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Derek Fisher, on the challenges presented by system offenses

One of the things that I enjoy about a Lakers/Jazz matchup is the meeting of two offenses that don't rely on the pick and roll to the same degree as the rest of the league. If both teams are executing well, there's no shortage of backscreens, cuts, ball movement, and other forms of attractive basketball (as I wrote last month, it's not that the P and R can't be appealing to watch, just not over and over again). The Lakers have more passers than your average NFL combine, while the Jazz lead the NBA in assist rate. Maybe it's the former Kindergarten teacher in me, but I like sharing.

But the lack of consistent P and R makes these teams unique among their NBA brethren.

Tuesday at practice, I asked Derek Fisher, who has of course played for both Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan, about any advantages that come with doing something that to varying degrees is off the NBA's beaten path. He agreed that both teams provide a "different look," but what really compounded problems for teams facing the Lakers isn't simply the advantages that come with operating in a way the opposition won't typically face, but who's holding the proverbial scalpel. "When Kobe (Bryant) or Pau (Gasol) or Lamar Odom are initiating the action, it's different than anything you've ever seen anywhere else in the NBA."

I'm sure Lakers fans will appreciate, too, the confidence Fish shows in his team and its personnel. It's reflective of a belief they all share, that if the Lakers play as they should, properly utilizing their myriad skills, there isn't another team that's better than they are.


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Forbes made it official. The Los Angeles Lakers are now the most valuable NBA franchise:

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“The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA's most valuable team, and 12 franchises lost money in the 2008-09 season, according to Forbes magazine.

In its annual listing of the value of NBA franchises, Forbes finds Lakers to be worth $607 million, up 4 percent for the league champions. Second are the New York Knicks at $586 million, but that is a 4 percent drop. The Knicks led the rankings for the four previous seasons.

The Chicago Bulls ($511 million), Detroit Pistons ($479 million) and Cleveland Cavaliers ($476 million) round out the top five.

At the bottom of the 30-team rankings are the Milwaukee Bucks at $254 million. The league average worth is $367 million, down 4 percent, according to Forbes.

- - - - - - -

Franchise increased in value by $23M over previous year. That does not count the fact that the Lakers should still have made an operating profit for last year, too, considering all of the playoff games. Maybe, we should be saying that the Yankees are the Lakers of baseball. LOL.


Charles- thanks. I have learned something today.

Two things. Apparently some golfer dude has a bunch of women claiming to be his mistresses. This is why it is always better to be a playa then a sugar daddy. Or something.

Three things. Mezzo Sopranos, got it. Did anyone tell Tony Soprano this? How are they doing? And I guess the opera terminology would refer to any player being too closely guarded by Reggie Evans as a ‘castrato.’

LakerTom- nah, I like the Lakers. Also I think we should wait until the Lakers are paying a yearly salary roughly 420% higher than the lowest paid team before we start using pejoratives like ‘the yankees of basketball.’

mark- thank you.

THIS IS BY NO ACCIDENT: "Forbes made it official. The Los Angeles Lakers are now the most valuable NBA franchise"

Credit goes to Dr. Buss and the top notch Laker organization he has put together. Even more intriguing is Dr. Buss's thirst for winning which is I believe is the catalyst for Laker's success.



LAL Fan YOU WROTE: "Charles,
Just a small note, as far as I know Mezzo Soprano (correction, should write mezzo-soprano) its type of FEMALE classical voice residing between soprano and contralto.
So, under no circumstances Luke can speak with such voice unless... he’s done certain surgery. LOL!!!"

Just when you think you know..

Why have the Knicks been valued so high the past 4 years? They're a crappy team with no marketable stars, and aside from a brief span of glory in the 70s, have never had a winning tradition. Is it because of the property value of MSG? Because they play in NY? I don't get it.

The one thing Lakers & Celtics fans can agree on: The Knicks are the most overrated franchise in sports.    

scott- ticket prices at msg, huge local tv market in NY, that sort of thing. man, i really thought the game started at 7:30. dang.

So, what did Derek Fisher just say?

1. It really wouldn't matter if we ran the triangle or some other system

2. In fact, we really don't run it seriously much of the time at all

3. What really makes us difficult to defend are the exceptionally talented players we have on our team

So, everyone, please stop with the triangle mysticism. It's overrated, just like PJ. It's all about the talent level, which is without peer in the NBA.

@ Jim Joyce. I disagree with Phil being overrated. If it's all about "talent" then why did arguably the greatest talent in the game swear by Phil, and refuse to comeback unless Phil was in place? Every team in the NBA has talent. By those standards Memphis should be undefeated. But on Phil team, those players talents seem to rise, seem to be exploited in the way that facilitates winning the most. People say Jordan didn't start winning until Pippen arrived as a player. Hmmm, wasn't Pippen the project of a then-assistant coach named Phil? Why did Pau play better in the Finals this year? Was it all those dumb "soft" articles, or did he have a coach who knew big basketball and helped him achieve those goals? And achieving those goals means winning. Watching Jordan Farmar emerge this year - do you think that's just an accident? Phil has constantly had an agenda for Jordan to achieve, knowing it would ultimately lead to victories. We can get into minutia -- what assistant helped Jordan, etc. But, the fact is players on Jackson teams consistently pick up skills that help them win. Thinking that Phil's coaching legacy is soley the Triangle misses the many things he does as a coach. I could go on about his game management, adjustments, forward-moving overview approach to seasons, etc.

Think about Sascha last night. He's been deep down in the garbage-time mines, and yet, last night Phil inserts him in a real ball game. And -- her peforms. With many coaches Sasch would remain buried on the bench until an injury brought him forth or be traded. Would any of us had said in yesterday's 3rd quarter tight game -- "Man, what the Lakers need right now is Sascha"?

Detroit had enough talent to get to a lot of conference playoffs, and even one more championship game. But the won their sole championship under Larry Brown. Iverson got to one championship game -- under Larry Brown. Mere coincidience? Coaching cannot save zero talent, but if there's enough talent -- it can be the difference.

To me, it's like saying after Shaq leaves and we no longer win championships -- Kobe needs Shaq. Kobe can't win without Shaq. No, Kobe only needs A PORTION of what Shaq brought. The current Laker era begins NOT with Pau, but with Andrew Bynum giving Kobe that. 20-10. 20 points, 10 rebounds inside. Once Andrew stareted to give Kobe 20-10, that Laker team started winning. We had the talent (Kobe), but we needed the last piece. Andrew gets injured, we bring in Pau, and we continue to win because Kobe is getting 20-10 from Pau. People forget that Laker team initially turned around when Andrew started giving us the inside presence. Kobe did not the most dominant center in his prime, he just needed a good center in his prime. And suddenly, his "talent" is winning. Who do you think recognized this? What Laker coach decided to hire Kareem and coach Andrew very early in his career? What coach understood that Andrew's improvement was the missing piece the Laker's needed? Talent moves upward and gets better on Phil teams.

amen jimjoyce



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