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KnicksorBust
07-28-2011, 10:30 PM
Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the NBA Mock Off-season Playoff voting. Every summer, between 50-65 PSD users participate in a game where each GM takes on the challenge of running the off-season for an NBA team. Those GM's are free to make trades, signings, pick up team option on players, conduct the draft etc as ways to help better improve their team. What we have here is the results of those GM's hard-work as we have now reached the playoffs.

Keep in mind when voting that teams have changed dramatically through the mock and many teams are operating with completely new starting line ups. So please take the time to look at the teams closely (depth chart and write up) before voting. Try to avoid being a homer and vote simply on who is the better team in the match up.

#1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. #2) Oklahoma City Thunder

Lakers have homecourt advantage!



Lakers Depth Chart:
PG: Ty Lawson / Jordan Farmar / Bill Walker
SG: Kobe Bryant / Quentin Richardson / Magnum Rolle
SF: Tayshaun Prince /Nicolas Batum / Adam Morrison
PF: Zach Randolph / Kenyon Martin / Juwan Howard
C: Andrew Bynum / Nenad Krstic / Chris Wilcox

Thunder Depth Chart:
C-Al Horford/Spencer Hawes/Dan Gadzuric
F-Udonis Haslem/Carl Landry/Ersan Ilyasova
F-Kevin Durant/Linas Kleiza
G-Manu Ginobili/Vince Carter
G-Devin Harris/Shannon Brown/A.J. Price

Thunder Writeup:


2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 1 Los Angeles Lakers

Congratulations to chaca and KobeTJ for advancing to the Western Conference Finals. We wish them the best of luck the rest of the way.

Like our previous series with the Golden State Warriors, this match-up features two teams with very strong offenses.

From a production standpoint, Devin Harris and Ty Lawson will both excel in this series. Both players are dynamic in transition and surrounded by shooters to space the floor for their penetration in halfcourt sets.

On the perimeter, Manu is once again matched up with one of the best scorers in the league in Kobe Bryant. We will lean on his defense once again to try to limit Kobe, whose postseason numbers (A:T ratio, shooting percentages, PPG) have seen a steady decline in the last three years. Despite that regression, Kobe remains one of the best players in the league and will likely outplay Manu over the course of a 7 game series. But Kobe’s defense (allows 0.89 points per possession which ranks a healthy 216th in the league, both worse than the “horrible” defense of Kevin Durant) will make it more than just an intriguing match-up against Manu.

Our offense in this series would be run primarily through Kevin Durant, for whom the Lakers have no answer. Tayshaun Prince is still among the league’s most versatile defenders, but at this stage of his career, he’s no match for the offensive prowess of Durant. Durant averaged 27 points and 9 rebounds in two meetings with Prince last season, and posted even stronger numbers against better perimeter defenders in the 2011 playoffs.

In the frontcourt, the Lakers lean on Andrew Bynum to anchor the post at both ends of the floor. When Bynum is healthy, very few players can do that as well as he does. Unfortunately, the young big man is rarely at playing health and he is literally almost never at 100 percent. In fact, Bynum has either missed or played sparingly due to injury in 67 of the Lakers last 77 playoff games (2008-2011).

In the very unlikely chance that Bynum is healthy enough to log his usual 26-30 minutes per game in this series, the Lakers will still have to count on Nenad Krstic, Kenyon Martin, or Zach Randolph to man the center position for long stretches of the game. Against the versatile Al Horford for 34-38 minutes a night (or longer this deep in the postseason), the Lakers frontcourt is at a disadvantage.

Al Horford was among the most proficient scorers as a screener on pick and rolls in the league last year (among the best actually), converting on 55% of his attempts and producing 1.1 points per possession. Randolph and Bynum (if he’s healthy) were very mediocre when it came to defending PnR screeners, with Randolph allowing them to convert on 46% of their attempts to Bynum’s 47%. They both allowed over 0.9 points per possession on PnRs as well.

Since Horford, Haslem, and Landry all have steady 14-18 foot range, and can all roll to the rim, Bynum (if he’s healthy) and Randolph’s mediocrity defending PnR screeners will result in a long series for LA.

It’s also worth nothing that one of the greatest strengths of the real-life Lakers is Pau Gasol’s ability to get up and down the floor. Though Randolph is a gritter inside player, he’s not a threat in transition like Gasol. And since Andrew Bynum (if he’s healthy) isn’t either, the Lakers will have to sacrifice offense by subbing in Kenyon Martin and/or Nenad Krstic to keep up with our faster paced offense.

Defensively, Zach Randolph is undoubtedly a difficult assignment. Since the Lakers will have Nenad Krstic or Kenyon Martin on the floor at center for 18-22 minutes a night, we can lean on Al Horford’s man-to-man defense more than usual in this series. Unlike most big men in the league today, Horford can play defense at a high level while staying out of foul trouble as evidenced by his average of less than 3 fouls per game in 35 minutes in each of the last three seasons.

Over 30% of Horford’s time on defense last season was spent defending post-up plays. He surrendured just 0.78 points per possession while forcing his man to shoot 38% from the field from post-up plays. Coincidentally, 40% of Randolph’s offensive production last year came from post-ups. In two meetings against Randolph last season, Horford averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds on 47% shooting to Randolph’s 10 points and 10 rebounds on 32% shooting. To summarize, our answer for Zach Randolph is far more reliable than the Lakers answer for Kevin Durant.

This series would surely go to 6 or 7 games, but our depth and defense in the frontcourt, superior ability to dictate tempo, and stronger dose of firepower from the perimeter gives the Thunder the edge. Oklahoma City in 6 or 7 games.




Lakers Writeup

Lakers Write Up:

I want to thank everyone who voted for us in the last round and congratulate the Thunder for making it to the Conference Finals. For this matchup, we see a significant advantage in our corner and that is on the frontcourt. The Thunder have Udonis Haslem and Al Horford as their starters, and while they are decent defenders, they cannot contain two bulky bangers in Andrew Bynum and Zach Randolph.

In their 3 head-to-head matchups, Bynum has the advantage over Al Horford. Bynum averages 14 PPG, 11.3 RPB and 2.7 BPG on 63% FG compared to Al Horford who averages 12 PPG, 8 RPG and only 0.3 BPG on 51.5% FG. Andrew Bynum has the length to contain Al Horford on the defensive end and the strength to overpower him on the post. As a 3rd option, Bynum will make the most out of his opportunities especially when Randolph is replaced by Kenyon Martin.

In 15 head-to-head matchups, Zach Randolph has been able to post 19 PPG and 9.1 RBP on 49.4% FG. Haslem is a good defender but does not have the strength to stop Randolph on the post. The Thunder will also have Carl Landry on Randolph and Z-Bo has been able to make the most out of this matchup in the past, posting 22.7 PPG and 10.8 RPG on 51.7% FG in 10 games.

Seeing how the Thunder's main 3 frontcourt players are all 6'10 or lower, I will be playing Kenyon Martin at PF and C. Martin has the quickness and strength to matchup defensively with Al Horford and Carl Landry. I will have 2 of Bynum, Z-Bo and Martin on the court at all times similarly how the real-life Lakers rotate Bynum, Gasol and Odom.

We know the Thunder have the advantage at the SF position, but the Lakers have the fortune of having two long defenders in Tayshaun Prince and Nicolas Batum, who can make it difficult for Durant to get good looks.

At the guard position, the Lakers have Kobe Bryant and Ty Lawson, whereas the Thunder have Manu Ginobili and Devin Harris. We feel the PG battle is very evenly matched while we have the advantage at the SG position. I know the Thunder have Vince Carter as their backup SG but I'm not certain he is fitted for that role. He has always been a starter in the NBA and he won't be getting starter minutes with Ginobili and Durant at the 2 and the 3. Regardless, Carter has regressed significantly since his New Jersey Nets days and he will be paired up a lot with Nicolas Batum who will switch to SG when Kobe gets a rest. In 4 head-to-head matchups, Carter has averaged 13.8 PPG on 34.5% FG against Nicolas Batum.

In addition, the Lakers have better defenders than the Thunder do. Looking at the Thunder starting lineup, their best defender is Udonis Haslem while their bench plays little to no defense. Carl Landry, Vince Carter and Shannon Brown are all known for their offense. The Thunder have too many mouths to feed on the offensive end with Durant, Ginobili, Harris, Horford, Carter, Landry, Carter and Brown. It is basically a logjam at the wings and there isn't enough ball to go around for the rest of the players like Horford and Landry.

The Lakers have two great offensive weapons in Zach Randolph and Kobe Bryant, who are accompanied by Ty Lawson, Andrew Bynum, Nicolas Batum and Jordan Farmar. I've heard a lot that there isn't enough ball to go around in my team and if that's true the Thunder are in a worse position. To top it off, the Lakers have great defenders off the bench in Kenyon Martin and Nicolas Batum who can spare some of our starters like Prince and Bynum, and they won't be interfering with the offense because they do not need the ball to be effective. As mentioned earlier, Kenyon Martin will see time at PF and C, thus allowing Zach Randolph and Andrew Bynum to have their featured moments on offense.

To sum it up, the Thunder have too much offense and not enough defense, and in the playoffs against a team featuring two great offensive players and quality defenders at practically every position, that will be the difference.

Thank you for taking your time in reading this writeup.

KnicksorBust
07-28-2011, 10:31 PM
Rosters are close a ****. Writeup won this for me. Thunder in 7.

CHANGO
07-28-2011, 10:46 PM
Lakers in 7. Thunder write-up is STRONG and convincing. But I'll stay with my opinion. They have great defenders to stop Thunder's scoring options Prince, Batum, Quentin, Kobe...

Catfish1314
07-28-2011, 10:48 PM
Thanks for reading guys.

Sadds The Gr8
07-28-2011, 10:48 PM
I think OKC's lack of size hurts them here. Lakers are just way too big and I can see them destroying OKC on the boards and dominating the paint. Lakers in 6.

Ebbs
07-28-2011, 10:59 PM
This was tough for me. I initially was leaning towards the Thunder I believe they sold there case a bit better. But I like the Lakers size, and strength. I also think Kobe is going to hurt Manu. He has a solid edge in their matchup. http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/h2h_finder.cgi?request=1&p1=bryanko01&p2=ginobma01

Than while I think Durant does work Prince and Batum is a solid defensive tandem. Randolph has the clear advantage over Haslem/Landry and Bynum when healthy is better than Horford at both ends.

GOod job to both teams best of luck to whoever advances.

Rivera
07-28-2011, 11:02 PM
I think OKC's lack of size hurts them here. Lakers are just way too big and I can see them destroying OKC on the boards and dominating the paint. Lakers in 6.

this

Catfish1314
07-28-2011, 11:02 PM
Randolph has the clear advantage over Haslem/Landry and Bynum when healthy is better than Horford at both ends

That's the problem. He's never healthy. The chances he'd be near 100 percent in this series are extremely slim. We can't just assume he's healthy, especially considering his track record in the Lakers last four postseason runs.

Even when he is healthy, he only plays 25-30 minutes because he can't stay out of foul trouble.

Thanks for reading the write-ups though.

Avenged
07-28-2011, 11:14 PM
I think this is way too close..

I like the Lakers depth at the PF and C, but I like the Thunders depth at the guards spot.

mightybosstone
07-28-2011, 11:15 PM
I just love this Thunder team. Yeah, the Lakers are a little longer, but Bynum is wildly inconsistent and I think Horford is just as much a matchup problem for Bynum. And while Haslem may not be big for a 4, neither is Randolph, so I think he could give him problems. Kobe's clutchness has to be accounted for, but the Thunder counter with Manu and Durant.

Both teams are incredibly deep, and I'll take the Thunder offensively and the Lakers defensively. But depth is never as important in the postseason. Frankly, position for position, the Thunder are the better team, and I don't know that I'd want to rely upon Bynum and Lawson (who has yet to start an entire season) in a playoff series against superior offensive players.

With several reliable offensive teammates, Durant will no longer feel the need to carry the offensive load at all times, whereas I think Kobe will have the scoring load on his shoulders the entire series and I'm not sure he's that player anymore. Thunder in 6.

Avenged
07-28-2011, 11:23 PM
^ Zach Randolph is more than capable of carrying the load offensively as he proved this past post season.

And how is Bynum inconsistent? He's one of the Lakers most consistent players aside from Pau Gasol.

mightybosstone
07-28-2011, 11:31 PM
^ Zach Randolph is more than capable of carrying the load offensively as he proved this past post season.
I agree that Randolph is an incredibly solid No. 2 option, but look at the Thunder's starting 5 and they have four legit No. 2 and No. 3 options offensively. I don't think the Lakers would be able to keep up offensively. If Kobe's cold and the defense is keying on Randolph, who's scoring?


And how is Bynum inconsistent? He's one of the Lakers most consistent players aside from Pau Gasol.How about his constant injury problems, high foul rate and short temper (that's right... no one has forgotten the Barea incident)?

Chacarron
07-28-2011, 11:32 PM
People like offense too much nowadays. Yes, the Thunder have more scoring options but the Lakers have defense to counter it. I see less defensive options on the Thunder side to match with the Lakers offensive players. Also, the triangle creates opportunity for all players on the floor and I see better offensive options in this team than with the real-life Lakers. Ty Lawson, Tayshaun Prince, Nicolas Batum and Jordan Farmar are all upgrades over the players the Lakers have in real life and the real-life Lakers are among the top offensive teams in the league.

Catfish1314
07-28-2011, 11:33 PM
People like offense too much nowadays. Yes, the Thunder have more scoring options but the Lakers have defense to counter it. I see less defensive options on the Thunder side to match with the Lakers offensive players. Also, the triangle creates opportunity for all players on the floor and I see better offensive options in this team than with the real-life Lakers. Ty Lawson, Tayshaun Prince, Nicolas Batum and Jordan Farmar are all upgrades over the players the Lakers have in real life and the real-life Lakers are among the top offensive teams in the league.

Your team has maybe one more good defender than mine does.

Chacarron
07-28-2011, 11:36 PM
Your team has maybe one more good defender than mine does.

My team still has the better defenders. Durant and Harris are not good defenders. Ginobili has always had a rough time against Kobe Bryant. Your bench shows little defense as well.

Catfish1314
07-28-2011, 11:42 PM
My team still has the better defenders. Durant and Harris are not good defenders. Ginobili has always had a rough time against Kobe Bryant. Your bench shows little defense as well.

Statistically, Durant was actually a better defender than Kobe last year. The numbers are difficult to dissect when you consider Durant had Serge Ibaka prowling the paint, but Kobe had/has Bynum for the same purpose.

And if Devin Harris isn't a good defender, then what is Ty Lawson?

Chacarron
07-28-2011, 11:46 PM
Statistically, Durant was actually a better defender than Kobe last year. The numbers are difficult to dissect when you consider Durant had Serge Ibaka prowling the paint, but Kobe had/has Bynum for the same purpose.

And if Devin Harris isn't a good defender, then what is Ty Lawson?

I never said Ty Lawson excelled at defense, so the PG matchup is a wash in my eyes.

Super.
07-28-2011, 11:49 PM
Thunder all day

Catfish1314
07-28-2011, 11:50 PM
I never said Ty Lawson excelled at defense, so the PG matchup is a wash in my eyes.

In mine as well. I even said that in my write-up.

jimbobjarree
07-28-2011, 11:55 PM
oh wise catatafish (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sbD6czlVNU#t=1m39s) and his riddles

mightybosstone
07-29-2011, 12:23 AM
I never said Ty Lawson excelled at defense, so the PG matchup is a wash in my eyes.

Your eyed have must really terrible vision, because Harris is clearly the superior player...

tredigs
07-29-2011, 12:41 AM
I like this Thunder team a lot. Strong post big Horford, two high end defensive bigs (in Horford/Haslem, Hawes gets respect) to slow/battle Randolph+Bynum. Ginobili is a fantastic counter to Kobe, Durant will have a field day on the older Prince, and rise over the strong perimeter D of Batum - Harris as a dynamic playmaker/scorer against the more complacent but rock solid Lawson. Interesting matchup.

In short, a core of Ginobili + Durant offensively is just damn beautiful, and having a 2way guy / block option like Horford to bruise in the paint with Haslem defensively? That's nice.

Lakers have a vicious squad too, but in 100 matches I think the Thunder win ~60 -

MacFitz92
07-29-2011, 02:13 AM
Really close..

ABOMB_56
07-29-2011, 02:19 AM
This was tough for me. I initially was leaning towards the Thunder I believe they sold there case a bit better. But I like the Lakers size, and strength. I also think Kobe is going to hurt Manu. He has a solid edge in their matchup. http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/h2h_finder.cgi?request=1&p1=bryanko01&p2=ginobma01

Than while I think Durant does work Prince and Batum is a solid defensive tandem. Randolph has the clear advantage over Haslem/Landry and Bynum when healthy is better than Horford at both ends.

GOod job to both teams best of luck to whoever advances.

Bynum is not better than Horford. I would take Horford over him. And I think that the wing combo of Durant/Manu will carry the Thunder offense, and I think Haslem/Landry will provide great energy to slow down Randolph. Also, like I mentioned before, the Lakers have too many players who use the ball too much. It was pointed out in a previous write-up that the USG% of the Lakers adds up to over 115%. The Thunders write-up didn't hurt their cause.
Thunder in 6/7

Chacarron
07-29-2011, 01:41 PM
Bynum is not better than Horford. I would take Horford over him. And I think that the wing combo of Durant/Manu will carry the Thunder offense, and I think Haslem/Landry will provide great energy to slow down Randolph. Also, like I mentioned before, the Lakers have too many players who use the ball too much. It was pointed out in a previous write-up that the USG% of the Lakers adds up to over 115%. The Thunders write-up didn't hurt their cause.
Thunder in 6/7

The Thunder's USG% is actually higher for their starters. Their USG% adds up to 116.3 so if you think there isn't enough ball to go around with the Lakers, then the Thunder are in a worse position.

Manu - 26.0%
Durant - 30.6%
Harris - 25.2%
Horford - 19.7%
Haslem - 14.8%

lakersrock
07-29-2011, 02:38 PM
The Lakers are much better in the post, they're much deeper, they have two great defenders to stop Durant and Kobe would murder Manu.

I love that Thunder team, but this would be over in 5.

Baller1
07-29-2011, 04:45 PM
Rosters are close a ****. Writeup won this for me. Thunder in 7.

Basically my exact thoughts.

Chill_Will_24
07-29-2011, 06:27 PM
Devin Harris is an outstanding defender.

Chacarron
07-29-2011, 10:17 PM
Let's get some final votes in.

Chacarron
07-29-2011, 10:27 PM
3 minutes left people.

Chacarron
07-29-2011, 10:30 PM
1 minute left :sigh:.

Chacarron
07-29-2011, 10:32 PM
Simply not enough time to comeback. Only 1 day for voting :sigh:.

Congrats Catfish.

Catfish1314
07-29-2011, 10:34 PM
You guys did a great job. The 100 posts rule is a little unusual to be honest.

Chacarron
07-29-2011, 10:35 PM
How come there is only 1 day for voting? When you were commish, wasn't there more time for votes?

Catfish1314
07-29-2011, 10:36 PM
How come there is only 1 day for voting? When you were commish, wasn't there more time for votes?

I usually did one day for everything but the Finals. I might have given the conference finals two days but I don't remember for sure.

Chacarron
07-29-2011, 10:37 PM
I lost by 2 votes, incredibly close.

Joshtd1
07-30-2011, 01:21 AM
Wow close matchup. Tough loss chac, congrats catty

ABOMB_56
07-30-2011, 03:36 AM
I thought the Thunder won with their big lead, and then the Lakers stormed back. Great teams put together by both GMs

Raps08-09 Champ
07-30-2011, 03:53 AM
Horford>Bynum
Haslem<Randolph
Durant>Prince
Manu<Kobe
Harris>Lawson

The advantages the Thunder hold are far greater than the advantages the Lakers have.

I have Bynum & in love with Horford so this was a no brainer.

Catfish1314
07-30-2011, 04:22 AM
Wow close matchup. Tough loss chac, congrats catty

Thank you Josh. Let's see if you can put together two orgasmic write-ups (accentuated by crafty spacing tactics) in a row :)

Joshtd1
07-30-2011, 05:16 AM
Thank you Josh. Let's see if you can put together two orgasmic write-ups (accentuated by crafty spacing tactics) in a row :)

I'm not sure I have enough magic left in me. Not sure if you remember though I told you it would give me no greater pleasure then to beat you in the finals for stealing Landry from us...how fitting it would be if it comes true.