Letâ€™s say this up front, six games â€” preseason games at that â€” is too small a sample size from which to draw big conclusions. That said, I love to jump to conclusions. Don’t even look where I’m leaping. Now that I’ve got this post’s cliche quota out of the way, we can say there are some good and bad things that leap out at you when you look at the stats for the Lakers in the preseason:
The Good: Some of the key players are shooting well â€” Kobe is at 52.1%, Kwame at 52.2%. Smush at 56.8% and Devean George at 54.8% (all eFG%, of course).
The Bad: As a team the Lakers are shooting 45.5% in the preseason, well below the 48.5% they shot last season. The team shooting from three-point range is atrocious â€” 16.4%. And one key player has gotten off to a poor start â€” Lamar Odom is shooting just 38.4%, and heâ€™s just 3 of 18 from three point range, as he tries to adjust to his new role in the offense.
The Good: The Lakers are creating more turnovers. So far this season they have created turnovers of 17.6% of opponentsâ€™ possessions, up from the league-last 12.5% last season. Kobe is leading the way averaging 3.3 steals per 48 minutes played, with Devean George at 2.2 and Smush Parker at 2.1.
The Bad: The Lakers are struggling on offense in the triangle, with an offensive efficiency of 98.4 (points per 100 possessions). That is well below the 107 the Lakers averaged last season and would have tied them for 26th in the league. (For the record, I expect the offense will get better as the players become more comfortable, it has looked better against the beat up Bobcats, but it may not be what weâ€™d all hoped to see for a while.)
The Good: Brian Cook is the teamâ€™s best rebounder in the preseason. After spending last season pretending to be a two guard, Cook is playing closer to the basket and averaging 16.3 rebounds per 48 minutes this preseason. Chris Mihm is second at 13.4 and last seasonâ€™s Laker rebounding leader Lamar Odom is third at 12.2.
Letâ€™s leave it on a good note. Thanks to Doug’s Stats for tracking this preseason stuff. Even if Iâ€™m not going to read too much into it.
last night they looked a lot better to me. like maybe hoping they’ll be hovering around .500 after the first quarter of the season isn’t such a pipe dream after all.
goddamn i LOVE phil’s new approach to fixing chris mihm. chris needs that bop on the nose and the embarrassment of coming out 30 seconds into a game it seems for the message to get through. and what’s more it’s better strategy, saving his minutes for later when they’ll mean more.
hell, it looked like chris got the point after lesson one. he got into the second half with only that one foul!
the team as a whole appeared more comfortable. odom didn’t look completely lost.
John, I thought it looked better too, but I wonder how much of that is the Lakers and how much is the Bobcats are bad and banged up?
true. i tried to keep that in mind though. the bobcats looked like they also were playing better than the night before.
i didn’t think the offense looked terrific– most of the time there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of movement… but it wasn’t a shambles like it was even in that previous game against the bobcats. they looked like an actual nba team this time.
like i said, i’m still worried they won’t even be hovering around .500 the first quarter of the season, but last night it at least looked possible.
i suppose sacramento will be a better gauge to judge them by.
wow. i mean, WOW. they look phenomenal tonight.
i think i’m in love.
They really looked good tonight? How so? The triangle? The defensive intensity? I think they’ll figure “it” out eventually. Maybe not to be a title contender but certainly a playoff team. My big concern is that they may not figure it out in time to savage the season. But this is certainly encouraging.
While I think the Lakers have looked good in just about every facet of the game the last three games, but those were against weak teams without some of their best players. The real test will be Friday against Sacramento, that is a better measuring stick.
yes, yes, and yes. it wasn’t a world championship performance or anything…but there were germs of a team that could be great.
i had said before well, better hold off judgement until they play sacramento– forgetting how banged up the jazz were last year. i would guess most would figure utah finishing outside of the playoff picture this year, but around or near .500. aka where many figure the lakers will finish.
boozer didn’t play, but you know sloan doesn’t run some holiday vacation training camp. the lakers tore them apart. and on top of it they played very good defense on the other end.
bynum played and didn’t look intimidated in the slightest. his first shot he made was with ostertag bodying the hell out of him on one side, and mr. ak-47 pressed against his back trying to swat him out of the building.
he made some errors of course, but for a rookie playing his first game you couldn’t expect much better. clearly he can contribute and learn on the job without screwing things up too bad.
mihm got his first foul in the THIRD quarter.
hopefully it wasn’t a one game illusion. it didn’t seem like it. it also didn’t seem like this team was playing anywhere near what its potential could be.
The Jazz when healthy last year were no slouchs. They waxed the Lakers last year in like the third game of the season, 104-78.
yeah. hmm, someone does have to lose in the western conference this year though. i figure they might have a 2005 lakeresque finish if boozer is unhealthy again.
even if he’s gone again, and kirilenko plays the whole season, i don’t know, it’s hard picturing them finishing that bad since their defense won’t be like last year’s laker team.