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  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:23 PM on October 12, 2019 Permalink |  

    5 Things 

    The first official injury to Anthony Davis has occurred. Fortunately it sounds fairly minor but it would seem we are still bedeviled by a swarm of the nefarious, and unwelcome, injury bugs. At any rate, in a game where no starter, save for Avery Bradley, played for more than 17 minutes one shouldn’t read too much into the result. This game, if anything, was a chance to see an extended look at what could be potential bench units. At least until Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker get healthy and get their legs and wind up to roughly NBA standards.

    1) Health. Gotta have it to be successful. If Davis and/or James miss any extended amount of games due to un-planned rest this season will be rough. They are our two best scorers, play-makers, and are obviously our most dynamic talents. The more they play the better our chances of making the playoffs. Sprained thumb is nothing to mess around with, like mongo said, bummer it happened when we’re still discovering the possibilities of various rotations. That being said, it is the NBA. So, as in all professional sport, this is a great chance for the next man to step up and fill that vacuum.

    2) Devonte Cacok. His role will be as a serviceable 14th/15th man and he’ll get most of his minutes with the G League. However, in 51 minutes over three exhibition games he’s pulled down 14 rebounds (averaging 3 offensive rebounds per game, impressive), 2 steals, shooting 11-18 (61%) and has picked up 12 fouls (4 per game in limited action). Also nice is his single turnover in that span, not that he’s asked to do a lot with the rock, but still good. If anyone’s door cracked open a bit unexpectedly its this dude. Between Kuzma and now Davis missing time in preseason Devonte will get his shot to shine. Get after it, young blood.

    3) Avery Bradley slogging through it. Bradley has not rediscovered that touch from deep but his defense is for real. Tonight he and Caruso paced the team with 30 minutes, Bradley led the team in scoring with 14 and he played a lot of his late minutes at the 2 with Alex running the point. I like everything Avery brings to the table, if he starts it’s cause LeBron is out there but starting he and Rondo together? Not a good idea if you want to space the floor.

    4) Caruso as the backup PG. Seems like he’s being given every chance to make that dream a reality. With Quinn Cook yet to make his Laker debut, most recently being held out with a sore left calf, it would seem the backup role is Caruso’s to lose. His versatility has been on full display, his defense has been good, and he’s shooting 5-11 from three point land through 3 games. Best of all is his 19 assists to 8 turnovers, shows he’s meshing pretty well with mostly new personnel. Until we see Cook play, I don’t really see much discussion as to who the backup or starter is going to be.

    5) Dwight Howard. Dwight’s looking pretty much like Dwight. If he’s not dunking it or tipping it in it’s anyone’s guess if the basket will be scored. His defense, however, has been solid. If his contribution is 10-15 solid, high energy, fouls-be-damned back up center action per game during the regular season we’ll be the better for it. Playing him with Bradley and Rondo at the same time could be problematic. He and KCP seem to have a bit of mojo when they share the floor, still early but Dwight setting screens for KCP to curl off of either with the ball or to catch a pass off the screen is some great action. Pope has looked good during exhibition but we’ve all seen how he struggles when the game matters and shines when they don’t. To be continued…

    Expect the G-League likely squad to get a lot of minutes, with a quick turnaround game on Monday I wouldn’t be too surprised if we don’t see too many of the potential starters playing big minutes. Certainly won’t see AD.

     
    • Magic Phil

      Magic Phil 11:56 PM on October 12, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      6. Dwight is horrible. Just tuned in; end of 2nd; dude screw up every play last 2 mins of clock

      • mclyne32 (Director) 9:56 AM on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        On offense, yes.
        On D, he’s serviceable.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 9:46 AM on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Cacok is a nice Front Court Prospect as well. If he plays really well, there’s a chance someone scoops him up.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 9:47 AM on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’d personally like to see Kostas play alongside LeBron and see what he can do.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 9:55 AM on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Me too, Sean.
        If he could turn into half the player his Brother is, we would have a very good player.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 9:53 AM on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff Jamie.
      I too have been pleasantly surprised by Cacok. If he can learn the intricacies if playing solid team D faster than the average youngster, he could carve out some minutes with the big club this season.
      That short span of Kostas put a big smile on my face. Just start him and play him as much as he likes for the rest of the practice games.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 10:27 AM on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I didn’t watch this game

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:08 PM on October 9, 2019 Permalink |  

    I’m as guilty as you (or maybe not, I might be guiltier) 

    Just want to try and coax the overall spirit of the blog back towards hoops. Not trying to censure anyone with this post, just want to start drifting back to more specifically hoops-related posts. We all got opinions (along with other body parts) and we all feel them keenly. That’s a good thing. We can share thoughts and ideas but it’s important to realize that not-a-one of us is in a position to enact global change or possess the power to alter the fabric of reality. If there even is a fabric of reality. I’d like to thank LakerTom (and the rest of the blog) for really having a vibrant and pretty fairly measured discussion on the topic of the NBA and China. There is no right or wrong save for what your moral compass informs you and how that intercedes with the laws of your community. The rest is opinion and belief and faith. As such, let’s try and get back to discussing things like ‘how many blocks might AD average per game’ or ‘Is Kuzma sticking with that hair all season?!’ You know, important stuff.

    Because, at the end of the day, this blog is one of the things that helps me deal with the aspects of life that are depressing. I’m very appreciative that I can come to a website that has no ads, no pop-ups where all of you can freely and equally post a thought and we can all talk about it in a, generally, civil way. So, again, thanks to LakerTom for providing us the space to dig into this topic and for those of you that prefer we keep it to hoops thanks for your patience. Also, thanks to Sean (aka magicman) for being the heart and soul of the blog right now. Your passion on this topic is, to me, inspirational.

    Be well, everyone, we’re all here for one another and I imagine we’re all. Also, if (when) the games are cancelled feel free to post and vent on that point, as well. But as we move closer to the season let’s try and re-align the discussions here to what happens between the lines on the hardwood. Thanks folks, keep being you.

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:07 AM on October 9, 2019 Permalink |  

    The NBA’s choice: its $4-billion China business or its values 

    After NBA commissioner Adam Silver took a stronger stance in a statement today, the league’s big Chinese partners fired back. A lot is riding on the dispute.

    Source: The NBA’s choice: its $4-billion China business or its values

     

    Like anything that enables global controversy the best way to get to anything resembling the truth is to follow the $$$.  In this case we’re talking about four billion of those cute little $s or roughly half of the NBA BRI.

    This is why the players are doing apologizing, they’re not the NBA, they’re the NBAPU who happen to be the well-paid employees of the NBA.  The BRI is the owners and Adam Silver’s concern.  The players have a signed contract.  They get paid, ownership has to figure out how to cover the cost.

    Now, how the NBAPU plays this will be interesting.  You want to defer payments because you lack the cash flow to cover the cost of your sport team?  Let’s bump the BRI share for the players up a couple % points.  Going to get interesting real quick if the Chinese streaming market dries up as quickly as the sponsors have pulled out.  Which feels likely, at this point.

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:31 AM on October 9, 2019 Permalink |  

    Something to lighten the mood for a bit. Been way into Bootsy Collins era James Brown these days. Enjoy.

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:54 AM on October 6, 2019 Permalink |  

    5 Things 

    It’s only preseason but still exciting. Here are five very basic takeaways.

    1) My personal choice for a starting 5 (Bradley, Green, James, Davis, McGee) looked very formidable in limited action against the Warriors. LeBron was masterful with the pass and scored when Davis went to the bench and some of the reserves came in. That’s a recipe for a lot of regular season Ws.

    2) The interior defense and rebounding will be a major strength, as it should be. Between AD, LBJ, Dwight and the fact that we have a couple of guards who are possessed of a rebounding mentality I could see us being one of the better rebounding teams in the league this season.

    3) Troy Daniels looked better than I hoped. He got a lot of burn in the second half although hardly any floor time with our best guys Defense and interior scoring were his big knocks and (in 1 pre-seaon game) he looked capable on both counts. My hope, at least for his defense, is that the coaching staff he’s playing for now will figure out how to put players like he and Rondo in a better position to find success on that end.

    4) Dwight looks super serious…but he’s still Dwight. Small hands leading to a couple dropped passes, bricked free throws and some above the rim dunks. Dwight is back. I’ve said it from the start, I see him coming off the bench and being good at doing it. In limited burn he put up a solid 9 and 9. Hard to see him getting on the court in crunch time on account of his free throws but he can easily be a solid contributor.

    5) Next up…China! Where the Rockets and the NBA and the country with the largest population are squaring off because of Mr. Daryl Morey.

    ***BONUS CONTENT*** Caruso Watch-2019/2020!!!! Alex looked solid, passed up some open looks early but then found that balanced aggression that garnered him some late season success. In limited action he was 2nd on the team in+/- at +17 (Troy Daniels led the squad at +19).

    All in all, preseason, not worth putting too much stock in the results but the manner in which they were achieved was really nice to see.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:37 AM on October 6, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff as usual, Jamie.

      1) Great to see Vogel roll out what should be the Lakers’ starting lineup for the season, which includes Bradley, Green, LeBron, AD, and McGee and even better to see how well that lineup played. They essentially crushed the Warriors.

      2) Going to be hard for teams to score with AD and McGee/Howard protecting the rim and Bradley hounding the point of attack. Avery really look like the disruptor we’ve lacked on defense. I also thought Caruso continued to show excellent defensive instincts. And you can see Vogel’s defensive focus.

      3) I had the same feeling about Troy Daniels, whom I’ve literally cut from the team to make room for Iggy probably a hundred times this summer. He’s not a great ball handler, playmaker, or defender but you can’t ignore that the kid can shoot lights out with the rock.

      4) I thought JaVale looked great and Dwight good but I loved the 19 points and 22 boards they produced as our center tandem. If we get that kind of production from the center position plus occasional closing of games with AD at the five, the center position is going to give the Lakers a big advantage.

      5) Sometimes you just don’t know what the reaction to doing something is. I give Daryl Morey credit for supporting the push for democracy in Hong Kong but he result could be undoing the huge marketing advantage the Rockets enjoy in China due to the legacy of the great Yao Ming. It’s going to be interesting how this impacts the two games the Lakers and Rockets scheduled to play in China this week.

      • John M.

        John M. 11:46 AM on October 6, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I never thought I’d see the day when we’d have Dwight coming off the bench, carrying his lunch pail, and doing his job. I sure hope it’s for real and he sticks.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 12:52 PM on October 6, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Jamie,

      Nice recap. I agree with all of your points. Nothing that AD and LBJ did surprised me. We kept hearing how the dynamic duo was going lead to a lot of wide open looks for our shooters. Which is true but I kept watching Javelle and I think that guys going to benefit as much as anyone on the team. Last year he was great until he got sick. And he returned to form later after he recovered. But I think he will be better this year. And with Howard and Ad taking some of the minutes at the 5, we should be able to keep him fresh.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 7:28 PM on September 22, 2019 Permalink  

    Congrats to the 2019 LA Sparks, just didn’t have enough in the tank to hang with the hungry and very, very tough Connecticut Sun. Candace looked gassed all series and the Ogwumike sisters were over-matched. Chelsea Grey was masterful against Seattle but the whole team looked like they were battling something or other all series long. Hats off to one Mr. Derek Fisher in his first season coaching the Ladies of LA. Rest up and get to prepping for next season.

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:09 PM on September 17, 2019 Permalink  

    Coach Derek Fisher writing new chapter with Los Angeles Sparks 

    From the moment he first met with the Sparks, coach Derek Fisher was open with them about being fired by the Knicks — and coming back from failure.

    Source: Coach Derek Fisher writing new chapter with Los Angeles Sparks

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:07 PM on September 16, 2019 Permalink  

    Alex Caruso calls his memorable dunks ‘just par for the course’ 

    Alex Caruso may be the person least surprised or impressed by Alex Caruso.

    Source: Alex Caruso calls his memorable dunks ‘just par for the course’

    Nice read about one Mr. Alex Caruso, primed for the big time.  You put in the work, now make it happen dude!

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:45 AM on September 16, 2019 Permalink  

    There are a few reasons I’m high on Troy Daniels on the Lakers. There are also some caveats and potential issues to major playing time. But one of the things the Lakers desperately need to improve on are hitting wide open three point shots. That kind of skill has the potential to make any rudimentary offensive set look brilliant. Troy does one thing exceptionally well: hit three pointers, and he’s even better when he’s wide open.

    First let’s address his biggest deficiencies, they are significant. Finishing at the rim and defense are 2 areas where Troy does not statistically excel. Luckily, on this team, he doesn’t need to be a rim runner, he can come off screens and hit three balls off of passes from a bevy of savvy Laker playmakers. If he ends up coming off the bench (highly likely) it won’t mean he doesn’t have a significant role, just that he’s going to be deployed more strategically. Pair him with some top notch defenders and give him a small zone of responsibility and that short-coming can be slightly mitigated, as well.

    Here are some eye-popping shooting stats from last season for Mr. Daniels:
    Catch and Shoot 3 point frequency: 48.7%
    Catch and Shoot 3 point efficiency: 36.6%
    Overall 3 point FG%: 38.1%

    That’s one season, his numbers are similar for every season he’s ever played. 70% of his field goal attempts last season were from three point range. This guy is the definition of a gunner but he’s one of the more efficient gunners out there. For $2.1 million I think this could be a great pick up for the Lakers. Just another reason I’m fairly glad we didn’t get Kawhi Leonard, not so much because of the player but because of what that salary hit would have meant for the rest of the team.

    At any rate, I can see why his shortcomings could limit his overall role with the team but I also am looking forward to seeing him go off from behind the arc when paired with Bradley, Kuzma, James and Davis. That 5-piece could do some big time damage and help offset his defensive shortcomings. Also one reason why I think we could see some Danny Green at the “1”. Not because he’ll be bringing the ball up the court but that’s some decent size for the guard spots, a ton of solid shooting and great all around scoring in the front court.

    We’ll see soon enough, just a couple weeks yet to wait. Go Lakers!

    Some links for those that like to do their own digging:

    https://stats.nba.com/player/203584/shots-dash/?Season=2018-19&SeasonType=Regular%20Season&PerMode=Totals

    Troy Daniels is going to hit a lot of open three-pointers for Lakers

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:51 PM on September 14, 2019 Permalink  

    What is this I feel stirring in my soul? Doth basketball approacheth? Verily, indeed it does and rapidly so! Take heart, Laker fans, steel thy soul and gird thy loins this season is going to be very different. October is nigh!

    My personal starting 5 (on paper):

    PG – Bradley
    SG – Green
    SF- James
    PF ; Davis
    C – McGee

    I see Rondo, Cook, KCP, Kuzma, and Howard anchoring the various bench spots. The biggest challenge will be to always have 1 of James, Davis and Green on the floor. I think more will end up being asked of Danny Green than with previous teams he’s been on. His best fit is 3 and D role-play but on this team he may be asked to play some PG depending on how well Rondo can play on defense and if his offense makes up for his shortcomings on that end. While I’m very glad Alex Caruso is getting his shot at this level it’s important to remember that he has, by and large, been a G-Leaguer who gets spot minutes on the big stage. I’m a big believer in the mongo philosophy of ‘let’s see how he plays when the games matter’. Meaningless games in April/May are not the world he is about to enter.

    I actually have larger expectations for both Quinn Cook and Troy Daniels than a lot of folks are putting out there. Davis and James are going to create open 3 point shots just by running side action pick and rolls on t strong side. There will be an open shot from the corner to the top of the arc on the weak side more often than not. If they get to the rim there will be plenty of kick-out targets after the defense collapses. James, Davis, Howard, McGee and Kuzma are all elite to above-average finishers at the rim. Scoring the basketball will not be our biggest issue.

    On defense I think it will come down to who can simply execute the game plan the best. The trio of Vogel, Hollins and (sigh) Kidd are going to have good to great schemes to force the action away from the opposition’s comfort zones just about every night. While there’s no perfect defensive scheme where I hope to see improvement is an ability to force a bad shot as opposed to helping to create a good one. The Lakers preached defense first under Luke Walton but he never really had the proper personnel both on the bench and on the court to execute an above-average team defense.

    If any of the player’s we’ve signed can return to something resembling their best NBA selves we’ll have an extremely deep roster. If health is on our side I see us being among the more competitive teams in the Association. If, as in years past, guys sort pf tread water career-wise here, we have bad luck on the injury front, and we rank in the lower half on defense it could make for another long season on a team with a lot of star power. Akin to the old Lake Show days. Fun to watch, couldn’t get it done when it counted. Here’s hoping this team is the beginning of the next great Lakers dynasty!

     
    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 3:21 PM on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great post, Jamie.

      Daniels is an interesting case. Will be intriguing to see if he’s steady with spot minutes. Or more of a specialist.

      I like the versatility at the guards positions as opposed to last year.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:30 PM on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yup, I think Vogel will have a lot of options and I also think they’ll give Danny more rest early after his lengthy run through the NBA Finals. I’d rather ease a guy into the season than not have him available when it matters the most.

        Hoping one of those 3 can make that an easy choice for Frank Vogel. Also, if Green is up for it and killing it and feeling good: let him loose. He’s as smart and tough as they come.

        Like Keen said down yonder: injuries will likely be the determining factor for more than a couple of players, hoping it doesn’t come to that.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:42 PM on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great post, Jamie. It’s amazing how our minds have come into sync as the season approached. Looks like the only difference in our starting and backup lineups is whether JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard ends up as the starter, which is really a minor discrepancy as they will both likely play the same amount.

      I think your explanation for why we shouldn’t expect so much from Caruso is spot on. I like Alex and will be rooting for him to earn playing time but it’s still a huge jump from the G-League to the NBA, especially when you’re competing with two proven veterans like Bradley and Rondo playing for a coach who prefers veterans over youngsters. Unsaid is the reality that Bradley and Rondo still need to prove they can get the job done and at with a better performance than they’ve each shown the last couple of years. In a way, both won the nods as the likely starting and backup point guard by default.

      I obviously like your choice of Cook to back up Green at the two and Caldwell-Pope to back up LeBron at the three, even though Quinn is listed as a point guard and KCP as a shooting guard since I made the same picks. It will be interesting to see how those work out. I think we both feel cook as an elite three-point shooter would be fine at the two. You just want to find a way to get his shot in the game. He’s proven he can score from deep in a championship situation. KCP is just paid too much not to get a chance to play, which is why I put him as LeBron’s backup. Of course, my hope is that we sign Iggy and he takes over the backup minutes behind LeBron. Kuz spending half his time as backup three is also a viable option.

      In a way, it wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Lakers if we signed Iggy and Kuzma plays great and we don’t have minutes for KCP. That’s a scenario when he might agree to a trade to get playing time and his $8.1 million salary would be a valuable trading chip that could be enough to bring back a player making as much as $10.3 million. Lots of good players out there with $10 million salaries. Add in Boogie’s Disabled Player Exception, which is worth $1.8 million, and the Lakers could bring back a player making as much as $12.5 million. That’s why I won’t be disappointed if we can get Iggy or if Kuzma and others take away playing time from KCP. He was rewarded because of LeBron and AD and the Klutch Sports connection but would love to see us bring is a wind defender, be it Iggy or someone like Luc M’bah a Moute or Andre Roberson.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:16 PM on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        One of the reason’s I’m going with JaVale over Howard, at least at the beginning of the season, is Dwight is coming off his second back surgery in less than 7 years. It’s great he’s lost weight, he’s saying all the right things and that’s exactly what any player should and will do at this point in the summer. Dwight thrived when he had his elite athleticism and when he could be a lovable goofball. His behavior since Orlando has eroded a lot of patience for the latter. His NBA professionalism is considered a joke. I’d just as soon not have the drama of releasing him so I really hope he plays his way into a meaningful role but JavVale is ahead of him on my ‘before we’ve seen anything at all’ depth chart.

        Like Cook, McGee has been a part of a championship culture,as well. He played really strong to book end last season. Just need to keep his lungs as healthy as possible. Dwight is now the insurance, if he is competing for a starting spot it’ll mean a whole lot has broken right for himself and the team. That would be great, just not over-expecting that tall of an order to be delivered. There’s nothing to do but wait and see. I’m hoping a lot of the guys who are coming in being labeled as role players or minimal contributors go for broke and prove them all wrong. Cook, Daniels, Howard and Caruso are on that list.

        All the thing’s were saying and more in regards to Caruso. If he’s competing for minutes it means he’s taken the kind of step we never really saw from Ball or Ingram 9really only kinda/sorta from my man Jordan Clarkson) that would be amazing. But on paper there are probably a solid 3 players ahead of him on the depth chart and one of those is the aging more every season Rajon Rondo. Or it means injuries have forced him into action. If it comes to it I really, really hope it’s the first notion.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 7:03 PM on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As you know, it is important to put players in their most comfortable positions to succeed. Because JaVale McGee has been more accustomed to a reserve role for most of his career, having been a starter in only 4 of his 11 seasons, I expect Dwight Howard to start (if he makes the team). Both Avery Bradley and KCP are NBA starters, as is Danny Green, so it seems likely that KCP will have to get used to coming off the bench again this season. However, I expect Vogel to put him in a comfortable role, i.e., shooting guard, so that means he is likely to be flanked by Rondo or Caruso and Kuzma, which provides familiarity to all three players, not to mention JaVale McGee joining them. Right now I think that Jared Dudley makes the most sense to fill out the 10 man rotation, as both he and Kuz can play interchangeably at the 3 and 4. He is also a smart, savvy, playmaking veteran and will slide right in with the 4 players who have some continuity off the bench, which could be one of the NBA’s best. Getting back to putting players in their comfort zone, Danny Green will NEVER play any point guard, but he can certainly slide over to the small forward position as he is a versatile wing. I think that injuries and match ups will dictate the amount of playing time we see from Caruso, Cook and Daniels. Finally, I think that everyone (with the possible exception of Mr. McLyne) agrees that Iggy seems like the perfect final piece to the puzzle, but I agree with Tom that Roberson, M’bah A Moute or some other defensive minded wing will be on this roster to start the season or at some point before January.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:27 PM on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It could pan out exactly that way, Keen. I feel that Howard has always thrived when he’s able to play loose and semi-goofy. Is it annoying to some? Yes, sometimes myself included. But if we get elite rim protection and high efficiency rim-finishes from him along with a solid screen or 4 per game…that won’t really factor into any meaningful equation. If he starts bemoaning his lack of post touches or balloons on the bench cause he’s not playing…that’s something I hope it doesn’t come to. Had enough of the manufactured drama, looking forward to the drama of some close wins. But you’re right about one thing: this is Team Comfort. LeBron is comfortable with the kind of young potential Davis has. Davis is comfortable being slotted as a power forward. All sorts of moves were made to up the comfort level of the elite players in our locker room. So as it may well go for Dwight if he can play at a high level.

        I suppose we’ll see about Green. Probably right and the only reason I put him there is if he and KCP are playing together with LeBorn, who would be the true PG, anyhow. The NBA should just have it be Guards, Forwards, Center again but simplify it down. Like soccer. There are forwards, no need for further delineation of role. You’re likely right. With Caruso, Rondo, Bradley, and LeBron you don’t really need to sacrifice what Green brings to the 2/3 slots. But it’s become an odd game.

        Personally, I’m very ambivalent about Iggy. He looked really slow last playoffs, like Rondo he ain’t getting younger but on the flip side like Kobe and Rondo he thinks the game at an elite level and that will never go away. Just seems like we can ride out seeing if someone ascends to a contributor role while his status in Memphis plays out into the season. Likely until early December when anyone can be traded. I could see Memphis waiting a lot longer than some opine, but I won’t be too blown away if he’s also bought out before the season.

        Hoping for big things from Kuzma, man, I’d love to see one of our draft picks pan out as a Laker for more than a handful of seasons.

        • keen observer

          keen observer 2:07 PM on September 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Yeah, I won’t get upset if Iggy winds up elsewhere, but I don’t want to see him on the Clippers. They already have a wall that will be difficult to penetrate on the perimeter, which would make Iggy’s life easier. I have no idea whether Roberson or M’bah A Moute have anything left in their tanks, so if the Lakers wind up signing another defensive minded small forward, it could very well be someone who wasn’t on our radar. Too bad Anthony Brown never panned out! Oh wait, he’d have been traded by now anyway if he did.

          As for a lineup that includes LeBron, KCP and Danny Green, sure I can see that. In fact I can see KCP being a surprise starter along with Bron, Brow, Green and either Howard or JaVale McGee. With that lineup, LeBron obviously will organize the lineup and it presents tremendous opportunities for KCP and Green to get wide open looks from downtown. Defensively, it’s simple. KCP would defend the point, Green on the better wing and LeBron on the other wing.

          One thing that excites me provided that Dwight makes the team and buys in is that it will be difficult score in the paint, thereby making it easier to guard the perimeter with many of our lineups. Kuzma may present a problem in that regard. Considering our glut of shooting guards (Green, KCP, Daniels, even Cook and Bradley), one trade scenario that makes sense to me is KCP for Taj Gibson (Knicks) straight up. In my view Kuz will be more effective at the small forward position this season and gives the Lakers more flexibility and if we added another solid interior like Gibson to join Brow, Dwight and JaVale, that would fix that weakness in the roster.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 9:54 PM on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great post Jamie and I loved the vid as well.
      You know I’m in the group that thinks Rondo is done. Caruso doesn’t have to try all that hard to prove himself more valuable on the floor than Rajon. So much focus will be on the other players around him that all he will need to do is hit open jumpers and play good D. You can say that he played well because a lot of the games were meaningless. However, his defensive athleticism and overall scrappiness on the defensive end will still be there, regardless of what the calendar is showing. If Bradley can return to form, then he will start, but from what I saw of Rondo and Caruso last season, this one’s a no brainer for me. Maybe Rondo will turn back the clock and prove me wrong. Maybe he won’t. What’s for certain is we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:47 AM on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Khruangbin is one of my new jams, you should check ’em out. Groovy lil trio.

        You raise some valid points, Caruso has shown to be a scrappy defender and a guy who knows how to make the right play. But we’ve also seen this story play out before with many more highly touted young Lakers: Ingram, Ball, Russell and even Kuzma found grooves and looked like borderline All Stars for a handful of games at the end of seasons. So I’m stoked Caruso made the most of his minutes, the G-League has always been a strength for the Lakers.

        Similar to Dwight, I’m simply tempering my personal expectations. I sure hope they surprise us all; that they both, in their own ways, come in hungry and focused but most of all figuring out how to make that all work for them on the court. The intensity, pressure and magnitude of every game to kick off next season will pale in comparison to what Caruso experienced at the end of last season. We’ll have to wait and see how he handles it. I hope he excels. Dwight just needs to get over himself and realize the game is bigger than his ego will ever be. He’s got some tools, just needs to get out of his own way and stay healthy.

        The health factor is currently occupying my top 3 spots on my “5 Things” for the kick off of the season, everything else kind of falls to the wayside. If our best guys can’t play…well, we saw how Luke did last year, Byron before. Hell, I guess we can blame Mike D’Antoni for this too!
        #kobesachilles
        #hoppedupongoofballs
        #dwightwashereforthattoo
        #maybehecanbreakthecurse
        #tellthattoboogie…

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 4:21 PM on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff! I tend to go with LBJ, AD, McGee and whoever. Hoping Kuz’s play will demand 35-40 per game.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:32 PM on September 4, 2019 Permalink  

    Lakers’ Howard blessed after hitting ‘rock bottom’ 

    Dwight Howard said Wednesday that his offseason struggles in his personal life had nothing to do with basketball, but added that they made him stronger as he prepares to embark on his second go-round with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Source: Lakers’ Howard blessed after hitting ‘rock bottom’

     

    Well, at least he’s saying all the right things.  Got only hope for ya, Dwight, minimal expectations.

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:48 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink  

    Thoughts on Dwight Howard…

    -Biggest issue is his credibility. From this:

    To not disclosing his first back surgery prior to camp when he first became a Laker. That, for me, is issue #1. The fact that they made him parade himself in front of the team…for a non-guaranteed deal…says a lot to me. The re-dedication to conditioning says more. Speaking of which…

    -Losing 25 pounds. If true than that’s the best way to add years to his career at this point. Signals an admittance to accepting his role: finisher, paint protecting stalwart, rebounder. We’re talking 20ish mpg, solid P&R finisher when he chooses to be, potentially still an impact defender. Unlikely to finish games. Not unless his defense warrants it. Switching, not paint.

    -AD signing off. To put it mildly, this is huge. Odd that Rondo was included (or was it?) and a new Laker identity begins to take hold. But having AD and LeBron sign off basically signals an acceptance to give it a shot that hasn’t happened for Dwight in awhile. For a guy who has always pulled strength from being liked it could be the one thing that helps push him from problem to productive.

    -Non-guaranteed contract? Best part about this experiment. It can last until 1/06/2020, 11:59 PM PST. If it’s not happening…bye-bye Dwight. We thank you for your effort. Howard has a lot to gain and little more to lose, obviously. The mere fact he’s in this position of signing a NGC and was chosen over Maurice Speights or the theory of signing Carmelo Anthony is huge. Means the Lakers are bending over backwards to accommodate AD with an eye towards defense over scoring. Fit over friends. That, to me, is a good thing. Speights and AD are to duplicative. Noah? Too…Joakhim Noah but old and beat-up. If Howard is going to be our Clint Capella but with some savvy and a goofier personality? Fine.

    All in all, I’m still just really bummed I won’t truly ever see Boogie doing his thing proper like in the purple and gold. Always felt like it was going to be a beautiful relationship. Just seemed like an inevitable kind of destiny. Sometimes that’s just not enough.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:31 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great post, Jamie. While I was hoping the Lakers wouldn’t sign Howard, I have to say that I’m impressed with how they involved key players and structured the deal so that it was essentially just a three month trial to get them to the December 15th when they would have the potential ability to make a trade to improve the roster and set clear parameters as to what Howard can and cannot do this time around. Like I said, I still doubt Dwight will be here long but he’s saying the right things and was willing to accept the conditions so I’m willing to root for him as long as he does what he’s supposed to on the court and in the locker room. Bottom line, Lakers made a savvy gamble and I’m hoping it will work out despite my bias and doubts.

      As for Boogie, I feel badly for the man and I hope the Lakers have faith that he can recover. While everybody assumes he’s done as a Laker, I was impressed with Boogie losing 29 pounds and getting into great shape and think there’s still a chance for the Lakers to find a silver lining in the form of his injury giving us a path for us to keep him long term. I would like the Lakers to keep him on the roster and then sign him again for next year if he’s healthy. Two years service would then give us his early Bird rights. If he has a good year, we sign him again for a third year, which gives us his Bird rights. If he’s back to 80% of his preinjury form by then, we could sign him long term to pair with AD.

      The 15th roster spot rarely makes a difference and a little trust and patience could result in the Lakers ending up with a perfect stretch five center to optimize AD, not to mention an example to Davis of how the Lakers treat and appreciate their stars. Boogie is the guy AD wanted to play with and investing just a little could be what keeps AD happy and willing to re-sign with the Lakers long term. Who knows, Cousins could recover and be able to help the Lakers in the playoffs next June. If we get a shot at Iggy, I’d rather cut somebody like Daniels than Boogie.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:56 AM on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Totally agree on Boogie, LT. Hope they keep him and we see him take the floor as a Laker. Howard is basically a no-lose situation and I have to say Robbie O has done very well this summer, at least on paper.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:27 PM on August 2, 2019 Permalink  

    Kyle Kuzma says training partner Carmelo Anthony belongs in NBA 

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:15 PM on July 12, 2019 Permalink  

    Grizzlies’ Allen ejected after 2 flagrants, tech 

    Grizzlies guard Grayson Allen was ejected from Thursday night’s summer league game against the Celtics after picking up two flagrant fouls in the span of seven seconds.

    Source: Grizzlies’ Allen ejected after 2 flagrants, tech

    Dang dude, already getting a ‘dirty player’ rep?  It’s summer league!  Also was suspended for tripping at Duke and had a rep as being foul prone.  At least he’s on the right squad, lol.

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:38 PM on July 5, 2019 Permalink  

    WATCH: Danny Green Announces Signing Of Two-Year Contract With Lakers In Free Agency – Lakers Nation 

    The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly signed former Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green to a two-year, $30 million contract.

    Source: WATCH: Danny Green Announces Signing Of Two-Year Contract With Lakers In Free Agency – Lakers Nation

     
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