John Ireland's blog from Hawaii

John Ireland's blog from Hawaii

Postby melo061 on Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:08 am

After spending a week at Lakers’ training camp in Hawaii, here’s what I know:

This will not be the same Lakers’ team that we’ve seen for the last two years under Phil Jackson. He has thrown out the playbook and started over. Not to say that they won’t run the triangle system, but most fans won’t recognize it. This Lakers’ team is going to run, run and then run. It will also shoot much earlier in the shot clock. While the plan in the past has been to play half-court, team defense…this team is going to pressure the ball more and go for more steals. When those steals happen, they won’t set up in the triangle. They’ll run and try to score off of fast breaks.

By the way, I have no idea whether any of this will work, but it should be fun to watch.

Here are some thoughts on various individual players:

The biggest surprise I saw was the fact that Rony Turiaf is going to play a lot. He might even start. Jackson loves his energy, and the fact that he’s a big body who can run. My guess is that if he does start, Luke Walton will come off of the bench. This is no slight on Walton, who Phil loves. In the fourth quarter, my guess is that Walton is on the floor.

Jordan Farmar is clearly not happy that the Lakers drafted a point guard in the first round this year, and he’s playing like he’s out to prove something. Farmar is the most vocal, hardest-working, and aggressive player I saw all week. Kobe and Derek Fisher are the starting guards, and Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Javaris Crittendon, Maurice Evans, and a bunch of other guys are all playing for the back-up guard minutes. Farmar is acting like he wants those minutes more than anybody else.

Kobe Bryant is back, but he’s more business-like. He’s not messing around, and that’s a good thing. It’s almost as if he saying, “OK, you guys didn’t go out and get me any help, so we’ll try it your way. But I’m here to work….and everybody else better get on board. “

Of the three-headed monster the Lakers have at center (Kwame Brown, Chris Mihm, and Andrew Bynum), Mihm looks the best. Kwame is still hurt, and although Bynum looks bigger, he still doesn’t look like he’s any better….yet. Since Mihm tends to get in foul trouble, all three of these guys are going to need to play.

Lamar Odom is the biggest question mark on the team. He’s still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, so it’s hard to tell how close he is to returning. But when I asked him if all of the off-season trade talk bothered him (Odom was rumored to be in almost every potential trade), he said that “it doesn’t, unless it keeps happening.” In other words, I think he’d like assurances that all of the attempts to trade him are now over. Since the Lakers will never give him that, it should be very interesting to see how focused he is once the season starts. By the way, I’d be surprised if Odom plays in any pre-season games.

Derek Fisher strikes me as a more confident, more complete player than he was in his first stint with the Lakers. I actually think leaving for a few years helped him develop. He’s smarter now, and he’s much more active defensively. On an unrelated note, he is still probably the most professional athlete I’ve covered in my 12 years working in Los Angeles.

Based on what I saw, and it’s ridiculously early, I think the Lakers can be competitive with most teams in the West, but clearly not San Antonio, Phoenix, or Dallas. I think they’ll be in a “second tier” with Houston (who will be improved), Golden State, Utah, and Denver. In other words, the Lakers should make the playoffs, and be seeded somewhere between the fourth and eighth seed.

Once they play a few pre-season games, I’ll make a more precise prediction


http://cbs2.com/johnireland

Bolded that quote. Won't hold too much stock in that but it's not encouraging. I'm hoping this will be the year Bynum becomes a force.
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Postby popo on Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:15 am

Mihm back to the foul problem, Alrite Ronny win that spot and earn yourself an extension! Jordan is a fierce competitor, most ppl here think he's trade bait but if starts knockin the 18 footers, he might start again. Bynum proving he should of been traded, he better change that and soon.
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Postby 2pacZGreat on Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:26 am

Let's not forget it's a blog and well it's his opinion (never really gets into too much detail to prove his point). I'll wait and see for myself and then assess the situation. All we need is one of our guys to emerge on any given night because I have a feeling that Odom and Kobe are gonna be carrying us most nights. As long as Odom plays the 3, I think he can bring it along w/ Kobe because even if Kobe facilitates, he has been doing it enough to know when to take over and when to let Odom take over.
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Postby Godfather on Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:36 am

Thanks for this. It's a pretty nice inside look. Farmar really seems to want that job :man13: and looks like Ronny will be starting.

Bynum...... :disagree:

I don't know how this "run-and-gun" stuff is going to work out though. I hope they stick more to the defense that they've been saying they'll work on.
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Postby MadMax on Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:39 am

I remember I saw John Ireland falling asleep during a Laker game once, :man11:
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Postby KB24 on Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:40 am

just because Ireland doesn´t see Bynum improving doesn´t mean he hasn't.

stop the hate please and wait untill you see him first.

point is he has worked hard to get in shape an he is in shape. now he needs to get his act together basketball-wise but it takes time for the timing and feeling to come back.
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Postby JSM on Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:58 am

I wonder how long this up tempo experiment will last. My guess is that it is deemed a failure by the end of pre-season.
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Postby Chillbongo on Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:17 am

maybe it was his opinion that Bynum hadn't improved. But if he's watching the guy play and doesn't seem overly impressed, I'm pretty disappointed.

I'll wait to see him play before I'm convinced, but to hear him say Mihm looks the e best is pretty shocking. Hopefully Bynum has more to show.
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Re: John Ireland's blog from Hawaii

Postby J.C. Smith on Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:20 am

melo061 wrote:Bolded that quote. Won't hold too much stock in that but it's not encouraging. I'm hoping this will be the year Bynum becomes a force.


His strength and conditioning alone will make him a better player. From the sounds of his summer though those two things were at the forefront of what he was working on and skills second, which is fine by me. All the skills in the world wouldn't do much good if he can't hold his position and he doesn't have energy. Skills come with experience and practice, and he'll have plenty of that in camp and the regular season.
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Postby mwan.UOP on Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:37 am

not a lot of credibility if you cant spell ronny AHHA
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Postby LkrsOvrMia on Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:43 am

KB8@CL wrote:just because Ireland doesn´t see Bynum improving doesn´t mean he hasn't.

stop givin' 'em crap and please and wait untill you see him first.

point is he has worked hard to get in shape an he is in shape. now he needs to get his act together basketball-wise but it takes time for the timing and feeling to come back.


Sorry for the change but I think we throw 'round the word "hate" too much.
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Postby LkrsOvrMia on Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:46 am

mwan.UOP wrote:not a lot of credibility if you cant spell ronny AHHA


True, but can he pronounce it?

"Roh-nee."

:mhihi:
"Why can't America realize that falling in love with Kobe doesn't mean breaking up with Michael?" Rick Reilly

Bryant, who will be representing Team USA for the first time, told Gasol: "Being that we lost this series, you (guys) have no chance at a gold medal. I ain't goin' 0 for 2, homie."
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Postby MC on Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:53 am

KB8@CL wrote:just because Ireland doesn´t see Bynum improving doesn´t mean he hasn't.

stop the hate please and wait untill you see him first.

point is he has worked hard to get in shape an he is in shape. now he needs to get his act together basketball-wise but it takes time for the timing and feeling to come back.


I agree that we need to see him on the court this year before rushing to a complete judgment on Bynum.

The problem is his basketball knowledge and experience, he can lift all the weights he wants and he can be in the best shape of his life but it still doesn't help with the basketball pedigree which is what is truly missing regarding him becoming the player all Laker fans expect him to be. 1 yr of HS basketball and no college experience = light years behind and all the off seasons in the world ain't going to change that, only time on the court does. My opinion is that if Bynum ever becomes that player he's still 3 to 4 years away. Hopefully Bynum continues to improve along the way but to expect to much out of a kid just playing his 4th year of organized basketball is reaching IMO, especially at this level.

I think the up tempo stuff is a sign that Phil still has to rely on to many players that don't have a clue in regards to triangle execution OR he doesn't trust we can hold teams down defensively in a half court game aka weak post defense IQ.

I like the idea of Turiaf starting given our current roster. The problem is we will still have to see Odom play PF for 20 minutes a game which means a weakened defensive front at the 3 with Luke in there and at the 4 with Odom spending to much time banging with bigger players for 20+ minutes a game. No wonder Phil thinks we have to pressure the ball, force turnovers and score in transition.
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Postby kray28 on Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:56 am

Phil ditching the Tri?

Impossible.
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Postby dvdrdiscs on Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:15 am

If there isn't a clear improvement in Bynum's game then it will be a real bad dissappointment.
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Postby girlsfavtoy on Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:30 am

2pacZGreat wrote:Let's not forget it's a blog and well it's his opinion (never really gets into too much detail to prove his point). I'll wait and see for myself and then assess the situation. All we need is one of our guys to emerge on any given night because I have a feeling that Odom and Kobe are gonna be carrying us most nights. As long as Odom plays the 3, I think he can bring it along w/ Kobe because even if Kobe facilitates, he has been doing it enough to know when to take over and when to let Odom take over.


Difference is, when kobe was a full time facilitator, he had shaq and other vertans who he could depend on, so he would take over late, late in the games... If odumb is having one of his off games........ it's gonna be a riot as in us getting blown out.
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Postby girlsfavtoy on Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:32 am

KB8@CL wrote:just because Ireland doesn´t see Bynum improving doesn´t mean he hasn't.

stop the hate please and wait untill you see him first.

point is he has worked hard to get in shape an he is in shape. now he needs to get his act together basketball-wise but it takes time for the timing and feeling to come back.


LOL, and you reply positivity to an article when they're talking about Byumn positively.........
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Postby girlsfavtoy on Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:34 am

dvdrdiscs wrote:If there isn't a clear improvement in Bynum's game then it will be a real bad dissappointment.


Byumn can improve physically all he wants, but if he doesn't get the fundamentals down.... it really doesn't matter, especially on the defensive end. Every great center had it when they came into the league... byumn didn't.
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Postby Combobreaker on Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:52 am

I wouldn't put too much stock into what he said. One has the feeling that the team has been emphasizing running a lot these past few days. Heck, I believe Phil said that Saturday was the first time they emphasized getting the ball into the low post, and Bynum scored over a double and dunked over Mihm. My guess is all Bynum's doing is running up-and-down the floor without touching the ball, which is why Ireland couldn't see any difference.
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Postby LoyalLakerfan44 on Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:03 am

LkrsOvrMia wrote:
KB8@CL wrote:just because Ireland doesn´t see Bynum improving doesn´t mean he hasn't.

stop givin' 'em crap and please and wait untill you see him first.

point is he has worked hard to get in shape an he is in shape. now he needs to get his act together basketball-wise but it takes time for the timing and feeling to come back.


Sorry for the change but I think we throw 'round the word "hate" too much.


Exactly, nobody hates Bynum. It's not about hate its about ability, and since the begining many people (including myself) have not seen what the Lakers seem to see in Bynum. Yes he's big, and can catch the ball, but he does not have the fire or explosiveness to be great. This is not something you can change, it is something that is part of you. I hate to keep bringing this up but there have a been many big men in the NBA that were total busts.
Imho the Lakers must trade Bynum before the percieved greatness disappears.
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Postby LoyalLakerfan44 on Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:06 am

I predict that Turiaf will be the best player ever drafted by Kupcake. I love his attitude and competitiveness. These are the kind of players the Lakers need.
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Postby Stearnfxr on Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:14 am

Let';s not forget he's basing his opinion on the last 5 minutes of TC.
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Postby Stearnfxr on Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:16 am

And let's face it, AB spent nearly his entire off-season on physical fitness training, not polishing post moves, and not getting on the court experience which he desperately needs.
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Postby Punk-101 on Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:21 am

KB8@CL wrote: it takes time for the timing and feeling to come back.


Mihm hasn't played in a year+, and is coming off of a severe injury. The "getting the timing back" shouldnt be used here because mihm is supposedly doing better than bynum.

I agree that we need to wait and see bynum first rather than just going by ireland's impressions. Im just saying.....
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Postby gcclaker on Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:53 am

I think Jackson is eschewing the tri somewhat to adopt the same philosophy as the Suns. The question is does he have the horses other than 24? Another is their individual capability on defense other than 24 as that triggers the running offense more than anything. This is the same squad that Jackson chided last season as having several inadequate on-ball defenders. Rebounding with projected starters Turiaf, Odom and a mobile completely healty Mihm shouldn't be too bad. They can run off rebounds, steals or unforced turnovers but when the game slows down there is always the tri. It is now up to the players on the floor to achieve this balance.
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