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#1 Scott P

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 01:38 PM

Jim Souhan: Bynum's the piece that makes this Lakers team exceptional

By JIM SOUHAN, Star Tribune
January 31, 2009

The Twin Cities' dormant NBA fans returned en masse to Target Center on Friday night to see the player who will win a championship for the Lakers this summer. They got to see Kobe Bryant, too.

While Bryant was easing his way to 30 points -- if his intensity level could be measured on a blender, he was more purée than liquefy -- the guy who will make all the difference in this year's NBA Finals was making the Wolves look like Lilliputians of the lane during the Lakers' 132-119 victory.

Andrew Bynum, the Lakers' young center, dominated from the start, scoring at will over Wolves center-by-necessity Al Jefferson. Bynum had 23 points and 13 rebounds by midway through the third quarter, as the Lakers built an 18-point lead.

That prompted Wolves coach Kevin McHale to insert Mark Madsen, his way of saying, "See, kids, any of you could grow up to play in the NBA."

Bynum's knee injury didn't keep the Lakers from the Finals last year, but it kept them from winning. This year, with the Western Conference just as deep but hardly as top-heavy, the Lakers have already taken on the sheen of a champion.

They've still got Kobe Bryant, the best player in the game until LeBron James proves he can hit big shots in the fourth quarter of big games. Bryant did nothing spectacular Friday night and still went for 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The Lakers still have Pau Gasol, a wonderful complementary player who can be just that with Bryant and Bynum anchoring the perimeter and the paint.

But it's Bynum's ability to dominate inside that makes this team look that much better than last year's finalists. Bynum had 17 points and nine rebounds in the first half, and quickly earned a double-double for the fifth consecutive game, a career best. He finished with 27 points and 15 rebounds in 30 minutes.

Roughly a year after suffering a season-ending knee injury, Bynum last week earned Western Conference player of the week honors. "He looks very confident in there right now," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "He's playing above the crowd, so to speak, in many ways. I think this is a stepping-out point for him, especially having an honor last week, that gave him some credibility, and he feels good about it.

"He's a better player now than he was when he got hurt last year, but it's taken him this month, January, to get back and feel like, 'OK, I'm over my injury ...'"

The Lakers look good in so many ways -- they're deep with shooters and role players, they no longer need to lean heavily on the mysteriously passive Lamar Odom, and Jackson has finally gotten rid of that ridiculous soul patch.

Friday, Jackson looked more like a banker than an aging hipster, and his team, fresh off an overtime loss to Charlotte, looked similarly cool and professional all night.

The Wolves have no centers who can match up with Bynum, one reason the Lakers scored 64 first-half points, the most the Wolves have allowed in a first half all season.

"With the three of us playing at the level we're playing at now, it makes it impossible to double-team us, because you know you're going to have to leave somebody who can definitely put the ball in the basket," Bynum said, referring to himself, Bryant and Gasol. "Some teams don't have one guy who can post up and play the center position. We actually have two who can do it pretty well."

Asked whether he had improved dramatically from a year ago, Bynum said, "I'm just able to control the game for a longer period of time."

Bynum might put the Lakers in control of this league for quite some time.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon on AM-1500 KSTP. jsouhan@startribune.com


Here's what one of their fans wrote in response to this article, which I believe to be true:

McHale is a Celtic FIRST & thats why Bynum not a T'Wolf!
McHale sold out the T'Wolves because he had a weak owner whom he could convince that the Al Jefferson from Boston was a better deal than Andrew Bynum + Lamar Odom deal was from the Lakers. McHale REALLY knew that trading Garnett to old buddy Ainge and the Celtics was going to make them better, and there was NO WAY he could live with himself and get together with all those old Celtics at reunions if he had turned down the worse offer from the C's to trade KG to L.A. So McHale sold out the T'Wolves. There is NO QUESTION Bynum + Lamar + draft choices is a far, far better deal than the Al Jefferson + a role players (Gomes, Telfair & Green). The Lakers could have included Kwame's expiring contract in the deal which was a larger one than Ratliffe's expiring one (I think it was Theo). Look, Al Jefferson is going to be a decent player, and probably an all-star in years to come. BUT he is NOT 7-foot and he will probably be backing up Bynum who is the better player than the two. Lamar is like KG-lite, and has been called the most variable big-man in the league, able to run every position. What I'm saying, the T'Wolves have a traitor in their midst - and it happens to be the person running your team. I hope everyone saw the play of Bynum vs Jefferson, and understood the REAL reason Bynum and Lamar wasn't a T'Wolf today. With those two the wolves would be pretty good and a shoe-in for the playoffs for years to come. I can't understand why T'Wolf fans aren't calling for his (McHale's) resignation. As the cherry on top of the bad-trade? McHale didn't even get Rajon Rondo in the trade, instead settling for the lousy, overrated Gerald Green. THAT"S CUZ HE BLEEDS CELTIC GREEN!!!

#2 magicmoment

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 01:40 PM

Do you have a link to the article? because our rules state that we can't post the whole article. -Magicmoment

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#3 ab4sure

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 02:10 PM

That was such a great game to watch last night simply becuase McHale knew he could have got more with the Lakers. This time Celtic pride was Laker gold.
[color="#DDA0DD"]•"Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We."

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#4 phifedogg76

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 02:43 PM

our offer was better even though bynum wasnt anything at the time and jefferson was putting up double doubles already, i think the owner didnt want to wait on bynum (he might not even have developed into what he is right now if he were traded, we dont know) but and that mchale DID NOT want to help the lakers period
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#5 ab4sure

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 02:59 PM

our offer was better even though bynum wasnt anything at the time and jefferson was putting up double doubles already, i think the owner didnt want to wait on bynum (he might not even have developed into what he is right now if he were traded, we dont know) but and that mchale DID NOT want to help the lakers period


I have to disagree with you dogg on the part Bynum wasn't anything. He showed the first two months his skills and was quite productive. After 2 months he showed his age and conditioning and toward the end of the season he looked tired and worn out.
[color="#DDA0DD"]•"Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We."

•"The ideal way to win a championship is step by step."

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#6 lakerfool

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:01 PM

It takes a great scout to realize Bynum's potential. At the time, if you just went for current production, Jefferson was an easy choice. At the time though, I saw much more promise and potential with Bynum.

Their deal with Boston was not a conspiracy. Jefferson is an awesome player. I think it's just that McHale isn't the best talent evaluator. He's a hit and miss type of guy.
Gooden>> Lamar Odom. Mo Williams>> Ray Allen>> Gasol. Nene= Gasol.

#7 last stand 2.0

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:05 PM

lets not get ahead of ourselves but iots no secret anymore and now its time we make sure bynum is ready for the doubles he will surely be seeing soon enough

the guy gets the ball and is almost a sure 2 points i can't say that for anyone in the NBA but tim duncan

God i pray to you keep this team healthy

bynum is growing on me big time my favorite players were

kobe
lebron
chris paul
tim duncan
joe johnson
brandon roy
deron williams
allen iverson
pau gasol
dwight howard
andrew bynum

by seasons end he could be top 4 on my list

the kid has everything you want all business, hard worker, athletic, competitive(see him against shaq or dwight), tough as can be you can tell hes a jersey guy, just fun to watch.

i love pau ever since he became a laker but never since kobe 2000 has it been more fun to see a player burst into stardom.

we are one of the few teams who gets to see 17,18, 19 years olds by decade come in and grow into superstars

grown in house to none of this signing as free agents once they are established

kobe
magic
andrew

franchise grown to franchise leaders

like no other
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#8 ab4sure

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:08 PM

Their deal with Boston was not a conspiracy. Jefferson is an awesome player. I think it's just that McHale isn't the best talent evaluator. He's a hit and miss type of guy.


But don't you think it was in McHale's mind that he didn't want to trade KG to the Lakers and possibly give the Lakers another ring. I think he wants to be able to walk back to Boston without getting booed. Conspiracy NO, Fear Yes.
[color="#DDA0DD"]•"Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We."

•"The ideal way to win a championship is step by step."

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#9 last stand 2.0

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:10 PM

It takes a great scout to realize Bynum's potential. At the time, if you just went for current production, Jefferson was an easy choice. At the time though, I saw much more promise and potential with Bynum.

Their deal with Boston was not a conspiracy. Jefferson is an awesome player. I think it's just that McHale isn't the best talent evaluator. He's a hit and miss type of guy.


well bynums potential all lied with 3 things work ethic, length, touch

noone is longer and noone works harder at the center position

mitch saw it the busses saw it thats why we are the lakers

you can't expect the T'wolves to see greatness i mean they've had 1 great player in their history we have what 7 out of the top 50 greatest players of all time were lakers

all jefferson is great offensively but hes what 6"9' you can't teach 7"1' with what a 7"6' wingspan

can't teach that and with balance and soft hands to add to those measureables

noone talked about andrew except laker fans saying he was the next shaq :blink: when in reality he looked to me like the next tim duncan

tim duncan 21 years old 22ppg 12rpg 3bpg

andrew bynum 21 years old if he was on another team would be averaging something close
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#10 lakerfool

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:11 PM

But don't you think it was in McHale's mind that he didn't want to trade KG to the Lakers and possibly give the Lakers another ring. I think he wants to be able to walk back to Boston without getting booed. Conspiracy NO, Fear Yes.


I don't think he cared to be honest. Trading Garnett to the Lakers would have totally diminished our depth. We assume the Gasol trade doesn't happen, I mean KWAME of all people is still our starting center. We didn't have Ariza, Sasha didn't burst out. From the surface, we would have been at least another year away.

IMO McHale believed Jefferson was going to be a beast, and he definitely is beasting it up. Casual observers, including most of the Laker fan base, didn't see too much promise in Bynum...even wanting to 'ship his [expletive] out' for Kidd. So to McHale, the deal looked like Odom (inconsistent) /Project (probably going to end up like Haywood) for Garnett vs. Al Jefferson (well on the way to 20/10) for Garnett. From his perspective, it was an easy deal.
Gooden>> Lamar Odom. Mo Williams>> Ray Allen>> Gasol. Nene= Gasol.

#11 last stand 2.0

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:12 PM

But don't you think it was in McHale's mind that he didn't want to trade KG to the Lakers and possibly give the Lakers another ring. I think he wants to be able to walk back to Boston without getting booed. Conspiracy NO, Fear Yes.


instead of giving one ring he might of gave us a dynasty so his plan backfired

instead we got to keep andrew and we got pau gasol and got to keep odom, farmar all our young guys

if he was trying to screw us woops
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#12 lakerfool

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:13 PM

well bynums potential all lied with 3 things work ethic, length, touch

noone is longer and noone works harder at the center position

mitch saw it the busses saw it thats why we are the lakers

you can't expect the T'wolves to see greatness i mean they've had 1 great player in their history we have what 7 out of the top 50 greatest players of all time were lakers

all jefferson is great offensively but hes what 6"9' you can't teach 7"1' with what a 7"6' wingspan

can't teach that and with balance and soft hands to add to those measureables

noone talked about andrew except laker fans saying he was the next shaq :blink: when in reality he looked to me like the next tim duncan

tim duncan 21 years old 22ppg 12rpg 3bpg

andrew bynum 21 years old if he was on another team would be averaging something close


Like I said, if it were up to me, even at the time of last summer, I wouldn't trade 2 Bynums for Garnett.

I'm just looking at things from McHale's idiot perspective. He generally lacks forsite seeing how man busts he has selected and the awful personel choices he has made. Jefferson was the sure thing, and that's what McHale needed. If he made the trade for Bynum and Bynum didn't work out (which was still a perceived risk at the time) McHale would have been out of a job.
Gooden>> Lamar Odom. Mo Williams>> Ray Allen>> Gasol. Nene= Gasol.

#13 last stand 2.0

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:15 PM

I don't think he cared to be honest. Trading Garnett to the Lakers would have totally diminished our depth. We assume the Gasol trade doesn't happen, I mean KWAME of all people is still our starting center. We didn't have Ariza, Sasha didn't burst out. From the surface, we would have been at least another year away.

IMO McHale believed Jefferson was going to be a beast, and he definitely is beasting it up. Casual observers, including most of the Laker fan base, didn't see too much promise in Bynum...even wanting to 'ship his [expletive] out' for Kidd. So to McHale, the deal looked like Odom (inconsistent) /Project (probably going to end up like Haywood) for Garnett vs. Al Jefferson (well on the way to 20/10) for Garnett. From his perspective, it was an easy deal.


not to mention they got 1st round picks, sebastian telfair who is still young and playing well along with gerald green who at the time everyone thought had a high ceiling

now it was still a good trade because al jefferson is a animal and at the time was averaging i believe 16ppg 9rpg which makes bynums what 8ppg at the time look iffy
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#14 last stand 2.0

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:21 PM

Like I said, if it were up to me, even at the time of last summer, I wouldn't trade 2 Bynums for Garnett.

I'm just looking at things from McHale's idiot perspective. He generally lacks forsite seeing how man busts he has selected and the awful personel choices he has made. Jefferson was the sure thing, and that's what McHale needed. If he made the trade for Bynum and Bynum didn't work out (which was still a perceived risk at the time) McHale would have been out of a job.


jefferson was the sure thing and is still a 20 and 10 guy who at PF would be dominating even more so i still think the deal was worth it

their only mistake was trading randy foye for brandon roy because in that situation you are talking future dynasty with roy and jefferson but his fault was not trading for jefferson 20 and 10 is hard to find in fact there is only 3 of them

i would argue there was no better deal he could have made

he got theo ratliff 10 million expiring, al jefferson 16ppg 9rpg 22year old, gerald green guy who looked to have all the potential in the world but unlike andrew didn't have the work ethic, and sebastian telfair a young PG who every year has gotten better slowly but surely

there was no better offer at the time period
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#15 ab4sure

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:24 PM

I for one was celebrating when the KG deal went down. I would have rather him traded to another team though like the knicks during that time.
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#16 Scott P

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:32 PM

Do you have a link to the article? because our rules state that we can't post the whole article. -Magicmoment

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The rules state "You may not advertise or promote other forums or blogs which may compete with the Lakers Nation." This was a newspaper article.



It takes a great scout to realize Bynum's potential. At the time, if you just went for current production, Jefferson was an easy choice. At the time though, I saw much more promise and potential with Bynum.

Their deal with Boston was not a conspiracy. Jefferson is an awesome player. I think it's just that McHale isn't the best talent evaluator. He's a hit and miss type of guy.

He's the guy who traded both Brandon Roy and O.J. Mayo on draft day.

Edited by Scott P, January 31, 2009 - 03:35 PM.


#17 last stand 2.0

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:33 PM

I for one was celebrating when the KG deal went down. I would have rather him traded to another team though like the knicks during that time.


i was praying for him to go to the warriors at the time

i was saying to myself keep him out of pheonix or boston

well i got half my wish
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#18 last stand 2.0

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 03:36 PM

Wasn't familiar with that rule. But why?




He's the guy who traded both Brandon Roy and O.J. Mayo on draft day.


thats why hes hit and miss he always makes great picks and then trades them away

i mean god he could have brandon roy and al jeffersonb which is deadly or hell al jefferson, randy foye, OJ mayo

i see where he was coming from with kevin love but they needed length down low and since there wasn't any of that besides brook lopez who also would have been better for their team than kevin love they needed a playmaker in the backcourt someone who could create off the dribble and besides derrick rose there was no better player than OJ mayo in this draft who i think 5 years from now we'll be talking about as the clas of this draft
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#19 fido

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 04:51 PM

Conspiracy - no.

Collusion - most definitely.

Talent evaluator or not, every other team in the league would've gone for the Bynum / Odom deal in a split second over Jefferson and company.

That doesn't change the fact that the league didn't investigate the KG trade because they needed the East to have a contender and they needed Boston (since New York showed no signs of life) to be relevant again. Hence, the trade, the revitalized rivalry and better ratings for the NBA.

I'm not a conspiracy guy whatsoever, but if you don't think this trade smacked of collusion than you're looking at the business of sports through rose colored glasses.

As it works out, its better for the Lakers anyway. The Lakers have Bynum, they got Gasol, got the big 3, are still a year head of schedule and are online to be a force for years to come.

#20 ファイナルファンタジ

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Posted January 31, 2009 - 11:43 PM

Kevin McHale is a nub.

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