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  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:05 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    5 Things 

    In-laws are in town and they took Sydney out for a walk so I could sleep in a bit. Slept until noon. Feeling good, especially after a tough Laker home-win against the gritty Kings from Sacramento. Unheralded stars abound in the game which saw star player Anthony Davis return to the hardwood after resting his ribs and shoulder.

    1) Camaraderie. It’s not the noun I expected to tag the Lakers with this early but there you have it. On a team comprised of a lot of players who had never played on the same team before donning the purple and gold, with a superstar that bulldozed his way here as if he were abusing a defender in the paint for a dunk and with an ex-superstar that had played his way off of every team over the last few years the issue of chemistry seemed to be large one as we entered the season. Fast forward to now and I think we can all agree that, even though there will be adversities yet to be encountered, this is a team that has come together very, very quickly. Credit their professionalism, credit the pre-pre-season Las Vegas mini-camp LeBron organized, credit coach Vogel and his staff but the bottom line is this is a tight bunch with laser-like focus on the ultimate goal and one or two bad games from any individual or overall poor team showing is not going to derail that goal.

    2) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Also known as The gateway to LeBron. KCP has shown flashes of being a solid NBA player here and there throughout his entire NBA career. Tonight was one of those games you wish he could bottle and take a swig from every night before a contest. Regardless of how any of us here feel about Mr. Pope he got it done tonight in a big way. 16 points on 6-10 shooting (3-5 from three point land with his last bucket providing some space in the clutch) with 3 boards and a steal it looked like KCP was destined for another low minutes-played game early when coach Vogel yanked him for Caruso just a couple of minutes into the game. Tonight, in the 4th when it mattered, Pope rose to the occasion.

    3) Next Man Up. While it was Kentavious who came up the biggest from the guard position on a night where we learned Avery Bradley would be out for an extended period, we also got some help from everyone in the front court. Whether it was Quinn Cook’s off-balance bank shot, Rondo doing his Rajon thing (although his silly foul near the end of his minutes could have loomed large had we lost), Danny Green hitting early shots or Alex Caruso’s continued all around hustle and effort the front court did enough in this game to help eke out the win. Stats wise it doesn’t look pretty. But that only tells a portion of the story. The overall impact they had on containing Buddy Heild, Corey Joseph and Bogan ‘Laker Killer’ Bogdanovic was instrumental in the getting this W.

    4) That LeBron James guy is pretty good. It’s getting kind of easy to forget how good The King is at playing basketball. He’s really, really really good. Last night he was perfect from the stripe to bump his FT% back up over 71% (had dipped into the 69 percentile and was looking more like last year’s struggling at the stripe LeBron) and did his normal ’20+ points, 10+ assists, boarding as needed, just me leading my team like I do’ LeBron James type thing. He’s scoring at his normal, elite rate while dishing a career-high and NBA leading 11.4 assists per game. He’s playing the kind of defense and leading in a way that you’ve seen him do on championship squads. Best of all, he’s just a lot of fun to watch play.

    5) Coaches battle. I am and have always been a Luke Walton fan. From his rookie year right up to today the only thing that made me question said fandom was the allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct. That cloud still hangs over him for me, despite the NBA and the Sacramento Kings saying there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue charges But now that he’s not a Laker I’m back to rooting against him. Last night I thought Luke’s final play was another instance of Luke out-smarting himself. As we all saw on more than one occasion Luke can draw up an overly thought out play rather than just let the hot hand try and make it happen. Bogdanovic was on fire and looked like he was ready to can another 3 to win a game against us. Instead he drew up a fake to Boggy and sent Harrison Barnes into the paint to try and go for an easy 2 and get into OT. Anthony Davis made a game-saving block. One wonders if there will ever be a modification to the coaches challenge rule to force a review on a play in the final minute to determine whether a foul should have been called when one was not. Currently the challenge can only be used to question whether the foul called was, indeed, a foul. AD’s verticality was questionable on the play (his arms come forward on the shot attempt and he makes contact with Barnes’ arms on the release) but the play was ruled clean and that’s how it’ll go down in the history books. In a game where we shot 22 free throws to the Kings 9 we denied them at the rim on the final play. Game: Lakers.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:41 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Outstanding 5 Things as usual, Jamie. Glad to see you enjoyed sleeping in too. Never enough of that for a new dad.

      To me, these are the kinds of games where great teams find a way to win and where superstars make the difference. The Kings played great and shot lights out but still couldn’t break 100 points. Lakers’ defense once again shines in the end as well as clutch fourth quarter shooting by KCP and defense by AD.

      1) Camaraderie. I definitely agree with you on this point, Jamie. The bonding and chemistry this team has is impressive and says worlds about the professionalism of the roster, leadership of LeBron and AD, and coaching by Frank Vogel and his staff. As I’ve said several times in comments, the way Dwight showed leadership in defending KCP and how he has embraced his ‘last chance’ has been inspiring.

      2) KCP. One thing everybody show know is KCP’s 96.6 defensive rating is the fourth best on the team and third best among regulars if you discount the small sample size behind Kostas 71.4. His defensive rating is better than Danny Green, Anthony Davis, Avery Bradley, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard. Complain about this 3-point shooting but he has not let it affect his effort, energy, and defense.

      3) Next Man Up. Yep, the Lakers have stolen the Warriors’ slogan for a deep and talented roster. This is the biggest challenge Jamie faces trying to limit his great posts to just 5 things without smartly ‘cheating’ a little by making points that include multiple players. Just kidding, Jamie. Point being, it’s hard on this team to limit the contribution to five individuals. Like last night, the win was really a team thing.

      4) LeBron James. Anybody who cannot acknowledge that the critics and doubters who thought Father Time was going to take down the King was sorely mistaken. It’s surely going to happen sometime but only a fool would bet on it happening this year. The only thing that can prevent LeBron from winning his fourth regular season MVP would be a injury or Anthony Davis stealing votes. LeBron is still the greatest player on the planet. Period.

      5) Coaches. I was also a big supporter of Luke Walton up to the unfortunate sexual abuse accusations but I also did not like Luke’s refusal to make changes to his U of A coaching staff or to hire a shooting coach. Everybody knows how much I respect and appreciate the job that Frank Vogel has done with the Lakers. I also love the staff he has assembled and think Kidd and Hollins, both of whom were All-Defensive team winners as players, deserve credit for the defensive focus of this team. Phil Handy has also been a great addition to the staff working with players like Kuzma. Most importantly, there seems to be a great chemistry among the coaching staff just like with the players.

      • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:49 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks LT, it’s a fun thing to do and helps me wrap my head around the game as I try to remember back to specific moments that felt meaningful, swung the momentum, etc. Sometimes 5 things seems like a lot, other times I could easily go as high as ten. All in all, I’ve tried to embrace brevity as my old way of posting was far too voluminous to really expect folks to fully read and absorb. When one is possessed of the gift of gab it can make expedience and directness suffer.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:45 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    FWIW the NBA thought the block by Davis on Barnes was legal because HB initiated the contact. NBA 2 minute report:


  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:33 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:39 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I can’t say enough about how Dwight Howard has turned his basketball career around. There’s no question Dwight has really matured and changed. Proof that people can grow up and become their better versions of themselves and that the environment they’re in can be a big reason why. Having leadership like LeBron and AD has made a huge difference. I just cannot believe how much I love what Dwight has brought to this team. I just hope he realizes what the Lakers have done for him and stays with the club going forward and doesn’t make a decision to go elsewhere for a bigger payday. Dwight’s earned over $144 million as an NBA player and currently has a net worth over $80 million. Stay humble and win a bunch of rings and retire as a Laker, Dwight. That’s the best way to end your career and go into the HOF.

      • Buba

        Buba 12:13 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        What a redemption for Dwight. I think I was one of those who thought it was a good signing, but I never saw how humble he will become. You are right the leadership of James and AD have given him a platform to prosper not to mention the the moral support he been getting from the the team , the organization and the fans in general. Great read.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 12:53 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Well, that was a squeaker! KFC showed up tonite! Credit given when credit due. We still hurting on 3’s though. What would it be like to have a Buddy Hield? Don’t quite get Kuz low minutes when he was rolling? His “D” perhaps? I dunno? It’s a Win though.

    • John M.

      John M. 12:31 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      There are 29 GMs saying, “D**n…” It’s a perfect storm for Dwight: playing for the Lakers with no pressure, anchoring the defense while 1 or both of the game’s top 5 players rests, and as healthy and nimble as he’s ever been.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:31 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink |  


    • therealhtj

      therealhtj 12:26 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      They keep shooting like this, they’ll need to do even more on D. No one else a bit concerned that they’ve fallen into the dubious trap game twice now at home, only winning one against the woeful Kings and their clueless coach?

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:47 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It’s the NBA and anything is possible, Stan. Like John said below, these are the best 450 players in the league so on any given day, any team can win. Vogel said it best, the Kings can shoot and a lot of the threes they made were with a defender in their face.

        In the end, there will be some losses because of bad luck, bad calls, and bad effort but I doubt there will be as many as other teams because the Laker have LeBron and AD and a bunch of veterans who have come together as a team faster than anybody expected.

        Injuries remain the top worry. Losing Avery clearly hurt. Not as much as losing Bron or AD would but he’s the tip of our spear guarding the other team’s primary ball handler. KCP has been playing excellent defense but not at Avery’s level.

        Right now, the wild card and Achilles heel to me is our three-point shooting. Just as Pelinka did a great job assembling five former All-Defensive players to anchor the defense, he also did a great job putting together five or six guys who were 40% shooters from deep when wide open.

        If these guys start living up to their shooting resume, it will take the Lakers’ offense to another level. If they continue to struggle, it will put immense pressure on the defense and on the team to continue to perform at this level, especially as the schedule gets tougher.

        The coming road trip should give us a solid preview of how good this team can be.

        • therealhtj

          therealhtj 1:17 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Last night felt like they knew exactly how shorthanded the Kings were and played down to that level, which is what was disconcerting. The Kings always play the Lakers hard on account of that whole inferiority, one-sided rivalry thing they carry around, and down 2 of their best 3 seems like the Lakers took them for granted.

          Couple in the fact that Luke would’ve love to show his old bosses and players that he’s not a scrub like they painted him, and it took some last second heroics to pull one out. I hope they don’t come in with that same attitude against the Hawks, cuz Trae’ll make ya pay.

          I’m not even talking the long-range shooting, but all shooting in particular. Seeing AD struggle with shots he normally makes and an inordinate number of bunnies rolling out on LBJ leaves an uneasy feeling.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:51 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            It’s impossible in most cases when you’re as good as LeBron and AD are to defy human nature and not feel like this should be a cakewalk. The difference is great teams are able to turn it on when they need to and get the win, which is what we did. There will be more games like this than we would want but we’ll also still win most of them. The reverse benefit is I also think we’re going to blow out some of the teams who you’d think we would have a tougher time with because of being challenged and focused. In the end, a win is a win. Hopefully, a tougher scheduled will help us remain focused.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 1:32 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Does seem like we are playing to our competition, but winning. They were down 2 excellent players in Bags and Foxx. Our grit and grind can win Chips though.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:46 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Or it could be, like it used to be in the past, that every team looks at the Lakers as their version of the Super Bowl, a chance to beat the best and often plays at their best. That’s how it was during the Showtime Era as well as the Kobe and Shaq era. Now it’s the same in the LeBron and AD era. Luke Walton was planning for this game since the start of the season.

            It’s a shame they didn’t have Fox and we didn’t have Bradley but the Kings brought their best just like the Clippers, Mavs, Raptors, and every other team we have faced so far this season and are likely to face for the rest of the season. Games with this iteration of the Lakers are going to be circled on every NBA teams calendars.

    • John M.

      John M. 1:50 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      They’re 10-2. I’m happy.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 3:19 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What a second- most call KFC a “really good defender” with a rating of 97 and Kuz “not a very good defender” with a rating of 98???
      Wow, player bias( without real world evidence) against Kuz’s abilities are strong here.
      At least my recent quotes regarding KFC’s poor play are based in reality.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 3:27 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s a bit of both.
      Yes, we did play down to our competition last night. The entire squad seemed completely disinterested until five minutes left in the second quarter.
      I also agree with Tom in that we get e wry teams’ best effort since we are one of the teams who can actually win it all this season.
      Also, my initial take of how we would fare through the first fifteen was 10-5. We will surpass that and I couldn’t be happier with how little time it has taken for this team to get on the same page defensively. Our shots will start to fall more frequently- it’s only a matter of time.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:12 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:17 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Man, what a great ambassador LeBron is for the Los Angeles Lakers.
      We are so lucky to have him as the face of this franchise.
      When it’s all said and done, LeBron will go down in history as a Laker.

    • John M.

      John M. 12:19 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He’s come a long way from the kid who wouldn’t shake hands after a playoff loss.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:11 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:50 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Frank Vogel does a great job and constantly makes me so happy that we ended up with him as our coach. Ty lue and Monty Williams are both excellent coaches but I think Frank Vogel was the perfect fit for this team and LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

      Fans need to really step back and appreciate the great job the coaching staff has done and the great job Rob Pelinka and the Lakers maligned front office did in not only putting together a great roster and coaching staff but also stabilizing the franchise and putting us in a great position going forward.

      Looking down the road, I think we’re going to see Boogie and THT become vital components of the Lakers next dynasty. Never been higher on the future of the Lakers .

      • mclyne32 (Director) 9:00 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree, Tom.
        Frank’s rotations have been great. Since the bad opening night, he has really got everyone to buy into playing top notch D as well as moving the ball on O.
        I have said before that Rob has done a great job in surrounding AD and LeBron with a great supporting cast.

        • mclyne32 (Director) 9:02 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          It was hard at first to acknowledge that Magic was the problem. He really was awful at team building.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:18 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Turned out that we got “Magic, the Tweeter” instead of “Magic, the great teammate” as general manager. The harsh truth about how luck plays a big part in everything in life is had Magic been able to pull off the trade for AD, he probably would still be running the Lakers. Not Rob Pelinka. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.

            • mclyne32 (Director) 3:28 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink

              Good point, Tom.
              To win a Chip, it takes both,

            • John M.

              John M. 3:52 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink

              You have to credit him with bringing LeBron here, though.

            • mclyne32 (Director) 4:29 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink

              I actually still think this was more of a business decision than a basketball one based on how weak our roster was.He could have gone to several other squads that could have provided him with much more proven talent.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:59 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    Rim protection from Anthony Davis won a game for the Lakers 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:00 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      And don’t forget the airball that he forced Buddy to throw up the play before. AD should be the leader in DPOY and LeBron should be the leader in MVP. Anybody who thinks there is a better superstar duo in the league is a fool.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:55 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ignores criticism to come up clutch for Lakers against Kings 

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has taken a lot of heat from Lakers fans this season. On Friday, he tuned it out to draw rave reviews from LeBron James, Frank Vogel and Anthony Davis for his performance against the Kings.

    LOS ANGELES — Just two days ago, criticism of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was so prevalent that Lakers center Dwight Howard felt the need to stick up for his teammate on Instagram. At least once this year, things have gotten literally loud enough that there were noticeable boos for Caldwell-Pope at a Lakers home game. Even Lakers head coach Frank Vogel acknowledged on Friday night that he’s seen the criticism of Caldwell-Pope, so to say the guard hasn’t exactly been a fan favorite would be an understatement.

    But against the Sacramento Kings down the stretch, none of it mattered. Caldwell-Pope hit shot after shot to rack up 12 points in the fourth quarter — finishing with 16 overall — while also playing critical defense down the stretch to help the Lakers escape with a 99-97 victory. Perhaps even more unbelievable than that storybook turnaround was Caldwell-Pope’s claim that he hadn’t noticed any of the scrutiny until Howard mentioned it to him.

    “That’s one thing I can’t worry about,” Caldwell-Pope said, before adding that such critiques don’t matter to him anyway.

    “If I have a good game it’s going to be the same fans cheering me.”

    On Friday evening that proved to be the case, and Caldwell-Pope credited his turnaround to “praying a lot” and starting to get his confidence back by demanding to take — and later making — a technical free throw earlier in the game so that he could see the ball go through the net. Although how much Caldwell-Pope actually had to improve upon in the first place was a point of contention for Vogel after the game.

    “I would say the season has not really been up and down. I think his scoring has been up and down,” Vogel said. “He’s one of the guys on our team that brings the highest level of energy. One of his talents is how hard he plays. When you have a guy that plays as hard as he does, it impacts the energy on the floor.

    “He’s an excellent defender. We’re the No. 1 defense in the league, and he’s a big part of that. So, I don’t feel like he’s really had an up-and-down type of season,” Vogel continued. “He’s been really consistent with his energy and with his defense, and the shot has come and gone a little bit, but it was there for us tonight.”

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:20 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m happy for KCP and I don’t doubt for a minute that the support he got from Dwight and LeBron were a big reason he played with confidence last night. Lakers are doing great. We don’t need to have any scapegoats. Everybody, including KCP and Rondo and even Jason Kidd, have been a big part of the team’s success.

    • John M.

      John M. 10:12 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m very happy for him. It’s easy to criticize players for not meeting one’s expectations, but the facts are if they’re getting playing time, and they’re playing hard, they deserve respect. There is not one player in the NBA who sucks, or is trash, or can’t carry a jockstrap. Each of them is among the top 450 or so players in the world until someone new proves otherwise.,

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 11:39 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink |  


    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 11:50 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One might ask, AD met Barnes vertically yet extended his arms..

      The Restricted Area and Verticality

      On a block-charge type play, a secondary defensive player cannot be in a legal guarding position, even if stationary, inside the “Restricted Area” if the offensive player receives the ball outside the lower defensive box — unless he jumps vertically in an attempt to defend the shot. Therefore, even if positioned inside the Restricted Area, a secondary defender does not commit a blocking foul if contact is made while he is jumping vertically in an attempt to defend. The defender must, however, establish legal guarding position prior to the start of the offensive player’s upward motion.

      To be considered vertical, a defender must:

      Be in the air to defend the shot when contact occurs. If the player is on the ground inside the restricted area, with his arms “vertical” when contact occurs, he will be assessed a blocking foul.

      Maintain a vertical trajectory by jumping straight up. If the player jumps toward or to the side of an oncoming player, he will be assessed a blocking foul. A player may, however, angle his jump backwards slightly in such a way as to absorb the impact of the oncoming player, and of course, he may land behind where he leapt from because of the force of the contact.

      Maintain vertical alignment, with his body (arms, hands, torso, legs and feet) in a nearly straight line that is perpendicular to the floor. If a player leans his arms forward or “jackknifes” his legs toward the oncoming offensive player, he will be assessed a blocking foul.

      Not turn sideways. If he does, he will be assessed a blocking foul.



    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 11:52 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      AD clearly not at a 45 degree angle clean block.

      • Buba

        Buba 12:57 AM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        AD’s block saved the day. With the block aside, he is not playing like himself. Something Is definitely wrong with him. His 17 points for the night is does not paint the real picture. By the way the good free throw shooting really helped us.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:59 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          It was Luke’s decision to double him every time he got that ball, Buba. To AD’s credit, he usually made the right play, which was to move the ball and let his teammates find the open shooter rathe than trying to be a hero or settling for a long jump shot.

          We’re going to see more of this as the season progresses, especially from teams who don’t have an elite post defender like the Kings. Of course, the big advantage the Lakers have when teams double AD is that gives LeBron a 4 on 3 to work with.

          I’ll take 17 points from AD anytime he plays the right way offensively and basically saves the game with a great contest on Buddy’s air ball three and game saving block on Barnes.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 11:34 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink |  

    Crazy Night! 






    • John M.

      John M. 12:38 PM on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If Wilt were playing today they’d have to change the rules, like allowing 6 guys on defense :)

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 11:24 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink |  

    We’re getting 2 teams on the end of Back2Backs

    Hawks and OKC.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 11:22 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink |  

    Mike was a little nervous. To be expected. Off night.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 11:17 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink |  


  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 11:10 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink |  

    I smell an Aaron Gordon for DeMar DeRozan Trade. Could also see the Nuggets grab him. I think that makes a formidable Front Court to counter what happened in Free Agency and the ebb and flow of the season.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:06 PM on November 15, 2019 Permalink |  

    Sorry, Buddy, but that was an airball under pressure from AD … More clutch D by AD! 

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