The season is only five days old, but tonight the Lakers will play their fourth game and their second back to back. Through the first three contests the team has yet to win a game, though Friday night’s effort against the Clippers was a very good showing that the team could not close out down the stretch. Depending on how you view things, then, there may be reasons to be encouraged as the team finally started to show some positive strides offensively — they took 20 three pointers! — while stringing together some solid defensive possessions. They still have a long way to go, however, even if Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant were feeling good after the game.
The hope entering tonight is that the Lakers can build on some of what they showed against the Clippers. That game featured some solid offensive execution, built mostly on the back of nice floor games from Kobe and Jeremy Lin. Both guards found a good balance between attacking for their own shot and hitting open teammates for open looks. That balance kept the defense guessing and allowed other guys to find a nice flow offensively — Jordan Hill chief among them.
Against the Warriors, the Lakers will try to keep this going and a lot of it will depend on Lin. I expect Steph Curry to start the game on Lin, so the hope will be that Lin can use his superior size (Curry is not short, but he is more slight of build than Jeremy) to get position on drives and get into the paint. Once there, Lin will need to finish well in the paint and use the threat of his shot to draw defenders in and find open men. If Hill is able to slip into the creases of the defense while Andrew Bogut is forced to help, he can, like versus Jordan on Friday, get makable looks that he can convert.
As for Kobe, he’ll be facing off against a much better defender in this game than Matt Barnes. Klay Thompson has size, nice instincts when guarding in isolation, and quick enough feet to give Kobe issues. Kobe will likely try to counter this by going to the post, but he will have a rough go of things if he doesn’t make his moves quickly before the help defense can get set and disrupt his first move. I would like to see Kobe come off picks and look to catch and shoot to open up some of his isolation work later.
The Lakers will need their offense to do solid work considering the trouble their defense will be in. As we saw in the preseason, the Warriors are going to test all the weak spots of the Lakers’ team defense, spreading them out on the perimeter in order to bomb them with deep jumpers and then gash them with weak side movement from their forwards and big men.
Curry and Klay are the keys to this, so Lin and Wes Johnson (who is likely to cross match and guard Thompson) have their work cut out for them. Both Warriors have absolutely zero conscience when letting their jumper go and they must be marked well beyond the three point line lest you want to be embarrassed with a bucket within their range. This is especially true in transition where both will run diligently to the arc both with the ball, in front of the break, or as trailers.
They’re not the only threats, however. Even though David Lee has been ruled out, the Warriors have plenty of offense. While Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Andrey Bogut aren’t classic scorers, all can be threats within the construct of their roles. Green has worked hard to improve his three point range and his ability to camp behind the arc aids in the Warriors’ spacing based attack. Barnes can also hit that shot as a spot up man, but can be even more dangerous if he finds his groove in isolation or as a slasher working off Curry and Thompson. Bogut, meanwhile, will do all the dirty work, can still score some as a roll man in the P&R and will get the occassional post up bucket. Andre Iguodala is coming off the bench for this team and providing playmaking for the 2nd unit, which keeps continuity from group to group and allows the O to continue to work well.
In other words, the Lakers are in trouble tonight. As mentioned at the top, they have played a lot of games in a condensed period of time and have done so shorthanded. And while they showed some strides against the Clips, the Warriors will be playing at home and will be ready to put their foot on the necks of the Lakers should they be given the opportunity. Maybe the Lakers surprise in this game, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.
Re-post from last thread.
Kobe shouldn’t play in the game tonight. This is a game that he should rest it’s too risky. I hope Scott uses tonight to gauge the competitive fire from the other players on the team. See if players like Lin, Hill, and Davis can follow-up last night’s game with a sustainable offensive and defensive output to be competitive in tonight’s game.
Progress is a beautiful thing. Kobe & Lin, our starting backcourt & best two players, combined for 38 points (21 & 17 respectively) on a very respectable 13 of 28 from the field and 16 assist yesterday vs the Clips.
Game #1 Kobe/Lin backcourt combined for: 7 of 22 for 26 pts & 8 assist (Kobe:19 & Lin: 7)
Game #2: 13 of 30 for 37 & 4 assist (Kobe: 31, Lin: 6)
As posted previously:
BigCitySid October 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm
In addition to the great points you make Darius, the Lakers best two offensive players, Kobe & Lin, have no chemistry, none, zip, nada, zelch. In order to improve that situation the more talented, more versatile player needs to modify in order for the lesser talented, less versatile player to be able to be more effective. Kobe is a much better player off the ball than Lin, and still be very effective. Lin is the better passer, let Lin control the ball.
They will be a better 1, 2 punch.
Believe it or not, the Lakers 0-3 start this season is tied with three other Laker teams ( ’12-’13, ’78-’79, & ’60’-’61) for the 2nd worst start since their inception in 1948-49. Just an incredible testament to just how historically competitive this franchise has been over eight decades.
Worst start? 0-7 in the 1957-’58 season. That team finished 19-53 (.263)
I bet the house Lakers will not lose 4 games like this week.
Only 2 games next week.
Lakers will continue to lose as long as Johnson and Sacre get minutes. Wes is shooting 30% and bumbling like a D-leaguer.
Kobe Alert: Against the Rockets Kobe Bryant started his 19th season in the NBA. This ties him for 4th all time in seasons. Against the Suns, KB recorded his 420th thirty point game (4th all time). He is closing in on KAJ in third (429). Coming up. he needs just 45 minutes to catch R Parish for 12th. He needs 21 steals to tie I Thomas for 14th.
In response to the last Kobe Alert there was an inquiry (more like an inquisition) with regard to dimes. So here is a summary of Kobe’s helper stats. Kobe ranks 33rd all time in this category. He needs 3 more to move by S Cassell for 32nd. Kobe ranks 3rd all time for Laker dimes. He trails only Magic and Jerry. He has registered more helpers than KAJ, Wilt, Gail, James, and Elgin. He also has more than MJ and Larry. And more than all the guys who were his primary point guards during his career – combined ! He is 7th in playoff history and 9th in All Star history in this category. Not bad for a shooter.
Kobes needs 522 points to eclipse MJ.
Thanks to Chearn, rr, KenOak (been winning a lot with Kings lately) , Agree, T Rogers, lil pau (at least tickets will be cheaper this year), Purple (saw Judas Priest recently), and others for the appreciation. And for those who do not like the KB Alert, I understand it is a tough year. However try not bash KB and Byron too much : ) Take it out on Jim : ) I am very concerned that this could get very ugly (in spite of our decent performance in game 3), and I want us to get a “W” or two to prevent what could be a really bad time for our franchise. Yes this can get worse. Root hard that it does not.
Nice first quarter by the Lakers. Jordan Hill’s jumper still falling and Ed Davis contributing.
As I said last thread–Ed and Jordan—if you’re open, shoot. Here’s hoping those two stay out of foul trouble tonight.
Ed Davis is ballin!
Wow. Just turned the game on and was pleasantly surprised! 2 games in a row that this team is competing hard.
There is one caveat to Davis and his stellar play, and that’s that most teams have not scouted him, yet. When they do, they’ll take away his strengths, and he’ll have to adjust. That’s when the Lakers and fans will have a better barometer on the type of player he’ll be.
Byron is still tinkering with the combinations to find a lineup he can insert based on game situations.
Kobe may be forcing it just a Tad. He’s leaving everything short. Tired legs?
That was hilarious. Curry flops and gets a foul on a 3 point shot, then Lin actually gets fouled on a 3 and gets no call.
When is the team gonna learn. Sacre is One of the stupest players in the league. He screwed up yesterday’s game and is doing it again.
Does the Buss family really want to win or just steal Time Warner Money. Sacre is A joke and 14 to 0 run is on him.
0 and 4 worst start in 40 years. Nice job Jimmy. See jerry West in the stands? That’s where your team fell apart!
Indeed, tired legs. But since the Lakers are playing him (even though before the season started, he was supposed to miss back-to-backs, yet here he is) he has to push through it, it’s all part of conditioning for the rigors of the NBA. What worries me though is no matter the age, a tired player is in more danger of sustaining an injury than at any other aspect of the game.
36 year old can should not play back to backs.
He looks terrible tonight.
Is MD coaching still?
Not sure KB is worth $24 million per year, but the shot at the end of the half was priceless.
Wow KO your whinning is strong tonight. A tad repetitive but constant change a name here and there and i hear it all before. Kobe has to play and he wont sit out b2b games thats not in his dna. We need Nick Young back. The season just started and the team is struggling not the time to be sitting out b2b
Funny, i swear i remember the Lakers winning 4 more championships after The Logo left…
Sweet Kobe .. That ‘And 1′ Layup was real tough.
While it may be true that he has tired legs, even if Kobe were fresh, the Warriors, with Klay, Dre’ & Barnes, are a team that has the personnel to defend Kobe effectively. Making him earn everything that he gets.
Whats with Byron Davis hair? YIKES!!!!
Robert, 33rd all-time in the league for assists! How is that possible when he never passes the ball?
Maybe Kobe isn’t deserving of 24 million a year, but I hope everyone recognizes that he could sit at home eating pies and drinking liquor and he’d still get that salary. I hope people respect him for earning his salary and his love for the game, even at this point in his life when there’s nothing for him to prove.
Tra gets it…
Only a 5 point deficit, thats for you doom and gloomers, make that a 3 point game with Kobe leading the charge, WHAT???
Kobe doing Kobe things gets the and 1 but misses the FT.
Win or lose – KB is going to be the star of Sports Center tonight
Mamba may drop 40 tonight!
We just dont have the talent, Mamba can’t do it all, so far Jeremy Lin has been a dissapointment and a big one at that, i think the team is being well coached, light years ahead of what we had last season. We got a tough schedule to start the season to cap it off. We need to het some slack on the schedule geesss lol, this has been like a murderers row to start the season. And yeah Mamba is going to score a massive amount of points this season, could be in the fight for a scoring title. There i said it…
Ko, you want this season whipping boy? Dtry Lin, whose production is more important to the team than Sacre, Sacre is just a big body…
Stating that Kobe needed rest on a b2b is the protocol the team stated they’d follow this year to monitor Kobe’s minutes. This game was a schedule loss, so why not save him for games against teams the Lakers have a chance to beat. Would Popovich forego resting Parker, Ginobli, or Duncan for a schedule loss? I for one am a ‘die-hard’ Kobe-loving fan, but regardless “telling people to STFU” is uncalled for.
Chearn, there are no such thing as a “sheduled loss” to Byron Scott or Kobe Bryant. There is no such thing as a “sheduled loss” for me either.
As Chearn stated, there was no reason to put Kobe out there for 30 plus. A sure loss yet do we want a repeat of 2 years ago playing to a injury.
One minute left and he is still in. Scott is really showing no smarts today.
Like said that why Pops wins year after year and Lakers have become this.
There’s a reason why Bulls are paying Boozer 13MM to play for the us. Ed Davis should be starting and finishing games.
I have to agree with Ko, once the game was wide open he need to sit Kobe down, thats it, and if you got offended by my STFU remark, your one of the people that wrote him off, me? I knew he was coming back.
Why is Boozer still playing more minutes than Ed Davis? Boozer–24 minutes -26 vs Davis–21 (only 21!!!) minutes–+6.
As I said last thread–More Ed Davis Please!!!
Until Davis is playing significantly more minutes than Boozer, I’m going to disagree with anyone who maintains that Scott is a big improvement over MDA on coaching. Still plenty of puzzling rotation decisions. (Unless you are Aaron and we are stealth tanking)
The Lakers have been pretty much what I and many others thought they would be. Kobe can still score…but the team can neither protects the rim, nor defend the 3.
The Lakers have been pretty much what I and many others thought they would be. Kobe can still score…but the team can neither protects the rim, nor defend the 3.
I realize LAL’s early schedule is tough, but RR is 100% square on this one. Through four games Lakers are allowing a mind-boggling 118 points per game. Next highest is the Nets at 105.5, and they’ve only played 2 games.
With Swaggy to help the bench, this team could have perhaps averaged 110 points per game. But the defense could be so historically bad this year that it might not have mattered….
Chris J says
They’re giving effort, but the roster is just not deep enough or balanced enough to win. There’s no defensive consistency, and at times the office appears as if the painted area is radioactive to the players… I see no post threat, no consistency in getting to the rim. Hopefully Kelly and Young will open up the floor more when they return, but this is a 20-win team as presently constituted.
For those who hoped Kobe could raise all ships with his own high tide… I doubt even 2006-08-level Kobe could carry this bunch to the postseason. There just isn’t enough talent in the building.
The tank is fully on!! Only way to explain more minutes for loozer over Davis and price over Clarkson, and reason Lin was acquired (solely for the pick). Everyone knows the ballhog can’t play alongside ball dominant pgs I.e Payton, sessions, and now Lin. Just hope the Sixers can win more games than us…need maximum ping pong balls!
Baylor Fan says
It appears as if the Lakers still think Kobe is indestructible. If Byron truly is the coach, he needs to follow up on his promise to limit Kobe’s minutes. Even if the game is close at the end, it is not worth breaking his body again.
Patrick Lanigan says
Going to be a lot of games like this one this season. This team lacks the personnel to be a good defensive team, so it will be run and gun, and Kobe will score a ton of points while enduring more losses than in any other season. The worst thing that can happen to this team will be to NOT have a bottom 5 record by season’s end. I hate that it has come to this, but it has to be about the future, so more minutes for Clarkson and Davis seems like the obvious move.
I have to admit that this team would not move fwd until Kobe retires, thats the truth, what i find assinine is people thinking that Kobe would had been like ” thats a fine deal but i need tou guys ro give me a a 10 million paycut and we have a deal” the Lakers offered him that money, there was no negotiation, thats it, wise? I dont know, but this season the year that deal kicked in and lets not forget he took a 7 million paycut, he is playing like a top 5 player in the league. So the Lakers are getting their money’s worth and he put butt on seats, until he retires the Lakers will be pretty bad, deal with it people, once he retires a wide open Lakers team is an almost irresistible offer to any player. There will be no rebuilt, after next season this team will be be bare bones and any FA worth their salt would love to come to LA and take the torch.
Lakers were inconsistent and fell to the trap of running game against young stalwarts GS. Kobe got so delirious with his shooting out of control…don’t they realized that they are lacking in talent, lacked the foot speed and lastly unlucky with their long shooting? GS were running on 5 cylinders while Lakers on 3 1/2 cyl powered by diesel; can’t defend without fouling. I blamed this loss to Byron’s coaching and Kobe’s iso exhibition. Hill and Davis were great that kept us in the game while Lin disappeared again and out of control like Boo, the boozer whose whacked legs gave up in the 4Q.
Mitch, what is the game plan? Tanking in order to get a high class rookie.
Sad, sad, Byron has to plug some holes before the whole dam collapses after four games played.
Kobe did it…
Coach Scott needs to REST KOBE BRYANT. He is leading the team in minutes and played 35Fri/36 Saturday. Kobe looked great at times, and went into the black hole tank in the 4th quarters (maybe the HOF is tired!?).
We have Clarkson who seems to player better defense than Kobe does at this point in his career. Boozer clearly plays no Defense. Scott is a defensive coach, yeah right, that’s a joke.
Kobe shot 31.8% of the teams Shots last night, the other nights he shot the most–we got blown out the most. Kobe had one assist in 36mins?! Additionally he had 7 turnovers! He is shooting 41% thus far and 25% from 3pt land. He needs to be playing 30mins and resting, and that in turn will create shots for other players just having him off the court. So maybe some other guys can gain some confidence, and we can develop Clarkson–who IMO already plays better D than Kobe and is so much quicker he can actually hang with wing players.
What is the 36mins on the court for anyway last night? Kobe is amazing but he is still human and his plays more minutes than the 26year olds. Lin needs to shoot 15 shots a game and quit watching so much. They aren’t winning much of anything this year, but maybe they can show some pride and develop some of the talent they have. Endless fatigue ridden ISO’s to end the last couple games is so irritating. Kobe had 7 assists the night before and before he lost his shot and they came so close (ripped off by refs i think). Tonight even though it was close for awhile, it was pretty noticeable that it wasn’t going to work out again.
I think Aaron has won me over, they must be secretly tanking on purpose. No other reason to play Boozer so many minutes, while guys like Davis continue to play well game after game. Defense is our goal, blah blah blah. For Kobe fanatics maybe they will enjoy this type of game where Kobe scores a ton as he looks to lead the league in field goal attempts, meanwhile he will shoot the worst percentage of his career. I judge Byron mostly on minute allotments of players thus far, the main thing he CAN control. Maybe if Kobe got some rest, he could actually make a shot in the 4th quarter! Have Clarkson guard somebody, this team is just slow as dirt sometimes. If they don’t put this puzzle together and change mins, Byron’s “wait 15-20game strategy” will lead to this team being like 3-17 by the time he decides to PLAY ED DAVIS MORE and SIT BOOZER.
J C says
Minutes are going to Sacre simply because we lost Julius Randle.
A healthy Randle would definitely be a difference-maker for this team…
Maybe not enough to turn these losses into wins, but he’d definitely help.
I don’t exactly blame Byron for playing Price and Boozer. He believes their experience will help him win games.
(He’s still trying to win.)
But I think sooner or later he’ll realize that a starting tandem of J. Hill and Ed Davis is his best move.
Lin has had one nice game (Clips) and three lousy ones. So I think we’ll be saying goodbye to him around the deadline.
And at this rate I bet it’s only a matter of time before KB goes to the FO and offers to pack his bags for a cooler ‘Zen’ climate.
Kobe minus 30 ….worse on the team….
Then I have not won you over. Because my point from July on was that the team is overtly tanking… not secretly tanking.
Play HIll & Davis a lot; give Mamba some rest; let´s get a w asap!
& JC is right, having Randle would be a plus; maybe not in wins, but at this point…
Robert – rock on dude! (after i heard the news about Jack Bruce I sat back and watched a 2005 concert Cream gave at the Royal Albert Hall, f***ing a´ )
Darius Soriano says
Keep your trade speculation out of the comments. Read the commenting guidelines. It’s not a difficult concept.
Craig W. says
It is only 4 games in, in a season we would do very well if we crawled into the 8th spot. We have played 2 b-2-b with only a single day in-between. Byron said he was going to start Boozer and, with an experienced vet, he won’t just pull him quickly or without some additional playing time. Now we have 2 games in 8 days and we can practice combinations.
IMO, Byron will practice a Hill/Davis front-court, but will keep Boozer in there at least 10 games before making any changes. This is what rebuilding feels like and the above comment about other teams scouting Ed Davis is correct. We have to see him over time to make any long-term evaluation.
Since there is no way to contact you privately, I’ll apologize here. Having re-read the commenting guidelines, I see that i misunderstood this sentence: “Posts of fan fiction speculation on how the Lakers can land LeBron (or whomever) are not. ” Since the speculation was in the press, I thought it would be allowable. Again, apologies.
BTW, you do seem to allow some bending of the rules: “The goal is discussion, so try not to make multiple comment posts in a row (that is a lecture, not a discussion).” and this one: “Try not to make the same point over and over, the goal is a ranging discussion”. Of course I’m talking about Aaron.
Lastly, there is no need to be snarky; I may post here rarely, but I do try to keep it civil. I That too, is a simple concept.
Davis is on a little hot streak right now, shooting 70% from the floor (21/30). But he is 25, not 20; this is his 6th year in the NBA, and he has a pretty well-established performance level. The question is whether he can sustain that, or even perhaps improve on it a bit, if he gets to play 32 minutes a game, rather than the 15 he was getting in Memphis or the 24 he is getting now. It does seem that he meshes well with Lin terms of skillset.
But NBA teams have already scouted Ed Davis, and one of the things that the optimists here consistently underestimate is the fact that players–even college players–have track records and skill sets that are observable and to some extent, measurable. Guys can improve marginally with hard work, different usage patterns, and favorable utilization. We saw that last year with Young and Meeks. But players also have ceilings–and floors–and we, and the rest of the NBA, already knew a lot about Ed Davis and Carlos Boozer before they ever practiced as Lakers.
“Guys can improve marginally with hard work, different usage patterns, and favorable utilization.”
That is the crux of the matter.
A solid center would make this a much better team. Davis and Hill are overmatched at center.
P. Ami says
Guys and gals, what the hell does Kobe need to rest for? Trying to save his legs for the playoffs? Trying to extend his career? Kobe’s role is simple. He is here to entertain us during the rebuild. Even Carlos Boozer’s ugly game can’t ruin that for us. This team has a darn good chance of getting a top-5 pick and whatever the Houston pick turns out to be. None of this takes into account what we’ll get for Jordan Hill and whomever else we manage to unload. If Clarkson and Davis develop, coupled with trade returns and picks, next season will give us 4-5 nice young players with the franchise. By the time Kobe’s contract is over there will be players available in FA.
None of this is a perfect scenario and lots can go wrong. Look at OKC, they may miss the playoffs. There is no sure path to relevance but for now we have Kobe and some hope for the future.
Team: In looking at the schedule, it seems to be imperative that we win at least one of the next 2 games. We really need to win one or this could get much worse than it already is.
By the time that all happens, my hearing, eye site and patience will be gone and I will just be an angry old man trying to punch letters to this site on my phone.
Ohhhhh strike that. It’s already me.
@KO, lol, you and me both, i guess.
Who said patience is a virtue? I say screw that guy. Patience is not even in my dictionary.
Darius, I read your guidelines pertaining to trades and I understand your reasoning. Maybe you’ll consider one post allowing trade speculations. These are after all, unusual times…from more than one point of view.
0-4 to start the season. Half way to the worst start in franchise history. Opportunity to end this madness on Tuesday at home vs. the Suns. Yes, they crushed our boys last week, so we know what to expect. Adjustment time Coach…adjustment time.
Suns and Hornets are two of the “winnable” games for us–even though both teams are clearly better than us. Let’s hope they walk away with 1-2 wins this week, or we can expect all kinds of new losing records this season.
Lin shot 1 three, and 5 fg attempts, that just doesn’t cut it. He’s a player that needs to be heavily involved, he’s our 2nd best offensive player (I don’t count Hill’s open set shots as a sign he’s our 2nd best offensive player) at least until Young’s thumb works again.
Kobe’s 7 turnovers to 1 assist ratio last game is troubling and he clearly is too fatigued to be the “black mamba” in the 4th quarters. He needs rested up, please oh please play Clarkson more–what better time to try and develop him than when we stink already. Plus he plays way better defense than Kobe does, Kobe is just too slow at this point in his career to hang with quick guards. I hope Kobe becomes our new SF once we have more guys healthy.
P. Ami says
Screw me? Interesting take… Patience is not in your dictionary? How about maturity? How about reality? What about context?
I get it. For some people it makes sense to whine and complain that the amazing run of luck that managed to extend the Shaq-Kobe-Phil three-peat into the Kobe-Gasol repeat has come to an end. Lets also mention the run of luck that has extended Kobe’s Hall of Fame career into a 20 year Hall of Fame career. If this site is going to turn into a venue where spoiled fans of the team I love vent their frustration that daddy now needs them to pay off their debt before they can use their card again then so be it. The fact is, Kobe is amazing and still fun to watch. The fact is that their second best player doesn’t crack the top 50 players in the league. This team is garbage, the playoffs make no sense and neither does griping that Jeremy Lin isn’t Chris Paul, that Wes Johnson isn’t Magic Johnson, that Ben Davis isn’t Anthony Davis and that Kobe has phased well out of his prime. You might want to add some words to your dictionary.
J C says
Lo how the mighty has fallen.
We are leaning on almost “upsetting” the CLIPPERS as proof we are viable.
The irony. The horror.
We’ve gone from – wondering if we can win a title, to – wondering if we can make the playoffs, to – wondering if we can win a game.
Also ironic is that I do actually appreciate Byron’s professional attitude in his post-game interviews.
He does not sound or appear to be clueless, and he seems to be a good communicator.
I saw a Tankathon table on another site. Sad and funny.
I still love my team!
Here’s hoping they discover a rotation/player combination that clicks and gets them to respectability soon.
Darius Soriano says
I can understand being frustrated by the losses and that the team is, clearly, not very good. So, a certain amount of complaining is going to be natural. The type of hyperbolic complaining that happens can be over the top, all things considered, though.
As for the trade stuff, I’m not opening threads four games into the season for Sid or anyone else to speculate on trading Kobe Bryant. Not only is the idea without basis — random speculation from fans and/or media is not a legit report that teams are talking — but these conversations almost always devolve into a fan’s interpretation of what Team X or Team Y would or would not offer/would or would not accept. If that is how you want to spend your time, that’s fine it just won’t be here at this site. There are plenty of other places to throw those ideas around in the comments. Go to one of those and try it.
I’m going to withhold judgment on this team until A) we play a non-playoff team and, B) we get Nick Young and Ryan Kelly back
Craig W. says
Thank you P. Ami!
P. Ami says
Personally, I think the best thing to do is draw pleasure from the game and players, as it is. The fact that OUR players are some of the best players in the world, worthy of being paid to play the game we love, but not of the quality to win often in the best league in the world, it is what it is. So, I’m of the mind to enjoy whats left of Kobe, see how the young guys develop, and speculate on how the movable guys we have might be used as chips in a trade. I don’t think the trade speculation is terribly useful and Mitch Ninja will probably make moves much smarter than anything we can speculate on, so even that part of fan fiction is a pretty wasteful.
Things change. It is the way it is. Like that line with Marty talking to his father-in-law on True Detective, “You know, throughout history, I bet every old man probably said the same thing. And old men die, and the world keep spinning.” If you are of the mind that the game is about being emperor or slave, with no in between, than I have no doubt people are going to get awful bored with the repetitive complains about how our team isn’t currently constructed to win championships. If, on the other hand, you think life can be really great and you need to submit to the natural cycle in order to survive hardship and gain the strength to become emperor than you can use this period in the life-cycle of the Lakers organization to learn more about the game, understand how players can develop, see the narrative of struggle, and appreciate the greatness of your opponents, and find new Lakers to appreciate. Eddie Jones, Nick Van Excel, Vlade Divac, Ced Ceballos and the rest of the Lakeshow Lakers failed to win a championship. They were a fun bunch to watch. I know its hard to believe, but the NBA and basketball are not all about the Lakers.
The sweet isn’t as sweet without the sour. If you want to root for what’s best for the Lakers (our team) then do what I do… Root for losses. Not only Is it what’s best for the team but most of the time you will get the outcome you want.
I know I’m not the typical poster on this site but the Lakers “rebuild” period is not the end all to NBA basketball for me. I’m a basketball fan. I watch all the best players and teams play. I barley watched the Lakers last year and I won’t watch much of them this year (with Randle out). There are so many entertaining players to watch everyone… and some will be Lakers someday. It also gives you an edge in talent evaluation when it comes to the Lakers. It’s the reason I knew Nash was not going to perform well for us. I watched so much of him throughout his career and his last season with the Suns. It’s why I said Boozer was a tank job I urge everyone to be Basketball fans over Lakers fans… You will never have to struggle through bad times.
Philadelphia’s Tony Wroten is an intriguing player. He’s currently running the show for Philadelphia while Michael Carter Williams mends. Will he be content playing a backup after finally cracking a starting lineup in his third year in the league?
as Phil and then Kobe have been so fond of saying-
you better enjoy the process, because the process is what it’s about, not the end result, at least not in this point of the game.
i’m happy with people jumping off of the bandwagon. since i’m stuck with the team as a long time supporter, the last thing i need when they stink, is a bunch of hysterical front runners complaining that the team is making them look bad.
bryan S. says
Chiming in here with the critical mass of “enjoy the journey” posters:
The last two games were infinitely better games to watch than the first two because the Lakers competed through ball movement and effort. Just hoping Byron will cut Boozer’s minutes and figure out how to rest Kobe in the third so that he has something left. Pretty impressed with how the Lakers came out against GS on a back to back. Klay Thompson is moving to another level, and so far is looking like the best player on GS. Warriors look like a top 3 team early on.
KO: Feel your pain as a fellow multi-decade fan. Just remember that wine improves with age, and whining just leaves you with vinegar.
P. Ami says
If we’re lucky, it’ll get to where guys like The Dude Abides, Bill Bridges, Chow Noir and the dozen or so commentators return.
For those of you of more recent vintage, there was a time when the comments on this board were as good as the original post. They didn’t express their love of the Lakers by pounding their purple and gold chest but by making deep analysis of the game drawn from watching and rewatching tape. You are all very lucky that Kurt got Darius off the comment section and into running this blog. He has done excellent work and constantly reads comments even more myopic and hyperbolic than the ones he lets through. It’s November, so I’m getting my “Thinks I’m Thankful For” comment in mind.
Calvin Chang says
If Jeremy really wants to help this team, he has to develop a “short” game. The scouting report on Lin is: if he drives in, defend the layup or drop pass. The 12 to 15 ft jumper is open, but he still barrels in for a layup to get blocked by the big. If he has some separation from the opposing big, he has to pull up for a tear drop or 15 ft jumper. No excuse for him not to have those weapons. He will not succeed in the NBA without this.
The best PG’s in the game have this. Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Rondo, etc. Even George Hill developed this move. Allen Iverson was a master of the short game.
It’s not hard. Just practice driving in full speed, then pull up from short range (12 to 15 ft), get balanced and launch a soft shot. Repeat 100x every day going right. Then 100x going left.
From Michael Wallace’s Chat
Question: Looking at the Laker’s schedule, it seems entirely in the realm of possibility that they start the season 0-15. I believe in Kobe too much as a competitor to let this happen, but 2-13 or 3-12 isn’t much better. Could Kobe be traded this year?
Michael Wallace: Is trading Kobe probably the right thing to do for both the team and player at this stage? I say so. But the Lakers figured this very scenario could be a possibility when they signed Kobe to that near-$50 million extension last year. Even with the losses piling up, the Lakers remain relevant as long as the Black Mamba is in uniform. They’re still an attraction. But unfortunately, we’re watching the last few fights of Ali’s career play out on an NBA court with Kobe and these Lakers. It’s sad on many levels.
Joel: That last post was painful to read. Not faulting you for posting it, nor do I disagree with the content, but painful nonetheless.
Discussion: Each person has their own stuff they find interesting. For example I love to talk about Kobe in a very positive light. Others do not like this and constantly berate KB. On the contrary, I love to bash Jim, while others think this is disloyal. To each their own.
Further, I do not find that the level of conversation has declined over the past few years. Posters have dropped from the conversation as the Lakers have dropped in the standings. Anyone posting now for an extended period is obviously a loyal fan. What specifics they want to talk about is up to them. We can talk about rotations or schemes. however we could also talk about who made the roster and how it will be fixed. Neither conversation is more relevant than the other. No – the roster and situation are not changing over night, but likewise, the schemes and rotations etc are only going to take you so far.
Game Threads: The game threads have always been a place for cheering and venting. Myself – I mostly only cheer positive plays, or I do not participate at all. However, comments where people are venting do not disturb me, and often they are amusing. Again – to each their own.
Enjoy: I think everyone needs to find their own way of enjoying these Lakers and enjoy that aspect. If that is Kobe – fine; If that is bashing everyone on the roster – fine; If that is nitpicking Byron – fine. To each their own.
Robert, I love KB but I’m critical of him whenever he falls into those games where he forgets to pass, and takes contested double team fade-away shots early in the shot clock. I want to see 2012/13 Kobe where he averaged 6 assists a game. Kobe’s usage level has got to be HUGE his season thus far. He can’t have the ball for the majority of the game and have 1-2 assists. He needs to be averaging 6 assists a game. He can tell Lin to run the O as much as he likes, but if he basically controls the ball, he has to be a big time facilitator, not only their prime scorer.
I suppose I’m overly optimistic, I think there is enough mid-range talent on this team (especially when people are healthy) to be a feisty team that gets a fair share of surprise wins. I’m more than happy to root for them in a down year as the underdog team. I just want the underdog team to play in a way in which they will win 30+ rather than 15 games. I also want to see some sense of home-grown talent development with the crew they have now. I don’t like the idea of banking on endless cap room in the future or the luck of the draft lottery. We have lots of 1st round draft picks on this team and many of them end up being very average.
I also don’t like nearly the entire roster changing every year, they need to find like 8 guys even if they are basically good bench players and hang onto them to have something to build off of.
Calvin Chang says
Darius / other folks: What do you guys think of Hasheem Thabeet? I don’t know if this has been discussed before. But if the Lakers can sign him for minimum, I think he can help in certain situations. From what I’ve seen of Thabeet, he is slow with questionable BBall IQ. But he’s 7 ft 3. Can’t teach height.
I remember Mutombo also being slow. Roy Hibbert is also slow. But Hibbert and Mutombo are long, and they can protect the rim. I don’t see why Thabeet can’t be trained to be a rim protector on defense. I’m sure he can alter some shots just by being in the paint.
On offense, train him to set picks and roll to the basket. He’s a big target for Kobe and Lin to find. If he can give good production in 16 mins per game, I think it’s worth a shot.
Calvin: While you can not teach height I don’t believe that Thabeet brings anything different to the table than Sacre. They are both 3rd string centers. If Sacre got injured then you’d pick up Thabeet. Would I trade Sacre for Thabeet? I guess, but I wouldn’t expect him to move the needle more than Sacre.
Thabeet is now 27 and has played on teams that were in need of a strong defensive presence and he wasn’t able to secure minutes off the bench. Mutumbo had a great motor Thabeet – not so much.
I don’t think there is anyone that is currently unsigned that can help the Lakers.
Calvin Chang says
Thabeet is at least 3 inches taller than Sacre though. Sacre is not considered a rim protector, while Thabeet – just by being in the paint – can alter shots just by his sheer length.
If I were an opposing guard = if I drive past the perimeter defense and get in the lane, I would not think twice about attacking Sacre. But I would maybe change my shot a little bit with Thabeet because the reach is a few inches longer.
Sure, he didn’t make it with OKC because of poor motor. But can’t he be trained to play with a bit of energy for short spurts?
I remember watching a Grizzlies game last season vs the Rockets, where they had the tall stiff = Haddadi. Haddadi was playing because Marc Gasol was injured. Haddadi played with some energy and blocked some shots, got some rebounds and played big. I’m wondering if Thabeet can be trained to do the same thing.
On a positive note, I find it very unlikely that we start the season 0-15 (as was suggested above).
I am targeting our first win in game six against the Hornets. Not due to the fact that we are more talented than they are — because we are not. However, I think the 4 days off leading to the Hornets’ game will allow for much needed rest and for some X’s and O’s adjustments to be made. Besides, its a home game for the Lakers and the Hornets will have had to fly to LA from Charlotte (where they play on Friday night).
Agree: KB has averaged a touch under 5 dimes for his career. He is at 3.3 for this season and I expect that to go up some. but maybe not too much due to the supporting cast. He deserves some of the criticism at times, but this has been the same debate about Kobe since the start of his career, He is who he is and he is not changing. I certainly understand your point of view. I also understand your 15 wins vs 30 win comment. I always root for the Lakers (I am not a tank commander). That said – 30 wins is not going to get me excited in any case. A season like this is about the future, and for me it is about KB. Unfortunately a large part of our future is now out for the year, so that aspect is dampened a bit. Your comment about keeping a core is good, but that needs to be top down, not bottom up. Teams keep cores of stars together and build around them. They generally do not have cores of subs and rotate stars around them. This brings us back to roster, and how we got here, and how we will go forward : ) We do need to avoid a further deterioration of the Laker brand and mystique. We will always be the Lakers, but this is taking its toll. My dream year: Kobe averages 27 PPG, Lakers keep heads up high and avoid long losing streaks, and show competitiveness, and we get lucky in the lottery and get the top pick. If all that comes with 15 wins – so be it. Now if you ask me if I would exchange all of that for a Western Conference Championship – of course. Would I exchange it all for 15 more wins to get to 30? No way. However like I said – to each their own. We can “Agree” on some things and “Disagree” on others : )
@P.Ami: I’m sorry you misunderstood my post, I should’ve made it clear that it was meant to be sarcastic.
You never said “Patience is a virtue”, so the “screw that guy” was not directed at you.
Its a general saying that patience is a virtue, and unfortunately I don’t posses enough of that right now when it comes my favorite team continuing to be terrible (especially after already 3 such seasons).
My post was also an affirming response to Ko’s post, who said his patience will be gone by the time the rebuild happens, and he will be an angry old man..strike that, he already is.
I said you and me both, so essentially I admitted that I am an angry old guy without patience.
I would never attack anyone personally on an internet discussion board, nor do I want to post aimless complaints, or talk smak and be disrespectful in general, that is not my style or intent.
If you read some of my previous comments, you will see that I have expressed my appreciation for this blog (and the maturity and competency of the comments that people post).
So I am sorry that you felt offended by my post and I apologize for my poor choice of words, and my failed attempt at conveying sarcastic humor.
J C says
I agree with you.
The number of flops is still way too high.
Maybe I shouldn’t say this. But I actually think that the Lakers could beat Phoenix tomorrow night. It’s just a feeling.
I think I’m going to get skewered for saying this.
Just saw some kobe highlights from this season. He looks real good! What an inspiration. You gotta love his heart. I know we’re not supposed to bring up any trade speculation, but I would be happy for Kobe if he wanted to go to a contender.
The Lakers should sign Michael Beasley if he can get out of his contract in China. The Lakers need the scoring. They can play great defense in spurts, but need to put more pressure on the opponent’s defense. I think he’s worth a shot.