Posts tagged Laker
The By The Numbers recap for the Lakers’ 101-77 win over the Golden St. Warriors at Staples Center on Friday night. The Lakers are now 2-4, and next play home to Sacramento on Sunday night.
Bernie Bickerstaff’s winning percentage as Laker coach after Friday’s game, good for the best winning percentage in Laker coaching history! Yes we know it’s only one game, we’re only joking.
The amount of shots the Lakers took on Friday night, a season high. They only hit 40% of them, but were much more aggressive offensively and had far better spacing at that end of the floor than the first five games. Seems just Mike Brown leaving already led to some better offensive flow.
The amount of rebounds the Lakers pulled down Friday. They have now outrebounded every opponent this season by an average of 47-37. Pau Gasol led everyone in the game with 16 boards, four at the offensive end.
The amount of points the Lakers scored in the second half Friday, their best second half output this season. They also held the Warriors to under 40 points in both halves.
The total points the Lakers’ bench players scored against Golden St., which marked a season-high. Two players scored in double figures…Jordan Hill had 14 and Darius Morris continues to play well off the bench, he scored 10. Hill was also a perfect 5-5 from the field. Golden St.’s bench scored just 23 points and shot a horrid 9-33 (27.3%) from the floor.
The Warriors’ field goal percentage on Friday, as the Lakers defense continues to hold teams to dismal shooting from the floor. Golden St. made just 29 of their 86 shots, and were held under 20 points in two of the four quarters.
The amount of turnovers Golden St. committed Friday. Finally someone turned the ball over more than the Lakers, who still had 16 miscues themselves.
The number of Lakers in double-figures, let by Kobe Bryant’s 27 points on 10-18 shooting from the field and 5-6 from the line. Kobe is averaging 27.2 points, on 56% shooting from the floor, and 91% from the line through the first six games. Not bad for #24 at 34.
Lakers look for two straight on Sunday against Sacramento at Staples Center. See you after the game!
As rookies, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter can count on spending a lot of time at the end of the bench during the regular season, if they’re not shipped off to the Developmental League. In either case, you can view the presence of the rookies as addition by subtraction, as they won’t have to do much of anything to match the output of Josh Powell and Adam Morrison. Plus the combined salaries are considerably lower. And they are young. Ebanks, a 6’9″ 215 lb small forward from West Virginia, is only 20. Caracter, a 6’9″ 265 lb power forward from Texas-El Paso, is 22. As second round draft picks, no one should suffer from super high expectations here. I would only expect to see them playing in the preseason and games that are routs (one way or the other). My hope is that they work hard in practice, learn the offense, and realize that their role, coming off the bench, is to preserve and build on any lead that the starters create. Last season It seemed to me the bench was keen on jacking up long distance shots when they didn’t turn the ball over, and letting the opposition drive to the basket without offering much resistance. In short, performing poorly both offensively and defensively.
Ebanks has been compared to Trevor Ariza, and if he’s as good defensively, that works for me. The Lakers are a little thin at the power forward position, so I believe Caracter will have more opportunities for playing time. There have been some comparisons to Shaq, as far as commitment to conditioning anyway. His contract has incentives for him not to balloon up in weight.
The Lakers are one of the more veteran teams, so I like having a little youth as well. Management was sufficiently impressed with their potential to sign them to contracts, so here’s hoping they contribute in some fashion to the Three-peat.
It’s a long season, so having players that the coach has enough faith in to play during the season, thereby allowing the starters to rest, is critically important.
Don’t worry, Laker faithful. It’s not that I am rooting for the Miami Heat to win the championship next year. Far from it. My hope is that they will be booed excessively on the road. And in a few days, my blog will state the reasons the Lakers will be successful in their quest for a three-peat. I just want to present the case for the possibility that the Heat could really win it all. Let’s look at 3 areas:
I observed during George Karl’s absence from the Nuggets playoff series last year a team without direction, basically a chicken with it’s head cut off. They lacked discipline and focus. I have always felt that Phil Jackson hasn’t always got the respect he deserves. His detractors like to point out that he has won with Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant. They fail to acknowledge that all of these players have been coached in the NBA with the same key teammates, and not achieved the success that they have with Phil. In the last 20 years, 3 coaches have accounted for 17 championships. And the 3 coaches with single championships in that span were Pat Riley, Larry Brown and Doc Rivers. Now Erik Spoelstra is not a proven entity, but you know Riles will step in if the Heat lose 3 games in a row. So the Heat have plan A and plan B set up for coaching for the season.
The Heat were much more successful, despite cap restrictions, in developing a roster than I expected. I thought it would be LeBron, Wade, Bosh and 11 guys that were either as old as the stone age (think Shaq) or no-names. Instead, they have Udonis Haslem, Eddie House, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Da’Sean Butler, Carlos Arroyo, Joel Anthony, James Jones, Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard, and Zydunas Ilgauskas. While I don’t believe those guys are the best at their positions, it was more than I thought the Heat would be able to do.
And I know you’re thinking – can you put a team together like that, have it mesh, and be successful in its first season? And I am reminded of the Boston Celtics in 2007-2008, when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce. I think the Heat have a lot to prove this season. Teams that play the Heat, like those playing the Lakers, will be exerting extra effort because they know they must. So I don’t think the Heat will break the Lakers streak of 33 straight wins. Nor do I think they will hold the best single season record. And I do believe they will lose back to back games this season. The East got better during the off-season, with key free agents either staying in the East or signing up in that conference. I don’t see any team in the West that vastly improved their roster. Although I like the Thunder, with the Lakers strengthening their bench, I think the Lakers will have an easier time reaching the finals this year.
So apparently the Lakers have a new way to motivate rookie forward Derrick Caracter to stay in shape, “keep your weight down, and we’ll pay you.”
According to a report on ProBasketballTalk.com,
Caracter has a $473,000 contract this year with $250,000 guaranteed. If Caracter weighs 275 pounds or less on Sept. 10, the contract becomes fully guaranteed.
There is a future for Caracter in “Laker Land,” especially with the team letting both DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell go this off season. If Caracter can keep himself in shape, there is some playing time to be had. And it seems the Lakers are willing to reward him financially for doing so.
This writer knows that for $177k, he’d surely keep himself under 275 pounds. Of course it would take two of him to equal that weight, but I digress.
Maybe the Lakers should have thought about employing this when Shaq still wore purple and gold.