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  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:58 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink |  

    Streaking in the wrong direction 

    4 game losing streak came at a bad time for those holding onto the glimmer of an 8th seed challenge. Just wasn’t in the cards this season. Too many points left on the court in the form of missed free throws and un-forced turnovers. The last five minutes of this game are where we lost it when we went away from everything that had been working well. I don’t even think it was any adjustment the Pelicans made, we just missed very make-able shots and made poor reads down the stretch, especially Mr. Lonzo Ball (gold star for effort though, major force on the glass and on defense tonight)

    6 turnovers to 2 assists for IT, Ball going 2-15 (1-12 from 3 point land) and a team-wide effort let-down in the last few minutes was too much to overcome for a Pelicans squad led by Anthony Davis who only had 33 points and 9 rebounds. I don’t see them going far in the playoffs without Cousins so it’ll be interesting to see what this team looks like next year. The other 4 starters besides Ball killed and. Beyond IT there was no Laker bench contribution to speak of. Not sure why Luke’s shortening the rotation down the stretch unless it’s to find time for the big money free agents to show what they can do.

    I think, or hope at least, that with the remaining 9 games we see more of Gary Payton Jr and Thomas Bryant than Zubac and/or Travis Wear. I think we’re fairly certain what both of those players bring to the table. Rob has hyped Bryant’s potential publicly multiple times but we’ve barely seen him play. Unless it’s some ploy to get someone to trade for Deng with TB as the sweetner because he’s been terrible in practice or something I just don’t get it. No need to play the starters this many minutes outside the rooks, now. Heck, let BI heal up 100% and if he’s done for the year…no biggie.

    At any rate, Memphis on Saturday is a very winnable game and I hope to see this 4 game losing streak end in Tennessee.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 11:32 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Love Arrested Development.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 11:47 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Jamie,
      Nice recap. While defense was ultimately our downfall it had to be the dumbest loss of the year. Honestly Lonzo really used poor judgement down the stretch. He took our last 3 shots on a night when KCP, Julius, Brook and Kuz all had it going offensively. One play Lonzo’s man turned his back on him. Another he was left completely left alone. I’m not as concerned by his 3 point shooting as his reluctance to attack at times. He should have drove in the paint. He best skill is finding open teammates. He really needed to attack more. When Brandon wasn’t hitting his 3’s he found success attacking. Lonzo needs to do the same thing. While everyone seems to want him to work on his 3 point shot this summer, I think he should work to get stronger and improve his game around the rim. He’s 3’s will come.

      There were highlights for me though. While AD was very good as usual, Brook Played very well himself. It seems that Brook is back to his old self. I think playing with Randle really helps him. Teams would play off of Nance but they can’t leave Randle and it gives him more room to operate. Brook is making a strong case for returning. And speaking of Randle, his blocked shot and then coast to coast for the slam was one of the top sequences of the year for me. He’s going to be a 20 10 5 guy next year, I hope it’s with the Lakers. And it also looks as if Kuz is officially out of his rookie slump. The only good thing that’s come out of Brandon’s injury is Kuz getting time at the 3. He looks comfortable now. Being able to play both the 3 and 4 is going to make him even more valuable going forward and will give him more minutes when BI comes back.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:25 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Michael, I think the Randle situation will be one of the more interesting plot lines for the entire NBA. He’s upped his game that much. Lonzo not being able to hit free throws is his biggest issue as a PG. needs to be addressed sooner than later. I don’t worry about his three-point jumper if we fix his free throws. Not being able to drive to the rim when the jumper isn’t falling isn’t a recipe for success.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:19 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good write up, Jamie. While it was a bummer to lose the game, we can’t forget that we’re missing two key players in Ingram and Hart and both Lonzo and IT has horrible offensive games and yet we almost best a playoff team that has been winning despite losing Cousins. Impressive offensive game from Holiday. Kids keep playing hard. Slowly learning how to win.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 9:27 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I like to think we’re streaking in the right direction. This team’s identity has formed beautifully this season. The kids play their tails off and we can’t expect more from them over the long 82 game season. Next season: the playoffs, regardless of what transpires this summer.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:26 PM on March 23, 2018 Permalink |  

    It took nearly all season, but Lonzo Ball has finally hit the dreaded rookie wall. 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:27 PM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This could actually be the best explanation of all why Lonzo is suddenly struggling again.
      He’s already played more games this season than UCLA and senior year in high school.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:22 PM on March 23, 2018 Permalink |  

    How Much Do Lonzo Ball’s Struggles Matter? 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:06 PM on March 23, 2018 Permalink |  

    Should The Lakers’ Surge Cause Them To Adjust Their Offseason Plans? 

    Meanwhile, to land James and George, the Lakers would have to strip their roster down to the bones, which means potentially letting a key piece of their young foundation go in Julius Randle. You can argue that Randle has been the Lakers’ best player this season, and has definitively been their best since he stepped into the starting lineup.

    The problem is that the Lakers aren’t just going to be able to glue on LeBron James and Paul George to their starting lineups. They’re going to take several steps backward to take several steps forward, and there’s a genuine debate to have about whether adding those two would be able to make up that stagger and vault L.A. into legitimate contention in the West.

    This isn’t to say James and George won’t make L.A. a better team, but the question is whether their addition, combined with everyone leaving who would need to go to free up space, would bring them to the level of the Warriors and Rockets. Let’s look at the roster based on win shares (courtesy of Basketball-Reference), who is staying and who is leaving. For the purposes of this, we will include Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, who were moved in an attempt to clear space to acquire a second star.

    However, if Magic Johnson’s goal really is a “championship or bust” mentality, it might be wiser for the Lakers to consider keeping Randle and pursuing the slower, more methodical building approach. They won’t be better next year, but they might be better in 2019-20 or 2020-21 when James starts to lose his own personal contest with Father Time.

    Randle’s 15.9 points and 7.9 rebounds aren’t otherworldly. In fact, they’re merely solid. He doesn’t have the same notoriety as No. 2 picks Ball and Ingram, but he leads the team in rebounding, win shares, and PER (20.3). His net rating differential is plus-3.4, which is best of anyone on the team with 150 minutes played, according to NBA.com. Ball is better almost across the board when he’s playing with Randle and Ingram is far more efficient.

    There’s something there that’s working, but the problem is that there hasn’t been enough for the Lakers’ young big three to feel each other out much. They’ve only started eight games together (and their net rating is plus-0.5 in those games). But there’s a lot of chance to grow, and those chances aren’t pressed by a self-imposed window.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:19 PM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Should The Lakers’ Surge Cause Them To Adjust Their Offseason Plans?

      That’s a great question. If the Lakers did not have the surge, there would likely be little interest in bringing back Julius Randle, Isaiah Thomas, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, or Brook Lopez. All were really just temporary cap holds for space to sign two max contract free agents this summer.

      But a funny thing happened midway through the season. The Lakers suddenly started playing like a top four team in the West. While injuries have taken some of the bloom off the rose, there’s no doubt that the Lakers would be a solid playoff team in the West next year even without any roster upgrades.

      Which then begs the question of what it would take for the Lakers to keep these four free agents of their own? The answer is just sign Paul George and convince Brook to stay for just the $4M room exception. Do that and the Lakers can add PG and keep all four. Could this be a better team than letting everybody walk to sign PG and LeBron?

      PG: Lonzo, Isaiah
      SG: George, KCP
      SF: Ingram, Hart
      PF: Randle, Kuzma
      CE: Lopez, Bryant

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:08 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink |  

    Luke said loss was not due to poor shooting down the stretch 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:13 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      My biggest problem with how last night’s game ended, with Lonzo’s decision to take those open 3’s, and with Luke’s support of Lonzo taking those shots is this.

      The Lakers had two players who were red hot from deep in KCP 8-11 and Kuz 4-6. Luke should have called plays to get one of those guys the shots at the end and Lonzo should have penetrated and moved the ball to get those guys open. Bad coaching and bad decisions by Lonzo.

      Nobody’s guarding him? Simple solution is for him to dribble towards KCP or Kuz and hand the ball off to him. Or KCP or Kuz could just come set a screen for Lonzo. Bottom line, good lessons to learn. I’m confident Lonzo will learn and adjust and grow.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 11:15 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        LB best learn how to shoot. Shooting at 45% and 35% and 75% would make him great!

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:42 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers will sign Travis Wear for the rest of the season 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:43 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good for Travis. Kid can shoot.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:50 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Notably, the Lakers did not sign the Mater Dei High School product to a multi-year non-guaranteed contract, as the team did with David Nwaba in a similar situation a year earlier. By signing the player for the remainder of the year, the Lakers should be able to make Wear a restricted free agent.

      Should the team require salary cap space to sign major free agents in the summer, the Lakers should be able to renounce Wear’s restricted status and work out a deal to re-sign the player directly instead of having the put the player on waivers and risk losing him to another team, which is what happened with Nwaba when the Chicago Bulls claimed him.


  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:30 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink |  

    Should the Lakers consider re-signing KCP? 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:38 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Absolutely. KCP is only 25 and has been a valuable contributor on both ends of the court. I love his defense and he may be the best 3-point shooter on the team. We couldn’t sign him if we signed LeBron and PG but he should be a priority if we sign just one superstar, whether it be LeBron or Paul George.

      If we signed LeBron, keeping KCP who is a Kutch Sports client would make sense since LeBron would likely play the 4 on the Lakers. Starting lineup could be Lonzo, KCP, Ingram, James, and Randle

      If we only signed PG, then PG would likely play the 3, which would mean KCP would come off the bench as the backup 2 and Hart as the back up 3 and Kuzma as the backup 4. Starting lineup would be Lonzo, PG, Ingram, Randle, Lopez with bench of Thomas, KCP, Hart, Kuzma, and Thomas That would be the best bench in the NBA.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:15 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink |  

    Luke backing Lonzo! 

    Do you agree with coach Walton? #LakersNation

    A post shared by Lakers Nation (@bleedpurpleandgold) on

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:21 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      LOL. I do want a point guard who isn’t afraid to take those shots but I also want him to make them.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:53 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      “I want him taking it. I want a point guard that’s got the courage to step up and take those, even after missing a few. None of those were forced, they were open threes in rhythm. We believe in what he’s going to do for us and our future. He’s shown at times this year what he’s going to be. We saw it at the end of the San Antonio game, he won that game by hitting three straight threes. He’s very capable of doing it. He’s not a selfish player, but I’m happy he continued to show the courage it takes to succeed in this league. … In most cases, when it’s winning time, he elevates his game.”


  • p ang

    p ang 9:52 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lonzo is the second coming of Dennis Rodman.

    • For whom the bell trolls 10:22 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If only, Rodman would ruin teams with his defense. For all of Lonzo’s rebounds and assists it rarely turns losses into wins because his shooting is horrendous. Last 6 games he’s shooting 21%. Just pathetic. Sorry, with that stroke the Lakers should find some gullible GM to make a trade. That shot ain’t ever ever gonna be anything in this league. Hell, he can’t make a wide open shot what’s gonna happen if teams actually guard him on the perimeter, let him drive and get his sissy shot blocked or pass it to a defended Laker? He’s had what? A couple of good shooting nights? That’s the aberration. I’ve seen enough, that’s what my eye is telling me with every passing game. I’ve read elsewhere where people are comparing his shooting woes to Kobe’s. Now how stupid can you be to make up that excuse. Kobe always had excellent form. You got to be kidding me that Lonzo’s shot will follow Kobe’s. Ridiculous, he might as well begin shooting left handed before perfecting that right handed piece of sheet shot. And never ever bring up “he was a good shooter in college BS. Sheet Mutha fooka gad namit that shot aint ever gonna become Jamaal Wilkes like, cuz Lonzo’s shot is everything but smooth as silk.

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 10:42 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Y don’t u tell us how u really feel, TM. LOL

        • Seely_Iggy (Director)

          Seely_Iggy (Director) 10:03 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Yup, don’t hold nothin’ back p ang :D . Seriously, we feel your pain. And I personally like the creative spelling to get past the swear filter..

      • mud

        mud 10:56 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        expecting this hot take.

        it’s hard to find a proper outlet for all that negativity, huh? well…that was some lousy shooting. yep, this is different than Kobe’s freshman shooting woes. it’s more like Rondo’s.

        he can shoot, however. he needs to prove it in games though, or it doesn’t count. it’s definitely confidence that’s the problem. that gives me hope that he’ll end up reasonably decent. i’m sure he’ll never be a featured scorer, but he doesn’t need to be.

        • For whom the bell trolls 11:12 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Many outlets but I prefer my home base. Confidence? ok, shot form more likely. Like I said it would be better for him to learn to shoot left handed than to try a perfect that pee-wee stroke. He can’t go right with that shot so he’s limited even more. 14.5% 3pt last 7 games. these are stats that have been the norm all frikkin year. Sheet Mutha fooka gad namit, he’ll probably end the year hitting every shot he throws up now but I don’t care, take that horrible looking shot and flush it.

          • mud

            mud 12:05 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            in the shoot-arounds he hits most of his shots. sometime almost every single one of them.

            but i get the concern, and they may help him rework his shot in the end. still, rookie…

    • mclyne32 (Director) 11:30 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When defenses sag off of him, it’s a problem.
      When he’s at the rim, and is afraid to shoot it, it’s a problem.
      When he keeps shooting threes, after he has missed everything all night, it’s a problem.
      When he hasn’t even tried to shoot floaters in the lane, it’s a problem.

      People are going to say that “it’s all in his head.” That doesn’t bring me any comfort.
      I love the rest of his game, but man, everything about his offensive decision making, has become a problem.

      • mud

        mud 12:03 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply


        • mclyne32 (Director) 9:50 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I have witnessed many rookies who have no problem with these issues- one’s who were taken much, much higher in the draft.
          Half of the game on is played on the offensive end.
          He will improve, but as of today, his hesitant play in the paint, along with his refusal to stop shooting threes is hurting the team.

          • mud

            mud 11:27 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            THIS rookie DOES have those problems!

            remember Ingram’s shooting last year?

            hey! let’s toss the baby with the bathwater.

            yep, he’s hurting the team. so what? as the saying goes, “it is what it is”. he’s missing shots that he can easily make. the reason he’s getting support from the team is that he CAN shoot. otherwise, he’ll become Sasha Vujacic and he’ll be out of the league in a couple of years. right now, it’s acceptable. the team isn’t going anywhere THIS year.

  • GDUBinDC

    GDUBinDC 7:06 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink |  

    Been a game of runs and counter runs so far. They’re hangin’ tough against a team fighting to make the playoffs. KCP is killin’ it tonight from long distance, and Kuz,Brook and Ju r all playin’ well thus far. Really impressed with how much more under control Ju is playin’ now and how much his decision-making has improved as well.

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 7:11 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      AD has gotta be the most skilled big in the Association. SMH

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 7:19 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Really, Zo? 1-12 from beyond the arc? SMH

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:47 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Lonzo coulda/shoulda driven it into the paint on at least one of those 3 point attempts. Afraid of bricking his free throws. Also, jacking up shots without working it inside isn’t our offense.

        • GDUBinDC

          GDUBinDC 10:40 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Couldn’t agree more, JS. He kicks it out almost everytime he attacks the paint. He did take and make one midrange in the paint that crawled in the basket for a bucket, but I don’t recall him attempting it again afterewards. Definitely appears to be a probable lack of confidence issue with his shot. Probably just overthinking things, especially when he starts missing, but he can’t just keep launching those treys if they’re not fallin’. He’s gotta be willing to take the pull up midrange or floater in the paint, otherwise he’s gonna become a hindrance offensively at key points in the game.

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 7:21 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Current losing streak … 4 and counting.

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 7:25 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      AD payin’ compliments to the Ls in his postgame interview, hope Magic and Rob were listening.

      • tate793

        tate793 8:34 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        We miss 6 fts, lose the game by 3. SMH. Don’t understand the reluctance to spend good money where you need to spend it, to improve the team where you can. A good shooting coach, a goid free throw shooting coach, a good physical trainer, a good strength and conditioning coach and a team psychologist. Would help immensely.

        We continue to bring up Thomas Bryant, but never gjve him any burn. Doesn’t make sense. Leaves an accomplished veteran 3pt shooter, Channing Frye, on the pine.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:56 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink |  

    Lakers have second most loyal fans in NBA, according to study 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:58 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Warriors ranked first and I would have to agree with that living in NorCal. Before this current run, the Warriors were right up there with the Clippers as having a horrible owner but the fans still sold out Oracle and rooted for their Dubs. Of course, soon that will change and those fans won’t be able to afford to support the team in person in the new SF arena.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:07 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink |  

    Spurs held players-only meeting, imploring Kawhi Leonard to return to lineup 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:07 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      OK, Brandon and Kuzma for Kawhi.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 1:16 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Nope said this Cat.

        • tate793

          tate793 1:21 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Not with the ongoing knee issues. Buford would probbably go for it -- seeing ss how Kawhi has options.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:32 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Quadriceps injury, not knee.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 2:07 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink

              No matter, he’s not worth both of our young stars, IMHO. I have a hard time understanding why we want all these injured guys, Cuz, IT, and KL.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:10 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink

              Because you don’t win championships without superstars and those guys showed their championship mettle in the past. Healthy, they’re sure things while our kids are just hopes and prayers. None was Magic Johnson or Kareem or Worthy in their first year. Could they become All-Stars and/or superstars? No sure thing.

              Tier 1 -- Superstars -- MVP candidates -- LeBron, Steph, Harden, Kawhi, KD

              Tier 2 -- All-Pros -- Perennial All-Stars -- PG, AD, Giannis, Klay, DeRosan, Butler, Cousins

              Tier 3 -- All Stars -- Make at least a couple of All-Star games -- Aldridge, Wall, Lowry, Griffin

              I think we have several candidates for Tier 3, including in order of when they will get there imo: Randle, Ingram, Ball, and Kuzma.

              I also think Lonzo and Brandon have the potential to quickly become Tier 2 candidates.

              Do they both have the upside to become Tier 1 candidates? It would be a very long shot at this point.

              I do think PG, playing for the Lakers, could potentially elevate his game to Tier 1 and be an MVP candidate.

              Last year, both IT and Kawhi were legitimate Tier 1 candidates. Maybe injury will prevent them from returning there but nobody can deny they both have that kind of ability. None of our kids are close to sniffing a season as good as IT and Kawhi have had. They’re living proof of the cliche you need superstars to win in the NBA.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 4:31 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink

              Swhy I want LBJ and PG.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 5:07 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink

              You really wouldn’t give up Ingram and Kuzma for Kawhi?

            • tate793

              tate793 8:44 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink

              Yeah, Tom. I was reading up on Jimmy Butler and Kyrie whdn I replied. My bad.

            • tate793

              tate793 8:48 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink

              Tom --

              How can one leave Russell Westbrook off a Tier 1, 2 and 3 lust of NBA players?

            • keen observer

              keen observer 10:14 AM on March 23, 2018 Permalink

              Kawhi Leonard is a top 5 NBA player. He’s a former NBA Finals MVP. He is worth a bundle. Ingram and Kuzma? Seems fair, but Kawhi can become an unrestricted free agent next summer. We’d have to get assurances that he’ll sign an extension or whatever.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 2:12 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Deng and Brandon for Kawhi. :)

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 2:19 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I think Spurs had a team meeting to see what’s going on or not.

        • John M.

          John M. 2:22 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          If Pop said he’d trade Aldridge for Durant, then Cleveland might have a shot at Leonard. Magic would get a smile and a handshake…

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:20 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Seriously, were Kawhi Leonard to come onto the market this summer, the Lakers would not be in a good position to trade for him because they would lack any contracts to match salaries. Kawhi makes $18M. Right now, the only way they could match salaries to trade for Kawhi would be to include every rookie contract we have, including Lonzo, Brandon, Kyle, Josh, Ivica, and Thomas. They actually only total $16.7M but would be close enough. Any new players they sign or re-sign, wouldn’t be able to be traded until midseason.

      One of big benefits of keeping Randle, Thomas, and KCP is having good tradable contracts next midseason so the Lakers have the assets they need to consummate a trade for a Kawhi or Klay or AD, all of whom are more likely to become available via trade than free agency. We don’t need expiring contracts once we go over the cap. Then you need multi-year contracts you can trade as filler and part of the deal. Thomas, KCP, and Randle contracts would be invaluable assets to have to grab the next superstar who hits the market like Kyrie Irving.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 2:02 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Other teams will come with offers that we’d be hard pressed to match. I’m not even sure where this dude’s head is at either. Wouldn’t wanna give up all those guys then he pulls a Dwight on us…

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:16 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think we could match the talent and the picks. The problem is we would need a third team because we don’t have salaries to match and aren’t going to give up everybody. Then a third team is going to want something. Would be nice if we had Randle, Thomas, and KCP on good contracts so we could match salaries for the next Kyrie Irving who becomes available. Nothing but expiring and rookie contracts makes it hard to trade.

        As for Kawhi, I’ve never seen a quadriceps injury be so controversial either. So strange to see controversy from one of the most uncontroversial stars and franchises. But obviously, something has gone down. The best read I’ve heard is somebody saying that what happened is the Spurs best two players used to be totally selfless. LeMarcus and Kawhi aren’t TImmy and the Admiral.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 3:28 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      From I read there is still a question about the nature of the injury. It potentially could be Degenerative condition that will only get worse. Not sure if I would trade the farm unless there was a clear medical. Same goes for Bogey. Some guys have recovered somewhat from an Achilles others are never the same. We have a promising core. If we can add a healthy star or two fine but rolling the dice on guys that may never be the same is a risk the team really doesn’t need to take.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:32 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Good point, Michael. It’s a lot easier to propose or approve trades when you’re a blogger rather than an owner who would have to write those checks. All I want is PG and keep our own free agents.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:17 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink |  

    Most improved teams since All-Star break 

    Most Improved Offense

    2. L.A. Lakers

    Rookies and second year players have accounted for 45 percent of the Lakers’ minutes this season. That’s the third highest rate in the league and the highest among teams that aren’t at least 23 games under .500. So, in-season improvement both critical and somewhat expected.

    Of course, a vet has been a big part of the Lakers’ offensive improvement. Brook Lopez has seen the second biggest increase in effective field goal percentage (behind that of Wilson Chandler) among players who took at least 300 shots before the break and have taken at least 100 since the break (see table below).

    Julius Randle has keyed the Lakers’ offensive turnaround since the All-Star break.

    For Lopez, as well as the team as a whole, it’s been about the three ball, both in regard to percentage and volume. Before the break, the Lakers ranked 29th in 3-point percentage and 22nd in the percentage of their shots that were threes. Since the break: fifth and fourth.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (46.3 percent) ranks seventh in post-break 3-point percentage among 98 players with at least 50 attempts. But the biggest key to the Lakers’ post-break offense may be a big jump in minutes for Julius Randle. He’s actually seen a drop in usage rate and not much of an increase in efficiency, but Randle has gone from averaging less than 25 minutes before the break to 34 since the break.

    As a result, he’s averaged 21.5 points (on 59 percent shooting) over the 13 games. And in that stretch, the Lakers have scored 14.2 more points per 100 possessions with him on the floor (114.1) than they have with him off the floor (99.9).

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:07 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink |  

    Getting healthy too late 

    • Legend44

      Legend44 12:33 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Too late indeed. A playoff run would have been a stretch but the momentum the Lakers had prior to the Ingram and Hart injuries was really fun to watch. I still think there is value in ending this season on a positive note, both for free agency and team confidence going into next year. Hopefully, Ingram comes back soon and is back in form right off. I’m interested in seeing Bryant get minutes down the stretch …. with his hustle and outside shooting ability he might be a nice piece in the future formula. Caruso and Wear as well … are they pieces that will stick as back ups and specialty players? Balancing W’s with the opportunity to evaluate …. that’s why Luke makes the big money :-)

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:26 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hey, Darryll, I also think finishing strong has great value internally and externally. I’ve been pushing hard for the Lakers to sign George and keep Randle, Thomas, Caldwell-Pope, and Lopez and I think it’s possible with smart cap management and using our Bird rights to go over the cap.

        Each one of these guys has shown the ability to play at a high level and be a major contributor to wins. I would like to start to build some continuity and even if we signed two superstars instead of just PG, I don’t see how we would get four better role players than those four if we’re capped out. Give me PG, our 4 free agents, and Lonzo, Brandon, and Kyle and let’s build a sustainable dynasty.

        The Lakers don’t need to compete for a championship next year, especially if it means that we give up a chance to compete for 3 or 4 championships 2 or 3 years from now.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:29 PM on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m also interested in seeing Thomas Bryant get minutes and also how Travis Wear plays. I like both as part of our 11-15 roster spots. I don’t see Alex Caruso coming back. I wouldn’t mind the Lakers drafting Aaron Thomas from UCLA as a third point guard behind Lonzo and IT although he did choke badly in the tournament. There are also some good young talented big men who could fall to us in the low to mid 20’s for the Cavs’ pick. Like to see how Frye plays tonight. He could be a great mentor and last five spot player for the Lakers next year.

  • Legend44

    Legend44 11:58 AM on March 22, 2018 Permalink |  

    Saying hello 

    Hey Lakerholics:

    I’m just joining the group …. stumbled across the Lakerholics site and recognized Laker Tom from previous correspondence on an LA Times Blog years ago. I enjoy insightful discussion about the Lakers, so knew that if Laker Tom was onboard this was a group worth joining. From a quick review of the recent posts and comments that has already been confirmed.

    It’s been a rough few years for the purple and gold but while titles are the name of the game for the Lakers, I’ve always enjoyed watching the chess match of rebuilding. The light at the end of this rebuilding tunnel has definitely emerged this year and think Laker fans should be very excited about the future.

    Laker fan since 1969 – so go way back :-)

    I look forward to corresponding with the group.

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