lakers vs thunder
im aware there is about to be a hundred topics on this subject over the next few days so my apologies for making this one. But im excited to see the lakers making moves although i hate to see bynum go. But dwight is the better and more consitent defender and that more then anything is what the team needs.
so where do the lakers rank as of now with the thunder, last year's western champs:
pg: westbrook vs nash
sg: harden vs kobe(im assuming harden starts next year but even if he doesnt, he gets starters minutes)
sf:durant vs world peace
pf: ibaka vs gasol
c: perkins vs howard
bench: sefolosha, collison, maynor, thabeet, PJones, DCook, aldrich, RJackson
jamison, JHill, blake, ebanks, mcroberts, DMorris
lakers never seem to die off huh?
im taking the lakers
and they kept Pau
Lob city belongs to the lakers now
We have to wait until OKC does about the Ibaka/Harden dilemna.
i doubt okc does anything about harden/ibaka until after this next season. They dont want to jump the gun on brekaing the team up until they have to.
kobe is ecstatic. lol.
Dwight Howard is still rehabbing from back surgery... We have to see how he returns. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash still have to gain chemistry. Mike Brown, while he'll do amazing things for this team defensively, still has to figure out how to get the team going offensively.
I'm still going with the Thunder... For now.
If the Lakers get Barbosa like the rumor says I'll take the Lakers, but Dwight hasn't really historically played great against Kendrick Perkins. Also he isn't a better offensive option than Bynum but he does improve the defense so Westbrook may not be able to attack the rim every play. I'm taking rhe Thunder unless the Lakers get Barbosa.
Barbosa is a nice offensive player, but is he really that good to tip the scales for you?
Well he's used to playing with Steve Nash, and in the Olympics it looks like he is playing great, he's back to being the Brazilian Blur. He'd give Kobe rest and sometimes move Kobe to the small forward, he's be the 5th option on the floor at most time. Barbosa as your 5th option is "A PROBLEM", I'm using the word problem as a good thing.
Also it helps counter Harden, Kobe and Barbosa vs. James Harden and Seflosha. I think everyone will take The Lakers, the Lakers barely lost 3 games against the Thunder in the playoffs, they'd now have a better defense and an improved offense. Especially with Jamison, and Barbosa off of the bench. I think he turns the tide, he can be on the floor at the end to knock down shots.
the lakers will get someone to play backup sg, they still have some money to spend on free agents. Barboza is an option. But no one out there at that position should be the type of player who tips the scales on which team you think is better. Barbosa aint that special.
Barbosa doesn't have to be special when he's on the court with 4 future Hall of Famers. he just has to hit the open shot which he can, Career 39% three point shooter. He also brings some athleticism to the perimeter. He has to be himself, he doesn't have to be special.
I'm wearing my Thunder colored blue and orange Nike shorts right now, so I'm going with the Thunder. Matchups wise, they've only got advantages at 2 positions (I'm calling the PG spot an advantage for OKC solely because of Nash's defense), but they play so well as a team, and if you're going with coaches, that's 1 more advantage for them. However, LA will be our biggest obstacle by far to get to the Finals again. The only reason I say Miami is a tougher out for OKC than LA is because they don't match up as well against them.
I think it will be a really close, great matchup. I still think the Thunder have a slight edge but Keeping Pau makes the Lakers instantly even with the Thunder and Heat. I would say that Durant will be even more motivated next year but i wouldn't be suprised at all to see the Lakers in the Finals.
If the Lakers can sign Meeks or Barbosa they will have a decent enough bench on paper to rest their stars for the playoffs. I put them ahead of the Thunder right now, but not by much because Harden was horrible in the playoffs last year and he's likely to get better. Maynor was hurt last year, but he could be huge for them this year as he is the only true PG on their team. If Perry Jones can be an energy guy off the bench, running the floor and making strong cuts to the rim, they could put up a fight, but right now they have no one down low to get Howard into foul trouble. That is a huge disadvantage.
I think that the people thinking that Nash is going to get burned by PGs are over looking the fact that the lakers can just funnel people into the middle where they will have to shoot over Dwight and or Pau. Dwight is fast enough that he can recover well if he is drawn away from the basket or his man. The thunder do not have any scoring big men, but they are going to need to keep the lane open so they will either play small (where the lakers can destroy them on the boards) or go 3 v 5 on offense. They beat the lakers last year going 3 v 5 but it was closer than most people want to remember.
The real issue is who gets the first seed in the west. San Antonio is not going anywhere (they were going to roll through the Thunder last year them until they went small and the ref's took over) and the Grizz will have a full season with all their guys healthy. I heard some people think the Clippers are good as well. I bet 1,2,3 in the west are all going to be very close so the team that can avoid playing the 3 seed in the second round could be well rested in time for the WCF.
its true nash will get destroyed, but the lakers already got destroyed at pg for many years. People had their way with sessions and fish. So at least now we have a pg who can get some of that back on offense. Plus dwight will gaurd the pick and rolls better then bynum did.
I think Kobe is a top 10-15 player of all time but i wouldnt be suprised if he lost them some games in the playoffs. I feel like his ego will get in the way of the team and even if Nash/Gasol/Howard are doing great kobe will still try an force uncontested shots.
All I gotta say is how ironic is it that drama Howard ends up in Hollywood! his new nickname should be Hollywood Howard cuz he's so full of drama lol. Couple great post above pointing out how Nash's deficiencies will be negated by dhowards D. I'm excited for a full season...oct can't come soon enough!
Howard made the Magic a really good defensive team with guys like Reddick, Nelson and Hedo on the team, i am sure he will help make the Lakers even better. Kobe will be better off with Nash at this point in his career, Nash will give Kobe, easy mid range shots or three pointers. The pick and roll/pop with Gasol should be a good offensive option and with howard down low, i am sure theres going to be a lot of lobs this season, howard actually gets to play with a great PG in Nash. Brown actually is an a great situation because he has so many offensive options and he already is a good defensive coach, so hopefully after training camp, the players will be more used to each other. either way, the lakers persistence with howard finally paid off, its hard to imagine he wouldnt resign there with a franchise that is normally always on top.
I'm still rolling with the Thunder
They just came from the finals, Westbrook,Harden,Durant are all in London gaining even more chemistry and probably getting tips from the vets.
Dwight's coming off an injury,Nash is 38(Old), Kobe will still be ball dominant, they have to Gel, everything takes time.