The Lakers Run LA!!

There was a time when people thought that the Los Angeles Clippers were the best team in Los Angeles. There was also a time when people thought the earth was flat. We all know that those people are wrong.

Sure, the Clippers got Chris Paul after the trade that would have sent him to the Lakers got cancelled by David Stern. Sure, the Clippers beat the Lakers twice in the pre-season. Sure, ESPN and a lot of other east coast sports networks breathlessly predicted that the Clippers were going to contend for the Western Conference crown.

Unfortunately, none of that is about to come true.

Los Angeles will always be a Lakers town. I said it during the beginning of the season; the only people who think the Clippers are the best team in LA don’t live in LA.

The Clippers had many new found fans during the beginning of the season but they have not been so vocal lately. And that is because the basketball world has returned to its rightful place. The Lakers are now three games ahead of the Clippers in the Pacific Division. The Clippers have suddenly remembered that they are the Clippers and have started losing games like it’s their job; they are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

The Lakers, on the other hand, are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are playing better than ever since they acquired Ramon Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has given the Lakers a spark and has totally changed the offense. Watching him slash to the basket and create shots for those around him reminds me of the Showtime Lakers of the 80’s.

Sessions has everybody thinking about another championship. Even Kobe Bryant has come out and said that the Lakers are now a championship caliber team.

All is right with the basketball world. The Lakers are peaking at the right time and could seriously contend for the title and the Clippers have remembered that they are the Clippers and are starting slide down the standings.

It is going to be interesting to see all the talking heads explain how they were so wrong about the Clippers and even more interesting to watch them trying to explain how the Lakers made it all the way to the Finals.

How “BAD” Are The Lakers?

It’s been a tough season for the Los Angeles Lakers. First, they have their blockbuster Chris Paul trade vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern, only to watch Paul get traded to the Clippers. Then they lose two straight pre-season games against the same Clippers.  They then traded Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom to conference rival Dallas Mavericks for a trade exception and some magic beans.

Laker Nation has been in turmoil ever since.

Everyone has been complaining about head coach Mike Brown and his system, Kobe Bryant and his shot selection, Andrew Bynum and inconsistency, the bench and their inability to hold a lead, and a plethora of other issues.

The most troubling fact this season is the Lakers sorry road record, which stands at 7-14. When the Lakers were winning championships they had one of the best road records in the league. Championship caliber teams can win on the road.

But are the Lakers really a “bad” team? Or are have Lakers fans just been spoiled the last few years? Take a quick look at their record. Currently, Lakers are 24-16 (60% win rate), tied for first in the Pacific Division and are the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Not bad for a team that has had so much drama and road woes this season.

But Lakers fans aren’t looking for Division titles, they are looking for Championships. Titles are all that count. Anything less is a failure.

By any other standard, the Lakers are having a successful season; they have a good shot at winning their division and will make the playoffs. Any other team and their fans would be happy with that. Just look how delirious Clippers fans are.

The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and maybe the Lakers front office can pull out a trade that will send the Lakers to the NBA Finals. That is the only way the fans will consider this a “winning” season.

Lakers: Reloaded (Trade Rumor of the Century) !!

The NBA lockout is barely over and already one of the biggest trade rumors in recent history is making the rounds. I am of course talking about the possible trade deal that will send both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

You heard me right, BOTH of them.

This would easily make the Lakers the odds on favorite to win this year’s championship.

That is of course if it actually happens.  To me it doesn’t seem feasible. I don’t think the Lakers have the players to make it happen. Even though sources are saying that every Lakers player not named Kobe is on the trading block I still don’t think they get both.

Any trade scenario would have to start with Andrew Bynum. Given his history of injury and the cheap shot he gave JJ Barera in last year’s playoffs its seems like the Lakers are ready to part way with him. But who else do you throw into the mix? Pau Gasol? If that is the case the Lakers have seriously depleted their frontcourt and left a foul-prone Howard with no help. Maybe they throw in Lamar Odom. Or Ron Arte…errrrr…Metta World Peace. Or Matt Barnes. Or Derek Fisher.

The question is, where do they stop? Do they give away the whole team to get Paul and Howard?  For the Lakers’ sake I hope they don’t do that because they then run the risk of turning into the Miami Heat. That is, superstars up front and nobody on the bench.

If the Lakers can land only one player I think they should go for Chris Paul. They have a more dire need for a solid point guard than for a big man.

While it’s great to dream about the Lakers becoming a de facto All-Star team I think it is more realistic to think that they will get the one piece they need to win another championship. And that piece is Chris Paul.

Mike Brown Named Lakers’ New Head Coach!

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have signed Mike Brown as their new Head Coach.

I first heard rumblings of this late last night and at first I was not too happy with the news. And neither were Laker Fans. The Twitterverse was filled with shock and angst.  And I supplied my fair share of both.

But after a good night’s sleep (and several drinks) I have a new perspective on the hire. This could very well work out to be a good hire for the Lakers. Brown is a very good defense-minded coach and the Lakers need a serious overhaul on their defense. They had a hard time defending Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets and were completely exposed by the Dallas Mavericks.

So this may be exactly what the Lakers need. As long as he gets a little help on the offensive side. The Lakers have enough talent on offense that not even Mike Brown can screw it up. It’s like he has been handed the keys to a Maybach, all he has to do is not crash it.

And I don’t think he will crash it.

A quick look at his career will tell you that he is a capable coach. He may not be Phil Jackson, but who is? And to be honest, ANY coach is going to look like a step compared to Jackson.

Brown went 272-138 in five seasons with the Cavaliers, taking the team to the Eastern Conference finals twice and one trip to the NBA Finals in 2007. He was also named Coach of the Year in 2009. So the guy can coach. And he certainly has a better group of players in the Lakers than he did with the Cavs.

Of course we all know he was fired after LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent last summer despite going 127-37 in his final two regular seasons with the Cavs.

So I say, let’s give Mike Brown a chance. It will be interesting to see if Brown can bring some intensity back to the Lakers’ defense.

The only question that remains is; What does Kobe think?