Well, it’s been a long time coming but is it safe to say that the Los Angeles Lakers are finally finished?
I’d say so.
If you had asked me at the beginning of the season how this team would do this season I would have pegged them as a top four team in the West. It probably has been a long time coming considering we’re about two weeks past the halfway point of the season, but I think it is finally time to close the books (at least for the next few seasons) for one of the most successful franchises in NBA history.
Currently the Lakers are tenth in the Western conference and four games under .500. Their home record is a passable 15-10 and their road record is an abysmal 7-16. Dwight Howard was the Lakers big off-season haul and together with Steve Nash the two of them should have been the most dominant pick-and-roll players in the league. However Nash was lost early in the season from a broken leg bone and Howard hasn’t been his dominant self since returning from surgery last season.
Pau Gasol has been battling with his own demons. The man is always one step behind on defence and he can’t score worth at all in the post. His numbers are down across the board but that can mostly be attested to his loss in minutes.
That pretty much sums up the bad with the starting five in Los Angeles.
Kobe Byrant and Metta World Peace are playing the most efficient basketball they’ve played in a very long time. Bryant has remembered how to pass and Peace is playing with a youthful step that we haven’t seen from him in a very very long time. Although he has been suspended for this little scuffle with Brandon Knight.
So, what do I think is wrong with the Lakers?
I won’t lie, I don’t like the man. He put Orlando through a lot of needless drama throughout his last two years there. He ousted a very good coach in Stan Van Gundy and he kept flip-flopping between staying in Orlando and wanting out. If I was in the shoes of the Magic management I would have sent him to a team like Sacramento or Charlotte. That’ll teach him.
Anyways, I don’t think that Dwight is a motivated player. His constant smiles on courts are infuriating to watch while the other four players on the court continue to play hard. Some people think that that’s just the way he is, a happy guy who always has a smile on his face. That’s ok though, there’s nothing wrong with being happy, but there is a time and place for everything. Don’t forget that your shooting guard is Kobe Bryant, probably one of the most serious players out there who’s only goal in the world is to win that ring to tie him up with Michael Jordan.
Basketball is a team sport, don’t let anyone else tell you anyways. Every superstar needed his team to hoist that trophy at the end of the season. So when one of your team mates is slogging up the court with a big, goofy smile on his face it can be the most frustrating feeling in the world. Then one game he’s going to brick a bunch of free-throws, in the next game he’s going to get injured, and then in the game after that he’s going to miss free throws and then have that stupid smile on his face again. So what does the team do next? They phase him out of offence, if you don’t play D you sure as hell aren’t going to play any O.
Dwight is one public debacle from wanting out of the Lakers. After all he has already made it clear that if he isn’t going to go the distance in Los Angeles, he would be willing to leave.
I think most people are still hanging onto the hope that the Lakers will bounce back and make a push for the playoffs and be the team everyone wants them to be. Good Bye LA, see you next season. It’s going to be weird not seeing the purple and gold in the playoffs this year.
We’re about halfway through the off-season and trades have gone down left and right leaving my head spinning on who is where now. That coupled with the surprisingly exciting summer league games it’s pretty exciting thinking about what’s going to go down next season.
So here is a recap of what happened in the league recently.
New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets have matched the offer that the Phoenix Suns made to Eric Gordon. Ensuring that he will at least start the season in the blue and yellow. Considering the fact that Gordon really really wanted to play for the Suns and stated that he absolutely did not want to play in the Big Easy, it will be interesting to see if he pulls a disappearing act on the Hornets.
Oh and Anthony Davis is going to be going to the Olympics. Yeah, he’s a rookie who hasn’t played a single NBA game. Good times!
They are still trying to find a good deal for Dwight Howard. after multiple offers from several teams it doesn’t seem like the Magic are happy with any of the offers they are getting. From the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Houston Rockets it is incredibly frustrating watching the Magic tease so many teams without actually doing the deed. But who cares?
I don’t like Dwight Howard anymore.
With Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams in their starting line-ups they have now added Brook Lopez to their versatile line-up. Although they are still looking to re-sign Kris Humphries they have officially withdrawn from the Dwight Howard Race. This will be a great offensive team to watch. They should be able to put up 100 points on any given night and boy have the Nets become relevant again. However with all these large contracts it’s going to be tough for the Nets to sign any other significant role-players going into the future. As such I shall name this team the B-List Miami Heat.
Speaking of which.
The Miami Heat have wrestled Ray Allen away from the Celtics and picked up the newly amnestied Rashard Lewis from the Hornets. Last year’s defending champs have somehow managed to pick up two of the most prolific 3-point shooters in the league. How the hell did that happen? I’m sorry to say this folks but the Heat are locked in for the next few years as the only concrete title contenders.
New York Knicks
The Knicks signed Jason Kidd, that really ought to fix their problems. A 39 year old point guard who is really good at driving. SCORE. They also signed Marcus Camby who is expected to play at least a quarter of the season.
Jeremy Lin has also signed an offer-sheet put forth from the Houston Rockets and everyone expects the Knicks to match the offer sheet. Their have also been rumours that the Knicks won’t be matching the offer instead looking to bring back Raymond Felton. The Linsanity goes on and I could not care less!
The battle for basketball supremacy in Los Angeles continues as the LA Clippers and LA Lakers continue to make big offseason moves to solidify their hold on the city. Personally, I think these two teams have made the biggest impact in the free agency market so far. While the Houston Rockets continue to make an effort to put together a package to bring Dwight Howard over, the Los Angeles teams have made legitimate moves to bring themselves one step closer to a championship next season.
Even before watching the “Dream Team” documentary on NBATV this season I was so stoked for the 2012 Olympics. I mean who doesn’t love country on country sportsmanlike domination? It’s going to be absolutely amazing watching some of the world’s greatest players go head to head all trying to win the Tournament of the Five Rings (Sorry Game of Thrones on my mind).
So it seems like players are dropping out of the Olympics faster than people are proclaiming themselves the King’s of Westoros (last one I swear).
Derrick Rose, MVP last season, beast everywhere on the court. Out with a torn ACL.
Dwyane Wade, won his second ring this season playing Scottie Pippen to Lebron James. May require knee surgery this off-season.
LeMarcus Aldridge, probably the best power-forward in the league who isn’t white. Out with a hip inury.
Chauncey Billups, Big-Shot Billups, the Derek Fisher prototype for an Olympic team. Also out with a torn ACL.
Ricky Rubio, torn ACL, will not be able to play for Spain.
Tony Parker, got int a bar fight with Drake and Chris Brown, and almost lost a eye. Way to go TP.
Dwight Howard, possible best center in the league, definite little bitch. Out with a back injury.
It’s gotten so bad that Anthony Davis, the projected top pick for the season will be considered playing for the team. With only Tyson Chandler as the true big-man on the team, the USA will really have to be careful when playing teams that are fielding legitimate centers like Spain and the Gasol brothers.
Might as well bring back David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, and Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane.
#13- Dirk Nowitzki
45.7% FG, 87.8% FT, 1.3 3PG, 6.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.9 TO, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 21.7 PPG
This season Nowitzki saw his numbers drop even more from last season. Always heralded for having a great all-around game, I had to take Nowitzki out my top ten this season because of his continually diminishing minutes. Drop-offs in FG% this season have shown how stagnant the Mavericks offense had become and that Nowtizki often had to force up shots to keep his team in the game.
Without a full steal or block per game it’s a good thing Nowitzki shot the three-ball well and still rebounded well. His free throw shooting is still one of huge strengths and should be something that you take advantage of when building your team. Nowitzki still keeps his turnovers low and throws in a couple of assists too. Continue reading
#9- Deron Williams
40.7% FG, 84.3% FT, 2.1 3PG, 3.3 RPG, 8.8 APG, 4.0 TO,1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 21.0 PPG
Deron Williams kills you in the stats he isn’t good at and he kills it in the stats he is good at. Since his days in Utah his field goal percentages have been absolutely terrible. Last season with New Jersey he averaged 34.9% shooting over twelve games. This year he averaged 40.7% over 55 games. An incomplete season and awful shooting on 17.5 attempts. He led the league in turnovers and to cap it all off he played a season low minutes since his rookie year.
Risky right? Continue reading
Picks 1 through 3 can be found here
44.8 %FG, 82.4% FT, 1.9 3PG, 13.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.3 TO, 0.9 SPG. 0.5 BPG, 26 PPG
This season, Kevin Love truly propelled himself onto the fantasy charts. It’s rare that you see a power-forward who can rebound as well as Dennis Rodman and shoot the three ball as well as Ray Allen. His high free throw numbers are a huge plus considering he’s a center. However his supporting stats are somewhat lacklustre. Not even a steal or block per game means that it will be difficult to build the supporting stats.