Records: Lakers 42-18 (2 seed); Kings 27-32 (they will be drafting 12th)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 113.4 (3rd); Kings 108.3 (14th)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 106.0 (6th); Kings 111.1 (25th)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Kings: Beno Udrih, Kevin Martin, Ron Artest, Mikki Moore, Brad Miller
Lakers Notes: Good news â€” Vladimir Radmanovic will be back and dressed tonight. Note I donâ€™t have him as a starter because: 1) Itâ€™s his first game back; 2) Luke Walton has played hard and well the last couple of games, so you donâ€™t just yank him. But having Radmanâ€™s ability to space the floor should improve the offense again, it was really clicking with him as a starter before the injury.
Also, yesterday (in talking about the tying three-pointer against by Dallas at the end of regulation) I wrote: â€œEven if the guy is shooting the three, unless it is Steve Nash the chances of hitting three straight free throws are less than hitting an in-rhythm three.â€
Exhelodrvr correctly pointed out, thatâ€™s not really right.
Not quite – say a 50% chance of hitting a three (which is probably an exaggeration).
An 80% free throw shooter has a 51% chance of hitting three in a row; an 86% FT shooter (like Nowitzki) has a 66% chance of hitting three in a row.
We can discuss how well people would shoot three consecutive free throws under pressure, but the point that an in-rhythm three is less likely to fall than three consecutive free throws is not something I can argue. I think we should have avoided the whole discussion by fouling Kidd the second he touched the ball inside the arc. Also, great comment you should read by Darius, on why Farmar should get some blame on that last play.
The Kings Coming In: Everything I know about the Kings I learned at Sactown Royalty.
Iâ€™ve said before that I think organizations that win have a plan from the top down â€” they know what kind of team they want to be, get a coach to execute said system, draft and get players who fit that system. While I often point to the Spurs or Lakers (since Phil came back) of being franchises that have done that, the Kings are the opposite. I really have no idea what the plan is or what kind of team they want to be.
That starts with how they are using their best player, Kevin Martin. From a great piece recently at Hoops World:
Kevin Martin is the fifth-leading scorer among two guards in the NBA â€“ behind Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Dwayne Wade and Michael Redd.
Of these five players, Kevin Martin has the highest three-point field goal percentage and the highest free throw percentage. Only Iverson makes more free throws per game, and only Iverson and Wade get to the foul line more than Kevin Martin.
Kevin Martin also has the sixth-highest player efficiency rating of all NBA two guardsâ€¦.
What also separates Kevin Martin from those stars is that he plays fewer minutes and gets fewer shots than any of these other four players.
In fact, Martin plays fewer minutes and gets fewer shots per game than Vince Carter, Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford or Jason Richardson.
He gets fewer minutes per game than Ray Allen, Monta Ellis or Mike Miller.
He gets fewer shots per game than Tracy McGrady or Ben Gordon.
Can you imagine Kobe, A.I., D-Wade or Michael Redd sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter in a close game?
Theus (and Mussleman before him) is taking a lot of heat for his coaching. And he should take some. But really, what is the plan for the Kings? From where I sit it seems the owners and GM are on different pages in terms of a long-term plan, and the results on the court are in large part a fallout of that.
Keys To The Game: Sacramento is still one of the tougher home courts to win on â€” the Kings are 18-10 at home this year. If the Lakers expect a cakewalk they will get a surprise.
The Kings have a couple of players that will give the Lakers problems. One is Kevin Martin, who gives everyone problems because he is damn good. But then there is Beno Udrih, who is coming into his own as a PG and is the kind of quick guy who gives the Lakers issues. Then there is Ron Artest, who may be nuts but can still play the game.
With Udrih and Martin the Kings have two guys who can get into the lane, so the Lakers need to stop the penetration on the perimeter and make good rotations in the paint. They have to control the paint without fouling.
And, the Kings like the high pick and roll with Artest setting the pick (he can roll or pop) and the Lakers need to defend that more like they did against Dallas and not so much like against Portland.
And, according to the scouting report at Lakers.com, look for some zone tonight. The Lakers should be able to score â€” and Pau should abuse Brad Miller â€” but they have to recognize the zone and attack it in the middle and then shoot over the top when it collapses down.
Where you can watch: The game is at 7 (Pacific) on KCAL 9 in Los Angeles and League Pass nationally.
I still don’t see why the kings did not trade Ron Artest. Even Ron said that he sees himself as a roadblock of sorts to the development of the other wing players on the team (Salmons and Garcia) and that his (Ron’s) touches can come at the expense of Martin, who he sees as the future of the team. Obviously, Ron was trying to grease the tracks out of town just a little, but he is not really wrong. Get Garcia, Salmons, and Martin as many minutes on the wing as possible. Stick with Udrih and draft another PG. Play Hawes as much as possible to see what you have with him. Look to deal Miller, Artest, Thomas, Moore and see if anyone bites. Thomas has a terrible contract, but Artest is a player (albeit a crazy one) and Miller is having a throwback year. Miki Moore is a solid PJ Brown type (but with better hair) and teams can use his size/length. I don’t get Sacto…although I’m glad they’re not very good.
Darius, that sounds an awful lot like a plan. Like I said there are no long-term plans in Sacramento (inside or outside of the state government offices).
J.D. Hastings says
I was listening to espn radio a week or two agao and they had one of the maloofs on and he said straight up that he believed the coaching staff should be playing Spencer Hawes more. I thought that was odd for a coach to make such a blatant pronouncement publicly like that. In addition, he’s also had to fine Artest, Mikki Moore and John Salmons for publicly criticizing his coaching. And THEN you have the Hoopsworld article. I haven’t watched enough of this team to know whether Theus is in over his head or not, and I don’t think it would be fair to expect this team to have performed better than it has, but none of these things bodes well for Theus.
That said, this game worries me as much as the Portland game. We need whatever rest we can ring from these next 2 days off. The team’s been playing a lot lately.
zing! i have to disagree kurt. our education system is extremely well funded and succeeding in really providing top flight academics to students. ::sarcasm::
tonight, i’m going to look for lots of defensive tenacity.
I think I’d be interested in seeing a breakdown in shooting percentage by different basket/stanchion manufacturers. I dunno why.
Laker Glory says
Allot of people have talked about how they feel Bynum will be able to adjust coming off of the injury, how sharp he’ll be, etc….
My question today is, how will Ariza adjust to coming back into the fold? He will have been out longer than Andrew once he gets back, and he only had a handful of games on the court with this Laker team. I think it will be asking allot of him to step right in during the playoffs. I know we will be looking more at his defense which is what he should adapt to the quickest…..but still. I dont really see Ariza getting minutes come playoff time when Phil tightens the rotation and we already have Walton and Vlad in the fold. I think with how the halfcourt game really becomes the focus come playoffs, Ariza might be really prone to struggles on the offensive end from rust!
Between coming back from the injury and trying to re-integrate with the team right before or during the playoffs, and still trying to pick up the offense, I’m not expecting anything from Ariza the rest of this year. I think we’re in “wait till next year” mode with him, and anything we get from him the rest of the way is just a bonus.
Not Charlie Rosen says
Ariza will probably be the 3rd 3 off the bench, used in specific situations, but not part of a regular “2 min left in 1st quarter” sub rotation. Likely Phil will save him for when the other team’s 3 is starting to go off (say, Melo starts driving at will on Luke, and we can’t pull Kobe off AI), or if we dramatically want to change the energy of the game, and put Farmar, Machine, Ariza, Turiaf and Bynum on a constant full-court-press, run every second push for a couple of minutes at the end of the third quarter.
Plus he’s there in case of foul trouble or an injury (Vlade and Luke are notoriously tender folk) god forbid (even just a minor “tweaked something, need to rest for a couple minutes”). Plus, in case of a big lead (and hopefully there will be at least a few of those), he’s someone Phil can put in who isn’t going to let the energy drop just because we’re up by 15 or so in the 4th.
And even if he just get a few minutes, there’s a chance for a “Hi Grant Hill my name’s Trevor” style dunk that could energize an entire series.
Brian Tung says
Laker Glory (4): Depends. I think we can expect him to deliver some good man defense, and he can play the Marion role on offense (points on putbacks, leakouts, and other improvisatory madness). I agree that expecting him to fit into the triangle seamlessly is probably unrealistic.
Laker Glory says
Good points. I just worry about turnovers and poor shot selection outweighing those points you brought up if he does get any minutes.
I most like the point you made about possibly using him as a stopper for brief stints if an opposing player gets hot.
It’s just a bummer he had to go down like that. It wouldnt be such a concern if Luke (although a tad better of late) wasnt playing so horribly this year. In my opinion, Luke has taken a big step back this year on both offense and defense. Very disappointing.
All these heated argument for and against Kobe for mvp seem a bit silly. Why do we care whether he wins the award? Shaq only got one, West has none — these are all time top 10 nba players. It’s a meaningless award. If the award meant anything Duncan and Shaq would both have 4 or 5.
Kobe, Lebron, Garnett, Paul and Duncan (let’s not forget him again) are all playing at elite levels for contending teams. They’ve all been great leaders. Their teams are winning. They do different things well, with some shining a little brighter in some statistics and others in others. I don’t think you can make a reasonable argument that any of them clearly deserve the award over the others. One might value Paul’s quarterbacking above others; another might value Kobe or Lebron’s scoring and all around briliance; others might value Duncan or Garnett’s defense and dominance inside. None of them have fatal flaws. As no one is clearly distinguishing himself from the candidate field, I don’t understand the crazy reactions to Dwyer’s and others’ articles.
I agreee. The MVP is a meaningless award–and it focuses attention on the individual in what always will be a team game.
As much as I want Kobe to win the MVP, if he doesnt get it he will pull an “Olajuwon on Robinson” and go off in the playoffs. Kobe will prove to everyone he should have been MVP.
Brian Tung says
Reed (10): Personally, I’m not reacting to his choice; I don’t agree with it, but I don’t think the choice itself is crazy. I’m reacting to his reasoning, or lack thereof, to be more precise. He simply asserts, without rationale, that statistical comparison should be the basis for the MVP vote. Well, OK, but why? Why should we use those individual statistics, and not the team statistics? Especially when Dwyer has been put forth as a thoughtful basketball columnist, the choice not to explain his rationale for his criteria–especially for an award where there are no explicit criteria–seems unfortunate.
And I wouldn’t say the award is meaningless just because Shaq and Duncan don’t each have four or five of these things. Different people have different opinions about what the award should mean; as I said before, I think that’s healthy. Conformity of opinion on this matter is not a strength. It’s precisely because the award is ill-defined that diversity of belief is desirable. At the same time, if you’ve got a public voice and you use it to disseminate your opinion on the MVP, I’d like to think you’ve got a reason for your opinion, and that you’ll share it with us.
i am going to the game tonight. in sacto, it’s still a huge deal when the lakers come to town. being a lakers fan at arco is like being borat in an arena of angry texans. i’ll keep a low profile, but other fans usually figure me out by the end of the game.
I also agree, that from the perspective you stated, it is a pretty meaningless award. Yet, from Kobe Bryant’s angle, I want it badly for him. He has been at the level for quite some time now, but this season he is doing the things that prevented him from winning it before. The Lakers are a major force in the NBA and Kobe is at the center of it. He is making others better, something that critics have long knocked him on.
There is some validity to your statement that the MVP award “focuses attention on the individual in what always will be a team game,” but I don’t really see this as the case when Nash and Duncan won theirs. They received it for elevating the play of those around them, guys like Diaw, Barbosa, and Parker.
If Kobe does win the award, I think it will be in direct relation to how the high level of performance of Sasha, Farmar, and Bynum really blindsided the league, and all those who pay attention to it. Well, except some of us here…
Kobe has been the supreme individual talent par excellence the past few seasons, and that wasn’t enough for the MVP nod. But, after watching him translate it to building confidence in others, I feel it is a just reward for a job well done in that sense.
I think that’s right, Brian. I’m always comfortable countering bad arguments — or arguments made without support. I think everyone on this blog has been level headed about kobe and the mvp. But if you read the comments at yahoo following Dwyer’s piece or comments on other laker sites, it’s amazing how knee jerk emotional people are about this. I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s not a meaningless award — but it’s certainly a flawed one, usually rewarding media favorites over the truly dominant players in the game.
The other thing about the MVP award, like much of the “conventional wisdom” from media about the NBA, it tends to lag about two years behind reality. Kobe has been amazing for a few years, but now that he has better teammates other people are crediting him. Like I said yesterday, I just can’t get worked up over a media-voted award when I think most of the voters are that far behind reality in the first place.
Laker Glory says
The MVP award is useless!!! There is absolutely NO real criteria for voting. Every single year it seems like the team generating the most buzz with their play…the best player on that team wins the MVP. It’s all hype. This year, the two teams with the most buzz are the Lakers and Celtics (Hornets up to this point are in the mix as well). I honestly feel it will come down to Kobe and KG in the end.
Allot of playoff legends that have 1 or no MVP awards is the proof. In the NBA, championships are what the truly greats are judged by. The real MVP’s come out during playoff time, not in December and January!! The MVP is strictly a REGULAR SEASON award and has NOTHING to do with winning when it really matters!!!
Laker Glory (5) – I think Ariza will be able to fit in nicely with the short minutes he’ll end up playing. His defensive game is something that should come back as soon as he gets his legs under him. And as for his offense, I expect him to be the slasher we’ve seen in the past for 4-6 points off quick cuts to the hoop and freethrow opportunities.
kwame a. says
Tonite, who should we put on Artest? I would put Lamar on Ron-Ron and put Luke on Mikki Moore. Also, If Ron-Ron is guarding Kobe that means Kevin Martin will be on Luke. Luke should pound Martin on the block, he had a couple nice post moves last game. Arco has gotten loud during this mini-Kings resurgence and we should not underestimate the joy the Kings and Kings fans will have with a win over the Lakers.
Also, aside from tonite, I will be rooting for Sacramento, Denver and Portland to do well against the West playoff teams. They are all able to beat any of the 8 teams currently in the playoffs, and each win against one of our competitiors is a boost to us.
I definitely agree with you on this point, and it’s one of the main reasons I want Kobe to win. As Laker fans, we have a unique perspective on Kobe….we have seen the good and the bad, the greatness and the head scratching, the celebrating and the bitching….and the whole time it’s played itself out in the public eye, through the unforgiving lens of the media. But he’s our guy. Many times, we’ve been the only ones to stick up for him. So now, when he has a chance to win the award that the media darlings receive, I want him to win it. Just as a verification that he is that guy that we’ve always said he was. I don’t know if I’m really articulating myself here….but this is a guy that has been sent through the ringer plenty of times (and as recently as this past summer) and now he is almost universally accepted as being at the top of his sport. To get the hardware would be really satisfying. Anyways. Let’s beat the Kings.
Trevor may be injuried but he is with the team constatnly right? At practices and the such…so…there is time for him to at least study the offense and really absorb what is going on with it…I think that is a huge plus for him…
I am not worried about him fitting back in on the D End though…the guy just “got it” pretty much out the gate.
I agree the identity of Sac is in sort of a transitional period…but they have not figured out what they want to transition to…I for one have no compassion for them though…after they tried to posion Kobe…all love for them is lost….LOL
20. I think it has to be Odom on Artest â€” if Mikki Moore has a career night and beats you, whoever is guarding him, then so be it. You want him to take the shots, not Artest or Martin.
On offense there are mismatches all over the place for the Lakers, they should be able to score plenty. I’m just worried about drives into the paint from Sactown’s guards killing us.
Kurt, 17. Great point about the award being a few years behind performance on the court. It captures what we see in the media refusing to reward someone that is playing at an elite level for the first time — which will crush Paul’s chances this year despite his brilliance.
Darius, 21. Well said. I also would like him to be recognized for the dominant winner he is, so it would be satisfying to see him win it.
My beef is with those who get so worked up arguing for Kobe that they turn blind to the wonderful things Lebron, Garnett, Paul, Duncan, etc. are doing this year. All of these guys deserve the award on some level — it’s almost impossible to distinguish the relative impact they have on winning games. Let’s try to avoid biased homerism, especially when it comes to an individual award given by an out of touch media.
Drrayeye — please don’t agree with me again… It keeps me fresh to know every time I put a large post up that you will be lurking, waiting, ready to devour me with sparkling metaphors and shiny insights.
81 Witness says
paul, will be at the game too. Look for the Farmar jersey 15-20 rows behind the Lakers bench in section 111.
J.D. Hastings says
On the issue of reintegrating Bynum and Ariza , I hope that we get them both well before the playoffs, but if we don’t the absurd length of the first round could help us. The time between games will give us time to practice and work on integrating them. Then, if we can maintain a high seed and get a favorable matchup (crossing my fingers while knocking on wood) so that we can get out of the round without having to go 7 games, there’s a chance we could get a lot of time before the start of the second round. It’s a matter of milking every day we can get from the team to reintegrate and get healthier.
It may also be unrealistic to expect seeing much of the Pau/Bynum combo on the court together this year. Instead we can preserve each of their minutes and keep them fresh by splitting time at the center spot. Maybe slowly giving Pau some of the time at the 4 when Odom sits. Whichever. I trust in PJ.
I, for one, hope Kobe DOESN’T win the MVP. Not because he doesn’t deserve it (he does), but because of his personality and how people with that type of personality do when they are shunned of something they deserve to win (See: 1997-1998 Jordan).
I actually believe that if Kobe doesn’t win the MVP, he will play at a level that nobody has seen before, basically meaning he’s going to make it a personal vendetta to destroy all opposing teams so the Lakers can get the title. Does anyone seriously believe that Kobe would take a snub lying down?
Lebron James, as much as he is f’ing brilliant, is still not on Kobe’s level. Maybe in a few years. But even then, I doubt people will try to employ a defense on him where JVG brilliantly goes “Put the box on him and the one on everyone else”.
As for tonight’s game, our favorite martian is back. Now we wait for Kareem’s protege and Mr. Ariza.
Carlos Boozer on PTI today, really erudite and candid and generally seems like a cool guy. Something I liked that he said referred to how closely packed the west is (as we all know), and how therefore the rest of the season is playoff-like in intensity and implication. He said that alone will make teams “playoff-tested” by the time the actual playoffs roll around, and I liked that when combined with the (warranted) criticism out there that the Lake Show is obviously incredibly talented but not quite experienced enough yet.
kwame a. says
I actually like what Sac is doing. The Moore/Miller/Hawes trio is a nice frontcourt, although I dont care too much for Shelden Williams. I also like Udrih, Martin, Salmons and Garcia. If Artest would stay I think he can make them a playoff team, but if he leaves they should think about trying to get a guy like Marion. I see them being a Toronto of the West, in that they are deep and able to contend, but don’t make it deep in the playoffs.
Not Charlie Rosen says
26 – That’s a good point about playoff practices: they’re a lot different from the regular season. Not only do you get a lot more time in between games, but you’re very focused on specific things that that one team does–offensive sets, defensive strategies, etc.. Regular season practices are about little more than keeping folks in rhythm and working on a few things here and there, but in the playoffs, the scope is smaller and more intense; it’s not like missing class and trying to take a test, more like skipping the lectures, then cramming during intense study sessions right before the test.
It would be nice to get 5-10 games with the both of them back, just to work on some in-game flow and camaraderie, but really, I think that’s not too important. Remember in 2001, when Kobe missed most of the last 2-3 weeks of the reg. season with a hand injury then came back for the playoffs and led us to nearly sweep all 4 rounds, even had the Big Journeyman calling him “my hero” and “the best player ever”.
The MVP lost a lot of credibility in my book when a one dimensional player in a high octane offense won it two years in a row.
29. Kwame a., they certainly have some young talent, but do they know what they are doing with it? And you have more faith in Artest being able to be a leader than I do.
(16) Hi Reed,
You made me laugh! Don’t worry. Sooner or later I both agree and disagree with everyone–even myself.
About the Kings: According to Sactown Royalty, they either win small–or lose big.
I wouldn’t mind seeing the lose big.
Dom — Actually Nash is two-dimensional: he can pass AND shoot. But I agree, as great a player as Nash is running their offense, I still can’t believe that a player who is a defensive liability and gets absolutely killed night in and night out by the player he’s guarding can be a two-time MVP.
Your comment sent me over to Sactown Royalty to take a gander, and I offer to everyone the following from their preview, which put a ginormous smile on my face:
“I will say this definitively: I’m willing to sacrifice 19 more losses this season if the Kings sweep the Lakers from here on out. If the Kings go 4-19 to finish, and those four are against the Lakers, I will not be mad at anyone.
Sometimes, there are causes greater than ourselves. This is one of those causes.”
Interesting game here. The Kings are not a bad team. They have 2 all star caliber players in Artest and Martin do it should be a tough game early. Hopefully the Lakers can get back to dominating on the defensive end.
Make or break week for the Suns: at Portland, at Denver, Utah, San Antonio.
If the Shaq trade works, it has to be this week. Going 1-3 or 0-4 will really crush them mentally and put them behind or out of the playoff race. Going 3-1 or 4-0 will give them confidence for the stretch run. I’m sure we’re all hoping for a historic collapse we can tell our grandchildren about.
You should probably see Ariza for ” D” purposes in the playoffs. Radmanovich is one of the worst defenders in the league. Walton can’t keep up with the quicker 3’s. Trevor’s poor shooting should be masked by other players. Our offense isn’t our problem.
Craig W. says
MVP and a little history here.
When Michael was drafted two things were emerging – ESPN and NIKE. Where Magic signed the historic contract, Michael signed the historic shoe deal. Also, ESPN targeted their new sports focus at individuals. With Magic and Bird in hand and Dr J finishing up, the NBA followed right along with this philosophy. This was the real start of the individual highlights uber alles – with additional single coverage by the shoe guys.
One facet of the media (like the movies) is that stars get ‘old’ quickly so they use up fresh faces fast (see Dwayne Wade). This means that as the star system got entrenched, the media was constantly looking for new and fresh meat. Michael was the super-super pitchman that actually proved the rule by his exception.
The sportswriters, however, cherished their previous position and their contacts and these were the people voting for the MVP. It took them several years to cultivate particular players and they tended to stick with them because they knew them (like the public in All-Star voting). If players got on the wrong side of these voters, they got snubbed because there are always multiple ways of looking at the MVP vote. While all these sportswriters couldn’t have contacts with all players, they solved this by rotating the award when there were several candidates available. This explains Michael’s failure in some years and Shaq’s getting only one. Kobe failed the darling test when he ignored the press to concentrate on his craft so it will take a perfect storm for him to win the award. This year is as close as that comes. If he wins it this year I do not expect him to win another one.
You say, “Radmanovich is one of the worst defenders in the league.”
Last year, he played the entire season injured, so he was not in top form–but he was not one of the worst in the league even then to me. This year, he earned the starting nod when he was healthy–and will certainly play tonight. I’ve watched him make some great steals and play good team defense.
Exactly what in your mind makes him “one of the worst defenders in the league.” What did you observe in recent games before he went lame? What other “worst defender” would you compare him to?
Although Ariza is a great athlete, he sometimes overplays while going for steals and gives up easy baskets. If you compare his numbers to VladRad, he is only slightly better on defensive statistics and worse at offensive statistics.
Statistically, there is not much difference between Ariza and “one of the worst defenders in the league.”
Maybe you could explain what I’m missing?
Warren Wee Lim says
I like the part where the Kings fan make this out to be a bigger game than we all think it is… maybe the guys should realize they should come out with guns blazing or else…
A particular quote I liked in the intro part is this:
“I will say this definitively: I’m willing to sacrifice 19 more losses this season if the Kings sweep the Lakers from here on out. If the Kings go 4-19 to finish, and those four are against the Lakers, I will not be mad at anyone.”
I will say this definitivively: I’m willing to sacrifice 4 losses, being swept by the Kings, if we win the other games. If we go 18-4 to finish, and the four are against the Kings, I will not be mad at anyone.
Kurt”s right: system’s win. Doesn’t matter which system you choose, the mere presence of a system places a discipline on all decisions. It makes sure all parts are complimentary. Nothing complimentary about Artest. I’m a little mixed on Martin. Sure, I don’t get why Theus would talk him down like that. And I love all these new statistical tools pointing out how efficient he’s been. But he’s still nothing more than a Reggie Miller or Rip Hamilton (w/out the D). Very good players, valuable on offense, but there is a cap on the usage you can get out of them. Those players work best with a low post player who demands a double team, which the Kings don’t have. And I’m pretty skeptical about Hawes developing into that player.
Big B says
Gotta say, I love all the new content on lakers.com… watching all these interviews made me wonder: is it just me or does Kobe lick is lips every other question?? haha just funny i think
Warren Wee Lim says
Kurt, the Kings did have a plan for rebuilding – it just did not work out. In reality, the Kings were intent on moving BOTH Bibby and Artest but always wanted KT9 as an attachment. This is why Bibby did not end up in Cleveland with LBJ. And because CLE had no expirings to offer except that of Ira Newble’s, Atlanta won the bid. As far as gambles go, I think Atlanta did a pretty decent job.
What makes me wonder is why Artest was not moved intently to a team that was willing to take KT with him. I heard the Knicks was intently interested but when the Kings went overboard by asking for David Lee, the lucid interval episode of Zeke made him balk at the deal.
Oh and to an extent of irony, Artest + KT for Odom has been murdered in fan forum trade sites.
Now that they have spent the MLE on Mikki, Brad Miller still has 3 yrs left after this season, and the immovable contracts of SAR and KT, the Kings appear to be lost. It lost its real assets to package around these ugly contracts and they lost all leverage to trade Artest now – UNLESS Artest does not opt out and therefore he can be traded next season.
As for Bibby, it was basically Shelden + Expirings since Atlanta did not have a pick to offer.
Warren Wee Lim says
May I add that the Knicks is also banking on Artest opting out and signing the MLE with them… that’s why trading for him with an albatross contract in KT made no sense.
I still think Brad Miller can be traded next year, as early as the summer months.
kwame a. says
33 pts allowed in the first is disconcerting. I mentioned earlier, the Kings have some nice pieces, and we are allowing them to do what they want, we need to protect our paint better.
Is it a lack of effort or what?
Transition defense, rebounding..
We look terrible out there right now.
kwame a. says
48-transition d has been awful. kobe will get it going at some point.
not the kind of score i expected from the lakers.
but i have trust in Kobe getting hot at least once before the game ends, so i’m not worried yet…
are these threes all good threes? or are they rushing things like a local team that isn’t disclined enough to know that a sure two and a defensive stop is much better than an iffy three and iffy defense?
Lakers aren’t playing with any effort whatsoever, and that is really irritating.
even more irritating is the refereeing in this game. It’s absolutely atrocious.
I am starting to get worried.
We are complaining too much, waiting for refs to bail us out, leading to easy points for the Kings in transition.
We look one step behind today on both ends of the floor.
I remember Brad Miller almost took a shot from Shaq way back when, and he almost just took one from Pau – he’s been shoving people all over the place in this game. Is that his MO? I’ve never heard Brad Miller being mentioned as a dirty player, but he seems to draw ire from a lot of people.
kwame a. says
We gotta get Fish off of Udrih, he’s compromising our defense trip after trip. Our perimeter d has failed us but we can still win this game.
2 points from the bench? and not a whole lot of attempts for those players either
Ron Artest, tearing L.O. apart. L.O. MIA once again…
kwame a. says
LO isnt havin a bad game. Artest is a streaky player and he’s on a good one right now. Our transition/perimeter d is whats MIA.
Craig W. says
I said in the past that Lamar and Kwame shouldn’t be in the game at the same time. In this game Lamar and Luke shouldn’t be in the game at the same time. Same reason – defensive liabilities.
If you want to leave Lamar on Artest, then you must take out Luke. The impact on the defense, with these two liabilities is so apparent in this game that I can’t believe Phil can’t see it. I believe Phil is just stubborn. D##n him!
kwame a. says
59-I don’t mean to be repetitive, but I think its more Kobe and Fish than Luke and Lamar as far as our defensive probs.
58-yes, you are right, L.O. is doing alright.
I guess Artest is just on a streak right now..
Whats with the zoomed in shots by the cameraman? Hey KCAL, I enjoy having court vision!
Commentators have the hardest time with the name Vujacic. It’s really not that hard.
GO ROBIN! Yes! 8-12
I meant Pau.
kwame a. says
Vlad is outta synch. Odd rotation by Phil latley, going with Kobe early in the 4th, then resting him, then putting him in again. He used to have him rest the early part and let him go the rest.
God, this is so painful. Everytime they get close, the Kings pull away.
Lakers are lucky to be this close late in the game – don’t deserve to win this game at all.
68 I agree. They do not deserve to win this. But I hope they gut it out.
well, if lakers win this, it’d be safe to say we’re pretty clutch. Pau, Lamar all seem to be delivering when it counts.
as for you know who… well darn.
kwame a. says
Kobe has never played with this level of outward intensity. The last week has been off the charts
Wow, finally some effort on D.
The last 4 min have been stellar. 14-0 run?
I’ve been impressed with Pau as well. He’s been getting some tough rebounds and tightening up the D in the paint.
MVP of tonight’s game = Pau. 65% shooting, 30 points, couple assists away from a triple double, great defense.
Wow. I’ve forgotten how dirty a player Brad Miller is. He takes down Pau and Luke and takes a swipe at anyone around the basket.
kwame a. says
Last game it was against Dirk, this game Artest. Lamar is a very versatile defender, and that will be key to a long playoff run
how in the world did we win this game?
kobe bryant is the MVP.
Good finish. Clutch on both ends of the floor since the 6:00 minute mark.
I love how Kobe started denying K-mart the ball. Real effort on the defensive end.
this playoff type atmosphere is bringing the best out of Lamar. I just can’t see letting him go, it’ll be a mistake close to PHX letting Marion go.
also, surprising how this game went from total-lack-of-effort to not-really-close in the span of a quarter.
two players scoring 30+ points. gosh darn it that’s a truly legit 1-2 option.
with 3 and 4 chipping 19 and 17 a piece, we really don’t have a problem on offense.
KB caps it off with his 10th rebound to get that double double as a shooting guard defending the perimeter.
in honor of another choke job from the kings:
laughing hard says
Ugly 42 minutes, but a good 6 was all it took…
I loved Pau’s offense in this game–even when Kobe’s shot was off he made himself available and stayed with the offensive flow.
Cary D says
Wow, Kobe Bean Bryant. I mean, wow…
Those last 5 minutes should be put on tape and buried in a time capsule. He was unbelievable. 7 down then up by 6 in 3.5 minutes? Best part for me was majority of his work was against Ron Artest down the stretch.
Isn’t Ron Artest one of the best one on one defenders in basketball? He couldn’t keep Kobe in front of him at all.
Then his defense on Kevin Martin changed the whole scope of the game. I will forever allow Ron Artest to chuck three pointers and try to trade baskets with Kobe, any day of the week.
Great work KB24!!! Pau kept us in that game though, but you brought it home.
It is such an honor to watch Kobe Bryant play the game.
Our bench is stagnant in many offensive areas, what’s up?
kwame a. says
82-Our bench is really down to just Sasha and Jordan. Ariza and Drew are hurt, Vlad is coming off injury, and Turiaf has been utterly lost since Pau has come. The good thing is, the playoffs dictate a tight 8-9 man rotation and we have the days off and depth to handle that.
Awww, the Suns won. Nevermind, I hate the Blazers just as equally.
With all the Kobe talk going on, y’all know I had to throw up a post about it:
P.S. You gotta love the MVP chants for Kobe in Sactown! Almost as cool as the chants in Boston last season.
It is hard to describe how good I feel after this game.
I wish Spurs would lose one..
Don’t worry, when Andrew comes back, we’ll take out the Spurs. BTW, we have the best player in the world.
I love ugly wins. It just shows that the Lakers could tough it out, and it didn’t hurt that we have a player named Kobe Bryant.
chris h says
it’s a good thing we were able to gut out a win tonight, or else the word around the league is that you can beat the Lakers by playing very physical, almost a dirty style of play.
that was taking us out of the game in the first 3 quarters, we were not getting the calls, but spent too much time looking at the refs, waiting for a call, which never comes you know, if it’s after the fact.
one thing we don’t want is a rep that we’re soft, or that if a team plays to beat us up, that they’ll win. I really didn’t like watching the Kings play that way, Miller and Moore were looking like they were proud of those hard fouls, hi-fiving each other.
this is, I’m afraid, what the rest of the season is going to be like, playoff intensity.
it’s going to be a rough rest of the season, but the Lakers showed they can win with skill and play that kind of rugged style of play.
oh and in my humble opinion, I thought Derek played the best PG defense, and LO while he let Artest get off a few times, I think he played as good as anyone could in that circumstance. Luke gutted it out, staying on Miller who is much bigger, and that 1 steal the Radman got was crucial, so he contributed too.
did you guys see that “grab of the neck” that Miller did that pissed Pau off so much that he swung his arm/first, and got a “T”? (I hope the league doesn’t review that too closely).
dirty play from the “queens” tonight, Sunday’s gonna be interesting.
81 Witness says
Some notes from the game, but first, what did I say yesterday?
“About the Kings: The Lakers can dominate if they take the ball to the cup early and consistently. While the Kings perimeter defense is good, their interior defense is terrible. I do not give much credit to Miller and Moore. They also get into foul trouble easily. I know Kobe has recently tried to get his teammates involved, but it would be nice for him to get to the rack early and often.”
Lakers won tonight because Kobe et al. took the ball to the rack with a serious mission in the 4th. Had they done it the hole game instead of these namby, pamby, passes, maybe they would have blown them out. More:
“Sometimes Artest will bring the ball up. Luke, Sasha, and Kobe need to give up space and let him shoot. This was how he destroyed the Kings under Musselman. However, do not let him take you to the interior as he will out-muscle most of the Lakers and draw a foul. Same thing goes for Salmons. He has been struggling from outside lately.”
Saw Artest thrown some clunkers down the stretch. As soon as he dribbled down the court and put them up, everyone knew it was a brick. Salmons played well, but did it on mostly interior plays. Terrible job by the machine, Kobe, and anybody else guarding him.
About the crowd:
It was 3:2 Kings vs. Lakers. Lots of Lakers fans in the crowd. I loved hearing the echo of Luke in the first. Also, when Martin shot up the airball, lots of airball from the crowd. Lots of chants of MVP down the stretch. This #24 might be an okay player.
Comment by 81 Witness â€” March 3, 2008 @ 10:01 pm
81 Witness says
Sorry for the 2x post, but some other thoughts that came to mind:
1st quarter: Kobe’s D was terrible. Letting Martin get the ball on the court where he wanted it. Maybe 24 should have got some sleep. The rest of the Lakers fell asleep, will someone please stop the ball?
2nd quarter: Just as bad, I feel even worse for those of you who had no KCAL and had to listen to the Kings’ commentators. These guys remind me of the two muppets on the balcony in the theater. Just horrrrribblllleeee!!!! Again, the Lakers need to stop the ball in transition and force a difficult pass. Also the pick n’ roll defense from Kobe and Lamar sucked.
3rd quarter: The Kings want to win more than the Lakers. They are out-rebounding, out-hustling and have a few people from the crowd behind them. Something new, Walton starting to guard Miller. I like it though. Put your least athletic player against theirs.
4th quarter: MVP!!! MVP!!! Kobe finally deciding to execute my game plan and expose the interior defense, but even worse, the exterior looks winded. Theus is going to have to get his boys into better shape.
Luuuuukkkeee on Miller worked really well. I like PJs thinking, always innovative. Mazeltov PJ!!
i was hunting for posts to read, following various Kobe for MVP arguments, and came across this from jonesinthenba blog, i think.
interesting read (a year old) and got me going with more comparisons… Howard Roark from the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and Kobe. not gonna elaborate as i’m not sure how many actually read that book (got me to dabble in architecture for a bit), but this season is so hollywood that i can’t stop conjuring up comparisons…
45. Warren, I did not throw out the “Kings front office torn” without checking around a little (with Ziller and others). They did not have a top-to-bottom plan. Remember, GM Petrie did not want to hire Theus as coach, that was a decision by the Maloofs over their GM’s objections. And reports are Theus us the reason Artest is still a King — he thinks Artest can be coached and will be the leader this team with some young talent needs. Petrie wanted to trade him. Everyone is not on the same page, which means someone is going to be gone. My bet is Petrie gets tossed, which is foolish because he understands and evaluates talent well.
j. d. hastings says
“He’s so good it makes you want to spit up” Sacto Announcer after Kobe’s jumpshot late in the 4th
Craig W. says
My real question is – Why did it take us until the 4th qtr to catch these guys? If the way we beat physical teams is to unleash Kobe on them, then we are doomed to either wear out or break down Kobe before the end of the season. We have to do better. I don’t think playing Lamar and Walton together for 3qtrs and most of the time was such a great strategy.
I know it’s probably been mentioned peripherally, but I think Phil’s comments on other teams’ attitudes towards the Lakers are spot on. Teams are playing much more physical games, and really attacking us inside. My personal (biased) opinion is that the refs are calling soft on our games, because there’ve been, consistently, several games where the refs have allowed very physical (and questionable) play. Perhaps its an early induction of playoff calling which is generally a little bit more “let them play” in character. I didn’t have a chance to watch the end of the game, but it seems that the kings brought a very physical style of play.
They are definitely playing into Gasol’s physical deficiencies (and Lamar can’t get a call for his life). Dampier’s play the night before is an example, case in point. Someone brought up JVG line on his illegal screens. At least one of those fouls on Kobe was Flagrant.
That being said, these Lakers are showing heart, and I haven’t seen it for a while. I remember Shaq-Kobe Lakers where even games that were played from behind were always a grind, and we always had a good chance at coming back. Watching our perseverance this year is really heartening.
Craig W. says
I am glad this team in consistently in games called like playoff games and with fouls let go. I think it will teach them how to ignore the refs and play under playoff pressure. Then, when the playoffs start, we will have playoff hardened vets and not youngsters who haven’t been through the mill before. This being true, we should be better equipped to successfully go deep into the playoffs.
Now if only we can get players to try defending for 4qtrs.
i’d much rather have them coast 3 quarters during the regular season and learn the importance of bringing it for 4 quarters the hard way, instead of being totally spent come playoffs.
unfortunately Kobe being Kobe, he is going to be spent one way or another, but fortunately Kobe being Kobe, he’ll be as physically fit as anybody else.
what i’m worried about is Bynum and Ariza who have to ease into games. they’ll see physical play the moment they step onto the court, and not quite sure how that will affect their psyche and just-healed bodies.
then again, there’s a guy gutting through contact with a torn ligament…
I think that somewhere in my subconscious I remember these lifeless games from last year: terrible defense, inconsistent offense, no assists, we’re hopelessly behind–everything looks bleak.
Then here comes Kobe our savior–the egomaniac–in the fourth quarter–except we don’t get those stops, Smush makes a turnstyle defensive move as the opponent goes to the hoop–uncontested. Kobe hits a series of shots, then another insane three, finally pulling us ahead, then Cook fouls an opponent making a layup for an “and one,” and its down to the wire–behind by 2 with a few seconds left.
Kobe is triple teamed, dishes to the Smusher in the corner–who steps out of bounds just before he swishes that three. Turnover. We don’t even get a shot off.
Kobe walks sullenly, defiantly, into the dressing room–with a few catcalls from Kobe haters as he walks by.
Don’t you remember that one–or two, or three, or . . .
Push forward one year.
We can’t get over the hump, but we crawl back. Kobe can’t hit the broad side of a barn, but Gasol has “quietly” moved towards a 31-10 on 10-15 shooting, Fisher hits some threes–and the defense starts to make stop after stop–Lamar (19-12) shuts down Artest–and Martin doesn’t even get to take a shot! Gasol gets another rebound.
Kobe goes on a 12-0 tear as Sacto goes into shock.
We win by 15! The crowd in Sacramento is shouting “MVP, MVP, MVP” as Kobe suddenly realizes where he is, smiles for an instant, and heads to the locker room, shaking his head in amazement.
His fans at FB&G pinch themselves, not completely forgetting, maybe never forgetting last year.
we won by 15???
You’ve got to be kidding.
I am wary of People trying to bring down the quality of the Lakers wins. And one of the things that people said about this win and the dallas win was the free throw disparity.
Lakers nearly doubled their free throw attempts and still we complained that the game was called “softly” for us. I even read a comment once wherein they said we were becoming wade-like.
Of course the only defense I had was that the lakers drove and attacked the rim more often while the other team settled for jumpers. But not seeing the games I wouldn’t know if I was right hehe.
This game reminded me of the Showtime Lakers or the ShaKobe Lakers. Sometimes you play ugly….but still get the win. Good teams do it . Thats what makes them good. They find a way to win ugly…repeatedly.
And I LOVE showing the emotion. I hope he does it more often and it rubs off on some of the other guys. It shows that you EXPECT to win every time you step on the court.
last night’s game was OFF THE HOOK!!!
KOBE is still the best clutch player alive. Just ask dallas and sacramento!!
81 Witness says
Mico – I was at the game. People said these referees tonight were bottom of the barrel meaning we got the worst rotation. There were glaring errors for both teams:
Luke not getting fouls called. Artest not getting fouls called. Miller pushing off consistently. Odom pushing off.
They go both ways and the refs called a fair game. Couldn’t believe the Laker support in Arco last night. Will have to go again in April.
chris h says
have you guys seen that idiot TJ Simmers column today in the Times?
he’s still hanging on the the Colorado incident, saying Kobe is not likeable, etc…
man this pisses me off! people like him are scum. let it go man, it’s in the past.
people like him try to piss people off just to seel papers, and I know I shouldn’t let him get under my skin, but he did.
I think we should all write him nasty emails.
wht doesn’t he write about the positive things we’ve seen from Kobe, and the Lakers? how about that shot of him hugging and kissing his little girls in the tunnel after the Dallas game??
keeping it negative, reminds me of politics, maybe him and Rove hang out together.
Craig W. says
Simmers in print and Hartman on the radio. Hey people, it is all ‘schtick’. This is their public persona. They manufacture their popularity by putting this BS out there. They know it is crap, but it not only sells to the hater, but it sells to all of us who respond. The more pub they get the more they will continue.
The best solution to these people is to stop reading their stuff and stop listening to their radio shows. Actually, that is the only solution.
Please people, ignore these unprincipled screamers.
I missed the first quarter and a half, but I thought Odom played great defense on Artest last night. Yes, Artest lit him up for 3 quarters, but it seemed like the case of great offense beating great defense (like what Kobe did to Bell in the recent Phoenix game). Artest is simply a nightmare matchup, so we can’t fault Odom for Artest’s success. Odom fought diligently to deny Artest the ball, make him catch it as far from the basket as possible, shut off drives and force jump shots, etc. Aside from a few nice back cuts, Artest principally made really difficult, challenged shots. I wasn’t surprised when he wore down in the fourth quarter, missing his last 7 shots and finishing an inefficient 10-23. This encourages me as I’ve been worried, like many, about how well Lamar will defend elite small forwards. When Bynum comes back, we’ll need Lamar’s defense against several strong 3’s — Ginobili (when at the 3), Howard, Melo, Stephen Jackson, and perhaps Pierce.
what makes me laugh about simers is the stuff that happened in last nights game. ’cause for a guy that is so *unlikable*, kobe sure does hear a lot of mvp chants on the road.
Oh, and Reed #110:
I think Lamar has finally found his groove/role/niche on the team. He has become that guy that he was for Miami. He is selectively agressive on offense and playing tough, smart defense. This is the talent that everyone, for all those years, said was inside him. It’s the talent that we had all hoped would be there as our #2 guy….the talent that we saw too rarely and ended up getting discouraged. Not anymore, huh? Odom has found that consistency that we all hoped to see from day one. Good times for LO fans…
Craig W. says
The key to Lamar is that he is truly and enigma; with otherworldly talent.
1) He is a point guard who is indiscriminate in who he passes to and when.
2) He is a powerful power forward who can bang, but prefers to wait outside and cut to the middle.
3) He is a tenacious defender, but loses the context he is playing in and who he is guarding sometimes.
4) He is an efficient shooter who cannot handle shooting under pressure.
Most games lately he does a yeoman’s job, but you can guarantee that he will have several brain farts throughout the game.
I really love him on our team, but I don’t want him handling the ball in the last 2 minutes of the 2nd and 4th qtrs. And please don’t match him up with an unathletic teammate who gets beat on defense because Lamar will ALWAYS try to help out and leave his man.
We just eclipsed our win total from last year. It’s great having the best player in the game on your team. You’re always in it.
Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Lamar was a good match for Ron Ron, partly because it would have been a disaster with him on Miller. Although his defense was acceptable, it was his (8-10) offense that benefitted the Lakers the most. Artest was devoting significant attention to Kobe.
Except for specific matchups, I have a hard time seeing Lamar at the 3. I expect to see him at a variety of assignments once Andrew gets back. Just thinking of Lamar on Ginobili gives me palpitations. Hopefully, we’ll have worked in Trevor by that time, with assists from Kobe.
I thought Phil pulled Kobe in the fourth as a punitive measure because he was going one on one too much w/ Artest. I think he thought it was too early for that.
Brian Tung says
What the frack is up with George Karl’s lawyer? Is he a complete and utter moron, or does he just play one on the InterWeb? I imagine he was just one step away from saying, “You’ll rue the day!”
John Hollinger continues to annoy the hell out of me. Hollinger believes LeBron is having the best individual statistical season, which you cannot argue with. But on a question about LeBron’s team being weak and in the east he says on ESPN’s Daily Dime this morning:
“First of all, a lesson on schedules — 58 of the 82 games are identical regardless of which league you’re in, so in terms of individual performance and team win-loss records they rarely make a large impact.”
I assume this to mean that he believes that the Cavs’ record shouldn’t be discounted because it’s in the east (nevermind that even with their current record, they wouldn’t make the playoffs in the West). But by his own measure of team strength, the Cavs as of today rank 16th out of 30 teams.
I’m on the same page as Jones on the NBA in that I expect MVP voters to shift from their previous assumed criteria of “Best player on a top tier team” to “best statistical season”. Unfortunately many voters are vehemently anti-Kobe the person and at least one, Hollinger, has admitted that he could not vote for him based on him “demanding that Shaq be traded” (paraphrasing).
To add another dimension (that I’m sure has been discussed elsewhere) should MVP incorporate the development of players? Should Kobe be given credit for the emergence of Farmar, Sasha, Turiaf etc? How about the improved play by Gasol (60% FG) and the improved play of Fisher? How often do PG’s not name Steve Nash had career years at age 33?
Brian Tung, do you watch Battlestar Galactica?
Don’t mean to get ahead of myself, because last night’s win was absolutely thrilling……….but, what do you guys think some of the Lakers players need to do to their bodies to improve their game? For example, everyone knows Luke physical limitations. But aren’t there exercises he can do to increase his lateral quickness (NFL-like sprints, using cones, etc.)? Also, is it me or does LO have skinny legs? It seems to me that countless times during games, he tends to lean and not shift his legs. Wouldn’t Ronny benefit by bulking up some more so that he could bang better?
I know in-season there probably is no time to do all this and that genetically you are who you are, but it just seems during games that some of our players fail to improve on the little things physically that can inadvertently improve their game. Kobe is a perfect example of how he improves on his body every year (1 year came bulked up, this year came in lighter and leaner to be quicker, etc.), thereby improving his game. I wish some of those other guys would have the same commitment b/c they would see a big improvement in their production.
Brian Tung says
fanerman (119): No, I don’t. I remember that line from Real Genius. (I assume you’re talking about “rue the day.”)
jaaason (118): Just remember that Hollinger does not represent the way that all MVP voters think. I do think it’s irresponsible not to vote for Kobe for ejecting the Shaqtus (if that’s what Hollinger actually said), because even if it’s true, it didn’t happen this season. But basing MVP votes on statistics is what some people do, and I don’t begrudge them that. My own personal opinion is that statistics are more often used to back up a decision the voter has already made for essentially non-statistical reasons, but Hollinger might (aside from the potential Shaq issue) be an exception to that.
121 – Hollinger is an example of how MVP voters can be more irrational than fans.
hollinger will do anything to make his PER thing stand out. simple as that.
Brian Tung says
harold (123): I don’t have a single problem with PER itself. It’s an aggregate statistic, and it’s fine as far as it goes. (Actually, as I understand it, there are a few different versions of PER, and Hollinger’s is just one.) It’s assuming that the MVP must be based on something like PER that gets my goat–in effect, saying not only that one could vote using statistics as a basis, but that rational people universally would.
the problem with PER is not with PER itself, agreed. It’s like every other stat in that it is inherently flawed but could still be helpful.
however, Hollinger sells it as if it’s the be all and end all of all stats, and rarely does he EVER mention that what accepting PER really implies – it implies that people agree with Hollinger’s evaluation of stats, and how he values this over that and whatnot.
if he had the integrity to keep mentioning what PER is meant to do and what it isn’t, and keep a handy link on the formulation of PER everytime he mentions it, i wouldn’t have as much of a problem.
Hollinger, “First of all, a lesson on schedules — 58 of the 82 games are identical regardless of which league you’re in, so in terms of individual performance and team win-loss records they rarely make a large impact.”
Hollinger, can you stop force feeding Lebron to us and look at it objectively?! You’re answer to the comment failed to respond to the fact that if the season ended today and the Cavs were in the West, they wouldn’t even make the playoffs!!! If your gonna make the argument that schedule doesn’t really matter, then what does it say that Lebron’s team has the 13th best record in the NBA, how is that an MVP?!
Furthermore you are making the argument 24 different games out of 82 that each team has different do not make a large impact, and while that argument could be strong in another season, it is ridiculous to say that in this Western Conference elite season. Do you think a team would rather have most of those 24 games opponents be from the elite Western Conference or would they rather have them from the Eastern Conference?
The PER system is so overrated!! It gives no credit for the assist that got the assist, altered shots/plays. By advocating and using this PER system, it takes the focus away from the intangibles and the most important things, winning and doing whatever it takes to help your team win games!! I could keep my full-time job and do his job twice as good as him.
I don’t really have any problem with any of Hollinger’s stats and find that aspect of his work interesting. I do agree, however, that he often misinterprets them.
126. I don’t mean to pick on Amir here, but let me make make a couple points based on what he brings up.
I find it amusing people say “Hollinger isn’t objective” or that he has something out for Kobe, as if Lakers fans are the model of objectivity on this issue. First off, there is no standard definition of MVP off which we can judge what is “objective” and that’s not even getting into the myth of objectivity in choosing who is a better basketball player among the most elite few players in the world who are asked to do different things in their systems.
I love that this year Lakers fans are saying “the Lakers are winning big and the Cavs wouldn’t make the playoffs in the West” when for the last two years the argument was “records don’t matter, look at who the best player is.”
Finally, PER is not perfect but it is useful. I use it in some situations because it is a good snapshot of what a player is doing on offense. To say it “doesn’t count the assist before the assist” is silly because nobody tracks that stat. It doesn’t count defense outside of blocks and steals because there are no tracking of that open to the public (you need a private firm like Synergy Sports).
Hollinger has an opinion and gets paid to write it. He does a hell of a lot better backing it up than most national writers. You have a different opinion. Because it is different does not make you smart or him stupid.
Kurt, Hollinger has an opinion and gets paid to write it, true, but that doesn’t mean that his is right nor that he has the right to shove his opinion down our throats whenever he gets a chance to.
I’ve scoured ESPN.com for what the exact formular was for PER, and wasn’t really successful finding it. And that’s one of the biggest problems i have with PER. As with any other stat it is flawed, but it also has its merits… provided people actually understood exactly what was worth how much!
I don’t know, i was here when he first came up with per, and cited all the reasons for weighing them as such, but i sure don’t remember them. Is 2 pts worth as much as a rebound? a steal? how is possessions factored and how much weight does it carry?
I’m not even going into his reasonings, i’m having trouble remembering the weights he used! Can you guess a players PER by looking at his box score? If you can’t, what other information do you need and how do you find it?
Ah, why bother. I’ll just leave it at this:
IF he is willing to hyperlink his original PER explanation every time he/ESPN mentions PER, I have no problem with him using PER.
I like Hollinger. He’s smart, he watches a lot of games, and his stats/formulas (as Kurt pointed out) can be very useful….I mean, there were times earlier this year that we have rejoiced at the fact the Lakers were so high in his Power Rankings. I think people get upset when Hollinger says things like “All I’m saying is that LeBron has very clearly been the best player in the league this year.” when your main focal point is stats (and the inherent argument that stats don’t always tell the whole story). Stuff like that can rub people the wrong way when they are on the other side of that argument. But I agree with Hollinger a lot more than I disagree with him. I do disagree with him about Kobe and the MVP, but I’ve watched so much Lakers basketball this year and last year….. and the year before……. and on and on…. that I can see the differences. The differences in body language, in confidence, in everything, really. Even the way the players talk in the post game interviews. Most of all it’s Kobe….it all starts with Kobe. It always does with the greats. We can talk wins and losses or scoring or rebounding or any other tangible thing. But what I see is a difference in something that can’t be measured really. Can you measure chemistry? Can you measure being more comfortable? These things exist and the team environment is better because of leadership. And who is the leader? Kobe. I think when you combine that leadership with Kobe’s stats and then add in the Lakers’ record in a stronger conference and you get the winner. Sorry for the rant. Wow, I really got off track…
Lebron and Kobe have both been fantastic this year and you could make a compelling case for both of them (as well as CP3 and KG). I think the frustration on the part of Laker fans (or just me) is that no matter what Kobe does he “can’t win” with the media.
Two years ago, Kobe led a young and not-so-talented team to 45 wins and averaged 35, 5, 4. In the process, he was called selfish, a bad teammate, incapable of making those around him better. (Kobe finished 3rd or 4th in the MVP votes that year!) This year Lebron is doing basically the same thing and averaging 30, 8, 7 and being called a great player, “head and shoulders” above the rest and the MVP.
This year, Kobe is putting up great numbers 28, 6,5 and playing great defense. His team is #1 in the west and his teammates are playing great. However, the media still won’t credit Kobe with “making teammates better.” Somehow, when its Kobe players get better despite him and when its Lebron or Nash players get better because of them. Personally, I hate the “making other better” argument because its almost impossible to measure but the media seems to love it.
Long story short, its really the inconsistency of the media and voting thats the issue. Why is the media voting for the MVP anyway? Shouldn’t the players and coaches be doing the voting? Aren’t they the best judge?
By the way, Lebron’s numbers are not that unique. Kobe did average 30, 7, 6 (and played defense) in 02-03 when Duncan won the MVP.
129. Harold. “Hollinger has an opinion and gets paid to write it, true, but that doesnâ€™t mean that his is right nor that he has the right to shove his opinion down our throats whenever he gets a chance to.”
Um, the only way you know Hollinger’s opinion on something is if you actively seek it out. You have to go to ESPN and read his stuff (or in the least read what people are saying about him). There are plenty of NBA writers I don’t think much of, so I don’t read them. It’s not that hard, with Hollinger or any of them.
Look, I want Kobe to be MVP and thinks he deserves it. But if you don’t think you can make a valid case for LeBron or Chris Paul this year as well you are kidding yourselves. And, honestly, I’m fast growing weary of both arguing that point and the whole “who should be MVP” thing in general. I still don’t see what the big deal is — if Kobe doesn’t win it is not a personal offense to any of us.
And by the way, the formula for PER can be found in Hollinger’s old Basketball Forecast books (a print version of what ESPN now pays him for in the player profiles and the like). He tweaks it, but at places such as APBR he talks about it some. Guys like Mike at Knickerblogger and Justin at basketball-reference know it and use it on their sites.
Brian Tung says
Kurt (128): I don’t think Hollinger has anything out for Kobe–he’s never indicated anything like that in the past. More generally, I also think he’s objective in the sense that he’s not biased against or in favor of any of the MVP candidates (barring anyone confirming that he wouldn’t vote for Kobe because of the Shaq situation).
I simply think he trusts his own statistics further than they warrant. It’s natural for him to do that, since he created them. But that doesn’t make his reliance on them entirely rational.
For anyone looking for the formula for PER, here is the wikipedia page that has it:
That thing is a beast of a math equation.
Kurt, not sure what would fall under ‘actively seeking out.’ Every time i click at the Daily Dime on ESPN, or read an article about something, Hollinger is featured. Sure i can decide not to read it, but it’s there!
As for PER, he says it’s pace adjusted, and per minute… but what does that actually mean? And do you agree, or buy into the weights he assigned to each stat? can you actually say, off the top of your head, how much one stat is worth compared to another?
if you can’t, you’re not really using PER, but instead parroting something Hollinger claims. and therein lies another problem with PER – it’s probably too complicated to say what is worth how much, making people accept Hollinger’s opinion without thinking.
Also, PER will benefit certain players more than others, especially due to the emphasis on rebounds. a 3pt shooter, for example, will never win out as he probably won’t get ANY offensive boards out of his own shots, nor will he ever be in a position to fight for rebounds. That’s part of the system, not part of his flaw.
And as Hollinger points out, PER does not measure defense in any way, nor does it adjust for the style of offense the team runs. Nothing accounts for the fact that some players will just have more opportunities to make an impact with the ball, so i honestly don’t think how he can say that PER is a handy reference that can rank players.
Look, I have no problem with LBJ being presented as an MVP candidate. What I have problem with is that there is absolutely no consistency from the guys that vote on the MVP. How do you entrust such an honor, that is almost an automatic HOF bid, to people who will change their minds every season?
LBJ sure got numbers, but when did Kobe NOT have the numbers? as far as i remember, other than his rookie years off the bench, he has always produced numbers worthy to be included in the MVP talks, but was always dismissed as being cocky or selfish or both.
If they presented a case for CP3 (i’m sounding like a broken record here), at least that shows some consistecy, even though it’d probably mean that a PG standout will win over everyone else. That’s also why i didn’t have a problem with Nash winning it two years in a row – the standards didn’t change.
Harold, for the record, Hollinger does not have an MVP vote. (Unless he just got it this year, and I don’t think he did.) And the subjectivity of the award is something we agree on.
As for PER, I’ve been reading and following Hollinger and how he arrives at his numbers for years. But understand how I see them and all the new per-minute, rebound rate and other stats: They are tools in the toolbox. No one stat has all the answers, and even Hollinger will tell you that. Here’s how I use it: If I was writing tomorrow’s Clippers preview and I saw, say, Quintin Ross had a PER of 20, borderline All-Star level, I’d do a double take. Then I’d look at other stats and things (like watch a Clips game) to find out why — is his shooting suddenly brilliant, is he dishing out a bunch more assists, rebounds, whatever? Like I said, I think PER is as good a snapshot stat as exists right now, but it is just that. The details are where the interesting stuff is.
It’s all about how you use the tools.
Kurt, if everyone used them like you did, i wouldn’t have a problem with it. I mean, i probably use them the same way – i saw Wade leading the field with PER a year or two back, and i got really curious and see what he’s doing.
But to base an MVP argument on PER is, well… ah heck, who cares, people base arguments on scoring averages, so it really does not matter.
I guess it was just the attitude Hollinger had regarding his PER that irked me and rubbed off the wrong way.