On the Lakers big men

(Side note: does the splash intro to the Lakers page feel a little over-the-top to anyone else?)

I got skipped over when they were passing around the Houston Rockets kool-aid at the NBA dorks convention, and last night’s near implosion against the Lake Show didn’t help. The Lakers, however, looked surprisingly good, and their comeback shows that when you have Kobe Bryant you at least have the chance to be in a lot of ball games. But this team can only be as good as its big guys.

BREAKDOWN:

Ronny Turiaf—Your starting power forward with Odom out. He’s reasonably solid, but I don’t think there’s a whole lot of upside here. 10, 5, and 400 hyper-exaggerated facial emotions is the best case scenario.

Kwame Brown—Has finally started to look like a NBA center. I think he’ll be a useful 12-8 guy this year.

Andrew Bynum—Supposedly Bynum is the deal-breaker keeping Jermaine O’Neal from joining the Lake Show. I guess I’m just not seeing why he’s so valuable (aside from his youth.) His skills are developing, but he’s half the player of, say, Al Jefferson. Maybe I’ll look back eventually and feel like an idiot, but I don’t just think he’ll be a megastar in the league. And even if he’s an All-Star-type guy in three or four years, what does that matter if Kobe is killing you from Brooklyn at that point anyway? Kobe-level talents are exceptionally rare (even rarer than all-star centers. Believe that.)

The Lakers are in a tough spot, so allow me to do some uninformed speculation:

They need to sell tickets. They can’t completely blow things up. They don’t want to trade the best player in the league (again) and then watch him win a title (again.)

Washington has a good core, they can do fine in the East right now, they’d need too much to give up Arenas. Chicago has a great, very young core, they shouldn’t make a move yet. Cube doesn’t want to deal Dirk (for reasons that escape me.) I think you have to take your shot with Jermaine.

Would you want to face Kobe and Jermaine in the first round of the playoffs? I don’t think so. And then maybe you could get a point guard somewhere next year and really do some damage.

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8 Responses to “On the Lakers big men”

  1. Pat Says:

    I don’t think PG is a problem for the lakers this season. Derek Fisher is SOLID at pg. He’s been a key piece to playoff successful teams everywhere he goes. He was the reason the lakers made the comeback down the stretch in a situation where they wouldn’t have last season. I think the lakers would love to deal Bynum/other young pieces for Jermaine. But is adding Jermaine that much better than keeping Bynum and Lamar Odom? Odom is their second best player and a very good one at that. His only issue is health.

    Also, i drink the rocket kool-aid and actually came away impressed. Mike James, shane battier, bonzi wells and PF by committee is going to make that team a legitimate force with help around Yao and Tmac. They had a somewhat implosion down the stretch, but they dominated prior to that.

    The lakers need to look into somehow acquiring someone at the deadline who can help them up front without giving up Odom, if they can have a starting lineup of Fisher, Bryant, Walton, Odom, (jermaine, other?) they would be set, but i think giving up odom and bynum negates the positives of an Oneal deal.

  2. zachary Says:

    wasnt d fish on the jazz last year? bynum will amount to nothing, he is the future kwame brown. time for the lakers to try gut the team and get a big guy for kobe to play with.

  3. Pat Says:

    Jerry have you seen (your boy) bill simmons’ playoff predictions? They definitely are worth some comment.

    EAST PLAYOFF TEAMS
    1. Chicago, 56-26
    2. Detroit, 50-32
    3. Boston, 49-33
    4. Miami, 43-39
    5. New Jersey, 45-37
    6. Milwaukee, 41-41
    7. Atlanta, 40-42
    8. Indiana, 40-42

    WEST PLAYOFF TEAMS
    1. Phoenix, 64-18
    2. Dallas, 57-25
    3. Denver, 56-26
    4. San Antonio, 56-26
    5. Houston, 48-34
    6. New Orleans, 43-39
    7. Memphis, 42-40
    8. Utah, 41-41

    LOTTERY TEAMS
    14. L.A. Clippers, 40-42
    13. Golden State, 40-42
    12. Cleveland, 39-43
    11. Toronto, 39-43
    10. Washington, 39-43
    9. L.A. Lakers, 37-45
    8. Philly, 36-46
    7. Orlando, 36-46
    6. N.Y. Knicks, 32-50
    5. Charlotte, 28-54
    4. Sacramento, 27-55
    3. Seattle, 25-57
    2. Portland, 24-58
    1. Minnesota, 17-65

    Obviously the big thing is that he thinks the Cavs are not going to make the playoffs. Has he been watching the eastern conference the last few seasons? The conference has not improved that much. Atlanta and Indiana are really better than cleveland? Doubter.

  4. zachary Says:

    more simmon:

    19. The whole “Yi Jianlian needs to get 20 minutes” promise becomes a complete debacle and nearly undermines Milwaukee’s season after it becomes clear the Chairman isn’t even remotely ready.

    is that an iron chef reference? cause if it is its realllllly funny, otherwise im just dumb.

  5. broseph Says:

    i think it might be a reference to mao, coupled with the fact that he’s not going to play very much. who knows. anybody?

  6. sloan Says:

    I think it’s a reference to both the title “Chairman” in the Chinese Communist party and to the fact that the videos of Yi showed him doing post moves on a chair (he never faced real competition.) The chair-man.

    And, yeah, Cleveland didn’t improve in the off-season, and their roster blows, but they won a lot of regular season games last year, and I don’t see how that changes much. I think we all have a tendency to worship change and get caught up in how teams look on paper. Like, everyone and their mom is talking about the “youth movement” the Pistons have going. But what proof do we have that they’re really going to get burn this year? And why can’t Lebron by himself take a team to the playoffs all of a sudden?

  7. sloan Says:

    On the same note, why are the Raptors going to be ten games worse than last season? Because all their talent got older? Because they gained experience in the playoffs? This doesn’t make sense.

  8. Pat Says:

    Yep, I picked the raps to still win their division, they are good.

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