Special thanks to Travis J. Rodgers for submitting his take to the Lakers Nation and giving us the rights to post it on the blog. Once again, if you have your own take and want to see it on TLN, feel free to e-mail it to us at Articles@theLakersNation.com.

Assessing LA Lakers’ Team Needs

Assuming the Los Angeles Lakers have the core of their camp invites already selected, it becomes easy to speculate about which players address problem areas exposed during the Lakers’ ill-fated Finals appearance. Speculation is possible at three levels: identifying the problem areas, identifying who are the core players and who are not yet guaranteed, and identifying which players address the needs best.

The first thing that needs to be said is that the Lakers have a team that must build for the post season. This is obvious for two reasons. In the first place, the team was dominant before Andrew Bynum’s season ending knee injury and dominant after the arrival of Pau Gasol. Now both of them are on the team and presumably healthy (Pau is; witness his dominant Olympics performance). Second, simply getting to the playoffs will not do. After a young team makes a trip to the Finals and retains its core, the expectations increase. The Lakers must play like a playoff team, not like a regular season juggernaut (see the Phoenix Suns of recent years) in order for the season to be considered a success.

Three Problems

With that out of the way, the next task is to identify the shortcomings in the playoffs. There will be some disagreement here, but there is a core of problems that no one can deny. LA did not rebound well enough (they yielded far too many offensive boards), LA did not play good perimeter defense (gave up too many open jumpers), and they did not have the ability to create shots off the dribble (so they became easy to defend).

Sixteen Players

Point Guard: Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, Joe Crawford

Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant, Sasha Vujacic, Dwayne Mitchell, Sun Yue

Small Forward: Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Luke Walton

Power Forward: Pau Gasol, Vlad Radmanovic, Josh Powell

Center: Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm, DJ Mbenga

The contracts of all of the above are guaranteed except Joe Crawford, Dwayne Mitchell, (possibly) Sun Yue, (possibly) Josh Powell, and DJ Mbenga. In fact, Mbenga may not even have a contract at this point and may not receive one. Leaving aside those issues, the core of the team includes the first two players listed at each position as well as Lakers fixture Luke Walton. The tally stands at eleven players. The Lakers can accommodate as many as fifteen players although Mitch Kupchak has reportedly said that he would not be opposed to (and may even be leaning toward) running with thirteen or fourteen players so the Lakers have ‘flexibility’ (which may be spelled ‘Alonzo Mourning’ who is expected to be ready some time in December). Assuming the Lakers are really impressed with Joe Crawford, whom they drafted, and are serious about the two-year contract they extended to Sun Yue, the roster stands at thirteen. Assume those are the thirteen players on the roster when LA opens the season. How does that roster address LA’s weaknesses?

Problem One: Rebounding

It has been said that the Lakers need toughness. It is not something that shows up in the stat sheet or the weight room, but it is something you can see on the court. It is just unclear whether toughness really matters. If it is possible to be a good defender and good rebounder without toughness, then the Lakers should settle for rebounders and defenders. They receive an immediate lift in the form of Andrew Bynum, who was averaging an impressive double digit rebounds per game before his injury. He was replaced by offensive dynamo Pau Gasol, a surprisingly good athlete, swift of foot, sporting an expansive shooting repertoire, but not a very good rebounder, especially at the Center spot. The return of Bynum may shore up that weakness immediately. It surely cannot hurt. The Lakers lost Ronny Turiaf, a player long on toughness and shotblocking, but short on rebounding.

Problem Two: Perimeter Defense

After watching Paul Pierce slice through Los Angeles and either hit a shot, draw a foul, or dish to any number of wide open three point shooters, LA fans must recognize this weakness. And they should be sick of it. The problem is not so much a problem for the guards as it is for the Small Forward spot. Pierce’s ability to get into the lane and cause defensive rotation was the main culprit. Basketball wisdom says that the thing to stop dribble penetration is a defensive anchor. There are questions about whether Andrew Bynum is going to be a dominant defensive presence, but there is no doubting that a seven foot, 290 pound athletic player is a good start. His sheer size and shotblocking skills outshine anyone’s on the team and should go a long way toward addressing this weakness. Yes, Derek Fisher should stop going under screens and Kobe should invest more energy on defense (he will be able to this year, as LA boasts five or six players who can score 20 points on a given night). But no Guard should be put on an island repeatedly. When an opponent beats an LA defender off the dribble, if there is a defensive anchor, the need to cheat and help defensively decreases for all players. Expect team defense to improve and dribble penetration to look a bit different next season. That will reduce the number of open three pointers teams see.

Problem Three: Creating Shots

Kobe Bryant is the best in the NBA at creating a shot off the dribble. Unfortunately, outside Kobe, the skill is perhaps the scarcest on the team. Gasol and Bynum can go to work in the post, but the Lakers need someone to penetrate and get to the rim or kick to the open man. And if a team is not getting to the rim and is merely looking to kick out the ball, the defense need not over commit. So the Lakers must find other players to get to the rim. It appears as if Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza have this ability to respectable degrees. Ariza has been a high flying player at times, a thunderous dunker, but his handles are limited, which decreases his ability. Farmar on the other hand, has good handles but is perhaps even too aggressive in driving to the hoop for such a small guy. Added strength for both players would allow them to take contact and still finish the play. In short, however, the Lakers have done little to address this problem.

Three Problems, Two Solutions

So two of the three problem areas have been addressed. The third has not. Looking over the roster, the two players who have the best chances of helping the Lakers address that third weakness are, in no particular order, Joe Crawford and Dwayne Mitchell. Crawford is the better ball handler and better Free Throw shooter, but he is lighter and a bit weaker than Mitchell. Mitchell is more athletic and more likely to finish at the rim, but he is a poor Free Throw shooter. Either player could go a long way toward adding a penetrator, but if Kupchak remains firm in his thought that the roster will stand at thirteen or fourteen, only Crawford will make the team. And that seems a problem. Perhaps as an aside, Josh Powell, it should be noted, is (among other things) a far better rebounder than Ronny Turiaf.

So here is hoping the Lakers retain Mitchell and Powell or make use of those two remaining roster spots through shrewd moves. Alonzo Mourning would address rebounding and provide a fantastic help defender (addressing the first two problems) while a player like Bonzi Wells (if fully healthy), on the outs with so many other teams, would be a fantastic fit at getting to the rim. Unless LA finds someone to fill that third role on the team, a dominant regular season performance could again be wasted.

  • http://myspace.com/g10van1 gio

    first comment

  • daboss1849

    I think your forgetting our poor shooting at the 3 spot. teams will sag off Lo and clog the lane. we will watch brick after brick from Lo at the 3 point line bc no one will guard him. God help us trade Lo for a true small forward please!!!!!!

  • pr0mega

    LO is going to put up allstar calibur numbers this season, mark my words. Quit hating.

  • tradekwame11

    LO is a good player and will be our 4TH!!!! option he won’t be taking that many shots and i think he will have worked on his j and might be a better shooter than ha was last year.

  • Kb_24mvp

    promega lamar is a good player but all star caliber i dont think so…. we need to trade vlad and luke!!! thats all i ask for…

  • Antequerano

    What Lakers need is to make Gasol their main man. Lakers without Gasol are NOTHING.

  • lakers08-09

    Accessing the team. Your wrong about how young they were.After
    Bynum went down,they were not as young.(Gasol,Bryant,Fischer,
    Odom,Radmanovic)27 years old Vlad is the youngest start.
    When was the last time the Suns made it to the finals.So the Lakers
    did take home a trophy.So I say the core is pretty good.
    Guys(people) can say what they want about Vald,but for a 6’10 wing
    he has a real nice shoot.The light has gone on,and he gets it.Showed true emotions after the loss & will comeback stronger.
    Lamar at 6’10 gets to workout this off season(shoulders injurys years past).As a Clipper coming out he played guard.So he gets to
    move back to that spot.One good rebounder for a guard.If he can release as a guard filling the wing you will see some easy baskets.
    I’m excited to see how Lamar comes into camp. The core looks strong
    with Vlad going to the bomb squad(up tempo).Real deep squad

  • lakers08-09

    One word for all three problems BYNUM .
    He creates that much of a pressence.
    1.Beast(rebound monster)
    2.adds support(shot blocker)
    3.inside pressence(causes double teams)

    That’s right BYNUM an allstar.
    Dunkathon.(strong,but soft hands)

  • http://lakersnation.com tony

    I truly believe that th SF spot is the key to winning a championship for us. If Lamar worked in the off season (had no reason not to this summer) or Trevor has become a more all around player, The Lake show will be sporting some new bling come this time next year! If not we need to get a true SF via trade(Caron Butler, Shane Battier, Gerald Wallace…)or free agency(Bonzi is the only one who comes to mind). That being said, we all know how hard it can be for a trade to be pulled off so for the sake of the LAKER NATION! Lamar get your butt in the gym and become the LAKER we all know you can be!

  • daboss1849

    [Comment ID #49133 Will Be Quoted Here]

    How did that spain ass kicking over usa you predicted work out for you?

  • DCLAKER

    Give Luke some HEART and TRADE VLAD!

  • Tim

    get rid of Walton, and Coby, Josh Powell and Joe Crawford gets on the team

    Crawford is a great young athlete, hes also a good shooter, Josh Powell is a high energy player at the 4 who can rebound, MAYBE defend, and shoot better than turiaf, he can backup Gasol

    i dont suggest vladi getting traded, Vladi is the best open shooter we have on this team, if hes open and you get the ball to him, i guarantee you its going in, leave him for a moment whil he has the ball and he’ll put it up and make it, Sasha cant do that, Fisher can do that but not consistently like Vladi, so the SF we needa get rid of is Luke, get rid of Luke for a draft pick, cash considerations, a big man, or any of those.

    Give Coby karl to Denver, (Luke, Coby for Steven Hunter?)

  • xxv112002

    Forget about Alonzo. I’ve recently read news that Alonzo talked to Pat Riley about playing another year with the Heat. He’s still rehabbing his injuries and also talked about Wade becoming this season’s MVP. So I’m sure Alonzo will stay with the Heat.

    You’re right about the Lakers should play every game like it is the Playoffs. Right from the start, the Lakers should play hard. They have to learn the sense of urgency. Like Boston last year. They played hard during the regular season and during practice. They learned a sense of urgency during games. Most games, they lead by or more than 10pts. They make sure they maintain those points till the final buzzer. They have consecutive wins. And by each loss, they come out harder. But like any other teams that do that, they eventually get tired easily. Like the Playoffs. They almost lost. But with the sense of urgency, they pushed themselves to win. That’s what our young Lakers need to learn.

  • http://getgarnett Louis

    all lakers need to do is to trade Luke and Vlad and then work on their defense!!! DEFENSE,DEFENSE,DEFENSE,DEFENSE,
    DEFENSE,DEFENSE and DEFENSE.

  • Adamas

    hello? memphis? hi. this is the lakers. you know, the ones that gave you kwame? yeah. we are back. i was wondering if you would like to talk business? you do? good. we heard that you need a back up small forward and you are in luck today. his name is luke walton. yes. bill walton’s son. yes, that bill walton. anyway, he looks like his dad so he should play like him, right? what we are asking for? just a 1st round pick next year. oh, you don’t want to give it up? how about getting back our 1s round pick in 2010? we can? good. nice doing business with you guys again. we might call again soon. have a nice day. say hi to the kids. ok. you too. bye

  • Adamas

    i want to hear mitch doing that kind of business

  • ak24

    luke and vlad and first round pick for CARON BUTLER?

  • Michael_23

    [Comment ID #49140 Will Be Quoted Here]

    The Miami Heat look like a #6 – 8 seed playoff team. Not championship team by far. Zo should come to LA.

  • Gus

    What the lakers need is for their balls to drop, they got pushed around and seemed intimidated by the Celtics. The Celtics wanted it more. The big three had a sense of urgency and played as such (their big three are all over 30). I dont think the Celtics are the better team, we played far tougher opponents in the western conference and never played a game 7 (won in UTAH, the toughest place to win in the NBA). I dont think any changes are necessary. Why are we panicking and talking about trading people and hoping that ZO comes to the lakers. If Bynum would have been healthy we would have won the championship. Im not taking anything away from Boston. They won it and thats final. Next year i hope we see them in the finals again with our full squad (WITH NO CHANGES BEING MADE OR CRAZY DUMP PANICKY TRADES). You guys will see that we are capable of sweeping the celtics with Bynum in our lineup. ALso, i hope we see the Suns in the Playoffs too, we got a bone to pick with them too. Bottom line, dont panic and talk about crazy trades like little girls. We got the best team, talent wise in the league and there is no need to panic. We got a team that will contend for the next half decade…

  • Russ Ahi

    i like the article, but i jus keep hearing from friends and people all over this website about the “weaknesses” the Lakers have. I just find it odd that we’re creating these weaknesses because of an NBA Finals loss.

    i mean, no one saw weaknesses when the Lakers played the Jazz or the Spurs. All of the weaknesses that have been outlined in this article did not exist at the start of the playoffs. Just because we fell to one team, i don’t think we should be worried. What if the Pistons had made the finals? or the Cavs? I don’t think we would have lost to those teams. I think the Celtics just wanted it more. But, i HIGHLY doubt they will make it to the Finals again.

    Anyways, It’s a shame we lost Turiaf and I think the Lakers will need someone on the team to be that constant support for everyone. As far as playing style, I think Josh Powell is a great fit. I hope he makes the roster because I think he’s as good as Turiaf.

    However, I do think we’re better than last season. The biggest news is that Bynum is back, so now everyone can see the duo of Bynum and Gasol, which is what Mitch has been dreaming of for months. Also, we have a healthy Ariza, which can provide energy and defensive spurts throughout the game. Alot of people don’t think much of him, but I think he’s a great player for our team. Then, you got L.O. at the 3 spot (which is going to be great for us, because there aren’t a lot of small forwards in the NBA that can guard Lamar). Then Mamba and D.Fish which is always money.

    Vujacic will probably have a larger role coming in at the 2 or 3 spot, depending on what Phil likes. I expect Farmar to have a better year because I think everyone knows he didn’t play well last season. As far as the Space Cadet (Vladi) and Fluke (Luke), I honestly do not know how they will play this year. I wanna trust them when they say they’ll play better this year, but who knows really? the same goes for Mihm. We’ve been hoping for a great year out of those guys, but we’ll just have to wait and see…

    Now, as far as the new guys go…from what i’ve seen from Sun Yue, I think he’s a great addition if Mitch decides to sign him. There’s always the worry that he won’t fit in because it’s a new country and a new system, but I don’t see why he can’t fit in. His playing style fits the triangle really well. And, even if Phil puts him in 10 minutes a game, he can always provide some fast break opportunities and pesty defense.

    I’d be very surprised if the Lakers started the season with Dwayne Mitchell and Joe Crawford. I assumed that they were chosen to start in the D-league and work their way up. Unless, they are amazing at training camp, i doubt they’ll see action. Also, we can’t forget Coby Karl. I know he didn’t play alot last season, but I do think Phil will put him in more this year. It’s hard because we already have a backup point guard, but D-Fish isn’t getting any younger, so Phil might put Karl in more (similar to USA basketball putting in Deron Williams and Chris Paul in order to rest the aging Jason Kidd)

    anyways, this could definitely be our lineup when the season starts (and a pretty darn good one if you ask me). The only problem I see is the SF and PG positions for the Bench Mob. Because Walton, Ariza, and Vladi are all Small Forwards. one of them will have to play the 4 or slide down to the 2. Also, Farmar, Karl, and Sun Yue are the backup PG’s. If I were Phil, I would try out Sun Yue or Karl for backup point guard. The reason is to make Jordan Farmar work a little harder. Farmar played great before Javaris Crittenton got traded because he wanted to be the true backup for D-Fish. Then, he slumped because I guess he knew he’d be the back-up so he didn’t try. Honestly, we have so many guys, we should make every spot open and see who plays the hardest…DO IT PHIL!

    Starting 5:
    Bynum
    Gasol
    Odom
    Kobe
    Fisher

    Bench Mob:
    Mihm
    Powell
    Ariza /Walton/Vladi
    Vujacic
    Farmar /Karl/Sun Yue

    Alright, I’ve written way too much. Just wanted to say what’s on my mind. Can’t wait for this season though. We’re gonna SHOCK the world. *cough*…73-9 RECORD…*cough*…

  • DCLAKER

    LAKEZILLAISCOMING.com,soon…REAL soon.

  • Kb_24mvp

    russ ahi u speak the truth!!! BUT WE DO NEED SOME MORE DEFENSIVE PRESENCE!!! defense wins ball games except when u have kobe on your team becuz he can tear up the opposin teams defense lol but thing is we need some hard body defensive players!!!

    Mitch make it happen!!!

    Cant wait for the season to start, i have it on my calendar and everything!!!

  • goodfella

    i would trade vlad rad for a fresh pair of kobe’s

  • LAKERNATION

    [Comment ID #49133 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Smart man. I hate it coming on here and reading all this shit people say about LAMAR ODOM. Don’t underestimate LO. And the same goes with LUKE WALTON. The man had his worst season last year, and this year he will shut all you guys up. I seriousy think that I’m the only one on here that likes LUKE. Don’t ever underestimate LUKE ether. We are all part of this team so we should show love each and every night for every player. I’m not saying that people should never talk shit about any of our players again, because it is good to hear how people think how the player is playing, but I’m saying at the end of the day we still need to be with each and every play 100% of the way.

  • LAKERNATION

    Comment ID #49130 Will Be Quoted Here]

    OOPS soor ment to say this man is smart.

    Smart man. I hate it coming on here and reading all this sh*t people say about LAMAR ODOM. Don’t underestimate LO. And the same goes with LUKE WALTON. The man had his worst season last year, and this year he will shut all you guys up. I seriousy think that I’m the only one on here that likes LUKE. Don’t ever underestimate LUKE ether. We are all part of this team so we should show love each and every night for every player. I’m not saying that people should never talk sh*t about any of our players again, because it is good to hear how people think how the player is playing, but I’m saying at the end of the day we still need to be with each and every play 100% of the way.

  • BringDFishBack

    I can’t stand what most readers here have to say and it’s on display here. Nearly everyone is so biased and blinded by their biases. When you don’t like a player, you’ll do anything to find something wrong with them. Are you really going to tell Fish how to play defense? The only time the team really struggled was against the Celtics, so Fish would be going under the screen for Rondo, who has no shot. Whatever he was doing the rest of the time obviously worked. Second, how the hell is someone in the game of basketball too aggresive (only exception being running people over), when you’re saying their having a problem creating shots? Maybe under the category problem creating shots, you should say a little about the players that arn’t/can’t, instead of saying what the 3 who can should do better. And to further show the bias, Coby Karl isn’t even mentioned on the roster. Last I checked, his contract hasn’t been terminated. Just cuz he didn’t play a lot in games, he still is important to the team, and possibly more important than anyone else in practice as he can play great shooters around the league.

  • http://Andrewbynum.com Corey Bynum

    [Comment ID #49139 Will Be Quoted Here] Radmanovic is the lakers best shooting forward

    also lamar is probably already good enough mid range shooter to play sf but jus

    t not a good enough 3 point shooter

  • ricky

    kobe said that “we should have kept marc gasol” and i totally agree with him. we gave memphis 2 first round draft picks as well as marc gasol and thats a lot. beside kwame, javaris, and aaron mckie i think the lakers should have stopped at the 2 first round draft picks and kept marc.

    according to espn, gasol will make roughly 3 million for 3 years. i think the lakers should trade for the other gasol too. it would be interesting to see 2 brothers on the same team. lakers can give away chris mihm and his expiring contract of 2.5 million and also throw in coby karl who is due to make about $770,000. the salaries match and the lakers would be getting a very solid looking big in gasol. this is just talk obviously and just something i came up with looking over the roster just for fun, but if it were on the table, i would make this deal in a heartbeat.

  • DCLAKER

    Vlad can’t defend…NOBODY,wish we could get Haslem.

  • HIDAMAN

    Pau Ga-soft!!! The lakers need the mental toughness to step on teams when there down. The offense is there. the defense can be adressed with having heart & playing as a team which the lakers dont do enough. Bynum will be a much needed piece for another title shot.

  • Thomas

    I agree with what was said above but my solution doesn’t rely soley on the bench…we need to trade Lamar Odom. Yes he is a good player who can post up the smaller players guarding him, but he cannot hit a jumpshot with a person on him to save his life. Trade Lamar for a forward who can shoot. That way we can have Kobe bring the ball up and have the small forward and Dereck Fisher on the wings waiting for Kobe to drive and kick. This way the defence can’t cheat and play zone and not pay. Because when they do, we can dump it into Pau or Andrew and it will be over. I think we can win 60 games this year.

  • AsianKobe

    blog author… ur dumb. the lakers r a strong team. they just got handled in the finals because of the lack of muscle in the 5 position. we got andrew back. we don’t lack anything.

  • lakers08-09

    Team is fine think what you want.

  • Russ Ahi

    yeah, i think the article is a little strange…no disrespect though.

    I donno, call me crazy, but I don’t think true Laker fans find this many weaknesses in our team…maybe if we were the Phoenix Suns or the Dallas Mavericks…but, our team won the West and were two wins away from an NBA Championship…

    There’s no reason we can’t do it again. Yes, there have been a few off-season trades, but has any team gotten significantly better? not really. all indications say that the Lakers are still the team to beat out West. I feel like it’s ours to lose this year.

    I posted a reply earlier, so check it out…i was really honest and just told it like it was. I think EVERYONE on our team is good. Yes, Luke, Vladi, and Jordan were disappointing last season, BUT there is no reason to think they can’t turn it around this season. As i said earlier…If Phil were to make certain positions “OPEN”, meaning certain positions had two back-ups, it might make certain players play harder (i.e. Jordan Farmar, Luke, Vladi, etc.) Also, Coby “The Coach’s Son” Karl will be a lot better with a year under his belt. No one should count him out.

    EVERYONE HAS TO REMEMBER THIS: NO ONE HAS SEEN GASOL AND BYNUM TOGETHER ON THE COURT. PHIL AND MITCH HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THEM PLAYING TOGETHER. my point is…let’s see how amazing they can be together and THEN talk about weaknesses….

    Lakers Nation: GET READY. THIS IS OUR YEAR!!!!

  • Lkrluva

    I cant wait to see coby karl ball it up!

  • lakers08-09

    Don’t see how Karl makes the team.The signs with the cap are
    better than I would have thought.
    I do not here anyone saying how good a coaching staff the

    Lakers have.Kurt & Brian both have had interviews for head coaching
    jobs.If the Lakers don’t make it to the Championship we might lose
    one of those guys. Add Gary,Tex,Hodges,Kareem
    then what about Cleamons & Hamblen then HOF Phil Jackson
    I’d say the team will get better just from having this staff alone.

  • Vahe

    face it lakers won’t trade luke or vlad. vlad isn’t going to get the minutes this season like last and luke isn’t good atall

  • Smush Walton

    [Comment ID #49129 Will Be Quoted Here]

    RIGHT ON!

    I couldn’t have said it better myself!
    Open your eyes Mitch!

  • Smush Walton

    [Comment ID #49136 Will Be Quoted Here]

    If only we had traded Lamar instead of Caron Butler.
    We wouldn’t have been talking about “potential” these past four (soon to be five) years.

    That has to be one of the worst trades in Laker history.
    Mitch must have been stoned out of his mind to have made that deal.

  • Smush Walton

    Why is Walton even in the NBA?

    This guy is a major liability on the floor. Whenever he appears in the game any lead we may have vanishes.

    It should be a TOP PRIORITY to get this guy off of the Laker roster.

  • DCLAKER

    Damn! I posted ‘What if Caron Butler would’ve never been traded’on LAKERGROUND.net and these fools were like “WE’D BE A TEAM WITH CARON” real sarcastic like…so I said..NO! WE’D HAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE GETGARNETT!

  • Gus

    We dont need to make any changes, or any “blockbuster” trades. Getting bynum back healthy is like trading for one of the 10 best players in the league. I know he only played about 3 months last season…but the potential is there. People are talking about Greg Oden being the next best thing. He is basically the same age as Bynum, not only that, Bynum is just as good on offense as he is good in defense. DONT PANIC…well be ok next season. We have a chance of finishing off the decade with two more rings and being the team of the decade….

  • awesomerob24

    we will win the championship
    we have the perfect team

  • E-ROC

    I agree with this article. Defense is the main weakness of the Lakers, especially on the perimeter. That is why I have been campaigning for the signing of Quinton Ross or some other perimeter defender.

    I don’t know if there is a way to trade Vlad and Walton. Nobody in the Association would want them, with good reason. They are probably here to stay, especially Luke and that contract.

  • Kb_24mvp

    kobe needs to make another video, of him dissin lakers vlad and luke!!! sayin that they need to get shipped out!!! and possibly put lamar in there too!!!

    lakers 09 champs!!! woop woop!!

  • tradekwame11

    haters

  • DCLAKER

    You mean this ….

  • http://www.forumblueandgold.com Kurt

    The only thing I really take issue with is the thought that the team does not have enough guys who can create their own shots. That might be true if the Lakers were playing isolation basketball, but they run the triangle offense that creates shots through spacing and ball movement, it does not need as many players to create their own shot. I picture Odom and Gasol playing the two man game on the weakside and that is going to be tough to stop —- both guys can put the ball on the floor and are good passers to cutters. Plus, the Lakers get a fair amount of points through fast breaks or early in the clock when they run down the court and create mismatches, something that will continue (I hope).

    The Laker offense will be the most potent in the NBA, I think. Defense will decide just how far they go (and injuries).

  • Lewis

    The Lakers had no problem scoring and this should not be an Issue this year with Bynum being at full strength. The only way the Lakers are gonna be champions Is becoming an elite defensive team period. Look at the championship teams this decade The 3-peat Lakers, Spurs, Pistons, Heat and the Celtics. All these teams were tremendous defensive teams that could shut you down for quarters at a time, choking the life out of It’s opponents. If this team can become a top five defensive fg % team, the Lakers will be drinking champagne In June 09

  • Trodgers

    I’ll respond to just a couple of posts here.

    Kurt: I’m looking at weaknesses as barriers to the banner. Boston stopped us from creating. We need people who can create off the dribble. Kobe couldn’t do it when he was doubled and no one stepped up.

    BringBackFish: You don’t know how much a Derek Fisher fan I am and you somehow interpret what I say about him as “Fisher sucks.” He’s better than Farmar and should start. He’s clutch. He’s a stabilizing force. He’s 100% effort. He’s an outstanding shooters. Okay…he also lacks footspeed and ALWAYS goes under the screen. Against Rondo, against Deron, against Paul. It doesn’t matter. He has to adapt at times.

    How can someone be too aggressive? Simply trying to force the issue and getting to the rim out of control. The results are blown shots and that create quick rebounds for the other team or charges.

  • http://Andrewbynum.com Corey Bynum

    get big bodies, DJ mbenga, jamaal magloire, and david harrisson

  • DCLAKER

    I’m hearing alot of good things about Shaun Livingston…GET BACK SOON(doesn’t have to be with us)!

  • lakerferlife7

    u cant just get rid of people like walton er vlad….its not like the fo can just cut them from the team…and if we were to trade them no team is gnna give up a good player for 2 shity players

  • tradekwame11

    [Comment ID #49206 Will Be Quoted Here]

    No i mean this

    And if u dont want walton who do u think we should get

  • jonathan

    the author doesnt know what they are talking about. Perimeter shooting is not a problem Fish, Vujacic, and radman all shot over 40% from the 3-point range last season, Farmar shot a good percentage as well. The triangle offense is not build for a true point guard like Gary Payton or Chris Paul, who love to drive then kick the ball out for the open 3, allyooop to chandler, or even score.
    How in the world is rebounding a problem, when you have LO who averages 10.6 rpg, Pau who averages 8+ rpg, and Bynum who averages 10.3 rpg.
    How is perimeter defense a problem, when you have fish, ariza, and kobe (or should I say the doberman?). Ariza had just come back from an injury that kept him out 6 months, and was extremely rusty. Granted, the perimeter defense could be improved (ie. Farmar, Radman learn to play D), but its not as serious a problem as Paul Pierce made it look like.
    We lost because Boston wanted the championship better than us. Who in the world manages (somehow) to give up a 20+ point lead at home in the NBA Finals 2 games in a row? Then, on top of that, go to Boston, in a must win 2 games situation, although it was already over, get blown out by almost 40 points. The Celtics wanted a championship more than the Lakers – thats why they won. The Celtics didnt beat us, we beat ourselves.

  • http://Andrewbynum.com Corey Bynum

    [Comment ID #49134 Will Be Quoted Here]
    drew-about to turn 21
    farmar-about to turn 22
    ariza-about to turn 23
    sasha-24
    JP-25

  • DCLAKER

    TradeKwame11,though I doubt they will EVER trade’em but if they did…I can’t lie,it would hurt the chemistry of the team …that’s why I’d rather trade Vlad,I don’t care how much of a good shooter he is,you can find a shooter in any back alley,so he would be too missed.

    If the numbers matched I like Nocioni(hope I spelled his name right).

  • tradekwame11

    DCLAKER, ur right about trading vlad. He is to inconsistant but about Nocioni don’t we have enough small forwards already(Odom,Ariza,Luke) we don’t need another one i think we could trade him like this.
    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=1016~2184&teams=14~13&te=&cash=
    But im with u i dont think we’ll do anything.
    ESPN says the lakers might be interested in Livingston:)

  • MILO

    i think the best thing the Lakers can do is get rid of Mihm!

  • DCLAKER

    TradeKwame11,NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M ABOUT,good pick.

  • JB

    it’s always great when your 11th and 12th man on the roster have a combined salary of 11 million. great job on those signings kupchak

    1 fish / farmar
    2 kobe / sasha
    3. odom / ariza / RADMANOVIC / WALTON
    4. gasol / powell
    5. bynum / mihm

    if the lakers could somehow move these 2 piles for some solid defense off the bench they would be fine.

  • DCLAKER

    Someone on my job (another Laker fan) asked who I would trade Vlad for,(whiny voice)”He’s a good shooter”…I said “THAT’S IT”? So I told this guy and he had the biggest smile on face,just like I knew,probably never happen but at least we get shooting and toughness….

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=3251~1016~378&teams=9~9~13&te=&cash=!!!

  • tradekwame11