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Lakers implementing Princeton offense?


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#41 Inverse

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Posted July 30, 2012 - 10:35 PM

L.A.K.E.R. on this front I couldn't agree more with everything you said, especially on the Adelman front.

Although I have no doubt Kobe could run the Princeton Offense, I don't think it's his preference nor does it play to his strengths at this stage of his career.

This is exactly what Kobe NEEDS at this point of his career. The ability for the offense to create for him, rather than HIM creating the offense. It'll take a lot of the load off Kobe
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#42 L.A.K.E.R

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Posted July 30, 2012 - 10:53 PM

I honestly didn't even know of that stereotype, I'm only familiar with the offense in regards to what I've seen in the NBA. Can it be used successfully? Absolutely. Do I think that our team as currently constructed can use it effectively? Not really. Expecting Bynum to screen and roll effectively in that variation you mentioned is a bit much at this considering how awful he's been at pick-and-roll throughout his career.

I wasn't comparing past teams in terms of talent, but with the pieces they had that could maximize their abilities in this system. The players on that team fit the system. I don't see that same kind of fit with players on our current roster. If you don't have the necessary personnel, an offensive system obviously won't work. That was our failure with the 4-out-1-in this past season. If we do end up running 3-man sets like you've mentioned, we'd then be relying upon off ball action from Artest and Bynum, neither of whom are particularly good off the ball (Artest with his lack of shooting touch and mobility, Bynum with his inability to get good position on a consistent basis).

The good news is that the Princeton offense would definitely work for us with one or two signings and a potential Dwight Howard trade. It would be almost ideal at that point. If we do end up pulling off a deal for Howard, that could really be the one thing that really opens up the floodgates when it comes to the Lakers' potential offensive schemes. I'm assuming any Howard deal with also net us either Richardson or Turkoglu who would both be great fits in this potential system. Sign a shooter like Jodie Meeks or Michael Redd and we've got a team 7 deep for that offense. Run pick-and-roll variations with Nash and Howard/Gasol, run off ball picks for Kobe and others to free up for open looks, and simply spread the floor and let our best guys go to work.

Simply put, we get Dwight Howard + filler and the Princeton Offense looks very good with our potential squad. I'm not a fan of this offense with Bynum still on the roster, but with Dwight Howard + a floor spacer? Sign me right up.

#43 Majesty

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 02:26 AM

I honestly didn't even know of that stereotype, I'm only familiar with the offense in regards to what I've seen in the NBA. Can it be used successfully? Absolutely. Do I think that our team as currently constructed can use it effectively? Not really. Expecting Bynum to screen and roll effectively in that variation you mentioned is a bit much at this considering how awful he's been at pick-and-roll throughout his career.

I wasn't comparing past teams in terms of talent, but with the pieces they had that could maximize their abilities in this system. The players on that team fit the system. I don't see that same kind of fit with players on our current roster. If you don't have the necessary personnel, an offensive system obviously won't work. That was our failure with the 4-out-1-in this past season. If we do end up running 3-man sets like you've mentioned, we'd then be relying upon off ball action from Artest and Bynum, neither of whom are particularly good off the ball (Artest with his lack of shooting touch and mobility, Bynum with his inability to get good position on a consistent basis).

The good news is that the Princeton offense would definitely work for us with one or two signings and a potential Dwight Howard trade. It would be almost ideal at that point. If we do end up pulling off a deal for Howard, that could really be the one thing that really opens up the floodgates when it comes to the Lakers' potential offensive schemes. I'm assuming any Howard deal with also net us either Richardson or Turkoglu who would both be great fits in this potential system. Sign a shooter like Jodie Meeks or Michael Redd and we've got a team 7 deep for that offense. Run pick-and-roll variations with Nash and Howard/Gasol, run off ball picks for Kobe and others to free up for open looks, and simply spread the floor and let our best guys go to work.

Simply put, we get Dwight Howard + filler and the Princeton Offense looks very good with our potential squad. I'm not a fan of this offense with Bynum still on the roster, but with Dwight Howard + a floor spacer? Sign me right up.


Thing is, when it comes to pick and roll. You can't really single out Bynum.

Let's be honest, they ALL played in a system(even when Phil was here) that was never really based around a Pick and Roll nor have we had a point guard that can really run it to effect.

Let's be serious, aside from Pau and Kobe, NO ONE on the Lakers last year played the Pick and Roll well last year and when we had point guards like Fisher and Blake you don't expect them to run it that much, Blake is probably familiar with it but he ain't run it since he's been a Laker and we never had a true blue STARTING P&R point guard to run that kind of offense with. I saw EVERYONE struggle with P&R last year except Kobe and Gasol, and even Kobe struggled at times with it. It's hard when for the last decade and a half of your career Pick and Roll was never really a part of it. understanding the concept is simple enough but never having time to really apply it because of no practice or anything else really screwed us when we got a semi point guard that could do it(Sessions) in fact the only person that consistently seemed to know what the heck he was doing out there pick and roll wise when Sessions was out there, was McRoberts who more often than not ALWAYS came out to set the screen for Sessions. I remember calling it out that I'd like to see Kobe seeing better picks for Sessions and how McRoberts is the only person seemed committed to it.

So it wasn't JUST Bynum that struggled or played the pick and roll bad last year, it was everyone not named Gasol and Kobe(and even Kobe struggled at times with it) the only guy out there that knew what to do with it was, Gasol and he's familiar with that kind of play, it's something he can excel at when he decides to be aggressive.

I think this off-season and PRACTICE on the pick and roll and the princeton offense with a point guard like Nash will help us a LOT and I think Blake will feel a lot more at home running that kind of style, since that's pretty much what he used to kill us with, along with his three point shooting.

So ultimately now that we have two point guards that CAN play the P&R and an entire training camp to work on it, I think things will gel a lot more come season time, but we will see. I think Kobe said it best when he said the lack of practice with all the new things and pieces in place pretty much nullified their offense down to calling sets and reacting, and how that was one of their biggest weaknesses.

I think other teams went through that all as well, when you look at it, in that shortened season, the two teams that went to the finals both ran offenses with no halfcourt sets whatsoever and pretty much was run and gun fast break style long jumpshots basketball. I don't think that this is a coincidence at all.


Playing through a system at the high school level is completely different on the NBA level. You don't have the same level of athleticism or defensive ability to deal with. If you have 5 guys on the court capable of moving off the ball, shooting, passing and dribbling you'll have definite success with it in HS. However, an athletic defensive team (like the Heat) is more than capable of switching and matching up at the NBA level.

The Princeton offense was used most recently by the Eddie Jordan led Wizards, Byron Scott led New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets, and most famously by Rick Adelman and the early 00s Sacramento Kings. The Wizards had 3 All-Star level players able maximize movement in that system (Arenas, Jamison, Butler), the Kings had two fantastic passing big men in Divac and Webber along with great off-ball players like Stojakovic and Bibby, and both the Hornets and Nets had a ball-dominant guard (CP3, Kidd) with active players in constant movement off the ball. We currently don't have that kind of personnel to run this scheme full-time on the offensive end. You need shooters, players that are great at moving off the ball, and able passers. We have 3 in our starting lineup, the other two guys don't fit into this mold at all and will hurt us. We have one on the bench (Jamison), but he's a definite liability on defense and we can't afford to run a Nash/Kobe/MWP/Jamison/Gasol lineup for long stretches.

If we look to incorporate Andrew Bynum as a focal point in a variation of the offense, we're relying upon him to find cutters, open shooters, make mid-range jumpers, and to create looks for others. All things that he clearly isn't prepared to do at this point in his career. We're taking the ball out of the hands of Nash and Kobe and looking for Bynum to create for others. Webber and Divac could do it, Bynum can't. If we look to diminish his role, we'd have to convince him to become a defensive anchor and focus on crashing the boards for us. Good luck with that.

Pau would be an excellent fit since the Princeton offense relies upon many of the same principles as the Triangle. However, Ron wasn't too great in the Triangle and I don't expect him to be much better in this system. We've got two ball-dominant guards, a center with tunnel vision, and a SF that can't space the floor. We've got mismatched pieces on this team for that sort of offense. We can incorporate elements of the offense into whatever scheme we run, but I don't see the Lakers being able to rely upon it full-time with their current personnel.



See here is the thing. Bynum finding cutters has never been a problem, Bynum is actually a very good single coverage passer, it's out of double teams where he had issues. But when Bynum is single covered I've seen him find some teammates and make some nice passes, whether its Gasol(who it usually is) or otherwise. Bynum when he's being single covered isn't a problem in terms of passing, it's when he'd take the ball into the jaws of a double team and then not pass out of it that was an issue, or when he held it too long looking for a play to be made or looking for someone to pass it to. THIS kind of offense will give him more opportunities to get rid of the ball before the double comes and he can play in it well. The only things we'll need to school him on, is passing out of double teams and acclimating himself with the pick and roll(which he really only would run similar situations with Kobe mostly).

Because Bynum is very good at spinning off of defenders and looking for an alley oop. It's actually one of his best moves. So if we can perfect that after a screen, Bynum will be VERY deadly from that side of things.

Like I said, I really can't wait for the season to begin and see how they start adjusting throughout practice. I can get a better view of things after that.

But single coverage passing or when a cutter is headed his way or on the outlet or a fast break has never been his issue








Edited by Majesty, July 31, 2012 - 03:00 AM.

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#44 Hero

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 03:06 AM

Never heard of the Princeton offense. I know it's going to take a text book to explain it, but if anyone can summarize, it would be greatly appreciated.


It looks good on paper, but I don't know...

Doesn't look like it's good for the knees of the older players


The older players are the only ones making this team a championship-caliber one.

Edited by Hero, July 31, 2012 - 03:13 AM.

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#45 Majesty

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 03:13 AM

Never heard of the Princeton offense. I know it's going to take a text book to explain it, but if anyone can summarize, it would be greatly appreciated.




The older players are the only ones making this team a championship-caliber one.



here you go :)



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#46 Rad

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 03:59 AM

Looks like an interesting offense which could suit us very well. Really looking forward to the start of the season.

#47 Inverse

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 04:17 AM

I honestly didn't even know of that stereotype, I'm only familiar with the offense in regards to what I've seen in the NBA. Can it be used successfully? Absolutely. Do I think that our team as currently constructed can use it effectively? Not really. Expecting Bynum to screen and roll effectively in that variation you mentioned is a bit much at this considering how awful he's been at pick-and-roll throughout his career.

I wasn't comparing past teams in terms of talent, but with the pieces they had that could maximize their abilities in this system. The players on that team fit the system. I don't see that same kind of fit with players on our current roster. If you don't have the necessary personnel, an offensive system obviously won't work. That was our failure with the 4-out-1-in this past season. If we do end up running 3-man sets like you've mentioned, we'd then be relying upon off ball action from Artest and Bynum, neither of whom are particularly good off the ball (Artest with his lack of shooting touch and mobility, Bynum with his inability to get good position on a consistent basis).

The good news is that the Princeton offense would definitely work for us with one or two signings and a potential Dwight Howard trade. It would be almost ideal at that point. If we do end up pulling off a deal for Howard, that could really be the one thing that really opens up the floodgates when it comes to the Lakers' potential offensive schemes. I'm assuming any Howard deal with also net us either Richardson or Turkoglu who would both be great fits in this potential system. Sign a shooter like Jodie Meeks or Michael Redd and we've got a team 7 deep for that offense. Run pick-and-roll variations with Nash and Howard/Gasol, run off ball picks for Kobe and others to free up for open looks, and simply spread the floor and let our best guys go to work.

Simply put, we get Dwight Howard + filler and the Princeton Offense looks very good with our potential squad. I'm not a fan of this offense with Bynum still on the roster, but with Dwight Howard + a floor spacer? Sign me right up.

I agree, having shooters is practically a must in the princeton. However, I'm not really sweating that since statistically we just acquired one of the best shooters of all time, and I'm sure management is working on something, whether Dwight trade or free agency, to get shooters in here. Just know we will be seeing plenty of flare and staggered screens this season, a shooters best friend.

And the stereotype generally comes from Princeton, as the majority of their players are not as athletic as other schools, thus needing the offense in order for them to be successful. I've heard it called "white" basketball before.
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#48 Majesty

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 04:26 AM

here's some more

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#49 Majesty

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 04:36 AM

Looks like an interesting offense which could suit us very well. Really looking forward to the start of the season.


here's more info for you :)

The offense usually starts out with four players outside the three-point arc with one player at the top of the key. The ball is kept in constant motion through passing until either a mismatch allows a player to cut to the basket or a player without the ball cuts toward the unoccupied area under and around the basket, and is passed the ball for a layup. Having a strong post player is important because this player is critical to passing to backdoor cutters, and can draw help defense to open outside shots.

The hallmark of the offense is the backdoor pass, where a player on the wing suddenly moves in towards the basket, receives a bounce pass from a guard on the perimeter, and (if done correctly) finds himself with no defenders between him and a layup. Alternatively, when the defensive team attempts to pack the paint to prevent backdoor cuts, the offense utilizes three point shots from the perimeter. All five players in the offense—including the center—should be competent at making a three point attempt, further spreading the floor.

The offense is often a very slow developing one, relying on a high number of passes, and is often used in college basketball by teams facing opponents with superior athletic talent, to maintain a low-scoring game (believing that a high-scoring game would favor the athletically superior opponent). As a result, Princeton has led the nation in scoring defense 19 times including every year from 1989–2000.


Posted Image

here's a video of it in motion so you can get an idea



If we had the Ron Artest from Indiana or Sacramento he could be a nice fit in that system, but not currently. I just don't see it happening.

It's funny you mention the Artest from Sacramento, actually when Artest was in Sacramento that is EXACTLY the offense they ran(Princeton) .

In the Princeton offense Artest averaged 20.5 points 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 45% from the field and 38% from three.

So I think he knows what he's doing.

Edited by Majesty, July 31, 2012 - 04:47 AM.

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#50 Inverse

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 04:41 AM

I've also been seeing other Laker fans say they are worried this is not the right offense for Steve Nash. Well, trust me, they can't be any further from the truth. Nash will absolutely thrive in this offense. He's the last guy anyone has to worry about. The point guard in the princeton offense is the definition of a floor general. It is only successful if you have a great point guard to set up the table so the rest of the players can eat!
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#51 Cato

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 05:51 AM

This is exactly what Kobe NEEDS at this point of his career. The ability for the offense to create for him, rather than HIM creating the offense. It'll take a lot of the load off Kobe


Kobe's strengths at this stage in his career are in the post, not what the Princeton Offense calls for it's guards/wings.

#52 Cato

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 05:54 AM

I honestly didn't even know of that stereotype, I'm only familiar with the offense in regards to what I've seen in the NBA. Can it be used successfully? Absolutely. Do I think that our team as currently constructed can use it effectively? Not really. Expecting Bynum to screen and roll effectively in that variation you mentioned is a bit much at this considering how awful he's been at pick-and-roll throughout his career.

I wasn't comparing past teams in terms of talent, but with the pieces they had that could maximize their abilities in this system. The players on that team fit the system. I don't see that same kind of fit with players on our current roster. If you don't have the necessary personnel, an offensive system obviously won't work. That was our failure with the 4-out-1-in this past season. If we do end up running 3-man sets like you've mentioned, we'd then be relying upon off ball action from Artest and Bynum, neither of whom are particularly good off the ball (Artest with his lack of shooting touch and mobility, Bynum with his inability to get good position on a consistent basis).

The good news is that the Princeton offense would definitely work for us with one or two signings and a potential Dwight Howard trade. It would be almost ideal at that point. If we do end up pulling off a deal for Howard, that could really be the one thing that really opens up the floodgates when it comes to the Lakers' potential offensive schemes. I'm assuming any Howard deal with also net us either Richardson or Turkoglu who would both be great fits in this potential system. Sign a shooter like Jodie Meeks or Michael Redd and we've got a team 7 deep for that offense. Run pick-and-roll variations with Nash and Howard/Gasol, run off ball picks for Kobe and others to free up for open looks, and simply spread the floor and let our best guys go to work.

Simply put, we get Dwight Howard + filler and the Princeton Offense looks very good with our potential squad. I'm not a fan of this offense with Bynum still on the roster, but with Dwight Howard + a floor spacer? Sign me right up.


Well said.

#53 Cato

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 06:02 AM

I should add that Howard is great off the ball, and Gasol would excel being the main focal point down low in a reaction-based offense (which is exactly what Kobe was trying to tell Howard last season).

Maybe the Princeton offense isn't perfect for us even if/when we land Dwight, it's still better than Mike Brown's set-based offense. I trust Nash enough to make the necessary adjustments to get Kobe his looks in the post and his sweet spots on the free-throw line extended (even though this runs somewhat counter to the P.O.).

All the Gasol haters on this board are going to be eating their crow when we lead the league in scoring next season. I shudder at the thought of having j smoove or and some of the other power forwards people on this board worship instead of the Big Wookie.

NOTE: As L.A.K.E.R. previously mentioned, this ONLY works if we swap for Dwight.

#54 Cato

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 06:08 AM

I've also been seeing other Laker fans say they are worried this is not the right offense for Steve Nash. Well, trust me, they can't be any further from the truth. Nash will absolutely thrive in this offense. He's the last guy anyone has to worry about. The point guard in the princeton offense is the definition of a floor general. It is only successful if you have a great point guard to set up the table so the rest of the players can eat!


Not really.

Not to say it wouldn't work, but Nash's strengths are in the pick and roll, not a main feature in the P.O. If you remember the old Kings teams, the real 'floor generals' offense were Webber and Divac. Nash is just so good that he can and will make it work.

#55 Real Deal

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 11:07 AM

Well, since there have been multiple videos posted, and there's a handful of posts explaining it, I won't type a huge explanation...no point in that now, haha.

However, I will say a few things about the offense (earlier, I was posting from my phone, so you weren't going to get much from me).

1) Gasol, at the center position, and Jamison at the four, will be huge for our second unit trying to run the Princeton.

2) I still have a fear that Drew isn't going to be able to do this. Too much is going to happen that involves him, and I wish Drew's role was limited to just scoring the ball right when it's dumped into him, not trying to make something else happen out of the low block (or any location in or near the high post).

3) The ball will be in Nash's hands less, but this maximizes his effectiveness as a shooter, which is something Phoenix was unable to do. Eddie Jordan will have to adjust the offense and find the best spot(s) for Nash, but if done correctly, Nash will show everyone why he's the greatest shooting PG of all time.

4) I'm not worried about Kobe. I wasn't worried about him in the triangle, an offense that demands five able-bodied passers, spacing, and ball movement (and some say that's all anti-Kobe, since he's an ISO player), but he thrived in it. He will continue to draw the extra defensive attention, which will only help free up teammates for buckets in an offense that creates out of cuts and misdirection.

5) I'd rather have Eddie Jordan as an assistant, than Rick Adelman as a head coach. It may sound wrong, but with Adelman, there's a big chance our defense will take a plunge, especially if he brings in a few of his favorites as assistants, and we don't have room to make up for that because our defense is based more on a system, rather than individual talent (combinations of athleticism, speed, strength, etc).

I helped teach a Princeton offense at a basketball camp years ago. It's not tough to learn the offense itself, but if you don't have certain skills that are required to play in it, you'll become a liability very quickly, and that's what worries me the most about Bynum and this offense. I was pulling HS kids off the court for not being able to pass the ball out at the right times, and reading the defense and how they react to particular cuts and screens. Could be tough for us to execute to perfection, but again, it's not hard to learn the principles and know your role.

#56 MadSci

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 11:18 AM

Well, since there have been multiple videos posted, and there's a handful of posts explaining it, I won't type a huge explanation...no point in that now, haha.

However, I will say a few things about the offense (earlier, I was posting from my phone, so you weren't going to get much from me).

1) Gasol, at the center position, and Jamison at the four, will be huge for our second unit trying to run the Princeton.

2) I still have a fear that Drew isn't going to be able to do this. Too much is going to happen that involves him, and I wish Drew's role was limited to just scoring the ball right when it's dumped into him, not trying to make something else happen out of the low block (or any location in or near the high post).

3) The ball will be in Nash's hands less, but this maximizes his effectiveness as a shooter, which is something Phoenix was unable to do. Eddie Jordan will have to adjust the offense and find the best spot(s) for Nash, but if done correctly, Nash will show everyone why he's the greatest shooting PG of all time.

4) I'm not worried about Kobe. I wasn't worried about him in the triangle, an offense that demands five able-bodied passers, spacing, and ball movement (and some say that's all anti-Kobe, since he's an ISO player), but he thrived in it. He will continue to draw the extra defensive attention, which will only help free up teammates for buckets in an offense that creates out of cuts and misdirection.

5) I'd rather have Eddie Jordan as an assistant, than Rick Adelman as a head coach. It may sound wrong, but with Adelman, there's a big chance our defense will take a plunge, especially if he brings in a few of his favorites as assistants, and we don't have room to make up for that because our defense is based more on a system, rather than individual talent (combinations of athleticism, speed, strength, etc).

I helped teach a Princeton offense at a basketball camp years ago. It's not tough to learn the offense itself, but if you don't have certain skills that are required to play in it, you'll become a liability very quickly, and that's what worries me the most about Bynum and this offense. I was pulling HS kids off the court for not being able to pass the ball out at the right times, and reading the defense and how they react to particular cuts and screens. Could be tough for us to execute to perfection, but again, it's not hard to learn the principles and know your role.



Interesting, do you think Howard will be a better fit for this offense?

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 11:34 AM

Interesting, do you think Howard will be a better fit for this offense?

As of right now, of course, because he can do more than just sleep on the low block and score baby hooks. Howard's mobility, and his passing, will separate him from Drew when it comes to the execution of this offense.

#58 Basketball Reasons

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 11:39 AM

The Pau/Jamison front court definitely makes the Princeton plausible, no doubt. Bynum will have the hardest time with it, but there will still be plenty of PnR and post ups for him to work with. I don't expect a Princeton set being ran every time down the court, and with the way the offense looked last season, having a system to fall back on is going to make watching the offense easier no doubt. I'm excited to see what happens on the court.
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#59 L.A.K.E.R

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 12:23 PM

It's funny you mention the Artest from Sacramento, actually when Artest was in Sacramento that is EXACTLY the offense they ran(Princeton) .

In the Princeton offense Artest averaged 20.5 points 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 45% from the field and 38% from three.

So I think he knows what he's doing.


Actually, he only played 40 games under Rick Adelman in the '05-06 season after being traded there from Indiana. That was Adelman's last season with the Kings. Artest put up 17/5/4 on 39% shooting and 31% from beyond the arc. He reunited with Adelman in Houston prior to coming here and put up 17/5/3 on 40% shooting and 40% from behind the arc.

The problem is that we don't have that Ron Artest. That was Ron Artest in his athletic prime able to play the dual role of primary scoring option while guarding the best guy on the other team. Also, he's always been a high volume low efficiency shooter throughout his entire career. He doesn't get those 14+ FGA here in LA on a nightly basis. That Ron Artest was mobile, a decent shooter, and far more athletic than the one we've had in LA. 32 year old Ron Artest with less athleticism and 20-30 more pounds isn't a good fit for a system that requires a bunch of player movement and for him to spot up and shoot. He's not that player anymore, he was that player in his athletic prime.

#60 Real Deal

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 03:06 PM

The young Artest was so skilled, he was handed the keys to a triangle offense in Chicago (when they dipped into that experiment, post-Jordan).




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