Records: Lakers 11-42, Last in the West; Pacers 27-24, 7th in the East
Offensive ratings: Lakers 97.4, 29th in NBA; Pacers 102.4, 19th in the NBA
Defensive ratings: Lakers 108.3, Last in the NBA; Pacers 99.6, 4th in the NBA
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Clarkson, Williams, Kobe, Randle, Hibbert
Pacers: George Hill, Monta, Paul George, Myles Turner, Ian Mahinmi
The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers are playing well. After winning two straight games, they played the Spurs very well and were in the game until the very end. Yes, those Spurs were missing Manu and Timmy, but that same team spanked the Mavs just a couple days before the Lakers played them tight. To stay in that game, on the road, was a marked improvement from what we could expect from previous weeks.
The good play is mostly centered around Kobe who has found ways to get hot in all three of the team’s recent games, keeping the Lakers close by bombing shots from behind the arc and showing just enough craft to get off mid-range jumpers that have been a staple of his arsenal his entire career. The young players have joined Kobe in playing well too, mostly finding their respective strides offensively while leveraging their youth and athleticism to do just enough defensively to not allow games to get out of hand.
All in all, this may be the best stretch of basketball the Lakers have played all year. No, that might not be saying much, but it still needs to be said. I don’t think the Lakers are going to be running off a string of wins anytime soon, but if you are someone looking for progress the last few games are probably exactly what you have been wanting to see.
The Pacers Coming in: It is hard for me to suss out whether the Pacers should be better than their record. At 3 games over .500, they are certainly competitive. And their +2.8 efficiency differential implies a 2nd tier Eastern team who should have around 3 more wins (and 3 fewer losses) than they do. Paul George is having a fantastic year, they added Monta Ellis as another wing scoring option, have a nice rookie in Myles Turner, and are well coached.
The flip side of that is that the team is trying to remake its identity on the fly. They traded Roy Hibbert to the Lakers for nothing this summer and wanted to try and play faster. This has led to feeling out different lineups, getting and maintaining buy-in from all the players — especially George (earlier in the season) — and doing it all while integrating new players who aren’t familiar with head coach Frank Vogel.
This type of stuff leads to ups and downs. They also don’t have a lot of viable depth at big man, which can hurt them on certain nights if (our old pal) Jordan Hill isn’t playing well or Myles Turner is out (which he was earlier during the year with injury). Time will tell if the Pacers’ wins catch up with their differentials, but I probably wouldn’t want to play them in the 1st round of the playoffs.
Pacers Blogs: 8 Points 9 Seconds is one of my favorite team blogs. Give them a read.
Keys to game: Roy Hibbert is out tonight and Robert Sacre will start in his place. I would have liked to have seen Tarik Black get this opportunity, but Scott has removed Ryan Kelly from the rotation and with Larry Nance out due to a sore knee the Lakers’ frontcourt rotation doesn’t have a lot of options anymore. This means Black will play his normal back up role and Bass will see minutes at both PF (next to Black) and C (next to Randle).
What this all means is that the Lakers, should Sacre’s minutes be limited, will likely play at a bit of a faster pace and run a few more P&R’s than normal. Whether this plays into the Pacers’ hands on both ends of the floor remains to be seen, however. Indy has no issues playing with more pace, especially when they insert CJ Miles at PF and have Miles Turner in the game. That trio up front, flanked by Ellis and Hill, can create baskets quickly in the open court and get into paint via dribble penetration when running set actions.
The Lakers will have their hands full either way, but that will especially be the case when in transition. The Lakers can still lack floor balance in transition defense, especially when Kobe/Clarkson/Russell are all in the game. Those three all love to crash the offensive glass and the offense can often take long jumpers when that trio plays together. That combination means the defense will try to run out after securing a rebound, so the Lakers must be better at getting back tonight than they have been all year.
Lastly, the Lakers must defend the arc this game. The Pacers are 11th in 3 point field goal percentage and have several guys who can hurt you from deep. If the Lakers are slow rotating out to the wing or over help in the paint (especially on direct post ups), they will get killed from the outside and on the scoreboard.
Where you can watch: 4:00pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
From the last thread:
Word is Jackson is high on Rambis, and it was he who helped push Fish to the door.
ESPN Insiders are noting that Fisher made a number of poor personal decsions — like taking a day off during training camp to fly home to be with his girlfriend (Matt Barnes ex-wife). Dealing with personal issues while being a rookie coach in New York with a mentor (PJ) that didn’t provide enough cover is hard.
PJ is a survivor, you should know that from his time with the Lakers. Date the bosses daughter and get rid of your primary competitor (JW). Fisher was struggling across multiple fronts and became an easy fall guy.
So Sacre got the nod to start… Rambis was horrible in Minny I doubt PJ will let him he something other than an interim…
Darius — 10 days to go before the trade deadline. What are your thoughts on the Lakers making any moves? You wrote about Young possibly being on the block but I’m not sure he has any value. My thoughts:
1) Young – tough contract to move and not enough production to make him worth the headaches
2) Hibbert – he’d be a 3 month rental & he’s not going to tip any scales in your favor with his play on the floor
3) Bass: he’s attractive and at a low salary. However he has a player option which he’d be silly not to exercise next year. No one will overpay for a ‘rent a player’ who will cost twice as much next season
4) Williams has value but teams passed on him over the summer when all he would take was cap space to get him. I want the Lakers to move him to lighten the logjam in the back court — but I think he gets traded over the summer and not now.
I forecast a quiet trade deadline for the Lakers.
Putting Klbe on Grorge is laughable.
Last time George 39
Kobe 4 for 20.
Tonight Kobe for 0 for 5.
Young has to go. Worthless.
KO why you dont harp on Sacre who has played 7 minutes and hasn’t grab a damn rebound?
Because Sacre is a 4th string center and a scrub.
Team looks Super Bowl hungover.
Lou can’t pass, shoot or D and rest can’t make anything. Kobe, Nick and Russell. 3 for 20. 70 pt game.
I find hilarious that people think that Rambis is going to right the ship in NY. The main problem besides the fact that Fish was way over his head is the triangle. Outside Phil and Tex NOBODY has been successful with it ever. The triangle worked because it was fueled by MJ/Pippen and then by Kobe and Shaq and later by Kobe/ Gasol. Trancendent players all of them, with lesser talent not even Phil and Tex had any sucess with it.
Sacre 0 of everything in 13 minutes and still playing, Black had 5 rebounds in 8 minutes and riding the pine, i can’t wait for the day this fool is fired, im savoring it already…
Sorry not 0 on everything he has 4 fouls. Im actually reeally angry…
Kobe, Lou, Russell
7 for 34
Clearly Lakers worst team in NBA
Last in shooting
Last in rebounding
Last in FB points
Still 1st in profit though.
Clearly Lakers worst team in NBA
Last in shooting
Last in rebounding
Last in FB points
Jim trying to save his butt by tanking to keep the pick.
Baylor Fan says
It is anybody’s game right now. Not too bad for another road game. Kobe is trying to win this one.
Stop! Kobe time!
Randle is a monster!! Unbelievable, i thought this was a losss for sure. HOLY CRAP!!!! Kobe chant all over the place, how ’bout that?
Kobe gonna shoot every time now LOL
@&$&@” blew the comeback, damn it!!!!!!!!
People here bash DAR defense like it’s this putrid unholy thing. A lot of us know better, Clarkson is the worst, that foul on Paul George must be the stupidest dumbest foul of the entire season. DAR is not as bad as in November/December, lot of room to grow but he is getting it togheter…
He shot 9 of last 10 times. Bricked last 5 not close. 8 for 26. Plus George blew past him.
Is that basketball or just Kobe ego ball?
Love the guy but that was foolish. Bryon clearly is his valet.
Didn’t watch the game. Were Kobe’s shots at the end of the game at least relatively open looks? Was there at least some ball movement or just isos?
Like how the Lakers battled. Don’t like Kobe taking 26 shots, but doesn’t look like anyone else outside of Randle was shooting well.
The Lakers shot 31.2% tonight. Rarely does a team shoot that poorly and win, especially on the road. And yet…the Lakers were competitive. Remarkable.
I like what I saw from Randle. He is impressing me more and more as the season goes on: 15 pts., 19 rebounds, 3 assists tonight. There aren’t too many players in the league who are rebounding better than JR.
On the other side of the ledger, Robert Sacre, towel waver extraordinaire, had zero pts. (0-2 shooting), zero rebounds, zero assists, zero steals, and zero blocked shots in 15:01. That’s actually rather amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Now, I have nothing against Sacre. He seems like a terrific guy. But how many teams would give him a spot other than the Lakers?
Surely this seems to point to the fact that the Lakers need a center more than anything else. If nothing else, Tarik Black should be getting major minutes for the rest of the season. At this point, there is no reason not to play Tarik as much as possible.
After this season, the Lakers should kindly thank Sacre for his contributions and wish him the best of success in his next career.
Blue all 1 aganist 5 Isso and none of last 5 close. Reality 8 for 26. 4 for 14 from 3.
Guess not about winning just about selling tickets to see Kobe as Bryon further crashes his future.
Oh well its about losing not winning.
KO, i couldn’t give a hoot about Byron’s future, let’s take solace in the fact that he and Kobe will be gone less than 3 months, Kobe i be sad to see him go but i know it’s time, Byron? i be so happy that i be doing backflips and still it’s not going to be soon enough…
Oh why do I even ask, it doesn’t really matter and at least, the young guys got some shots.
I guess Kobe was due for a vintage bad game too, and Byron has made it pretty clear what the priority is this year.
From espn – Lakers coach Byron Scott on Kobe Bryant’s shooting after Bryant went 6-of-25 from the field in 89-87 loss to Indiana: “Sometimes you live and die with it, and I’m willing to do that with him.” Wish Kobe would have asked Byron to let the young guys finish this game.
Brooklyn beat Denver tonight, 105-104. Brooklyn is now 14-39. The Lakers are 11-43. Phoenix, who is playing OKC tough right now, is 14-38.
Those 2 teams, I believe, will be the Lakers’ chief competition for ping-pong ball Nirvana.
Im so sick and tired of Byron Scott that he makes me miss MDA and Mike Brown i must be losing my mind. Robert Sacre has no business in an NBA court, 7 feet tall and can’t grab a freaking rebound? And still Byron stubbornly keep him on the court despite having Tarik Black on the bench.Tough tough season…
Craig W. says
Stat freaks – I suspect you didn’t watch this game. Either that or your mind was made up before it started (KO???).
My issue was with the first half; where there seemed to be all ISO and no passing. The players seemed to be dribbling to a spot and taking their shot – their entire offense. When this happens game after game the coach has to make changes in his approach – or leave. Well, he will be gone at the end of this year.
J C says
Sublime 4th quarter by Kobe…until.
Post game Antoine Walker put it well.
We saw the best and worst of Kobe all in the last 5 minutes.
I love seeing him hit the big shots but a big assist to a teammate at the end would have been nice too.
Mid – never I have been so interested in the Nets, Nuggets and the Sixers. It’s been that kind of season.
Baylor Fan says
“must be losing my mind” – absolutely, yet another reason for a new head coach. In the meantime, Kobe fans got to enjoy a 3 point hot streak and tank fans get to enjoy the outcome.
Devean George Forever says
Tank Update: despite the Nets’ last-second win tonight, if you go by the road win vs. home loss standings which is often a better indicator of a team’s current status, the Lakers (5-18) are 1.5 games up on the Nets (4-20) because the Lakers have played so many more road games than the Nets so far (30 vs. 23)
So the Lakers’ position for the 2nd worst pick is not as good at it appears from the standings
Here’s a link to a nice article on Robert Upshaw by Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll:
Is it possible that Robert Upshaw has a future in the league?
@ Devean George,
I think the Lakers will be hard pressed to win, say, more than 16 games this season. If I’m correct, then their chances of finishing 2nd in this year’s tank-a-thon should be pretty good.
But then, there’s the issue of those pesky ping pong balls. Who knows what will happen then?
The fact that every logical bone in my body says I should be relieved that we lost just shows how utterly bankrupt the NBA lottery system is.
Question, is clarkson better than monta ellis
Kobe got hot about 2 minutes left, single handedly ties the game, crowd goes crazy, kobe becomes ball hog
J C says
I actually found myself cheering for the team to win in the last few minutes.
Then I came sinking back to reality and was relieved when they lost. Ping pong ball reality.
Kobe’s fatal flaw – his unquenchable desire for the roar of the crowd – was their undoing.
Strange to see his greatness so quickly followed by his failure.
Still, another amazing performance.
Enough to extend Byron’s rope a lot longer than Derek’s, obviously.
lil pau says
On the other side of the ledger, Robert Sacre, towel waver extraordinaire, had zero pts. (0-2 shooting), zero rebounds, zero assists, zero steals, and zero blocked shots in 15:01. That’s actually rather amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.
Travis Knight. Samaki Walker. Eldon Campbell. Kwame Brown. Jim Chones….
this team is slowly becoming competitive. isn’t that enough?
I do not want to see hibbert nor sacre play any more minutes this season. It is time to start black and back him up with upshaw. Hibbert and sacre are absolute no-shows on bith sides.
Kobe got away from sharing the ball. I have no problem with him finishing the game, but you still have to share the ball in order to be unpredictable on offense. The way he is playing now does not help, and it sure doesnt help our young guys 2 grow more
Randle showed why he is the biggest snub maybe ever not to play in the rookie game. He already is a top5 rebounder when he is on, he improved his shot considerbly over the last few weeks, plus his drives arent as boneheaded as they used to be at the start of the season. Future all-star for sure :):)
-For those of you interested in the NBA Top 100 rankings, there is a nice piece today on ESPN.com, “5-on-5: Debating the all-time greats”. The 1st question: “Who’s your top 5 of all time?” This question was poised to three former players (currently 2 are coaches, 1 a commentator), one current player, and the last, another current coach, w/o experience as a NBA player. Always interesting to here/read responses from NBA insiders on topics of this nature:
– Simply question. Has Kobe ever played w/ a more talented Laker point guard than DAR?
– Prediction: Next season, when DAR is free of Scott & Kobe, Russell will be a candidate for most improved player in the league.
– I would like to see Kemba Walker get Jimmy Butler’s All-Star spot if JB is too injured to play.
If the NY media call Fish coaching stint “a reign of terror” what should we call Byron’s?
Don Ford says
Phil and Luke* to LA? Jim, Mitch & Byron out?
Rumors are just rumors and maybe garbage, but Wow!
* “If” Lakers get Simmons or the like.
Just a general question: Do the Lakers need a center like Greg Monroe or one like Hassan Whiteside:
Monroe: On offense, Monroe is a skilled post player with a wayward shooting touch from midrange. Monroe is a skilled passer out of the post and from the elbow, and particularly adept at finding cutters. He’s not a high-level shot blocker; his vertical and the quickness of his leap are limited, and he’s generally slow afoot. He’s an excellent defensive rebounder. His rim protection metrics are around the league median, and much worse than that when adjusted for position.
Whiteside: Whiteside is big — so big he can grab the rim without jumping — and he uses his 7-foot-7 wingspan to dunk, rebound and swat everything in sight. His touch inside was probably unsustainably good, as he shot 60 percent on non-dunk layups. He also shot 18-for-36 on mid-range jumpers, which boggled the mind.
Whiteside recorded just six assists all season — but when you score at will, it’s understandable. The question is whether he can play team defense. His pick-and-roll defensive numbers were average, and the Heat’s defense was actually worse with him on the floor. Some of that is related to injury carnage and wonky lineups, but Whiteside’s block numbers overstate his defensive impact.
I ask the question because Whiteside is a free agent but he’s one dimensional. He may not be as good defensively from a team stand point and he can’t/doesn’t pass. I know Monroe is in Milwaukee and is not available – but should we look for a more complete player who we can integrate into our team’s offense/defense?
Hassan is like DeAndre in that regard if you pass it in he’s not going to pass it back out. Do the Lakers have enough play makers at the other positions to have a somewhat black hole on the offensive end with Whiteside?
Phil is like a insider in the stock market. Hires Jeannie Buss best friend Linda Rambis husband Curt. Knew Lakers would fail and took NY big bucks and waits.
Meanwhile pushs Jeannie’s buttons to dump Jim and make his return to LA when talent is back with cap room to spare.
Master manipulater Phil. Guy should run for President of the Country. Win in a landslide.
– Simply question. Has Kobe ever played w/ a more talented Laker point guard than DAR?
This is an excellent point; what with DAR´s potential, beyond what he´s already doing, I´d dare say the answer´s nay.
“A more complete player” Please tell us what complete player is out there at center. I take Whiteside over Montoe every day, Monroe is a liability on defense and i think we have enough of that. By the way Monroe is rumored to be available since the Bucks appear to have buyers remorse. For me that boogles my mind, you make the investment and halfway thru the season change your mind and hope that other team pick up the humongous contract because things aren’t working out. Hassan don’t pass, that can be corrected but he is a great rim protector and rebounder and is athletic , he should be our priority this summer, who else is out there? Noah, Varejao, Horford, Dwight redux?please and Ezely just busted his knee and he be out for a while , Whiteside is the obvious target. About ” The Bust”, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that he is going to be really good and teams are starting to recognize him as a dangerous scorer and passer, his defense needs to improve? oh yeah but thats common on rookies despite what some of the “he is a bust” crowd want us to believe. The kid is going to be really good. Randle can be dominant if he get it all togheter, im encouraged that he is taking that mid range shot and hitting it more frequent than before, he’s been putting the work. Clarkson needs more work on defense than Russell…
Thanks Mid-Wilshire, for the good read on Upshaw.
J C says
Interesting whiff of scandal re Phil.
We knew he was capable of this.
If he leaves NY before his contract in NY is up, and comes back here to take over the Laker franchise to “help” Jeannie, and replaces his former boss Jimmy, it’s gonna stink to high heaven.
Jeannie may be a big girl but Phil couldn’t make that move when Dr. Buss was here.
Whiteside’s agent is the first person you call when the free agency period begins. And it’s not even close. The combination of skill, age and fit on this team? I can’t imagine anyone being better. No way Detroit lets Drummond go. Ezeli’s injury just made him a huge question mark. There is no one else at center unless you count Larry Sanders who wants back in….! Eh!? He lives in LA and is making music! Gets 2 million every year until 2022 from the Milwaukee buyout! What could possibly go wrong.
Here’s an idea at small forward: what about Omri Casspi? He shoots threes at a good clip. Plays some D. Good length. Not a creator really but you need as many wings as you can get. I’m all for offering Harrison Barnes a huge deal at 12:02 after calling Whiteside but I must say, Casspi is intriguing. Barring a first round collapse, DeRozan is not leaving a #2 seed. His game isn’t what we need anyway. Who would actually be willing to move that could help? Batum? Parsons? Bazemore? Those guys will be EXPENSIVE. What other decent players could we realistically poach? Evan Turner? Terrence Jones? Jordan Hill again?
J C says
I think D Russell is the truth.
He’s gonna be at 20-5-5 next season.
Kobe’s sidekick was Derek.
Derek was a different kind of player for sure.
He has a great Laker legacy.
(Not so much as a Knick hehe)
Comparisons to Fish won’t make sense until later when Russell has had a career arc.
Russell and Kobe aren’t even co-starters.
Regarding Phil coming back to LA: It would be just like Phil to miss all the pain and arrive in time to see all the gain.
Yes, the Lakers are currently awful. But the kids are playing well so there is hope — likely real honest to goodness hope. Keeping the pick would make the team really attractive to good coaches and elite 2017 free agents.
If this happened Jim would absolutely spontaneously combust. Can’t wait for the tell all book.
Monroe Scouting report
+ Well-rounded post scorer with excellent court vision
+ Plus rebounder on both ends of the floor
+ Below-average athlete who doesn’t block a lot of shots
Whiteside Scouting report:
+ Monster big man with outrageous wingspan and strength
+ Improved touch around the rim; bad free-throw shooter
+ Never passes — not a team defender; hunts for blocks and flexing opps
I’d prefer a big with an offensive game and the ability to pass. So, in a vacuum, if I had to choose I’d go with Monroe. I think Monroe works better with Randle who has no real range. Now Monroe may be available but you’d have to give up something to get him. The Lakers are a bit short of tradeable assets — unless Milwaukee want to just dump him straight up for Hibbert. So even if the Bucks were open to moving him the price tag may be too high.
Because of his availability Whiteside is attractive but the reality is we’d be the Clippers with Whiteside instead of DeAndre. Trust me not having a center that can hit the open perimeter man (when he’s guarded down low) is a ball flow killer. With Whiteside, the Lakers certainly would not be the Warriors on offense. Plus Whiteside is hitting .55 of his FT, so you worry about his ability to be on the floor at the end of games — which is when you want your best players available.
I know some of you think that Whiteside is a no brainer . I have long thought that the Clippers have stalled because DeAndre is not a good team offensive player. Would getting Whiteside be setting up the Lakers with a ceiling short of a championship?
david h says
I’m with Magic on this one: Phil has a job. Bring Jerry West back to the fold. He travels back and forth to Northern California but he still lives in Southern California. President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers has a nice ring to it.
Jeannie make it happen, laker nation will forever be grateful. Magic says he will do anything to help her make the lakers great again. I believe in Magic.
lil pau says
Is there anyone here who is less than excited about the prospect of Phil’s return?
He extended Carmelo in NY (a fireable offense on its own), hired a rookie coach, then replaced him with Kurt Rambis with specific orders to run the triangle (that worked great for Kurt in Minn!)….
Other than drafting Porzingas, has he made a single positive move?
He’s a brilliant coach, no doubt, but as a GM? Adherance to the triangle in particular seems like such a bad idea, especially for a team that has DRussell at PG.
by all accounts, Phil Jackson was the number one reason that Jerry West left the Lakers. there’s no point in clutching at straws.
Lakers center i like, ezeli, he’s like a mobile, roy hibbert
Failure to give JW % as was promised and involving Jim in decisions were big reasons along with Phils quest for control.
Center needs to play team defense, and doesn’t need to score alot of points
Just read ezeli out for season, knee surgery
david h says
Mud: that may very well be that Magic is clutching at straws but by saying leave Phil in New York: “he has a job” is code for: phil not needed, apply elsewhere. It’s really Jeannie’s move, and reading between the lines, Magic is simply saying pick Jerry West; not Phil Jackson to run basketball operations for the los angeles lakers.
I heard that there is a computer program that the GMs use to simulate which players will play well together, anyone know anything on that
Just listened to Mason and Ireland:
1. Both believe the rumor that Jeanie will clean house this summer has legs (Jim and Mitch would be gone).
2. Not sure about Phil coming though as PJ’s contracted out with the Knicks is not until year 3 — which is the summer of 2017.
3. Both Mason and Ireland thinks that if Dolan let PJ out of his contract this summer he’s coming to LA.
4. If PJ is stuck in NY for another year Mason still wants Jeanie to clean house and pick a new GM. Target is someone of Sam Presti’s staff — supposedly Jeanie is a big Presti fan. The goal is to use as much leverage on signing KD.
It was interesting that Mason was so adamant about making a move this summer despite the fact that Jim’s timeline takes him to the summer of 2017. Ireland was willing to hold off for PJ even if it meant keeping the status quo for another year.
I personally don’t need PJ. A good young aggressive GM with a real vision, who can hire the right coach and can communicate that vision to free agents is all we need. It’s 80 degrees today in LA the east coast is still under snow. Just need the right guy to run this thing. Jim is not that guy.
Is anyone here convinced of Phil’s pedigree as a FO guy or are we just still assuming that his coaching rings will translate into FO rings?
don ford says
“I personally don’t need PJ. A good young aggressive GM with a real vision, who can hire the right coach and can communicate that vision to free agents is all we need.”
Agree. Look at the Dodgers – I love how they’ve completely re-ordered their front office in the last few years with young, shrewd, advanced-stats guys who have brought a fresh and sensible approach to renaissancing a storied LA franchise…
I would want JWest or some person who takes the new science seriously. I am sick of idiotic, short-term decisions.
Also, Gary Vitti is leaving after this year too, right? Not sure how I feel about that…
Phil has an opt out this summer, I think that was reported in the cbs sports article
I looove Jerry West and i apreciate him for everything he did for the Lakers but he is 77 years old ,Phil is 70 and i think Jerry West specially wouldn’t want to be up to his neck in the pressure that would entails running the Lakers the way they are right now IF there is any major shakeup in the Lakers leadership. Jimbo’s deadline is more than a year away so let’s not get carried away with all this. I take the PJ rumor with the same grains of salts as the Durant then Westbrook to LA stupidity. When the time comes i think it will be better if we go younger in the front office as well as in the court. About Whiteside, his “not passing” can easily be corrected. I take those 12-11-4 numbers everyday. There is no such thing as a perfect player…
I heard Mason and Ireland as well. Per them, PJs opt out is after year three of his deal. This summer is year two. Considering the ramifications it would be a good idea to clarify that point.
I don’t want PJ being the day to day guy, if he wants to come in and be Jim Buss and let Troy Weaver or Michael Winger (both Presti lieutenants) be the GM (Mitch) then I’m good with it. I’d prefer JW to come back but he’s part owner in GS so that’s a long shot. I could see PJ getting us the inside track on Luke and providing gravitas to our free agent pitches. As I said, as long as its not day to day stuff I’m OK with him coming back.
If we are going to party ways with Jim (and Mitch), then the thought of having a Laker team run by a husband/wife (fiancee/fiancee) combo should absolutely scare the pants off all of us. In such a scenario there would be ZERO CHECKS AND BALANCES. I mean, if Jeannie was super patient with her brother Jim, how patient do you think she is going to be with Phil if he takes, 2, 3, 5 or 10 years to get things straight.
I am OK with change if it means getting better, but mark my words that such a change would only be better if Jeannie goes outside the family for help. Otherwise, there really is no change.
If Jeanie is really planning on getting rid Mitch (which I don’t agree with but don’t know what’s gone on with the big decisions over the past few years) then i hope she takes a more expansive look at potential replacements. Phil is obviously a great coach but has less experience as a GM. That person not only needs to be able to evaluate talent but also manage the salary cap and negotiate contracts and trades, etc. Phil is learning on the job which is not what we need now.
Without any knowledge of the ownership documents, I’m going to say that Jeanie doesn’t have absolute power. In a word, she can be overruled by vote. My guess is that she can also be removed by vote. I’m pretty sure she would not have the support of her siblings to can their brother and bring in her 70 year old boyfriend. Let’s remember that Jerry Buss understood the opportunism and ruthlessness of Jackson, and no doubt passed on his concerns to his sons. Fat chance that they agree to him returning as head of basketball operations. But if I am wrong and Jackson returns to run the empire, god (or dog) help us all.
Chris J says
As to question of whether Kobe has ever played with a PG as good as Russell — let’s not overlook Nick Van Exel, whose NBA peak was better than anything Russell has done so far.
I like Russell a lot and feel he has more to show us, but Nick was a great player over several seasons, an All-Star who played clutch minutes and delivered in the playoffs. (Ask the Spurs in ’95.) Russell’s not matched that resume yet.
– Chris J, Good point on Van Exel playing w/ Kobe in Kobe’s 1st two years as a back-up to Eddie Jones. Very interesting that a 27 year old Van Exel was traded (June 24, 1998: Traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Denver Nuggets for Tony Battie and Tyronn Lue) just before Kob started to blossom. Looking back on that trade, appears the Lakers got the short end of the stick personnel wise.
– Bottom line, I think it shows for Kobe to be Kobe he needed a point guard (Fish) and offense that allowed him to handle the ball more than Van Exel would.