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Old 02-22-2008, 06:48 PM   #16
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The funny thing about the Lakers is that they seem happy with Pau's performance....Just like we were.

He has these types of games and gets your hopes up and then when the season gets physical he folds. As long as things flow freely he can be great but when it gets to the bump and grind like the west playoffs will be he will fold.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:05 PM   #17
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The funny thing about the Lakers is that they seem happy with Pau's performance....Just like we were.

He has these types of games and gets your hopes up and then when the season gets physical he folds. As long as things flow freely he can be great but when it gets to the bump and grind like the west playoffs will be he will fold.
But the big difference now being that Pau is not counted on to be the guy in LA like he was in Memphis. When the going gets tough the Lakers have always leaned heavily on Kobe to get the job done. Pau is more of a role player now in LA. The Lakers will when Gasol has bad games whereas Memphis needed him to be a stud night-in-night-out if they wanted to win consistently. I think he will hold up better in LA since he won't be relied upon as heavily.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:19 PM   #18
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The difference is not playing in Memphis vs. playing with Kobe. The problem is that when he face big physical defenders he can not cope. He then becomes a 17 foot jump shooter. When this happens he is of no benefit to the Lakers as he was to the Grizz. Who needs a 7 foot mid range shooter. And you can rest assured that in the the Western conference playoff he will be banged on by a big physical defender almost every series.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:26 PM   #19
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But are you forgetting that Bynum should be back by then? Who are you going to guard Bynum with if you put your big guy on Gasol. Once Bynum gets back in the fold he will be the primary low post guy and it won't matter how Gasol scores as long as he is still giving them 18-20 a night.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:33 PM   #20
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My point exactly, when the playoffs come Gasol will not give you 18-20 points a night. He will see the opponents best interior defender for a seven game series. People are looking at him dominate the teams the Lakers are playing since his arrival. He always dominated those teams, even in Memphis. The problem was when he faced the big physical guys like a Kurt Thomas or a Marcus Camby who just beat him up. He was always a skilled player just not a tough one.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:29 AM   #21
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In that first game back Shaq looked old, fat and scared to death like a kid on his first day at a new school, this second game was different. He looked much more confident and quicker.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by trayhezy View Post
My point exactly, when the playoffs come Gasol will not give you 18-20 points a night. He will see the opponents best interior defender for a seven game series. People are looking at him dominate the teams the Lakers are playing since his arrival. He always dominated those teams, even in Memphis. The problem was when he faced the big physical guys like a Kurt Thomas or a Marcus Camby who just beat him up. He was always a skilled player just not a tough one.
Yeah, but Dirk Nowitzki is the same type of player and he's been effective. With Bynum back, Gasol will be able to play his game without having to bang down low.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:19 PM   #23
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Based on just the first 2 3/4 of games, they've got a lot of work to do.

The most glaring problem is that Shaq is not a presence on defense. Gasol and Odom were able to take the Suns apart inside and the Pistons have done so as well today. Able to just get good shot after good shot. As well, the Suns have much less scrap going after the ball and this will hurt their rebounding long term as Marion was a better rebounder than Shaq is right now.

It will hurt them quite a bit on offense. They had a HUGE stretch without a FG against the Celtics and they have been pretty lackluster on offense against the Pistons. A lot of the guys had a ton of momentum in that first game against the Lakers and I think these last two games for Phoenix might be the norm in the coming months. The problem is that Shaq is not the type of offensive player Marion is. Marion could have games where he put 20 on a team, or he could lay back and score 8-12.

This is the difference, Marion does it based on the flow of the game and his teammates. Shaq's production fluctuates because he's not the same player that he once was. When Marion scores low, he is mostly doing it because other guys on the team were in rhythm and he can contribute in other ways. Loose balls, hitting the offensive glass. Marion would give the team a lot of second possessions and with a team like the Suns that is huge. Shaq just does not give that to you.

They need to find a way to replace Marion's scrap and points when other people on the Suns aren't scoring. They might want to get on the phone with Brent Barry for some of the offensive production, but I don't think there is an easy way to fix the rebounding that they'll lose. If they can find a way to replace some of the things Marion brought, than Shaq will be able to help because at that point they can slow it down and do some of the things that people talk about when praising the trade.

But, this team currently comprised needs to really step it up if they want to get to that point. Nash is going to have to look to be less of a distributor and more of a scorer at times.

The Shaq deal can still work and they're still in an adjustment period, but they first need to get the mindset that they lost something of value in Shawn Marion. Replace it, and then work Shaq in.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:19 PM   #24
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I have always maintained from the beginning that I really wondered how Shaq was going to fit in and not screw up the offensive flow of this team.

It is kind of sad to watch the ESPN guys cling with desperation to the notion that Shaq is still a game changing player. They so desperately want Shaq to lead the Suns to the Finals. They want to believe that Shaq's play in Miami had more to do with a "lack of motivation" than it being Shaq being over the hill and not able to dominate like he could even two or three years ago.

I think the two things that the Suns are going to miss from Marion are that he is a much more dynamic scorer than Shaq is at this stage of his career. Marion can bang in the three, take a guy off the dribble, or take someone in the low post. He is also more of a defensive presence out there. Secondly is that they count on Marion for 36+ minutes a game and Shaq is only going to give them 28 to 30 on most nights so now they are going to have to rely on other guys to step in and play more minutes than they already are.

But, as was pointed out during the game it is still too early to tell what may happen with this but thus far the Suns are 4-4 since this trade and 1-2 in games Shaq has played.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:54 PM   #25
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Marion routinely disappeared in the big games. The Suns are going to better with Shaq than with Marion at the time when it counts.....in the playoffs. They were never going to go any farther as they were. Heck they could not handle the Lakers interior when it was Kwame and Chris Mihm, let alone the Duncans of the world.

Of course after playing three games against the three best records in the league some are ready to write off the Shaq trade, but the Lakers have beaten a bunch of sub-.500 teams since the Gasol trade and people are ready to give them the trophy.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:39 PM   #26
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Marion routinely disappeared in the big games. The Suns are going to better with Shaq than with Marion at the time when it counts.....in the playoffs. They were never going to go any farther as they were. Heck they could not handle the Lakers interior when it was Kwame and Chris Mihm, let alone the Duncans of the world.

Of course after playing three games against the three best records in the league some are ready to write off the Shaq trade, but the Lakers have beaten a bunch of sub-.500 teams since the Gasol trade and people are ready to give them the trophy.
EXACTLY.

Anyone who can't understand that only HOF PFs and Cs win rings aside from MJ is someone I really can't help.

They weren't winning with Marion and now have a CHANCE to win it with Shaq.

All the analysis of the first few games and trying to screw old/new players into holes is beyond hope when it comes to understanding what it takes to win a title.

Here are your teams that have a chance to win the title...

San Antonio
Phoenix
Detroit (by virtue of winning a ring)

The only thing you can do is rotate 'em throughout the rest of the season in order of who ya like but if you put up the Lakers or anyone else...I'm just unable to help ya out.

And with that...as of right now...

1. San Antonio
2. Detroit
3. Phoenix

4. Hell freezes over

5. Everyone else

Guards were put on this earth to feed the big men. And going by history, the teams who managed to break the trend and win without a HOFer big man (Detroit) were always lone champions.

There really isn't anything else to discuss here. Ya either get it or ya don't. Those who do know banners. Those who don't talk about swingmen, assists and putting athletic, long arms on defense against the opponent's 2-guard.

And I'll save this again for next year when I have to give this speech again.

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:49 PM   #27
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I think the perception that those out there are either choosing great trade or bad trade as tho they're the only 2 options is off base to a great degree.

It's like what Buck & tray said. The Suns haven't been able to get over the hump cuz of a lack of a big man. Shaq, if healthy, gives them that come playoff time. From what I've read, I don't see the word savior bandied about that much but more about the question of chemistry. Sure, it will be at a sacrifice at times in games with less run & gun but with run & gun, the Suns weren't going far as history has proved.

Judging this trade this early is beyond misplaced. Just like tray said about what Gasol has brought against dubious opponents/non playoff scenarios, it won't be known until the season shakes out. Like the Cav additions in the 'big' win over the 'mighty' Grizzlies where some articles are harping about all the chemistry & firepower.

At the end of the season is where the truth will lie...
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:25 PM   #28
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But, Amare at this point in his career should be a better C option than Shaq. I don't disagree with buckeye's point about big men and that Marion is not one, but they already had Amare and at this point, Shaq just takes away from that.

Now you're in a situation where you move Amare to the PF and play Shaq at center and the Suns just get absolutely abused inside. When you played Amare at C, even if you went smaller at PF, you were better off because you did not have a liability on the defensive end. Then when you're talking running offensive half court sets, Shaq is not the difference there. Again, Amare is going to be a better offensive player in the half court than Shaq is right now. It's just more a matter of going to it.

It's not the concept that they're going to that creates the issue. I think the issue is whether Shaq provides the answer.

Just going to buckeye's post...

Quote:
Anyone who can't understand that only HOF PFs and Cs win rings
I don't disagree with this. The thing that I'm not on board with is that Shaq at this point in time is a HOF caliber PF and C. Obviously he's going to the HOF, but he is absolutely not at that level right now. My problem with the trade is that I think it will be very, very tough for him to get back to that level. As of right now, not only is he not HOF caliber, but he is a liability on the defensive end. Shaq at C right now is going to lead to a drastically high shooting percentage for opposing teams.

Especially, opposing teams that can knock down a mid range jumper. Because teams will either score at will inside on Shaq, or the help will have to come leaving guys open to knock down the mid range jumper. The Pistons ran them all over the court because they could get whatever they wanted inside and then when they couldn't they were able to get wide open mid range jumpers and they were effective in hitting them.

From the beginning I felt that as is, this trade won't work out, but I have always left open the possibility that the trade will be a positive. If Shaq can just get to a level where he is not a liability on defense, then allowing Amare to play PF will definitely be a help for them in terms of giving them a chance to win. But, they are a long long way away and the biggest factor does not appear to be Shaq's health, but rather diminished skill. It seems, for now, that they went for superstar in name, when they might have been better served going after a big man grinder that could have been had for a bit less.
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:04 PM   #29
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But, Amare at this point in his career should be a better C option than Shaq. I don't disagree with buckeye's point about big men and that Marion is not one, but they already had Amare and at this point, Shaq just takes away from that.
Actually it's the opposite. having Shaq at center allows Amare to room to operate at PF. The Suns are actually shooting 49% & have won the board battle 5 of 7 games.

Quote:
Now you're in a situation where you move Amare to the PF and play Shaq at center and the Suns just get absolutely abused inside.


I just don't know where you get this view from. The Suns have been historically abused inside without a big man & now with one, you say that's the reason why they'll be abused? 7 games or so isn't the final results of this trade but indications of being abused inside cuz of Shaq's presence are not evident.


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When you played Amare at C, even if you went smaller at PF, you were better off because you did not have a liability on the defensive end.


Really...you lost me on this one.


Quote:
Then when you're talking running offensive half court sets, Shaq is not the difference there. Again, Amare is going to be a better offensive player in the half court than Shaq is right now. It's just more a matter of going to it.
While the Suns are still going strong with their same maddening matador defense, the same D that they used with Marion still around, the indications is a team/chemistry failure at this point, not a trade failure. Still time for this to either work or not but Amare is more of a weapon on offense while the team D is as useless as always, Shaq's brought more rebounding & inside presence/muscle.

If the Suns continue their 'soft' defensive ways, this won't ultimately be about a trade that didn't work but a team that wouldn't produce defensively. There's no excuse for not getting better defensively. It's a mindset, not magic...


Quote:
It's not the concept that they're going to that creates the issue. I think the issue is whether Shaq provides the answer.
& that wording is where this trade has gone awry. It's not just a matter of switching a couple of players & going to the Promised Land but amending the lack of defensive presence & acquiring a Championship mentality. While Shaq can offer that, the real question has always be if the rest of the Suns are going to do their part & is D'Antoni going to be sharp enough to incorporate Shaq into the mix effectively.

Good highlights of what's transpired so far, stat-wise:
So far, Shaq trade not looking smart for Suns
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:44 AM   #30
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But, anyway you slice it the Suns are 3-5 with Shaq in the lineup and that is what matters the most. Who cares if they are shooting better and winning the boards if they aren't winning ballgames? Whether you blame Shaq, chemistry, or whatever the fact is that this trade has yet to have the desired effect for the Suns.

It is interesting to see stories about how the chemistry is not right when Shaq was supposed to be the guy to improve chemistry and give them that "Championship Swagger".
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