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Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 101-94 victory over Thunder

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Housekeeping note: We're going to have a live chat at 1:30 p.m. today since the Lakers have a day off. Bring your questions then!

Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details Kobe Bryant's leadership during the Lakers' 101-94 victory Monday over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding highlights the Lakers' intensity against OKC.

--The Oklahoman's John Rohde faults the Thunder's poor shooting in its loss to the Lakers.

--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teaford credits the Lakers' late-game defense against the Thunder.

Notebooks

--The Times' Bresnahan notes Ron Artest's joke about using his rescinded fine money to buy In-N-Out Burgers.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Jim Alexander features all of Artest's weird comments before the game.

--The Oklahoman's Rohde credits Russell Westbrook for managing 32 points despite playing with a bruised right foot.

--The Daily Breeze's Teaford also highlights Artest's take on the rescinded fine.

Sidebars

--The Times' Broderick Turner details Derek Fisher's improved shooting performance against the Thunder.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr notes the Lakers' promotional deal involving giving Laker fans to chance to watch a game courtside with executive vice president Jeanie Buss.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe breaks down the Western Conference playoff picture.

--Sports Illustrated's Britt Robson ranks the Lakers at No. 3.

Columns

--ESPN.com's J.A. Adande wonders if the Thunder could ever win a playoff game at Staples Center.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin argues the Lakers' win against the Thunder was the most impressive of the season.

--Fox Sports' Billy Witz argues the Lakers' experience still trumps over the Thunder's youth.

Blogs

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer dissects the Lakers-Thunder box score.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky features Lakers' post-game video.

--ESPN Los Angeles' McMenamin breaks down the Lakers' victory.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell details the game in a running diary.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore explains how the Lakers absorbed Russell Westbrook's production.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Jeff Skibiski credits the Lakers' balance.

--The Daily Thunder's Royce Young criticizes OKC's three-point shooting.

--Lakers Nation's Nadya Avakian looks ahead to the rest of the team's schedule.

Tweet of the Day: "Day 6 or rehab a week outa surgery.. Evrythings going really well. Can't put my finger on when exactly ill be back BUT I'm pretty sure ... I won't b out the full 8weeks ... Mayb I stated that wrong, ill b bak when I'm a %100 & I dnt think it'll take me 8weeks.. Im n great hands with Judy @ the Kerlan Jobe center" -- Matt_Barnes22 (Lakers forward Matt Barnes)

Reader Comment of the Day: "Great game for Fish! I love the guy, but it has been hard watching him play for most of the year. Vintage D-Fish! That was a tough game! The Lakers played like they gave a crap. I like the on-court communication. Ron has his groove on. He played awesome D. Durant wasn’t going to light him up at Staples. Excellent! Pau woke up in the second half. When Kobe and Pau get it going at the end of games, they are almost impossible to stop. Drew got in foul trouble but played well. Lamar was his usual great self – usual for this year. Blake hit a shot! And it was a three! Luke was awesome off the bench. He was the only bench player with a positive +/-. We hit our 3’s, they didn’t… ;-) I am a Lakerholic." -- Lakerholic

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Thunder forward Kevin Durant provides help defense on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who was forced to pass on this drive in the first half Monday night. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (69)

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Lakerholic - congrats on the Friedman!

888- Nice to see you're always fighting for the UNDERDOG, which to say Fish. I've always stated that every dog, even those with two teeth can get up every now and then and BITE the HELL out of you.

And Fish proved that point, let's just MONITOR his game over the next 2 weeks. Because Blake is NOT the ANSWER, this guy have lost all his CONFIDENCE. he's always been a MUCH soild player then he's displaying with the Lakers. But Nice Win.

G.money

Thanks, but I would hardly call a guy who has played an important role in FIVE CHAMPIONSHIPS (and two more trips to the NBA Finals) the UNDERDOG. It's the detractors who are the underdogs because as much as they talk about how crappy he is, somehow they wind up on the losing end of that argument. As for the hasty conclusion that you have already arrived at that Steve Blake is "NOT the ANSWER," I'd like to know what the question is first. For you to talk about his low level of confidence and what a bust he is presupposes too much to discuss right now. I'll say this. He's fine.

the boys have to keep on working on getting in synch. they are doing SO much better the last week, but i still feel that with the shortened preseason, what with the tour and all and drew's recovery, they are playing quite well. so with half the season gone and within a few games of the spurs, they are in good shape.they are definitely getting their mojo back.

"Because Blake is NOT the ANSWER, this guy have lost all his CONFIDENCE. he's always been a MUCH soild player then he's displaying with the Lakers. But Nice Win.

Posted by: G.money | January 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM "

Blake with the first unit would be a completely different player. He's a pass-first player that only looks to shoot when he is wide open. On the second unit, he can't get as much open space because the defense doesn't have to cheat toward the paint so he rarely has any offensive opportunities. On the first unit, he'd be wide open regularly and I'm confident he would be knocking down shots at a much more successful percentage than Derek is right now.

a solid win for L.A. last night after almost blowing another big lead against OKC. what is it with the Lakers not holding onto their leads?? i'm sure the coaching staff is just as perplexed as we fans are! a couple of points to take away from last nights game. 1. a little bit of redemption for DFish. so many people have been dogging him as of late. he's the first person to let you know he's been "stinking up the joint"! he's a man and owns up to his shortcomings. 2. andrew bynum played a solid game in the 1st half 5-8 for 10pts, however, he didn't attempt one shot in the second half. we need to get the ball to him more. i do realize that OKC was fronting bynum and gasol at times, but we still need to figure a way to get him the ball. 3. 'drew got in foul trouble last night because westbrook kept blowing by our players all night. we have to do a better job of containing speedy guards and not leaving bynum hung out to dry! we can't afford to let bynum get saddled with fouls because were not containing the opposing teams point guards. 4. plain and simple, can we knock down westbrook JUST ONE TIME, so he'll be a little shy of taking the ball to the rack???

Haven't had a chance to read and catch up with all the posts so I am sorry if my post is repetitive.

First of all, LOVE SEEING D FISH LIGHT IT UP!!!!!! I missed the first half of the game but was able to see some GREAT replays.. that shot he made with 4 mins left in the 2nd? amazing! I've noticed how Derek is going to the free throw line a bit more over the past few games. Which means that he is stepping up on offence, or taking more charges. Speaking of charges, name the last Laker game you saw where Derek Fisher either didn't take a charge, or at least didn't attempt to take one in order to break up a fast break?

15 pts - season high. Meh okay numbers, but there will be better nights! Overall efficient shooting by the team.

Second of all, OKC took more 3s last night than average. I find this interesting because they are one of the worst 3pt shooters in the league. Could it be because this is how OTHER teams have been defeating the Lakers? From the 3pt line? We've been beaten this way over a few games recently - or they've come close because of it. Other teams in the league are taking note - it's time we do too.

Third, Kobe is amazing. I love that he is accepting that with age, he has to be more of a leader and has been setting people up just amazing recently, yet he is still showing why he is the best. Footwork, pump fakes, passing, everything. I love it.

4th, I think gasol woke up.

hallelujah.

thank goodness for profs ending class an hour early - time to catch up with basketball stuff.

GO LAKERS.

OldHippy,

Yes, Blake Griffin is awesome, but I think you'd get a better response if you went to a Clippers blog.

You seem to enjoy being a fly in the ointment.

Question: Where do you hide a $100 bill in a house filled with hippies?

Answer: Under the soap.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!


yellofever,

We won last year's Championship in part because of heroics performed by Derek Fisher. Cut him some slack, for God's sake.

You chicken littles have been screaming for Derek's head for years... and he still wins key games for us.

Weren't you also one of the the "Sun Yue Is The Next Magic Johnson" Bandwagoneers?

I mean, give it a fricken rest already.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Posted by: Jon Kavulic

Why should he be cut any slack. Half the season is over and he has stunk up the court for most of the games.. He finally has a decent game...and all of a sudden he is something of a star. Basketball is about consistency which he has shown he has none of. Unless you are talking about being consistently BAD !!!! Bay to LA is totally on target with his comments. Fisher could play 81 pathetic games and if he has one winning shot you Fish sheep would be saying how great he is. He is the worst starting guard in the NBA and most teams have 2 to 3 guards that are better than him. He didn't even guard the starting point guard on the other team...Kobe had to do that.


mclyne,

That's the phrase the giant green bald headed lunatic screamed when they beat us in the Finals.

"ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!"

Still turns my stomach.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Posted by: Jon Kavulic

***

Funny thing... I had heard shortly after the '08 Finals that Garnett was supposed to say, "Impossible is Nothing" since that was the ADIDAS slogan at the time. Maybe his brain and heart were switched at birth. All that chest banging may have jarred something loose.


DBDH!

@Lakerholic – congrats on your RCOTD. I think you summed it up best at the end. We hit our 3’s and they didn’t. It amazing but basketball is still a “miss and make league.”


@mclyne – I’m with you. I’m not buying the “hype” that Fish is washed up either.


@Old Hippy. I'll take #3 D. Howard. BG could join him once he's plays like this for a few seasons.

yellofever,
Weren't you also one of the the "Sun Yue Is The Next Magic Johnson" Bandwagoneers?
Posted by: Jon Kavulic | January 18, 2011 at 10:52 AM
----------

Fever – Inquiring minds would like to know the answer. How do you plead sir?

got the W, but we could've done better.

a ton.... better...

Diandra great game by Fish. On that performance alone he should be starting in the All Star game.

Posted by: S Perkins | January 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM


Oh good, I am glad you agree <3 ;)

If we had Jeremy Lin, we'd be 43-0 right now.

[sarcasm]

DBDH!

Don't Blame Del Harris!,

I heard that too.

Something about that organization that turns players into monsters.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Nice Kobe quote from M. Bres article..

Bryant didn't necessarily like his teammates' help when trying to guard Westbrook in pick-and-roll situations. "I told my big guys to get . . . out there," Bryant said. "If I'm going to get lit up, I'm going to get lit up one-on-one. I'm not going to get lit up because they don't show up."
--------
Kobe’s right, but I wonder what the reaction here would be if DFish made that statement instead of Kobe. This blog’s fury would probably spiral out of control.

Nice Kobe quote from M. Bres article..

Bryant didn't necessarily like his teammates' help when trying to guard Westbrook in pick-and-roll situations. "I told my big guys to get . . . out there," Bryant said. "If I'm going to get lit up, I'm going to get lit up one-on-one. I'm not going to get lit up because they don't show up."
--------
Kobe’s right, but I wonder what the reaction here would be if DFish made that statement instead of Kobe. This blog’s fury would probably spiral out of control.


Posted by: LRob

Why would you even compare Kobe to Fish ???????????? One guy is probably the best player in the league...the other the worst !!!!!

Don't Blame Del Harris!,

I thought Jeremy Lin would have been a good pickup, but he chose mediocricy instead of the Purple & Gold. Doesn't say much for his competitive spirit, methinks.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

so looking at the youth of the new pgs filling up the league the lakers at the end of this season or even before the trade deadline will need to start looking to incorporate a fast youthful pg able to handle dish and direct the offense. someone with athleticism and good ball handling. looking at the droses rondos westbrooks ellis harris etc etc they provide their teams with not only a reliable ball handler but someone u trust with the ball in their hands that while driving to the hoop not to turn it over down, get blocked, or badly brick a point blank layup. (i realize the kobe is gonna have the ball in his hands in the clutch...and dfish is the reliable last second 3 pt man) but personally i feel that a quick 1 who can pass and control a pick and roll would be the ultimate pick up or future draft pick.
people knew westbrook was good but mostly a D pg. but last night his athleticism let him drop 32 on us and id cant shoot threes. Fisher is our pg right now and thats great hes been amazing throughout his career but he maes me nervous and anxious with the ball when he is asked or forced to create. id rather have a stephen curry, ellis, westbrooks type player that can handle the point as a true point. and u can say blah blah blah the triangle doesnt need a true point to function. fine true but ron harper bac in the day didnt mae me nervous when he needed to do something with the ball. fish is clutch, but what about that 1-3 quarters. not trying to take anything from fish. just want to present a couple thoughts at the moment about our needs for young athletic playmaking pgs. i have a few more thoughts but im tired of writing atm and watching a rerun of okc and LA.

if u have anythoughts lemme know. id like to bounce some thoughts off of some other laerholics

WROTE G. Money:

And Fish proved that point, let's just MONITOR his game over the next 2 weeks.
Posted by: G.money | January 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

RESPONSE: Please furnish your credentials that you indeed are an absolute authority in monitoring DFish's game or are you like many other pseudo experts spewing suggestions.
Posted by: OldHippy | January 18, 2011 at 11:58 AM

OLD OLDHIPPY- I have the same CREDS that you and 98% of the POSTERS have, Sit in front of the TV and give my ANALYSIS.
A DEGREE in "What's the HELL WRONG with THIS TEAM"

Hey guys. Just a reminder. Live chat is at 1:30 p.m.

For OKC, Westbrook became the primary scorer, putting up 10 in the period. Over and over, he came scorching around the corner off high pick-and-roll sets and flashed his peerless, fearless ability to get to the tin. The kid really is a marvelous athlete. More than any other basketball player, who he most reminds me of is Bo Jackson. The way Westbrook rips through a vertical seam in a defense is how Bo used to blast through defensive lines.

Dexter Fishmore; Silverscreenandroll.com

Great comparison. When you try and look at other point guards and compare Westbrook, I mean, his speed is indimidating by Basketball standards. Russell's taller than Bo, now, I think, he's speed is deceiving, Westbrook not Bo. He can stop on a dime and pick up where he left off, from any angle, Bo had a similar running style, though, more streamlined than a lot of the quickness Westbrook shows off. Great comparison.


The Lakers defense can be quite good sometimes, but it is crappy most of the time. Can you guys keep anybody out of the paint consistently?

Pau, you're so weak sometimes. Last night, at least you chanllenged a lot of shots. Stop tipping the ball to a teammate on every single rebound...there have to be a few that you can just grab with both hands!

Kobe, excellent game...but you're getting stuck in the air with the ball way too often...stop it now!

D-fish...you've done so much for the Lakers that these ingrates don't remember...hang in there!

RonRon...nice game...you can be a handful when you set your mind to it

Drew...don't lean back when taking shots near the basket...that is the only reason you get blocked so often...It's good that you keep the ball up high, but when you lean back, you're negating that advantage...sometimes you need to lower your arms and gather yourself so you can go up Shaq style!

Shannon...shot selection has been crappy lately...is a 17 footer too close for you or what? stop practicing half court buzzer beaters and start practicing the mid-range game.

Lamar...no complaints here

Blake...you're a small white guy in the NBA...I expect you to be more Paxon-like and knock down the open shots that you get with consistency...otherwise what's the point of a small white dude in the NBA?

Everyone...stop throwing crappy passes in the general direction of your teammates...you don't need to lead your teammate on every single pass, it's ok to just pass the ball into their hands...get back on defense, if you're going to be lazy, do it at the offensive end...stop letting people go directly to the basket...this is very upsetting, especially when the bigs end up picking up unnecessary fouls because you can't keep your guy in front of you...no more easy baskets, every opponent shot must be challenged...sticking a hand in their face while they are shooting is not a challenge, you must get your hand above the shooting arm to throw off a shot

yellofever,
Weren't you also one of the the "Sun Yue Is The Next Magic Johnson" Bandwagoneers?
Posted by: Jon Kavulic | January 18, 2011 at 10:52 AM
----------

Fever – Inquiring minds would like to know the answer. How do you plead sir?
Posted by: LRob | January 18, 2011 at 12:03 PM

-------------
-------------
I PLEAD...
I AM NOT A CROOK... AND I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN!

sorry to disappoint u jonk, but why do u keep confusing me with that blogger that had a thing for sun yue dude??

his name was humanolomy and for the record this is the second time you have falsely accused me... last year was the other time!! maybe ur subconsciously associating my name to sunyues entire race? Lol

correction: intimidating.

sean

i totally disagree with that comparison..

Bo Jackson was the biggest athletic freak of nature in the history of sports. He had the strength of over 10 men, used to run on outfield walls and could hit a baseball over a 1000 feet... there will never be another BO.. at least not in our lifetime.



sean

i totally disagree with that comparison..

Bo Jackson was the biggest athletic freak of nature in the history of sports. He had the strength of over 10 men, used to run on outfield walls and could hit a baseball over a 1000 feet... there will never be another BO.. at least not in our lifetime.

Posted by: yellofever | January 18, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Dude...it's not my comparison, I didn't make it. I just happen to agree with it. Take it up with Dexter Fishmore at Silverscreenandroll.com

As far as the comparison of speed, essentially, yellofever, it's pretty apt. Westbrook blows through those seams in a similar fashion as Bo, watch some tape and compare the two, that's what I did after I read the comparison.

Seriously, check source material. Take it with Dexter Fishmore, again, he made the comparison, not me. And until he made, I wouldn't have thought of it, because it's hard to compare Westbrook's speed to other PG's.

Bo knows.


[dbdh]

Why would you even compare Kobe to Fish ???????????? One guy is probably the best player in the league...the other the worst !!!!!

Posted by: S Perkins | January 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM
---------------------
S. Perkins & other dogging DFish – please answer this question. If DFish is one of the worst players in the league and Kobe is such a fierce competitor; and the only ladder Kobe’s looking to climb is Bill Russell’s championship ladder, why was he adamant about the Lakers signing Fish over the summer?


Remember DFish avg 7pts & shot 35% last year in the regular season. Numbers very similar to this season. Why does Kobe, one of the greatest players EVAH and one of the smartest players in the league, speak so highly of him?


If someone can give me a satisfactory answer to that question it'll help me understand your position better. I'm looking for some serious answers....not some clever jokes.

Bo Jackson made Tecmo Bowl. Period.


[dbdh]

DBDH – Speaking of Tar Heels turned Lakers don’t forget about McAdoo.

i wonder what the players would think of this blog. would they just laugh or would they take notes?

while we all marvel at westbrook's speed and the way he penetrates, slices and maneuvers through the Lakers defense. i kept waiting for someone, maybe bynum to put is ass on the floor. maybe, he'd think twice about driving through the lane? 'drew is the only Laker who would do that. it seems to me, that's what you do when you play against teams that have "lightning-quick" point guards.....just a thought, just in case there's a few Lakers who read this blog!

Why do professional athletes including some Lakers wear Power Bracelets while competing in light of: 1) a Nov 2010 ESPN Outside the Lines report on scientific research by exercise physiologists at University of Wisconsin La Crosse for the American Council on Exercise (a consumer watchdog) that debunked power bracelets. The UW research tested 12 men and 9 women (20 of them UW athletes) and found the $30 hologram “Power Bracelet offers no performance benefit when compared to the $0.30 placebo bracelet.”; and, 2) Power Balance recent admission in writing “that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims" that their wristbands and pendants improve balance, strength and flexibility. Some NBA players wear a bracelet on each wrist. Are professional athletes so desperate for an edge that they will believe in magic rather than rely on conditioning or are the endorsement fees Power Balance pays all it takes for athletes to support this scam notwithstanding scientific proof that it doesn't work or logic?

Fish has and always will be "streaky." That's his game and he pays dividends in big games, the playoffs and in the Finals. Coaches and FO are okay with it, so love him or hate him, he's here to stay.

He was supposed to play fewer minutes during the regular season in hopes of preserving him for 4th quarters and the post season but that hasn't come to fruition just yet. I suspect his minutes will be reduced in the 2nd half of the season and I also expect the play of the entire team to improve as well.

The team has won 7 of their last 8 games so now the barometer is in full effect to measure effectiveness against Dallas, Denver, Utah, a tune-up with Sacramento and followed by Boston. The Clippers matched up very well against the Lakers and I argue that the Boston lineup is far superior 1-5. Let the games begin and note to Lamar: play the game until the final buzzer, regardless of the lead.

LRob,

Kobe and Fish are more than good friends who have been through wars together. It's called LOYALTY! No matter how crappy Fish has became due to old age Kobe is NOT going to call him out. And for the rest of the team Fish has became the elder statesman thus nobody else on the team is going to call him out either.

That's why God invented fans like us to HONESTLY give our opinions without the burden of being politically correct or owing loyalty to the players.

Yes, Fish had a decent game last night. Just be aware of the circumstances:

1) Westbrook was Fish's defender and he pretty much ignored Fish to play free safety Kobe-style. That explained how Fish was able to shoot a BLISTERING 50% and scored the boatload of 15 pts.

2) On defense, it was Kobe who took on Westbrook and let Fish guard Thabo Sefolosha, NOT exactly All-Star or for that matter even scary scorer for the Thunder. Yeah, Thabo who?

But that's OK I am willing to give credit to Fish for THIS game. Let's see if he can keep it up anywhere near this level for the next five games.

Yeah, Fish is going to go up against Kidd, Billups, Deron Williams and Rondo so Fish supporters are going to have plenty of chances to shut us up. Right? right?

Yeah, Fish is going to go up against Kidd, Billups, Deron Williams and Rondo so Fish supporters are going to have plenty of chances to shut us up. Right? right?


Posted by: Psycorp | January 18, 2011 at 01:45 PM

Kobe guards Rondo, that's not even debatable.

Blake with the first unit would be a completely different player. He's a pass-first player that only looks to shoot when he is wide open. On the second unit, he can't get as much open space because the defense doesn't have to cheat toward the paint so he rarely has any offensive opportunities. On the first unit, he'd be wide open regularly and I'm confident he would be knocking down shots at a much more successful percentage than Derek is right now.

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM
=====

I actually agree with this, but Fish has ALWAYS been more effective as a starter and I think to alter the chemistry of the rotations by inserting Blake as a starter and relegating Fish to the bench would alter the chemistry of the team too much (not that you were directly suggesting a change in your post).

HAVING SAID THAT, the second unit ... when healthy ... features either Gasol or Bynum, LO, Shannon Brown, Matt Barnes and Steve Blake. Blake is the fifth option, fourth at best, so his open looks are a luxury, not a necessity. This simply goes back to the well documented and statistically proven fact that the lead guard position is the least important position in the triangle and on Phil Jackson coached championship teams.

As the regular season progresses, I expect to see the 9 man rotation to blend into one solid unit that plays great basketball on both sides of the court for 48 minutes. As nutty as this sounds, the insertion of Luke Walton into the rotation until Matt Barnes comes back will only help facilitate and expedite that process because he is like having a coach on the floor at BOTH ends of the court.

Let us not forget that this is Phil Jackson's Last Stand. If anyone in Lakerland thinks that he doesn't care about what happens this season because he's retiring anyway, he or she should have his or her head examined. So for those of you who repeatedly question Derek Fisher's continued existence in the Lakers starting five, remember who trusts him more than anyone else. Actually there are at least two of them, and the other one is also donning five rings.

Kobe knows (and I wish more people would too) that he wouldn't have "1 more than Shaq" if it wasn't for Fisher's heroics in Game 3 of the Finals last year.

"S. Perkins & other dogging DFish – please answer this question. If DFish is one of the worst players in the league and Kobe is such a fierce competitor; and the only ladder Kobe’s looking to climb is Bill Russell’s championship ladder, why was he adamant about the Lakers signing Fish over the summer?


Remember DFish avg 7pts & shot 35% last year in the regular season. Numbers very similar to this season. Why does Kobe, one of the greatest players EVAH and one of the smartest players in the league, speak so highly of him?


If someone can give me a satisfactory answer to that question it'll help me understand your position better. I'm looking for some serious answers....not some clever jokes.

Posted by: LRob | January 18, 2011 at 01:19 PM "

I agree with what was said above. They're friends, they've been through a lot together, and also, with what little money the Lakers had to spend, what options did they really have? They had already locked in the best triangle-suited PG available on the market in Steve Blake. It's not like every elite PG in the league was there for the taking and he called Derek Fisher's name out.

He knows that Fisher has a lot of playoff and championship experience and he wanted that back. Does he want Fisher starting and playing 30-35 minutes of every regular season game (which is the real argument this blog always faces)?? Who knows?

Yeah, Fish is going to go up against Kidd, Billups, Deron Williams and Rondo so Fish supporters are going to have plenty of chances to shut us up. Right? right?

Posted by: Psycorp | January 18, 2011 at 01:45 PM
====

Wrong. They already did because the LAKERS went through Westbrook, D-Wil, Nash and Rondo on their way to #16. You know, the title that THESE Lakers currently hold and are defending.

He knows that Fisher has a lot of playoff and championship experience and he wanted that back. Does he want Fisher starting and playing 30-35 minutes of every regular season game (which is the real argument this blog always faces)?? Who knows?

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 18, 2011 at 02:06 PM
====

Fish is averaging 27.2 mpg this season, a very reasonable and manageable number of minutes for an athlete in his physical condition. Last season, coincidentally, he averaged the same number of minutes.

At 35, Bruce Bowen, who was arguably more active than Fish because he was always assigned to defend the opposing team's best player, averaged 30.0 mpg and played in all 82 games. The 2007 NBA champion Spurs playoff rotation also included 36 year old Robert Horry and 33 year old Michael Finley. While they did log in fewer regular season mpg than Fish (Finley, 22.2 mpg as a "starter," and Horry 16.5 mpg), I would guess that Fish has taken better care of himself than either one of those guys over the course of his career.

Regardless, the Bowen comparison is probably better, and he averaged 30.2 mpg in 81 games in the 2007-08 season when he was 36. Granted, they were eliminated by the young, upstart Lakers (I kid!) in 5 games the WCF, but the Spurs 10 man playoff rotation averaged 32.6 years of age, and that's including 25 year old Tony Parker. The Lakers, who youngest rotation players are Andrew Bynum, 23 and Shannon Brown, 25, will have a 9 man playoff rotation with an average age of 30.0. In fact, that is 1.1 years younger than the 2007 Spurs team that won it all.

"Kobe knows (and I wish more people would too) that he wouldn't have "1 more than Shaq" if it wasn't for Fisher's heroics in Game 3 of the Finals last year.


Posted by: Al Franken | January 18, 2011 at 02:04 PM "

Who knows? That's the whole discussion. The Lakers still would have been playing 5 on 5 at all times whether or not it was Fisher, Farmar, or whoever else in the game at that time. A lot of the pro-Fisher fans want to simply subtract Fisher's contributions and say "Fisher scored 8 points, the team won by 6, therefore they would have lost without Fisher" like it's a fair assumption that whoever played in his place would have done nothing.

It's entirely possible that the Lakers would have lost if they didn't have Fisher, but it's also entirely possible that they might have been even better with someone like Farmar in his place. The playoffs have been known to make heroes out of the most unlikely candidates. It's really about opportunity more than anything else sometimes.

Words of wisdom (aka basic NBA common sense) from veteran Joe Smith:

“You’ve got two seven footers out there starting and that’s tough on anybody to begin with,” said Smith. “One (Gasol) that can stretch the floor, put the ball on the floor and the other (Bynum) who commands the paint. That’s always going to be effective in this league, and when you have a talent like Lamar (Odom) accepting that role off the bench and playing like he’s been playing, that’s a trio that is always going to be tough for anybody to match up with.”

====

I did not know that!

"Fish is averaging 27.2 mpg this season, a very reasonable and manageable number of minutes for an athlete in his physical condition. Last season, coincidentally, he averaged the same number of minutes.

At 35, Bruce Bowen, who was arguably more active than Fish because he was always assigned to defend the opposing team's best player, averaged 30.0 mpg and played in all 82 games. The 2007 NBA champion Spurs playoff rotation also included 36 year old Robert Horry and 33 year old Michael Finley. While they did log in fewer regular season mpg than Fish (Finley, 22.2 mpg as a "starter," and Horry 16.5 mpg), I would guess that Fish has taken better care of himself than either one of those guys over the course of his career.

Regardless, the Bowen comparison is probably better, and he averaged 30.2 mpg in 81 games in the 2007-08 season when he was 36. Granted, they were eliminated by the young, upstart Lakers (I kid!) in 5 games the WCF, but the Spurs 10 man playoff rotation averaged 32.6 years of age, and that's including 25 year old Tony Parker. The Lakers, who youngest rotation players are Andrew Bynum, 23 and Shannon Brown, 25, will have a 9 man playoff rotation with an average age of 30.0. In fact, that is 1.1 years younger than the 2007 Spurs team that won it all.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 18, 2011 at 02:38 PM "

Bruce Bowen not only played premier defense but he was also more capable of hitting wide open jump shots and corner 3's. I'm not arguing about age here, it's about effectiveness.

Bruce Bowen not only played premier defense but he was also more capable of hitting wide open jump shots and corner 3's. I'm not arguing about age here, it's about effectiveness.

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 18, 2011 at 03:12 PM
====

In 2006-07, Bowen averaged 7.5 ppg on 38.4% 3 pt shooting. This season, Fish is averaging 6.6 ppg on 38.4% 3 pt shooting. Are you saying that averaging 0.9 ppg more than Fish while playing 2.8 more mpg is being more effective? When he was 36 and actually averaged 0.2 more mpg than he did when he was 35, Bowen averaged 7.1 ppg, but did shoot at a higher 41.9% from downtown, so he was probably slightly more effective than he was the year before, just like Fish is doing this season (he averaged 7.5 ppg last season, but his 3 pt% was only 34.8%).

Aren't we really talking about apples and apples here? Both guys were/are fifth options on offense and the numbers are about the same. Fish may not play "premier defense," although it is excellent, tough help team defense (his communication at that end of the floor is also underrated), but doesn't Fish do things that Bowen didn't do from LEADERSHIP standpoint? Not that it matters, but Bowen average far fewer steals, too, and I will go out on a limb and guess that Fish takes more charges. Either way, they both make my all-time role player roster and I think the comparison is pretty darn spot on if you are going to compare 2 important role players at their ages who were starters for their respective championship caliber teams. DON'T YOU?

>>>so looking at the youth of the new pgs filling up the league the lakers at the
>>>end of this season or even before the trade deadline will need to start
>>>looking to incorporate a fast youthful pg able to handle

blah blah blah...

Yeah, because it's impossible to win a championship with an old washed up has been like Derek Fisher starting for your team.

Whoops. I screwed up your "dire need for a young fast pg" theory.

After Phil eventually retires, if the Lakers eventually break away from the triangle and go back to a showtime type offense, then yes, a stronger pg will be warranted. But given the skill level of the rest of the team and the nature of the triangle, the Lakers don't really NEED more than what Fish gives them.

And here's the important part that most of the "GET RID OF FISH NOW AND GET US A STAR PG" crowd don't really account for:

Who do you give up to get this star PG? It would have to be either Pau or Bynum as the main piece in a trade.

1. The Lakers have no cap space, and no all-star point guard is going to sign for MLE level money. Yes Chris Paul could be a free agent in 2012. But why would he take $5 million per from the Lakers when he could get $15 million per from the Knick?

2. Kobe is a Laker until he retires. They will not trade him for any reason, nor should they.

3. There is no other Laker or combination of Lakers that any team would accept for a star PG. Look at Denver's negotiations wrt Carmelo. They want a young player with star potential (Favors in this case), THREE first round picks (from a team that's likely lottery - three Lakers end of first round picks aren't worth diddly), and they want you to take on a lump of a player in a salary dump. The Lakers can't really offer any of that. The very best that they could offer is a legitimate All-Star PF in Pau or a borderline All-Star C in Bynum (who is still young and still has a bit of upside).

So let's say the Lakers work out a trade involving Bynum for Chris Paul (the only PG fitting what these PG junkies seem to want who actually might be traded by his team any time soon.

Now you've dramatically improved the PG position, but you've left the front court much weaker. Pau & Lamar are still good, but we all know Pau doesn't fare as well at C as he does at PF, and Joe Smith is a HUGE drop off as a third front court player from Bynum.

So have you really made the team better?

Maybe.

So why risk "maybe" making the team better, when the core of Laker players won the last two championships in a row? A front court of Bynum+Gasol+Odom combined with Kobe on the wings and Artest playing stout defense makes up for some weakness at the starting PG.

" Wrong. They already did because the LAKERS went through Westbrook, D-Wil, Nash and Rondo on their way to #16. You know, the title that THESE Lakers currently hold and are defending. "

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 18, 2011 at 02:07 PM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Have you ever heard/read the usual disclaimer on avertisements "Past performances do not guarrantee future results"?

Have you also ever heard of the Janet Jackson hit song "What have you done for me lately?"

Isn't it too bad Fish can't just "Copy & Paste" his past great performances so he can just repeat them over and over again?

Where the Lakers blew it on the PG front...

In the 2008 NBA draft, Denver bought the 18th pick in the draft from Minnesota and drafted Ty Lawson with the pick. Also note that Darren Collison was drafted 3 picks later. If the Lakers had bought that draft pick instead of Denver, and drafted either one of those players, then they'd be set.

But the Lakers still had Jordan Farmar as a backup and also still had Chinese Magic Johnson and Sasha on the roster in addition to Fisher, so they just stuck with what they had. Picking up Lawson or Collison for cash and a future draft pick would have been a nice foresight move. If they'd have done that they wouldn't have had to hire Blake, and they'd have a considerably better "current backup soon to be starter"

Kobe and Fish are more than good friends who have been through wars together. It's called LOYALTY! No matter how crappy Fish has became due to old age Kobe is NOT going to call him out. And for the rest of the team Fish has became the elder statesman thus nobody else on the team is going to call him out either.

Posted by: Psycorp | January 18, 2011 at 01:45 PM
-------------------
Psycorp,

That’s it? You’re suggesting that Kobe is so loyal that he’s willing to throw away the chance to tie MJ with six rings for friendship sake. Sorry but I can’t buy that. It goes against everything we’ve come to learn about Kobe.


Kobe wanted to bring Fish back because he knows the look in the eyes of a player that won’t flinch when the “season” is on the line. I’m not talking about a January night in Dallas or a March afternoon at the Staples. I’m talking in May and June when palms get sweaty and more talented players shy away from the ball. Consider DFish stats from last year regular season and playoffs.


2010 reg season 7.5 pts/38% fg vs. 2010 playoffs – 10.3 pts/45% fg
2011 reg seaon 6.6 pts/37% fg


My question was not about Fisher’s performance last night, or what he’ll do in the next few games or this regular season. Like you I’ve been frustrated by his play at times. But I believe Kobe remembers his heroics in Gm 3 of the finals, plus his superb defense on Ray Allen holding him to 37% shooting and that’s why Kobe demanded the Lakers bring him back. If that’s good enough for Kobe it’s good enough for me.

Psycorp

I've also heard the cliche "Go to the well once too many times," but if many Lakers fans had their way, they would have benched Fisher last season, too, and he was STELLAR in the playoffs. If it's a chance that Mitch and Phil are willing to take, it's a chance I gladly accept as a fan.

Did you read my Bruce Bowen comparison? What do you think?

Can we get a separate forum for all of the Fish bashers?

This is getting beyond ridiculous.

I come here for some intelligent insight on the TEAM that is known as the Los Angeles Lakers, not to hear OVER, and OVER, and OVER, and OVER, and OVER again just how terrible Fish is, and that he's the worst PG ever to play the game.

Seriously, for all of those who just can't get enough of bashing D Fish, try and discuss something else for a change. It's getting older than father time.

He knows that Fisher has a lot of playoff and championship experience and he wanted that back. Does he want Fisher starting and playing 30-35 minutes of every regular season game (which is the real argument this blog always faces)?? Who knows?

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 18, 2011 at 02:06 PM
------------------------

Bingo. He wanted Fisher's championship experience. When will Fish cease to from being playoff clutch and come up firing blanks? It could happen this year or he could remain playoff clutch thru his contract exp in 2013. I'm choosing to give him the benefit of the doubt (like Kobe is giving him) in the meantime.


"In 2006-07, Bowen averaged 7.5 ppg on 38.4% 3 pt shooting. This season, Fish is averaging 6.6 ppg on 38.4% 3 pt shooting. Are you saying that averaging 0.9 ppg more than Fish while playing 2.8 more mpg is being more effective? When he was 36 and actually averaged 0.2 more mpg than he did when he was 35, Bowen averaged 7.1 ppg, but did shoot at a higher 41.9% from downtown, so he was probably slightly more effective than he was the year before, just like Fish is doing this season (he averaged 7.5 ppg last season, but his 3 pt% was only 34.8%).

Aren't we really talking about apples and apples here? Both guys were/are fifth options on offense and the numbers are about the same. Fish may not play "premier defense," although it is excellent, tough help team defense (his communication at that end of the floor is also underrated), but doesn't Fish do things that Bowen didn't do from LEADERSHIP standpoint? Not that it matters, but Bowen average far fewer steals, too, and I will go out on a limb and guess that Fish takes more charges. Either way, they both make my all-time role player roster and I think the comparison is pretty darn spot on if you are going to compare 2 important role players at their ages who were starters for their respective championship caliber teams. DON'T YOU?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 18, 2011 at 03:41 PM "

When Bowen is shutting down the other team's best scorer and also putting up offensive numbers that are better than Fisher's, then YES, he is absolutely more effective.

Bruce Bowen didn't score many points but it wasn't his job to do that. His job was to hold the other team's best player far below his average and he often did that. Fisher doesn't score many points and again, it's not his job to do that, but his opposing player often does much better than usual.

As far as leadership, good luck defining that or determining how much it means. And good luck proving that Derek Fisher inspires his teammates any more than Bruce Bowen did. There's really no way to quantify it.

I see the argument you're trying to make here, but if Derek Fisher was playing like Bruce Bowen did, we wouldn't be arguing about whether or not Fisher should be playing.

LongTimeLakerFan

Brilliant post at 03:49 PM! I agree with your analysis 100%.

"You don't necessarily need a great point guard to win championships, you need great players." - JVG, 2009 NBA Finals

Here's my take on these speedy, talented point guards. They're like watching great running backs or mobile quarterbacks, but they can only take you so far. You need a great offensive line, too, and especially a great defense, one that puts pressure on the quarterback and forces him into mistakes. This is what we saw in the playoffs last season when we faced Westbrook, D-Wil, Nash and Rondo.

Here's the other thing about these players. They always have the ball in their hands, so consequently our subconscious focuses on them not only being super important, but also the most talented guy on the floor. And boy to fans LOVE to watch great talent! Seriously, what fun is it to watch Andrew Bynum alter a shot when you can watch Russell Westbrook get to the rim in transition in .5 seconds?

Just some random thoughts.

Fish > Bowen

5 rings > 2 rings

Kobe's friend > Kobe's adversary

***

The math is pretty simple.

DBDH!

@Lakerholic - congrats on the Friedman...well deserved...

@Lrob, 63 Footer, mclyne, ms and anyone else - I still haven't had one answer to the music quiz I posted a couple of threads back...

my 2 cents...DFish is here to stay...all the Fish doubters/haters need to accept this and stop complaining for something that won't change...He is the best 'lead guard' we have to run the triangle...

This is the same team that has been to 3 consecutive finals and won 2 in a row...why is everyone having a sissy fit...We are 2nd in the West Conf, and 3rd overall...is this so disappointing?

Maybe you would rather be a fan of another team:

Thunder 27-13 but with Durant and Westbrook, a premier PG
Utah 27-13 with DWill another premier PG
Dallas 26-14 with Kidd another premier PG and Dirk
San Antonio 35-6 best record and Duncan, Parker and Manu
Celtics 31-9 best record overall...go ahead be a Chowder Fan
Heat 29-12 with the King and Bosh/Wade...join the bandwagon

Then you won't have to complain about Fish anymore...you can actually post and show you are not a complainer...

If you don't want to switch teams...Then STOP bashing and complaining about our team, especially Fish...

It gets old and redundant...and a lot of us here are trying to stay positive and support our team...and if you have followed them the last 3 years...that can be challenging, for this team is not you Daddy's Lakers...

But at the end they will be there...and I don't see any difference this year...

As far as leadership, good luck defining that or determining how much it means. And good luck proving that Derek Fisher inspires his teammates any more than Bruce Bowen did. There's really no way to quantify it.

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 18, 2011 at 04:07 PM
====

We couldn't disagree more. Bruce Bowen was not the same defender at 35 or 36 as he was just a few years prior to that, nor was he the captain of his team, but he did enough to limit LeBron in the Finals to help the Spurs win a championship in 2007.

Now you are saying that you can't quantify Derek Fisher's leadership qualities? Seriously, do you completely discount what he brings to the Lakers in that regard? Do you really think that everything that happens on the basketball court is directly related to talent and has nothing to do with having leaders in the locker room and emotional leaders during the game? Do you actually think that these guys are robots incapable of response to motivational speeches? Man, would I love to poll the Lakers players on this one!

Derek Fisher has been bigger to the Lakers success than Bruce Bowen was to the Spurs success, both on and off the court, and he's not through. In fact, he's just getting started, baybee!!! (I kid!) My point very simply is that at 35 and 36, Bowen was still effective. Fish proved that he was effective at 35 and now he's 36 and is pretty much trending the same way that Bowen did statistically at that age. Oh, and Fish is every bit as effective as Bruce Bowen, only he does it in a different way. He leads.

Psycorp,

>>>Isn't it too bad Fish can't just "Copy & Paste" his past great performances so
>>>he can just repeat them over and over again?

Well, so far he's pretty much copying and pasting last season because he stunk it up last year during the regular season as well.

LRob - Great Question on the Kobe-Fish relationship. I wish I had thought of it!

JR

@LEWSTRS

please post the quiz again...

repost -

@LRob - These are 3 of the top 10 Movie Songs...Name the movie that goes with the song...

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfY67_qkgOs
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFuJW5Bdbe4
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe9PSliDG4M

Where the Lakers blew it in terms of a top PG was in 2004 when Kupchak accepted an unhealthy Brian Grant as part of the deal for Shaq. Recall when Jerry Buss said he wasn’t going to trade Kobe and Shaq demanded the trade, Pat Riley immediately came to Los Angeles with hat in hand. Kupchak settled for Grant, Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and a future first round draft pick. But Grant was damaged goods and mainly served to help match salaries rather than being a player of value. Had Kupchak and the Lakers medical brain trust done their homework on Grant, rejected him and negotiated harder, Dwayne Wade (drafted by Miami in 2003 and who had not yet achieved stardom) might very well have been acquired in the deal. Riley really wanted the deal.

Where the Lakers blew it in terms of a top PG was in 2004 when Kupchak accepted an unhealthy Brian Grant as part of the deal for Shaq. Recall when Jerry Buss said he wasn’t going to trade Kobe and Shaq demanded the trade, Pat Riley immediately came to Los Angeles with hat in hand. Kupchak settled for Grant, Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and a future first round draft pick. But Grant was damaged goods and mainly served to help match salaries rather than being a player of value. Had Kupchak and the Lakers medical brain trust done their homework on Grant, rejected him and negotiated harder, Dwayne Wade (drafted by Miami in 2003 and who had not yet achieved stardom) might very well have been acquired in the deal. Riley really wanted the deal.
Posted by: LJP305 | January 18, 2011 at 05:17 PM

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

No way they would have thrown in Wade in that Miami trade...he was their #1 pick...He was picked 5th overall...

LOL Wade instead of Grant in the same deal...Riley is not that stupid, and the Heat would have never won their Bling...

LJP- No, they tried for DWade. he was a dealbreaker. There was a lot written about that at the time. Miami wouldn't do it under any conditions.

Steve Blake does not fit the Laker's needs. He is too small, does not hit the crucial shots, and is not aggressive on defense. Sasha with valuable playing time has shown he get his own shot (12.1 ppg and improving) and is a decent defender with size. He brings excitement and energy like Shannon. We need to get a good sized and efficient point guard in the off season. Pure and simple, for the good of the Laker franchise.

Pat Riley quickly came to LA to make the deal for Shaq which he wanted badly. Kupchak and his medical geniuses should have been able to evaluate Grant properly to determine he had young onset Parkinson's. Likely there were signs as Grant’s shooting performance his last year with the Heat declined about 20% and declined by another 50% his 1 season with the Lakers before they bought out his contract. We all know how great Wade became, but Wade’s numbers for the 2003-04n season were the lowest of his career, so we’ll never know if Riley would have blinked first had Kupchak (with medical evidence) said that Grant was damaged goods and negotiated tougher. Kupchak really could have put pressure on Riley had he threatened to inform others of Grant’s medical condition. Otherwise we’re left to conclude Riley snookered Kupchak.

"We couldn't disagree more. Bruce Bowen was not the same defender at 35 or 36 as he was just a few years prior to that, nor was he the captain of his team, but he did enough to limit LeBron in the Finals to help the Spurs win a championship in 2007.

Now you are saying that you can't quantify Derek Fisher's leadership qualities? Seriously, do you completely discount what he brings to the Lakers in that regard? Do you really think that everything that happens on the basketball court is directly related to talent and has nothing to do with having leaders in the locker room and emotional leaders during the game? Do you actually think that these guys are robots incapable of response to motivational speeches? Man, would I love to poll the Lakers players on this one!

Derek Fisher has been bigger to the Lakers success than Bruce Bowen was to the Spurs success, both on and off the court, and he's not through. In fact, he's just getting started, baybee!!! (I kid!) My point very simply is that at 35 and 36, Bowen was still effective. Fish proved that he was effective at 35 and now he's 36 and is pretty much trending the same way that Bowen did statistically at that age. Oh, and Fish is every bit as effective as Bruce Bowen, only he does it in a different way. He leads.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 18, 2011 at 04:27 PM "

I never said Bruce Bowen was at his own personal peak at the end of his career. I am saying that he was still an elite defender and was one of the top 3 point shooters in the league.

When I say I can't quantify someone's leadership qualities, I'm saying that it's impossible to measure it. Do I think the players are incapable of responding to motivational speeches? No, but I also don't think a game is decided by which team had the better motivational speech before the game. It's impossible to isolate how much leadership really means. And while Bowen may not have been a captain, do you think it boosted the team that he was shutting down the other team's best player in the finals? I do. Do I think they would have been better off if Bowen toned down his defense and instead focused on giving great speeches? No.


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