Phillip is working on his short game this morning so you guys are stuck with the pure randomness of my scattered mind for this morning’s links. Enjoy…
*The big news around the Lakers/Suns series is that a certain all-star big man that wears shades and likes the ‘Art of War’ said that Lamar Odom had a lucky game when he went off for 19 and 19 in game one. I really don’t know if Odom gets motivated by things like this, but if he does and can channel whatever he’s feeling into positive play I think STAT made a mistake on this one. Odom’s a pretty humble guy, but he’s also prideful in his ability and his game. From a Lakers’ perspective, here’s hoping that LO comes ready to play again because we all know the difference he can make when he’s playing well.
*Speaking of Amar’e, the Lakers exploited him on Monday. You want to know how? Go check out Land O’ Lakers as they give us 5 ways that LA took advantage of Stoudemire.
*And not to continue to harp on Amar’e, but he had 3 rebounds in 34 minutes game 1. Bynum, in his 19 minutes and with a balky knee had 4. Hopefully, with Bynum saying that he feels fine and that the swelling is down in his knee, he can bring even more to the table in tonight’s game 2.
*But the story from game 1 wasn’t Bynum (or even LO or STAT). The story was Kobe and how he demolished the Suns’ defense to the tune of 40 points. Even though Alvin Gentry said the Suns could “live” with Kobe getting those points, I’m pretty sure that’s code for “40 points is too many” and he’ll definitely be looking to slow down #24 tonight. So, the Lakers are preparing to see a variety of different schemes tonight including some zone and hard double teams. (Hat tip to TrueHoop.)
*I’m a little late on these but since we’re talking about the past, maybe it doesn’t matter. Check out Roland Lazenby’s latest on why the great Elgin Baylor (despite never winning a title) may be the all-time playoff MVP and then after that go check out more Land O’ Lakers as they’re taking a look at the top 10 Lakers playoff moments. They’ve already looked at a classic Shaq performance and one of the Logo’s great clutch plays.
*Speaking of the past, Undrcrwn has put up a few classic pictures for their morning inspiration. I don’t know about you, but they put a smile on my face. Ahh, the good old days.
*Bringing it back to the present for a moment, Shannon Brown’s dunk attempt has been the talk of the internet for the past day and a half. Can you imagine if he made it? Let the record show that Shannon says if he would have focussed on the rim sooner, he would have made the basket.
*I’ve tried to keep the links Laker heavy, but I can’t wrap up without giving a word of congratulations to the Washington Wizards for winning the draft lotterly last night. They now have the right to draft whoever they want (John Wall) and start anew with their rebuilding efforts. Lets hope that this #1 overall pick turns out better than their last one. (Although, that guy did help us get our big Spaniard so I’m glad in some ways that it all played out the way it did with Kwame. See, I knew I could bring it back to the Lakers.)
I find Brown’s comment both funny and sad.
One of the complaints about him over the season is his lack of court awareness. Where his teammate are, where he is and just general recognition.
On that play, he sure wasn’t looking at any other teammates. If he wasn’t aware of where the rim was, what the heck was he doing? Just driving it down the lane and seeing Richardson stand there and decide to jump over him?
Not exactly the kind of focus you want from a guard. No wonder he can’t run the offense.
Gr8 Scott says
Repost from the last thread –
A matchup with Boston (assuming we handle our biz with the Suns) is both terrifying and intriguing. To have HCA in the Finals against our long-time nemesis that is playing arguably the best defense in the playoffs (with no disrespect to our own team) would be amazing. It would give Kobe and Co. a chance to redeem 2008 with a repeat or forever be labeled as losers to the lucky little leprechauns. As much as I want to see us avenge 2008, it would pain me to no end if we were to somehow lose to Boston in the Finals, again. Both of the regular season games were great games (even our loss to them without Kobe), so I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this POTENTIAL Finals matchup could go 7 games.
One note of caution – if we do beat the Suns and if Boston does beat the Magic and if the Finals do go to game 7, for the love of all that is Forum Blue and Gold, please don’t let Dr. Buss put balloons up above the court and postgame celebratory notes on the seats D
As for tonight, I expect it to be very close. Phoenix doesn’t want to go down 0-2 and their bench can’t play much worse than what it did (although it would be nice). Is it just me, or does Ron make way too many shots with one foot barely on the 3pt line? Dude has made so many 23 footers for two. We need to keep the TOs low, can some early Js to disrupt their zone and continue to get back in transition. Go Lakers!
According to the blog, he was checking out Richardson’s feet, to see if he was set or not. Whether that helped, or whether that was smart I leave for wiser heads to argue, but that’s what he claims he was doing.
@Mimsy. yeah, he also said he was looking to attack already. As Darius and others in this blog have pointed out repeatedly throughout the year, for a read and react offense, too often Brown and Farmar have their minds made up on what to do before the play even develops.
I’m pulling for him but disappointed in his lack of development. Second year in the system already.
I think Brown is afraid of making TOs when he’s trying to feed the post. That’s why he never attempts lob passes over the fronting defenders or make a bounce pass to one side. The only pass he’ll make is the quick straight to the posting big man, if his defender got out of the position. Shannon’s lack of ability stems from the fact that he’s passes are usually telegraphed as he can’t think very quickly. Once he can’t feed the post, then he usually makes his mind to dribble to set up his jumper. I’m sure the coaching staff and his teammates are frustrated by this also, but you can’t change a player’s instinct this late in his life. He is what he is. He’s a fantastic athlete who doesn’t have high basketball IQ. Just imagine if he had Walton’s or better yet Kobe’s IQ and determination.
Personally, I think if he tries for that kind of dunk again and makes it, we’ll be able to forgive Shannon Brown some of his shortcomings. 😉
Shannon has been much better in the playoffs than in the regular season. He’s played under more control and has let the game come to him more often than not. Another anectdote about that play was that he was using his peripheral vision to scan the floor and realized that to one side there was an occupied defender and to the other there was no one. Then he looked at Richardson and was tracking how far he was from the basket and then he elevated. That’s a lot of variables to consider when going nearly full speed.
This isn’t to play down Shannon’s short commings as a decision maker. He’ll likely never be the lead guard (in a Fisher sense) that organizes our sets or a “head of the snake” offensive initiator (in the half court or on the break). That said, the guy played PF in college at MSU when Izzo played a small lineup in his starting group. He’s played off the ball a ton in his career so I think it’s fair to say that his learning curve is steep when asking him to be an NBA level decision making guard. In other words, I do cut him *some* slack on this stuff. Plus, I don’t think the coaches are that frustrated with him. Over the course of this year, they continued to play him even when fans soured on him severely. Now, it’s paying dividends with solid play. From my angle, he’s doing fine; I don’t think we need to harp too much on his faults at this point.
Shannon Brown is following Fisher’s lead and frustrating us to insanity in the regular season, only to step up and play big and prove us all wrong in the playoffs. I’m okay with this. I’d rather have him do that than the other way around. 🙂
That doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally be frustrated with the guy, but I like his attitude and the fact that whether he makes good or bad decisions, he play relentlessly aggressive whenever he gets on the court. Yes, he has faults, but lack of effort or work ethic certainly isn’t among them. That alone is reason to cut him some generous slack, I think.
lil' pau says
Are Laker fans rooting for Bos again? I am, in a long series (at least 6, please!). My terror of losing to Bos yet again is overwhelmed by my desire for revenge and also, how dull I find Orl. They were actually more interesting with Turkaglu, which is really saying something.
6 hours, 26 minutes. Anyone want to tailgate?
Craig W. says
That was Jack Kent Cooke, not Jerry Buss who put the balloons in the ceiling.
I thought I would be able to cheer for Boston against ORL for the obvious reasons (homecourt, revenge, nostaligia), but I can’t being myself to do it a second time.
Even removing the forum-blue-colored glasses for a moment, isn’t Boston the most unlikable team in the league? There isn’t a single likable player on that team (that gets burn anyway). Rondo would be barely tolerable if it weren’t for his disrespectful overuse of that showboat behind-the-back fake and that omnipresent smirk on his face.
KG? wheelchair Paul? Sheed? Perk? Dirty on defense, actors/floppers on offense. Sure its veteran-savvy to work the refs, but these guys are intolerable with personalities to match… They’re worse than the 88-91 Pistons Bad Boys teams in my book.
While another Finals loss to the hated Keltics (provided we get there) would be emotionally crushing… I do not worry about this because I believe this Lakers team has the intestinal fortitude to grind it out if need be and does not fear the Keltics. Respect yes, fear no.
@Mimsy. Oh no doubt, love the kid’s attitude. I wasn’t trying to pick on him. I just had and still have a lot of high hopes for him. His body language and his interviews always seem to indicate a guy who’s willing to learn, humble and be part of the team.
I tend to root and have high expectations of guys like that. Especially if they have a ton of athletic ability. Usually that just means they need to be nurtured properly. I hate guys who have a ton of athletic ability and aren’t willing to learn because they think they can get away with it. Guys with a good work ethic, hustle and willingness to learn, I tend to cut a lot of slack. I may get frustrated with them, but I don’t dislike them.
Chownoir, I didn’t think you were. Unless of course you’ve had a drastic personality change compared to your posts in the past, but I kind of doubt that.
I hate guys who have a ton of athletic ability and aren’t willing to learn because they think they can get away with it.
And that, right there, is the source of nearly all my frustration with both Lebron James and Dwight Howard….
The Elgin Baylor article was interesting but didn’t do a whole lot to support Elgin as all-time playoff MVP. It talked about how great of a regular season player he was and showed a combination of playoff failures (no rings, fouling out in big games) and successes (a few ridiculously high scoring nights). Also the only story of playoff heroics involved The Logo, not Elgin.
Looking back at older posts and how we’ve played brilliantly, with some room for improvement, it may be tough to argue we haven’t played at a different level. I won’t go so far as to claim we flipped a switch, but everyone has decided to bring their best, and with a little rest to help Kobe, we are playing some of the best ball of the season.
I have parallel thinking for Bos. They limped through the season, literally because of their injuries. And while I’m sure they discussed the “no switch to flip,” once the team got healthy, they have played at a “playoff-level”.
Both teams seemed to have “turned it up,” call it a switch if you will, but they have proven what championship-caliber teams should be doing. I think you see a lack of that in the ORL/CLE teams. It so hard to see the forest during the regular season, because once the playoffs get underway, it’s proven to be meaningless for many teams (CLE), a recovery ward (BOS), or a classroom to learn a foundation for the real season (LA). It’s a sight to see playing well right now. 7 to go.
(I had so much fun Monday night, I invited even more Suns fans over to my place tonight!) AND…I have Row 6 tickets for Sunday’s game!!!!
I know the Lakers still have to beat the Suns and Boston Magic, but keeping an eye on records it’s pretty rasonable thinking about such feasable Finals.
By the way, I’m not very comfortable with the matchups. Will Fisher cover Rondo? Or will it be Kobe? If so who covers Allen? Fisher? Odom!?
Playoff come down to matchups pretty often and I don’t feel very comfortable with this one. Any ideas?
lil' pau says
11: I find Tony Allen not utterly hate-able, at least for a Celtic. Then Rondo. Then Hitler. Then the rest of them. Still, we’re so close to an epic Final, I’m pulling for those freaks, even as it makes my skin crawl.
Craig W. says
The thing about Elgin is that he, like Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, changed the game of basketball. He is the forerunner of both Pete Marevich and Julius Erving.
Elgin also perfected the art of releasing a shot just before he hit the ground, the original hang time champion.
Finally Elgin was able to read the arc of his shots so well he would be at the location the ball bounced to when he missed – a skill Dennis Rodman had.
These are things people who didn’t see him never think about. We just take the simple stats and assume anyone who did more must be on an ESPN highlight somewhere.
Craig W. says
I hear your frustration, but beg to differ with you, slightly.
Lebron does work on his game. Two problems with this are 1) He has to see someone else do things before he practices them (i.e. Kobe showed him defense on the USA Team) and 2) He is so focused on his corporate image that he doesn’t seem as interested in the fine points of the art of basketball as, say a Bruce Bowen type.
Dwight Howard also works at his game, but he seems to lack the strategic IQ of the really great players (Lamar also seems to lack this). Perhaps this is because he is a center and the ball must come to him, therefore he isn’t studying where the others on his team are supposed to be on any given moment. This skill was one of Bill Russell’s great advantages and no one else has approached his intellect except Kareem (Bill Walton had this, but his superstar career was cut short).
Feel – Usually Kobe will guard Rondo, daring him to shoot. Fish will fight through the screens to guard Ray. That’s how it usually works. Ron will then be able to slow down Pierce (the main weakness in 08), Pau/KG will be good, and if we have Drew, I like him against Perkins. LO should have a one-up on Sheed. Maybe put Shannon on Tony Allen.
It would be fun. But first is the Suns.
First Boozer now Amare — have to wonder if Pau is costing these contract-year guys a lot of money by destroying them in high-profile games.
He needs an appropriate nickname… the Taxman? The Ex-wife? The Casino?
I don’t know. I’ve always found the Celtics pretty unlikeable and this current group takes it to another level. I though KG’s antics were hard to like, but Paul Pierce’s cockiness (tweeting “anybody got a broom?”, winking at the camera after his post game 2 interview, or telling the fans in Orlando “See you next year” as he leaves the court) is just as bad. Of course, as a Lakers fan, I’m hard-wired to hate anything coming out of Boston.
Game 2 preview and chat is up:
11: I hate all the Celtics. Rondo is probably my favorite Celtic, but that’s sort of like saying you’d rather be step on chewing gum than dog poo.
I’ve pretty much carried forward my attitude from Cle-Bos to the Orl-Bos series: I sure don’t like to see them win anything, but it wouldn’t bother me as much as it would in other circumstances since there’s a nice side benefit (LeBron getting booted, a chance at revenge in the Finals).
I will admit however that the Leps look very good right now, late-game lead blowing notwithstanding.
The funny thing I take away from Shannon’s almost-otherworldly play was that J-Rich probably should have drawn a charge except he refused to flop properly. Instead it looked like he tried to twist out of the way of the contact.
Here’s to LO getting “lucky” again in Game 2 and hopefully posterizing Apostrophe:
I actually agree with you, and could try to add to your points, but I’m busy focusing on the Laker game now. 🙂
Also, I didn’t want to risk going on a tangent and turn this last King-free haven into yet another website where everyone knows that the Conference finals are going on, there is a game tonight, but yet most of the comments are about Lebron.
Obviously I should have realized that since we here at FB&G are wiser and more mature than average the risk of that is virtually non-existent, but the phobia runs deep… 🙂
Anyone know offhand how much Kwame has made total for his years in the NBA?