Ronny Turiaf celebrating after an Amar’e Stoudemire score in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers.
Dear Self Righteous Celtics Fans,
Keep talking shit while your team continues to blow close out game after close out game. Yeah the Lakers lost two straight, but when they have the opportunity to close out games, they take care of business. Now, look at Boston, going back to the Garden a little more beat up than they have been all post season playing against a confident Orlando team. I don’t expect a Game 7, but if there is one, it’s going to be in Orlando (#justsayin). I have my criticisms, but I’ll hold off until the Lakers secure a spot in the Finals.
Dooms Day Squad My Ass
I was recently interviewed by Sam Holako of the ESPN Truehoop Blog Raptors Republic. We discussed the possibility of Chris Bosh going to the Lakers, the Lakers playoff success to this point and possible replacements if Phil Jackson ends up leaving. Here’s a snippet of the interview:
Sam Holako: Chris Bosh was linked to the Lakers around the trade deadline with Bynums name coming up as possibly coming back to the Raptors. Given that Bosh just gave his wishlist of 5 destinations. the Lakers being one of them, how interested would Kupchak/Buss be in making a deal work?
Phillip Barnett: It would be impossible for the Kupchak/Buss contingent to not take a look at possibly making a move for Bosh, but at this time, I don’t think any deal would happen. I think a lot of it will hinder on how effective Andrew Bynum is against the Celtics in the Finals (this is, of course, assuming that both Conference Finals play out the way they’ve began), but in the end, I see ‘Drew in a Lakers jersey next year. There are just too many factors that lead me to believe that the Lakers are, and will remain, content with their Gasol/Bynum front court, no matter how versatile they’ll look on paper with Bosh on the floor.
SH: Even though they are championship contenders for the next 3-4 years, you have to start looking to the future. Chris Bosh represents the type of player who fills both short and long term needs of a team that needs to be relevant at all times.
PB: Andrew Bynum has shown flashes of becoming a better center than Dwight Howard, he just hasn’t really had a chance to prove that he can be consistent because of injuries. If a deal is done that sends Bosh to Los Angeles, Bynum’s propensity to be injured for long stretches of the year.
Chris Bosh would open up the Lakers offense tremendously as he is a better face up player than Pau Gasol is. I think he could fit in great in the triangle offense playing at the pinch post and with Gasol on the low block. He wouldn’t have to shoulder so much of a scoring load with Gasol and Kobe on the floor with him and would immediately give the Lakers the most athletic front court in basketball. The Odom/Gasol/Bynum lineup hasn’t worked out as well as some thought it would, but I think it could work a whole lot better if Bynum is substituted for Bosh. But then again, with the economy not as solid as it once was, having three of the top 20 contracts on your payroll wouldn’t be such a great idea (Kobe, Gasol and Bosh). Also, ‘Drew has been a great anchor for the Lakers defense when he’s been able to stay on the floor. Although Bosh isn’t terrible defensively, I don’t think he can replicate what Bynum has been able to do for the Lakers this season.
Lastly, Jim Buss, Jerry Buss’ son, does not want to give up Bynum. ‘Drew was his personal project, his first draft pick and has been very stubborn when talks of moving him have come up. Jim is the future of the Lakers organization, or better or for worse, and when it comes down to it, I have a tough time seeing him giving up Bynum right now. Not when he’s seen flashes of Bynum’s potential.
NBA History doesn’t like your kind, Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns. It hates you, it loathes your existence and, if history repeats itself, you will fail in your conference finals matchup. Unlike what natural logic would dictate, this has nothing to do with who your opponents are, either. We’d expect the two most storied franchises that this league has ever seen, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, to have everything to do with it; but no, it’s not them, it’s you – or more importantly, your style of play.
You see, Orlando and Phoenix, during the course of the last 20 years, no team has won the NBA title with the best three-point shooting percentage (PHX) or taking the most three pointers during the course of the season (ORL). Those are bad omens going forward for both of your franchises. You must understand, three-point shooting is not what you want to live and die by in this league, but it’s how both of you guys play, and I assume that it won’t end well for you.
From its humble numbers in 1990, three-point shooting has become increasingly more important over the years, but still hasn’t become the single most important factor for championship contention. We’ve seen three point percentages rise from a .331 league wide average in 1990 to a .355 league wide average in 2010.
Of the last 19 champions, only nine of them shot over the league wide, three-point shooting percentage average. During that same time, only three NBA champions had more than 200 more three-point attempts than the league wide average. The ’94 and the ’95 Houston Rockets were the only two champions over the past 20 years that shot a higher three point percentage than the league wide average and had more than 200 more three-point attempts than the league wide average. Also, 1993 featured the only NBA Finals where both teams finished in the top five in three point shooting percentage [Chicago (2) and Phoenix (3)].
In the last two days, both Dave E. Gold and our good friends over at Ed The Sports Fan lightly touched on this. You need a post game or you need Michael Jordan. The Lakers and Celtics both have superior post players than their respective opposition, so conventional wisdom – and NBA history – are stacked up against two of the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA. I’m not really into gambling, but if I had to bet, I’d put money on the traditional powers. Looks like we’re headed toward another Lakers-Celtics Finals, and I can say that based on the strength of the three-point shooting of the Magic and Suns.