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View Full Version : A look back on the finals, and a look to the future



IDB Josh M
07-21-2008, 05:00 PM
Now that we have all had a chance to let the disappointment and anger of losing the NBA finals to the Celtics, I think it is about time we could take a step back and look at the numbers and the finals without feeling ill. Of course, even if I just look at the numbers, I still feel very ill to this day.

A few I want to make first. 1) I think that most of us on these boards are in fact, die hard laker fans, and we would love to have a title, and it doesn't matter which players we have (be it Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, or even Kwame Brown), so as long as we have a title. After what that SOB Ray Allen said on the ESPY's. 2) I am personally biased in favor of keeping Lamar Odom, so what I say might very well be skewed in his favor. I am however trying to be as objective as I possibly can. and 3) I'm trying to look on to the competitive West and facing the presumptive 2009 Eastern Champions Boston Celtics.

Looking at the numbers, and the highlights (and the full games I could watching without getting TOO ill), I've come to the conclusion that all we really need is Andrew Bynum back on the center, and Pau shifting to PF and Lamar on SF. Lets look at the starting lineup and the backups.

Point Guard: (Derek Fisher / Jordan Farmar)

D-Fish is no Nash, J-kidd, CP3 or even Derron Williams. That being said, D-fish is no Smush Parker either. But do we really need an outstanding point guard of that top calibur for the triangle to work? As we've seen with D-fish, he did a pretty decent job against the big named point guards, and J-Farm is actually pretty awesome as a backup. While these two are prone to having an off night (as all players are) they are tenacious. Jordan is progressively getting better as he's getting older, and who is to say that he wont continue getting better, especially under Fisher's wing. The only PG that could really give Jordan problems is Derron Williams, and that's because compared to Farmar, Derron is a power forward who can play point. I think, we're fine here.

Shooting guard: (Kobe Bryant / Sasha Vujajic(presumptive))

Kobe Bryant ... do I really need an analysis here? If Kobe had his way, he would be putting up Allen Iverson minutes. Sasha as his backup is necessary to have that extra sharp shooter on the floor. Sasha really needs to learn how to drive and make layups if he wants to command a better salary. There were many times when Sasha drove to the basket, and looked to have an open shot or a lay up ... only to dish out! How many times have we yelled at the tv because he didn't go for a layup?! Damn euro players and their flopping.

Small forward: (Lamar Odom / Trevor Ariza / Luke Walkton / Vlad Rad)

There is no mistaking that this position will draw the post discussion, as laker fans everywhere are split between keeping Odom or trading him for Ron Artest (or an equivalent). If Lamar Odom's name was Robert Horry, Karl Malone, or even Pau Gasol, there would not even be a discussion, putting lamar on SF is too much of a risk to even venture such a gamble. But, lamar odom is so versatile, the lakers are even considering putting him on Point! Other than the fact that he doesn't play to his salary command or to his status as "traded for Shaq", Lamar is a pretty good player. Case in point, both KG AND the traitor Paul Pierce's Field goal numbers were the lowest in the playoffs when they played the lakers at .429 and .432 respectively.

Watch the finals again (if you can stomach it) and notice, when lamar guarded pierce on the switch, he ALWAYS backed off to prepare to help on KG. And Lamar did a decent job guarding KG at power forward. The problem from the finals, of course, was that the Celtics AS A WHOLE clamped down on everyone, thats including Kobe AND Pau. We did NOT lose the finals because of a weakness in one particular position (in lamar's case the PF). If there was weakness on SF, it wasn't because of Lamar, it was because Rad-man and Luke sucked and Lamar had to pick up their slack!

Of course, Lamar's problem during the finals was that he kept getting called for the foul. Usually, lamar plays good defense without fouling, usually. But of course, we could always chalk up Lamar's atrociously high foul numbers on the referees. With what is going on right now dougheny, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that. But even if the refs were calling it down the line, keep in mind Lamar was guarding KG, in addition to having to play help when Radman couldn't stay in front of Pierce.

Lamar may not have power, or quick feet, but he does have ... freakishly long arms! I dont care how good you are of a teacher, you can't teach long arms. One thing, that nobody has pointed out is that long arms = great asset for a small forward, just ask Tayshaun prince or K-Durant. All lamar needs is to improve his foot speed, toughness and shooting. But lamar is a semi-decent shooter, and we still have Kobe and D-fish to shoot threes if needed to spread the floor.

Now looking at Lamar's backup whenever he is benched or taking over Pau's position, and that's trevor Ariza (and even luke and radman). If it wasn't for the fact Ariza broke his damn foot, he would have played very well, in addition to the experienced he played during the end of the season and playoffs he's missed. Trevor has shown that he can hit a trey, and surprisingly consistently if he lets the play come to him instead of forcing it. Maybe luke and rad-man will be better off the bench instead of starting.

One more thing Lamar Odom brings that any traded player needs to learn, team chemistry. Ron Artest will likely disrupt that team chemistry, and fits with Kobe are very likely. But, Phil might be able to juggle artest, but that old man has a busted hip so he might not have the patience to try and calm another dennis rodman. And of course, the prospects of the tallest front court in lamar-pau-bynum is just too good to pass up! If it fails ... don't resign lamar and you know what we get? About 8 million in CAP SPACE! 2009 and 2010 is coming; the free agent market is slim pickens this year, next year and the year after that especially, who is to say the lakers can't sign a sleeper free agent?

Power Forward: (Pau Gasol / Lamar Odom / Vlad Rad)

Pau Gasol is getting off easy, whereas Lamar is the designated scapegoat. Pau was beyond disappointing in the finals! It was very unfortunate that his Bball-IQ and passing couldn't carve up the inside like what he did with denver. VERY unfortunate. But that being said, he was playing center, against Kendrick Perkins with KG helping. Pau against KG one on one ... I have no doubts our Spaniard can take on the former MVP, he played against KG when he was on the T-wolves, in fact they were division rivals. the Power is Pau's natural position, so he is likely to do extremely well next year on the 4. If worse comes to worse, shifting pau to center and lamar back to power won't be such a bad idea. They already proved once that they can make it to the finals with that front court.

Center: (Andrew bynum / Pau Gasol / Chris Mihm / DJ Mbenga (maybe))

Please God, Jesus, allah, buddha, superman ... that knee must be healed! Bynum has done nothing but get better and better ... then THAT KNEE was dislocated, ironically against Pau Gasol's Grizzlies. Even though we don't agree on how much Drew should be paid, we are all in agreement, that knee must be healed and he must be healthy. God forbid, if Bynum's knee is more damaged, all bets are off ... and a trade for a better SF for Lamar is all but pointless.

Chris Mihm was decent when he did start in 2005. It was that damn ankle going out on him. If it wasn't for the doctor who operated on Mihm committing malpractice, we might have practiced mihm as pau's backup with DJ as the third string.

I think we're fine with the projected starting lineup. The allure of a big front court is just too good to pass up, especially with the Eastern counterparts, Oneal-Bosh-Calderon, is yet to be tested as well.

LAKERS 24/7
07-21-2008, 10:02 PM
Wow. That must have taken a while. Excellent post, and I agree, we should try the triple towers, and see if the positives outway the negatives. Also, lamar can play some minutes and the 3 and some minutes at thr 4 also when pau is on the bench. When Bynum goes to the bench, pau could slide up to the 5 and lamar could play the 4. I beleive in Phil Jackson making it work somehow.

dannyboy19
07-21-2008, 10:32 PM
I Know Is Too Early To Say It But Its Gonna Happen The Lakers Are Going To Be The 2009 Nba World Champions,just By Being A Basketball Fan For A Long Time,frommy Point Of View With All This Men In A Line Up I Know What Can Happen Its When You Put All Thise Great Players In One Team U'll See Greatness...i Know Alot To Judge And Believe Me If Bynum Is Really 100% Healthy Along With Ariza Lakers Will Be 09 Champos Mock My Words***

RollinDeep
07-22-2008, 01:52 AM
Great post, and the more I've thought about it, the more I want to see how Lamar does at least for the first half of the season as part of our Tri-Tower alignment. Lamar is great insurance in case somethings not right with Bynum/Mihm. I think his versatility is too valuable at this moment until we're sure of what we will get from our two centers who missed most of last season

$D$ L.A/OAK
07-22-2008, 02:12 AM
Great post, and the more I've thought about it, the more I want to see how Lamar does at least for the first half of the season as part of our Tri-Tower alignment. Lamar is great insurance in case somethings not right with Bynum/Mihm. I think his versatility is too valuable at this moment until we're sure of what we will get from our two centers who missed most of last season
yea and with him being the 3rd or fourth option his game should be much better now that bynum is comin back.

IDB Josh M
07-22-2008, 02:27 AM
Thanks, the hardest part about writing was having to explore my DVR and re-watch the Finals. So many missed opportunities. But I also noticed that the lakers just beat themselves as much as the celtics beat them. I guess the guys were just riding too high on that silver ball.

By the way, I researched the projected salaries for next year, I might have exaggerated the cap space from lamar's possibly departure. The number is closer to 3-4 million in cap space, and if we resign bynum, losing lamar means not getting any cap space.

gr824
07-22-2008, 03:11 AM
Thanks, the hardest part about writing was having to explore my DVR and re-watch the Finals. So many missed opportunities. But I also noticed that the lakers just beat themselves as much as the celtics beat them. I guess the guys were just riding too high on that silver ball.

By the way, I researched the projected salaries for next year, I might have exaggerated the cap space from lamar's possibly departure. The number is closer to 3-4 million in cap space, and if we resign bynum, losing lamar means not getting any cap space.

The Lakers will not have any Cap space in 2009-2010 unless they do drastic things to their current roster. The seven Lakers who are under contract for that season have combined salaries exceeding $57.78 million as the numbers stand now -- if Bynum and Farmar get extensions, then that figure will rise from there. The team will also need to fill at least six more roster spots between now and then [ by either resigning existing players this summer and next or switching to new bodies, or a combination of both ], so the aggregate team salary will certainly balloon far beyond the $60-$62 million number likely for the Cap come Summer, 2009 ...

Lakersfan2483
07-22-2008, 03:16 AM
Now that we have all had a chance to let the disappointment and anger of losing the NBA finals to the Celtics, I think it is about time we could take a step back and look at the numbers and the finals without feeling ill. Of course, even if I just look at the numbers, I still feel very ill to this day.

A few I want to make first. 1) I think that most of us on these boards are in fact, die hard laker fans, and we would love to have a title, and it doesn't matter which players we have (be it Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, or even Kwame Brown), so as long as we have a title. After what that SOB Ray Allen said on the ESPY's. 2) I am personally biased in favor of keeping Lamar Odom, so what I say might very well be skewed in his favor. I am however trying to be as objective as I possibly can. and 3) I'm trying to look on to the competitive West and facing the presumptive 2009 Eastern Champions Boston Celtics.

Looking at the numbers, and the highlights (and the full games I could watching without getting TOO ill), I've come to the conclusion that all we really need is Andrew Bynum back on the center, and Pau shifting to PF and Lamar on SF. Lets look at the starting lineup and the backups.

Point Guard: (Derek Fisher / Jordan Farmar)

D-Fish is no Nash, J-kidd, CP3 or even Derron Williams. That being said, D-fish is no Smush Parker either. But do we really need an outstanding point guard of that top calibur for the triangle to work? As we've seen with D-fish, he did a pretty decent job against the big named point guards, and J-Farm is actually pretty awesome as a backup. While these two are prone to having an off night (as all players are) they are tenacious. Jordan is progressively getting better as he's getting older, and who is to say that he wont continue getting better, especially under Fisher's wing. The only PG that could really give Jordan problems is Derron Williams, and that's because compared to Farmar, Derron is a power forward who can play point. I think, we're fine here.

Shooting guard: (Kobe Bryant / Sasha Vujajic(presumptive))

Kobe Bryant ... do I really need an analysis here? If Kobe had his way, he would be putting up Allen Iverson minutes. Sasha as his backup is necessary to have that extra sharp shooter on the floor. Sasha really needs to learn how to drive and make layups if he wants to command a better salary. There were many times when Sasha drove to the basket, and looked to have an open shot or a lay up ... only to dish out! How many times have we yelled at the tv because he didn't go for a layup?! Damn euro players and their flopping.

Small forward: (Lamar Odom / Trevor Ariza / Luke Walkton / Vlad Rad)

There is no mistaking that this position will draw the post discussion, as laker fans everywhere are split between keeping Odom or trading him for Ron Artest (or an equivalent). If Lamar Odom's name was Robert Horry, Karl Malone, or even Pau Gasol, there would not even be a discussion, putting lamar on SF is too much of a risk to even venture such a gamble. But, lamar odom is so versatile, the lakers are even considering putting him on Point! Other than the fact that he doesn't play to his salary command or to his status as "traded for Shaq", Lamar is a pretty good player. Case in point, both KG AND the traitor Paul Pierce's Field goal numbers were the lowest in the playoffs when they played the lakers at .429 and .432 respectively.

Watch the finals again (if you can stomach it) and notice, when lamar guarded pierce on the switch, he ALWAYS backed off to prepare to help on KG. And Lamar did a decent job guarding KG at power forward. The problem from the finals, of course, was that the Celtics AS A WHOLE clamped down on everyone, thats including Kobe AND Pau. We did NOT lose the finals because of a weakness in one particular position (in lamar's case the PF). If there was weakness on SF, it wasn't because of Lamar, it was because Rad-man and Luke sucked and Lamar had to pick up their slack!

Of course, Lamar's problem during the finals was that he kept getting called for the foul. Usually, lamar plays good defense without fouling, usually. But of course, we could always chalk up Lamar's atrociously high foul numbers on the referees. With what is going on right now dougheny, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that. But even if the refs were calling it down the line, keep in mind Lamar was guarding KG, in addition to having to play help when Radman couldn't stay in front of Pierce.

Lamar may not have power, or quick feet, but he does have ... freakishly long arms! I dont care how good you are of a teacher, you can't teach long arms. One thing, that nobody has pointed out is that long arms = great asset for a small forward, just ask Tayshaun prince or K-Durant. All lamar needs is to improve his foot speed, toughness and shooting. But lamar is a semi-decent shooter, and we still have Kobe and D-fish to shoot threes if needed to spread the floor.

Now looking at Lamar's backup whenever he is benched or taking over Pau's position, and that's trevor Ariza (and even luke and radman). If it wasn't for the fact Ariza broke his damn foot, he would have played very well, in addition to the experienced he played during the end of the season and playoffs he's missed. Trevor has shown that he can hit a trey, and surprisingly consistently if he lets the play come to him instead of forcing it. Maybe luke and rad-man will be better off the bench instead of starting.

One more thing Lamar Odom brings that any traded player needs to learn, team chemistry. Ron Artest will likely disrupt that team chemistry, and fits with Kobe are very likely. But, Phil might be able to juggle artest, but that old man has a busted hip so he might not have the patience to try and calm another dennis rodman. And of course, the prospects of the tallest front court in lamar-pau-bynum is just too good to pass up! If it fails ... don't resign lamar and you know what we get? About 8 million in CAP SPACE! 2009 and 2010 is coming; the free agent market is slim pickens this year, next year and the year after that especially, who is to say the lakers can't sign a sleeper free agent?

Power Forward: (Pau Gasol / Lamar Odom / Vlad Rad)

Pau Gasol is getting off easy, whereas Lamar is the designated scapegoat. Pau was beyond disappointing in the finals! It was very unfortunate that his Bball-IQ and passing couldn't carve up the inside like what he did with denver. VERY unfortunate. But that being said, he was playing center, against Kendrick Perkins with KG helping. Pau against KG one on one ... I have no doubts our Spaniard can take on the former MVP, he played against KG when he was on the T-wolves, in fact they were division rivals. the Power is Pau's natural position, so he is likely to do extremely well next year on the 4. If worse comes to worse, shifting pau to center and lamar back to power won't be such a bad idea. They already proved once that they can make it to the finals with that front court.

Center: (Andrew bynum / Pau Gasol / Chris Mihm / DJ Mbenga (maybe))

Please God, Jesus, allah, buddha, superman ... that knee must be healed! Bynum has done nothing but get better and better ... then THAT KNEE was dislocated, ironically against Pau Gasol's Grizzlies. Even though we don't agree on how much Drew should be paid, we are all in agreement, that knee must be healed and he must be healthy. God forbid, if Bynum's knee is more damaged, all bets are off ... and a trade for a better SF for Lamar is all but pointless.

Chris Mihm was decent when he did start in 2005. It was that damn ankle going out on him. If it wasn't for the doctor who operated on Mihm committing malpractice, we might have practiced mihm as pau's backup with DJ as the third string.

I think we're fine with the projected starting lineup. The allure of a big front court is just too good to pass up, especially with the Eastern counterparts, Oneal-Bosh-Calderon, is yet to be tested as well.

Solid post. My issue with Odom is his inconsistent play, some nights he is extremely aggressive and can't be stopped, but he disappears way too often. The problem with him is he is unselfish to a fault where it in turn hurts the team. Odom needs to be aggressive all the time, but that doesn't fit his personality or style, he is not a tenacious, cut-throat player.

My other issues with Odom are the following: He is limited off the dribble, he does not have the effective use of his right hand which is critical for a player with his talent, and he blows way too many layups, he misses at least 3 or 4 critical layups a game. His midrange game is basically non-existent, and needs to improve drastically. All that said, I still think LA will be good next year with everyone healthy, I would like to see us add some defensive veterans to our frontcourt. Also, if we can trade Odom for Marion, I am all for it, but I would not trade Odom for just anybody, we would have to get equal value for him.

Storch
07-22-2008, 03:24 AM
Well done. Great thread. :clap:

Iceman_9
07-22-2008, 12:07 PM
I dont think LO can play the SF defensively. If well have the "triple towers", well be losing a lot of speed. There will be a lot of 3-2 situations for the opposing teams. With a lot of good PGs in the west, I dont like our chances. Try to imagine Paul, Kidd, Nash, or Parker bringing the ball at the middle on a 3-2 break.. Tsk tsk.

lakers4sho
07-22-2008, 01:37 PM
Small forward: (Lamar Odom / Trevor Ariza / Luke Walkton / Vlad Rad)

There is no mistaking that this position will draw the post discussion, as laker fans everywhere are split between keeping Odom or trading him for Ron Artest (or an equivalent). If Lamar Odom's name was Robert Horry, Karl Malone, or even Pau Gasol, there would not even be a discussion, putting lamar on SF is too much of a risk to even venture such a gamble. But, lamar odom is so versatile, the lakers are even considering putting him on Point! Other than the fact that he doesn't play to his salary command or to his status as "traded for Shaq", Lamar is a pretty good player. Case in point, both KG AND the traitor Paul Pierce's Field goal numbers were the lowest in the playoffs when they played the lakers at .429 and .432 respectively.

Watch the finals again (if you can stomach it) and notice, when lamar guarded pierce on the switch, he ALWAYS backed off to prepare to help on KG. And Lamar did a decent job guarding KG at power forward. The problem from the finals, of course, was that the Celtics AS A WHOLE clamped down on everyone, thats including Kobe AND Pau. We did NOT lose the finals because of a weakness in one particular position (in lamar's case the PF). If there was weakness on SF, it wasn't because of Lamar, it was because Rad-man and Luke sucked and Lamar had to pick up their slack!

Of course, Lamar's problem during the finals was that he kept getting called for the foul. Usually, lamar plays good defense without fouling, usually. But of course, we could always chalk up Lamar's atrociously high foul numbers on the referees. With what is going on right now dougheny, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that. But even if the refs were calling it down the line, keep in mind Lamar was guarding KG, in addition to having to play help when Radman couldn't stay in front of Pierce.

Lamar may not have power, or quick feet, but he does have ... freakishly long arms! I dont care how good you are of a teacher, you can't teach long arms. One thing, that nobody has pointed out is that long arms = great asset for a small forward, just ask Tayshaun prince or K-Durant. All lamar needs is to improve his foot speed, toughness and shooting. But lamar is a semi-decent shooter, and we still have Kobe and D-fish to shoot threes if needed to spread the floor.

Now looking at Lamar's backup whenever he is benched or taking over Pau's position, and that's trevor Ariza (and even luke and radman). If it wasn't for the fact Ariza broke his damn foot, he would have played very well, in addition to the experienced he played during the end of the season and playoffs he's missed. Trevor has shown that he can hit a trey, and surprisingly consistently if he lets the play come to him instead of forcing it. Maybe luke and rad-man will be better off the bench instead of starting.

One more thing Lamar Odom brings that any traded player needs to learn, team chemistry. Ron Artest will likely disrupt that team chemistry, and fits with Kobe are very likely. But, Phil might be able to juggle artest, but that old man has a busted hip so he might not have the patience to try and calm another dennis rodman. And of course, the prospects of the tallest front court in lamar-pau-bynum is just too good to pass up! If it fails ... don't resign lamar and you know what we get? About 8 million in CAP SPACE! 2009 and 2010 is coming; the free agent market is slim pickens this year, next year and the year after that especially, who is to say the lakers can't sign a sleeper free agent?


Again, people are forgetting that the Lakers are playing the Triangle offense. Lamar might be an excellent SF somewhere else because of the mistmatches he creates. However, as of now, he CANNOT fulfill the role of the 3 spot in the Lakers as long as they continue to run the TRIANGLE. People have pointed it out before, the criteria and the role of the small forward. Unless he works his *** off during this summer and improves his three point shooting drastically, I doubt that he'll be effective at the 3 spot. If he stays in the Lakers, Odom is much, much more productive at the 4 spot, because of his superb rebounding and inside scoring.

Secondly, Lamar does not have the defensive tenacity that guys such as Artest, Bowen, and Battier provide. He might have "freakishly long arms", but unfortunately, he doesn't use those and his brain to his advantage. He cannot keep his focus and concentration in the entire game, he sometimes get of out sync, and that results to missed layups, turnovers, etc. PJ himself said that he has to yell at Lamar at times to get his focus into the game.

Third, Lamar needs to improve on his free throw shooting. With his 3 point % low, most teams figured out the way to stop Lamar Odom. His game mainly focuses on drives, penetrations, and inside scoring. No midrange J, no outside J whatsoever. So all they've got to do is FOUL him. Since Lamar has difficulty finishing as well, teams wouldn't be hesitant to foul because of the "three point play possibility".

Now, Lamar is a great player. I never said he sucks, or anything of that sort. He brings certain things that most forwards in the NBA don't. He can easily be the 2nd best player on any team. But, if he just manages to improve on those things I mentioned above, he can be the Lakers greatest asset behind Kobe IMO.

Those things I mentioned are not hard to work on. Good FT shooting, finishing hard to the hoop, and 3 point shooting should be accomplished if a player works hard enough. Jordan Farmar himself wasn't a great 3 point shooter until he worked his *** off in the last offseason. Now, he is a regular part of the Lakers rotation. I'm pretty sure Lamar can achieve those things, if he just works hard enough.

That's if, and only if. If he still doesn't improve on those things before the season starts, I definitely wouldn't mind him leaving.

MJL
07-22-2008, 03:03 PM
For LO to play well as a SF with Bynum and Gasol, he needs to shot 500 mid to long range jumpers everyday! His jumper is his weakness. We need the SF position's good outside shot to expending other team's defense while Bynum and Gasol pack the paint area.
I kind of like the toughness and that little craziness of Artest on defense, which Laker lacks. Lakers simply has too many "nice" guys, just being nice guys won't win championship.