Please excuse the abbreviated preview, I’m a bit under the weather today and can barely think straight as my head is asking my body to find the nearest bed.
Records: Lakers 17-7 (3rd in West), Wizards 6-16 (14th in East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 113.1 (1st in NBA), Wizards 103.4 (23rd in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 104.8 (10th in NBA), Wizards 112.2 (28th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Wizards: John Wall, Gilbert Arenas, Al Thornton, Yi Jianlian, JaVale McGee
Injuries: Lakers: Theo Ratliff (out); Wizards: Andray Blatche & Josh Howard (out), John Wall (questionable)
The Lakers Coming in: The day that we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Andrew Bynum will play in his first game of the season and will be inserted into the starting line up. Coming from the guy that’s been touting this guy’s return for some time this may sound strange but I think we now need to reset our expectations not only from Bynum, but of this team. The Lakers are now going to try and integrate a new player – an important player – into the mix without missing a beat and that will likely prove difficult at first. Bynum will surely be rusty and won’t have his full timing down on day one. Also, his return shifts players out of the positions and roles that they’ve been playing through the first 24 games and there will be an adjustment period for them too. I mean, as Kobe and Pau move out of the post and more to the wing, it will take some adjusting. This isn’t to say that Bynum’s return will hurt the team, but I’m only saying that if things don’t click right away don’t be surprised. This may prove to be the classic example of taking a step backwards before taking five forward.
The Wizards Coming in: Since the Wiz last played the Lakers 7 days ago, not much for them has changed. One would have thought that by pushing the Lakers as hard as they did that the Wiz would have gained some momentum, but that really hasn’t been the case. They’ve played two games and lost both by a combined 31 points. In both contests they were overmatched for most of the game and while the Knicks game had a relatively close final margin, NY’s front line really outclassed Washington’s. Plus, the Wizards are still banged up. Josh Howard still has not suited up. Andray Blatche has a swollen knee and will miss tonight’s game while John Wall continues to suit up but doing so with a sore knee and foot of his own. When three-fifths of your starting lineup is either unavailable or hampered by injury, it’s going to be tough to win games.
Wizards Blogs: Go read the great work that Kyle is doing over at Truth About It. You won’t be sorry.
Keys to game: When these two teams met a week ago the Lakers showed us two things: 1). That they’re a much better team than the Wizards when focused on the task of winning a basketball game. 2). That they are still quite capable of losing that focus in a contest, leading to a game being much closer than it should be. Tonight, the Lakers will be looking to show off more of #1 and very little of #2.
And with Bynum back in the line up, hopefully that focus will remain more consistent throughout the game. The big man’s return should have the front court rotation in much better condition than it’s been all season and with the guards starting play better defense of late, the Lakers should be able to control the tempo of this game to something that matches their liking.
Obviously, controlling the tempo means slowing down the Wizards three guard attack – something that Lakers struggled with the last time out. Wall, Arenas, and Nick Young all went for 20 or more points last Tuesday so the Lakers will need to do a better job of slowing this group down in transition and better contesting shots on the wing. Again, the Lakers wings should be better dialed in tonight, so here’s hoping that the Wizards’ wings don’t find that same rhythm they had the last game.
Offensively, the Lakers can finally get back to pounding the ball inside with Pau playing his more natural PF. In the last game Pau spent most of his time battling the long and bouncy JaVale McGee and struggled to establish good position and get up good shots against McGee’s extended reach. Tonight though, McGee will be matched up with Bynum and Gasol will get to go up against Yi who he should be able to handle much more easily. Also, with McGee’s tendency to help from the weak side, Bynum should get several offensive rebounding chances by moving to the rim whenever Pau (or any other Laker) attacks off the dribble.
In the end, this is a game that the Lakers should win and with Bynum returning I expect there to be an energy in the Lakers that’s been lacking of late. All they’ll need to do is channel that energy and keep their focus for longer than 5 minute stretches to start both halves and they’ll be just fine. However, if they let the Wiz hang around or they decide that tonight’s a good night to relax, the Lakers will find themselves in a dog fight down the stretch just as they did 7 days ago. Hopefully they’ve learned their lesson as tonight’s game is the front end of a back to back just like a week ago and the Lakers would do themselves well by remembering how much they struggled last week after playing a close game with Wizards the night before they faced off with the Clips.
Where you can watch: 4pm start time out west on KCAL. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710am.
chris h says
this one’s for …
T. Rogers says
If Drew can spell Pau some minutes and the Lakers get the W, then I will be satisfied. Right now I am keeping my expectations very simple. Hopefully the Lakers will remember they let this team hang around last time. Let’s blow these guys out in three quarters and let Kobe and Pau sit the fourth.
T. Rogers says
Also, Darius there is a typo up top. The Wizards record has them as 14th in the West.
Andreas G. says
I think this has never happened before, but I can’t wait to see less of Pau on the court:D
Welcome back Drew!
I’ll simply echo what two others have already posted. Really just looking for Andrew to give Pau some time off, both in terms of Pau playing the four rather than the five and also in getting some breathers on the bench.
I am excited about Bynum being back but not looking for big things at all in this game – just some help and no injuries.
repost from last thread:
I have a feeling this game is going to look really rusty on the offensive end. It took a long time for Pau and Andrew to co-exist offensively last season (and they didn’t at all the 2 seasons before that.) I’m expecting a lot of plays that should be textbook to go awry due to miscommunication or the bigs “stepping on eachother’s feet.”
Defensively, we should look a whole lot better. There is no way that we will be outscored in the paint as we were in the previous game against the Nets. Personally, I will be looking for Andrew’s help defense to see if his defensive rotation is on par with where it was last season. That is something that he really became dangerous in mid last season before he had his injury that plagued him through the playoffs.
Additionally, tonight may be the night where we need LO the playmaker to show up more than we need LO the finisher. I love LO the finisher but like I said, our offense is probably going to look even more rusty than usual. So, if we could implement some ball movement through our point/PF we should see some easy looks for a slumping Pau and a somewhat unconfident/ rusty Drew.
On a final note, win or lose I want us to play a good brand of basketball tonight. I’ll be really upset if it’s a “live by the Kobe night,” while everyone else stands around and watches. That won’t help our team progress at all and we all know that we can have that on any given night. So I’d rather see us lose the right way then win the wrong way this early in the season.
This year LA tends to make bottom feeders look like they might have a chance to be decent. Then they play other teams in the league and looked overmatched. Do players hate LA so much that it makes them play that much better?
I am going to collectively knock on wood after #6 comment that Bynum and Gasol may “step on each other’s feet”
chris h says
I’d like to see PJ bring in LO early for Pau, let LO and Drew get some time on the court together.
Pau still needs to get a little rest.
I wouldn’t be suprised to see Drew dominate in the low post on offense and be really active tonight in his first game back. But anticipate Bynum to be a little slugish after tonight and need a month or two to get into shape.
Do we know that Bynum is starting? I know Phil likes to go that way, but I was wondering if he might not have him come off the bench for Gasol and give him some time with LO and then Gasol at the four.
81 Witness says
Sounds like Bynum will come off the bench from this article:
Since PJ doesn’t typically sub until 3 left in the 1st, don’t expect Bynum to start. Tho, Bynum should get more minutes with the other starters since he will expect to play with them once his endurance builds up.
Is tonight the night Nick Young goes for 50?
Bigger question is how long it’ll take Drew to round into shape. No need rehashing it, we all know how slowly he comes back after injuries.
Also, for any who are interested, Magic Johnson will have a Homecoming special with Rick Reilly on ESPN this week. Wed. at 7 or 8 eastern, if memory serves.
Reign on Parades says
John Wall will be out again as well.
Seems like he’ll have health issues all season if Flip is right
Seems like Rose’s rookie year but much worse, seeing as how Rose only missed a game
I always wait to talk about a source till Woj from yahoo validates it, but it looks like Sasha will be joining Jordan in NJ….
We’re getting Joe Smith back, whoever that is.
how much has joe smith left in the tank? it seems more for money saving (sasha+1st pick –> joe smith)?
I came here looking for more news on this Sasha information that’s flickering in the breeze…
Looks like I’ll need to keep hunting (and refreshing this thread!).
T. Rogers says
So I guess this puts the brakes on getting DJ back. As much as people talked trash about Sasha he came through in clutch in game seven. Sasha is gone. Trevor is gone. Jordan is gone. The Lakers are getting older by the minute.
>>>Anyone know how many years Smith has left on his contract?
this is his last year:
out: sasha and 2011 first rounder
in: joe smith
Joe Smith has nothing left in the tank, he averaged under a point and a board for NJ, but he’s a big. But he only makes 1.5 mil. Sasha makes 5. And Joe will actually see some floor time.
Larry Coon is calling it done. Sasha and 1st rounder. Apparently shaves $9m off the payroll as well. Helps the depth issues up front, but I echo the concerns of some of you about how much Smith has in the tank at this point.
No Wall. No Blatche. Drew’s back. Presidential Swag. We should run through this Squad like Ex-Lax. Pacers lined up for tomorrow night, so let’s end this one early and preserve some energy for that matchup.
I understand dumping Sasha for payroll issues, but yikes getting an over the hill Joe Smith in return plus losing a first round pick (in what could be a potentially deep draft) doesn’t add up. This speaks volumes about what the rest of the league thinks about Sasha and his expiring contract.
I echo concerns on here about age at this point, with Ratliff and Smith at the backups the training staff might as well keep prune juice and walkers handy. Would have loved to get a younger guy who has been stuck on the bench somewhere.
Darius Soriano says
Being that I’m not at my best at this moment, I’ll post limited thoughts on the Sasha trade. However, based off everything I’m reading on twitter, this deal is essentially done and will be completed tomorrow when Joe Smith is eligible to be traded (he was a FA signee and couldn’t be traded until December 15th).
This is obviously a salary dump as the difference in salary between Smith and Sasha is about 4 mil, which then equals 8 mil when considering the luxury tax. However, a side thought on this is that I wonder if the Lakers are also hedging their bets on Theo and his recovery. Remember, it’s been about 4 weeks since his surgery and his recovery window was 4-6 weeks. If he’s not close to being back yet, then finding another big becomes important if you don’t really trust Caracter to play C.
Thank you Sasha Vujacic for your 2 FT’s in game 7 of the NBA 2010 Finals
Well, I like the trade. Sasha is not being used and Shannon has completely taken his minutes (rightfully so). Even with Andrew coming back we’re still short a big. In an ideal world we could have gotten a younger, energy guy but any big that can catch the ball and rebound is fine by me. I am slightly concerned about us getting older and older, but we say that time and time again about the Celtics and every year they’re at the top of the East.
I am sad to see Sasha go because as much as he was in the doghouse, he was an energy guy that you always see on the bench cheering his teammates on. I’ll get over it quickly but his pesky play was nice whenever he did get to play. I won’t miss the dumb fouls at halfcourt though.
Anyone got a link?
Darius Soriano says
Also, another update: Mike Bresnahan is reporting from DC that Bynum will come off the bench tonight and that LO will remain the starter against the Wiz.
So, as a summary, Wall will likely not play, Bynum will play but won’t start, and Sasha is eligible to play but will likely be traded tomorrow. December 14th suddenly got pretty exciting.
Give Sasha the start or mega minutes in his final game…
sasha and farmar reunited! Oh the irony!
Brutal start for the Wizards. McGee with two, Yi with some sort of knee problem (hope it’s nothing serious), 5 team fouls in 5 minutes. And Ron finished at the hoop!
Pau getting a rest 6 minutes in! This is what I’ve been looking forward to.
Flip, I was thinking the same thing – I had to smile.
Something nobody is mentioning here is that the looming lockout is also a factor in trades. Who knows what the owners know and what they are thinking with that scenario on the table.
And as I type – Drew comes in to spell Pau and LO promptly picks up his second foul!!
Igor Avidon says
Joe Smith > Theo Ratliff
Joe will be more useful on both ends of the floor. He’s got very little left in his tank, but he’s smart and can even produce a little (opposite of Theo) Hard to be excited about this trade, but it’s better than nothing I guess?
Nets got a complete steal here – 2 first rounders for a player they weren’t willing to play and an old body. But what are the Rockets thinking? They have so many quality wings.. Lee must be on the move..
Why is Kobe trying to foul out our own bigs?
Thrilled about the 8m savings at the cost of a 1st round pick. Keep in mind, teams can typically buy a 1st rounder for $3m, and also the Lakers have 2 young players that they want to be developing anyway. Great great trade
Ugh to Odom being in foul trouble, no rest for Pau.
Joel, Kobe wants Bynum to stay on the floor.
I don’t have a problem with the trade. Lakers save almost $9 mil and we get a big that Phil will trust more than Caracter in the playoffs if/when foul trouble plagues Odom/Gasol/Bynum. I don’t like giving up the first round pick but in reality our window is no more than a few more years so I don’t see it as that big of a deal.
I think its a good move by Kupchak. We needed a big (for a fourth big man, Smith will be adequate) and it saves the Lakers about 8 million this year.
I also kind of love that Farmar gets stuck with Sasha again!
Man, Nick Young enjoys playing the Lakers doesn’t he?
I love what I am seeing from Bynum so far, that being Pau sitting on the bench.
He’s had a couple of good blocks, too. 🙂
Bynum equals overrated
anyone see that rebound by shannon, not sure ive heard a crowd go “woo” for a defensive rebound
truly, that was an awesome rebound.
blake is doing just what is needed this game. his stat line might not look like much but he’s been great so far.
Andreas G. says
Some early observations:
1. Drew is huge.
2. Shannon can one-arm-rebound with the best of them.
3. McGee might be a great athlete, but he’s not a basketball player.
4. Pau knows how to pass the ball.
5. People who have babies in the front row are crazy.
Smith’s numbers last year with the Hawks:
It appears he may stil be able to grab a board/D a little but can no longer convert at all. He did average 11.8/36 M but had 39.9 shooting %–amazingly low for a 6’10” guy.
I said a couple of days ago that they might try to get another functional big. I hope Smith can function.
If we remove Nick Young from the equation, that’s a nice half. Here’s hoping that we don’t play the same 3rd quarter as last time we played Washington.
Kupchak got Joe Smith? Can he still play or is this just a salary dump?
“People who have babies in the front row are crazy.”
Did somebody deliver in the front row?
Re: Joe Smith – looks to be a salary dump. Didn’t the Warriors draft Smith ahead of KG back in the day? (One of many idiotic decisons the W’s have made over the years.)
Sorry, to see Sasha go, but he’s had ample time to be a consistent contributor for the Lakers. Man, he was even given an opportunity to take the starting pg position from Derek Fisher, yet was unable to do so.
Six years (2004 27th pick) is long enough to get acclimated to the league and the Lakers offensive scheme. He never even learned to contribute consistently on a defensive level. This on a team that was in sore need of a defensive pg.
There are three consistent aspects to Sasha’s game: 1. He could shoot the lights out in practice. Thus, the moniker ‘The Machine’! 2. Foul prone; bone headed fouls at that: Remember the free throws that he gave up against Phoenix. 3. The game saving free throws in the Lakers second championship run.
I’m sure that he’ll do well with the New Jersey Nets, because there are no expectations. And I believe that’s when Sasha plays best.
Good Luck, Sasha, and thank you!
Only one player remains on the bench from the Lakers previous 3peat, and that’s Luke Walton. Here’s to hoping that Luke stays healthy this year so that he can become the Lakers triangle iron, (you know, get out the wrinkles). = )
Welcome back Drew, your absence has been felt!
I am sad to see Sasha go. I wish him well and hope he can get some playing time. But he wasn’t doing anything on the Lakers’ bench so it was a good move.
we’ll miss that 2 huge free throws in the 2010 NBA Finals vs Boston…^^
chearn, I think Walton was picked up in the 2003 draft, so he wasn’t there for their first 3peat.
Nice alley-oop dunk, Kobe. He’s definitely healthy.
And Smith is a body – a body that the Lakers can actually use. With the improvements in Shannon’s game, there is almost no reason at all to play Sasha.
That said, I like Sasha. Sasha is like the annoying little brother (or sister), always doing dumb things, but is still likable. I wish him well.
The Lakers will be Smith’s 13th different team. He was due to end up on our squad as he’s already been on everyone else’s roster…lol.
I like the trade actually. We get rid of Sasha’s contract and although we are collecting antiques, it’s additional cheap frontline insurance. It saves us money and helps fill important spot minutes to give our bigs a blow for a few minutes at a time. Sasha was being paid handsomely to collect dust on the pine and was no longer a useful piece of the team. Not earth shattering, but I think it’s a good tweak and cost savings maneuver.
Given the injuries to the wizards, Lakers should be putting them away. This is the first night of back to backs, right?
Is that the first time in Kobe’s career where he’s missed all 3 free throws off a three point attempt?
Andreas G. says
50: Go ahead – pick on the foreign guy’s English:D
Is Pau going to get that triple double today?
And is Kobe going to fix up these recent FT issues? Every few games he just has a real bad streak at the line.
Joe Smith will be a serviceable player in very little minutes off the bench(me likes the move). The Blake and Barnes pickup this offseason lead to Sasha getting no burn what so ever this season. Although LA gets older a veteran is always welcome on a team looking too contend for a championship.
Andreas, I don’t see any problems with what you said. Maybe who “bring” babies? But that sounds fine the way you had it.
I’m a little surprised we couldn’t get a “little” more than Joe Smith since we spiced up the deal with a 1st round pick. I bet the Knicks would have been desperate to get a 1st round pick in their quest to get Melo, surely they had some spare parts that were better than Smith.
That being said, Smith is a pro’s pro and I hope he can Mitch Richmond it and get a ring. He can make jumpers so he offers a bit more offense than Minerals.
Pau is looking like a young ‘kid’ with the rest that Drew is providing for him.
Andreas G. says
Simonoid: Thank you=)
Hopefully Sasha will get a little bit of playing time in the 4th. Definitely going to miss him. Always hoped he could regain his form, but just couldn’t with the emergence of Shannon. Maybe the trade will kick-start him.
So good to see Drew back. He changes the entire equation for this team when he is playing.
Hmm despite Sasha being almost entirely unproductive, this is a bit sad. It feels like an era came to an end. Sasha’s been a fixture of this bench for so long.
Joe Smith’s wily factor is off the charts. And at this point that may be all we can say about him.
It is true that I loved his game as recently as 2008 for a veteran big. PJ-Brown type guy. We’ll see what he can do in limited minutes to help ease Drew back, and rest Pau a little. I don’t see what else Mitch could have gotten for Sasha at this point, sadly.
This is what Washington gets for having Kobe with foul problems in the first half.
We talked about Pau getting run down with Drew out, and this game seems like perfect evidence of what a difference Drew makes.
Small sample size, and not exactly tough opposition, but still, very nice to see.
it looks like we’ll be seeing Sasha in the 4th quarter
55 – I wasn’t picking on your English – seriously, just making a weak joke.
Andreas G. says
66: No worries, you didn’t hurt my Swedish feelings – just making a weak joke myself;)
not sure whether its funny or not but the last 6 minutes of offense has almost revolved around getting pau a tripple double
I like the Sasha trade a lot. We weren’t likely to get anything for his EC, and he wasn’t giving us anything other than garbage time entertainment.
Joe Smith will probably give us nothing other than a practice body and insurance against Ratliff not being healthy, which is way more than Sasha could give us. I’m sad that we had to give up a 1st rounder, but Mitch showed us last year that second round picks can be just as good, if not better than late first rounders.
The biggest payoff is of course financially. Saving 8+mil with the luxury tax plus whatever would be spent on the first rounder will give more than enough wiggle room to spend the full MLE next year (assuming it exists in some form). If giving away a 1st and Sasha’s rotting corpse nets us two guys like Steve Blake and Matt Barnes next year, it is more than worth it.
feel so sorry for Blake, 4 lovely passes this quarter all with blown layups or open shots lol
I missed most of this game, but from what I saw Bynum looked decent for his first game back and the team seems a lot better with him back.
I love the Joe Smith trade, although it seems about 3 weeks too late. Addition by subtraction with the loss of Sasha, Caracter can go get some PT in the D-league which he desperately needs, and we have a guy who can play 5-10 boring but livable minutes while giving 15-20 of those if any of the bigs miss time later in the year.
larry coon says the lakers receive a fat $5.5M TE.
Not much to take away from a game against a depleted lower tier team, but a couple of positive things stood out.
Artest has a good shooting game. I was glad to see that.
Pau at 31 minutes. Kobe at 24.
Bynum will make a huge difference. Here’s hoping we get to see this Lakers team finish the season healthy.
Darius Soriano says
I was hoping I’d feel better by this point, but in fact I feel worse. So, sorry, but there won’t be a recap tonight. I’ll have some thoughts up on the game in tomorrow’s Pacers preview. Keep the game discussion going on here.
I am happy with what I saw in Bynum tonight. Shannon had another good game also. This win made me happy. 🙂 I am also in high spirits for Sasha and the Lakers, one probably getting serious playing time and the other a financial break this year.
Get well, Darius.
Wow the Nets lost to the Sixers tonight. Don’t worry guys, help is on the way.
81 – Snoopy – That’s the best line of the evening!
It will be interesting to see how Bynum’s body responds in the 2nd half of the back to back tomorrow. I’m excited about our dynamic frontcourt improving their chemistry with one another and building momentum toward the tougher games coming against teams that are playing really well…i.e. Miami, San Antonio…even the Knicks (did I just type that)!
Craig W. says
I am excited to have both Theo and Joe Smith available when we have to go against big & deep front lines.
Maybe we are getting older, but we have young replacements at every position except PG, so I don’t worry too much.
I believe Mitch has done it again — and saving $8-9M in the process — boy is he good.
I have a question.
Where can I view Lakers post game interviews? Lakers.com used to have them, but after integrating their videos with NBA.com it has been impossible to find them.
The Dude Abides says
Looks like the Sasha trade to the Nets is what’s enabling the Nets to get Melo tomorrow, if you believe this.
Good point about Ron. I liked his flow in the offense much better tonight. It did seem like it had been getting worse over the last few weeks, though he defense was still fine in my book (still poking balls away, being a mass of a man, and playing strong). He really looked like he knew what he was doing compared to the past few weeks. The cuts and shots looked in rhythm and its nice to see some drop. He also made the three after the shot clock violation. Though it didn’t count, that’s the first one of those I’ve seen him hit in a while. Let’s hope that’s turning the page.
Loved seeing Drew back tonight, though Luke and Shannon’s? lobs scared me. Give the man a few games before chucking it up there like old times. He did impress tonight, more than I was expecting. I’m interested if he is able to go tomorrow.
Goodbye Sasha. I was always on your bandwagon, always hoping The Machine was going to reprogram himself and come back V 2.0. Maybe the Nets can do that. Those free throws though…never forget!
Get rid of that plague Darius, the team needs you! We’re about to embark on a double-digit streak of our own.
The play tonight was pretty good – there was some excellent passing, good shooting from Shannon, Kobe and a few others, plenty of hustle. Very enjoyable win.
Dude – I got excited when I read that but apparently it’s bad journalism from the Mile High City:
Since I’m awaiting moderation, just wanted to report that the Denver tweet was false. Yahoo, SI, etc. have discounted it. Melo’s still in Denver for now.
The Dude Abides says
re Melo…the only reason I posted it here was that it was Denver’s local ABC affiliate that was reporting it. You’d think they’d have at least a modicum of journalistic standards. Contingent on Melo signing an extension? That’s great, guy. That’s like saying Melo will be a Nugget for the next five seasons, then coming out 30 minutes later and saying it’s “contingent on Melo signing a 5-yr extension.”
Chris J says
I’ll miss The Machine… dude will always have a soft spot in my memory for his play in 2007-08, when this Lakers ship finally turned back on the proper course. He was huge that season; shame he never could replicate that play again. And with Shannon developing the way he has, Sasha wasn’t going to get another shot to play quality minutes in L.A. barring an injury to someone else. In that sense, I’m happy to see him find a new home.
I doubt Joe Smith will contribute much, if any, but its not like Sasha was going to this year and Smith is a much bigger body for 1/4 the price.
That said, even with Bynum back, this Laker team feels incomplete. Still very good, and always a tough out, but with a pretty glaring Achilles heel (big man depth and a consistent finisher at the rim outside Kobe) staring us in the face. I wonder if the Lakers will use that Trade exception they got from this trade to get a young/agile 3 for when Ron is in foul trouble/in a shooting slump that can run the floor and create something positive.
High hopes I guess.
Good game against the Wizards today. Could tell Pau was more aggressive because he didn’t fear foul trouble as much with another big body in the lineup.
I’ll miss Sasha, he was very Hollywood in his own way. I had hoped he would show the kind of growth Shannon did, and become a zone-buster while playing Barnes-like defense.
Him joining Farmar in New Jersey and probably ending up with a bit more PT is ironic…
The thing with the Joe Smith trade is that even if the Lakers could have gotten younger more exiting players, those might not have worked as well as Smith in 4 minutes per game.
There is no room for a younger player to learn or find his rythm or feel things out in this role. Just go in there, defend a little, make no mistakes, get out, and don’t (mess) up the locker-room. Smith seems to fit that bill perfectly.
Good luck to Sasha (except when he plays the Lakers).
I’ll always remember those two clutch free throws that iced Game 7 of the Finals and the championship.
He earned his $5M last year.
The Nets have assembled themselves a championship back court.
Combined rings for all back court players:
I don’t think any other team has more than 1.
Craig W. says
I think you may be forgetting Pau, when he is not tired. He can be a finisher – he certainly isn’t Kevin Garnett or Karl Malone at the end of games. Also, we really don’t know how Andrew will work out at the end of games, as we haven’t tried him there very much.
Just because a player doesn’t play the wing position doesn’t mean they can’t get their shot at the finish of games – see Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
The Dude Abides says
Darius, hope you’re feeling better.
#93 Cdog, I doubt if the trade exception will be used to get another young agile 3 behind Ron. You already have Barnes to provide what you asked for. Then Luke and Ebanks behind that. I think the 3 spot is deep enough.
The exception would probably be used for some big man depth. Got to figure Theo and Joe are only good for this year. If Mitch is thinking long term, 5+/yr exception could maybe get a decent vet. Someone in their early 30’s and give them a few years during this run. I’m verging on trade speculation here so will stop.
With Sasha joining Farmar, if only the Nets could get Mbenga(NO) and Morrison(probably in Montana with the finest smoke)) the taco unit would be united. I can see the espn special and the announcement of yet another super team forming.
Thank you, Siminoid! I just remember when Luke was starting and passing to Shaq with regularity. Which means if he started the 3-peat was history.
feel better darius! just read k ding’s article on sasha. Vicious! We may not have gotten a ring last year without those 2 shots, so it’s a little hard to agree. Thanks for the memories Sasha – the good, the bad, and the ugly!