I've been a bit out of touch with my fellow Laker fans here, but thought I'd drop by to provide some of my thoughts on the Laker players so far in the playoffs....
- It's no surprise that I'm disappointed in him. His role is one of a pesky defender and spot up 3-point shooter. His 3-point shooting is horrendous, he isn't even drawing rim on a lot of his shots, and he picks up fouls left and right, often at very inopportune moments.
I don't mind him seeing some playing time, however. For defensive purposes only. I've been really happy with the job he's done on Wafer for this entire Rockets series. What I'm not happy about is his attitude. His shooting slump is taking a toll on him, but he needs to be about the team right now. I love his enthusiasm, and he's full of it, but I don't want to see him sulking in a game where we're owning the Rockets just because he can't sink a 3.
On another note, Sasha Vujacic can dunk, whoduathunkit?
- What a trooper. He is notorious for disappearing when he's called upon, but I really can't ask for much more from Odom.
Three point shot's that left me cringing as soon as they left his hands are now actually going in. He's been a beast on the defensive boards, and is consistently going to the rim and not leaving me screaming at the TV screen to drive instead of settling with the open jumper.
Pretty happy with his play. Proud to see him jumping into the game even when he's having back problems...though I think he could have seen less minutes in a blowout game as last.
- Great to see him getting some confidence back. I really like his attitude. One of the things that sums him up for me is reading the story about him bringing his schoolbooks to scouting camp when he was still in college. Kid has a good head on his shoulders and I love to see him getting some burn. Has been making some clutch close out quarter shots and what I love is he'll still make the open pass if it's there.
He really should be starting over Fisher in certain moments (such as this series).
- The consistent shooting we've seen from him just isn't there. He can't keep the youngins in front of him (but really give credit to Brooks...dude is fast). There are few things more painful when I see Fish leading a fast break. I don't want to see you shooting a 10 footer on a fast break anymore. Just, please don't do it.
I love what you bring to the team. We need a crafty veteran like you. You have drawn charges in the most clutch of situations, and my favorite play from this series was you laying out Scola, but I think your minutes need to be reduced a tad...
- In my opinion, no single player is more important to our success than this man. You can keep your Kobe MVP chants to yourself. I love Kobe, but realistically, Pau is the man that we need right now.
There's a reason that Pau Gasol is pretty much neck for neck with Kobe in terms of minutes played. There's a reason that Pau is always there with our second unit, and a big reason for any success they have.
He is the inside presence that we have lacked, and he needs more looks. I want to see him posted up on nearly every possession. He makes great decisions and has amazing fundamentals. I love watching him play, and I think our success hinges on this man. We need him to play amazing every game if we want to win a championship.
- I had higher hopes from him after seeing what he's capable of in the regular season. Hopefully he just needs more experience. This guy has an uncanny ability to get offensive rebounds. I don't know how he does it, but he will be there fighting for it. He really believes every rebound is for him, and that's the only role we really want from him.
Convenient option for the pick and pop, but don't really trust his jumper enough to see him do that on a regular basis. He'll be on the backburner for this Championship run, but I'm hoping he can be a consistent contributor in the future.
- I have to give credit where it's due, and I'm happy with the way Luke is playing for the most part. He does a good job of settling down our second unit, and I like to see him stepping up and driving to the hoop when everyone is just passing the ball around deferring to one another. Granted a lot of the shots make me want to crawl into the corner, but I really can't complain too much. Doing as much as I could ask from him and not getting completely lost in the shuffle.
- Wow. What a pickup.
This kid is really playing with some swagger, and it's great to see. He's draining the three with consistency, making smart passes, and has a beautiful J. The future looks bright with this kid and Farmar. I really like seeing them on the floor together and he will be a critical piece in our championship run.
- The guy is 21 years old, and coming off an injury, so it's hard to be too critical of him. We have seen brief glimpses of what he's capable, and generally the only thing that has come in the way of this periods of developments have been injuries.
With that said, he needs to be more patient. He rushes his shots on offense on a regular basis. But he's been doing a good job on the offensive board. All we really need him to do to succeed is secure the boards and alter layups on defense. I don't think we're asking too much of him and would like to see him get some more time.
- Love this guy. I don't think any Laker fan can be critical of this guy. He comes up with steals every 5 minutes, is awesome in the open floor, starting to hit his 3's. The guy is really coming into his own.
It's a beautiful thing to see him flourishing in LA and I hope he is with us for many years. Can't really say enough praise for this guy, he's doing everything we could ask from him and more. He changes up the entire complexion of our defense.
He is the biggest difference between the Lakers team going for the championship this year from last.
- Mmmm TACOS. I told you I was gonna talk about all the Lakers, haha. Funny to see him get some actual PT. You can tell he's a funny guy, but man, does he even know how to play basketball? Sometimes I wonder.
- Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. The man himself. I had to save the best for last.
Now let me add something before I get into this. I am one of Kobe's biggest fans. I think a player like him is a rarity. His skill, combined with the unbridled spirit that he plays this game with, make him one of the most explosive and exciting NBA players to watch bar none. But, at the end of the day, I am a LAKER fan, and it is with that attitude with which I continue...
I could not be more disappointed in Kobe. It's sad to see a player who is arguably at his peak has not learned from his tumultuous past. The criticisms levied against Kobe four years ago, are many of the same criticisms brought nowadays. Plain and simple is he is taking far too many shots for our good. Sportscasters love bringing up the statistic about how many games we win when Kobe shoots under 24 shots, and it's the truth. How predictable is it that he has one poor shooting night, and comes out gunning the next game. What is the point? I know that we need his offense, and what he does is nothing short of spectacular...but I don't want it to be.
I don't want to see 20 foot turnaround fadeaways over three defenders, even if you DO make it. Simply because the team that will win is the team that makes the smarter, easier play. For ever one of those shots that he takes, there's an open teammate, ready to make the easier shot. I'm aware that his teammates haven't been making as many as we'd like, but that doesn't mean he has to overdribble and take every jumpshot where he's given a fraction of airspace. His game, while great to watch, exerts too much effort than is necessary. I strongly believe that if he played smarter, he could consistently get his teammates EASY looks.
I want a Kobe that averages 25 points and 10 assists. When you are able to draw defenses to you like A-Rod to controversy, you need to take advantage of it and get your teammates the ball inside the paint for the easy 2. Kobe has been stunting the development of our offense.
Additionally, his efforts on defense are pretty upsetting. He doesn't respect who he guards and is always more concerned about getting the steal on the gamble. I believe this kind of attitude trickles down to our other players and leads to a lot of collapses on defense for us.
You need to play smarter. Be unpredictable. Make the easy play.
Well, I think that about does it. Much respect for anyone that actually made it through that entire thing, really took a long time to write, lol. Hopefully I made some insightful comments. Please add your own opinions, where I'm wrong, why I'm an idiot, what you agree with, etc.
Cheers, and here's to another banner in LA for '09.