It’s an off day for the Lakers in Barcelona, so while they enjoy some tapas we’ll cover a variety of topics from around the league and add in some other random thoughts.
*The pre-season is a time of gelling and improving as a team in order to get ready for the season. So, in a way, results don’t matter as much as seeing a progression by the team and an increased level of execution as the season gets closer. So on that note, I think the Lakers had a pretty successful outing on Monday (despite the loss) and I hope to see a bit more progress in tomorrow’s game against FC Barcelona. And while that’s a game that Gasol really wants to win, I couldn’t care less about the result as long as the guys play hard, smart, and together as a team. Oh, and staying healthy would be really good too.
*One Laker that isn’t healthy is Andrew Bynum. Could he be the next Yao Ming? And that’s not meant in the global icon, multiple time all-star kind of way.
*And while we’re talking about staying healthy, things aren’t going so well for the Heat in that department right now. In the first few minutes of the Heat’s first game of the exhibition season, Dwyane Wade pulled up lame with a strained hammy. This doesn’t look like anything serious and Wade (though known to have injury issues throughout his career) will seemingly be fine, but I thought Ira Winderman had a good take on this over at PBT when he states that for all intents and purposes we haven’t learned anything about Miamias the Heat lost an opportunity to further this experiment of playing these three specific guys together when Wade went down. I mean, we already know that Lebron and Bosh are excellent players. And that when push comes to shove either of those guys can create/score/exert his will on the game. The point of this part of the season for these guys is to get comfortable playing with each other. With Wade out, that’s on hold. I’m not saying this will matter a lot in the grand scheme of things, but I would think they’d rather start finding their comfort level now, not put it on hold until Wade is ready to go again.
*When Gilbert Arenas played for the Warriors I got many chances to see him play both live and on TV. He had charisma, flair, and a joyous approach to the game that made him stand out. With the Wizards that same joy and love of the game continued to shine. So, needless to say, after all he’s been through in the past few years, it’s kind of sad for me to hear him say things like this: “I lost all feeling a long time ago. Basketball is basketball. It doesn’t matter what floor I’m on.” Chris Tomasson of FanHouse has more from Arenas here.
*I don’t do much pushing of products or make too many recommendations to buy things on this site. However, the latest Basketball Prospectus book is now on sale and while I have not yet read it, I’m going to. I have a feeling that you’ll want to as well.
*I must confess, I love good food. A lot. I’m not a picky eater, but I love quality stuff (and things with bacon in them). Long time readers know that Kurt used to frequently talk about Top Chef and I’ve always been a guy that watches a ton of shows on Food TV and try my best to emulate those folks and make some good dishes myself. I bring this up because long time FB&G contributor kwame a. (aka Abe Apraku) has just opened a restaurant in South Pasadena called Mix ‘N Munch Cereal & Grilled Cheese Cafe that you should go check out.
*Lastly, I’m itching to do another mailbag soon. So, if you have any questions that you’d really like answered just click here and send them in with ‘mailbag question’ in the subject line.
Was anyone else as impressed with Fish as I was? He looked great out there and a little more agressive. I think he is stoked to know he has a true PG backing him up. Also, I heard all of this stuff about Vuj saying he is letting the offense come to him and playing lights out. Still looked like he was forcing it to much. I know he plays with intensity but maybe he would be better to cut back on that a bit and let himself flow.
On another note here is a quick laugh for all of us Laker fans out here
Just read through most of basketball prospectus and it is really great. A must read for any true bball fan. That said, the Schoene ratings for the Lakers are not flattering; I believe they have the team in the high 40s in wins.
I read Phil’s “warning” about Bynum’s future in this league and thought only one thing: it’s the usual Phil mindgames.
He says nothing to the media by random chance. He said this stuff to tweak Bynum into getting back on the floor pronto (rather than these Bynum December predictions that, to Phil, have clearly sounded vague, overly careful, lame, etc.).
Yes yes, Bynum’s Games Missed column speaks for itself, and failing to play means failing to play. But that’s straightforward obviousness is not what PJ is up to, is it.
Dave M says
I thought the same about both Fish and Sasha. Fish looked like a guy who intends on keeping his starting slot. Sasha looked good in certain sequences but there was one possession in particular where he was over-dribbling and ate up a lot of the shot clock before dumping it off.
Interesting that you say that. I also wondered if it was a typical Phil tweak but if so, it sounded pretty honest. After all, there’s not much more that Bynum can do to speed the healing. The surgeon stitched up the cartilage rather than remove it and it’s going to take time for the blood to work its way through.
While still frustrated about the fact that Drew is out once again, I’m less concerned do to the fact that this injury is occurring @ the beginning of the Season, L.O. is in excellent condition, Pau is well rested being that he took the Summer off (so he should be capable of holdin’ down the fort ’til Drew returns) & with the addition of Ratliff, we’re more prepared to absolve such a hit this year than we were last season. Drew just needs to take his time with this Injury and hopefully (let me find some wood to knock on) he can get through the rest of the Season unscathed.
I totally agree with you. There is nothing that we have learned between now and last late-May. Bynum’s been injured and these are all products of it. Phil could have come out a couple weeks ago and said similar things, but only after Bynum’s words about pushing back the time line has Phil made these comments. I enjoy Phil’s twisting of the media for his own will.
I was impressed with Ratliff in the pre-season opener. Small things, but he look aggressive and alive out there – that is more than I dared to hope for.
Maybe these first months will give a little room to test Caracter.
Xavier Sánchez says
I’ll be watching the game live today. Will let you know oncourt feelings of the team.
Gotta say that over here in Barcelona, the game’s been overhyped. The NBA champ against the Euroleague champ. Barça’s team is well in season form (has already started it) and will play it with intensity. I don’t think the Lakers take it with that much enthusiasm. Moreover, Kobe’s not ok, Pau won’t stay more than 25 min and the rooks and new players will get the most burn.
Don’t expect much of this game and probably would see it on TV if I couldn’t make it for free, but the crowd will be amazingly hyped and ready to make up the show. Long time no see a Laker game live (the last time, Kurt was still in head and Gasol was a Grizzly…).
Going to lunch at Saladang today, but will check out Abe’s Mix ‘N Munch next week.