Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 10:30 am  |  24 responses

The Lakers Have Their Own Tom Thibodeau

by Marcel Mutoni

The only way for the Lakers to win a title this season – or any season, for that matter – is to be dominant on the defensive end of the ball. They learned this lesson the hard way, and in humiliating fashion last June. So, they got defensive.

They also stole a chapter out of Boston’s book by appointing their own defensive guru: Kurt Rambis.

From the LA Times:

Rambis, in his seventh season as a Lakers assistant coach, had been in Jackson’s ear for a while, pointing out an opportunity to take advantage of the NBA rule changes in 2001 that allowed zone defenses. Jackson ultimately relented over the summer.

“Kurt’s been pestering me for a year or so about doing some things defensively that I was reluctant to do,” Jackson said. “I come from the old school where you play man [defense], and you have that man and that’s your primary goal.”

“We didn’t want to announce it and make a big deal about it like Boston did with their guy,” Jackson said. “But Kurt is real good at this and he’s willing.”

The slight dig at the folks in Beantown was a nice touch, Phillip.

While I’m admittedly thrilled to see the Lakers playing tougher defense this season, it remains to be seen just how committed they are to it long-term. You can draw up all of the fancy x’s and o’s that you want, but ultimately, and to borrow from an old cliché, defense is all about desire.

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  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    I love Phil Jackson.

  • L

    It don’t surprise me a bit..kurt was such a rugged player..he can teach some dirty tricks to Pau and company..first by the way..L

  • Bostwik

    his glasses bother me

  • Ken

    I want the Lakers and Celtics to meet in the finals…and for Rambis to run up to Ainge’s seat and clothesline him for old times sake.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    Rambis won’t be no Tom Thibodeau. And Phil, I resent that statement. You can’t tell us nothing after we beat you in the NBA Finals.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    It seems utterly ridicilous that the NBA would ever ban the zone defense.

  • adams

    Hey, this is totally like last year: You’re constantly coming up with new ways of saying how fantastic these Lakers are and in the end they will superchoke again. Cute.

  • c’s suck

    what is a superchoke? is that what happens in your kg fantasies? cute.

  • riggs

    i think youre the one with the fantasies, just look at your name.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Rambo doesnt play defense.

  • http://nbaukfan.blogspot.com/ mat smith

    he needs to regrow that tache, and get fouled by a Celtic again

  • Jackie Moon

    What? You mean zone defenses are better than man-to-man??? Nooo. That would mean it was easier to score before the league allowed zone-type defenses. Impossible!

  • http://yahoo gj datorski

    kurt knows what he’s talking about when it comes to defense. Boston? They could face the Lakers again in the Finals – if they could get past the Cavs first to which they could’nt!!!

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    Despite saying things about zone defense I rarely see Lakes putting up a zone defense these days

  • ClydeSays

    The looming problem for the Lake Show is that at some point they’ll be counting on guys like Gasol, Sasha, Vlad, Chris Mihm & Odom to make stops.

  • http://phoenixsunsrising.blogspot.com/ Hersey

    The Lakers zone traps made the Suns looks pretty awful. The prospect of the inevitability of Lakers vs Celtics is kinda boring. Watching the Lakers nationally televised game last night was like watching a Lakers league pass game. Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson drooled over them all night. Thank god for the NFL.

  • http://slamonline.com Jacob J

    They will make to the finals but are gonna get there asses stomped by Detroit.

  • buzz

    why, you should marry him

  • Thomas

    I read about this in the Times and I think that its a good move for the Lakers. As we can see, the system is working and the Lakers are winning. If they can continue to put the clamps on their opponents then they will make it to the Finals. (Check back if after Christmas- after they play the Celtics)

  • I am the walrus

    They need to play DJ Mbenga.

  • chintao

    As usual, Fil shows no class.

  • Jon

    It would been silly and presumptuous for Phil or anyone connected to the Lakers to say Rambis was going to be their defensive guru before the season. On what basis? People would’ve been like, “What? What has Rambis ever done? Those theories are nice but get back to me after they’ve played out on the court.” They didn’t promote anything about anyone because they had to see if those principles could work. And wow, at least it took a whole 14 games of evidence before the hype started. Anyone else would’ve done it after the first preseason game. Thibideou got a lot of attention because great defenses have coincidentally followed him everywhere, from New York to Houston to Boston. No one knew publicly knew about him before last season but it was too damn coicidental a connection to let slip by.

  • http://nba.com ninja cool

    You mean the same Rambis that was part of the staff last year when the C’s beat them? So he wasn’t doing his job last year? Can’t wait for their next meeting. Perk waited a long time to bang with Bynum.

  • thebigticket05

    Sorry LA Rambis isn’t half as good at his job as Thibodeau is.