Sunday night’s game against the Warriors is barely worth discussing. If the first time these teams faced off last Thursday was a beat down, Sunday’s game was a massacre. Before I was even back from the kitchen with my Hansen’s mandarin-lime beverage, the Lakers trailed 14-2. At various points of the game they trailed by over 30 with the Warriors doubling up the Lakers’ point total. They ended up losing the game by 41.
The big theme of the night wasn’t just that the Warriors outclassed the Lakers on both ends, but how they went about doing it. As I noted on twitter, the Warriors and the Lakers really did not look like they were playing the same game:
These teams really aren't playing the same game. Dubs are all drive & kick, 3's, & offensive freedom. Lakers are grinding away for long 2's.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) October 13, 2014
The fact that the Lakers were struggling to produce good looks shouldn’t necessarily surprise. First of all, the Warriors are a very good defensive team. Klay Thompson is emerging as one of the better wing defenders in the league. While he did not start yesterday’s game, Andre Iguodala has long been a premier perimeter stopper. Those two are backed up by Andrew Bogut (a top flight defensive center) and flanked at any given time by Draymond Green (a versatile tweener forward who can guard stretch fours and wings with equal skill). Add in the other athletes on the roster and the Dubs are going to give offenses issues all season.
Further, the Lakers are learning a new offense while also missing two of their better offensive players. Say what you want about Nick Young or Jeremy Lin, but both can find the holes in a defense and put up points in a hurry. Missing Lin was especially meaningful as he’s the lone player (besides Kobe in the Denver game or Julius Randle) who has shown any ability to get to the rim off the dribble and create a good shot for himself or a teammate this preseason. Combine all this with Nash only playing a quarter and the Lakers’ offense cannot be fully judged off its effectiveness in this particular game.
So lets move beyond this game and onto something that has been consistent over the team’s first three exhibition games: the Lakers are taking a lot of long two point jumpers. I mean A LOT of them. Here is their shot chart from the second warriors game:
As you can see, a whopping 48 of the team’s 82 shots were mid to long two-point attempts. And only three of their shots were three pointers without a single shot from one of the corners. If you think this is just a single game thing, it’s not. In the Lakers first game against the Warriors, 38 of their 89 field goal attempts were mid/long range two pointers while they only took 11 threes (with only one coming from the corners). Against the Nuggets, 36 of their 87 shots were mid/long range two’s while they took only 10 threes (with only two coming from the corners).
Individual players can build an offensive attack off mid-range and long two point shot attempts. For years Dirk and Kobe have feasted on defenses while taking these shots at high volume. More recently LaMarcus Aldridge has become an all-star by becoming a master of the mid-range. Not every player is going to shoot this shot as well as those guys, however. And this is why entire teams cannot build an offense around taking this shot. Over the course of a game a team might get hot from this area of the floor and make a defense pay for continually surrendering this shot. But over the course of a season, the offense will lose this battle. There is a reason most coaches encourage opponents to take this shot over and over again.
Meanwhile the Lakers are seemingly running an offense that will have them take this shot more frequently. Further, they seem to be doing so at the expense of taking the three point shot. I’d argue this is just a random occurrence from the first few preseason games, but these quotes from the head coach imply otherwise:
“Our game plan is really to get to that basket,” said Scott after practice Tuesday. “I like the fact that we only shot 10 threes. If we shoot between 10 and 15, I think that’s a good mixture of getting to that basket and shooting threes.
“I don’t want us to be coming down, forcing up a bunch of threes. I really want us to attack the basket.”
I can fully understand Scott’s stance about not wanting to “force” a bunch of threes. One of my chief complaints about the way last year’s team played offense was the players’ lack of discernment between what is a good shot or a bad one. While it could be argued the freedom the team operated with enabled more confidence and better results on those shots, the simple counter to that argument is that the misses and increased pace put the team at a disadvantage defensively far too often.
However, shooting the number of threes Scott says he would like to will put the team at a disadvantage offensively. Especially if that decline in the long ball is traded for long two point shots. And while Scott says that he would prefer his team “get to the basket” more, there seems to be a disconnect in how teams are actually able to get to the basket in today’s NBA. With zone defenses now legal and the onset of Tom Thibodeau inspired strong side schemes that clog the paint, driving lanes are produced via a spread floor. Players who like to attack the basket, now more than ever before, benefit from shooters spacing out the defense to created those creases to the rim. If the Lakers continue to be a team that eschews the three ball in favor of long two point shots, they will likely find a more crowded lane that limits drives to the rim and promotes…wait for it…more long two point shots.
That leaves me tweeting things like this:
Lakers trail by 35 on a night where they've been outscored 36-0 from behind the arc. These two things are probably related.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) October 13, 2014
Again, it’s important we put some caveats on all this. The Lakers have not had Nick Young, Xavier Henry, or Ryan Kelly available all preseason. Add to that Nash and Lin’s health issues that have kept them out of action and that’s five of the Lakers’ better offensive creators and outside threats. With the team also likely experiencing some heavy legs from Byron’s conditioning and defense heavy practices, the team is not only (probably) a little fatigued but also somewhat behind offensively. Over time, then, the hope is that some of these issues will lessen as the team gets healthier and guys get more comfortable in how they will operate in Scott’s system.
That said, it’s fair to be concerned. Scott’s own words and what the team has been doing on the floor come from a different era of basketball. Further, they reflect a style of play that does not necessarily optimize results for a team who will struggle to be even league average defensively. I mean, if the Lakers are not stopping teams defensively, they must find a way to keep up offensively. Making the long two point shot a staple of the offense will not allow the team to do so.
Calvin Chang says
Good article. I hope someone from Byron’s staff reads this.
Completely agree with your article. Despite the recent lack of personnel (due to injuries) the utter lack of three point attempts, particularly from the corners is troubling. The lakers are going to desperately need to be spreading the floor with corner 3’s if they have any serious chance of even nipping at the 8th seed this year. Clearly the math is out and long 2’s are mostly junk and should be used sparingly and only by those who are money from certain spots.
Teams will let most of the guys on this roster shoot contested long 2’s all day long, hell they may leave them open on purpose and dare them to shoot. Lin and Young need to shoot a good amount of 3’s this year. B. Scott is delusional if he thinks they are going to be the Cleveland Cavs 2.0 and struggle to score 80 points of game–but somehow win by their defensive prowess. Defense is needed, but they best be shooting 15-20 threes a game and use lots of PnR’s. The lakers barring a handful of them look pretty slow as a team. So they likely won’t get many fast break points as it is. If they are going to just walk they ball down the court and jack up 15-18 footers they will struggle to win more than 30 games.
I think if healthy they could push for 40+ wins but certainly not with an offense that shoots 10 or less threes a game. They just don’t have the inside offensive talent and will almost entirely rely on Lin/Young for driving and disrupting defenses. Koby is likely going to shoot 40% or less with his less athletic fade-away mid range game that he’s showing thus far. Plus, it seems pretty apparent that he isn’t going to be driving to the hole much anymore, Nash if he plays isn’t going to drive much either. Most of the rest of the guys need other people to set them up.
At least if they shoot a decent amount of 3’s, especially corner 3’s where Lin/young can knock-down 40% they will have some good shooting games that will lead to victories. If this ends up just being a season where we watch Boozer shoot 15 footers and Kobe shooting no-lift fadeways–this is going to be a long season with far less entertainment value than last years group.
Calvin Chang says
On a separate note, I would make Wesley Johnson shoot 300 wing / corner 3’s per practice. To be effective on offense, Wes has to be a consistent wing / corner 3pt threat to spread out the defense. He has the physical tools to play similar to Bruce Bowen.
Per Darius: ” … However, shooting the number of threes Scott says he would like to will put the team at a disadvantage offensively …” Frightening, when one considers how disadvantaged the Lakers are already.
Another thing to consider (please shudder accordingly): The Warriors aren’t even a contender. They are a good team with virtually no chance of winning a title this year, yet they are abusing the Lakers like they are your local Junior High girls team.
I am actually saying it takes more than incompetency to make the decisions the Lakers are making. It takes tactical tanking for basketball people to cut out three point attempts and remove all quality three point shooters from a roster. Plus starting guys like Nash and Boozer. NBA Basketball people no matter how stupid would never do that in 2014. Its just not a possibility. The only logical possibility is they are doing the exact opposite of you need to do to win in hopes of keeping their draft pick. That really is the only logical conclusion.
Ha! I know this is just a pre season games. However, the fact that Scott seemed never adjusted to the defense is another issue to tackle. Since Scott preaches “D” right? But how was D?! I see none of it the last 2 games. After being blown out the 1st time, adjustments was never been made. As for not taking 3ptrs, he has taken the Anti-MDA system yo the next level (did a great job listening to Magic ). So in other words, long 2’s are better than 3’s right for Scott? At least in MDA system, it was fun, we can manage to score. I didnt support the Scott hiring honestly but since he is the coach now, i have no choice but to support my Lakers and hoping that Scott can figure it out soon that 3ptrs is a must weapon in this MDA system that the league is running right now. And funny thing was, Worthy was unforgivable last season with MDA but yesterday he gave a “pass” to his boy Scott because of injuries. Really?! If that continues, i guess we are going to have a problem.
If the Lakers keep their protected pick next year, is the first rounder the following season at risk?
… or the season after, as the case may be?
Byron: I am sorry I lobbied for your appointment as our coach. While I think you are the right guy, this is going to be even worse than I thought it was going to be. They are not paying you enough for the abuse and pain you are going to experience this season.
Offensive/Defensive Criticisms: For those thinking that Byron will somehow come up with schemes that will make this right – he won’t. What he will hopefully do is keep things together during this difficult time. I am beginning to wonder if that is achievable however, because there are too many (perhaps some of his old teammates) who feel that he can turn this thing around with this roster.
Aaron: We agree on the projected results and the fact that the Lakers have made some questionable moves. We disagree on the possible motive/intent. However 2 out of 3 is not bad considering many do not agree with the first 2 items : )
G.S.,. Definitely are a contender….Kobe is done…he can’t/Wont drive to the Basket.He is not a great shooter and without taking it to the hoop..No Freethrows…
T. Rogers says
Do the Lakers really have the personnel to excel at defense? I know the old saying about defense being all effort. That’s only partially true. Excellent lateral movement matters. Instinct matters. A coherent defensive scheme matters. Offensive style matters. Most of all, having a big man in the middle who can plug holes in the lane matters. Its not enough to just “want it” and hustle harder.
This Lakers roster has some guys who just won’t excel defensively. The best defensive teams either have a lot of speed and lateral quickness on the perimeter, or a big man up front to funnel all the action to. The Lakers are missing both elements. Scott can tinker with the line ups only so much.
I do agree with Gene’s comment, Golden State are a contender. They had the injury bug last year as well, and they have some big time talent/shooting. Clearly they aren’t top choice for the West but they may surprise some people this year.
I agree with T. Rogers, regardless of team scheme’s and conditioning they lack enough folks that can defend regardless of effort. Thus far Ed Davis seems to be the most talented defender they have, but it remains to be seen how much time on the floor he’s going to get. At this point I would play Davis at the 5 and have Hill come off the bench despite his 9 mill. Honestly I really am not a fan of Boozer at this point, at least not as a starter. But I suppose if this team is going to somehow “shock” the nba with shooting the most long 2’s of any team in the league–then Boozer fits right in. He basically is a 15ft jump shooter that gets a few rebounds. Why start him with Kobe–who is going to post up and shoot 15 footers already? May as well have Boozer come off the bench when Kobe is resting so they can have someone else to shoot 15 footers.
Even Jordan Hill at the 4 with Davis at the 5 I think would make them far more formidable.
Gene, Agree, and probably others: OK, OK, reasonable people may disagree.
Some of you may disagree about the Warriors being a contender or not, but what do you think about the “Warriors treating the Lakers like your local Junior High School girls team” part? That point is pretty hard to dispute.
R: The Warriors are not contenders in the true sense. If things break right for them, they could be about “6th” best on the league. The chances of the “6th” best team winning the title does not qualify as a contender (see 2012 archives of this site). I agree with your concern. They looked to be on a completely different level than us (and yes everyone – I know it is pre-season. By the way, the pick goes to top 3 protected in 2016 and unprotected in 2017.
Gene: If I remember correctly, you saw this team as a fringe playoff team. You can’t think that way if you think KB is done can you? I think he is far from done, and I still think we will not make the playoffs. If he was done, the my explanation to R above would defiantly come into play as we would be bottom 5 this year.
T. Rogers: Some are just overly hopeful because they are fans and it is pre-season. Others are ex MD supporters who are going to spend the year picking apart Byron as if tinkering with x’s and o’s could solve this.
MD Supporters: Let’s just make peace now before the slaughter. Neither MD or Byron were/are the source of this problem and I have never said otherwise.
You think kobe is far from done? I think he can be an NBA player for another couple years. But he is done as a quality NBA player. Forget being an all star… I don’t think Kobe will ever be above an average NBA player again. That’s what two major leg injuries will do at 35 years old. its not his fault.
I agree with Aaron regarding Kobe. I think the lakers have some shot to be better than many expect IF Kobe is the #3 option on offense this year. If he averages around 15pts a game and is quicker to pass out of the post to cutters, rather than relentlessly using his many moves to try and put up yet more low-lift fade-away 15-18footers then the Lakers can be decent.
I think the only way the can really be decent offensively is if Lin & Young and Kobe all basically are the top options depending on who has the hot hand, with Young & Lin being given primary scorers/creators roles. Get Ed Davis out there a bunch to do PnR’s and use Boozer and Nash off the bench with some of the other newbies. But if this is going to be more of the Kobe #1 option show with a bunch of mediocre shooters standing around at 18feet ready to jack up mid-ranged jumpers the Lakers will be basement dwellers even if they become decent defensively.
I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!!! How can you or any reasonable person think a profesional basketball team will purposely take the worst shots in basketball if they are trying to win!!? These aren’t “questionable tactical decisions”. This is a well trained doctor telling a patient he needs a good bleeding in 2014 to cure an ailment. In the Middle Ages that would be a normal remedy. Today we know that’s the worst thing you can do to get healthy. In today’s NBA everyone from the smartest basketball minds to the dumbest know the long two is the worst shot in basketball. The Lakers obviously know this. Scott knows this. The FO knows this.
If the Lakers were in court they would lose this tanking case. You can argue they are a bad judge of athletic talent by starting Nash and Boozer (and even Kobe). They wouldn’t get convicted on that. What would have them locked up in the tanking tank is they got caught on record saying they want to take the worst shots in basketball… But most importantly they have a motive! This is such an obvious tank job the fact the media isn’t probing into this is very disconcerning. Who’s going to be the first writer to state the obvious? You can play dumb as a franchise… But this is gross negligence. It’s too obvious. There really is no other rational reason the Lakers are doing what they are doing.
Seeing your team lose by 40 or so is obvioulsy frustrating and humiliating especially given team history. However, what I am reading here is a gross overreaction. Byron Scott is a Pat Reily type coach who tries to win by getting maximum effort from a well-conditioned team. That means long, hard practices and that means the occasional preseason blow-out.
This game meant nothing. It does not mean the Lakers will be bad, it does not mean they will be good. It does not mean they are tanking or that Kobe is done. You can’t draw reliable conclusions based on this game about who should be starting or closing games in January. At this point, there are too many moving parts and unknowns on this team to draw reliable conclusions at all. We won’t have our first hints about what the season will be like until the end of November, at the earilest. In the meantime, calm the f— down.
Forget what we think, here is what Phil thinks of Jim:
“Jimmy Buss is a person that’s vaulted into position through his inheritance, his father’s position,” Jackson said. “I think he’s coming to terms with one of the realities of this job. That’s all I can offer.”
Lol @ Robert.. So everything Phil says to you is what?! Mouth that came from God? He ditch everyone including Kobe for what? To sell his books. Who cares what Phil says? As far as i know he is a Knicks now and i dont give a damn about what he says or what he has said, this is all about the Lakers here.
@ Aaron: “In today’s NBA everyone from the smartest basketball minds to the dumbest know the long two is the worst shot in basketball. The Lakers obviously know this. Scott knows this. The FO knows this.”
Well, if the Lakers, Scott, and the FO don’t know this, things are even worse than I could have ever imagined.
@ Robert: “Forget what we think, here is what Phil thinks of Jim:
‘Jimmy Buss is a person that’s vaulted into position through his inheritance, his father’s position,’ Jackson said. ‘I think he’s coming to terms with one of the realities of this job. That’s all I can offer.’ ”
OK, but what does that actually mean? I get that it’s probably not a compliment heading Jimmy’s way but this is a great example of what bugs me about PJ. Don’t get me wrong, he was a fantastic coach, and I’ll always be grateful for what he did for the Lakers. But … he makes these pronouncements that are nothing more than elliptical B.S. I mean, can somebody who knows Klingon or whatever this crap is please provide a translation?
R: That is the beauty of Phil’s comments. Nobody ever quite knows what they exactly mean or his motive. The first sentence is a simple fact: “Jimmy Buss is a person that’s vaulted into position through his inheritance, his father’s position”. The second sentence is interesting in that he states: ““I think he’s coming to terms with one of the realities of this job. ” How many realities are there? And how long is it going to take for Jim to come to terms with all of them? Then again – perhaps Phil is being kind to Laker fans – giving us something else to talk about other than the last game. We could have a book of these by season’s end
Exactly. That’s the point. It’s not really possible that they think the best way to attack is by taking the three point shot down to 10-15 threes a game. No matter how dumb they are. And maybe they are the stupidest front office in the NBA (they are not). Let’s say they are. They would not think the team should shoot fifteen threes a game and focus on long twos. It’s just not a real possibility.
Any thoughts why Ed Davis was available at such a low cost?…There must be a reason…To me he seems like a good player…esp coming off the bench…
Davis was traded to Memphis from toronto in the Rudy Gay trade a couple years ago. Nothing wrong with him, but he just just got lost in the shuffle and limited mins behind Randolph/Gasol etc… He needed a place to ply his trade and LA was able to get him on a bargain deal in exchange for the promise of decent mins that he would need to prove himself and parlay it all into a bigger deal.
As Zach Lowe has said, NBA Free Agency is a quirky market and sometimes guys wind up with odd deals. Davis is not going to lead the Lakers to glory, but he is worth more than what they are paying him. And I agree with a lot of what Jerke said about it.
I think you are making the mistake, among others, of ignoring human factors in your analysis. I agree with you, in the main, about the quality of the team, but I don’t think that it is some double-think long con going on.
I know who Spitfire is, even though he is posting here under a different handle. I plan to ignore him, and I respectfully advise you to do the same. I never thought that Byron would be a big upgrade on D’Antoni, and I still don’t. Your attempt at peacemaking is fine, but the FO decided to pay D’Antoni to leave, rather than paying him to coach, so D’Antoni is a dead issue.
T Rogers says
Aaron is in full effect. Yep, the NBA season is upon us. Let’s try to enjoy as much of it as we can.
Did anyone see the beating Utah put on the Clips? Utah, who was the only team in the West to finish with a worse record than the Lakers will certainly be better this year. They are absolutely loaded with young talent.
Lakers fans take heart, the Clips are 0-3. The pre-season is meaningless – they still have top tier talent.
Renato Afonso says
I like this article and I can only wish I saw the games so that I could comment on them. Once I get to see a couple of Lakers games and properly look at the offensive schemes I’ll answer properly… However, I do have a question: how does an article about our offensive schemes and shot selection turns into a “we’re tanking to get a top 5 pick” and “the FO is run by a moron” discussion on the 3rd preseason game?
Kobe can score 30 in his sleep. That dude was born to score buckets!
As for Aaron, he is just a Kobe hater. This is the same guy that said Bynum was better than to Wilt!
david h says
hey darius: another good read as per ususal.
if coach byron scott had said I would like our team to take between10 and 15 wide open 3-point shots per game, there would probably be less bellyaching and more in agreement. semantics and an added word here or there can make or break an idea or open new discussion and parlay a new mindset. to me, it would be the making of shots that is the single most important fact of an offense, albeit, open or contested two pointers, only wide open three pointers or the uncontested free throw. having said that, missing a large percentage of wide open three pointers is the same as missing two pointers and a series of free throws. it’s the players that make the difference. the real question is do we have the players to win games no matter how the ball rolls through the hoop??
it’s midway thru the preseason and like coach Byron said, he will be looking for what combination of players work best. that’s a step in the right direction for me. making more baskets than the opponents would be the next priority.
Darius, thx again for keeping it real.
And yet nobody has put out a theory as to how Scott and the Lakers would attack with long two’s this year while thinking it’s the best offensive plan that would lead to more wins. Forget a theory that makes sense… Nobody has even put out a theory. For a good reason… There isn’t one. There is still only one logical explanation… They are overtly tanking.
Aaron – regarding your tanking theory…how is the FO keeping Kobe in line with this? Historically, Kobe has always said his mind no matter what. So, in you think Kobe is OK with the FOs plan to tank? I can’t see it.
I didn’t get from Scott’s comments that he is in favor of shooting a lot of long 2’s. He wants shots at the rim and is implying that not shooting 3’s indicates the team is taking it to the rim which of course they are not. I’m hoping with time for deeper analysis Scott will recognize this and adjust. Although I believe there is a limit to adjustments based on the players you have. This is my bigger concern on the defensive side where so far the plan is not working at all.
As I have said before. Kobe doesn’t have a choice. He isn’t a moron. He knew this team was going to be bad. If he wanted to win he wouldn’t have signed with the Lakers. Instead he took the money. It was a good choice. He gets to finish his career with the same team while also getting to start. If he signed with a contending team he wouldn’t end up playing very much at this stage in his career. With the Lakers he will sell tickets and put up a bunch of shots. That’s probably what Kobe can do best at 36 after two major leg injuries. Kobe isn’t stuoid. He knew this team would be around the worst in the league for the next few years while the FO rebuilt.
If you don’t allow your team to shoot threes then that means they are shooting long two’s. Attacking the basket means you will be shooting outside shots. When you collapse the defense those are the shots that become available. Re defense… They are starting Kobe, Nash, and boozer. They don’t care about defense.
I understand it’s only a preseason. But, watching Lakers play against GS was a painful to say at least. It was not even a question to take long 2 vs 3 but somehow I noticed a lot of CS 3s were shot (and made) either uncontested or poorly contested. Of course you can argue on the fast transition Lakers could not get in time to put hand into shooter face to make it somehow contested. So the problem probably combined: long (and missed ) 2 will create opportunity for fast break so Lakers more worry about protecting basket from uncontested dunk/layup and did not have enough time or fast enough personnel to recover for perimeter shooter as well. Unfortunately in modern NBA defense not only an effort but also the talent as well; you do need to have lateral quickness to move on defense and recover to the perimeter.
Scott went in totally opposite direction of MDA and Lakers probably have to be right in between assuming we have 3pt shooters who can put at least 38-40% from 3. Nash use to be but it remains to be seen how much he has left in the tank.
Last game Randle was looking like completely lost especially at the beginning. I understand rookie pains and he is getting per Kobe “his feet wet”, but someone needs to tell him, in case he missed, it’s not a college game anymore, where he can bully his way to the basket. He better develop mid range jump shot instead of trying to go into the wall of the defenders.
The Dane says
Especially the lack of corner threes seem to suggest that this is by design. The corner is not an especially natural spot to ocupy, unless you are looking for the short three pointer, since your passing options and driving angles are very limited from here.
Further more, the corner also mainly gets upon upon coordinated cuts and rotations on the weakside (the Spurs’ hammer play comes to mind).
I think it’s scott ‘ s old school mentality that’s made him design his offense around long twos. He needs to get with the times or the lakers will have a very hard time scoring. Taking and making 3s opens up spacing for drives to the basket and postups.
Aaron, I actually wish the lakers were tanking. Then that would indicate they have a strategy besides waiting for Durant.
Thank you @bmcburney you made valid points.
It is far better to get blown out in preseason because of dead legs rather than losing by 40 in January because the team relies on offense and neglects to play defense.
Funny how a few games by Clarkson, Randle and Davis propelled them in the Lakers stratosphere of the future. However, one win and one loss has the Lakers ready for the bone-yard.
Basketball is about timing, conditioning, execution, rebounding, putting the ball in the hoop and defense. To that end, particularly timing, this team has logged a grand total of 96 minutes playing against opponents. Moreover, the team has a NEW coach who’s trying to install his system while learning 15 players’ weaknesses and strengths. It takes time to gel as a team, expect a few games similar to the Warriors game until they learn each other’s idiosyncrasies.
Clearly the lakers last game weren’t indicative of how they will be once they have the full roster.
Henry/Lin/Young will all make a big difference and provide some speed and athletic ability and some three pointers! I think Lin and Young are the two most talented offensive players the Lakers have currently. I think Kobe should be the #3 option if his current physical abilities are going to make him rely almost completely on the fadeway low-jump shot.
Ed Davis needs to play alot this season, I would start him at the #5 and put Hill at #4 and bench Boozer. Then you would have improved rebounding/defense and someone else that can run the court. If its Kobe/Boozer taking the most shots for the 1st team, they will be in trouble.
I would give the keys to the kingdom to Lin and Young, since both of them have the potential to actually make the Lakers a better team now and in the future. Nash should come off the bench, if he can even make it through a game–his skill may be there but his defense is worse than ever and its going to endless problems. So Nash gets beat and you have to worry about “Boozer’s help defense”? Yeah right. Boozer is good at what he does, but he is a 2nd unit guy now adays. He does certainly look allergic to inside play, or he get sent anytime he shoots underneath.
Not every 2 is a long 2….There is also what is called “Medium Range Jumper”….. Also you do get to the line more by driving and posting up then shooting 3’s….
awesome piece thanks.
The coach that shot from the 3pt line during his career, needs to get with the times. LOL.
Robert your analysis of PJ’s comments on Jimmy had me laughing out loud. I had no idea Jimmy was confronting multiple realities, but you must be right! So it’s taken him, what, two years or his entire life to confront one of these realities? I wonder how many remain to be addressed?
Will he even have time to address them all successfully?
Jodie’s back still thinks he’s on the Lakers.
Lakers need to let Randle loose instead of playing him spot minutes
Chearn, I’m sure you have a much better explanation available.
@rr..lol you know me?! Really?
“but the FO decided to pay D’Antoni to leave, rather than paying him to coach, so D’Antoni is a dead issue.”
Excuse me rr but this quote is very misleading and there is no facts about this.
MDA left because he doesnt want to be a lame duck for the Lakers. He wants the FO to exercise the team option on his contract. The Lakers WANT HIM TO COACH THIS YEAR so and that is a fact so your quote is very diferent and misleading and you are obviously creating a story to hate on MDA. Knowledgable huh?! Lol.I thought you know that but obviously you didnt.
The Lakers WANT HIM TO COACH THIS YEAR
Not enough to extend him. So they paid him to take a hike. End of story.
However, I do have a question: how does an article about our offensive schemes and shot selection turns into a “we’re tanking to get a top 5 pick” and “the FO is run by a moron” discussion on the 3rd preseason game?
Because the team isn’t very good, and the value of Xs and Os in that context is limited. You and Darius, and a couple of other guys here, are very good at analyzing that part of the game. But when the team is down 26 after 1Q and losing by 41 at home, even in a preseason game, most people are not going to want to talk much about schemes and shot selection. It only came up here because of the Lakers’ bizarre, low 3PA total.
I also noticed an incredible difference in 3’s attempted. MDA is right about 3’s changing the game. If you don’t shoot enough 3’s and shoot them well… the game has passed you by Byron.
Byron Scott is eschewing 3s in favor of getting to the rim. However, Thibodeao style defensive schemes in vogue convert those penetration into long two’s. Scott would need to adjust his schemes to take into account his players (unsuited for high speed fast break basketball) and those defensive schemes.
Good schemes/great execution/great players can make up for this to some extent (ala spurs/LBJ). Lakers aren’t the spurs and this year Kobe isn’t LBJ
After all, the long two isn’t the most inefficient shot in basketball, it’s the defended long two that’s poor. NBA caliber players can make undefended shots at a good enough clip. Getting undefended shots calls for those aforesaid coaching/execution/great players (which isn’t in evidence currently)
It’s early in preseason where number of folks are out with short term injuries and expected back. So on balance, it might/could be better to avoid adjusting for a couple of games and get the reps in.
But if Scott can’t adjust over the long run, this will be a wasted season or worse. (See Mike Brown)
Give Wayne Ellington the green light to shoot the ball. He is one of the best shooter on the team. Every time he pass the ball he never gets it back for a shot. He is to unselfish. He need to take his shots. This is how Lin prove to the others that he was a ball player. You must be selfish sometimes to get what you want. Green of the Spurs was never looked at as a shooter. Look at he now.
“I think as players, you’ve kind of got to hold your ground a little bit and not be afraid of what the public perception is,” Bryant said. “Instead, you try to educate the public a little bit and understand it’s not about complaining about how much you’re making, because that’s ridiculous. We are overpaid, but so are the owners. And you have to fight for what your market value is.”
When asked what his recent extension means given the financial reality, Bryant said: “I’m the luckiest basketball player in the league, because I got very fortunate to be with an organization that takes care of its players, rewards its players and has a long history of doing that.”
He added: “I think it speaks volumes, not only to me and to this city but to other players around this league as well. You look around at some of the other owners that try to milk their players or get rid of them or discard them, this organization doesn’t do that.”
Warren Wee Lim says
Its not a secret why I don’t like Byron. The past 2 games, against a superior team just confirms the general feeling. Ya’ll wanted the DEFENSE well we can be Mike Brown’s team again.
The team needs some talent, some shot creation, etc to score easy baskets. Atleast during MDA’s time we had a few easy and exciting baskets per game. Now, welcome to the boredom drill. We look like Collegiate players trying to learn a system that’s supposed to be easy and natural for NBA players. We have Kobe, we have Boozer, we have Nash.
The Lakers need to start planning for the future team plus Kobe. By the time Kobe hangs it up, its the future team. Jeremy Lin is a good piece from the standpoint of age, size, marketability, gameplay. Start the guy, forget about Nash’s farewell season. Let him do so coming off the bench. Just going to get worse every minute he plays. Don’t get me wrong, I love Steve Nash, his game and the acquisition. It just didn’t work out. Time to accept that.
Nick Young is someone suited off the bench. For now, he’d have to not play due to his injury. By the time he comes back, we need to maximize the minutes of the people we intend to keep beyond 2014 and 2015.
Start Lin. He is a better defensive partner beside Kobe. He can penetrate which would open shots for Kobe. Kobe can open lanes for him as well. Absolutely nothing can be lost by starting him.
Start Randle. Middle of the season that is. Right now he looks lost, but he won’t be for long. Jordan Hill and Ed Davis are our best bigs at the moment and Boozer needs to fake an injury so he won’t play.
Hill is not a center and he isn’t effective in 34 mins of play. But since he’s part of our future team then he needs to play even though he will only be effective for 18 mins. As long as he’s not dumb with the other 16.
Ed Davis looks so promising. A good enough season would render him to opt out and I would give him the entire season to prove how well and consistent he can be. He’s young, athletic and has a drop-step layup move going for him. I don’t know how well or how long until defenses will start forcing him left but he would be effective right now, play him!
Lastly, rr is right. If we are losing the game on the first 4 minutes by burying our starting crew by 15 or so points, then a good coach needs to understand why something has to change.
I miss Mike D’ Antoni.
Knew Lakers would have issues on the defensive end, but the offensive end also?
– Positive side: Lakers still have two weeks to correct their problems before the games count.
– Negative side: Lakers only have two weeks to correct their problems before the games count.
This is Chick Hearn interviewing Kobe Bryant after his first time starting in a LAKERS game. Wow! Priceless.
All those who think that Byron has less idea of what’s going on than you do, . . . really? You think he doesn’t understand good shots and bad shots? Really? Reaally?
Instead of saying, “Byron doesn’t understand basketball as much as I do,” I would have you ask, “What do you think Byron was trying to understand about his players by doing A or B?”
GOOOOOOooooOOOOO LAKERS !!!
@rr : see?! That was your answer?! Lol. You definitely didnt know that. Obviously, you’re making some stories. Now that’s what you called end of story. Lmao.
WWWJR: Give Wayne Ellington the green light to shoot the ball. He is one of the best shooter on the team. Every time he pass the ball he never gets it back for a shot. He is to unselfish. He need to take his shots.
No offense, to you or to Ellington, but when you are looking to a player that was just picked up off the FA scrap heap prior to training camp and is on his 5th team in 6 years as your ‘go to guy’ — that might be a sign that you are in trouble.
I’m not trying to be negative but we have to have realistic expectations. Teams with as many question marks as the Lakers are not going to be in the playoff hunt. We had a better roster, the year after Shaq left, including Kobe in his absolute prime, and the team struggled. The margin for error in this league is insanely small. You can’t just throw a team together and expect to compete.
We are in a rebuilding phase, brought about primarily by the incompetence and hubris of Jim Buss. Let’s hope he has learned his lesson and will take advantage of these next few down years to assemble assets (young talent, cap space and draft picks) that can be used to make the Lakers competitive once more.
My only goals this year is to watch a healthy Kobe in his twilight and see how Randlle, Davis and Clarkson develop.
Stefano Orlandi Yapiyo says
Wes Johnson is very inconsistent and very ineffective player. He is not offensive treat at all.
C.Boozer is washed out veteran in the downhills of his career. Not effective offensive treat.
Jordan Hill does not deserve the money, he was given. His contribution to the team is very low.
Julius Randle was the worst choice on the draft day. He is nothing than just role player. Not effective. He needs at least 3-4 year in NBA to become a contributor.
Ed Davis shows some flashes under the boards, but his scoring technics are very pure.
Ryan Kelly is not playing in the preseason. Byron Scott has nailed him to the bench.
Robert Sacre is just not an NBA material and should go back to play hockey in Canada.
The Lakers won’t make the playoffs and that may be the only good news for the fan base. They can retain the top 5 protected pic, which otherwise is going to Phoenix from the Nash trade.But with M.Kupcake as a GM, we don’t have very bright chances of landing a franchise player on the draft day.Julius Randle is his last gaffe.
Many commenters are bemoaning the fact, rightly so, that the Lakers took an absurdly low three 3-pointers in the last game. But to blame this entirely on Byron Scott would be a bit unfair. After all, Scott said that he wants 10 – 15 3-pointers per game, not three. So the Lakers simply did not execute his game plan. They fell twelve 3-pointers short.
Scott does want them to attack the rim. And he wants them to play good, solid team defense. And he wants them to take up to 15 3-pointers per game. Once the Lakers get used to implementing this new strategy, I think they should do much better.
Let’s give them a chance (they’ve only played 3 exhibition games, for crying out loud) to iron out the wrinkles. They’re a long ways from being the kind of team that they should be. Realistically, it may take a while.
I’m a big advocate of considering roster construction when acquiring talent. I think the Lakers went out and got some pretty good players but did not address needs. So Scott went to work and as he explained it came up with a reasonable plan to deal with things like the lack of defensive Center. I questioned whether the talent they had would be able to implement this and although early it seems the answer is no. I would expect Scott to try and tinker around and make things work but, I’m not sure the current roster works. Like trying to make a car run without an engine.
Randle is the half full or half empty glass whom everyone at the moment is seeing as half full. He has strengths of athleticism, aggressiveness, and ball handling. But also has severe weaknesses, short arms, low basketball IQ (he looked “lost” in college too), and while healthy has a questionable foot. I believe he may produce some high lights, offer enough intrigue, but I think his weaknesses won’t go away and he won’t ever rise to greatness as some would hope.
Lol. You definitely didnt know that.
I know the whole story. MDA asked for an extension; the FO said no. Instead of coaching out the year, he quit, but he had enough leverage to get a buy out, since this year on his deal was guaranteed.
But the point is the FO didn’t want MDA around enough to extend him. I know you are a big MDA apologist, because, like I said, I know who you are. But the point stands.
T. Rogers says
Zache Lowe projecting the Lakers defensive performance this season:
“They (76ers) are the only thing standing in the way of a last-place Lakers finish. This team has none of the raw ingredients of even average defense — no slithery point guard to run around screens, no wing stopper, minimal team speed and rim protection. Byron Scott will talk the talk, but his Cleveland teams were disastrously bad on defense. Even defense-first coaches need talent, especially in the killer Western Conference, and the Lakers are bereft of it.”
I like reading Lowe’s work. And I don’t think he’s too far off the mark here.
Rr has the story right. The only thing I’d add is that I think the FO really did want him to stay around because they knew this year could potentially be terrible and he gave them a convenient fall guy for this year – another reason why he wanted the option picked up so he wasn’t a lame duck coach.
Not sure what byrons ultimate legacy w this team will be but certainly agree w Roberts point from last article that this season and the next couple where Byron ends up doing the necessary rebuilding/losing but doesn’t get to see the results when the team eventually returns to the playoffs.
One thing we know from FB&G postings: Laker fans are not objective…especially about this year’s version. ESPN is predicting this year’s ranking the top 500 playershttp://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/nbarank-lal-2014/ . Lakers only have two in the top 100…not a good sign.
I like reading Lowe’s work.
Yeah. Lakers are projected to win 29 and finish 13th as per ESPN’s Season preview, FWIW.
Aaron predicted 25-30 wins before the pre season began. Vegas odds and ESPN ranking have them slightly overrated because they don’t know how to take into account the inevitable decline of Kobe, Boozer, and Nash
Thanks to Warren Wee Lim for reminding us that every Lakers action needs to be looked at through the lens of their future, the post-Kobe era. They won’t be a good team over the next two seasons. They will have the chance to develop into a contender after that. Right now it’s crucial to prevent damage to that future.
I don’t agree with two players you mentioned as part of the Lakers” future: Nick Young and Jordan Hill.
Maybe you only meant that Young is part of the future because his contract gives him a guaranteed third year in the 2016-17 season. Technically he is part of the post-Kobe era, but he shouldn’t be thought of as part of the Lakers future. He’ll turn 32 that season and 33 if they let him play out all four years. More importantly, real contenders live by the “ball don’t stick” and “play tough D” mottoes. Swaggy don’t play that.
We seem to agree that Hill plays best coming off the bench in spurts. To rebuild into a contender, the new CBA requires that you save cap space by trying out young, inexpensive players and find some who can stick and add value to the roster. (Sorry to have seen you go, Kent Bazemore.) A roster with some young depth attracts better free agents and it gets you through an 82 game season. Hill costs too much to keep. He should go when Kobe goes. He’s a second team player with marginal defense and will probably have more injuries if he gets too many minutes.
Vasheed, we both look at Randle as a “half empty glass”. I was sick when I saw the Lakers pass up Noah Vonleh at the seventh pick. Yeah, yeah. I know Vonleh’s an inexperienced player and lacks polish. But you can see the beginnings of a game that would play very well in the NBA at both ends of the court and in the paint and on the perimeter. And what an NBA body! Randle, however, can’t make his bullying college game work in the NBA unless he develops a solid jump shot that the defense is forced to respect. Vonleh is injured at the moment, but, in a few years, I think we will really regret passing him by. If you’re seriously trying to make a contender, I think you take a chance on a young guy like Vonleh. I’m holding my breath on Randle’s jumper. Blake Griffin really developed his. Like Griffin, I don’t expect Randle to ever be a defensive talent. Randle’s arms aren’t as T-Rex proportioned as Griffin’s but they’re still a liability.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The Los Angeles Lakers said point guard Steve Nash injured his back carrying bags Wednesday, forcing him to miss practice for the third straight day and raising more questions about the 40-year-old’s availability going forward.
Nash please go ahead and retire. You are the worst Laker of all time. You are right up there w Smush & Kawame
Jojob: “every Lakers action needs to be looked at through the lens of their future, the post-Kobe era.” That should have started before we signed the 2 year extension. And since you are new. Yes – I said it at the time, and I love Kobe.
jerke: ” this season and the next couple where Byron ends up doing the necessary rebuilding/losing” Well – we agree again. However this season and the next couple might be optimistic in terms of tenure. It took two guys to make it through the last 3 years : )
Laker Future: Ironically some of those still attempting optimism are the Byron haters. I say ironically, because Byron establishing himself firmly – would be part of our future. If he does not (and I would bet against it), then let’s face it, the list of people (not just players – but people), who are part of are organization now – who will be, when we win our next title – are very few. If we want to look through the lens of the future, then stockpile picks, space, and youngsters.
Barath: “But if Scott can’t adjust over the long run, this will be a wasted season or worse. (See Mike Brown) Aren’t you skipping over a couple of seasons? I am counting 3 wasted.
G: “I actually wish the lakers were tanking. Then that would indicate they have a strategy besides waiting for Durant.” Way too true.
Jayz/Chearn: #24 will be back in real games soon !!!
Renato: Aaron has given us a choice. Either the FO is inept or they are clandestinely tanking. rr and I are choosing the first option and Aaron is choosing the second. I have yet to see anyone offer a third.
Dave: Your post above (8:41 AM) is perfect. Your Buss comments are like a laser pointed at the source of the issue, and what you are watching for/rooting for this year is perfect. Are you the Dave from a few years back on this site?
You are the worst Laker of all time.
Trust and believe that I understand your – and, more then likely, plenty of others – frustrations in regards to Nash and his health. But – and I state this with all due respect given to the future 1st Ballot HOF’er – I don’t and would never consider him a Laker. Especially if one was to take into account his years spent in Phoenix and his tenure (or lack thereof) with us.
Top 5 pick here we come!
Laker commentators, including scott last yr, along with magic trashed dantonio. After watching the hysterical games thus far i am sure dantonio is laughing. Scott has already sucked any fun out of this team
karen: The object is not “fun”. It is to win. MD was not successful at that. Neither was Mike Brown. Byron probably will not be either. What is the common link?
The common link .. none. I was a danoni fan and resented how laker commentators including scott savaged dantoni. At least he gave us entertainment . All we will get from scott is a long face as he loses too. You have to have the players. Lakers have maybe 3
I am a Lakers fan. MD did not help the Lakers. You are correct that we need the players and we did not have them last year or this year. There are others whose job it is to obtain them.
There are a lot of doom-sayers after only 3 exhibition games. Why don’t we wait until the actual season begins before we start shovelling dirt on the Lakers’ coffin?
Anon: Dave: Your post above (8:41 AM) is perfect. Your Buss comments are like a laser pointed at the source of the issue, and what you are watching for/rooting for this year is perfect. Are you the Dave from a few years back on this site?
I don’t think so. I love the Lakers and have proudly posted on this site for years. I actually pistons on the site under a number of names … not that I’m neurotic or anything… Depending on the point I want to make I may choose a different username. If I listed them all here you’d think I was crazy. But I’m just a Laker fan who is incredibly wary of current management. If the cap was not expanding I would be beside myself because I don’t think Jim and Mitch can build a roster through traditional means.
I am excited that the cap is expanding as that may give the Lakers a much needed out…the ability to sign multiple stars at one time. Which may be the only way the current FO can turn this ship around.
Warren Wee Lim says
If you are a commenter that alludes that the common denominator of our misfortune is the Buss family then I think its time to root for another team. Let me get you Donald Sterling’s number.
T. Rogers says
“At least he gave us entertainment.”
Not to butt in, but there was nothing entertaining about watching the team lose 55 games last season. It wasn’t all Mike’s fault. But his complete shunning of EVERY big man, his disdain for defense, and his desire to see 3 pointers hoisted up all game long at the expense of running some real sets definitely didn’t help.
Craig W. says
I am starting to visit here less, because the comments are more fan drivel and less intelligent basketball information. I guess every site has a life arc, but this one has been so good for so long that I really hate to see it become just another place to b****.
It’s “official”. The best player on the Lakers, Kobe Bryant, has been ranked by ESPN, to be the 40th best NBA player of 2014-2015. That’s a pretty severe drop from last season when Kobe was rated # 24. 2nd highest rated Laker @ # 100 is Jeremy Lin (up from # 106, yea). Nash? # 246.
Well at least these guys are well compensated. At a combined salary of approx. $38,400,000 this season, they will be the 2nd highest paid starting backcourt to only the Nets Joe Johnson (# 56) & Deron Williams (rank not yet issued) at $42,935,000.
If Kobe felt dissed last season…
I honestly don’t believe they are trying to tank. I think they struck out in free agency, and decided to get some borderline guys that could be good on the relative cheap. They certainly have an amazing amount of cap flexibility going into next year. They did pick up some talent with Lin, who could be someone they rely on more long term, but they can go after someone else if they want. Young is a talented offensive player that can drain it from 3pt land and has a great attitude. I think the longterm signing of him is a good idea for what he is, someone to score of the bench and play with energy.
They just didn’t get the pick of the litter, hell they didn’t even have a coach signed or half the team going after bigger name free agents. Any way you cut it its a rebuilding year this year. Likely will be until Kobe is done. But maybe just maybe they can learn to play better D, and Kobe can regain at least 70% of his old self and learn to defer more and choose to be the #2/#3 option on the team, unless he is having one of those make everything games.
I don’t like teams that chase draft picks, you can end up being like Philly if you aren’t lucky. Philly is going to stink for awhile, maybe another 4 years at this rate and that’s in the East!
Last year it turns out Kobe was overrated by ESPN and this year they have done it again. There is no way he is the 40th best player in the NBA.
The difference between the Lakers and the rest of the NBA is when the Lakers get draft picks and have cap space it’s a lock they attract star max free agents.
Kobe’s ranked 24 million for the year. ESPN writers… significantly less.
I escaped seeing the 2 Warriors games. As presently constructed and starting off with injury, I’m not seeing this team getting out of the 30s in wins. As much as I am anti-3 point lobbing, you need someone who can be that constant threat.
Karen, you enjoyed the Lakers’ worst season record on record? I can send you some links to baby harp seals getting bashed to substitute for D’Antoni’s absence.
Yeah in the past it seemed like a lock, but I think the times have changed. I don’t even think KD will be rushing to come here in 17′ etc. Lakers have the big market advantage, but it seems like that many of the super stars are getting paid enough that most aren’t choosing to make a few extra mill in endorsements. Plus KD is showing if you are a superstar you can git HUGE endorsement deals even in places like OK!?! Internet, cable and the like have made games much more accessible than back in the 80’s when you pretty much watched all the games on the major networks–and big market teams ruled the day. Now people watch their teams on tnt, espn, Internet streams etc etc.
The Lakers have only signed one big free agent… And that was Shaq in 1996. But now that there is basically a hard cap with max contracts teams can’t overpay for players making it easier for the Lakers to sign a bunch of star players. All they need is a good young core of cost controlled draft picks and guys like Durant will be doing everything they can to come here with their friends. Endorcement deals are bigger in LA and NY. They all have kickers in their contracts if they go to bigger markets. The Lakers have the most fans around the world. It isn’t close. You come to the Lakers and you get more money. It isn’t rocket science. But what really attracts free agents besides winning.., is the city. They love LA.
@Jojob, At the time I would have chosen Vonleh too. Near polar opposite of Randle. Blessed with a soft touch, size, and length Vonleh has all the tools you can ask for. Vonleh is foul prone and not assertive enough. I disagree with Randle purely being a bully style player. It was what he was asked to do. I don’t think he has the length to do that in the NBA but he does have a great ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the rim. If he improves his jumper he has what he needs to be an asset on offense. What really stands out about Randle though is his tenacity. And in the Kobe culture of almost the last 20 years I can see how this favored him with the Lakers F.O. But where Vonleh’s flaws are likely fixable Randle’s are most likely not. Randle does have value it just not as high as many on this board believe. Do a google search on Randle trade rumors and you will get an idea of what other clubs see his value at roughly.
I also proposed ideas like trading down. I would have loved to had picked up LaVine and Kyle Anderson. Yet another great pick by the Spurs.
Great watch,,, the smart people of TrueHoop discuss why the dumb people at ESPN overrated Kobe for the second straight season.
Aaron, appreciate the link. Interesting TrueHoop guys think ESPN guys are giving Kobe TOO MUCH respect.
Can Kobe qualify for “Comeback player of the Year”?
Kobe def qualifies for comeback player of the year… But I do not think his legs qualify unfortunately.
Darius Soriano says
“Comeback Player of the Year” is no longer an award. It was replaced by the Most Improved Player award several years ago.
I love that LBJ and Dirk spoke out about the length of the NBA season. I agree with them that the number of games should be cut to the low 60’s. But realistically nobody wants to give up the revenue of twenty games. So we will see the NBA move to an MLB type of player rotation or basically a Spurs rotation. Rosters should be expanded to 16 and teams should play their players only 60 games a season and around 30 min a game max. That will greatly increase player output and lengthen the quality of players careers. Just like in baseball… Just because you have healthy players does not mean you should play them every game. They need to be rested. The NBA is finally understanding that. But it doesn’t meant you need to cut the season down… It just means you should do what the Spurs do and rest your players yourself. If it was up to me I would just cut the season to 60 games. That way every game means more with top players always pkaying and playing at their best. But that will never happen.
T. Rogers says
Regarding Nash: I’m glad I got the chance to see him play all these years. Dude’s been a warrior. But if you are injuring your back picking up luggage its time to call it quits. It signals that you are officially “old” by NBA standards. And there is no shame in that. He’s had a great career. But this Lakers/Nash dance needs to end. And not at the end of the season in April, but as soon as possible.
I wish there were some way Nash’s salary could be freed up for the Lakers to go after more young talent.
Certainly don’t think he will be given M.I.P of the year. I’m sure he has shown amazing mental fortitude to overcome severe injuries and still be a NBA caliber player. I haven’t seen anything that suggests he will be a dominant player, unless he show the ability to get around people and get to the hole again. His amazing footwork and moves can only take him so far if he continues to shop severely limited jumping ability. There are lots of guards that are long enough to make him take real difficult fade-aways. I doubt he is going to hit above 40% on those many games.
I’m sure his mentality that any shot he takes is likely the “best” shot will be hard to overcome. I think they can be decent if they have a group of players all avg 14-17pts a game, clearly LIn/Young are capable of doing this. So if Kobe can score 15pts without become a low % forcing bad mid range shot guy, and he is a bit quicker to pass, the lakers offense might be salvageable. If he’s our #1 option again, the offense is going to be truly lousy–especially since you basically lose the corner 3 of Kobe’s side, since his post up game is to far out–limiting spacing on that side. It’s real early, I just wish we had our main players playing. Its too difficult to judge this team with Lin/Young out.
As others here have noted, I agree Johnson/Henry can be decent roleplayers and hopefully they can bring it defensively–but not much hope in anything drastic beyond that.
Get Ed Davis on the floor more!
I love that LBJ and Dirk spoke out about the length of the NBA season. I agree with them that the number of games should be cut to the low 60’s. But realistically nobody wants to give up the revenue of twenty game
This has been a hobby horse of mine for a long time. I would like to see a 60-68 game schedule. But for reasons you outline, it won’t happen.
The difference between the Lakers and the rest of the NBA is when the Lakers get draft picks and have cap space it’s a lock they attract star max free agents.
Not seeing it. If you look at the history of the franchise anchors, and how they came here, that pattern is not nearly as strong as many seem to think.
@Vasheed, “What really stands out about Randle though is his tenacity. And in the Kobe culture of almost the last 20 years I can see how this favored him with the Lakers F.O. But where Vonleh’s flaws are likely fixable Randle’s are most likely not.”
Nice point about Randle’s tenacity. I can see how the Lakers’ Front Office could view that focused assertiveness as an excellent quality for someone who would hopefully be a leader in the future. That didn’t cross my mind. I saw their choice as vastly based on who’s the more polished player, the player most likely to contribute during Kobe’s last two seasons.
Since I’m all about the Lakers becoming a contender again, I’m, sadly, very much in alignment with the last sentence in your quote above. Oh, well. Time to start sending out “vibes” that Randle’s jumper develops.
@ Annonymous. Although I’m still struggling with Randle over Vonleh, I’ve made my peace with Kobe’s extension. Now I tell myself that it sends a message to elite players that the Lakers will take care of them if they come here. (Of course, you have to have an actual roster to attract elite players in the first place, and the extension hindered that.) I also smile at the thought of that $25M expiring contract in the Summer of 2016. That’s a nice asset!
Mid: “Why don’t we wait until the actual season begins before we start shoveling dirt on the Lakers’ coffin?” Are you implying that they are already in a coffin?
Jojob: That anon post at 5:07 yesterday was me. I have made my peace with it as well. I am perfectly fine with it, and discussed it years ago when I said that I would be simply rooting for KB records during these years.
WWL: So let me get this straight. True Laker fans do not criticize Jim Buss, but it is perfectly fine to trash Byron Scott. Please explain.
Dave: “I’m just a Laker fan who is incredibly wary of current management. ” Uh – in case you didn’t know. Me too.
Brousard said two scouts who saw kobe play this preseason said he was “done”. At least we know there are two scouts actualy know basketball.
Robert October 16, 2014 at 6:34 pm
Dave: “I’m just a Laker fan who is incredibly wary of current management. ” Uh – in case you didn’t know. Me too.
Three and counting …