The Lakers won last night and now everything is a bit more tolerable this morning. Complaints about what went wrong can be replaced with chatter about Pau’s aggressiveness, Bynum’s late game buckets and block, or Kobe’s continued all-around brilliance. But what can’t be lost in all that talk is the play of the bench and how much it impacted last night’s game – specifically a rookie whose success so far this season has been very much limited (and that’s being kind).
Andrew Goudelock got burn at point guard and gave the Lakers an offensive spark to a group of reserves that sorely needs that punch. Mike Brown put the ball in the rookie’s hands and set him loose to play a game that looked very similar to the one he played in college. He attacked off the bounce, got into the lane to shoot his floater, and bombed away from distance when he had the space to do so. Playing this style obviously gave the rook a comfort level and it showed in his production and in his body language. He looked like he knew what he wanted to do and, more importantly, how he would do it.
It helped that Goudelock got to do this against defenders his size and from spots on the floor that suit him best. It also helped that he was paired more with Kobe rather than backing him up. Playing with Bean meant that rather than working from the wing, Goudelock got to do a lot of work from the top of the key where he could use his handle to go in either direction and attack the paint. And playing PG meant that he was often guarded by defenders that better matched his physical profile rather than the longer, more athletic shooting guards that could more easily contest his jumper or sag off him to deny his driving lanes.
Interestingly enough, the role that Goudelock played last night very much reminded me of the role that Mike Brown gave Daniel Gibson in Cleveland. Gibson was (and still is) limited as a PG, but his skill set – a dead eye shooter – fit in well with the LeBron-centric offensive attack that Brown wanted to run with the Cavs. The ball would get to LeBron early and often and Gibson would spot up around the arc or move into open spaces around the perimeter while James went to work breaking down the D from top of the key and the wing. Gibson would serve as an outlet for LeBron’s playmaking, hitting the open jumpers provided by a collapsing defense. Gibson proved to be an able contributor by his second season putting up 10 points a game in a year that Cleveland made a conference finals run.
Goudelock is a different player than Gibson however, and last night (at least) was asked to do more. Because Kobe is still working off the ball a lot, Goudelock had to initiate the offense more. He had to try and organize the Lakers sets while also doing more to create shots than Gibson ever had to when paired with James. He had his ups and downs as an organizer – on a couple of possessions he looked unsure of where the ball should go first or what play he wanted to run – but he proved (mostly) capable. We’ll see if it continues.
Ultimately, I find it hard to believe that Brown will rely on a rookie for any significant contributions, but he did seem to find a role that Goudelock can perform or at least be comfortable in. In College, Goudelock was a Jimmer-lite type of player that carried a tremendous amount of responsibility on offense as a shot taker and creator. In the pros that load will be lessened but it looks like he has the chops to do it, if he’s paired with the right personnel and put in a position to succeed.
That likely means playing PG and being paired with Kobe rather than backing him up. It also means playing with at least one of the Lakers’ starting big men to take even more scoring burden off of him while still allowing him to do the things he does best. Mike Brown has been searching for a rotation for nearly 20 games this season and it’s obvious he’s still tinkering (see last night’s SF minute distribution for an example). But, at least while Blake is out, it looks like Brown may have found a back up PG that can do more things offensively than Darius Morris. And for a team that desperately needs some scoring off its bench, it could prove to be fruitful discovery. This doesn’t solve the back up SG issues or cut Kobe’s minutes, but those are ongoing issues that Goudelock wasn’t solving anyway.
And while my expectations are tempered, it was definitely nice to see the rook have some success in a role that seemed to fit him.
Yay!! We’re going to the Finals!! We’re going to the Finals!!
Darius Soriano says
#1. ChampionshipS! Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five…
Glock looked good. I put a little more stock in his performance yesterday just because of how hyped and important this game was made out to be. The kid, who has basically had DNPs throughout the season answered the call. What is noticeable is the fact that he is a shooter. Darius Morris can work all summer on shooting, but he is not a natural shooter. Glock is ready to fire when given an opening, and was also good taking the ball of the dribble when they took away his shooting space. I didn’t know he could also shoot those beautiful tear droppers.
I don’t know how much we can expect from him down the road, especially when Blake comes back, but I totally agree that he was miscast at the 2 guard spot where he gives up significant height and length. Pair him with Kobe who handles the rock, and Glock is ready to fire! Great game from him.
I like Goudelock… Blake n Morris should also be tried as backup SGs..might workout u noe
Funky Chicken says
I know that CP3 is a good guy off the court (and a phenomenal player on it) but I find him to be one of the more dislikable players in the league. Maybe this is the emotion that Kobe generates among non-Laker fans, but he seems like a jerk on the floor in ways that I never felt about other uber-competitive players (like MJ).
Kudos to Pau for not backing down with his actions or words (yes, I know that I just wrote that about a 7-footer versus a 6-footer, but given the big guy’s history…).
LT mitchell says
CBS Sports and Kevin Ding both reported that Pau has been hesitant to play in the post and take the ball to the hole because of his sprained shoulder. Pau has basically been a spot up shooter for the past couple weeks. Based on last night’s aggressive game from Pau, that shoulder seems fully healed.
The Lakers offense (and defense) were at their best last season when Pau was clearly the second option, and Bynum was asked to focus on defense and rebounding. This talk of Bynum being the second option is a bit premature. The offense is still at it’s best when it revolves around its two best playmakers, Kobe and Pau. I expect Pau to reclaim the second option role now that he is healthy, which should lead to a more efficient offense going forward.
Unless we get a new PG thru trade, a 3 man rotation including Blake seems best. None have what it takes to play consistent min every game given the tough schedule and as of now Fish and Glock seems to be the best combination. As to backup SG,if Ebanks fails again after been given some decent minutes,I would look to the D-league.
Is there anyone else who thought that the Pau-CP3-Kobe chatter (and head rubbing) stemmed from the pointless rim-hanging dunk that Paul & Griffin laid on with under 5 seconds left in the game? That’s the kind of thing that Barnes was talking about after the pre-season games. We know you’re young, athletic and impressive, but you’re down 6 and not trying to win… why do it? It felt like a losing team’s version of running up the score.
Chris J says
Totally agree with Funky Chicken’s take on Paul. Great player, but I can’t stand the way he acts on the floor. The yapping and constant bit where he’ll shove off a defender with his off arm, then flop as though he was pushed. Dirty way to get ahead, but whatever… he’s not the first to play that way.
As for Goudelock, I’m all for him getting court time if that means we don’t see Morris on the floor.
In interviews Morris seems like a good person, responsible and willing to play his role as a rookie. But he’s got a lot to learn before he gets NBA floor time. Let’s hope his only action for a while occurs in the El Segundo practice courts.
Nice to be able to read a little rejoicing in LakerLand for change. Huge win (I had said it was a must win), and the sparks that flew are great for the Lakers. The Clips don’t understand the sleeping dog concept. Many issues still abound, but that win was huge. Extremely tough schedule ahead and we need to get some mo just to survive it. With regard to Goudelock: Anything that reduces Fisher’s minutes down to the 12 per game that many of us want – is a very good thing : )
I liked Blake a lot from the way he handled himself through the injury and the joy he showed last year. But after watching him this year and not just against the Lakers, I’m beginning to feel he’s a bit of a punk.
From stuff like the showboat dunks at the end of a losing game to the shove he gave Morris in the first regular season game to numerous instances of him instigating contact and turning to the refs with this incredulous look of outrage and innocence pretending he didn’t do anything.
He’s starting to remind me of the more dislikable aspects of Garnett’s on court persona.
Agree with others here that barring a trade, PG by committee will work but it requires the right combination depending on which PG used at the moment.
When season started, I hypothesized that it would take Brown 10-12 games of playing different players to evaluate them. Then another 10-12 to figure out combinations and rotations. We’re right at that mark. I’m hoping he settles into set combinations and rotations in another 5 games. That will leave about half the season to find the growth that can be achieved through that stability.
6) LT Mitchell,
I noticed that Pau was not wearing that brace/support last night – not sure if that was his first game without it.
If GLock is half as good at the 1 as he was last night than the Lakers should have a two man rotation at PG in GLock and Blake. In Fishers best game of the year a rookie playing for the first time at PG in the NBA outperformed him.
HearnLantzSunderland, you sure seem to be trying awfully hard to convince everyone that you’re a Laker fan by your ample use of “Laker fans” in your post.
The Lakers basically stole Pau Gasol? Sure, because Marc Gasol, who we traded away for him, sucks. Everyone knows that a true 7′ 1″ center who averages 15 and 10 and has over 2 blocks a game grows on trees. And that’s not to mention the draft picks that we traded away that could have netted Memphis even more had they drafted better. Look up some of the players who were picked after Memphis made their picks.
I won’t even mention how Memphis trading away Pau and getting Kwame Brown’s expiring contract allowed them to trade for and re-sign Zach Randolph. In the seasons since trading away Pau Gasol, Memphis has improved, going from 22 wins to 24 wins, 40 wins, 46 wins and finally winning a playoff series. They’re really suffering.
Orlando was the best team in the East in 2009. They beat a Boston team without Garnett, but injuries are part of the game and they had their own injuries. The Lakers would have beaten that Boston team too. Orlando was a matchup nightmare for Cleveland but matchups are part of the game. This isn’t fantasy basketball where stats are the only factor. Maybe Cleveland statistically was the best team that season but if they couldn’t beat Orlando on the court, it didn’t matter. But go ahead and keep telling us “Laker fans” how the Lakers were not better than the Cavs or Celtics.
Given how things went down, I think it was more or less inevitable that:
1) Something would happen with Paul and Pau.
2) Lakers fans would start to really dislike the Clippers.
This is all well and good and adds some nice drama, but I have to say that there is one thing I DON’T like about it: it benefits Stern. Taking Paul away from the Lakers, but still getting him in the LA market anyway, is a real boon to the NBA commercially on a number of levels, and will also fuel the “big-market” meme in the next CBA. The whole “Battle for LA” thing is a nice storyline for the media to work, and they are. I have to believe that Stern thought of this in making the move.
A Lakers/Clippers “Hallway” playoff series would be great entertainment, but part of me hopes, assuming the Lakers and Clippers are both in the playoffs, that they each play someone else.
Not trying to spoil anyone’s fun, but I can’t help but think of that as I watch the chippiness between the Lakers and the Clippers growing.
First,y ou cannot simply dismiss the Houston players involved in the trade to make your point–those were not corpses that were moving–those were real live players, including “Pau Lite” (Scola) and a good scorer (Martin), and NOH would be a better team this year (but likely not in the future) with those pieces + Odom, instead of what they ultimately got.
Second, I’m tired of the old saw that we “stole” Gasol. MEM got Gasol the younger (pretty good player, no?) and picks and cap space they eventually parlayed into a good rising team. The Gasol trade benefitted the Lakers more in the short run, sure, but it benefitted the MEM organization for the future in a huge way.
You could tell Lakers were in desperation mode last night. They gave it there all something to build upon maybe.
Now play like this every game. PJ always said you have to give a team 20 games to see what you have. So I guess we can call off the dogs for the moment.
Robert @15: The name Robert is already taken here : ) Please put your intial in, so people will know it is not me. This is probably good for u as well. BTW: I liked most of what u said so I don’t mind my name on it.
HearnLantzSunderland @11: I agree with the first paragraph and the last 3 paragraphs. As for everything in the middle: Please see what Robert said : )
And as to how to avoid the 90’s: Bring in another superstar. Guess who that might be.
Paul L says
It’s funny that you would bring up the argument that the CP3/Gasol/Odom trade would have been unfair today. It appears that the NBA should have taken the offer of Odom/Martin/Scola/Dragic/picks because ESPN is reporting that Eric Gordon has refused to sign an extension with NO.
If Gordon does indeed sign somewhere else then NO traded Chris Paul (plus 2 2nd round picks) for Chris Kaman (who wasn’t even activated in last night’s game), Aminu and Minnesota’s 1st round pick that suddenly doesn’t look as great now and will likely be a very late lottery pick (Minnesota is currently 4.5 games out of 6th spot in West).
I think this guy HearnLantzSunderland is that Clipper fan that was poking his head around yesterday rubbing our faces in our misery over the Laker’s three performances prior to yesterday’s CRUSHING DEFEAT OF THE CLIPPERS.
Hehehe. I had to do it.
its going to be fun to see the clips play memphis tonight… chris paul will certainly be happy to see pau´s “baby-bro” patrolling the paint and waiting for him…
Interesting article on Yahoo Sports about the Gasol-Paul incident at the end of the game:
Something that may be lost in all the positives from the game is the minutes. Gasol – 41, Bryant-39, MWP-38, Bynum-36. That is going to be a problem come March.
Brown’s biggest challenge this year is going to be figuring out rotations and I think he is going to have to throw out any thoughts of a traditional approach. There simply is no second unit. Both MWP and Glock benefitted from playing with (Black Swan) Gasol and Bryant. I think Brown could even get some productive minutes from Kapono and Murphy, but they have to be surrounded by better players that take pressure off of them.
The way I see it is this: Either Kobe or Pau has to be on the court. Then at least two and preferably three of the following also need to be on the floor (Bynum, MWP, Blake & Barnes) The last spot (sometimes two) can be divided between McRoberts, Fish, Glock, Ebanks, Murphy and Kapono.
I’m sure dave m is trying to figure out how to work “Goudelock and the Three …” (Point Shots?) into a column.
HearnLantzSunderland — Yes, at the time the Pau trade seemed like a lopsided, but now it’s evened out if not at least a bit. A solid center like M.Gasol is pretty valuable in the NBA. No, M.Gasol might not be able to accomplish what Pau has, but just look at the past trades of Kidd, KG, Shaq. The Nets got Devin Harris for Kidd. The Wolves got Al Jefferson (and their own pick which resulted in Johnny Flynn) for KG. We got Caron Butler and Odom for Shaq. None of those players were able to accomplish what the their counterparts were able to accomplish.
Darius Soriano says
A new post is up.
The deals (there were actually separate trades) weren’t vetoed because the salaries didn’t work under the CBA. Dan Gilbert and others didn’t LIKE the deal because of the money, and because they thought that it would lead to the Lakers getting Howard and Paul. But the deals were legal under the CBA–that is why Stern said he vetoed for “basketball reasons.”
If the salaries had not worked under the CBA, there would have been no need to veto. If you want to buy Stern’s public statements about the reasons for the veto, that is your prerogative, but you should get your facts straight.
Got to like Goudelock. Just cocky enough to take his shot, seems fearless. I would think he would have to get minutes just because he’s a shooter…
As far as his PG skills, young guys can get better, he’s not a finished product…
Well put, robinred. The trade was not vetoed for money reasons, HearnLantzSunderland. It was a 3-team deal and, although I’m unsure of the specifics, the money worked. The trade was vetoed for “basketball reasons” which sounds a lot like the league’s commissioner taking a personal interest in the competitive balance of the league under pressure from various owners of small market teams – most notably Dan Gilbert. If the trade didn’t go through simply because the money didn’t match up, I sincerely doubt that there would be such controversy about the trade getting nixed. If you want to read about it, here are some links:
Gilbert’s email to stern:
The reason why the Grizzlies traded Pau was that Pau ate up a lot of the Grizzlies’ salary, management realized he would never be the guy who could get them deep in the playoffs, and they had zero chance of attracting a star player to pair with Pau. The Lakers were willing to give the Grizzlies a promising center, some other young players, and picks. Most importantly, they gave the Grizzlies cap flexibility to rebuild.
Does anyone really believe the Grizzlies would have won championships if they had kept Pau? If no, then the trade benefited both teams. Last year, the Grizzlies went the farthest they ever had in franchise history. And the amount of money they spent to keep Marc (almost $15 mil/year) is proof of his worth to them.
As for better deals? Unless someone has proof of this, that’s pure speculation. Give the Grizzlies management a little credit–if someone had given them a better deal, they would have taken it instead.
Scott you mean Jerry West. For the poster that talked about the d-league, Green is killing it there and he would be the second most athletic Laker. Just wondering if he might not help the team more then Luke(I know secrets) Walton.
Next two teams Bucks and Timber have a total of 6, that’s right 6, point guards that could start for the Lakers.
Does Mitch get cable TV?
hearn, robinred, ejk3:
the salaries worked because NOL was under the cap. a team under the cap can receive as much salary as they want without sending any as long as they remain under the cap. that’s how trade exceptions are created.
stern later elaborated that “basketball reasons” included flexibility going forward, so salaries did play a role. he wanted draft picks and cap space, not solid but non-stars like martin, scola and odom.
lastly, stern nixed it as the owner of the hornets because the league owns them, just as any owner can nix a deal agreed by the gms. he did not nix the deal as a commissioner.
so everything he did was aboveboard. but he’s still a slimeball for insisting up till that point that the gm had all power to execute trades. not to mention the obvious conflict of interest acting both as a team owner and a commissioner working for other team owners.
I strongly disagree with most of your statements, Lakers never got “lucky”… they completely earned those 2 titles.
David Stern is a worthless peice of garbage, utter hatred for that lying creep!
and now…I have grown to hate Chris “chihuahua” paul and all of Flop City!…glad he’s not a Laker! He wont win in this town while Kobe is still here! mark my words!!!
Long live the Lakers
So if I’m not mistaken this post was about Goudelock and him finding his place on the Lakers rotation, not about a trade that took place seasons ago.
Goudelock is doing the same thing I and the rest of the Cougars in Charleston watched him do for 4 years at CofC. He is not a PG, he is not a SG, he is a scorer. The more freedom that Coach Brown gives Goudelock to play his own game, the better the results we will see from the rookie. Great game, can’t wait to watch him tear it up again against the Bucks on Saturday. Should be a great game for the bigs with Bogut out…
thanks for the clarification about how the money worked in the trade. as to stern’s actions, i understand that stern vetoed the trade acting as the owner of the hornets and not as commissioner of the nba. you mentioned that there is an obvious conflict of interest between acting as a team owner and league commissioner and that is what i have a problem with. as you mentioned, dell demps was given the authority to make personnel decisions on behalf of the hornets as their gm. he found a trade that he liked/felt benefitted his team, decided to move on the trade, there was an uproar from other owners, and the trade was vetoed by stern. my point is that although the league owns the hornets and stern acted as an owner in vetoing the trade it’s impossible to separate his role as owner from his role as commissioner. it’s a glaring conflict of interest and thus why it is questionable at best to consider his actions “aboveboard.”
I was already aware of every point you made. I was not disputing that Stern is probably in the clear legally.
However, the conflict of interest was inherent in the situation, so Stern’s statements, from an ethical standpoint, are irrelevant.
Had the Lakers landed Howard and Paul a few days after the new CBA was signed, it would have made Stern look foolish and would have created a massive backlash. By doing what he did, Stern gets the economic benefits of a buzzy team in LA without the backlash. The new deal is arguably better for NO, but the original deal was not a rip-off.
In addition, the two owners who spoke out against the trade, Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban, have massive conflicts. Gilbert was burned in FA and saw the value of his franchise decrease by nearly 50%. Cuban, of course, is maneuvering to get Howard for himself and his franchise is a direct competitor of the Lakers.
The conflicts are built in, so all Stern can say is “I was acting only as owner of the Hornets” and let people decide what they think. Anyone who chooses to believe him is IMO being silly, but there is nothing that can really be done legally AFAIK.
Abu Saud says
When I saw his highlights after the Lakers drafted him I was excited to see some shots fall. Didn’t happen before but it definitely happened last night. Great production from him, and I agree that Kobe or another good distributor (or just Kobe) has to be on the floor w/ Goudelock to maximize his talents. And I won’t give Morris the stick because he needs growth too.