From Kevin Ding, OC Register: In a quiet moment last week, a close friend named Derek Fisher noted about Kobe Bryant’s right knee: “I don’t think he’s as far off as some people think.” Indeed. Bryant showed his recuperative powers Wednesday night with a triple-double, lifting the Lakers to a 5-0 start to this season. The Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings, 112-100, behind Bryant’s 30 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Bryant’s 17th career triple-double came after he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (37,492) for the most minutes played in Lakers history in the game’s opening minutes. Bryant is in his 15th Lakers season, a record by one season over Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Maybe Kobe Bryant was right. Phil Jackson might owe him an apology.?? They had been ensconced in a mild debate since Bryant recently declared himself 100% recovered from off-season knee surgery, a decree Jackson answered with a roll of the eyes. ??Then came Wednesday, Bryant had a huge night statistically against the Sacramento Kings, and the gavel could finally be pounded.?? The debate was over. ??Bryant had 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in the Lakers’ 112-100 victory over Sacramento at Arco Arena.?? It was his 17th career triple-double, and it wasn’t the end of his stat line. He was nine of 10 from the free-throw line and committed only one turnover. The one minor critique would have been his accuracy — nine-for-22 shooting — but it was almost nitpicking compared to the rest of his work.
From Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee: The Kings have trailed big in every game they’ve played this season. But that has been a footnote at times as they managed win three of their first four games. But playing against the team that has won the past two NBA championships, there would be no big rally. The Kings lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 112-100 Wednesday night in front of an announced crowd of 16,113 at Arco Arena. The Kings won their home opener Monday against Toronto by overcoming a first-quarter 17-point deficit. But playing against a veteran Lakers team, the Kings couldn’t do enough to get back into the game after trailing by 20 points in the third quarter.
From Dave McMenamin, ESPNLA: The Los Angeles Lakers have played so well to start the season without Andrew Bynum in the lineup — a 4-0 record with an average margin of victory of 13.3 points — that the question had to be asked: When Bynum does fully recover from offseason surgery to his right knee that’s kept him sidelined since the start of training camp, will he be welcomed back into the starting lineup with Lamar Odom playing so well in his stead? “We like what we see from these five guys [in the starting lineup]; however, there are extenuating circumstances with Drew,” Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. “He has a knee that [puts him] in a situation [where] he’s got to get himself prepped before a ballgame. He wears a brace because of it and, as a consequence, once he’s warmed up you hate to have a guy sit down for 15 minutes and cool off and have to start all over again.”
From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Like a crocodile lurking in the reeds (or wherever crocodiles lurk), Fish was quiet for much of the night. Only two shots and four points at the half. You wouldn’t have noticed him much in the third quarter, either. But in a critical stretch of the fourth after the Kings had closed a lead once as large as 20 to eight, Fisher struck, grabbed the game in his jaws, pulled it under water and thrashed it around until it was good and dead (or something like that). Between the 4:09 and 3:14 mark of the final quarter, Fisher ran the length of the floor after grabbing a rebound and drew a shooting foul at the other end. Two trips later, he drilled a 3 from the corner, followed by an and-one on L.A.’s next possession. All seven of his post-halftime points inside a minute, effectively icing the game. Seems like we’ve seen this movie from him before, in a few different forms.
From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: This isn’t the type of win you spend a lot of time thinking about after a season’s over. For NBA title aspirants, a midweek visit to the Sacramento Kings in early November is more or less a nonevent. You show up at the duly appointed hour, you win by a dozen or so (in this case, by a final score of 112 to 100), you move on to the next opponent. But it’s only in retrospect that the outcome seems predetermined. The Lakers were on part two of a back-to-back set, having played in and traveled from Los Angeles last night. Those are not ideal circumstances for one of the oldest teams in the league. The Kings are young and feisty, and their crowd sees a home game against the Lakers as a defining event of a season that’ll probably end in the draft lottery. I’m not suggesting we should organize a parade down Figueroa tomorrow morning, just that a game like this is trickier than it looks on the surface. And in the war of attrition whose prize is home-court advantage in the Finals, these are the W’s you need to pile up. Beating the Kings counts just as much in the standings as wins over anyone else.
From Ziller, SacTown Royalty: The Kings had two spells in the fourth quarter where they made a real run at the Lakers: when Kobe Bryant was on the bench, and when Luther Head was guarding the former MVP. Head did a great job on Bryant, forcing difficult shots without fouling, something the other Kings who got an opportunity to check No. 24 — Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia — simply couldn’t do. Since Head didn’t get his shot until the fourth, Kobe ended up with a brilliant line: 30 points on 9-22 floor, 3-6 threes, 9-10 line, with 10 rebounds, 12 assists and just one turnover. He was, as he is in so many games against the Kings and, well, everyone else, the difference. (Excuse me; my mouth is full of vomit, and I need to empty it, sterilize it and watch Tyreke give Matt Barnes vertigo again.)
Britt Robson, Sports Illustrated: It’s already apparent that a deeper bench and internal improvement will make the Lakers less reliant on Kobe Bryant during the regular season. Lamar Odom’s greater low-post responsibilities during the FIBA World Championship have toughened him at both ends of the court. According to Hoopdata, he leads the Lakers in makes at the rim (11, in 15 attempts), and his defense rendered David Lee invisible during the decisive 34-14 first quarter against Golden State on Sunday. Newcomer Steve Blake, an upgrade over last year’s backup point guard, Jordan Farmar, made a great first impression with the late go-ahead three-pointer in the opener against Houston.
“All seven of his post-halftime points inside a minute, effectively icing the game. Seems like we’ve seen this movie from him before, in a few different forms.”
kamenetzky has it right!
the good: kobe 3X 2X, d-fish as described above. the starting five’s mastery of the triangle’s different options.
the bad: 2nd unit’s reliance on the J in that ugly 2nd half stint….and some of that occured with pau in there. he’s got to demand the ball from those guys in that situation………..
Thanks for linking to the print version of the LA Times article. I used to follow them on my RSS feeds, but have stopped ever since their new format (ugh…).
So far there have been 2 surprises for the Lakers this season. Derek Fisher looks like a quality NBA rotation player and the team is shooting the three ball like Reggie Miller.
Unfortunately there has been one thing that was very much predictable… without Andrew Bynum the team isn’t very good defensively while giving up way too many offensive rebounds.
After posting this morning… Hollinger posted this little diddy in the afternoon. I have to admit he is the only one on ESPN I really respect. He feels like I do… that the sloppy Lakers defense isn’t of any concern, we just have to wait for Bynum to come back. So for those who want Odom to start and for us to play Suns small ball… just remember that defense and rebounding win championships.
“When did the Lakers turn into Phoenix?
One of the fun things about Andrew Bynum’s repeated absences from the Lakers’ lineup is watching L.A. morph from a defensive team when he plays to an offensive team when he checks out.
The Lakers made the Finals as primarily an offensive juggernaut in 2007-08. But in 2009-10, when Bynum played nearly the whole season, they tilted just as strongly in the other direction, ranking 11th in offensive efficiency and sixth in defense.
To start this season, with Bynum out and Kobe Bryant feeling spry after offseason knee surgery, L.A. has shifted back to offense. The frontcourt combination of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom isn’t the most defensively imposing one in basketball, but it’s basically unguardable at the other end, especially when they’re the second and third options behind Bryant and have to be single covered.
Thanks to those three players, a more productive bench boosted by Shannon Brown’s sudden shooting prowess and a cushy early schedule, the Lakers are the runaway leaders in offensive efficiency so far. Through five games, their 114-points mark is more than four points ahead of the nearest competitor.
Odom in particular has put up video game stats (70 percent from the floor, 80 percent on 3s), but the team is shooting 46.8 percent on 3s as a whole and even without Bynum, has rebounded an impressive 32 percent of their rare misses.
As for the defense, L.A. will wait until Bynum comes back to deal with that. The Lakers have slipped to 12th in defensive efficiency, but their offense has been so good it hasn’t mattered.”
Chris J says
Reading’s Aaron’s except of Hollinger’s piece, I kept waiting for the inevitable, “… but my little magic Etch-a-Sketch toy still says the Heat will beat the Lakers in four games because LeBron’s right pinkie is statistically larger than Shannon Brown’s earlobe.”
Darius Soriano says
My planned post for the day has been put on hold. So, enjoy the conversation that develops here for a while longer today…
RE the Lakers offense, this is a topic that I plan to explore in depth very soon, but Hollinger speaks the truth in that the combo of Gasol/Odom is a key driver behind this. However, rather than focus on how that tandem works to make life easier for eachother and works *off* of Kobe, I think we may want to take a closer look at how having those two on the floor (especially Odom) is influencing Kobe’s game…
Like I said expect a more thorough break down of this in the coming days, but I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on this.
Having both Odom and Gasol on the floor with Kobe just puts so much more movement and spacing on the floor than compared with Bynum. Odom simply has much more foot speed (laterally and vertically) than Bynum, which is nothing to be ashamed of, which is leading to so many more open passing lanes. Bryant has also shown an almost never-before-seen willingness to pass, sometimes attempting passes which are too difficult. Plus, Fisher and Artest, as well as Blake and Barnes when they come in, are doing a really good job of spacing, cutting, and running the offense in general. Artest may not be shooting at his best, but he certainly isn’t getting in the way on offense, and he’s definitely made shots when it mattered (now if only he can stop pretending he’s Michael Jordan for 2-3 minute stretches, jacking up off-balance jumpers).
As for our defense, the only real problems I see are: turnovers + bad shots leading to easy transition baskets, and back door cuts. Our defense on the wings has been a little over-aggressive, and pretty all our guards and wings have been getting killed on back-door cuts.
I couldn’t be happier with how the Lakers are playing. Our 2nd unit has done extremely well when they push the ball; it’s been when they have to keep taking the ball out of the basket that their offense has bogged down.
Igor Avidon says
Thank you for that. I’ll be laughing about that post for the rest of the day.
Closer look at how Pau & Lamar affect Kobe’s game: they’re letting him rest for a long time. I think that about sums it right up. There, I saved you a couple hours of writing!
On a more serious note, the guys over at 710AM radio are discussing if Odom should be benched once Andrew comes back (as Phil suggested he’ll do). I’m kinda torn, actually, but only for what to do in the regular season. We definitely want our Great Wall of Paundrew starting in the playoffs.
LOL, Aaron. You’re comparing this Lakers roster (sans Bynum) to the Suns? With Artest and Kobe on the perimeter defense, and Barnes coming off the bench to provide high-level perimeter defense? Gasol is the second best center in the league. (Only Howard is better, and even that is arguable because of his offensive limitations. Yao would be better except for his availability; Bynum is still too inconsistent, and also has significant availability issues.) When Odom is playing like this, he is one of the top 2 or 3 PFs in the league.
Off topic, but please do a twitter search on the following topic: #KGtrashtalk
You are welcome.
That was awesome.
As for the offense, I think its not just the combination of Pau and LO, but the fact that they’ve expanded their games this season compared to last season. They’re both hitting their open jumpers consistently, both seem quicker to cut and more decisive. Pau looks like an improved one on one player and LO seems to actually make layups. Improvement and health has made both of them better able to exploit match ups and Kobe doesn’t feel he dominate the ball shooting for the best offensive outcome, so he’s passing more.
Hence, I don’t think Bynums the sole reason our offense wanes or that our defense improves. We’re just playing out of our minds on offense right now, and on defense with not so much the defensive intensity and execution that we’re accustomed to. First of all Kobe still doesn’t look like himself defensively, our closeouts have been a little slow, and we have some rebounding issues. I think these will correct themselves to a degree over time, but by no means is missing Bynum the sole factor.
Im not comparing our Roster to the old Suns. But now that you mention it… Gasol/Amare are both undersized Centers that can spread the floor and are very athletic, and Lamar/Marion both undersized PF’s that spread the floor and rebound amazingly well for their size. We have seen what Gasol/Odom starting can do. They can score a lot of points and win a lot of games while playing average defense against small teams. But against big teams like Boston they get pushed around, and out of the playoffs. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.
Come one forumblueandgold…. we are smarter than this here. We have seen this play out. Gasol is a natural PF and isn’t made to be a starting Center. We are an immensely talented and deep team. We can win a lot of games a lot of ways. Last year we got off to an amazing start without Gasol with Bynum averaging 20 and 10 for the first 3 weeks of the year. We all know defense and rebounding is the biggest key to winning in the playoffs. With Bynum and Gasol starting the Lakers are a top two defensive team and don’t allow opponents many offensive rebounds. Its always better to start off with that size since games are at their slowest pace to start the 1st and 3rd quarters. Also Odom fits in better with that 2nd unit due to how he runs the floor. Not to mention we don’t want Bynum warming his knee up before the game and during the half only to sit on the bench for 15 minutes and cool down. There are few ways that starting Odom makes sense.
exhelodrvr – “(Bynum) … has significant availability issues.”
Yep, that about sums it up. He’s not worth counting on.
Zephid – What do you think is behind Kobe’s interest in passing? Is this just a passing interest? Age? Slowly working back the knee and working into the season? He really likes the team and wants to make them better? Better players? Some of the passes are amazing – like the one Barnes missed at the end of the Kings game. The passes are not Magic or Nash-like, but the angles on some remind you how much Kobe sees out there.
Darius Soriano says
I think you’re underselling LO and Gasol a lot when even trying to compare them to those old Phoenix teams. Also, you’re mistating their characteristics as players. Odom and Gasol aren’t undersized in the same way that Marion and Amar’e are. Amare is 6’10” and Pau is a legit 7’0″. Odom has at least 2 inches on Marion and is much longer.
Where the Lakers fell short in 2008 was in mental and physical preparedness for one of the most persistent and tough teams in recent history. Odom and Gasol weren’t ready for the physicality of KG and Perkins. But those lessons were learned that year and had a lot to do with the success the Lakers had against Orlando and Boston in winning back to back titles. Championships that came with Bynum considerably hindered by injury.
All of that said, of course Bynum is important. Extremely important to the Lakers ability to defend and rebound at the level that will be needed. But you speak of him as a savior. And I’m not quite there. Believe me, I understand how his presence does a lot for the Lakers (not only from a defense and rebounding perspective, but in allowing Pau to slide over to PF, how that then creates a size advantage that is nearly impossible to combat, etc, etc), but he’s one piece that is part of a bigger puzzle that will need to be firing on all together by playoff time.
One last point – what Bynum really does is give the Lakers that next level of versatility. With Bynum and Gasol the Lakers have the brawn and size that contrasts the quickness and size that exists when it’s Gasol and Odom. It’s the Lakers ability to play all three of Big/Strong/Quick that other teams struggle to match up with over the course of a 48 minute game or a 7 game series. This is why I’ve mostly believed that neither Odom nor Bynum are replaceable as they’re the bookends to the ultimate versatility of what Gasol provides.
Craig W. says
Kobe has always had a tendency to pass into traffic – hence the turnovers. Actually, Lamar is the one who has traditionally been the leader in that department – I still hold my breath when he passes – however, he has been better since playing center for Team USA.
The reason this particular roster (meaning with Odom playing at his current level) needs Bynum is because they have no depth. If Odom would play like this consistently (yes, that’s a huge if at this point) I would rather have a dependable, mediocre PF and a dependable, mediocre C on the bench, than a Bynum whose availability is so undependable.
Darius, agree on the versatility point, IF Bynum is healthy.
so, this is off-topic, but I went and saw the Clip show blow out the Thunder last night. Bummer, I was looking forward to watching Durant in person and he played like crap. But, based on what I saw last night, I would not be surprised if the Thunder have a drop-off year. Durant looked frustrated with his whole team, Jeff Green isn’t effective enough to carry their bench when Durant isn’t on the floor, and their bench just looked weak. Also, it made me laugh how everyone is already crowning Durant as best player in the league after his World Tournament performance. No team with Kobe, Wade, or Lebron on it gets blown out like that by the Clippers.
I agree with the points about depth. We’re all (rightfully) pretty excited about the improved bench this season, but I think we all know that we’re currently very thin up front behind the starters. Without Drew, we’re bringing Theo and Character off the bench, which is a HUGE drop off from Pau & LO. I personally feel that once he gets a little more feel for the team, Theo will help a lot more than DJ (and will shoot a LOT less from 16 feet!), but Drew’s return makes both Theo & Character VERY small pieces, rather than the first option if foul trouble crops up.
That said, I’m loving the way we’re putting things together. The triangle seems to be flowing much more smoothly (Ron’s year of experience helping there, along with no Farmar out for his own), and the outside shooting has been WORLDS better than in the past.
Chris J says
I’m not sure I totally agree with this statement: “Where the Lakers fell short in 2008 was in mental and physical preparedness for one of the most persistent and tough teams in recent history.”
Mentally, absolutely, the Lakers were not ready for what Boston brought into the fray.
But to say they not ready physically — what does that mean, other than they weren’t healthy (Bynum and Ariza, in particular)?
Boston was bigger and tougher physically than the Lakers were in 2008. You can’t teach size, so short of adding Bynum, what more could the Lakers have done to become more physical at that time? They were who they were and couldn’t change that on a dime.
Bynum’s presence, even on one leg, tilted that playing field in 2010, along with Pau’s improved physical elements post-2008. But stronger Pau or not, L.A. still can’t match up to a healthy Boston this season without Bynum being on the floor. Believing otherwise is foolish.
Also, keep in mind that if — always a big if, but bear with me — the Celtics are healthy for the playoffs, they’re much taller and stronger than they were in 2009-10. It’s not the same team from this summer’s Finals.
This season Rivers can potentially throw out Garnett, Shaq, JO, Perkins and Fat Baby. That’s five different, diversely skilled big men with 30 fouls to share between them. Selling Boston short this season is foolhardy, again, provided those geezers can be on two feet come May and June.
I’m not too giddy about the Lakers’ start. That being said…
I feel the offense is really clicking, limiting turnovers on the one hand and generating a lot of offensive boards because people are where they should be. Laker timing has been amazing.
On top of that, Kobe is playing like a floor general. I think he’s been great probing and finding ways to attack and eviscerate defenses using his teammates.
He’s like a chess player out there.
random question…but what lineup combination do you all think is our most dominant?
i think the line up of blake, kobe, barnes, odom, and gasol looks insanely good. no stats to back that up, but i bet the +/_ of that squad is pretty good in their short time together thus far…
anybody have those numbers?
Darius Soriano says
#22. Jordan, I went to 82games.com today to see if they had updated numbers for this season and they don’t yet have them. I have a suspicion that you’re right, but I also think the starting group is also going to have some insanely good numbers from a +/- perspective. I mean against the Warriors and Grizzlies, the starters jumped out to huge leads and then pretty much maintained them. Last night against the Kings, the starters with Barnes in for Artest went on that run to put the lead back up to 15.
Darius Soriano says
#20. Chris J,
What I mean by physically prepared is that the Lakers (with the possible exception of Kobe and Fisher) just weren’t ready for the physicality of the Celtics. They weren’t prepared to play through the clutching, grabbing, hard fouls, extra shoves, etc that came with that series. It affected the way that some of them attacked the rim and how they fought for position on the court.
Now, some of what I speak of is the physical manifestation of what the mind is telling the body and thus it does all come back to being mentally prepared. But really, the Lakers just weren’t physically able to stand up to what the C’s offered that year. Just my take.
@18 – to be fair, we lost some ugly games last year to the Clippers (still have nightmares of Chris Kaman scoring at will against us in one game) and that Clippers team did NOT have Blake Griffin.
The loss to Clippers does not take Durant out of the conversation as the best player in the game. He had one bad night. Do you want to count how many bad nights Kobe has had in the past 5 years? And still people consider him the best player in the game? One night certainly does not drop Durant from the conversation. He is an incredible talent that just turned 22 and has a Kobe-like obsession with becoming better.
Bynum gives us size, length, but most importantly DEPTH.
He may or may not be as effective as Odom in conjunction with Gasol, but what his presence enables us to do is for everyone to play fresher and gives us the option of our versatile Gasol and Odom into good use.
The loss to Boston in 2008? We were too giddy just to be there, really. Outside of Kobe and Fisher, Gasol and Odom never really have gone that far before, and really did not know what it is like – while the Celts, although nobody has been there either, were playing with backs-to-the-wall mentality. I think the series could be summed up when they climbed out of a 20+ deficit while we couldn’t.
Sure, having Bynum and Ariza healthy would’ve helped (Luke on Pierce?) but even a player as cerebral as Gasol needs time to learn the offense, and more importantly, have time to gel on defense.
14, I won’t pretend to know the reason, but I think that it’s just Kobe being comfortable with these guys, and realizing that he doesn’t need to be the scorer to control the game. I think in years past, when the team needed a bucket, Kobe would think “alright, I gotta score.” Now, I think that has changed to “alright, I gotta make a play.” Kobe has become a master of reading the defense and taking what is given to him, whether it be a pull-up jumper or a bounce pass.
And Aaron, you act as if benching Bynum means he won’t play at all. People are discussing whether it should be Bynum who comes off the bench to replace Gasol instead of Odom coming in to replace Bynum. Frankly, I think it makes a ton more sense to bring Bynum off the bench, because he can come in with the 2nd unit and be the anchor of our offense. Bynum has been at his best when he can work alone in the post with space around him. What better time to do that than when the 2nd unit is in? The 2nd unit is pretty much devoid of one-on-one scorers, and he could still bring his defensive presence to the game.
And regarding 2008, Bynum being out and injured does not equal Bynum coming off the bench. Stop acting like they are the same thing.
Igor Avidon says
Bynum can not anchor our offense, first or second unit. He’s just not that great of a scorer yet. I’m pretty sure most of his buckets came off of feeds from Kobe/Pau/LO last year or missed shots. But he should start – for the simple reason that Phil stated and Aaron echoed. A warmed-up Bynum is a more efficient Bynum. And if he gets off to a good start, he will be mentally checked into the game (hopefully).
BTW – our 2008 team wouldn’t’ve won with Bynum either. We were soft and inexperienced, certainly not ready mentally or physically. That 2008 green team was a monster.
Craig W. says
Have you been listening to Phil Jackson?
Bynum will be starting when he comes back – regardless what we fans think. I believe Phil made a very good point about this and we fans just don’t want to listen sometimes.
Chris J says
@ 24 — With that clarification, I agree with your prior point 100 percent.
As to Igor’s point that Bynum’s presence wouldn’t have turned the tide in ’08, I guess we’ll never know. But in the back of my head, I’ll always wonder whether Leon Powe goes off like that with Bynum in the lane, or if Bynum wouldn’t have had some impact in the close games in that series (such as Game 2).
Boston was probably better either way. But I wish it would have been 100 percent healthy vs. 100 percent healthy. Such is the NBA, though.
Take a look at how close the games were in 08, with the exception of game 6. And then ask if a reasonably healthy Bynum playing 15-20 minutes off the bench (rather than Turiaf) would have made enough of a difference. I think he pretty clearly would have. Oh, well. This Celtics team has never beaten the Lakers with a healthy starting five.
Kobe Bryant maliciously attacks five…
ex, well played, well played.
I have no problem with Bynum starting over Odom, for the reasons PJ stated and because I think our starting lineup needs a ballast. Right now, things are flowing so well offensively that we seem to get carried away… having Bynum there to ‘anchor’ things will not hurt.
Not to say that Bynum is a slug, but our lineup with Bynum is that of a tank – deal, absorb, and move efficiently over various terrain. Our lineup with Pau at center and Odom at 4 is more like a hummer – sufficiently armored, can deal enough against infantry, and surely much much faster and versatile.
30, just saw the post on PBT about Phil saying Bynum would start when he returned. I’m fine with Phil being conservative and sticking with the lineup that worked before. It’ll be interesting to see how well he does during his return, and whether he’ll be the difference we’re looking for on defense and gum up our uber efficient offense.
Igor Avidon says
It’s as annoying to hear Lakers fans moan about missing Andrew and Trevor in ’08 as it is to hear the greens’ fans moan about missing Perkins in ’10. Past is past, there’s no changing it – so get over it! I’m already looking forward to another Lakers/C’s finals this year.
Although Pau and LO have progressed both mentally and physically from that 08 season, the size of AB in the paint is irreplaceable. Neither LO or Pau can have the same defensive presence close to the basket that will make the likes of a Rondo, Westbrooke, Nash, or Paul think twice about taking it to the hole. I have to agree with Aaron on this arguement, defense wins championships. The offense is fun too watch, but when it’s playoff time your D has to be tight or your going home point blank.
That is my only concern this early in the season, the defense is allowing too much penetration and too many offensive rebounds. The penetration is causing everyone to be out of good rebounding position when a shot goes up and creates easy rebounds for the opposition.
Man, Odom is in hyper-2009 Finals mode. Dude is shooting 80% from distance. Eighty!
And for those still discussing the ’08 Finals, don’t forget about Radmanovic/Walton on Pierce. You know, the ’08 version of Mr. I’m-the-best-player-on-Earth. That was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, reason why they handled us with (relative) ease.
That was before he turned into a glorified spot up shooter on Rondo’s passes.
lil' pau says
i’m bringing this post forward to this thread due to its sheer awesomeness (from charles):
‘As for KG, I was surprised people some people were actually reluctant to believe he said what Charlie V said he did. C’mon, could there possibly be something KG would be less likely to say on the court than “You are a cancer to your team and the league?”
Maybe he was just telling Jerryd Bayless something like “I shall make your offensive ineptitude clear to all by defending you on all fours.”
This is a great post. It also makes me consider if, possibly, KG wasn’t generally calling his opponents a motherf**er, but rather was just thinking about Oedipus.
KG probably said “You *bleep* look like you have *bleeping* cancer”
Charlie probably had to paraphrase it a bit, but no way on earth that KG was saying “You are a cancer to your team and the league.” That might have been his intention, maybe (not), but I’m sure that those aren’t the words that made it out of his mouth.
Really, we all have heard KG speak before, and I’d wager that I’ll see Kobe admitting that a defender got the best of him and that he is worried whenever he faces off against that defender before I believe KG said the words above.
Durant played all but 30 seconds in an OT thriller. That’s 52 minutes and 30 seconds.
On the second night of a back to back. Brooks must’ve been desperate.
36) Igor – you started that thread by saying that Bynum’s presence in 08 wouldn’t have changed the outcome.
Warren Wee Lim says
Wussup FB&G… long time.
I might be back to my posting ways but I fear that my comeback might spoil the grand plan (go 82-0, and watch us lose to the Raptors tonight.)
At any rate, I see the Bynum “to start or not to start” debate has begun.
The answer really is simple, and I think if you think like Phil, you would know the answer very easily: Odom = offense, Bynum = defense.
Both guys give us tremendous versatility on our frontcourt that NO OTHER TEAM has. That said, with that certain Kobe guy at the guard position, we have become the team to beat. 3x Finals and 2x Rings tell the story.
Basically, I am saying is its all about matchups. The debate can last for days and weeks for all I care but the FACT is that its all about matchups.
It is clear and evident that a team with Bynum and Gasol as frontcourt, coupled with that guy who wanted to see Kobe’s butt that wears #15 now is a very very very tough defensive team.
If you look at the team that we have right now though, its quite evident that we are a better Suns team than the actual Suns. This is mainly due to Lamar Odom’s myriad of skills that NO OTHER TEAM has. I don’t have to point them out 1×1 but I am certain that ya’ll would agree to what I am saying.
As for the 08 team vs the 10 team debate… lets make it simple. Past is Past and nothing you can do about it. Missing Ariza vs adding Artest, injured Bynum vs semi-healthy Bynum, 31yo KG vs 33yo KG, Pau Ga-soft vs Pau Ga-steel, we can go at it all day… but the fact will always remain that WE LEARNED from the 08 experience that gave us resiliency for the 10 chip.
I don’t regret that day we got massacred in Boston… because in return, it gave us 2 consecutive chips. Maybe more. And I take that 11x out of 10.
Igor Avidon says
Actually, if we were to get technical here, that discussion started well before me (Chris J at 20) and escalated at post 27 by harold. I was posting a reply to that discussion, not starting it.
Either way. No Bynum = no ring. I don’t care what Lakers fans want to think about Pau and Lamar’s new-found toughness, it’s not on the same level as the blowhards in green.
For the Dude Abides…
Yes, you appear to be “right” about Wright.
T. Rogers says
How do I know the regular season is in full swing at FB&G? Because the Andrew Bynum “debate” is alive and well. I will just say I can’t wait for him to come back. The defense has looked at little timid these first few games. No way Sacramento should have scored 100 points. Evans got to the rim almost at will. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, LA needs Bynum.
That Thunder/Blazers game was great! I am VERY impressed with Russell Westbrook. That kid is downright scary. However, I get the feeling OKC may come down a notch this season. They are finding out how different things are when expectations change. Fans want a 60 win season and opponents are taking them very seriously. Things will be very different for them this time around.
For a young team I think Sac did very well.
If Bynum’s spot on the roster last year was replaced by a reasonable backup center, the Lakers still win the title.
That’s the root of the issue; designing the structure of the roster (i.e. the 3 for 2 of Odom/Gasol/Bynum, with no NBA-level-backup quality behind that) when one of those three is so physically unreliable.
T. Rogers says
49) – I hear your point. It’s just that 7’0″, 285 pound guys with long arms and wide bodies are kind of rare in the NBA. We have to remember just how strong Perkins is. This is the same Perkins who can play Dwight Howard one on one. Yes, Dwight is limited offensively. But the reason Perk can cause Dwight problems is Perk’s sheer strength. That guy has to be one of the strongest front court players in the game.
As frustrating as Andrew is for us fans, the guy is not as replaceable as we think. Outside of Marc Gasol or Brook Lopez I can’t think of another young center I would want to go into the Finals with.
50) T. Rogers,
If healthy, yes. If hobbled, I can think of a lot of centers I would rather go into the Finals with.
Darius Soriano says
Game preview for the Raptors game is up:
T. Rogers says
That’s a fair point.
I think you are underselling those old Suns who dominated the league with multiple 60 win seasons. I love Gasol and Lamar… they are incredibly talented and I have never said anything less. But this is an argument more about playing players in thier best positions on the floor. Is Kobe twice the player of a Carmelo Anthony? Of course he is. But Kobe is a SG and has had lots of trouble in the past guarding the bigger SF. Gasol is a superior talent to a Kendrick Perkins. But when Pau has to play the whole game at Center and be pounded by Perk he really has a tough time. That isn’t his fault… he just isn’t a natural Center. We are 5-0 against average basketball teams to start the year. People are forgetting these are not the teams or the style of play that will win us a 3rd championship. Fans have very short term memories. As soon as Bynum comes back at the end of the month and starts dominating the paint and helping the Lakers defense become elite once again people will laugh this was ever discussed. The idea of starting Lamar over Bynum is silly to me I guess. It isn’t something that should even be considered or talked about. Bynum not only is our only Center but he has been a much more consistent and better player than Lamar over their Laker careers. And I like Lamar a lot. But the facts are the facts. The Lakers were an 8th seed until Andrew moved into the starting Center spot a few years ago. On the day we traded for Pau we had the best record in the western conference causing Kobe to say, “With Andrew as my #2 we are a championship caliber team.” The number one thing that separates the Lakers from the Heat is Andrew Bynum. They don’t have anyone who can match up with him. Not to mention a starting line up of Gasol and Bynum is something nobody can match up with.