Trying hard to think of any Laker that would object to movin on via trade. After 2/3 of the season these guys look so confused, with no coherent direction. I’m giving Byron a break. Feel sorry for Luke too. One step forward. two steps back. : (
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— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 16, 2017
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) February 16, 2017
Ingram has been longing all season for the chance to connect with Bryant, yearning to find out specifically “whatever he did his rookie year to get prepared” and generally about that killer mentality that Ingram called “unreal.”
Ingram’s wish came true Wednesday when he got a text message from Bryant—”What up, youngin? It’s Kobe. Hit me up” — to open the door to what could be a wealth of information. Ingram initially didn’t believe it was really Kobe.
Luke said he's spending part of All-Star weekend meeting w/ coaching staff + meeting with Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss & Magic
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 16, 2017
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Lakers basically admit they were focused on the All-Star break before it even started https://t.co/05GbZfhekw
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 16, 2017
The Grizzlies offense is decidedly mediocre – they’re No. 18 in offensive rating – and can often grind to a halt with the lack of dynamism on the team, especially along the backcourt outside of Mike Conley. Their other guards on the bench are Toney Douglas, Andrew Harrison, Troy Daniels, and Wade Baldwin. None of those is a particularly reliable option, which will put a lot of pressure on Conley, especially come playoff time. They could certainly use someone like Williams who can take people off the dribble and create his own offense.
The Hornets need offensive help badly. They’re incredibly reliant on Kemba Walker on a night-to-night basis to carry a huge burden offensively, and their bench is almost completely devoid of scoring punch. They’ve already fallen out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, and are in desperate need of reinforcements. Ramon Sessions is out for a month following knee surgery, so they also need a backup ball-handler. Williams fits the bill in terms of both of their needs. He would bolster the second unit and lift the scoring burden from Walker at the same time.
The Raptors have already made their big move to get back to the top-2 in the East by trading for Serge Ibaka, so will the Wizards counter with their own move to shore up a big weakness? That weakness, of course, is their lack of bench scoring. With all due respect to Trey Burke, but it’s a big problem that he’s the team’s third guard. Williams’ addition would be perfect for the Wiz, since he’s a combo guard who can play alongside John Wall or Bradley Beal. Getting Williams would greatly increase the Wizards’ chances of staying in one of the top-4 places in the East, and could also be a big difference-maker in the postseason.
While all three teams would love to get Williams, they don’t necessarily have the most appealing assets to trade with the Lakers. Still, there seems to be a market for Sweet Lou in this trade deadline, and if one of the Grizzlies, Hornets, and Wizards doesn’t move in for him, another team might.
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Welcome to the ASB.
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No excuse for that LAL performance tonight. Sometimes you need to have a little pride when you step on the court.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 16, 2017
Well, I B catching 2nd half morrow boys. That Booker is something special!
It appeared that many were questioning how we lost last night. “What is the benefit of losing if we lose while not developing the kids?” As we know, Lou scored 19(?) in the fourth. It just so happens that the trade deadline is fast approaching. Why now allow Lou to +++ his value? I like Lou, would love to keep him, but the time is not right. We are best off trading him to ensure the tank and maybe get a project or pick in return. Lou establishing himself as 1-man offense, particularly to end games is going to up his value. I am OK with it as long as it isn’t our modus operandi post trade deadline.
Just Facts, not Alternative at all, here we go. Losing Laker seasons since 1961 are:
2017 and should we plug in 2018 already?
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Just finished the game, gee, no wonder we don’t want Cousins, lol!
Father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball: 'He’s going to be better than Steph Curry in the NBA' https://t.co/AqedzyKsb5
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) February 15, 2017
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— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) February 15, 2017
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Lakers guard Lou Williams grabbed the rebound of a DeMarcus Cousins’ missed free throw, rushed the ball up the court in the final seconds with his team down to the Sacramento Kings by a single point.
Dogged by former UCLA Bruin Darren Collison, Williams pulled up on the right side of the arc but his three-point attempt did not fall.
The Kings (24-32) kept their playoff hopes alive while the Lakers (19-38), by losing 97-96, protected their spot in the NBA draft lottery with the third-worst record in the league.
Coach Luke Walton could have called a timeout but Williams had the ball in his hand already with 19 scored in the period, and the Kings trying to match up in transition.
Williams shot it early and under pressure. Twenty-two in the fourth wasn’t in the cards.
The Lakers gave the home crowd an exciting finish but not for the right reasons. Williams ended with 29 points in 24.5 minutes but second-year guard D’Angelo Russell only got 23.5 minutes on the court—sitting the entire final period.
Admittedly, Russell wasn’t playing as well as Williams, missing six of nine shots with just one assist against five turnovers, but Walton needs to prioritize Russell’s development over Williams’ scoring punch late in games.
“We’re going to try to get minutes for the experience of these young guys, but we were down 16 and they kind of fought back and got us a chance to win the game,” Walton said of his lineup of Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Luol Deng, Nick Young and Williams.
“It was rewarding the players that started playing together, bringing that energy, attacking on defense and making plays,” he continued.
Throughout the season, Walton has preached that his rotations will be based on the meritocracy of the given night. Those who earn the time will, for the most part, get the crunch-time minutes.
It’s a sound philosophy.
“He pretty much goes with who is playing well at the time and that’s the best way to go about it,” Russell said.
But then why did Walton sub out Deng for rookie Brandon Ingram down the stretch?
“Luol was doing a good job for us in that group too but I wanted Brandon to get those final three minutes of a close game,” Walton said. “I put Brandon in there for experience purposes.”
That too makes sense. The Lakers are grooming one of the youngest players in the league in Ingram, the team’s No. 2 pick in June’s NBA draft.
Ingram is loaded with potential but is still learning how to best use his gifts in the NBA while playing with a rail-thin body.
Of course, it was just last year when Russell was struggling to do the same. One-year removed and the Lakers 2015 No. 2 pick still needs extra time on the court to discover his own potential.
“D’Angelo knows what it’s like. He played all last year and this year,” Walton said. “He has that experience now obviously. We want more but we’re also trying to get experience for [Clarkson.] If he’s a part of a group, he earned that opportunity to finish a game.”
“You can make the case that we put [Russell] in for Lou but Lou was obviously having the game he was having,” he continued. “We weren’t going to take him out. All those things balance when it comes to deciding that.”
Walton makes sense. What lesson does it send to bench a player who is amassing 19 points in 12 minutes?
Clarkson is in his third year but like Ingram and Russell, he needs time on the court to grow as a player.
Young was slotted at small forward in the fourth, playing almost 10 productive minutes without taking a shot. He didn’t add a point individually the Lakers outscored the Kings by 12 with Young on the floor in that stretch.
On the micro level, Walton’s rotation isn’t wrong. He made the best choices he could on the fly, during a game the Lakers nearly pulled out. On the macro level, what do the Lakers gain in wins or close losses when a veteran like Williams is closing out games over Russell?
Julius Randle also sat out the period but at least the minutes went to Nance.
Walton’s logic for Ingram needs to envelop the rest of the team’s youth movement. Timofey Mozgov has been benched in favor of Black with rookie Ivica Zubac getting minutes on the second unit.
That same logic needs to apply to Williams and Young, even if the Lakers struggle to score without them.
It’s Brandon’s first year, so very chance we get to get him to feel what it’s like guarding different players, being in when you’re down 15, being in when you’re up 15 a one-point game with two minutes left at home versus on the road,” Walton said. “It’s something that we need to get him now so when he gets in the offseason, he kind of knows what to expect going forward in his career.”
Yes, Russell has seen more of those situations than Ingram but he still hasn’t mastered much of it yet.
Russell does something things well, averaging 14 points and 4.7 assists in just 26.4 minutes a game but he’s turning the ball over at a 2.7 clip while shooting just 39.4 percent from the field.
As a developing starting point guard on a non-playoff team, Russell needs to be on the court for at least 30 minutes a night.
Walton is coaching to win games but he recognizes that Ingram’s development is important for the Lakers’ long-term success. He needs to use that same standard with Russell.
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