I caught the second quarter and most of the rest of the game, including overtime in the Lakers win vs. Spurs. This game should have been won, easily, if it weren’t for Byron Scott’s insane coaching and/or Lakers tanking.
Lin, Nick Young and Boozer were the keys to Lakers being in control against the Spurs. Lin finished with 14 points and 8 assists and was a +10, tied with Sacre. The next highest +/- was Nick Young with a +5.
Lin played in control tonight and was really leading the offense, which is something that hasn’t happened in many games, due to Lin being uncertain of his role as he keeps getting shuffled around and treated like trash by Byron Scott and/or the Lakers organization.
At this moment, I suppose we still can’t say beyond a shadow of a doubt whether or not Lakers are tanking. I, for one, am pretty certain that they are, because everything Byron Scott is doing is completely insane and it’s as if he’s doing his best to help the Lakers lose. If you want to know more about my conspiracy theory about the Lakers, go here.
This season, I think the Lakers are only interested in three things:
- Kobe gets his stats and finishes off his career strong (that’s why they keep Kobe in there during garbage time if Kobe hasn’t achieved good stats).
- Lakers lose enough so they get the #5 pick, but not too much so that they lose the pick to Phoenix.
- Keeping Lin in check so Lin does poorly and won’t get attractive offers from other teams and they can retain Lin as their back up PG of the future. Also, they don’t want Lin ruining their tank plans by playing to win.
I don’t think the Lakers sought out to tank at the beginning of the season and that’s why Lin was a big part of what they were doing early in the season. Kobe was big on Lin early in the season, as well. Then, if you recall, things shifted dramatically after the Timberwolves game. I think that’s when the Lakers decided to tank. I think at first, maybe the owners and management were hoping that the Lakers would lose a lot of games, but it wasn’t until around the Timberwolves game that they included Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant in their tanking plans (as well as their plans to keep Lin in check).
After the Timberwolves game, things changed significantly for Lin. He got iced out by his teammates. It was as if the whole thing was orchestrated to take Lin out of the Lakers offense. And this, of course, culminated in Lin’s extremely odd benching in the Celtics game and then Lin going to the bench.
“Coach” Byron Scott has said in interviews that he will keep his lineups fluid to close out games. He’ll leave the guys who he thinks will give him the best shot at winning games on any given night. Well, if BS is true to his words (there’s a reason why Byron Scott’s initials are BS), then he should have kept Lin in the lineup tonight. He kept Boozer in the lineup, as well as Nick Young. Yet, true to his extreme bias against Lin he didn’t keep Lin in the lineup to close out tonight’s game, even though Lin was a key reason for the Lakers taking control of the Spurs all night. This is why I think there is an agenda against Lin to keep Lin in check. If there is not, then I have no words to describe what a dumb, stubborn, insane, awful human being Byron Scott is. I guess the only way to put it is that Byron Scott is much worse than Kevin McHale. This is, perhaps the worst insult I can give another human being. The only reason why I haven’t gone off completely on Byron Scott, apart from a few posts here and there, is that I don’t take anything he does seriously anymore, after he benched Lin for Price. If BS has actually been sincere all along, then I am really speechless at his level of incompetence, stupidity, insanity and utter extreme bias against Lin. It is all very sickening and he’s an awful awful human being who deserves nothing but the worst things in life. I just really believe any human being is actually capable of the actions that BS has taken after the Timberwolves game if he is actually trying to win games.
Anyway in the game tonight vs. Spurs, Jeremy Lin was taken out of the game with 2:46 left to play in the 4th quarter. Even though Lin was critical for the Lakers taking control of the Spurs, Lin didn’t get to close out the game–something Lin desperately wants. And without Lin on the court to handle the ball, Kobe and the Lakers turned the ball over play after play after play.
It was ridiculous how everything fell apart for the Lakers down the stretch with Kobe handling the ball. Kobe simply just lost the ball in one possession, unforced, that resulted in a jump ball, which was recovered by the Spurs. In another possession, Kobe makes a careless pass (which should have been a very simple pass) to Jordan Hill at the top of the arc, which was knocked away by the Spurs off Jordan Hill. Another turnover. Then in Kobe’s worst possession trying to play PG, he makes a very unnecessary and risky half-court pass to Boozer with 18 seconds left in the shot clock (53.9 seconds in the game clock) with the Lakers leading by 4 points. In THIS situation, there’s absolutely no rush and no need to make a very risky pass and risk turning the ball over. This is either totally insane mistake by Kobe or Kobe is trying to tank the game. I don’t know. That was pretty blatantly bad, though. You have to be pretty dumb to make that pass in that situation. And Kobe actually did it.
So in three straight possessions, the Lakers went from being up 7 points to having the Spurs come back to within 1 point. It was one of the biggest meltdowns I’ve seen in a while, all lead by the BS point guard Kobe Byant. Lakers end up going to overtime and after such a meltdown without Lin, even a coach like McHale would have put Lin back in in overtime. But, of course, the difference between McHale and BS is that McHale is charged with winning games, while BS is charged with losing games (at least that’s what I think). So I guess it was no surprise that Lin was not put back into the game to keep things under control. It was still sickening to see Lin not check back in. It wasn’t until Kobe was finally too tired to continue to handle the ball, that BS bit the bullet and finally had Lin check back in in the last minute or so of overtime. In one of the final possessions, Lin passed it to Nick Young, who hit a lucky game winner. So Nick spoiled the Laker’s tanking strategy tonight.
Of course, latest insane thing Scott is planning is too have Kobe play PG, so that the Lakers organization can keep Jeremy Lin on the bench. This is the only way to keep Lin out of the starting lineup, since Price is, of course, is a complete failure. This is why I think there’s something else going on. No one can by this bias or insane against one player. No one! No coach would, in their right mind, want to play an aging Kobe Bryant as the starting PG, after Kobe’s had a 10+ turnover game and keeps on being a turnover machine. And even after Kobe’s awful showing of playing PG in the last few minutes of tonight’s game, BS is going to stick to his plan to play Kobe as their starting PG just so the Lakers organization can keep Lin out of the starting lineup so they can keep him in check. Under normal circumstances, this stuff just doesn’t happen. I don’t care how dumb or biased of a coach you are. There is definitely more going on here than meets the eye. So that’s why I’m more and more confident that my ENTIRE conspiracy theory is correct.
The thing you have to understand how tanking works is that very few people area actually in on tanking plans. They want to keep the circle of those “in the know” very tight so word doesn’t get out and fans stop buying tickets to see the games, etc. The coach does his best to control the game to lose, without being so explicit about it. And I think the only player “in the know” is Kobe. All the other players are playing to win.. So winning or losing is not completely under the control of the Lakers as whole. They’ll end up winning some games they meant to lose and vice versa. They’re also not going to try and lose every game, because that would look too obvious. Remember, tanking is often done in secret, so it’s not something anyone outside of the small circle of those “in the know” can ever really say with 100% certainty whether or not a team is trying to tank. It only really becomes obvious at the end of the season when teams know where they stand and don’t mind being more explicit about losing, since there aren’t many games left so there’s no need to keep the charade.
Because Lakers want to tank, they must keep Lin in check, because they know how Lin can take over games and hurt their losing efforts. Also, point guards tend to have a lot of control over the game, since they’re the ones with the ball in their hands to start most possessions.
I think up until the Timberwolves game, BS has actually been somewhat fair to Lin. I mean, BS still wasn’t giving Lin the minutes or the usage rate that Lin should have on this team, but BS was more fair to Lin than McHale was. So, overall, Lin’s situation in Lakerland was better than in Houston. Then, suddenly, as if overnight, everything changed after the Timberwolves game. And BS was suddenly extremely unfair to Lin and compare to THIS version of BS, McHale looks like Lin’s biggest supporter. So to me these things don’t add up and that’s why I feel even more strongly that there is something very very fishy going on in Lakerland with Jeremy Lin and it goes beyond the normal bias Lin faces.
I don’t think Scott suddenly changed overnight on his own and went from being somewhat fair to Lin to suddenly being extremely biased against Lin–the most bias of any of Lin’s coaches and probably the most biased you can possibly be towards a human being. I don’t care how biased you are, you don’t start Price over Jeremy Lin under ANY circumstance! This is why I think there was a mandate from the Lakers organization to devalue Lin so they can keep Lin as their future back up point guard.
It’s, admittedly, a very crazy plan, because you figure Lin wouldn’t want to stick around with an organization that treats him like trash. But I guess they’re just rolling the dice on this one, betting that they can devalue Lin so much that he won’t get any other attractive offers and will stay with the Lakers, because he likes living in LA, as well as the LA fan base. Of course, the Lakers wouldn’t be playing such crazy games if they actually wanted to win this season. But the Lakers don’t want to win. They actually want to lose, so devaluing Lin goes hand-in-hand with losing games. The Lakers figure that if they don’t do anything to keep Lin in check, Lin may explode this season and get a lot of offers to be a starting PG, so they won’t be able to keep Lin as their back up PG for the future (since Lakers don’t see Lin as a starting PG). Not keeping Lin in check would also spoil their tanking plans, since Lin is all about winning games. So that’s why this conspiracy theory is the only thing that I can think of to make sense of the insanity that’s going on in Lakerland. Whatever’s going on in Lakerland, it’s not business as usual, that is for damn sure!