What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby trodgers on Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:21 pm

I'd rather see Kobe, Cousins, and a PG who can break down a defense.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby nduri on Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:05 pm

I don't see it so much as a degradation for fundamentals as it is the bigs are coming up today with a different skill-set. True they seem to be more perimeter oriented. They can put the ball on the floor, blow past their guy and finish at the hoop. We have lost much of the emphasis on the post-up game, but there are perimeter players filling that hole. The game is evolving, and that is largely due to the fact that Michael, Kobe and later Lebron have made post play sexy for perimeter players, much like KG made perimeter play acceptable for bigs. Also the league itself, in an attempt to give the game better pace, began to make more perimeter oriented rule changes after the Pistons run. Athletic 2's and 3's became more of the focus because they were given the advantage over those guarding them, this quickens the game and the role of the plodding center slowly began to take a back seat to the athletic wings.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby nduri on Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:11 pm

That being said, I think Noah, Ibaka, Verejao, Nene or ever Javale McGee would fit a Dantoni run system. He wouldn't have to be a big scorer, although he'd find himself open from about 12-15ft. on a routine basis. Of those mentioned, I'd personally put a premium on passing ability. If they read the D and keep the ball moving they'd be good enough to bring some positive benefits to the team. Pau is not a bad fit in this role, if we can couple him with an athletic 4 who can defend from the weak side, so of these, I'd like to see an Ibaka/Gasol front court. Probably won't happen but should work very well together.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Snakell Beast on Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:16 pm

trodgers wrote:Noah would be a pretty awesome fit for our group, would basically be a better version of Gasol.

I'm still somewhat hopeful that Bynum would return and dominate here, but that could be nostalgia talking.

Some interesting names: Okafor, Gortat, and...Cousins.


Noah is no where NEAR the talent of Gasol. He is a better defender and rebounder than Gasol (mostly because he gets away with way more contact, Pau can't even use the LEGAL single arm bar or jockey for position downlow or have the other guy jump on HIS back without getting whistled) but that's it. Gasol is a better passer, shooter, scorer and leader.

Bynum is pretty much done at this point. His knees aren't as bad as Brandon Roy's or Greg Oden's, but they'll be at that level in 2 years or less IMHO. He has chronic knee weakness...just look at those cysts that tanked his whole season last year.

They are supposed to be very rare occurrences, but they developed IN BOTH KNEES in UNRELATED injuries/timelines and they developed totally separate from the chronic instabilities that have developed from his major surgeries. That says something. It says that his knees are PRONE to injuries that weaken structural integrity, as well as disease at the cellular level.

Okafor is a teenager, who knows if he is ever going to be anything. I don't feel comfortable getting excited about a teenage big at this point...especially since I haven't seen him play and he hasn't proven ANYTHING yet. I do think we should keep an eye on him, but I would rather we try to acquire a PROVEN talent in the frontcourt...let some perennial also-ran babysit this teenage project. We can get him IF and when he becomes an attractive asset.

Gortat is a solid journeyman who is on the decline. He is decent, but he's like a less talented Kaman who is slightly younger, but isn't as good offensively and is at best marginally better defensively. We basically already have Marcin Gortat as our back up center right now.

Don't get me started on DeMarcus Cousins. He is hella overrated. Firstly, he is not in good shape, and probably never will be. Secondly, he is a total head case, and that will NEVER change. Thirdly, he may be tough but he is undersized (height and length wise he is listed at more than he actually is) for the center position.

He doesn't shoot the ball well (career 44% from 2 and less than 20% from 3), doesn't have a great post up game (as evidenced by his sub 45% shooting from 2) and he lacks mental AND physical discipline. He is Derrick Coleman 2.0 (literally, google their stats...it is EERY) AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

I don't know who the future is at Center for the Lakers, but no one on this page fits that bill right now. We should be patient and wait for the right time, instead of jumping the gun and betting on these less than stellar (to put it mildly) options.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby trodgers on Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:15 pm

Snakell Beast wrote:
trodgers wrote:Noah would be a pretty awesome fit for our group, would basically be a better version of Gasol.

I'm still somewhat hopeful that Bynum would return and dominate here, but that could be nostalgia talking.

Some interesting names: Okafor, Gortat, and...Cousins.


Noah is no where NEAR the talent of Gasol. He is a better defender and rebounder than Gasol (mostly because he gets away with way more contact, Pau can't even use the LEGAL single arm bar or jockey for position downlow or have the other guy jump on HIS back without getting whistled) but that's it. Gasol is a better passer, shooter, scorer and leader.

Gasol from this year or from a few years back?

Bynum is pretty much done at this point. His knees aren't as bad as Brandon Roy's or Greg Oden's, but they'll be at that level in 2 years or less IMHO. He has chronic knee weakness...just look at those cysts that tanked his whole season last year.

Bynum is a huge question mark, and there's really only one reason to pick him up - hope he returns to form.

Okafor is a teenager, who knows if he is ever going to be anything. I don't feel comfortable getting excited about a teenage big at this point...especially since I haven't seen him play and he hasn't proven ANYTHING yet. I do think we should keep an eye on him, but I would rather we try to acquire a PROVEN talent in the frontcourt...let some perennial also-ran babysit this teenage project. We can get him IF and when he becomes an attractive asset.

Okafor is thirty, a career double-double guy, and a good defender.

Gortat is a solid journeyman who is on the decline. He is decent, but he's like a less talented Kaman who is slightly younger, but isn't as good offensively and is at best marginally better defensively. We basically already have Marcin Gortat as our back up center right now.

Honestly, I don't know whether you're not reading the names here or you're joking.

Don't get me started on DeMarcus Cousins. He is hella overrated. Firstly, he is not in good shape, and probably never will be. Secondly, he is a total head case, and that will NEVER change. Thirdly, he may be tough but he is undersized (height and length wise he is listed at more than he actually is) for the center position.

I'm not worried about whether he's overrated because I'm not sure where you think he's ranked compared to others. He's a very good scorer, a good rebounder, and he's an athlete even if he's a bit out of shape. He is surely a headcase and no one should doubt that.

He doesn't shoot the ball well (career 44% from 2 and less than 20% from 3), doesn't have a great post up game (as evidenced by his sub 45% shooting from 2) and he lacks mental AND physical discipline. He is Derrick Coleman 2.0 (literally, google their stats...it is EERY) AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

That's not how you evaluate a player's post game. You could watch him, or you could cite the appropriate stats. Here are some:

On close shots, he shot .596 eFG%
On Dunks, he shot .918 eFG%

Gasol, by comparison, shot .550 and .958, respectively, this year.

Cousins also is a willing passer, and he has not yet played on a contender.

I don't know who the future is at Center for the Lakers, but no one on this page fits that bill right now. We should be patient and wait for the right time, instead of jumping the gun and betting on these less than stellar (to put it mildly) options.

Nah; there are several excellent options for the short term, and a few intriguing options for the long run.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Snakell Beast on Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:25 pm

trodgers wrote:Okafor is thirty, a career double-double guy, and a good defender.


:man9: I thought you were talking about Jahlil Okafor...lol. I like Emeka, I have actually advocated for us to try to trade for him in the past, but I'm not sure he has much left in the tank at this point beyond about 25 minutes a game and like 9 and 8...which isn't really anything I want to build around at the center position, especially since a lot of what he does is predicated on a level of athleticism that is going to steeply decline over the next few years...and that's not even accounting for possible injuries, which are common for a player of his age and size. I'd take him for 3 or 4 million per season (on an incentivized deal) for 3 years, but he will get more than that on his next contract.

trodgers wrote:Honestly, I don't know whether you're not reading the names here or you're joking.


Marcin Gortat is 29 years old. I believe he is on the decline...not just because of the dip in numbers last season, but also because bigs like him have a limited prime and overall shelf life. I realize Kaman is in the same boat, but Kaman is bigger and stronger, so he can last longer...even with increased injury risk.

Chris Kaman's career numbers look like this:
11.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 1.3apg, 0.5spg

Gortat's career numbers look like this:
8.6 ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.2bpg, 0.7apg, 0.4spg

Kaman's best 3 seasons in Ppg, rpg, bpg:
'09-'10 18.5ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.2bpg
'07-'08 15.7ppg, 12.7rpg, 2.8bpg
'11-'12 13.1ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.6bpg

Gortat's 3 best seasons in Ppg, rpg, bpg(his last 3 since he was behind Howard before that):
'11-'12 15.4ppg, 10.0rpg, 1.5bpg
'10-'11 13.0ppg, 9.3rpg, 1.3bpg
'12-'13 11.1ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.6bpg

Honestly, they are very comparable players. Each has slight advantages in certain areas, but they are basically interchangeable, except that I think we already have the better player on our roster.

I like Gortat, I would take him on our team...but he isn't really an upgrade over Kaman, except that he is less injury prone and 22 months younger.

BTW, I was fully aware of all of this information when I posted BEFORE, but since you seem to think I have to prove the legitimacy of my opinion every time I say something with which you disagree, I took the time out of my day to show my work, as it were.

trodgers wrote:I'm not worried about whether he's overrated because I'm not sure where you think he's ranked compared to others. He's a very good scorer, a good rebounder, and he's an athlete even if he's a bit out of shape. He is surely a headcase and no one should doubt that.


I AM worried about DeMarcus Cousins being overrated, for the following reason. Chasing potential is a dangerous, and most often perilous, pursuit. Evaluations that are based on analytics are useful, and projections about what could be ("if" a or b happens) can sometimes be accurate or reliable...but, IMO in this instance, they will not be. Sometimes a player just doesn't have it, mentally. They just don't get how to be successful as a person or in their endeavors. This can still work for a player that is brilliant, like Allen Iverson, but it never works out for mere all-star level talent (like Derrick Coleman, Gilbert Arenas, et al.) because the cost winds up exceeding the benefit.

trodgers wrote:That's not how you evaluate a player's post game. You could watch him, or you could cite the appropriate stats. Here are some:

On close shots, he shot .596 eFG%
On Dunks, he shot .918 eFG%

Gasol, by comparison, shot .550 and .958, respectively, this year.

Cousins also is a willing passer, and he has not yet played on a contender.


That may not be how YOU evaluate a player's game, but I am a proof is in the pudding kind of guy when it comes to a basketball player. I have SEEN DeMarcus play. I don't need a computer to tell me what I SEE. I definitely have respect for the role analytics can play in player evaluations, but it doesn't matter how many complicated statistical evaluations you throw into your argument if they are not representative of the final actual product on the court.

This isn't baseball. You can't take basic projection algorithms and dictate the success of a team based on mixing compatible formulas. Baseball has always been defined and driven by percentages. Basketball has that aspect, but only as a means of measuring the level of chemistry and aptitude a given player or team has demonstrated over the course of the given period of measurement, be that a quarter, a game or a season.

We already have very reliable measurements of a player's ability in basketball. Shooting percentages, as well as per 36 averages, are most often all that is needed for a qualitative analysis of a given player. Sometimes the basic particular numbers aren't necessarily reflective of a player's true value, but most of the time this phenomenon works regressively, not progressively...meaning that the deviation from mean statistical models actually demonstrates a lesser value than basic statistical evaluations demonstrate.

DeMarcus is the best player on a bad team. His numbers, performance, attitude and work ethic are not up to the level of resources that a franchise will be compelled (by any competent market value assessment) to invest in him going forward. I would not want him on our team unless we had no other options, and even then only at a discounted rate and with very strict parameters for effort and attitude.

trodgers wrote:Nah; there are several excellent options for the short term, and a few intriguing options for the long run.


Really, because I don't see any "excellent" options here...short OR long term. So if there is some surefire, home-run list you're holding back...by all means show it to me, because I am not impressed thus far.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Kit on Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Cousins has all the potential in the world but I think only Phil can handle him.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Center Court on Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:49 pm

Ludachris wrote:
The Rock wrote:If you've looked at the history of the Lakers we've always had an All star big man in title teams...Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Pau. Who can we realistically get to fill in at the Center position if we're building a title team? Or can we get away with the current mid 30s version of Pau while hes being surrounded with a whole bunch of explosive scorers in the perimeter like Miami has done the last 2 years? Seeing the report out today that both Melo + Lebron are available, Id try to get only one of those (preferably Lebron of course but Melo more realistic to get) and pair him up with a big man who can at least play D

Gortat in 2014 can be a cheap get but do you consider him a championship center? He doesnt suck on offense but hes not great either. Hes above average on defense but not elite. Can we win a title with him at C with lets say Melo/Kobe/Lowry/Nash in the perimeter? Im gonna say yes I think the League is moving away from a big time scoring Center mold to a Defense 1st Center who doesnt suck on offense and in free throws. We should target someone in that mold who puts D 1st...Chandler, Noah, Asik...someone with that mentality

What other big men should we target that is realistically gettable?

Look at Dallas when they had Tyson Chandler - I don't see him as a championship Center but it worked. Same goes for Miami using Bosh as their starting Center, when he's more of a PF. Or Perkins when he was with the Celtics. These are not elite big men, but they're solid players who contribute in ways the team needs, like defense, rebounding, or in Bosh's case, scoring. I don't think we need an elite big man, just one that is good enough. If there were a Shaq dominating the league, that would be one thing, but there isn't these days. Bynum had the potential to be that guy but he's likely going to have a short career with his knees.


And they only won one ring and let Tyson walk. Great Center + Perimeter Assasin + Shooters + Defense = Dynasty.

The notion this is a guards game is nothing new. Yet, it's still the C that creates long term greatness. All the dynasty's have had a dominant big man, except Chicago and now Miami (if they win another) beause MJ and Bron are that amazing and had Pip/Wade.

Out of who is available today, I'm going with Cousins. If he got his head right, dude would be unstoppable.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby trodgers on Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:16 pm

Snakell, if you think that I'm demanding something inappropriate (i.e., that you offer evidence), then stop the conversation. It's not an unreasonable request - it happens literally dozens of times daily on this message board alone.

As for the players:
I think we agree on THAT Okafor.

The Kaman vs. Gortat thing sorta blows my mind. You examined a few stats - What about games missed?
Kaman: 50, 19, 16.
Gortat: 2, 0, 21.

FG%
Kaman: .471, .446, .507
Gortat: .561, .555, .521

True Shooting%s are more ridiculously skewed toward Gortat. He's a significantly better player than Kaman, noticeably better on O and much better on D. Even if you think they're comparable but Gortat is two years younger and less injury prone, doesn't that make him a much better investment?

Btw, it's funny that you say "this isn't baseball" because years ago people said the same sort of nonsense about baseball - only the big few stats mattered (HR, RBI, AVG), then more was added. Now Sabermetrics are common parlance in the sport. The same thing is happening in basketball.

Cousins has to be on the list among current NBA players.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Doc Brown on Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:27 am

Isn't analytics one of the reasons that Dallas beat Miami in the Finals? IIRC there was a stat that showed the Heat couldn't stop Barea with a certain lineup so Carlise started using it more and the Heat had no answer for it.

Analytics are being used way more in the NBA now compared to the last 10 years. Memphis hired Hollinger for this very reason.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby lakersin4 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:09 am

Is everyone completely against going after Cousins? I don't think he'd fit with the plan to add Melo or Lebron, but if we can't get 1 of those guys or Paul George, Cousins might be the next most capable 1st option in the 2014 FA class. I'd still want to go after Larry Sanders too, as Cousins needs a solid defender next to him & a guy who doesn't complain for shots. Getting a younger cheaper star in Cousins instead of Melo or Lebron does have it's advantages.. He wouldn't be as expensive.. Even if we give him the max it's still 5 or 6M less than the max we'd have to pay Melo or Lebron. That extra money could allow us to spend a bit more on upgrading the PG position.. Maybe we go after Dragic on a deal starting around 7 or 8M. Talk Pau into coming back for cheap with Kobe to mentor Cousins. Cousins has the best post game since Pau, I think there's a reason Shaq is choosing to mentor this guy. You don't see bigs come along often that can go for 25/15 & beat perimeter players off the dribble to get to the rim. I think he has a chance to be very special in the right situation, & what better situation than the Lakers? Come be mentored by Shaq, Kareem, Phil & get to work with Pau, Kobe, & Rambis in practice.. I could see him taking that step to become the best C in the game here. Rest of the team looks pretty sick too, as long as we can find a good SF. Wouldn't mind stretching Nash & keeping him around & spending that 7-8M on Harrison Barnes if he ends up being available.

Dragic or Nash/Farmar
Kobe/Young
Barnes or other FA/Johnson
Sanders/Hill/Kelly?
Cousins/Pau
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby trodgers on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:44 am

I don't like LeBron or Melo, and I think Melo would be a bad idea in terms of team success, but I'd embrace him if he came here (not LeBron though).

Meanwhile, Cousins and another good-not-superstar player would be ridiculous and cheaper than Howard was or LBL/Melo would be. He's also 22 or 23. That's a guy who can become the cornerstone of a franchise.

-Cousins posted 35 double doubles, went for 17.1, 9.9, 2.7 assists in 30.5 MPG. Howard was 17.1, 12.4, 1.4 in 35.8 MPG (and 48 double doubles). Cousins and a wing player like George would add awesome scoring punch, a capable defender, good athleticism, and wouldn't break the bank. And two of our three best players would be under 25.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Pig Miller on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:53 am

i love cousins game, love it,and there's much room for growth. however, he'll be the type of guy who whines over not being the focal point, can get really lazy at times, and so far has no sense of what being a leader is.

someone will give him max money anyway, likely the kings, so the scenario is the same as signing PG. close to about 0%.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby therealdeal on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:26 am

Cousins has all the talent in the world and nothing between the ears. He's a knucklehead and without proper leadership, I don't see him working out as a cornerstone player. He might have a Zach Randolph type epiphany when he gets older, but right now I just don't see it.

I think he's acquirable if we wanted him. I just don't know that he's worth it (we'd probably have to max him out).
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Snakell Beast on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:36 am

trodgers - There is no impropriety in questioning the level of information upon which I am basing my argument, I just think that it is a waste of your time and mine. I know it is a common tactic on forums and message boards, but it is an annoying one because the very nature of the medium assumes (or establishes) an equality amongst all people involved in the conversation...even though some of us are much more informed and articulate in our arguments than others. Different strokes I guess, just don't ask me to not be irritated by it.

Also, if the only way you can appear like you are adequately countering my argument is to take a tiny snippet of what I said and argue against that, completely ignoring where I comprehensively address your response (to a conveniently inaccurate and narrow representation of my argument) then your argument isn't worth the server space it's published on.

If Marcin Gortat was a "significantly better player than Kaman" then his team's W/L record would reflect that, since having an All-Star “franchise pillar” center (which is what Gorat would have to be if he is significantly better than Kaman) is a path to instant contention. Phoenix's total irrelevance, and Gortat's declining value with the weight of the team on his shoulders, is evidence enough for me to determine that he is only really effective as the #1 option on a bad team that plays at a high pace.

He is not a traditional, back-to-the-basket rim protector who will gobble up defensive boards and dictate the pace of the game. Kaman CAN and HAS played that role before. I certainly agree with you about the injury difference, but that will change as Gortat enters his 30s. Look at the history of centers or forwards entering their 30s. Those whose game is predicated more on finesse, versus size and strength, tend to decline faster and harder than the larger centers because as they age (and lose their speed and athleticism), they have less to offer on the defensive end (or on the boards) to compensate for their diminished offensive impact.

The saving grace of any aging big is shot blocking and rebounding, something at which Gortat is simply far behind Kaman. Kaman, though significantly more injury prone thus far in comparison to Gortat, has a longer potential shelf life as a utility big than Gortat, who will lose most of his value as his body breaks down and he can no longer offer efficient offense through movement since his movement will slow and defenses will be able to counter more easily.

Of course all of this is basically meaningless because A. Phoenix isn't letting go of Gortat anytime soon and B. The Lakers aren't going to build their new team around a 30 something center with virtually NO back to the basket post game who doesn't rebound or defend very well and has thus far been a disappointment as a team pillar and is only really effective in an offensive style that has yet to prove championship worthy.

I am arguing that Kaman is a BETTER choice for the Lakers moving forward than Gortat...I am not necessarily arguing that, depending on the type of team that you want and the type of big man skills you prefer, Kaman is always a better choice, just that I prefer bigger, stronger centers that can eat up space and dominate in close quarters. Kaman is FAR ahead of Gortat in that category. I have seen Kaman post up and over power Bynum and Dwight Howard.

Gortat doesn't really even have a back to the basket post game...certainly not to the level of Kaman. Thus far in his career, Kaman has largely been relegated to a role that doesn't suit his best attributes, given that he has had to adjust to playing a more jump shooting, high tempo style...even though his physical skills and game are far better for a slow down, low post oriented style.

I disagree with your notion that Gortat is somehow far superior to Kaman, and since your only argument is with stats (and not an evaluation of actual play on the court) I am inclined to dismiss it. One of the reasons that basketball is less determinable by analytics than baseball is the sheer number of differentiating determinative variables (playing time, scheme, role, pace, et al.) that fundamentally alter and obfuscate the clarity of baseline comparisons between players. Essentially, you can use as much math, and as many formulas, as you want...it doesn't change the reality on the court. Basketball is a contact sport. Baseball is not. This changes the equation considerably.

As far as your intentional ignorance of my entire analytics argument (boiling it down to the easiest thing you can argue against so you seem to have the upper hand) I can only say that if you really think that a saber-metric approach works as well for basketball as it does for baseball, beyond making x and o adjustments and evaluating a player's compatibility within a given offensive or defensive scheme, then you don't really comprehend the fundamental differences between the two sports and how that applies to the use of analytics.

A mathematical approach is INTRINSICALLY more effective in baseball because of the nature and structure of the game. Baseball's entire flow and development comes from inter-relating sets of statistical probability. Basketball certainly can learn, and benefit, from the use of advanced analytics, but (just as with football) there are many quantitatively intangible aspects to the game that make it far less determinable by statistical evaluation.

Your contention (or at least your implication) that I disagree with the use of analytics (based solely on your shallow misrepresentation of my statement about basketball not being baseball) is not only completely wrong, but also a desperate and dishonest argumentative tactic.

PS - I am done talking about DeMarcus Cousins. I have given my two cents on him, and since he will be too expensive and risky for us...it is probably moot anyway.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby trodgers on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:28 am

Snakell Beast wrote:trodgers - There is no impropriety in questioning the level of information upon which I am basing my argument, I just think that it is a waste of your time and mine. I know it is a common tactic on forums and message boards, but it is an annoying one because the very nature of the medium assumes (or establishes) an equality amongst all people involved in the conversation...even though some of us are much more informed and articulate in our arguments than others. Different strokes I guess, just don't ask me to not be irritated by it.

I would've thought that your making claims on a message board meant that you thought that the post had merit and would invite the scrutiny and reasonable reactions of other posters. I can surely ask you not to be irritated, and you should surely try not to be irritated by it, even if you can't succeed. It just means that you're rash.

Also, if the only way you can appear like you are adequately countering my argument is to take a tiny snippet of what I said and argue against that, completely ignoring where I comprehensively address your response (to a conveniently inaccurate and narrow representation of my argument) then your argument isn't worth the server space it's published on.

I responded to nearly everything you posted. I'm making a painstaking effort to do so again.

If Marcin Gortat was a "significantly better player than Kaman" then his team's W/L record would reflect that, since having an All-Star “franchise pillar” center (which is what Gorat would have to be if he is significantly better than Kaman) is a path to instant contention. Phoenix's total irrelevance, and Gortat's declining value with the weight of the team on his shoulders, is evidence enough for me to determine that he is only really effective as the #1 option on a bad team that plays at a high pace.

You think that Kaman is so good that the only possible significant improvement would be "All-Star franchise pillar"? I think you're ridiculously overrating Kaman. How about "could mean a handful more wins for a team"? One or two wins was the difference between not making the playoffs and several seeds this year. BTW, if Gortat has been not effective the last three years, Kaman has been dreadful. I don't buy either of those claims.

He is not a traditional, back-to-the-basket rim protector who will gobble up defensive boards and dictate the pace of the game. Kaman CAN and HAS played that role before. I certainly agree with you about the injury difference, but that will change as Gortat enters his 30s. Look at the history of centers or forwards entering their 30s. Those whose game is predicated more on finesse, versus size and strength, tend to decline faster and harder than the larger centers because as they age (and lose their speed and athleticism), they have less to offer on the defensive end (or on the boards) to compensate for their diminished offensive impact.

Gobbling up defensive boards and blocking shots? Let's see the last four years...

DREB Rate
Kaman/Gortat
7.2/7.8
7.5/8.6
7.2/8.1
7.3/7.4

BLK Rate
1.3/2.3
2.1/1.6
2.0/1.7
1.4/1.9

The saving grace of any aging big is shot blocking and rebounding, something at which Gortat is simply far behind Kaman. Kaman, though significantly more injury prone thus far in comparison to Gortat, has a longer potential shelf life as a utility big than Gortat, who will lose most of his value as his body breaks down and he can no longer offer efficient offense through movement since his movement will slow and defenses will be able to counter more easily.

"The saving grace"? Tim Duncan offers a heck of a lot more than shot blocking and rebounding. Gasol doesn't offer much of either of those. I think you're looking at a very narrow notion of what a "big man" is - and it's one that's mostly outdated.

Of course all of this is basically meaningless because A. Phoenix isn't letting go of Gortat anytime soon and B. The Lakers aren't going to build their new team around a 30 something center with virtually NO back to the basket post game who doesn't rebound or defend very well and has thus far been a disappointment as a team pillar and is only really effective in an offensive style that has yet to prove championship worthy.

Gortat DOES rely more on movement to get open and good looks (and that's why he shoots better than Kaman, who is a better pure shooter), but the rest of the stuff you say is obviously false. He was 26th best in the NBA at defensive rebound rate, 50th best at overall rebound rate (Kaman was 41st and 59th, respectively).

Guess which is which:
On/Off: +2.7/-7.2
Team eFG% Allowed: 51.2%/49.8%
DefPER Allowed: 16.0/18.7
Individual eFG% Allowed: .496/.515

Hint: The one one the left wins three of the four comparisons - and that's Gortat.

I am arguing that Kaman is a BETTER choice for the Lakers moving forward than Gortat...I am not necessarily arguing that, depending on the type of team that you want and the type of big man skills you prefer, Kaman is always a better choice, just that I prefer bigger, stronger centers that can eat up space and dominate in close quarters. Kaman is FAR ahead of Gortat in that category. I have seen Kaman post up and over power Bynum and Dwight Howard.

I see - you're saying that you prefer bigger, stronger centers - despite the fact that THAT hasn't shown to matter in terms of championships in recent years. And based on that assumption you're saying that Kaman is better because you saw him post up and over Bynum and Howard. What about these numbers?

Individual Matchups over last three years:
Gortat: 62-47, 4-0 vs. Bynum, 0-2 vs. Howard
Kaman: 26-30, 1-2 vs. Bynum

Gortat doesn't really even have a back to the basket post game...certainly not to the level of Kaman. Thus far in his career, Kaman has largely been relegated to a role that doesn't suit his best attributes, given that he has had to adjust to playing a more jump shooting, high tempo style...even though his physical skills and game are far better for a slow down, triangle or post oriented game.

I agree that Kaman's back to the basket game is better than Gortat's, but that's only one part of the game. Kaman is better at shooting FTs, too. And that's about it.

I disagree with your notion that Gortat is somehow far superior to Kaman, and since your only argument is with stats (and not an evaluation of actual play on the court) I am inclined to dismiss it. One of the reasons that basketball is less determinable by analytics than baseball is the sheer number of differentiating determinative variables (playing time, scheme, role, pace, et al.) that fundamentally alter and obfuscate the clarity of baseline comparisons between players. Essentially, you can use as much math, and as many formulas, as you want...it doesn't change the reality on the court. Basketball is a contact sport. Baseball is not. This changes the equation considerably.

I think your view is clearly wrong here. You can point to what you think, but you end up having to explain away a mountain of data. It's why ALL sports are moving toward advanced statistical measures. (You seem to be utterly unfamiliar with baseball stats, btw; there are defensive stats, situational stats, and the like; and if Total QBR is a meaningful stat in the NFL, you should know that it takes account of situational features.)

As far as your intentional ignorance of my entire analytics argument (boiling it down to the easiest thing you can argue against so you seem to have the upper hand) I can only say that if you really think that a saber-metric approach works as well for basketball as it does for baseball, beyond making x and o adjustments and evaluating a player's compatibility within a given offensive or defensive scheme, then you don't really comprehend the fundamental differences between the two sports and how that applies to the use of analytics.

I disagree. And so do a growing number of sports writers and statisticians. I'll wait for you to refute that data.

A mathematical approach is INTRINSICALLY more effective in baseball because of the nature and structure of the game. Baseball's entire flow and development comes from inter-relating sets of statistical probability. Basketball certainly can learn, and benefit, from the use of advanced analytics, but (just as with football) there are many quantitatively intangible aspects to the game that make it far less determinable by statistical evaluation.

Yes, it's clear you don't know how advanced baseball stats work.

Your contention (or at least your implication) that I disagree with the use of analytics (based solely on your shallow misrepresentation of my statement about basketball not being baseball) is not only completely wrong, but also a desperate and dishonest argumentative tactic.

Call it what you will. You've stated your position. I've drawn the obvious implication: you don't know how advanced stats work.

PS - I am done talking about DeMarcus Cousins. I have given my two cents on him, and since he will be too expensive and risky for us...it is probably moot anyway.

I'm going to dig up the post in which you told us how expensive players were. You grossly overestimated many players just this offseason. In fact, your "low end" numbers on more than half the players were less than the average deal the player received. I have no confidence in your ability to set a value on players, nor should anyone else.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby last stand on Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:28 am

gortat was able to play PF and was statistically one of the better pick and roll defenders a few years ago. he and Kaman are completely different types of players

cousins at his best is probably the best offensive center in basketball. he can shoot, handle the ball, distribute, post up, pick and roll

when he's focused he's unstoppable.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby dj vitus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:01 pm

LeBron. He's kind of a big thing.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Snakell Beast on Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:39 pm

trodgers - I think Kaman is better than Gortat, you disagree. It's that simple. I'm not wasting any more time over-complicating such a relatively meaningless argument. It's not like either would catapult the Lakers into a new era of dominance...or really even make more than a barely noticeable difference over the usual stop gap center fare we have seen on the Lakers in the past (Kwame, Mihm, et al.)

Tim Duncan isn't in the category of players that need to sell themselves on their body size, so on that statement I would refer you to Supreme Court Case Apples V Oranges. Last time I checked, we were comparing utility bigs who will never be star level, even at their best, so Tim Duncan (as well as Pau Gasol)shouldn't even enter the conversation. Hall of famers don't need to measure themselves against journeymen selling their listed height to stay employed.

As far as you telling me I don't know how advanced stats work, go to it. No matter how many times you say it, it still won't be true. I disagree with you about the level of emphasis front office execs should place on statistical analysis over regular things, like um...wins and losses and physical attributes. I also fundamentally disagree with you (and the stats above all else fad crowd) on the amount of reliability more complex, situational, metrics can have in predicting future performance or in unexpectedly revealing talent from a player that was somehow not evident from the actual games played, win and losses, watching the player play basketball...you know, crazy random unreliable things like that.

Contrary to your view on the subject, disagreement is not inextricably intertwined with a lack of comprehension. I already know you will try to twist my statements into your go to narrative of the person whose opinion you don't like not wanting to admit that you are a mental giant and they are legally retarded, but that doesn't mean I don't understand the relationships of each integer in a given equation, or what each compound equation (of correlating data) is attempting to quantify...it just means you are a condescending [phallic adjective].

And as far as your pathetic attempt to "expose" my complete incompetence by "digging up" something that I freely displayed for anyone in the developed world to casually peruse in their underwear...Dig away, Oh Dirty Diggler McGee! Whatever you want, dude. Seriously whatever trips your trigger. If you think my opinion isn't legit because some of my market value predictions were wrong, you missed the point.

I am a fan. I put forth a message board post predicting the possible future market value of player deals as a means of quelling all of the crazy "let's just sign Iggy or Bynum or Millsap" (et al.) posts regarding our options post Dwight in free agency. I never claimed that I worked for the Lakers, nor that I was psychic or had any inside sources or information, or was any more informed or knowledgeable than a two year old on a sugar binge...so it's kind of hard to discredit a fanboy posting his haphazard musings to kill time, but nonetheless go to it. You're fighting the good fight...or so you tell yourself.

Oh, and another thing...this might really shock you (blow your mind probably) but no one on this forum needs your permission, or approval, to offer their opinion...nor do they require (or honestly even welcome at this point) your particularly shallow, self serving brand of "scrutiny". Last I checked, this is an open public forum for all thoughts and ideas, and I am going to post on here whether you like it or not.

There is nothing you can do about it, so suck it up. Also, I find it hilariously predictable (as well as sadly pathetic) for someone like you (who only offers up completely banal opinions that are basically just descriptions of measurements of things that have already happened based on other people's knowledge and ingenuity) to hate on me because I have the guts to actually put my own opinions and predictions out there for every Tim Dick and Harry to skim through and roundly mock. I already made the choice to put my own thoughts out for public scrutiny and consumption, so while you get your jollies thinking you are kicking me around and showing me up, try to realize how little of a bowel movement I really give.

Finally, I would actually like you to put together a detailed report on the cumulative accuracy of my market analysis, cross referencing the data with an evaluation of whether or not each player (whose contract value was not what I had predicted) took what was considered the market value, and if not...the reasons why they took less.

Chris Kaman, Nick Young and Wes Johnson are prime examples of this point. They ALL took significantly less money than they could have gotten (each on shorter term deals than they could have gotten elsewhere at a time in their careers when the security of contract longevity is perhaps most paramount to their future) to play with LA.

That is AWESOME, since I am a Lakers fan, but that doesn't discredit my initial market value assessment...it just shows you that static mathematical evaluation cannot account for sudden, unpredictable deviations from normally predictable circumstances or include all possible changes in the baseline dataset. WINK WINK.
Last edited by Snakell Beast on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby trodgers on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:02 pm

Snakell Beast wrote:I already know you will turn that into me not wanting to admit that you are a mental giant and I am legally retarded, but that doesn't mean I don't understand the relationships of each integer in a given equation, or what each compound equation (of correlating data) is attempting to quantify...it just means you are a condescending [phallic adjective].

If you believe that sums up the way I carry myself on CL, there's little left to say.

And as far as your pathetic attempt to "expose" my complete incompetence by "digging up" something that I freely displayed for anyone ion the developed world to casually peruse in their underwear...Dig away, Oh Dirty Diggler McGee! Whatever you want, dude. Seriously whatever trips your trigger. If you think my opinion isn't legit because some of my market value predictions were wrong, you missed the point.

You offered appraisals of market value and were way off on most of them. Isn't that good evidence that I shouldn't accept your future claims about market value?

Oh, and another thing...this might really shock you (blow your mind probably) but no one on this forum needs your acceptance or approval to offer their opinion, nor do they require (or honestly even welcome at this point) your particularly shallow, self serving brand of "scrutiny". Last I checked, this is an open public forum for all thoughts and ideas, and I am going to post on here whether you like it or not.

Mind. Blown.

There is nothing you can do about it, so suck it up. Also, I find it hilariously predictable (as well as sadly pathetic) for someone like you (who only offers up opinions that are basically just descriptions of measurements of things that have already happened based on other people's knowledge and ingenuity) to hate on me because I have the guts to actually put my own opinions and predictions out there for every Tim Dick and Harry to skim through and roundly mock. I choose to put my own thoughts out for public scrutiny and consumption, so while you get your jollies thinking you are kicking me around and showing me up, try to realize how little of a bowel movement I really give.

Maybe you missed where I've posted stat projections for the last four or five years for the Lakers, playoff win/loss projections for the past four probably, and countless other bits of data analysis that are my own work. I think you're absolutely misreading me. I don't take jollies kicking anyone around, and I don't think I'm kicking you around. I'm trying to have a discussion with you with the goal of establishing which Center options are in fact best for us. For you to construe this as a lengthy personal attack against YOU is peculiar, to say the least.

That is AWESOME, since I am a Lakers fan, but that doesn't discredit my initial market value assessment...it just shows you that static mathematical evaluation cannot account for sudden, unpredictable deviations from normally predictable circumstances or include all possible changes in the baseline dataset. WINK WINK.

Notice that we're discussing options for LA...so if you miss critical data like "Would play on the cheap for LA" or "Always liked Kobe" or "something about Cali" then your market assessments don't have anything to do with either reality or the situation we were discussing (your "market assessments" will be unfalsifiable, in all likelihood; that's not good).
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby thkthebest on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:03 pm

I would take Gortat over Kaman. Getting Kaman is like an automatic minus 10 wins.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby KentuckyLaker on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:22 pm

Cousins, with the right discipline (see his college days at UK- none of that dramatic stuff) and people to keep him in check, will be the best big man in the NBA within two years. Already top 5. If he can ever put it all together, look out, and let's hope that when he does he is wearing purple and gold. :jam2: :jam2: :jam2:
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby Snakell Beast on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:36 pm

trodgers wrote: For you to construe this as a lengthy personal attack against YOU is peculiar, to say the least.


No, there's nothing peculiar or illogical about responding to insults about my level of comprehension (and by extension, the implication of a lack of intelligence, or at the very least aptitude) and my credibility...insults which are ad hominem arguments that don't actually address the point at issue...with a recognition, and castigation, of those insults.

It does not make sense for you, on the one hand, to eviscerate my entire presence on this message board while casting a wide net of aspersions in the direction of my character and integrity, and then on the other hand tell me there is something amiss with my recognition of, and defense against, said insults...not to mention the fact that you just responded to my contention that you are insulting me by insulting me.

trodgers wrote: Notice that we're discussing options for LA...so if you miss critical data like "Would play on the cheap for LA" or "Always liked Kobe" or "something about Cali" then your market assessments don't have anything to do with either reality or the situation we were discussing (your "market assessments" will be unfalsifiable, in all likelihood; that's not good).


OK, first I already said I don't have ANY inside information. I am merely looking at the market, and then predicting, based mostly on past contract sizes of players available on the market mitigated by my assessment of their value moving forward, what I think their contracts will be going forward.

If you have access to more detailed information on the players in free agency (like personal relationships or geographical preferences or childhood fantasies or willingness to sacrifice amounts of money that may never be available again in order to play on a team that probably won't make the playoffs) then good for you, because I don't. If you do, though, isn't it that much more [phallic adjective] of you to rub it in my face while also trying to discredit my opinion?

As far as your implication that I "missed critical data" I would definitely like to find out where all that inside information is verified and on display for public consumption. As far as rumors about free agents mindset, I don't give a lot of weight to rumors, chatter (et al.) regarding player preferences or relationships because most of the time it is unreliable speculation. Obviously if I had verification of that type of information, I would certainly be able to offer a more informed and accurate prediction of market conditions.

I am operating at a HUGE deficit of information. Mostly, I just like to try to use the information I DO have access to, to formulate my own strategy for the Lakers franchise going forward. That doesn't mean I am arguing that my plans or assessments are the best available, especially given that I freely admit I have far less information than even a low end employee in the Wizards front office, just that with the information I DO have that is what I think is best to do.

trodgers wrote:You offered appraisals of market value and were way off on most of them. Isn't that good evidence that I shouldn't accept your future claims about market value?


Nice dodge there! Really, first rate. Notice how you don't, in any way, address my challenge to you to provide specific qualification to your unsubstantiated claims that my assessment as "way off on most of them". Peculiar omission, to say the least.
Last edited by Snakell Beast on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby trodgers on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:41 pm

Snakell,

I'll happily offer you the full debunking of your claims to have identified market value if you'd like it. You seem quite offended and unable to suppose that I have anything but the worst of motives in interacting with you. I'm happy to stop responding to you if it bothers you. If you want to continue with what I thought we were trying to do - discuss good big man options - then I'm all for it.

If you think I've personally attacked you (and your post makes it pellucid that you do), then please flag my posts and ask that they be reviewed.
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Re: What type of big man should Lakers target for the future?

Postby lakerfan2 on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:44 pm

I have a feeling the next great big man will be foreign born.

Young Americans don't focus as much on fundamentals as they use to, and the least specifically at the center position.

I believe the NBA focused a LOT of their marketing on players like Michael, Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, Allen Iverson...etc, is the reason why we're seeing the league shift to a more wing/small ball oriented game. That's who kids want to be, that's who kids want to play like All big men can do is dunk and block shots off the court, because that's what highlight plays consisted of for them. Not Hakeem's dream shake, not Kareem's sky hook.

It's sad and unfortunately, but there's no emphasis on fundamentals anymore. You see a kid in high school doing amazing dunks, behind the back passes - get ranked and scouted like they're the second coming of "Insert star here". They don't take their time in college, and leave raw and unbalanced as a player.

The international field is growing. There's more crop of athletic, big players who's focus is primarily fundamentals. Because that's how they learn to play the game. They're not going to be as athletic as American athletes, but their training will definitely be more focused.

Just my point of view from watching basketball my whole life.
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