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Kurt Rambis wants the Lakers to be a top defensive team; plans to fix the Lakers' defense


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#41 Wilfred

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Posted August 03, 2013 - 09:18 PM

Rickety Cricket - try not to be vulgar, it's not funny.

 

Thanks.

What made it unintentionally funny was he wrote "then/than"  rather than "by"



#42 L.A.K.E.R

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Posted August 03, 2013 - 11:36 PM

IMPOSSIBLE?

 

I think a lot of people forget that most of those stats about points in the paint came off TRANSITION buckets...where we were just too slow to change ends or set up our half-court defense.  Considering all of the different lineups we HAD to throw out there due to injury, we spent a lot of time with our BACK-UPS against other teams' STARTERS, which will sink your defensive rating faster than anything else.

 

AND (yes there is an "AND") not ONE starter played the entire season without a major injury...Nash broke a bone/ Kobe tore his achilles/ MWP had knee surgery/ Pau had plantar fasciitis/ Dwight spent the first 6 months in LA trying to play himself back into shape following MAJOR back surgery...

 

Even Jordan Hill has major surgery off the bench.

 

There are a LOT of other reasons we were bad defensively and can be instantly better this year IF we don't get married to the injury bug again...

 

Add in the fact that we actually have a defensive coach on the staff and you think it's IMPOSSIBLE for this team of young hungry, long athletic players to finish in the top 10 defensively?

 

I'll take that bet.


Yeah, impossible. I'm not sipping the offseason kool-aid after signing a handful of roleplayers. We lost a superstar player, one the best defensive players in the league, and you can't just replace that with a few stop-gap signings.

 

You can't magically become a top notch defensive team if you don't have the necessary pieces, and we barely have any. The only person on our roster who can defend their positional match-up at an above average level in the upcoming season is Jordan Hill, and he's iffy because we can't rely upon him for long stretches. We have a grand total of zero defensive stoppers on the perimeter. It doesn't matter if they're "young" or "hungry" if they're incapable of playing defense. Nick Young and Jordan Farmar can't guard anyone, they are nothing on the defensive end of the floor. People need to understand that these two guys are really, really bad on the defensive end. Wesley Johnson? As much as everyone has hyped up the signing and praised his potential, that's just what it is, potential. He isn't a proven commodity on either end of the floor, and I don't expect him to suddenly become a capable defensive stopper when defense is the very last thing our head coach preaches.

 

Our last line of defense will be Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol, The only person on our entire roster who is capable of playing above average defense at their position is Jordan Hill, and he's only good for spot minutes as an energy guy. Our front-line will be terrible defensively and our perimeter players can't defend a lick. I don't care how young our team is when the individual pieces can't defend at their positions.

 

We have Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar as our PG rotation in a league where all but a handful of teams have a PG capable of scoring at will against them. Once opposing PGs break them down off the dribble or pick them off screens (Kaman and Gasol can't defend the P&R effectively at all) we'll be screwed. I don't even want to imagine what a team like the Clippers will do to us next season without a defensive anchor to clog the paint. Let's just take a look at every starting PG in the Western Conference we'll be going up against 3-4 times next season:

 

Chris Paul (LAC)

Ty Lawson (DEN)

Jose Calderon (DAL)

Stephen Curry (GSW)

Mike Conley (MEM)

Ricky Rubio (MIN)

Goran Dragic (PHX)

Russell Westbrook (OKC)

Damian Lillard (POR)

Tony Parker (SAS)

Greivis Vasquez (SAC)

Trey Burke (UTH)

Jrue Holiday (NOP)

Jeremy Lin (HOU)

 

Aside from the rookie Trey Burke, I've seen each of these PGs thoroughly dominate the Lakers at one point or another in the last two seasons. I think all but 2 of them had really good showings against us last season, and that's with Dwight Howard there to defend the paint. For some reason, I don't think a trio of Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake and a 40 year old Steve Nash will be clamping down defensively any time soon. I don't see Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman deterring very many straight-line drives either.

 

We lost the best defensive anchor in the league and amnestied the only other guy who was capable of playing elite defense from time to time (not very often recently, but whatever). You don't just replace Dwight Howard and MWP with the likes of Chris Kaman, Nick Young and Wesley Johnson and just magically think that we'll somehow be better defensively. It doesn't matter what scheme you design if the pieces are incapable of playing good defense. Common sense should prevail in this case, it's like some of your are oblivious to how dreadful our roster is defensively.



#43 Majesty

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 02:44 AM


Yeah, impossible. I'm not sipping the offseason kool-aid after signing a handful of roleplayers. We lost a superstar player, one the best defensive players in the league, and you can't just replace that with a few stop-gap signings.

 

You can't magically become a top notch defensive team if you don't have the necessary pieces, and we barely have any. The only person on our roster who can defend their positional match-up at an above average level in the upcoming season is Jordan Hill, and he's iffy because we can't rely upon him for long stretches. We have a grand total of zero defensive stoppers on the perimeter. It doesn't matter if they're "young" or "hungry" if they're incapable of playing defense. Nick Young and Jordan Farmar can't guard anyone, they are nothing on the defensive end of the floor. People need to understand that these two guys are really, really bad on the defensive end. Wesley Johnson? As much as everyone has hyped up the signing and praised his potential, that's just what it is, potential. He isn't a proven commodity on either end of the floor, and I don't expect him to suddenly become a capable defensive stopper when defense is the very last thing our head coach preaches.

 

Our last line of defense will be Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol, The only person on our entire roster who is capable of playing above average defense at their position is Jordan Hill, and he's only good for spot minutes as an energy guy. Our front-line will be terrible defensively and our perimeter players can't defend a lick. I don't care how young our team is when the individual pieces can't defend at their positions.

 

We have Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar as our PG rotation in a league where all but a handful of teams have a PG capable of scoring at will against them. Once opposing PGs break them down off the dribble or pick them off screens (Kaman and Gasol can't defend the P&R effectively at all) we'll be screwed. I don't even want to imagine what a team like the Clippers will do to us next season without a defensive anchor to clog the paint. Let's just take a look at every starting PG in the Western Conference we'll be going up against 3-4 times next season:

 

Chris Paul (LAC)

Ty Lawson (DEN)

Jose Calderon (DAL)

Stephen Curry (GSW)

Mike Conley (MEM)

Ricky Rubio (MIN)

Goran Dragic (PHX)

Russell Westbrook (OKC)

Damian Lillard (POR)

Tony Parker (SAS)

Greivis Vasquez (SAC)

Trey Burke (UTH)

Jrue Holiday (NOP)

Jeremy Lin (HOU)

 

Aside from the rookie Trey Burke, I've seen each of these PGs thoroughly dominate the Lakers at one point or another in the last two seasons. I think all but 2 of them had really good showings against us last season, and that's with Dwight Howard there to defend the paint. For some reason, I don't think a trio of Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake and a 40 year old Steve Nash will be clamping down defensively any time soon. I don't see Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman deterring very many straight-line drives either.

 

We lost the best defensive anchor in the league and amnestied the only other guy who was capable of playing elite defense from time to time (not very often recently, but whatever). You don't just replace Dwight Howard and MWP with the likes of Chris Kaman, Nick Young and Wesley Johnson and just magically think that we'll somehow be better defensively. It doesn't matter what scheme you design if the pieces are incapable of playing good defense. Common sense should prevail in this case, it's like some of your are oblivious to how dreadful our roster is defensively.



Gonna play advocate for this particular response and try to see if I can see it from maybe what Rambis perspective may be(aside from his unweltering faith in Wesley Johnson)

Rambis is looking at it from the perspective on that the offense last year was bad as in it had no structure and in having no structure a lot of bad plays happened and those plays resulted in us being out of position on the defensive end a lot of the time.

Citing spacing as a major problem as well among other things.

Kurt believes that this year the offense will flow better and we won't force up or put up as many bad shots which will put us in better positions to get back defensively.

Kurt also talked about having Dwight Howard but still being a terrible defensive team because of the bad habits of everyone  with NO defensive structure and that it piled on top of everything else.

So Rambis feels pretty strongly that he can get us playing team defense as well as be in a better flow on the offensive side of things allowing us to get back on defense more often or at least to get set in a halfcourt set.

I agree that it will improve it.

Rambis is basically gonna teach these guys where they need to be on the defensive end so that we can play team defense  and if you want to see the wonders Kurt can do, look at our defense during our 2-peat, Bynum's in particular when healthy, and then look at Bynum's lack of defense when Rambis left.

Bynum stopped hedging properly, stopped preventing pick and rolls and his effort was inconsistent on that end. 

Rambis had a lot to do with helping our big man defense, for Gasol AND for Bynum, he was also good at implementing zone extremely well.

Not to mention we have younger and more athletic wing defenders than last year.

No matter how you stretch it, Young is going to be a better defender at the 2 than Meeks was, Kaman is going to be better than Jamison and Sacre. Wesley won't be as good as Metta but if Kurt even gets him to be a pest on defense with his 7 foot wingspan then it would be a fine trade off.   Couple that with the fact that Johnson is less likely to take a bad shot that forces us into an awkward position.

One thing Kurt brings is a mindset on how to stop pick and rolls.   We did that well during our 2-peat save a few lazy moments, even so, he knew what to do and what to teach when it came to stopping things like that.

We STILL got killed on pick and rolls last year.  Know why?  Because whenever Dwight would rotate his man wouldn't rotate to cover the guy that was left open.  Those habits were still there. 

Fixing those habits goes a long way with or without Dwight there because it makes the offense have to finish over Kaman or Gasol at the rim and honestly I'd rather that happen than giving up an easy layup cause we are so unstructured that we keep leaving the second person open one pass away for a wide open layup which is basically what happened last year.


Stuff like our offense being better flowing and more fitting and less bad shots being thrown up will help our fast break defense because Kurt's entire thing is not being out of position when a shot goes up, this is vital and also something that wasn't there last year.


If Kurt adds

Proper hedging and rotations on pick and rolls and screens
Some zone
More structured fast break defense. 

These are his specialties.

Those are also three things that killed us more than our age.

Whenever we got set in the halfcourt we weren't a 'terrible" defensive team, the problem as Rambis said was we were so unstructured that we were often out of position to even defend when it came time to.   If he fixes those little things it's already better than last year.

It wasn't our age(aside from injuries) that killed us last year, it was lack of structure on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

Adding structure is a BIG step and puts us in a much better position to defend than anything we did last year because every single bad habit Kurt is aiming to fix was there last year with Dwight as well, and fixing those habits still helps our team, even if we do not have Dwight.

 

When it comes to pick and rolls defense(obviously a weakness) Kurt is going to preach strong size zone.  

This is why having someone like Hill in the lineup is vital,

Do I expect Kaman or Gasol to be pick and roll monster stoppers? No.   But I expect our bad habits from last year to be lowered, which was very important.


When it comes to people capable of defense on our team we have this

Blake(gritty, can be a pest)
Farmar(worked solely on his pick and roll and defense overseas as his coach was defensive minded and required it)
Young(shown the capability, lacked the focus)
Kobe(self explanatory)
Johnson(has the tools, needs to use them)
Hill(self explanatory)
Kaman(good rim protector)
Meeks(he hustles, but his size works against him)

The people that can't play defense on our team or can't be depended on for it

Nash(good at shrinking the floor which is marvelous in a TEAM defense concept, but terrible in an isolation defensive concept, Kurt will go the team defense route)
Pau Gasol(knees can't chase down point guards from the 4 anymore, he'd defend better at the 5 but if he's on an island will get blown past)


Unproven at an NBA level
Elias Harris
Ryan Kelly

Both were marked as good defenders in college for different reasons but haven't played an NBA game yet.


I think our defense will look better next year.

The reason I say that is because even with Dwight our defense looked horrid and bad habits cost us more points in transition and on the fast break.   Paint points were given away because we had no clue how to rotate properly.  With structure this year those errors will be hopefully fixed.


It's nothing compared to having Dwight patrol the paint at 100% but at the same time it won't be as easy to exploit us "in spite" of Dwight either.

Do I expect us to be an elite defensive team?  No.  But I expect us to be higher than 19th. having a well structured offense and having a well structured and organized defense to fill in our bad defensive habits will make some differences.  

The most important thing for Rambis to figure out is what our players strengths are defensively and built around that when coming up with a defensive plan.   Whether he can  or not remains to be seen, but I know one thing, I'd rather have us getting beat defensively off of hard shots instead of getting beat by the same whack plays over and over again cause people have no idea when to rotate.
 


Edited by Majesty, August 04, 2013 - 02:45 AM.

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#44 Air Apparent

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 03:10 AM

need the personell to achieve this goal


bw1wOGf.png


#45 BasketballIQ

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 07:55 AM

We were a title team in the Shaq days getting torched by EVERY PG in the playoffs.

White Chocolate
Bibby
Hudson
Stoudamire
Iverson
Kidd
Parker etc

These past championships:
Brooks
Westbrook
Parker
Deron
Etc

#46 MDI

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 09:24 AM

need the personell to achieve this goal

 

Not to mention when we had a talented squad to begin with in 09 and 10 the defense was suspect too


9u6kvo.png

 

Props to sidthekid871


#47 GCMD

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 10:43 AM

L.A.K.E.R.

 

By your logic, there should be 10 from the West in the NBA Finals...how so?  NONE of the PGs you mentioned can stop the other one on one...and with P&R being the meat and potatoes of most NBA offensive sets, how should any team hope to win games against the players you mentioned?

 

 

Hill is a decent post defender but he looked a lot better than pretty much everyone on our front line last year because Dwight wasn't Dwight and Pau was suffering from Tendonitis AND Plantar Fasciitis...neither allow a player to react as quickly as a healthy player...am I saying Pau will be a DPOY?  No...but Pau is longer than his brother (who was the DPOY), faster than his brother (who was DPOY) and smarter than his brother (who was DPOY).  He's got the skillset to be an above average post defender and has shown this when healthy.  He's not a bruiser but to extrapolate last season's performance into the rest of his career is myopic and illogical.  When healthy, Pau is a capable player on both ends of the court.

 

Kaman is a good positional, post defender...mainly because he does not shy away from contact.  He can and will be able to stay between most Centers and the rim in the NBA on the block.  I worry about Kaman and Pau in transition when both are on the floor.  That's where Hill outshines them.

 

As for anchors, AGAIN, MEMPHIS was an EXCELLENT defensive team withOUT a pogo-stick at anchor.   Both Marc Gasol and Z-Bo have single digit verticals.  How did they keep players out of the paint or stop penetration in the lane?  LENGTH and SPEED on the perimeter.  Using fast and long guards/forwards to funnel perimeter players to a spot where Gasol and Z-Bo would be WAITING, not forcing their BIGS to travel across the lane to protect the rim.  By doing so, they eliminated the need for guys like DeAndre Jordan or Dwight or even Tyson Chandler as shotblockers or rim protectors.  Having a gameplan and sticking to it.

 

As for your assessment of Nick Young, Farmar and Wes Johnson, I disagree...not because of what they have done this far in their careers but what they have been ASKED to do.  And the Laker history of turning unproven athletes into much better versions of themselves.  These guys have all of the tools needed to be excellent defenders.  All of them have explosive speed in transition and EXCELLENT SIZE for their positions.  All of them have the LENGTH to force defenders to work hard for their shots and to make penetration from the perimeter very hard.  ALL of them have verticals upwards of 37".

 

Does this matter?  YES.  Last year, we had no system.  This year, we will.  Does that matter?  Yes.  Will we immediately be better?  Yes.  Will we be immediately great?  NO...

 

Our biggest flaws on the defensive end were speed and transition defense.  We were a LOT OLDER (by about at least 3 years, I'd guess) and couldn't hold on to leads because we just couldn't keep teams from running.  THis year, we will, without a doubt, be able to change ends of the floor faster and give ourselves a chance to set up our half-court defense.

 

I'm not sipping the offseason Kool-Aid.  I'm not predicting that we WILL reach the top 10.  I'm saying as a coach and as a fan that what we have is reason to believe that the Lakers KNOW what went wrong last season and have done a good job putting pieces in place to correct those issues.

 

And being optimistic isn't the opposite of being realistic.  We can't replace Dwight...but we can move on.  Moving on doesn't mean downgrading.  It just means we have to get more out of more people.  Get more out of a system.  Get more out of the team.

 

We don't need a team full of great individual defenders.  Give me 8 guys with length and speed who are all committed to the same system and we will always defend better than 3 individually great defenders on a team who don't work well together (Kobe, MWP, Dwight).

 

And while you knock Nash for his on-ball defense, he's one of the smartest team defenders in the league...easily.


Edited by GCMD, August 04, 2013 - 10:45 AM.


#48 Ham

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 10:55 AM

And while you knock Nash for his on-ball defense, he's one of the smartest team defenders in the league...easily.

People forget this all the time.


Mike D'Antoni is GARBAGE.


#49 BasketballIQ

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 11:29 AM

Derek and Kobe had great defensive n
GCMD is right when he talks about Nash's team D and I would say Nash is an average defender at his position overall.

He sets some of the best picks for a guard that I have seen.


I think every Kobe Bryant led team has a chance to play smart D when needed. The part of the game that has been a huge problem for us the past two years is hitting open shots from the perimeter from our wing players and shooters, and our bigs interacting amongst another.

I would love to see our record in 3 point games or less last season.

Btw, we are Laker Fans, so we are digging deep here but still.

#50 L.A.K.E.R

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 11:39 AM

L.A.K.E.R.

 

By your logic, there should be 10 from the West in the NBA Finals...how so?  NONE of the PGs you mentioned can stop the other one on one...and with P&R being the meat and potatoes of most NBA offensive sets, how should any team hope to win games against the players you mentioned?

 

 

Hill is a decent post defender but he looked a lot better than pretty much everyone on our front line last year because Dwight wasn't Dwight and Pau was suffering from Tendonitis AND Plantar Fasciitis...neither allow a player to react as quickly as a healthy player...am I saying Pau will be a DPOY?  No...but Pau is longer than his brother (who was the DPOY), faster than his brother (who was DPOY) and smarter than his brother (who was DPOY).  He's got the skillset to be an above average post defender and has shown this when healthy.  He's not a bruiser but to extrapolate last season's performance into the rest of his career is myopic and illogical.  When healthy, Pau is a capable player on both ends of the court.

 

Kaman is a good positional, post defender...mainly because he does not shy away from contact.  He can and will be able to stay between most Centers in the NBA on the block.  I worry about Kaman and Pau in transition when both are on the floor.  That's where Hill outshines them.

 

As for anchors, AGAIN, MEMPHIS was an EXCELLENT defensive team with a pogo-stick at anchor.   Both Marc Gasol and Z-Bo have single digit verticals.  How did they keep players out of the paint or stop penetration in the lane?  LENGTH and SPEED on the perimeter.  Using fast and long guards/forwards to funnel perimeter players to a spot where Gasol and Z-Bo would be WAITING, not forcing their BIGS to travel across the lane to protect the rim.  By doing so, they eliminated the need for guys like DeAndre Jordan or Dwight or even Tyson Chandler as shotblockers or rim protectors.  Having a gameplan and sticking to it.

 

As for your assessment of Nick Young, Farmar and Wes Johnson, I disagree...not because of what they have done this far in their careers but what they have been ASKED to do.  And the Laker history of turning unproven athletes into much better versions of themselves.  These guys have all of the tools needed to be excellent defenders.  All of them have explosive speed in transition and EXCELLENT SIZE for their positions.  All of them have the LENGTH to force defenders to work hard for their shots and to make penetration from the perimeter very hard.  ALL of them have verticals upwards of 37".

 

Does this matter?  YES.  Last year, we had no system.  This year, we will.  Does that matter?  Yes.  Will we immediately be better?  Yes.  Will we be immediately great?  NO...

 

Our biggest flaws on the defensive end were speed and transition defense.  We were a LOT OLDER (by about at least 3 years, I'd guess) and couldn't hold on to leads because we just couldn't keep teams from running.  THis year, we will, without a doubt, be able to change ends of the floor faster and give ourselves a chance to set up our half-court defense.

 

I'm not sipping the offseason Kool-Aid.  I'm not predicting that we WILL reach the top 10.  I'm saying as a coach and as a fan that what we have is reason to believe that the Lakers KNOW what went wrong last season and have done a good job putting pieces in place to correct those issues.

 

And being optimistic isn't the opposite of being realistic.  We can't replace Dwight...but we can move on.  Moving on doesn't mean downgrading.  It just means we have to get more out of more people.  Get more out of a system.  Get more out of the team.

 

We don't need a team full of great individual defenders.  Give me 8 guys with length and speed who are all committed to the same system and we will always defend better than 3 individually great defenders on a team who don't work well together (Kobe, MWP, Dwight).

 

And while you knock Nash for his on-ball defense, he's one of the smartest team defenders in the league...easily.

 

Not my logic at all, I just know a team's weakness when it's clear as day. Those PGs can't stop eachother nightly, but they produce enough to offset eachother's production on the offensive end. If Westbrook scores 30 against Tony Parker, but Parker comes back with 24 of his own and manages to break down the defense time and time again, it's a draw. We won't get that from Steve Nash at this point in his career. He can't penetrate as effectively as he did earlier in his career, he's even slower than he was 3 years ago, and the PG position has vastly improved in the last 3 seasons. He can't produce at a level offensively to offset his deficiencies on the defensive end of the floor.

 

We've always had trouble defending the P&R and it is only going to be magnified in the upcoming season with our horrid defensive rotation at the PG slot and no legitimate defensive anchor to cover the paint the majority of the time. Dwight Howard gave us excellent coverage last season and during our title year, Bynum/Gasol/Odom were capable of rotating and contesting the majority of drives into the paint. We don't have that kind of personnel anymore.

 

The one-on-one post match-ups are irrelevant, that's not going to be our issue. The center position too weak offensively to worry about that. Or issues will be stopping penetration because we don't have capable perimeter defenders or help defense in the paint. Kaman and Gasol won't be able to stop drives into the paint whenever we go up against a quick PG capable of breaking down our perimeter defense. That label applies to nearly every starting PG in the NBA today. Things looked bad last year when Nash would get beaten off the dribble consistently, but it was often mitigated due to Dwight's presence in the paint. We don't have that anymore. Instead we have two 30+ year old centers who are slow on their feet and incapable of being defensive anchors at this point.

 

Above average post defender? Is it 2010? Pau Gasol hasn't been capable on the defensive end of the floor since the middle of the '10-11 season, then he fell off a cliff once he began to shy away from contact in the paint on both ends of the floor. On the defensive end, he can't even compare to his brother. Marc Gasol has MUCH better defensive instincts than Pau, is the better help defender, is the better post defender, and in all honesty he is the better player at this point in their careers.

 

Memphis has capable defensive players on the perimeter, that's the difference. We don't. You can't just point to Nick Young, Jordan Farmar and Wesley Johnson. Players need to have the defensive mentality to make an impact on that end of the floor, it's not simply about their physical gifts. Mike Conley is very quick and capable of keeping up his man in isolation and is very good at fighting over picks. Tony Allen is one of the best defensive players in the league today. Tayshaun Prince, despite being a shell of himself, still has the defensive smarts and dedication to make some impact on that end of the floor. These guys all have a defensive mentality, we don't have a single player on this roster like that aside from Jordan Hill. Not to mention the fact that they had a coach that preached defense and made it a priority for their squad, a far cry from our situation.

 

We don't have a half-court defense, that's the point. This is the first time since '07 that the Lakers haven't had a legitimate defensive anchor waiting in the post. Pau can't play that role, Kaman can't play that role, and Hill can't be relied upon for major minutes.

 

There is no magical "Oh hey you're a Laker now!" clause that transforms players into serviceable roleplayers. We've already had Farmar on this team, I've seen enough from him to know that he's not very good on the defensive end at all. Unless he somehow had a complete career transformation playing against inferior competition, he's not going to be a factor for us defensively. Nick Young has no desire to play defense, at all. Nick Young has never shown an interest on that side of the floor, he's always been a chucker with some of the worst shot selection in the league. It's not just simply a player having the physical tools that leads to them being a solid defender, they need to have the mentality as well. Otherwise, every 6'7 player in the league with a good wingspan would have been a capable defender. Wesley Johnson has the "potential" to be a good player on that end of the floor, but that's all it is at this point. We can't bank on that.

 

Nash being one of the smartest team defenders doesn't mean a thing when he's incapable of playing solid defense. It doesn't matter if he understands the theory behind it and where to direct his man if he can't do it. He's never been good on that end of the floor, and he's only gotten worse since 2010, the last time PHX was relevant. When was the last time Nash came out on top in a match-up due to his defensive ability? His whole career has been based around out-producing the opposing PG on the offensive end of the floor, and he can't do that anymore. Teams with young, quick PGs will be salivating at the opportunity to abuse the Lakers when they see Steve Nash and Pau Gasol being the only obstacles on the way to the basket.

 

We don't have the talent to cover our defensive deficiencies at this point. When we were winning titles, Pau Gasol was one of the best big men in the league and Kobe Bryant was still the best player in the league. That was almost 4 years ago. Our three best players now are a 40 year old Steve Nash, Pau Gasol whose knees have been nearly grounded to dust, and Kobe coming off the most serious injury of his career. Having a new defensive system won't change a thing if we don't have the personnel to run it.



#51 Harry Styles

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 12:47 PM

^ This  :clap2:



#52 Majesty

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 01:53 PM

Nash is older but the thing is he's still a deadly shooter. Westbrook couldn't defend Nash either even when Nash decided to drive on him and that's with a broken leg.

Nash when settled into his off ball role averaged 17 and 5 in 15 of the final 20 games of the season on oneleg. I'm not worried about Nash's offense as its one thing he still has left and is the very best in the league at.

We have 3 vets surrounded by youth that can be good defenders. Its not like the we have suck defensively, Blake, Farnar, Johnson, Young and Hill can all be defenders in a team defensive system and 4 of the 5 are young as well. So I can't say we don't have the personnel to be a good team defensive team, it's there, that personnel just has to apply itself because people like Nick Young have shown to be capable on defense WHEN they choose to be. Out linehas players that have the "tools"

It ain't just "old legs that can't keep up" it's "young legs with defensive potential if they apply themselves to it.".

If young, johnson, farmar, Hill and Blall apply to themselves on the defensive side which Rambis will require we'll be a lot better off than having jamison, sacre or meeks to depend on for defense and even with those three we depended on them on iso and had no team defense concept.

Pieces are there, the question is whether they apply themselves fully to it. Age and legs isn't an issue for those guys. Just dedicating themselves on the defensive end. That's what we got Rambis for.

We got quicker, younger,more athletic and "longer", then we got Rambis to put it all together as his job.

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#53 Majesty

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 03:16 PM

Rambis talks about what he wants to fix defensively with the Lakers
 

B/R Interview: Kurt Rambis Lays out Plan to Fix Los Angeles Lakers Defense

 

hi-res-97925254_crop_650.jpg?1375463321

 

BR: What do you, as an assistant, hope to bring to Mike D’Antoni’s staff?

KR: Different ideas, different opinions. I’ve always looked at the game from a defensive standpoint, not only when you look at what do you have to do to get individual stops, what do you have to do to get team stops. It has such a huge impact on whether you win or lose a ballgame, how well you defend people.

But then when you go to the offensive end, you’re looking at your matchups and what the other team does defensively against you and what you can do offensively to counter that.

 

BR: As someone coming from a defensive perspective, what’d you see from the Lakers defense this past season?

KR: It wasn’t connected. I think I was very consistent with that all year. You would see lapses on the weak side or even strong-side action if they were defending the pick-and-roll, and it just wasn’t consistent. They would do different things seemingly almost every time down the floor sometimes. It was just something different. They weren’t consistent with what they had to do in order to get stops. It just seemed like they weren’t all on the same page.

Guys are so talented in this league. You have to have all five guys doing the right things at the right time in order to get stops. One guy falling asleep, one guy not getting in the right position is all the gap an offensive team needs in order to figure out how to score.

 

BR: How do you go about fixing those problems on the defensive end?

KR: Well, you have your defensive philosophy. You lay your foundation. A lot of it starts with your offense, the types of shots that you get. Then you turn it into your transition defense, and then you build your defense from there. Then you’ve got to determine how you’re going to defend the myriad of offensive sets that you have to face in the NBA. That includes pick-and-rolls, isolations, post-ups. What do you do, and then make sure that everybody understands what their roles, duties and responsibilities are, depending on what position on the floor they’re in.

 

BR: Have you and Mike started discussing strategies for the Lakers defense this coming season?

KR: We’ve talked briefly about it. We start our coaches’ meetings at the end of August, but we’ll have more conversations in August. But usually at the beginning of September, getting ready for training camp, that’s when we get together. It was the same way with Phil. About a month before the season starts, we’ll start hashing everything out.
 

BR: How do you account for the Lakers’ poor transition defense with a roster that leans so heavily on older players?

KR: The easiest example I can give you is, usually your 1, 2, and 3 men work in concert with each other. So if your 1-man, say, drives in, then your 2 and 3 get back on defense. Then everybody fills in from there. You build your transition defense out of that, so you’ve got to make sure, whomever is taking the ball, that guys adhere to their responsibilities and are held accountable to do their jobs if a player’s not getting back to slow the ball down, to stop and hold everything up until everybody gets back in transition.

It’s a mindset, too. When you see you’re not going to get the rebound and the other team is going in that direction, you’ve got to get back. There’s drills and you start hammering these points home to players in training camp. There’s no reason that, regardless of the age the Lakers were at last year, that if they were organized, they couldn’t have gotten those things done.

That doesn’t account for turning the ball over, you know what I mean? There’s a whole lot of stuff to do with that, so you can’t turn the ball over, which is kind of what I meant when I said that defense starts with your offense. If you’re doing things correctly offensively, then it helps your transition defense.

 

BR: How do you compensate for the loss of two defensive specialists like Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace?

KR: Even with them on the team last year, they may have been able to do things to cover up for mistakes on some level, but, like I said, it takes all five guys. You can’t have Metta World Peace out denying the guy on the wing whenever he’s supposed to be part of a rotation. That doesn’t help you out because the other team ends up with a layup. All five guys have to be part of the defense. That’s what we have to do as a team. We have to get guys functioning at a very high team level and not just worry about individuals.

If you just tell everybody, “Match up with your guy and don’t worry about help, you’re just responsible for yourself,” that’s not going to work. You want to challenge them to be good individual defenders, but it takes five guys to figure that out.

 

BR: How might better team chemistry affect the Lakers’ ability to defend as a unit?

KR: Chemistry is always going to help you out. It’s difficult to attain, especially when you continue to add new faces and your team is changing all the time, bringing in different people from different backgrounds with different perspectives, different styles and personalities. To get everybody on the same page, that’s always a challenge when you add new pieces, and it’s a challenge that the Lakers had to deal with last year.

But always, if there’s good camaraderie and good chemistry, if there’s good understanding, then players, historically, do a much better job of sharing the ball offensively, and they, historically, do a much better job of covering each other’s backs and trying to help each other at the defensive end. You want guys to have that sort of responsibility toward each other, not to let the other guy down defensively, and try to figure out how to make your teammate better offensively.


Read More Here(ITS A 17 PAGE INTERVIEW...Be ready for a long ride)
 

 


Long LONG interview.  But I LOVE EVERYTHING HE HAD TO SAY!!! That's just a snippet.  This guy knows what he's talking about, I have full confidence in him to implement a working defensive strategy for this team.  Got the perfect guy to do it.


Edited by Majesty, August 04, 2013 - 03:17 PM.

Is Wayne Brady gonna have to Djokovic? - Robert Flores 


#54 Harry Styles

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 03:32 PM

Kurt Rambis is 2 years removed from leading the worst defense in the NBA, giving up 107.7 points per game. What's funny is that his team was also 10th in the league in points per game.  How is he magically going to fix these Lakers? Some of you are delusional if you really think Rambis can make a huge turnaround for this team. That Timberwolves team had arguably better perimeter defenders and rim protectors than us and they STILL were the worst team in the NBA. 



#55 L.A.K.E.R

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 03:33 PM

Nash won't be able to play off-ball as effectively this season because Kobe probably won't be able to play at the same level as last season. We saw a resurgent Kobe Bryant, especially with his first step and some shocking athleticism we hadn't seen in a long while. We can't rely upon another superhuman effort from Kobe just to keep us in games, not with him coming off a major injury. Also with Dwight Howard no longer on the team, the Thunder won't even have to bother packing in the paint giving secondary help coverage in the post. Without these advantages, Nash won't be getting as many open looks and scoring as easily. It doesn't really matter though, Nash making open jumpers isn't enough to offset the fact that Westbrook will be destroying him and blowing right by him every time down the floor.

 

Westbrook thoroughly dominated us last season. In 3 matchups versus Nash, he put up an average of 27/8/9. The only reason we even won a game versus the Thunder last season was due to Durant and Westbrook having one of the worst combined shooting performances (16/48, 33% shooting) that they have ever had while on the same squad. It's only going to be easier now with Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman as the last line of defense. Let's not even imagine what Durant is going to do to us, it's going to be very painful.

 

We do have players that suck defensively, that's the entire point. Aside from Hill, every one of those players is a non-factor on the defensive end. I don't want to see Wesley Johnson's overrated defensive numbers for that small portion of last season brought up again, he's not a defensive stopper. If he was, then he would have established some niche for himself in the NBA by this point. The fact is that we're banking on his potential and that he'll pan out, but that's a crapshoot at best. Just because we added a few young players doesn't mean we have the pieces to play defense effectively. We added two terrible defenders in Farmar and Young on the perimeter, an unknown in Wesley Johnson, a slow-footed big man in Chris Kaman, and lost the best defensive anchor in the league in Dwight Howard. That translates into us being worse on the defensive end than last season, and we were already bad.

 

It doesn't matter if Rambis is here or not coaching defense, he had plenty of "young legs" on his Timberwolves squads. Didn't stop them from 28th and 27th in the league in defensive rating both years he was there and giving up 107+ points both years. And let's not forget that D'Antoni is still the head coach.

 

We're going to be really, really bad on the defensive end. One look at our roster should be enough to realize this.



#56 BleedPurple&Gold

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 03:42 PM

Nash won't be able to play off-ball as effectively this season because Kobe probably won't be able to play at the same level as last season. We saw a resurgent Kobe Bryant, especially with his first step and some shocking athleticism we hadn't seen in a long while. We can't rely upon another superhuman effort from Kobe just to keep us in games, not with him coming off a major injury. Also with Dwight Howard no longer on the team, the Thunder won't even have to bother packing in the paint giving secondary help coverage in the post. Without these advantages, Nash won't be getting as many open looks and scoring as easily. It doesn't really matter though, Nash making open jumpers isn't enough to offset the fact that Westbrook will be destroying him and blowing right by him every time down the floor.

 

Westbrook thoroughly dominated us last season. In 3 matchups versus Nash, he put up an average of 27/8/9. The only reason we even won a game versus the Thunder last season was due to Durant and Westbrook having one of the worst combined shooting performances (16/48, 33% shooting) that they have ever had while on the same squad. It's only going to be easier now with Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman as the last line of defense. Let's not even imagine what Durant is going to do to us, it's going to be very painful.

 

We do have players that suck defensively, that's the entire point. Aside from Hill, every one of those players is a non-factor on the defensive end. I don't want to see Wesley Johnson's overrated defensive numbers for that small portion of last season brought up again, he's not a defensive stopper. If he was, then he would have established some niche for himself in the NBA by this point. The fact is that we're banking on his potential and that he'll pan out, but that's a crapshoot at best. Just because we added a few young players doesn't mean we have the pieces to play defense effectively. We added two terrible defenders in Farmar and Young on the perimeter, an unknown in Wesley Johnson, a slow-footed big man in Chris Kaman, and lost the best defensive anchor in the league in Dwight Howard. That translates into us being worse on the defensive end than last season, and we were already bad.

 

It doesn't matter if Rambis is here or not coaching defense, he had plenty of "young legs" on his Timberwolves squads. Didn't stop them from 28th and 27th in the league in defensive rating both years he was there and giving up 107+ points both years. And let's not forget that D'Antoni is still the head coach.

 

We're going to be really, really bad on the defensive end. One look at our roster should be enough to realize this.

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#57 Majesty

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 05:11 PM

Nash won't be able to play off-ball as effectively this season because Kobe probably won't be able to play at the same level as last season. We saw a resurgent Kobe Bryant, especially with his first step and some shocking athleticism we hadn't seen in a long while. We can't rely upon another superhuman effort from Kobe just to keep us in games, not with him coming off a major injury. Also with Dwight Howard no longer on the team, the Thunder won't even have to bother packing in the paint giving secondary help coverage in the post. Without these advantages, Nash won't be getting as many open looks and scoring as easily. It doesn't really matter though, Nash making open jumpers isn't enough to offset the fact that Westbrook will be destroying him and blowing right by him every time down the floor.

 

Westbrook thoroughly dominated us last season. In 3 matchups versus Nash, he put up an average of 27/8/9. The only reason we even won a game versus the Thunder last season was due to Durant and Westbrook having one of the worst combined shooting performances (16/48, 33% shooting) that they have ever had while on the same squad. It's only going to be easier now with Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman as the last line of defense. Let's not even imagine what Durant is going to do to us, it's going to be very painful.

 

We do have players that suck defensively, that's the entire point. Aside from Hill, every one of those players is a non-factor on the defensive end. I don't want to see Wesley Johnson's overrated defensive numbers for that small portion of last season brought up again, he's not a defensive stopper. If he was, then he would have established some niche for himself in the NBA by this point. The fact is that we're banking on his potential and that he'll pan out, but that's a crapshoot at best. Just because we added a few young players doesn't mean we have the pieces to play defense effectively. We added two terrible defenders in Farmar and Young on the perimeter, an unknown in Wesley Johnson, a slow-footed big man in Chris Kaman, and lost the best defensive anchor in the league in Dwight Howard. That translates into us being worse on the defensive end than last season, and we were already bad.

 

It doesn't matter if Rambis is here or not coaching defense, he had plenty of "young legs" on his Timberwolves squads. Didn't stop them from 28th and 27th in the league in defensive rating both years he was there and giving up 107+ points both years. And let's not forget that D'Antoni is still the head coach.

 

We're going to be really, really bad on the defensive end. One look at our roster should be enough to realize this.



You talk about Kobe not returning to the level of effectiveness despite the fact he can retool his game around what happened to him and is already way ahead of schedule.  You really have no way of knowing how much better Kobe will come back, in fact some people have come back from an Achilles injury with an even stronger Achilles.

Note: I don't know how strong he'll come back either.

But that's not really my issue with what you have to say. You could be 100% right.

You talk about Kobe not returning at his level, but we act like Westbrook is gonna come out all guns blazing just like last year.  

A Meniscus tear(and he is very lucky he did not tear his ACL too like Shumpert) is something that will bother Westbrook more than people let on especially when you look at his game and the very thing he injured. 


Here's a breakdown on how it could effect Westbrook in a negative way in this upcoming season and also compared the differences to what happened with Metta and what can happen to Westbrook and how it effects him differently(as people were probably saying, Metta was back soon, Westbrook will be fine).   Read below

The meniscus cartilage handles shock absorption, load distribution, and joint stabilization. The takeaway here is that it doesn't just handle abrupt stops, cuts, and landings, but also stops your knee from feeling wobbly, or plain giving out or locking up. These are not symptoms a player like Westbrook could easily weather.

 

World Peace's game lends itself to those limitations far better than Westbrook's. He's a competent post player, and doesn't rely on misdirection at speed when he drives. He also spends time as a spot-up outside shooter.

Westbrook doesn't really do any of that. Those subtle shifts of direction while pistoning full speed into the lane on a fast break? That relies heavily on a stable, effective knee. Same goes for that hesitation stutter move and charge into the lane. Westbrook does tend to play on the left side of the floor more than the right, meaning he could conceivably drive right relatively effectively, that's still far from ideal.

More here: http://deadspin.com/...brook-482818589



I'm just gonna cover all bases here, this isn't all a reply to you just in general
 

So we're questioning Kobe coming back when he has different avenues of his game where he doesn't have to rely on his explosiveness or dunking ability and has been known to adjust his game in many different ways(he has actually been able to shoot for about what a month now?).  But Westbrook is gonna come out all guns blazing when recovering from a surgery on a body part that directly effects his ability to misdirect and shoot off in every direction?   I'm aware the Achillies injury is a worse injury, but a meniscus injury on a player like Westbrook is no walk in the park either.   It's what makes him Russell Westbrook.

Kobe can adjust his game, there's no doubt he'll be able to "play" on it, but I don't think he'll need to be the super explosive dunking on everyone's face Kobe Bryant, he could just as easily take them to the post or look to be a facilitator.   Kobe once said about an ankle injury he had before "I could play at 10% health, long as i can walk. Why? I can adjust my game"

Westbrook...not so much.  Though I don't expect him to stop him playing the way he always has.  So I'll just cover a few matchups below as I expect Westbrook to be mostly Westbrook next year.

 

 


But first gonna talk about Dwight getting Nash those open shots


It wasn't the defensive attention so much on Dwight that opened things up for Nash it was the attention on Kobe, Dwight was horrid at hedging last year and never moved when another player drived to the basket, Nash or Kobe.  That's why people that had Dwight in the paint would LEAVE him, in order to double Kobe or Nash, and Dwight NEVER moved to make them pay for it, he stood there with his hands up and did nothing.  Teams noticed that and didn't pay him as much mind as they should.  

We aren't talking about the dominant Dwight Howard, we're talking about the Dwight Howard we had last year, and on drives, teams would trap and double the likes of Kobe and the likes of Nash whenever they came to the paint and rarely stayed on Dwight simply because Dwight A) Refused to run pick and roll, and B) he didn't move nor make the defense pay for over rotating. 

The only times Dwight ever moved off a player that was driving it resulted in a lob and a dunk for him.

Just how many of those did Dwight get this year from Nash or Kobe? 

Not very many.  And that's why.

So the reason Nash got so many open shots was due to the wing players rotating to Kobe.    Players aren't gonna stop doubling Kobe, coming off injury or not, they aren't gonna suddenly start guarding him on iso's only, they are still going to be doubling him any chance they get and Nash is gonna be the guy that's left open because of it.   Dwight rarely if ever was a reason Nash got open and when Kobe drove, Dwight either was disconnected from the play, or he was holding the guy in the lane back that would have came to stop Kobe.  Sneaky, but effective.  But Nash wasn't the one that benefited from it.   Nash benefited from Kobe drawing defenses.   In fact when Kobe had the ball it was Metta World Peace that was yelling at Nash where to run to so he could get open off the ball(this was before Nash got acclimated to being off ball and started scoring near the end of the season)

I watched when we beat the Thunder, it was our first game we had Nash against them(Nash had 17/5) and Kobe had a triple double and Dwight was 8/10.

But it was one of the few games that we seemed to be playing with cohesion and was also when we'd been playing with Kobe off ball, that game was never in doubt and we won it confidently.


Want to know what happened the next time we played the Thunder?  I remember, Westbrook had 37 points and got to Dwight Howard all game despite Nash leading him in Howard's direction.

it was one of Howard's "disconnected" games, where he had 6 points, fouled out, but had an impressive 16 rebounds.

Want to know why his points were so low?   He didn't want to run pick and Nash with Kobe, once the Thunder figured that out they didn't double, so Kobe was basically the main guy who drew the defense, he drew the defense WITHOUT the help of Dwight Howard but him being disconnected hurt the Lakers a lot because Nash had trouble making it happen for everyone, that was the game where Westbrook lit everyone that guarded him up and got to the rim with ease on a disconnected Dwight Howard(who finished the game with no blocks)

But I also watched Nash take Westbrook on and iso against him and Westbrook couldn't stop Nash either who finished with 22 points and could get his shot on Westbrook whenever he took it to him.

I'm not worried about Nash being able to score on other point guards.

What I was more worried about was Dwight playing a game like he was disconnected, smiling and LAUGHING after we lost while Kobe looked pissed.   Which he did other times against the Thunder too.



Having the best paint the defender in the game means diddily squat if he is disconnected the entire game, so I had to watch both Kobe and Nash trying to carry the team by themselves.

I also saw that game a lot of things Rambis talked about in that blowout loss. 

I saw that whenever Dwight did decide to actually try to come over to stop Westbrook, we never rotated correctly to stop the pickup man.

This was on Clark's shoulders some of the time, and was on Metta's shoulders some of the time.  Gasol was coming off the bench at that time.


But the problem I saw in that game aside from Dwight being disconnected was the fact that when he would actually commit to try to stop westbrook at the rim, WE(as a team) would give up an easier shot because no one would rotate, no defensive structure was apparent and every problem we had was basically what Rambis said it was, the very things he is going to be looking to fix.


So I don't underestimate that losing Dwight hurts us a lot.

But I also don't underestimate that having no defensive structure hurt us a lot more.  The things Rambis talks about now would have helped us a lot last year, and it wouldn't come down to Dwight just being the great paint protector he is.  It would have had to do with cutting down on turnovers, cutting down on bad shots, getting back on transition defense, rotating properly. You know.. the things that 19 other teams that didn't have Dwight Howard did better than us last year?

Not having Dwight hurts, but acting like filling those holes and mistakes we kept making last year does nothing for our team just because Dwight isn't here is a bit of a stretch.

19 teams didn't have Dwight last year and were able to defend just well by cutting down on those mistakes and making them less than we did.  Dwight isn't the be all and end all that would make us a competent defensive team.   Rambis helps with that.

We have young players with length, speed, ability and athleticism that could be used as good defenders if Kurt knows how to use them and he does.



Last year everyone kept talking about how our guys were too old to play defense and we needed to get younger, more athletic and longer.

Well we got younger, more athletic and longer, but it's pointless because those guys aren't known as lockdown defenders...


Then maybe everyone should have said last year "Our guys are too old to play defense, we need to get younger, more athletic, longer, and they have to be lockdown defenders."


It seems like another prerequisite is added the moment we seem to fix one problem, two more are brought up that weren't solved with the one.

Most everyone thought Rambis was a perfect fit as defensive assistant last year when we were still depending on Nash, Meeks, Metta and Antawn Jamison.


But suddenly his impact is minimal when we add Kaman, Young, Johnson, Farmar and have Hill coming back  all because we don't have Dwight Howard?

It wasn't like our team was playing the best "team" defense they could possibly play and still landed in the 19th in the league.

Our team played little to no defense outside of 2 players and Rambis pretty much said the problems that we had last year.

Dwight didn't make us a good defensive team because we still made many many errors and had problems.


Sure if we had Dwight while we were also filling in these holes with Rambis we'd be a top defensive team because it would be team effort and Dwight manning the paint.


But the team defensive aspect doesn't just go to pot because Dwight leaves.  We're gonna play better defense as a team next year regardless and that's going to help and that's what's important and why we brought Rambis here. 

I would rather we get scored on while playing good team defense and forcing some of the other teams shots as opposed to depending on one guy, and not knowing how to rotate or even how to play team defense and have no mesh or engagement whatsoever on that end of the floor.

Rambis' 17 page interview covers a lot of issues I had with our team's defense last year so it gives me a lot more hope that he's talking about addressing them and I have the utmost faith he would especially when he speaks specifically on how he'd want to stop the pick and roll and the thing is it works.

Kaman is a fine rim challenger, driving on him is still gonna net you a contested shot and force you to pass, the benefit is though with Rambis, instead of no one rotating and giving up an easy layup off the pass or having people like Metta or Jamison who are slow footed we'd actually have young lengthy players rotating to another guys man.

19 other teams didn't have Dwight Howard, nor did they have the "talent" of our team.  But they were better defensively cause they knew defensive assignments, understood when to rotate, and had an offense set in place that worked.

Sometimes you don't need a "mega defensive anchor" in order to get that done.  Sometimes team defense works just fine. 

Who was our rim protector in 2008 and 2009?   Pau Gasol of all people... and in 2008 the only other consistent defender in our starting lineup was Trevor Ariza and Kobe at times.    The difference Rambis made compared to the year we got obliterated was team defense and proper pick and roll defensive rotations and also finally convincing Phil Jackson to run some zone.

We didn't have a big time defensive stopper on that team but we still won games because as a team we defended well despite us not being a spectacular defensive team.   We were actually 13th in the league.  That was the difference in 08 as opposed to 07.

What happened to our team defense when Rambis left in 2010?   

Suddenly we started relying on our talent primarily over team defense.   Our bigs stopped defending pick and rolls, we started missing assignments, we stopped playing team defense.

And against the Mavericks we got beat by the same whack play over and over and over again.   This was something Bynum referenced when he talked about the "real issue" of the team.  It was that we were constantly rotating on guys driving to the lane instead of letting Bynum deal with it, because of the over rotating all the Mavs had to do was kick it out to the three point line and get wide open three, after wide open three, after wide open three.

There was a reason Bynum was pissed during that series.  It was because we had NO IDEA how to defend as a team, we kept following players and forgetting we had a guy in Bynum that was gonna try to protect the rim and that we didn't have to chase.

I used to watch plays where Lamar would rotate on his man who was driving, and then GASOL would come over and rotate even, all while the guy is driving directly towards Bynum who is preparing to block the shot.  What happened?  They'd pass it to the guy left open from the unnecessary rotations and nail a three and Bynum would look upset while talking to his teammates.


Eventually it became hilarious to watch how we just kept chasing while they kept dishing for wide open three over and over again.

Had Rambis been here, that doesn't happen and ever since that point we haven't defended pick and rolls properly.

Even when Dwight was here we didn't defend pick and rolls properly, that's why we constantly were still giving layups to him, it just showed we still had no defensive structure and even with Dwight Howard protecting the paint it meant nothing if guys had no clue how to rotate and hedge properly.

This is all the things Rambis is coming in to fix, it's why we got him and should have got him sooner.

Because of this, and because of what I hear about the things he wants to fix and the issues he sees, it gives me hope that those things can be taken care of cause they CAN be fixed, the problem is, fixing them never seemed to be addressed.

I'm glad Rambis is coming here to do just that.  What he did in Minnesotta is irrelevant to me, he's better as a defensive assistant and that's the role he's coming here for.   I'm not gonna worry about what he did in Minnesota unless our two best players are Al Jefferson and Kevin Love.  Cause that's all that roster had.

If people want to complain about Rambis as a head coach they should stop begging for D'antoni to be fired so Rambis can become just that.  If Shaw sucks in Denver are you still gonna not want him here as an assistant?   Or would you say that his roster was cut from underneath him and he had no shot?  

My two cents, agree to disagree.  

I don't think we'll be spectacular defensively next year, but I expect us to be better than we were last year, strictly because Dwight covered up a lot of bad mistakes, those mistakes won't need to be "covered" by a superstar if Rambis is addressing them and making us have to commit to fixing them. It would certainly help. But is not a necessity.

If Dwight is here and those holes are filled then yeah we're a top defensive team.

Without Dwight here and those holes are filled we're an alright defensive team.  Not top 10, but we're 11-15 which is fine with me honestly.
 


Is Wayne Brady gonna have to Djokovic? - Robert Flores 


#58 Windu

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 05:14 PM

that's gotta be a record


Pau Gasol is GONE


#59 L.A.K.E.R

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 05:25 PM

Westbrook is only 24 years old and without a history of any major knee issues. He should be able to return to the game with no issues considering he had a minimal tear, that's what I've read in just about every report regarding his recovery. Kobe coming back at 34 after 17 years worth of stress on his achilles is completely different from Westbrook who suffered a minimal tear of the meniscus. Kobe can adjust, but he doesn't have the added benefit of having a superstar alongside him like Kevin Durant to ease himself back into things. We barely made the playoffs last season due to Kobe going insane and his body gave out. We can't reasonably expect anywhere near the same level of play.

 

Kobe won't be as much of a threat in isolation fresh off major surgery, especially when the injury happened to his left achilles tendon, the foot he uses to push off whenever taking his first step. He'll still draw defensive attention because he's Kobe Bryant, but expecting him to play at the same elite level he did last year (which was one of the best years of his career) coming off injury is a huge reach.

 

And yes, Rambis' impact will be minimal specifically because Dwight Howard is gone. All these signings don't make a damn bit of difference because we've lost the most important piece towards us being relevant as a team in the upcoming season. We needed younger, athletic players to play alongside Dwight so that we could eventually create an effective defensive system. If we had managed to keep Dwight AND come through with all these signings, then this would have been an extremely successful offseason. But that didn't happen.

 

You can't install an effective defensive system without a dedicated anchor and the necessary personnel, it's not going to work. That's why Rambis failed in Minnesota and why we won't be anything special on that end of the floor. We don't have either on this squad as of today.

 

From '08-10 we had Pau Gasol still playing at a high level and Kobe Bryant was in his late 20s/early 30s and the best player in the world. Pau was much quicker on his feet and Kobe could still be a lockdown defender whenever he put his mind to it. Neither of those will happen for us next year. Losing Rambis isn't what killed us in 2011, it was the complete disappearance of Pau Gasol come the postseason. Actually, might have started midway through the season when I remember Pau started taking many more mid-range jumpers rather than post up, and I wasn't too happy about it. It ended up carrying over to the postseason. We were expecting him to dominate Carl Landry in the post and be a factor for us like he was the previous three years, but that obviously didn't happen. He didn't show up against Dirk Nowitzki either, constantly losing track of him in transition and refusing to post him up and take advantage of him.

 

And we absolutely can't ignore the fact that D'Antoni is still the head coach of this team. While he's still here, you can put any hopes of being even a half decent defensive team away. It just won't happen.

 

I honestly don't think it matters what we do until next summer. Next season is basically a wash, there's almost no chance of this being a competitive team unless we pull off some massive trade. Any hopes we had for the upcoming season were effectively shot with Dwight Howard leaving in free agency. We'll have to reload and build up the team again, but that's not a job that can be accomplished in only one summer. It's going to take a few years.



#60 BasketballIQ

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Posted August 04, 2013 - 05:36 PM

Nash will score more than derek Fisher who we won championship with going against Westbrook and Parker and all these guys






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