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Lakers guard Derek Fisher says he's not struggling

Lakers guard Derek Fisher has shot more than 50% only once in the last nine games, has sat out the entire fourth quarter three times in a little more than a week and is on pace to finish with his lowest scoring output per game since the 2003-04 season.

Yet, Fisher said after Thursday's practice that he was more worried about team chemistry than individual slumps, and that included himself.

"No," was the answer Fisher provided when he was asked if he thinks he has been struggling.

Judging by the comments during the Lakers-Clippers Live Chat, it's fair to say Fisher's play has been a highly debatable topic these recent weeks. Many in the chat expressed relief when Lakers Coach Phil Jackson benched Fisher for the fourth quarter, but then wondered why action hadn't been taken sooner.

That's because during the third quarter, Fisher had mostly guarded Baron Davis, and he went off for 14 of his 25 points. And on the offensive end, Fisher finished the game with four turnovers and only three points on one-for-three shooting. Shannon Brown came off the bench, finished with 15 points and guarded Davis fairly well, opening up more questions on whether Fisher's minutes should drop.

Though Brown has shown signs of greatness, the rest of the Lakers' bench hasn't provided consistent production. And even through Fisher's struggles, the statistics show he is 12th in the league in plus-minus stats and is on the Lakers' top three units measured by that same statistic. Obviously, that statistic isn't the end-all be-all when evaluating players, nor should it camouflage the struggles Fisher has experienced this season.

But it at least brings nuanced understanding that Fisher's poor D in Wednesday's loss to the Clippers was just a segment of a shaky unit that allowed 54 points in the paint and 26 points in transition. His shaky offensive performance signified a larger issue, with Kobe Bryant having a poor shooting night, Ron Artest still phasing back into the lineup and Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom struggling to fill Pau Gasol's absence.

Fisher went through similar problems in much of last season's playoffs, heading into Game 4 of the NBA Finals shooting only 27.1% from three-point range. After missing his first five three-point shots in Game 4, he made the baskets that counted and rekindled memories of his game-winning shot with 0.4 of a second left in the 2004 conference semifinals in San Antonio. Fisher's three-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation instantly became one of the greatest in Lakers' history. His second three-pointer with 31.3 seconds left clinched the Lakers' victory.

Teammates supported Fisher during his struggles last season, mainly arguing his on-court presence and leadership qualities were invaluable regardless of any poor statistical outings or rough patches. Case in point, the team credited Fisher's "This is your moment speech" in Game 3 of the last season's Western Conference finals against the Denver Nuggets as a turning point toward an eventual victory in that contest.

Let's continue the conversation and get your thoughts on whether you think Fisher will shake out of his recent play, or if it's too risky to wait and see.

--Mark Medina

 
Comments () | Archives (58)

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phred,

>>> I would kind of like to see David Stern face a lifetime ban.

Mamba24 could sign me up for that band wagon, too!

rick- technically, you started the bandwagon, inadvertent or not. You can be the driver...I'll be riding um I suppose "Glock" might be more appropriate than 'shotgun' in this case.

Phred, nice take on the Gilbert fiasco. I 100% agree.


RE: FISH

- Fish thinks he is not struggling? What? Does that mean we can expect this kind of play for the rest of the season? If Fish is not struggling, I would hate to be there when he does struggle.

- The reason Fish has a good plus/minus is because he is always on the court with Kobe, Gasol, Artest. You can put Smush Parker, heck put in a retired Chuck Nevitt in with our talented starters, and they would also have a good plus/minus.

- Fish's motivational speech in the playoffs would have been inspiring whether Fish was playing 30 minutes a game or 10 minutes a game. Nobody doubts his leadership, but he could display the same amount of leadership from the bench without hurting the team on the court.

- Remember, Houston fans think the only reason the Lakers won game 4 against the Rockets was because Fish was suspended.

- Fish has the EASIEST starting job in the NBA, playing alongside Kobe, who draws all the attention, along with our other PG in the post - Gasol. I don't expect Fish to play good defense or lead fast breaks or create shots for others. All he should ever do is shoot wide open shots that his teammates create for him and occasionally draw a charge. Instead, he continues to force the issue by driving to the hole and taking shots off the dribble, and basically making rookie type decisions.

- However, putting Fish on the second unit is a catch 22. If he plays with less talented players who draw less attention, Fish's weaknesses would be exposed even more. With Fish being phased out in the 4th quarters, it's a predicament that Phil is obviously aware of.

- The best starting lineup IMO is Gasol/Lamar/Artest/Kobe/Brown (and occasionally Farmar). This lineup is a balanced mix of speed and length. Our current starting unit with Bynum and Fish is too slow, cannot play transition defense, and cannot create good space in the post.

because polls r fashionable lately:

what is the best description of Derek Fishers's play for the last year:

a. fried fish

b. dead fish in yesterday's newspaper (o.04 really happened in 2004 - we have now 0.01)

c. fish 4 chips

d. dead fish handshake

e. none of the above

F. ALL OF THE ABOVE

oh yeah, d fish. No, i wouldn't bench him. He is definitely contributing to this team. If we had a better PG than 0.4, yeah, i would bench him, that's what 'better' means. We don't, so I won't complain about us not playing what we don't have. As for specific criticisms to Fish, his FG% by itself is ok for your fifth or sixth offensive option, a bit lower than you might want for a three pt specialist, if Fish ever claimed to be a 3 pt specialist, which to my knowledge he hasn't.

So far as his defense, we play team defense, not one on one defense. My point remains the same as it always has been; irregardless of who plays pg, they can't defend the quicker pgs in the NBA. Under NBA defensive rules as they are, Chris Paul couldn't defend Chris Paul. Tony Parker and Aaron Brooks couldn't defend Tony Parker and Aaron Brooks. When we have defensive breakdowns, they are team defensive breakdowns. 'pg getting beat off the dribble' is not excuse in today's NBA. Other guys need to be paying attention and need to rotate.

I'm not offering blanket criticism of other Lakers for being 'bad defenders' or playing 'bad' defense. Our team defense with Gasol and Odom playing C and PF last year was championship quality. I don't think either Gasol and Bynum or Bynum and Odom are playing to that level this year, so I think that's a realistic goal they should work towards. That's me clarifying my position, not me thinking that anybody in the Lakers organization doesn't know that already, i'm pretty sure they all do.

I also think it's a sad state of affairs that whenever you offer criticism in any forum that you have to qualify it and go out of your way to say that you aren't joining in any 'anti player' movements, but I guess it's always been that way around here, so I guess I can't moan about it too much.

and a proposal

in san francisco there is a very popular bookstore called Green Apple (great selection of used, new books, records, Cd's, DVD's)

in front of the store, during business hours, there is figure/sculpture of a dwarf dressed n green that holds, obviously a green apple - see moving giff and still image

http://www.greenapplebooks.com/

a friend of mine who lives close by, every time he lives his house, stops by and rubs the head/hat of the dwarf. he tells me that the gesture brings him good karma, luck and abundance.

i propose to PLANT Derek Fisher at the end of the bench (the one toward the center) and every player that enters the game for the Lakers must rub his bald head. maybe this way he will rub his 0.04 shooting to each player's palm and also he will still be a presence as a veteran.

The Lakers needed a ritual and his presence will impact the team much more than his play and "This is your moment speech". :-)

one of my favorite term of the BB lingo

PUJIT ( for MM - means pull up jumper in transition - it was inspired by DF missing the PUJIT because he can't finish at the rim)

D' Fish is OK, a good man and has been a good Laker that delivered Championship from '00 to '08. By the end of this season, he's coming off age and it's time retire or move to other team. Just being realistic for players who are getting old and could not catch with young PG's.

Anyone in an organization who retires does not mean he is incapable of doing the job. Give the job to an incoming young Laker, or two competing PG's . You can not claim of being indispensable and no one can replace D' fish.

Does anyone know that Derek Fisher has the highest cumulative three-point percentage in NBA Finals history?

Cause he does.

52.2%

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_records

I'm just saying.

When it really matters, Derek Fisher has always shown up.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Derek is undoubtedly one of the leaders on the team. However, he has to make better decisions on the court. The only shots he should ever take on the floor are catch and shoot jumpers. He should never attempt a layup unless there is no one within 4 to 5 feet. Yes, I know he made those two HUGE shots against the Magic in the Finals but that does not exempt him for criticism.

I am wishing Coach will start Shannon Brown/Jordan Farmar and start using Fisher as a backup. It is still the regular season and isn't it supposed to be Coach's SOP to figure out the best rotations during the regular season? That being said, we would have the slowest bench with both Fisher and Walton.

Coby Karl was cut by the Cavaliers today. I tell you, I liked that guy when he was with us. He's tall (6'5) and knows the triangle somewhat. I can't recall if he's fast or not. He hasn't played enough to really disgest his stats or to make a projection of some sort. Maybe not playing enough with two franchises tells me what I need to know.

Anyone know him well enough for a decent scouting report? I would suppose that investing in another project isn't something the Lakers would want when they are so far over the salary cap.

I'm just sayin, I liked the guy. Next year after Morrison leaves and once we figure out if Farmar is a keeper or not we can revisit the idea or invite him to camp.

I don't agree that LAL don't have better PG than Fish. They do and his name is Shannon Brown. And on a good day even Farmar is better than Fish.

I also do not buy into the argument that just because team defense matters more, individual defense doesn't count. It does. When a team has such a weak link on individual defense such as Fish, it puts a lot more stress and pressure on the team defense to cover his behind and bail him out. In his younger days and at his best Fish was an average defender, never that great. Now he's clearly a huge liability in his decline.

Sorry but I just don't think Fish is in a slump. He's simply at that point in his career that's the beginning of a decline. It's only what, one-quarter of the season and Fish is already looking slow and tired. Will he have anything left by the end of the season to go into the playoff?

Instead of wasting playing minutes on Fish, Phil should give them more and more to Brown and Farmar. Sure the two are going to occasionally make dumb mistakes on the court and Phil's beloved Triangle may not look as pretty with those two but the time to let them learn and mature is NOW. Play those two now in spite of any other issues/problems and hopefully by the time the playoff rolls around at least one of them will be able to contribute significantly for the run to a repeat.

Forget about Fish already. I love him as much as any other Laker fans for his past contribution but he IS hurting the team. The Lakers can pay respect to him by let him be a starter still but should significantly reduce his playing time.

Look for Fisher's photo to appear in dictionaries under the entry for the word "denial."

Nobody on the Lakers roster is a definite starter at the point guard position. The Lakers need to get someone in the offseason if not before. Derek Fisher has been eaten up on defense this year, and that was his bread and butter. His offense has been left wanting....sometimes, it's just time to let go.

I've said this many times. Fish has to start, according to Phil Jackson. Fish is the ONLY Laker that can keep Kobe in check. Fish was brought here for that purpose. If you remember, Fish came around the time when Kobe was acting up, angry with everyone, and talking about leaving the team. Laker management knew that a wild-eyed, unchecked Kobe was not a good thing. Hence, we brought back Fish, who's always been an average NBA guard at best, to settle the team and provide the Lakers with a mature and experienced player that could talk down Kobe, if need be. It was purely strategic. Think a front court, upgraded version of Jack Haley and Dennis Rodman.

There is no way Fish is going to lose his starting job. The best we can hope for is a Manu Ginobli type rotation, where Fish starting is only just for show, and the vast majority of minutes go to Farmar or Shannon.

It wasn't as bad as I predicted. I was querying whether he'd be 1 of 4 or 1 of 10 and thought it would settle on 1 of 6. 1 out of 3 is not bad.

Seriously, I just got a little confused. I have always considered Fish really smart and aware. Perhaps he meant, "I" am not stuggling in the sense that there is no "I" in team. But, if not, see Laker-Bob about the dictionary.

GOOOooOOO LAKERS !!!!

Fish has been a streaky player for his entire career. Similarly, he's always had trouble guarding quicker opponents. He's been written off I don't know how many times - in all honesty, how many would have bet that he'd be a starting PG for a championship team at age 35? The guy's still here though, has the confidence of the best player in the league and the winningest coach. With that however, comes realism - they're not going to force feed him into 4th quarters if he's not getting it done and with decent depth at the position, they don't have to. Fish will come out of his shooting slump in due time and he'll make a difference in big-time games. Until then, we've got Farmar and Brown so I really don't see that the problem is.

Right now Fisher is just in a slump and i think fans should ease up on him. He may not be the most consistent player during the regular season, but he has alway's stepped up big time in the playoffs and knocked down crucial shots I say continue things as is with Fisher starting and Farmar continuing to get a lot of minutes. In 4th quarters of big playoff games with Gasol and Kobe getting doubled i still want Fisher in the game at those times.

Everyone relax! Derek is fine and he will contribute big in a play off series. Don't worry too much, this is the regular season. I do wish that the Lakers would split the minutes more between Derek and Shannon, but it will happen gradually. I'm pretty sure next year Shannon will take over, but a slump is not the reason to bench someone. Especially someone who does so many other things on the court.

Fisher is a competitor, a fighter ... but lacks basic point guard skills. He also does not finish well around the basket, has no in between shot and is not a good passer both in breaks or in a half court set. He does well in the Lakers' triangle offense because it does not require typical or classic point guard attributes. If the Lakers had a point guard that can pass a little, who can drive and dish, who can pass on the break and who can make a layup every once in awhile, we would probably be close to undefeated. Unfortunately, Farmar is not the answer and Brown is a good 2 guard. There are plenty of second tier point guards in the league that would do much better than Fisher.

He isn't struggling. He has already hit major shots at the end of the miami game and the kings game, with Kobe finishing them off. He is still drawing charges (I remember one in the clippers game).The defensive troubles are a team trouble. He is most needed at the end of games, so the guy who suggested phasing him out is crazy. He is someone who Kobe trusts, which is good enough for me. And, who is going to replace him? Brown and farmar aren't ready. Shasha's been playing a lot better lately and getting more time, but he isn't ready either. All you need from fish is his leadership and for him to handle the ball and take clutch shots, which he is still doing. You don't need numbers from him. You just need his glue. The other lakers need to shape up and play with the focus that Kobe has right now, did you see the look he had at halftime during the clipper games? He had no help in that game and carried them through the third.

We have been winning for the most part for a long time now, DESPITE Fisher!

One thing I will say about Fish: he's really tough and never gets injured.

Another thing: he has been clutch in the playoffs.

But yeah, he needs to get his D and shot happening.

I, personally, find the vehement criticism of Derek Fisher to be very disappointing.

I'm not saying that Derek Fisher should be immune from criticism. No man should be. But sometimes the criticism is simply inflammatory and viscious. Have we forgotten who we are attacking?

Derek Fisher.

I can honestly say that we would have not won multiple titles and nor reached the Finals multiple times were it not for Derek Fisher. The man is a warrior.

Is he the greatest athlete? No.

Is he as quick as Aaron Brooks? No.

Does he have limitations? Yes.

But this guy is a fricken warrior and has ALWAYS (ALWAYS!!!!) come through when the chips are down. He's a leader who makes his teammates better and represents the absolute best in Laker heritage.

I'm not asking people to become sycophants, but give respect where respect is due.

Derek Fisher deserves respect. It is important to keep in mind that Kobe has never won a ring without DFish... and there's probably a reason for that. He's been good and is good for our team.

If you can't see that, then I feel sorry for you.

I'm not trying to tell people that we shouldn't have a discussion about the situation at point guard, but to continually vilifiy Derek Fisher after he has brought so much to this team is utterly uncool and not fanerific at all.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

JohnnyV -

I don't have a scouting report on him, but I do remember that he had the dunk of the year his last year with the lake show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVItKcgqviU&feature=related

He does have some boosties!

just out of curiousity, of all the people attacking/ defending gilbert arenas, how many of you have read his blog? How many of you know anything about his life before the nba/off the court?

I am really asking, although i would admit that for anybody answering no, my suggestion is probably sort of obvious from the question.

jonk
bravo.. very admirable and inspiring speech but give me a break?? pass me a box of kleenex will you..

---------------------------
"I'm not saying that Derek Fisher should be immune from criticism. No man should be. But sometimes the criticism is simply inflammatory and viscious. Have we forgotten who we are attacking?"

Hmmm let me see.. you mean the same guy who is arguably the slowest and worst defensive point guard in the league... who has been surrendering season highs to just about every other pg in the league.. or you talkin about the same guy whos offensively shooting 37% from the FG (shooting mostly wide open shots mind you) and really hasnt played consistently for over 2 years.

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"I can honestly say that we would have not won multiple titles and nor reached the Finals multiple times were it not for Derek Fisher"

Really? i mean really dude? do you honestly think we could not have won all those titles without dfish? WOW... the only ring i remember him really contributing was last year but even then he stunk it up against houston utah and denver until his 2 memorable clutch shots in the orlando series... and besides had he not come through series would still be tied 2-2 and lakers have homecourt advantage.

-------------------------
"Is he as quick as Aaron Brooks? No."

haha.. are you trying to be funny?

-------------------------
"I'm not asking people to become sycophants, but give respect where respect is due"

no one is disrespecting dfish here. you talk about him as hes some sacred cow.. if you say hes open to criticism then just let the people speak and the jury decide. loyalty is one thing but we're trying to win here so try not and let loyalty blind you. we all appreciate and will always remember the great memories but as hard as it is to accept everyone's time eventually comes up (yes even dfish).. and let me remind you hes now 35 YEARS OLD and slowing by the day.

and i was, as dr seuss might have said, pondering in my little ponderer, about our trade/FA pickup situation.

We have an open roster spot. Luke Walton and Ron Artest are ostensibly lined in as SF and backup SF/unless kobe plays SF, which doesn't hurt anybody. So i'm thinking, if we are thinking about somebody, that it would be a guard. I don't usually try to outguess mitch. I think there was a total of zero people around here guessing that Cook was going for Ariza, even if any of us knew who ariza was beside a guy we wouldn't have considered drafting on our fantasy teams. I don't know anybody who thought of Shannon Brown before he was trade contract evening salary so we could ditch Radmonovic and bring in Morrison's cheaper and soon to be expiring deal. Out guessing cupcake seems to be not so much a piece of one.

So I'm going with i'm probably going to be wrong, but I'm picking the guy who I think is a good idea but isn't high on anybodys wish list; I'm asking Atlanta (if they are still paying him at that point) about Mo Evans. Former Laker, a bit of a mix up with the Zen Master, but he learned the Triangle. Worked hard on it too, if I accurately recollect the standard line from the major mainstream player post mortemacators. Bounced around a bit. He never hit success, like most post phil lakers castoffs, they looked a lot better in LA than out of LA, and they didn't look so good in LA. Shaq (ok, he wasn't a complete loss), Brian Grant, Brian Cook, Kwame, Crittendon, the other Coby, Samaki Walker, etc etc. Until this season he seems to be playing the exact guy we'ed need for an Atlanta Hawks team that might not need him at all, or at least as much as the some salary cap relief and sort of NBA quality starter we could offer; Farmar or Sasha. Mo is evolving into a guard who can play a bit of SF, a little bit of PG in a triangle offense, a little bit of a hackup SG when Kobe wants to play SF.

He can shoot and shoot well from outside if he's open. He's not a swinging door on defense. He's not worn down from playing on a bench that goes about one and a half players deep most games. He might even want to come back, who knows.

So that's my pick to be 2010's version of Shannon Brown in 09, 2010's version of Trevor Ariza. A guy maybe nobody wants, who can play him some mean pin...i mean basketball.

And hey, if I'm wrong, that's cool, I'll just go down the hall to meet with all the assembled pro hoops prognosticars who are watching the complete lack of happening of any of their FA/trade predictions from the trade deadline deals.

Worth talking about? Whaddya think, Lakerinos?

I think what phred, Jon K and troy said on Fisher is exactly what I think, from different perspectives.

I am not to dismiss the fact Derek might actually be struggling in a more evident way at this start of the season.

But I don't think this is affecting us worst than any of the other players' current evident, adamantine struggles.

What I think Derek provides on court is a powerful gluing power.
I see and I can understand people saying he can have that "player/coach" role also from the bench seat, and in fact I understand PJ direction in benching him more, but we don't know dynamics of the locker-room as the players do, and we have to read between their lines and words careful to understand what Derek role means to his teammates.

A team sport to succeed has the need of the technical parts, and physical, and.. statistical efforts to be put in, as much as it has a huge need of those mental, undefinable from stats moments that keep a team as a cohesive, powerful unit on court, no matter what.

Anybody who has played in a team sport at a certain level will agree on this.

Yesterday Lamar included Derek's name in his final sentence (from the interviews Mark posted). Look at his face telling his name. For him, and that means for the Laker players, Derek role means something a general viewer can't probably get in full if he focuses only on his outputs out from statistics.

I don't really see Fish's troubling himself or us more this year than past year. Or the previouses years.

He was never quick guard, never a much quicker defender.
And still he has been always considered a key player by all of his teammates. Are all of them blind, stupid, or masochistics? Don't really think so. Each one of our players want to win as much as possible (then there's Kobe... his tendency and drive to victories is even to much to be defined by mere words...). So why they value Fisher, if he is THAT damaging or horrble to play alongside them? Cos it's clear they value Fisher. That is under everybody's eyes, no matter what Fisher haters can say or do: the team clearly thinks well of Derek.

His main resource (and highly valuable in my book) is his IQ and commitment drive.
I highly doubt any from the bench can have a tenth of that yet. And I am pretty sure anybody in the locker room doubts that as much as I do.
Shannon, Jordy, sure are quicker and sure have more energy, but they understand game dynamics a tenth (not even) compared to Fish.

Our team is the smartest in the NBA.

To make anybody take Fish's role is not as easy as it seems at first sight.

I am seeing PJ shifting carefully tables. I think he's doing it right and I trust his timing. He's not trying to overuse Fish. I think he's trying to protect Shannon and Jordy from too many responsibilities all thrown at once on their backs. Cos step in into Fisher's role takes way more than just defending better or shot better than him (which isn't as easy as some here may think...)

I trust PJ's dealing with all this important, delicate matter. As I trust Derek's understanding of things going, and developing.

If he's not worried, I am neither.

Years of Lakers faith have repaid me with huge satisfactory days and one of the things I have learnt is that our players know.

What worry me, is that again in Fish's words, as it were for Lamar's and Kobe's yesterday, the black big point addressed is "global". It's attitudinary. When these three tells it so, gotta think they see something that it ain't going well, which is way more worrying than any of the failed dribbles and stops attempted by Derek.

Anyway, I can surely see why people are dissatisfied in Derek.
Personally though, I still value his role to be a key in our team developing. The way PJ will handle teh transition from him to younger kids, mantaining his momentum role à la Ginobili (excellent comparison) might be one of the true turnout moments in our season.

I am confident. Derek is one of the smartest guys I have ever seen. If he has to step back for Lakers glory, he will without a single problem coming from him.

His heart and mind are totally devoted to the cause and whomever attacks him on the personal side should always think twice. This man is a Laker Great. Respect to him (not blind devotion, just respect) is something this guy has gained MAJORLY from us all.

On this at least any true Laker fan should agree.

fishhead has played like trash for the last two seasons and a couple of made baskets at the end of games does not make up for all the games he helped lose with his poor shooting, blow layups, inexistent defense, and poor decision making.

we are all glad he is playing fewer and fewer minutes, because that's what he deserves.

I just want to point out that please some one in LA TIMES make change in the blog of LA TIMES/LAKERS. And that change should be the availabilty of font size adjustment somewhere in the blog. Current font size is too smallfor comfortable reading. Why not make it larger on a permanent basis or at leaat make available an option to adjust the size for the readers' preference.

Thank you, LAT


JohnnyV,

I can give you my 2 cents on Coby Karl while he played last year in our Spanish ACB league with Joventut (Ricky Rubio's team back then)

He did not adapt to the European game and he ended up averaging 5pts and only 11 minutes.

What I would say is that he has good basketball fundamentals and he is able to play physical game. He is a good shooter (nice turnaround jumper ) and good penetrator and the best thing I saw from him was his attitude and his willingness to give 100% on every game.

This guy has gone through cancer treatment twice already! He is a definitely a fighter.

I liked him the very few minutes a saw him play with the Lakers.

yellofever,

Dude, you spit venom more than almost anyone else on the blog!

Are you or have you EVER been an athlete?

I am assuming the answer is "No" because, generally speaking, someone who has been a high level quality athlete would not be so hypercritical.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Where is Tariq "the sheriff" when you need him? The denigration of dFish, this early in the season, just after a number of posts denigrating Bynum, is disturbing. Dfish has hit so many big game shots over the years that to question his fitness to play is short sighted at best, dementia at worst. Agree - he should play shorter minutes, and PJ is making that adjustment. there are a number of recent games where he sat the 4th quarter. That is a good degree of change at this time. what more do people want?

Some folks think Brown is ready to start at PG? He is totally not ready to step into that role of responsbility. That is how you potentially do damage to a player that is being brought along at the right pace by a very smart coach. Did you see that point in the 4th quarter when Brown tried to dribble around Baron Davis and ended up with a shot clock violation / blocked shot? He needs more court time before he is ready to start games for the Lakers.

Farmer starting? Forget it. He makes bad passes and poor decisions every game he plays. Dribbles too much. makes bad entry passes to Kobe in the post. Which is fine for a developing player, but still - a problem.

I don't understand this, we need the sheriff, and we need him now.

Leadership, total respect by the locker room, a warrior, and a PROVEN winner. give it a rest on dFish. Also, folks should take into account the Lakers have the best record in the league. And its a long season, PJwill make the necessary adjustments as the season evolves and younger players get more experience.

Doug

I totally agree with Jon K and Zaira regarding DFish. Is he getting too old? Yes. Is his shooting touch gone? Yes. Does his defense suck? Yes. Is Phil going to stick with him anyway? Yes.

Here's the deal. And it's a point I've made often, but I'm going to make it again because we seem to have a number of Fantasy League playuhs among us that still don't get it. Phil has 10 rings. Phil has that many rings because he doesn't put teams together for the regular season...he puts them together for the playoffs. He sees something in certain players that other coaches (who don't have even one ring, much less 10 rings) don't see. It goes without saying that he sees things that 99.9% of blog posters don't see either.

Phil continues to play Fisher because he still thinks Fish will deliver in those moments in the playoffs when he needs to deliver. So he keeps Fish in there now, and he keeps letting Fish know that he believes in Fish, precisely because he wants Fish to be ready to give him that 0.4 moment that will earn him Ring #11.

So, go Fish go. Go Lakers go!

Fisher's calmness solidifies this team. Probably made the difference in two of the four title teams. To this point, relative to the other options on the team, he is still the best choice.

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BAN “DARTH” DAVID STERN FOR LIFE – BANDWAGON
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(01) RICK FRIEDMAN – OWNER –. I would kind of like to see David Stern face a lifetime ban.
(02) PHRED – DRIVER- DRIVER – I would kind of like that too.
(03) MAMBA24 – BAN THE DEMON NOW
(04) #4 YEP
(05) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN -
*

It's funny how everytime we lose a game, Laker fan are always looking for somebody to blame. It's easy to pick on Derek Fisher due to age, and Andrew Bynum due to lack of effort so on and so forth. I have learned to trust Phil, Kobe and the Lakers organization as a whole that when it comes crunch time they will deliver. I also understand the fan's concerns about losses, nobody likes to lose but I think this Lakers team can learn from an whupping every now and then to keep them humble. Every loss should remind them that they are not invincible, and they need to always sharpen their game because other teams are catching on with them. Especially when you are the champ. I'm always a big fan of constructive criticism, but on this blog you have fans always critisizing without knowing a damn thing they are talkiing about. Fans have really a short memory especially after a loss. Phil, Kobe and Fisher have had success in the past not by coincidence. They have been consistent at what they do. Phil is still the same old Phil since the Chicago Bulls years and he won 6 rings with them and 4 with us.We can't forget those things. I also was being jealous when I saw Derek Fisher doing exactly the things he used to do during our championship years for the Utah Jazz. Imagine if we had him during the Lakers-Phoenix series. He was knocking down clutch shots for other teams. He's the type of guy you pick on when he's around but is deeply missed when he's not. I have learned my lesson to just enjoy the ride trust my coach and best player, my organization and also veteran leadership. I still think there are always room for improvement no matter at what level we are playing. Phil always use the first half of the season to try different match ups, then use a more consistent line up after the all star break. With that being said, expect a more sharp Laker basketball as we approach the post-season. The journey to the finals is not going to be sweet and easy, there are going to be bumps on the roads and some tough challenges as well as some loveable moments. But we need to never lose our focus on the prize which is Los Angeles Lakers 15th championship banner. With Phil it's never how we start, but how we finish. We should feel fortunate to have this team only other fans wish they had. Imagine Wolves and Nets fans how they feel about their teams respectively. Our team is not perfect, but we are built to win at the end. trust me after the all-star break if this Gasol-Bynum thing is not working, Phil will make the adjustment as needed in the playoffs, but as far as Derek, get used to seeing him in the starting until he retires. As long as we have Kobe in our team, he will always be alongside him. Kobe has that much trust and respect for him.

I really meant 16th championship banner.

*
I BELIEVE IN FISH – BANDWAGON
*
(01) PHRED- OWNER - oh yeah, d fish. No, i wouldn't bench him. He is definitely contributing to this team.
(02) JON K – DRIVER - Does anyone know that Derek Fisher has the highest cumulative three-point percentage in NBA Finals history? Cause he does. 52.2%. When it really matters, Derek Fisher has always shown up. This guy is a fricken warrior and has ALWAYS (ALWAYS!!!!) come through when the chips are down. He's a leader who makes his teammates better and represents the absolute best in Laker heritage.
(03) EDWIN GUECO - D' Fish is OK, a good man and has been a good Laker that delivered Championship from '00 to '08.
(04)
(05) MAMBA24 – Dfish is the man
(06) TOM - Derek is undoubtedly one of the leaders on the team.
(07) DAVE M. - Fish will come out of his shooting slump in due time and he'll make a difference in big-time games. He has the confidence of the best player in the league and the winningest coach.
(08) LIVE RUGBY - He may not be the most consistent player during the regular season, but he has alway's stepped up big time in the playoffs and knocked down crucial shots I say continue things as is
(09) HECTORARTM - Everyone relax! Derek is fine and he will contribute big in a play off series.
(10) BOB - All you need from fish is his leadership and for him to handle the ball and take clutch shots, which he is still doing. You don't need numbers from him. You just need his glue.
(11) ZairaAmaterasu - His heart and mind are totally devoted to the cause and whomever attacks him on the personal side should always think twice. This man is a Laker Great. Respect to him (not blind devotion, just respect) is something this guy has gained MAJORLY from us all.
(12)

You guys are nuts going after Fisher the way you are. Him coming back to the team was a HUGE bonus for us. Fish had the same problem years ago with smaller speedy guards. In times past Phil would put a small speedster on the guy that was burning up Fisher. We just don't have a guy like that on the roster anymore.
-
I have been calling for an upgrade in the PG position. HOWEVER, in none of my trade scenarios did I include DFish. I want to acquire a guy that can give us better matchups and give us the ability to play Fish when we need to be playing Dfish. There are times when the team needs his stability, composure and ego balance.

You guys remember when Kobe was dominating the game and everyone was crying for Kobe to pass more? DFish was the guy that would look at Kobe and then pass the ball to someone else. The guy has guts and he has Kobe's respect.

We do need an upgrade at the PG position. But YOU guys are talking as if the problem is Fisher. NO WAY! We should be playing Fisher less minutes. We should be migrating toward replacing Fish. Well why haven't we diminished his role? Because we don't have the ability to replace him. Shannon's strengths don't replace what Fish brings. Farmar's strengths DON'T replace Fish. Is Farmars defense better? Is his shot better? Is his decision making better? All, NO!

Let's at least admit that if there is a problem at the PG position, it is that the Lakers don't have the ability to make a trade to replace Fish. Fish should be playing ALOT less minutes and playing on healthy legs. Instead, he is playing tired and doing things we need from him regardless of him not being that guy anymore.

It's on us guys, not Fish. You can be disappointed in our options at PG (I know we are) but Fish is just trying to play a bigger role than he should be doing at this point in his career.

THAT is why I wanted to "HAVE THE DISCUSSION" about why the real sacred cow, Bynum cannot be considered the asset we have to trade for a REAL UPGRADE to the PG position. If we did use Bynum in a trade, then we would still have Fish THEN PLaying the role he should be playing at this point in his career.

phred - I like the idea of Mo Evans. Not sure who to trade to get him because I've got a bit of a hoarder mentality when it comes to our players. Only 2.5m in salary though.

A quote from the newest article in the LA Times:

"This is a team game," Fisher said. "So I'm not overly concerned about my individual game. With the type of team we have, there will be different guys doing different things every night and you have to be willing to sacrifice maybe some of your individual shine to make sure the team is accomplishing the team goals.

Now, I know he's not shooting too well lately, but I think this is exactly why our team needs him. He understands the big picture.

First I am fan of Mr Fisher, not least because of his steady presence and calmness under fire. But Jon K's panegyric notwithstanding, it is entirely reasonable to question both his recent play and the role should perform. We should do so not as a means of personal attack but in the interest of what positions the team, rather than the individual, for maximum success. In that context I believe the best answer is to continue to start Mr. Point Four Seconds but limit him to 15-20 minutes per game. I also believe it would be a very constructive thing for the Team to have him limit his shots to those of the wide open uncontested variety. He's a tough hombre so keep drawing those charges DF. He has always been a streaky player and I expect his performance to improve (Yellofever insert skeptical snide comment here :) but what the most curious and somewhat disturbing thing about this is Derek's unwillingness or inability to recognize that he IS struggling. I choose to believe his answer is simply because this is not something that Derek wants to admit for public consumption...as in never let them see you sweat. The other explanation smacks of denial which would be even worse than his play of late.
s

I still don't understand how anyone can think that Brown or Farmar has shown enough to be given the starting job. If they could consistently play well against the other teams' backups, then it would be worth giving them a chance. But they haven't been able to do that, so why do you think they would do well as a starter?

And note that "consistently play well" is not determined by the number of points they score or the number of assists they make, it is determined by their decision making and defense, and ability to hit open shots. Playing with with the other backups instead of the starters should not affect them in those areas

*
I BELIEVE IN FISH – BANDWAGON
*
(01) PHRED- OWNER - oh yeah, d fish. No, i wouldn't bench him. He is definitely contributing to this team.
(02) JON K – DRIVER - Does anyone know that Derek Fisher has the highest cumulative three-point percentage in NBA Finals history? Cause he does. 52.2%. When it really matters, Derek Fisher has always shown up. This guy is a fricken warrior and has ALWAYS (ALWAYS!!!!) come through when the chips are down. He's a leader who makes his teammates better and represents the absolute best in Laker heritage.
(03) EDWIN GUECO - D' Fish is OK, a good man and has been a good Laker that delivered Championship from '00 to '08.
(04)
(05) MAMBA24 – Dfish is the man
(06) TOM - Derek is undoubtedly one of the leaders on the team.
(07) DAVE M. - Fish will come out of his shooting slump in due time and he'll make a difference in big-time games. He has the confidence of the best player in the league and the winningest coach.
(08) LIVE RUGBY - He may not be the most consistent player during the regular season, but he has alway's stepped up big time in the playoffs and knocked down crucial shots I say continue things as is
(09) HECTORARTM - Everyone relax! Derek is fine and he will contribute big in a play off series.
(10) BOB - All you need from fish is his leadership and for him to handle the ball and take clutch shots, which he is still doing. You don't need numbers from him. You just need his glue.
(11) ZairaAmaterasu - His heart and mind are totally devoted to the cause and whomever attacks him on the personal side should always think twice. This man is a Laker Great. Respect to him (not blind devotion, just respect) is something this guy has gained MAJORLY from us all.
(12)HOBBITMAGE - The time to re-consider the pg situation will be after the playoffs not in the middle of a championship run. Why? Because the game slows down in the playoffs! [Y'all should know this by now. What's the matter with y'all? Act like you've got some sense! And if you don't, FAKE IT!!!
(13) JOHNNYV - It's on us guys, not Fish. You can be disappointed in our options at PG (I know we are) but Fish is just trying to play a bigger role than he should be doing at this point in his career.
(14) CALIPHILOSOPHER - you have to be willing to sacrifice maybe some of your individual shine to make sure the team is accomplishing the team goals. Now, I know he's not shooting too well lately, but I think this is exactly why our team needs him. He understands the big picture.
(15) JEPHTE - as far as Derek, get used to seeing him in the starting until he retires. As long as we have Kobe in our team, he will always be alongside him. Kobe has that much trust and respect for him.
(16) EXHELODRVR - Fisher's calmness solidifies this team. Probably made the difference in two of the four title teams. To this point, relative to the other options on the team, he is still the best choice.
(17) CORNERJ - Phil continues to play Fisher because he still thinks Fish will deliver in those moments in the playoffs when he needs to deliver. So he keeps Fish in there now, and he keeps letting Fish know that he believes in Fish, precisely because he wants Fish to be ready to give him that 0.4 moment that will earn him Ring #11. So, go Fish go. Go Lakers go!
(18) DOUG - Leadership, total respect by the locker room, a warrior, and a PROVEN winner. give it a rest on dFish
(19)

We need to give Shannon Brown the ball for the months of January and February and let him learn. He's already shooting a lot better than Fisher. Fisher is providing 35% shooting, Brown 46%. Fisher 7 ppg, Shannon 6.9 in a little over half the minutes. Fisher a big embarrassment against speedy guards, Brown less so.
I can understand the love for Fisher at the end of games, but wouldn't it be better if we had the lead by means of made shots earlier on?

Never underestimate the heart of a champion.

I, PLG, have unshakable faith in Fish!

GO LAKERS!!!

As a matter of fact, I bringing out the Fisher jersey for tonight's game!

GO LAKERS!!!

DFISH I BELEIVE
Down with Fish, Fish must go, I hear this crap and I say HELL NO!
You say he’s old, you say he’s slow, he wears 4 Rings that’s what I know
By saying replace him it would seem, You think a bunch of fools are on the team
Do you think Phil would risk History, Do you think he’s blind & cannot see
Do you think Kobe would give him a pass, and not say “Ship his @zz
If they didn’t know Dfishs value, I’m kinda surprised you don’t know that too.
I won’t mention the .04 second shot, I won’t mention the 4 Rings Dfish got
I won’t mention the moral fiber of the man, Moralities not too popular I understand
When the team is shaky & falling apart, it’s Dfish & Kobe that give them the heart
When Kobe dosen’t know when enough is enough, Only Dfish can say stop that stuff
Sure there are point guards with flash, but do they play for Rings, no they play for Cash
If Dfish had not come back here to play, I believe Kobe would not be here today.
Fishers no fool and Fisher has Class, when it’s time he’ll gladly sit his@zz
*
I BELIEVE IN DFISH – BANDWAGON
*
(01) PHRED- OWNER - oh yeah, d fish. No, i wouldn't bench him. He is definitely contributing to this team.
(02) JON K – DRIVER - Does anyone know that Derek Fisher has the highest cumulative three-point percentage in NBA Finals history? Cause he does. 52.2%. When it really matters, Derek Fisher has always shown up. This guy is a fricken warrior and has ALWAYS (ALWAYS!!!!) come through when the chips are down. He's a leader who makes his teammates better and represents the absolute best in Laker heritage.
(03) EDWIN GUECO - D' Fish is OK, a good man and has been a good Laker that delivered Championship from '00 to '08.
(04)
(05) MAMBA24 – Dfish is the man
(06) TOM - Derek is undoubtedly one of the leaders on the team.
(07) DAVE M. - Fish will come out of his shooting slump in due time and he'll make a difference in big-time games. He has the confidence of the best player in the league and the winningest coach.
(08) LIVE RUGBY - He may not be the most consistent player during the regular season, but he has alway's stepped up big time in the playoffs and knocked down crucial shots I say continue things as is
(09) HECTORARTM - Everyone relax! Derek is fine and he will contribute big in a play off series.
(10) BOB - All you need from fish is his leadership and for him to handle the ball and take clutch shots, which he is still doing. You don't need numbers from him. You just need his glue.
(11) ZairaAmaterasu - His heart and mind are totally devoted to the cause and whomever attacks him on the personal side should always think twice. This man is a Laker Great. Respect to him (not blind devotion, just respect) is something this guy has gained MAJORLY from us all.
(12)HOBBITMAGE - The time to re-consider the pg situation will be after the playoffs not in the middle of a championship run. Why? Because the game slows down in the playoffs! [Y'all should know this by now. What's the matter with y'all? Act like you've got some sense! And if you don't, FAKE IT!!!
(13) JOHNNYV - It's on us guys, not Fish. You can be disappointed in our options at PG (I know we are) but Fish is just trying to play a bigger role than he should be doing at this point in his career.
(14) CALIPHILOSOPHER - you have to be willing to sacrifice maybe some of your individual shine to make sure the team is accomplishing the team goals. Now, I know he's not shooting too well lately, but I think this is exactly why our team needs him. He understands the big picture.
(15) JEPHTE - as far as Derek, get used to seeing him in the starting until he retires. As long as we have Kobe in our team, he will always be alongside him. Kobe has that much trust and respect for him.
(16) EXHELODRVR - Fisher's calmness solidifies this team. Probably made the difference in two of the four title teams. To this point, relative to the other options on the team, he is still the best choice.
(17) CORNERJ - Phil continues to play Fisher because he still thinks Fish will deliver in those moments in the playoffs when he needs to deliver. So he keeps Fish in there now, and he keeps letting Fish know that he believes in Fish, precisely because he wants Fish to be ready to give him that 0.4 moment that will earn him Ring #11. So, go Fish go. Go Lakers go!
(18) DOUG - Leadership, total respect by the locker room, a warrior, and a PROVEN winner. give it a rest on dFish
(19) LAKERTOM - Who would you rather have on the floor in a clutch situation on offense and defense? Fish, Farmar, or Brown. Seriously, I agree with Hobbitmage that the time to address the point guard situation will be after the season is over. Fish is the point guard I want with the ball in the playoffs this year. Then I want him to retire and become an assistant coach.
(20) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - Ok - enough Fish-bashing. Have you all forgotten what this man has meant to this team - not only in times past but even today??. Fish is a wily veteran who sees the bigger picture and ALWAYS comes through when it matters most. give the man the respect he deserves.
(21) LAKERLASS - I’ll take a seat on the “I believe in Fish” bandwagon. I can’t add much more to what so many other believers have stated; just reiterate. He’s our glue. He contributes so much to the team off the court. Kobe needs his presence. Kobe trusts him. Done.
(22) JEFE01 - Derek Fisher's contributions to this team totally transcend measurable statistical output. Quite simply, his body and soul are a wholly integral and key component to the competitiveness and heart of our championship team - he is a Laker for life. Please feel free to add me to the "I believe in Fish" bandwagon.
(23)

Is there a stat for blocked shots against? D. Fisher and Ron Artest have got to be at the top of the list for getting their stuff thrown back at them. When did Artest become the most unathletic guy in the league? He can't even get his shot off anymore

TBone - I'll look for that stat and let you know if I find it. Guys lots of great insight and responses on Fisher's play. I think the most telling statistic, regardless of anyone's take on Fish, is that the point guard spot is the Lakers' least efficient position this year....

http://www.82games.com/0910/0910LAL5.HTM

WOW MM's link to the efficiency page shows a powerful picture. One that we all know intuitively as we have talked about it now for the second season in a row (when we're not arguing about Bynum...LOL).

Clearly we need some help at PG. Sign a former Laker or someone that knows the triangle. Trade one/some of our scrubs for better depth. Say what you will but it comes down to this.... Will Fisher and the backups be enough for us to win in the playoffs? That's the one and only question we should ask about the PG position.

If the Lakers front office feels they can scrape by this season without an upgrade and still win it all, then they will. If they feel that we may come up short in the finals, then they will do something.

Does the front office want to do something? I doubt it. They want to see how Bynum fits into the lineup first. They also want to see what the Team looks like with an integrated Artest. Then they want to see what Luke can contribute this year.

The trade deadline is February 19th. We have 6 weeks yet before the front office has to make a decision. Maybe that 6 weeks will give them enough time to see Bynum playing alongside Gasol. Maybe Luke will be back and give them a month and a half to see what he can contribute. Until then, we are just complaining and thrashing around in the tension of wanting to know the unknowable.

I think we should not extend Kobe's contract and go for broke with LeBron at the end of 2010.

The Lakers should NOT bench Fish in favor of Brown or Farmar because niether of them understand game situations or tempo. Both are unbeleivable athletes, but niether of them are committed on the defensive end of the court. If I see either of them shoot another 3 pointer with 18 seconds on the shot clock late in the game with a 20 point lead again, I think I'll puke.
Fish is past his prime, no doubt. But he would be the first to tell you that his success is not attributable to his gifts as an athlete. They are soley the product of hard work, guts and determination. Those are the attributes that inspire his teammates and make him such a great leader. His on ball defense is not great or even good, but he understands how to play high pick and roll, point of attack and most of the time he makes defense easier for players around him.
Keep Fish in the starting rotation. When one of the other guards steps up and starts playing smarter then consider making a change, but not until then.

Fish's last game was a train wreck! Maybe it was the back to back, but there is NO gas in that tank, as far as I can see. Fish does well every third game or so, but can not drive to the basket and finish, AT ALL.

I see him playing minutes as a second option at the end of a close game and as a solid anchor for the second unit.

As far as starting Brown or Famar, looking at the stats to date I see them only a few percentage points apart, including the percent for 3's and turnovers. But when it comes to assists, Farmar is way ahead by a two to one margin. That says a lot about the knock on Farmar that he does not give up the rock.

The one big offensive plus with Farmar is his ability to drive to the basket and create in traffic. Brown at best is a poor ball handler, who can hit an open shot, but not break down a defender.

Been watching Laker games lately ?? Then you have seen how slow Fisher is. He is too old, too slow, cannot play defense, cannot shoot and as a leader he should bench himself and let Brown and Farmar play the game. Fisher cannot even make lay ups. That is how bad he is. His days are over and people are right. What we see now is a decline of his playing days. I do not understand coach Jackson starting him and not puling him out of the game early. Fisher is the weak link on the Lakers team.


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