Just some notes from looking at the advanced stats sites around the Web. (Information comes from 82games.com, Hoopdata.)
• Looking at +/-, there are just two Lakers that when they sit the other team outscores the Lakers: Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest. (Fisher is very close at +0.4, almost a wash when he is off the court or on, suggesting when he sits there is not much if any drop off, despite other key players often being out as well.)
• Great note regarding Artest from a post at HoopData: “Artest has evolved into an inside-outside threat for the Lakers as nearly 81 percent of his shots come from behind the arc or around the hoop. Just two years ago in Sacramento, Artest’s mid-range game took up nearly half of his shot selection. This adjustment should serve him well since he’s a horrid shooter from these areas.”
• The Lakers starting five of Fish, Kobe, Artest, Gasol and Bynum is outscoring the opposing five they are on the floor with 80% of the time, and if they played a full 48 would average outscoring their opponents by 52 points.
• Two seasons ago, The Machine was hitting 43.7% from three point range, this season that is off to 36.8%, which is almost identical to last year. For the record, that is not a bad rate for a lot of guards, but it’s low if you are a three-point specialist. Where the Machine is really broken is inside the arc — he is shooting just 32% on shots 16 feet out to the arc (down from 46% two years ago) and he is shooting just 25% on layups at the rim this year. Not that he gets to the rim that much anymore, he has just four shots at the rim all season.
• The Lakers lead the NBA in opponent True Shooting Percentage — opposing teams shoot 50.5% against the Lakers. The next best in the league is Portland at 51.4%, a considerable gap, and the league average is 54%. Opposing teams are shooting just 29.8% from three against the Lakers.
• As we said before the last game: The Lakers are still running. They are averaging 97.9 possessions per game, fourth fastest in the league. Faster than the Knicks and Suns (to be fair, it’s almost a statistical dead heat between the three).
• There has been some concern about Kobe’s minutes, and how that compared to Michael Jordan. Jim had the answer in the comments: “MJ averaged 37.7, 37.9, and 38.8 minutes per game in his final 3 seasons with the Bulls. He averaged 34.9 and 37 minutes per game in his last two seasons with the Wizards. Kobe is right in line with that.”
• The Lakers are shooting a very impressive 46.8% (eFG%) in the last four seconds of the shot clock. (For comparison, opposing teams against the Lakers are shooting 31.7% in that stretch.)
Good stuff re. Artest.
WRT Kobe’s minutes: recall that he didn’t take 18 months off mid-career and started playing at age 18. He is almost certainly well ahead of Jordan, and perhaps ahead of anyone outside of Kevin Garnett, in career minutes played by the age of 31.
j.d. Hastings says
I remember talking over the summer about Artest and how curiously inefficient he was at the rim. Now that’s I’ve watched him more, I’d say that trend is still continuing, despite his getting there more often. If you check him at http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ you can see he’s only hitting .470 at the rim. To me it just looks like he’s got very little lift in his legs when he’s down there. He has dunked this season, but barely, and it wasn’t in traffic. So when he goes for the layup, its easier to block and it tends to be all arms when he’s throwing it up there. The shots don’t look like they have a lot of “touch” on them.
Nothing that concerns me, since there’s a lot of other benefits to him going down there (drawing fouls, forcing the d to respond, passing to others), but it is something I’ve been watching. Sort of like Fisher’s PUJITs- it doesn’t thrill me, but I understand and am used to it so it’s just something to entertain me while watching the games- Artest is posting up, this will be an adventure!
I don’t buy wear and tear as much as I consider age and health the defining factor. Some people age gracefully, some don’t-having a killer work ethic and health regiment help, though. I would think that major injuries have more of an impact on longevity than career minutes.
More importantly, most good players probably decrease their play time or retire at a certain age because their production and health starts to drop off irregardless of “career minutes”. I don’t think that a person starting NBA ball at 30 would be in particularly better playing shape or last longer in the league than someone who began at 21 or, say, 18. If Kobe is 33 and playing 35 minutes a game and producing like he has always produced, then there is no problem playing him 35 minutes.
I think that a lot of the arguments about mileage have face validity, but fail with rigorous testing. Wear and tear is a nice, pretty concept but a pretty fudgy thing to measure or quantify. Proving a cumulative effect on career length and production is difficult to say the least, especially with all the confounders of age and injury. A challenge to the stat experts. Go forth!
re: Kobe’s minutes. I think if MJ can average 38 in his final season w/ the bulls, Kobe can handle that same load this season. The odometer is a valid argument, as we’ve seen with Duncan and Garnett recently, but Kobe is a guard, which means less weight to carry around on his knees. The odometer highlights a concern related to an injury like KG suffered last season, but even in that case, there was knowledge that his calf/hammy was bothering him for weeks before the injury. No such rumors surrounding Kobe except for some people out there who think his fingers might fall off.
What I really hope for is that the Lakers, are able to squeeze out taco wins late in the season (and on the road), so that Kobe, Gasol, Fish, and even Ron are able to get their minutes down and come into the playoffs fresh.
The STD says
This stuff is insane. This team is bonkers. And the craziest part is we’re still not hitting on all cylinders. We’re not even that close.
Almost every one of our guys (except Artest, who is playing exactly how we wanted him to already. Amazing) has some aspect of their game that is subpar right now, and we can reasonably expect to get better. We’ve already seen this happen with Kobe’s outside shot, as he is now hitting his 3s at a more reasonable rate. And for guys like Lamar, almost every part of his game isn’t as good as we’re used to. We can reasonably expect more.
This is nuts.
I’m not sure what comparing Kobe’s minutes to MJ’s means. These are two very different individuals with different routines and different histories. Kobe’s got a lot more mileage, but he also has a legendary work ethic and he was meticulous about things like diet and condition long before he made it to the NBA. Kobe’s Kobe, and we can’t predict how many minutes he needs based on comparing him to one person. (comparing him to a huge pool of similar type players, maybe, although Kobe’s known to defy the odds. How many other similar 2-guards would have won a championship with torn ligaments in their finger?)
I think the more important question is whether MJ actually played any defense those last 3 years.
Sorry couldn’t help myself.
Oh, and Kobe also doesn’t have to play offense for at least 5-6 possessions a game, because The Black Hole ate the ball. MJ never had that luxury.
Again, couldn’t help myself.
I think if Vujacic was the starting PG, he would be way more successful. In the minutes he has played, he’s been forced into the role of playmaker, taking shots off the dribble or on a tight curl. If all he had to do was sit on the three point line and shoot threes, I’m sure he’d shoot just fine, especially still being warm from warm-ups. The only issue with that is Vujacic has yet to learn how to defend without fouling, which is regrettable, even though his stupid “omg I didn’t touch the dude!” face is priceless.
6) They play the same position. Similar body types. Similar playing style in terms of what they put their bodies through. They play the same role in the same offense. Both have legendary work ethics, complete with game day lifting, ect. MJ’s era was the closest we have to todays knowledge of medicine and athletic conditioning. Kobe has modeled his entire approach to the game around MJ.
If you’re looking for a benchmark for Kobe, you have to start with MJ. He’s the only player with a complete career who approached the game the same way Kobe does.
And why benchmark? Because otherwise we get ideas and start to think Phil is letting some of his logic slip by playing Kobe so many minutes. There has to be some basis for why Kobe’s minutes are what they are, and I’d bet money Phil uses his history with MJ as a starting point for determining Kobes minutes.
7) Zephid. I think you touched on a good point with Sasha, and the fouls. I’d bet that almost as much as the shots not falling, Sasha’s minutes are affected by his poor D and the fouls driving us into the penalty. Phil of all coaches knows that eventually if you get the ball in the right spot, your shot will start falling. Sasha isn’t the only player missing shots.
This is awesome. If anyone ever wanted to see Cuban getting thrown through a wooden table.
Another interesting thing, it really seems in the East that the top 5 spots are set: Boston, Orlando, and Cleveland in some order in the top 3, Atlanta, then Miami. The last 3 spots are almost completely up for grabs. Pretty much anyone (except New Jersey) has a solid chance to grab a playoff spot and the privilege of receiving a first-round beat-down courtesy of the Celts, Magic, or Crabs.
The Celts have the benefit of playing in the same division as the Knicks, Sixers, Nets, and Craptors. Those teams are a combined 22-63. That’s like 16 free victories a year.
And lastly, I really hope the entire Southeast Division makes the playoffs; that may be a first in NBA history. So long as Charlotte holds steady and the Wizards overcome their injuries to overtake the historically defenseless Craptors, all 5 teams may just make the playoffs.
Lol cmon Zephid man leave my Raptors alone. Their going to make the playoffs. 3 game winning streak after tonight!!
The Lakers did a good job of keeping opponents off the stripe last season, and so far that trend continues.
I wonder if playing so many home games has distorted the opponent ft/fga category. The Lakers are a more physical team these days, after all.
Bill Bridges says
Right now the Spurs are 9th, a full game out of the playoffs. Before the season several pundits (ESPN) picked them to make the finals. Some picked them to go all the way. Not going to happen.
lakersfansincemikan (tsuwm) says
on a somewhat related note, it’s still early, but the western conference is 60-40 against the east; it appears the eastern “dominance” was short-lived (one year, the east finished +12 last year : )
I think you bring up an excellent point regarding Sasha!
Right now we aren’t getting any use out of him. But if we started him he could be pretty useful in spacing the floor and actually get some quality minutes in (not to mention his confidence would rise). With the starting unit all he would have to do is spot up and shoot 3’s. And not have to do all the create off the dribble business he’s been trying to incorporate into his game.
Toughest part would be for Phil to manage 3 point guards. But he has already been doing that with Fish, Jordy and shanWOW. Just move Shannon over to the backup 2 role primarily, and leave him at the 2 when Kobe plays the 3 at times.
From those same stats: Lakers are -27 when Morrison’s on the court and +11.8 off per 48 min. Wow.
What I am not understanding is why we are less efficient on offense this year than last year. We have more weapons and we seem to be playing really well offensively. Is this just a result of Pau not playing the first few weeks, or is it something else?
Jim, the lack of Pau has a lot to do with it. The Lakers were without him 11 games, had him back for 8. In a couple of games I may run a last 10 number on the offense just to see how it is going.
Bill Bridges says
Pau leads the league in +- per minute at .535. So the Lakers outscore their opposition by a point for every 2 minutes Pau is on the court. Crazy? yes. Unsustainable? probably. But is he now not the best power forward in the league?
Poor Ron’s shooting at the rim has been .400 for the last 5 games.
The Lakers have had 182 shots at the rim over the last 5 games making 59.8%.
Odom’s % at the rim over the last 5 games is .625 – except that he’s only had 8 attempts (versus Artest’s 25).
Lamar has had 0 post ups since Pau’s return. All those many shots at the rim are from dunks, put backs and dives.
PJ has lamented that he’s concerned about Lamar’s involvement. Will the Lakers actually run a sequence for Lamar to post up on the right block? Or will PJ continue his lamentations.
DJ Mbenga tweaked his ankle near the end of practice today. Nothing serious, but he may not be available tomorrow night vs. Utah.
yes, starting sasha will definitely improve the team – the team we are playing.
T. Rogers says
The numbers look great. But lets take a look at those numbers once the Lakers have played Denver again, Dallas again, and at least one apiece against the Celts and Cavs. I do think the Lakers are the best team in the NBA. But the early schedule has not revealed by how much.
I do like that the Lakers have kept their speed. It seems they have remained fast while improving their defense. That is something I didn’t think was possible. Part of that has to do with Farmar, Brown, and Kobe on the floor together.
I am looking forward to the Utah games (especially the one in Utah). This team is ready for some hostile road crowds!
j.d. Hastings says
Bill Simmons was actively rooting for a Laker injury on his podcast today
All’s good in Lakerland, or as Kobe puts it, not much to work on.
LO could be more aggressive, but if he was, I’d seriously wonder if we are invaded by the body snatchers or something… it’s just not him to be aggressive, at least not for any meaningful stretches.
Sasha, well, if we could put his personality and LO’s in a bowl, mix it good and put it back in, I’d be happy. Sasha is too aggressive for his own good. He needs to relax a bit and let the game come to him.
As for Kobe’s minutes, I think Kobe more than anyone knows his body and what he’s risking. The guy is a shrewd man when it comes to basketball, and although he shows incredible tolerance for pain, I don’t think he’ll do anything to risk his legacy. Plus, I belive he and Phil have good communication, and the minutes are something both agree on. So I’m not worried much.
19–I give Dirk a slight edge over Pau, because his ability to get his shot off from anywhere on the floor(and hit it) is really valuable IMHO. Take that away from Dirk, and Pau is by far the superior player.
the other Stephen says
7. yeah, when sasha makes that face, his eyebrows form a perfect straight line. it’s hilarious. the machine is giving off error messages, guys.
Great Post by the K Brothers over at the LA Times:
It’s funny, because ultimately, it shows that he still doesn’t get it (which is what the K Brothers were trying to show without being too obvious about it).
He’s not the PG of the future, but he’s the best the Lakers got (at least as a back up).
It seems like it would be easy to find a guy who will try hard on defense and stay out of the way on offense unless he’s spotting up for a wide open shot.
Apparently, it’s not that easy…
Best PF talk has to include Duncan, unless we have categorized him as a center.
But talking about Dirk and his ability to get his shot of from anywhere, against anybody… his style of play could age really, really well. He doesn´t rely on neither lift nor speed. Mainly smarts, length and that bad bad shooting touch.
Could play till his early forties and still be a factor (if he stays healthy).
Yung Farmar will never get it until he goes to a team that sucks, and loses on a regular basis. Then he will realize how good he had it in LA with an all- star supporting cast. Until that day comes he will continue to think that he has to go 100 miles an hour to get where he’s going, when in reality he just needed to slow down and enjoy the view. It has always been evident to me that Farmar thought that his talent was being wasted in LA and would get out as soon as he could. That seems to not have changed over the last two years, and the writing is on the wall for his exit at the end of the year unless he matures.
best PF talk has to include KG as well, sorry to say. even with the recovery from injury, he’s the heart of the clear-cut 2nd best team in my opinion. He can do almost everything Pau can on offense, plus a tougher defender.
j.d. Hastings says
Lebron would be the best PF in the league if he wanted to play that position (he’s already has Karl Malone’s body). Fortunately for all of us, he sees the low post as beneath him.
Actually, maybe Kurt should delete this. I really really really don’t ever want the 24 year old to figure out how beneficial it’d be to him to play in any way other than Iverson in Malone’s body.
Phil needs to train sasha to be a cold shooter.. have him sit 20mins in training.. get up n take 2-3 shots in scrimmage.. get him used to turning it on and off.. kinda like dog training.. read abt the bulls doing sth similar w/steve kerr.. (he was a pretty good shooter wasn’t he?)
KG can do almost everything Pau can on offense? Since when? Pau’s got the most diverse offense arsenal of any big man in the game today. KG shoots jumpers. His footwork on the block is by no means average, but he doesn’t have nearly the repertoire Pau has, which is why he doesn’t go to the low post game as often. This year, 70% of KG’s shots have been jumpers, Pau at only 33%, with 52% inside. Garnett doesn’t have that type of inside game.
Even Celtics fans recognize this. Zach Lowe (who does a fantastic job) just had a post up on KG’s declining offensive moves (but note that even at his peak he was a jumpshooter, with 75% of his offense coming off J’s): http://celticshub.com/2009/12/07/the-evolution-of-kg-in-numbers/
They’re very different offensive players. Pau and Duncan are effective on the low block, KG more so higher up.
To answer Bill’s question, I think Pau’s unquestionably the best PF in the game right now (David Thorpe concurred in his latest chat). The number of things he does well is mind-boggling. Dirk’s game looks prettier, but Pau is just as deadly at getting his shot off on the low block. It’s just that he’s a more willing passer, so he doesn’t appear as strong offensively. Pau outdoes every PF by far in terms of passing and court vision. Defensively, he’s very underrated, although obviously KG and Duncan are historically better.
Nowitzki’s got an abysmal eFG% of 48% so far this year. He can get his shot off, sure, but keep in mind that an 80% jumpshooting offense isn’t the most efficient one. Pau is also the best of the 4 at drawing fouls (which surprised me, I thought Dirk would be the highest).
The statistics also show 80% of KG’s offense has been assisted; Pau creates nearly half his on his own. Make of that what you will.
But overall – just the number of things he does so well – make Pau the clear cut favorite in my mind. Dirk’s an inferior passer and defender, and more inefficient offensively. Defensively Duncan and KG will always be there, but I just feel Pau is so underrated defensively and his superiority offensively (right now, including scoring and passing) makes up the difference.
Over the last 10 years, no. But today, I’ll take Pau.
I have to respecfuly disagree. I don’t know that Lebron would be a dominating PF. I’m not saying he can’t be, but we shouldn’t asume it’s automatic. He has no post moves, and would be undersized against many of the PFs in the league. He would have an advantage in that he can take slower PFs outside, but to me he would just be a Rashard Lewis 2.0.
If Farmar isnt the Lakers PG of the future (and he’s not) then who is? Shannon’s handle isn’t strong enough, right? Then our next PG has to come from outside. We don’t have too long before Fish is all but unservicable, which makes it improbable that the Lakers draft a replacement and bring him up in the system within that time frame.
Are there any likely candidates in the FA market next year? Who in the league is the ideal triangle PG? No trade spec.
Also, this is awesome.
Luke is going to do color with Spero on Friday and Saturdays games. And Hot Rod Hundley is going to do color with Joel from Dec 11-20.
Note to Luke: Take Lamar’s path, don’t give out any secrets, haha.
chris h says
sbdunks, I said about 4 years ago on this forum, (and I got chewed out terribly, I think it was by John R, who used to be famous for that kind of thing), but I used to think Jamal Crawford was a good fit for us, this was back when he was a Knick, and now I’m reading he’s really “tying the rug together” in Atlanta (homage to one of our regulars, “the Dude abides”).
I don’t know how many years he’s got left now, but in retrospect, 4 years ago, might not have been so bad, (But I do know he’s always been pricey).
We are not going to be playing “future point guard speculation” at this point.
No worries, SB. It’s just that the Lakers have won nine in a row, have looked like the best team in basketball, and I get an email and see in the Sheridan chat people trying to come up with trades or thinking about ways to dump Fisher. Why are we so fascinated with tinkering with a lineup that just won an NBA title and is playing better than anyone right now? (Yes, SB, I know you were talking about the summer, but a quick google search will bring up a list of potential free agents, the thing is that some of that could change around the trade deadline, and more, this summer is a long time off.)
Sorry Kurt, just curious.
After all reading all these articles (from writers without originality) about how Portland made a horrible choice drafting Oden and look what Durant’s doing and LEGEND and blah blah blah…..I have to ask:
Do you guys think Durant and Roy could have coexisted on a team? I’m surprised no one’s asking this question. We’ve seen what happened this year when they tried to bring a ball-dominant guard to Portland. Roy throws his first diva fit. If they had drafted Durant, would Portland have had to trade away Roy to make the team work?
Snoopy, the other point that Chad Ford and others have made: 30 GMs would have taken Oden over Durant. A big center who could defend and board? That’s what was there, and so far this season when he was healthy he looked good. If he were healthy, he’s a much better fit with Roy than Durant would be. That said, you take the best player and if you knew Durant was going to be this much healthier than Oden you’d take him and figure it out later.
Unfortunately the TV game of the day here in Australia was Boston v Milwaukee. Gave me flashbacks to horrible times watching the Finals in 2008.
Watching the Celtics I’m disgusted at the way they’ve institutionalized dirty play and cheap shots. Grabbing and pushing away from the ball, moving and holding on the majority of screens, kicking, elbows and taunting without consequence.
There are always going to be players on every team, Lakers included, that push the boundaries of sportsmanship but the way the Celtics have embraced these tactics takes it beyond the limit. Excuse the bitterness, but it’s just yucky.
Aaron x2 says
Nothing like watching the Cavs lose in OT because Shaq is burned on a P&R. Oh, Lebron also missed the final shot at the buzzer.
Lebron, why so serious?
I’ve always thought Kirk Hinrich would be a hell of a triangle lead guard. He’s too expensive to trade for (talk of which is a no-no anyway), but I’d love to see a big, defensive-minded, smart, deadly-from-17-feet player like him in the system.
It’s kind of a shame–Simmons talks about the underrated overrated guys, Hinrich’s an overpaid underpaid guy. At $9.5M/season, he’s overpaid, but not tremendously so. But if he made $6M, everyone and their dog would be complaining about how he’s underpaid. And Derrick Rose being Derrick Rose has kind of made Hinrich less important to the team.
My man-love affair with CDR continues. 10-20 shooting for 20 points, 2nd Nets win of the season. And this guy barely got Bizarro Taco Unit minutes (minutes in blowout losses, as opposed to blowout wins) last year. He’s the Nets 2nd leading scorer and is also 2nd in shot attempts! Once he perfects his three point shot, I can see him being the 2nd coming of Paul Pierce; slow, goofy looking game, but scary effective. Let’s just hope he never becomes a douche.
Great night of basketball around the league with the Lakers off. 4 games decided by 2 points or less, and big upsets of Denver and Clevland.Let’s see if the Clippers can do some damage against the Magic.
The Dude Abides says
38. “Tied the room together” is the correct vernacular, you nihilist 😀
43. Kurt, Simmons has stated he has it on good authority that Ainge would have chosen Durant at #1 if the Leps had won the lottery.
44. Agreed. I’ve never seen a team grab and hold on their screens as much as the Leps.
45, 46. That was great
JB, you are far from alone in thinking Heinrich is a good triangle fit, but the numbers make him a tough get right now when trying to keep salary down.
Dude Abides, I take everything Simmons says he has “on good authority” with a full quart of salt. He is by choice and style the sports writer who sits in the stands and does not go in the locker room (not that it’s a bad choice, but it means a different perspective and few if any good inside contacts). Besides, it’s easy for Ainge to say what he would have done after the fact.
sorry but starting sasha is the stupidest idea i have ever heard
I think it’s amazing that there are so many reasons to hate the Smelltics. The thing is that it’s not limited to Lakers fans, and their obvious bias. Ainge has managed to assemble a team of truly hateable players.Even Simmons agrees with this.
34) snoopy. I agree, the numbers do show Pau as a more versatile offensive player, especially in the post. For what it’s worth, KG has more range, and given KG’s DPOY potential, you can’t deny that he’s in the conversation of best PF in the game. I would agree that as of today Pau is better, but assuming KG can return to form from his injury, I wouldn’t say definitively that Pau is the best in the league.
In any case, I’m pretty stoked to have 2 top 10 players on my team.
The Dude Abides says
53. Kurt, I actually think that he’s correct in this case, simply because Durant would have been a much better fit with Pierce, Jefferson, Rondo, and Perkins than Oden would have. Perkins and Oden are basically the same type of defensive-oriented center.
As for Heinrich…meh. The guy wasn’t able to hit open jump shots for the past two seasons, and is still shooting poorly this season. He does play pretty good defense, though. The question is, is his defense so much better than Farmar/Brown that he’s worth paying the extra scratch? I doubt it very much. I’m very satisfied with our PG play this season.
I found this a really telling part on our point man situation from that Farmar article by the K Brothers:
After hearing Farmar describe his struggle to play in a foreign manner, I couldn’t help but notice how differently Shannon Brown later explained his preferences as a player, which are basically “none.” He doesn’t care if he’s playing with the ball or without it. He doesn’t care what’s being asked of him. He just wants to be on the floor. It should be noted that Shannon was NOT speaking in reference to Jordan’s comments, and that Shannon joined the Lakers after bouncing around and nearly falling out of the league, which naturally creates a different perspective on PT.
Has Zach Randolph turned the corner!
I kid! I kid!
I just found a way to help Sasha improve his shot selection:
Off topic, but there was a discussion of Kobe vs. Jordan again somewhere and was wondering…
If hand-check was still allowed, do you think Kobe would be a better defender?
Kobe is fairly strong among players in his position, and not exactly flat-footed, so with the hand check, I think he may have a better rep as a defender, negating what many think of him as ‘relaxing’ on defense.
It probably takes much more effort to defend quick guards without hand checking, so I was thinking it may be somewhat unfair to compare him to guards who could simply use strength to manipulate other guards.
I’m fairly certain that everyone guarding the perimeter look inept at defense compared to their counterparts from the hand-check era, but I guess this could best be answered by those who played through both phases…
harold, that’s something I’ve considered too. I think one of Kobe’s greatest strengths as a defender is his physicality (e.g. his effort against a much bigger Melo in the playoffs last year), combined with his tenacity when playing straight up on his man or when he’s in ball denial.
I think in that respect Kobe’s defense is more hindered by the removal of hand-checking than others that rely mainly on speed and anticipation.
I also believe that the removal of hand-checking is beneficial to Kobe to a lesser degree than to the new breed of high screen and roll virtuosos like CP3, Parker, Nelson, Wade and LeBron.
“Why are we so fascinated with tinkering with a lineup that just won an NBA title and is playing better than anyone right now?”
For the same reason the Lakers let Ariza walk so they could get Artest. You always are trying to improve your team. Last season Los Angeles really had only two legitimate weakness”… no quality PG and nobody to defend SF’s. In the offseason the Lakers brought in a SF (Artest) who can play one on one defense but LA still has one of the worst starting PG’s in the NBA. If every team has the same roster come June the Lakers will win another NBA title. However, what if a contender improves they’re roster and the Lakers passed on a deal that would improve they’re chances of winning? Kurt, we are not talking about “tweaking” the roster. We aren’t talking about replacing the 15th best PG with the 14th best PG. We are talking about replacing the 30th best PG with hopefully the 15th best PG for our team. The Lakers have a great player at SG, SF, PF, and C, while having one of the best 6th men in the league. But they also have one of the worst PG’s in the game today (although he is CLUTCH). It is a giant weakness that is hidden because of the great talent that plays around Fisher. But if there is a chance to bring in a average starting PG the Lakers would be foolish not to take it.
One of the reasons he Celts are so good is they have no holes. The Lakers have a big one.
The Celtics have no holes? Really? Apparently you have not watched them play. They are a good team but they struggle with teams that have been able to attack the rim on them and draw fouls, KG is slowed, they’re shooting guard is losing his shot and half of Boston wants to trade him for an upgrade, Sheed is allergic to the paint, you can run on them, and that should be enough for now. Every team has holes. The 72 win Bulls had holes, theirs were just smaller than everyone elses.
The point is this: If I start to allow speculation about what moves the Lakers make in the offseason with the PG spot — and they will make some kind of move, we all agree — every thread on this site will become about that, or trades where someone thinks there’s a GM that would actually take Sasha right now, and so on. It has happened in the past, the roster changing speculation takes over every thread as all anyone wants to talk about is their pet idea to improve the team. It kills the flow of the conversation. Every once in a while we do talk about it, and probably after the Christmas game at some time we will (maybe after the first of the year, as that is when deals really start to percolate as the trade deadline is looming a month away). There will be some trade should we/shouldn’t we threads. But I try to compartmentalize them, so they don’t dominate the site.
What amazes me is the passion Lakers fans have for this even in the best of times, as if they were watching the Grizzlies night in and night out and realizing the talent isn’t that good.
Yay! Let’s start Sasha aka broken machine i/o Kobe.Let Kobe never play,so Zephid and company will take a deep breath 🙂
Guys what are you watching I do not know,but with all due respect Kobe is (has always been) a monster defensively,i.e. latest on Dwade 7/21 shooting,or his defense on Carmelo last year.
Transition blocking is not all defense entails 🙂
Lot’s of good talk here today, and I all of a sudden got sad. The season is a quarter of the way through already. Why can we not just have basketball like 11 months or so out of the year, instead of 7 1/2, at least the Lakers will play into June.
Good for you on not trying to figure out future point guards. I don’t understand why there is such a big push to remove Fisher from the starting lineup like he is a cancer to the team. I never understood this concept. Is it is his inability to stop quick point guards? Is there a Point Guard right now that can stop quick point guards? Farmar is quick and at UCLA was a great defensive point guard, but he can’t stop the likes of D. Rose or S. Nash or C. Paul. Quick point guards like Monta Ellis and D. Rose are going to be able to get past any one on one defender in this league. it has been that way since they got rid of the hand check rules and will continue to be like that. Fisher is the heart and the fire of the Lakers, and has been that way since his rookie year (when he sent a letter to the team regarding the team’s chatter about firing then head coach). I always like this nugget: Kobe’s won a championship without Shaq, but he’s never won one without Fisher.
My biggest question for this season is who do you think our clutch team will be, i.e., who is our crunch time lineup. Last year it was Fish, KB, Ariza, LO, and Pau. We really haven’t had to worry about it this year since most of our victories with our full lineup have been blow outs. And even in the Miami game, LO had been kicked out. So who is our top 5? Has Bynum cracked the clutch team?
Kurt I too have trade-itch, but I really love the idea that we block it out. Cause indeed, it always fits in, and thus always will come up as unsubstantial fix-all to all questions.
This is not meant as tradediscussion, but to dig deeper into this notion that Fish is the 30th best PG in the league.
I do not agree, not for the Lakers in this situation right now.
When the dude gets the ball, I feel ok about it. I don´t cringe. He is still a crafty, strong veteran. I do not mind him playing his 25-30 mins a game as a starter.
And I think there are a bunch of starting PGs out there, that wouldnt improve this team:
TJ Ford (now there is a PG who has alienated his fanbase)
Jason Williams (ok cheating, but still, Orlando is doing worse than Lakers at this moment)
Mike Conley (young, but wouldnt be better for us here and now)
These two star-PGs even would bring some holes that the Fish doesn´t – Bibby, Arenas.
Bibby isn´t much of a defender and Arenas could be somewhat of a cancer. Not saying it wouldn´t be a talent upgrade, but think about them on the team for a moment, and it might help you to remember the solidness that Fish brings, which sets up Pau and co. to do their thing.
I think people (those who want to get rid of Fisher) need to understand that the Lakers do not want a traditional point guard. None of Phil Jacksons teams have had a very good PG. His PGs don’t even always bring the ball up the court to start the offense.
The type of PG that has helped win “10” championships for Phil, is a bigger (longer) PG who doesn’t need the ball in his hands, who can defend and knock down open shots.You can automaticaly eliminate half the PGs in the league who would not be good in this spot. All you have to do is look at a guy like Farmar to realize that it’s not so simple to fit into that role.The point is you can’t just plug any traditional PG in and expect better results.
I don’t get the constant Fish debate. He isn’t the fastest of PG’s, but his skills outweigh his faults. Have we forgotten how it was his 3 pointer at the end of the Miami game that allowed Kobe to have his to win it? What about the incredibly clutch 3’s in last year’s Finals? What about the leadership he brings to our squad? The man may not be perfect, but he comes pretty close to being perfect for our team.
I understand that people want our team to always improve, but at some point you just have to sit back an enjoy the basketball. Otherwise, what’s the point of being a fan?
64, wait, why am I taking a deep breath? I think Kobe’s minutes are fine as they are: He plays 37 mins a game, which is basically an entire quarter off, while he tries to play defense maybe 3-4 possessions a game and gets to take off 5-6 possessions a game on offense because of Andrew Bynum, so really, he’s only playing like 32 mins a game, which is fine. If he played any less he’d probably start to rust. I feel like there’s some sort of massive logical leap that I’m missing.
And starting Sasha would be really stupid, so I think we should try it. You saw Phil bury VladRad on the bench after 20 games last season in favor if Luke; who’s to say he won’t do something crazy with Sasha? If anything, I’d be in favor of trying it, just one game. If it works out, try it again; see if it’s actually viable. If it doesn’t work and Sasha is predictably horrible, then just never do it again. Minnesota at home on Friday looks like a great game to try it.
And I think the Hinrich talk is completely quashable. He’ll be making $9 mil next year; there’s absolutely no way we’re bringing him in. Our payroll + luxury tax will be like $120 mil next year if we brought in Hinrich. Not going to happen.
Bill Bridges says
As the English Football fans sing: (paraphrasing) “Who’s not dancing any more, who’s not dancing any more, any more”
#70. Before starting Sasha, I’d like Phil to roll out the KB/LO/RA/PG/AB Transformer/Terminator unit
It’s not a question (or rather “shouldn’t be a question”) of how Fisher’s skill/athletic ability compares to the rest of the PGs in the league, but rather how he fits with this team/coach/system compared to how they would fit with this team/coach/system. Not many would be better fits, and I don’t think any of those are (reasonably) available.
I’m not in a hurry to upgrade our starting PG. Last time we did that, we ended up with the Gary Payton disaster of 04. Fish fits the triangle perfectly.
Backups are a different story, but Farmar is rounding into a consistency and Shannon is filling holes at both guard spots pretty nicely thus far.
Serious Question: Do we think Bynum has cracked the closing 5? He was there down the stretch against Miami. Is this going to be a permanent thing? and could this affect LO’s play?
“sorry but starting sasha is the stupidest idea i have ever heard”
Dumber than the Knicks hiring Isiah Thomas?
I guess I left out the part where I said if all else fails starting sasha will at least give us an opportunity to showcase him even if its just a few minutes a game. starting sasha doesn’t mean he would have to play more than 10 mins. Those minutes would just be more meaningful and allow his value to rise perhaps giving us a slight hope of another team wanting him. Or a miracle could happen and he could turn things around and actually be useful to the lakers. Just an idea..phil would never do it anyways.
RE Kobe’s defense: I don’t see the need to harp on his defense. There are probably 5 or 6 SG’s in the entire league that are main contributors to their teams offense – Wade, Roy, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Eric Gordon, Monta Ellis (throw in Manu if you want, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten one or two) – and Kobe plays hard on defense against all of them for every minute they share the court. For the players that aren’t true offensive threats or focal points for their team, Kobe takes a different defensive strategy. I really don’t see a problem with this. Could he close out harder at times? Sure, but do you really want to run out hard at Ronnie Brewer or Sefalosha? Do you really want our main perimeter threat, a player that despite his fundamental and precision on offense, expends the most energy on offense of any player on our team running around and chasing low quality offensive (non)threats just to show that he’s committed to defense? I’d lean towards no on questions like those. On a side note, it’s not like Phil treats Kobe the same way he treated MJ when he was at this stage of his career (and by that I mean years in the league, games played, minutes accumulated, etc). By the time Jordan was a 13 year vet with all those minutes played, Phil put Jordan on the weakest possible wing offense player or a player that Jordan could use his size and smarts against to disrupt while leaving the bigger threats to Pippen and Ron Harper. But with Kobe (pre Artest), Phil often put Kobe on the best wing offensive player for long stretches when he knew he needed that defensive presence – guys like ‘Melo, Lebron, and Pierce even when those guys aren’t natural match ups for Kobe. Like I said, I know it can get frustrating when Kobe calls out a switch so he doesn’t have to chase his man cross court or when he points to someone else to close out or when he doesn’t take the player that he’s guarding very seriously. But I’ll live with that every day of the week (multiple times) if it means that when the stakes are raised to the highest of levels we have the player every other team would want playing for them on our side.
RE Fisher: I agree with Anders (#67) and exhelodrvr (#72) in that what is good for another team may not be as good for us. A players’ fit on a team is more than just the talent they bring to the table. It’s also his willingness to play a role and how his skill set fits into that teams’ dynamic. Just recently we read stories about how Brandon Roy was getting upset about his role when he got moved to SF and the ball was not in his hands as often and he was patrolling unfamiliar parts of the court on offense (and he’s undeniably one of the best players in the game and easily the Blazers best player). My point is, you need a player that can do the thing that he’s asked to do and not do the other things that he’s not needed to do. Would I love to have CP3 or Deron (or even an Arenas or Tony Parker or Rose, etc)? Of course, but those guys come at a cost (and I don’t mean salary). Who loses touches so those guys can control the ball? Will their games flourish the same way when they’re asked to do way less than what they’re capable? There’s a reason Phil has won 10 titles and his starting PG’s have been Paxon, BJ Armstrong, Ron Harper, and Fisher (while getting major contributions from guys like Kerr and Brian Shaw). He’d almost rather have a true role player in that spot and have his real weapons on the wing (Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Kukoc, Artest, Odom) and the post (Shaq, Gasol, Bynum) where their versatility and ability to control the key areas of the court (low block, pinch post, FT line extended to the 3pt line) will mean controlling the game.
Basically, what I’m saying is, we can all agree that Fisher isn’t anywhere near the best player at his position when looking at the league’s PG’s. But he’s pretty damned good for us, based off our needs. If the game was played in a vaccum, the team with the most talent would win every time (and the Lakers would likely have over 20 titles in the Staples rafters at this point, what with those West/Baylor teams and those early Shaq/NVE/Eddie Jones/Kobe teams). But we don’t play the game in a vaccum and talent is only one factor (and important one, but not the only one).
Craig W says
“…the Lakers let Ariza walk so they could get Artest.”
This type of thinking drives me nuts. The Lakers tried to sign Ariza, but his agent was asking much more money than the Lakers wanted to pay. Since Artest’s agent had contacted them and indicated he would sign for about what they wanted to pay, the team elected to sign Artest – a probable immediate upgrade for us, and one that filled a defensive strength hole.
Saying it was a trade, because Houston decided to sign Ariza and he decided to reduce his demands, doesn’t make a lot of sense.
77. Craig you should hear the Houston announcers. They take it a step further to say Ariza left the lakers because he wanted to expand his game and the lakers couldnt afford him. They mislead a whole fan base.
Kobe is lazy on defense. Bynum is a blackhole. Fish is old and slow. The Machine is broken. Pau is soft. RonRon will be kicked out of the league shortly. Lamar will start playing like poop when him and Khloe start having problems. Farmar is lost. Ariza was a god.
Boy, with a team this bad, I think we should all switch teams and become Clipper fans. Geez. How can a team like this ever win more than one game? How will we ever win a championship with a core like this? How did we ever let Shaq go (I mean, he makes every team better, right? ) Will Arize ever forgive us?
Enjoy the ride. Pray we stay healthy. Hate the Celtics with a passion. That’s all it takes people.
some thing I don’t get when we talk about Kobe’s Playing time odometer and this idea that because he came into the league at 18 that makes his wear any different than some one that went to College.
I get that College games are shorter and that there are less of them, but these guys play just as much, if not more, with practices and pickup games.
Kobe’s first 2 season he averaged 15.5 and 26 minutes per game. That is about equal to a College player I’d think…streched out over 82 games instead of cramming into 32 games. (ok maybe not exactly equal).
But my point is…had he gone to College, especially to Duke like he said he would have, he’d have played about the same amount of time. So the Odometer would still read just about the same wouldn’t it?
Gr8 Scott says
Kurt – thanks for ending all of the speculative trade talk. I apologize about the length of this post, but I feel the need to put most of the posters who are down on Fish in their place. I don’t normally knock other Laker fans, but I’m tired of the Fisher talk and the PG position in general.
Listen up Laker fans – Fisher isn’t going anywhere this year. Yes, he is a step older and yes he still jacks up some PUJITs, but… he is still a very heady player who comes to play and is prepared every night. He is like the well seasoned soldier patroling the perimeter at night – always on the watch and always ready, even if he isn’t the most talented. Keep in mind that just because we can get a better or more talented PG doesn’t mean it will help us this season. A big reason why Fish has been around so long and has been so effective is that he doesn’t have to hog the ball or monopolize time to be effective. We have a certain #24 & #16 and even #17 that know what to do with the rock. Fisher is the ultimate glue guy who helps make sure that the team succeeds. He’s been this way his entire career. I don’t take for granted his picks on opposing PGs & SGs, nor do dismiss the fact that he has a knack for drawing a charge in big, crunch-time minutes. He may be 0-5 in a game, but if we need a big shot near the end of a close game, there is no one else outside of Mamba who I would trust more with a perimeter shot. He does what’s needed and does all the little things that our team asks. And this is embedded in his basketball DNA. Think back, if you will, to our 2001 season. The team was in disarray – winning at a decent clip, but by no means dominating. Fisher had broken something in his foot or ankle early that season and had to have his parents move in and help him out while he rehabbed. It’s no coincidence that that year’s team took off when Fish came back and reminded our two battling stars and their teammates what this game is all about. You can see his effect on the other younger players. Farmar can be capable, but we all know he will have ups and downs. ShanWow plays hard regardless of his minutes. Fisher is in the last year and wants to play a few more years, Farmar and Brown can go elsewhere next year if they choose, and yet you haven’t heard any complaints. That is as it should be – we have a great team that is looking at getting better. Leave the PG position alone and enjoy the many wins this team will grab this year.
New post up where we can continue these topics. (Lakers/Jazz preview later today)
#77 I totally agree. Ariza is a straight dumba.ss Why he signed with Houston for the same money LA was offering is beyond me. I understand Texas doesn’t have Cali’s income tax, he would have been in Kobe, LO, Bynum, Gasol’s shadow here but he is sacrificing who knows how many titles (2, 3?) for 1.5 mil more over 4 years and half a season as the star (Mcgrady back this year, Yao back next). Brooks and Landry are getting more pub anyway. Ariza you are A FOOL. You could have been part of Showtime Reincarnated, dominating for a at least the next 5 years next to 2 of the top 10 players in the league, in your HOMETOWN no less! Westchester to UCLA to LA Lakers (via NY & Orl). . . as Tom Jackson says, “C’Mon Man”
This whole Ariza-Artest trade reminds me a little bit about prom dates… The girl who promised to go with you starts flirting with another guy and hint that she’s considering dumping you for him. While waiting to find out where that is going, another girl, that you know has had a crush on you for a very long time, comes up to you and says, “I would rather go to the prom with you than with the guys who have been asking me. Can I be your prom date?”
Let’s see… do you stay with the girl who can’t decide if she wants to dump you or not, or do you go with the one who just told you she wants to be with you and has been waiting for this chance to ask you out?
(Take this post in the spirit it was intended, very tongue-in-cheek.)
Speaking of that, our date is not nearly the hooligan we were led to believe: http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2009/12/8/1189606/ron-artest-bored-by-on-court?ref=yahoo
Someone made a point that they don’t cringe when the ball ends up in Fish’s hands. I’d have to agree, I’m pretty confident that something good will happen when Fish has the ball; be it a PUJIT 3, a pass to Kobe/Pau, post-up, you name it. Rarely does the possession end in a turnover, offensive foul, bad shot, etc.
Now think of some other guys on the team.
Sasha? – CRINGE -You name it, turnover, bad shot, off. foul, shot clock violation
Mbenga? – CRINGE -Turnover, jacking up a shot he should never take
Powell? possibly made jumper, fumbled pass, blocked
Farmar? – CRINGE -bricked 3, turnover in the lane, shot clock violation
Walton? – CRINGE -stolen from him or blocked shot, he may be a serviceable passer (not as good as he used to be) but he has no shot or handle. His game has really declined – seems to have no confidence
Morrsion? CRRRRIIINNNGGEE -Don’t get me started
LO? depends on if his head is in the game. He is either spectacular or non-factor
Ron Ron? Tenacious, Physical, better than expected passer, no hops, awkward shots
Brown? No complaints here
Bynum? only complaint is he is a bit soft – needs to dunk more
Kobe, Pau – you know what to expect
Point is Fish works with the system, he knows it well, runs it well. The best PG La has had for the past 15 years. I loved Nick but Fish is the best PG we’ve had since Magic. Fish is like a game manager QB. He is surrounded by talent, he just pulls it all together – like Ben Roethlisberger, doesn’t have the best stats, pisses you off at times, but is the best man for the team
Craig W says
Ariza and RonRon.
This WAS NOT a trade, period.
Ariza was not looking elsewhere – are our memories that short? – his agent asked for more money than the Lakers wanted to pay and Artest’s agent said he was there for the taking. Then there was no more spot for Trevor. That is the entire story.
Later Trevor opted to sign with Houston.
Wasn’t that what I just said, Craig? 🙂
Craig W says
I think our team is perfect just the way it is. I’ve read alot of comments and quotes on here and I don’t understand why there is so much tweaking wanting to be done. Kurt I love the post you put up on the Celtics holes. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing. I like D-Fish running the offense, the only thing I would do is give more time to Brown. I believe this kid is a hard worker with unbelieveable physical/athletic talent. His play is improving with every game. The Lakers must see something they like also for signing him to a 2 year deal. Brown and Bynum will be the anchors for the future.
I’m going to say something that many people will say I’m crazy for saying. I think Morrisson will eventually be a decent roll player–like a Robert Horry, Rick Fox etc…–Don’t give up on this kid just yet.
Did you guys see the ball movement in the phoenix game? This regular season Laker team looks much better than last years. Last year we were running around like a chicken without a head. This year seems to be a more professional, well organized, and well coached. This team is a very very scary team.