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Lakers mailbag: More questions on the Lakers' offseason needs

34841195Below is the second edition of Lakers mailbag, a weekly fixture I will present every Friday. The success of this hinges on everyone participating. So if you have a question you've wanted  to be answered, email me at the address below or leave a comment in the threads.

"Since almost all of the intelligent bloggers here, as well as the "so called" experts on T.V. seem to see that our PG play and lack of outside shooting are our two biggest problems as a team, why don't you feel that there is the Lakers feel a need to upgrade these gaping holes? Is it more accurate to say that they don't want to show your hand regarding any trade scenarios?" -- mcclyne1

The Lakers rarely discuss the inner workings of their front office. While the Lakers, including owner Jerry Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak, mentioned that they want to keep the team's "core" and only make "tweaks" to the roster, they are really only speaking in generalities. If something lands on their desk that significantly improves their team, they'll try to make it work. The problem is, as much as the Lakers want to make changes, their hands are tied. They're coming off a season that consisted of a $91-million contract and the only free agents this season involve reserves. Lakers guard Shannon Brown hasn't indicated whether he'll exercise his $2.91-million player option. The Lakers have team options for Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter worth a combined $1.6 million. And the Lakers have four second-round draft picks at 41, 46, 56 and 58, with Kupchack telling's Mike Trudell they may want to pursue guards because of the uncertainty surrounding Brown's contract, Derek Fisher's age (36) and the heavy mileage on Kobe Bryant

As much as the Lakers would like to upgrade at point guard position, they might be better off saving up to acquire Deron Williams or Chris Paul next offseason. So the Lakers' rhetoric indicate they're completely satisfied with their current roster. But with a high player payroll and a strong possibility of a lockout, the Lakers are simply trying to anticipate having to make best with what they have. 

Hiring Mike Brown was a great decision for the Laker organization, because he truly bring a new face and needed direction to this team. The triangle offense is obsolete, I could not find another team using it. The Lakers defense could not defend the pick and roll at all,I blame all the coaches on the current staff for this failure (just my opinion). --- George Warren

Look, no one is questioning Brown's coaching credentials. He guided the Cavaliers to two Eastern Conference championships and one NBA Finals appearance. He studied under such esteemed coaches as Gregg Popovich, Rick Carlisle and Tim Grgurich. And he compiled a 272-138 record. But coaching goes beyond Xs and O's. Even if Brown has insisted he worked well managing egos, that clearly wasn't enough before the Cavaliers fired him in hopes of retaining LeBron James during free agency. The public uneasiness surrounding Brown's hire has little to do with his offensive system or how he'll implement his strongly credentialed defensive philosophy. It points to Brown's unproven track record on how he's going to manage all the sideshow distractions surrounding the Lakers and whether his reputation as being a pushover to James will come back to bite him with a veteran-laden team that has won more championships than he has. 

-- Mark Medina

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Mike Brown offers a solid first impression but can he sell his ideas?

Photo: Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak has said he only wants to make "tweaks" to the roster. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (14)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I'm sorry about all the login procedures. So I had a meeting with Jimmy Orr, the Times' Online Managing Editor and I brought up the issue surrounding the login problems. Below is what I told him

1. There has been a problem from Typepad's end on banning IP addresses and with the glitches during the current login system. He is going to talk to the tech people and try to arrange a meeting, which will include me to solve this.

2. He mentioned the Facebook possibility, which is the direction all the other blogs are going in. The reason why that has held off with the Lakers blog is I have told management that you guys opposed that idea. He brought up the possibility that if users created a FB profile that just had their name without revealing any private information, that might assuage some of the resistance. In no way are we leaning toward this. We both understand the opposition to this idea but just wanted to throw it out there in case the ability to create a profile with your Laker handle only would make you reconsider.

3. I brought up the possibility to separate the comment threads into a separate message board so the conversation doesn't get broken up. That idea is not feasible with our site.

4. I also asked again if The Times can hire another person so that it's a two man team, making it easier to moderate and also expand our coverage. Citing budget concerns, that was shot down. I pitched the idea of hiring an intern to help out with the technical aspects (moderating comments, live chats, etc) and he said he'll look into it.

That's all the news I have to report. In the meantime, I'm receptive to more feedback because I'm just as frustrated.


Actually I really don't have any log in problems, I use my Yahoo account which you can change your name to say anything you want, such as mine Tech N9ne...

I'm sure most people on here would and should have an account with yahoo. I havnt used FB or Twitter so I wouldn't know but when I use yahoo it works perfect!

and created a yahoo account is like real easy, easier than FB and Twitter, so why not just have that! Many people now a days have like a ton of email addresses so maybe they can get one more for the blog...

but no problems when using yahoo, so I'm lucky in a sense I guess!

@LT – That TWolves trade works for me…although I think it definitely skews in the Lakers favor. Wes Johnson is also good shooter with the potential of being a very good shooter.

@Jon K – I believe Mike Brown did have a sit down with Kobe. Best wishes on your job search.

@Cyber – I agree to be considered one of the all-time greats you gotta perform at winning time. Lebron was sorely lacking in that department in games 4-5. We’ll see what he got in game 6. He’s definitely on the clock.

@MM – I do appreciate the good job you do.


LOL: so I finally got my post up, but two new ones are up, so here is a repost:

Good grief! Took me most of the afternoon to finally get in here with Google signin. Twitter signin is bad with Typepad linkage right now.

MM: Thanks for the Friedman!

This Finals shows us (who knows about the FO?) how important it is to get a couple of knock down shooters to help the current crew. As I have said 100 times, Pau is our best trade chip IMO, but LO could also get us good players if done right. Basically LO is our second team PG/PointF right now and unless we get a couple of quicker PGs with 3pt shooting expertise I don't think we can give up LO no matter how inconsistent he is/has been.

Pau and his attitude problems all season would put him on my trade list if I was GM....but not just to get rid of him and his attitude, but to really improve this team. I can't be involved with trade machine specifics because who knows when the new CBA will come and what it will have for restrictions, but Pau could get us a 3pt shooting and quick PG with another big who could bang (example: Kevin Love + Flynn/Telfair or even better David Lee/Curry). We may be able to pickup a quick PG-shooter with our trade exception, if it still exists after the new CBA. A BIG who bangs-rebounds and plays D is as important a get as we have this off-season, to assist AB/PG/LO with minutes when they break down, as we all know they will for portions of the season. TR and JS were supposedly MKs assets to do that, but PJ's mindset threw them under the bus, and now one year later their value has expired for actual real game minutes, so we need to reload and not some retread at this backup spot either! Remember, this certain kind of big will also pickup points that Pau had with putbacks and second chances by others. The 3pt shooters will get the rest, as will Kobe being more open with the right help. I really wish they would figure out a way to have DeAndre Jordan move his stuff down the hall to the Lakers locker room.

It may end up Jerry Buss has to go for a record payroll of $95M+ to get the pieces we need for the next 3 years of potential Kobe ring runs.

Posted by: NuggetsCountry | June 10, 2011 at 03:38 PM

I absolutely refuse to be caught up in the stoopid "social networking" crap. Those social networking sites are for immature adolescents with too much time on their hands and little useful purposes in life beside gossiping. Not to mention how assinine it is to publish one's private infos into the dangerous jungle that is the internet.

Luckily I have accounts with both Yahoo and Google. Whatever the LAT does with typepad I hope it will always retain Yahoo and Google.


Hip hip hurray... to hear another LA fan blaming LAL coaching staff for the team's CLUELESS approach to defend the pick n roll. For as long as Phil was coaching he and his staff never had any idea against the pick n roll. Here's my suggestion: if you can't come up with something original then COPY. There are plenty of teams that do a much better job at defending the p-n-r so why not watch their tapes and COPY them. Duuhhh...

Watching the Heat vs. Mavs I got angry! And all LAL fans should be too.

Remember how Jason Kidd/Jose Barrea used to drive LAL bonker with simple pick n roll? how LA defense always came unglued and crumbled like a cheap suits whenever facing a pick n roll no matter who the opponent who runs it? and how LAL players always had a stupefied look in their faces and ran around in panic like chicken without head?

The Miami Heat had no such problem! Oh every once in a long while Barrea managed to get through but Kidd was non-factor except when being left open for shooting the trey. And who does the Heat have at PG that is so effective against the pick n roll? none other than an old short and slow guy named Mike Bibby who was never exactly defensive stopper even when he was at the top of his game.

Why is it that Bibby never tried the stoopid "bug-in-the-windshield" stunt that Derek Fisher always pulled while insisting on going THROUGH instead of AROUND a screen? Because Mike is not stoopid and neither is his coaching staff that's why. Why couldn't LAL coaching realize whatever Fish was doing was NOT working and he should try a different approach?

The Heat shows what TEAM DEFENSE is all about. All five guys and not just two involved always automatically adjust appropriately. And not just the Heat but any well-coached team know the right thing to do to defend against the pick n roll.

Be angry, very angry at the sham of a coaching job on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hey MM --

Just a headsup re any thoughts about expending considerable resources on Facebook.

The Fing is dead. Long live the Twing [ ].

Didn't Kobe Drop 63 points on dallas couple of years ago by himself???

lol yeah cuz i was watching that game right now!

>>>There are plenty of teams that do a much better job at defending the p-n-r so
>>>why not watch their tapes and COPY them. Duuhhh...

It's not all that cut and dried.

Part of it depends on what method[s] you choose: show hard on the dribbler, trap the dribbler, always switch, etc. And the Lakers have varied that up at times.

But part of it also depends on the speed and agility of the players who are defending. Kobe, Fish, and Artest are all a step slower than in their youth. And neither Bynum nor Pau are good at quick reactions on the P&R. The
Lakers don't have great personnel for defending the P&R.

It doesn't matter what philosophy you take in defending it, if your players aren't fast enough to execute your plan, they're going to get beat some times. Just like you can't teach height, you can't teach speed. The Lakers front line is very good at defending post up players... but not so good at p&r.

And consider this. Miami is pretty damn good at defending the pick & roll. One of the best in the league. But even they are getting absolutely schooled by the Mavs guards. Go back and count the number of times that Terry or Barea or Dirk got a great shot for themself or someone else in a play that was initiated by the pick and roll.

Having multiple players who can execute the pick and roll well makes it extra hard to defend, unless ALL FIVE of your team's players are good at defending it and have good foot speed.

>>>Remember how Jason Kidd/Jose Barrea used to drive LAL bonker with
>>>simple pick n roll? how LA defense always came unglued and crumbled like a
>>>cheap suits...

Well, actually it wasn't Kidd so much. But Jason Terry and JJ Barea blew by their Laker defenders like they were standing still. In the last game versus the Lakers, they absolutely ate them alive, so that's what's freshest in your mind.

But Barea had a 1-for-5 game, and Terry had a 3-for-12 game (where he only took 1 3-pointer). So they did contain them a little bit of the time, just not enough. Miami has contained them better, but still not enough.

>>>Be angry, very angry at the sham of a coaching job on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Yes, because it clearly has nothing to do with player speed. Artest is definitely as fast as LeBron. And Fisher is definitely as fast as Chalmers. And Bynum and Pau ALWAYS run back on defense like Bosh & Joel Anthony do.

@NUGGETS COUNTRY … If the new CBA doesn’t drastically change the landscape, I think the Lakers would go up to $100M in payroll this coming season. Dr. Buss knows that you cannot waste rare opportunities to win championships and the team just saved $10M per year with Mike Brown. How else would the club really be able to tweak the roster other than free agency and the draft.

Of course, stating that the core of the team is not going to change is what the Lakers had to say to keep all their options open. What is probably going on right now is the team talking and checking out exactly what those options are. And while the Lakers have not specifically defined who the core of the team are, the presumption seems to be that that means the Big Four of Kobe, Pau, Drew, and Lamar. Again, what else are they going to say? Right now, it’s all about keeping all options open.

That’s why I think there could be some truth behind the various rumors we’ve heard. The Lakers are obviously out there seeing what their options are. What would it take to get Monta Ellis from the Warriors? Ellis is not really a point guard but he and Kobe would be a pretty dynamic backcourt. What about the rumors the Wolves want to trade the #2 pick for a veteran big man. Would they take Pau Gasol for Kevin Love, Jonny Flynn, Wesley Johnson, and the #2 pick with which the Laker could take Derrick Williams or a top point guard prospect like Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight, or even Kyrie Irving if the Cavs opt to take Enes Kantor, the Turkish center as some are predicting. Gasol would be great insurance for Ricky Rubio’s NBA debut. Best of all for the Lakers is that they will save $10M in salary by the move because the Wolves would be under the cap. It’s win-win for both teams.

This Page/site here definately has some problems. Its just a matter of getting someone on the times staff to get the job done. Hey, im a former times employee... dont tell me why its taking forever and a day to get things done.

Dear Mitch:

Take note, the Dallas Mavericks just won the NBA title after sweeping the team you assembled, trashing the supposed heir apparent Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Chosen Ones from Miami, without Caron Butler, Roddy Beaubois, Brendan Haywood, etc. They have a very talented rookie guard and will probably get a good player with their first round pick in a week or so. If you think you are going to beat the Mavs by just "tweaking" the present roster your trippin! You need to make bold moves and cut out the arrogance. You got lucky to get Pau and have nothing else to brag about. Laker fans expect more than your cavalier attitude. Now get to work!



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