Bucher gives his take on the league’s best role players. Here is what he had to say about Trevor Ariza…

ESPN: Trevor Ariza | Lakers -

WRONG TIME — His first two teams underappreciated defense (Knicks), overemphasized three-point shooting (Magic) or had internal turmoil with a bunch of similarly sized swingmen (both).

RIGHT TIME — It’s all stability and structure these days. Fill lanes, defend, maybe take a wide-open three. Plus, with Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic as the other small forward options, Ariza’s athleticism is a crucial change of pace. Playing for a new contract and the chance to erase a “bust” tag in front of hometown crowds is a bonus.

BIG TIME — If and when the Lakers reach the Finals, they are almost certain to face a high-scoring small forward: Paul Pierce, LeBron James or former Magic teammate Hedo Turkoglu. Kobe pulled double duty against Pierce last June, and you didn’t need to be in Nicholson’s seat to see the toll that took. Ariza (in terms of size, skills and manner) is the closest thing right now to a young Posey. Posey, you recall, hounded Kobe in the Finals as Ariza hobbled around on a still-healing broken foot. With Ariza healthy, LA is a man up rather than a leg down this time.

  • Eidraq

    ariza is indeed the missing piece to our sf woes from last year..lucky to have him on the lakers

  • http://www.myspace.com/fabezee fabz24lakers

    [Comment ID #64838 Will Be Quoted Here]

    AGREED!!!

  • killo15

    A-THREE-ZA!!! is so sick wit it. with his defensive tenacity and all around hustle we will win the championship.

  • YellowPurpleFever

    Bucher…tell us something that we dont already know.
    This guy is trying to kiss our A$$ cause we are the team to beat and most talkabout this season.
    Pukecher the Laker Hater. Go Away Already!!!

  • Michael_23

    Trevor is just as big defensively as Bynum but more of a perimeter defender. If he ever goes out, it would be devastating. We could afford injury to Luke, and Morisson, but Trevor is a must to keep healthy.

  • mo

    who are the others in the article. im not an insider

  • sketch

    [Comment ID #64838 Will Be Quoted Here]

    In agree that Ariza is our missing piece, but I don’t agree with the luck part! I think that we all have to give Mitch the credit that he deserves for pulling off that trade. We got rid of the happy trigger and slow to defend Brian Cook and the athletic but very injury prone maurice evans for our missing link! Good job Mitch! And great job Ariza! I hope that you both keep up the good work!

  • Smush Walton

    Let’s see if Mitch can unload Ariza has played great this year. He is our best player off the bench now.

    Before we give Mitch th GM of the year, let’s see if he can unload Luke and Vujabrick. These two have really sucked. What a disaster to have signed Luke for a SIX YEAR deal! Oy!

    Also, Mitch is going to need to keep his eyes open down the road for a point guard of the future. It is pretty clear now that Farmar is not the answer.

  • WifelovesLuke

    Smush Walton wrote: “Before we give Mitch th GM of the year, let’s see if he can unload Luke and Vujabrick. These two have really sucked. What a disaster to have signed Luke for a SIX YEAR deal! Oy!”

    It is absolutely amazing to me how many people on this message board don’t understand the game of basketball and the value that Luke Walton brings to the team. Do you really think that an organization like the Lakers and a coach like Phil Jackson are stupid enough to keep Luke around for a 6 year deal if they didn’t believe he adds value to the team? Luke is a huge part of the success that the Lakers have because of the space between his ears. His basketball IQ helps tremendously in the triangle. His ball movement from the post and the elbow is a big part of the offense. Along with Pau, his interior passing is outstanding. Stop looking at box scores and grow some intelligence. There are way more things to this game than just a good looking jump shot, A$$ JACK!

  • FarmarAllStar

    Ive always like Ariza. He compliments this team very well.