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Report Card Time - AK's Final Grades

As we prepare to shift into it's the off-season, there isn't nearly as much to talk about, plus the Times isn't paying us our full rate while the team's on hiatus, so we're gonna start posting a little less mode, I wanted to add at least one more entry that provides closure of sorts. And few things in life provide closure like a final report card. They pretty much left no ambiguity when it came to summing up how mediocre I did in high school. Anyhoo, grades were once again assessed, along with the usual peanut gallery remarks. And I'm sure BK will chime in with his two cents soon enough.

If you want to reference the first half report card, here it is.

Kwame Brown: Things started clicking more after the switch to center. Kwame's already strong post D was accentuated by increased offensive confidence, culminating in a 12.8 ppg April. I personally enjoyed watching this coincide with his increased confidence dealing with the media. (Before improving, I used to joke with a Lakers P.R. rep that Kwame must tunnel out of Staples, since nobody ever saw him after games.) That said, dude still reeks of "project." Among many things, he rebounds inconsistently, catches like he's wearing oven mitts, and I've never seen a 6'11" player less likely to hit a layup. I also question his basketball I.Q. The off-season work will be crucial. He said it during his exit interview: No mas excuses. I asked Kwame once if he felt any pressure to prove himself worthy of No. 1 overall status. He shook his head, more or less saying, "It is what it is." He just wants to play well. Smart attitude. We'll see what happens.

First Half Grade: C-
Second Half Grade: B
Final Grade: C+

Kobe Bryant: It's borderline impossible to single out one highlight from such an array of sick accomplishments. But for my money, Kobe truly took things to another level during the playoffs. He remained deadly as ever (two clutch shots in Game 4 alone), but instilled confidence in his teammates by lending them unconditional trust and unlimited chances. Knowing that a player of godlike status (on and off the court) believed in them brought out the best in Kobe's supporting cast. The end results weren't quite perfect, but the bigger picture is fantastic. If this was a preview of Kobe's leadership to come, nutty as this may sound, the guy's best years have yet to arrive.

First Half Grade: A
Second Half Grade: A
Final Grade: A

Andrew Bynum: After the All-Star break, Big Baby more or less sported diapers. He played in only 15 games, mostly garbage time (although I'm pretty sure he once secured tacos with a rebound). The pine banishment was understandable, since growing pains become a pain in the ass while chasing a playoff spot. But I like his potential. A lot. The look on Kareem's face while interviewing him about Socks made me think Cap wasn't just blowing smoke about Bynum's work ethic, desire to learn, and instincts. Kid needs to hit the weights, work on finishing, and up his game knowledge in general. Like Kwame, he's a project. But one I feel more confident about.

First Half Grade: B
Second Half Grade: D+/Incomplete
Final Grade: C/Incomplete

Brian Cook: I'll begin with a positive. Save Kobe (or Von Wafer), no Laker waffles less when handed the rock. Cook chucks like he's paid by the catch 'n' shoot. Unfortunately, that basically describes Cook's contract, since it's more or less all he does. That he lost a starting job to an out-of-position Luke Walton doesn't speak well of Cook's D (Luke may be better, but he's no Ben Wallace) or post up game (Luke may be better, but he's no Rasheed Wallace). I held out hope for a stronger second half, but like my hopes for "Manu Girl" to knock on my door, it didn't happen.

First Half Grade: C+
Second Half Grade: D
Final Grade: C-

Devean George: Devean's a nice guy whom I've actively rooted to finally reach his potential since he was a rookie (if for no other reason than to shut up my wise ass friends). I've heard and read enough to support my theory that Devean's past inconsistency was due to a paper-thin confidence. Well, he's now playing with confidence and remains inconsistent as ever. Take the playoffs. He supplied either huge clutch shots or nada. I guess it's just who he is. He certainly doesn't hurt you when he's on the floor, but I doubt he'll ever help as much as he seemed capable.

First Half Grade: C+
Second Half Grade: C-
Final Grade: C

Devin Green: Geez, how to evaluate Green's 15 total minutes of post All-Star Break PT? I could harp on his 0-2 performance in 120 seconds against the Clips on Feb. 24. But you'll naturally counter that I'm ignoring how he recovered on Feb. 28 against Orlando, going 1-2 in 180 seconds. And really, who's to say which performance should count more? All kidding aside, I've heard that the brass likes "the other Dev," and Phil certainly could use a tall guard with decent speed. If I had to bet on which player with "D.G." initials will be back next season, it's this one.

First Half Grade: D/Incomplete
Second Half Grade: F/Incomplete
Final Grade: D-/Incomplete

Jim Jackson: Let's see. The Lakers needed a late addition free agent who can hit an outside shot, provide veteran presence to a young second unit and allow Kobe a little extra rest. I can totally see why JJ never stepped on the court. His acquisition and subsequent DNP-CD parade gets my nod for the season's "biggest head-scratcher" award.

Second Half/Final Grade: D-/Incomplete

Aaron McKie: I'll be blunt. McKie did dookie this season. I understand he was way behind the eight-ball after being injured for so long. But he didn't even represent at the Casino Night poker tourney, where he's more than capable of contributing. Disappointing, indeed.

First Half Grade: F/Incomplete
Second Half Grade: F/Incomplete
Final Grade: F/Incomplete

Stanislav Medvedenko: I already poured out some malt liquor for my boy. I only wish we got to see Slava guard Nash just once during any of those zillion playoff switches gone bad. Potential comedy for the ages.

First Half Grade: F/Incomplete
Second Half Grade: N/A
Final Grade: F/Inc./N/A

Chris Mihm: While his injury did provide untapped insight into Kwame's potential at the 5, it's a shame Mihm spent most of March and April crutching around. Even if you prefer Kwame's post D over Mihm's more polished offense, the Lakers needed some of the latter when it came to pounding the ball inside against Phoenix. Mihm spent the first half of the season as the most consistent source of interior scoring. Think that could have come in handy during Game 7?

First Half Grade: B
Second Half Grade: Incomplete
Final Grade B/Incomplete

Lamar Odom: What a difference a second half makes. LO went from more erratic than Courtney Love on a coke binge to a freakin' Swiss watch, both in production and triangle quarterbacking. During March and April, he put up approximately 17, 9 and 6 (plus back-to-back trip-dubs). Those are borderline All-Star numbers. And he was a beast for most of the playoffs. Yeah, he picked a bad time to crap out in Game 7. But if March-May was more than just an oasis, Kobe and Lamar could very well be built around, should Mitch and Phil commit to that route.

First Half Grade: B
Second Half Grade: A
Final Grade: A-

Smush Parker: He may end up in a rubber room from Games 5 through 7 induced trauma, but Smush actually finished the regular season strong. Yeah, he was physically/mentally worthless down the postseason stretch. But under ideal circumstances, Smush is a second-string PG. 82 games guarding better players (followed by a back-to-back MVP in the playoffs) caught up to him. I'm not sugarcoating things. Smush has a lot to work on, especially defensively. But to judge him as you'd judge Steve Nash because they're both starters is unrealistic. Put it this way: If told in mid-October that Smush would average 11 ppg and almost two steals, would you have been mad? Doubt it.

First Half Grade: B
Second Half Grade: C
Final Grade: C+

Ronny Turiaf: The most entertaining Laker to ever man a sideline, Turiaf wasn't too bad in limited minutes either. He's a turnover waiting to happen, but he also picked up the triangle very quickly. Gee, a four-year-college guy with a high aptitude? Go figure. He also provided great energy and hustle. Were Turiaf a little more polished offensively, he may have had a shot at replacing Cook at the 4. Or stealing the lion's share of Cook's remaining minutes, if nothing else.

First Half Grade: Incomplete
Second Half Grade: B-
Final Grade: Inc./B-

Sasha Vujacic: In the first-half report card, I said that I wasn't sure what to make of Sasha. I've since made up my mind. I don't think he's very good. He has a fantastic looking stroke but mostly misses, a big problem since a) he's supposedly a shooter and b) he's not good taking it to the rack. He's too slow to guard 1's, but not big enough to guard 2's. His oft-championed ability to "annoy" ball handlers is overstated and overrated. For every one possession the skill comes in handy, he gets used the next nine. I will say this: He has a lot of confidence, which I hope he never loses. It's easily his biggest asset.

First Half Grade: C
Second Half Grade: D+
Final Grade: C-

Von Wafer: A legend. So out of control, he makes practice entertaining. I once caught the tail end of an El Segundo session where every vet, B. Shaw and PJ would alternately remind Von to pass the ball on about five straight possessions. That's gold. Yes, him playing meaningful minutes would result in nothing short of Armageddon. But when he's your sixth string shooting guard? Outstanding!

First Half Grade:  D/Incomplete
Second Half Grade: F/Incomplete
Final Grade: D-/Incomplete

Luke Walton: I gotta give Billy's Boy some serious props. I had pretty much written the guy off when he suddenly remembered how to play. Being handed the starting four spot came more from Cook not cutting it than PJ having some kind of hunch, but Luuuuuke did a very goooood job, including a few terrific playoff games. Walton also displayed spurts of athleticism that I never dreamed he possessed, especially with the flagrant on Tim Thomas. I had no idea he could get up that high.

First Half Grade: D+
Second Half Grade: B+
Final Grade: C+

AK

 
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I think the Suns win kind of proves that the players and system that Phoenix runs is pretty damn good. I don't think there was an adjustment to be made by the Lakers in the series that could have saved that thing.

On another note, the Suns-Mavs series is going to be seriously fun to watch. The Mavs might be the only team with the speed and shooting to keep up with the Suns. I'm looking forward to a few 130-128 point games.

Go Detroit!!!

Mike T.,

Are you talking to me or Emman, regarding Mihm's B grade?

AK

Michael T,

I think any person on this blog, in the league, or any knowledge of basketball would think that Chris Mihm has a more polished offensive game than Kwame Brown. REgardless of his points per game average, Mihm has a much better post game and can shoot quite a bit better than Kwame. I think that qualifies as being more polished.

AK,

I wasn't really speaking to anyone.

mike

This is officially my last post until next season begins. Fear not laker fans next season will be better. Our mantra remains 'in kobe we trust'.

#8 is going to remind the league next season that he's a three time champion and hungry for more, hence the new beginnnig #8 x 3 championships = #24...lol

My predictions for remainder of playoffs
Detroit over Miami in 7
Dallas over Phoenix in 5
Dallas over Detroit in 6

And my dreams for next season
LA sweeps season series against Dallas
LA over Dallas in 7 to advance to nba finals
LA over Miami in 5
Kobe - allstar mvp - season mvp - finals mvp

Seems to me that Kupchak gets a lot of undue criticism on this blog. I will not go into the details of all of his player personel moves but only mention that his hand was forced on the Shaq trade (by first Shaq and then his boss, Dr. Buss), and that he put together a team with four future HOF players (if you consider GP of HOF caliber) that could not get it done against Detroit in the finals (Malone being injured didn't help either).

The point that I would really like to make is that we always whine about how Kobe is always being compared to MJ (ironically, many of us are the one's who are making those comparisons); and how Kobe will always play in MJ's shadow and that it is an impossible (if not romanicized) legacy to live up to. Yet it is seldom mentioned that Kupchak 'replaced' probably the greates GM in basketball history. Jerry West is a living legend and a basketball icon (literally!). And so Mitch's moves (just as Kobe's) are compared to someone who in hindsight is deemed infalable. It becomes difficult to be objective about his decisions because the benchmark by which we judge those decisions is all but unattainable!

Mitch has by no means been perfect but his ability to evaluate talent and his basketball IQ (he knows the game) are very good. He is doing his job in the shadow of a legend and for that I think we owe him a little margin for error.

Anyone see TJ's latest swipe at Kobe?

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-simers23may23,1,331139.column?coll=la-headlines-sports

A level of sophistication for Simers in that he never mentions Kobe by name. What a slimey bastard!!

Hey K-brothers! You ever see this guy in the halls? Ever feel the temptation to smack him in the mouth?

I am sure he is a great guy when he is not being a columnist, I just hate him as a columnist!

SantaMonic4Ever,

I for one think Mitch Kupchak has done a very good job. I tend to look at moves from a business standpoint and I think Mitch has handled Dr. Buss' money very well. There haven't been any free agents or trades out there that I felt we "had to do" and i think he's been smart in not making moves for the sake of making moves.

As fans we have to be honest with ourselves and realize when you break up a franchise and near dynasty, which we did by trading Shaq, it's considered rebuilding. Well, in that second year of rebuilding we made the playoffs, did well, and in my opinion had a very entertaining season (thank you Mr. Bryant). Financially we're pretty good moving forward and we have some youth that could, COULD pan out for us. All in all I think Mitch deserves a lot more credit than he gets.

SM4Ever,

That's a very interesting, clever analogy, re: MJ/Kobe, West/Kupchak. Nicely done.

AK

Andrew Z, SantaMonica4Ever,

About the only think I can credit Mitch for is the trade for Mihm, Jones and Atkins. Getting them for Rick Fox and Payton was a good deal in my book. Kwame deal was okay, but signing him to 8mil per year on average? When he was about to be thrown out by Washington?
Everything else is/was a wash. When was the last time we drafted someone who was remotely good? Compare that to a team like Phoenix, Sacramento, heck even San Antonio or Dallas.
And that's not including the FA fiascos over the last couple of years. We spent 10 million over the last couple of years on Divac, Mckie, and JJ - none of whom played. Yes, I know Divac and Mckie were injured and PT is really a coach's domain, but you'd like to think we could have put that 10 million to *some* use.
Mitch is just playing it safe.

SantaMonica4Ever,
Good post. One minute the posters here are raving about what a great player Odom has turned into, and the incredible future that lies in wait for Kwame and Bynum. And Luke, such a smart basketball player!! And then the same poster, often within the same post, will criticize Kupchak for doing a crappy job.

hariyahu,

My thing is (other than missing on some draft picks, but that's a crap shoot anyway that a whole bunch of GMs screw up on), what players in free agency have the Lakers missed out on over the last two offseasons? I know there was a bunch of talk about Earl Watson and Antonio Daniels and he didn't pull the trigger on long term deals with those guys, but are those guys who you would want us spending money on? Not me.

I think the Kwame trade was as ballsy as they come and still could end up blowing up in his face, but we were rail thin up front and he addressed that. I know Kwame at $8 mil per is steep, but we saw some improvement at the end of the year, and if next year passes and he still hasn't made progress, well then we have a decent size expiring contract attached to a big man, not a bad bargaining chip.

I don't feel for one instant that this roster is anything to write home about, but he did what he could under the circumstances. let's also not forget that the draft picks he has made have been done so with the belief that they would be players alongside Shaq. I think this last draft was pretty good with Turiaf and Bynum (and Wafer, sorry).

Anyway, he has been safe, I admit that, but it's a hell of a lot better than being reckless and stupid.

"For the Lakers, the first-round +/- leader was Cook at +28. Last was Kwame Brown at -70, the worst raw number in the entire first round of the playoffs. Still think we should trade Mihm this off-season?"

mannie - it's a little misleading to look at +/- numbers for just one series. Too much can depend on matchups, like who on the opposing team tends to be in the game when you're in the game. +/- numbers are hard enough to evaluate in basketball - when the best players play almost every minute - that they're only useful when you have a large sample size of games.

p.s. - I absolutely love Reggie Bush.

You have to give Mitch his due, I agree, but Jerry Buss is the man. We've gone round and round second guessing every move made by the team and yet he just sits back and plays it like he's got pocket aces. When Shaq was traded, after the raving died down somewhat, he said he thought it might be enough to have been in the conference finals 13 of the last 26 seasons. Everyone else filled in the other 13. That's the Lake Show.

Buss picks horses and directions to run in. Mitch and the staff are getting it done and hopefully will pull a rabbit out of the hat this summer, but I'm always confident that Jerry B knows something we don't and it will all be fine.

It is hard to follow the "logo". The older he gets, the better he was. We can always find something wrong, at season's end here, it's mostly right again in Laker land. Thanks, Dr B... by the way, how 'bout a bloggers discount on seats next year?

Back to blogville- Love this place, AK and BK You guys do a very good job of keeping this place interesting.
Its a great place to pick up on a whole lot of nothing, rumors, gossip and surely more opinions than anyone can digest- Whew!
I think the Lakers are going to have to play Bynum and push for a trade with GS to get Pietrus, Ellis or C-bark. I hope Bynum gets minutes due to him from last season, what a waste of a draft pick if the guy doesn't contribute whatsoever. I agree with the people here that recommend a new wrinkle into the coaching plan. I mean Phil played the Princeton style stuff with the Knicks, and knows the Pick and Roll works and has watched teams like Indiana run 2x picks for Reggie Miller so why not take a page out of the whole NBA and make it part of a few different sets for all these different talents. I am astonished to see the progress of the team and truly feel next year we might make the 2nd round but come on this is LA and we gotta wanta win.
Dr. Buss and Mitch need to employ a new style of being aggressive and keep things growing because the hands of Kwame are no way good enough to get you big time wins against formidable opponents. Bynum has better hands and it would have been great to see him get the same looks that KBrown did in the stretch. I believe Bynum actually has more potential and will finish above the rim with authority more often than Kwame. If we don't make Kwame, Smush, George,Cook, Sasha, McKie, and possibly even Mihm trade bait it is a sad off-season. The idea is to get the pieces you need to be competitive. Our Guards are too slow and our inside game lacks in rebounding and defending. Kwame might make a great player but the odds are he has pretty much become who he is- and that is barely adequate. Mihm has shown more passion and all around effort but has foul trouble too often along with injuries so his place cannot be to concrete either. To gamble on KGarnett is just that a gamble but it gets us right into the Western Finals. PERIOD! He is that good and if we can obtain him you have to do it.
I know all about him slowing down but the truth is he has not been inspired for 2 seasons.
Sam Cassell took the ball away and so did Spree- damn you gotta be kidding me - Going away from Garnett!!! And using up wannabee's like those two-both guys are way past the prime too slow to get by the leagues fast and getting faster best teams. Look at Dallas and the Suns - quickness is killing people. Jermaine ONeal also seems to want out - another Celtic block- Minn(McHale)Indy(Bird) no way these guys give up their best players to the Lakers.
Monte Ellis or Pietrus along with Garnett and we have studs who can role play, support Kobe, not steal the limelight and Defend! That would be the best! C-barkaba is a talent waiting to bloom too I think he should be getting more minutes than Troy Murphy up there and this guy will at least try to rebound in the paint and drive to the hole- better than Cook by a mile.
The draft just doesn't give you anything solid, I mean we blew it last year with missing Granger and a few others that would be totally integrated for this season but nooooooooo Mitch had a project he wanted to get off the ground and Phil had a project to develop but failed to get him off the bench, egomaniac's or what. This year is the year to go to the free agents and players in the league, we already know Phil won't play the rookies. The triangle is so complex it needs a little break and that is when we get into the fast passing Princeton style or the domination of Kobe and Lamar - Maybe Bynum doing pick and Rolls and taking a page out of Magic and Kareems yo-yo offense where he makes the triangle basically happen from the post. Bynum needs court time not practice time, how can he become a sensation and improve his confidence by sitting. The guy has a lot better hands than Kwame and anyone who plays the game knows you either have good hands or you don't. Ben Wallace is the only player I have seen lately that makes up for his bad hands by focusing on defense to the point of being the best in the game at it- Maybe Kwame has a chance if he earns that type of style. The solutions are many but the players are where we need to improve. It sucks to be a hard-core general manager but the truth is this team, as a whole needs to improve immensely in order to make it to the next level.
Which makes me believe, Mitch needs to read the Blog! hahahahaha
I swear sometimes this blog is just the perfect place to vent, thanks for al the good stuff and keep up the good work bro's - signing off as just another frustrated Laker Fan.

Before I make my last post, I'd like to comment on what AZ said about Mitch moves after Shaq;

1. When Mitch traded the Big Diesel, he moved it hastily without safeguarding the needs of the Lakers in getting another big man. All he did was move him fast or else they might lose Kobe to the point of getting 2 good picks in Odom & Butler but absorbed a garbage with a bum knee like Brian Grant @ $16M per year;

2. Then people were appreciative in moving the oldies Fox and Peyton but these guys are also most sought veterans especially Da Glove, what Mitch got was Mihm, Jones and (Banks first then) Atkins later, plus our first round draft pick for '06. In essence, Mihm was replaced the Big Diesel while Fox & Peyton were replaced by Jones & Atkins;

3. PJ re-signed with the Lakers, we shipped again Atkins and Butler for Kwame & Profit. Before the season started, we dropped Jones, then Profit got injured, he was also cut-off.

4. In summary, after two years of tinkering with the line-up and maxing the salary cap the REAL trade appears to be: SHAQ, FOX, PEYTON in return we got today ODOM, KWAME & MIHM.

5. Why did we cut-off Profit when he got injured, so the trading of Atkins was wasted? What exchange did we get out from Jones, so the trading of Fox or Peyton was also wasted?

6. We picked up available free agents like Mckie & JJ but we didn't use them throughout the season. One was injured and the other was new but both were available to play during the playoffs. Shall we blame PJ or Mitch for picking-up the wrong guys to adopt with the new system?

I think it could have been better if we just dropped Shaq, Fox, Peyton w/o any trade, save their salaries, get college drafts, WAIT or make room for the salary cap to purchase the rights of Superstars whom we prefer to adopt with Kobe & the "10Million" Coach. Mitch made a decision and the results were CRAPPY chemistry and fuzzy Math that maxed-out Lakers salary cap. Now we're stucked with Kwame & Mihm debating who to drop in the years to come. We got Odom but we paid a high price for it.

Is that what you call a good deal?

Thanks for the blogs and may you all have a nice Summer.

Where's Laron Profit's grade? You graded Medvedenko, who only played 2 games in garbage time, so Profit deserves a grade too...PeACe

Now I know,

I didn't give Profit a new evaluation because he was officially out for the season when I did the first half report cards (where he got a B/inc.). And he wasn't on the team post All-Star break, since they waived him to add Turiaf. Thus, it seemed a little redundant to rehash, since there was nothing to add. His grade from the first half would stand.

Slava didn't play post All-Star break, either. But he was still on the roster during some of that time, before they waived him for JJ. So at least it made a little sense to bring him up, even briefly.

AK

Edwin,
"SHAQ, FOX, PEYTON in return we got today ODOM, KWAME & MIHM. "

That appears to be a pretty good deal. Fox was on way towards retirement, even if he had stayed with the Lakers. TOo many health issues. Shaq was never going to get into appropriate shape, and the Lakers were not going to win another title with him on the team, and were likely to lose Kobe if Shaq stayed. Since Shaq still had another year on his contract, cutting him would have counted against the cap. And would have been an incredibly bad PR move, even worse than the trade. Payton did not fit in with this team, and has lost a good portion of his previous skills. Lamar is a very solid, second-tier player, with the potential of moving up into that top group. Mihm is, at worst, going to be a solid backup, center, and has a reasonable chance of improving into a decent, middle-of-the-pack starting center. Kwame will likely turn into a career backup center, currently overpriced. So overall, it is a pretty good deal.

Edwin Gueco,

I should respond to the points you made. In order:

1. I don't think there were a lot of teams lining up to trade for Shaq, especially since we didn't want to send him to a Western Conference team. I remember Mark Cuban even saying he wouldn't give up Nowitzki. As for the B. Grant contract, we had to take back matching salaries to make it work and having Odom and Butler still allowed us to be competitive.

2. I think calling Payton a sought after vet is overstating it. Not sure if you've watched him lately but he is done. Plus, it would have been a good deal if Payton didn't act like a little b*tch and cost us Banks. You forgot to mention Rick Fox was going to retire because of injury so basically we were trading his salary.

3. The Kwame trade was pretty risky and still is up in the air. However, we desperately needed size and it's tough to find in this league, especially someone four years removed from being the #1 overall pick.

4. I think that's a pretty good deal considering we would be ABSOLUTELY, ROYALLY SCREWED if we were to give Shaq the extension he wanted. Give Miami another year and see how much they enjoy paying Shaq $20 million per...for the next four years.

5. We cut Profit because he blew out his achilles and was done for the year. By doing that we were able to sign and play Ronny Turiaf. WE have a second round pick from Charlotte for Jones, which isn't bad considering we had 94 small forwards and the Bobcats suck. It was a cap space deal.

As for just dropping Shaq, Payton, FOx and saving their salaries, it doesn't work that way. If we would have cut them we still would have had to pay their salaries and be WAY over the cap. If we would have just let them play out their contracts and walk as free agents, Kobe Bryant would have signed with the Clippers.

I think what we have is Kobe Bryant in a Laker uniform for years to come, some substantial young talent and salary cap space after next season. There won't be any superstar free agents out there anyway, so what good would cap space do? All in all I think the Lakers are in good shape, and mitch Kupchak deserves credit for that.

Edwin,

The reason why we shipped off Atkins was that Phil don't really like guards that are 5'11. Plus we kept sayind during the 2004-2005 season was that he sucked as a defender and despite all his points, really did not defend well. If you compare him with Smush really he had less than 1/2 steals than the Smush-meiaser (73 to Smush's 140). So basically we traded Atkins, a descent scorer, with defense. Smush was incosistent in scoring and his personal defense was also questionable, but we go more steals with him than with Atkins. I really believe that with heavy offseason workout, Smush can not only improve his personal defense but also be more consistent with his scoring. I don't think Atkins can really improve his defense because of his size. So basically by giving up Atkins we signed Smush and got Profit, who actually proved that he is worthy of a spot. Injuries are always there so its not really his fault that he got injured. By trading a poor defense point guard, we got a point guard we could actually be good next season and a great backup to Kobe.

michael t.!!!!!!!!!!
mihm was never force fed like they did kwame at the end of the season. and fyi, i never said mihm was polished, but i'll tell you this though, he is polished(nice footwork, jumper, and a hook, dunks around the hoop), he was leading the lakers in fg percentage before cook took over, then came kwame. but kwame's fg% is misleading, besides the fact that he is left open alot, all the passes he couldn't catch do not count towards his turnovers, but the passer's. i really do not know why you keep bringing this kwame vs mihm arguement, i'll end it here, kwame could get better than mihm, but right now he is not even close. have you ever tried bringing up a kwame arguement outside of this blog? people won't even argue with you, they just wave it off!!!!!!!!!

Andrew Z,

I think we both agree that Mitch is a play-it-safe kind of GM. I don't think that's good enough - that's all. Dallas, San Antonio, Sacramento are teams that consistenly draft well - we are not.

As for the Shaq trade, we went out of our way to accomodate him, but didn't get everything we wanted in return. What is our strategy going forward? Are we looking for a FA superstar to suit up for the Lakers? Or are we going to stay put, and add small pieces like a Profit? What is the timetable to get back to title contention? 1 year? 3 years? 5 years? I don't see anything yet. Proof is going to be in the pudding - let's see what happens this summer.

Do I have higher standards for Mitch to live upto?
You betcha!

Hari

AZ, Exhelodrvr,

Trading Shaq was a GOOD MOVE, same with Payton and Fox. We all agree that they have to move but I will never agree that we got BEST deal out from the series of trades. The motivation of Kobe is TO WIN, so in the last two years do you consider the Lakers competitive?

I like your ideas AZ, but on this topic I just completely DISAGREE with your high marks with Mitch. At this point, we may be unfair because we're second-guessing him based on the results. Well as they say in business, it's Management By Objectives and managers are measured only by the results.

It appears that we have reached the maximum salary cap till '08 and acquired developing players. In the final analysis, do you really believe the Lakers were competitive last year and this year? And We, the FANS deserve to pay the high-priced Staple seats and Lakers side businesses.

I leave those thoughts to other bloggers.

Edwin,
We ended up with, in terms of basketball capability, about 70 cents on the dollar for the first couple of years, and potentially much more than that for subsequent years. (Shaq is noticeably declining, and the other three are, as a group, still improving.)

hariyahu and Edwin Gueco,

I completely agree that Mitch has played it very safe and that might not be the best route, but I also feel that things could have been worse. The problem with analyzing the Shaq deal, and what he could have received from another team in return if he would have waited it out, is tough because he was also trying to get Kobe signed long term and that meant not having Shaq on the roster.

I'm not trying to defend Mitch too much, I just think he has been dealt kind of a crappy hand.

On the other hand, their are still butts in the over-priced Staples Center seats and we are still getting plenty of national coverage, so I'm sure he and Dr. Buss aren't too pressed to make radical changes.

I for one am giving this team until the All-Star break and at that point it's blow it up time if it ain't working.

In the 1993-94 season, the Jordan-less Bulls notched a surprising 55-27 record (only two fewer wins than the prior championship season, and the 3rd-best in the Eastern Conference). However, the team would ultimately lose to the Knicks in the second round of the playoffs. This was Scottie Pippen's team. The second best player on the Bulls three peat teams.

And the lakers after losing their most dominant force. Two time NBA MVP. three time finals MVP, Shaquille O'Neal?

2004-2005 Los Angeles Lakers 34 wins 48 losses. No playoffs.

That was Kobe's team the second best player on the Lakers three peat dynasty. So please do Kobe a favor and never, ever, ever compare him to MJ.

He may one day be the next Scottie Pippen. He's just gonna need to win a few more rings first.

wanna see scottie's supporting cast.

steve kerr, b.j. armstrong, horace grant, toni kukoc, bill wennington, luc longley, pete myers, will purdue, john paxson.

any of those future hall of famers have you shakin in your boots?

who coached that team? oh yeah triangle offense, phil jackson.

so who took the lakers to the playoffs this year? kobe or phil?

This Kobe Hatin' just keeps getting easier and easier.

Andrew Z,

Basically, you believe that the team as it is constituted right now could potentially contend for a title. I'm not too sure about that.
I think we need a good post player who can mesh with LO and a good PG [the last one we had was Magic]. I don't understand why Phil/Mitch are enamored with tall guards who can defend. If we can't find those, we might as well try to get one who keeps other PGs honest. I'm tired of getting burned by the likes of Nash, Parker and BLAKE [for Christ's sakes!]
Going into an offseason with the "we are right where we want to be" mindset is discouraging - unless it's all smoke and errors and they are trying to actively improve, but keeping it quiet.
Like I said, this summer will be interesting.


Its draft time again, about that time when the clueless "Cupcake" drafts another Euro stiff or some bust nobody else wants. Year after year, the Gilbert Arenas, Larry Hughes, Carlos Boozers, Josh Howards, Tony Parkers of this world are drafted late in the first round and in the second round, but never with the Lakers.
The bulls need big men, have too many guards, the Lakers need guards and have too many big men, you would think even a "Cupcake would recognize the opportunities there but you would be sourly mistaken.
In this buyers market with a bevy of top shelf superstars said to be available via trade, I bet if you allowed Mitch to trade Kobe, he would get you Ricky Davis, Marko Jaric and a late first round draft pick! You would assume that even a moderately talented GM would be able to swing a decent trade that would improve this franchise. The pipedream (or is it collective hallucination) that the Lakers brass have, is that you can squander opportunities today in order to win tomorrow, Who exactly is their prophet? You take you chances where you can, when you can, you never ever defer for another time. Since Shaq took his fat ass to south beach while refusing to follow the local diet, the ‘Cake” has traded away Jamaine Jones and Caron Butler, while managing to sign Vlade Divac, Aaron Mckie, and Jim Jackson. The man is incompetent and has not shown an eye for talent nor lucked into a good decision. I could try to believe that next season would be different but how can I? There is nothing that Mitch has done or said that makes me think that he is even aware of how badly he has performed. Either Mitch lives in a cocoon or nobody tells him the truth. This Lakers team is neither big nor fast, we can’t post up and we can’t shoot from the outside, we can’t really guard the interior nor the perimeter, we don’t draw that many fouls nor make that many foul shots when we get them. The only thing we have is Kobe and that will not be enough next season, we want to win and win a lot next season.

AK

Hey I need help. As a life-long Laker fan, pruple and gold bleeder, what do I do? Lindsey Hunter or Shaq? Do we love Payton and Shaq enough to want them to advance? Or does that say something about our laker organization? What do I do?!

RK

hariyahu,

Maybe I came off the wrong way but I in no way think this team is capable of contending for a title. I actually don't recall ever saying that. My belief is we have some major "ifs" and if those end up moving in the positive direction we could have some success. We are about three pieces away. In my opinion they are a defensive minded point guard with speed, a legit second scoring option, and a power forward with shot blocking ability and a big motor. Could LO be a true second option? Could Ronny Turiaf be that power forward? Can we find a guy in the draft to play that point position? All big fat "ifs" but that's the position management has put this team in.

My take is this. If LO doesn't make a big improvement by the All-Star break we try and move him to either New York for Jalen Rose or Orlando for Grant Hill to get some cap space and maybe a pick. In the draft we should look to get Guillermo Diaz, Shannon Brown, or if we're lucky enough for him to fall Rajon Rondo. In the offseason we'd have quite a bit of money with Grant and Hill/Rose coming off the books ($30 mil) and go after some free agents who have the ability to step up.

I don't think this team is championship caliber, but i believe Mitch built it with a timeline of two years to get a realistic idea of who is going to be the core. I'm impatient so I say the All-Star break this next year.

Vegas baby, Vegas!

Kant:

Steve Kerr was a descent player, not to mention an analyst for TNT, you forgot Ron Harper who practically facilitated the whole triangle offense in Chicago when Pippen wasn't doing it, Horace Grant was a great player on that team, especially during the 1st 3-peat, and oh yea, Dennis Rodman you forgot.

True Phil has had very succesfull teams. But did Jordan win a championship without Phil Jackson? No. Did Shaq and Kobe plus Malone and to a degree Payton win in 2004, no. Did the Lakers win in back-to-back games in January against the Jazz which Kobe later got a season high 7 steals? No, and that was WITH Phil Jackson and our Scottie Pippen like Lamar Odom.

Phil is good, but don't discount Kobe Bryant, ever.

so who took the Lakers to the playoffs this year?
Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson

Ryan,

Lindsay Hunter. Most of us hate Shaq.

No we don't like either Shaq or Payton. Watch what we did against Payton when he entered the game on Martin Luther King's day and crushed the Heat.

It says that we are a great organization that won't take smack from a crybaby and a "glove".

It also says that Steven is a moronic idiot who NEVER appears when the Lakers are winning.

The Truth!
Out! :P

Ryan K,

You hope to hell Miami loses because you'll never here the end of it if Shaq wins a ring with the Heat. It's okay to root for Detroit this time, we give you permission.

anybody know the story on bob horry? i dont think he's back with san antone nxt year and i wouldnt mind seeing him coming off the bench in purple and gold..knowing bob, though, he'll probably end up with detroit and win 2 rings with them

Ryan,

It depends on how big a Shaq fan you are. If you're extremely grateful to Shaq, then root Miami. If you can't stomach Shaq getting another ring before Kobe, root Detroit. But Lindsey Hunter and (especially) GP don't factor into the equation. They weren't Lakers long enough to matter and while Hunter may have been part of a title team, he didn't play particularly well (Hunter's entire career has actually been ordinary unless he's been in a Pistons uni). In the end, it all comes down to your feelings on Shaq.

As far as what Shaq theoretically getting a ring first says about the Lakers organization, I don't think it really says anything, unless you think they should have kept Shaq. But if they had, Kobe would have walked. There's no doubt in my mind. It was one or the other. If you think they should have kept Kobe (as I do), then as far as shaq getting another ring first, it simply is what it is.

AK

just to chime in, I think it's too early to say. In the first place, Jerry West was a legend as a GM cause his players won (championships). If Kobe had turned into a bust (I shudder to think lol) people would say he has lost his touch, and maybe he would not be as romanticised as a GM as he is today. I do think we should give Mitch more leeway, and maybe not compare him as much to Jerry West. His "projects" need time to develop, but just imagine the possiblities, if all of them just get within an ounce of their potential, couple with a great coach, and a great player...I see championshipS. For me it's a matter of when. This is the lakers, if these players don't pan out, I guarantee this organization will strive to find those that will. Go Lakers!

Which is not to say I particularly like his comments exactly...I still don't think you get it out there and blame the Kwam's work ethic instead of keeping it in doors since the guy is sensitive enough (I mean he was coddled in the season) and not talk about our holes, and what to do about it. But I'm still giving him the benefit of the doubt...lol

I'm dying to see the quick, on the ball defendin' PGs on Dallas guard Nash. I don't think it will be done, not if he's on.

He gets the pick and the roll and the D has to catch up. Got a friend that played at Missouri, Clipper fan, knows the game, talkin' about how the Clips were doin' a good job on Nash. They did until he got his legs back and shot lights out last night like he did against us. Great D or just a mild slump?

It's a team game. Every team talks about defending Kobe as a team. We keep talking about a great on the ball defender for these guys, which would be nice but the team has to shut down a Nash, Parker, Bibby.

It's enough for me to know that he got in shape for them (last year) and he never did for us. Couple that with the "comments." I hope he loses.

Though I think if he won, it's true we wouldn't hear the end of it, but in the end, everyone knows it's about quantity. Who wins more rings than who. And Kobe's got 5+ years to go and a young team that can and will develop with him.

andrew Z!
you are so desperate that you would take anybody, i understand.
going by what you said, you feel the lakers need either a guard or a 4, true. shanon brown is neither of those, then you also mentioned rajon rondo, guess what, he might still be available at our pick, but i doubt the lakers would pick him, the reason being, he can't shoot a jumper to save his life, whether a 15 footer or a 3 pointer, he shoots around 50% from the free throw line. that is his draw back, other than that he is an excellent player. he would have been a lottery pick if he could just shoot. these are assessments from nba scouts, and what i have seen. i think the lakers are two pieces away, both of which must be scorers.

interesting vman, i went to missouri... love my tigers.

when did your friend play?

now you all want horry? you also want cassell. haven't you guys learned anything yet, that old timers don't benefit the lakers (peyton, vlade, mckie, jackson, byron russell, malone, grant)? any body older than 31 should not come near the lakers. someone even mentioned grant hill, com'on, another injury waiting to happen. any veteran we pick must be able to play 35 mins a game consistently, and we can't lose him to injury-due to age/fatigue/reputation.

AK,
Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but you can tell Sasha is a great shooter for the future, because he shot 95% from the free throw line his rookie year, and he is shooting over 90% over his career. Check out all of the great shooters, they all shoot very well over their careers. Mark Price, Rick Barry, Steve Nash. Talk about great shooters...

i want to wade to succeed but not shaq, basically shaq retires then wade gets his championship. as a true laker fan, a kobe fan, i know if shaq wins, i would never hear the end of it, that's why i don't want shaq to win, and the funniest thing is, i love shaq, but i'm riding with kobe. now y'all might think i'm crazy for saying what i'm about to say, which is , i pick the mavericks to win it all. i picked them since day one, that's besides my bias laker pick.

Greek Dude,

There's a big difference between being a guy who can hit from distance all over the floor and hitting FT's. The former comes while you have to move, sometimes create your own shot, and shoot with a hand in your face. The latter is from shorter distance with nobody guarding you. I think the truth is actually the reverse of what your saying. An established great shooter tends to be a great free throw shooter. But not the other way around.

Plus, one doesn't always correlate to the other, anyway. Bruce Bowen was among the league leaders in 3% last season and he's an awful FT shooter.

Look, if the day comes, I'll fully admit I was wrong about Sasha. I hope I am. I'm just saying, he's done little to bring about a lot of confidence in my mind.
AK

Thanks AK and Andrew Z! Points taken. I am just so lonely watching the playoffs now. Betrayed, Cold and in the fetal position!

AK,
You're right on with the Bruce Bowen argument, but we saw what Sasha is capable of doing when he started out the series shooting 8-10 3pts. That's impressive considering how inconsistent Sasha has been. I'm just saying that Vujacic has the mechanics to be a great shooter some day, but he has a while to go. Thanks for the micro-debate.

Andrew Z,

I agree - I just want stuff to happen sooner than All-Star break:)
I don't think we should be trading LO [except if KG is on the menu :)] or Bynum though. Kwame/Mihm - prolly one or the other. The thing is if we wait that long, our chances of getting something good in return are greatly diminished.
Mihm is a FA at the end of the year, so what is our plan? Sign him to a 7/8/9 million contract at the end of the year further capping us?
I'd prefer to move one of them now to get that forward, and then use our mid-level exception to get a solid PG.
If we can't stop Nash, Parker etc, that's fine, but atleast force them to work on the defensive end. Did you see what Harris did to Tony Parker? Anytime you have a quick PG, it forces the other team to scramble on the defensive end, with the end result being open looks.
Which is why I'm so high on Monta Ellis, Marcus Banks, or even Mike James. I'm just dying to see Kobe get some help in the backcourt, and what we have right now is just not cutting it.

Yes, please let's not get any over-35's. I'd like to get someone who can contribute right *now*.

FYI

Just in case nobody checked, but Chris Mihm averaged 6.3 rebounds this year.

Kwame Brown averaged 6.6 rebounds this year.

So much for Mihm being a better rebounder.

mike

Steven's FINAL GRADES

Well another NBA season passes with no sight of a glamourous adoring Los Angeles Laker team playing in the Western Conference Finals. Gone are past Laker teams that captured national attention with a brand of exciting basketball that virtually left unworthy opponents in their wake weary and tired, tongues hanging out of their mouths resembling an old pair of canvas Chuck Taylor shoes. Team nicknames such as 'Showtime' and the 'LakeShow' became common vernacular for common place fans who loved the drama and excitement brought on in those individual eras during Laker NBA greatness.

Gone are the Giants that roamed the middle of the lane, blocking or changing shots, snatching rebounds, making tough passes for assist or depositing easy baskets. Such giants as Wilt, Kareem and Shaq changed the game and the rules of the game in their own individual way.

In the past the Laker organization was known for recruiting the BEST centers in the league along with building teams around those famed centers. Winning NBA titles with those centers was something expected from the Laker franchise. Names such as Mikin, Chamberlain and Jabbar grace the rafters of Staples Center giving subtle reminders of immortality at the center position for the Lakers.

The tradition of greatness broke with the Laker organization when Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat. A tradition of GREATNESS and DOMINANCE at the center position was traded for obsurity irreverance in a league that is ruled by giants ruling the middle.

As the Miami Heat led by Shaquille O'Neal and DWade, two TEAMMATES with a common goal, winning an NBA Title. As they march toward an Eastern Conference Title against the Detroit Pistons, one can only think of what could have been if pettiness would not have reared up it's ugly head in the City of Angels and caused the loss of one of the MOST DOMINANT centers in Laker and NBA history.

GRADES:

Kobe Bryant: B-
Kobe is a great talent and emensly athletic however, Kobe needs to learn how to RELAX and get on the same page as his OWN TEAMMATES. Kobe needs to show them respect and confidence in their games. What came back to haunt Kobe in the playoffs was that he DIDN'T TAKE the TIME to TEACH or HELP teammates with the triangle or 'Kobeangle' offense. If some recall Kobe stated many times that they were going to have to learn it on their own with their own learning process. Well that selfishness came back to bite Kobe in the ass when the Lakers were up 3 games to 1 against PHX. Had he taken extra time during the preseason to assist teammates in the learning process, and finding spots, they wouldn't have froze and went cold during games SIX and SEVEN.

Lamar Odom: C+
Poor guy can't play alongside Kobe, his confidence is shot and he looks confused in situations.

Kwame Brown: D+
The guy seems to lose focus on what he is doing late in games. Great physical speciment, but lacking fundamentals, such as CATCHING THE BALL.

Brian Cook: C
I don't believe he could make another NBA teams roster.

Luke Walton: B
Great passer, bi-offensive knows the triangle AND Kobeangle offenses. Needs to work on consistant jumpshot.

Devean George: too many injuries too bad, great guy.

Faith: D-
Quit dreaming false Laker dreams just Stick to nursing school. Maybe you can stop some Laker bleeding next season.

Laker UK: D-
pitiful. My suggestion, Read Basketball for Dummies. you ALMOST made me chuckle one time.

AK/BK: A+
Thanks for this medium, you guys were really intuitive to create a sounding board on this medium. This is a great medium for ideas and letting out frustration with a once storied franchise. Thanks again.

Jon: A+
That guy knows his stuff!! You guys AND gals need to follow Jon's written word. (Jon 3:16)

SantaMonica4Ever: D--
You must be related to Mitch Kupchak. I hope you don't have any fantasy teams, they'd be dwelling in the cellar like some Orlando Magic. whewwww you my man though!!!

To ALL: "A"

Thanks for the debates and insight it was great, good luck next season.

Former Laker star Shaq and The Miami HEAT along with Former Laker legend Pat Riley will win the EAST and the NBA Titles, don't forget, you heard it here FIRST!!!!


OUT!!!
the REAL truth

Kantotaso
AKA Steven, AKA Jon , AKA Hater, Blah, Blah, Blah
ZZZZZZZZZZ!!
And the lakers after losing their most dominant force. Two time NBA MVP. three time finals MVP, Shaquille O'Neal?
Who do you think was feeding him the ball on most nights!
2004-2005 Los Angeles Lakers 34 wins 48 losses. No playoffs. (Kobe + Lamar missed 30+ games)

Jordan sustained a broken foot missed 64 games and helped Chicago to a playoff berth despite the club's 30-52 record
"Funny how a club can make playoffs with that record what a division" (Laker_Uk)

That was Kobe's team the second best player on the Lakers three peat dynasty. So please do Kobe a favor and never, ever, ever compare him to MJ
Look Hater we are not!!

who coached that team? oh yeah triangle offence, phil jackson.
You are so sharp today!!!
so who took the lakers to the playoffs this year? kobe or phil?

This an easy one,!! The LA Laker coach driver!!!

This Kobe Hatin' just keeps getting easier and easier.

Picking you haters are apart just keeps getting easier and easier!!!

Peace
Laker_Uk

"SHAQ, FOX, PEYTON in return we got today ODOM, KWAME & MIHM. "

"That appears to be a good deal"-exhelodrvr

First off im not going off on you(cuz im not sure if ur for or against the Garnett trade). Please be serious just trading Shaq alone is more than enought to get Odom,Kwame and Mihm(we lose). Guess what those players are almsot the same since we got them cuz they havent really raised their game that much to really say WOW!! Remember ppl that even if Kwame gets better whose to say he'll have the heart to go out there and give his all to win or is he gonna play hard enough to jsut get paid. Shaq, fox,peyton for odom, kwame, and mihm was bad for us. Garnett is not as great as Shaq but is very close. So if trading for Odom,Kwame and Mihm is worth it for shaq then it should be good for Garnett. Im not saying to give them all 3 since we also traded Fox and Peyton but if we are adding a 3rd person(draft) for Odom+kwame deal then taht has to mean something. Garnett is worth it and we should if possible get him.

Mike T.,

I assume you're taking into account that Kwame's rebounds will (or should, if nothing else) naturally go up during those two months when Mihm, one of the team's best rebounders, wasn't on the court to snag some of them. And that Kwame got about 6-7 extra minutes a game during that same period. And he played C with either Luke Walton or Cook at PF, neither of whom are glass eaters, which will also help his tally. His numbers weren't as good until all this took place.

I'm not trying to downplay Kwame's nice March and April. I just wouldn't label him as good a rebounder as Mihm quite yet.

AK

Steven,

I feel honoured by your grade because I did even know that you could recite the alphabet.

Laker UK: D-
pitiful. My suggestion, Read Basketball for Dummies. you ALMOST made me chuckle one time.

P.s. I do not need to read "Basketball for Dummies", I just have to read your posts namely,
"Basketball by Dummies"

Ouch!!!

Q.E.D

Peace

Laker_Uk

Steven, Steven , Steven, ZZZZZZ!

What are we to think of you after just jumped into be with Lebron and then left in the Monday morning without even leaving a thank you note!!

But we see that giving two heads are better than just giving one head!! That why choose to jump into Shaq & Wade bed.

What will you do when they lose the Pistons!!
I guess Dirk or Nash is available, Oh well you better get two open tickets!!

Laker_Uk

Guys (esp AK),

I don't really know what happened back then, but how come we never got DWade for Shaq? DWade + Odom would have been great, so why wasn't he part of the package?

Just need to find closure.

michael t.!!!!!!!!!1
you never quit do you? leave all these mihm and kwame comparisons alone, pleeeeeeeeease!!!!!!!!!!
nobody wants hear it anymore, everytime i leave and come back, you have something fresh on that arguement, let it go, you can't convince us, and when i say us, i mean the whole world. go back to the beginning of the season up until the end of the season, on this blog, and check who is the most dissed laker player, the only laker booed at home. don't get me wrong, he is becoming something special, but nobody would be dissing kwame right now, if not for you trying to overhype him, and relegating mihm. frankly, i think you are either kwame's brother or his agent. b'cos you are the only one that sees no wrong in the that kid, in the whole wide world. i know sometimes when kwame would be browsing thru this site, and he sees your comments, he is like "oh my God, the more mike t. praises me the more i get blasted, he needs to leave me alone". lol, com'on, i still love you though!

peace out mike t.
i'll check your response tomorrow. i'm gone like the wind!

LAKERS MADE A BIG MISTAKE

Instead of trading Shaq they could have traded Kupchak. I think Kupchak is still mad he couldn't out play Kareem as starting Center.

Why not have traded a disgruntled Kobe Bryant and tried to get Tracy McGrady? They basically have the same game. Laker dominance starts in the midle at the Center position. Keeping the Bigman could have continued the Laker winning tradition, instead of being TRANSFERRED to the Miami HEAT.

Shaq is STILL DOMINATING the middle against Ben Wallace and the Pistons. Shaq DESERVES another ring only to enhance his claim to league dominance and building a team of TEAMMATES with TEAMWORK.

Shaq and DWade along with former Laker legend Pat Riley all deserve winning an NBA Title and undoubtly will.

Heat will win series 4-2

OUT!!!
the Truth

AK,

Mihm's rebounds were calculated according to the time he was on the court. Either way you cut it, it's 6.3.

Mihm's average minutes was 26.
Kwame's average minutes was 27.

It all evens out for stats purposes. That's why they call it "averages."

mike

emman,

My thinking is Kwame is going to come around and be everything I've written about him. So, he gets blasted. All that ends next year.

mike

Shady,
"Shaq, fox,peyton for odom, kwame, and mihm was bad for us"

You have to be realistic about what was available at the time, what would have happened had we not traded Shaq, and what the level the two sides of the trade will be playing at in the next couple of years. Yes, it was a good trade.

I would totally be in favor of trading for KG.

Mike T.,

I understand the definition of the word "averages." Do you understand the word "circumstances?"

AK

Mike T.,

Mihm averages 11.59 rebounds per 48 minutes, while Kwame averages 11.52 rebounds per 48 minutes.

So much for Mike T. being right.

Steven

Why not have traded a disgruntled Kobe Bryant and tried to get Tracy McGrady? They basically have the same game.

But sadly they do not play the same number of games!!!

i.e. McGrady is always breaking down

Wow!! So much for your basketball knowledge!

Q.E.D

Laker_Uk

Mike T.

I responded to ur Jermaine O'Neal vs. kwame on He's MItchtastic II check it out.

Steve

How many times where u dropped as a baby? Neither Shaq nor Riley have EVER won a championship outside of the Laker organization. McGrady for Kobe? Are u nuts? Who would take McGrady over Kobe needs to learn some basketball basics. Vince was better than him and Kobe is definetly better than him. Hey Shaq was only good last year cuz he "got in shape" but everytime he gets injured his numbers go down and he gains back his weight. I give the "most dominant" center 3 more yrs unless he gets injured again then its over for him. Miami wont win cuz theyr goign against a better and more powerful team. Ok shaq can take ben wallace but can he handle being defended by Rasheed Wallace as well as Antoni McDyess all game. Can shaq come out and outplay all of them the whole game for i dunoo 5-7games?NO WAY say bye-bye to the Heat. The pistons have all around better players then the heat. By the way the heat only won 1 out of 4(1-3). Lol they couldnt do it in the regular season so what makes u think they can do it in the postseason.

exhelodrvr
Im jsut trying to say that we got a bad deal but teh deal to get rid of Shaq was still necessary. I am a 100%laker fan and a 97% Kobe fan and a 3%Shaq fan(only cuz he HELPED Kobe get 3rings). That being said i still think the players we got for the "most dominat player" was pretty bad. Your right we couldnt get much at the time but we still couldve gotten a more decent trade than Odom,Butler,Grant(who is still costing us) and a first round pick. Hey i jsut hope teh Wolves are willing to give up Garnett for a bad trade(Odom+Kwame)Lol j/k i like odom but would prefer Garnett.

I think if we stop responding to Mike T., he'll stop. He can continue to sleep with his blow-up Kwame doll and the rest of us can rid ourselves of the ramblings of Corky.

BK/AK why didn't you post my opinion???? you gotta do everybody's man.

Wolf,

I honestly don't recall the post you're talking about. But my guess is it was accidentally deleted (apologies) or it had language/sexual content we're not allowed to put in.

AK

AK,

circumstances?

Yeah, it mean excuses, excuses, excuses.

mike

Mike T.,

Well, that's where we obviously disagree. But we're never gonna convince the other, so it's probably best left proven by Kwame and Mihm themselves next season.

AK

Greek dude,

The problem with your logic is: Nobody plays 48 a game so it's unrealistic to even bring up something like that.

mike

AK,

You're right about that. We'll have to wait until next season. There will be no excuses then for either Mihm or Brown.

mike

So I guess Shaq will win another championship, the Pistons ran out of gas. But when Shaq wins he would have little to do to get that title. If it weren't for Wade, Mourning, etc, they wouldn't even have a chance to win.

Greek dude,

Actually, the numbers I posted are real. The numbers you posted are hypothetical. So, yeah, I guess I am right.

mike

"Why not have traded a disgruntled Kobe Bryant and tried to get Tracy McGrady? They basically have the same game." - Steven

Thanks for the laugh.

fanforlife,

If you stopped responding to me then what would you do with yourself?

And as for the "rest of us?" I guess you speak for the rest? Like your in high school and you're trying to see who is or who is not popular. Why can't you just speak for yourself? You should try that concept.

mike

CBuck,

He's a director, 52 now, so probably late 70's? Shooting guard, great guy. Haven't talked to him since last night, but he was saying they D'd up Nash. I agreed but said I thought Nash was just not quite on his game as was proven last night.

Point is, we keep talkin' about trading for someone to defend great point guards but nobody really stops these guys alone anymore than Raja Bell can guard Kobe. It's about team D. The thing I hated with Nash was Smush wasn't on his game enough to go back at him on the other end. he could rest on D, waiting to double Kobe and then go get his points on the other end. It takes team D to stop penetration. It starts with a good on the ball defender but a good guard will get by that sooner or later.

Mike T,
Rebounds per 48 minutes is official stat on nba.com. It tells you the ratio of rebounds collected per 48 minutes. Since Kwame plays 27.5 minutes per game, and averages 6.6 rb/gm, he averages .2400 rebounds per minute. Mihm averages .2414, so Mihm actually barely averages more rebounds per minute than Kwame.

NEVER AGAIN

You can BET the FARM on this one,..the Lakers with Kobe Bryant will NEVER, EVER win an NBA Title or even a Western Conference Title. Come back to reality that is as ridiculous as saying Kupchak is a great GM.

As illustrated in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final game, the Miami HEAT's decisive and crushing win over the outmatched Detroit Pistons. The Center position is pivitol to winning ballgames along with a cohesive inside-out game that takes away double teams and stifles defenses.

While DWade reaps rewards, accolades and a sick Gatorade commercial all while playing a TEAM GAME. The third year player who is probably the most grateful for Kupchak's dumb move in trading Shaq to Miami, is on his way to Basketball immortality as an NBA Champion.

Had Buss resigned Phil Jackson in the first place, Shaq would not have made such demands. Couldn't it be said Kobe was a bit selfish by testing free-agency after the Laker organization provided him with support and private jets for his Colorado trial? How many team owners would have done that?

Kobe won BECAUSE of Shaq, not the other way around. This is evidence by the surgence of DWade and crew. The Lakers were due to win regardless even if they had of traded Kobe instead of Eddie Jones. Don't expect Kobe to have the same type of year next season, he got what he wanted, and that was a NBA Scoring Title.

OUT!!!
the Truth

Greek dude,

Yeah, maybe it is an NBA stat, but it's still hypothetical.

mike

Speaking of Kwame vs. Mihm in rebounding, they both stink for centers or power forwards. If you play enough minutes at one of these positions and are over 6'10" you should get at least 8 or 9 every game.

Yo, man I do believe Kwame HAS FLAWS IN HIS GAME. But when you guys say that Superstar, you don't think MICHAEL JORDAN thought of kwame as that. SERIOUSLY, KWAME was supposed to continue on his legacy and you don't think Michael jordan put into thought that MAYBE KWAME WAS A SUPERSTAR. I don't think MJ was stupid, and Kwame is probably very skilled but being nervous has a crazy effect on your game and makes you question. HOPEFULLY HE CAN SET THE DEFENSIVE TONE!!!!! AND MAYBE GO INTO KILL MODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No Mike, you don't get it. Mihm gets more rebounds per minute than Kwame. It's as simple as that.

Steven, don't you have other things to do than to kiss D Wade's a$$ and bag on Kobe?

"On his way to basketball immortality as an NBA Champion" What are you talking about Steven? He's never even touched any kind of nba trophy. Not even a conference finals one. You have to either have a long awesome career (Karl Malone) or play a gigantic part in a few championshipa to be placed among basketball immortality. D Wade has none yet. He is a spectacular player, but on his way to basketball immortality?? I guess a 1,000 mile journey starts with a single step.

Get real......Kwame Brown is a BUST!!! The reason he got snapped up out of High School was because of his size. Also think for a second there is a REASON the Wizards wanted to dumped him on someone else in the League. The kid is not focused for NBA type of rigors and is easily distracted. Some people are just not blessed with the skill set for the PrimeTime life in the NBA. Kwame's flaws would have been exposed in college instead of at the professional level, had he played college ball.

There is only ONE Shaq and he is headed on his way to ANOTHER Conference Final Championship as well as an NBA Final Championship. As the DWade charactor would say to the KG charactor in the Gatorade commerical after draining a three,...'all day baby, all day...'

Greek dude,

When you're talking about .5 rebounds over your projection. That isn't much to argue about.

mike

I'm not so sure the Heat will win the East yet. In fact, I pick Detroit even with the loss tonight. But the Heat will certainly not beat the Mavs if it comes to that. The Mavs have all the quickness that gave the Heat problems against Chicago with Harris and Terry stepping into the Gordon, Hinrich roles. Plus they have Dirk, who finally proved he could obliterate all defenders of any size against the Spurs and become a force in the clutch. They also have bodies to throw at Shaq in Diop and Dampier and muscular, physical defenders to throw at Wade in Howard and Griffin. Then to top it off, they have Stackhouse, Marquis Daniels, and Van Horn off the bench to provide an extra scoring punch! So the Mavs will win the title probably guaranteed. The only real threat to them were always the Spurs and the Pistons. I'd worry more about Hasselhoff and Mark Cuban than Shaq.

NO STEVEN. As Yoda would say, "there is another." And his name is Andrew Bynum.

LOL Steven u must be a comedian. Time for some education for you.

" the Miami HEAT's decisive and crushing win over the outmatched Detroit Pistons. "-Steven

Wow "crushing" and "decisive"? You really think 5 pts is decisive and crushing? I predicted the Heat would win the first ONLY due to fatigue and then would lose 4 in a row after rest. So far so good. By the way the Heat only beat them the ONE time in the regular season and ONLY by 5pts. I hardly call that crushing or decisive. However, the Pistons beat them by 2 then 12 and 13 i call those more "decisive and crushing"(12&13) then a mere 5 pt win whent theyve been resting for much longer. The Pistons only got 2 days rest and not much planning. IF AND ONLY IF they do to the finals the Heat are 0-2 vs mavs and 0-1 against the suns so good luck with that. By the way your "most dominant player" shaq only had 14pts and 8rebounds(sad for the most dominant) those sound like Kwame #s(ouch). YOU said it best "DWade and crew" beat the suns and not SHAQ AND CREW. Just like in L.A. u want to give th credit to Shaq instead to where its due (WADE if u cant figure it out)

P.S. i only agree with you on the Kwame being a bust other than that u got to return to reality. Ignorance is bliss but plz come back to reality.

It's Riley's World

I guess you forget who is COACHING the Heat. Pat Riley is not a Van Gundy!!!! There could be argument that Heat should have won last year if not for injuries to Shaq (thigh), DWade (ribs) AND Haslem (finger)injuries that prevented the core from performing. Let's we not forget Pat Riley is the Coach this year. NOBODY can argue that Heat Coach Pat Riley not a playoff genius.

Riley blindsided Mitch Kupchak in a 13 player deal that benefitted Miami MUCH, MUCH more than the Lakers. Kupchak is doing a BRILLIANT job of regressing a once storied franchise, to a Scarlet Letter of confusion, 'getting bulldogged' like a Raja Bell take down, off the pedistal a once proud Laker organization always graced.

I guess SEEING is BELIEVING, and we are SEEING a well rested Miami HEAT team DOMINATE in game one on the Road. All this on a night when Shaq and DWade were handcuffed due to early foul trouble.

Riley has assembled a Millinium version in the Eastern Conference Showtime Part Deux, a group of talented players with individual talents all grouped together as a TEAM. I guess next season after winning this seasons NBA Title, they will be called 'THE HEAT SHOW'.

OUT!!
the Truth

Lol Steve you are too easy. You practically give me all the ammo i need. "It's Riley's World"?? They guy hasnt won anythign since he left the Lakers and neither has Shaq. Is that why Avery Johnson and not Riley won coach of the year. "guess SEEING is BELIEVING, and we are SEEING a well rested Miami HEAT team DOMINATE in game one on the Road". You couldnt be more right or wrong. Your right that the heat were a WELL RESTED compared to a FATIGUED Pistons team but they didnt "DOMINATE". Hey if they wouldve won by 20 it wouldve been a different story but they didnt, it was more like 5 pts. So what does it tell me and everyone else. It means that this is the only win the "WELL RESTED" heats will win. By the way your getting way ahead of yourself. Your right the Heat will be known as the "The Heat Comedy Show" because they wont be going anywhere but back to 2nd place in the east. They couldnt even dominate their own conference so how can they dominate the whole NBA? For a dominating team they were only 5th in best record in the Nba with only 7 more games than L.A. Lakers. Lol your dominating heat are at their prime and only 7 games better than our Lakers. If thats all your "group of talented players with individual talents all grouped together as a TEAM" can do then you have a lot of work to do when we are workign with a ppl that we got in a "deal that benefitted Miami MUCH, MUCH more than the Lakers". The Lakers will win 50+ games next season and while not benefitting MUCH MUCH MORE from the miami trade we got a pretty good thing going for us.

P.S. Hating is so easy when its against an ignorant basketball suckup who gives u all the ammo you need.

(ENTER HERE STUPID EXIT LINE)
THE REAL TRUTH

it's so sad that a lot of people hate kwame very much.. when lakers are winning people are praising kwame until the game 4 of the playoff.. then this one shot from Tim Thomas change everything and almost everybody says a lot how bad kwame is.. i'd just think of what if that shot from Tim did not make it.. i think this conversation about kwame vanish in thin air because everybody will love u when your winning and your sucks when your losing.. i hate this people.. for those we don't like kwame hope your wish will come true and kwame will ship to another team.. then i won't see anymore comment how bad kwame is..

I don't think Kwame might become that superstar player but I think he can be a 12/10 guy. I think he'll get better offensively and hopefully defensively in the next season. The problem that Kwame probably faces is his confidence level and when he isn't producing in the offensive end. He needs to do the other stuff, go for offensive rebounds, contest, and get aggressive. Then, if he's off that night, and people see him going for rebounds and e.t.c he won't get booed and his confidence level won't be mush.

Steven says, "As the DWade charactor would say to the KG charactor in the Gatorade commerical after draining a three,...'all day baby, all day...'"

Too bad D Wade shot 17.1% from 3 this year.

Steven also needs to learn to spell the word "character" correctly.

I agree with arnold. It seems like a lot of people are letting thier prejudice for Mike T cloud what Kwame truly means for this team. Kwame provides a valuable service for our Lakers that not many (including Mihm) can provide. His down low defensive skills are what sets him apart from other bigs. Defense is what wins championships.

And I know this is an extreme argument, but guys have been getting extreme with Kwame. The fact is, the characteristics of both of these guys play into racial stereotypes. Kwame; lazy, no heart, not fundamentally sound, black. Mihm; hard worker, lots of heart, fundamentally sound, white. I know we're just talking basketball here, but I think the bashing of Kwame is going a little overboard and it might have something to do with the good ole American stereotypes that we have such a hard time giving up.

We have certain expectations for Kwame. We have certain expectations for Mihm. Kwame has not lived up to our expectations. But he still outproduced Mihm. That's got to be worth something. Kwame is going to improve, he's not going to be what he is. I also wouldn't rule out Kwame from learning how to catch the ball in traffic as well.

Anyways, I thought I'd throw that out there. I know how certain people get all riled up when the subject of race comes along. But I think it needs to be talked about.

Sorry Lakerville,

But I'm on my way to the hospital. Something ain't right. Keep me in your prayers.

mike

May 22, 2006 at 08:40 AM
read that .(mitchtastic part 2)
i missed the rest of our conversation coz i had a litle get to gether whith my friends.
well thanks u 2 coz i had fun and got to root to my favorite player after kobe:big baby.(when mentioned i will put a couple of videos about him.)
as it comes howard s age i heard on TV that he was 21 i didnt look at his stats or age so ...
but yes he is the star of his team and plaus a shit load of min.so bynum can catxh up and u better pray coz then we kobe will have more titles than the piston and the spurs put together.
mitch has done an exelent job as shaq demanded to go to miami had he had the choice he would propably sent him for oneil. we have in kwame wat might be a 15-10(not all star or superstar)but a great role player.maybe one of the best second guys to ever play in odom.
and a young team so a bigger window than shaq s .
i pety poor wade if he doesnt get his ring now shaq will be a 25million $ liabelity and until wade is 17-8 he will have no chane will kobe has 7 years worth of chance and a bigger one come 2008.

STEVEN, the heat had 6 days off and the pistons were coming off a 7gm series..lets calm down on the heat winning the series

 
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