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The Final Countdown: Your guide to the second half

The first 52 games are in the books, and have (injury to Andrew Bynum aside) been quite the success.  It's hard to do better than the best record in the league, after all.  But there is still work to be done, with 30 more regular season games before the postseason kicks off.  How will it play out?  I'm glad you asked.  Without further ado, I present your guide to second half Lakers basketball...

Feb. 17 vs. Atlanta: For reasons I can't determine, Mo Evans receives a smattering of boos.  The blog isFortune_teller filled with "Someone box out Al Horford!" but Kobe and Co. use a strong fourth quarter to put the Hawks away.  Win! 43-10.

Feb. 18 at Golden State:
With the deadline looming, the Warriors play distracted, undisciplined basketball, losing assignments defensively and taking questionable shots.  Unfortunately, this kind of thing is indistinguishable from how they play under normal circumstances.  Ronny looks sad.  Win! 44-10.

Feb. 20 vs. New Orleans: With the trade of Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City, the Hornets will officially look to defend LA's length with... Hilton Armstrong, Joe Smith, and Melvin Ely.  Chris Paul wonders why George Shinn hates him.  Win!  45-10.

Feb. 22 vs. Minnesota:
Oscar night!  This one wins "Best Game on the Schedule That Looked Moderately Dangerous Before Al Jefferson Blew Out His Knee."  It's a small category.  We're left with 48 minutes to hope Kevin Love makes a full court chest pass and dissect the ugly quotient of the Target Center floor.  Win!  46-10.

Feb. 24 at Oklahoma City: Trap game!  The Thunder (ah-ah-ah-ah-ahahah)! are an increasingly more effective team, and with the addition of Chandler have more frontcourt oomph.  That's a handy thing against the Lakers.  But the Lakers are smart enough to know it's a trap game, so it may not be a trap.  But then again, the Thunder know the Lakers will know it's a trap game, and will adjust their performance accordingly.  So many levels.  Like the Battle of Wits in The Princess Bride.  Win!  47-10.

Feb. 26 vs. Phoenix: Phoenix is back to their run and gun style.  Raja Bell tossing up corner threes, Boris Diaw moving the ball from the high post--  Oh wait.  Well, at least they have Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire (maybe) to run the floor without a lumbering post man to clog thi-- oh wait.  Win!  48-10.

Feb. 27 at Denver: Back end of a back-to-back, high above sea level, against a team that seems to be overlooked despite a (as of Tuesday) .680 winning percentage.  Chauncey Billups has added order and presence on the perimeter, 'Melo has raised his game, and Nene has solidified the middle of a defense that had all the interior strength of a cherry cordial. These Nuggs guys play some D, folks.  A tired Lakers squad falls behind early, then is put away by a strong fourth quarter from the home team. Loss. 48-11.

March 1 at Phoenix:  Shaq continues his strange quest to suck up to the Lakers, picking up a quick offensive foul for dropping a shoulder into Pau Gasol, than sits after drawing a second, reaching on Gasol at the other end.  After it's over, he describes pregame hype about the Suns trying to beat the Lakers as a "marketing ploy."  Win. 49-11.

March 3 vs. Memphis: Conventional wisdom says it's tough to beat the same team three times in an Backstreet_boys_nsync NBA season.  Not when that team is the Grizzlies.  Win!  50-11.

March 6 vs. Minnesota: Nothin' there to keep the Lakers off the boards.  Lakers push early, throw it in cruise control, and we spend the rest of the night fielding comments about why they're only up by 13 when it should be 25.  Still, plenty of time to debate if Kevin Love's chinstrap beard is more Backstreet Boys or N'Sync.  Win!  51-11.

March 9 at Portland: The Blazers are a different team at home than on the road (i.e. much better).  Here's where that "three times in a season" thing I mentioned comes into play.  Brandon Roy does his thing, supplemented by solid work from Travis Outlaw.  Lakers look disorganized. Second straight loss on the road to a quality opponent.  Chattering classes begin chattering.  51-12.

March 11 at Houston: Early in the season, I'd have pegged this one for a loss.  Now?  I'll say T-Mac is still out, and the Lakers will run Yao into foul trouble before beating on Houston's miniature frontcourt like this guy on a drum.  Kobe seeks to gain revenge on Michael Lewis by converting 23 field goals, all dunks.  Win!  52-12.

March 12 at San Antonio: Again, a tough game on the wrong side of a back-to-back.  A statement game against a team that's been around the block too many times to worry about making them.  A repeat of LA's last trip to AlamoVille- tight throughout, great finish- but a late put back for Pau Gasol gives LA the victory, as they continue to rise up for marquee matchups.  Win!  53-12.   

March 15 vs. Dallas: Lakers dominate, Mark Cuban turns an unhealthy shade of purple.  Win! 54-12.

March 17 vs. Philadelphia: The Sixers can run, but not like LA, and the Lakers won't spoil their last homestand for a while with a clunker.  Win! 55-12.

March 19 vs. Golden State: Heading into the second half, the Warriors have won five games on the road.  Tonight, though, they buckle down.  They play hard, D up, show patience on offense, and Corey Maggette distributes the rock.  I'm also starting at power forward for the Lakers.  And then I wake up.  Win.  56-12.

March 21 at Chicago: (Side note: Andrew Bynum doesn't make the trip, but his rehab is progressing.) Only LA's fourth Saturday game of the season as the Lakers start their last major road trip of the season.  The weirdness throws off their internal basketball clocks, and the Bulls steal a win in a truly lackluster effort from the purple and gold. Laker fans are sour, weekend happiness scuttled.  Loss. 56-13.

March 24 at Oklahoma City: With two days in between games, fatigue isn't an issue.  A few too many Kwame_brown_pistons alley oops to Chandler, and his length along with Kevin Durant and Jeff Green has Thunder fans buying rose colored glasses in bulk... but LA gets back on the winning track. A smart, disciplined performance, especially refreshing given LA's tendency to play down.  Win. 57-13.

March 26 at Detroit: Kwame Brown goes off for 29/17 in his best game as a Piston, displaying a full range of low post moves and featherly light jumpers from 11 feet.  Or not.  Detroit's struggles continue, but at least Kobe puts on a show for locals depressed by the state of the auto industry.  Win!  58-13.  (Photo: Gus Ruelas, AP)

March 27 at New Jersey: They finished the first half five games under .500... at home.  That's just not natural.  And teams that don't defend a lick tend not to do well against the Lakers.  Plus, there's nothing intimidating about Izod Center.  That little alligator doesn't scare anyone.  Win!  59-13.

March 29 at Atlanta: A critical game for a Hawks squad looking to lock down the four seed in the E.C.  Lakers build up a big lead, then let Atlanta back in the game, missing key free throws before Joe Johnson hits a buzzer beater. Blog circuits overload, Ben the Intern hospitalized from exhaustion. Loss. 59-14. 

March 31 vs. Charlotte: Plus?  LA wants revenge. Minus?  It's the sixth game of a long trip. Plus?  Pushing for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference doesn't mean the Bobcats are actually good. Minus?  That was true during the Great OT Debacle as well.  Bottom line: No way they lose to them again... right?  Win.  60-14.

April 1 at Milwaukee: The final game of the epic trip.  The Lakers are tired.  Of hotels, of airplanes, of room service.  They're physically present, but mentally drained from travel and watching a local Laverne and Shirley marathon after the late arrival from North Carolina.  The final "Seriously, they lost to those guys?" loss of the year.  60-15.

April 3 vs. Houston: (Side note: Andrew Bynum has again resumed practicing.)  Ah, home cookin'.  Win. 61-15.

April 5 vs. LA Clippers:  In a move to generate extra revenue, Mike Dunleavy's wardrobe is made available to the Pantages for a revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Win.  62-15.

April 7 at Sacramento: Used to be you said the Kings were better than their record.  Now they may be worse.  Sacto's record could be a near-mirror of LA's, and the building will be half-filled with 24 jerseys.  No let down.  Win. 63-15.

April 9 vs. Denver: Tight affair until a late K-Mart T gives LA the momentum.  Melo plays strong for three quarters, then misses a couple late as the Lakers smother him defensively.  George Karl wishes he had one more purely offensive outlet, wistfully remembers Von Wafer's days in Denver.  Lakers pull it out late, keeping up with Boston and Cleveland over in the E.C.  64-15. 

April 10 at Portland: Bynum dresses, plays nine minutes. Portland is fighting to hang on to the fourth seed in the conference, while the Lakers have the top spot wrapped up.  Fans who haven't seen playoff hoops in a while are fired up for what looks like a potential second round matchup.  Lots of emotion, and the Blazers squeak one out as a Kobe jumper late rims out.  Great game, but a loss.  64-16.

April 12 vs. Memphis: Bynum back in street clothes as a safety measure.  Win. 65-15.

April 14 vs. Utah: Bynum gets a little more burn, and the Jazz (now healthy and safely in the top eight), locked in the five spot, take it easy and get their starters some rest.  A typical Lakers/Jazz slugfest it ain't.  Win. 66-16.

So there you have it.  Go ahead and take a vacation, spend extra time with the kids, or take on major home improvement projects.  I've already told you what's going to happen. 

BK

 
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About the March 21 Bulls game...

President Obama attends game while in Chicago for the weekend. Kobe goes for 44 in tribute, Lamar for 15/15.
Lakers win going away.

Potus leaves with 4 minutes to play...

From the previous thread:

"The starters get good passes from Luke but he also gives it away in form of T/O's and missing easy shots. Lakers becomes a 4 1/2 team when Luke is playing, "


While it is obvious that many on this blog agree with the above, the bottom line is that numbers do not support this position.

First of all, Luke's a/to ratio sits at 2.41, which is good for 3rd best among all SFs in the league (yes, the whole league). See http://tinyurl.com/awukhv.

Secondly, according to 82games.com, Luke's efg% from 'Close' (defined as from 5' in) is .578, which is better than all of our other wing players this season (Ariza- .526, Vlad- .538, Sasha- 348) except Kobe, who barely edges Luke at .585.

While Luke does commit turnovers and miss easy shots, he does not do so a greater rate than any of our other wing players, and in the case of assists-to-turnovers specifically, Luke is among the very best at his position in the entire league.

What is especially important to note is that when Luke does fail on a play, it is almost always due to his physical limitations. He seldom makes mental mistakes (and no, taking a risk on making a killer pass when your a/to is 2.41 is not a mental mistake, any more than Kobe taking a contested jumper in traffic is a mental mistake), and I am not just talking about decisions while in possession of the ball here: Luke is consistently in the correct positions on the floor in both our offensive and defensive schemes.

The bottom line is that you simply can't overemphasize how important floor positioning is to basketball coaches. Rightly or wrongly, coaches tend to be control freaks whose only control over the game are the schemes they design and the minutes they dole out. It's one thing if the player playing outside of the system has the talent of a Kobe, it's a whole other bag if that player has the talent of a Vlad.

Great, now I've got to go back to thinking how much this economy stinks! Thanks Brian!!

**tongue firmly in cheek**

#4

66-16?

I'll take it.

I see them going 22-8 over the final 30 to end up at 64-18, but that's just me.

I wont jinx myself, and therefore the team, by looking at the whole remaining schedule, so I'll just look at the next five. Before their "trade" I'd have the NO game as a loss, with no interior pressence and CP3 still distracted/ticked by the fact the owners just want to save cash, that one SHOULD be a win. I'd actually have tonight's game as a loss just on Mike Bibby alone. Derron Williams killed us last week, granted on tired Laker legs and DW is much younger, but Bibby can get hot in a hurry from downtown.

Road is still long and treacherous but we can do this.

What is your prediction for the Oscars?

BK,
I do hope and pray that your Nostradamus like prediction will come true. Just like what Mychal Thompson said in the radio, the Lakers need to win 65-67 games to have the best record in the N.B.A.and have the home court advantage in the entire play-offs. Achieving that, will be easier for the Lakers to win the championship whoever they face.

>>>What is your prediction for the Oscars?

I predict that The Pig will narrowly edge out Auf Der Strecke for the
Best Short Film (Live Action).

Hey thanks for the "New Post" comment BK! Good job! lol.

Edwin Gueco, in the words of Inspector Closeau: "Good one" haha. Those are some argument you're throwing out there. Of course it's landing on deaf ears unfortunately. How can it not, with the media (check out press enterprise) sipping the Luke Kool-Aid. What little he brings, is often magnified on both sides.

Frankly I believe you're only as weak as your weakest player esp on D. C'est la vie.

Question of the Day:

If the Lakers have a really really successful 'second half' to the season (i.e. 30-0 or 29-1, maybe 28-2), what would they do with Bynum? Would they keep him on the bench and let the highly successful current squad keep up the pace, or start him again and shoot for the stars?

Did the hornest just destroy their franchise or what? can Chris Paul take them seriously? They splash out for for James Posey then this? either they are not serious about winning or they are in financial trouble.Either way if I'm Paul I'm not stoked....11 million for a big man of Chandlers quality,even if coming off a relatively poor half season, is not all that bad.

BK

Great breakdown. I think that the Milwaukee game will sneak into the Win! catagory, I checked local listings, no LAverne and Shirley marathon scheduled. Instead? John Wooden teaches the basics! The Lakers put on a fundamentals display not seen since 1986 and out box the entire Bucks squad using only Sasha Vujacic and Sun Yue on the block.

66 and 16...will it be good enough? We don't play Boston or Cleveland so it'll be up to another team to be a streak breaker. San Antonio? New York? Orlando? Maybe we could channel the Charlotte Bobcats to play as well as they do against us vs the EC division.

GAMEDAY!!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!!

BK,

Wow, a 30-game-by-game prognostication. Very impressive. I also see you have the magic April 3rd game as a key milestone in Drew’s recovery just as I do. My only question is whether we won home court through the Finals over the Celtics and Cavs. That was not clear to me. Just checking. Thanks.

Tom

I think they win 70.

Lose at Denver
and at Atlanta.

That's it.

70-12.

money

68-14 Lakers finish (Wanting the home court advantage will get the Lakers in focus).

30 games divided by 6 win streak equals 5 losses. Lakers goes 6 to 7 win streaks. If they break it and goes for their longest win streak of the year like 15. Lkers will finish at 70-12. Yeah I want 70 - 12!!!

Game day, and a solid prognostication from BK. I like it. I'm kinda feeling a 67-15 finish, though. With home court throughout.

Good fun... but now it's time to take it one game at a time. I'm looking for some serious home cookin' tonight. Let's get ice on all the starters' knees for the entire fourth quarter.

Go Lake Show!

LakerTom,

Our sweeps of CLE and BOS give us homecourt advantage if there's a tie. If they have the better records, they still get homecourt.

BK,

I love this. Some of it I think is complete bollocks. But I love it.

I predict the Lakers to lose.

Worth noting that Sam Presti managed to pull off the Chandler deal without surrendering any of OKC's five first rounders over the next two years. That's impressive. This team could be LOADED in a couple seasons.

BK

Dear Everyone,

Now is the time to make proposals about how to get value for the members of the team you dislike. That said, can we agree here and now that we're going to quit whining about personnel once the trade deadline passes?

Once the team is set for its playoff run, please learn the following phrases.

"Lamar, show 'em yer O face!"
"Luuuuuuuke!"
"Ain't no speed like Farmar speed, b****es!"
"Nice footwork, Mihm-ster!"
"Sweet karate chop to the sternum, DJ!"
"Machiiiiiiiine!"

Repeat ad nauseum.

These yells will be a lot more useful than rhetorically asking "Why didn't we trade Mbenga for Dwight Howard when we had the chance?" or "C'mon Kupcake!... why didn't you get Chris Paul in exchange for Farmar?"

Sean P


What has happened to all the basketball purists? All of these stat people researching numbers from their mother's basement has to stop. If this keeps up we will have a nation of John Hollinger's LOL

To all you "stat" people that love to use numbers to support Luke.....please stop it!

Most of you and a lot of sportswriters that are appraising talent (like John Hollinger and his PER system) using stats are similar to the "Will" character in the movie ....GOOD WILL HUNTING.

Robin Williams character Sean asked Will a kid that had all the numbers and facts a series of great questions......knowing the kid had no practical experience of that which he spoke.


Sean said......"So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that"


When I look at Luke Walton it is not just the numbers I see that tell me this guy is a huge risk.......it is that look in his eyes at times of crisis when I see uncertainty and fear..........It is the self doubt I see in his eyes that says to himself in crunch time...."I really don't belong out here".

It's that silly look on his face after he makes a boneheaded play and he knows in his heart of hearts that he should be buried deep on the bench........yet Phil keeps him out there.

Unless you've stood across from this look and have seen it first hand you may not notice it........It's that look that Rocky had in his eyes in the first fight against Clubber Lane.

Clubber Lane saw it and said....."HE SCARED!" Unfortunately Sean P. and all stat people "that look "doesn't show up in the stats........but it's there.

I hope I'm wrong about Luke and he plays exceptionally well the remainder of the season...........but my guts tell me that this guy is a huge deficit as we start the road to the championship.

I will be focused on Luke tonight.........Phil has placed our championship destiny in his hands.


Wait doesn't the poor guy in the Alzheimer's ad------------>
look like P-Jax? That ain't right.

Incidentally what was the last thing you predicted BK? And how did it go? lol.

Props for going out on the limb though haha.

Okay, so New Orleans gave up Tyson Chandler for next to nothing,
mostly to get salary that goes away this summer.

Another team rumored to be looking to do the same thing is
Washington.

And the guy in the rumors is Caron Butler.

So I did some poking around in the trade machine...

And I came up with a wacky idea for a trade. Of course,
Washington would have to buy into it, but...

Lakers trade Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza and DJ MBenga
for Caron Butler and Etan Thomas.

But there's an under-the-table part of the deal that's consistent
with what teams like Dallas and San Antonio have done in recent
years.

Washington buys Lamar out for 2 million less than he's owed
for the rest of the season. After 30 days, the Lakers re-sign
Lamar for the rest of the season and the playoffs.

Some of you might be thinking another team might snatch
Lamar off of the waiver wires. But to do that, the team would
have to be about 11 million under the salary cap. No team
is even close to that, so no team could claim him off waivers.

So the result of the trade would be that Washington would
dump two big contracts, get under the luxury tax next season,
and would get a promising young player in Trevor Ariza.

For the Lakers, there would be no more debating about the
starting SF. And they would mop up the floor with the other
playoff teams with a starting lineup of Fish, Kobe, Caron,
Pau,
and Bynum, and a bench of Odom, Farmar, Machine, and Powell.

Well, I can dream, can't I?


BK,

Sorry, but no more gimmes are going to be lost this season. Lakers tie the best Laker season ever:

69-13.

You heard it here first folks.

A small wager BK??

You choose.

Sean P,

"Luke is consistently in the correct positions on the floor in both our offensive and defensive schemes."

Much that I hate being negative to a Laker, I have to answer your unrealistic observations. Being a shooting forward, you're not relegated to the position of a feeder alone, time and again that is the main responsibility of a PG, the court general that determine plays and orchestrate the team. A Shooting Forward is the gunner and shooter of every team. At the entrance of Magic & MJ in the 80's, the game has evolved and the Shooting Guard was added as the explosive shooters of the team.

Honestly, I am weak in Stats because I hate stats, it does not give the total story. It is based on a limited frame and blow up into a universal picture. Based on my preceding argument that a Shooting Forward should be a good shooter, let us compare the record of your favorite to the shooting forwards in the Pacific Division for simplicity

Luke (Lakers starting SF) - 4.1

Thornton (Clippers) - 16.9
Novak (bench) 6.6

Jackson (Warriors) - 20.5
Maggette (bench) - 19.7

Hill (Suns) - 11.1
Barnes (bench) - 9.4
Amundsen - 3.4

Salmons (Kings) 10.4
Thomas (bench) 4.1
Williams (bench) 3.7

Compare our starting forward production vs. Pacific #3 players. That is the very reason why I said in the previous thread, it is his 4 teammates that provides a good cover-up for his shortcomings. Based on individual comparisons, he's not supposed to be a starter.

Therefore, to settle this issue once and for all, Luke should at least produce 10 pts in every game and I promise you that everyone in this blog will accept him wholeheartedly without any qualms and reservations. To justify his presence based on statistics is just unfair to reality.

Great article on Battier. Thanks for that link.

AK,

In case it ever happens...be ready for a "Cook to the lakers" haha.

"The Heat are offering Daequan Cook, according to a source."

Morrison for Cook perhaps? Dude just won a 3 point contest.

Pfunk36,

Sorry, but as a product of the 80's, I can't sit back and let this slide.

It's Clubber LANG. Not Clubber LANE.

I pity the fool who bricks the names of Mr. T's characters. haha

AK

FROM PALM BEACH, FLORIDA


7 IS OUR TEAM NUMBER FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON= WE WILL WIN 70 OR PLUS GAMES. MY MAN, KOBE IS THE KEY TO BRING US THAT JOY IN JUNE AND HE KNOWS THAT. HE IS SMART ENOUGH TO GET OVER ANY OBSTACLES IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE TROPHY.

KOBE= POWER, WILL, PASSION AND 100% FOCUS.


AS I SAID BEFORE, THIS SEASON IS OURS AND WE WILL DEFEND IT LIKE A LE0-VIRGO'S TYPE AGAINST ODDS.


LOVE TO ALL

SHEKOBE FOREVER

OKC is scaring me. The Tyson deal actually might be a bad thing for this team, because it lessens their chances on local (OKC) phenom Blake Griffin.

Can you imagine that team with Griffin in 2-3 years. That is one of the youngest most talented teams ever if they pull that off. But Tyson will lessen their chances at #1.

One more reason why Seattle is collectively throwing up in their mouths right now.

One more thing:

Can someone please explain how getting Cassell (and waiving him as is speculated) benefits Sacramento in ANY way shape or form?

I just don't get it. Even if they only gave up a 2nd round in 2015. What is the point? Anyone?

Faith,

Where did u hear that?

AK

I say 70 -12 it is!!! and everybody talks about how good is this Lakers team compared to the Bulls that won 72-10.


Edwin-

"Therefore, to settle this issue once and for all, Luke should at least produce 10 pts in every game and I promise you that everyone in this blog will accept him wholeheartedly without any qualms and reservations. To justify his presence based on statistics is just unfair to reality."

You're aware of the contradiction there, aren't you?

BK

It took me a little while but I figured out why Lamar is being so cooperative with the bench and saying he wants to be a "laker for life".

Nobody else will be able to afford him.

Yes, it's that simple. He's not leaving the Lakers unless he's traded. Nobody will pay him the money in this current economy.

So anyone who may think Lamar is leaving, it ain't happening!

He realizes he has no where else to go when everyone is cutting payroll.

Faith,

"Morrison for Cook perhaps? Dude just won a 3 point contest."

How about Sasha for D Cook?

Long Live Chick,

Sam may be an ugly player but could be a handsome Coach. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder - Maloof Bros. consider him a ka-ching in wisdom and direction of the team.

Edwin Gueco,

>>>Compare our starting forward production vs. Pacific #3 players.

That's a ridiculous comparison. Are you sure you want to go there?

Where do I start?

Okay, by your standards Stephen Jackson is the best SF in
the Pacific conference, because he scores the most points.

But Stephen Jackson only hits 40% of his shots. In fact, he
hits almost the same exact % of his shots as Luke does (.401 vs .405).

Why Jackson scores so much is because he takes 16.7 shots
per game, while Luke takes 4.2 shots per game.

So, if Luke were to jack up almost 17 shots a game like Captain
Jack, then he would score as much as Jackson. Is that what
you really want from Luke?

That means that Luke would be taking 13 or so shots away
from other Lakers. So who's shots should Luke be taking?
Kobe's? Bynum's? Pau's? Fisher's?

Stephen Jackson takes so many shots for the Warriors because
he's their best all-around player. On the Lakers, he'd be the
5th or 6th best player (Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Bynum, maybe Fish).

So if Stephen Jackson were on the Lakers, it would be in the
best interest of the Lakers for him to pass more often than he
shoots. THAT is the essense of "being an intelligent player":
knowing what's best for the team and doing that even if it means
you get less stats.

It's similar for pretty much every player you mentioned. Most
of them average more minutes per game than Luke and take
more shots per game than Luke. And about half of them could
start ahead of Luke if they were on the Lakers. And if they did,
they would score in the neighborhood of what Luke scores.
Or they would make the team worse by taking shots away from
better shooters.

BK, nope please clarify. When I say presence, I meant starter. If he produces 10 pts game I will be his No, 1 campaigner in this blog.

interesting that Houston is finally tiring of T-Mac. If he's not traded before the deadline, I think next year is the last year of his contract. Houston, the team that never was...

BK: I think you underestimate how Kobe is motivated.

23 dunks against Houston is of no interest to him. That would prove Michael Lewis right, not wrong.

No, he will attempt 23 3-point shots from 28 feet and beyond, to show that his game cannot be cornered by mere statistical analysis.

BK/Edwin,
that's hilarious...

"If Luke scores 30 pts a game, then I wont justify him on his stats!"...hahahahahaha...WOW...

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but Edwin, did you just refer to Luke as a Shooting Forward?

Since when has SF stood for Shooting Forward? I thought that meant small forward....

I've heard of Shooting Guard, but not Shooting Forward.

Shooting Forward huh?....Wow..... Maybe I misread that, maybe I just dont know hoops like I should, or maybe I dont know...

Just to make sure, I double-checked my basic basketball positions and see:
http://tinyurl.com/3dgnxp

I ...am utterly confused....Should I be?

Edwin,
Great analysis ! You are right on target. I'm old school and I believe that your primary "athletic" scorers should be at the 2 & 3. These players need to be able to score and play defense. It is imperative that they be able to score in transition and from the outside in the half court offense. Luke simply doesn't fit the bill in either scenario because he doesn't have speed, quickness, or hops. All the crap about BB-IQ is just a smoke screen. Why? I can't tell you why. Maybe Dr. Buss likes his BB-Q.

"Lakers trade Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza and DJ MBenga
for Caron Butler and Etan Thomas."

No, no, no. We cannot trade away DJ. We need him for Hack-a-Shaq on Feb 26th and Mar 1st.

Staples 24, Hell no lol.

AK, From Chad Ford in ESPN. Though I might have made it seem like they were offering "us" Cook...when really they're just offerring Cook to bidders in general lol.

Actually Korey, in the triangle offense that forward spot is most often necessitated to shoot compared to others...

With Kobe driving, and Pau or Bynum in the paint, the 3 spot is often left open for a 3 point shot...which is why LO does not work as a 3 in my opinion. It's not just that he is out of place to get the boards (his bread and butter) but that at the 3 he is often left to shoot 3s (by position) that he misses.

Also the reason why Trev needs to make a large percentage of his 3s.

If Kobe is playing the 3 though, then it becomes necessary for the 2 to be able to make open shots...in this case Sasha.

Ironically this is pretty much why Fish works better as a starter versus Farmar. Fish plays some D (necessary in a winning team) and when left open for the 3, he can knock it down.

With Lamar starting, who is our sixth man?

Is it Trevor, Jordan, or Sasha?

OK, I agree with Korey Small Forward instead of Shooting Forward, it is still No. 3. Luke is the weakest 3 in the Pacific Division. Based on production, he's averaging 4.1 PPG not that good!

LTLF

"Stephen Jackson only hits 40% of his shots. In fact, he
hits almost the same exact % of his shots as Luke does (.401 vs .405)"

I did not say Jackson is the best SF in the Pacific. I'm comparing the PPG of those starting SF. At the end of the game, what counts most is the total score contributed by its player not his stats.

66-16? Nah.

Here's to the second longest regular season streak - 30!

72-10. Yeah baby!

LTLF I am convinced that you either are the President of the Luke Walton fan club or his Father, little brother or some sick sap who is hell bent on trying to fool Laker fans that Luke is a major piece to the success of this team.

Interesting but wrong! No sir we won't fall for such bs! You and kobeblitz are like beavis and butt head gone wild!

Stop this insane campaign too make Luke starting make sense Phil is ruining the development of Ariza. Powell, and Sasha by starting playing Luke minutes that should be divided between the trio!

>>>No, no, no. We cannot trade away DJ. We need him
>>> for Hack-a-Shaq on Feb 26th and Mar 1st.

Ah, but they'd be getting Etan Thomas back to play the Hack-a-Shaq
game.

There are two flaws I can see with the plan.

First, Washington wouldn't be contractually obligated to buy
Lamar out. So they could make the initial trade and then go
to other teams in the east and say, "What'll you give us to keep
Lamar Odom for the rest of the season?"

Second, Ariza might eventually be better than Caron. And he'd
certainly cost less for the next couple of years.

Dwight Howard just scored over 40 for the first time in his career.

Isn't it ironic that Bynum scored 40 before Howard did?

"I've heard of Shooting Guard, but not Shooting Forward."

It's another one of those 'unofficial' positions like point forward, forward-center, combo guard, cornerman, swingman, etc...

Faith,
I'm not sure what you are getting it.

I actually didnt say Vlad or Luke was better in the last post.

But since I respect your opinion, let me get into it real quick:
- Vlad's shooting made the Lakers dangerous. VERY DANGEROUS. Soon as you packed the lane, Vlad would drop 3 3s on you within a span of a minute on you and POW the Lakers would roll...

- But Vlad's inconsistency with shooting plus swiss cheese porous defense negated the long-term effects of his shooting threat. Didnt we lose a game this year where Vlad just lost his man a few times in the clutch? Giving away free layups. Then, when he is OFF on offense its so bad that the Lakers get no benefit from Vlad anyway.

- Luke is unspectacular and consistent at being unspectacular. He shoots the 3s and finishes mediocrely.

-But he does pass the ball well and iniates the offense for OTHERS well. Most importantly he's consistent in defensive effort and does not miss critical rotations.

The whole LUKE LUKE LUKE thing in my opinion is dumb anyway cuz he only plays like 20 mins a game. His positive outweighs the negative in terms of consistency AND at worst his positives equal the negative.

When we need shooting we'll bring Farmar Fisher or Sasha in. For the most part, the latter 2 guys at least try on D.

The infatuation with Luke from "diehard" Laker fans just reeks of lack of perspective. Think about it. The Lakers are 42-10 and most bloggers are crying about Luke.

PERSPECTIVE people.

For those of you who are excessively critical of Walton, when he plays it is a perfect example of "the whole being greater than the sum of its parts." The plain and simple truth is that, when he is healthy, the team plays better when he is on the floor for 25 or so minutes. Why is it so hard to comprehend that?

Finally BK, you let us know the future! What possible questions can people ask now???

Edwin-

My point is that you're giving Walton a statistical benchmark by which to judge his performance, right before saying "To justify his presence based on statistics is just unfair to reality."

BK

The Snake,
please refer me to any website that refers to the position of Shooting-Forward.

I dont think there is one.

But I could be wrong, so I'm curious.

And if your justificiation that a "Shooting Guard" should shoot then thats just as crazy as a "Point Guard" should point?! haha.... Or that a Power Foward should be powerful...

Literal interpretations of positions is usually the wrong way to go...

Still waiting for that Shooting Forward link.

I smell a 4 point game coming from Lamar...

kryptoNATE creamed the spurs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Korey,

"His positive outweighs the negative in terms of consistency AND at worst his positives equal the negative"

If that is the prevailing statement in describing him then we don't have anything to argue. His name comes up because there is a deadline on trades, Luke is a good package for a better player who can help us from other teams. That's where the argument arises when diehards Luke protectorate defend his positives and close their eyes on negatives comparing him to Rick Fox, shipped out VladRad b/c Lukie is better, trashing Trevor that Luke's better starter b/c of stats. Based on these unrealistic assessments there are endless see-saw battles here in this blog. I also hate focusing criticisms on our own Laker player but I can't help it to hide the truth, we have to agree to disagree that this particular player was left behind, once you defend his upsides, there will always be a downside reply. It is the principle in physics for every action, there is an opposite reaction. Again let us all agree to disagree that until he makes 10 pts. average per game, there will be no peace on Luke's downside.

BK, you may be right if you consider the PPG as statistical benchmark, I may have been vague in the rebuttal to bloggers' contention that his stats are that great. Point well taken.

"please refer me to any website that refers to the position of Shooting-Forward.

"I dont think there is one."

http://tinyurl.com/c5gxnk

As with all things on the Internet, google is your best friend.

The Snake,
I think you and I both know that "Shooting Forward" is one of the most ridiculuous things ever (slight hyperbole).

I googled shooting forward. 1 website out of the first 5 pages referred to shooting forward.

It's not an unknown position.It's just a sad misconception that the S in SG is the same as the S in SF.

Dont mean to totally disregard your research, but i cant find one credible source that says SF doesnt mean small forward.

But again, I could be wrong...

Korey, I was addressing the "SF" part lol.

In my opinion the triangle pretty much necessitates the 3 to be someone that can shoot. Kobe at the 3 works best in my opinion offensively, but Trevor defensively.

Korey,

Read my post again. I never said you were wrong nor did I state that SF stood for shooting forward. We both know what the official titles are for the 1 to 5 positions.

All I said was there are other 'unofficial' position names floating around that includes shooting forward, point forward, forward-center, swingman, cornerman, and the list goes on and on...

By the way, BK, you look pretty good with a goatee.

>>>Interesting but wrong! No sir we won't fall for such bs!
>>You and kobeblitz are like beavis and butt head gone wild!

huh huh

No man. It's just that I see what PJ sees... and what Mitch sees...
and what Kobe sees.

I don't know why you're so obsessively anti-Luke, but I'm glad
you're not the coach or the GM of the team.

>>>Again let us all agree to disagree that until he makes 10
>>>pts. average per game, there will be no peace on Luke's
>>>downside.

Ya know, I'd be just as happy with Luke scoring 4 points and
getting 4 or 5 assists while Kobe & Pau get the extra points.

Never count out the Warriors. They may just surprise your guys--as they have before.

bsb are the best


they 4eveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!*


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