Records: Lakers 26-6 (1st in West) Mavericks 23-10 (2nd in West)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 108 (12th in league), Mavericks 107.4 (13th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 101 (3rd in league) Mavericks 102.6 (5th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Mavericks: Jason Kidd, Jose Juan Barea, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Erick Dampier.
Lakers Tonight: While they are officially saying Ron Artest is a game time decision, don’t bet on him playing tonight.
By the way, I keep reading how the Lakers defense has struggled with Artest out, which is sort of true, it has exacerbated the problems. But, the Lakers had bad defensive games with him against Oklahoma City and Cleveland — the problems were starting before Artest failed to climb a few stairs.
By the way, some have talked about Fisher’s minutes getting reduced, as if he is being phased out. I think Wondahbap hit the nail on the head:
I think it’s naive to think Phil is phasing Fish out. One thing we ca always count on Phil for is seeing the big picture and getting his teams to peak when it matters. What we’re seeing is Phil realizing that we *need* Farmar and/or Shannon to play well in order to repeat. Fish is Fish. Allowing all three to struggle helps no one. They all need to play with confidence, and letting the younger two get crunch time minutes allows them to get comfortable in their roles – and improve. Yet, it takes pressure off Fish, but makes him realize he has to play better.
The Mavericks Coming In: The Lakers are catching the Mavericks on the second night of a back-to-back, one in which Dallas pushed the pace, as the Mavs beat the Kings in Sacramento last night. Don’t look at the 8 point margin and think it was close, the Kings scrubs went on a meaningless 11-0 run late to make the score look more respectable than the game was.
These Mavs are a lot like the Lakers in that people think of them as an offensive team but they have the second best record in the West because they are a good defensive team. Last night they forced Sacramento into 18 turnovers. But the real key — like the Lakers — is that the Maverick’s don’t let other teams shoot a high percentage — 47.4% (eFG%). (That is almost the same as the Lakers at 47%.) The Lakers and Mavericks are 1-2 in the lowest opponent true shooting percentage in the league, and both teams are keeping opponents shooting below 59% at the rim. The Mavs are doing it by smart switching, and using their length to disrupt shooters. Dallas is also third in the league in the rate of blocked shots — 6.4 per 100 possessions.
On offense, Dirk is still option number one. And two. But watch for Jason Terry off the bench, plus Marion and Kidd can have big games. So can Barea. Also, unlike the last meeting Josh Howard, is back, giving Dallas more depth.
The good defense begs this question: Are the Mavs for real this year. Are they, along with Denver, the teams that actually could give the Lakers problems in the Western Conference playoffs? A lot of people are not sold based on past history, but if the Mavericks really have turned the defensive corner it’s a discussion worth having again. The answer could be different.
Mavericks blog and random thought: Very smart Mavs blog at The Two Man Game.
The Kamenentzy Brothers have been doing great work over at the Land O’ Lakers, you should be reading them. And their game preview of tonight.
One thing I’m curious to see is how hard David Stern comes down on the Wizards and Gilbert Arenas after this latest incident. Forgetting the he said/he said nature of the allegations for a moment, the fact is that guns and gambling became a heated discussion in the locker room, guns were in play and that spilled out to the media and public at large. Stern put in a dress code and (to a lesser extent) a draft age limit to help quell the “gansta” image of the players in the league (the debate about the wisdom of that is another topic entirely). This incident brings back that image. Expect some severe reprimands to come down. It is going to get ugly. Or maybe uglier is the better way to phrase that.
Keys to game: On offense, the Mavs are a screen-and-roll team and they have the personnel to make it hard to cover — Dirk setting, with Kidd or Barea or Terry handling the ball makes for a tough combination. What’s more, Dallas gets their guard the ball off other screens quite often, meaning the defense is often a little off-balance and there is space to operate when the play starts. Fisher/Farmar/Brown/Kobe need to get through those picks and make it hard to start the play smoothly, and when it does start Gasol/Bynum need to defend it well. Because Odom and Gasol tend to defend the P&R better, we may see more of them as the tandem tonight.
Also, if Dallas has a mismatch they will go at it. They are one of the best teams in the league at recognizing and exploiting mismatches (particularly if they can post someone up) in the league.
Of late the Mavs have become big fans of the zone defense, expect to see it tonight. The Lakers know how to break it — flashes into the middle of the paint by bigs, kick outs and threes over the top when the defense collapses down. The Lakers need to work inside out and not settle for long jumpers, the Lakers need to be patient. If the Lakers rush, it will be an ugly night.
Where you can watch: 6:30 p.m. start on Fox Sports here in Los Angeles, and of course ESPN 710 radio.
Anytime you get to see the 2 best Euro players in the league go at it is a plus for me. Should be a fun one.
did you read the quote where Phil said something about using speech patterns to determine Crazy Pills recovery status didn’t work on Ron… seriously PJ is one funny mf’er.
Since I’m a Lakers fan from Germany, my dream was always to have Dirk on the Lakers. I think he would have been perfect alongside Shaq, drawing opposing PFs out to give Shaq room to run over single defenders.
At that time I found out about Mark Cuban’s homepage, so I wrote him an e-mail offering Glen Rice and change for Dirk. Funny thing, he actually wrote me back (or maybe one of his minions did). I was told very politely that, no thanks, he wouldn’t get rid of Dirk, especially not for Glen Rice. Damn you, Mark Cuban! But hey, I tried the best I could for our favorite ballclub…
I actually think it is naive to presume after the worst starting PG in the NBA (by a wide margin) hasn’t played one fourth quarter minute in 2 straight close games that he isn’t being phazed out. This isn’t rocket science here people. Did you really think Phil Jackson, being the guy with 10 rings, would continue to play Fisher after Derek has struggled to resemble an NBA player for going on 10 months now? It was only a matter of time. Phil sets his playoff starting lineup somewhere around the all star break. That is why before the season started I predicted Fisher would be out somewhere around then.
When Fisher is benched I hope Laker fans appluad him and remember him as the clutch shooting dependable role player he has been on 3 Laker championship teams and not the washed up veteran he has been this season and the 2nd half of last.
chris h says
boy Aaron, I still remember your promise to stop bashing Fish, and I’ve been proud of your restraint (up until a few games ago).
and I have to admit that when I see Fish miss a few shots, and have an off game, I can’t help but think, “Oh man, here comes Aaron with ‘I told you so again’.” and sure as sh*t, here ya are.
my personal take on this is PJ knows how long a season lasts, and yes it makes sense that he wants to see Farmar and Brown gain confidence, (even sasha too) but he’s also thinking (and this is just my humble opinion) that he’s going to need the leadership and veteran experience down the stretch and into the playoffs, so he’s got to think of reigning in Fish’s minutes, and save him for the end run.
I really love it when some of us claim to “know” exactly what PJ is thinking… has any of us led a team to a championship? … thought so…
Little side note. Ever since the Mav’s protest of third Mav/Rocket game,the Mavs have been getting extremely generous treatment from the refs. Extremely generous calls-and esp. non-calls.
the other Stephen says
one day i want to see phil, mitch, jerry, or any of the players read the contents of this site and tell us how close to the mark we were in discussing what was going through their minds.
j. d. hastings says
All the trend lines call this game a loss for the lakers, possibly a blowout, since that’s how the lakers do losses. Sometimes its when the trend lines are clearest that teams make a turnaround though.
We shall see.
How’s about we pull out a win against a winning team that can hang with the best, ay. I’m hoping for our backup PG’s to play well and knock down open 3’s, Pau to make his presence felt on Dirk, LO to show why he is a more versitile big man than Matrix, and Andrew needs to take these old centers to hole all night. In my opinion, this game is going to depend on the first half and our second unit. Hopefully the name Mavs will ring a bell to our squad and we’ll come out with some fire.
I think this game will be a good guage of where the Lakers are right now. Are they a top tier team (despite being a little banged up) or are they drifting toward the middle of pack as Hollinger’s ranking’s indicate?
agree with your observation.
Thank you for this blog! I just found it and plan to bookmark it and keep coming back!
I’m a relatively new Lakers fan, but what I lack in history I make up for in passion 🙂
With that…I’m off to get all my boring Sunday night back-to-work stuff done before the game tonight (I’m east coast) & see how it all pans out. Let’s hope it’s not an ugly one.
Not looking forward to this particular contest, but Kobe always has a thing for the Mavs…
And the Spain-Germany Duel would be fun stuff, really.
Too bad this ain’t soccer.
I really do not know what Laker team will show up tonight. I am hopeful though, that a determined Laker squad wanting to take out the #2 Western Conference team will show up.
I’m expecting a great veteran PG leadership job from Derek Fisher for 24 minutes, with help from both Farmar and ShanWOW. He should match up well against Kidd, vet to vet, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some three point shots go down. Hopefully, we won’t have to rely on one of Derek’s clutch threes to save another game.
With the Cavs going down tonight, this is a chance for the Lakers to gain some ground for home court.
It isn’t Fisher bashing to point out the obvious. It was Fisher bashing to the general public last year before people started realizing Fisher was washed up. But this year its just stating the obvious. Im not saying anything that everyone (including the average fan) doesn’t already know. Derek Fisher (who I love and respect) is the worst starting PG in the NBA and there isn’t’ a close 2nd.
The bashing is what everyone else does on here during the games. You guys are making fun of him every time he messes up. That is what bad players do… they make bad plays. I don’t pick on him and bash him on this site during the games every time he easily gets beat off the dribble, misses an open jump shot, needlessly doubles an opponent in the paint, air balls a lay up, or causes our defense to overplay the opposing teams PG. I leave the bashing to you guys.
That was a nice pass from Bynum to the cutting Lamar. We need to see more cuts from the Lakers when Andrew has the ball. I don’t think he’s exactly averse to passing, but he sort of needs to be prodded into it sometimes.
gasol out with a hamstring
left hamstring this time, not the previously injured right one
As Dirk would say, Voonderbar!
(not worried about the hamstring yet, just happy to see our performance up to par)
this is better, hope gasol is ok
Did I just here gasol was out with a hamstring!! when did this happen? I’m looking at the game right now did I m iss something we don’t need anymore Injuries!!
I hope Gasol’s hamstring is not serious and he won’t miss any games.
Little laggy now and then.
If we now lose Gasol we are in big trouble….
Based on Gasol’s recovery time for the last hamstring injury, I’m not optimistic.
On the positive side, this is the Lakers’ best start to a game in ages. Farmar in particular has been terrific.
@11, Hollinger’s rankings are the biggest crap ever for any NBA writer in history. Last year the Lakers were barely a top 5 team all season long and it’ll be the same way this season that’s why to me it might as well be toilet paper. Hollinger has his head up Lebron’s butt. On another note Jordan has been really well with his increased minutes as of late, I can only imagine how well he would play if he were allowed to start the game with the starters.
Kobe let shannon dunk 😀
With this lead, I do not want to see Pau again tonight. Rest him and see how he is Tuesday.
This is a very nice game.
Gasol is hurt! FML
Quick question! if somebody could help? Is Shannon Brown going to be in the dunk contest? is it official yet?
Can you believe the score, I had to look many times to believe it, Farmar and ShanWOW kicking some tonight, huh. Now Kobe just sinks a tripple!
So did Mitch make a deal with the devil – Gasol’s hamstring for an effective bench?
It would be relieving if they say he’s reasy to play after the half, I would definitely sleep easier, but resting him is probably the safer thing to do. Does anybody know when Luke Walton is supposed to be back?
anyone have a good link? Admin shut down freedocast.
I agree Kurt, even if he can come back, this is great confidence for our second unit guys.
This game show why i love D.J.
Sometimes I forget why Jordan Farmar became my favorite player, then he plays like this and reminds me…
very good quality..download veetle first
one of the better 1st halfs the Lakers have played this season.
Kurt, I agree, I do not want to see Gasol again tonight. Best thing is for Pau to get some rest and not aggravate the hamstring further
Pau not returning…
we can probably expect pau to miss a couple games
Anything else out of the halftime report about pau?
Andreas G. says
Obviously Pau getting hurt is terrible, but maybe this can do wonders for Drew’s confidence? With footwork like that, that kid should average 20-10 even with Pau in the line-up.
Sasha has been building up to this the last few games
The machine is back!
Man this game is fun to watch. Some beautiful offense, great defense, guys making good cuts, Sasha hitting open shots, and Bynum dominating Gooden in the post.
the machine is alive?
Obviously our problem has been having Pau in the lineup…
Warren Wee Lim says
We don’t need Pau Gasol tonight… let the Spaniard rest.
I am seeing a very good Laker bench tonight… wonder what hit them.
ShanWow – 9pts (4-5 shooting)
Vujabitch – 8pts (3-7 shooting)
Farmar – 12 pts (4-6 shooting)
Probably because they are playing at a faster speed and is getting steal. Also because they’re active for once and driving in the lane.
lol @ Vujabitch
In Portuguese, but a fairly smooth feed.
lets be honest guys Bynum is much better when gasol is off the floor
Sasha just got rip.
good to see that among all lakers, it is Kobe who has the lowest FG%, 50%
Taco Unit time
Wow +39 for Kobe that something.
We can’t miss tonight! The shooting is very impressive but it’s just a one night fluke unfortunately. The D on the other hand may be able to carry over from this point on in the season. (hopefully)
Right about now, Kobe is thinking, “Mental note: Give Lamar the bag of potato chips and Skittles before every game.”
Kurt – Regarding Arenas, he may have more to worry about than how the League office handles this little comedy with Critt, since the D.C. police are involved. Zero could be charged with brandishing. Me thinks this is a felony everywhere except perhaps Alaska (heh heh).
I don’t know if you guys remember, but the last time Farmar had a streak of impressive games he missed an easy dunk in two of his best performances. Now in this game he did it again! I wonder if he has a mental fear of capping a great performance with a nice dunk. ^craziness^
Wow, and I thought this was going to be another live and die by Kobe night.
With Pau out, the only player in our starting lineup without injury is Fisher…
I’m thinking the defense of NBA people everywhere would go something like
“Dallas just came from a back to back”
Not totally unwarranted though. I remember when we crushed phoenix then got trampled on when we went to their place.
Everyone in Lakerland must have wished for better offense for the new year.
So this is how it feels like to be in the giving end of a great shooting night.
There go the taco. Or not.
I’ll take the win … our team is on a 67 game victory pace and running away from the West …
And, Cleveland and Boston are neck and neck in the East …. niiiice!
No doubt the Mavs are tired, but the Lakers are without Gasol, Artest and Walton. Kobe only scored 15. The rest of the team just showed up to play tonight. And Farmar shot lights out.
I’d love to see more of this from the bench.
all players shot at least 50%,
T. Rogers says
If the Lakers could just half of that production from the bench on a nightly basis, David Stern would have to cancel the season and just the Lakers the O’Brien trophy now.
j. d. hastings says
I’m 100% positive that a large part of the extent of this butt whupping was from the Mavs being tired. But even if that accounts for 20 points of it, the rest came from the Lakers coming to play hard on both sides of the ball. We’ll have a lot of chances to see how real the result is this month, starting Tuesday against another team we owe a beating to.
Glad to see the Lakers beat back the trend lines tonight. Best win of the year so far. Now lets get some of these on the road.
I guess this is why we haven’t traded any of our players.
Another win for Mitch.
j. d. hastings says
The Lakers also shot only 16 FTs to Dallas’s 28. They just had it going.
When you say that Fisher has, “struggled to resemble an NBA player for going on 10 months now?”, and is a, “washed up veteran he has been this season and the 2nd half of last.”, I presume you are not referring to:
Exhibit A) The Houston Playoff Series last season when he, in an absolutely veteran move, knocked Scola on his ass.
Exhibit B) The Finals and his burying of the Game 4 dagger threes to send it to overtime, and cement the win once there.
The thing is, and lots of people have said this lots of times, the Triangle doesn’t want a point guard. It is far better off having a guard on the floor that can act as a traffic cop/cheerleader/floor coach.
Fisher fills that role wonderfully. Not forever, certainly, but he is filling it now.
And, just for your information, Kobe has never won a ring without Fisher. Coincidence? I think not!
Wade A.D. says
Farmar hit 6 three’s. Wow.
Adam Morrison didn’t miss a shot!
14-24 from downtown. Amazing how scary this team is when the shooting’s there.
Warren Wee Lim says
77 – Coolrunnings
Trade who for who? The only asset we have attractive for other teams is Adam Morrison’s expiring contract and I am pretty certain MK has been mandated to cut salary.
On the account of salary dumps, I can assure you that 29 other teams are not eager to help us except those that are pointlessly not contending. That means the bottom 10 of the standings.
I like the Laker team that showed up tonight to play basketball. Bynum will thrive if Gasol is out for the next few games, 20 – 10 at least every night.
Just back from Staples. A few thoughts:
1. Bynum, as has been said, is just so much more active without Pau on the floor. A lot of that is obvious – spacing, touches, etc. – but something needs to click in him where he realizes that activity and Pau’s presence are not mutually exclusive.
2. I had never seen Dirk in person before, and even with the off night and the inability to get inside — man oh man is that guy physical. A beast. Totally different thing to see him live. Just…scary.
3. Kobe’s handing off the dunk to Shannon was as popular in my section as was the dunk itself. (In general I was actually quite impressed by the knowledge of the fans I overheard throughout the game.)
4. I was doubly-sad to realize Pau was off the court just because I was excited to see the Spaniard match up with the German, but I think it’s safe to say the rest of the team more than made up for that. (Still: Pau, get well soon. And Ron. And Luke.)
5. The post-game on the radio is pretty awful.
There were plenty of comments, not sure if on this site, when the Lakers were going through their minislump for the trading of a Sasha/Farmar/Ammo combination to the Bulls for Hinrch/T. Thomas/Salmons.
great win. getting ron back makes me feel good against houston. hope we come out that game with dominating in mind. fluke if a fluke but if we just get a third of this performance, we’d be convincingly knocking out a bottom-dwelling team. get well pau. take some time to rest kobe.
and cle, sa, tor and den losing all at the same day helps. at least we don’t look to losing against the bobcats this time.
(4), (18) Aaron,
time for you to eat crow–again. Derek Fisher started, played within his expected envelope (21 minutes), made both of his 3 pt. shots and all 4 of his free throws, was +21 against his opponent’s -26.
Here’s a restaurant:
Your overstated personal attack on Derek was especially badly timed tonite.
But you have to admit, Aaron’s Fisher “bashing” is amusing, though.
Anyways, here’s an excerpt from Adande’s Daily Dime on espn.com:
” “I’m comfortable with or without [Gasol], it’s just I’m more needed without him,” Bynum said. “My focus goes up a little bit.”
Again, you wonder why the focus isn’t at its highest level no matter who’s on the court, but for the Lakers at least they know they have this option should Gasol be out for another extended period.
Bryant said Bynum has to understand, “There’s a pecking order” and has to find a way to still be effective when he is the third option after Bryant and Gasol. ”
I think a few people on this site, me among them, brought up the point that Drew and Pau don’t necessarily maximize each other’s play. That does not mean either is a subpar player or that either should be traded – it’s just an observation that Drew becomes a different player when Pau isn’t out there. Which is horribly ironic, because Pau makes just about everyone else better.
What’s overlooked is that, because of injuries and lineup changes, Drew and Pau haven’t played a ton of games together. I think, hopefully, as we watch them grow together, we’ll begin to see dominant performances from both at the same time.
Edit after seeing Booboo’s post: That quote by Kobe is dead-on. Leaders hold their team accountable like that. And I suspected as much, it might just be mental – Drew knows he has to take on a greater responsibility with Pau gone. But, just as Booboo said, I question why Drew can’t play with that focus when Pau’s in there.
It may come down to the fact that with Pau, Drew is less of a focus on the offensive end. And as has been well-documented, Drew’s rebounding and defense follow his offensive involvement.
Sorry, that entire thing was from Adande, but I agree with it.
I think it’ll be interesting to see how Bynum plays after/if he hears/reads Kobe’s comment.
Did I miss something? Did I watch another game? Fisher was 2-4 with 10 points and had the worst plus/minus of the Lakers starters (Gasol doesn’t count). The fact this is a great game for Derek speaks loudly to his traditional awful play. Of the four PG’s the Lakers can play Fisher again was the worst of the bunch.
Hope Pau is OK though.
As usual, when it comes to Derek Fisher, you miss a lot. Try that crow restaurant.
To illustrate the complete whackiness of Hollinger’s ranking scheme, this one game, with a huge margin of victory, vaulted the Lakers from #9 to #2.
Up until now, the Lakers tiny margins of victory had been actually dropping them way down in the ranks.
The Lakers do have 3 fewer losses than any other team . . . .
Had a dream last night that Pau came back for the 4th quarter, just to show he wasn’t injured. I think I’m obsessed with the success of this team.
Craig W. says
I have assembled enough statistics in my life to understand you have to be very careful, not only in how you collect them, but in how you interpret them.
Since we Americans are obsessed with determining the best (crowning a champion), we jump through all sorts of hoops to get an early reading on who the champion deserves to be. The result is Hollinger – who can no more determine who the #1 team is than we can agree on who the #1 player in NBA history is – opps, sorry that a number of you younger bloggers think it might be MJ.
Isn’t it amazing how when things are going well, everybody’s shots just go down like ice cream?
If only we had a consistent outside shooter who can give us 37-42% from the 3 every game, we’d be scary.
Finally an easy win against a quality opponent. We need a few like these to build on for the road trip.
Maybe Phil should give Drew an edict: learn to produce with Pau on the floor or you’ll be coming off the bench.
RE Hollinger’s Rankings: First off, they don’t matter. They have as much to do with determining the champion as my virtual season on NBA 2K10 does. That said, the rankings do shed some light on who is playing the best ball over the recent set of games (based off his formula, I believe it’s the most recent 10 games). Also, two of Hollinger’s most weighted variables are margin of victory and strength of schedule. So, it makes sense that a blowout win of a very good opponent would raise the Lakers’ ranking. Just as it makes sense that narrow victories over teams that aren’t (record wise) very strong teams would not reflect well on how the Lakers are playing.
I’m not here to defend Hollinger, but weren’t many of us, over the past couple of weeks, concerned that the Lakers weren’t playing that well? And even though the team was winning, it was thought that the team’s strong record was not an indicator of our true level of play? And then considering those two beliefs by many, didn’t Hollinger’s rankings reflect just that? Like I said, I’m not here to defend Hollinger, but he’s not a dummy and his statistics do give some insight into this game and the league. Now, we could all find holes in his reasoning or argue that he relies to heavily on his stats or that he weights certain stats too heavily when creating his formulas, but that’s a different discussion (a discussion that is valid, but a different one nonetheless). Plus, as Kurt has mentioned several times before, Hollinger does watch the games. He watches a lot of them and for as many teams as he can (unlike the former Mavs guy that just watched the Mavs and their opponent for that given night).
Hollinger designed his system by looking at successful teams and determining what statistical trends were common. It’s a reasonable approach, and over the long-term, is fairly accurate.
And since I’m on my Hollinger kick right now, let’s talk Fisher for one second.
I think we all realize that Fisher is not playing that well. He has had some good performances, but he’s also had some stinkers. This is reflected in Fisher’s PER. Right now, Fisher’s PER is essentially a 8.93. A single digit PER is quite low and an 8.93 is about 6 points below the league average. That said, Fisher’s low PER (and “poor” play) is not a unique thing amoung supposed good teams. Below is a list of starters (or sometime starters) on some good teams that also have low PER’s for their teams:
*Mc Dyess – 11.51
*Finley – 9.48
*Bogans – 10.97
*Pietrus – 10.40
*Anthony Parker – 9.52
*Afflalo – 10.93
*Anthony Carter – 8.82
*Joey Graham – 7.56
I bring up these players and these stats to reiterate the point that no team can be stacked at every position. What teams can hope for is balance with its entire team and to have good replacements and bench players that create a solid team overall. I don’t think any person could claim that because Denver starts Carter/Afflalo/Graham at SG that they’re a bad team (I think the argument would really go something like the Nuggs are a contender because of ‘Melo/Billups and their size/talent at PF/C). Similarly, I don’t think anyone would say that the Spurs aren’t contenders because they start McDyess at C or Finley/Bogans at SG (you’d still point to Duncan/Parker/Ginobili and say those guys are the core and they’ll need to get it done). So, when we look at the Lakers, why is it that Fisher is the guy that is going to hold us back? I mean, are we relying on Fisher in a way that is going to trump the contributions of Kobe/Pau/Bynum/LO/Artest?
One last note on the group of players that I listed earlier – they all still bring some tangible or intangible trait to their team that the coaches/management find valuable. They still contribute in some way to the success of their team. Whether it’s defense, rebounding, shooting, or leadership. Fisher is a contributor for our team – whether it’s statistically or not. Whether we can see it when we watch the games or not. I know that this will not stop people/fans from criticizing Derek. I think we all get frustrated when we see a player not performing as well as we’d like or think a player should.
But, I’ll repeat, no team is perfect. The Lakers included. But, I’ll take our team talent over any other team’s talent. Give me a team with Kobe/Pau/Bynum/Artest/LO. Surround those guys with capable role players and guys with leadership skills and guys that the coaches trust and I’ll take my chances.
First, remember it is a formula that spits out a result–not Hollinger sitting there and ranking the teams subjectively.
Second, as Darius points out via Kurt, Hollinger watches games all the time. In his most recent chat–which was up at the same time the power poll had the Lakers 8 or 9 or whatever, he took a Lakers question and said “the bench is killing them” but then said that barring injury or a serious add by SA, DEN, or DAL, he expected the Western Conference Playoffs to be the “Lakers invitational” but he does not think they are likely to beat the EC champ. I see that as a fair assessment, and he is not saying “the Lakers are the 9th best team in the NBA” just because the formula puts them there in a particular week.
Finally, on a fan-culture note, to hear Hollinger tell it, he gets about 100 emails a day and about 100 questions/comments each chat from disgruntled Laker fans complaining about Kobe/LeBron or about the power poll. He even wrote a column about it during the finals last year (perhaps at the behest of his editor). I doubt that is anyone in this crowd, but I would encourage folks to take heed to Darius’ comments–the poll is just a fun thing that doesn’t matter
–and to Kurt’s often-stated point that stats are useful tools, nothing more and nothing less.
BTW, what happened to Reed? Does he still post here?
I agree that some of what Fisher does is not captured in numbers; a lot of that is that Fisher understands his role on the team. Also, as noted by many, including Farmar himself, Farmar’s skills and preferences do not fit the triangle and this team that well. Farmar likes to play in transition and create off the dribble.
That said, some of what Fisher does DOES show up in the numbers. As per Basketball Reference:
FARMAR 3P% 33.6 TO% 16.3
FISHER 3P% 39.7 TO% 8.8
This year, however, we see a different picture:
FARMAR 3P% 35.9 TO% 12.7
FISHER 3P% 35.2 TO% 14.1
So, if Fisher is not knocking dowm more 3s than Farmar is and is turning the ball over more, that would seem to be an argument to give Farmar more time. Fisher’s value is mostly in knowing his role, avoiding mistakes, and hitting 3s.
Thanks for the shout.
Regarding your first comment (#4)…
I do think it’s naive to say Phil is phasing Fish out, because even if he’s giving Jordan, Sasha, and Shannon more 4th Q minutes (or all of them), I don’t think PJ has decided to completely leave Fish out. We need ALL of them to be good, and Phil know the only way to maximize that is to do it now.
Trust me. I share your frustration with Fish. But the others have to BEAT him out of his job. Would I like for Fish to be phased out eventually? Yes, yes, and yes. But that’s nothing against Fish. It would mean a marked improvement by one of the bench guys. But more responsibilities now keeps everyone heading in the right direction going forward. Just like we see Farmar respond to pressure, Fish has some pride too. He gets feisty when he’s called out.
Personally, I’m rooting for Sasha (always have) to get bulk 4th Q PG minutes. His size and shooting can be great assets. I always thought it was his job to earn and he failed miserably last year. Phil’s doing a great job fixing the Machine right now. HOPEFULLY, Sasha’s improvements continue.
Our problems on offense have everything to do with shooters spacing the floor for the post and that hasn’t happened this year. Teams have been allowed to clamp down. Maybe last night will be a step in the right direction is regaining our outside touch.
New post up where we will be updating injury news:
I don’t think anyone is saying the Lakers are not the best team in the NBA. And it is hard to compare PG to any other position in the league. PG’s in the association are a dime a dozen. Most people would put Mo Williams and Jameer Nelson somewhere near the middle of the pack and they were both all stars last season. There are just so many good PG’s.
I also don’t know of any other PG that gets to play with Kobe, Artest, Lamar, Gasol, and Bynum every minute of the game. I shutter to think of the godly shooting percentages bad NBA PG (20-30) Beno Udrih would put up on the Lakers.
PER tells a great story offensively but it doesn’t account for defense. Most people complain of Fisher’s inability to make a lay up or shoot an open jump shot… but it is his 35 year old D that really sinks the Lakers ship.
You seem to think Derek doesn’t effect the game because he is playing with so much talent around him. However, the easiest way to improve a team is to replace a bad player with an average player. Just like a Kobe or Lebron make everyone around them better a player like Derek Fisher (at this point in his career) will make everyone around him that much worse on both sides of the ball.
lastly you speak about somebody needing to make it impossible for Phil to keep Fisher in the starting lineup. This isn’t Eddie Jones fending off a young Kobe. Derek Fisher isn’t a serviceable player. He is the worst starting PG in the entire NBA and probably couldn’t play back up PG on any other team in the league. And don’t say the Lakers system is different. Derek was a traditional PG coming out of college. He isn’t Shannon Brown, Sasha, or Ron Harper. The guy is a traditional PG. He is 6 ft and gets people involved. He isn’t a scoring PG who attacks the basket often but he is a traditional PG.
Taking Fisher out of the rotation completely is all the more easy now that we know Sasha can play well given the minutes. Brown and Farmat share the PG minutes and Sasha can step in as the back up SG.
I become more and more convinced that Aaron is Smush Parker’s nom de web…