Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lakers-Timberwolves Preview: Superman Is Dead 80hat

We here at Silver Screen and Roll like to name our version of the daily links, "The Credits."  Each day, the Credits are given a movie title that fits the theme of the day or the previous night's game. If you noticed, today's movie was "Superman Returns." In the movie, Lois Lane had written a prize-winning article titled, "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." Unfortunately, for both Lakers and Timberwolves fans alike, this might also be true for the NBA's version of Clark Kent (apologies, Shaq and Dwight) - former Lakers assistant coach and current Wolves head coach, Kurt Rambis, who returns to Los Angeles to face the Lakers tonight.
When Kurt Rambis was an assistant coach here in L.A., his primary role was as defensive coordinator. The defense played OK under his guidance. The Lakers did win a championship in his last season, but when he left for the Minnesota job, the D became dominant. Don't believe me? Just remember 83-79 in Game Seven. Or read the post C.A. published last night. Anyway, the Lakers never lost a step with their defensive coordinator gone. In fact, they got better. In Rambis' defense (no pun intended), Ron Artest does make a difference, but gone was the reliance on a strong side zone that often left wide open threes raining down on the Lakers. Back was the tough man-to-man, and versatile switching that gave the Lakers what turned into the toughest defense in the NBA (when it mattered), as well as the NBA's best three-point defense. These Lakers definitely didn't need Superman.
The Timberwolves? They don't need Superman either. They need the whole Justice League. 

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