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  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:48 PM on December 13, 2017 Permalink |  

    Wonder how much ‘analysis’ Magic and Rob are going to need on some of our guys. Of all of them Randle has taken the biggest step forward in terms of defense although I would say Clarkson’s consistency in his role and Ingram’s emergence as a major scoring threat are close on his heels. One has to assume Deng is banished and slotted for a trade or they’ll waive and stretch him in the off season. Makes it a lot harder to trade him with teams only being able to go off of last season or his stint in Miami for an idea of what he can still bring.

    I would imagine there are 2 players on the untouchable list with a couple more threatening to add their names to that list. Lonzo and Brandon are both the public and internal cornerstones. The organization has gone well out of it’s way, for whatever reason, to make that obvious in ways they never did with Russell. Clarkson, Randle and Kuzma are all playing their way into consideration on that list.

    The riddle for the front office to reason out is: what’s it worth to shed Deng’s salary and which of those players makes it happen with as little damage to that core 5 as possible. I would imagine everyone from Lopez to Ennis is up for the including. I’m not sure anyone but Ball and Ingram should feel comfortable about finishing out the season as a Laker. It’s possible, but with so many teams not performing up to expectation you have to imagine one will blink and jump ship.

    At any rate, like Keen-O said: Trading Season’s-a-coming!

     
    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:55 AM on December 14, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It took a #2 overall pick to get rid of Mozgov plus we took back Brook’s salary. It’ll take something similar to dump Deng. But if we’re looking to clear 2 max slots this summer then we can’t take back a 2019 expiring contract.

    • tate793

      tate793 11:44 AM on December 14, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Julius does serm to have improved his defense. However, there are still frequent plays, during which, Randle does not exert the effort needed. Against the Knicks, he was ofen standing below the rim, and never even attempted to block out or jump for a rebound. It resulted in NY putbacks on several occassions.

      Randle’s rebounding numbers are down, as a result.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 4:14 PM on December 10, 2017 Permalink |  

    The Ingram Era 

    Has it arrived? Is it upon us? Is this the moment, now at hand? The Era of Ingram. It’s kind of staring to feel that way. You can see a deliberate force to how Brandon conducts himself on the basketball court. He’s using a decent mid-range game (even if it’s not as consistent from three as some would likely be more in favor of) to keep the defense honest enough to open up minuscule driving lanes to the rim. We’ve seen that any amount of daylight is enough for Brandon to at least get to the rim and get a shot off.

    No Laker besides Jordan Clarkson has been better at getting his own shot in the half court. He’s taking contact better and finishing better. The one thing he really njeeds to clean up, and the sooner the better, is his free throw shooting. His 66.9% this season is actually an improvement over last year. He needs to work that north of 75%, start looking up at 80% if he wants to hear his name mentioned with the greats of the game. Free points cannot be left on the court by your superstar every night. Once in a blue moon, sure. But not nightly.

    His assists and rebounds are all up, his defense measures a little better than last year and best of all he’s quietly leading. He’s not barking at guys or sulking when they blow it, he’s playing like a pro and that is the best thing about this year. In a season marked by weird emotional outbursts (Randle) the Lonzo Ball Hype-Machine and the expectations laid at his feet courtesy of Magic Johnson it wouldn’t be too surprising if Brandon had retreated inward a bit. He has not.

    Rather I would argue he has risen to the challenge of being the next “face” of the Lakers franchise than any rookie we’ve picked in the last few years. Clarkson comes close, but there’s nothing dynamic about Jordan’s game. He’s like one of those work horse starting pitchers: it won’t be flashy but he’ll give you a bunch of quality innings. His best quality is his dynamic hops that give him a true jump shot and makes his floater more deadly than other guards even of his size.

    Randle could be the guy that makes the guy look great by doing all the things that give your team an edge. He’s working on his list of improvements: shooting a bit better, uses the right a little more, hard-core motor brings so much and now that he’s learning how to play defense without fouling he can be the bruiser every good NBA team needs in order to take their play to another level. But he’ll never be the face of the franchise, not in the way Ingram is on his way to doing, already.

    Russell was traded but even before that there were major trust issues and maturity issues that Brandon has simply never had. All the kids have put in work, all the kids have done whatever coach they’ve had has asked of them. Ingram has done all that, taken the burden of “franchise” expectations, and he’s starting to rise to the challenge. Last year, Ingram averaged 9.4 ppg. This season he’s already up to 16.4 and every game he looks more and more comfortable shouldering the load.

    Ball may have the ability to make the team around Ingram better, but Brandon looks like he’ll be the kind of player that forces defenses to adjust to what he’s doing. Brandon made an adjustment late last season: drive to the rim more and settle for jump shots less. He’s been getting better and better at it, despite the knowledge he prefers to go to his right. The Association is quickly coming to the opinion that they’ll have to adjust to Ingram. If he can hit those freebies and a few more threes a game…watch out.

     
    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 4:26 PM on December 10, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I was thinking that Ingy will be our 1 shot at All Stars, but perhaps too much competition. And yes on freebie shooting as well.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 5:00 PM on December 10, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

    • tate793

      tate793 10:33 PM on December 10, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Certain aspects of the roster development are slipping through the cracks. Our inexperience, and youthfulness, has been exposed as an inadequacey. Magic, Pelenka and Luke are all tinhorns in their positions.

      I’ve been harping on a need for a shooting coach all year. Been pointing out our abysmal free throw shooting all year. Certain things require an acute awareness to detect. Julius doesn’t have the motor to play huge minutes. His game deterioates with fatigue. Turnovers, fouls, mental mistakes plague players that run out of gas. Notice the dip in rebounds.

      Luke wasn’t a great free throw shooter, 3pt shooter, rebounder nor, a long term starter. He could certainly benefit from experienced input in those areas.

      Shepherding the GSW to a great record while Kerr was out does not qualify Luke to be a great coach. Recognizing one’s limitations is a sign of wisdom. Luke’s strengths were being cerebral on the court, not so much skill set or talent.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:38 PM on December 7, 2017 Permalink |  

    Gritty win!

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:44 AM on December 7, 2017 Permalink  

    The Tao of Luke: A coaching style built by championship mentors 

    A pinch of Bill Walton. A dash of Phil Jackson. A splash of Steve Kerr. Mix it all up, and you have the recipe for Luke Walton, NBA coach. But will the final product be enough to bring a title back to Los Angeles?

    Source: The Tao of Luke: A coaching style built by championship mentors

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:54 PM on December 5, 2017 Permalink  

    The Ball family-UCLA divorce you knew was coming 

    The Ball family and UCLA weren’t built for the long haul. This was supposed to be a three-season relationship, a Lonzo-LiAngelo-LaMelo succession of one-and-done, with LaVar shouting the entire time. But now, it appears over. And it’s going to be messy.

    Source: The Ball family-UCLA divorce you knew was coming

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:08 PM on December 2, 2017 Permalink  

    Laker 4th quarter…

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:05 PM on December 2, 2017 Permalink  

    Josh Hart! 

    1. Josh Hart showing is what his nice jump shot looks like. Draining it!
     
    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 7:04 AM on December 3, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good to see him have some productive time on the floor.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:56 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink  

    Here’s a side-by-side. Seems fairly straight forward to me… Here’s another way to look at this discussion: One of these guys is under contract with us for another 3 seasons and the other will be chasing his next over-stuffed payday come summer. Who do you really want to spend time to develop?

    https://herosports.com/nba/player-comparison/jordan-clarkson-vs-kentavious-caldwellpope

     
    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 4:19 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Exactly. No way Magic is gonna pay KCP $18 Mil plus. His plan, again, is for 2 Supers plus our kids. Hey LT, isn’t that your though too or others? We gonna go hard at PG, Cuz and or LBJ.

      • John M.

        John M. 4:25 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Right now, we’re just trying to find as many birds-in-the-hand as possible. And we know how prickly the bushes are.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:24 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        DJ, here’s my prediction:

        MAGIC’S LIST:
        1. LeBron James (if available, he is top option)
        2. Paul George (if available, second option)

        MY MAIN LIST
        1. DeMarcus Cousins (if available, my first option)
        2. Klay Thompson (Summer 2019)

        MY BACKUP LIST:
        1. Nerlens Noel (won’t be max contract)
        2. Avery Bradley (if available, upgrade over KCP)
        3. Keep Randle and Clarkson

        • p ang

          p ang 6:44 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          On Main List: Yeah!

          On backup List: nah.
          1. Cousins
          2.Trade for Anthony Davis.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 6:46 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Fair enough. I’m good with any combo of the first and second list, although, LBJ’s age is a little concern

        • tate793

          tate793 2:42 AM on December 2, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Would be interesting to see how viable re-signing Lou Williams would be this summer. Offers more than Tyler Ennis.

          Lot of quality FAs gonna be available. In 2019, I think it might be easier to entice Jimmy Butler to leave Minny than Klay to leave GS.

          Harrison Barnes, Tobias Harris, both competent 3’s, available for a lot less than an aging LBJ.

    • mud

      mud 4:22 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      KCP has not been simply stuffing his pocket.

      he may not get the money that he wants.

      the Lakers may pay him, if the market for KCP is strong enough to pay him what he wants.
      .
      KCP has done everything he has been asked. nobody should hate him for whatever he makes. even Mozgov and Deng deserved their contracts, because they were negotiated in good faith. those contracts can’t be held against the player, don’t be jealous.

      JC is not getting shortchanged, development-wise, in any way. the truth is, JC and/or KCP are much more equally likely to be gone next year than this assessment gives creedence to.

      KCP is the better all-around player, by far, but JC is a superior scorer(but not by far). JC can do some things that KCP cannot. KCP can do some things that JC cannot. both are valuable, and at this point, i wouldn’t mind seeing either or both players on the team next year..i think it comes down to who compliments whom. i think, in general, the players are grouped properly. depending on matchups, i could change my mind.

      then again, it hardly matters what we think, at least directly.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 4:38 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Who “hates” him? He’s a fine player, please illuminate me as to how I’ve disparaged him? Said he was a good defender, solid rebounder, coaches player.

        At any rate, all I’m saying is, of the two players being discussed and if things stay basically as-is, one of them is here for much, much longer than the other. KCP may very well stay a Laker, especially if no true super stars choose to come here. At this point I’d personally be more in favor of keeping KCP than Brook Lopez.

        But, especially in crunch time except for one, single game, Clarkson has been the better all around player. I don’t mean that in a ‘he’s a better, more pure person’ or even in a ‘he’s just SO superior on the court’ just that he’s been more consistent in his game and results. KCP has fluctuated his performances a lot more. He’s a streakier shooter and he struggles to make plays for others without creating a needless turnover. I, too, can read that he’s only 24 and still developing.

        But I think you’re completely missing the point: who do you want to develop more: Free agent Merc or the guy signed for a couple more seasons after this one? KCP or dude who, also, has done literally everything the coaching staff has asked him to and done it better in fewer minutes?

        It’s not an “I don’t like KCP” thing, I agree with Keen he’s one of the reasons we’ve seen an improvement on that end of the court although I also give at least equal credit to the guys who’ve been here and have worked within and are better learning Luke’s notions and how they can make them work. Clarkson has just been better, in general, than KCP in most of the games this year, so far, up to this point.

        • mud

          mud 5:21 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          i think you misunderstand me to a large extent, too.

          in what way is JC truly shortchanged by KCP’s playing time?

          actually, as far as doing what the coaches ask, JC is getting better, but he still gets lost in his own purposes too often. the last few games have been MUCH better. KCP has played the team ball that Luke wanted to play from the start, even at the cost of his own stats. SOME of the games where JC has had good stats were games that JC broke the gameplan and even killed the chances to win. stats are reliable in their accuracy, but they also only tell part of the story.

          i think JC has been handled pretty well, and that is part of the reason that he is beginning to flower. he doesn’t need to start or play any particular part of the game. of course, neither does KCP. neither of the two of them are Kobe, but they both do a great job. the team is fortunate to have both.

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

            Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 7:26 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            JC came off the bench last year, your critique of Clarkson could easily be applied to KCP who often jacks up early shots. In fact, Clarkson has, as you and Keen like to put it, “doing what the coaches ask” in purple and gold for a couple years now. Just curious to see how his growth as a player would do with similar minutes to KCP.

            At any rate, neither is, or will ever be, Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant. Just ain’t gonna happen. KCP might max out as a slightly better shooting version of Tony Allen. Jordan Clarkson may end up a lesser version of Jamal Crawford or some such kinda player. If you could combine the two…as is the case with many of our current crop of Lakers…you’d have a player not unlike Kobe.

            Here’s hoping all the positive trends become more frequent for all our guys.

          • keen observer

            keen observer 6:14 AM on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Here we go again with the KCP vs. JC sh!t. It’s possible that neither one will be on the team next season, but why fans must create this intra team competition is beyond me. KCP is a starter and JC is becoming a premier NBA combo guard 6th man. Think of him as a Ginobili type (in our wildest dreams).

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:37 AM on November 30, 2017 Permalink  

    Commendable…still leaving a lot of points on the court 

    That was a really fun game last night. While it is unfortunate we didn’t get the ‘W’, we did see the return of our top notch effort on defense. That’s the theme I want to see maintained all season long. That and getting better at all of the various, little, fundamental issues that plague the team. Free throws, boxing out on defense, cutting down on in-forced turnovers. Those three things will go a long way towards making this squad respectable. Although, to be fair, we were playing the defending NBA champs last night so…

    Brandon Ingram has turned a corner. In the last month we’ve seen him consistently using his length to attack the rim and draw fouls, he’s hitting his free throws better to make it all worth it, too. He’s also boarding better and pushing it up the floor. His overall game has taken a fairly decent step forward this season and it’s been a lot of fun to watch. His defense is solid, he’s scoring smarter and he’s taking the open threes generated by the offense. Good, good stuff from Brandon.

    The starters continue to have issues scoring. Lopez hasn’t looked right in awhile. Being our highest paid player comes with some expectations but the fact his deal is expiring means he’s just as likely to suit up with someone else next season. KCP’s 5 rebounds equaled the total of both Larry Nance Jr. (4) and Brook Lopez (1 freaking rebound?!) combined. Ingram also had 5. But the starters just need to bring it more and bring it better. That group costs a lot and more than few of them would like to continue to cost a lot. So far, they haven’t really played to their pay scale.

    Speaking of Larry Nance Jr. With Kuzma out it made it more likely he would see more floor time. He made his typical LNJ hustle plays, wrangled himself 4 steals and missed his 2 FG attempts. I truly believe the biggest issue plaguing our starters is a complete lack of half court offensive mojo. LNJ over thinks every shot attempt. It’s like you can see the gears turning in his brain before he goes, “Oh alright…I’LL shoot it…I guess.” and then clanks it off the rim. Kuzma alone isn’t the salve for this, either. Kuzma is more like a release valve, when the pressure is on get it to Kuz and he will get a shot off, likely a decent look. They need to make better use of their talented post-players in the half court.

    Lonzo had a nice game, his shot was falling which I really hope bodes well for the future. Having superstars from other teams have your back and the look of respect he got from Draymond Green when he came up bleeding after a mid-court tussle for the ball was awesome to see. 15 points and 10 assists is called getting it done. Sure, he didn’t rebound as well as we’ve come to expect but, again, The Warriors have a little something to say in that department, too. All in all I thought this was as good a game as we’ve seen Lonzo play. Not necessarily his most gaudy or prolific in terms of scoring or getting a triple-double, but just being in control and playing his game and not letting anything effect that was great to see from the young man.

    All in all, I was hoping we wouldn’t lose by double-digits last night and VOILA! We didn’t lose by double-digits. The fact that if we had hit one more free throw or not blown some easy ones doesn’t sting quite as much seeing as it was against the champs coming off a loss. Always hard to double up losses on the defending NBA champs and the Warriors did what they were supposed to do down the stretch. I also don’t begrudge Luke his timeout. We weren’t on fire at the time, game had turned into a real grind, and we’ve lost a handful of games at the end with wild plays from all our young guys. They need to learn to execute out of a time out eventually, anyhow.

    Next up, we’re at Denver on Saturday. Time to win one, fellers.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:42 AM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff, Jamie. I thought this was our best game of the year overall. Might be time to see how Randle would do as a starting small ball center. Great to see Luke give Clarkson and Randle their due by letting them finish the game and overtime. Starters still have problem scoring, especially when Brick Lopez replaces Brook Lopez. Luke should have allowed Randle to go on fast break for last shot rather than calling timeout and allowing Warriors to set their defense. Overall, great game by young team improving. There is such a thing as a good loss.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:08 AM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Honestly, were it not for their contracts, I think Randle and Clarkson have vastly outplayed Lopez and KCP, respectively. I’d move both Lopez and KCP to the bench where I think they would simply abuse the lower tier talent players they’d be facing. Regardless, it was nice to see Luke learn his lesson from the other night: your best players need to be on the court at the end, not your highest earners.

        • mud

          mud 12:02 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          ok wuith most of what you have said, but Clarkson has NOT outplayed KCP. he has been a slightly better scorer, ONLY.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:04 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Excellent point, mud. I like KCP’s aggressiveness. It’s what a shooting guard is supposed to do. And his defense has been great. He was a big reason Steph didn’t have a great game until the OT. He has always played Steph well.

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

            Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:47 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Disagree. Clarkson has been better at scoring (both in terms of volume and efficiency), making plays for others and his defense is improved. KCP has been the better defender but that’s where it ends. Clarkson being a spark off the bench would be the sole reason I can get behind for keeping him there. but it won’t win us more games. Don’t believe me? Cool:

            https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/clarkjo01.html

            https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/clarkjo01.html

            Clarkson out-performs KCP in every statistical category save blocks and steals and rebounds, bear in mind he’s averaging a whole quarter’s worth of minutes more per game than Clarkson is..

            FWIW KCP has a total +/- of -32 and Clarkson -18, although to be fair, Julius Randle is the sole Laker who gets major minutes that has a positive +/-.

            http://stats.washingtonpost.com/nba/teamstats.asp?teamno=13&type=stats

            • keen observer

              keen observer 1:01 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              KCP is the far superior defensive player and he, along with excellent coaching and the individual improvement of Randle and Nance, is probably the biggest reason why the team has improved so much at that end of the floor. He is also a better crunch time player. Jordan Clarkson is a very good ISO scorer. He’s no Lou Williams, but I would say that his salary in today’s market matches his competence level. You can throw all the stats you want at us, but KCP is the better NBA shooting guard of the two players. I’m glad we have both of them on the team.

              I believe that we will see our identity as a team continue to form over the next month, but I am happy with our progress. We are competing, in every game and will eventually learn how to win them. Last night’s second quarter was a microcosm of things to come. We are just missing three point shooters, a fix that will come.

            • mud

              mud 1:02 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              KCP has done everything he’s been asked to.

              Clarkson belongs on the bench. it doesn’t matter what we think, though. i’d rather be wrong and have the team win than be right and get a loss. i’m sure you feel the same.

              you also posted Clarkson’s stats twice, which makes your bias clear. hahaha…

            • keen observer

              keen observer 1:05 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              I’ll go farther than that. I’d rather be wrong and see the team make progress from an identity and progress standpoint and lose than be right and get an ugly win without our youngsters progressing.

            • mud

              mud 1:05 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              yes, i agree.

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

              Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:24 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              I suppose I’m biased, if by “biased” you mean “tired of watching KCP make bone-headed turnovers trying to earn another $20 million contract”.

              For how much he costs he’s not that good. I said KCP was the better defender. Disagree on crunch time. Clarkson is better at getting his own shot and creating for others. We’ll see how it bears out over the season.

            • mud

              mud 1:37 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              whatever. tempest in a teapot…

            • John M.

              John M. 1:47 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              Luke’s lump of clay had a little shape last night. Might have a head and appendages in a month or two : )

            • keen observer

              keen observer 2:48 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              Jamie- KCP plays his a*s off and sets the exact example you want for our younger players and he’s only 24. Some of the bone-headed stuff you see is a combination of HIS youth and over aggression. I don’t think there’s any question that he is a better fit for the development of our core group of young players than D’Angelo Russell would have been. Just look at the overall improvement of the team defense! KCP’s salary means nothing. It’s an expiring contract that Magic and Rob could potentially turn into assets at the trade deadline should they want to go down that path, or even use in a Paul George trade if OKC continues to suck and it’s clear that PG won’t re-sign with them. It’s not like it weighs us down like Mozgov’s would have and Deng’s does. That’s a non-issue.

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

              Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:51 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink

              I don’t know about you fellers, when I pay top dollar for something I don’t like when it comes out no better than the generic. Keen-O you’re the one who likes to harp on Clarkson’s deficiencies (which he’s done a decent job of shoring up and/or minimizing this season). I assume we’re living in the same dimension and watching the same games, every game Clarkson makes quicker, better choices with the ball and Pope has done the opposite. One is playing far too desperately (KCP) the other more like a guy who has figured out how to make his skills work at this level for the betterment of the team.

              KCP is an elite defender and pretty below average at everything else. Clarkson is a combo guard thrust into a back up PG playing better in fewer minutes than either of our starting guards. Looks to me if you like winning games you’d like to have Jordan on the floor in crunch time to give you a go-to option that literally no other player under 6/6″ on this team possesses.

              I’m not, nor have I ever said, that Jordan Clarkson is superior NBA talent: he’s a mid-level talent who pushes up against the ceiling of that category. He may push all the way through, but likely not playing as few minutes as he has been. I’d be thrilled if KCP played as well as Clarkson. It’d make the discussion moot and mud could be happy as pig in the self-same. He hates discussions (just ribbing ya man).

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 2:33 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      While arguments can be made as too who the better overall player is, Clarkson is the superior score by far. He’s out scoring KCP while playing nearly 13 minutes a game less. He is by far the best shot maker on the team.

      • John M.

        John M. 2:47 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Only one with a true jumper. I like KCP a lt too.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 2:54 PM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        And Kuzma is the only power forward who can stretch the floor and Randle is the only power forward who can play small ball center and switch on to guards and Nance does the little things better than either Kuzma or Randle and …..

        They all have different skill sets. What’s the purpose in saying who is “better.” They are all Los Angeles Lakers.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:06 PM on November 28, 2017 Permalink  

    No Defense, Too Many Little Things Showed Up Big 

    This Lakers team has found it’s blueprint for success. An intermingling of scoring from various sources and a smothering, lockdown defense that relies on length and switching and a generally selfless approach to the game. Whenever they deviate from that blueprint they lose. When they don’t do enough basic, foundational basketball things they lose. When they try to play above and outside of themselves, they lose. This has, thus far, been the singular constant.

    Last night was no exception. With our best players sitting we squandered our 8 point lead. The coaching staff never adjusted to the Lou Williams attack plan and they couldn’t find a decent counter to Blake. However, Griffin wasn’t even courtside for the final 5 minutes of the game. The Lakers were run out of the building by journeyman and a player who they know very well. Poor showing from the coaches on down.

    Luke has a hard time identifying when the teaching moments need to end a win needs to be secured. Can’t leave your best gunslinger on the bench with bullets in his gun when the game hangs in the balance. Isn’t making quick adjustments. He vacillates often between the teaching moments and letting the kids try to “play through it” a la Phil Jackson. But that’s a tactic you use with vets. They should know better how to play, overcome a hot hand, etc. These kids just…don’t. Not yet.

    This is also why I am not a big fan of our ‘No Distinguishable Offense’ offense. Letting our point guards make reads from the top of the key works for about 2/3s of most games, sometimes they’ll be hot and they can take us all the way home. Between Ball and Clarkson there’s enough scoring, play-making and defense to win out at that position. The problem comes when defenses step up their perimeter effort and keep them from getting into the paint. Nobody moves, everyone stands and waits for the PG to do…something. We stall out and go on long, long dry spells. This team cannot endure many, if any, of those in most games.

    We don’t do smart things like exploit match ups, either size, skill or otherwise. We sometimes stay with the hot hand but we fail to notice when that hand has cooled. We don’t use any of the guys who can post up in that manner. Our guys who could post up either simply don’t or lack the skill to do so. We leave tons of points on the court in the form of very difficult, silly shots, missed free throws and turnovers that could easily be avoided. When it’s Kuz or Ball I’m a bit more forgiving, they’re rookies. When Randle barrels head first into his defender for the umpteenth time for an offensive foul or KCP flings wild shots…it’s becoming grating. Learn the lesson. How many times did you burn your hand before you realized the fire was hot?

    All in all, we just didn’t play very good defense and we had far too many unforced errors. This is still a young team, even our vets aren’t truly battle-tested as I can’t remember the last time I saw KCP or Lopez in a playoff game, to say nothing of the NBA Finals. There will be tons and tons of these learning moments, for the players and coaches, but the thing I want to see is progress and last night, we didn’t see that in any meaningful way. A wasted loss learning lessons a lot of these players and coaches really ought to have learned already. Tough one against the Dubs on Wednesday.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:30 PM on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good summation, Jamie. We are what we are. A young inexperienced team without a go-to player still learning how to win. The key will be how Luke adjusts going forward. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “Luke has a hard time identifying when the teaching moments need to end a win needs to be secured.” Right now, that is our problem.

      All the criticism of Luke shouldn’t diminish the hopes that he will be our next championship coach. It still is early in the season and Luke still is a young and inexperienced coach. But we are fast approaching the time now that the tough part of the schedule is starting tonight when the team needs to win some games against better opponents or risk sliding down the same slippery slope as last year.

      Part of the problem is also the responsibility of Magic and Rob as the imbalance and deficiencies of the roster have made Luke’s job more difficult than it should have been. The lack of a backup 3. The lack of more and better shooters. The lack of a great backup for Lonzo, etc. Hopefully, the front office will do something to improve and better balance the roster to help.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:46 PM on November 27, 2017 Permalink  

    Holding our own in a mildly sloppy game. Couple too many hot dogs losing their mustard on passes tossed out of bounds. Griffin’s three point catapult takes a long time to release but when he’s open and his feet are set it’s accurate. Nance looked OK, Kuz with a nice corner three to end the half for us.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:25 PM on November 27, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Free. Throws. Big issue with these guys…

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 10:01 PM on November 27, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Shoulda woulda coulda again. Next one up.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:05 PM on November 27, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Blowing another winnable game with our best players on the bench in crunch time to say nothing of the points left at the stripe. Not sure there’s a lot of learning going on…Lou gets to the rim going to the right, shoots the jumper going to his left. It might as well be in the NBA rule book. Kuzma with that joke, fake close on the deciding drive. Clarkson on the bench when he had it going. Kuzma on the bench when we’re in a scoring drought. Not sure lessons are soaking in quite enough, from the top down. We’ll see, just sucks to drop these very, very winnable games.

          Bah.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:37 AM on November 23, 2017 Permalink  

    Ugly Losses Reveal Defensive Effort is the Key 

    We scored well enough to win last night. 51.7% on 29 attempted three pointers. 39-78 for an even 50% on all of our scoring chances. 9-15 on free throws…well, there will always be something for a young team to work on. At any rate, it was more of a lack of not stopping the Kings. With each team throwing the ball away an equal 17 times, Lonzo with an abnormally high 4 tied Randle for team lead the Lakers were a +11 in points off turnovers. More assists, offense wasn’t the issue. 10 offensive rebounds and a general malaise on defense was.

    So far the one constant from last season to this is the Lakers need to play as close to perfectly as possible. Boxing out to secure the defensive board, defending the lob and in-bounds plays correctly, making free throws. All of these basic, basic things need to happen at an above-average level on most nights for the Lakers to have a shot at winning. Regardless of how we score the basket, when we don’t do enough of the little things to stop the other team from scoring more (especially the way the Kings scored at will in the half court last night) it just won’t really matter.

    Loved Lonzo’s dunk, loved that he found his three point shot, was bummed he clanked his only two free throws which is the norm. One big concern I hope he addresses and soon is his abysmal free throw shooting. Well below 50% and heading more towards 40% (currently 42.9%) at a rapid rate, his lack of success at the stripe has completely affected his drives to the rim. In the last slew of games he does more to avoid contact and create nigh-impossible shots than just bump his defender and get to the stripe. Yes, he needs to hit from the outside to keep his defender honest, but not being able to score around the rim or hit free throws will kill his drives, just another thing to add to his fix-it list.

    But it’s a team game, Clarkson and Ingram had sub-par games, Lopez had a bad game, Randle wasn’t quite the spark plug we know he can be. All the young guys still working on making the best aspects of their games the most consistent aspects of their games and some just may never get there. Kuzma missed a wire-open dunk. Lot’s of things piled up and buried the W shining in the night. Lakers need this break, looking a little ragged but after that the schedule gets brutal. It’s too bad they’ve left as many winnable games on the court as they have, but that’s a young NBA team for ya.

    Happy Tofurkey Day, Lakerholics!!!

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:43 PM on November 22, 2017 Permalink  

    Loafed into the mini-break. Second ‘no heart’ game of the season. Ball shot the rock well, clanged his 2 free throws, should have shot at least 4 more. Anyhow, Clippers on Monday.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:45 PM on November 22, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Won’t match the 10-10 start from last season, not sure it’s a step back but rather it’s not a hoped for step forward.

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 11:27 PM on November 22, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:18 AM on November 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Or rather. we’re still young and hoping for better consistency across the board, from everyone. We don’t suck, we’re currently chasing the 8 seed.

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 6:47 AM on November 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            2 losses to bottom feeding teams in a week kinda sucks.

          • Magicman (Editor)

            Magicman (Editor) 10:17 AM on November 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Playoff teams beat up Cupcakes.

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

              Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:05 AM on November 23, 2017 Permalink

              I never thought that this was a playoff team. Too much youth, no go-to scorer in the clutch. I’ll be happy if we maintain the defensive effort in a solid majority of games for the rest of the season. That will go a much longer way in luring talent here. A scorer will see a wide open role, tailor-made. Just depends on what position we bolster.

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 11:24 AM on November 23, 2017 Permalink

              Yup I know you didn’t.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:50 PM on November 22, 2017 Permalink  

    Happy Thanksgiving Lakerholics! Remember: if politics around the table is taboo you can always talk about Zappa to make things a little weird!

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:04 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink  

    Do Lonzo Ball’s strengths make up for his glaring weaknesses? 

    The Lakers rookie has shown historic inaccuracy as a shooter, but he stuffs the box score. Has he been more good than bad?

    Source: Do Lonzo Ball’s strengths make up for his glaring weaknesses?

     
    • mud

      mud 3:18 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      BARF.

      what a load of crap.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:23 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Why even bring it up? No need to even talk about it, either he’ll shoot well or he won’t., amiright?

        • mud

          mud 3:30 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          kinda.
          i mean, he’s obviously not shooting well, but it’s pretty early for thermonuclear devices.

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

            Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:47 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Agreed. I’m one of the few who isn’t too concerned with his shot. His finishing around the rim is a little more of a concern, NBA bigs can block that shot put shot way too easily. His jumper is what it is, I never pegged him as a dead-eye shooter.

            I crack up when people get excited about how a kid shoots in college…where the three point line is much closer. Hilarious. Too many dead-eye shooting busts from Adam Morrison to Anthony Brown. I honestly could care less about what stats a kid coming from college has. Until the NCAA makes their game more like the pros it won’t matter and they’ll become less and less the standard and more the exception.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 4:14 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fair question.
      Evaluatiing the current state of a player’s game isn’t “panicking”…it’s just that….evaluation.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 4:29 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Shouldn’t it read: Do Lonzo Ball’s game changing strengths make up for his fixable weaknesses?

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 6:36 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        lol, but wherein lies your click-bait in that statement?

        I just think it’s compelling that the rest of his game has so obviously been able to overcome whatever ails his shooting percentage. If anything he reminds me of Rondo, albeit with a lot less motor. Rondo was a ball hound on defense, Lonzo is good at using his length in the team scheme the Lakers are currently deploying. Both rebound well and both get the other guys involved at the sake of searching out their own shot. Both struggled to make jump shots in the NBA. Rondo got better, Lonzo will, too.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 6:41 PM on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Also his very low turnover rate is amazing considering the types of passes he tosses all over the court. I would have thought it’d be over 3. His turnover to assist ratio is decent just under 2.73:1. I expect that to get better as the season goes on and he gets up to game speed.

          Here’s another thing: he has a lot of season left to turn his shooting percentage around. If he can figure out where he scores best from against NBA D, watch out. Not worried about him, although I would certainly like to see him shoot a little better and not so historically poorly.

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