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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, after watching the recent Laker games (to point a few out, the Sixer game and how we were tore apart by the Pistons earlier as well), I'm ready to shed some light on why the Lakers are "having trouble" this season. Personally, I'm not one to accept a mediocre performance, let alone many of these performances. Maybe alot of you aren't used to me if you don't know me from other forums, but I'm the "positive Laker fan" that always looks at things...well...positively. I'm done with that...and I realized that there are more negatives now than there were at the start of the season.

First off, let's talk about defense.

It's no secret that we are quite possibly the worse defensive team in the league right now, but how about the specifics? Well, okay...perimeter defense, transitions, and defending the penetrations are three weaknesses that really hurt Los Angeles. Elaborating on all of them, I'll point out Chucky Atkins first. Atkins may be the worst starting PG in the league (defensively). I can't think of a worse defensive starting PG actually. Atkins seems to lose his man more than I lose my mind during these games, which is unacceptable. Also, I'll pick on Tierre Brown, who can't play a lick of defense, either. The problem with Tierre is that, although he is quick, he gets burned to the hoop by guards who are NOT supposed to be faster than he is.

How many easy threes can we give up? Q-Rich can bury threes against us all day long. Nothing more to say about it...Ray Allen lights us up for threes, and then you can ask yourself why Bowen had the game high against us earlier in the season.

Now I'll push to the top of the lineup...straight to Chris Mihm. Chris...you are killing me! Defensively, Mihm is lost. Although he showed signs of "defensive greatness" during the preseason with his blocked shots, he has seriously went from a decent starter to absolutely worthless in my book. Mihm has a problem with keeping his back to the basket and keeping his hands up. I have no idea how many passes have slipped past his head for an easy bucket...or how many times a guard has sliced through the defense and dropped two points as Chris was turning around to see where the ball was. On strong centers...Mihm picks up 5 fouls in less than a half, which is really hurting the team. He can't defend or hold his own on defense, so he fouls.

Transitions...WOW...we are terribly slow getting back on defense. The Pistons destroyed us because, for some reason, their entire starting five could find their way down the court before we even turned around and headed back. If the Pistons didn't do this enough, check out the Spurs and the Suns, who have done this constantly in the games that we've played against them. I'd rather give up 60 points and make them work for it...than 60 points on the break. Pathetic...and this will be the death of us in the playoffs...write it down.

This brings me to penetrations. The paint is exposed constantly by guards blowing past the defense-less Atkins and gliding past Mihm to make a lay-in, as Odom finds his way back into the mix. If Odom would try and play like a PF instead of an SF, it would help. Instead, you find Lamar wandering away from the basket, following his man and being led like a child. Lamar, this is the other team's strategy...did you know that?

Now we'll talk offense...and surprisingly, I'll start with Kobe Bryant. Shot selection isn't very good, we all know that...but there's a reason for it: holding onto the ball for too long. I've watched our games closely, and you'll notice that Kobe holds the ball...and then either takes a shot with no time left, or kicks it out to a teammate and tries to make a move towards the basket. At this point, the Lakers are spread out and expecting Kobe to do something big, but this is where the game turns into a 5-on-1 game...and the other team pulls down the rebound. What does that mean? No offensive board for us. I'm not going to just blame Bryant for this either...

Onto Lamar Odom, who (like I mentioned before) is trying to play his natural position. If you're at the four, you have to play like a power forward, not a point forward...but Odom hangs around the perimeter, then slashes to the hoop and attempts a layup. Power is the key, Lamar. How many layups do you miss where your hand is nearly at the rim? Dunk the ball...and this goes for Mihm as well, who is starting to look like the November and December's version of Yao Ming. When you're under the basket and you have the ball tucked into your body, go up with it hard. You're a 7 footer...get big and put the ball up. If you can't use your strength (like against Big Ben, who's a beast), use your height advantage. Ben Wallace is actually a forward at 6'9" (I believe)...so instead of dropping ugly fadeaway hooks, get inside and go up with it, both hands, and draw the foul. Slava, I hope you're reading this. You're just about as much of a Laker Queen as Sasha is.

Ball distribution is being stressed too much. Watch Kobe. He's throwing passes that are leading to buckets, but there's a reason he's leading the league in turnovers. Half of those passes are easy buckets...hell...anything seems easy to Kobe when he's attacking the hoop, so instead of satisfying those who say you never pass the ball, who cares? Same goes for Tierre Brown, who seems to want to be on the BSPN Top 10 with Iverson-like passes, instead of scoring on a reverse layup. When you get into the air, you have to shoot, pass, or get blocked. Don't kid yourself...if your first intentions were "nothing"...then your best bet is that you're going to get swatted or end up traveling.

I left out some players until the end for a reason. Caron Butler...was a defensive player in Miami, but I don't see much defense from him anymore. When he sees the double team, does he know where to go? It seems as if he just waits for the player to come out with the ball, and he starts from there. Well, he leaves his man open, and then he bites on every fake, leaving him stranded and leaving the Lakers with another reason to trade him sooner or later. Luke Walton, you're a great passer...but that's it. Luke is undersized at the four, and he haven't been shooting well at all this season, so why take low-percentage shots? It's that simple. Brian Grant, how about some effort? Some say he does the dirty work, but sometimes no effort makes me forget about all the hard work he does. Consistency...show us you're worth $14 million. Cook...wow...from "getting good" to "getting bad" in a matter of games. He's the man that's usually wide open, but he hasn't been dropping shots for a while now...and he seems to lose his man as well. Also, he was involved in the triangle last year...but this season, for some reason, he can't set screens right and he looks lost in the offense. Good luck staying a Laker in the future. Jumaine Jones...I was impressed with him until he started shooting threes and long jumpers. Jones has a size advantage over most SF's...so why doesn't he use it? He's best described as a slasher and a strong rebounder, but the man just wants to hit big shots instead. That's setting himself up for failure...maybe that's why he was worthless to the Celtics in the trade for Payton.

I don't know...maybe the Lakers need to be pushed harder. Maybe they need a coach like Bobby Knight. I do believe that Phil pushed them to their limits, where their "defense was their best offense" each night, and that resulted in 3 consecutive championships...but this has to stop now. We need to work individually just as much as we try working as a team. We have Atkins, who does have alot of quickness and a nice crossover. Kobe is the best one-on-one player in the league. Butler has a quick first step and the ability to body his way into the paint. Odom is quicker than most power forwards and more agile. Mihm has a nice hook (if he wouldn't use it so far away) and is trying to become a more physical player. Maybe it's time to look at Tony Bobbitt as our defensive standout at the point, and focus on individually breaking apart defenses, rather than throwing 6-10 mid-air passes. Maybe it's time to make these guys run up and down the court and crash the boards on offense, and close in on penetrations, play better off the ball, etc. Because what we're doing now is going to give us a one-way ticket to a first-round exit, maybe not even that, and being the one guy who almost always looks at things positively...I'm starting to believe that Kobe to the Clippers could do more than Kobe in purple and gold, an attitude I did not expect to have on the first of November.

Things need to change. Hamblen, Buss, Kupchak, Kobe and the entire Lakers team need to get things together, grab ahold of what they have and work much harder...not just for themselves, but for the many fans that are ready to turn to next season, instead of looking forward to the playoffs. When you have everyone doubting us, you have absolutely NO reason to slack off and let the season die...but this is exactly what's happening in the locker room and on the court, and it's starting to grow on me each game I see us play, win or lose.
 

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Good analysis. Long, but good. :)

That said, missing the playoffs is in their best long term interest. Otherwise they lose a 15th or 16th pick this summer.
 

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:clap: loved that analysis. i stayed up late to watch that game. all i ended up doing was damaging my remote control from throwing it at the tv.

lakers are bad..BBADD. to start the healling, we need a new coach. someone tough on D. those guys are not bothered on bit. they dont understand that they are playing for the laker, a storied franchise.

the game with philly, why the hell did the starters come back on in the 4th qtr? the bench were doing a great job. dont blame kobe too much as his ankle was hurting. that was why he did'nt penetrate and settled for jumpers.

i say take kobe, lamer and then flush the rest of the team and pray for high lottory pick.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I had read somewhere that Kobe was probable for the game...but I didn't know anything about that, and I didn't hear anything about an injury beforehand either.
 

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Just win lakers.. :banana:
 
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