At practice yesterday, Rudy T. told his charges he was â€œopen to suggestionsâ€ for improving this team. Glad he asked. (Well, maybe he asked the players and not me, but that never stopped me from answering anyway.)
If Rudy T. were a regular reader of this site heâ€™d already have seen many of these, but I thought Iâ€™d list them here. This list is not all-inclusive, please feel free to add:
1) Step up the defensive intensity on the perimeter. Specifically, the Lakers need to start creating some turnovers, they are dead-f&%!@ing last in the league in this category. Teams are not pressured into mistakes, so even if they are shooting only a pedestrian 46.8% (eFG%) against you, they are getting several more shots per game than you are. (Itâ€™s simple math: more shots = more points.)
2) Get this team to only take threes off penetration or when wide open. Enough with the â€œwell, Iâ€™ve got a couple of feet so Iâ€™m shooting rather than driving or passingâ€ mentality.
3) Yell, knock over a Gatorade vat, throw some baseball bats at the team in the shower and call them lollygaggers, do something to get their attention, then tell them to stop taking defensive possessions off and stop shooting lazy threes. It doesn’t look like this team listens to you â€” make them listen.
4) Sit Lamar and Kobe down and figure out a two-man game they can start to execute on a regular basis — particularly early in the game to get them both going. Weâ€™ve seen it in spurts lately, but then we went away from it in Texas.
5) Get the ball to Mihm/Lamar on the low-block and get more inside baskets. It’ll open up the outside game â€” and Mihm deserves the reward.
6) Would you give the line-up of Kobe-Butler-Odom-Grant-Mihm some time together on the court? You have yet to try it this year, it may not work (almost certainly it would fail against a team with a quick point guard on the floor) but it is worth a shot. Donâ€™t start this way, just put it out there. Lets see what happens.
7) Give Sasha some time on the floor.
8) Tell Mitch that if he wants to win more this season you need a real point guard. Now.
9) Leave Chris Mihm in at the end of games (youâ€™ve been better about this one lately).
I could go on and on, but thatâ€™s a good start. If you get through these we can talk more.