Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lakers 92 Nuggets 89

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Nuggets 92-89 behind Andrew Bynum's 29 points and 13 rebounds. That's a great opening line for any reporting of Lakers' ballgames. But, I'm a little concerned with how the Lakers won.

I don't like the idea of Bynum leading the way, because it made the game too close for my comforts. Sure Bynum got the stats along with the minutes, but coach Brown, in keeping Bynum on the floor that long; I noticed that the bench was thrown off.

Looking at the Lakers' bench stats for their first 4 games, it looks like this:

Against Chicago: L.A. bench 29 points 15 rebounds. (Should have been a win)
Against Sacramento: L.A. bench 33 points 18 rebounds. (Loss)
Against Utah: L.A. bench 27 points 18 rebounds. (Win)
Against New York: L.A. bench 40 points 15 rebounds. (Win)

Now, against Denver: L.A. bench 16 points 12 rebounds. (Win)

Yes, Andrew Bynum came up big for the Lakers stat wise, but as you can see, it is at the expense of bench production. How long can this formula work for the Lakers? I'm telling you, without good bench production, this team won't go far in the playoffs. And if coach Brown wants to make a star out of Bynum at the expense of the bench, I have to ask: what are you doing?

Coach Brown gets himself a 3 point win in the last minutes of the game by making Bynum the star of the game? I don't like it. Why you ask?

Because Andrew Bynum has never led the Lakers to anything. Kobe Bryant is the leader of this team and for the Lakers to win, the team has to go through Bryant and not Bynum. If the team starts to rely on Bynum for numbers like he got in today's game, then the Lakers are in trouble.

Bynum is not ready to lead. He's ready to be a strong contributor and that's what the Lakers need right now. The Lakers don't need another leader.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but the Lakers play the Nuggets, again, tomorrow. Let's see what happens tomorrow and talk about it then.

Remember, we're looking for basketball patterns.

mike t.

The Kobe Bryant Career Wing-Span

Years ago I came up with the phrase "The Kobe Bryant Career Wing-Span," because I wanted to compare the greatness of his play against the play of other players who played the game during his career.

As a "pure" basketball fan I want to acknowledge the greatness of Kobe Bryant because the greatness just can't be denied. Over the years I've been disappointed in some of the things Kobe did, which led me to stop really caring about him as a basketball player.

Now, here I am and my feelings about Kobe haven't really changed that much. As a person, I'm not really a Kobe Bryant fan. But, as a basketball fan...the guy is right up there with the "best ever" in my opinion.

I think he hurt his legacy when forced a trade that brought Pau Gasol to the Lakers for Kwame Brown. Not that the trade wasn't a good trade for the Lakers. But for the legacy of Kobe Bryant, I think it was a terrible trade. I just think that Kobe, at the time, at the height of his amazing-"ness," he could have found a way to make it work out with Kwame, Odom, Fisher and other pieces. And if he had, he, no doubt, would have had to go down as the greatest basketball player ever! But, at that time, he made excuses for his "ball-hogging," and made a scrapegoat of Kwame Brown. But, that was then, and this is now.

With the current Lakers' roster, Kobe has a chance to go back in time, if you will, and do something for his legacy that could bring him in as the second best basketball player in NBA history. I'm sorry, but when he, basically, forced the trade of Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol, he gave away his chance to surpass the great Michael Jordan as the greatest player ever. Nothing Kobe does now will ever make him better than Michael Jordan. Absolutely nothing!

But, again, with the current Lakers' roster, he has a chance to finish his career as the second best to Michael. Kobe still has Gasol and Bynum, but even, still, to this date, Bynum hasn't proven himself to be "all that." So, for this season Andrew Bynum is still a question mark as to how good he really is. Or how healthy he can stay. Other than Gasol and Bynum, the rest of the Lakers' roster has to be a question mark, too.

If by chance, the Lakers can get to the finals, and win it all, Kobe Bryant will have had to have played the best basketball of his career. With the new CBA the league has changed. Over and over I've pointed out that the new CBA is going to, basically, pit big-market teams against small-market teams. I've broken that down to mean the following: big-market teams seem to be going with a roster model of 3 superstars. And small-market teams have to go with a balanced roster model since they have trouble holding on to their superstars.

The logic being this: big-market teams have the money to afford the 3 superstars, while small-market teams don't. And, of course, big-market teams have the attraction of the "big-stage." But, with the new CBA, big-market teams just can't go out and buy the rest of the players they need to fill out their rosters to a championship level, hence, the big-market 3 superstar roster model is born. By default, the small-market balanced roster model is thrown into existence.

The best example of the big-market 3 superstar roster model goes to two teams: the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. Both teams spent most of their salary cap money on 3 superstars. And both teams are having trouble filling out the rest of their rosters with players that will help them get over the top to win the championship.

Broken down, it comes to this: the Heat have no center to get them to the promised land so they can win it all. In this league, if you don't have a defensive center, you are not going to win it all and that just a fact.

The Knicks went and signed "the best" center in this year's market. Tyson Chandler cannot be describe as anything more than a defensive center, because on the offensive end of the game, he can't create his own shot. He's good for alley-oops, of course. And he can hit a wide-open jumper, but to create his own shot? No way! We'll leave it at that. The real issue is the rest of the Knicks' roster behind their big 3. Do I really need to explain? They come up real short and don't have the money in cap space to do anything about it other than rely on some ball player wanting to join them at a cheap price for a chance to win it all. The question, for the Knicks, has to be this: are there even those type of players out there for them to sign in hopes of winning it all? I don't think so.

So, you see what the new CBA has done, right? It has put limits on what big-market teams can do. Now, let's see what it has done out here in the West. Which teams have 3 stars on their rosters?

Dallas: Dirk, Kidd, and who else, who else, who else? (who else spoken in rapid succession with an Al Pacino acting craze)

San Antonio: Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili?

Oklahoma City: Durant, Westbrook, and who else, who else, who else?

Los Angeles Lakers: Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum.

Awwwh, those Los Angeles Lakers! They have the big 3 superstars. Both what they have, which other 3 superstar teams don't have, is a balanced roster to go along with the 3 superstars. Yes, the Lakers have a bench. Led by Metta World Peace, the Lakers, also, have Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts to call on in relief of their big men. Both Murphy and McRoberts seem to be decent at rebounding the ball. Rebounds is what makes the NBA go round and round. That is huge. Then they have a couple of 3-point shooters in Blake and Kapono. But the biggest asset the Lakers have, behind their big 3, might be their new coach, Mike Brown.

If coach Brown can get the players, Kobe, to buy into his basketball defensive philosophy, that would allow Murphy and McRoberts to really shine in their abilities. Murphy, throughout his career has been a double/double guy, and if he could get close to that...that could be dangerous in coach Brown's approach to the game. McRoberts is always going to give the team an energetic effort. But, alas, it all comes down to Kobe Bryant.

As I mentioned, I came up with the phrase: The Kobe Bryant Career-Wing Span a few years ago when people were talking about the best player in the league. Back then the discussion revolved around Kobe, Iverson, Carter, McGrady and others as to who was the best in the league at the time. That was in the middle of Kobe's career. At the beginning of his career he played against the likes of Michael Jordan. Now, going towards the end of his career, we have LeBron James in the best player in the league discussion.

Can you picture that? Let me help you a bit. Picture Kobe with two basketballs. One in each hand as he extends his arms in opposite directions. That's his wing span, of course. The players in his career wing span: Jordan, Shaq, Carter, McGrady, Iverson, James, Wade, Anthony, Duncan, Garnett, who else, who else, who else? In that career wing span what do we see? 5 NBA championships. Countless All-Star appearances, and what else, what else, what else? Oh yeah, he's still going strong.

Carter and McGrady are limping to the end of their careers. Shaq is done. Iverson's attitude was so bad, he can't even finish his career. Nobody wants him. But, Kobe, if he buys into coach Brown's philosophy, still has a chance to win at the highest level. But, what does that really mean? Does he over-pass the ball trying to be the good teammate? Or does he try to dominate the game like he used to be able to do? With this current Lakers roster, he might have to blend the two styles to perfection, because he has a chance, with what the new CBA has done to the league, to come out on top, again, this year. And if Kobe can do that, the discussion isn't about who is the best player in the league right now, but who is the best player in NBA history.

Again, with this Lakers roster, Kobe can secure his place as the second best player in NBA history, because...oh, wait! If Kobe leads the Lakers to a championship this year, with this roster...the debate has to be if he's the best ever. Not second best. This Lakers' roster is good as in balanced. This roster requires commitment to defense and ball movement on offense. This roster has good professional basketball players who understand what it means to play the game the right way. The only question is this: how great is Kobe Bryant going towards the latter part of his career? Can he play the game the right way without giving the impression that he's pouting if doesn't get enough shots, like he used to do?

mike t.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Knicks vs. Lakers

1st Quarter

After the first quarter of play the Lakers led the Knicks by score of 31-24. Between New York's big 3, they had 21 of the Knicks' 24 points. Can you imagine that? But what makes it even more interesting is that Landry Fields opened the game with a 3-pointer for the Knicks. So, after Fields hit the opening 3-pointer for the team, the Knicks didn't get another point from anyone outside of their big 3. Do you wonder why the Lakers led at the end of 1st quarter by 8?

The Lakers, who I claim have 3 big stars, too, have a much better bench than the Knicks and they had 5 players score in the 1st quarter: 4 starters and 1 bench player.

2nd Quarter

Mid-way through the 2nd quarter the Lakers built a lead of 14 points as the scoring pattern continued for the Knicks. Up to the halfway point of the quarter the Knicks' other players had scored a combined 10 points between them. Finally, Steve Novak hit a 3-pointer for the Knicks to pull to within 11 points of the Lakers. And consider that the Lakers are playing with only 2 of their big 3, as Andrew Bynum fulfills his suspension.

At the midway point of the game the Knicks' big 3 had 38 of the teams 51 points. The Knicks had 4 players, outside the big 3, who scored 3 points each. The point? It's hard to beat anyone with only 3 players. Plus, to give up 63 points in a half? That is not good defense in any shape or form.

At the half the Lakers led the Knicks 63-51 as the Lakers' bench scored 25 points.

3rd Quarter

The third quarter started out pretty slow for both teams. With 2:58 left in the quarter the Lakers had outscored the Knicks 11-10. Can you imagine that? After only giving up 11 points in the quarter to the Lakers, the Knicks fell another point behind from the halftime score.

The Knicks were able to score 10 points in the final 2:58 minutes to cut the Lakers lead to 8 points at 80-72, thanks to a Novak 3-pointer with 2 seconds to go in the quarter. The Lakers bench didn't score a point in the quarter.

4th Quarter

The Lakers open the 4th quarter scoring with 4 points as Josh McRoberts gets his second alley-oop of the game. Can you imagine that? 2 alley-oops for McRoberts in the same game? lol! How's that for the Knicks' defense?

Halfway through the 4th quarter the Lakers have only scored 7 points, but still build their lead to 87-75 as the Knicks have only scored 3 points in the quarter.

Suddenly, the Lakers extended their lead to 97-77, as the Lakers go on a 10-2 run with 2:39 remaining in the game.

With 2 minutes remaining the Lakers put Luke Walton and Devin Ebank in the game for Bryant and Gasol as, in the mind of coach Brown, victory is assured.

The final score: Los Angeles Lakers 99 New York Knicks 82.

Post Game Comments

So early in the season, what can we take away from this game?

For the Knicks it has to be this: you can't spend all your salary cap money on 3 players and expect to win games.

For the Lakers: they are not as bad off as some people make them out to be. The Lakers are 2-2 without Andrew Bynum, but could easily be 3-1 if it weren't for the Bulls pulling out a win in the season opener.

The Lakers, when Bynum comes back in their next game, will have a pretty good bench with Peace, McRoberts, Murphy, Blake, and Barns filling in for the starters.

Looking around the league, there aren't too many teams that have 3 stars and a decent bench as the make-up of their roster. The new CBA is hard to get around. But, there are teams with balanced rosters without the 3 star model, but, how all that works out in this lock-out shortened season; it's hard to tell. But, the Lakers are not in bad shape at all.

mike t.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Game on all over the League!

Wow! It's game on in this lock-out shortened season.


Tonight the mighty mighty Miami Heat got by with a 1-point win over the lowly Charlotte Bobcats. This is a perfect example of the big-market 3 superstar roster model vs. the small-market balanced roster model. Yes, the Heat have the 3 superstars, but neither of those superstars plays center. And in this league, without a defensive center, there will be no championship for that team.

The Bobcats are seriously young with Henderson, Augustin, D.J. White, Walker, and Biyombo. They have a couple of vets in Diaw and Maggette.

Without a defensive center the 6'8" Diaw was able to pull down 16 rebounds against the Heat, while Joel, the Heat center, pulled down 4 boards with 0 points. Against the Bobcats the Heat were able to pull out a win, but with a more experienced team with size in the middle...what will the Heat do?


The Celtics are off to a 0-3 start. Where do we begin to explain that away? Are the Celtics suddenly too old to compete for a championship? That may very well be the case, as Jermaine O'Neal is starting his 17th season. Anyway you cut that, that is old! And it's no secret that he is not producing as much as is expected from him as a defensive center. What? Oh, here we go, again, the theme to my basketball philosophy. If you don't have a defensive center, you are not going to win a championship. That's plain and simple.

The Hornet have 3 seven footers on their roster with Emeka Okafor, Chris Kaman, and Jason Smith. For this game against the Celtics, the Hornets used both Okafor and Kaman at the same time for good stretches of the game. The results are: 25 points and 15 rebounds between the two players. Then you add Okafor's 5 blocked shots to Kaman's 3 blocks and you have 8 blocked shot between them. Is that defense or what? That is huge without a doubt. That is like having Dwight Howard playing center for you.

Boston has to be scratching their heads, and trades have to be going through their mind.


The Thunder are a young team, but they do have a defensive center in Kendrick Perkins, while the Grizzlies have Marc Gasol. Gasol finished with a double/double 16-10. But, the Thunder come away with the win.

In my opinion, your positive stats only count when you win. Just like Kevin Love, in Minnesota, is racking up the rebounding stats, his team has yet to win a game as is the case with the Grizzlies. In fact, the starting front line for the Grizzlies each had a double/double. Gasol with 16-10, Randolph with 16-10, and Gay with 15-12. But, the Grizzlies lose!

The Thunder starting front line had 16 rebounds between them. But, in the forth quarter the team only allowed the Grizzlies to score 13 points. What does that mean? It means that the stats do have a way of not telling the truth! There is a stat that isn't recorded in a game because it doesn't exist. There is no stat to account for court configuration. What does that mean? It means that Perkins, Durant, Ibaka, and Mohammed seal the lane and force opposing teams to shot from the outside. That means less lay-ups. If you take away the easy shots, lay-up, from a team, you have a great basketball philosophy, because you'r sealing the lane pretty well.

Sealing the lane or clogging the lane are the same thing. Protecting the rim is different from sealing the lane. When you protect the rim that means the ball is at the rim. That means there is penetration. When you seal the lane, there is no penetration. Protecting the rim will get you a lot of blocked shots, "defensive stats," while sealing the lane goes unnoticed in the stat game. But, sealing the lane is way better than having to protect the rim.

The Thunder seal the lane, which is what Perkins used to do in Boston.

No defensive center; no championship!


What did Blake Griffin say when they got Chris Paul? Lob City? OK! Spurs 115 - Clippers 90.

The problem with Lob City tonight is that they're playing an established defensive philosophical basketball team. Even though the Spurs are old, they still play the D professionally. Lob City my butt!

Outside of Mo Williams, take a look at the Clippers bench scoring. 9 points?

Sure the Clippers got Chris Paul, but look at the bench. This roster has no balance whatsoever. The Clippers were, also, very high on DeAndre Jordan. Tonight he had 8 and 8, while the Spurs 6'8" and 270 lb. DeJuan Blair had 20 points and 6 rebounds in the battle of the 5 spot.

The Spurs are just old-time basketball team. Each starter scored in double figures. Now, take a look at their point-guard, Tony Parker: 14 points and 9 assists. That is a player knowing his role and playing it. Off the bench James Anderson had 12 points. Who is James Anderson? He's the Spurs 1st round draft pick from a year ago. He contributes now because it takes a year to learn the system, and the Spurs' system is based on team ball. A young guy can come to San Antonio and depend on the team approach to basketball. And if that player has any talent, he'll contribute. Then you have T.J. Ford playing 20 minutes at the point guard position in relief of Parker. He had 5 assists. Reserve Kawhi Leonard has 8 rebounds. That is production! That is team ball to perfection.


Coach Mark Jackson has "toned" down the Warriors offensive mind-set and balanced it out with a defensive approach. After 3 quarters of play the score was tied at 64. Then the Warriors went on a 22-6 run to open up the 4th quarter, taking a 86-70 lead.

Stoudemire and Anthony had 29 points between them. The big addition to the team, Chandler, had 2 points and 3 rebounds.

I've followed Chandler's career since he joined the league and my opinion is that the Knicks overpaid for his services. Plus, behind Chandler, who do the Knicks have? Behind Anthony who do the Knicks have. Behind Stoudemire who do the Knicks have? Once, again, we see the 3 superstar approach vs. the balanced roster approach and we see the score.

The new CBA is a dream come true for small-market teams, if they know how to build a roster with capable players, and if they commit to playing the game the right way. Mark Jackson said he would get the Warriors to do just that and, tonight, the small-market team beat the 3 superstar big-market team, and they beat them bad.

Brandon Rush really compliments the Warriors at the shooting-guard position. He brings in size as opposed to the small Ellis. Then you have a defensive center in Kwame Brown coming off the bench to seal the paint. Tonight Brown grabbed 10 boards in 11:40 minutes of play. The Warriors out rebounded the Knicks 47-31. That pretty much said it all.

It's game on all over the league because, outside of the Thunder, no one has a true defensive center to go along with a balanced roster. Well, the Warrior have Kwame Brown, who at 6'11" and 270 lbs., could be for the Warriors, exactly what Perkins was to Boston when the Celtics won it all. He seals the paint with his big body. Let's see if coach Jackson can get the Warriors to buy into playing disciplined basketball.

In this lock-out shortened season, it seems it's anyone's championship to win.

Game on!

mike t.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Jazz vs. Lakers

The Lakers win!

On the 3rd game of a back-to-back-to-back the Lakers put a hurting on the Jazz by building a 25 point lead after 3 quarters. Pau Gasol got back on track with a solid game both in scoring and rebounding, finishing with 22 and 9.

Troy Murphy fouled out of the game with 5:23 left in the game. He didn't score a point, but had 11 rebounds and 4 assists. He, also, had a +11 point differential, which is good. For the casual basketball fan, what that means is that while he was on the court, the Lakers were winning by 11 points. That's not bad for not scoring a point.

Metta World Peace had 12 points and 5 rebounds as he seems to picking up his performance as one of the main bench players.

Of course, Kobe Bryant led the way with 26 points. For the 3 games, so far Bryant has scored 83 points, which is a 26.6 average. Kobe might have to lead the league in scoring this season for the Lakers to be competitive.

By the way, no one in the Jazz starting line-up scored more than 8 points. Can you believe that? Millsap scored 18 and Josh Howard scored 10 for the Jazz off the bench. Since Al Jefferson has come to the Jazz his scoring production has come way down.

As for the Lakers and their fans, we await Bynum to see how the Lakers really play and how Murphy and McRoberts will be used off the bench. Who'll get most time off the bench when Bynum comes back? Murphy or McRoberts? I'd go with Murphy.

Around the league:

Kevin Love seems to be continuing his rebounding ways by grabbing 20 rebounds. He had 12 in his first game of the season. That's 32 boards in 2 games. That's 16 boards per game. Huge! Too bad the 'Wolves lost both of their games as the 'Wolves fell to the Bucks tonight. The point? Don't be fooled by stats when your team is losing.

The Celtics fell to 0-2 by losing to the Heat 115-107. The Celtics are playing without Paul Pierce so we can't get a real feel for what they're all about this season, yet. But, right now, Jermaine O'Neil is not producing for them at the 5 spot. And a team without a defensive center will not win a championship.

The Heat are 2-0, but they don't have a defensive center, either. Keep your eye on that team. Mark my words: come playoff time, no defensive center, no ring for that team.

After beating the Lakers in their opener, the Kings get crushed in Portland 101-79. Gerald Wallace scored 25 for the 'Blazers and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24. I guess the Kings aren't really that good or the Lakers are really bad. Too early in the season to tell.

Atlanta vs. New Jersey...snoozer! I'm sorry if that's offensive to the players of both teams. They are professional players, but, I don't think either team is going anywhere anytime soon.

Games of interest tomorrow:

New York at Golden State:

New York has the big 3: Anthony, Amare, and Chandler. Mark Jackson is said to be having the Warriors play defense. Let's see how this works out. The Warriors seem to have more balance on their roster as opposed to the East Coast's big city's 3 superstar roster model.

Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio:

Let's see how good the Clippers really are, and how old San Antonio really is.

Oklahoma City at Memphis:

Let's see how good little brother Gasol really is. This should be a good game. Perkins vs. Gasol in the middle. Randolph vs. Ibaka at the 4 spot. And Durant vs. Gay at the 3 spot.

I give the edge to the Thunder because they have Mohammad to relieve Perkins. Mohammad always gives good relief minutes.

We shall see!

mike t.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lakers vs. Kings

It's difficult what to make of the Lakers at this point without Andrew Bynum in the line-up. Here we are in the 2nd of a back-to-back-to-back and it doesn't look good. Now, the Lakers have to play Utah, tomorrow.

I guess, a lot of people will look at these two opening games and think that the Lakers need some serious help. And maybe that's true, but, once again, we can't really say until Bynum returns to the line-up.

For this game against the Kings, Metta World Peace had a real good game with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Troy Murphy had 8 and 8. But, from what I saw, this reminds me of the old Chris Mihm days, when Mihm would get good stats, but he couldn't protect the rim at all, which would allow teams to outscore the Lakers. In those days, the Lakers would win 2 and lose 2. It was terrible. But, I'm not trying to say that Peace and Murphy should be protecting the rim. That's isn't their role. That role belongs to Bynum.

One thing that I noticed about this game was that when the game was in question, Pau Gasol was nowhere to be found. I said to myself: is this guy done? In the absence of Bynum, Gasol isn't doing his part to make-up for production Bynum would usually provide.

Other than that, there doesn't seem to be anything too exciting about the Lakers. No matter what, it's obvious that the Lakers need a new point guard.

Looking around the league, I don't see any team in the league that doesn't have holes in their roster. All that to say what? This could be an open season, where anyone can win it all.

mike t.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The New Lakers!

The new CBA has pushed the NBA into new territory. I've mentioned it before; how that big-market teams vs. small-market teams is the same as a 3 superstar roster model vs. a well-balanced roster model.

The Lakers, from what I saw in their opening game of the season, have both. The Lakers have 3 superstars in Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum. But, what they have coming off of the bench, in my opinion, is quality. The addition of McRoberts and Murphy has really stabilized the bench for the Lakers.

Both McRoberts and Murphy contributed 8 rebound in tonight's game and anyway you look at it, that is huge! McRoberts plays with energy, and Murphy plays with experience.

When Bynum comes back and McRoberts goes back to the bench, the Lakers are going to have a well-balanced roster. With Ebanks and Goudelock in the mix; this might be Kobe Bryant's chance to show the Michael Jordan aspect of his game. In other words: he has decent players around him, and now might be the time for Kobe to take over in the late stages of the game to pull it out for the Lakers. In other words: Kobe should build on his legacy as the greatest Laker of all-time.

Coach Brown, in my opinion, needs to work on who finishes the game. Fisher shouldn't be out there to close the game. Why would coach Brown put Fisher on Rose at the end of the game when he had Barns' height to cover Rose? The guy, coach Brown, says he's a defensive minded coach, but how does he go with Fisher to cover the best point guard in the league to close a game? Fisher is 37 years old and is seriously slow. Where is the logic in this move?

This game was the Lakers all the way, but Gasol and McRoberts gave it away with missed free throws. And coach Brown contributed to the loss by putting Fisher on Rose to end the game. Small things like that, Fisher on Rose, don't make sense. Small things to observe for sure but a huge window into the observation of coach Brown's ego.

Other than that, the Lakers look like they have a nice mixture of 3 stars and quality down the bench. Kobe needs to identify what he has to work with, and to make it work towards a championship.

These are my opening thoughts to the season in which the Lakers aren't looking too bad, in my opinion.

mike t.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time for the Lakers to Make the Deal for Howard

It's time for the Lakers to make the deal for Dwight Howard. It's time to send Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum to the Magic for Howard and Turkoglu.

Then the Lakers will have to pick-up a new point guard. That won't be so hard to do with Gilbert Arenas still on the market.

This current roster of the Lakers just isn't going to cut it. But with the trade for Howard the Lakers would stand a chance. The new Lakers starting line-up would look something like this:

PG: Arenas
SG: Bryant
SF: Barns or World Peace
PF: Murphy
C: Howard


PG: Fisher
SG: Kapono
SF: World Peace or Barns
PF: Turkoglu
C: McRoberts

The Lakers would then have to pick-up another big man somewhere along the line to solidify the bench as the playoffs come around.

I believe that Murphy and McRoberts can do well in coach Brown's offensive and defensive game plan. These player are capable of being solid contributors if Bryant and Howard control most of the game with their talents.

Right now, Gasol's and Bynum's talents don't compliment Murphy and McRoberts game well enough to make the Lakers a serious contender for the championship. Bring in Howard, and Murphy and McRoberts would shine in their roles. Plus, the Lakers will have two three-point shooters in Kapono and Turkoglu.

A bit expensive, I know, but with Kobe Bryant advancing in age, there really isn't any time to waste thinking about it. Make the deal for Howard by shipping Gasol and Bynum out.

mike t.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let the Rumors Begin!


"Kobe Bryant is livid with the Lakers, and he may demand a trade, Stephen A. Smith said Thursday. Appearing on SportsCenter, Smith said “I predicted that Kobe Bryant will demand a trade, and I am not budging from that. He’s livid. I’ve known Kobe too long. He is ticked off."

Kobe Bryant will demand to be traded! That is the rumor already starting to be heard in the basketball world.


Dr. Jerry Buss is fuming that commissioner David Stern vetoed the Lakers deal for Chris Paul.


When commissioner Stern vetoed the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers it started a domino effect that will lead to the rebuilding of the Los Angeles Lakers, and bring to an end the Kobe Bryant era. It's not hard to understand Kobe Bryant's anger with Lakers' management right now, because when commissioner Stern vetoed the Chris Paul deal the Lakers panicked in the worst way.

How did it happen? The veto of the Chris Paul trade caused Lamar Odom to have his feelings hurt and demand a trade. Laker management panicked by giving Odom the trade he requested. The problem with the trade is that the Lakers didn't get anything for it in return. That left the Lakers in a position that has confused all Laker fans no matter how you look at it. It's difficult to explain because it makes absolutely no sense at all; just to accommodate Lamar Odom?

The first thing Laker fans will do is to blame Jim Buss for allowing Odom to have his way. But, even if Jim Buss made the decision to make the trade, the trade is squarely on Mitch Kupchak. It is the job of the General Manager to talk the owner out of making foolish decisions, and Mitch Kupchak failed to do that in the worst way. This is because Mitch Kupchak is just a yes man and nothing more.

Jerry West would have never allowed Jerry Busss to makes such a foolish move without presenting the consequences of such an action. All we have to do is look back at when Jerry Buss wanted to trade James Worthy to the Mavericks for Mark Agguire. Jerry West did his job and talked Jerry Buss out of it. It is Mitch Kupchak's job to talk Jim Buss out of making terrible trades. That's why he's the GM. He's the basketball expert and for him to allow the Lamar Odom trade is on him and him alone.

But, now that the deed is done, what is left is nothing short of confusing for all Laker fans. What are the odds of the Lakers getting Dwight Howard? Because, without Howard, the Lakers are in a world of trouble if Andrew Bynum doesn't come up big this season. And if Bynum doesn't come up big then the Lakers will be going down at a rapid pace that will make everyone call for heads to roll in Lakerville.

The veto of the Paul trade has already caused Lamar Odom to be traded. Now, we hear that Kobe Bryant will demand to be traded. If that happens then the Lakers will have no choice but to rebuild. And all of this because David Stern took it upon himself to play the God of the NBA.

What will Dr. Jerry Buss do? If he can't trade for Dwight Howard, then he might as well trade Kobe Bryant to the Magic for Howard. Of course, this is nothing more than basketball talk, but in Dr. Buss has any influence at all in the league...he'd go for David Stern's neck and get him fired. David Stern has single handily done what almost one else has been able to do. He has demolished the Los Angeles Lakers to the point where they may have no other choice but to rebuild, and for that Dr. Buss needs to do something about it.

You know, I'm not a real big Kobe fan, but this deal that commissioner Stern did is real dirty.

mike t.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How is the Clipper deal better than the Laker deal?


Clippers get: Chris Paul

Hornets get: Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ unprotected first-round pick.


Lakers get: Chris Paul

Hornets get: Odom, Scola, Martin, Dragic, and the Knicks 1st rounder in 2012


I'm stunned that commissioner Stern is allowed to get away with this. The Laker deal is way better than the Clipper deal. I guess small-market teams are just tired of having the Lakers getting good deals.

I mean, Gordon and Kaman over Odom and Scola? And Al-Farouq Aminu over Martin and Dragic?

Plus, the Hornets already have a center in Okafor, so why do they need Kaman?

The Lakers have been robbed and royally screwed!

mike t.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Are the Lakers Rebuilding?

According to Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers are pursuing "big deals" right now. I don't understand the logic because on one side of his neck he makes that statement, and on the other side of his neck he says this: "...that he expects the Lakers’ core of Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum to be with the team all year..."

The Lakers intend to keep Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum all season long, but are still working on big deals? lol! Sorry, but I have to laugh because if the Lakers do intend to keep Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum; who else on their roster do they have to trade away in a "big deal"?

Has anyone, besides me, ever heard of the phrase: "he's talking out of the side of his neck?" Well, that is exactly what Mitch Kupchak is doing right now.

The Lakers dumped Lamar Odom in what is becoming clear to everyone as nothing more than a salary dump. Kobe Bryant is right to question the deal that send Odom to the Mavs, because the Lakers got nothing in return from the deal. All through Lakerville the question has to be asked: what the heck is going on?

With the new administration, it seems, in full power: Jim Buss is running this show, it might be an indication that the Lakers are simply blowing the team up. Think about it. Phil Jackson is gone. Daddy Buss is in the shadows. The power struggle between Jim and Jeanie Buss is over with Jim coming out on top. What are we to make of the Lakers right now?

Taking a look at the roster, and all we see is the Lakers' version of the big 3: Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum. Injury to anyone one of these players and the Lakers are looking like a middle of the pack team. And even with all three being healthy for the entire season; how far can they possibly go? Right now, against Dallas, it doesn't look too good. Dallas got rid of Chandler, but they still have 2 seven footers in Dirk Nowitzki and Brendon Haywood. Kind of like Gasol and Bynum. But the Mavs added Odom to their mix. Kind of like the Lakers used to have in their "big front line." That's, as Charles Barkley would say: very interesting. The versatile Odom, also, makes up for the Mavs loss of Caron Butler, with the Mavs adding Vince Carter, too?

All that to say what? What are the Lakers doing? What big deal is going to bring in the players to the Lakers that will match up with the defending champs the Dallas Mavericks? Dwight Howard? Dwight Howard and who else? Or better yet, how? Because if Howard does come to the Lakers, Gasol or Bynum are gone. Without Gasol or Bynum to trade away what else do the Lakers have trade away, except for Kobe Bryant?

Then signing Howard to a max extension would pretty much put the Lakers over the salary cap and well into the luxury tax. Again, what are the Lakers doing? Getting rid of Odom with nothing to show in return...could it be that without too much notice that the Lakers are simply rebuilding? If this is the case, Kobe Bryant is on the trading block, too.

With the new CBA and with Odom gone - a valuable trading piece - and with only the Lakers version of the big 3 to show: Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum...where is the wiggle room to do anything that brings the Lakers into contention for the upcoming season? Where is the future? Where is the logic? The logic in this scenario points to a rebuilding process because trading Odom without getting anything in return puts the Lakers in position to do what?

I wish I had more to write about the scenario, but, as I mentioned, I just don't see any wiggle room to do anything except to blow the team completely up and to rebuild.

Right now, it looks like the Clippers are better than the Lakers.

mike t.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Pampered NBA Player II

Dwight Howard wants to be traded!

That's old new, sorry about that. The reason why I'm writing about it, again, is to build upon the point from my last post: The Pampered NBA Player:

In my last post I used Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol as examples of how out of touch the players are with what the NBA is all about. The NBA is a business and not some home sweet home away from home. In this post I want to bring out the idea a bit more with Dwight Howard as my example.

Dwight Howard is upset with Orlando, and wants to be traded. What surprised me was the reason he gave for wanting the trade. Let's take a look at a couple of tweets:

"Brian Schmitz: Dwight Howard is upset the Magic didn't sign some of players he wanted. Otis Smith said not at fit. Smith: "The tail can't wag the dog." Twitter

Josh Robbins: Otis Smith about Dwight's list: “We looked at some. Some we have. Some we don’t. So I’m not necessarily saying that he isn’t accurate. I think that there was a list. Some of them are duplicate talent, which is something you can’t do all the time." Twitter

So, let me get this straight. Dwight Howard is upset because the Magic didn't take his advice on some trade suggestions? Correct me if I'm wrong here, but did Dwight Howard go to college? I love the guy as a player, but I have to ask the question because he seems to think that he has the mentality to be the General Manager of the team. Again, this kid skipped college to go straight to the NBA and now, suddenly, he has the wherewithal be an NBA superstar player and General Manager, too?

Have the players of the NBA really gotten to the point, in their minds, that they actually believe that the tail can wag the dog? It's becoming clear now what the veto of the Chris Paul trade is really all about. The league, I believe, is trying to put things back in order. The players are too pampered, and think that they do run the league.

Once again, this all goes back to the LeBron James "decision." That was actually the final act of a conspiracy that brought James and Bosh to Miami to play with Wade. That's right! A conspiracy! They agreed to join forces way before the off-season came, and then played it out with the final act being the ESPN special "the decision." Come on, who's fooling who? That thing was planned way before it was announced.

Then during the season we had Carmelo Antony holding the Nuggets hostage to get a trade to New York. I mean, it's one thing to want a trade to New York, but it's another thing to get the trade and to get an extension, too. I mean, he held the Nuggets hostage and got the money, too. The tail wagging the dog!

Then we had the messy lock-out where the owners put their foot down, and made the players come down on almost every issue in the new CBA. I think it's clear that the league is sending a message to the players that things are not going to continue as they are. Awwwh, now I see the reason why commissioner Stern shot the Chris Paul trade down. Legally, with the NBA "owning" the Hornets, he has every right to shoot the deal down. Not because it wasn't a good deal, but because this is a special moment in NBA time. It was a chance to finally let the players know that they can't have their cake and eat it, too.

The players want to be traded, but they want to be traded to the teams of their choosing. And not only that, but to get the max amount of money, too. There is something wrong with this scenario, and I think the NBA, the league, is tired of it.

During the lock-out; if you went to the different Internet sports pages (blogs) you could see that the players didn't have the support of most of the fans. The owners had the fan support, the players had the support of the writers. And, if you read some of the comments on those blogs you heard everything from racial statement - to tattooed freaks - to uneducated players to describe the players.

Let's focus on the uneducated players. The fact of the matter is that most of these guys do lack an education, but somehow they - the tail - are trying to wag the dog. How has it gotten to this point? Clearly, they take their own headlines very serious. They believe everything the media says about them. They are "superstars." And that somehow equated to "power." That's OK! That's OK! But, when it gets to the point where the players are trying to dictate the terms of how the NBA operates...well, I think the league is finally saying: hold on, cowboy! Things aren't going to continue to go that way.

The problem with all that is this: the NBA system is flawed. Both Paul and Howard are using their "right" to walk out as free agents at the end of the season. The Magic and the Hornets have to do something or they'll lose those players without receiving anything in return. The teams, not willing to lose players without compensation, put them up for trade. The players use their "right" to sign an extension, or not, to determine what teams they're willing to be traded to. That's the flaw in the system, which the new CBA doesn't address. The question is this: is it possible to address the flaw in the system so that the players don't have that type of power?

The only way to address it is to punish luxury tax paying teams. The only way to punish luxury tax paying teams is to make the penalties harsher for going over the salary cap. But, the old CBA and the new CBA are full of loopholes to get past those harsh penalties. It's too late, but the only penalty that really mattered was to forbid luxury tax paying teams to sign MLE players. With that penalty on the table it would have been hard for big-market teams to fill out their rosters after stealing league superstars from small-market teams.

Anyway, the system is flawed to the point where the players just expect too much from every angle with no consideration for the overall health of the league. But, what makes matters worse is that the manipulation of the system is performed by kids who skipped college, and who think that they really can wag the dog. And they can because the system is flawed. And with a flawed system, we get the pampered players.

Commissioner Stern probably doesn't know what to do about it except to use strong armed tactics to stop the players from trying to wag the dog. The question is this: how long before the next superstar holds his current team hostage with a situation like Chris Paul? It won't take that long because the system is what it is. Will commissioner Stern resort to the same strong armed tactics as he did with Chris Paul when he was on his way to the Lakers? If he does; then instead of having the tail trying to wag the dog, we'll have the dog chasing it's own tail.

mike t.

The Pampered NBA Player

This whole situation, here in Los Angeles, is a good example of what has become of the NBA. The NBA players are seriously pampered, and I can't really point to exactly how it has happened.

The trade of Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks brings an end to his time here in Los Angeles, where he was part of 2 NBA championships. He had a great run here in Los Angeles. But, it became clear that the Lakers needed to address the problems of being swept by the Mavericks in last season's playoffs. In a move to try to improve the team, they tried to trade Odom to the Hornets, twice, in a blockbuster deal that would have brought Chris Paul to Los Angeles. What, pray tell, is wrong with that?

Nothing is wrong with that except for the fact that Odom seems to think he was being betrayed by the team, and took it so personal that he requested a trade outside of the Hornets deal. I, personally, don't really believe that Odom was so upset with the idea of being traded from the Lakers, but rather from the city of Los Angeles. Everyone knows that Lamar is all caught up into the world of reality television. And everyone knows that his wife is part of the Kardashians reality machine. The trade probably threw a wrench into his cozy Los Angeles life style. The guy got so emotional that he requested a trade just to cut off his nose to spite his face.

What are we to make of these pampered NBA players? What do players like Odom expect? Does he expect for the Lakers to hold on to him until he just can't play anymore? That he should be allowed to retire a Los Angeles Laker? Where do these thoughts come from?

Then we have Pau Gasol with these thoughts:

"David Brickley: Gasol on possibility of being traded: "This has been a reality check." Twitter

David Brickley: Gasol: "it's becoming more of a business than a sport yet Im thankful to be here with the Lakers." Twitter

A reality check? It's "becoming more of a business..." Is the man serious? When has it been any other way?

Better yet, can someone tell me when the players lost perspective on the NBA as a business and somehow came to think it was something else?

mike t.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Latest...

The Lakers picked-up a 1st round draft pick from Dallas for Odom.

They say the talks for Chris Paul are off, but wasn't one of Sterns mandates that the Hornets get younger in the deal for Paul to the Lakers? Perhaps Stern didn't want Odom's age and contract on the Hornet's roster. I guess a deal can still get done for Paul without Odom in the package. I mean, if the deal were to go through as it was proposed (the 2nd deal) it would have looked a lot like the first deal.

If Stern allowed the second deal to go through, then he would come off looking like he did a foolish (he did look foolish) thing by shooting down the first deal because it was basically the same as the second deal. The man has to save face in all this madness. Eliminating Odom from the deal would make it look more legit if the Lakers included the trade exception they got from Dallas and the 1st rounder, too.

I mean, check out this tweet:

"John Hollinger tweets he is confused by the Lakers strategy if Howard is their target. "Any exception created by dealing Odom isn't big enough to take in Turkoglu. I'm not seeing LA's endgame here, nor why Dallas would help."

The end game probably still has Paul going to the Lakers, but without Odom going to the Hornets. That way the deal looks like it was really reworked. Everything, including the leak that talks between the Lakers, Hornets, and Rockets have broken off, has to look as if it went through the wringer with the league. Remember, first and foremost, David Stern is about marketing, and he and the product need to look good. Either that or Stern is way out of control.

mike t.

Just Got A Text Message from the Bleacher Report!

The Lakers have trade Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks?

The Lakers are out of the Chris Paul sweepstakes?

What the heck is going on? This sounds like Dwight Howard is on his way to Los Angeles.

After months of being on lock-out status, the NBA is exploding big time! I don't know what direction the Lakers are going in, but, I guess, you can say that Daddy Buss must have listened to Magic Johnson and decided to blow the team up.

What can possibly happen next? I told you: welcome the the drama that is the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA.

The report is that David Stern shot down the new proposal between the Hornets, Lakers, and the Rockets. The Lakers have moved on by trading Odom to Dallas. Now, if Dwight Howard does end up in Los Angeles, then I think we can say that the NBA is pretty close to being rigged. And if the Los Angeles comes out of this without either Paul or Howard, then we can say that David Stern is truly drunk with power.

With that thought in mind, the question now has to be this: how long will the Lakers stand by and let David Stern mandate their future? These manipulations against the Lakers, by Stern, might be enough to get the ball rolling on his ouster as the commissioner of the NBA.

Can anyone else say: wow?

Updates to come soon.

mike t

What's in an NBA Player's Name? Ask the Knicks!

Carmelo Anthony. Amare Stoudemire. And now Tyson Chandler. The New York Knicks have 3 of the biggest names in the league, right now. But, does that equal a championship? That is the question that has to be asked about the Knicks players. Of course, what is behind an NBA name is a reputation.

Let's take a look at the Knicks:


REPUTATION: Scoring small forward. One of the best in the league. Not a very good defender.


REPUTATION: Scoring power forward. One of the best in the league. Electrifying! Not a very good defender.


REPUTATION: Defensive center. One of the best in the league? I don't know about that. If he truly is one of the best defensive centers in the league; Dallas would have found a way to have kept him. I mean, you just don't let legitimate defensive centers go. Not in this league, you don't.

Offensive skills? If the lane is open, he's good for the alley-oop for sure. Dunks, of course, come with the package. Other than that, well, he's called a defensive center for a reason. His stay in New Orleans and Charlotte didn't work out too well, and he found himself in Dallas who already had 2 seven-footers on the roster.

What does it mean? Well, we have to take a look at a couple of other names in the mix to figure that out.


REPUTATION: Run and gun offensive system. I didn't follow the Knicks too close last season. Is the run and gun still the philosophy that coach D'Antoni applies to his teams? All I have to go on is his reputation. If he's still running and gunning that could only spell trouble in N.Y., because in the NBA, it's a proven fact that defense wins championships.

With Anthony and Stoudemire lacking in the defensive department; how, pray tell, does N.Y. compete for a championship? This brings us to the player they just amnestied:


REPUTATION: True point guard with true leadership abilities. Won a championship with Detroit. Turned the dysfunctional Denver Nuggets into contender with his on-court leadership. Excellent half-court offensive player. Understands the concept of team defense and fulfills his role in it. But, the N.Y. Knicks amnestied him? Why? Because they couldn't afford to hold on to him and pay Tyson Chandler, too.

All this to say what? That the Knicks overpaid for Chandler, and made a mistake by letting a true on-court leader, like Billups, go.

Now, if the Knicks had to cut Billups to make room for Chandler...what are they going to do with the rest of the roster? They had to get rid of Ronny Turiaf, too. Who do they sign to replace these players?

From what I understand the Knicks don't even have enough signed players to fill their roster. They have 3 big NBA names, along with their reputations, but after that, what do they have?

They have a mess with the salary cap and, I guess, a hope that some players will take less to play with the 3 big NBA names in N.Y.. But, isn't that the same position that the Heat are in, too? And the Celtics, too?

This is the perfect time for small-market teams to put balanced rosters together that will expose the holes that the N.Y's, Boston's, and Miami's have in their rosters.

What's in an NBA player's name like Tyson Chandler? I think we'll have to wait until the finals get here to see what two teams get there to know for sure.

In my 40 years of following basketball, I think I've formed an educated opinion on what it takes to win a championship. And my opinion is that the N.Y. Knicks are nowhere near being a championship caliber type team, because Tyson Chandler just isn't that good as a defensive center. But, do give Tyson Chandler his "props," because he did get his money.

mike t.

I Love you! I Love you Not!

Awwh, the sweet and sour taste of romance. One day you're in love, and the next day you're not. Such is the deal that would send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. One day the league offices hate it, and the next day they love it.

All kidding aside, commissioner Stern took a lot of heat for killing the deal in the first place, but I have to believe that it didn't go down that way at all. I think we can come to that conclusion if we examine a quote from the commissioner back in 2008, which goes like this:

"Earlier this decade, during the height of the Shaq-Kobe era in L.A., commissioner David Stern was asked what his ideal Finals matchup would be. "The Lakers versus the Lakers," he said."

The Lakers versus the Lakers? lol! David Stern is no fool, and has a perfect understanding of what the Lakers mean to the league. There's no way he would try to kill a deal that would, essentially, keep the Lakers in the running for possible championships on his watch as the commissioner. No, he didn't kill the first deal. I have to believe that a group of small-market owners bombarded the commissioner with complaints to the point where he had to do something. And unfortunately, it was stopping the deal from going through.

I believe the reason why the small-market owners cried was because the deal came too soon; I mean, the new CBA hadn't even been ratified and already, it seemed, the Lakers were prospering like they always seem to prosper - under the old CBA -. With that idea in mind, the small-market owners had to be thinking: what has changed? The Lakers still come out on top. Hence, the bitter complaint to the commissioner.

But, after Dallas owner Mark Cuban sent out an email, or something explaining like that, how the new CBA has, indeed, hindered the big-market teams from just throwing money at their quest to put a championship team together, I think everyone has come to their senses. The deal in no way makes the Lakers any closer to winning a championship than before the deal was made, because they still have to sign Chris Paul to an extension. And that will push them to the limits of the salary cap.

The Lakers, if the new deal is approved, are setting themselves up for seriously limiting themselves in filling out the rest of their roster with quality players to compliment the superstars. And if they do, indeed, go after Dwight Howard, they are just creating a luxury tax mess for themselves. Again, how is the 3 superstar roster model going to win a championship without quality players to fill-out the rest of the roster? The 3 superstar roster model is a gamble and nothing more with the new CBA going into effect. I think that small-market owners are starting to realize that, and probably won't object to a new deal that has Chris Paul going to the Lakers.

It's easy not to be in love with what you don't consider to be attractive, but after getting to know a person better (the new CBA) it might allow for new feeling to grow into love. Oh, the sweet and sour taste of love never fails to provide drama, and keep us interested in possible new developments to the love story.

I hear the sound of a new trade coming! Brace yourselves. It could be that the league will love it or it not.

David Stern loves the Lakers, so you can expect the new deal to be approved because the small-market team owners are starting to realize the impact of the new CBA, and therefore, they probably won't complain, anymore.

mike t.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Brandon Roy

For the past couple of years everyone knew that Brandon Roy had serious knee problems. It's why he was traded on draft day by Minnesota to Portland. The Minnesota doctors were suspect of Roy's knees. That's common knowledge, isn't it?

Fast-forward to this off-season's lock-out. As the end of it was approaching; there were rumors that the 'Blazers were going to amnesty Roy. There were stories about how bad Roy was being treated, and how bad he was feeling about it. But, the 'Blazers knew the issues of his knees were going come into play, sooner or later. It seem that sooner has won out, but everyone knew it was coming. There were even whispers about why the 'Blazer gave him such a generous contract knowing the knees were an issue. The bottom-line, in my opinion, is that the 'Blazers were being very kind to the guy.

But, now Roy is about to retire, and his salary won't count against the cap because he's retiring for medical reasons. What does that mean? It means that the 'Blazers still have their amnesty option to use. Roy, I believe, wasn't going to retire. He was fighting for a spot on the 'Blazer's roster; even saying that he would accept a role coming off the bench. Then, few days ago he met with management to discuss his role on the team. The meeting was to address the rumors of Roy being amnestied by the 'Blazers. They came out of that meeting with the understanding that Roy was expected to be ready when camp opened.

What does all that mean? It means that the 'Blazers probably convinced Roy to retire for medical reasons so that the team can hold on to it's amnesty option. And what does that mean? Well, don't be surprised to hear that Roy is joining the 'Blazers organization in some way or another in the future.

That's a good reward for being a team player.

mike t.

Timeline: My New Basketball Blog


"I hope you'll stop by now and then to read what I have to say about the drama that is the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA."

Posted by Michael C. Teniente at 4:16 PM

"The Lakers seem to be on the verge of getting Chris Paul with Pau Gasol on his way out, along with Lamar Odom. That leaves Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Andrew Bynum. What happens to Derek Fisher? LOL! And, once more, what about the bench?"

Posted by Michael C. Teniente at 4:51 PM

"The Hornets get Odom, Scola, Martin, Dragic, and the Knicks 1st rounder in 2012 for Chris Paul? That is one heck of deal for the Hornets! This isn't a one-sided deal. And the Rockets get a proven all-star in Gasol to replace Yao Ming. Tell me: what's wrong with this deal? This is just a case of envy.

I really think that most of the owners don't "get" the new CBA. It's the deal the owners locked the players out for. It was to create competitive balance. The problem, I think, is that the owners don't know what creative balance is in the context of this new CBA."

Posted by Michael C. Teniente at 6:52 PM

"What is holding up this deal? Small-market teams can only dream to have a balanced roster to compete with the 3 superstar roster. This is the competitive balance that the lock-out was all about. The small-market balanced roster model forces teams to play basketball the right way. This model is much like the Spurs model. The Spurs had capable players who committed to play the game the right way, and made stars out of Tony Parker and Ginobli.

Get it? They made stars out of Parker and Ginobli. Championships made stars out of Parker, Ginobli, Billups, Hamliton, and Prince. Team ball made these players stars when they won championships.

Paul is a league superstar. He hasn't won anything. Anthony is a league superstar. He hasn't won anything. Amare is the same as those two. It two philosophical approaches to the game. The big-market approach and the small-market approach.

Sometimes the league makes superstars and sometimes championships makes stars."

Posted by Michael C. Teniente at 8:35 PM

"Again, all this because the league and the players haven't figured out the full context of the new CBA - the 3 superstar roster model: big-market vs. the balanced roster model: small-market. And, of course, because of that, it leaves Lamar Odom feeling abandoned, and thinking of hanging it up and reporting to the Kardashians for the next phase of his career."

Posted by Michael C. Teniente at 11:19 PM



mike t.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cry Baby Odom!

"Lamar Odom: When a team trades u and it doesn't go down? Now what? Twitter"

Now what? You report to camp because, as a player, you know it's a business. The Lakers gave you decent contracts while you've been on the team, but at some point in time everything comes to an end. Management must improve the team, and players are assets that help improve the team. I mean, Lamar Odom came aboard knowing it was Kobe's team...what did he think?

Lamar Odom is taking a cry baby attitude about what happened. As if though he was above being traded. How long has Odom been on the team? He came over in the Shaq deal, right? That's a long time. Does Lamar Odom think that the Lakers were going to allow him to retire a Laker? Where, pray tell, does that thought come from? Ignorance or arrogance.

If someone should be upset it's Chris Paul. But, after reading a twitter comment I can see the leagues position.

"Adrian Wojnarowski: League source on killed deal: "...(Stern) wasn't going to let Chris Paul dictate where he wanted to go." Twitter"

After what happened last season with Carmelo Anthony, and with the lock-out in the off-season; I can see the logic of the league. Things had gotten out of control to the point where it seemed that the players were running the league. Of course, this goes back to the LeBron James "decision," too. The players were exercising too much power. Or the agents. This is probably the league's way of saying that the owners are taking back control of the league.

During the lock-out, weren't the fans backing the owners? Well, this is the type of scenario that the owners were fed up with. But, I do believe the owners have misidentified the problem. It isn't that players can't manipulate the system to get to where they want to go. It's about letting them go if they can, but punishing teams for going over the luxury tax. That's why the owners wanted harsher penalties for luxury tax payers.

In other words: let Paul go to Los Angeles, but make it so that the Lakers have a very difficult time filling out the rest of their roster. That's the punishment. Not forbidding league stars to move from team to team. That's why the owners should have never abandoned the system issue of forbidding luxury tax paying teams from signing mid-level exception players. That was a perfect solution to the problem.

It's still in place with the idea of going 4 million over the luxury tax, and stiffer penalties kick in. But they should have disallowed it altogether. That way the 3 superstar roster model would be a flawed approach to winning a championship. That was the only system issue that really mattered. That little piece of basketball legislation would have solved the whole competitive balance problem.

I guess we can say that the players should have caved on the mid-level exception for luxury tax paying teams issue. That way Chris Paul could have manipulated the system to get to Los Angeles, and the league would have been happy because the Lakers would have been well into the luxury tax penalties and would have had difficulty filling the rest of the roster. But, since the players didn't cave on the mid-level exception issue, they are now being strong armed - clumsy comes to mind - by David Stern because somehow someway things aren't supposed to work out the way Chris Paul and his agent wanted it to work out. That's what the lock-out was all about.

Again, all this because the league and the players haven't figured out the full context of the new CBA - the 3 superstar roster model: big-market vs. the balanced roster model: small-market. And, of course, because of that, it leaves Lamar Odom feeling abandoned, and thinking of hanging it up and reporting to the Kardashians for the next phase of his career.

mike t.

The New Hornets...Why Not?

Why can't the complaining owners see it? The new small-market model. A balanced roster.

Check out the potential Hornets starting roster:

PG: Dragic
SG: Martin
SF: Odom
PF: Scola
C: Okafor



If they sign David West, too?

Why is the NBA holding up this deal? This is an early model of the new CBA small-market approach to winning. It's a small-market balanced roster model vs. the big-market 3 superstar roster model. The Hornets can afford this roster, but not the 3 superstar model. Tell me, can a big-market 3 superstar model beat the small-market balanced model? This small-market model exposes weaknesses in the 3 superstar model.

What is holding up this deal? Small-market teams can only dream to have a balanced roster to compete with the 3 superstar roster. This is the competitive balance that the lock-out was all about. The small-market balanced roster model forces teams to play basketball the right way. This model is much like the Spurs' model. The Spurs had capable players who committed to play the game the right way, and made stars out of Tony Parker and Ginobli.

Get it? They made stars out of Parker and Ginobli. Championships made stars out of Parker, Ginobli, Billups, Hamliton, and Prince. Team ball made these players stars when they won championships.

Paul is a league superstar. He hasn't won anything. Anthony is a league superstar. He hasn't won anything. Amare is the same as those two. It two philosophical approaches to the game. The big-market approach and the small-market approach.

Sometimes the league makes superstars and sometimes championships makes stars.

Let them go at it! It's the competitive balance that the lock-out was all about.

The Hornets, right now, are owned by the league. The Hornets are a small-market team. The lock-out was about creating competitive balance for small-market teams. This situation is just what the doctor, the league, ordered and now they reject it? The idea of creating competitive balance wasn't just to punish luxury tax paying teams; it was to allow small-market teams to gather assets in return for losing league superstars to the big-markets. Lamar Odom, Scola, Martin, and Dragic fulfill that idea.


mike t.

Update on the Lakers Trade for Paul

"Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA owners have pushed commissioner David Stern to kill the deal sending Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell Y! Sports. Twitter"

What's the problem with this deal? According to reports, the Hornets didn't want to deal with the Lakers in a package that involved either Odom or Gasol. The Hornets wanted to deal with the Warriors and the Clippers. The Hornets wanted Curry or Gordon, but the Warriors and the Clippers didn't make those players available in a deal for Paul. What are the Hornets supposed to do? Lose Paul at the end of the year and not getting anything?

The Hornets get Odom, Scola, Martin, Dragic, and the Knicks 1st rounder in 2012 for Chris Paul? That is one heck of deal for the Hornets! This isn't a one-sided deal. And the Rockets get a proven all-star in Gasol to replace Yao Ming. Tell me: what's wrong with this deal? This is just a case of envy.

I really think that most of the owners don't "get" the new CBA. It's the deal the owners locked the players out for. It was to create competitive balance. The problem, I think, is that the owners don't know what creative balance is in the context of this new CBA.

Let me explain one more time. Big-market teams are using the 3 superstar model to a championship. That's all good except for the new CBA. Most teams with 3 superstars will have trouble filling out the rest of their rosters. The owners complaining about this deal need to go out and get the players that are left. They have the money while the 3 superstar teams don't.

What? Do the complaining owners think the Lakers can win a championship with Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Andrew Bynum? Do the owners think the Heat can win the championship with James, Wade, and Bosh? The Knicks with Amare, Anthony, and Chandler? Let the big-market teams follow the 3 superstar model. The new CBA is about to kick in and what are the big-market teams going to do to fill out their rosters?

To the complaining owners I say this: quit complaining and start spending! You locked out the players for this deal, but it seems you don't understand how it works.

mike t.


I don't think the new CBA has sunk into the minds of executives (GMs) around the league, yet. Everyone is still trying to follow the 3 superstar model to a championship. That's all good, except for one little fact: what do these big market teams do to fill out the rest of their rosters? lol!

The Knicks, Heat, and Lakers are making moves that are going to tie up their salary cap limits pretty good for the 3 superstar model of basketball.

The Knicks have Amare, Carmelo, and now, it seems, Tyson Chandler at center. But, what about the point guard? And what about the rest of the roster? How do they proceed with their 3 superstars and win a championship without a point guard? And how do they fill out the rest of the roster, the bench? And how does a defensive center like Chandler fit into coach Mike D'Antoni's high powered offense? He still runs the run and gun doesn't he? It looks like a train wreck to me.

The Heat is about to sign Shane Battier, who is a good player. But, how does he address they're need for a center? I heard the Heat is going to sign Eddy Curry. Can you believe it? They have their 3 superstars, but have no real money left to sign a decent center. And, again, what about the bench?

The Lakers seem to be on the verge of getting Chris Paul with Pau Gasol on his way out, along with Lamar Odom. That leaves Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Andrew Bynum. What happens to Derek Fisher? lol! And, once more, what about the bench?

The new CBA was supposed to create competitive balance for small-market teams. Well, what you see happening in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles; these teams have no more money to get a point guard in New York, a center in Miami and in Los Angeles...they have no small or power forwards. Well, Metta World Peace and Luke Walton are there. And their money, I think, will be spent when they sign Paul to an extension. Hence, enter in the small-market teams. They have the money to put together balanced teams that can challenge the big-market 3 superstar team model.

In other words: small-market teams can built teams with a new model, balanced teams, to see if that approach can compete with the 3 superstar model.

It might take a year or two, but I think this new CBA is, indeed, going to create competitive balance for the league.

mike t.

Welcome to Basketball Pure and Simple

With the opening of NBA camps just a day away, I thought I'd jump in with my own blog and write about this coming season.

With a lock-out shortened season, 66 games, it's going to be interesting as to what is going to happen. Already, we're hearing about the Lakers making a big trade that will bring in Chris Paul from New Orleans and send Pau Gasol to Houston and Lamar Odom to New Orleans. Wow!

I guess Dr. Buss was listening to Magic Johnson when, at the end of last season, Magic suggested to Dr. Buss to blow this team up.

Well, by tomorrow, we'll see if the team has, indeed, been blown up.

My intention is to write about all teams that I think have a chance to get to the playoffs and try to evaluated what is going on with those teams. Of course, I'll probably focus around the Los Angeles Lakers because I live in Los Angeles.

I hope you'll stop by now and then to read what I have to say about the drama that is the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA.

mike t.
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