Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Lakers’

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA [2008-2009]: Part I

December 16, 2008

The 2008-2009 NBA regular season schedule has reached the 1/4 pole, as all 30 teams have played at least 20 games. Given the history of this league and …

What it takes to win the NBA Championship

… it is helpful to evaluate where they rank against one another at this juncture.

QUALITY RATING & QUALITY INDEX RANKING

NBA 2008-2009
[as of Mon Dec 15 2008]

Team

W/L

Win%

PDR

PAR

RDR

QR

QIR

EC

WC

Cavaliers

20/4

.833

1

1

3

5

1

2

 

Celtics

23/2

.920

3

2

1

6

2

1

 

Hornets

13/7

.650

6

3

10

19

3

 

4

Blazers

15/10

.600

10

9

1

20

T-4

 

7

Rockets

15/9

.625

8

5

7

20

T-4

 

5

Lakers

20/3

.870

2

14

6

22

6

 

1

Spurs

15/8

.652

7

6

11

24

7

 

3

76ers

10/14

.417

16

8

4

28

 

11

 

Jazz

15/11

.577

9

11

9

29

8

 

8

Mavericks

13/10

.625

11

16

7

34

 

 

9

 

Nuggets

17/7

.708

4

15

16

35

9

 

2

Hawks

15/9

.625

12

7

17

36

10

4

 

Magic

19/6

.760

5

10

24

39

11

3

 

Bucks

11/15

.423

18

17

5

40

 

10

 

Pistons

13/9

.591

14

12

22

48

12

5

 

Suns

15/10

.600

13

22

14

49

13

 

6

Bobcats

7/18

.280

24

4

22

50

 

14

 

Heat

12/12

.500

15

13

25

53

14

7

 

Nets

12/11

.522

20

24

12

56

15

6

 

Bulls

11/12

.478

17

21

18

56

16

8

 

 

Pacers

8/16

.333

21

25

13

59

 

13

 

Grizzlies

9/15

.375

22

18

19

59

 

 

10

Timberwolves

4/20

.167

28

23

14

65

 

 

14

Clippers

6/17

.261

25

19

25

69

 

 

13

Raptors

10/14

.417

23

20

30

73

 

12

 

Thunder

2/23

.080

30

26

20

76

 

 

15

Knicks

11/13

.458

19

29

28

76

 

9

 

Kings

7/18

.280

29

28

20

77

 

 

11

Wizards

4/18

.182

27

27

27

81

 

15

 

Warriors

7/18

.261

26

30

29

85

 

 

12

Legend:
W-L – Won Loss Record; Win% – Winning Percentage; PDR – Points Differential Rank; PAR – Points Allowed Rank; RDR – Rebound Differential Rank; QR – Quality Rating; QIR – Quality Index Ranking; EC – Eastern Conference Playoff Position; WC – Western Conference Playoff Position 

Note:
1. Since 2000-2001 each NBA Champion and Finalist has had a QR ≤ 34.
2. Since 2000-2001 each NBA Champion has had a QIR ≤ #9.
3. Since 2000-2001 7 of the 8 NBA Champions have had a QIR ≤ #4. 

Take note of where your favourite team stands today … and where it will need to get to, over the course of the next five months, in order to be considered a legit contender for the 2009 NBA Championship.

NBA’s upper echelon begins to emerge

November 28, 2008

The NBA’s regular season schedule is now in full swing with each team having played a minimum of 13 games.

As was mentioned earlier in this space, there are three tiers of teams in this League that reveal themselves on an annual basis:

1. HIGH END [above a .549 Win %]
2. MIDDLE-of-the-Pack [between a .450-.549 Win %]
3. LOW END [below a .450 Win %]

At this point, here’s what each team’s W-L record is, in conjunction with their respective Rebounding Differential Ranking [which regular readers here know is a crucial factor towards playoff success]:

HIGH END

1 LA Lakers 12-1/.923; +5.00/#3
2 Boston 14-2/.875; +3.43/#7
3 Cleveland 12-3/.750; +4.33/#5
4 Phoenix 11-5/.688; -0.25/#14
T5 Detroit 9-5/.643; +0.92/#11
T5 Atlanta 9-5/.643; -0.42/#16
T5 Orlando 12-4/.643; -0.37/#15
T5 New Orleans 9-5/.643; +0.07/#13
T9 Utah 10-6/.625; +3.50/#6
T9 Portland 10-6/.625; +4.37/#4
T9 Houston 10-6/.625; +2.06/#9
T9 Denver 10-6/.625; -0.43/#17
13 San Antonio 8-6/.571; -2.28/#24 *

MIDDLE

T14 Dallas 7-7/.500; +3.07/#8
T14 New Jersey 7-7/.500; +0.21/#12
T14 Toronto 7-7/.500; -2.14/#23
T17 Miami 7-8/.467; -5.26/#28
T17 Philadelphia 6-7/.467; +6.33/#1
T17 New York 7-8/.467; -7.20/#30

LOW END

20 Chicago 7-9/.438; -1.31/#19
21 Indiana 6-8/.429; +1.00/#10
22 Milwaukee 7-10/.412; +5.58/#2
23 Golden State 5-10/.333; -3.20/#26
24 Sacramento 5-12/.294; -1.64/#20
25 Memphis 4-11/.267; -2.40/#25
26 Charlotte 4-10/.286; -2.07/#22
27 Minnesota 3-10/.231; -1.30/#18
28 Washington 2-11/.154; -3.46/#27
29 LA Clippers/2-13/.133; -5.53/#29
30 Oklahoma City 1-15/.063; -1.81/#21

* Have played mostly without Ginobili-M and Parker-T, thus far.

History in the making … 2 down

October 30, 2008

FINAL SCORE: Lakers 117, Clippers 79
Game Info

What do you really need to know?

At the 08:34 mark of the 2nd Quarter, the score was:

LA Clippers 33, LA Lakers 32

when the roof caved in for the Clips versus the Lakers 2nd Unit of Farmar [1], Vujacic [2], Ariza [3], Odom [4] & Gasol [5].

Ahead by 15 pts at the half, the Lakers were never headed after that employing a smothering double-teaming/switching defense which emphasizes their overall team size and exceptional quickness.

Outlook going forward from here

When this team is making shots at a decent percentage … they will be the toughest out in the NBA this season, bar none.

PS. The Clippers are nowhere near as bad as they seemed, at different times, in last night’s game. They were simply over-run by the Lakers’ juggernaut.

History in the making … 1 down

October 29, 2008

When you’re the first person on the planet to prognosticate that the 2008-2009 LA Lakers WILL win 70+ regular season games AND capture the NBA Title … if they retain the players from their previous team AND can remain major injury-free … PRIOR to their loss in the 2008 NBA Finals … while picking the Celtics to win that specific series … it can place a sharp focus on the viewpoint you have toward their efforts each step along the way.

Game 1
FINAL SCORE: Lakers [1-0] 96 Trail Blazers 76
Game Info & Summary

Baby Steps, sound health, and a firm Commitment to the Championship Philosophy of …

“No Rebounds, No Rings.”Pat Riley

That’s what this year IS ABOUT for the ZenMaster & Co.

The Better Half in the NBA: Day 1

October 28, 2008

And, so … it begins:

1 Los Angeles Lakers [W1] … A Legendary season awaits
2 Boston Celtics [E1] … Still the Champs
3 Detroit Pistons [E2] … Bad Boyz II, under MC [Hammer]
4 Phoenix Suns [W2] … Sunrise, Sunset, under TP
5 Utah Jazz [W3] … Tried & True
6 Houston Rockets [W4] … Combustible on any given night
7 Dallas Mavericks [W5] … letting Freedom Reign, under RC
8 Orlando Magic [E3] … holding strong with new additions
9 New Orleans Hornets [W6] … due for a small slip backwards
10 Portland Trail Blazers [W7] … The 2nd Coming begins
11 Cleveland Cavaliers [E4] … The King is in the house
12 Philadelphia 76ers [E5] … major moves this off-season
13 San Antonio Spurs [W8] … a struggle without Manu
14 Denver Nuggets [W9] … re-tooling their defense
15 Chicago Bulls [E6] … expect big things from VDN & ‘Mr. Rose’

2nd Comings in the Pacific Northwest

September 23, 2008

Q1. What are the reasons you have lost your mind and predicted boldly that the 2008-2009 LA Lakers will win 70+ regular season games and capture the NBA Championship?

A1. If you must know, it’s a two-part answer.

PART ONE
The Lakers have done a solid job re-assembling a 1st-class roster of highly talented, athletic, skilled, complimentary players around Phil Jackson & Kobe Bryant, two expert practicioners in their respective fields, i.e. ZenMaster Warlord, and his Most Trusted Samurai. On the heels of the experience this team gained last season, losing in the NBA FINALS, it is now poised to strike back with lethal vengence, this season … to provide the 10th NBA Title, as a coach, for their venorable Sensai; and, the 1st Ring (overall) for his protege, Black Mamba, unaccompanied by his former partner-in-crime, the Biggest-Shogun-of-All-Time. According to these eyes, this is THE season for these Lakers to make history, as a group. Here & Now. Next season? Who knows where Phil Jackson is going to be, at his age? Or, Lamar Odom? Or, Derek Fisher? Or, Tex Winter? Or, the rest of the Lakers’ extended family. The time for this group, to ‘Be In The Moment, as One‘, is NOW. 

“Life is fast; and, things happen quickly”.Derek Fisher

PART TWO
This MAN, right here …

is about to make his long-awaited debut, in the NBA, this season …

======================

Q & A with Greg Oden
NBA.com: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
Greg Oden: Just to win. To try to get out there and help my team win as much as possible. I’m not really worried about individual stats. For me, if my team can make the playoffs or we can win a lot more games than we did last year, then that will satisfy me.

======================

and this corner just happens to believe that he is going to prove to be, in the long run, the closest thing this League has seen, in the LAST 40 YEARS, to the re-incarnation of The Great Man, himself … Mr. Bill Russell (figuratively speaking, of course, as the original incarnation is still going strong!) combined with Wilt Chamberlain (at his most powerful best) … in terms of his Commitment to REBOUNDING, Defense, Team & Individual Offense AND his overall attitude toward The Game (specifically) & Life (in general).

====================

NBA.com: You got to know the greatest big man in Blazers history, Bill Walton, a little bit. What advice has he shared with you?
Greg Oden: He’s just telling me if you go out there and play, you don’t have to worry about what people say about you in the news or the media. Just go out there and play your game and have fun with it. It’s just a game. You’ve got to understand that you’re a rookie. Don’t put any pressure on yourself that isn’t needed.

======================

If the Lakers DO NOT win the championship this season … each year that goes by it is going to get more and more difficult for them – and the other elite level teams in the Western Conference – to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers, anchored in the middle by Gregory Wayne Oden, Jr., over the course of the next decade, or so.

When you find yourself standing squarely between a Rock (i.e. last year’s group of Boston Celtics) and a Hard Place (Greg Oden’s Portland Trail Blazers for the next 10-15 years) … it can do wonders to create an extraordinary sense of urgency, and R.E.S.P.E.C.T., for the moment at-hand. Carpe Diem!

Destiny Awaits! … THIS, specific Lakers’ team

… which will NEED to strike while the iron is hot … and, before the sparks ignite, full blown, up the Pacific Coastline, in the Emerald City.

NBA Finals: Game 3 … post mortem

June 11, 2008

As was mentioned yesterday in this space …

What the Lakers need to do to win Game 3

the individual game winners in this series will be decided by whichever team wins the ‘Battle on the Boards’ (i.e. Rebounding Differential).

When the Lakers do what they did last night …

(Individual + Team = Total Rebounds)

Game 3 – W vs Boston/ LAL 44 + 13 = 57; Bost 45 + 11 = 56 (Adv LAL)

they are going to ‘Win the Wars’ , in this series.

Game infoFinal Score: LAL 87, Bos 81

============================

When it comes to understanding which so-called ‘NBA experts’ know the game … others are invited to read the full transcript of a 1st-class Live Blogging Event, like this one …

NBA Finals, Game 3: Live Blog

hosted by LABalltalk.com, that actually allows a participating blogger to express what s/he knows about the game, as it’s actually happening.

Kudos to Daniel!

What the Lakers need to do to win Game 3

June 10, 2008

When two teams as good as the Celtics & the Lakers hook-up in the NBA Finals, it’s a simple game for astute observers to handicap correctly.

These were the Lakers results during their Conference Finals match-up vs San Antonio, another top flight team this season with a Positive (+) Rebounding Differential.

(Individual + Team = Total Rebounds)

Game 1 – W vs San Antonio/ LAL 41 + 11 = 52; Sas 42 + 10 = 52 (Even)
Game 2 – W vs San Antonio/LAL 44 + 5 = 49; Sas 36 + 11 = 47 (Adv LAL)
Game 3 – L @ San Antonio/SAS 39 + 6 = 45; Lal 42 + 11 = 53 (Adv Lal); SA 55.3% 3FGA
Game 4 – W @ San Antonio/SAS 37 + 6 = 43; Lal 46 + 10 = 56 (Adv Lal)
Game 5 – W vs San Antonio/LAL 39 + 7 = 46; Sas 42 + 4 = 46 (Even)

What is clearly evident when you examine those five games is that the Lakers are quite capable of ‘holding their own’ on the boards with another top tier NBA team that places a premium on ‘Rebounding the Ball’ … and that, when the Lakers win or break even in this specific ‘Battle Within the Game’, they are also going to ‘Win The War’ that game (barring some type of unusual occurence, e.g. SA shooting 55.3% on 3FGA).

Q1. What’s the major problem the Lakers face in tonight’s game?

A1. The Boston Celtics are simply NOT the San Antonio Spurs, and are a much better Rebounding team, in their own right, than last year’s champions.

The Lakers will have their hands full trying to contain the Celtics forces on the glass but it says, in this corner, when the Purple & Gold do this tonight, they will get themselves right back in the hunt for the 2007-2008 NBA championship.

NBA Finals: Game 2 … post mortem

June 9, 2008

Final Score: BOS 108, Lal 102 … Celtics lead the series 2-0.

Full Play-By-Play

When the Celtics play the way they did during the 2nd & 3rd Quarters of last night’s game, dominating the Lakers: (I) On the glass, (II) In trips to the FT Line, and (III) TO’s …

2ndQ
BOS – 9/17 (52.9%) FGM/FGA
Lal – 9/20 (45.0%) FGM/FGA
———————
BOS – 12/14 (85.7%) FTM/FTA
Lal – 1/1 (100.0%) FTM/FTA
———————
BOS – 8 Rebs (2 Off/0 Pts) + 3 Team Rebounds = 11 Total Rebs
Lal – 9 Rebs (2 Off/4 Pts) + 1 Team Rebounds = 10 Total Rebs
———————
BOS – 2 Turnovers; 8 Assists
Lal – 6 Turnovers: 4 Assists

Score: BOS 34, Lal 20

3rdQ
BOS – 11/19 (57.9%) FGM/FGA
Lal – 8/20 (40.0%) FGM/FGA
———————
BOS – 4/6 (66.7%) FTM/FTA
Lal – 2/2 (100.0%) FTM/FTA
———————
BOS – 13 Rebs (4 Off/4 Pts) + 1 Team Rebound = 14 Total Rebounds
Lal – 7 Rebs (2 Off/0 Pts) + 1 Team Rebound = 8 Total Rebounds
———————
BOS – 3 Turnovers; 10 Assists
Lal – 4 Turnovers; 4 Assists

Score: BOS 29, Lal 19

… they are going to win that game.

With the scene shifting to the West Coast for Games #3-5, expect the Lakers to outrebound the Celtics and, in the process, take at least 2 of 3 from the Boston – if not all 3 – before returning back to Beantown.

When two teams of this calibre match-up … it’s a simple game, decided by (i) Rebounding Differential, (ii) Free Throws & (iii) Assists : Turnovers.

NBA Finals: Game 1 … post mortem

June 7, 2008


When two great teams go head-to-head, in a Best-of-7 affair … it’s a simple game to analyze …

 

Game 1 info

 

TOTAL REBOUNDS: LA Lakers 33, Boston Celtics 46

 

FINAL SCORE: Lakers 88, Celtics 98

 

sealed, emphatically, by Kevin Garnett’s Offensive Rebound, putback dunk (at the 1:32 mark of the 4thQ) which put Boston up by 8 points and created a 3 possession game for LA (time & score) at The Moment of Truth.

 

————————————————

When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much a a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” – Jacob Riis (American newspaper reporter and photographer, 1849-1914)

————————————————

 

When the Celtics (+13) hammer the Lakers on the boards and win the ‘Rebounding Differential’ battle in this series they will win the war.

 

Win 4 wars … and, the C’s will be the 2007-2008 NBA Champions.