Cook or Walton? A few more stats in the â€œwho to start?â€ debate. Looking at the current starting four (Smush, Kobe, Odom and Kwame) and seeing how they do with Cook or Walton, hereâ€™s what 82games.com has found:
With Cook, the Lakers five has beaten the opposing five 50% of the time, but are a +7.8 per 48 minutes. This Laker five shoots an impressive 55.3% and allows opponents to shoot 49.1%.
With Walton (who has played less than half the minutes of Cook with this group), the Laker five has bested their opponents just 30.4% of the time and are a -5.8 per 48 minutes. This Laker five shoots 50.2% but allows opponents to shoot exactly the same percentage.
What do I take from this? Not a ton, small sample sizes at play here, but it makes me think that choosing between Cook and Walton should be tied to match ups more than anything else.
Whoâ€™s Left? One reason others and I mistakenly bought into the â€œGolden State as the poor-manâ€™s Phoenix Sunsâ€ theory before the season was the backcourt of Baron Davis and Jason Richardson.
Tonight, neither of those two is expected to play. Davis is out for sure with an ankle injury and Richardson is questionable with a knee problem. Also, rookie Chris Taft will be out.
Injuries are part of the reason Golden State is 2-8 in their last 10 â€” if Richardson doesnâ€™t play the best guy on the court for Golden State will be Derek Fisher. I have a soft spot for Fish too, but if heâ€™s your best player â€” and heâ€™s shooting just 48.3% (eFG%) in the last 10 â€” then youâ€™re in trouble. And Mike Dunleavy canâ€™t bail you out.
Off Topic: Note to Joanne C. Gerstner of The Detroit News and her comments on the scoring title race â€” for Kobe to win another scoring title he would have had to have won his first. This will be number one.
Key to a Lakers win: This is a game the Lakers should win on defense â€” the Warriors are 21st in the league in offensive efficiency (101.6 points per 100 possessions, 3.3 points behind the 10th-in-the-league Lakers) and they are without their two best players. Well, I suppose Richardson may play but he wonâ€™t be at 100%. Whoever is on the floor, Golden State will try to pick up the pace (4th fastest team in the league) but they can be made inefficient on the break â€” get back and theyâ€™ll settle for a three (they attempt 22.6 a game, second only to the Suns, but Golden State hits just 34.3% of them, well behind the Suns nearly 40%).
This can also be a big game offensively for Odom, Kwame and other guys who should be able to post up â€” Golden State has struggled to stop fours and fives this season. Get the ball inside to start the triangle tonight â€” it slows them down and the Lakers can get good looks going inside out.
Lakers defense seems to be really clicking that last 10 games. My periodic crunching of doug’s stats shows…
– FTAs given up down to 18.5, best in league (league avg 26.5)
– Turnover differential -1.5
– Steal differential +1.5
– TS% differential 3.5%
Only thing down for lakers is the OR% differential, but that probably goes hand in hand with improved shooting.
If the lakers could stay this defensively consistent going into next year then I would call this season a big success. We can always add offense with a trade or MLE, but defense is a team effort.
kwame a. says
i thought that Golden State may have been better this year, but I didnt subscribe to the Phoenix comparisons Chad Ford was stressing (he picked Lakers 12th, G.S. 6th). The reason being, Phoenix has bigs that are perfect for their system (Marion, Diaw, Thomas this year, Stoudamire, Hunter, Marion, last year). Golden State cant do what Phoenix does until they get some athletic, shot-blocking, dunking bigs, now if they had Chris Wilcox and BD could stay healthy and not shoot 8 threes a game….
odom gets his first triple-double as a laker tonite
I knew Adonal Foyle wouldn’t be running the break, but I thought he could be more the Kareem role of the old Lakers, grabbing boards and kicking out to guys who would run, and that Taft, Mickael Pietrus, Dunleavy and the rest would get out and go. One should admit thier mistakes, and this was one of mine. (to have room to list all my mistakes, I’d have to start another blog.)
chris henderson says
ya know, I gotta tell you guys about my recent trip to Phoenix to see the Lakers vs Suns game last Friday.
First thing I gotta mention is that they have a much better 6th man than us…their crowd, lead by that Gorilla, every time-out is the crowd going insane, shouting defense, etc, and they GET FIRED UP!!! it’s amazing to sit there and watch this energy, excitement, adreline..a complete playoff atmosphere. I asked my friend who got the tix, (5 rows up, center court..excellent seats) if this was typical, he said ‘every night’.
so, compare that to Staples, where you can hear the shoes squeak, dialogue between players…WTF!!?? are our fans TOO COOL?? do we expect the opposing teams to be flustered by the Hollywood stars? our fans don’t do much in the way of intimidation, or bringing support to our team…
and I think part of the (historic, even to the Magic lead teams as well) 3rd quarter sleep-walking play is partially due to the fact that half tha seats are still empty, like playing for a less than half full stadium.
I think the owners should do an experiment, move the fans from the cheap seats down to the floor levels, and see if a rowdy crowd makes any difference, cause we sure don’t have any sembelance of that now, or ever, with our TOO COOL fans.
actually, this high energy/excitement also makes the whole experience that much more fun as well.
one other point I’d like to share with you all has to do with what I saw that was unbelievably bias, shocking actually. I was sitting in an “old school” section, season ticket holders from 20 years or more, and there were a couple rowdy laker fans, who engaged into some banter, and it wasn’t purely 1 sided. at times it got a bit rough, and you could sense the old schoolers had had enough, so Security took them out at half time for what we thought was that they got tossed. but the hecklers were back, in the second half, (now having been “warned”)..yeah, they should have cooled it, and they didn’t, so first one got tossed, and then his buddy…but what was weird was that a few other Laker fans, who hadn’t been as rowdy got picked out and tossed too, (this mid way thru the 3rd)…I actually felt that I’d better lay low cause it seemed like they were looking to toss anyone who dared to be a Laker fan. funny thing was that even some of the fans in our section thought that it was too much to toss those guys…
so, if any of you go over to watch some playoff games…be carsefull how loud you yell…
not about the game but about my draft thoughts…
what do you think about YI Jianlian?
its not sure if he’s entering the draft cuz his age its not official yet. if his age is determined to be 1984 instead of 1987 he could be a mid-late first round, that means a possible laker target.
he’s really big, 7-0 projected to grow till 7-2, when young was coached to be a guard so has a great ballhandle. able to dunk 360Âº.
i think growing him along with bynum would be a good thing to try.
tell me what you think about him. we should try to draft the best able and then try the free agency to cover some spots
I don’t know much about Jianlian, was he the guy Time magazine did the “next Yao” story on a while back? That said, if the goal is to take the best guy at 26 and he’s the best, then take him. I’m not a fan of the “twin towers” concept but I am a fan of tradable big men, and with two young bigs one becomes that. But who knows what the deal is with him.
Read that detroit article, and noticed the crazy stat – dwayne wade is averaging 3PS 17% !!! That’s nuts! Talk about a huge hole in his game. Well, maybe not so huge considering how good at driving he is, but for a guard, man… I was blown away.
kwame a. says
speaking of the draft, have you guys heard about this kid from Senegal Saren Sene, 7’0 229 19 yrs old 7’8 wingspan, he came to america and played in the nike hoops summit hs game and almost had a triple double, 9 blks, tied KG’s record, hes shooting up mock draft boards, biggest weakness, offensively limited, but hes only played for two years
yes. he had a nice NIKE hoop game but i wouldnt waste a first round on him…
he looks more like a mid second round pick.
he still don’t know the game.
but could be a good one to watch out for the 50th pick the lakers own
just a thought but… what about G McNamara for the 2nd round pick?
i’ve allways liked that guy.
he’s not the kind of tall PG phil jax love but could be a good backup that now we dont have
kwame a. says
I dont know why i predicted Odom would get the triple double tonite, but he deserved it, hes played top 15 in leauge ball since the asb
Many props for calling the Odom Triple Dub…I also would have doubled the prop count if you called a 15/15 from Kwame…
Good game last night. But they still got beat up in the 1st qtr. They need to shore up those leaks in their defense because if Phoenix gets that lead it won’t be that easy to shut them down to catch up. Andrew B is weak in my book. No hops, no speed, and just looks clumsy. He’ll probably be like a Bill Cartwright. What I would like to see is a Dwight Howard type athlete. In my book he is tradable. I just hope management can see that and not get caught up in wasting time nuturing this guy. We need to make room for Garnett to come through. Turiaf on the other hand looked good. This guy is much more than a Madsen. He’s going to be fun to watch next year. If the bench can get a little deeper this summer we shouldn’t see this Clipper news about how they have changed the tide in LA but more importantly we could be in contention for the big prize.
Any one else notice that Shaq and Lamar had almost identical stat lines? similarities: triple doubles (Each a first with their current team), 15 points, 10 assists, 3 turnovers, 1 block, 7 field goals made.
Close but not exactly the same: Lamar had two more rebounds (13-11), Lamar had 10 fga, Shaq only 9.
Opposites: Lamar was 1/2 from 3-land. Shaq a dismal 20% for freebies (1/5). So, naturally Lamar’s TS% was through the roof, and Shaq’s was good, but in comparison, not so much. (Lamar 75.00%, Shaq 66.96%