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A smattering of Lakers/Heat thoughts

Until the Lakers get some players back in the lineup there are no sure things.  Not even if you threw John Cusack in there*.  But that doesn't mean the Lakers shouldn't win, especially given their massive size advantage.  It'll be interesting to see if Miami defends Pau and Bynum as they did a few weeks back.  Writes Kurt at Forum Blue and Gold:

"...There are a lot of teams that are smaller than the Lakers, but the Heat have been the only team whose coach had the guts to front the Lakers bigs and try to force turnovers... If and when the Heat front the Lakers bigs in the post, the weak-side post must flash to the free throw line and create a high-low game that can expose the Heat (with Pau and the ball at the free throw line he can lob to Drew, attack the rim or just bury the jumper)..."

Good ball movement helps there as well, as the bigs can seal their fronting defenders and accept passes from better angles for almost automatic points.  If the Lakers don't force the issue, they ought to find plenty of opportunities to exploit Miami's lack of size.  I've been impressed with how the Lakers have, in the absence of three ball movers and with a slumping Vlad Rad, continued to stay dedicated to inside play.  Much credit should go to Kobe, who has helped grease the team's wheels and is playing incredibly efficient basketball these days (even by his lofty standards)

Other thoughts:

  • I'm interested to see how Shawn Marion responds tonight.  He didn't play in the fourth quarter or overtime in Miami's win Friday in Sacramento, and hasn't been able to get himself into an offensive flow this year, including in the first game when Marion had a relatively quiet 12 points.
  • At some point, Vlad Radmanovic's shooting will even out. But at least as it relates to Phil Jackson, Vlad's incredibly poor decision making is a larger problem.  A few times a game, Radmanovic will do something totally cringeworthy.  For example, against New Orleans on Tuesday, he jumped a pass to Peja with barely a second left in the first quarter, giving up a clean look to one of the league's best shooters.  Friday, he inexplicably left Mike Dunleavy out by the arc with his team up by three to try and rotate back down to Troy Murphy. That's the sort of thing that makes it hard for PJ to trust him. Coaches want predictability, even in a player's shortcomings.  The box of chocolates thing isn't at all appealing.
  • In the season's initial meeting, the Lakers turned the ball over 21 times and lost by two.  You do the math.
  • Michael Beasley seems to be getting the hang of NBA ball, judging by his work in the new year. Look for him to play a bigger role tonight. 
  • If Sasha spends much time on Wade, there's likely going to be a whistle or three that tests his patience, given that every whistle seems to have that affect on him.  This is as good a night as any for Vujacic to work on shoring up the mental part of his game. 
  • If Heidi Klum is at the game again, you know Kiss Cam guy will find her.

BK

*Have you ever seen a trailer lay out an entire movie like that one?  Nobody should have been surprised entering the theater...

 
Comments () | Archives (16)

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ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha "I'm talking to you cordless"

Well, the Celtics snapped their four game losing streak today. Hopefully, a little extra incentive for the Lakers to wallop the Heat tonight.

Inside play wins this game.

If we're chucking up 35 three-pointers this game, well that would be a very bad thing.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Hiedi Klum???

hmmmm....uhhh ok...anyway...

GO LAKERS(AHOLICS)

Sports writers and public should stop bashing Vlad Rad. He is gives effort and is better than Walton. When his shot falls he is WAY better than Walton.

Stop bashing Sasha too. Just because Nine Rings (PJ) plays head games with foreign nationals and young players doesn't mean the media has to pile on.

I think the real test tonight will be our defensive intensity...if we play the way we're capable, and limit second shots, we should control the game...inside out, but carefully...swing it side to side if they're fronting our bigs, and you can still get it in...

http://tinyurl.com/5br7qj

Hamblen says they've been practicing on how to counteract the frontin the post strategy that the K Bros mentioned as well as Miami's tendency to trap the ballhandler off pick-n-rolls. I see a lot of teams defending Kobe that way already (just to get the ball out of his hands) and NO was one in particular that used the trap with great success on Kobe, causing successive turnovers in the last meeting.

He also mentioned what I brought up earlier about not defending with your hands being the key to limit the cheap fouls on the perimeter players.

Let's see if the Lakers can put this into practice during the game. The gauntlet begins tonight.

Repost from another thread - sorry guys....

Edwin and Kiwi - hope you both feel better soon. We will need you at full strength to get through this season and then onto the parade route!!

coachD - welcome to the Award-Winning Lakers Blog - best in the world!!! And don't forget our mantra (brought to you by mamba24) whenever any of the haters, posers and bandwagon fans try to dis our boys "WE ARE THE FREAKIN LOS ANGELES LAKERS - WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?????"

Jon K - no problem. I really don't get guys like that either. I mean seriously - who hasn't heard of a scroll wheel???!!! Personally, I can handle you being a (not so) closet Clipper fan. I'm from Canada and I'm a closet Raptor fan!! Wait a second.....seems like we both have issues.....LOL!

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!

Does C. Blake pay for advertising or can anyone do it for free?

Todd,
"Just because Nine Rings (PJ) plays head games with foreign nationals and young players"

And black players. He plays head games with them, too.

PASSING INTO THE POST…

Passing into the post in the Triangle Offense has not been one of the Lakers’ strengths to say the least, especially with three of the best passers on the team – Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Lamar Odom – unavailable for tonight’s game due to injuries. That really hurts the Lakers who rely on team-wide passing rather than a true point guard to get the ball inside in their Triangle Offense. Fish, Vlade, Sasha, and Trevor are not as good a passers as the three guys who are injured and fronting may make it extra hard on the Lakers.

Even though the Lakers have done a pretty good job playing inside-out the last two games, passing into the post continues to be poorly executed, especially when other teams’ bigs front ours. Those are the times when I woe the fact that we do not have a true point guard on the team who has the ability of a Magic or Nash or Jason Kidd to hit a guy with a pass the instant he flashes open. I couldn’t even count the times that Drew or Pau has been alone under the basket or has sealed his man just to see the ball circle the perimeter. I have no doubt that this has to be deflating, especially for Drew who is less experienced. Sometimes, I wish he would just scream out “Give me the ball, damnit!”

Same with Kobe. I see him seal his guy for a back door lob and see the help defender lean one way and then the other but none of the Lakers players – other than Kobe – seem to be able to read the situation and instead of making the right pass at the right time, they make the wrong pass at the wrong time and cause a turnover. And that is not to say that better position, sealing, and going for the ball by the big men doesn’t need to be improved. What happened to the play we used to run where we swung the ball around the perimeter to big man who had sealed his defender right under the rim. That was Shaq’s bread and butter for several years. We even ran it for Kwame but he usually blew the shot.

Anyway, let’s see what Phil has in store for us tonight. My only wish is that the zebras give Kobe the same respect and treatment as Wade. If they do, Lakers by 20. In my opinion, the refs treat Kobe the way they treated Shaq in his prime, allowing other players to beat on him just to make it fairer because he was too good. So instead, they reduce the foul count for Kobe down to the Wade or LeBron level, and any fouls over that they let go. It is amazing that Kobe has not exploded in frustration. But it would help if he stopped complaining all the time. I know he is only human but that costs him some calls.

As always, JMNSHBO!

Tom

I predict the Lakers to lose.

Comment on the enigmatic Vlade...It's time for him to put up (contribute without too many bonehead plays) or shut up (and whining about not starting)! The organization has been kind to him thus far and he should pay attention to what Phil has to say, otherwise! I will stand by my prediction that he will be traded for guard or SF before All Stars game.

Chat you guys at the game blog later...

Lakers can get a W tonight if they play tenacious D that they can play, even though inconsistantly. And by all means, don't allow them to just waltz to the basket for lay ups at will.

BK


If your biased analogy of Vlad wasn't so obvious it would be comical.

My hope is that you use your myopic lense to focus on Luke Walton when and if he ever returns from his brittle bone injury..........and oh yeah please use the same standard to judge Walton as you do Vladdy.


Please try and Rmember that Walton the passer is shooting 25% from the 3 and about 33% from the field and is averaging about 1.8 assist a game (the great passer)

If this team is counting the days until Luke Walton gets back to secure the small forward postion, then we are in big trouble.......and you are part of the problem

Todd,

I thought your post was on the money. Toni Kukoc is another example of PJ and his seeming need to always mess with foreign and young players. PJ was ALWAYS on Toni.

I don't know if it is BECAUSE they are foreign or not. Maybe he just doesn't like Euro style BB, and thinks he needs to teach them to play like americans.


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