Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Lakers beat Suns 108-88, reaffirm they're kinda... well... good

In their own noble right, the Phoenix Suns have cobbled together a season worthy of back slaps Jaw_dropping_dogand fist pounds.  After all, they're sitting 15-6 in the standings during a campaign most pegged as a playoff long shot.  At best.  That clip represents an impressive start, both by league standards and preseason expectations.  But there's "impressive," and then there's "dude, how the hell are we supposed to compete against that?"  Last night, the Lakers' performance during a 108-88 shellacking of the Suns defined the latter, leaving Suns coach Alvin Gentry with little else to do besides express slackjawed admiration:

"We’ve played the other teams, and I think they’re by far the best team... I don’t know where their weakness is.  No one can be any more physical than they can. No one is more athletic than they are.”

Indeed.

As BK noted in last night's breakdown, Sunday's result left no shadow of a doubt as to who would Kobe Bryant hits a layup past Channing Frye emerge victorious in a seven game series between these squads, despite a deceptively small gap in the Pacific Division.  But it also provided evidence as to how dominant the Lakers can be when playing to their strengths and the top of their collective intelligence.  Once that kitchen sink is thrown in your direction, ducking feels like the logical reaction, because the obstacles presented are truly a daunting proposition:

    -Arguably the league's best player, surrounded by a crew of skilled tall dudes.
    -The ability to kick the ball back outside for clean looks when said "skilled tall dudes" are met with a double team.
    -Backup guards Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar, now settled into a groove that allows strong first quarters to be built upon.   
    -Smothering defense, led by Ron Artest and his five steals.

On the surface, and frankly, seven layers below, there ain't much to gripe about, all things being equal and realistic.  It is, however, the nature of fans (short for "fanatics," as we're often reminded) to seek nits ripe for picking. To work overtime finding one fly in ten gallons worth of ointment.  But as ESPN/Clippers Blog scribe Kevin Arnovitz reminds us, that would mean missing the beauty:

At a certain point, there's little more for an observer to do than step back and applaud the choreography. On Sunday, the Lakers put on a beautiful exhibition of basketball in their 108-88 win over the Phoenix Suns. To underscore just how efficient the Lakers were offensively against Phoenix, those 108 points came on only 92 possessions.

What the 16-3 Lakers are doing should certainly be appreciated statistically, but it should also be admired aesthetically.

Unless, of course, you're the Suns, since the Laker aesthetics, while undoubtedly pleasurable, also represent a decided ceiling for the heights Phoenix can likely scale this season.  But hey, they do have the NBA's #1 Tweeter!  Hopefully, pride can be taken in Jared Dudley's laurels.

NBA NEWS

    -Phil Jackson doubts the NBA will feature the ladies anytime soon.
    -Allen Iverson will make his Sixers debut tonight, against no less than the Nuggets squad he used to Gregodenreactionjpeg-68d1f4b7816ae126_large.jpeg play for.  That's a "Christmas" storyline. 
    -Greg Oden underwent successful surgery for a fractured patella, but despite his formidable absence (part of a string of injuries piling up), Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard says a fortifying swap isn't imminent.  That's exactly what Andre Miller wanted to hear. Oddly enough,Oden wasn't injury-prone in high school at all.
    -Fans may want Nate Robinson in the Knicks rotation, but with the team going 2-1 since his residence in DNP-CD Country, don't expect Mike D'Antoni to change his mind anytime soon.
    -Manu Ginobli needs his mojo back ASAP.
    -Dwight Howard is actively spreading his cooties.
    -A look at the defensive responsibilities Trevor Ariza and Shane Battier share.
    -Tyreke Evans is flying somewhat under the radar in Sacto, but having a ROY-worthy season.
    -Don't look now, but the Memphis Grizzlies are racking some wins.
    -Tim Donaghy spills his guts.

AK

Photo: Greg Oden on the floor, injured.  Credit:

 
Comments () | Archives (42)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Quote for the ages by Alvin Gentry""We’ve played the other teams, and I think they’re by far the best team... I don’t know where their weakness is. No one can be any more physical than they can. No one is more athletic than they are.”
I never thought I would say this about the funs but Mr. GENTRY ... Out FreAKIN Standing!

And a Special...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!! To the Blog gods AK & BK for managing to somehow get the news that other outlets miss. You guys do a terrific job. THANNNNNKSSSS!!!


AK / BK appreciation day

Well deserved. Even Jon the K's handin' out journalistic praise after a 9 game streak.

I did ask a few poignant, and decidedly complimentary questions to the brothers K back about 7 threads that didn't get answered. I understand, I don't read my posts either.

It does spark another question: Do the brothers K read the blog anymore or do they have people now?

Vman

We definitely still read 24/7, but as always, we don't have time to respond to EVERY question posed by the readers. And sometimes we just miss stuff. I'm not actually sure what Q you're referring to.

Thanks

AK

It does spark another question: Do the brothers K read the blog anymore or do they have people now? Posted by: VMan | December 07, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Of course the Blog gods have people now, or they wouldn't be gods. But that does not mean they care any less. It would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for anything to get past them.

Its interesting that the east has basically turned into "Who's going to play the Lakers in June".

I still like Orlando for their combination of youth, versatility, size, finals experience, a dedicated and underrated go to in VC, and of course, the leagues best center in Dwight Howard.

yes, I understand that some of us Laker fans want to consider the Celtics our main rival, but it really comes down who is left standing over there when its all said and done. A Celtic matchup is fun when it happens, but a championship's shine doesn't hinge upon at whose expense its going to be at.

OTOH, the West has its conundrums as well. While our Lakers are enjoying an easy schedule and winning the ones were suppposed to (no small feat), hearty challenges will come from Denver (the self-proclaimed yet unproven better team) and Dallas in a 7 gamer.

IMO, Dallas looks good because they have particular matchups and style of play that can get at Laker vulnerabilities. Contending with Dirk Nowitzki, playing better than I've seen him play even in his MVP year, will be challenging. Rick Carlisle is no slouch of a coach either. Jason Kidd is always a dangerous proposition, and Jason Terry is a always a gamer against us. However, I think most Laker vulnerabilities can be exploited for only 1 game at best in a 7 game series.

So there you have it at the quarter season mark. The rest of the league has to resolve itself to present a clear challenger to the Lakers. Hopefully in the meantime, the Lakers will keep improving upon their game.

Streaks be damned, I'd like to see a little adversity, a little more 10-12 man rotations for the sake of weary legs and chemistry development if or when an injury happens to the core.

http://tinyurl.com/ykz37f2

The Taco Unit! 3/4 of the way down the page.

Dallas looks good because they have particular matchups and style of play that can get at Laker vulnerabilities. Posted by: #4 | December 07, 2009 at 11:29 AM

You are absolutely right #4 except for one small problem. Will they make it to the Western Finals? Somewhere along the way they usually shoot their self in the foot. Of course they should have won the Title the year they played Miami except that David Stern said Dwade was MC Hammer and "you can't touch this".

Mamba24....Jamie Sweet....

Cheers guys....

I love Tyreke Evans....Imagine him as our point guard?...He is huge..
I cant help but think that our 5million dollar expiring contract is getting closer to being dealt..I just have a feeling..

IF and i mean IF Farmar continues to improve the he has been( remember i asked for 15 good games before i get all fuzzy about him) i hope that his contract offer,if we decide to keep him is not to much...

If you have seen the Wizards play as of late,then you would know that agent zero and Butler really dont like each other..That team has some real problems..Im not even going to suggest a trade...Stopped myself ...

Im reading the Agassi book and its fantastic..I now understand why he tanked with Bekker...And man he really does not like Michael Chang...

16 - 3. It is fun to be a Lakers fan this year. Being a Lakers fan means rarely having to say "we lost again." Instead it is nearly all victory. NOW THAT IS GREAT!!!

GOOoooOOOOO LAKERS !!!!

STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS…
- - - - - - - - -

Heartfelt thanks again to Tim and my good blog friends for the Happy Birthday Bandwagon wishes. One thing you learn when you reach my exalted age is that true richness in life is from relationships rather than things. I am fortunate to have the support of genuine friends in my real and virtual lives. And what better birthday present for a die-hard Lakers fan than a sound thrashing of the Suns.

No matter how much I tried or struggled, there was nothing I could do to stop this day from coming. For a guy who thankfully looks and feels 10 years younger but who still refuses to voluntarily divulge his age to anybody he does not have to, getting run over by your 65th birthday is a tough train to stop. For someone who has always thought of himself as young, turning 65 years old is like the anti-21.

It all starts with Medicare, a wonderful and flawed program for which I just as well could have waited another 10 years before signing up. Unfortunately, once your 65th birthday appears on the marketing calendar , the juggernaut starts to roll and the pressure mounts in a way I had not seen since being forced as a scared 17-year old student to sign up at the local Selective Services Office in the early 60’s.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have an excellent job and plan on working for another five or so years. Of course, Medicare has now replaced my Anthem Blue Cross PPO coverage as my primary insurer, which will save my company a tidy sum in terms of my insurance premiums. Like many companies, the one I for whom I work wholeheartedly embraces a culture of youth, babies, and children visiting the office. The only difference in my case is that the kids and my three munchkin grandkids.

My 1st day on Medicare of course was last Monday, when I became violently ill with the H1N1 virus. Fortunately, I woke up this morning with my first clear head in a week, the sweet memory of the Lakers crushing the Suns, and Mrs. LakerTom whispering a sweet “Happy Birthday” into my ears. I’m taking off today and tomorrow to complete my recovery and make sure I’m no longer contagious but should be back at the job on Wednesday, after watching the Lakers crush the Jazz.

Jon K. brought up a point I had raised last year, which was that Kamenetzky Brothers were becoming as important a factor in the appreciation and enjoyment of Lakers basketball as Chick Hearn became for his generation of true blue Lakers fans in the pre-Internet days. I am thrilled that my life has been able to span both generations. And while I can hear Chick put the game into the fridge in a million Lakers memories in my mind, I realize that Andy and Brian bring me the same level of connection when I open the blog the morning after a great Lakers triumph and find out it is my 65th birthday.

- - - - - - - - -
Tom

This is a bit long, but oh well.

“What you need to win”
Sing along to the tune of ‘Just a Friend,’ by Biz Markie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPyd7qFTsT8

Kobe; you, you got what you need, what you say you need to win
What say you need to win,
Kobe; you, you got pau gasol, the guy with really good hands,
The guy with really good court vision
Kobe; you, you got Lamar Odom, the guy who can do it all,
The man doesn’t even need the ball
Kobe you, you got Drew Bynum, the guy’s only twenty two,
The guy’s a dunking foo

Let me remind how it was back in 2008
We wanted to win and we didn’t want to wait
Let me tell you the story of the situation
How Laker fans were giddy with anticipation
I guess it really started back in oh oh seven
The wolves had a gm and his name was Kevin
I guess you could imply it was a little strange
How he was still close to his friend Danny Ainge
Kobe was already not thrilled with general manager Mitch
He was even on some video, really pitching him a complaint
There was no full glass, there wasn’t rah rah rah
So when KG cranked Boston up past eleven
It wasn’t just Ron Artest who hit the fan
It was worse than the movie ‘Lucky Number Slevin’
Kobe wanted Kidd, he wanted Jermaine Oneal
If you look at Smush and Kwame, you kinda see the appeal
If they’d asked ‘Are you happy?’ Kobe’s decision had been made
“I wanna go to Chi town; can you swing a trade?’
Come on, what could they give up for you?
This is what Jerry Buss is gonna say;


Kobe; You, you got what you need, what you say you need to win,
What you say you need to win
Kobe; You, you got Four Tenths DFish, when the ball you have to dish,
With clutch threes he makes a ‘swish’
Kobe; you, you got Ron Artest, the man does it all with zest,
At tight D he is the best
Kobe you, you got Luke Walton, the man has intangible tools
The man makes people obsess like fools,

This is what it was like at the start of the season
Kobe wasn’t thrilled and the fans could see the reason
But this is just when things started to change
It was like the Big Man did some things to rearrange
When selling eye-cancer you won’t get too many takers
But because of his daughter’s tragedy Fish came home to the Lakers
Then when the team started ballin, it was kinda shocking
The Beast burst out of the little kid with the stockings
Mamba could pass to Fish or Lamar could take it down
Hand the ball the Bynum and he’d take your ass to town
Everything was working so dandy and sweet
Then a knee jerk injury knocked us all on our seat
What the hell was gonna happen, was this setback gonna shelve us?
The answer was walkin in Memphis like that song about Elvis
Did Mitch throw some panic, did Kupchak show some fear?
Nah, he’d been plotting with the grizzlies GM for a year
It seems the Grizz owner had some bills that needed salves
Mitch said “who do want; An expiring contract with great calves?’
We’ll take a Gasol and give you one back, and even throw Javaris in
Let’s do this


Kobe; You, you got what you need; what you say you need to win,
What you say you need to win.
Kobe you, you got what you need, you got you Shannon Brown,
Youtube is his playground,
Kobe; you, you got what you need, you got some other guys,
You got some other guys
Kobe, you, you got what you need, what you say you need to win,
What you say you need to win

So was that it, were we done through dealin?
Just sit back and wait to see how Bynum was healin?
One would almost think Mitch knew what he was doin,
Still have Cook to move, let’s get another former Bruin
The rest of the year was almost sublime
Then Boston, they treated us like we were doin’ time
We weren’t done mixin, what can I say?
Drew getting hurt was becoming a cliche
We made one more trade, for Ammo and Brown
Then like House of Pain said, we came to get down
Then what happened? Don’t you know, son?
We went and took it all, Baby WE WON
So that’s it, we’re at the top we can’t get better?
Oh, snap! Guess what we did?
Oh no we didn’t, they’re havin cardiac arrest
We just went and picked up, guess who? Ron Artest
So please listen good, take this lesson to your chest
The Lakers aren’t just good, the Lakers are the best.

VMan,

As you very well know, there are more activities in being progressive with blog, podcasts, regular guests of K710 and polularity too. If your question is not that too controversial or progressive, then it may have been omitted by their overwhelming commitments. In 2005, we are often courted, now that we are hooked into it, you get the old flame treatment. lol!

I know it didn't count for points (because the foul occured before the shot), but was anyone else happy to see that little jump hook from Farmar in the post?

I think the Lakers are teaching each other, and so as a collective, the borg... I mean, Lakers are acquiring more and more skill making them tougher and tougher to beat in a seven game series...

Hello, Lakers fans.
I experienced my first Lakers game in person.
Words can not express what seeing the game live is like.
I'm a 38 years old rookie!
I'm been told several times: seeing the game live is sick.
Well, my friends: seeing our boys live is incredible.
And I'm hook.
espn sports zone for burgers.
the game.
the live post-game show outside Staples.
I'm speechless.
:o

Mamba24: Excellent line. David Stern said 'You can't touch this', LOL.

You are absolutely right though. For western conference teams other than the Lakers, it looks like the word 'If' precedes the 'they make it to the WCF...'

It seems the Lakers are the only team in that has a 'When' before that same sentence....


AK

No worries bro. The question had to do with your rise within the Laker circle but the answer would have required talking about yourselves in glowing terms haha.
As subjects wane in the complacency of all these Ws, I'll re phrase and re post.


Edwin, Me controversial? Naw, just lost in the verbiage as usual.

CAVS NBA CHAMPS!!!!!

shouldn't have traded ariza the rest of your bench are scrubs!!!

Good afternoon Charles...Good Afternoon Everyone...


"it's a big W I tell ya....sure...look it's a big W" Mr. Pike would make a great pic from the K brothers someday with that Big W in the background...

another solid beat down of the Suns---they are rapidly becoming discouraged playing us...bet they know there is no way in hell's half acre they can beat us in a 7 game series, especially if we really decide to play a consistent inside outside game...

and the rest of the league is thinking the same thing no doubt, because they can also see this team only improving as the season goes on, very scary stuff indeedy...

great to see the third string bunch maintain that 20 point lead for the last 5 minutes---Taco's never in doubt...

I would still like to see those guys get some time with the starters here and there, think everybody involved would be better off...

there seems to be a lot of plays and combination of plays that we run exceptionally well, we just don't run them enough for some odd reason...and like Stu said last night, I too really dig those fundamental solid time proven plays that define basketball at it's purest and best form...

I still think there must be some kind of govenor put on the Lakers by the league to limit our scoring and win differential--

hate these unendurable three day lay offs between games...is it Wednesday yet shouts Mr. Pike...

"you've got time to rectify all the things that you should"

"And how many camels have you spotted? Er well so far Peter, up to the present moment, I've spotted nearly, ooh, nearly one"

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

CAVS NBA CHAMPS!!!!!


What year was that? I can't remember that Championship.

phred,

I like your poem, but disagree about Lucky Number Slevin being a terrible movie. I thought it was well-written, a nice series of told stories that came together in a well-crafted tale of personal history. I actually recommended the movie frequently to some of the harsher critics of movies during my short stint at a liquor/movie rental store. And they were pleased.

However, props to you for fitting such a messy title into a poem. :P


BIRTHDAY GIFTS….
- - - - - - - - -

Great to hear that Kareem is doing well and still working with Andrew. Continuity of greatness has always been one of the reasons why Lakers fans are so damn lucky. Listening to the Cap talk about how effective Drew is on offense and how much he is improving on defense makes you wonder what all the hullaballoo was this summer about Drew no longer wanting to work with Kareem. I think Drew has shown to be one of most coachable young players in the game. Smart and willing to learn.

Good also to hear Phil Jackson tossing some rare praise in the direction of Andrew Bynum for his passing out of the post, which was exceptional last night, especially the quick pass to a cutting Laker for an easy layup. Drew may not ever be the playmaker that Pau is but the ability to make the right pass when doubled will necessarily become a big part of his game as defenses work to stop him. But make no mistake, the efficiency of Drew’s low post game will eventually make him a Kevin McHale style black hole for the offense. Give the kid the ball in the 3-second area and chalk up 2 points.

Kevin Ding pretty much predicts that Kobe Bryant is going to play past the age 40, much like Kareem and John Stockton. As always, Dinger just has a different and almost always more insightful view into everything Lakers. The LA Times needs to steal this guy away from the OC Register. Seeing him and the KamBros anchoring the Times Lakers coverage would be like waking up a millionaire every day. Can you imagine that: Kevin Ding writing for the Los Angeles Times.

The thing about Kobe, according to Kevin, is that he has already expanded into other more esoteric modes of better treating his body and preparing for an extended career. On my 65th birthday, I fully understand how Kobe feels when the muses begin talking about him slowing down and having to become more cerebral. The truth is Kobe wants his cake and wants to eat it, too. He is going to beat back father time with discipline and conditioning as well as becoming a savvier and craftier player. And don’t bet on him wasting a couple of years trying to be a soccer player.

Eight more years of Bean could result in another five or six rings for Kobe. He probably can’t catch Bill Russell’s eleven rings but winning one for every digit on every hand could well be in the cards. And if that were to happen, then there would be absolutely zero doubt or criticism at branding Kobe the GOAT. His ten rings would make MJ’s six look like trinkets from a Cracker Jack box. Of course, if the Lakers win six of the next eight championships, that means LeBron probably is still stuck at zero. Maybe, he can make a deal and switch nicknames and numbers with Agent Zero for a perfect match.

Remember how the old Celtics great teams dominated the NBA? Get ready for the same from this Lakers team. If the Lakers win six of the next eight championships, then Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom will have seven rings and Ron Artest six rings. All of a sudden, the history of the NBA transforms into a beautiful purple and gold rather than the cold distasteful green of the Celtics. Eight more championships would bring the Lakers total NBA championships to 23 vs. Boston’s 17.

That’s what I’m wishing for when I blow out the candles on tonight’s birthday cake. Total Lakers domination over the next eight years and a complete re-writing of the NBA history book. :-)

- - - - - - - - -
Tom

The Lakers aren’t just good, the Lakers are the best.

Posted by: phred | December 07, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Ladies and Gentleman, The new Blog Laurette,Phreeeeeedddddddd!!!

Oh by the way phred...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!!!

benjamin- too be fair, i've only watched it once, and i think that was with a person who liked it for all the wrong reasons. funny how that can ruin a movie. but mostly, it was in the song because once i thought of the line there was no way I couldn't include it, true or not.

'let's see, past eleven, what else? lucky number slevin! oh wait, kevin works too. well, i have to put them both in now.'

Cavs trolls here? I can not believe it. Before deadline we need to trade him for good ol' Butler, at least we knew what we getting. And some entertainment value too..

LakerTom, I know what you ask for is a tall order, but in all honesty, I think the old man Buss is going after it. I'm sure he doesn't feel he's getting any younger (though the women around him might make him feel otherwise), so the pedal is to the metal right now.

However, while he's spending more than other team, the cost/benefit can be justified. We have the best coach, best system, best player, best Euro, the big with the most potential, and one of the league's strongest players in the past 5 years. The brand is stronger than ever, the basketball is more skilled than ever, and the organization is strong from equipment managers to Mitch and Jim Buss.

Six of eight of the next championships? While I can't say for certain that will happen, the next 2 or 3 look very, very attainable.

AK/BK

Reply from earlier thread.

You're actually framing the argument incorrectly. Ariza and Artest would have NEVER been signed together, regardless of whether or not Walton was here. And not just because of any money involved. Ariza wouldn't have stuck around to be a backup playing Luke's minutes (10-15). He wants to play more, and should play more, so the situation wouldn't have worked out. Beyond that, it wasn't Luke's contract that made signing Ariza untenable. It was Ariza's asking price. He wanted anywhere from 7-9 mil, which is too much for a 4th (at best) option not named "Lamar" or "Odom." The contract he got from Houston isn't what he was actually trying to get from the Lakers.

Plus, you also have to remember that if Walton wasn't on the payroll, the Lakers would still be over the cap.

And yes, if Ronny had been willing to play for 1 mil, I'm positive the Lakers would have resigned him (and could have). But Ronny wasn't, so they let him go. I don't even understand what your point is. And whether he's better than Powell or worse is totally irrelevant, because the issue was Ronny's offer from Golden State, which was too much for the Lakers to match for a reserve big man. They're too stacked at the 4 and 5. So they got Powell, who's done a nice job at 1/4 the price. Even if Ronny is the better player (depends on what you want from the position, really), the difference is pretty marginal. It's hard to truly argue they "miss" Ronny.

Again, it all backs up my original point. which is that Walton's contract really hasn't prevented them from doing anything. And I appreciate the civil tone on your end as well. It's a nice way to discuss the issues. Thank you.

AK

Posted by: Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky | December 06, 2009 at 08:49 PM

=============

Sirs,

I am not framing the question wrong but made the point I wanted to make.

Your opinion on Lakers NEVER signing TA and RA together is off base. It is well placed question on who would you rather have TA backing up RA or Luke.

Yes Luke's contract prevented this! But had TA's agent not screwed this up there was no time to work it out. Yes we are over the cap still but the bench would be much better for the same money.

You say the Lakers would NEVER have done this and I say I think you are wrong IMO. Let me remind you that we had a similar debate before when I stated we should resign Mbenga and you stated Lakers did not want him because he was not good enough. Guess who was right? Yes I was, Lakers resigned Mbenga and said how valuable he was to the team.

There is nothing set in concrete that TA would only get 10-15 minutes a game. He could have gotten additional minutes backing Kobe up at the 2 spot. Or played in a 3 guard quick line up. Let SB and JF fight over Fish's minutes as backup.

You are the one that brought up Turiaff and stated the obvious that RT is better than JP. Had money not been the issue then as I stated Rony would have resigned and that was my point. Money is why we can't improve bench and Luke and Sasha are the glaring money eaters. They both contribute and both average players but not worth want they are paid to do.

So I say Luke and Sasha's contracts stops Lakers from improving bench. That was and is my position.

CAVS NBA CHAMPS!!!!!

shouldn't have traded ariza the rest of your bench are scrubs!!!

Posted by: 4099ryan | December 07, 2009 at 01:19 PM

Jon K, this is what you have to deal with?

CAVS NBA CHAMPS!!!!! What year was that? I can't remember that Championship. Posted by: BD | December 07, 2009 at 01:44 PM

ROFLMFAO!!!

justa-

Not to interject into the discussion you and AK are having, but when exactly did either of us write that the Lakers wouldn't want to resign DJ b/c he's not good enough? I've said he's not good enough to be a regular rotation player on a good team (still believe that, btw) and defended PJ for not giving him more PT in the playoffs at points last year when some fans wanted to see more of him (I believe that while DJ is a fantastic guy and a very hard worker, there's a diminishing return generally speaking when he gets larger minutes), but I certainly don't remember saying he wasn't good enough to be a third string center at a good price. If I did, let me know where, but that's not the position I remember taking.

I think you're missing a lot of points about Walton (if he was making, say 2.5 mil, which isn't much in the NBA, the Lakers still would be looking to shed salary, that TA would have taken the same deal to start on another team than backup Artest in LA and fight for scraps behind him and Kobe, that if they didn't sign Walton they probably would have eventually filled that slot with someone (they needed players), perhaps with a mid-level, etc. and still would be in a similar situation, that pointing to a guy who is about 5% of a $91 million payroll and declaring him the reason things can't happen is mathematically dubious, and so on) but will let you guys duke it out.

BK

PHRED.. that was some awesome piece... thank you...

JustaLaker fan,

You're still missing the point entirely. What difference does it make who I'd rather have between Trevor and Luke (as Artest's backup) if TA WOULDN'T HAVE STAYED for that role? You might as well be asking me who would I rather have as Artest's backup, Walton or LeBron, then blame Walton for not getting LBJ. It has to be a realistic situation. You can't frame every question with simply "who would you rather have," then blame the payroll if you can't get Player X. You have to actually take the situation and context into account. It can't be viewed purely through a vacuum, which is what you're doing.

And yes, I am absolutely correct TA wouldn't have stayed to be a backup getting 20-25 minutes a night if he's LUCKY. It runs counter to everything he stated he wanted and would have represented a step backward after his 2009 breakout. He wanted a solidified role and starting spot, not one where he's fighting for scraps. Between the amount of minutes Kobe gets at the 2 and often at the three, plus Ron's playing 30+ minutes at the 3, there simply aren't enough to go around. And clearly, they wouldn't have preferred to just let Shannon and Farmar fight for backup minutes at the one, because they rarely play Shannon as a primary ball handler. Thus, you're asking them to waste either Jordan or Shannon- who they JUST resigned and are trying to evaluate as a long-term keeper- for the sake of getting Ariza five extra minutes as a VERY expensive backup. That makes no sense.

And yes, I may have been incorrect about them resigning Mbenga after the 2008 season, but if memory serves, that was also when I thought Ronny would be retained and- to be honest- underestimated what the market would bear for him. But there's also a HUGE difference between taking a flier on a third string center at less than one mil on a partially guaranteed one year contract and investing about 73 mil (Artest's current contract and approx what TA wanted) over 5 years. The situations are beyond apples and oranges, and can't possibly be compared.

I also never conceded that Ronny was better than Powell. I said it depends on what you want from the player. But as I DID say, EVEN if you think Ronny is better, as an argument can be made, an argument CANNOT be made that the difference is so big that it's worth paying four times the amount for Ronny, who would often be getting DNP-CD's or scant minutes. Respectfully, that would be both silly and irresponsible. Ronny is worth that money for the Warriors because they have only one top flight big man, Andris Biedrens. The Lakers have THREE bigs better than him. Again, context and situation matters.

Essentially, what you're asking the front office to do is just pay through the nose, no questions asked, which is a bad use of their money. That has nothing to do with Luke, Sasha, or any contract "preventing" them from improving the bench. That's just them not being frivolously stupid with their payroll.

AK

#4,

"Jon K, this is what you have to deal with?"

Yes, it is... and it was even worse last year. Ubiquitous irrational blowhards.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Laker Tom,

Be-lated Happy Birthday wishes my friend, you are one of the corner stones of this blog...

GO LAKERS !!!

justa-

Not to interject into the discussion you and AK are having, but when exactly did either of us write that the Lakers wouldn't want to resign DJ b/c he's not good enough? I've said he's not good enough to be a regular rotation player on a good team (still believe that, btw) and defended PJ for not giving him more PT in the playoffs at points last year when some fans wanted to see more of him (I believe that while DJ is a fantastic guy and a very hard worker, there's a diminishing return generally speaking when he gets larger minutes), but I certainly don't remember saying he wasn't good enough to be a third string center at a good price. If I did, let me know where, but that's not the position I remember taking.

I think you're missing a lot of points about Walton (if he was making, say 2.5 mil, which isn't much in the NBA, the Lakers still would be looking to shed salary, that TA would have taken the same deal to start on another team than backup Artest in LA and fight for scraps behind him and Kobe, that if they didn't sign Walton they probably would have eventually filled that slot with someone (they needed players), perhaps with a mid-level, etc. and still would be in a similar situation, that pointing to a guy who is about 5% of a $91 million payroll and declaring him the reason things can't happen is mathematically dubious, and so on) but will let you guys duke it out.

BK

Posted by: Brian Kamenetzky | December 07, 2009 at 03:13 PM

====================
BK

LOL!

Nice job but I still disagree. Money is the ENTIRE issue here. Luke and TA' contracts would be a wash. So therefore money would be the same.

Nearsighted view would be TA don't want to play for scraps. But long term view is TA improves continually and gets more minutes especially backing up Kobe as Lakers look to reduce Kobes minutes to prolong his career.

As both Kobe and RA get older and TA improves then he gets more prominate role especially in playing on a dynasty team and in LA getting endorsement deals cashing in on his popularity.

Lakers benefit by improving from within.

No I won't duke it out with AK but will reasonably explain how I got to my position and view. Thank you for your input.

AK,

Not worth looking up old posts to find the Mbenga issue but point is Lakers did sign Mbenga and did state he was very valuable to them.

For the rest, see my reply to BK and that responds to you input as well.

One more point is Lakers signed Walton the minute after he became a FA. He sure would have been signed for less IMO if we took time to see what the market would bear. But now is bad contract is hurting the Lakers. He at times does contribute but he hurts us just as much with his bone headed plays and lack of shooting ball well consistently.

He is not a bad player just not producing as much as he should for his contract.

Farmar's resigning I bet will come down to how much he asks for and if he demands to be starter. Yup again money is the issue.

aK

Forgot to address one comment and that was that TA would be an expensive backup, but isn't that what Luke is now?

Justa-

For clarity, it was me, not Andy, who questioned your recollection of my opinion on the Lakers and DJ. Like I said, I don't remember ever writing that the Lakers didn't thing Mbenga could play a role (they'd have cut him last season if that was the case) or that they wouldn't re-sign him at a good price. I'll I've said about DJ is that he's not a high rotation player, and isn't a guy you want playing substantive minutes.

As for Walton re: Ariza, among other things again you assume that they wouldn't be paying someone else (it's not a straight line from Walton when they signed him to Ariza when he arrived- a lot happens in between, and that roster spot would have someone in it who would be pulling a paycheck) and that Ariza would want to stay as a backup when he could be featured in Houston. I totally disagree. The only thing I think we agree on is that the contract for Luke was too long, and they jumped into it too fast.

But there's no point in going around on it. Agree to disagree.

BK

JustaLakerfan,

As I now said a few times, Luke makes comparable money to many backup players across the league, especially around the time when he was signed (things have changed A LOT since). Seriously, look up the payrolls. I don't consider Luke a "cheap" backup, but he's also not massively expensive, either. His contract is LONGER than one would prefer, but the yearly itself isn't outrageous. And if TA had gotten the money they wanted, he'd be making anywhere from 7-9 mil, which is more than Walton makes any year of his year and could theoretically be almost double in this current year. There's a limit to how many people you can pay that kind of money to come off the bench. They already did it for Lamar. You have to be fiscally responsible, and to label Luke's contract "the reason" the Lakers wouldn't make that deal is flat out wrong.

But again, none of this matters, because TA would NEVER have come back to be Artest's backup, regardless of whether you believe me or not. Period. It woudn't have happened, because it's not what he wanted. It's pretty obvious that he'd find that setup totally unappealing, not to mention understandable.

Yes, Ariza's asking price was AN issue for an already high payroll, but so were MANY OTHER factors to this situation, all of which you're ignoring to make the issue more simplistic than it really is. You can't frame the question purely as "if the Lakers are unwilling to overpay someone, it's because Walton's contract prevents it." Particularly when comparable (Powell) or better (Artest) are available at a smaller price. That's just being smart.

Honestly, they considered 7-9 too much for TA as a STARTER/potential fifth option, because no other team was willing or able to pay him that kind of money, which became evident when he signed with Houston for basically the same money he turned down in L.A. Again, that's not Walton or Sasha "preventing" anything. That's them saying, "it's too much money," period. There's a massive difference.

Money is always an issue for any team, but you have to look at it from a more layered perspective.

AK

JALF,

Bottom line, we should just agree to disagree, because we're nowhere close to seeing this from remotely similar perspectives. I appreciate the discussion, but it will ultimately go nowhere.

AK

AK/BK

TA's stated desire was like Odom's for more money and playing time was not an issue raised. But Odom settled for less and with continued negotiation. Same in TA's case we could have negotiated down to a resonable price. Fair enough to agree to disagree.

Thanks for the disscusion.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



Categories


Archives
 

About the Bloggers


Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:


In Case You Missed It...