30 to 16 to 1: (End of the road:The LA Lakers) 6 for 24 and why size does matter

The Basics:

30 to 16 to 1. Based on a half baked notion, that since the true goal of any NBA season is to turn thirty teams into one champion and as we saw in my earlier piece, what wins in the regular season is not necessarily what  gets you the trophy, my 2010 Playoff Review series continues.

The Half-Baked Notion:

Simple (based on 2010 numbers):

  • The best two players accounted for 55% of a teams wins in the 2010 Playoffs.
  • The top three players are just below the pareto threshold
  • The next three (4,5,6th man) account for the rest of the positive win contribution about equally.
  • After that everybody else actually hurt teams in the playoffs.

The format will look at the best six players in the playoffs for each team, will look at how many wins their coach/injuries might have cost them and talk about their opportunities/drawbacks going forward (and if they’ve done anything in the off-season to address these). We will go from least productive to most productive team in the Playoff (based on the table that follows now):

After almost twenty thousand words, 17 pieces and 2 months , we are finally at the  end of the road now. Only one team left standing, and sadly enough it’s the damn, magnificent Los Angeles Lakers.

As I said before, I’ve avoided this post (and the previous one) for a long time and not for the typical reasons. For the Lakers the problem was passion. I could write a 1000 word post on the Lakers in my sleep (it just wouldn’t be very objective and would contain multiple snarky comments about the Mamba). But this is important , for if the Celtics in 2010 and their playoff success are the root of the half baked notion the Lakers provide confirmation of it. The Lakers are also a great example of the short supply of tall people.

Writing the piece is easy, keeping the snark  to a minimum not so much (given my feelings for Jack’s boys). So please let me know how I do. The final piece is at hand : let’s talk about the Lakers (or as they’re known affectionately around the ESPN offices: Kobe and the sidekicks).

The duckface is coming for you

Why size does matter

  • The Storyline: The Half baked theory states that only your top six matters in the playoffs. The 2010 Lakers featured four Players above .150 Wp48, one >.300 WP48 player and no negative win producers in their top 6 . In short,  the 2010 Lakers were the poster child for the Half Baked Theory. To put in perspective here’s the list of all the teams that had 4 >.150 WP48 players in the playoffs and at least one >.300 WP48 (and no negative win producers:
    You’ll note that every single team on that list: made the finals, 5 of 6 won the finals and every single one made the finals the next year (and won in 5 of 6 cases). Despite the hype surrounding other teams,  all the augurs point to the Lakers coming back  to defend their title in the Finals. Let’s see if I can find the spanner in the works.
What's this doing here?
  • The Good:The Lakers were historically good in the playoffs (and really they needed to be). Here’s the full list of players for the teams listed above for comparison:

Gasol was the best player on the team (and the biggest producer of wins for his team). Kobe once again was a good  Robin to someone else’s Batman (not as good as Scottie though ). Odom and Bynum added effective size.

  • The Bad: Artest and Fisher did just enough as to not kill the Lakers (and both came through notably in spots). However both have serious liabilities (Artest offensively and Fisher defensively).
  • The Coach: Phil Jackson …. Screw it:
  • Needs: A decent point guard that can shoot from distance and run the triangle. A proven defensive small forward who’s not an offensive  liability for the inevitable Ron-Ron Meltdown. Lighting a votive candle so that Kobe and Bynum are healthy come playoff time.
  • Major Moves: The Lakers roster looks like this for 2010-2011:As a Celtics fan, #$#%% #@%@@!!!! They got the perfect point guard for the triangle in Blake. They picked up Barnes as an upgrade from Ron Ron and they stole a guy in the 2nd round of the draft (Caracter who they just signed @#@$@@@@$@#!!!$!$!%%@^@^). I actually think the Lakers may have an early draft of my GM sop. I  initially though the the Kobe deal could be the turd in the punch bowl in the future but I’m convinced they’ll fleece somebody with that contract. Even with the on-going health issues with Kobe, Bynum and Artest (knee, knee and mental), this is a good deep team.
  • 2011 Outlook:My first pass analysis has this team as a 60 win team. Once I adjust for minutes and injuries, I think this team is closer to 53 -54 wins in the regular season. But for this team the regular season does not matter. The Lakers are built for the Playoffs and the fact that I see them as 3 or 4 seed  out west shouldn’t matter to them till the finals. The Spurs, Blazers and OKC (and a surprise team I will not mention) can make it interesting for them before the finals but one of the new bigs in the West needs to have a break out year  for these teams to have a shot (Splitter, Oden, Aldrich and one more player to be named later :-) ). I see this team in the Finals but after a series of wars (sorry OKC). However even if their size is healthy (and that’s a big if) I just don’t see them taking the Heat if they have homecourt advantage. Their best hope to repeat is to do what I’ll do and pray for Garnett to be healthy and even then I like the Celtics :-)

62 Comments

  1. Mike
    9/27/2010
    Reply

    Please please please let the surprise team be the Warriors.

      • Mike
        9/28/2010
        Reply

        I’m gonna guess Sac, due to Cousins and Dalembert, seems like they got the bigs locked up. Less Spencer Hawes is always a good thing.

        They can boast a lineup of Dalembert-Cousins-Casspi-Evans-Udrih, who were all above average last season (and given Cousin’s college numbers, he projects to be above average).

        Carl Landry off the bench as well.

        • 9/28/2010
          Reply

          Mike,
          You win the no-prize.

          Please submit your post idea for evaluation.
          I like this team as a 7/8th seed out west and to scare the living daylights out of someone in the first round (think OKC last year)

          • Mike
            9/28/2010
            Reply

            I’ve always wanted one! I want to thank the 76er’s for getting fleeced in that Dalembert trade. Now if we can get them to agree to a Monta Ellis for Andre Iguodala nostalgia trade: Monta, he’s the new Iverson!

            BTW, the Pacific Division is looking pretty scary. Lakers, Warriors, Kings, Suns should all be pretty strong. Clippers should still hold down the fort at the bottom of the standings, so all is good with the Universe.

            • 9/28/2010
              Reply

              Actually, I like Cousins but he’s not who I think wins rookie of the year :-)

              • evanz
                9/28/2010

                We all know it’s going to be Wall – ppg rulez!

        • Evanz
          9/28/2010
          Reply

          How productive can we expect a rookie to be? Or should I ask, who was the most productive rookie (Shaq? Duncan?), and can we expect Cousins to contribute similarly?

            • evanz
              9/28/2010
              Reply

              In Curry, Lee, and Biedrins, the Warriors have a legitimate shot to have three starters all with WP48 over 0.200. If that happens, I think they make the playoffs, even if Monta holds them back.

  2. Mike
    9/27/2010
    Reply

    Please please please let the surprise team be the Warriors.

      • Mike
        9/28/2010
        Reply

        I’m gonna guess Sac, due to Cousins and Dalembert, seems like they got the bigs locked up. Less Spencer Hawes is always a good thing.

        They can boast a lineup of Dalembert-Cousins-Casspi-Evans-Udrih, who were all above average last season (and given Cousin’s college numbers, he projects to be above average).

        Carl Landry off the bench as well.

        • 9/28/2010
          Reply

          Mike,
          You win the no-prize.

          Please submit your post idea for evaluation.
          I like this team as a 7/8th seed out west and to scare the living daylights out of someone in the first round (think OKC last year)

          • Mike
            9/28/2010
            Reply

            I’ve always wanted one! I want to thank the 76er’s for getting fleeced in that Dalembert trade. Now if we can get them to agree to a Monta Ellis for Andre Iguodala nostalgia trade: Monta, he’s the new Iverson!

            BTW, the Pacific Division is looking pretty scary. Lakers, Warriors, Kings, Suns should all be pretty strong. Clippers should still hold down the fort at the bottom of the standings, so all is good with the Universe.

            • 9/28/2010
              Reply

              Actually, I like Cousins but he’s not who I think wins rookie of the year :-)

              • evanz
                9/28/2010

                We all know it’s going to be Wall – ppg rulez!

        • Evanz
          9/28/2010
          Reply

          How productive can we expect a rookie to be? Or should I ask, who was the most productive rookie (Shaq? Duncan?), and can we expect Cousins to contribute similarly?

            • evanz
              9/28/2010
              Reply

              In Curry, Lee, and Biedrins, the Warriors have a legitimate shot to have three starters all with WP48 over 0.200. If that happens, I think they make the playoffs, even if Monta holds them back.

  3. 9/27/2010
    Reply

    Lakers vs. Celtics WAS THE SHIT!!!!

    Ok… now that I’ve calmed down… Are you suggesting that the Lakers will trade Kobe before his contract expires? I find that hard to believe.

    • 9/27/2010
      Reply

      They got rid of Shaq. The Lakers organization is too smart to keep him thru the end of his current contract. He won’t be the alpha dog and he’ll be unhappy. Somebody will be willing to overpay for him. You watch.

  4. 9/27/2010
    Reply

    Lakers vs. Celtics WAS THE SHIT!!!!

    Ok… now that I’ve calmed down… Are you suggesting that the Lakers will trade Kobe before his contract expires? I find that hard to believe.

    • 9/27/2010
      Reply

      They got rid of Shaq. The Lakers organization is too smart to keep him thru the end of his current contract. He won’t be the alpha dog and he’ll be unhappy. Somebody will be willing to overpay for him. You watch.

  5. jbrett
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    To Philly for Iguodala! Kobe gets to go ‘home’ and the good AI gets to win! Rumor has it they’d swap him for Melo; for Kobe they throw in a couple of first-rounders, or any positive producers they haven’t dumped already, right? Santa, please! I’ll be good, I swear!

    • 9/28/2010
      Reply

      Over/under for me is the 2013 off-season. He’ll be 35 (and an old 35 given his minutes) and due $32 mill for 2013-14 his 18th season. He’s playing hurt now and having off-season knee surgery. I can’t see the Lakers not doing something to move him and he won’t walk away. Just a gut feel.

  6. jbrett
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    To Philly for Iguodala! Kobe gets to go ‘home’ and the good AI gets to win! Rumor has it they’d swap him for Melo; for Kobe they throw in a couple of first-rounders, or any positive producers they haven’t dumped already, right? Santa, please! I’ll be good, I swear!

    • 9/28/2010
      Reply

      Over/under for me is the 2013 off-season. He’ll be 35 (and an old 35 given his minutes) and due $32 mill for 2013-14 his 18th season. He’s playing hurt now and having off-season knee surgery. I can’t see the Lakers not doing something to move him and he won’t walk away. Just a gut feel.

  7. Chicago Tim
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    I’m guessing that your surprise team is the Suns, and I’m guessing that Robin Lopez is the new big in Phoenix who has a chance at a breakout year.

    • 9/28/2010
      Reply

      I like the Suns but they’re not my sleeper. You’re in the right conference though. I actually give it away on Dre’s podcast and I would love to work for the owner of that team.

  8. Chicago Tim
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    I’m guessing that your surprise team is the Suns, and I’m guessing that Robin Lopez is the new big in Phoenix who has a chance at a breakout year.

    • 9/28/2010
      Reply

      I like the Suns but they’re not my sleeper. You’re in the right conference though. I actually give it away on Dre’s podcast and I would love to work for the owner of that team.

  9. entityabyss
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    I hope you don’t mean houston, and yao ming cuz that’s not happening. If you say the mavericks, I say it’s possible. Also, how do u not see gs winning 55 games. They had the tools to hit that mark already, and then recently they fired don nelson and hired another productive player(I don’t remember who). They’re the sleeper, whether u think so or not… Unless you think this was expected.

    • 9/28/2010
      Reply

      I already liked GS. I don’t know about 55 wins as of yet (need to take a deeper look). I’m comfortable with close to 50 without double checking for the Warriors.

      And no it’s not Houston.

  10. entityabyss
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    I hope you don’t mean houston, and yao ming cuz that’s not happening. If you say the mavericks, I say it’s possible. Also, how do u not see gs winning 55 games. They had the tools to hit that mark already, and then recently they fired don nelson and hired another productive player(I don’t remember who). They’re the sleeper, whether u think so or not… Unless you think this was expected.

    • 9/28/2010
      Reply

      I already liked GS. I don’t know about 55 wins as of yet (need to take a deeper look). I’m comfortable with close to 50 without double checking for the Warriors.

      And no it’s not Houston.

  11. entityabyss
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    Louis amundson is the guy they got. They’re gonna kill this year.

  12. entityabyss
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    Louis amundson is the guy they got. They’re gonna kill this year.

  13. EntityAbyss
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    It’s Dallas. They got tyson chandler and still have brendan haywood. It’s dallas.

  14. EntityAbyss
    9/28/2010
    Reply

    It’s Dallas. They got tyson chandler and still have brendan haywood. It’s dallas.

  15. 9/29/2010
    Reply

    Is it the T-Wolves?

    Anyway, great half-baked conclusion, Arturo.

  16. 9/29/2010
    Reply

    Is it the T-Wolves?

    Anyway, great half-baked conclusion, Arturo.

  17. 9/29/2010
    Reply

    BTW, the H-B N should be employed this year before entering the playoffs, if it possible somehow. Damn Miami Heat, hate them already.

    • 9/29/2010
      Reply

      It should totally be possible to do HBN and win probability tables and predictions prior to the playoffs next year (maybe even in time to place wagers).

  18. 9/29/2010
    Reply

    BTW, the H-B N should be employed this year before entering the playoffs, if it possible somehow. Damn Miami Heat, hate them already.

    • 9/29/2010
      Reply

      It should totally be possible to do HBN and win probability tables and predictions prior to the playoffs next year (maybe even in time to place wagers).

  19. some dude
    9/29/2010
    Reply

    okay, couple things since I am a Laker fan and all.

    A. Fisher. His WP48 numbers are low, and rightfully, but his usage rate is low and he’s a PG on a huge team (not a lot of rebounds) and plays in the triangle where he’s actually the shooting guard (not a lot of assists). There isn’t many ways for him to rack up wins, but it should be noted that offensively in the playoffs he was solid. His TS% was very high (57%). His D was bad, but not horrific after round 1.

    He was beyond atrocious during the regular season, however. W His turn around must have was large in the scheme of things. Your numbers show how bad he was, but his defense made him even worse.

    B. Ron-Ron. You miss the boat on him. Here is one of those extremes where the WP analysis falls short. Here’s a good way to analyze it. What was Kevin Durant’s series vs LAL Wp48 vs his regular season? How about against Paul Pierce vs regular season vs Orlando series vs playoffs? Even J-rich was limited to like 16 ppg vs the 20 he had been getting and that was despite an increase in pace IIRC.

    I know Ron-Ron’s offense was bad. I was one of those screaming “nooooo” as he would shoot a 3. But dude made Durant inefficient and locked down Paul Pierce for most of the series. Lakers don’t win either series without his defense. You replace him with Barnes and they lose, I guarantee it. Not that I dislike Barnes. I love the pickup as the backup to Ron, but whatever offense he gives us would be far negated by the difference in Ron’s defense to Barnes (who isn’t even a bad defender). I watched Ron all year (and have always been a big fan of his). What he does defensively changes games even when you don’t notice it.

    C. Kobe was not Robin. Whoever has the better WP48 does not make one “batman.” Am I to believe Jordan was robin to Pippen in ’96. Please. Batman status is determined by offensive things like usage and scoring. Now, I’m fine if you want to say Pau was the more productive player or the better performer and have an argument for it, but he was certainly not “batman.” Kobe was the 1st option in the offense, even times because of Pau’s personality, and the clear defined Batman in the offense (rightly or wrongly).

    D. Kobe is not leaving LA, even if his contract is a bit much. For starters, his salary is irrelevant. The Lakers won’t be re-building until it’s up after his and Gasol’s extension and Bynum and Artest’s contracts anyway, so what’s the point (Lamar will be the future trade bait to improve for a final run). Kobe brings way more money in revenues to the LAL by being on the team, title or not, as well and you’re totally ignoring this aspect of it and this will not be replaced with any trade. Finally, Kobe will be a part owner of the Lakers when he retires. He got the Magic deal. We don’t now it officially yet, but he did and it’s why he took less money.

    E. I don’t see how the team wins less games this year without bigger injuries. Gasol, Kobe, and Bynum all missed major time and we had no backup SF (luke was hurt) and farmar/fish were junk. Yes, Bynum will miss some time but presumably less than last year (crosses fingers) and Kobe should be fine. Kobe should be improved because his WP48 dipped big time when his knee got hurt, but all indications is it’s back to normal now. Look at his playoff WP48 vs regular season if you doubt. Then you add in the upgrades of Blake, Barnes, and the rest to go with Artest improving (he will) and this team wins at least as many as last season and slow down only if they can’t/don’t want to keep up with the Heat. 58-62 wins is my guess.

    F. I agree about the Kings. Don’t get the Warriors hype because of their D, but the Kings could improve a lot. Phx is taking a step back and so might Denver.

    As for ROY, I’d like it to be Griffin.

    As for you being a Celtics fan, u mad bro? ya, u mad. :D

    • 9/29/2010
      Reply

      A,B Agree totally. I’d add that Fisher and Artest might be edging perilously close to the age wall. Lakers management(damn them for their competence) apparently agrees and went out and got Blake and Barnes as insurance. I actually think you underrate Barnes, yes he’s worse than Ron-Ron on D but the upgrade on offense would cause havoc to the opposing defense. If the look is Blake,Kobe,Barnes, Gasol and Bynum (or Odom, Gasol depending on matchup) I don’t really see how anyone (but a 100% healthy Celts team) stops that. Someone is getting an open look every time. Granted that Blake,Kobe,Artest, Gasol and Bynum isn’t bad either.

      C. Kobe is a very good player but he’s the complementary piece in the equation for a championship. The media miscasts him because he’s the scorer but Gasol is the centerpiece in the championship puzzle (as Shaq was before). But you need both pieces (and some decent complementary pieces) to build an all time team and Kobe has proven convincingly he can fill that role. As for 96, Rodman was the key piece there (and I remember him just being a ridiculous on D) but that team had an embarassment of riches with him, Jordan and Pippen. Interestingly by WP48 in the playoffs it was Rodman, Pippen, Jordan in 96, Jordan,Harper, Pippen, Rodman in 97 and Pippen, Rodman, Jordan in 98. Kobe during this run actually compares favorably to MJ in the playoffs from 96 to 98 (where MJ was taking turns). He’s just never been the unstoppable force MJ was during his first run in 91 to 93 (which Lebron and Wade have both done). In 99,01 and these last three years he got it done (I will now light myself on fire of course).
      D. Because it’s so good now, I think you’re choosing to forget quite how bad it can get with Kobe. Shaq left, Phil quit, Kobe pulled the FU game in the playoffs at phoenix and demanded a trade. We’ll see how you feel in two years.
      E. I need to crunch this. My concern is age and injury. 15 year veteran SG coming off knee surgeries don’t have a great track record (neither do bigs with recurring knee issues). At some point the performance starts to go and Kobe’s getting very close. I think Artest and Fisher are already there. I think Phil knows there’s a time limit and steps off the gas in the regular season and so Blake,Brown, Barnes, Odom & Gasol is a possibility for large portions of the season because of injuries and to preserve the legs for the playoffs.
      F. No qualms here
      Griffin is my surefire pick for ROY (barring injury)

      Ray Allen, that damn almost steal and that damn injury. Arghhh… :-(

      • some dude
        9/29/2010
        Reply

        A,B – I would say it’s a matchup issue. If you want to tell me that often with Barnes out there we’d be better off, okay. But not against the best SFs in the league like Durant.

        Where are you getting Barnes shooting % from? his a poor 3 point shooter and mid-range shooter his whole career. http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Matt%20Barnes

        what he does well is slash and finish, something the offense lost with Ariza’s departure and something I’m glad to have back. But he won’t help spread the floor more than Ron and Ron’s defense is world’s better. We don’t get by OKC with Barnes in place of Durant. Anything Barnes gives us on offense is negated by Durant having a high volume scoring series shooting 60% TS%.

        C. Kobe is not complimentary. That is ridiculous. Look, I understand your argument, but you’re ignoring usage. Kobe’s usage is over 30%, which means he’s doing a lot more work on offense than anyone else. Perhaps he should tone it down a bit, but Gasol doesn’t accept the challenge more. I’ve watched Gasol for 2.5 years straight now and he’s an over-passer. It’s his one offensive flaw. And someone with > .2 WS48 in the playoffs is not complimentary…come on. And Jordan wasn’t complimentary to Rodman, either. If you take Jordan off that team, their offense would fall apart (There was no Horace, anymore like in ’94). Take Rodman off, and while they probably don’t win it all, they still have a fighting chance. Rodman is criminally underrated by the fans ad media, but you’ve managed to go to the other extreme. Rodman was not the centerpiece. It doesn’t matter what WP48 means. Rodman could not handle a 30% usage rate if something happened to Jordan, but most of Rodman’s rebounds could be recouped and defensively they still had the best perimeter players around.

        D. I was in Kobe’s corner during the bad times, too. Shaq was sent off because he was lazy and out of shape and Buss didn’t like him. Buss loves Kobe which is why he never let him leave. Also, Kobe did not play the FU game in the playoffs. That game you are talking about came well over a year before the trade demand. The next season they all just couldn’t compete because of injuries to lamar and luke and the team still stunk, but the FU game (which i disagree) was the year prior. Kobe will never put on another NBA uniform (he might play for his italian team, though).

        E. I understand. But the depth will off-set that. Farmar and fisher were the worst PG combo in the league. Blake changes that a lot. And there was no one behind Artest. In fact, Kobe was often the backup SF which won’t happen. I think you’re right about Phil and the throttle, but I think the bar is a lot higher this season so releasing the throttle will still net 58 wins. Plus I see the West as weaker in competition.

        • 9/29/2010
          Reply

          A,B. I agree with most of this. The point on Barnes is that he’s an actual offensive threat with the slashing and having him and blake out there creates huge mismatches on offense across that more than compensate for the loss of defense (even against Durant and I think Blake, Kobe, Barnes is a better look against the Westbrook speedy guard types).
          C. We’ll have to disagree. He’s a .200 WP48 player (star) not a .300 WP48 player (superstar). I looked at every championship team since the merger you need at least one superstar or two stars. Kobe in the star category.
          D. If I’d said the same about Michael Jordan in 1996 you’d have called me crazy. We’ll see.
          E.I think your 2011 Season will look like the Celts 2010 season.

  20. some dude
    9/29/2010
    Reply

    okay, couple things since I am a Laker fan and all.

    A. Fisher. His WP48 numbers are low, and rightfully, but his usage rate is low and he’s a PG on a huge team (not a lot of rebounds) and plays in the triangle where he’s actually the shooting guard (not a lot of assists). There isn’t many ways for him to rack up wins, but it should be noted that offensively in the playoffs he was solid. His TS% was very high (57%). His D was bad, but not horrific after round 1.

    He was beyond atrocious during the regular season, however. W His turn around must have was large in the scheme of things. Your numbers show how bad he was, but his defense made him even worse.

    B. Ron-Ron. You miss the boat on him. Here is one of those extremes where the WP analysis falls short. Here’s a good way to analyze it. What was Kevin Durant’s series vs LAL Wp48 vs his regular season? How about against Paul Pierce vs regular season vs Orlando series vs playoffs? Even J-rich was limited to like 16 ppg vs the 20 he had been getting and that was despite an increase in pace IIRC.

    I know Ron-Ron’s offense was bad. I was one of those screaming “nooooo” as he would shoot a 3. But dude made Durant inefficient and locked down Paul Pierce for most of the series. Lakers don’t win either series without his defense. You replace him with Barnes and they lose, I guarantee it. Not that I dislike Barnes. I love the pickup as the backup to Ron, but whatever offense he gives us would be far negated by the difference in Ron’s defense to Barnes (who isn’t even a bad defender). I watched Ron all year (and have always been a big fan of his). What he does defensively changes games even when you don’t notice it.

    C. Kobe was not Robin. Whoever has the better WP48 does not make one “batman.” Am I to believe Jordan was robin to Pippen in ’96. Please. Batman status is determined by offensive things like usage and scoring. Now, I’m fine if you want to say Pau was the more productive player or the better performer and have an argument for it, but he was certainly not “batman.” Kobe was the 1st option in the offense, even times because of Pau’s personality, and the clear defined Batman in the offense (rightly or wrongly).

    D. Kobe is not leaving LA, even if his contract is a bit much. For starters, his salary is irrelevant. The Lakers won’t be re-building until it’s up after his and Gasol’s extension and Bynum and Artest’s contracts anyway, so what’s the point (Lamar will be the future trade bait to improve for a final run). Kobe brings way more money in revenues to the LAL by being on the team, title or not, as well and you’re totally ignoring this aspect of it and this will not be replaced with any trade. Finally, Kobe will be a part owner of the Lakers when he retires. He got the Magic deal. We don’t now it officially yet, but he did and it’s why he took less money.

    E. I don’t see how the team wins less games this year without bigger injuries. Gasol, Kobe, and Bynum all missed major time and we had no backup SF (luke was hurt) and farmar/fish were junk. Yes, Bynum will miss some time but presumably less than last year (crosses fingers) and Kobe should be fine. Kobe should be improved because his WP48 dipped big time when his knee got hurt, but all indications is it’s back to normal now. Look at his playoff WP48 vs regular season if you doubt. Then you add in the upgrades of Blake, Barnes, and the rest to go with Artest improving (he will) and this team wins at least as many as last season and slow down only if they can’t/don’t want to keep up with the Heat. 58-62 wins is my guess.

    F. I agree about the Kings. Don’t get the Warriors hype because of their D, but the Kings could improve a lot. Phx is taking a step back and so might Denver.

    As for ROY, I’d like it to be Griffin.

    As for you being a Celtics fan, u mad bro? ya, u mad. :D

    • 9/29/2010
      Reply

      A,B Agree totally. I’d add that Fisher and Artest might be edging perilously close to the age wall. Lakers management(damn them for their competence) apparently agrees and went out and got Blake and Barnes as insurance. I actually think you underrate Barnes, yes he’s worse than Ron-Ron on D but the upgrade on offense would cause havoc to the opposing defense. If the look is Blake,Kobe,Barnes, Gasol and Bynum (or Odom, Gasol depending on matchup) I don’t really see how anyone (but a 100% healthy Celts team) stops that. Someone is getting an open look every time. Granted that Blake,Kobe,Artest, Gasol and Bynum isn’t bad either.

      C. Kobe is a very good player but he’s the complementary piece in the equation for a championship. The media miscasts him because he’s the scorer but Gasol is the centerpiece in the championship puzzle (as Shaq was before). But you need both pieces (and some decent complementary pieces) to build an all time team and Kobe has proven convincingly he can fill that role. As for 96, Rodman was the key piece there (and I remember him just being a ridiculous on D) but that team had an embarassment of riches with him, Jordan and Pippen. Interestingly by WP48 in the playoffs it was Rodman, Pippen, Jordan in 96, Jordan,Harper, Pippen, Rodman in 97 and Pippen, Rodman, Jordan in 98. Kobe during this run actually compares favorably to MJ in the playoffs from 96 to 98 (where MJ was taking turns). He’s just never been the unstoppable force MJ was during his first run in 91 to 93 (which Lebron and Wade have both done). In 99,01 and these last three years he got it done (I will now light myself on fire of course).
      D. Because it’s so good now, I think you’re choosing to forget quite how bad it can get with Kobe. Shaq left, Phil quit, Kobe pulled the FU game in the playoffs at phoenix and demanded a trade. We’ll see how you feel in two years.
      E. I need to crunch this. My concern is age and injury. 15 year veteran SG coming off knee surgeries don’t have a great track record (neither do bigs with recurring knee issues). At some point the performance starts to go and Kobe’s getting very close. I think Artest and Fisher are already there. I think Phil knows there’s a time limit and steps off the gas in the regular season and so Blake,Brown, Barnes, Odom & Gasol is a possibility for large portions of the season because of injuries and to preserve the legs for the playoffs.
      F. No qualms here
      Griffin is my surefire pick for ROY (barring injury)

      Ray Allen, that damn almost steal and that damn injury. Arghhh… :-(

      • some dude
        9/29/2010
        Reply

        A,B – I would say it’s a matchup issue. If you want to tell me that often with Barnes out there we’d be better off, okay. But not against the best SFs in the league like Durant.

        Where are you getting Barnes shooting % from? his a poor 3 point shooter and mid-range shooter his whole career. http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Matt%20Barnes

        what he does well is slash and finish, something the offense lost with Ariza’s departure and something I’m glad to have back. But he won’t help spread the floor more than Ron and Ron’s defense is world’s better. We don’t get by OKC with Barnes in place of Durant. Anything Barnes gives us on offense is negated by Durant having a high volume scoring series shooting 60% TS%.

        C. Kobe is not complimentary. That is ridiculous. Look, I understand your argument, but you’re ignoring usage. Kobe’s usage is over 30%, which means he’s doing a lot more work on offense than anyone else. Perhaps he should tone it down a bit, but Gasol doesn’t accept the challenge more. I’ve watched Gasol for 2.5 years straight now and he’s an over-passer. It’s his one offensive flaw. And someone with > .2 WS48 in the playoffs is not complimentary…come on. And Jordan wasn’t complimentary to Rodman, either. If you take Jordan off that team, their offense would fall apart (There was no Horace, anymore like in ’94). Take Rodman off, and while they probably don’t win it all, they still have a fighting chance. Rodman is criminally underrated by the fans ad media, but you’ve managed to go to the other extreme. Rodman was not the centerpiece. It doesn’t matter what WP48 means. Rodman could not handle a 30% usage rate if something happened to Jordan, but most of Rodman’s rebounds could be recouped and defensively they still had the best perimeter players around.

        D. I was in Kobe’s corner during the bad times, too. Shaq was sent off because he was lazy and out of shape and Buss didn’t like him. Buss loves Kobe which is why he never let him leave. Also, Kobe did not play the FU game in the playoffs. That game you are talking about came well over a year before the trade demand. The next season they all just couldn’t compete because of injuries to lamar and luke and the team still stunk, but the FU game (which i disagree) was the year prior. Kobe will never put on another NBA uniform (he might play for his italian team, though).

        E. I understand. But the depth will off-set that. Farmar and fisher were the worst PG combo in the league. Blake changes that a lot. And there was no one behind Artest. In fact, Kobe was often the backup SF which won’t happen. I think you’re right about Phil and the throttle, but I think the bar is a lot higher this season so releasing the throttle will still net 58 wins. Plus I see the West as weaker in competition.

        • 9/29/2010
          Reply

          A,B. I agree with most of this. The point on Barnes is that he’s an actual offensive threat with the slashing and having him and blake out there creates huge mismatches on offense across that more than compensate for the loss of defense (even against Durant and I think Blake, Kobe, Barnes is a better look against the Westbrook speedy guard types).
          C. We’ll have to disagree. He’s a .200 WP48 player (star) not a .300 WP48 player (superstar). I looked at every championship team since the merger you need at least one superstar or two stars. Kobe in the star category.
          D. If I’d said the same about Michael Jordan in 1996 you’d have called me crazy. We’ll see.
          E.I think your 2011 Season will look like the Celts 2010 season.

  21. some dude
    9/29/2010
    Reply

    A,B – I understand. I just really think you’re selling Ron short on his D. Anyone other than Fish against Westbrook is better, so that mention doesn’t bother me! But again I ask, what was Durant and Pierce’s WP48 numbers vs Artest in the playoffs compared to their norm?

    In fact, what was Barnes and Ron’s WP48 for just their series vs Boston and what was Pierce WP48 versus each in those series.

    C. And Wp48 also doesn’t distribute defense equally. Whatever. You adhere to the belief that rebounding determines “superstar” status, and I’ll just stay with everyone else in reality.

    D. Apples and Oranges. They broke up because of the relationship Krause had with Phil and the fact that Pippen wanted to finally, and deservedly, get paid. It was also a strike year and the new CBA got fleshed out. And Jordan supposedly wanted to retire, anyway. Not the same at all.

    E. But the Lakers 2010 season looked similar to the Boston 2010 season. Strong start, labored down the stretch. This team could win 65 if it wanted to do so, but I don’t think they go for that. They’ll win more than last year, barring major injury.

  22. some dude
    9/29/2010
    Reply

    A,B – I understand. I just really think you’re selling Ron short on his D. Anyone other than Fish against Westbrook is better, so that mention doesn’t bother me! But again I ask, what was Durant and Pierce’s WP48 numbers vs Artest in the playoffs compared to their norm?

    In fact, what was Barnes and Ron’s WP48 for just their series vs Boston and what was Pierce WP48 versus each in those series.

    C. And Wp48 also doesn’t distribute defense equally. Whatever. You adhere to the belief that rebounding determines “superstar” status, and I’ll just stay with everyone else in reality.

    D. Apples and Oranges. They broke up because of the relationship Krause had with Phil and the fact that Pippen wanted to finally, and deservedly, get paid. It was also a strike year and the new CBA got fleshed out. And Jordan supposedly wanted to retire, anyway. Not the same at all.

    E. But the Lakers 2010 season looked similar to the Boston 2010 season. Strong start, labored down the stretch. This team could win 65 if it wanted to do so, but I don’t think they go for that. They’ll win more than last year, barring major injury.

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