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See You Later, Mike Brown!

Discussion in 'Colosseum' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well it looks like this Lakers coach turned out to be a tad less successful than the last one. Still, I think 5 games in is a remarkably short leash. Yes, the Lakers are very disappointing winning just 1 of their first 5 games, but they are starting some new parts, Nash is hurt, and it sure doesn't look like Howard is playing at 100%.

    Story
     
  2. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    It's not that. It's that he decided to install an offense that does not take advantage of the point guard they brought in, and that, although he is supposedly a defensive specialist, they aren't playing defense at all. Very often they look listless and disorganized on both ends of the floor. He wasn't a good fit when they got him and it was just Jim Buss deciding to excise the Phil Jackson legacy. They should have hired Brian Shaw, but oh well.

    Good move. Any time Simmons is pissed off by a Lakers move, I am a happy man.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    OK, if they were going to bring in Phil Jackson, I can totally understand the move. Anyone with that kind of legacy like Jackson would make it an easy decision, no matter who your current coach is.

    That said, they went with Mike D'Antoni. Which is fine and all - the guy has coached before with both Phoenix and New York, so he's qualified. But here's what I don't get - supposedly Jackson was up for the job, but the Lakers decided to go for D'Antoni over Jackson. That makes no sense at all. The Buss family is saying that D'Antoni is the "best guy" for the job. If that were true, why not start the season with him? It's not like he had a coaching gig to start the year.

    But even beyond that, if your choices are the guy with no NBA Championships versus the guy who has what, 10? 11? NBA Championships - 4 or 5 of which were won with the present star on your team - and you're telling me that the guy with no NBA Championships is the "best choice", I'm not going to believe you. I've got nothing against D'Antoni as a coach, but there's simply no evidence there to convince me he represents a better option than Jackson.

    I'm also not totally sold that swinging from a defensive minded coach to a coach who is all out offense is such a great idea. Especially considering D'Antoni's system requires players to run at break-neck pace all game. I'm assuming that D'Antoni knows Kobe is 34, and that Nash at 38 (assuming he's ready to play soon) can't play like he did when he coached him at Phoenix. Hell, I bet Gasol has to be into his 30s by now too.
     
  4. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Other than Howard, the Laker starting lineup is OLD. Their bench is not deep so D'Antoni's style is not a good fit. The Laker should be playing slow it down, manage the clock, smart ball-handling, grind them out ball. Guess we will be finding out how much of a spoiled super-star Howard is if they don't start winning....
     
  5. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, I think the reason they did not go with Phil is that only four players (Kobe, Paul, Metta Artest and Steve Blake) have any real familiarity with the triangle offense and the rest of the Rhodes Scholars on the team were having a hard time figuring out the Princeton Offense, which is similar to the triangle. D'Antoni's offense is more familiar to regular NBA guys.

    As far as it goes, I really don't have that much of a problem with it, in that I felt that D'Antoni got his Suns teams to over-perform their talent level, and I don't care how old Steve Nash is, that guy is superhuman. Should be interesting.
     
  6. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    Nearly anyone is better than Mike Brown. The Lakers won their first game after his dismissal with Kobe basically admitting they were playing "pick-up ball" and few plays. If your team is that talented, yet the coach makes them play worse, then clearly the coach needs to go.

    Antoni (Simmons cracks me up when he calls him "No D" Antoni) will do fine, I think. But he's gotta get the ball out of Kobe's hands (don't get me wrong, he's a great scorer but a mediocre playmaker--like Durant--and has a tendency to dominate the ball when he starts sniffing mismatches) and get Howard and Nash healthy.
     
  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    No offense with 2 big men can be sucessful as a running offense. At least, not for a full season. You will injure them and ruin their chances at another dynasty. Big men take a pounding on their ankles and feet. They can't run the floor all game in the type of offense that their new coach has historically run. Maybe with fresh, 1st or 2nd year big Men, but Gasol is getting older and Howard is not known to be a fast break center. They would be better off with a slow pace, half-court offense with the ball in Nash's hands, Kobe spinning of picks and posting Howard and Pau up. It puts teams in foul trouble and creates mismatches for the late game, where they would then dominate with supertars and experience. If Blake or the other guards can hit a consistant 3-ball off the bench, they could be a powerhouse. Of course, they will have to run some time, as all teams need the versatility, you just have to pick your spots and play to your strengths, dictating the game. That is what great teams do.

    Anywho... I still hope to see a Miami vs. Lakers final. That would be awesomeness...:)
     
  8. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    Oh, I don't know, Blades.

    The Celtics teams in the 80s weren't really considered a great running team by many basketball fans (probably because their archnemesis the Lakers were probably the best running team of all time, and they paled in comparison) but they actually were an excellent running team--especially the 85-86 Celtics team, who failed to score in the 100s only twice in the play-offs that year. Bird, McHale (6-11), and Parish (7-1) combined to average something like 63 ppg in 85-6--and "Big Red" (7-1) won the Sixth Man award that season.

    That season, Houston's famed Twin Towers lost to the Celtics in 5 games, providing another example of a potent offense headed by two big men who dominated the game.

    I think you CAN have a great running offense even with a team dominated by big men. But you are right about these Lakers, I think--I just don't see this Lakers team suddenly performing offensively like the 2004-5 or 05-06 Suns. Howard doesn't have the hands, Metta World Peace and Kobe are a step slower and less athletic than they were 5 years ago, their bench isn't deep enough to keep up the pressure when these guys go to the bench. Their back-up point isn't good enough (though Sessions was).

    They absolutely could be a powerfully dominant half-court team, with a good, selective fast-break capability.

    I would worry about their defense, though. Nash has always been a mediocre, at best, defender, and I honestly believe Dwight Howard is an overrated defender. Piling up on the defensive rebounds and high-light reel blocked-shots gets him stats and attention, but I also notice him playing out of position a lot, struggling with his footwork, leaving his guy to get blocks on the other side, etc. They don't have any stoppers coming off the bench, either.
     
  9. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Today's game is a lot different than the 80s and Parish and McHale were enigmas. Pau and Howard can't run the floor all night long. The Twin Towers DIDN'T run the floor all night long and were only good together for a couple of years, then Sampson broke down with injuries, as most big men are prone to do. *Olajuwon wasn't a fast break guy either, he was the DREAMSHAKE king. His halfcourt game was excellent.

    (*He is one of my all-time favorite players.)
     
  10. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, I'm going to tomorrow's game, so I'll give you a first-hand account of how the interim Lakers look.
     
  11. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    You will be at the game, I will be at home, probably with Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin playing on my TV for the millionth time over the last month.
    The 3 yr old jsut can't get enough of it for some reason.... you suck DMC!

    I send all of you single guys the curse of a thousand children....:D
     
  12. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Single guys??!!

    Huh?

    My son is about to be 15 and my daughter is about to be 12.

    My wife had nothing on our calendar for tomorrow, so I am going to the game. She and I went to the Clipper game yesterday with some friends (terrible game by the way). The kids are old enough to be left alone without fear that the house will burn down or they will cause themselves or each other bodily harm.

    I have served my great pumpkin time my friend, and there is far worse than that to be played over and over, trust me.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Wow - I would argue the exact opposite - that the Lakers are an above average defensive team. Even if you think Howard is over-rated (which an argument can be made if you're judging him by historical standards), you don't win defensive player of the year being a below-average defender. With so few quality big men in the league right now, he is at the very least among the best at his position. Kobe was probably the best defensive player at his position for many years, and even if he's not still there now, he's still among the best defenders at his position. Artest's (or Metta World Peace if we must call him that) game also revolves around playing good defense. Gasol isn't great by any means, but now that he's playing forward he tends to match up against smaller players. That leaves Nash, who admittedly is not a good defender. Still, when you have 3 of your starting 5 as quality defenders, I don't think you can argue the defense is bad...

    He was criminally under-rated. He is no doubt among the best 10-15 players all time.

    I think that's true of all younger children. In the last year, I can't tell you how many times I've seen the various Spiderman movies (the ones starring Toby McGuire). Easily 50 times each. The more recent kick is with the Iron Man movies. But as far as real kiddie movies go, the one that is burned into my brain forever is the clay-mation one that's been around for probably 60 years - the one with Rudolf and the Abominable Snowman, and the island of misfit toys. I can't believe I don't remember the name. The first year Jack saw that we ended up purchasing it, and watched it on near-continuous loop until July.
     
  14. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    Actually, the Lakers are a mediocre defensive team. They currently rank 14th in opponent's PPG, 25th in forced turn-overs per game, 10th in opponent's 3FG percentage, and 8th in opponent's FG percentage. They are 15th in blocks and 17th in steals. That's so far this season. Check ESPN stats.

    Last season, very similar numbers, though they were dead-last in the league at forcing turn-overs. With PGs who were probably regarded as better defenders than Nash, and a center who, in terms of defensive stats, is nearly identical to Howard.

    My assessment is Artest is vastly overrated and hasn't really been a truly excellent defender for close to 5 seasons now, though if properly motivated against the right kind of player, he can produce stops in one-on-one situations and is often still a good team defender. Kobe, in his 17th season and coming off no real rest this off-season, so far looks a half-step off defensively AND offensively, and I don't think can really be argued to be a premier defender at the shooting guard position anymore. Gasol is okay--he really struggles to defend certain players one-on-one, especially physical players, but plays good team defense in stretches. Howard is overrated, but good, but is still struggling to figure out the system and looks to still be hurting. Nash, 'nuff said. There is no one on this bench who brings defensive intensity--which is problematic, because these guys, at their ages, can't plan on playing 41+ minutes a game all season long.

    Their awful number of forced opponent turnovers wouldn't be such a big deal if they didn't have so many turnovers themselves. They are leading the league this season in turnovers; so far Kobe is just below his career-high in TO/game, something like 4 a game. He and Dwight Howard are combining for over 7 TO a game. New York's whole team is only averaging 11 TO a game so far this season.

    D'Antoni is unlikely to improve their defensive proficiency, which is already BELOW average, though he might improve their offensive prowess. I watched 5 Lakers games under Brown, and Brown's offensive sets seemed to take the ball out of Nash's hands. (I would almost argue, between Brown's sets and the natural proclivities of the Lakers veterans, the point-guard--whether it was Nash or Blake--touched the ball less than anyone else on the court). Since Nash is the only point guard who has won a MVP since Magic Johnson, it seems to make sense that maybe the ball should be in his hands more than it should be in the hands of Kobe and Howard--who apparently can't hold on to it anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, I'm not prepared to make sweeping generalization about how good the Lakers defense will be this season, given the small sample size of games played - less than 10% of the season is in the books.

    I just can't get over the hiring. By dangling Phil Jackson to the fanbase, they certainly didn't do D'Antoni and favors. Especially given the expectations of the Lakers this year. Laker fans have justifiably high expectations every year, but this year, anything short of a championship will be viewed as a failure.
     
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    Sure. But they haven't been a very good defensive team for at least 2 seasons now. They were a good defensive team in 2010, according to the stats. I don't believe they've done anything yet in 2012 to improve themselves from 2011, which was an entire season nearly identical to their defensive statistics right now.

    Yeah, concur. The hiring of D'Antoni seems to have been executed poorly.

    I'm a long-time Boston fan. Anything short of a championship, or at least a competitive run at the title, is unacceptable to Lakers and Boston fans.

    The advantage I'd say Boston has over LA this season, in terms of public perceptions, is that Boston didn't make much effort to pick up top-flight free-agents in the off-season, who raise expectations with fans. I don't think anyone but the most hardcore, irrational Boston fans seriously believes Boston (unless LeBron James and Carmelo and D-Will blow out their knees) will be one of the 2 teams contending in June for the title.
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I tend to agree with your assessment of the Celtics. There's not much that I can point to that would indicate to me they have improved since last season. While I don't think Ray Allen was a major loss, his leaving didn't make the Celtics better. Miami looks strong. Chicago should be strong by the end of the year when they get Rose back. I'm not sold on the Knicks, Nets, Hawks, or 76ers, and I think Orlando has gotten decidedly worse this year.
     
  18. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    OK, random notes from last night's game:

    Kobe is playing really well. I only counted two actual forced shots that I felt he had no business taking (both misses by the way), his movement looks good, he is trying to get other people shots, his defense is OK (he still likes to wander off his man to try for steals).

    Dwight is a little like Shaq in that he gets no love from the refs but does get away with a few offensive fouls that he shouldn't. I counted seven fouls that were not called that should have been, including two that were absolutely blatant (these seven were obvious, and not really subject to much interpretation), and there were at least three fouls that should have been called on him that weren't. He is significantly less than 100% as far as game shape goes in that he is still basically playing below the rim unless he winds himself up to jump. His left hand is, err, shall we say "weak" and leave it at that? His free throw form is better than Shaq's even if the results are the same.

    Pau looks lost and the team doesn't appear to know how to get him quality shots, except for Kobe. I think half of Kobe's assists were to Pau. Pau's defense is pretty suspect and he got used as a ladder a couple of times that were just embarrassing.

    Metta Melee Artest definitely looks quicker and leaner. He's lost several steps on defense and he definitely has that clueless look on occasion, but he had some plays that were nice. Shoots too much though.

    Morris (the starting PG by default because of injuries to Nash and Blake) looked OK. He certainly wasn't a star, but he didn't shrink from the moment. Gotta nail your FT's as a PG though.

    Bench - holy crap are they bad. Meeks was absolutely awful. Looked like he had no clue out there, got used on D and couldn't find an open shot. Duhon had a couple of decent plays and made a couple of shots, but can't play D and really has no business taking real minutes in a meaningful NBA game. Jamison was pretty bad. Made a shot or two but passed up some he should have taken and was very passive in the offense. He was the invisible man. Jordan Hill - I like his energy and he apparently can shoot if left wide open. VERY raw and his skill are, ummm, undeveloped, to put it kindly.

    Interim Coach Bickerstaff - there's a reason his title is interim. He didn't have a freakin' CLUE!!! Tell me in what universe you have the last six or seven minutes of the 4th quarter of a tight game against the Spurs with, y'know, Tony Parker and you don't have a point guard on the floor??!! I was astounded. He went with Metta Ron TKO defending Parker the whole time and it was clear that Parker could shoot whenever he wanted, penetrate when he wanted, or start to do that and find wide open guys - which happened again and again and led to the conclusive three that gave the Spurs the win.

    The five on the floor were Kobe, Artest, Jamison, Pau and Dwight. What kind of idiocy is that? Jamison was as useless as **** on a bull at that point, so put Morris back in for some speed. Ugh. I was disgusted.

    Also, lest anyone impugn my credibility on seeing all of this, my seat was one row off the floor behind the baseline, so I got to watch a lot of post moves and defense and could really get a feel for the game and the flow. The Lakers need D'Antoni or Phil, doesn't matter which, because their offense is stagnant in stretches and they forget to play through Pau, which always gets good results.

    (By the way, the talent was exceptional, sometimes it was difficult to focus on the game - just sayin'.) Eat your hearts out. :p

    Edit: I checked the box score and they did not have Parker on the final assist. I thought he triggered that play, but maybe he was the pass that led to the pass. Either way, he had Artest for lunch most of that last few minutes.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, we all knew the bench was going to be horrible. When your starting 5 are making as much as they are (~$90 million), you're already way over the cap, and paying the luxury tax out the ass. You really have no choice but to fill your bench with marginal, league-minimum guys. It's still early - I'm not worried yet. When Miami added LeBron and Bosh, those guys didn't really mesh until the spring.
     
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    Well, we are 1/4 of the season complete, and the Lakers have actually worsened defensively from when I posted the above. The Lakers are now 18th in opponents PPG, 14th in opponents FG percentage, still tied for 25th in forced turnovers, though they have improved to tie for 9th in blocks and are still tied for 17th in steals (interestingly, the 3 teams tied for 17th in steals are the Celtics, Heat, and Lakers). They rebound well (2nd, I think, in the league), but my personal opinion is that rebounding is misleading as a defensive statistic. Other than Brooklyn and Dallas, they haven't beaten a good team yet this season--and they haven't played many of the best teams yet. If the playoff started today, the Lakers would be a so-called lottery team, which is too bad for them, since I think they traded off all their lottery picks.

    Just my 2 cents, but Kobe looks off a step on defense, and Artest is simply not a stopper anymore. Dwight is all alone in the post as far as low-post defense goes (Enes Kantor, Al Jefferson, and Paul Millsap all looked pretty good last night--combined to put up something like 50 points, 26 rebounds, 60% shooting, and only a couple of turn-overs and fouls against the Lakers front-line. Good thing for Dwight that Derrick Favors was out with an injury). Duhon is fairly awful on defense (though he at least looked active against the Thunder the other night) and Meeks seems to get abused (which is semi-okay--I suspect he was brought in for his offense--which he seems to have left in Philadelphia, by the way). I wonder if Antwan Jamison is hurt, or if he is finally just plain too old to play many minutes--he is pretty regularly beaten down the court by his man, and isn't rebounding well, though his numbers don't really look bad considering his 25 minutes a game. I could be confused but he doesn't even seem to trying hard out there much of the time. This team has no one who attacks the ball at this point other than Dwight, and to a much lesser extent, Kobe.

    Not sure how Nash, Gasol, and Blake figure into this. I suppose they would lesson the minutes the bad defensive players play, once Nash and Gasol are back to starters' minutes, but they aren't defensive stoppers either.

    The trade scenarios I hear the talking heads about are insane. I have not heard any trade scenario that makes any sense yet when it comes to actually improving the Laker's defense. Bargnani isn't going to do that (even if he brings Calderon with him, since Calderon is basically a less talented and younger Nash) and Derrick Williams and Nicola Pekovic don't help them at all (unless Williams has been waiting for the lights in Hollywood to suddenly blossom into James Worthy). Josh Smith is an intriguing name but I find the prospect unlikely...at least during this season.
     
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