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Lakers' Devin Ebanks heads to D-League

Now that the Lakers have enough healthy frontcourt players, they have sent rookie forward Devin Ebanks to play for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League.

The 6-foot-9 second-round draft pick has shown flashes of athleticism this season, but he only played in 12 games for the Lakers and was averaging 2.9 points and 1.5 rebounds.

-- Barry Stavro

 
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Yeah, I agree. No doubt that Ron Ron brings it on defense, he shows up ready to play every night. But, his offensive struggles are outweighing his defensive contributions. As great a guy as he is, as good a character - it does boil down to production, and he hasn't been producing offensively.

I'm sure that he would be the first to admit it though. He would also be more than happy to move to the bench if PJ puts him there, that is they type of person he is.
Posted by: CyberCosmiX | December 27, 2010 at 12:55 PM
==================

Cyber,

First of all, good luck with those pups, do you breed regularly or is this just one of those things?

As for your comments, I agree with all you said about all the good off court things Ron does and his funny, quirky, lovable personality. But that's not what he gets paid to do. Offensively he has been a thorn not just this year but last year too. He had a big put back in a playoff game and a key 3 pointer in game 7, but he was not at all consistent last year and this year is no better. Offensively he just isn't much of a threat and that hurts.

As to your comments on his defense, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that is over-rated. He was brought in to stop the likes of Lebron, Melo, Pierce, Durant, etc.

Ron cannot stop or slow down Lebron, maybe no one can. Arguably he may have slowed down Durant in the playoffs but perhaps Durant was also having some rookie nerves the first time in the playoffs and having to play the Lakers and he may have stumbled anyway.

He doesn't stop Melo. When the Lakers played Denver in November Melo went for 32 (14-25) with 14 rebounds.

This year he seems to be a day late and a dollar short on defense which is his calling card. My point is, we can reluctantly accept his lack of offense if he makes it up on D, but he isn't doing that.

While most all we hear about is Drew missing, Pau struggling, Fish not helping, we don't hear enough about Ron. He is really hurting things this year.

Maybe Ron was an upgrade over Trevor defensively, but certainly not offensively. There's no way to know how the Lakers would have done had they not made that trade, but if do overs were possible, well, I would do it over.

Maybe it's his planter fasciitis acting up again. I sure hope that's it, otherwise there's no excuse.

For your next BR article, how about an in depth analysis on this guy :)

Maybe if he reads more about is play instead of his off court exploits he'll get the message.

D Ebanks...do work in the D-League. You never know when you'll be needed by the Lakers.

Wouldn't it have been cool to have Ebanks and Ariza on the same team. They could switch jerseys and no one would notice and Ebanks could be an Ariza decoy.
I dunno, seemed funnier in my head before I wrote it.

@HOBBITMAGE... Just a couple of other points. First, I would like to reiterate that I do not see Steve Blake as anything but a backup point guard. While he is a better passer than Fish, he has the same weaknesses – unable to stop opposing point guards from penetrating and unable to drive into the paint and score or dish with a high percentage of success. And with our current salary cap and luxury tax situation, it is unlikely that we are going to be able to draft or trade for a true starting point guard. Hence, my infatuation with the idea of Lamar or Kobe taking over point for the Lakers down the road.
....
Second, one of the major problems with the Lakers offense right now is that they are not playing inside out basketball, primarily because Pau Gasol has been unable to post up most of the players against whom he has played. Much of this is because other teams have bulked and bullied up to better match up for the Lakers. That is why it is short sighted to say that we do not need Drew’s low post offense. I agree that his defense and intimidation on defense is the most important thing he brings to the Lakers but don’t short change how important it is going to be to have a low post threat so that we can play inside-out basketball. Drew is our best low post threat since Pau is playing like a poodle ( I do like that comparison, by the way. Inspired).
..............................
TOM

LRob,

you wrote: Pau needs to stay in the starting lineup. LO will still excel coming off the bench. They just need to hold the fort down for two more weeks...until Drew's ready to start.

my response: Why? We seem to either be misunderstanding each other
or in disagreement.

Long Term: Bynum/Pau is a great idea. Except if Pau is playing like a Poodle.
FYI, Pau is currently playing like a poodle. You've made two assumptions
which I'd like to explicitly state/address.

#1 Bynum being ready to start. You're assuming that he will fully recover.
I hope he does. What if you're only going to get 10% more from him? In 5
days it will be January and he still won't be ready to start. Isn't that about 3
mos. after the start of the season? He seems to be healing *really* slow for a
22 yr. old.

#2. That Pau's play will get better when he's moved back to PF. So ... I don't
know what type of competitor that *you* are, but when I find I've got a punk
for an opponent ... I flat go after him. This year Pau has served notice that
he doesn't like it rough and messy. As an opposing coach, that would be
my blueprint. If *I* can think of this, why wouldn't Doc Rivers think of it?
Jerry Sloan, Tom Thibideau, etc. etc. etc. I may be smart, but I'm not
Einstein. If I can come up with this blueprint, you have to believe that a
professional would do the same.

Pau *MUST* play better for us to win this year. He chose to slack off this
summer and it's showing up right now. By benching him, a clear message
would be sent and maybe he'd find his cajones. It's clear, that's he's put them
in the safe next to his 2nd championship ring.

Of our two PF's, LO is the one who's playing with effort right now.

Posted by: hobbitmage | December 27, 2010 at 12:06 PM

------------------------

hobbit,

1. Yes, I assuming Drew will be capable of playing 25+ minutes effectively. If he can’t do that everything is a moot issue because the Lakers aren’t 3peating anyway. I think he’ll be ready to start in 2 weeks…which yes is 2 ½ months after the season started.

2. I’m as competitive as they come. At 49…I still hoop regularly with guys 21-55. I’m in three Fantasy leagues (won two of them last year including the one for this blog). I play various board games and cards. My occupation is commission sales…I say all that to illustrate my desire to compete.

3. As far as Pau not enjoying mixing it up. That is no secret. You know it, Kenyon Martin knows it, Doc knows it, and everyone in the league knows it. Pau NEVER has liked the physical part of the game and NEVER will. He started the season playing great but has been playing subpar lately. The Clippers game, home vs. Pacers and Bucks, and at Houston were very poor. That being said, when playing PF Pau skills more than compensate for his lack of physicality. At that point it doesn’t matter what the other coaches “know” it’s a matter of trying to stop it and I don’t think they can.

4. I agree Pau needs to play better for the Lakers to win. But Kobe, Artest, Fish and Blake also need to play better. Maybe, your suggestion of putting him on the bench would motivate him to play better and if that's PJ's decision I'm all good with it. He's with those guys 9 months out of a year. So he should have a good feel for what motivates each player.

But the way I see it…there’s a couple of other guys I would bench before Pau. I say ride it out a few more weeks…the reinforcements are coming!

what a shame!! I see him as a better player than DC but hey what can the kid do! Best of luck.

No doubt, during our 09' run, Ariza was a huge contributor. I have to say there's a lot more to this than just execution. When Trevor broke his foot he had a lot of time to watch tape, watch practices and watch games, and it obviously did nothing except take his game to another level. That being said, his run was an aberration, he hasn't shot 48% from long distance since than...

Posted by: Sean | December 27, 2010 at 01:17 PM

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

Hi Sean and welcome to the blog,

You are right about Trevor not achieving the same FG% he had with the Lakers after he left.

I think it's very relevant to point out that with the Lakers Ariza got a lot of open looks. With Kobe demanding double teams and with Drew, LO, Pau drawing attention inside Trevor was often wide open just like Artest is now often wide open. After he went to a Houston team without the quality of players the Lakers had, and making him a number 1 or 2 option, his shooitng % went down, just as it's down in N.O.

I don't think Ariza is a number 1 or 2 option but he can be a very good role player who, when ignored, will make the other team pay. His defense was not at all bad. He played respectably and against Denver in the playoffs his steals were keys to winning that series.

He also had something the Lakers lack, speed.

And he is only 25.

LakerTom,

re: Blake at pg. you wrote: While he is a better passer than Fish, he has the same weaknesses – unable to stop opposing point guards from penetrating and unable to drive into the paint and score or dish with a high percentage of success.

my response: it is my understanding that no opposing point guard is able
to stop his opponent from penetrating due to rule changes that were made.
Therefore, your argument against Blake is not that strong to me.

re: Pau and the post. you wrote:
primarily because Pau Gasol has been unable to post up most of the players against whom he has played. Much of this is because other teams have bulked and bullied up to better match up for the Lakers.

my response: Pau played C for 5 - 6 years in the NBA. other teams bulking
up should not be having the affect that they are. Especially since he's been
playing C/PF for two championships with the Lakers and Bynum has not been
healthy for 1. It's not that he can't. It's that he won't. That's where the whole
effort thing came in.

re: Bynum's offense in the low post. So ... Bynum's offense has not made
a tremendous difference in our two championship runs nor in the loss of 2008. In fact, I would actually argue that any time Bynum's offense has
become a pillar of the game ... we've lost. I would actually chalk that up to
a lack of experience & mentality. If we keep making the argument that he's
young and he's going to get better 2013 will be here and most of our team will
be retired. We don't have the young guns to build around right now.

note: the above is talking about playoff teams with a strong front court.
Every C does well against PHX.

back to the pg position: I fully support Kobe at PG and UPS at SG. I was
reading an article/interview with Jerry West on Kobe. He indicated that
*he* [ Jerry West ] had actually moved to pg in his latter years and it
worked out well.

you wrote: As you know, the Triangle does not require a traditional point guard and instead tends to spread the playmaking around to all five players. I see the switch of Lamar for Fish as simply letting Lamar play the point because Fish is killing us out there. I see nothing that we are getting from Fish right now that we could not get from Lamar at a minimum. At best, Lamar would cause every other point guard in the league major matchup problems posting up. Further, I do not see Blake as starter quality which means that the problem is just going to be greater next year and the year after that. Down the road, Lamar or Kobe may be our best option as the successor to Fish at the point since there is no way the Lakers are going to be able to bring in a quality point guard without trading one of the Big 5, which I don’t see happening.

my response: So ... you keep talking about LO as a matchup problem for
other PG's. I'd appreciate it if you'd flush that out. Right now, it seems as
if you're banking on he's dwarfs all other pg's and he can handle the ball.

Here's my understanding of how to "kill that noise". Run like hell! It is
a widely held belief that "Defense wins championships". Yet, LO's matchup
gain is on the offensive end. Assuming that the cliche is right, LO at PG
would be counter productive to winning a championship. If I am any
reasonably quick pg, and I see LO, I'm off to the races. FedEx my jersey
because I'm gone in a blink of an eye. Oddly enough, the Kevin Ding
article specifically spoke about Phil's opinion of speed and defense. Bynum
is slow laterally.

you also wrote: That’s why I would probably be hesitant to make the move as a permanent move right now. However, I love the idea as a wrench to throw into other team’s game plans and as a way to create a massive matchup problem for opponents.

my response: I don't think you can make any permanent moves until you
know how Bynum heals up. My idea of putting Pau on the bench was to
knock some sense into him in a pc manner.

you wrote: The reality is that Lamar has been bringing the ball up and starting the offense more often lately than Fish. And if any player on the team ignores a wide open Kobe at times and instead launches his own 3-pointer, it is likely Fish being Fish

my response: I don't disagree that LO has been bringing up the ball. If that's
the only reason why you want him at PG ... I *vehemently* disagree. He's
got to shoot to be effective. He's got to be able to play defense. That's where
the whole thing breaks down. Not if he can dribble.

re: the open 3-ptrs. Truth is it's everyone on the team. Fish has done it.
LO has done it. Pau has refused to pass him the ball.

Art: This one was a definite 'mistake' lol, but so was the last one too... We're getting our boy (pom/wire-hair mix) fixed after the holidays. We really didn't want to bring more puppies into the world, but I'm committed to find them all good homes though. Gotta say though that this litter should be very cute, our chorkie is a doll (along with having the coolest personality of any pet I've ever had) and the dad is a real good looking dog. Should be interesting as I've never heard of a Chihuahua/Yorkie + Wire Haired Terrier/Pomeranian mix before! lol

I gotta admit that I agree with you with the Ron Ron assessment. He is not looking himself at all. His defense is off, he's at least a tad slower, he's not shutting down people like he used to.

Providing so little in offense coupled with being off on the defensive side of things as well, yeah I agree that he's flown under the radar as far as criticism goes. I think the x-mas day loss got peoples ears up, taking notice of the Lakers deeper problems than complacency or disinterest.

Still love Ron Ron - but I hear 'ya. Even resistant-to-change Phil must be contemplating a change at small forward, the deficiencies in his play are becoming more apparent not to notice, or possible to explain away.

Article on Ron Ron? Sounds like a great idea!


GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Why is it so hard for artest to make a righthanded layup? He shoots every layup with his off hand. And bricks most of them. Why?

Art - FL Laker - Your break down of Thriller is 100% on the money, KD was having first time in the playoff shooting problems. Thriller is OOOVER-RATED, funny as hell but a little CHOO-KOO.

I think Ron has seen what PJ appreciates in a 3 earing about 5mil/yr and he's playing accordingly.

Yes most of the brands do give out samples of their products. Look for "123 Get Samples" online and get the samples. They are the best. You wont need CC.

This is one thing that ticks me off about PJ...has absolutely no faith in rookies! The dude can play, he'll be another, probably better version of Ariza in a year or two, but he needs NBA game time, not crappy D-League time. Why on earth is Ebanks shipped while Walton stays around? Walton is garbage, except for knowing the triangle, the guy doesn't help this team much. Absolute liability on defense, and forces passes on offense. Great job PJ.


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