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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I find it extremely disturbing that many are promoting Nash by saying he turned his motley crew to NBA players. They say that Phoenix was NOT expected to make the playoffs. Yet most projected the Lakers to be OUT of the playoffs.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-LALPreview0506

The so-called ESPN experts called the Lakers possible 8th seeds IF and I mean IF they get a miraculous year from their players.

ESPN's pre-season power ranking(Look at Laker team power ranking archives)
Don't ask for a long explanation, because you're not going to glean one from looking at Kobe's roster. Basically our respect for the Zenmeister is such that we expect LA to mount a push for the No. 8 seed. Somehow
Week 13
If you say Kobe doesn't make his teammates better, what you're really saying is that you expected these Lakers to be more than a top-10 team. These Lakers?

How can people who never met or hardly know the man say that Kobe is hard to play with? Its not like Laker fans say Kobe is as friendly as Barney.
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i can't stand kobe personally, but he gets my vote over nash.
he's had an incredible season, like him or not
 
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Nash has carried his team, which was expected to struggle and possibly do poorly, to almost the status of elite team (and their record is close with last year's also)

I don't know who would think the Lakers were out of the playoffs before the season began. In any way you look at it what the Nash and the Suns have achieved is far more remarkable than the Lakers making the playoffs

no irony at all
 

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GoDWade said:
Nash has carried his team, which was expected to struggle and possibly do poorly, to almost the status of elite team (and their record is close with last year's also)

I don't know who would think the Lakers were out of the playoffs before the season began. In any way you look at it what the Nash and the Suns have achieved is far more remarkable than the Lakers making the playoffs

no irony at all

So you think the general consensus is the Sun's roster exceeded expectations more than the Lakers?

I think there is a difference between a great performance on a team that exceeded your expectations and a performance of historic proportions.
 

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MemphisX said:
So you think the general consensus is the Sun's roster exceeded expectations more than the Lakers?
I think there is a difference between a great performance on a team that exceeded your expectations and a performance of historic proportions.[/QUOTE]

I don't know about general consesus, but I surely do think so. What the Lakers have been doing this season isn't blowing anybody's mind---they have been playing good basketball and at least for me, they are where people (or just me) expected them to be if they dont' mess up: on the bottom tier of the playoffs

The Suns, on the other hand, started the season losing a lot of their key players from their great season last year and really were undersized and had a lot of unknowns (Diaw, Bell, K Thomas, etc.) What they have overcome the obstacles this year and has really exceeded the expectations: they are the 2nd seed in the west, and third best record in the west, fourth best record in the league. That's pretty impressive considering the loss of JJ, Amare, and Q-Rich (which resulted in chemistry issues)

to me it's no question which team has exceeded more expectations. I am not saying that Kobe hasn't done his job, but Nash has accomplished more team-wise than he has. That is why there is no irony in contrast to the thread starter's suggestion


I think there is a difference between a great performance on a team that exceeded your expectations and a performance of historic proportions.
what did you mean by this
 

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GoDWade said:
I don't know about general consesus, but I surely do think so. What the Lakers have been doing this season isn't blowing anybody's mind---they have been playing good basketball and at least for me, they are where people (or just me) expected them to be if they dont' mess up: on the bottom tier of the playoffs

The Suns, on the other hand, started the season losing a lot of their key players from their great season last year and really were undersized and had a lot of unknowns (Diaw, Bell, K Thomas, etc.) What they have overcome the obstacles this year and has really exceeded the expectations: they are the 2nd seed in the west, and third best record in the west, fourth best record in the league. That's pretty impressive considering the loss of JJ, Amare, and Q-Rich (which resulted in chemistry issues)

to me it's no question which team has exceeded more expectations. I am not saying that Kobe hasn't done his job, but Nash has accomplished more team-wise than he has. That is why there is no irony in contrast to the thread starter's suggestion
Nearly 40% of sports sites had the Lakers just nearly making the playoffs. The other 60% had them not winning more than 33 games. If that is not speaking doom to one team I don't know what is. Kobe was only working with one other player, Odom, the most of the season and still managed to get them to the seventh seed in a much harder conference: West 7th Seed - Lakers (40-35) East 7th Seed - Pacers (35-37) that's a seven game difference!


There is too much credit being given to Nash.
Yes Boris Diaw and Barbosa are having career years, yes Marion is on a tare, and yes, James Jones was just some dude off the Pacers bench before playing for the Suns. But nearly 90 percent of these players increase in confidence and skill is because of the Coach and Suns management. If one is playing for the Suns, the only thing they have to do on offense is run(have outstanding conditioning), Spread around the perimeter during fast breaks, Always pass to the open man if guarded tightly, and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS take the Open Shot, and then RUN Some More! Most of these career high players have only jumped in scoring, which this Suns offense will ALWAYS do because it's the only offense that incourages the players to shoot without hesitation. So not only are these players working on their shots during practice and warmups, they're now working on their shots during games too, thus out of repetition, the players shot will improve nearly three times faster then during regular offense sets that need the players to remember lengthy plays(Screens) or have to react to the defense the whole time(Triangle). Now of course there are some players that are not made to shoot; that's where the Sun's management comes in. They have done an oustanding job of finding shooters that fit with the coaching style. Boris was a shooter with the the Hawks - he just needed a position change. Raja Bell was always a deadly shooter with every team he been on - he is just now in an offense that allows hom to shoot at will. And as for Barbosa's improvement, he is just maturing and starting to show his potential, was that because of Nash's passing skills? No. Barbosa's is Nash's backup.

Believe it or not, even with Amare out for the season, the Suns are about three times deeper than last year. Nash had to carry a starting five to the best record since the bench last year was incredably shallow; Back then, all that was needed for the the Suns to lose was to just take Nash out - thus he won the MVP. Their bench this year is just insane! If Nash is tired, just put in Barbosa who can pass and score just as well. If Raja is cold, throw in Eddie House who is a better shooter (and six man canidate); need a forward that can spread the defense? throw in Tim Thomas who was always a good scorer or if you need quickness too, throw in Jones. As you can see, the Suns have scoring potential coming out the wazoo - a lot of help for Nash.

So despite what most may think about the Suns or what may look to be the success of the Suns this year, It's the GM's selected players and the Coach's offense that is making Steve Nash great this year; not the other way around.
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The One said:
Nearly 40% of sports sites had the Lakers just nearly making the playoffs. The other 60% had them not winning more than 33 games. If that is not speaking doom to one team I don't know what is. Kobe was only working with one other player, Odom, the most of the season and still managed to get them to the seventh seed in a much harder conference: West 7th Seed - Lakers (40-35) East 7th Seed - Pacers (35-37) that's a seven game difference!
Interesting. I didn't know people rated Lakers so low. I always thought last season was a disaster because of injuries and if the Lakers could keep the team together (with the addition of Phil) they should be able to grab the 8th or 7th playoff spot, which they are doing it right now

The western conference is very difficult to play in. I am not taking away what the Lakers have accomplished this year. However my opinion is that what the Suns faced in the beginning of the season and what they had accomplished thus far is simply more in proprotion to what the Lakers had to face. Like I said in the previous post, the Suns were going into the season with an almost complete new and undersized, and arguably less-talented team (in comparsion to last year), and yet they own one of the best records in the league, that's pretty impressive.

Furthermore, I guess it's just me, but I always thought that playoffs wouldn't be too far away as long as kobe and Odom was healthy. So even though, like you probably implied, the rest of the supporting cast sucks, I rate Kobe and Odom highly that I thought they would remain competitive and win games no matter what. But again, that's probably just me

also, since you compared the western to eastern conference, I also would like to compare western conference by itself. At least by the records it shows that the teams that are underneath the Lakers, what they have been through this season really helped the Lakers out. Rockets have just been unlucky. T-Wolves are a mess. Sacramento is still trying to establish some ground, and was nowhere before Artest arrived. Goldens State has been a dissapointment, Portland has sucked, Seattle is not that great, New Orleans have been inconsistent, and I don't know about Utah.

My point is, again not to take away Lakers' accomplishment, although western conference is harder to play in but at the same time some of the teams below Lakers are pretty bad too, and this definitely helps Lakers' record.

There is too much credit being given to Nash.
Yes Boris Diaw and Barbosa are having career years, yes Marion is on a tare, and yes, James Jones was just some dude off the Pacers bench before playing for the Suns. But nearly 90 percent of these players increase in confidence and skill is because of the Coach and Suns management. If one is playing for the Suns, the only thing they have to do on offense is run(have outstanding conditioning), Spread around the perimeter during fast breaks, Always pass to the open man if guarded tightly, and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS take the Open Shot, and then RUN Some More! Most of these career high players have only jumped in scoring, which this Suns offense will ALWAYS do because it's the only offense that incourages the players to shoot without hesitation. So not only are these players working on their shots during practice and warmups, they're now working on their shots during games too, thus out of repetition, the players shot will improve nearly three times as faster then during regular offense sets that need the players to remember lengthy plays(Screens) or have to react to the defense the whole time(Triangle). Now of course there are some players that are not made to shoot; that's where the Sun's management comes in. They have done an oustanding job of finding shooters that fit with the coaching style. Boris was a shooter with the the Hawks - he just needed a position change. Raja Bell was always a deadly shooter with every team he been on - he is just now in an offense that allows hom to shoot at will. And as for Barbosa's improvement, he is just maturing and starting to show his potential, was that because of Nash's passing skills? No. Barbosa's is Nash's backup.
well, yes the Suns' system is easier to playin, but the system wouldn't have worked without Nash. Nash is the running motor of that team. He is the one person who keeps the flow of the team alive and creates the flow through his vision, passing, and dribbling skills

and would you say you really expected a team with Diaw (who was unknown before he came to the Suns), Bell (who had been ok), and Barbosa (who had been ok as well) would have a record of 49-24, without Amare?

The players can run and be open because Nash (and Marion) breaks down the offense and they emphasize on passing



you can run all you like, but if you aren't opened and if you aren't found by your point guard, the system wouldn't work

the coach can put in any system he is comfortable with, but it's up to the players to excute the offense. Nash has done that brilliantly, and no matter how easy it might seem he is still doing it against a much tougher western conference (as you admitted)---so why can't the argument go both ways?

Believe it or not, even with Amare out for the season, the Suns are about three times deeper than last year. Nash had to carry a starting five to the best record since the bench last year was incredably shallow; Back then, all that was needed for the the Suns to lose was to just take Nash out - thus he won the MVP. Their bench this year is just insane! If Nash is tired, just put in Barbosa who can pass and score just as well. If Raja is cold, throw in Eddie House who is a better shooter (and six man canidate); need a forward that can spread the defense? throw in Tim Thomas who was always a good scorer or if you need quickness too, throw in Jones. As you can see, the Suns have scoring potential coming out the wazoo - a lot of help for Nash.

I don't know what you think, but before those players you mentioned came to the Suns, did you really expect them to be scorers and as leathal as you described? Eddie House was a journeyman; Bell was known for his defense; Barbosa still made people shaking their heads last year; Thomas had been hugely underachieving; Jones was an athletic player that people knew he would fit in nicely into the system---but as lethal as you described? I don't know, man. Also, like I said, the Suns had to deal with chemistry and injury issues (Bell/Barbosa/Amare), and they have been doing a fantasic job overcoming that real obstacles. So to me it is not easy as you described it to be


So despite what most may think about the Suns or what may look to be the success of the Suns this year, It's the GM's selected players and the Coach's offense that is making Steve Nash great this year; not the other way around.
yes and no. I wouldn't use what a player's GM or coach has done against a player in Nash's case. Like I said, those players weren't that great before they came to the Suns, and Nash has already shown last year what he can do and he is doing it again this year with complete different, arguably less talented and undersized players. He is that one player that makes all the other players better. He is like Shaq where when I mention Wade's greatness and people will always say "well he plays with Shaq". He is that "Shaq" in the sentence---other players don't make him better, he is the one that puts them in a better position to succeed. To me the fact is he has been incredible for two straight years tells me something of how great a point guard he is---
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ninjarr said:
Look at it this way:

You spend a dollar on a candy bar. Someone else spends a dollar on a lottery ticket and wins.

Which dollar is more valuable?
wins the draft lottery? just kidding but why is 2nd seed compared to a lottery ticket? What do you call first seed?
 

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-BasketBallBoy- said:
wins the draft lottery? just kidding but why is 2nd seed compared to a lottery ticket? What do you call first seed?
The logic is still the same. What if one dollar bought you a candy bar and another bought you an even better candy bar? Which dollar would be more valuable then?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ninjarr said:
The logic is still the same. What if one dollar bought you a candy bar and another bought you an even better candy bar? Which dollar would be more valuable then?
Ya your right. Probably because Colangelo was(before he left for Toronto) a better GM but I still admire the Laker management. Picked Kobe instead of Shaq. Still find the Hershey(Lakers) more entertaining than the BabeRuth(Phoenix)
 

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GoDWade said:
The western conference is very difficult to play in. I am not taking away what the Lakers have accomplished this year. However my opinion is that what the Suns faced in the beginning of the season and what they had accomplished thus far is simply more in proprotion to what the Lakers had to face......Also the Suns had to deal with chemistry and injury issues (Bell/Barbosa/Amare), and they have been doing a fantasic job overcoming that real obstacles. So to me it is not easy as you described it to be
The Lakers have been through a lot more :) They traded Butler and Atkins (Two decent players) for Kwame who started the Laker season very poorly and the team did not have their backup, Ronny, because of heart surgery so the Lakers did not have a starting power foward in the beginning. their veteran guard Mckie only played ten games and is now injured. Profit, who was their best backup, got injured in Dec so they had to waive him. Odom's numbers were droping by the month while the team's defense was weakening as chemistry was taking a huge hit with close loses. Then Deavon George, Odom, and Mihm gets injured. After being back for about 2 weeks, Mihm gets injured again and he is out for the season. Then their back up center Bynum gets injured too and he is out for the season. The other players are inactive or in the NBDL.

Here's The Laker's Depth Lineup now:
Smush/Sasha
Kobe/George
Odom/Walton
Cook/
Kwame/ Ronny

The Lakers had on and off injuries through out the season. and as you can see, that is a true example of an overachiving weak team. The only reason why they are in the seventh seed is because after Mihm's and Bynum last injury, Kwame and Odom decided to wake up. Plus Kobe's insane play throughout the entire season.


well, yes the Suns' system is easier to playin, but the system wouldn't have worked without Nash. Nash is the running motor of that team. He is the one person who keeps the flow of the team alive and creates the flow through his vision, passing, and dribbling skills
Very true.

Maybe Kidd should also win the MVP too.

...and would you say you really expected a team with Diaw (who was unknown before he came to the Suns), Bell (who had been ok), and Barbosa (who had been ok as well) would have a record of 49-24, without Amare?
Yes.

The main thing that they lost from Amare is inside scoring. What did the Suns do? Added more outside scoring(House, Bell, T.Thomas) and more inside defense (K. Thomas, Grant, ect.). There the Suns will rely a lot more on the D to send them in transistion. Since everybody on the team can now hit an open shot, a transistion is amost always going to be a score. And that's all they been doing; outscoring team. It was just a well thought out plan by the Suns managment and the coach. Plus Marion stepped up on his own to fill the post void.


...Eddie House was a journeyman; Bell was known for his defense; Barbosa still made people shaking their heads last year; Thomas had been hugely underachieving; Jones was an athletic player that people knew he would fit in nicely into the system---but as lethal as you described? I don't know, man....
Eddie House was a shooter on every team he played with. He just now has national attention.

Diaw was has shown signs of this during his rookie season. They been trying to play him at guard after that. When he came to the Suns they put him back at forward where he is more comfortable (and of course causing matchup problems) - plus always having an open shot. So improvement in Diaw should not be a surprise. I wasn't.

Every team that Bell has been on he has played defense and shot threes. What if he doing with the Suns now? Playing D and knocking down threes. was that Nash's doing?

Jones just shoot threes and shown athleticism with the Pacers. Is he doing anything different or better with the Suns? No. His 3 point percentage just went up, that's all.

Barbosa has nothing to do with Nash's during-game passing and awearness. Barbosa just matured on his own a bit and also took skills off of watching and practicing with Nash. Barbosa is Nash's backup and the Suns will not be were they are without Barbosa.

you can run all you like, but if you aren't opened and if you aren't found by your point guard, the system wouldn't work

the coach can put in any system he is comfortable with, but it's up to the players to excute the offense. Nash has done that brilliantly, and no matter how easy it might seem he is still doing it against a much tougher western conference (as you admitted)---so why can't the argument go both ways?
Even though Nash is the one excuting the offense, it's still the overall system that making these players score more. I'm pretty sure if Nash was executing a different offense with this team the players will still improve, but not like how they are improving now. The only improvement in the most players on the Suns is offense and that is what this system (D'Antoni) is designed to do.

Like I said in the previous post, the Suns were going into the season with an almost complete new and undersized, and arguably less-talented team (in comparsion to last year),...
The Suns had a more talented 'STARTING FIVE' last year with no bench whatsoever. That was the main concern about the Suns during all of last season. They lost a lot of games with just Nash missing because of their lack of depth and the lost to the Spurs in the playoffs also. That to me is a more greatet accomplishment because with little depth, a lot more was relied on Nash to lead the team. Depth is what the Suns focused on last summer by adding more fire power and defense which they did when they signed Bell, House, K. Thomas, Grant (Who was injured most of the season), and later T. Thomas.

yes and no. I wouldn't use what a player's GM or coach has done against a player in Nash's case. Like I said, those players weren't that great before they came to the Suns, .....He is that one player that makes all the other players better....To me the fact is he has been incredible for two straight years tells me something of how great a point guard he is---
Who's says their great now? Bell shoot's 3's, Thomas shoots 3's, House shoots 3's, - they just increased their percentage of makes. As for Diaw, It's was just a combination of a position change and maturing. Plus with a system that is ment for scoring, of course one's PPG will increase. The players that they added already had history of shooting and any body that can shoot can have career years with the Suns.

If Nash had players that just can't shoot or just do not fit in the system it's self, the team will fail, simple as that.


Who 'should be' the Top 5 MVPs in any order:

Nash (teamates having career highs/ no Amare?)
Dirk (career highs/never had a full strength team around him)
Kobe (careers highs and beyond to get in the playoffs/ means more to his team than any other canidate)
Lebron (First post season for him/ MVP like number)
Brand (Clippers in the playoffs/ career highs)
 

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A fact EVERYONE is overlooking is that before the start of the season, when the playoff picks were made, the West looked FAR more top heavy than it does now. Utah had an amazing lineup in Deron Williams, Matt Harpring, Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur. I don't think ANY analyst would have felt comfortable leaving a Sloan-coached team of this caliber out of the postseason, especially when Deron was expected to be the best point guard coming out of a loaded draft class. What happened? Kirilenko has only played around 60 games this season. Boozer? Not even thirty. Deron failed to live up to Sloan's expectations and now, instead of being primed to make a solid run at the Northwest division crown, they're 3 games out of the playoffs.

That's not even mentioning Houston. T-Mac suddenly had his 50th birthday. People were projecting Stromile Swift to develop into a 16/12/3 block player- and we all know how that worked out. Yao put together a string of dominating performances, but it still wasn't enough- Houston is 6 games out of the playoffs.

So now, what did the Western Conference picture look like when postseason projections were being made? You have a series of very strong basketball clubs taking up playoff spots:

1. San Antonio- As the defending champion, no one was logically going to leave them out of the playoff picture.
2. Phoenix- No one expected them to win the division, but most people projected them to take up a playoff spot with Marion and Nash.
3. Denver- Nothing really seriously affected their roster enough in the offseason to disrupt a string of playoff appearances.
4. Dallas- Again, no one projected them to miss the playoffs.
5. LAC- This was a definite surprise at the fifth seed, but the Clips had made enough offseason moves to make them look like a playoff team.
6. Memphis- Memphis is a perennial powerhouse and they had added enough significant pieces that it was illogical for them to miss the playoffs.

So what does this mean? Out of the top six teams in the West, five (barring the Clips) were considered locks for the playoffs. That means that the rest of the competitors were aiming for THREE remaining playoff spots (on the list of analysts before the season).

So who were the logical candidates for those three spots? I've already mentioned two- Utah and Houston. One could also mention last year's Northwest division champs (the Sonics, who recovered extremely well for a huge free agent year) and of course, my Warriors (who closed the season with a very impressive run). But this would be ignoring the most logical choice- Sacramento.

Clearly, the Kings have more momentum than the Lakers. LAL has spent most of the year hovering about the 6-8th spots where as the Kings have clawed their way up from the bottom of the conference to earn the 8th spot. But before the season, the Kings hadn't lost any significant pieces except Chris Webber (whom they adequately replaced with Shareef and Kenny Thomas) and Cuttino (who they adequately replaced with Bonzi Wells). Of course, they weren't a lock for the postseason, but they looked much, much, much better than the Lakers.

That's why I HATE IT when people bring up irrelevant things like postseason projections. Saying that the Lakers somehow exceeded expectations is RIDICULOUS considering the unfortunate (in the case of Houston and Utah) and the strange (Sacramento, Golden State, and Seattle) circumstances that have prevented a great deal of teams from earning a berth.

Now, I'm not pinning the things that happened to those teams on Kobe. But the Lakers last year were seven games away from being a .500 team and presumably being a playoff threat. You CANNOT convince me that the resignation of Rudy Tomjanovich, the ineptitude of Frank Hamblen, and the injuries to Lamar and Kobe weren't worth those seven games.

FAR more importantly, you cannot tell me that Phil Jackson is not worth at least seven victories. You cannot tell me that the games against an injury riddled Houston, a depleted Utah, an underachieving Golden State, and a poorly coached Seattle have nothing to do with the Lakers crashing the postseason.

Stop acting like Kobe carrying this team on his back has somehow miraculously exceeded expectations. It hasn't. The Lakers are the seventh seed for two reasons: Phil Jackson and Tracy McGrady's back.
 

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ninjarr said:
A fact EVERYONE is overlooking is that before the start of the season, when the playoff picks were made, the West looked FAR more top heavy than it does now. Utah had an amazing lineup in Deron Williams, Matt Harpring, Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur. I don't think ANY analyst would have felt comfortable leaving a Sloan-coached team of this caliber out of the postseason, especially when Deron was expected to be the best point guard coming out of a loaded draft class. What happened? Kirilenko has only played around 60 games this season. Boozer? Not even thirty. Deron failed to live up to Sloan's expectations and now, instead of being primed to make a solid run at the Northwest division crown, they're 3 games out of the playoffs.

That's not even mentioning Houston. T-Mac suddenly had his 50th birthday. People were projecting Stromile Swift to develop into a 16/12/3 block player- and we all know how that worked out. Yao put together a string of dominating performances, but it still wasn't enough- Houston is 6 games out of the playoffs.

So now, what did the Western Conference picture look like when postseason projections were being made? You have a series of very strong basketball clubs taking up playoff spots:

1. San Antonio- As the defending champion, no one was logically going to leave them out of the playoff picture.
2. Phoenix- No one expected them to win the division, but most people projected them to take up a playoff spot with Marion and Nash.
3. Denver- Nothing really seriously affected their roster enough in the offseason to disrupt a string of playoff appearances.
4. Dallas- Again, no one projected them to miss the playoffs.
5. LAC- This was a definite surprise at the fifth seed, but the Clips had made enough offseason moves to make them look like a playoff team.
6. Memphis- Memphis is a perennial powerhouse and they had added enough significant pieces that it was illogical for them to miss the playoffs.

So what does this mean? Out of the top six teams in the West, five (barring the Clips) were considered locks for the playoffs. That means that the rest of the competitors were aiming for THREE remaining playoff spots (on the list of analysts before the season).

So who were the logical candidates for those three spots? I've already mentioned two- Utah and Houston. One could also mention last year's Northwest division champs (the Sonics, who recovered extremely well for a huge free agent year) and of course, my Warriors (who closed the season with a very impressive run). But this would be ignoring the most logical choice- Sacramento.

Clearly, the Kings have more momentum than the Lakers. LAL has spent most of the year hovering about the 6-8th spots where as the Kings have clawed their way up from the bottom of the conference to earn the 8th spot. But before the season, the Kings hadn't lost any significant pieces except Chris Webber (whom they adequately replaced with Shareef and Kenny Thomas) and Cuttino (who they adequately replaced with Bonzi Wells). Of course, they weren't a lock for the postseason, but they looked much, much, much better than the Lakers.

That's why I HATE IT when people bring up irrelevant things like postseason projections. Saying that the Lakers somehow exceeded expectations is RIDICULOUS considering the unfortunate (in the case of Houston and Utah) and the strange (Sacramento, Golden State, and Seattle) circumstances that have prevented a great deal of teams from earning a berth.

Now, I'm not pinning the things that happened to those teams on Kobe. But the Lakers last year were seven games away from being a .500 team and presumably being a playoff threat. You CANNOT convince me that the resignation of Rudy Tomjanovich, the ineptitude of Frank Hamblen, and the injuries to Lamar and Kobe weren't worth those seven games.

FAR more importantly, you cannot tell me that Phil Jackson is not worth at least seven victories. You cannot tell me that the games against an injury riddled Houston, a depleted Utah, an underachieving Golden State, and a poorly coached Seattle have nothing to do with the Lakers crashing the postseason.

Stop acting like Kobe carrying this team on his back has somehow miraculously exceeded expectations. It hasn't. The Lakers are the seventh seed for two reasons: Phil Jackson and Tracy McGrady's back.
where does kobe's 35 ppg fit into the equation?
 
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