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Monday, September 24th, 2012 at 1:30 pm  |  77 responses

James Worthy Says Miami Heat Have Edge Over the Los Angeles Lakers


Despite the fact that he draws a paycheck from the Lakers as a television analyst, James Worthy has never shied away from publicly criticizing the team. Worthy also doesn’t mind saying that he thinks another squad is better – the former Laker tells the LA Times that he would give the edge to the defending champion Miami Heat: “Do they have enough to beat Oklahoma City? ‘Oklahoma City is younger. But with Dwight in at the same time with Pau, with Steve Nash, that makes a big difference. Last year, Ramon Sessions was young. Before Howard, the Lakers were second or third in the West. But with getting a 38-year-old point guard that still has some left and bringing in a franchise player, that puts them right back at the top. I don’t think too many people will bet against the Lakers against anybody in the West, assuming they’re a healthy team. But they still have to make it happen.’ What about the Miami Heat? ‘I would have to say Miami still has a little edge simply because they won last year. It will be so much easier for them to win again because they know how to do it. With them adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, they have tremendous scorers and three-point shooters off the bench. Then they also have the greatest player in the game with LeBron James. I give them the edge because they’re defending champions.’”

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  • kingman
  • LakeShow

    fuck you

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i still think OKC will beat them in a playoff series.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    this guy must be a child. you can’t be an adult really thinking you can force the league’s hand into bringing Iverson back. that is so damn naive.

  • LakeShow

    Who know’s man. Anything can happen.

  • Conor

    If Los Angeles shoots the ball into the basket instead of their own feet (considering the new additions to the team, this potentiality seems to be of little concern), they will have all they need to defeat O.K.C.

    Offence, not defence, was the primary concern for the Lakers. Sessions became a coward during the 2012 Playoffs & Bryant lost two of the four games single-handedly (mostly because of self/Mike Brown-inflicted fatigue). Collectively, the team was embarrassing on the offensive front as it was more ebb than flow.

    Durant is going to score at this point, all Artest has to do is limit his FG% and neutralize the other ways that Durant is capable of beating a team (i.e. rebounding & skip passing). Westbrook is a non-factor with Bryant on him two of every three matchups. But most of O.K.C. is overrated rag-tag (Harden relies on free throws, Ibaka is the most overrated defensive player that I have ever seen, Sefolosha [sic]/Cook/Perkins are all mediocre role players, etc.).

    A healthy (at least, as well as they may be once the 2013 Playoffs commence) Lakers team has the ability to win everything. Concerns regarding chemistry should be tempered simply by Steve Nash’s presence.

  • Conor

    *”Durant is going to score at this point. … “

  • Conor

    Also: concern.

  • roscoe

    as far as MIA repeating keep in mind this will be their 3rd straight trip to the finals if they make it.
    ik they have new additions & Bron bron is the beast of the league, but… history shows that pony trick ain’t easy.

  • Slick Ric

    If Dwight is healthy…..I really don’t see anyone beating the lakers. Do people understand the impact Dwight has on a basketball game?

  • 1982

    lol

  • rocsoe

    ik i will take a shit for saying this, but MWP is in the best shape he has been in as a Laker.
    His perimeter D accompanied with dh12 is going to cause a lot of problems for OKC.
    As you know OKCs got to the rim at ease against the Lake show the past few years.

  • roscoe

    I disagree. I know alot adults who are naive.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You can’t really make an argument spelling offense and defense like that, then say Bryant neutralizes Westbrook and subsequently Ibaka is the most overrated defensive player you’ve ever seen. If there is a more unintelligent, contradictory Lakers slanted argument I would like to see it.
    .

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    MWP can be in however good of shape he wants, he is still not getting anything but slower and older while Durant is approaching 24 years old. As MWP ages Durant will continue to become more and more of a problem for an aging Metta. Steve Nash also has to guard someone, no matter how you view Harden and Westbrook, Nash has no shot at containing either of them.

  • RKJ92

    Me too, facts are Durant is unguardable, Perkins CAN and has given Dwight issues on offense, and Nash couldn’t defend westbrook if he was 26 again!! LOL really the Lakers only other options is pau and an aging Kobe. I wouldn’t be too optimistic as a Lakers fan this season..

  • LakeShow

    Dallas might randomly plow through everyone like 2011…

  • RKJ92

    yo Conor bro check this out
    Westbrook > Nash (LOL Nash guarding someone is a good joke)
    Harden – Kobe (pull – only because of Kobe’s age, unwillingness to share the basketball, and horrible shooting %)
    Durant > Metta (all day everyday)
    Pau > Ibaka (highly doubt Ibaka will contain Pau BUT will altar alotta shots)
    Dwight > Perkins (But Dwight will need to hit his free-throws and work for every bucket and his mindset isnt strong enough to overcome his frustrations that Perkins will give him
    plz correct me if im wrong..

  • 23

    That wasnt random. Dallas had been a championship contender for several seasons before they finally won. Plus when you have a player with the elite skill level as dirk, combined with a deep roster, they’ll always be a threat. I didn’t even mention their coach.

  • LakeShow

    Not with that squad.

  • 23

    Imo Durant is the 2nd best player right now. (Maybe also the best shooter as well) But Durant is only second best because Lebron is THAT good. Having an elite talent like Durant, surrounded with talent and a somewhat deep roster always gives you a shot to win it all. However i suppose you can make the same argument in the name of Dwight Howard…

  • LakeShow

    Yeah that Dallas team in 2011 had the same players they had over the several years of contending you speak of…. or not… at all.

  • Conor

    Since I’m Canadian, that is how I spell “offence” & “defence”.

    How do you relate my opinion of Bryant’s defence of Westbrook to my opinion of Ibaka’s defence? Bryant can play well against Westbrook man-on-man, yes, and Ibaka is good at help defence but is limited in every other defensive facet. Very different things.

  • Conor

    You seem adept at belittling others’ opinions by insulting your perception of the person rather frequently @disqus_rOeXXBD2qs:disqus, but at least you’ve perfected one of your likely many limitations!

    Watch the game itself, without subjectivity, and it will do wonders for your ability to think and speaking with others.

  • Conor

    *speak

  • Conor

    Agreed, except for Harden=Bryant. Obviously not.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    simple, Bryant is an average defender, Ibaka is good. Not great, he has issues, but he is good. Kobe on the other hand, despite what people who don’t actually watch closely think, is not. You can just look at the series against OkC where everyone seems to think Kobe was a good defensive option against Westbrook…until you go back and watch, Westbrook averaged 26 5 5 on 48% shooting, slightly above his season average – then you look at his paltry 0.8 turnovers and you begin to realize, man whOever was guarding that guy really must not have been putting any pressure on him….or maybe you think, “must have had a suitable defender on him, who will now be able to play even better because he’s next to Steve Nash who is a great defensive option on James Harden…”.
    .
    ErrrrOrrr, not.

  • roscoe

    take a look at KDs +/- in the regular season vs. his playoff numbers. He fades boy and girls.
    Bron bron on the other hand owned it in the reg. season & playoffs w/ the +/-.
    btw kd’s +/- was 15th in the league for the playoffs.

  • roscoe

    One on one durant and i load of others in nba can take anyone on the face of the earth, but last time i checked we are not talking about one on one.
    W/ dh12 behind any other 4 ensures great D. Just look at what he did he a group of subpar defenders w/ the magic.
    If you don’t think MWP plays good D, that’s okay, but like g-pa says going to vegas and betting the mortgage payment is foolish.

  • 23

    Durant definitely did not fade. That’s just a lie.

  • roscoe

    durant needs about 30 pounds of muscle or fat. either one will help. Feed kd!

  • marv kessler

    Do people understand the (negative) impact a 42% ball chucker has on a team? Things to ponder at night…

  • 23

    Mark Cuban is very good at his job. Every season he builds a team around dirk that can be right at the top of the west. I never sleep on the mavs. Just like the spurs. That’s why I’m never shocked with their success. As a matter of fact i think it’s more surprising when they don’t succeed.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Naw man, I get that Dwight makes up for bad defenders, doesn’t keep teams, especially OKC from gettin him in foul trouble tho. Infact, defenders like Nash and Kobe are reasons why this is a huge concern for LA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    @nbk.. That’s how all the Commonwealth countries spells offence and defence. Dipsh*t

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LOL that’s my bad in English how I was taught, you can commit an offence (O-fence) or you can play offense (OFF-fence). I was ignorant to the real difference.

  • KobeBryantTaskForce

    Greatest player in the league is Kobe, idk what James Worthy smoking on #BasedKobeTaskForce

  • Conor

    Bryant can shut down anyone for a quarter (preferably the fourth) if he has conserved enough energy. With rest this coming season due to a suitable substitution option in Meeks (and perhaps others), you will see Bryant return to form.

    Having said that, he did not deserve 2nd-Team All-Defence as much as Ibaka did not deserve to be mentioned amongst the League’s best defenders. It’s easy to block off the weak-side if that is your primary defensive purpose.

    Nash’s offensive wizardry will negate every defensive deficiency he has because he remains an elite N.B.A. point guard. Plus, his constant offence exhausts defenders both physically & mentally due to its spontaneous nature.

    Even Harden’s beard is overrated.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You don’t get it, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant each have too guard an elite perimeter player every minute they are on the court. Westbrook, & Harden are elite offensive players who compliment each other and each are above average defensive players. Neither Steve Nash nor Kobe Bryant are going to wear out either of OKC’s guards. OKC has the obvious advantage on the perimeter and LA the obvious advantage inside. It is my opinion that OKC’s advantage is larger and will be the catalyst in a series. Even if LA measures out as the better team in the regular season. .
    The only thing that will change my opinion is Dwight’s performance this season offensively, and Kobe Bryant’s overall selfish nature changing for the team.

  • Conor

    We’ll simply need to wait & see how effectively Los Angeles gels. As a Los Angeles Lakers fan who has seen how Bryant maximizes talent, you should prepare yourself for a different philosophy once the team develops a comfortable symbiosis.

    Harden is not an above-average defender. That is horrifying hyperbole.

    Thank God your opinion doesn’t sway reality, otherwise Gasol would not be a Laker anymore.

    A short LA/OKC comparison…

    - The former’s perimeter talent is a 9 while the latter’s is a 9.5.
    - The former’s interior is a 10 while the latter’s is a 7, at best.

    Los Angeles may have conceivably beaten OKC in 5 were it not for Bryant’s fatigue and unwarranted narcissism. They could have beaten the Thunder in five with a six-man rotation, a Mike Brown offence, their starting PG evolving into a coward, Bynum being mentally incapable of handling double-teams, a passionless Gasol (the League’s most talented post player relegated to the perimeter by Coach), and distractions like Troy Murphy’s nose.

    They possess none of these things anymore.

    Anyway, I’m going to begin a report on the International Criminal Court. With less rhymes.

  • Conor

    And Howard averaged some contemporary Wilt-versus-Russell-esque 33 & 12 against Perkins.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Factually speaking Harden and Westbrook are above average defenders. No Hyperbole. – And just because you are a fan of something doesn’t mean you’ve actually witnessed it more than anyone else. Especially if you are in Canada and are talking about an NBA team in Los Angeles.

  • Drig

    As a Lakers fan……I disagree. Pretty sure there are tons of Dallas fans that are shaking their head at your post as well.

  • Drig

    Westbrook burned the Lakers perimeter off screen rolls and mid range Js which Bynum didn’t contest as he isn’t quick enough to recover if it’s a good fake. I see that changing with Dwight. And Conor is in a way right. LAL struggled last season with spacing and setting plays up. Nash is gonna help them out in that regard. And again, I’m pretty sure Nash isn’t gonna be any more useless than Sessions was last year when guarding Westbrook. Dude was literally a traffic cone. As long as he helps improve the efficiency on O, I’ll be happy with him. IMO, the thing that can hurt LAL is if the games go to OT or are close games throughout since all of our top players will not be able to play the heavy minutes OKC’s top 3 play.

  • Drig

    Harden Kobe is NOT pull. Harden was worse than Kobe that series vs OKC. WB saved them. And Durant will have to work vs Metta. He’ll get his points but as long as he works and keeps Durant off of Kobe while on D, that’s a job well done. Kobe struggles with tall lanky defenders guarding him and likes to shoot over them from long range a lot. Forcing Durant to exert more energy on O and let Harden/Sefolosha guard Bryant is only gonna help LAL as the series progresses.

  • pposse

    having the elite defender in dwight howard guarantees the lakers to have the benefit of any and all calls on the defensive end, especially in a 7 game series…Metta will be allowed to be as aggressive as he has ever been, their only weakness is Nash on D, but he’ll make up for it on the offensive end

  • Conor

    I watched all 78 last year, so that isn’t true.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah? You watched all 78? Even the ones on ESPN? How’d you do that, considering you can’t get ESPN in Canada? Unless you are lying to try and really argue that being a fan means you watch more than non fans, which is blatantly false.

  • Conor

    It’s called The Internet. LMAO

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Where from? I would really like to know. Unless you pay a ton of money for it.
    Sent from right behind you.

  • Conor

    Right here, champ:
    http://www.justin.tv/

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Man I’ve had issues with that site. Someone told me to try fromsport.com but obviously the season hasn’t started so idk if it works well. More power to you if you are able to watch all the games you can tho, that’s dope.
    Sent from right behind you.

  • black pinoy

    kobe was the best player.. im a kobe fan but his game is starting to decline. Id have to give it to lebron or durant at this point

  • Mike From Spain

    Lakers like to say they are ‘underdogs’. It’s part of the heroics. Look at Kobe-Shaq championship teams, the narrative is that they were in some way ‘underdogs’. I am not necessarily agreeing here, I am just saying that this narrative is common.

  • Mike From Spain

    two things, you can edit comments after posting, and … what do you mean without subjetivity? The game itself? That’s like… Kantian ‘Ding an sich’ or somesuch? Well, it is a nice ideal, but for me it is a little bit of a cliché. It’d be more accurate to say ‘watch the game, judge it with fairness’ or something like that (sorry for my bad English). I am just nitpicking :D – I graduated in Philosophy.

  • Mike From Spain

    I am not condoning the use of illegal feeds in any way, but sometimes folks from other countries are forced to use them if they want to keep up with the NBA action.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i have no issue with someone watching the game however they can. when i have no way to watch a game i do whatever i can to catch it. last season i was fortunate enough to have a friend who had league-pass and let me use it online. but i may have to go for another route this season lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    For Steve Nash to help the team in terms of spacing and setting up plays, he has to have the ball. — If the team is running a princeton offense, he won’t. He will start the possession with a pass, but he won’t be creating opportunities like he did in Phoenix. — And he is not that good of a spot up shooter, he’s the best ever off the bounce, but as a spot up shooter he is slightly above average.

  • LakeShow

    When were they labeled underdogs?

  • LakeShow

    Ron Artest doesn’t shoot that much. I wouldn’t label him a chucker.

  • Mike From Spain

    I am looking it up, but in the early 2000s three-peat they weren’t always the top team in the regular season… in 2000-2001 the Spurs had a better record and the 76ers had the same record as the Lakers. In 2001-2002 they didn’t even win their division, and the Spurs had the same record.

  • roscoe

    @nbk: I am not annointed that LAL will roll OKC, but the fact is in a playoff series dh12 D will make a big impact. As far as foul trouble goes, good point, but imo that will be one of the if not the determining factor when LAL & OKC meet up in the playoffs if they do.

  • roscoe

    RUn the numbers… he may have destroyed DAL/LAL but his overall playoff +/- slid.

  • roscoe

    I enjoyed believing in Santa Claus & Unicorns before I grew up too. Look at the numbers & stop thinking with your heart & what the media hypes.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i realize Howard will make a big impact i never said he wouldn’t. i said, the advantages that OKC has on the perimeter (Westbrook + Harden + Durant) outweight what LA has on the block (Gasol + Howard) simply because OKC’s inferior players match up better than LA’s do. In My Opinion.

  • roscoe

    @point taken.

  • Drig

    But they weren’t called the underdogs. Their play was sloppy during the regular season but everyone knew the Lakers would turn it up in the POs from 2nd title onwards till the duo split. The first title, I knew some guys who considered LAL to be underdogs that season but even that, it’s at best a 70-30 in favor of LAL not being underdogs.

  • Drig

    The hell cares about +/- when it was clear that he was carrying that team and was a nightmare in close games for opposing teams??? This is a case where the numbers are wrong simply put.

  • Drig

    Kobe said they’d be incorporating parts of the Princeton O to their playbook and didn’t say they’d be running it to a tee because as you said, it’d be a waste. I think they’re gonna run those plays mostly when Nash sits for those 18 odd minutes and Pau-Dwight and Kobe are on the floor. And am confident Nash will make it clear to the team what places he wants to be and what kind of shots he likes to take. I’m more worried about how the team handles Pau’s and Kobe’s minutes this season. Esp. Pau’s.

  • Drig

    WIN

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i feel that. i just don’t have faith in Mike Brown to make the correct decisions as a coach, specifically as an offensive coach, to put his players in the best position to use their strengths. That’s where my concern about their offense, and all that plays into it comes from. — I realize they added Eddie Jordan to run the Princeton offense and teach his philosophies, but I’ve never really been impressed with the guy, i mean what he did in Washington was great, but that was when Gilbert was an absolute force and that team was made up completely differently than this Lakers team is.

  • roscoe

    I don’t look at things simply with stats, but if you don’t realize stats including +/- are important you are missing an important part of the game. If you look at Bron bron he man-handled the reg. season and playoff +/-, total beast. Kd faded Brah.

    Keep in mind I am not a person that basis everything off numbers & understand your point about one player carrying a team & his stats being affected. Where I differ with you is I am critical of those who fall short of the ring including kd.

    What are of kd’s game do you think he should improve?

  • shutup

    Did you just say how Kobe Bryant maximizes talent??????What are you smoking? Name a player outside of D.Fish that Kobe hasn’t run off?

  • shutup

    Liar. Boldface Lies and fairy tales.

  • Drig

    KD should improve his passing, he can hopefully bulk up so that he can go into the post at times ( but not at the expense of screwing up his jumper’s mechanics ) and mostly improve on D. I haven’t seen much of OKC’s regular season play but I think he can do a better job as a help defender and rotating. Not much to specifically work on on O right now. Kinda crazy that he’s not even 25 years old lol

  • Drig

    I think another minor thing that’s gonna be a worry is about how quickly they can get the feel of the princeton plays. Artest as a decision maker is bad to say the least. Kobe calls off plays at will. Eddie already said it takes atleast a year for a player to feel at home in the Princeton O. I’m not too worried though because LAL has some experience with the triangle but it’s minor things like this that can ruin it……I just hope Kobe buys into this even when things are looking down and out…….

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