The Los Angeles Lakers will, or will not, make the playoffs: A Full Court Pest/SportsChump debate

What was supposed to be a peaceful Thursday evening at the SportsChump household, spent with Lance, Oprah, LeBron, Kobe, some rigatoni with spicy turkey sausage and a nice bottle of pinot, turned suddenly hostile when a fellow blogger, the Full Court Pest, found me on Facebook and tried to convince me that Dwight Howard was a solid, offensive presence.  I guess that’s why they call him the Pest.

A fellow, net-dweller and hoops aficionado, I’ve always respected his opinions on all things hardwood but when it came to his unwarranted fawning over Dwight, I had to draw the line.

We ultimately agreed to disagree until the following morning when he messaged me again and asked whether I thought the Lakers would miss or make the playoffs.  Such is the topic of this debate.

A lot has been made of the Lakers’ woes this season.  I’ve even written about the personal joy I’m experiencing in their suffering but I never expected them to miss the playoffs.  I’ve never been one to get reactionary like the pundits at ESPN, TNT or the L.A. Times, declaring their chances dead with half the season remaining.  I will admit that with every loss, their post-season hopes get harder to defend, but forty games is still a lifetime away.

So, without further ado, here are the arguments: the Chump versus the Pest.  It’s time to choose a side.

The Lakers WILL NOT make the playoffs by Full Court Pest

Note to Pest: Don’t mention Dwight Howard to people from Orlando.

In discussions with the prolific Sports Chump we got onto the Dwight topic. Orlandonions (guess?) have distinct opinions on the guy. And like all discussions about the Lakers recently it eventually turned to playoffs. This is the moment when we get to see inside the mind of a Magic fan.

After discussion of all Dwight’s flaws were presented, Chump seemed to keep his faith in D-12. I thought the Lakers were in it till about Christmas. Not so sure anymore, so I explained. The Chump was unwavering. Howard/Kobe/Nash/Pau and the Lakers are too good to miss the playoffs. So he challenged me, using the rituals of the ancient ways (both of us being ancient), to a blog off. I had been served.

Chump picks the Lakers making it. Here’s what I think.

The problem for the Lakers this season is their schedule.  L.A. has 17 wins with exactly half the season played. They’re in 12th place but only five games behind the Rockets in 8th.

The problem is the league’s schedule clearly chose to drive the Lakers off to a large running head start with a plethora of home games. What remains is a gauntlet of road games against very good teams. They were supposed to win them.

Instead they were spent on injuries, inconsistent play and coaching changes. The Lake Show lost to teams they should be beating for bitter losses. The return was inconsistent defense and a hole to dig out of.

Let’s assume you need at least 42 wins to make it in this west. That’s what Golden State got in with when they swept Dallas. But that team was totally changed after a deadline deal.  It’s usually higher than 42 and into the 50s but hasn’t been lower since the weird 1999 50-game lockout season. To reach this mark, the Lakers need to finish the season 25-16 which is the pace of a 50 win team. Looks possible but the hole is even deeper.

Over their next 10 games they have 7 road games against MEM/PHX/MIN/DET/BRK/BOS/CHA/MIA. The home games are the Jazz, OKC, and NOH. The likely result? Being conservative, I don’t see more than .500 over this stretch. That requires sweeping sub-.500 teams and beating a winning team. LAL has had difficulty competing with athletic teams and containing guards, bad news in a league this loaded with athletic points.

That leaves them with 22 wins and 31 games to get them in. AKA a 55 win pace. On the docket after that trip they play LAC/BOS/POR/ATL/CHI/MEM/GSW/SAS/HOU, quality teams at home and DEN/OKC/ATL/IND/GSW/LAC/POR, all good teams on the road. 16 games that are all going to present problems for the Lakers.

Let’s pretend they sweep all the other teams. That means they have to go 5-11 just to get to 42 wins. With their chemistry and level of play, that actually seems like a challenge. So for each loss to a mediocre team they need to win another game against the list of good teams above.

If they split with Dallas (home and away) who have Dirk back, they have to go 6-10 against good teams. There aren’t many gimme games for LA. These Lakers are not going to go 8-8 against the winning teams on their own floor.

Dallas is important.  With one more win then L.A., they have not counted themselves out for playoffs. Dirk is just starting to come back to his usual form and they’ve gone 5-1. Their only loss was to the Thunder in a thrilling overtime game but it’s clear the Mavs have come out to compete again. Portland, Houston and Utah are sitting in even better position in the conference with significantly more wins and all of them appear worthy of the last spot.

Perhaps trading Pau Gasol will change the game but it’s hard to think of a player who’s available while capable of solving the Lakers’ issues. Deciding to wait on a Pau trade seems to have backfired. It seemed to make sense before the season started. Unfortunately following through on that plan has fallen through on a team whose time has run out.

The Lakers WILL make the playoffs by SportsChump

La La Land, please put down any and all sharp objects.  It’s not time to panic just yet.

I’m not saying there isn’t cause for concern.  Of course, there is.  Your Lakers are currently seven games under .500, getting outhustled on a nightly basis and losing to teams they shouldn’t in ways they shouldn’t.

But we’re only at the season’s mid-way point and by the time it’s all said and done, that locker room full of Hall of Famers will figure out how to win enough ball games to sneak into the playoffs.

I’m not going to belabor this argument from an overly statistical standpoint.  As expected,  my counterpart, the Pest, has already compiled some long-winded, over-worded, not to mention number-crunching analysis of the Los Angeles Lakers and their opponents for the rest of the season.  That’s what he does.

What I’m here to tell you is this.  Despite the fact that their defense is as porous as Manti Te’o’s “I have a girlfriend” story, the Los Angeles Lakers simply have too much talent for them to miss the post-season.  I refuse to believe that a team that boasts 32 combined All-Star Appearances, four Defensive Player of the Year awards and three MVPs, can miss the playoffs, even if Mike D’Antoni is coaching them.  One would have to think they’d just start playing defense by accident.

As difficult as it is for me to defend these Lakers, they clearly have enough firepower to make the playoffs in a watered-down NBA.  They are currently 4 ½ games back of the eighth seed.  That gives the Los Angeles mind trust (there is one, right?) plenty of time to figure out what the hell is going on and how this team continues to rattle off losing streaks.

In addition to the rather unscientific, “they’re-too-good-not-to-figure-it-out” argument upon which I’m basing most of my defense, here is another relevant statistic.  While it’s true that teams in recent years have needed as many as 50 wins just to crack the eight seed in the Western Conference (OKC/POR/SAS in 2009-10 and DEN in 2007-8), this year’s Western slate is not as deep as it has been.  The current eighth seed is hovering around .500 which leads me to believe the Lakers can get in with just over a .500 record.  As the Pest accurately pointed out, that happened as recently as 2006-7 when two Western teams, Golden State and somewhat ironically, the Lakers, both made the playoffs with only 42 wins.  That very same year, the Orlando Magic made the playoffs in the Eastern Conference finishing two games under .500.

While the Lakers shouldn’t hang their headbands on these numbers, it is likely that finishing at or around .500 should be good enough to get in, considering that’s where the 7 and 8 seeds (Utah and Houston) are currently residing.

Here’s another fact to keep you Lakers fans feeling all warm and fuzzy.  Since he’s been in the league, only once has Kobe Bryant missed the playoffs and that year, he had Chucky Atkins and Chris Mihm as his running mates, not Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.

I’ve watched enough Laker basketball this season to know they’re absolutely putrid on both ends of the floor.   That doesn’t take a seasoned analyst to figure out.  But I decided to watch Monday’s match-up against the Bulls intently to see how they’d fare against one of the Eastern Conference’s better teams.  I even reheated the leftover turkey sausage for the occasion.

I wanted to see how Dwight (Pest’s new favorite player) would handle the formidable frontcourt of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, whether Kobe Bryant would find his offense within the flow of the game and whether, after half a season under their belt, this Laker team had started to develop any sort of chemistry.

What I witnessed was a disturbing lack of intensity, characterized by very little pressure on the defensive end, particularly the perimeter (Bulls shot 53% from the arc) and an offense that wasn’t all that fluid.  In fact, their defense was so bad that they didn’t even send a Bull to the free throw line until the final minutes of the second half.  That tells me they’re not contesting shots.  D’Antoni shouting defense from the sidelines is a far cry from his team actually following his instructions.

I began second-guessing my decision to choose this side of the argument.

What this team needs to understand quickly, is that they are going to get everybody’s best every night simply based on whom they are.  Right now, they’re neither physically nor mentally equipped to handle that pressure.

Rational thought makes me wonder how this team can be so bad.  Eventually, my whole they-have-too-much-talent-not-to-make-the-playoffs will not hold water and I’ll have soon realized that the Pest merely baited me into this debate by raving about Dwight Howard one too many times.  There’s a sucker born every minute.

Yet, as poorly as L.A. played against Chicago and as disorganized as they were on both ends of the floor, they were still in the game until the end.  That’s why I think they’ll keep hanging around, finding a way to rattle off enough of a winning streak in the second half to position themselves as playoff contenders come season’s end.

I know that doesn’t sound very convincing and if you’ve seen any Laker basketball this season, it’s not.  But teams with that much talent don’t miss the playoffs in the NBA.  It just doesn’t happen.

Don’t go betting your life savings on it, just call it a hunch.  If I’m wrong, you can blame me later but if I’m right, and the Lakers make the playoffs, you can say you heard it here first.

43 thoughts on “The Los Angeles Lakers will, or will not, make the playoffs: A Full Court Pest/SportsChump debate

  1. I have to agree with Full Court Pest. Dwight Howard does have an offensive presence. I find him to be one of the most offensive players in the history of the NBA. If his talent was as consistent as his offensiveness, he would be revered as a great player despite his childish offensive behavior.

  2. Sarcasm. Its what I do best. Of course I agree with you. To echo KG, I would say that Dwight Howard is a cancer on the Lakers. Chemistry is almost always more important than talent. The Lakers need a house cleaning from the top down and that includes that moronic son of Jerry Buss, little Jimmy. In a perfect world, Phil would have married Jeanie and run the Lakers himself.

  3. This blurb jumped at me:
    “formidable frontcourt of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer”
    The state of the nba being watered down couldn’t be summed up any better than by the fact that anyone considers them formidable

  4. great read
    problem with dwight is that he lacks that killer instinct/championship heart that kobe possesses
    he’s like a talented version of elden campbell
    but i don’t blame him solely
    the front office doomed this team
    buss jr should be given some lofty title with NO decision making power
    d’antoni is terrible; seems overwhelmed with the position that fell into his lap
    this year is a writeoff

  5. What’s that? Ah — Playoffs? Don’t talk about — playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? – Jim Mora

  6. Hahahaha…….. Hate the Lakers! Nothing would make me happier than seeing them miss out on the playoffs. Of course, that would mean them getting into the lottery and winning the first round pick next year.

  7. Snake’s “offensive” opening salvo is one I will second. I just read an interview with Stan Van Gundy and got all hissed off all over again at Howard. I don’t like the guy. I was sorry to see the Lakers take his bait even though I predicted it way back in the day when his “Farewell Tour” started while still with the Magic. I didn’t like how he handled his business then and I don’t now. When the Lakers started off the season drowning in defeats I still believed they would make the post-season. For whatever reason – maybe misplaced confidence in the franchise and its history – I still think they will somehow stagger into a playoff slot. Kobe will find a way to drag them into the post-season…based on no real reason.

  8. Snake…

    I can’t help but compare the Buss clan to the Steinbrenner clan.

    Strong-willed, knowledgeable patriarch steps down or passes away to leave the keys to his kingdom to a dufus son ill-equipped to carry on his legacy.

    Remember Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator? Exactly.

  9. Billy B…

    And this has nothing to do with the fact that one’s a Gator and one’s a Dukey? I’m skeptical.

    I see your point though.

    But still, you’d have to put Noah/Boozer in your top five frontcourts in the league, wouldn’t you?

    Without doing too much research, you’ve got Gasol/Randolph, Chandler/Stoudemire/Anthony, Horford/Smith, Perkins/Ibaka (might have to put Booze/Noah ahead of them) and Tim Duncan and whoever lines up next to him. Maybe even throw in a little Al Jefferson/Paul Millsap just to go all Mormon-y on ya’.

    Let’s assume for one second that there wasn’t a team in the league called the Miami Heat. You’d have to think with a healthy Derrick Rose, that the Bulls could win a championship with a frontcourt of Boozer and Noah, wouldn’t you?

  10. Ouch!

    Did Irish just compare Dwight Howard to Elden Campbell? That was low, man, but incredibly accurate.

    I don’t hear Dwight using his back surgery as an excuse. I mean, he’s on the floor, right? He just isn’t trying, not to mention that he’s whining about the way he’s being used just like he did on his way out the door in Orlando.

    Leopard. Spots.

  11. Faber…

    You’re not suggesting the NBA Draft is rigged, are you?

    Need I remind you that a particular, small market team in San Antonio has also landed themselves two number one picks that they’ve done pretty well with.

  12. SA…

    That’s exactly why I think the Lakers will still get in.

    But let’s think about the long line of great centers in L.A. history, starting with Mikan, then Wilt, then Kareem and Shaq.

    For Dwight to even think about cracking that list or even sniff rivaling their legacy, he has a LOT of work to do. All those guys LED L.A. to championships.

    I’m not convinced Dwight has it in him.

    And when he gets run out of Los Angeles, where does that leave him?

  13. Re: Elden Campbell. At least he wasn’t a douche bag like D. Howard. He was the Lakers leading scorer for all of the 90s. I’d be upset if I was Elden Campbell and someone said that I was like Dwight Howard. That reminds me of that classic joke where a guy goes into a bar and loudly announces to the bartender, “ALL LAWYERS ARE ASSHOLES.” A guy sitting at the end of the bar says, “Hey, I resent that.” To which the first guy asks, “Why,are you a lawyer?” The second guy says, “No, I’m an asshole.”

  14. Snake…

    Few in the history of the game have reached D12 douchebag status and he’s only been around a short while.

    Remember when Patrick Ewing asked how he was supposed to feed his family on 12 million a year?

    Has there been a guy in the history of the game who’s had more coaches fired? Howards’s certainly on a pace to hold that honor.

  15. Chris

    It’s embarrassing to see the Lakers to perform so badly . Even more so , when so many a$$holes proclaimed this as one of the teams to beat in the Western Conference . They’re now seated 12th in the conference 15 1/2 games behind the conference leading Thunder .
    Now look at this link that gives you the players drafted by the Lakers over the last eight years and then players on the current roster . And now we know why Kupchak will never be the GM that Jerry West remains to this day . ! The Lakers and the Kings are now the two worst NBA franchises in the state of California .

    Tophatal …….

  16. Al…

    Come on. How could anyone imagine this Lakers team would be so bad?

    I’m not sure if you remember my NBA Predict the Future contest but one of the questions I asked everyone was “Which L.A. team would have the better record.?”

    Six contestants chose the Lakers. Um… One of those with you.

    For now, I’ll ignore the fact that you just called yourself an asshole. Don’t feel bad though. I was one of those assholes as well.

    Furthermore, you and I both know the Lakers don’t draft. They acquire.

    And this year more than ever, they underachieve.

  17. I knew they would be bad , simply based on the last time the organization mounted an assault on the championship , with the likes of Kobe , Shaq, Gary Payton and Karl Malone at the helm ! Or are you simply overlooking that fact while showing your naivete ? The Lakers got their a@s handed to them on a silver platter by the Pistons in the Finals . And it would seem that front office of the organization has learned not a ##cking thing from that experience and neither have the apathetic dumb a#s fans for that matter who feel that you can simply put on court a group of great players and then have an @sshole as a coach to coach them ! Does that make any sense to you at all concerning this Lakers’ roster ?

    Never mind the fact that roster Phil , the players there , bitched and whined about not having the ball when they wanted it . So you tell is there an overall lesson to be learned or you still going to buy into that bull$hit when it’s served up on platter to you ?

    That has been the Lakers problem all along , since they dumped Jerry West as a general manager . Look at what West has been able to do, in the short time he’s been with the Warriors , and where they now sit within the Pacific Division as well as the Western Conference .

    Those @@ckers would not know the difference between a draft beer and the NBA Draft . Like I said look , down the list of players they’ve drafted over the past six plus years and then their acquisitions over the past five years ( , 2012 , 2011 , 2010 , 2009 , 2008 , 2007 ) ? Anything that stands out to you ?

    Left you responses to both of my recent pieces . As and when you’re ready , peruse again and let me know what you think .

    This isn’t a Buss thing, as it’s about winning …. something that the Lakers aren’t accustomed to at present

    Today’s athlete , well worth the hype, or simply, a sham ?

    Tophatal ………………

  18. Al….

    The question between that Laker team and this one is that they made the Finals. This team is struggling to even make the playoffs.

    And there’s no denying the team took a turn for the worse once West left town.

    Whoever’s currently making decisions for them whether it’s Buss or Kupchack better come up with an answer quickly.

  19. Chris

    The answer was there right from the very start …… hire Brian Shaw ! They chose not to , and decided to go in another direction altogether, by hiring Mike Brown and one year later , Brown’s out and they reconsider hiring Phil Jackson , only to leave him hanging in the wind , when Jackson tells them he needs a little time consider , and that in understandable given Jackson’s health issues , which every dumb as@ has overlooked .

    Now they’ve hired a coach , in Mike D’Antoni , who simply doesn’t know to coach a goddamn lick of defense and people are wondering why there’s now such a cluster f##k as it relates to the Lakers ?

    Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are the franchise’s own worst enemies , and they will continue to be a detriment to the Lakers’ organization. Consider this also , at best Kobe has no more than two more relatively good seasons left in his aching body , as he’s being asked to bear an even heavier burden than is season’s past, because no one else that mother-$$$king team steps up to the plate . And this season it has been no different , it’s not Dwight , it’s not Nash or Gasol . So who’s left holding the bag ?

    Have you caught the latest fu#ck up concerning the NCAA’s investigation of the University of Miami and the Nevin Shapiro booster scandal ? Just when you thought nothing else could go wrong , something actually does , and this time it’s the NCAA who has actually fu##ed up !

    So Phil Mickelson wants to move to Florida ‘ cause he doesn’t like the personal income tax he has to pay in his home state . Last year, Lefty earned $57 million (more than Tiger) , and with that income , he has to pay at a rate of 62% which includes federal as well as the personal income tax level rate within the state of California .

    Some people have it so lucky, when they can bitch and whine about having to pay a tax rate of 62% on $57 million ! . What are you paying , if you don’t mind me asking ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!!

    Sternberg addresses both Hillsborough and Pinellas County Council , and he reiterates to the members of Pinellas County and the St Pete mayor , that he is now fully committed to remaining in that locale for the foreseeable future (in other words , until the lease runs out on the Trop in 2027). Stuart Sternberg hasn’t a pot to pi@s in, much less a window to throw it out of !
    Hence it’s now back to the ways of old for the franchise in terms of the team’s payroll.

    How dumb are the politicians within the state of California ? They’ve a $28 billion budget deficit , and debts totaling almost $620 billion ($620,000,000,000) , but yet their legislative Pro Tem President Darrell Steinberg is threatening the potential new owners of the Sacramento Kings with possible legal action if the franchise is moved out of state . LOL,LOL !! Steve Ballmer , Chairman of Microsoft , along with Chris Hansen , Erik & Peter Nordstrom ( Nordstrom department stores) are the new owners of the franchise pending the NBA Board of Governors’ approval , which is likely , even with the pleading of that dumb @ss mayor of Sacramento , Kevin Johnson .

    The new consortium in terms of their combined wealth could pi#s money for the next decade , and still not be hurt by any action taken against them by the state . ill

    Round up, round up, and then sound off !

    Tophatal ……………

  20. Reasons why you shouldn’t shell out $32 million on a baseball player past his prime ! .

    Yanks GM: Possible A-Rod could miss entire season

    NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says it’s possible third baseman Alex Rodriguez could miss the entire season while recovering from hip surgery.

    Cashman says ”there’s no guarantees in this stuff” that Rodriguez will be able to play this year.

    The 37-year-old Rodriguez had surgery on his left hip last week. The team said the rehabilitation time was expected to be six months, which would sideline the star slugger until the All-Star break.

    On Friday, Cashman said it was possible A-Rod could be out all year.

    ”Yeah,” Cashman told WFAN radio. ”I think because (of) the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he’s trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance.”

    ”I can’t say it’s not possible that he won’t be back,” he said.

    The Yankees signed free agent Kevin Youkilis during the offseason to play third base while Rodriguez is out.

    Cashman said Rodriguez is doing everything ”in his power to put himself in the position to get back and be healthy and productive.”

    ”Best case scenario, yeah he should be back,” Cashman said. ”Worst case scenario, he won’t be back, or there might be something in between.”

    A 14-time All-Star, Rodriguez hit .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs in 122 games last year. The three-time AL MVP was benched in three of nine postseason games and pinch hit for in three others, batting just .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs in the playoffs

    ———————————————
    Click on link to read in full.

    ——————————————-

    Hemorrhoids I can understand , but ‘roids no ! Another one of the causes of “A-Roid’s” present predicament .

    Tophatal ………..

  21. Al…

    I can see why they didn’t hire Shaw and by that I’m not saying they SHOULD’VE hired D’Antoni. Clearly that hasn’t worked as of yet.

    The Lakers wanted to go with a splash, a proven commodity, and again, I’m not saying D’Antoni is one but at least he has head coaching experience.

    Shaw has none and I guess they felt he was more of a gamble. How’s that workin’ out now, huh?

    And I’d be on the lookout for Phil on my local courses but doubt he plays the same courses I do. Hey, at least I’m not bitching about greens fees.

  22. Al…

    At least A-Rod saved himself some boos by not being able to suit up in pinstripes.

    And what of his agent who’s likely already spent all the cash he made off that contract?

  23. The Lakers will make the playoffs. Let’s not get crazy now. Los Angeles isn’t that good, but they are good enough to at least get the 7th or 8th seed. With that said, we could easily see the Lakers bounced out on the first round.

  24. At Greenberg Traurig LLC , the sports and entertainment division unfortunately doesn’t have A Rod on their client list . But I am sure it’s something they would like to work on !

    They should have hired Brian Shaw all along , he’s proven commodity having played for the Lakers and being part of a championship championship team, as well as part of a winning coaching staff (Lakers) under Phil Jackson . What have either Mike Brown or Mike DAntoni have as their body of work , in terms of a resume` ? Kupchak and Jim Buss are too frigging dumb for their own good !

    Have you seen how the NCAA have fu##ked up in terms of the Miami Hurricanes’ investigation ? Not much else needs to be said .

    Round up , round up and then sound off

    Tophatal …………

  25. BS…

    If they somehow manage to pick up steam, this will be a team that no top seed wants to play in the first round.

    We’re all still waiting for that to happen though.

  26. C’mon, Al, you’re not suggesting that there’s an agent out there right now that would take a chance on A-Rod in his current state, are you?

    He might as well be advertising yard sales for pennies on the dollar. His best years are FAR behind him.

    And I’m not as convinced as you are that Shaw’s a proven commodity. Sure, he’s got the pedigree but he still has zero wins as a head coach in this league.

    They want a championship now, this year. They want to convince Dwight to stay and I guess they felt D’Antoni had a better chance of doing that than Shaw.

  27. Wow, James. I’m not sure if that’s spam or not but I would DEFINITELY play that at +280.

    I checked your link just now. It’s down to under 2.

    Just as I thought it would be.

  28. I don’t think Mitch Kupchak is the one to blame for this. He’s the reason the Lakers won two championships. Just compare the good to the bad.

    Good:
    Pau Gasol
    Trevor Ariza
    Jordan Hill
    Metta World Peace
    Ramon Sessions
    Steve Nash
    Dwight Howard

    Bad:
    Mike D’Antoni

    Mike Brown was Jim Buss’s fault. People seem to be forgetting that if the Lakers had kept Andrew Bynum, they would have no center right now. The Lakers need to put Jeanie in charge and not let Jim have his personal feelings get in the way of the good of the team.

  29. I’m with you, Rev. I think they’ll make it in. I think they can get in as a lower seed and then could make some noise… it’s just some kind of gut feeling that there is too much talent here and the team just needs to learn on the job… as in, learn how to play together better.

  30. JM…

    Kupchack’s the reason the Lakers won two championships? I don’t think he’s done a horrible job over all but I wouldn’t necessary go handing him all the credit there. They did have a guy named Kobe that kind of took things over and I’m not entirely sure Kupchack had everything to do with that Gasol deal, if you know what I mean.

    Let me ask you this. You’re a Laker homer.

    Exclude Phil Jackson. Who would you have chosen as the next head coach? Would you have gone with Brian Shaw?

  31. KP…

    Two straight wins and they’re back to the ten seed, only four games out with plenty to play.

    Look, I was among the first to criticize this team for their horrific play but to go all crazy (you listening, talking heads at ESPN?) and outright say they’re going to miss the playoffs is ludicrous.

    Not only will they make the playoffs, they’ll be a team that NOBODY wants to play in the first round.

    God, I hate being right.

  32. Chris

    Brian Shaw has zero wins, because he’s yet to be offered a coaching position within the NBA . But consider this, once Jackson’s trusted assistant Tex Winter , creator of the Triangle Offense , had left the staff as a consultant , it was Shaw who had the duties of making sure the strategy was implemented and executed , and led to the Lakers titles , after the player’s own retirement from team play.

    So as to him not having the ability or being a proven commodity , perhaps you ought to rethink that proviso? Also do remember a majority of the players on the current roster went to bat for Shaw, in him securing the position . Which only led to those blowholes Kupchak and Jim Buss , first going with Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni , who between them collectively haven’t won anything .

    Brown’s lone success was to see the Cavaliers’ mutilated carcass , be pis$ed on by the Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals . Need we discuss this matter any further ?

    Tophatal ………..

  33. Al…

    You misunderstand me.

    I’m not saying Shaw won’t be a successful coach.

    I’m saying I understand why the Lakers didn’t want to risk hiring a man with no head coaching experience to coach that team.

    Jim Cleamons coached under Phil Jackson too. Look how his head coaching career turned out.

  34. There’s a difference between Jim Cleamons and Shaw. Cleamons preferred to remain in the background , whereas Brian Shaw wanted the responsibility . Simply look at tapes of both guys at work under Phil Jackson , it’s clear for all to see .

    I’m all about ” makin’ bacon earning cheddar as we Brits colloquially say , but Flacco wanting $20 million a year ? Well that’s ideas of grandeur above his station . At best he’s worth $12- $15 million a year ! $20 million is the sort of money that Brady , Peyton , Brees and Rodgers can command . Not Joe Flacco , by any stretch of the imagination !

    Flacco this season has been great , but would you say that he’s on par or has ever been as consistent as the aforementioned players ?

    A Rod has himself in another bind , beyond his off season hip surgery . His name as well as the Rangers’ Nelson Cruz have been associated with a Miami doctor under investigation for selling and distributing steroids .

    Click on links provided to read stories in full .

    Tophatal ………………..

  35. Al…

    If Flacco wins a bowl, don’t you think he’ll be able to name his price? Pretty sure he’s about makin’ the cheddar too. I’d say he’s probably a borderline top ten quarterback, bottom tier. Helps to have a good supporting cast, which he does.

    And I don’t think A-Rod’s going to garner much sympathy from anyone these days.

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