage in the process, to an 8th Seed, they end the game on a 19-4 run to defeat the Mavericks.

  44. Trading Kobe lol, besides the value his name has business wise to the team his contract made him untradeable. About CP he made the Clippers relevant but relevant enough to win it all? As much as we wanted him on the team when the veto happened this was still going to be Kobe’s team. I dont know about this season yet but CPs 1st 3 season with the Clips have been hugely underwhelming playoff wise and they have had the personel to do more than what they have achieved. He is a star like Paul George, Lamarcus Aldrige and others,after 9 years in the league he havent prove he is capable of taking a team to that other level.

  45. CP3 isn’t the athlete he once was. Took a step back this year. It’s also hard to be a “superstar” in the NBA standing at six feet tall. Defenses in the playoffs are too locked in. Big guys start moving their feet in the PNR.

  46. Aaron’s point is a good one. Paul is about as good as you can be in the NBA at 6′, but that can be a limitation. OTOH, the Clippers have not lost the series yet, so I think the Paul-bashing is premature. However, he does have a near-ideal situation now, so if they do lose to GS, that will be something to talk about.

    In terms of the situation here, Paul also would have been a draw for other players; in today’s NBA, getting one high-level guy often makes it easier to get others. And, on a simpler level, Paul’s team won 57 games. Howard’s team won 54. The Lakers won 27.

  47. I didn’t realise cp hadn’t even been past the second round ever. Funny considering how heralded him and deron were in their first few years

  48. The player CP has been compared with often is Isiah Thomas who was only 6’1 himself – if that. Considering Zeke played in the days when defenses were allowed to body up and down right man handle opponents (Laker and Pistons both played rough in those finals games) – and still managed to dominate and make 3 finals trips w 2 chips (and drop 43 on a bum ankle on the lakers) – the idea that CP3 is the best you can be at that height given today’s defenses I think more points to his short comings/ceiling than to how good the defenses are.

  49. Jerke,

    Paul is much better than Thomas was based on the metrics, although Thomas was one of the few guys who showed the ability to up his game in the playoffs and as a you note, D was different then. You can reject that evidence if you like, but also, Paul has never been on a team with as many good players as the 1988-1990 Pistons had, including the one he is on now. Those were extremely good teams.

    Teams win–not players. Shaq’s career playoff record Pre-Phil Kobe-Maturation was better than Paul’s, but he was only 33-33, and Shaq was on the wrong end of several sweeps. Kobe couldn’t get the Lakers out of the first round between the time Shaq and Phil left and Pau came, and missed the playoffs entirely without Shaq and Phil. James couldn’t win without Wade and Bosh. Jordan never won with Pippen and Phil etc. etc. etc.

    Paul has Griffin, and Rivers, and the Clippers have some other nice pieces, so if the Clippers do lose to GS without Bogut, then Paul will and probably should get some criticism. But the series is only 1-0.


    interesting article on the Buss hierarchy. cool how it finally spells everything out. Say what you want about Jim Busses’ decisions but it certainly sounds like the younger guys are putting in the time and effort into making themselves into solid bball FO guys.

    And I understand that there may have been value in still having Alex Mckechnie on staff but w regards to Nash, gotta love how PJ reshapes history as if Mckechnie would’ve forseen the broken shin bone and nerve issues that have plagued him since and that he could’ve warned the Lakers.

    “Jackson, in particular, found fault with giving Nash a three-year, $28-million contract and trading two first-round draft picks to acquire him in 2012 from Phoenix. Nash, 40, appeared in only 15 games this season”

    Wonder what his thoughts on the Kobe deal were – since his fiance apparently loved the idea and pushed for it. Will be interesting to see how well his first summer of deal making goes down.

  51. Random thoughts about the Lakers upcoming Cap room.
    Keep in mind for Cap purposes the NBA requires 12 players on the roster(whether signed,First Rd picks and/or unrenounced Free Agents). Have less than 12 and there’s a roster charge equal to the min contract,roughly $500,000.

    The Lakers currently have Kobe,Nash,Sacre under contract and the #6.
    If they renounced everyone else they’d have @ $36.7mil in salary plus and they’d have another $4mil in Cap holds for a Salary Cap of @ $40.7mil heading into Free Agency. However that would be for just 4 players,adding a max-type contract leaves very little for the other 8 players.

    Farmar,Henry and Johnson are on 1 yr min deals and their Cap hold equals that of a 2yr vet min(@ $900thou.)
    Meeks as an Early Bird has a Cap hold of @ $2mil and could be re-signed by the Lakers for up to $5.56mil. If the Lakers want to keep Meeks,it’s better to wait until everyone else is signed,using up Cap space and then sign Meeks.(And Meeks would be a good candidate for trying the more in first yr than in second yr type contract-say $3.3mil,then $3mil in 2015.)

    If the Lakers keep Kelly and Marshall,don’t renounce Meeks,Farmar,Henry and Johnson,they’d enter Free Agency w/a Cap of @ $44.5mil.
    This gives the Lakers room to keep Young,get a Center(FA,such as Hawes or trade Asik,Frye) and a couple more bigs.
    Is this a path to contention,not likely unless that #6 is really special 🙂

  52. Good link. Money quote from Jim Buss:

    “I was laying myself on the line by saying, if this doesn’t work in three to four years, if we’re not back on the top — and the definition of top means contending for the Western Conference, contending for a championship — then I will step down because that means I have failed,” he told The Times about the meeting. “I don’t know if you can fire yourself if you own the team … but what I would say is I’d walk away and you guys figure out who’s going to run basketball operations because I obviously couldn’t do the job.”,0,3659636.story#ixzz2zTpFOVI8

  53. Phil:

    Jackson said. “One of the things I think Dr. Buss benefited from was having people like Bill Sharman and Jerry West, people around him who could make organizational decisions. He could then make the choices — ‘We can afford this, we can move in this direction.’ And I don’t know where all those choices are being made right now, as to what direction things are going.”
    Jackson, in particular, found fault with giving Nash a three-year, $28-million contract and trading two first-round draft picks to acquire him in 2012 from Phoenix. Nash, 40, appeared in only 15 games this season because of chronic back pain.
    “They took a flier on Nash that looked like it was going to be a really good thing,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, they didn’t check with someone who had done therapy with the guy for the last 10 years, Alex McKechnie.”
    McKechnie was a physical therapist with the Lakers whose contract was not renewed in 2011. He now works for the Toronto Raptors and has conducted individual workouts with Nash and other NBA players in past off-seasons.
    “They had cut ties with Alex, obviously, but still, Alex would have been a resource,” Jackson said. “Steve has been hampered ever since that time and they kind of built the team around the way Steve plays.”,0,3659636.story?page=2#ixzz2zTrxQ6eP

  54. rr> “Teams win–not players…”

    So true. I’d consider CP3 a “superstar” at his position, though I’m not defining the term precisely. Build the right team around him, and you’ve got as legit a contender as any you could build with any other PG in recent times. But teams that win it all require a lot more than a PG, no matter how great that PG is. Maybe the Clippers are a little shy of where they need to be. Griffin and Jordan are still young, but have made big strides this season under Rivers. The Warriors are also a young, talented team.

    I don’t take any prognostications too seriously. Kidd was in the league about 17 years before winning a title. Stockton and Nash never won one. There was nothing wrong with any of their leadership skills.

  55. People when lazy devolve basketball to wins and losses. CP3 hasn’t had playoff success because of his teammates and his opposition.

  56. rr,
    CP3 will get criticism when the clippers lose and he will deserve it this year actually. As I’ve already said it has looked to me Paul isn’t the same dynamic athlete. He isn’t sucking in the defense (therefor not making his teammates better) like he has in the past. I’ve never seen a Pg play better than Paul did in taking the lakers to seven games literally single handedly. There should be a * as he did it against Derek Fisher. But still.

  57. Aaron he had a good Hornet team in 2008 and the clippers teams hes been in have been stacked all of them, so i dont get what lack if teammates u talking about, he is been on some very very good teams, somebody brought Zeke into the conversation great comparision, put Isaiah in these Clippers teams and lets see if they would get bounced on the 1st round, im talking about the 2 prior seasons, this one is still up in the air. Lets see CP score 25 points in a quarter with a broken ankle. He dont have the ability or toughness to take over a game like Isaiah Thomas, who was only 6’1 and not as strong as CP btw and played in a really physical league, not this watered down league that calls fouls if a player looks funny the guy he is defending.

  58. Houston lost and Lamarcus Aldridge went 46 points and 18 rebounds. Boy that Houston team cant guard, i thought this was Dwight’s time to shine, he got his numbers but he dont dominated anything. Clippers and Rockets lose their openers cant ask for a better weekend lmao.

  59. Aaron,

    If they lose to Golden State, then yeah. If they lose to OKC, SA or Miami, he will still get some criticism, but that is where the opposition factor that you note comes in IMO.

    As to Thomas, he was a better player than the numbers indicate, but some Lakers fans lionize him for the reasons that we have seen in this thread. Things like 25 points in a quarter on a bad leg stay in people’s minds.

  60. W/ CP3 if he at least shows some progression and they get to the WCF then at least it shows that hey he’s been knocking on the door – that there is some progression there – especially with how talented and deep this team is. Thats the difference i see with the aforementioned guys careers is that they at least got a shot at the finals or were knocking on the door and made it close. No it’s not fair that he takes a lot of heat but when you’re the player brought in to supposedly lead this team to a chip thats part of the pressure. given his age and experience if they don’t get past the second round this year it starts to show a pattern that looks questionably when you take his career in totality measured against the hype derserved or not- that he is the best pg in the game.

    Forget who said it on tv – or maybe it was NBA radio this weekend – but they asked – who would your starting pg be for your finals team if you could draft your own – and all these guys picked CP3 but one guy said Tony Parker instead. Which when you think about it makes perfect sense – been there, showed up, won multiple times/finals MVP, doesn’t complain/make a big deal, plays relatively understated but he shows up huge in the finals.

    Question – if the Clips lose in the first round to GS – who gets the most blame? Doc/CP3/Griff – assuming they continue posting similar numbers to game 1.

    rr – you’re right on about the Bad Boys – joe D was my fave player growing up and I watched all their games when i could and have their championship tape from 88-89 – yes guys on that team were mean and cheap and could be thuggish, but they were really really good ball players as well and all were decent two way players at the very least w/ Joe D and Rodman being world class defenders and the other guys were great as well and there was real fire power on that team w joe, Isiah, Mark Aguire, Vinnie.. laimbeer could shoot too and at one point held the record for most 3’s in a playoff game w six.

    The one issue i do have with the metric comparison is that it is really impossible to measure players between 2 diff era’s. As you said, CP compares favourably, but how would isiah fare today w the lighter defensive standards? but also if CP had played in that era, would he be a tougher grittier player? if he could take the hits and stay healthy, given his speed/quickness and the lesser overall athletic ability of the league back then (it wasn’t near like it is now) i think he could’ve found success or similar numbers . just watching those tapes, you just see players from celts/lakers/pistons etc… they just take the hit, make the hoop and say hell yeah i want some more and i’ll stab you in the back to do it. Today, a guy gets hit and its instantly about looking to the ref or falling down to sell the foul. Bad boys were a whole other level of mean, but all the players had a different take on playing tough and manning up out there.

  61. Dwight Howard got truly hosed on the call that resulted in his 6th foul towards the end of the game. Ref Scott Foster made a horrible call that benefited Portland immensely.

    CP3 vs. Isiah? I’d take Thomas. Isiah could take over games offensively in a manner that few could. To me, Paul is at his best in a wide open, uptempo type of game. The playoffs tend to devolve into games if attrition in the halfcourt. I don’t see that situation as favoring Paul. Also, Thomas was a superior ballhandler who kept the ball extremely low. Paul has a tendency to dribble high and benefits from the loose interpretation of the carrying rule. Just my 2 cents.

    Wash./ Chi.: Noah gets away with murder with setting screens. He extends his arms on every pick in the manner of an offensive lineman. I thought Kendrick Perkins was bad. Noah fouls on every screen. Chicago is going to have a lot of problems with DC. Nene and Gortat are a good combo and the entire Wizards starting five is well balanced and formidable.

  62. Next installment of the Nash Chronicles:

    Dirk’s honesty is great. Admitting his 06 Finals team would get crushed in today’s league? Incredible display of candor.

  63. When you make up your mind about something additional facts or viewpoints don’t have much weight.

    There were a number of reasons Phil Jackson might not be the right person for the Lakers. First among them is that his experience is in coaching and manipulation is his game. Second, the previous Laker owner wasn’t about to grant Phil power over his organization.

    Now that is my viewpoint and I may not have everything right, but certainly there is a valid point of view that does not include Phil Jackson being in control of the Lakers.

  64. Chris Y
    Yes everyone agrees that Phil was instrumental in helping us get 5 chips.
    That is what the public sees and is a valid reflection of his value.
    Therefore his departure begs the questions: what doesn’t the public see? What is it about Phil that prevented the team from handing him the keys to the kingdom, or at least keeping him around?
    It’s noteworthy to correct your statement that Phil is married to Jim’s sister – Phil and Jeannie are not married. It took Phil years to even pop the question. Now he takes a job with a competitor.
    Max Kellerman on 710 radio theorizes that Dr. Buss was a little miffed that Phil hadn’t married his daughter.
    I’ve always been a Phil fan but there’s two sides to every coin.
    It feels like Phil ran Jerry West out of town and he was the logo. So Phil’s no saint. He is, however, a master manipulator.
    Even after Pat Riley won 4 rings here, he got run outta town.
    Sometimes there’s more to these things than meets the eye.
    Seems like the Buss fam just wants to try the run the team their way, which is their right to do.
    Sounds like some of the younger Busses have some things to offer.
    I sincerely wish Phil good luck in NY.
    If he can turn that ship around it will be one more feather in his cap.

  65. Fern,

    Aldridge has too much versatility for Howard. He’s money from the elbows. So he doesn’t need to be under the rim to score. Still he can score on Howard around the rim. He knows how to use his body to get his shots off against Howard superior athleticism. He’s longer than Howard and a little craftier. Plus, if necessary, he can hit a three point shot as Howard found out yesterday.

    And Damian Lillard is for real. No one would have believed that was his first playoff game. That kid is a gamer.

  66. Dwight Howard is as good as he is going to get. He may be here for a couple of years, but as his athleticism wears he is going to start to slowly decline. It is also true that he needs a couple of good shooters around him – meaning he can’t just carry a team, even for moderate stretches in a game. This doesn’t mean he isn’t good, nor a key part of a championship run; just that he isn’t the key piece to that run.

    He has now left two places where he wanted to be the #1 guy and must play second fiddle to Harden in Houston, or be forever labeled as a loser. Dwight recognizes this and here’s hoping he can fit in over the long haul (I’m rooting for Portland). My point is that he could not have had this much success as a Laker. I’m not glad he is gone, but I am glad we didn’t pay him a max deal and further hamper ourselves 2-3 years from now.

  67. Another thought on CP3 is that he was injured this season. I don’t follow the Clippers that closely, but he may be dealing with some physical issue, or just not all the way back to playing his best. Maybe he’s not completely at his best playing the way Rivers wants him to play, which I think is less with the ball. At 28, he’s still in his prime, so his career should be far from over.

    Every team in the West playoffs is tough, and the Clippers are not superior in talent or championship experience. If Paul doesn’t play very well, then criticism could be valid and possibly meaningful, but to condemn him for losses before even seeing how the games are played either suggests some kind of bias, or too shallow a view that reduces any evaluation to just wins and losses.

  68. @chrisy it’s been mentioned many times that jerry buss didn’t want to cede any control of the lakers to someone outside the family much less Phil Jackson as its become clear there was certainly a rift beyond the two. I have great respect for pj as a coach. I just don’t care for him using the media as a way to take potshots at the team then pretend that he’s above it all, or allowing himself to be painted as this wise sage who woulda known better. I don’t see the point of including quotes from him over a month ago – why not just print them them – especially now that he’s in the NY FO and it would be inappropriate for him to comment like that now.

  69. I do realize that Howard did not do the heavy lifting on Aldridge yesterday. But McHale with either have to double LaMarcus or let Howard loose on him. If they keep single covering him they will be in trouble.

  70. Rick adelman retired today

  71. Tony Parker

    Parker is an excellent player. But Paul’s career arc would probably be a little different if he had played his entire career with Duncan, under Popovich.

  72. Noah won DPOY, im apalled that no Laker was even mentioned in the ballot, damn Jim Buss, damn you to hell VETO!!!! ( shaking fist to nobody in particular)

  73. If Aldrige is going off like that you put Howard on him period. I rather have Lopez having a good scoring night than allow Aldrige go Supernova. Jerke you nail it right in the head,i said countless times too, Dr Buss wasnt about to let an outsider take over the team is just not going to happen and PJ wanted what he got in NY power, not a ceremonial role.

  74. T Rogers – that’s what impresses me most about Lillard – his poise. Dude looks like a vet out there.

  75. Lillard and Aldrige made me eat my hat last night.