Thereâ€™s a long list of things I want to see this exhibition season. That starts with the Lakers’ first game Tuesday up in Fresno â€” I want to see it but donâ€™t have the chance. Itâ€™s not on television and you need a much better reason than a Laker preseason game to get me to drive to Fresno. I guess I wait until Thursday.
So, starting Thursday, there are things I hope to see:
â€¢ Defense against the pick-and-roll. Or at the very least good rotations.
â€¢ Jordan Farmar shoot consistently from the outside. And, if he wants to earn minutes when it matters, I want to see good, hard-nosed defense.
â€¢ Kwame Brown to consistently collect the passes that come his way.
â€¢ Kobe to play in at least one game.
â€¢ Radmanovic to find the spot-up spaces within the triangle.
â€¢ Maurice Evans to grow more comfortable in the offense (some reports are suggesting heâ€™s having a hard time getting used to the triangle, although if everyone has been running it for a year or more and you come in cold, thatâ€™s hard).
â€¢ Nobody to blame their 3 of 13 shooting night on the new ball.
â€¢ Someone to step up and say, â€œI love the new ball!â€ Not because I think it should stay (why change whatâ€™s working) but just because I love contrarians.
â€¢ Aaron McKie to be bought out to make way for Pinnock or Green (or whoever steps up).
â€¢ Pinnock to step up and earn that roster spot (I think he has the most long-term potential).
â€¢ Shammond Williams. Really, I just want to see him, I have no idea what to expect.
â€¢ Kwame to stop saying things like â€œ”You can’t do nothing without the rock.â€ (A quote from a Los Angeles Times interview). Ignoring the painful grammar of that sentence, you can do a lot without the ball: set picks, get into position for rebounds, move to a space where you can get the rock or at least keep the floor spaced. Plus, thereâ€™s defense. If heâ€™s going to be successful he needs to do all of those things without the rock.
â€¢ What the Kings and Suns look like (not sure how much you can tell in preseason, but Iâ€™m curious).
â€¢ Kurt Rambis to get tossed from a game for arguing with a referee.
I wonder if the new composite ball will help rookies from college a bit. Not that they’ll suddenly become specatacular, but that they’ll have one less thing to adjust to when they make the jump to the NBA. Also, is this not the same type of composite material they use for the international ball? If so this change is sorely needed, if only to make USA basketball more competitive. So even if it is a big deal to switch the ball out, I think they should.
An add-on for the llist of exhibition goodies:
Bynum blocking shots and being physical.
La Fleur says
The College balls are basically the same as the pro balls were so rookies will have to get used to it too.
“It’s a better ball,” Jackson said. “But as a product matter, composite balls are used in every league throughout the world. And they’ve been used in every level of play over the last 10 years domestically in the NCAA and also in high school.”
That quote is from Stu Jackson, VP of Basketball Operations. You may find the original article on ESPN.com here:
That would seem to say that college has used composite for some time. Or I could be having a huge brain fart and be reading incorrectly.
Damn, I thought I had a note in the post about Bynum blocking one into the fourth row. Well, just pretend I did.
Are they really using composite balls in college? Heck, even my Sunday morning pickup at the Y had leather balls. You would think college ball would as well.
Just to be complete, there’s a link to an animal rights site about the NCAA switch. Seems to have gone down completely a few years ago. We probably didn’t hear about it because the college kids didn’t complain about it.
Also, it seems I messed up and posted the last time anonymously. Oh well.
lol @ how you took Kwame’s quote completely out of context. He’s talking about overthinking in the triangle and deciding what hes going to do before he gets the ball, both of which contributed to him mishandling passes. Nevermind that in all of his interviews he’s talked about how the big thing to him was defense and being vocal on defense. Funny that your longest point has no basis.
I think it is kinda unfair to Kwame to take that quote, and imply that he didn’t say anything about defense, or the things he needs to do without the ball. In the interview I read, he talks about defense about 90% of the time. Especially about defending the pick and roll. He also talks about how important it is for him to continue to create for Kobe and the other players, and get a lot of rebounds. Lots of sites have been taking that one quote, and trying to make it sound like Kwame doesn’t think anything else is important, but that wasn’t the tone of his comments at all.
I don’t think it was out of context. Here is the entire quote from the Times:
“Just not thinking as much, not as anxious,” he said. “You can’t do nothing without the rock. I’m just basically trying to slow down. I’m not as wide-eyed as I was last year.”
Now, does he (and has he in other interviews this camp) talk about D and the pick and roll? Yes. Has he talked about his place in the triangle? Yes (and that quote comes out of that talk). But I’m still in the Kwame sceptics corner â€” 1/3 of a good season does not undo years of less-than-stellar play (nor does the half season in Washington). I hope he proves to be a solid tto good starting center. I hope my fears are unfounded. But quotes like that, which is talking about how he fits in the offense, do not help my concerns.
The only thing that will is AN ENTIRE season of good play. Then we’ll know he’s turned a corner.
I understand your point. And I agree, you can’t count your chickens before they hatch. Kwame has something to prove still. That isn’t what I was frustrated about. I was frustrated because you took one small quote out of many, to imply something I don’t necessarily believe to be true. I guess while that probably wasn’t the smartest of quotes, this preseason, by and large Kwame has spoken much more about defense and rebounding, and just playing smartly within the offense.
Sometimes I say some dumb things. By and large, however, the things I say make sense. I just wouldn’t want to be judged by the few dumb things I say…. I guess I just feel that Kwame should be afforded the same. From what I have read, which has been a lot, Kwame has been at least saying the right things.
Nah Kurt, sounds like you just chose the wrong place to quote it from. Heres the exact quote from Ross Siler’s Training Camp blog:
“You can think about the spot that youâ€™re supposed to be at all day long,â€™â€™ Brown said, “and then you canâ€™t do nothing without the rock.â€™â€™
So yeah, i’d consider your post unfair, skeptic or not…
Mike, two things:
First, it’s odd that the Times and Daily News quotes are that different, if they came from the same group interview (as these things tend to be done).
Second, the Siler version of the quote is no better. If you are thinking about the spot, you should realize there are things you can do without the rock. As I said, I hope the overall tenor of his comments are reflective of his play this season, but I’m not sure he gets it yet. We’ll see.
Seems to me that Kwame was sayin’ about playing offense what y’all are sayin’ about him: can’t count the chickens until they hatch. He’s sayin that with his problems of getting ahead of himself mentally and catchin’ the ball in the first place, one [he] can’t do anything without [securing] the ball [first]. Not at all that he thinks so highly of having the ball at the expense of the rest of the game. Your welcome, KB.
As long as Kwame has Brian Shaw in his ear on a daily basis he will/should continue to develop. I really think that this is the first time in his career where he has been valued and taught. He has the opportunity this season to finally shake the weight of the expectations of being a number one pick and simply play up to his potential, whatever that may be. I’ll settle for big body, space eating, move your feet on defense, dunk the ball when you get it close to the basket type guy.
The Lakers are Kwame’s chance at a “do over”… I like that he wants the ball, but as has been stated, he needs to all the litttle things first and foremost. The inside out nature of the triangle means he will get “the rock”, it’s just that he will be giving it up more than scoring with it…
kwame a. says
hey kurt, one contraian regarding the new ball is Portlan’s Jarret Jack, who says he loves the new ball because he can grip it/palm it. By the way, Portland has assembled a ridiciulous amount of young wing/guard talent, McMillian will make that team no fun to play against.
Before the season a read a comment on a message board from Dan Rosenbaum, the stats guy for the Cavs, who said he could not palm a leather ball but he could the new one, that it was more “tacky.” Players, and people in general, hate change however. And I guess the big question is when the ball is wet.
I think Portland is on the right track now. Not that they can make the playoffs in the West this year, but next year?
kwame a. says
One of the other things I’ll be looking for in the preseason is how the battle for back-up PF shapes up. Right now we have two very different options and both have a lot to prove. Brian Cook is going into a contract year, maybe he’ll play defense and rebound (hey a guy can dream). Ronny Turiaf is going into his first full season and will be counted on to come in and do the things Lamar and Cook can’t do, mainly move bodies, provide rugged low-post defense, and bring that infectious energy. These two guys will be important this season because the more they can give the Lakers, the more places we can utilize Lamar’s versatility.
Maybe Kwame was being literal, and he knew exactly how many negatives were in his sentence. Imagine if he literally did nothing without the ball. You can’t do that. =)
I think Kwame weill dye his hair green. And then somehow show that that quote was a direct hint to his reasoning. You guys can argue interpretation of one quote till the cows come in, but in the end it is one lousy sentence and probably doesn;t even mean that much in the grand scheme of things.
All I want to see in the coming season is a decrease in stupid defensive mistakes, and a certain empolyee actually getting the mvp when he deserves it, or if not him LBJ, just not some Canadian PG who can’t keep Smush Parker infront of him.