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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:43 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    How far can LeBron carry the Lakers? 

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 7:57 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    We’re almost to the 20 game mark.
    When are folks gonna start questioning the Celts & Jazz?

     
  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 6:59 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

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    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:09 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He may want to stay long term with the Hornets.
      Or he might not appreciate being so underpaid.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 7:10 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Mike is cheap.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:21 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          LOL. True but I just read MJ said they want to keep Kemba as their franchise player but the roster looks like they should scrap it all, tank full throttle, and hope to get a shot a Zion. Problem is Kemba is having a career year and they’re suddenly winning. All depends on what happens going forward. Bottom line is it’s still early and we only have a SSS. Don’t know if they can keep it up.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 7:29 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Cheap enough not to give him the max?

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:55 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers Stats Leaders 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:53 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    Much History Remains for James to Make with Lakers 

    His three-point shooting so far is the standout reflection of evolution in James’ game. He’s adapting to the possibilities he has seen smaller players open up in recent years. James has made 2.4 three-pointers per game this season compared to Kevin Durant’s 1.2 and Kawhi Leonard’s 1.3, and James has been wholly at ease launching from well behind the line. The value has been clear, as James has made 44.6 percent of his threes in Lakers victories this season compared to 32.5 percent in their losses.

    Miami coach Erik Spoelstra referred to James, who turns 34 next month, as “timeless.” James’ coach for his four NBA Finals trips with the Heat cited his consistency of James’ statistical excellence.

    “It doesn’t matter what uniform, doesn’t matter what year, doesn’t matter how old,” Spoelstra said.

    In another sense, though, the uniform does matter. We as people have visual memories, after all.

    And everything James is doing now is already furthering that legacy.

    His 35-point game in San Antonio this season moved him ahead of Bryant with the fourth-most games in NBA history with at least 30 points. James had his 900th career block in that Chamberlain game, joining Abdul-Jabbar, Malone and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players with at least 30,000 points and 900 blocks. Sunday in Miami marked James’ 12th game with 50 or more points, now ahead of Allen Iverson for sixth-most there. With just seven more regular-season victories, James will join the top 20 winningest players in NBA history.

    We already know whatever James is accomplishing stands as momentous from a historical perspective.

    We are all witnesses, and what a treat to be along for this ride.

     
  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 6:49 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

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  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 6:47 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:25 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers should rethink free agency targets: Kemba Walker ain’t no consolation prize! 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:33 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      On second thought, I doubt the Hornets would trade Walker for Ball and Ingram. Kemba outplayed Kyrie as the Hornets beat the Celtics at home. Frankly, Kemba just might be the perfect Robin to LeBron’s Batman. Like Kyrie, he can play off the ball or on the ball and would be the heir apparent to Kobe as the Lakers’ closer. If Kemba keeps playing like this, he’s going to be in huge demand as a free agent this summer. And no, he wouldn’t be a consolation prize should the Lakers end up signing him to a max contract. I called Kemba a poor man’s Kyrie Irving but as he showed tonight, he could even be better than Kyrie. Hornets aren’t going to trade him but the Lakers should seriously consider pursuing him. He could be one hell of a plan D after KD, Klay, and Kawhi. He’d bring something to the Lakers that they sorely lack and that we know can be part of a championship formula with LeBron James.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 6:40 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Including his days at UCONN

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:47 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          The one offensive weapon the Lakers right now do not have is a small quick guard who can score at will and take over the game like Kemba. That might be more valuable to the Lakers than one more 6′ 8′ small forward. And you know LeBron knows how to play with a guy like Kemba, whose offensive game is doppelganger for Kyrie Irving. Lakers will still chase KD, Klay, and Kawhi but I wouldn’t mind if they decided to go after Kemba instead. Lonzo can back him up since Rondo would be gone.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:45 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Kemba would give the Lakers a version of Steph Curry, a quick fast sharp shooting guard who can rain threes off the dribble or coming off a screen. It’s a dimension that would thrive with a LeBron led Lakers team. Kemba brings something none of the other elite free agents do.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:19 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    LeBron May Have Just Flipped His Switch Earlier Than Usual 

    James dropped 51 points in Miami on Sunday. The performance lifted the Lakers to the win, but is the young team worse off in the long run if it has to rely on LeBron this soon?

    It’s hard to say that James is “back,” per se. He coasted through his first month in Los Angeles, shooting a paltry 27.3 percent from deep and missing crunch-time free throws. James’s cruise control is better than most players’ top end — he averaged 26 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists through his first 13 games of the season. But it wasn’t enough — thanks to suspensions and a bad defense, the Lakers started 2–5. LeBron has turned it up since; he’s averaging 29.7 points a game and shooting over 50 percent from 3 in the past nine games. L.A. is now 9–7 and in seventh place in the West.

    James’s exploding for this many points this early in the season added some intrigue to a mundane Sunday-night slate, but it also underlined the Lakers’ dilemma this season. They need their young core to step up, either to give James a roster that can carry him into his golden years or to increase certain players’ trade value. But the fact that James has had to flip his switch before December to keep them afloat is troubling.

    That’s the rub of this Lakers season: James’s highlights are both a demonstration of his brilliance and an indictment of his new teammates’ lack of highlights — or even simply consistency. The good news is the Lakers have shown they can be competitive as long as LeBron is active. But as we creep toward the quarter mark of his first season in Los Angeles, it remains to be seen who will be joining him.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:39 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think LeBron flipping the switch was important to the Lakers psyche. It’s one thing to know LeBron has been able to turn it on in the past for other teams. It’s another to see him due in wearing purple and gold (well, maybe blue and yellow). It’s not that we doubted that the King still had it in him but it’s something we hadn’t yet seen from him in a Lakers uniform. Those two offensive explosions were exactly what this young Lakers team needed at this point.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 2:06 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    Champs take the Texas sweep on the chin.

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:14 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    Could a midseason trade for Kemba Walker benefit the Lakers? 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:28 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is an interesting trade proposal because it allows the Lakers to add a top 10 point guard while still maintaining around $36 million in cap space for next summer to add a third superstar. The trade would reduce the Lakers cap space for next summer by $2 million but the Lakers could easily clear another $2 million by dumping a couple of small contracts should Kevin Durant really want to join the Lakers. Kemba reminds me a lot of a young Kyrie Irving.

      It would mean trading the team two best young players in Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram as they’re the only way the Lakers could match contracts and give value. Kemba is only making $12 million on his contract but has an $18 million cap hold so the Lakers would have to work their cap space aggressively to be able to both re-sign Kemba using Bird rights but they would then have enough cap space to sign any of the major free agents other than Kevin Durant.

      The Lakers will obviously be monitoring the KD situation carefully and will hopefully have a clear idea whether or not Kevin would seriously consider joining LeBron. Of course, the other scenario the Lakers will have their eyes on will be Anthony Davis’ situation. I could definitely see a situation where the Laker could offer the Pelicans a package of Kemba Walker and whomever they signed as their third superstar maybe for a package of Anthony Davis and Julius Randle. Of course, all of this depends on KD’s and AD’s availability.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:43 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’ve obviously traded Brandon Ingram numerous times but this is probably the first trade proposal I’ve liked that involved Lonzo Ball. Kemba Walker is playing at an insane level right now, averaging over 28 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game in 35 minutes. He’s shooting 45.8% from the field, 37.7% from deep, and 85.7% from the line.

        While he’s only 28-years, Kemba would give the Lakers something that they need, which is a go-to scorer who can make plays for himself or teammates. Kemba has a lot of Kyrie Irving in him and would be a huge upgrade over Lonzo Ball at the point. I would hate giving up the upside that I think both Lonzo and Brandon have, but I love that we would only have to match $12 million in salaries and that Kemba’s cap hold is only $18 million, which means the Lakers could probably re-sign him and still have cap space for a max contract free agent except for Kevin Durant.

        Imagine the Lakers finishing the year with these lineups:

        STARTERS
        —————
        PG: Kemba Walker
        SG: Josh Hart
        SF: LeBron James
        PF: Kyle Kuzma
        CE: JaVale McGee

        RESERVES
        —————
        PG: Rajon Rondo
        SG: KCP
        SF: Lance Stephenson
        PF: Moe Wagner
        CE: Tyson Chandler

        The Lakers could still look to trade KCP if the right opportunity arose but they would be a better team this season and next with Kemba replacing Ball and Ingram on the roster. Doubt Magic would do this as it would make it harder to sign KD but not impossible.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 11:54 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Doesn’t he need the ball in his hands even more than BI?

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:04 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yes, his usage rate is 30% which is what Ingram and Ball combined are. Trading for Kemba would be replicating the LeBron/Kyrie duo in many ways. You get a true Robin for Batman but likely end up with LeBron and Kemba dominating the ball. You would also need Kemba to agree to an extension to make sure you don’t lose him. It’s an inspired solution in some ways and a flawed one in others. Kemba is a steal at $12 million per year and I like that he has a manageable cap hold but not sure it’s a deal we should make. Kemba would definitely help the team win more games and make more noise in the playoffs but the long term price could be high.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 12:11 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        So we’re gonna abandon the ball movement system and just have Kemba & LeBron take turns going iso?

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:16 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          LOL. There are lots of ways to skin the cat. Just exploring the different opportunities. Trading for Kemba and signing Klay or Kawhi could be one way to build a championship team and probably far more likely than signing KD and trading for AD.

          Of course, we both know Magic and Rob are not likely to do anything to limit their chances at hitting the grand slam of KD and AD but that’s shouldn’t prevent them from looking at and considering other opportunities. That’s all I’m doing now.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 12:22 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Hey, I’m all for it. Let guys do what they do best. We could win alotta games with Kemba and Lebron relentlessly attacking defenses for 48 minutes. Just not sure whether Earv & Rob are ready to make a drastic move like that…

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:30 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            The only reason I could see the Lakers taking a chance on Kemba is if they believe that he could be the difference in the team actually challenging the Warriors and other teams for a shot at a championship this year while LeBron is still clearly the best player on the planet. It gives us a shot at this not being a wasted year of the three sure years left on Bron’s contract. Father Time is going to have an impact sometime during LeBron’s contract. I wouldn’t mind taking a shot this year, especially if the Warriors continue to struggle with issues.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 12:40 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Interesting, but, KD and AD are the real prize. One of those two would net us multiple rings. Walker would move the needle, but not like Durant or AD.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:21 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        While there’s definitely a differnce between stats on a winning team vs. stats on a losing team, you can construct a pretty good argument from the stats and the eye test that Kemba Walker is a d**n good version of a poor man’s Kyrie Irving

        Here are the stats:

        Kemba Walker
        6′ 1″, 184 lbs
        Age 28 -- 7 years
        #9 pick in draft

        TYR: 28.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.1 apg, 1.1 spg in 35.1 min 46/38/86%
        CAR: 19.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.3 spg in 34.0 min 42/36/84%

        Kyrie Irving
        6′ 3″, 193 lbs
        Age 26
        #1 pick in draft

        TYR: 22.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.6 apg, 1.7 spg in 32.5 min 50/42/82%
        CAR: 22.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.3 spg in 33.9 min 46/39/87%

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:40 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Of course, the Lakers would need to have assurance from Kemba that he would re-sign with the Lakers before they would trade Ball and Ingram for his expiring contract. Otherwise, the risk would be too great. One good thing is the trade would not have to wait until December 15th to be consummated. The trade could happen tomorrow and impact almost the entire regular season, which still has 65 games to go.

          Assuming the could resolve that risk, the Lakers would be trading two budding young stars who are probably not going to be ready for prime time for at least a couple of years for a second superstar to hopefully help the team make a push to win a championship this year rather than just wasting it and ending up with just two more LeBron bullets in their gun.

          Best of all, it doesn’t preclude signing KD or trading for AD. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense as a smart move to optimize the first of LeBron’s 3 guaranteed years as a Laker rather than wasting it.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:24 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Here is a video comparison:

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:52 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Matt, the two are not mutually exclusive and could improve our chances with KD and AD.

        Trading for Kemba would not eliminate pursuing KD or AD. The Lakers would only lose $2M in cap space by trading Lonzo and Ingram for him.

        If KD wants to sign, we can cut or trade Wagner, Mykhailiuk, or Bonga to clear the space we need to sign Durant. And we could use Bird Rights to re-sign Kemba.

        If AD wants out, Kemba would likely be a better trading chip for a team that’s not going to go into a complete rebound mode than Ball and Ingram.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 11:00 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

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    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 11:40 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lotta folks sleeping on OKC…

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:08 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        And they’re winning short-handed with Roberson and Russ. Of course, that could all change once Russ comes back and the style of play reverts back to the usual.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 6:08 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Reverts back to what?
        That lineup of Russ, PG, Roberson, & Adams was one of the best in the league last year….

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:35 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Reverts to Russ dominating the ball and taking possession killing bad shots. There’s always been a question whether the Thunder could win with free wheeling Russ dominating the ball and the offense. Sometimes less is more.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 6:58 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Best net rating in league before Roberson went down last year…just sayin. Also alot deeper this season. Gonna be a handful when healthy.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:07 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I haven’t seen any of their games other than highlights. PG has been lights out and I always loved his on ball defense. Their bench was a big problem last season so its surprising with the two of their best players out that they’re winning.

            Still early to make anything of it but it’s better than losing for sure. I was never one of the fans that hoped Westbrook would join the Lakers. Different than my concerns about LeBron as far as style of play. Wes is shoot first. LeBron pass first.

            Anyway, Russ is too often out of control imo and I worry about injuries with how reckless and athletically he plays. He’s one scary dude though. Next to LeBron, probably the worst thing you want to see coming downhill at you.

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 7:13 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Ditching Melo while adding Schroder and your boy Nerlens was big for them.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:17 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink

              LOL. Addition by subtraction. I forgot about Nerlens. I’d heard he had been playing very well. I doubt he’ll ever be able to make back the money he turned down. Good to see him making a strong effort to win back his career. I’d still love the Lakers to sign him as a backup center. Along with WCS of course. :-)

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:59 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball is starting to run out of slack 

    Because of his age and the fact that he has not compiled a full season’s worth of games yet, it is hard for me to ever jump off the Lonzo Ball bandwagon. The scoring will eventually come, and even if it doesn’t, the absolute worst Ball can be is a facilitator and elite defender. That is not a bad floor.

    The only problem is that with LeBron James now on the team and not getting any younger, the patience for Ball’s lack of scoring is eventually going to wear out. Brandon Ingram hasn’t turned into the stone cold killer offensively that we thought he would become and the nobody else has really emerged as a true, star, second scorer.

    LeBron thrives when having an elite guard that can score alongside him. The best teams he played on had Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving and as Wade succumbed to father time and Irving left it was obvious that James’ teams were missing something.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:01 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lonzo is turning into Lakers version of Markelle Fultz.
      The project you have to keep because you can’t trade him.
      Hopefully, all he needs is time to grow and develop.

      Danny Ainge had this draft perfectly pegged.
      Imagine if the 76ers or Lakers had taken Tatum.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 12:36 PM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Bust.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 10:56 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

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    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:03 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Imagine the Lakers dilemma if LeBron suddenly is NOT the best player on the planet.
      That’s very likely to happen sometime during the next four years on his contract.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 10:54 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink |  

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    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:04 AM on November 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The problem is the new rules have made defending much more difficult and the quality of offensive players just continues to get better and better each year.

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