In Response to Re: It's a One Year Rental
[QUOTE]And furthermore my point is that LA's improvements are actually of little use against their main rival, the Thunder. Perkins would rather play Howard than Bynum every day of the week.[/QUOTE]
You sure like to put stock in this singular point. Sure, Perkins does pretty well against Howard in the low block. I will even concede the point that Perkins does better defensively in the low post on Howard than he does against Bynum. I can even see how a Celtics fan could belabor the point as a justification for why this trade doesn't help the Lakers against Oklahoma. But what you don't touch upon, is the attrocious pick and roll defense that Bynum plays. This is where Oklahoma killed the Lakers, beat them like a drum. This is where the Lakers make up ground, they go from very poor, to very good, maybe the best. The best defensive player in the game is now roaming the paint for LA. Bynum played defense in spurts, and even then could not show on the PnR, and if he tried he couldn't get back. They turned big Bynum into a turnstyle, it was ugly.
On offense, Bynum and Gasols's game did not quite fit, and this was magnified with attrocious point gard play, completely exposed, butt naked, when they jettisoned the triangle offense. With the addition of Steve Nash, one of the elite pick and roll players in the NBA, and Gasol and Howard both being really elite level PnR bigs, the offensive dynamic goes so much deeper than "Perkins does better against Bynum." Bynum was too immobile to be anything but a back to the basket, low post offesive threat, the options were limited, and it hurt Gasol's game. This is now remedied, and the jump in athletisism, and mobility, along with a playmaker like Nash makes this frontcourt much more challenging for everyone to defend, including OKC.
In a seven game series, the Lakers are going to have options and skillsets to play with that didn't exist in the last go around, so when this chess match starts, mismatches and easy buckets are going to be so much easier to find over the course of the series for the Lakers this time. This is a team sport, and simplifying the frontcort battle to "Perkins would rather play Howard" is just a plain old silly theory. You win championships with defense and rebounding, both have improved, kind of telling, this dynamic didn't make the cut, in your diatribe.
[QUOTE]And while Westbrook may not enjoy seeing Nash hit a few clutch shots and not wet hit pants under pressure like Sessions did, he would MUCH rather have Nash guarding him on D than the athletic and young Ramon. So really... LA is better equipped to beat SA perhaps, or the Clips, or the Grizz... but they are not better off against the team who whipped them last year.[/QUOTE]
Not better off? You cherry pick to make your points in a debate, but this is basketball, not a debate club, and while biased Celtics fans can get on this line of thinking and buy in, the reality is likely to be another rude awakening for everyone not with the Purple and Gold.
Did you watch the Lakers point guards play last year? There was no worse point guard play in the entire NBA.
Ramon Sessions might be a fast, athletic guy, but he does not have a clue how to play defense. He has no lateral quickness, and was a defensive mess on a good day. When comparing the defensive metrics of Sessions to Nash at Synergy from last year, Sessions was worse in every defensive category, even with Nash in his late 30's. And lets not pretend, nobody can stay in front of Westbrook, nobody.
Team defense is how you defend for championships, and the front court guys protecting the rim behind Nash will now be among the best, and as a team, the Lakers defense will be better, against everyone, including the Thunder. To insinuate that adding a DPOY center into the equation means worse defense is a silly insinuation when you are coming off Fisher and Sessions at the point.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Lakers go from bottom feeder to elite point guard play. Steve Nash is one of the best shooters and pick and roll men in the NBA, and this is hardly worth mentioning in your analysis? Steve Nash makes everyone around him better, more efficient. This has been the case his entire career. This means elite level PnR with Nash-Gasol, Nash-Howard, and Nash-Kobe, and coming from non existent PnR play, this is significant, as the triangle is gone.
Of course, the Celtics opinion is bad back, bad back, bad back, even though he doesn't miss games, and is still among the league leaders for assists, can shoot the lights out, and he might still be the best at orchestrating an offense. For all this talk about his back, he played in more games last season than the young and spry Rondo, and doesn't carry the baggage of .238 from three. Here among the Celtics faithful, you are all trying to conjure up in your minds, a player who can't get up and down the court, because he is hobbled and can't run, but you will learn how wrongheaded this line is.
And then there is the elephant in the room no one talks about. Last year was a logistical nightmare for every team in the league, but for the Lakers, it was much worse than any of the "contending" teams. While I am not here looking for sympathy, and know there will be none, this is still the reality. The Lakers started the season off having the Chris Paul trade vetoed, which cost them Lamar Odom, and screwed up the chemistry. Then they had to move away from the triangle, to a conventional offense, new systems all around, and no time to make the transition, or practice time to improve upon it. Then they changed point guards mid season to a guy who never played on a big stage, and was overwhelmed in the play-offs, since he never played a playoff game before. Execution on both sides of the ball was bad, so imagine how not shocking it was not to get past a team like OKC. No better off? Perish that thought, because that is a ridiculous thing to say.