Finwë wrote:JGC wrote:Yeah, I think the issue with the team not competing or giving effort is a symptom of a problem, not the cause of the problem.
The reason we see lapses on the defensive end, IMO, has more to do with the offensive end than anything else. We are often completely out of sync on the offensive end. There hasn't been much rhythm or flow. And when you have an offensive minded team like we do, their focus trails off when things are out of order. People look at the box score and see a high number of points and think the offense isn't the problem but you have to look at how those points were produced. Was it produced by great ball movement with multiple teammates involved in every possession? I don't think that is always the case. It was produced because we have a number of offensively talented individuals.
When you have an offensive minded team, they will play defense and communicate and give extra effort when things are clicking offensively. With a defensive minded team, the opposite is true. When things are clicking on all cylinders defensively, suddenly you have guys who may not be otherwise offensively talented scoring points.
The key to getting this team to playing good defense is to get in to rhythm offensively. Get people involved. Move the ball. This prevents people from standing around. When the ball doesn't move, people stand around and it carries through to the defensive end.
And one more thing, the 6-1 is a bit of a mirage. We nearly lost to a team that has lost 18 straight. We had to outscore the Bobcats by 8 in the fourth quarter to beat them by a point. At home. We lost two of the four quarters to the worst team in the league while playing at home. We didn't even play well, we just played well enough to win. That's not an indication of turning things around.
I do think this team can turn it around but I don't think a championship this year is very likely at all. We're looking at a lower half seed and the success rate of lower half seeds is very, very low. I can't think of any championship team that has gone through the struggles this team has this season and ended up winning. Are there any? Has a team ever played nearly 40% of a season, not once been above .500, and won the championship? Did they have 3 head coaches by this time? Did they have the injuries and health concerns this team has had?
It certainly looks like a long shot for this year but hey, history is made all the time so I guess that's what we've gotta do.
But if you're right and the issue with this team is giving effort because they're playing down to the level of their competition, then I sure hope they realize that it's now a long shot from here and thus give the type of effort and competitiveness every single night from here on out.
"It's all Kobe's fault", basically
No, I think a bunch of games this season completely disprove your theory JGC. Take the Denver game for example. We played great on offense, scored consistently and effectively, moved the ball around pretty well and tried to get a lot of guys involved (some hit shots, some didn't). But it ended up being our worst defenisve performance of the year.
Or take games like the ones against Houston or Phoenix. VERY high scoring games, effectively so, moving the ball and getting a bunch of role players involved but played pretty poorly on D, allowing a lot of points. We won those games, but still, our effort on D was POOR.
In Philly we had role players rolling, hitting 3s from everywhere, but still we let Nick Young torch us and didn't really play good D.
There are many examples like that one.
I understand, this all goes back to your main agenda: "not moving the ball enough is THE problem" - "Kobe doesn't play within the team concept, doesn't move the ball enough" - "kobe is the problem". LOL.
I think many posters here would agree that directly or indirectly that ends up being your target point.
But it's false.
Defense is our main problem, and no, it's not suffering because of our offense.
It's a matter of athleticism, apparent lack of urgency in that end in certain games(from both players and the coach), no chemistry on that end, guys not being healthy enough to give second and third efforts, little communication, gambling for steals, guys taking possessions off, not boxing out consistently, etc. Does ALL OF THAT stem from our offensive style? NO. Not even close.
Wow! I didn't mention Kobe's name once in my post and half your post was dedicated to defending Kobe's honor. That's ... absurdly amazing.
But no, I don't think it's all Kobe's fault. At the same time he doesn't get completely off the hook either. I've noticed that this is a difficult concept for you to grasp. That a player can be a reason for something working (or not working) but not necessarily be THE ONLY reason. Then again, I believe at one point you even admitted that you could never hold Kobe accountable for anything negative so I guess that puts some context in to things.
Ok, regarding the Denver game. I thought that was a good example of an exception to my theory. There will no doubt be some games where he play well on the offensive end and poorly on the defensive end. I'm not sure if that disproves the notion that this team is motivated on both ends of the court when things go well offensively though. Actually, I am sure that a small number of instances does not necessarily disprove it. Haha. It is good to bring up exceptions, but sometimes they just end up proving the rule. Overall, I just think there is a general trend with this team, that when we execute well offensively (high FG%, high assists) we tend to play better defense. Is it always the case? No. But let's not be silly and cherry pick exceptions as if that completely disproves anyone's theory here. I mean, we have seen the occasional game where the Lakers do show effort, does that mean we don't have a problem with it as a general rule? It looks like your goal is more to disprove my theory than it is to really give this some genuine thought and while I'm flattered about that, it doesn't seem to help the discussion much.
I don't agree it is an issue with athleticism. Athleticism is way overrated. It's certainly a nice asset to have on a team, but by no means a requirement for success. Unfortunately, I think you couldn't be more wrong here. I think we have a very offensive minded team and coach, whose primary motivation in terms of being able to maintain focus is driven primarily (remember primarily != entirely) by offense. They are rewarded in practice for offensive execution and not so much defensive. We seem content to trade buckets but show the most frustration when things aren't going well offensively. In general, I think there is a clear cut relationship between how well we execute offensively, and in turn then, how well we defend.
Having said all that, whether or not you think this is 100% Kobe's fault is really kind of irrelevant here. We're not talking about WHY the team doesn't execute offensively very well, we can save that for a different thread and you can say his name as many times as you like there!