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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:58 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Most Startling Statistics of Los Angeles Lakers' Season so Far 

    BY EHRAN KAHN FOR THE BLEACHER REPORT

    One of the most enjoyable exercises of the early season is to look at surprising statistics.

    The Los Angeles Lakersare chock-full of quirky metrics, both on a team and individual level.

    Kobe Bryant is thriving from his favorite spot on the floor but at the cost of a stagnant offense. The defense has been awful, yet Ed Davis has been a standout on that end.

    Many of the eyebrow-raising numbers are purely a result of an extremely small sample size but getting to know the outliers brings to one’s attention trends which are worth watching as the year rolls along.

    Here are five of the most startling statistics of L.A.’s season to date.

    Note: All statistics courtesy ofNBA.com/Stats, as of games played through November 20

    No Ball Movement

    Too often the Lakers bring the ball up the floor, put it into Kobe Bryant’s hands and then become passive spectators.

    Only two teams average fewer passesper game than the Lakers. 

    Los Angeles is also 29th in the league in secondary assists, 28th in passes leading to free throws and 27th in points created by assists per game.

    The ball needs to start zipping around the court to keep defenses off balance. Players like Jeremy Lin have to assert more creative control over the process of generating shots.

    Now that Nick Young is back in the lineup the Lakers have another dynamic scoring option. Maybe now the offense will finally start to open up.

    Kobe Bryant’s Long-Two Percentage

    The ball is stopping in Bryant’s hands as he attempts to take his defender one-on-one on virtually every possession.

    Bryant’s shooting woes are well documented. He’s shooting a career-worst 38.6 percent from the field on a career-high attempts per minute—but the misses aren’t coming from where you would think.

    In fact, Bryant is knocking down over 50 percent of his shots between 16 and 24 feet, one of only four players in the NBA to pull that off while attempting at least four such shots per game.

    It’s from everywhere else that he has been miserable.

    Kobe has been inefficient from the floor overall but ultra-efficient from the least efficient spot on the court.

    Wrap your brain around that for a minute.

    The numbers should regress to the mean somewhat as his percentages on long twos go down, but his percentages closer to the hoop rise. 

    Defensive Shot Locations

    Analytics dictate that the best ways to score in basketball are from layups, three-pointers and free throws.

    Thus, modern-day NBA defenses are designed to take those chances away and force opponents to shoot as many mid-range jumpers as possible.

    The Lakers are as far away from that formula as possible.

    No team forces fewer mid-range shotsthan L.A.

    They also allow the most made three-pointers, the third-most points in the paint and the third-most free-throw attempts.

    That’s a recipe for disaster, and it’s the reason why the Lakers sport the worst defense in the league in terms of points allowed per possession.

    As a matter of fact, L.A.’s current defensive rating would be the worst in NBA.com’s database, which goes back nearly two decades.

    Ed Davis’s Stingy D

    And yet, despite L.A.’s historic struggles on the defensive side of the ball, Ed Davis shines as a beacon of hope.

    The young big man has been the only player on the entire roster to have made any significant impact defensively.

    Opposing players are shooting 4.3 percent worse than normal when Davis is guarding them. And he’s been even better on the interior, holding opponents 10.2 percent below their typical average on shots inside of six feet.

    He leads L.A. in blocked shots and defensive rebounding percentage, and the team gives up nine fewer points per 100 possessions when he is on the court.

    It’s scary to think how bad the Lakers’ defense would be without Davis. If there’s an argument for Byron Scott to increase his playing time, this is it.

    Posted from WordPress for Android

     
    • NuggetsCountry (Director)

      NuggetsCountry (Director) 7:26 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Most of the league has a second team that can beat our first team, nevermind their first team! Our 2nd and 3rd teams should not even be playing in the NBA! Mark Madsen must be our 3 point line defensive coach!

      • LakerholicVT

        LakerholicVT 8:16 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I didn’t think we would beat Dallas in Dallas at the end of an exhausting road trip. I was just hoping it wouldn’t be another embarrassment… oh well.

        Booze and Kobe on the floor together is too much of a defensive liability. Lin has too many TO’s and is too inconsistent to be our starting PG. I think we should start Davis and Price and sit Lin and Booze. This would shore up the defense on our first string.

        We only have three players that are good enough to start on another team. Unfortunately, two of them are shooting guards. Our only true center (tall enough) is Sacre. I was watching Sacre a bit in the 4th (before I gave up and went to sleep), and he is awful. I yelled something to that effect after he shot an air ball from about 8 feet out in the middle of the shot clock. Mitch needs to get us a real center and a starting point guard. The fact that we don’t have either is part fate (Steve leaving us and Lin sucking the big one) and part pure incompetence. If Mitch was our friend running a fantasy team, we would be like, “point guards and centers win ball games and you don’t have any good ones.” Don’t even get me started about the SF position. When Melo, LeBrick, and Love all said no, we needed to spend that money on some quality players that are good enough to start in the NBA. Instead we got Lin and Booze. The only move that turned out to be any good was Davis – even a broken clock is right twice a day.

        As you stated below (with a lot less typing), the Buss’s need to go and they should take Mitch with them. I can’t help think what if Jeanie had balls and had fired her brother and hired her boyfriend. I guess if she had balls, the boyfriend wouldn’t have been an option… ;-) All and all, through thick and thin, I will hang in there because…

        I am a Lakerholic.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:52 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Lakers can’t stop the Mavericks in 140-106 loss 

    BY MIKE BRESNAHAN FOR THE LA TIMES

    An enemy of the Lakers crept back into their lives

    It stayed away for a handful of days, allowing the creation of a modest two-game win streak, but it returned Friday, bad breath, crooked teeth and everything.

    The Lakers’ defense was dreadful again in a 140-106 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the scoreboard telling the whole truth by showing Dallas with 110 points through three quarters. Three quarters!

    The Nick Young-as-savior stories can stop. Same for the Lakers-finding-themselves optimism. This is still a team that gave up 136 points last Sunday to Golden State and let Dallas shoot 62.2%.

    “Dumb plays,” was the way Lakers Coach Byron Scott put it. “It wasn’t the effort, it was just stupid decisions, not doing the things we talked about.”

    That’s four times since March they’ve done something like this, letting Minnesota, the Clippers and Houston gouge them for more than 140 points. Before that, the Lakers hadn’t given up 140 points in a regulation game since November 1993.

    The Lakers (3-10) almost created more bad history for themselves, close to matching their largest loss ever to Dallas (36 points) until Jordan Clarkson’s dunk with 7.9 seconds to play. They did fail in a less egregious way, losing a franchise-record fourth consecutive regular-season game to the Mavericks.

    Dirk Nowitzki (23 points), Chandler Parsons (21) and Monta Ellis (20 points) all passed their season averages by the end of the third quarter. No need for them to play beyond that at American Airlines Center.

    The Lakers did a better job defensively their first two games of this trip, holding Houston to 92 without Dwight Howard and keeping Atlanta to 109, the latter qualifying as a heroic effort for a team routinely allowing meteoric stats.

    It might have been that streak, a pittance for a franchise that once won 33 in a row, that cost the Lakers against Dallas.

    “You know what? Maybe in that locker room, guys were satisfied with the last two wins and just took this one for granted, started looking forward to going home,” Scott said. “You can’t do that if you want to be competitive in this league.”

    Not to be omitted were the shortcomings on offense. Kobe Bryant said his legs felt tired after he scored 17 points on six-for-22 shooting (27.2%). Young made only two of seven shots.

    “You try to kind of work your way through it a little bit, but everything’s short,” Bryant said. “It’s just one of those 36-year-old [hiccups].”

    It was obviously not the Lakers’ night when Bryant missed his first eight shots and Young his first four. Jordan Hill, though, continued to play well, totaling 16 points on seven-for-seven shooting and taking 10 rebounds.

    The Lakers’ defense against three-point shooters has been superficial at best, a trend that somehow worsened with the Mavericks making 18 of 35 from behind the arc (51.4%).

    “The teams that we really struggle with are teams that have a lot of shooters,” Bryant said. “Teams that really spread the floor and shoot the three and shoot it well, those are the teams that are blowing us out.”

    Posted from WordPress for Android

     
    • NuggetsCountry (Director)

      NuggetsCountry (Director) 7:00 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The worst defender we have right now is Kobe. Plain and simple. Most of the wide open shots and layups are a result of him sagging off and trying for hero steals or whatnot, or not rotating or switching. Sad to see this once great defender turn into a matador or worse. I still can enjoy a game where he shoots an OK percentage, but not that garbage last night. I mean when he is off and so is everyone else, this team wouldn’t win a D-League game!

      Hill seems to have the most consistency as well as Davis (in their limited expected roles.) Seems that the FO is content to play out this string with no intervention, at the expense of a huge fan base and ticket holders. All need to practice and get serious about their FT shooting, as well as covering the 3 point line. I was looking over at the assistants on the bench fully expecting to see MDA coaching the 3 point line defense!

  • MongoSlade (Director)

    MongoSlade (Director) 10:04 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Hard to look at a 34pt loss and not think about the philosophical differences between Kobe & Dirk’s approach to their current contracts. I totally understand Kobe’s financial reasoning but I also see Dirk’s motivation to play on a good team in his final years. Yeah, it’s the owners’ fault but as the saying goes. ..ownership has its privileges

     
    • tate793

      tate793 12:07 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What’s sad to me is knowing that our FO can do more than they are, yet, they seem content to stand by and watch the team struggle and watch the fans suffer. The implications aren’t pretty.

      • NuggetsCountry (Director)

        NuggetsCountry (Director) 7:07 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This being one reason I am hoping they just sell the team to someone with some passion for trying to make the Lakers back into what they were, not just sitting on their trust funds! Chick and Jerry are long gone and so are the Lakers. Mitch needs to go, also.

    • Bay to LA

      Bay to LA 1:04 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      His approach to the game in his later years is also way different than Dirks.

    • therealhtj

      therealhtj 6:50 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sure, the owners benefit from a system the players agreed to in order to keep guaranteed deals and something of a soft cap. Kobe took the money and refused to even consider a secondary role.

      We’re seeing how that worked out for him and Lakers fans.

  • For whom the bell trolls (trollman) 7:15 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Back to reality. On the bright side, the starters should get some rest.

     
    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 7:27 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      And the youngins can get some much needed PT as well.

    • Caliphilosopher

      Caliphilosopher 7:46 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This turned into a pretty substantial arse-whooping REAL fast in the second half.

      17 3s? Good Grief.

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 7:59 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Just shows how far separated we r from the top tier teams in the west.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 8:00 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Too many Kobe missed shots. Defense was non-existant. We have to face it, we are just plain not good! In January, I’d be shopping Lin, Hill, Booz. For better or worse play Davis, Clarkson, Nick for a boatload of minutes. We need that Pick next year for sure. Oh, what a mess we have to clean up over the next several years. Kobe for 50….sigh… :(

        • GDUBinDC

          GDUBinDC 8:08 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I faced it b4 the season even started, DJ. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it may take a coupla years b4 this franchise becomes relevant again.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 8:12 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I’m with ya.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 8:12 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              PS-Lin did have a nice game.

            • GDUBinDC

              GDUBinDC 8:16 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Jeremy had an ok game, needs to cut down on the TOs tho.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 8:42 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              That’s his problem, for sure.

    • Bay to LA

      Bay to LA 9:34 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      the starters got a lot of rest, they didnt even work that hard when they were on the court

  • For whom the bell trolls (trollman) 6:50 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Considering how poorly the defense is doing, being down only 9 points is amazing.
    It seems Lin will always give you a few and them a few.
    Anyone else notice that Jordan Hill does not jump very high?
    The Mavs are pick and rolling the Lakers to death.
    Too bad Bynum’s not here to punish that little prick Barrea, dude always slams himself into the shoulder of his man and gets the bogus foul, except for the one on Kobe lol.
    We’ll see if Great Scott can come up with adjustments at halftime.

     
    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 6:53 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thinking Lin should be a shooting guard. He tends to have too many TO’s. We just aren’t good at all on “D,” including my guy Kobe. But, he’s 36 with miles, what’s our young guys excuse?

      • For whom the bell trolls (trollman) 6:56 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Lin does not handle the rock like the better pg’s, therein lies the problem.

      • For whom the bell trolls (trollman) 7:07 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        you’re right, Kobe’s really mailing it in defensively tonight.

        • GDUBinDC

          GDUBinDC 7:24 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Not exactly firing on all cylinders on the offensive end either.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 4:31 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    No matter what happens tonight, or this season for that matter, it’s going to be alright. We’ll be OK.

     
    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 5:22 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Been a Ls fan since ’67, definitely no worries here.

  • DJ2KB24

    DJ2KB24 4:13 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Time for the Kobe choo choo train and the Swaggy caboose.

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:43 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Despicable 

    Not Laker related and I apologize to anyone offended by this but we need to take a stand against the brutalities committed against the women of our nation. If you’re interested in what you can do to help spread the word feel free to email me at benjaminsweet1@gmail.com

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119?page=1

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:24 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Kobe on the Hometown Discount…and he’s right!
    (from ESPN)

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/11914742/kobe-bryant-los-angeles-lakers-says-hometown-discount-deals-big-coup-owners

     
    • AK27

      AK27 12:30 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I disagree with a lot that Kobe has to say on this subject but he is absolutely right on this one..why should it be a player’s duty to give a discount to wealthier owners to help their team win and show what “matters” more to them ? gotta maximize your expected utility.

    • UTEZ

      UTEZ 12:46 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Anyone who leaves money on the table is a fool. Which is why you blame the owner and management in this case. “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”, puts matters into perspective.

    • Bay to LA

      Bay to LA 9:25 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      There are only a small handful of players taking less so their teams have more money to bring in talent. Doing so doesn’t save the owners money, it just allows more talent on the roster. Most of the players in the league took top dollar in negotiations just like Kobe did.

      • AK27

        AK27 9:30 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You’re right , Bay, but a player shouldn’t have to leave money on the table for his team to field a better roster…

        • Bay to LA

          Bay to LA 1:02 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          With there being a cap, every dollar you sign for means less money to go around for others but absolutely, that’s not the responsibility of the players to worry about. There was just a strong assumption that Kobe wanted to win so badly that he’d take a cheap deal. I never thought he would nor should he be obligated to.

          • AK27

            AK27 3:44 AM on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            “With there being a cap..” That , essentially, was my objection, Bay…some of the top players have to give up money ‘cuz without a cap , some teams claim that they just wouldn’t be competitive..

            As for Kobe, he might have agreed to give up a small amount if there was a promise of fielding a great roster….but I agree with you..I don’t think he would have taken a cheap deal regardless of the circumstances ….the fans sure are gonna appreciate a player taking a hit and talk about how he is “all about winning’ but they’re not gonna compensate for his loss in case things don’t work out..neither is the FO..

  • UTEZ

    UTEZ 11:00 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    It has been such a long time that I’ve posted in a forum such as this one. It feels like it was not so long ago when “roll call” was being posted in what was once a huge gathering of LAKERS fanatics (Holinger’s ESPN page).

    Anyways, it’s good to see a few familiar faces. Hope you’ve all been well. I know from a LAKERS fan standpoint, I’m sure we’ve all been trying to find a silver lining in this new LAKERS era.

    You know, I’ve had mixed emotions in regards to Kobe’s comeback. I for one, wouldn’t mind if he got traded. Now, before I get a backlash hear me out. In my opinion, I don’t see the LAKERS winning it all with Kobe in their lineup. Granted, they increase their chances with him in it, but let’s be realistic. It’s not because of the financial situation or the saying that he can’t lead a group of youngsters to the final dance, but because his current surrounding cast leaves much to desire for. At best, if we were in the east, we’d be a 7-8th spot team. Maybe even 6th. I believe the LAKERS owe it to Kobe to put him in a situation where he has a better shot at winning #6. Which he so much desires. Now I know that there will be a good group of “free agents” next season. With that said, there’s a lot of “ifs”. Along with those “ifs” are some high risks. Kobe’s is not getting any younger. In a season where the inevitable will be the outcome, he’s put all he’s got into it. Excessive amount of minutes that relate to physical wear. He’s even more prone now to a season and perhaps career ending injury.

    I want to see Kobe win. And at this point, I wouldn’t mind if it happened with another team. As for the LAKERS, they will reign again. I have no doubts…

     
    • AK27

      AK27 11:06 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      hey Utah -- sup man…where do you think Kobe could have landed if he’d decided to leave instead of signing an extension with us ?

      • UTEZ

        UTEZ 11:09 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hey bud. You know, I wouldn’t have minded if he would have landed with OKC or even GS. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d be painful to see. But at the same time, there would be a sense of relief. He deserves to walk away into the night being the champion he is..

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 11:10 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Totally get where you are coming from. I have thought that as well, but money gets in the way usually.

          • UTEZ

            UTEZ 11:16 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Yeah, money is a big factor. You know, the money subject can be a bit painful to discuss for a few. You begin to question whether he’s worth it and if there was a bit of selfishness on his behalf. In the end, you can’t blame the player (I’m not implying that you are) you blame the game. Blame management for it..

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 11:17 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Yes, the FO has been messed up since Doc (RIP) lost control.

        • AK27

          AK27 11:12 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I mostly share your opinion on this subject..hate to see all his effort and competitive fire go to waste….don’t you think Kobe himself creates limitations for himself in such scenarios though ? I mean, I can see him being OK with not being the alpha dog on a team for a few games ( like in the Olympics )..but I can’t see him willing to play second fiddle on other teams through an entire season…can you ?

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 11:14 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            You have good points my friend. Good to some new (old) fresh faces. Where’s Justa? I really miss those Celtic trolls too, lol! We can argue whose worse this go round, lol!

            • AK27

              AK27 11:29 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Posting like a drunk ! ( I’m not, I promise ) . Apologies.

            • AK27

              AK27 11:45 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Some of those Celtics trolls sure were entertaining, DJ lol

              And Justa only does drive-bys these days…..

            • UTEZ

              UTEZ 11:51 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Every once in a while I talk to some of the boston girls.. They’re good to have around…

          • UTEZ

            UTEZ 11:18 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Not second, but alongside of him or them. I could see him deferring to someone like Durant, Westbrook or even Curry. Not for the entire game, but for at least the first 3 qrtrs.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 11:22 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              I like the 3 Q thing, ha, ha. I personally think that Kobe looks very, very good, just tired a bit. By needs to rest him more.

            • AK27

              AK27 11:25 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              I like that scenario as well…just don’t think it woulda been likely..’cuz I feel like Kobe was done deferring as soon as Shaq left town…he is of course smart enough to know that times have changed…but he has shown that being “the man” on the team is almost as important to him as winning itself..

            • UTEZ

              UTEZ 11:28 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Let’s be honest, Kobe looks sharp. And his personal agenda to prove ESPN wrong has lit a new fire underneath him. Which shame on them. But I’m afraid that as a result, this season is a “Kobe” watch season. Not a Lakers one..

            • AK27

              AK27 11:31 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Agreed, Utah.

              Btw, where, and more importantly, how have you been ?

          • UTEZ

            UTEZ 11:30 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Ah, working and, well, mainly working… You?

            • AK27

              AK27 11:33 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Abt as well as can be expected…you still doing the adventure sports thing quite often ?

            • UTEZ

              UTEZ 11:34 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Always looking for that adrenaline high..

            • AK27

              AK27 11:40 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Probably helps you maintain your sanity..the monotony of regular life could kill someone like you lol

            • UTEZ

              UTEZ 11:47 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink

              Ha ha… That’s for sure.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:32 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Welcome back, Utah. Good to hear from you.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:06 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kobe’s got a no-trade and has stated, unequivocally, that he will retire a Laker. I think it’s a good thing, to, our team is built around old school mystique not new school theories. It’s still early this season, if we run off a few victories here we’re right back in the hunt. Developing new guys in the mold of Kobe isn’t such a bad thing, either.

      Welcome back, btw!

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:24 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

  • LakerholicVT

    LakerholicVT 6:28 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    With the frustration of the failed Dwight/Nash experiment and Kobe’s injuries behind us, I once again am starting to watch the whole games again – the close ones anyway. I am more and more having something to say with no one to say it to (because I live in Celtic country). I have decided to break my silence. I really appreciate the insights of most of the posters here and have continued to check in from time to time. It is great to see many of the usual suspects from blogs gone by… I e-mailed Tom and BLAM… I’m back…

    It is very weird to see Kobe out there playing without a single member of the 2010 championship squad. That being said, I think we have a very entertaining team of underachievers who, in a PSS (Perfect Storm Scenario), have a punchers chance of beating anybody or, of course, losing to anybody… ;-)

    I am so happy we got Byron. I am a huge fan of his career. He is part of the family – unlike the Mikes. He is respected by the players – unlike the Mikes. He has championship ring. He has been saying all the right things. The only major down side to having Byron as our coach, as far as I can see, is that he is the best three point shooter on the team… ;-)

    Jeremy Lin is an enigma. He seems so smart. Sometimes he is so good. Sometimes he is just embarrassingly lost. In a PSS, he goes “Linsane”.

    In our losses in the past, even with stars around him, Kobe would often miss more shots than anybody else even took. When he was efficient and gave others a chance, we would usually win. He draws such a crowd, he can make it easy for everybody. I know he gets that. He just gets frustrated when everyone is throwing up bricks and the other team’s lead keeps growing. It has been nice to see him close out the last two games like the Kobe of old. In the previous close ones he didn’t seem to have enough in the tank at the end.

    The one great thing we got out of last year was Nick Young. Kobe is a very intense guy (gee, you think?). He needs someone to lighten the mood. First, of course, there was Shaq. Then there was Lamar and later Ron Ron. Now, ladies and gentlemen, Swaggy P! He is freaking awesome. You have to have chemistry and the Swagster is bringing it. On top of his big smiles and joking bravado, Kobe has someone that he can trust to knock down open shots. Defenders will have to respect that. Nick standing out at the three point line on the weak side changes things considerably.

    I have always been a big Boozer fan. I had him on my fantasy team two years ago and he was very consistent. I think he got a bit of a bum rap when Taj started taking his minutes. I wish he could still jump like he used too. He is still a very solid offensive weapon and a big strong body. He may need to come out at the end of games because of his defensive liabilities.

    I have always thought that if Hill got starters minutes he would be a solid double/double guy. I am glad he is proving me right! His little flat-footed mid-range shot has been dropping nicely and, more importantly, he has been much more consistent with his energy level than in years past.

    Wes was trained over the summer by Kobe to be his defensive guy – his Trevor/Ron. Back in the day, Kobe would guard the opposing team’s best guy. He has been too old for that for a while now. He needs Wes. It would be nice if Wes would score here and there, but it isn’t that important. Plays like the one that beat Huston the other night are why he is on the team.

    Ed Davis is awesome. He can really jump. He should probably start over Boozer, but I like him stepping in for Hill as the energy bench guy as well. He should definitely finish.

    Price is a tough defender. He shows me glimmers of Fisher. I wish he could shoot better. He is a savvy veteran that can play heavy minutes whenever Lin isn’t bringing it.

    I liked watching X last year and his “pedal to the metal” style. I hope we get a chance to see it this year as well. If X and Clarkson step up, Kobe will have a lot less tread on his tires come playoffs. That’s right, I said it!

    Speaking of which, I am SO NOT ON THE TANK TRAIN!!! I can’t do it. I hate to lose. Beating Huston was oh so nice. This is a much better team than people think. I will keep rooting for the PSS. If we have to be one of the five worst teams in the league to get a pick, then write that f*&^%r off. With Kobe Bryant on the team? I am sorry, but that’s just not happening. Just because we start the season badly? It is a brand new team! We may just miss the playoffs because of a very tough western conference, but we are not now or ever will be one of the five worst teams in the league – not while Kobe continues to lace them up. Let’s just all take a deep breath and throw this tank thing out the window. That was last year. Kobe is back! The only thing to root for now is winning and of course…

    Kobe for 50!

    I am a Lakerholic.

     
    • NuggetsCountry (Director)

      NuggetsCountry (Director) 7:18 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thumbs up!

    • AK27

      AK27 7:26 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey -- Good to see you here, LFVT ! Been a while…a lot has happened in Lakerland since I last “saw” you on the Hollinger page….

      I do not share but totally respect your optimism about the team..I think they’ll miss the playoffs rather easily…I wouldn’t mind getting a top 5 pick but the idea of enduring hopelessness and putrid performances through the season, is rather revolting..gotta play ball with what you have….unfortunately our FO seems to have given in to the idea that we won’t be competing for a ring for a couple more years….I mean, but for Nick Young, it has often looked like Kobe is alone out there..toiling away for nothing…Kobe’s extension, the timing more than the amount, the apparent lack of pursuit of good players other than superstars ( who we didn’t have much of a chance with anyway )…kinda betrays their intentions…ride the Kobe train a while longer to maintain their bottom line…and swing for the fences again when he departs….not much of a “plan” if you ask me….of course, I could be wrong but then they’d be a lot more inept than I think they’re…

      Anyway, come around more often Holic :)

      • LakerholicVT

        LakerholicVT 2:15 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks AK27 -- I think you are right about the FO’s intentions. I just think Kobe will do everything in his power to get us in the playoffs and that is a lot. People were counting us out of the playoffs the super friends year as well -- Kobe had the last word on that one. As I said, it will take a PSS. I would rather root for that than a tank. As I said, I can’t do it. I have a tough time watching the games where we are getting slaughtered. I am on the east coast, so I turn it off and go to bed.. ;-)

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:56 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Welcome back, Frank. Good stuff. I agree with your point about Kobe needed a lighter copilot and Nick Young fits that role much like Metta did. You have to love a guy who loves being a Laker. I was thrilled to see the Lakers make a long term commitment to Swaggy P. He was the blue chip we got from the disaster that was last year. Along with Randle, he gives us two solid pieces of our next title team. We’re rebuilding and that’s how our progress should be measured.

      I don’t think we can make the playoffs so am probably on the tank train because of the great center prospects in this draft. However, Kobe is looking better each game and Swaggy has everybody playing better and loser and freer. I will be thrilled if we can save our draft pick and add a couple of young guys who earn long term deals like Young. I once had hopes for Lin but now see him as more Sun Yue than Linsanity. Maybe Ed Davis has found a home like Swaggy P. Maybe we draft a young center to go with Julius Randle. That’s my objectives for the year -- finish with two more young pieces for the future. With four blue chips, free agency will open up.

      • LakerholicVT

        LakerholicVT 2:21 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hey Tom, Thanks for this site. You have done a great job! I hear what you are saying about the centers in the draft. Unfortunately, we probably are not going to get one of them. We will have to figure out something else. Kobe will not go out a big loser. He will go down swinging. We get Huston’s pick however. Anything can happen…

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:12 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey there LFVT, I hope you’re snowed in by the nighty blizzard-a-blowing!

      Great points and ones I generally agree with. I, too, am not on the Tank Train. I think younger players learn better through competing the right way and I don’t think guys like Young and Kobe could tank if you paid them to. They just love the game too much and it shows in their dedication.

      We have a glimmer of a chance, a shadow dancing on the head of a pin, to make the playoffs. Lots of teams in the western conference have stumbled out of the gate. Not as badly as us, but enough that we’re not buried, yet.

      All in all, a season of growth would be acceptable to me. If we can come to a decision on what Jeremy Lin could be in the NBA (starting PG, back up PG, superstar, star, solid role player) I think he definitely has a spot on the team, although I still feel that role is coming off the bench.

      I like your ending line.

      • LakerholicVT

        LakerholicVT 2:23 PM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I am with you on Lin. We need a starting point guard. Mitch!!!

    • tate793

      tate793 10:56 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Bravo!

  • tate793

    tate793 12:06 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

     
  • GDUBinDC

    GDUBinDC 8:52 PM on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Not sure if he’s still around, but congrats to Sean(aka Magicman) for his Rrrraiders 1st win of the season. :)

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 7:21 PM on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    We gotta birthday! 

    10423293_10154896318220341_6688540356660430772_n

    Happy birthday Carlos Boozer!!!

     
    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 7:28 PM on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sure, why not? Guy does give all he has.

      • tate793

        tate793 7:37 PM on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Happy Birthday!

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 8:39 PM on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Happy B’day, Booz.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:56 PM on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hey, he’s a Laker (for now) and I don’t mind a little team spirit and social camaraderie.

        And he has been on an uptick for the last 5 games or so. Needs to keep bringing it like he has.

        • For whom the bell trolls (trollman) 11:51 PM on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I think Booze is our most improved player so far. Sure his defense is suspect but he’s got a nice mid-range game and a real soft shot around the basket.
          I also think he’s in much better game shape.

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

            Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:12 AM on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Yup, he came here looking to score one more big payday or what I like to call The Adrian Beltre effect. Contract year=career year.

            He is in pretty solid shape, had some time off last season and looks decent.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:15 PM on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    The Swag Effect ! 

     
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