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See You Later, Mike Brown!

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

  1. 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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    The team has been very suspect defensively for a while. Kobe takes too many risks off the ball on defense and his man gets open looks and/or back door layups. Artest is halfway decent, but can't really play physical defense because the refs are (rightfully) on the lookout for him given his history. He's also relatively old in BBall terms, as is Kobe.

    Gasol can be a decent shot blocker/alterer, but he's average at best otherwise. Nash would never be mistaken for a man who plays defense.

    Bench-wise, Blake is an OK defender. Jamison is mediocre at best. Meeks is not a defender, Duhon is not a defender. Hill is a passable defender as is Ebanks, but Ebanks gets no minutes. Morris is so young it's hard to tell if he can defend.

    So, in a nutshell, their only real defender anymore is Dwight with a passing nod to Kobe and Artest and a slight shake of the head to Hill.

    This team isn't going to win with defense. It's a question of whether it can win with offense. I don't think anyone's hitting the panic button before Nash comes back, but there really is no margin for error. They are old and it is questionable whether the parts fit the system.
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    He should legally change his name to Steve "No D in my name, No D in my game" Nash.
     
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    Wow, awful game tonight against the Cavs. Up next, the Knicks. Nash might be back in 2 weeks. I predict between now and X-mas the Lakers will go 2-4 (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt against Washington and Charlotte--but that that might be too much credit considering they just lost to the worst team in the league).

    You see that dunk by Varajeo against Jordan Hill? Sick.
     
  4. 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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    Panic is setting in here in Lakerland. I was listening to the radio during my evening two hours of driving my kids here, there and everywhere, and one fan calls in and blames all the losing on Dwight and says he needs to be traded to Brooklyn.

    Wow.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I have to ask - are we getting people calling into talk radio questioning D'Antoni yet? I'm just trying to objectively look at the big picture. He had a loaded team in Phoenix that he never took to the promised land. The Knicks are much improved this year, with essnetially the same team. The biggest difference between this year and last year on the Knicks is.... no D'Antoni. Just sayin....
     
  6. 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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    Errr . . . I think Magic took care of that for all of the fans, don't you?
     
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  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I don't live in LA. I didn't know he was against it from the beginning.
     
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    Magic has some good points. It seems nonsensical to bring a bunch of people together (all of whom are being paid a LOT) and then expect them to play very differently than the ways they have throughout their career (which, after all, are successful careers, and gave them the ability to demand those contracts). His point was about Pau Gasol, who so far this season seems destined to either play in the high post or ride the bench. I don't have any particular criticism against (No D) Antoni yet, but one would think a highly-paid coach at the NBA level, who was recruited and took the job in one of the biggest basketball cities on the planet, would be able to design and/or appropriate almost any plays he wants, and wouldn't be rigidly wed to a particular "system."

    Dwight was very successful in Orlando because he played for a team that put in lot of time and effort surrounding him with complementary players. While people are debating whether he is still the superstar, or a complementary star, in Lakerland, what strikes me is the way people on this team don't have the ability to cover up his weaknesses at a team level--because this was a team largely built to accomodate Kobe, not Dwight. Sure, Dwight is missing a lot of free-throws, plays overrated defense, and sometimes struggles with footwork and hands (especially in the open floor)--but he always has.

    * Jamison, Morris, Duhon, Clark, and Hill are also are shooting free-throws poorly this season, and they are getting way more burn right now than they should be. The only players on the whole squad who are shooting over 80% are Bryant, Meeks, and Blake (Nash hasn't taken a free-throw yet, but of course he's tied to be the career percentage leader in NBA history). In Orlando, Dwight was generally surrounded with a bunch of guys who not only could shoot free-throws, but who could flat-out shoot. (I'd argue Morris should be cut, or sent to the D-league, as soon as Blake and/or Nash come back. He isn't a good shooter all the way around, is bad defensively, and has an atrocious assist-to-turnover ratio for a point-guard).
    * Statistically, Gasol is the only other good rebounder on the team. World Peace comes in 3rd with 5.3 a game, but considering he's playing 35 mpg, which is probably 5 minutes or so more than he deserves these days, that's not particularly good. Kobe's still a decent rebounder from the shooting-guard position, but the problem with guards rebounding, of course, is that guards hanging out near the basket for rebounds tends to degrade transition defense.
    * Which leads to their crappy transition and perimeter defense. You notice every Cavaliers highlight (with the exception of Varajeo's dunk) included Kyrie Irving doing something awesome while Chris Duhon backpedaled, fell down, threw the ball to Irving, or stumbled the wrong way, so that he was rarely within 6 feet of Irving as Irving sliced the Lakers up? Who also matched Irving's 28 points last night? His back-court mate (was it CJ Miles?), who Kobe was probably supposed to be guarding until he was put on Irving. Duhon should be buried on the bench (in a perfect world, he wouldn't even be on the roster of a good team). It's hard for Dwight to defend the rim well when super-quick guards are blowing by the guys on the perimeter every single time they get down the court. Which is going to be a problem all season long, unless they pick up some super-quick free-agent, D-league prospect, or do a trade. And Hill isn't really a good shot-blocker (at least statistically for a high-energy post player), so when Dwight hits the pine, there is no one to do that job.
    * Looks like guys aren't playing hard. It's not just Jamison. Howard, Hill, Meeks, and Bryant look like they are playing hard, World Peace at least looks intense (I think he's just too far past his prime to be a big-timer more than a few minutes out of a game anymore), but the rest of these guys look like they aren't even running up and down the court fast.

    Now the Lakers are talking about bringing in Delonte West or Eddie House. I was a big fan of House years ago (didn't he retire? I mean, who'd he play for last year?), but I find it interesting that the Lakers think a (temporary) answer to their PG woes are two guys who aren't even point-guards? Both of them are quick (at least, when they were young), talented, smart (West clearly isn't smart enough to get his attitude under control, however), under-sized shooting guards!

    (The funny thing is I'm not even a Laker fan! But it is so fun to read, watch, and analyze what is going there right now! There is a lot of data, and opinion masked as data, available to parse through. Though I've always been a Steve Nash fan).
     
  9. 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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    News today is that Dwight Howard has a torn labrum. I had a torn labrum 7 1/2 years ago. If his is like mine, that's the end of the season for him and the end of the season for the Lakers.

    Would not have guessed this year's Lakers team to be lottery bound, but it sure looks that way.

    Neither Philly nor LA did well in that trade in 20-20 hindsight. Maybe Denver is the only team that made out OK.
     
  10. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    By my math, now that the season is half-way done and the Lakers are something like 16 games back, they need to go something like 27-14 for the second half of the season in order to limp in and overtake the 8th seed. Of course, that assumes the teams in the top 8 in the West continue to play out the second half of the season exactly as they have the first half.

    Of course I just read an article indicating the Lakers may be considering trading Dwight. If that were to happen, I don't know if that would help or, psychologically at least, just put the nail in the coffin of this season for the rest of the Lakers.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Trading Dwight right now wouldn't make sense. You'll never get market value for him, or even a decent return on your investment. His contract needs to be renewed, meaning you wouldn't even save salary. All the assets you gave up to acquire Dwight are gone, and so if you don't hold onto Dwight, you basically gave all that up for nothing.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, but it doesn't look like they are using Gasol AT ALL. That's the person you could trade and not feel any impact (not that you'd get much for him). I don't think there's a way to "fix" this season for the Lakers. Limping into the playoffs as an 8th seed is probably best case scenario at this point.

    I don't think they'll have to go 27-14 - they are currently 4 games behind the present 8th seed, which is Houston at 22-21. Well, unless you think that Houston will play better in the 2nd half of the season as well. But if Houston remains a .500 winning percentage, it would give the Lakers a little wiggle room with that record. But any statement of the Lakers making the playoffs seems a bit absurd at this point. It really looks like a lost season.
     
  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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    Just heard an interview with Jeff Van Gundy on ESPN radio. Jeff basically said that Dwight is pissy because he's not the main guy on offense and he walks around with a stat sheet after games complaining. Jeff went on to say that, given he can't hit a free throw and has a rudimentary post game, Dwight shouldn't expect to be the main guy and he's acting like a baby.

    Assuming it's true, it's pretty amazing. Why go to the Lakers when you know that Kobe is the main guy? I just don't get it.

    As far as losing the assets they traded, the Lakers traded Bynum. He hasn't played this season, might not play this season and might never really play again. He was in the last year of his contract, so I see that as a wash.

    The most interesting thing, IMO, is that the move the Lakers didn't make looks more important in the grand scheme of things than the ones they did. They didn't re-sign Matt Barnes. Turns out that Matt's a pretty good glue guy. Plays crazy defense (which the Lakers need), spaces the floor (which the Lakers need), gets offensive rebounds and garbage points (which the Lakers need), runs out on offense (which the Lakers need) . . . anyone seeing a trend?

    Instead, the Clippers pick him up and he is helping to make them one of the three best teams in the league right now. Go figure.
     
  13. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    Obviously I have no idea if that's true and I don't find it hard to believe, in itself. But I'm automatically suspicious of anything Jeff Van Gundy says about Dwight Howard, since he basically blamed Dwight for getting his brother fired in Orlando, and it seems to me he's had an axe to grind on Dwight forever. Maybe I'm wrong and he just calls it like he sees it, but he seems prejudiced against Dwight, to me.

    I always liked him. Well, not when the Lakers were playing the Celtics, obviously, but I saw nothing to dislike in Matt Barnes' game. Reminds me a little bit of ol' "Big Shot Bob" Horry, who was one of my favorite players back in his prime. Long, tall, athletic, cold-hearted, good offensive game and defensive game, gets people involved, worked hard, never quit on a play.

    I don't know why the Lakers let Ramon Sessions go apparently without even an offer-sheet (I could be wrong?) in the off-season, either. Maybe he wasn't the best fit for them, but he is quick, experienced, fairly talented both offensively and defensively, and seems to work hard. The Lakers are lacking most of that from their point-guard corps.

    I guess a lot of it has to do with the salary cap, and a lot of it has to do with a mis-evaluation of their talent. Clearly someone thought their bench would be better than they were, and someone thought their starting line-up would be better than they are, and someone thought there would be more effective coaching.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, yes, but that's evulating strictly through the lens of hindsight (with the admission that you can't tell who "wins" a trade until after the fact). If the Sixers knew he wasn't going to play this season, and possibly not again, they obviously wouldn't have agreed to the trade. It doesn't change the fact that Bynum was an asset at the time. If he wasn't traded for Howard, the Lakers could have got something else for him - and likely that something else would have been pretty good.

    Actually, you may be able to argue that the Sixers came out ahead on the deal. Howard and Bynum are making similar contributions to their team (little versus nothing), but at least Bynum isn't taking minutes away from other people and making a toxic atmosphere on the team.

    (And on your point regarding the Clippers - they probably have the deepest bench in the league - that's probably the biggest reason for their level of play this year.)

    This is a great point. (Not that you didn't make others in your post - I agree than Van Gundy isn't exactly the most unbiased person when it comes to Howard.) Let's just run through them one by one.

    It seems apparent that the Lakers will need to get rid of somebody on the team. While I do not recall offhand the exact details of the luxury tax, it is my understanding that starting next year it gets extremely punitive. Like for every dollar you go over you are taxed more than a dollar in fees. So the contracts for players above the salary cap end up costing the team more the twice the face value on the contract.

    The problem is that there aren't that many guys getting paid big bucks. Kobe isn't getting traded, so that leaves only Howard and Gasol as big money earners who you could move. Now at least the NBA has a rule in place that the values of the contracts you trade have to be within 80% or so of the value of one another. So it's not like you'd get NOTHING in return if you traded these guys. (Although it's entirely possible that you'd trade one high salary guy for three low salary guys just to build depth - the equivalent of trading away a dollar for three quarters.) The biggest difference between Gasol and Howard isn't thier salaries, it's that it appears Gasol wants to be a Laker, and Howard doesn't. And if Howard didn't want to be the second banana, he should have just stayed in Orlando.

    As for the bench, I don't see how anyone could have thought it was going to be any good heading into the season. In fact, that was a point brought up by nearly every pundit I heard going into the season - that the Lakers had no talent whatsoever on the bench. I guess some would point out that while they knew the bench would not be good, they didn't expect it to turn out to be the dumpster fire that it has.

    As for the talent in the starting lineup, it kind of reminds me of the Redskins and owner Daniel Snyder from about 10 years ago. What Snyder did was find the biggest name players he could, even if they were getting up in age, sign them to contracts, throw all these people who never played together before on a team, and expect to win a championship. I'm still shocked by Gasol not playing much of a role on this team. While he has never been a super star, he has always been a good player and solid contributor. Between him, Howard, Nash, and of course Kobe, that should be adequate talent.

    And finally the coach. I think we've perhaps reached the time where we start looking elsewhere to lay blame. Unless you happen to think D'Antoni is a poor coach as well. I'm just saying that the thread started about Mike Brown getting fired, the team hasn't got any better, and so perhaps Brown wasn't part of the problem. Maybe the Lakers don't just need a decent coach - maybe they need a great coach. The problem being that great coaches like Phil Jackson aren't exactly common, and all of the great ones not named Jackson are currently under contract with other teams.
     
  15. 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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    The only thing I will add about the coach is this: D'Antoni went to the Knicks and took over a roster with a ball-stopping wing, older and slower pieces, and not great depth and tried to instill his system and have them run. It didn't work. He didn't adapt.

    It would seem to me that a good coach tailors his system to his players, not the other way around. It might be that the Lakers could run his system, but I would suspect that would involve a heavy buy in by Dwight, as the obvious candidate for the Stoudemire role from Phoenix (can't really see Gasol continually running the break, can you?)

    It seems that Dwight, for whatever reason, doesn't cherish that role. Can't really understand why, as I would think that would get him the most easy points and highlight film reels, but I cannot pretend to understand how top athletes think, as I do not come from a background of being spoon-fed everything I wanted since before I knew I wanted those things.

    So, D'Antoni is still trying to press this team into his system. The only difference between this team and the Knicks is that he has Nash to run it (sort of) but less athletic parts to run with. Still have the ball stopping wing in Kobe.

    Now, if you look at what happened to the Knicks after D'Antoni, the new coach took the same pieces and went on a pretty good run, which is still happening (although they are floating back down to earth after that ridiculous start). I think that Laker nation (me included), were banking on the Nash factor with D'Antoni, which is not bearing out. Perhaps it's injuries, age, depleted bench, whatever, but it looks like the season is going to be a waste.

    So, there are options. The one I like the most, but which will never happen, is to blow it up -- amnesty Kobe (early season efficiency mirage is over and he is completely failing on defense) and trade Dwight. I've seen enough of Dwight by now to know that he's too unskilled to really build the team around. If his head was on straight, he would play a Tyson-Chandler-on-the-Mavs role - sick defense, blocks, boards, dunk points and garbage points. He wants to be the main man, though, and his defense suffers when he isn't. He obviously can't be on the floor at the end of games because he can't make a free throw, and I never realized how turnover prone he was until I starting watching him on a daily basis. Plus, who knows what's really going on with his shoulder and who knows if his back will ever really heal? To steal from Simmons, look at Larry Johnson's stats before and after his back injury. Go young and athletic, keep Pau and feature him as your center, let Metta take more of the offense (crazy as that is), and play your kids so they have a chance.

    We can all agree that is never going to happen for too many reasons to count -- Kobe will end his career as a Laker, Jim Buss won't admit he did anything wrong, even if he is like Jim Dolan's retarded younger brother, they have manager to crush Pau's trade value, so of course he's the guy they will trade, the Lakers feels they cannot just rebuild but must always vie for a championship, etc.

    So, the likely scenario is that they will trade Pau, because he's got this year and next on his contract at about $19 million per. As mentioned above, the way they have used him has completely decimated his value. Who on earth decides it's a good idea to start Earl Clark over Pau, seriously?

    If they do that and take back smaller salary chunks (assuming there is a willing partner), they can expand their bench, get more athletic and maybe make the playoffs. Big whoop, they aren't beating San Antonio, OKC or the Clips.

    Simmons proposed a Pau for Iggy/Mozgov, which would certainly help the Lakers on defense and give them a wing who can score a bit, but that pretty much commits them to playing MWP at the 4, which invites abuse.

    I dunno - the season is a mess and the team is a mess too. The bench is just atrocious, which obviously was going to be an issue at the beginning, but I doubt anyone expected Nash and Blake to be out for as long as they were/are, but still.

    AFI - good skins analogy.
     
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    Nah, I don't necessarily think Antoni is a bad coach. Maybe he is, I've kinda revised my thinking on that this season and don't have a real strong opinion one way or another on that particular subject now. Nash spoke very highly of him, so at least at one point he was an excellent coach. But was it simply all about maximizing a system and he happened to have the right pieces for those system? In the end could he only coach one system? I don't know.

    But I do think he hasn't instilled an effective system for the Lakers players he has nor has he managed to maximize the talents of his stars inside some sort of system that produces wins. Their defense is atrocious and he hasn't improved that, and their chemistry is (to read the reports) seriously out of whack and he seems incapable of doing much about that.
     
  17. 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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    The amazing thing is that it only takes one guy buying in to make the difference. That guy is Kobe. If Kobe doesn't ball hog, it makes the opposition's job infinitely harder. Two games in a row with 14 assists (which, honestly, could have been more as there were several open shots in each game that were missed).

    So what happens? Pau starts looking a little more like Pau, Nash looks better, even Dwight looked more interested (if not necessarily better). They beat OKC (face it, in a game that they absolutely had to win) and handled Utah, a team that normally gives them fits during the regular season for some reason. Now let's see how they do on the Grammy road trip.

    Very frustrating to know they can put it together and to see how well they can play if they try hard. Gah!


    Edit: Just read this Nash quote:

    Yup, exactly.
     
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    I've thought for years that if Bryant passed a little more (his career average, something like 4 1/2 a game, isn't bad at all, but still), the Lakers would look very different. Some of the greatest shooting guards were great passers and assist men and I think it only adds headaches to the other teams' efforts to guard such players.

    I was really impressed with that game yesterday against the Thunder. As Simmons stated yesterday, the Lakers would have to go something like 30-8 to make the playoffs at this point, which seems unlikely. But they played yesterday like a #1 or #2 seed, IMO.
     
  19. 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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    30-8 run with a playoff entry sure would make for a great story. Very possible with the raw talent they have.
     
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    Wow, Kobe's got a pretty serious injury. As of now, I think they are still listing it as a "probable" Achilles tear, but that's a terribly serious injury if a player is in their teens or 20s. My understanding is it typically takes a year to come back from. As a player in his mid-30s...

    It's almost mind-boggling; I really figured, even though it seems Kobe has been playing through various injuries for at least a couple of seasons now, he'd be more-or-less healthy until "the end" and eventually retire on his own terms. It's hard for me to see how Kobe can come back from this and be an effective player again.

    I guess this off-season is going to be extremely interesting for some of the league's top teams (namely, the Celtics and Mavericks, and especially, now the Lakers). I don't see how the Lakers can re-sign Dwight (there is even more pressure on them, now, to do that) without blowing up the team and proving to him that the Lakers are serious about building a legitimate contender--which, especially since Kobe probably can't even play next season if this injury is as bad as some fear, includes bringing in brand-new scoring and playmaking options.

    I just checked the listing for free-agents this off-season. Not a real strong crop, and merely okay in the back-court (other than Chris Paul, of course). JR Smith and Monta Ellis will probably make a lot of money, wherever they go, but neither of them is probably a real good choice for the Lakers.

    Feel bad for Steve Nash. I'm somehow not seeing him fitting into the direction the Lakers are probably going to have to go this summer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
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