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Saturday
Dec152012

For The 6th Consecutive Season, Lakers' Success Closely Follows Pau Gasol

For the sixth straight season, however goes Pau Gasol, so goes the Lakers. Maybe it really is time to trade him, but who wants to eat the $19.3 million he's owed next season?The Lakers' unexpected early-season downfall, including a 10-14 record and the firing of former Coach of the Year Mike Brown after only five games, has overshadowed everything else going on in the NBA, which is an especially powerful statement when you consider that basketball mecca New York City has two highly news-worthy happenings this season with the Knicks' rise to 17-5 and the historic appearance of a franchise in Brooklyn.

Everyone is looking for culprits, saying neither LA coach so far has utilized the team's talent correctly (Mike D'Antoni is also a former Coach of the Year winner), Dwight Howard's missed free throws are getting in the way, they lack a true PG while Steve Nash is sidelined (Chris Duhon: 44% from downtown, league-leading 3.9-to-0.9 assist-to-turnover rate), or their bench is awful. Something that also gets mentioned occasionally is that Pau Gasol is having a down year and the franchise should maybe think of trading him.

 

This last point about Gasol's ho-hum 12th season might be far more important than many fans realize. This is because the Lakers' success for six straight years has closely followed that of their multi-talented big man. Let's examine how LA has been following Gasol's lead all this time.

 

 

2007-08

The Lakers were coming off three throw-away seasons, averaging 40-42 over that period and never finishing with more than 45 victories or a first-round exit from the playoffs. They already had Kobe Bryant in place, Phil Jackson in place, Lamar Odom in place, and teenager Andrew Bynum was just getting his toes wet in the league. It doesn't seem worth mentioning at first, but they also had Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Vladimir Radmanovic, Ronny Turiaf, and Sasha Vujacic on the roster before 2007-08, which is significant because those five were all among the team's top-8 in minutes played in '07-08, plus Radmanovic started for the entire '08 playoffs and the other four constituted their only four reserves of note in that post-season run.

 

So with almost everything in place from an uneventful trio of years, what turned the Lakers into world-beaters in 2007-08? Kobe played and shot less in both the regular and post-season, so don't look to his MVP Award as the reason. There were only two significant changes. 1) Derek Fisher came back to town. 2) Andrew Bynum's career took off. With the big man averaging a double-double and 2.1 blocks per game, plus shooting 64%, LA was suddenly 25-11 by mid-January. Then he got hurt and the Lakers fell back to that .500 record they had been sporting the previous three years, going 5-5 over their next 10 contests.

 

At that point, with the Lakers relatively reeling without the presence of a dominant big man, LA was famously handed All-Star Pau Gasol on a silver platter, and they went 22-4 the rest of the way with him in the lineup (including a season-high 10-game winning streak), and a strikingly familiar 5-5 without him while he was injured in late-March. The Lakers entered the playoffs as the West's #1 seed, trampled over the West all the way to the Finals before succumbing to the Celtics whose non-elite players were panned even worse than the Lakers' before the season started. Throughout those playoffs, Gasol shot a team-best 53%, blocked a team-best 1.9 shots, grabbed a team-best 2.6 offensive rpg, had a team-second-best 9.3 total rpg (Odom, 10.0), and a team-second-best 4.0-to-2.1 ast-to-tov rate (Fisher, 2.5-to-1.0). Long story short: A consistently .500 team without Gasol won 85% of their contests and went all the way to the Finals with his awesomely multi-dimensional game.

 

 

2008-09

The roster was very similar to the year before, except now Gasol suited up for the Lakers for the entire season and played the most minutes on the team. His 57% FG was easily a team-best, his 10 rpg were easily a team-best, and his passing remained absolutely elite for a big man. Bynum played half a season while averaging 14 ppg, 8 rpg, and 1.8 bpg, but having Gasol for an entire season is what propelled the team to 65-17. The Lakers quickly got to the Finals past an injury-plagued conference and league. Gasol earned many kudos in the Western Finals, single-handedly taming the Nuggets killer frontline of Nene, Chris Andersen, Carmelo Anthony, and Kenyon Martin that had just laid waste to Dallas and got labeled as “thugs” for how physically they controlled the paint.

 

In the Finals, LA faced the Magic who completely rode Dwight Howard through the playoffs while All-Star PG Jameer Nelson rested his torn right shoulder. Facing the unparalleled best big man in the game, Gasol wowed in the Finals, averaging 19 ppg on 12 shots/game (60% FG), 9.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg, and a team-high 2.2-to-1.0 assist-to-turnover rate. Over the entire playoffs, Gasol's contribution was immensely valuable, averaging 18 ppg on 58% shooting (team-best by a mile), 11 rpg (team-best by a mile), 2.0 bpg (team-best by a mile), and team-second-best 2.5 apg. The Lakers won the title, in very large part because of how well Gasol neutralized Howard (who was held to a very-low-for-him 49% shooting in the series). By the way, Gasol's only bad game in the Finals resulted in the Lakers' only loss. Long story short: With even more Gasol now than the year before, the Lakers' record and playoffs success improved, all while he drew the club's toughest assignment in each of the last two rounds of the playoffs.

 

 

2009-10

Gasol had another monster season, averaging 18 ppg on 54% FG, 11.3 rpg (3.7 offensive), 1.7 bpg, and 3.4 apg. As we've just seen from his first few years in LA, this correlated rather well with the Lakers' 57-25 finish. Gasol missed 17 games as the only starter out of the lineup, and the club took a slight dip from winning 71% of their games with him (46-19) to 65% of their games without (11-6). It should be noted that when he returned to the Lakes on November 19, they went on their longest winning streak of the year, and he carried the team through their toughest 5-game stretch of the season in February (4 clubs who finished over .600) while Kobe was benched with an injury, earning an improbably 4 double-digit victories and a single-point loss to the thriving Celtics.

 

In the playoffs, Gasol again posted team-best numbers in many categories: FG% (54%), rpg (11), offensive rpg (4.0), bpg (2.1), and only Ron Artest topped his 3.5-to-1.9 assist-to-turnover rate (Artest: 2.1-to-1.1). In the Finals against the Celtics, whose defense was ridiculously strong, the Lakers shooting percentage dropped horribly to 41% for the series, in a large part because they held Kobe to 40%. Gasol was the Lakers' defensive anchor, rebounding anchor, best shooter, and best passer. After Boston's Kendrick Perkins was injured by Andrew Bynum in Game Six, Gasol dominated the paint for the final game-and-a-half, recorded a 19-18 in Game Seven, and the Lakers won the title. It wasn't just that the Lakers' title-run again mirrored Gasol's statistical success, but they actually peaked and plummeted as he did. His best games were almost always wins; his worst games were often losses. Long story short: Not only did another great season by Gasol match up perfectly with more Laker success, but the team dipped when he didn't play, and the result of each Finals game pretty much matched his level of play perfectly.

 

 

2010-11

Gasol's play and stats were similar to the year before, but we realize now that he was starting to slip a bit (his numbers were down slightly, a trend that has continued since '10-11), but the generally healthy Lakers again finished the year at 57-25, and again Gasol was first or second on the team in nearly everything.

 

Where we really start to see how closely the Lakers piggyback on Gasol's success, however, is in the 2011 playoffs. The big man was suddenly shooting terribly (42% compared to 54% in '10), his scoring fell (19.6 to 13.1), his rebounding fell (7.8 compared to 11.1), and the blocks dropped (1.7 to 2.1). Gasol was noticeably more lethargic and less aggressive. Rumors swirled that Gasol and Bryant weren't talking because of some tiff between their significant others, and the Lakers ended up showing no fight in a second-round sweep at the hands of the Mavericks after needing 6 games just to get past the 46-36, David West-less Hornets. Of Gasol's 5 worst games in the playoffs, 4 resulted in losses. Long story short: Gasol had a good regular season – so did the Lakers. Gasol had a bad playoffs – so did the Lakers. When Gasol was particularly awful in playoff games – so were the Lakers. All perfectly in sync.

 

 

2011-12

Gasol's shooting continued to fall (50%, still second-best on the team), as did his assertiveness in the paint (offensive rebounds and blocks both dropped). Fans didn't need to look at any stats to notice his impact was less than previous seasons, but the numbers do support his slow-down. One of his best stretches of the season, however, occurred in April when Kobe missed 7 games; Gasol suddenly came back to life and averaged 21 ppg, 10 rpg, 5 apg, and 1.4 blocks as the club went 5-2. But with a less inspired Gasol for most of the regular season, the Lakers' winning ways slowed down, coming out the victors in 62% of their games (41-25), after three years of 70% or better while Gasol was in top form.

 

They made it into the playoffs as the 3 seed, limped past a star-less Denver team in 7, and then got blown out by the Thunder in Round Two. Gasol was generally listless – not to the same degree as 2011, but still not nearly the same guy who played on the Lakers teams that went to the Finals and won titles. He played only 4 unquestionably good games in the 2012 playoffs, and the Lakers won 3 of them. Long story short: Gasol got noticeably worse at 31, and the Lakers also got noticeably worse. His uninspiring playoff performances also matched the Lakers' uninspiring playoffs, and his few good post-season games again were paired up with strong team outings.

 

 

2012-13

Gasol has missed 7 games due to knee problems so far, and the Laker team that was 8-9 has since gone 2-5, mercifully pulling two out against the Wizards and Anthony Davis-less Hornets. Even with Kobe playing his most efficient ball ever, Gasol has been hard pressed to put together a solid all-around game. He's shooting a terrible 42%, and his points, rebounds, blocks, and assists are all down. Long story short: As Gasol becomes more inconsistent and does less things well, the Lakers also show less consistency and are more vulnerable to more types of teams.

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Reader Comments (18)

What was the Lakers record when Pau got traded to LA? How has the Grizzlies franchise done since Gasol left? what was Gasol's shooting percentage in Game 7 vs Boston?

December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamesD

The Lakers record was 25-11 with an All-Star-level big, 5-5 without (very similar to the previous 12 years and the next 5).

The Grizzlies franchise has nothing to do with what this article is about, but I see what you're getting at. I see that after a) Rudy Gay had gotten good, b) the addition and maturation of Zach Randolph, c) the growing up of brother Marc, d) the drafting of two top-4 guards including a PG who got legit by the time he turned 23, and e) picking up the most underrated coach in the league, the Grizzlies have gotten better.

His shooting percentage was a crappy 38% in that game, but thankfully he had 9 offensive rebounds and dished out a team-high 4 assists to 1 turnover or Kobe's 6-for-24 outing (25%, LA as a team shot 33%) with 4 turnovers would have single-handedly sank your Lakers.

December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZachariah Blott

So the Lakers had a 69% winning percentage BEFORE Pau arrived.

What were the Grizzlies record in his years there? DId they ever win 69% of their games or make it past the 1st round of the playoffs?

You forgot to mention Kobe's rebounds in the game.

So in a nutshell Pau is a very good player that got traded to a team winning 69% of its games, with the best player in the league, and he contributed significantly to a 2-time champion as the 2nd option primarily because he didn't have the added responsibility of leadership.

Figures that after Kobe achieves another career milestone you would post a blog that gives credit for winning titles to another player.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamesD

@JamesD
For someone who tries to tell me he's a Laker fan and not a Kobe fan, you really like to go out of your way to turn any of my pro-Laker comments and articles into "you just hate Kobe" comments. As I've told you, you gloss over context way too much and pretend it means nothing (there's a reason Kobe demanded a trade from the team that drafted him and only does well next to killer big men - it's why they were 10-10 on the year without Bynum or Gasol manning the middle and the team's success fell more onto Kobe), and you bring up Kobe's rebounds even though the only part of that game we were talking about was the offense. Again, it's called context and staying on point with what's actually being talked about, not reverting back to your Kobe-defense whenever someone says something nice about the Lakers.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZachariah Blott

You didn't answer my question regarding the Grizzlies with Pau. Could you please do that? Looking at his team's record when he was the leader helps qantify the point I made about his abilty to succeed when he doesn't have leadership responsibilities.

WE weren't just discussing offense. in the blog you wrote "Gasol dominated the paint for the final game-and-a-half, recorded a 19-18 in Game Seven". only in your resonse did you limit it to offensive stats. It would make sense then to include Kobe's rebounding numbers from that game as well. So your bloviating about context comes off as a childish way to attack me rather than answer the question.

I stated rather clearly that IMO you wrote this because Its not surprising to me that when "Kobe achieves another career milestone you would post a blog that gives credit for winning titles to another player." You in no way were writing something nice about the Lakers.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamesD

Only a biased Kobe fan would take an article that is clearly synced up timewise with the Gasol injury and much talk of trading him, and turn it into "you must hate Kobe and only wrote something nice about the Lakers to take away from Kobe's milestone," something that happened 10 days before the article was published. Are you really riding out one man's individual accomplishments that long? Give up the Lakers-fan-not-a-Kobe-fan crap you say about yourself and just admit already that the only Laker news you care about is in terms of how it affects your allegiance for Kobe.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZachariah Blott

Is there a reason you are not blaming Gasol and his lack of fire the last two seasons? I love my man Pau, he is most certainly not soft like charmin tissue paper, but there is a reason why so many Laker lovers/haters question the man's mental fortitude consistently. I will always believe that Pau cannot carry the load as consistently as Kobe because of his mentality, and let's be real, no one can compete night in and night out the way Kobe can. Pau's start of the 2010-11 season when Kobe was injured was amazing, showing us what the second best player on the Lakers can do without the best player taking away his touches. Many people (again) started to disrespect Kobe, saying Pau is an MVP candidate and that he should be the franchise player as opposed to Kobe. I'm not denying that Pau came out that season on fire, but that is precisely the reason why fans of Kobe get so irked by the mainstream media's incessant desire to knock Kobe every chance they get. When Pau was playing like an MVP candidate, rather than saying, "OMG Pau's game is so versatile!" its more, "HA! SEE?! The Lakers are better off without KOBRICK!!!" Point is, these people jumped the gun. Having watched Gasol the last few years I knew he would slow down if he was asked to carry the team. And that's exactly what happened that season. Pau wore down from carrying the load early and his performance slowly dipped as the season went on and then he went into a complete nosedive during the playoffs where he got outworked by guys like Carl Landry and didn't even try to slow down Dirk (Dirk was on fire that year, but at least make the man work on the defense! Pau just kept trying to cross him over and when Dirk didn't bite, he'd just pass the ball. He offered the best player that year no resistance, on either end. Simply unacceptable, probably the first and last time I really blamed Pau for anything).

After reading the article I would have to agree with James in that you seem to go out of your way to convince people that the best player on the Lakers is Gasol. You could just as easily write an article about how Pippen is the reason the 90s Bulls became dominant, but I don't see anyone doing that. No no no that is a no-no and most people would see it as an insult to even consider writing it. With Kobe, there is no restraint. It seems a lot of people love to discredit/disrespect Kobe is this manner, claiming objectivity is the reason for writing such articles but the entire time they are basically giving the lion's share of credit to a player who is clearly the second best player on a championship team, barely suppressing their distaste in a man deemed inferior to basketball's Zeus (which is MJ).

But this is a conversation that I can do without. What really bothers me about this article is how all your biases are in line with how the media viewed the last few laker seasons. I've been civil up to this point but I'm tired of how everyone says the Lakers were "gift-wrapped" a player that NO ONE cared to mention up until the actual trade. If people actually paid attention to foreign talent a la the Spurs then maybe less people would automatically assume the Lakers gave up nothing for Gasol.
I always felt that drafting Marc Gasol was a great pickup for the Lakers, proven by how we managed to swap the bigger younger model for the established model in Pau.

Gasol's image pre-trade was closer to what he actually is than what his image has become post trade. He was considered to be an all-star level player with the finesse Euro big man game. Many believed he would never be the centerpiece on a championship team and after having the privilege of watching his game the past few years, I am a firm believer that he was always meant to play the Pippen role. And Scottie is my all time favorite player! Both he and Gasol entered teams that had everything in place: the best player in the league, the best coach, role players, etc. Their role as the uber skilled number two put everything in place. But lets not kid ourselves, those two guys got whipped by Jordan/Kobe. If either guy was truly better than those two Phil would've saw that in practice would he not?

This whole notion of the Lakers winning in spite of Kobe jacking shots is ludicrous. As if a team can win a championship with the supposedly inferior player taking away shots from the supposed best player on the team. If the Lakers won back to back chips with a fake franchise player masquerading as the best player on the team, then we all need to reassess the greatness of Phil Jackson and Pau Gasol. Winning two chips DESPITE the ball hogging number two guy taking away all the shots from Air Gasol? Damn we might as well just put Gasol up there with Kareem, Magic, MJ, Bird. I mean I have Kobe at around #6 or 7 all time but since Gasol is the better player he must be top 5 EASILY. Yup the man whose effort level waxes and wanes like a woman on her period is better than the guys who bring in night after night. He's even better than Hakeem or Tim Duncan!

p.s. I think skill-wise, both Pippen and Gasol are on MJ/Kobe's level. Its really all the intangible stuff like mental fortitude that makes Kobe and Jordan the guys that franchise builds around. It must also be said that after 20 years since Jordan's retirement, some people are coming out of the woodwork and saying they would rather have Pippen over Jordan. At least we know that even Jordan's legend will eventually be de-constructed.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHMMM

@Hmmm
I think you missed what this article is about, which wasn't that Pau is the best Laker, but that the Lakers' success follows his - both for better and worse. He's obviously been worse the past few years, and so have been the Lakers.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZachariah Blott

@zach

2nd time you responded without answering the questions asked and 2nd time you failed to mention kobe's rebounds. why are you afraid of this?

Also the 2nd time you referenced "kobe hating", which is something I've said about you in the past and gave clear reasons why I formed that opinion. but not in any of my responses to this blog have I said that so your harping on it rather than addressing the points I made and having a discussion is quite telling about your motivation for writing this specific piece.

You've also spent considerable space trying to negatively define me, as you do any reader that responds to you, simply because I raised questions about what you wrote. No matter how you go about attacking me(or others) as an individual, a person who can defend what they wrote would be courteous and professional enough to answer the legitimate questions posed.

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamesD

@JamesD
Your primary reason for commenting on this site (I'm talking somewhere between 80-100% of the time) is to defend Kobe and to declare that I'm bashing him, especially if I'm saying something nice about a Laker, an efficient player, an efficient scorer, another SG, etc. This is what you're getting at all the time, so after 2 solid years of this being the case, it's not a stretch to simply start defending my position against your soon-to-be-coming "you must be a Kobe basher" comments once you begin asking questions that are obviously heading there. If you could comment in a way that wasn't consistently geared toward declaring that I'm a Kobe basher for ever saying someone else is good or efficient, then I'd stop assuming this is where you're going all the time. Stop being that blatantly biased for one player, and I'll stop jumping to the obvious conclusion that this is what you're doing or setting up to do every time you comment.

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZachariah Blott

@zaxh
first off i hate kobes guts.dont reply to my past saying i am a lover cause i am not.i think itvwas a punk move what he did when he said the gay slur to ref in 2011.however i respect him and wouod hate to see him leave.i believe kobe has hit lots of clutch shots against cleveland,charlitte while gasol has plated soft .he is playing through a bruised back,bruised shin.you know how painful that is.and if you say he is a aball hog.he had dix assists yesterday.thats solid considering you play a scoring position.

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterneil

You still haven't addressed my points.

My primary reason for criticizing some of yourLaker related posts is because of your bio. The one you had taken down only after I referenced it because it called you a "hater of all things Kobe." I also asked what NBA team you liked, but you refused to answer. SO don't act like I haven't given you an opportunity to clarify your opinions.

After reading your bio and your articles posted here, its clear to me that you have an agenda relative to Kobe. Yet when I point out, as I have in the past, about this fact you will not acknowledge it. To keep acting as if I have no basis for this is ridiculous. An honest wroter points out his biasies to his/her readers.

I am a Lakers fan, not a big Kobe fan. Labelling me as a poster in the hopes that it refutes my criticisms will not work. Every time I have questioned and article you wrote, I base the criticism primarily on facts you've omitted, as I did here. I have concluded that you omit facts because you dislike Kobe.

Now can you answer my points so we can discuss?

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamesD

@neil
Be less drunk when you comment in the future.

@JamesD
You consistently skip over and avoid most questions I ask you, so I feel no responsibility to ask "how high" when you want to ask questions that only a "I must protect Kobe's good name" enthusiast would ask. Your ability to remember and understand reality is not something you should be standing on to defend your arguments. You still won't go talk to the guys who run another website that you have questions about (how many times have I asked you to do that?) because you'd rather believe something that isn't true than find out facts. Remember the whole "Kobe shoots a lot of end-of-buzzer shots" debate that we went through, and what you thought was reality was the exact opposite of the verifiable truth? Reality is not your thing, and what you remember or think you remember is able to be manipulated by your own biases so strongly that it really shouldn't be trusted by you or anyone else. You claim to not be a big Kobe fan, yet every pro-Laker comment or article I post is quickly turned into a "why aren't you in love with Kobe in this article?" comment from you, so stop making up lies about your allegiances. Again, I feel no reason to answer your questions based on your refusal to do so the vast majority of the time, especially in regards to a fictional bio from years ago that you could easily check and refuse to do.

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZachariah Blott

The issue isn't just the accuracy of the bio (which anyone with even a little common sense knows you wouldn't have allowed a reputable website to define you that way without your sepcific approval) its that you had it pulled only after I pointed to it as the primary reason I believe your blogs to be anti-Kobe. If it was so wrong, why did you allow them to keep the bio up as you submitted articles?

You selectively chose not to answer certain questions because they would poke holes in the theory/argument of this blog post. So masking that by making it about me is childish. To overexaggerate my position on Kobe making end of game shots is truly sad. My problem was with the methodology used. Again, a review of the history, so long as you don't delete any posts, surely will show this and the fact that I answer most of the questions you ask. Then again you are only posting these things in an attempt to try and delegitimize my criticism of this post.

Every Laker post I comment on I ask you for the same thing-some honesty about how you feel about Kobe. I've also said (again the history will prove this) that I don't care if you hate Kobe, ala Bill SImmons, just acknowledge it so the reader has context. There is no other logical reason you calrified Pau's paultry shooting stats with his off rebs and his reb totals and assists and not Kobe's when i inquired.

Reviewing the response history of your Laker related posts, I am not the only reader that believes you have an anti Kobe bias. But every time someone points this out you negatively define them while avoiding their issue. All we want as readers of this blog is honesty from you as a writer. That can't be too much to ask.

December 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamesD

@JamesD
I see you don't pick up on things quickly, or even after multiple years in this case, so this is the final time I'll say it, and you won't be able to post any comments on my site until you do so:
EMAIL THE GUYS WHO RUN THAT SITE AND ASK THEM ABOUT THIS CONCERN OF YOURS. YOU'VE CALLED IT A REPUTABLE SITE AND I DON'T KNOW THEM OUTSIDE OF A WRITING-EDITING RELATIONSHIP FROM YEARS AGO, SO THIS SHOULD BE AN OPEN-AND-SHUT SITUATION. I'VE EXPLAINED TO YOU FOR A LONG TIME NOW WHAT IT IS YOU THINK YOU'RE REMEMBERING, AND YOU STILL REFUSE TO ACTUALLY LOOK AT FACTS THAT ARE SIMPLE TO FIND. YOU'VE PRETTY MUCH BECOME THE MOST STEREOTYPICAL KOBE FAN EVER JUST IN THE WAY YOU'VE HANDLED THIS MADE-UP SITUATION OF YOURS.

FYI, I have the original email that I sent to them with my bio, so anytime you want a screencap of some truth, let me know.

December 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZachariah Blott

Hello!

I have no agenda and no strong opinions with regard to these issues, but I am very interested to see you answer JamesD's questions regarding Pau's time with the Grizzles and Kobe's rebounding. Regardless of the history and previous disagreements you two might have had, those are very interesting and relevant questions.

Thanks in advance!

December 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

@Andy
Thanks for the comment. I've been out a few days getting work done before the holidays, so please state precisely what questions you want answered. Rereading JamesD's false-accusation-filled comments can take a real toll after a while. Assuming you're curious why the Grizzlies got better in the years after Pau left, I already answered that with a long list of improvements they made, plus his value as a Laker automatically went up because he wasn't constantly double-teamed (due to Bynum and Kobe) and his awesome-for-a-PF/C passing actually resulted in baskets when he's able to pass to guys who shoot 55-60% (Bynum, Odom); his skill set perfectly fit what the Lakers' needed, and the Grizzlies' complete lack of supporting talent simply wore down his drive over time. Put him on a team with well-paid talent, particularly some other bigs, and that gets all the calls, and suddenly he has more to play for. If you're curious why I don't give Kobe tons of credit for 15 rebounds in that one game when most of them were of the no-one-was-around-to-actually-fight-for-it variety unlike Pau's 9 offensive boards that are absolutely necessary on a club with a 25% FG% gunner, then I can't imagine you watched the game.

December 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterZachariah Blott

@JamesD
You honestly think a site run by two guys who never met me, who never rock the boat in any way, would put a statement about a blatant bias of a new writer they don't know? Then they would change it after that person left their site? Why would they do any of this?

I've already proven to you that your memory of how things are can be the exact opposite of the truth if that's what you want to believe. And you've now demonstrated for YEARS that you won't do even the smallest piece of research to find out the truth about an assertion that makes no sense whatsoever.

Until you can follow through on something as simple as emailing that site and asking them to confirm or deny what it is you want to remember, you are just far too biased toward LA/Kobe and too none-existent in the "easily checking basic facts" department to have a place in these comments. Do the 2 minutes of work I've been asking you to do for 2 years now, and then I'll find you to be mature and research-oriented enough to come back to BTB's comments section. You can email me once you've reached this milestone.

December 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterZachariah Blott

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