The Lakers are at the beginning of a nice — and needed — break. They opened the season playing five games in seven nights (including four in the season’s first five nights) and have gone winless in the process. They do not play again until Sunday and can use this time off to rest their bodies and their minds, get a bit healthy, and fine tune what they are doing on both ends of the floor to try and get better results on the floor.
Though the team still hasn’t won, they are getting closer. The most recent game against the Suns was fairly close throughout and if not for some missed FT’s (fixable) and some defensive lapses (not as much) the team could have stolen that game. It’s these little mistakes that need correcting, especially for a team with absolutely no margin for error. They simply cannot afford to miss a dozen FT’s or be careless with the ball or not box out or any other number of small things and win game.
So, it’s simply on this group to start to get these little things right more often. Now, on to other thoughts…
*Though the Lakers are winless (and maybe because they are), Kobe truly is playing quite hard. In the Suns game he jumped over the first row of fans sitting courtside while logging 44 minutes on the night. Baxter Holmes of ESPN LA discussed this relentlessness.
*Sticking with this topic, an interesting twist to these media-generated Kobe talking points is how they can be interpreted by his teammates. This is a variable some might not often think of when playing with Kobe.
*Kobe says he heard the rumblings that he/the team should explore trade options. He pretty much squashed that idea in this column by Marc Spears.
*Detailing the Lakers mismatched roster. This is a topic I also explored some when I previewed this season.
*If the Lakers do not win their next game on Sunday, their difficult schedule could see them go without a win through Thanksgiving. Welp.
*Just because I like watching it:
*While the finish got all the pub, the set up got me just as excited. This is a move that Kobe has made so often and one that is one of his trademarked attacks that I will remember for ever. When he makes the catch, he turns and faces and then sets up the triple threat. With his back foot anchored, he swings the ball through to his right hand and then simultaneously puts his down his dribble while stepping through with his pivot foot. This allows him to avoid the traveling call and get even — and the by — his defender. Once he has that step, it’s curtains. There’s an old saying in basketball that “baseline is death”, but Kobe has made a career out of navigating that sliver of real estate and making his defender pay time after time. And he’s still doing it in year 19.
*When a team is bad, it is natural to look ahead to the future for hope of improvement rather than focusing on the present and getting more depressed. In saying that, expect there to be a lot of articles/columns/blog posts about what the Lakers may do next summer to improve the team. For example, an article saying they may go hard after Rajon Rondo. Expect more just like this one over the course of this year.
-Lots of hope in Laker land that their best chance of an early season win will come vs Charlotte, thus avoiding an 0-6 (ouch) start. We still remain nervous because although they are not playing very well, they have won 2 of 5 as of this posting.
-Without question, this is the best Laker site on the planet. Love reading the post and comments from fellow Laker fans…because we all want the same thing, for the Lakers to become relevant again in the NBA on the court. Even thought so many of us have so many different ways of accomplishing that feat.
-More and more media conversations popping up about possible Laker personnel moves. Only way to put them on the back burner is with “W’s”…so I think they’re going to continue.
-Anyone else notice how well some former Lakers and their teams are performing around the league?
-5 down, 77 more to go.
Big national TV NBA game tonight between natural rivals; champion Spurs (2-1) vs undefeated Rockets (5-0) in Houston. Should be a great game, especially for serious NBA fans. Only early game on in the nation. So my fellow Laker fans, any rooting interest? If so who? Why? Or are you boycotting the NBA tonight, lol?
Media stated that Spurs are “resting Duncan and Ginobili”. I hate the rockets and can’t stand watching Dwight Howard in particular. I also don’t like watching Harden euro-step into people and get tick tack calls that he initiates! Some of their games end up just boring watching those two guys shoot a million free throws.
At this point it takes nearly all of my energy just to get motivated to watch Laker’s games 🙂 But the two games they were close showed they can do some damage even short-handed. I’m definitely going to watch the next 3 lakers games, because they are going on a 3 game winning streak baby!!! Enjoy it, because after that there will be a bunch of losses again.
Bcs, spurs sitting Duncan and ginobili on 2nd nite of b2b. Another middle finger from pop to the league!!
Bill Simmons was the first one to say publically LBJ isn’t the same athlete this year. I wonder who the first person will be to publicallto tell eveeyone why?
Darius: Must commend you on the interesting posts and keeping things entertaining in a difficult year. Thanks
BigCity: “Anyone else notice how well some former Lakers and their teams are performing around the league? ” What are you implying? Perhaps DH at 17 and 11 and 61% shooting.? Or Pau at 19 and 11? Some thought we did not need those guys. What did we get for them again? : ) Better start rooting against the Spurs now as hey are favored for another title. Even though “they play the right way”.
T Rogers: Speaking of the hated Spurs. Nice post last thread. You forgot to add Jerry West to your list Jerry West, Phil, and Pat Riley and we end up with none of them. So you are correct that the Spurs have the great leadership. Imagine this 3 on 3 battle of the minds. Holt/Buford/Pop against Jim/Mitch/Byron. I don’t even want to think about it. And keep in mind – I like Mitch and Byron. The Spurs have one strong owner – not some consortium of power. Further when reviewing the spurs GM decisions, Peter Holt is not named anywhere. As it should be.
T. Rogers says
When the Suns and Spurs played last week I noticed the crowd in Phoenix was pretty thin. I wasn’t expecting a sell out. But it was noticeable in this particular game. I wouldn’t be surprised if road crowds start intentionally avoiding Spurs games. What’s the point of showing up if you can’t see the team’s best and most well known players?
the dane says
I think Rockets might win, Spurs are not rolling yet.
I agree 5 down and 77 to go, don’t be upset just play hard and reach 50 wins before playoff… go go Lakers
@ Robert, don’t forget 29 year old Trevor Ariza, 17.6 ppg, 60% from 3 pt land (21 of 35) & a PER of 23.6.
T. Rogers says
I did forget the logo. West working with the Warriors just icing on the proverbial cake.
it’s just my opinion, but West with the Warriors is the ONLY guy that i miss from the ex-Lakers not still with the organization. but then, i remember why he left. it was because of Phil Jackson. he and PJ didn’t work well together and Jerry Buss was backing Phil at the time(probably correctly). there is no need to find someone to blame.
FO: I am not as convinced as some other people are that Jim Buss is the main problem, but I haven’t seen much evidence since the Veto that he is part of the solution, either. Certainly the situation the Lakers face now is not all Jim Buss’ fault, but it comes back to the same thing: his big decisions have not been working, and the team is really bad. The most recent big moves–Kobe’s contract, hiring Scott, and drafting Randle–are all very early in their respective clocks, but none of them looks good right now.
So, basically, people can talk about process as much as they want to, and point out the foibles of departed Lakers Legends as often as they like, but it still comes back to the facts that:
a) The Lakers have one of the worst teams in basketball at present and have little going for them, other than cap space and the brand/market, looking ahead.
b) Jim Buss is the highest-ranking basketball official in the organization.
One way to look at it is this: if Jim had decided back in 2011 that he didn’t want to run basketball ops after all, the Lakers had brought in some guy from another organization and given him the same title and the team was as bad as it is now, would that guy be taking some serious heat? I think it is pretty clear that the answer is yes.
The post at 2:37 PM is obviously not me. I have not used the 50 win level in conjunction with this team for over 2 years. And that was a momentary lapse of reason after we signed DH.
Aaron: You were wrong about there being no double teams on Kobe. Teams are doing it all the time and it is the correct move on their part. He is defying age, injury, and all other things that apply to average mortals.
mud: So it is OK to not like or miss most of our legends, but it is sacrilege to criticize the FO? Just trying to get the parameters straight here : )
Parrothead Phil says
I’d rather the Lakers were playing their next game against the Cavs than the Hornets. The Lakers would have a better chance at getting that elusive first W. The Hornets are 2x as good as the Cavs. 🙂
Maybe I need to watch the Lakers more but I’m not seeig double teams. That’s why I am seeing 37 shots a game.
bryan S. says
Aaron: Not seeing the doubles either. Because Kobe isn’t being doubled, I think it emboldens him to attack. Sadly though, his ability to get separation, either by driving or going vertical is greatly diminished now, making him terribly inefficient.
Darius can sure dig down & keep it real, thanks as always D.
& i just want to give Mid-W´s post on the last thread a shout-out; a tale of two teams, nice one. Though i hope we´ll get more w´s of course!
Double or triple teams (if they were actually happening) wouldn’t stop kb from jacking up shots. Heck at least 3x on a fast break he didnt pass to an open teammate. Must really want the scoring record!!
Warren Wee Lim says
Byron Scott, no threes.
Let’s go down the list of bumbles with this front office:
1) Hired Mike Brown instead of Brian Shaw.
2) Tried to dump the salaries of BOTH Gasol and Odom in the Chris Paul trade (This pissed the owners off to no end and is the real reason the trade got nixed)
3) Tried to run the Princeton offense even though the team had a classic pick and roll threat of Nash and Howard. (Remember Nash got injured while playing in the Princeton)
4) Hired MDA instead off Phil after firing Mike Brown.
5) Played Kobe extensive minutes at point guard resulting in an Achilles’ injury at the end of the season.
6) Could not articulate a clear vision to Kobe and his agent as to why he should take less money so that the team could build a winner at the end of Kobe’s tenure.
7) Couldn’t articulate a clear vision to Melo as to how they could restructure the team in the post MDA era to maximize Melo’s talents and strengths.
There is no room for logic on here.
As for Kobe.
You have to be really good to play 45 minutes, shoot 37 times yet have ONE assist. I thought Scott was stronger then that. To many minutes, to many shots and zero team play. Shame on you BS
Rockets 5-0. Lakers 0-5. Who’s laughing?
Philadelphia’s Tony Wroten, is putting up some noteworthy stats.
Chris J says
The most recent big moves–Kobe’s contract, hiring Scott, and drafting Randle–are all very early in their respective clocks, but none of them looks good right now.
Definitely agree on Kobe’s contract. I was not a fan of the Scott hiring, but in fairness I was not overly wowed by the other names that were mentioned as candidates this off-season, either. Blatt was the one intriguing name, to me, but the Lakers likely wouldn’t have been the best (or even a good) landing spot for him with this roster; had he joined the Lakers, I could easily project him failing in L.A. much like D’Antoni in Denver after he came back to the states following his success in Italy. The talent isn’t there.
Drafting Randle was, to me, the right move. The pick looks bad now solely because he’s hurt and out for the year, but no one could have foreseen that.
To me, the biggest gripe I have with Lakers management since last season ended isn’t a move they made, but the one they did not make. To enter the season with no semblance of a plan, nor the players, to help protect the paint was a recipe for disaster. I don’t know who else was/will be available to address that void, but something has to be done or we may as well start speculating on high draftees for next June.
Drafting Randle was, to me, the right move. The pick looks bad now solely because he’s hurt and out for the year, but no one could have foreseen that.
That is probably true (I posted something here that a guy who said he is an actual doctor posted at another site, which fully backed the Lakers on the issue) but there was some low-level negative buzz about Randle’s foot going in.
But when I talk about the decisions under Jim Buss, I am not saying “Jim Buss is stupid” or even “Jim Buss is a bad executive.” What I am saying is that Jim Buss needs to start making some big moves that actually work and move the team forward, because even if he is in fact a smart guy, the big stuff that the FO has been doing under him has not been working out.
I said several times over the summer that the Lakers really needed to nail this draft pick. if Julius Randle’s career runs aground because he can’t stay on the floor (and maybe it won’t–Blake Griffin had a bad injury as a rookie, too) then that is another failed move by the Jim Buss FO, even if it really wasn’t Jim’s fault.
In my opinion, no matter how many days of rest available for the Lakers, they will not win with players who have bad habits in defense and offense. Boozer and Johnson are not good enough to be part of the starting line up. I prefer Davis/Kelly or Davis/Clarkson in place of those two. Lakers are not in sync with their starting line up, Lin and Kobe are in competition in holding the ball and in committing TO’s, they don’t jibe as 1 & 2. I think Price is a better facilitator than Lin.
Lakers will win games once they acknowledge the importance of court management i.e. taking care of every ball possession as if it’s always the last shot; helping in D and R with efficiency to outwit the opponent.( I found it very inefficient when Lin made a good lay up shot against the Suns while the rest of the team let Thomas answered back on the other court without any transition defense.) If those bad habits happen in every game, Lakers will lose in today’s NBA.
Therefore, a lineup that’s too awkward as Boozer, too wild as Lin and too lazy as Johnson in helped defense will not achieve the chemistry they are aiming at, while Kobe kept on chuckling shots in order to be in the ball game. When they lose control of the game, they turn to individualistic to each his own style.
the other Stephen says
Wroten’s channeling some Rod Strickland. Not reputed to be a great outside shooter, but keeps finding ways to bully and slash his way to the hoop anyway. Exciting to watch.
the Dane says
Lebron looks more like Paul Pierce than the younng Vince Carter now. I wonder what is going on? Is he just not completely fit (looks ripped), did he beef up or did he have some injury problem we don’t know of?
He is bumping and grinding, not tearing through the air like old.
Renato Afonso says
Everything’s a mess. What amazes me is that we cannot define the most glaring weakness of this team (apart from lack of overall talent). What can be fixed first? Defense? Offensive system? Should we just blow everything up and trade for picks and do what roughly 10 other teams are doing? This is as bad as it gets.
Regarding Randle, it’s just a freak thing otherwise you’ll have to think that he has the bone density of an 80 year old man. I still think it was the best player available at the time, even if Elfrid Payton was intriguing as well.
Oh, and maybe Kobe is really gunning for the points record. I don’t know if I wouldn’t do the same in his place…
I just read magic johnson’s tweets. He finally surfaced after trashing mda constantly. He really said this “the lakers are exciting to watch”
-It’s amazing how effective Dwight can be playing on the same team as a high volume shooting 2 guard…who knew?
-While many will overlook the Rockets wacking of the Spurs because Duncan & Ginobili didn’t play, the Rockets also were w/o two starters in Patrick Beverly & Terrance Jones
the Dane says
Spurs are like in preseason still. They are just getting people back from injury and are keeping people out on back-2-backs etc. They looked like a mess against Hawks, so winning from them is not a statement atm. But that said, Dwight looks a lot more like his old young self than the version that looked so old on the Lakers.
J C says
It will be interesting to see if Kobe changes his mindset at all after last game’s 37 shots/1 assist outing.
Even HE must be hearing people’s astonishment at those numbers.
Just doesn’t seem like the game I love when he ignores one of the most beautiful elements of basketball – the pass.
0-5. The Laker train wreck continues.
So Kobe’s recent public comments suggest he knows he needs to move off the ball a lot more and they have to quit initiating the offense through him so much. Kobe seems to be publicly supporting and calling out Lin to step up to the plate more than anyone. He must see Lin’s talent and believe its more of a mental thing with Lin at this point than a skill/talent issue. Although Kobe did say Boozer should initiate the offense more also, which certainly makes me a bit ill. It seems pretty obvious to pretty much everyone that Boozer needs to ride the pine a lot more–period.
Please challenge Lin to jack up 5-6 threes a game if he can make around his career avg that would be a boon at this point. I think it has to be the Lin/Kobe show for the offense to work. It’s no surprise that the 2 games Lin scored the most the team came close to winning. At this point he needs to be the 2nd option and if he quit over-passing he would get less turnovers. Hill isn’t a 2nd option guy, but I give him credit he has been knocking down shots thus far. Whatever happened to the Davis/Lin PnR’s?? That was money in the pre-season and is barely a play anymore. They need to align playing time with those two guys. Regardless if this team is going to prevent record breaking loss streaks they need Lin & Kobe to play well, the rest of the guys just need to fill their roles. Young being out is just huge for this team, he can help provide the much needed spacing this team needs.
Renato: “Should we just blow everything up and trade for picks and do what roughly 10 other teams are doing? This is as bad as it gets. ” Well – perhaps not quite as bad as it gets (wait awhile), but pretty bad. The time to have blown everything up was last year or the year before. Instead of trading people we let them all walk (DH, PG, Kaman, Farmar). Inexcusable. There was no plan. As far as Kobe. What else is there besides him going for the record. Well we could nitpick Byron and Kobe the whole year (option b for some fans).
Dwight: Not to be self serving here but : ) I wore this board out stating how important it was to get DH and then retain him. So what – obvious right? Well go back and look at the archives – it was not so obvious. Half the board said good riddance when he left.
Coaches/FO: Do the critics really think that someone else can win with this team? I did not even make that claim with MD last year. What is curious to me is that some actually believe the following: Mike Brown is an idiot, MD is a genius, Byron is an idiot. And the guy who chose all 3 of them has nothing to do with any of it and he needs another decade or so to prove himself. Go figure.
Renato Afonso says
I agree with you. We could’ve/should’ve got something in return for those guys we eventually lost in free agency. I mean, it was not surprise that Dwight was going to leave as well as Kaman and Gasol… This will be a very long season.
the other Stephen – Think how the Lakers could perform with a young, gutsy Rod Strickland type genus, exciting indeed.
–Robert, the Lakers needed at least one of those big’s for the team. That was a ridiculous move and poor calculation.
–Renato Afonso- In recent years, the Lakers modus operandi is to hire coach’s too late to be involved with input on the roster to compliment the coach’s method of play. The Lakers are in disarray that is why they held onto the only constant in their organization…Kobe Bryant. Forget draft picks, or player acquisitions to advance the Lakers win tally. Consistent, stable success will not transpire until this organization defines their structure. Are they offensive proponents, defensive stalwarts, running advocates, supporters of half-court offense, or a combination of all of the above? One never knows until the effects are actualized, so it’s possible Mitch and Jim are in mid-stream with their schema. Here’s to hoping the latter is true.
It took Howard two years to recuperate from his injury and gain confidence in his body. Fear debilitates a player’s pomposity to recover mentally and physically from his Achilles tear it took Kobe two years to revert to form. The older the player when injured the longer the recovery that is why most players retire prior to reaching that level.
Should we just blow everything up and trade for picks and do what roughly 10 other teams are doing?
There isn’t anything to blow up. Basically, Buss and Kupchak need to run the Lakers like what they are: a bad team at the bottom of the league. Some of the recent moves–Kobe’s deal, adding Boozer, giving Nick Young four years–IMO reflect a lack of acceptance of what the team is now. But a few more losses will drive the point home, I think.
That doesn’t mean tanking or throwing games, but it does mean:
letting Kelly, Clarkson, Davis, Sacre, and Henry play more
having Boozer, Price, Hill, Johnson, and yes, Kobe–play less (I would actually just release Boozer)
looking to move Lin and Hill at the deadline or before
As to Howard, Robert is right of course, and I have posted, two or three times, the record of what happened to teams that lost or traded a premiere big man in his prime. The evidence was clear then, it is clear now, and the post-Howard Lakers are just another data point.
As to Sid’s backhanded shot at Kobe, via Harden, two points:
1. Winning cures pretty much everything, at least temporarily. Shaq and Kobe tolerated one another until the team declined a bit. If the 2013 Lakers had actually been good, Howard might have considered staying here.
2. So, if there is tension between Howard and Harden about shots and defensive effort–and there probably will be–it will rise up again when the team hits a dead spot in the regular season and/or when they lose a playoff series. Everybody gets along on an unbeaten team.
Lakers haven’t had a proper training camp in at least 4 years due to injury and turmoil. Bryant, Young, Henry, Kelly, Lin are all coming off of injury/rehab so in a way, this is still their preseason. Randle’s out who is someone I believe they expected to be a decent contributor by midseason.
The talent evaluation still stands as odd as well as their belief in their position in the league is delusional. There’s no talent and no big free agent is coming to get on a garbage team where 1-year rentals are getting large rotation minutes. I don’t know how the injury exceptions work but 2 teams have asked for and received theirs. The Lakers haven’t thus far addressed Nash nor Randle’s season-long absence. But given precedent, certainly they would fill those slots with Kapono-types instead of taking a shot on developing young players.
If they aren’t going to eat Boozer’s 3 million then let him make that money on the bench. I’m curious to see if Lin and Bryant’s game will mesh at some point and what Henry can do after he gets in condition and gets his timing back.
I’m not exactly happy with the F.O. I believe they squandered an off season trying to get a star when looking at their roster they clearly needed to restock their young talent. The only move in this direction was picking up Lin and a draft pick. A lot more of these type of deals should have happened but didn’t due to the holding pattern for Anthony.
Gasol got ragged on for years about his defense. Look at the team now without him. For years Gasol should have been this team’s unquestioned Center. Instead the team spent years cultivating Bynum and then gambled on at trade for Howard. Between Howard and Bynum I believe the F.O. actually got this right despite it not working out. But if we instead had stayed with Gasol then the team could filled needs other then Center which was already being filled out well by Gasol. We kept Hill for 10 million, whom I believe is a marvelous uptempo small ball Center. Anyone else see a problem with that statement with Scott’s offense?
The problem is Howard isn’t the premier player you think he is. Premier players have PERs above 24. Dwight hasn’t had that since his back surgery. He has been between 20-22 (borderline all star) since the injury. I see him in thag range again this year.
That’s why even with Harden (someone the Lakers don’t have) the Rockets will be on a first/second round treadmill for the next four years. They don’t have a championship push in their future. Bringing back Dwight would not have been the right move for the Lakers if they want to win a championship as soon as possible. Being bad and getting enough picks to attract premier players is the Lakers strategy and it’s the right one.
Lakers vacilited during off season by delaying the choosing of new coach and stalled on their 7th pick. Why wait when you need lots of preps! Missed the boat on Kaman, Bazemore & Meeks re-signing. Got stuck on Melo & Lebron just like holding on D12 for too long. Missed the boat on Thomas, Bledsoe, Ariza, Stephenson and Beasley. IMO, the best acquisitions were Davis, Price and Ellington based on their contracts and potentials, also on Clarkson. That could have been the true rebuilt. Lin and Boozer are overpriced and overrated. I am still waiting on what they can get on Nash?
Committing the same blunder every year after the departure of PJ has led to the demise of glamour of this franchise. As a team, we are the laughing stock of the league and in denial! Running out of excuses in blaming Kobe, Scott, why not lay the blame on the architects of the vacillating Lakers management A) to spend or not to spend; B) to intervene by Buss Children or to leave it to Mitch K.; C) To buy marquee players outright or settle on mediocre ones to get into lottery picks. Ask Chaz.
Aaron: If the FO was doing this by design, they did a bad job of it. We could have done a sign and trade for DH before he walked. We could have traded Pau and Kaman at the beginning of last year. We could have gotten something for Farmar. We could have even dumped Hill for that matter. If we had done that at the beginning of last year, we would have had much better odds in the lottery and we could have had one of the top couple of picks. We did not. It was not MD just winning those last 2 games. I blamed some stuff on MD but this is not an area where he is to blame. I do not disagree that we have no choice but to perform a multi year tank now (you and I have discussed this many times). Where we disagree is that the FO got here by design. We have wasted 3 years getting to a point that anybody could have created in less than 1, if they really wanted to get to this crazy spot where we are.
The problem is Howard isn’t the premier player you think he is.
That’s debatable, but even if you’re right, it doesn’t change the basic point. One of the many holes in your argument about what the FO is doing is that it is all based on presumptions and spec: Randle will be awesome, they will get another awesome guy in 2015, and then FAs will flock here–but I notice that you and the other people pushing this never say who the FAs are. For example, there is already low-level buzz that Durant is telling people that it will either be OKC or DC. But even if it’s not, he might prefer either Miami or New York to the Lakers–and those teams will also have cap space. You are presuming that
a) The Lakers have nailed the Randle pick and will also nail the next one.
b) A group of unnamed FAs will then get together and see the Lakers and the LA market exactly the way that you do when 2016 and 2017 roll around and sign contracts here.
You have already sold a narrative like this once, and you were dead wrong, even though I was really hoping that you were right, and I hope you are right this time. But there is not, at this point, any particular reason to think that you are right about it.
It’s really not debatable. Te eye test and the advanced numbers say Dwight is no longer a prime time player.
But your other points are 100 percent correct. Nothing is gaurunteed. The team would need to lure guys like Durant, Anthony Davis, Westbrook, and LBJ (if he gets back on his vitamins). The draft picks don’t have to be awesome players They do have to be great role players to attract those superstars in 2016/2017.
To think that if the Lakers capitalize on their draft picks but wouldn’t be able to seduce three star max free agents over other cities is somewhat silly. As long as everythkng is equal LA will win out. But if LA has had the best cost controlled young talent in the league? It’s a no brainer.
Again… Its not about if this plan is one hundred percent perfect… Its if its better than any other plan. And I agree with the FO… This plan gives the team its best shot at winning championships as soon as possible.
But to stay on point… Is it your thinking the lakers fastest route to another ring was re signing Dwight Howard?
… Also the Lakers were right to try and sign LBJ and Melo. It didn’t happen. Although it would have ended up being a mistake. Who would have thought LBJ would look like this at 30 years old?
The Lakers FO knows it’s better to sign nobody then guys like Lance Stephensen and Isiah Thomas. The key is to get the premier player(s). The Lakers FO and myself have the same vision as to what the best route is to a prime time player and a championship. But you obviously know your stuff… So I would like to hear your philosphy on building this Lakers team into a perennial championship contender. What do you think is the best route? It obviously differs from mine and the lakers management.
bryan S. says
…it’s better to sign nobody then guys like Lance Stephensen and Isiah Thomas
Totally agree with your premise about the Lakers chasing big fish while adding affordable assets via the draft–but–with the new television pact, signing a young, not even in his prime, 2-way player for the very reasonable deal that Charlotte landed Lance for would have been a great deal for the Lakers. They would have still had two max slots to offer while adding talent that could help draw free agents, or if nothing else, provided a valuable trade chip. Point is, the FO needs to be flexible and willing to take calculated risks in order to rebuild a barren roster that can’t be restocked quickly enough solely through the draft, if the goal is big fish in the next couple of years.
Chris J says
What I am saying is that Jim Buss needs to start making some big moves that actually work and move the team forward, because even if he is in fact a smart guy, the big stuff that the FO has been doing under him has not been working out.
Totally agree. Some was bad luck, some dumb moves, plus a nice touch of Stern interference all add up to zero wins and counting.
some people just want someone to blame.
I wholeheartedly agree with rr on Randle –
`we have no choice but to perform a multi year tank now´
it seems, from what i´ve read here, both in the various articles and commenters´ posts, & what we´ve all seen on the hardwood so far, that we´re pretty much stuck with our current fate, but friend, I sure as heck hope, against all odds, that it´s over sooner rather than later, i.e. no multi-year tank!! keep on rocking dude
I think that big-time FAs mostly want to join a team that has a winning infrastructure in place and that can:
a) Contend immediately
b) Have a 3-4 year window of contention
James thought he saw that with Irving and Love in Cleveland. Howard thought he saw that Harden and some other guys in Houston. Paul thought he saw that with Griffin and some other guys with the the Clippers, so he stayed. Same with Durant in OKC, and I think Durant’s next stop, be it OKC, DC, or elsewhere, will be a team which he thinks will contend immediately and can stay in the mix for 3-4 years.
So, when it comes to Dwight Howard, maybe he isn’t a Top 5 guy anymore. But he is still an All-Star two-way big man in his late 20s, a guy who can be a key piece on a contending team, at a position at which talent is at a premium. So, yes, in terms of quick contention through signing FAs, I think that Dwight Howard is a better draw to a prime FA than, “Look, check out Julius Randle and our other cost-controlled 20-year-old!” Like I said, I think these FA guys want to contend IMMEDIATELY. Also, the Lakers didn’t get Wiggins or Parker or Embiid, and I don’t think the general perception of Randle is the same as that of a subset of Lakers fans who have been pushing him as a future star.
People, whether they like the Lakers, hate them, or don’t care about them, always seem to forget that Shaq did not join a hopeless team here BITD. The last pre-Shaq team went 53-29. Jerry West traded depth and Divac away to get Kobe and to clear space and money for Shaq, but the Lakers had some decent players left for the lineup, they had Kobe’s potential, and West was generally seen as the game’s top executive then. I do not think that Jim Buss and even Mitch Kupchak have that same cache.
As to the idea that LA/Lakers brand will always win out, sorry, but I don’t see it. This isn’t 1968 when they got Wilt, or 1996 when they got Shaq. Kareem wanted to be in either LA or NY back in 1974 since he already had ties to both cities. It is a different time, with different guys, a different league, a different CBA, and a different cultural backdrop.
Finally, as to the Stephenson/Thomas point…depends on the guy, the market, the contract. I will say this: I would take Stephenson at 3/27 with a team option for Year 3.
If you have Lance on your roster you lose your pick this year. He isn’t gold enough to warrant giving up your top five pick. Is anyone available next year via trade or free agency that would make us want to give up our chance at a top 3 pick? That remains to be seen. The multi year tank I spoke about last year is stil our best option.
Mean while Stevie is using his $9 million to hit 200 balls at the local driving range.
Surprised he hasen’t applied for disability.
Nice one Steve Dine and Dash
Warren Wee Lim says
Sometimes no Laker games make me happy coz I won’t have to see this no offense no defense team. #deathmarch
Man we are only up to game 5 and people are already turning comments into just public whining.
Warren, Actually the Laker’s have an offense that is a big time work in progress. But despite shooting amazingly low amounts of 3’s and having Kobe shoot 30% of all the shots at a fairly low percentage–its still ranked 17th in the league. The offense likely will get better over time as they get players back on the court and healthy. There is hope that Lin/kobe will work together better and at times the team’s offense has started to look pretty good. If just one player started to light it up a bit from 3pt land, it will instantly start creating spacing. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait for Young to be back before we start shooting more 3’s.
I agree the defense is close to utter crap, but likely will get at least slightly better. If you hate the current team/coach that much, then you can just wait until next decade when they might be contending for the title again. Most teams fans have to deal with teams that have no realistic chance of winning championships, but apparently some Laker’s fans have a sense of entitlement. If titles are all that matter to some folks, then pick a new favorite team–Laker’s aren’t going to be winning any time soon. But I think it will be fun to watch them attempt to overachieve and some nights beat teams that clearly have more talent then they do.
Baylor Fan says
Aaron – wrong sport, this is not baseball. Teams do not lose a pick for signing a free agent.
The Lakers FO still has not shown what they are trying to do with this team. Is it a “defensive” team like Memphis that just not happens to have any defenders or a team that relies on precise offensive execution? The barrage of long 2’s gives opponents too many easy rebounds and fast break opportunities and chances against an unsettled defense. Look how well OKC is playing without Durant and Westbrook. Is there any doubt that once one of them comes back OKC will start winning? The Lakers do have their star player playing at a high level and are still not competitive.
@agree – the only thing I would take issue w in your statement is the “attempt to overachieve” part – if only for the fact that B’Scotts system and Kobe’s ball dominance virtually make that impossible to happen. This isn’t an endorsement of MDA but at least last year because of the passing, flow, and lack of restriction on who could shoot/where/when – it gave a chance for other players to get hot/suck the other team into playing faster/looser, and just generally muddied the game up. Now because Scott wants to grind it out, teams have more of a chance to get back and set their defences/pack the paint – and because Kobe is still ball dominant Kobe – its easy for teams to now say just let him get his 30-35 pts a night – we’ll shut down everyone else and it’ll be an easy night off. Even when GS teams were bad – at least they were fun to watch and you knew there was a chance of something cool happening. Just not seeing it so far here and this team is in for a lot of boring/losing games despite what Magic might tweet.
Aarons point is that if Lakers signed lance, he would help them just enough that they wouldn’t end up with a bottom 5 team, thereby losing their pick to PHX. I like this strategy of bottoming out. Just need to bench/ release boozer & price. Let the young kids play.. I.e Davis, Clarkson. Hopefully Lakers win the lotto and are able to draft jahlil okafor. Him, Randle, the player with Houston ‘s #1, and Clarkson would be nice building blocks to attract free agents in 2016. The tank is on!!
That defeats the entire point of getting Boozer. Carlos is on the team to lose as many games as possible. He needs to play as much as possible. Guys like Kobe, Boozer, and Lin are invaluable when trying to lose games. They play zero defense. Keep in mind our ideal lineup included Nash and Lin as the two PGs. Setting up the worst defensive PG unit of all time. But unfortunately Nash couldn’t play again this season. I still think we will finish with more losses than the Sixers… So no harm done.
Jerke: While others are still fighting the long lost battle of MD, I think your comments are very reasonable. Here is my take from the “other side”. The Lakers have a horrible roster, as they did last year. Therefore the deck is/was stacked against the coach. Byron is only 5 games in, but there are some question marks with regard to KB minutes, KB usage, and offensive strategy (3’s). However let’s not forget last year that we had question marks about the pace the Lakers played at and the terrible usage of big men (Kaman and especially Pau who is now playing well with Chicago a year older). However – I can’t get worked up about the coaching either this year or last. We were/are going to be horrible either way, and I will let the tank commanders talk about why it is better to be really bad, rather than just bad. My major beef with MD came two years ago (the DH year). We had a reasonable roster then (even with the injuries – light years ahead of where we are now), and we floundered. Then MD played a role (as did Jim as did Kobe) in the departure of DH. Byron deserves criticism in some areas for sure, but our upside potential is very limited. Coaching can be important differentiator between a team that is a border line contender and a team that is a real contender or a champion. It could also be the difference between a playoff bubble team making the playoffs. However, when you are battling between finishing 14th, 15th or 16th – really – it is hard to focus on coaching – I think the issues lie elsewhere. Scott and the FO are going to be put to the test in terms of keeping things positive and protecting the Laker brand in spite of mounting losses. Unless things turn soon however, I do not think Scott will be able to last very long (never thought he would). I would already bet against the option year, and would also bet against year 3, unless the Lakers invite KB back beyond his extension, Otherwise I see Byron co-exiting with KB if I had to guess at this very early point.
Aaron, I still haven’t seen Lin play poor defense. I know the rating and all that. I just haven’t seen it. The P&R defense is bad, but that isn’t a one-man job. Ok, maybe I saw him lose his guy on the perimeter ONCE, but to group him with Boozer is just mean, lol.
That defeats the entire point of getting Boozer. Carlos is on the team to lose as many games as possible. He needs to play as much as possible.
This is one of the issues I have with the stealth-tank thing. If the Lakers hit 0-10 or so, I think Boozer will get benched and/or released. The FO could have found a younger guy as bad as Boozer is, or very nearly as bad as Boozer is, in the free-talent pool, paid him less, lost more or less as often, and it would have been much less conspicuous. The problem with using Carlos Boozer to stealth-tank is that people actually pay attention to him.
Can the Lakers release Boozer? He has an oddball contract in that they claimed him off waivers. For instance the Lakers cannot trade him. He is currently mostly being paid by the Bulls. If the Lakers waive him I’m not sure what the implications of that would be. With Randle being injured likely for the year I don’t really see the point in waiving him either.