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  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:37 PM on October 30, 2018 Permalink  

     
    • mclyne32 (Director) 8:23 AM on October 31, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Miss these dudes.
      One of the best concerts I ever saw was the Hello Nasty tour.
      True pioneers and can never be duplicated.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:30 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    That was a brutal last few minutes. The Lakers really needed to have kept Julius Randle if they wanted to have a true small ball center. Kudos for Johnathon Williams for being game for any/everything but he ain’t the answer. Decent game up until about 4 minutes left in the game. At any rate.

    1) Rajon Rondo’s scoop shots. I have always begrudgingly admired the epic and varied skill set of Rajon Rondo and one of the great things about him being on the Lakers is I get to openly admire, no grudging about it. Dude was carving up the T’Wolves and keeping us in the game for a spell there in the 4th before our offense utterly broke down and the Timber-dubs pulled away down the stretch. Might see a return to the starting 5 for Rajon sooner than later. Starting, such a saga (lol)!

    2) Lance and LeBron’s second quarter mojo. I don’t think this team is going to win more 4th quarters with Lance on the bench. Yes, he can over-dribble and shoot a contested mid-range shot. So does LeBron, Brandon, and so on. It’s the NBA, bad shots happen occasionally. But his overall fiery demeanor, cool under pressure and intensity on defense is a huge weapon to leave on the bench with the game on the line. If Josh Hart had been killing it, so be it, that’s more understandable. But he wasn’t, not on either end. ‘Make ’em Dance’ Lance.

    3) Brandon Ingram’s three point shot making a comeback. The suspension did a little bit to improve Brandon’s slow trigger, got shots off of passes up a little better and he made 3-5 from three point land. Sure, one of those was a meaningless ‘give it to ’em’ shot at the end of the game, but it went in. Nice return game for Brandon except for the fouls committed part of it.

    4) The new fouling rules. I just love them, they’re amazing. Big time thanks and a gold-star to the league to making the game so much more enjoyable to watch. Whoops! Sarcastic Sans font was on…

    5) Our commitment to scoring in the paint. Our half-court identity in terms of working the ball inside and getting quality shots at the rim is a big reason why we’re able to stay in so many games. One thing that has been a bit galling is that we simply don’t get any calls down there. That sort of thing has a tendency to even out, refs are learning the great and wonderful (ooops, there’s that Sarcastic Sans font again) new rules as well. The coaches will keep working it in practices. But all of this focus on adapting new personnel to such a drastic rules change (and it’s not like they provide defenders with a lot of tools to do their job anymore) is draining the team’s ability to focus on working out the offensive issues. Luke is going to harp on the defense, maybe a bit too over-much, that’s been a pretty consistent aspect of his coaching tenure regardless of who is on the team.

    This game would worry me more in January, a lot of our turnovers were silly, un-forced errors, LeBron missed some bunnies at the rim in the 1st half, Our guards played terrible, except for Rondo. Still a lot of places for this team to grow and improve in.

     
    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 11:16 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Jamie

      Nice recap as usual. For me I liked BI and Kuz starting together. With those 3 out there it will make it tougher for teams to concentrate solely on Lebron. I also liked Luke leaving BI out there when he gave Lebron a rest. One of them should always be on the court. After Lebron BI is the best at creating for himself and others.

      Overall though it took a lot of weird things for us to lose. I can’t remember seeing Lebron miss that many bunnies and Kuz missed 2 or 3 himself. And if Kuz is going to play the 4 he is going to have to do a better job rebounding. He had 3 until mid way through the 4th. What was weird though was he would have good position but it was like he wasn’t jumping and guys were jumping over him.

      It’s also hard when both Zo and Josh both have bad games. We have enough fire power to overcome one being off but not two. I agree that Lance needs more run. At this point I would bring him in before josh. He’s been that good.

      And like you pointed out the fouls are not being called evenly. It’s been crazy so far. And of course Butler has a big 3 point shooting night against us. He was shooting.333 for the season and is .339 for his career but he goes all Clay Thompson on us.

      You know I don’t what Magic was thinking as they put this roster together. But whatever the plan was it hasn’t worked. We don’t have any depth at the 4 or 5. You need the right guys for small ball to work. I don’t know what is going on with Beasley. He hasn’t played enough minutes to even be bad. Hopefully he can give us something sooner then later. Maybe Wagner can bring something to the table after his rehab stint because we need help. You can’t go all season with a 3 man center power forward rotation.

      • p ang

        p ang 11:58 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        1. A fellow closet fan of Rondo! Dang, cheering for a celtic, the earth must be flat too.

        2. Not a fan of Dancing Lance and Hero ball. Takes too much away from ball movement. Was on Ju when he refused to outlet to Zo, even more so on LBJ. He should know better a pass is faster than his dribbling. Notice the slowdown of the release guys on a break when LBJ has the ball. At end of game I’ll cheer for them but not before when pace is suppose to be faster.

        3. BI should take any shot he wants. Leave the playmaking to the playmakers. It worked for Kuz.

        4. Seems only Lance knows how to play with the new rules, getting Dieng a T. Grow up, boys. Play the rules. Kobe was great at it.

        5. Lakers need a Ju. Being bullied in the paint.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 4:03 AM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      “The cap space is sacred.”

      They told us that the 1st day they walked in the door.
      Sometimes you gotta take folks at their word..they weren’t lying.

      If you did the math then you knew that day was essentially the end of Ju’s career as a Laker…he was never getting more than a 1yr deal from Earv n Rob and in the end he never even got an offer at all.

      The final stage of grief is acceptance….

      • keen observer

        keen observer 12:44 PM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        They should have signed Julius Randle to a long term contract.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:11 PM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Coulda/Shoulda/Didn’t

          Hey, we can trade KCP for him and some other player mid-season!

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:42 PM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Sure but then we’d be in the same situation next summer as we would not have cap space to re-sign him and still land a max contract free agent. I would love us to do it even if it were just a rental because we need a backup for McGee.

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

              Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:40 PM on October 30, 2018 Permalink

              Yeah but you’d get to see how he plays with LBJ. I don’t think it’ll happen, but that’s something I’d pull the trigger on in a heartbeat. They can throw in 2 players like Ian Clark and Jahil Okafor, just to make the money work.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:44 AM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      lol, truth

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:19 AM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good post, Jamie. Pretty much agree with your take. Out of frustration, though, here’s five things I hated:

      1) Lonzo Ball’s second straight poor effort and performance. 4 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist is unacceptable. Not sure what’s happening with Lonzo but he can’t be passive. If you’re not hitting your shots, then step it up on defense, create chaos, make plays. Played like Tyler Ennis. If this is all you can do, then you deserve to go to the bench to be Rondo’s backup. WTF, Lonzo. Very disappointing.

      2) Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka’s abject failure to find a small ball backup for JaVale McGee. There are three critical components that any team that hopes to compete for the playoffs must have: An elite scorer, backup point guard, and back up center. Last year, you whiffed on the backup point guard role. This year it’s the backup center role. And it’s not like there were options out there. You reap what you sow.

      3) The refs. LeBron is the new Shaq. There were at least four times that LeBron attacked the basket but missed a shot because of a defender banging into him on a drive or hitting him on his hands with no call. The Lakers have attacked the rim more than any team in the league and yet are near the bottom in foul shots attempted. Luke took a technical two games ago because of this but until the league’s zebras start giving LeBron the same respect other superstars get, the Lakers will be handicapped.

      4) Players Only. The number of shallow, idiotic comments and stupid observations by a crew of players who know very little about the specifics of the two teams playing make watching Monday NBA games a joke for serious NBA fans. Players only is like amateur night at a high school comedy club. Why can’t these networks realize that fans want to watch the game, not listen to these bozos flatulate.

      5) Our defense. You either prevent players from straight line drives to the hoop or from wide open 3-point shots. We’ve apparently learned how to allow both. Hart, Kuzma, Ball, and Rondo cannot keep anybody in front of them, which puts unbelievable pressure on our interior defense, which is nonexistent unless JaVale is in the game. We’re getting killed on the defensive glass over and over. We go under screens when we should go over. We overhelp to the point where we’re always caught in between.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:36 AM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Post rant, here are 5 things I did like:

        1) Brandon Ingram’s return. BI not only scored 24 points on 9 of 18 shooting including 3 of 5 from deep and was the only starter with a positive plus/minus but also blocked three shots and give the Lakers a player with the height, length, and athleticism to guard a superstar like Jimmy Butler.

        2) Rajon Rondo’s play. No crying about not starting. Instead, Rondo went out and played great, forcing Luke to sit Lonzo to close the game. Rondo even outshot Lonzo from deep going 1 for 2 vs. Lonzo’s 0 for 4. Great passes, great drives, smart point guard play.

        3) The new starting lineup. Despite the results, I still believe starting Lonzo, Ingram, and Kuzma to go with LeBron and JaVale is the right move by Luke. He needs to stick with these guys and let them develop the chemistry and get their act together on the defensive end.

        4) LeBron missing bunnies. While LeBron hit some big threes to bring the Lakers back, he’s not making his layups, often due to not getting a call when bumped on the way to the basket. This team is not good enough for a LeBron to have a mediocre game and still win.

        5) Luke sitting Lonzo to close the game. Hope this message gets through to Ball. While he is the future of the team at point guard, I loved that Luke sat Lonzo and played Rondo to close the game. Lonzo needed to get his butt kicked and even benched if he doesn’t pick it up.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:29 AM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          -Yup, BI came back looking like preseason BI and that bodes well for us in future games. Foul trouble limited his effectiveness late, I think he’ll adapt quickly though.

          -Yup, outside of one wide open lay up somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd quarter he passed up that turned into a TO he was magnificent. I would imagine he’ll be back starting in another game or so if LB keeps playing like doody.

          -We’ll see, I’m not so certain he’ll give them the time that they might need to have that dream be realized…this season Kuzma gets blown by or out muscled on D (he’s decent enough, but like Hart seems to lack the lateral quickness and often gets a step or 2 out of position to be able to best contest shots). Defense is what will merit our young players an increased role, shots will fall or not fall on occasion but your defensive effort simply has to be there to justify big minutes on this squad.

          -LBJ did finally get the 3 point ball mojo going, had to force his own shot a bit but I was fine with that. Missing layups like he has been is as much about him warming up and rounding into true game shape as anything else. Plus he is getting the bumps with no fouls being called that other superstars do get fouls called on them. Hope that situation changes for the better soon.

          -Yup, dude was not playing well and Luke did the right thing. Rondo was playing great. I’d have put in Lance over Hart, too, for that matter as he has not lived up to his promotion since getting it. All these young guys are going to struggle with the big C: consistency. Whichever ones get that down the best and fastest will play major roles, the others will get spot minutes as the season goes on. One of the “benefits” of having savvy vets waiting in the wings.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:21 AM on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        -Lonzo is currently leading the team in minus on the legendary +/- scale. I won’t be too surprised when Rondo gets that starting spot back, at this point.

        -That’s why I’d at least trot Zubac out there a few more times, see if he can put it together for a meaningful 15-20 mpg.

        -Luke got another tech last night and he’s going to save his money after that fine. he doesn’t make LeBron money. Might come down to LBJ getting himself ejected over a lack of whistles or the imblance.

        -lol, modern times my man, modern times.

        -I chalk this one up to 2 things: still discovering how to play with one another, still adapting to the new rules.

        Like I said, I’ll worry more in January but it is mildly irksome in the here and now.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:41 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink  

    Ingram starting 

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:42 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Copy/Paste from a phone looks wonky, story on SB Nation. No indication on who is moving to the bench.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:43 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Ireland just said on 710 he’s hearing Luke is leaning towards starting Lonzo/BI/Kuz/Bron/McGee. Coaches discussing it in team hotel.

        • keen observer

          keen observer 3:05 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          That’s the lineup you were talking about a few weeks ago. It’s the rotations that seem difficult given that KCP, Hart, Lance and Svi are all natural shooting guards and nobody in that starting lineup is a natural shooting guard. I don’t know how that can work. The roster has an imbalance.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:21 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I would agree that the move leaves us with too many guards and too few forwards on the bench but that could also be a blessing as it forces Luke to make some choices as to who will be part of the bench rotation. And the reality is we’re going to win with our best 8 players plus a backup center. Hard to have a bigger rotation than that.

            If Luke starts Lonzo, Brandon, Kyle, LeBron, and JaVale, the I would presume Rondo, Hart, and Lance would comprise the heart of the bench minutes playing with starters or with Jonathan Williams or hopefully Moe Wagner as the small ball five. That does leave KCP and Svi out of the rotation but that doesn’t really matter at this point.

            The top eight players will get starter minutes and a chance to finish when they deserve it. Hard to give more than that enough playing time to get into a groove and be consistent. Williams or Wagner or a new player will handle the backup center minutes. KCP and Svi will just have to be ready in case they’re next man up.

            Lonzo, Brandon, Kyle, LeBron, and JaVale are our best possible lineup at both ends. It’s also a lineup full of mismatch opportunities, especially at both guard positions where we would have exceptional size and length with Lonzo and Brandon. Great move by Luke if it happens. Thinking outside the box. Bravo!

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:22 PM on October 28, 2018 Permalink  

    And Now for Something Completely Different 

    -Man do I hate the Boston Red Sox, Dodgers just utterly out-classed on every baseball level. C’est la vie, Go Angels next season!
    -D’Angelo Russell as an off ball guard would be epic on the Lakers. Don’t diss me, could happen when he’s an URFA. Don’t ask him to be the primary ball-handler, just as a dead-eye two-guard with decent court vision. 5-7 from 3 tonight, 44.8% for the season(!!!)
    -Hard to see KCP signing off on a trade to a non-contender. Sacramento does not qualify but I suppose it depends on how much he takes Rich Paul’s advice. Not doing any trade rumor any favor with his play so far…
    -Anyway we could swing a trade for Devin Booker?
    -Speaking of the Suns, remember when we beat them last week? That was the first time that Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson faced each other since their epic NCAA tourney couple years back? Remember when that was actually a talking point/point plot-line in Laker Land? So glad we’ve moved past that shyte.

     
    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 8:26 PM on October 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Agree that Bosox leave a nasty taste in my mouth and I just brushed my teeth!

      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 8:58 PM on October 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I couldn’t care less about baseball. But my husband who was from Boston was really happy!

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 6:00 PM on October 28, 2018 Permalink  

    5 (Late) Things I Liked 

    For a game that, going into the 4th quarter, I had high hopes of winning there were still many positives to take away from last night’s loss. Digging right in.

    1) LeBron James. On a night where he passed Shaq in made FGs and Dirk in overall points it would have been real nice to send the King home with a W. T’was not to be as the Spurs turned their defense up a notch and the Lakers wilted in the waning moments. But it certainly wasn’t from a lack of production from one LBJ. He’d have been closer to another triple-double had his teammates canned more shots off of passes but his scoring and effort on the glass was solid, per usual.

    2) Lonzo getting the starting nod. I think this is a smart move. Rondo is a nveteran and has seen the highest highs and the lowest lows the NBA has to offer. He’ll be fine coming off the bench. While it’s a true that, in professional sports, any player in a uniform should be ready to play when the coach calls your number it’s also true that younger players draw strength and confidence from starting. Unfortunately, Lonzo turned in a uncharacteristically minus game in terms of +/- (and really clanked 2 free throws which was a bummer as he’d looked fairly decent from the stripe, in limited attempts, thus far) while struggling from inside the arc, not really hitting the glass like we know he can and turning it over as many times as he hit the open man. Hopefully it’s just a blib and he’ll round right back into form on Monday. If not, it’s a nice thing to have Rajon Rondo as the other option.

    3) Lance Stephenson making himself all sorts of comfortable in a Laker uniform. He was hitting the glass, hitting buzzer beaters, playing his brand of basketball that gets the team going. I honestly thought, at the beginning of the season, that Lance might have a hard time finding minutes but the way this dude is balling it’s going to be harder to keep him on the bench. A curious conundrum for the coaches come Ingram’s return to action on Monday.

    4) Nice looks from three. One of the concerns coming into the season was whether the Laker offense as constructed by Luke Walton would be able to generate enough open looks from the three point line. With a few games under our belt I think we can see that we’re going to be fine in generating the shot, making it being an entirely different discussion. Regardless, once some of our shooters (I’m looking at you KCP) get their mojo going I think we’ll be able to confidently predict somewhere in the 35 3 pt FGA/game. If, as a team, we can can around 40% of those this will be regarded as a high-octane, multi-faceted offense when one factors in the pace of play we’re currently playing at.

    5) Scoring on the break. While we should have maybe had a few more fast-break points last night (to say nothing of how well the Spurs shut down our points in the paint, a major source of offense for this Laker squad) the fact that we were a +15 in fast-break points was a major factor in us being in this game at all. If we can get a little better on the glass, more consistent at working the ball into the paint for a score and keep attacking waves per coach Walton’s game plan I think this team is a solid playoff candidate. When we let teams force us into poor mid range attempts we look very beatable. This team simply lacks scorers of that caliber, at this time.

    One Thing: I was fairly amazed that Rondo gave up that wide open lay up in an attempt to force a three pointer. The explanations post game weren’t all that convincing, either. He has to take that shot, you can always foul (and yes, I know they didn’t have anymore time outs) and push the pace with a good 5+ seconds left in the game and face a defense not fully set. He’s better than that and I expect to never see anything like that again in an NBA game. Incredible to watch unfold in real time, I’m fairly certain my jaw was a solid 19 inches below my face after the fact.

     
    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 6:13 PM on October 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff JS!

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:22 PM on October 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the excellent post, Jamie.

      That sure was a dud of birthday game by Lonzo, although he did hit those two threes. But it was like he was hung over. Hopefully, he’ll come out strong tomorrow night against the Wolves. I expected more from Lonzo. Luke even pulled him for that last play.

      LeBron was great and good to see him move up the ladder of greats. What a blessing to have him on the Lakers. I admit I was surprised when he threw the pass to Rondo because we needed three not two although nobody has talked about it. Was it a smart play?

      I like the idea of attacking the basket to get defenders at the 3-point line to relax and I think that’s what Rondo was thinking but then nobody was open. I posted earlier that you could see that DeRozan had done exactly like Rondo was thinking and was watching him and not Hart. If Josh had just relocated to the left, he would have been a wide open target for a game tying three.

      The Spurs are a smart veteran team and they really packed it in on LeBron. Old school Pops almost was willing to give up wide open threes to prevent LeBron from ruling the paint. They did a great job of collapsing and our shooters did a lousy job of relocating. I’m sure that’s going to jump out in the video.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 8:11 PM on October 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      1. Lebron is gonna do his thing no matter what. The challenge is for these dudes to learn how to be consistent wingmen. Game was lost when Luke tried to get him some extra rest in the 4th

      2. Lonzo has been negative +/- in 4 of the six games..double digit in 3 of em. Not even our 3rd (maybe 4th) best player so far.

      3. Lance has been great..no other way to slice it. With the roster back to full strength the bench should be alot better. Kuzma or Bi..idk..it’ll work itself out

      4. Make or miss league…you are what the numbers say you are. Some guys got hot at the end of last season in meaningless games..all games with Lebron on your roster mean something.

      5. Love the pace & the fast breaks and the surprisingly low turnover rate. But a few of our losses have come down the stretch when we’re unable to run…gotta fix the halfcourt effectiveness on both ends.

      All this stuff is still preseason to me. I’d like to see what we look like after 20 games..not necessarily the record but how we’ve gelled, who’s vibing with whom, and how Luke’s set his rotations. The suspensions set us back a week somewhat. Still too early to read too much into what we’ve seen so far.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:20 AM on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        1) Yup, like you said below: LBJ gonna LBJ
        2) Lonzo had one good game where he looked like a new version of his old self. All the rest have been just about like last season.
        3) Lance at the 2 to start games? Could happen…
        4) That’s pretty much our whole team. I don’t base much off of last year other than as a measuring stick of basic improvements (Kuzma doesn’t look like a better defender, maybe a little better in the post on offense? Lonzo looks about the same but with a slightly quicker, less herky-jerky shot, Hart looks the same, BI we just haven’t seen enough of due to the suspension, Zubac looks lost but I’d still trot him out as a back up over Johnathon Williams against players of Aldridge’s size)
        5) Half court is a work in progress, I chalk it up to the really short training camp/preseason they’ve instituted. Great for a team like the Warriors, terrible for teams like ours.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:40 AM on October 26, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    With Laker legend Kobe Bryant sitting baseline the inspired Lakers came back and pulled out their first home Win. LBJ got his first triple-double for the purple and gold. Lakers are on their first ‘winning streak’ of the season.  So here we go:

    1) ‘Make ‘em dance’ Lance Stephenson didn’t come close to a triple-double but I love him on the court in crunch time. His aggressiveness on defense utterly disrupted the Nugget point of attack in the 4th quarter and he was clutch with those back-to-back 3s to key the winning rally. Great game for Lance.

    2) the slow start excellence of LeBron James. The King is struggling a bit with his three point shot and from the line but that has slowed him down not at all. The kid from Akron is melding more and more with these guys every day, great things could be in the mix if this kind of game to game growth continues.

    3) Lonzo Ball being consistent. Any NBA player can have a smattering of good games but it’s when you can do something well consistently do you even start to enter the conversation about being s good to great player. Lonzo’s defense has always been great but his scoring…not so much. That looks like it’s beginning to change. Already this season Bsll has looked to score as a first option and made the shots he wanted to take. That’s huge and it’ll open everything up for him if he can keep it up. Consistency.

    4) Luke’s rotations his not being satisfied with how we played. Luke pushed all the right buttons down the stretch, enabling his young players, handling the vets, getting rest for LBJ in the right spots. While we weren’t as aggressive on the break as he wants to be every game, “attacking in waves” as he put it to start the 4th and in a team huddle, we still defended well and got favorable shots early enough. Kept the vets fresh for the late push.

    5) Taking care of the basketball and other fundamentals. We shot mire free throws for the second game and did a great job not coughing up the rock. Great team win now let’s avenge ourselves against San Antonio!

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:10 AM on October 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for a great post, Jamie. What an exciting comeback win for the Lakers.

      1) Anybody who worried about whether Lance could contribute should enjoy their crow because Lance is filling the same role that Lou Williams used to do for the Lakers. Instant clutch offense. And that’s not counting his hustle on defense and hitting the open man. Lance working to earn a long term deal from the Lakers. You could easily argue he was the MVP again for hitting those back-to-back threes when we fell down by 8 and things were looking dim.

      2) Luke has been making the right personnel decisions ever since the fight, which has clearly turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I first claimed when the suspensions came down. Pulling LeBron when we were down 8 in the fourth quarter was a key move as a fully rested LeBron came into the game with 4 minutes left and played shut down small ball center against Jokic.

      3) Any question about who should start at the point were clearly settled last night. As Lonzo has gotten back into full mode, he has shown he is the better player and fit to start at the point. Luke will confirm this as he keeps Rondo on the bench when we play the Spurs on Saturday.

      4) Watching Luke debut LeBron as our small ball five in a Death Lineup that included LeBron, Lonzo, Lance, Kuzma, and Hart. Game was essentially tied at that point but the grim reaper had the Nuggets in their sites and LeBron and Lonzo shut down Jokic. Make no mistake, LeBron at the five will be the Lakers secret weapon that every NBA team is going to have to deal with and figure out how to handle.

      5) Great point, Jamie. Our ball security has been great the last few games and our rank as having the sixth fewest turnovers in the league through our first 5 games and the third best assist to turnover ratio. Considering the pace we play at, it’s amazing that our playmakers have been able to minimize turnovers and bodes well for the team as we continue to improve our shooting.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:20 PM on October 25, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    Great to get that first W. Lots of good things but I will endeavor to limit myself to 5.

    1) Josh Hart starting! I hope this sticks. While I still expect there to be more of a debate in regards to Rondo and especially Ingram, this was a no-brained. Since last year there are few ways in which KCP has out-okayed Josh Hart and this was the right move to make. Glad it happened so quickly.

    2) JaVale McGee’s defense. Dude is blocking shots, and controlling them, at an amazing rate, can he keep it up? Love everything JaVale has brought to the team.

    3 Triple-double watch 2018! By my count there are 5 Lakers who, on any given night, notch themselves a tripl-double: LeBron, Lonzo, Brandon, Rajon and Lance Stephenson. A great thing for a coach to have.

    4) Lance Stephenson owning the 4th but playing the right way doing it (for the most part). In the first half Lance was an unstoppable force, grabbing boards, hitting the open man, scoring when we needed it. In the 4th he helped keep it a garbage time affair. Loving Lance’s energy off the bench and it’s one of the things that has worked from day one.

    5) Luke Walton letting everyone know who the coach is. Luke has already shown us a quicker trigger in his interviews and now with his rotations. He blew away my hopes for timeline to see Josh Hart starting and went with my dream scenario. We’re also seeing better offensive possessions and tighter D so whatever he and the staff are doing in practice and film is working.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:42 PM on October 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great stuff, Jamie. Hard to limit the great things to just 5. Here are my comments on your 5:

      1) Agree 100%. Hart has already won the job from KCP. Only question is whether Ingram stays on the bench or relaces Hart or Kuzma. My ultimate vote is probably for Ingram to replace Hart and Luke to keep Lonzo and Kuzma in the starting lineup. If anybody comes off the bench, it probably should be Hart with his energy. We likely need Ingram’s length and defense to balance the two rosters.

      2) Maginka deserves a world of credit for signing McGee and JaVale deserves kudos for taking the starting position and showing even more than he did for the Warriors. He can and should be the Lakers center of the near future. The team’s defense and offense is so much better and balanced when he’s in the lineup. We just need Jonathan Williams can hold down the fort until the trade deadline, when we can trade KCP and Zubac for a small ball center to backup JaVale.

      3) The Lakers have multiple players who can make plays. Last night, even with Rondo and Ingram out, the Lakers had three players who had 6 or more assists and dished out 34 dimes to move into second place in the entire league in assists. While more money and ring chasing are almost always the primary reason free agents choose a team, style of play (and how that affects a player’s stats and earning power) and having fun are going to be major factors for the Lakers next summer.

      4) Lance really opened my eyes with his decision and play making. That was an impressive performance and his play in the second was the key to the Lakers taking and keeping control of the game from that point on. I give Luke a lot of credit for how he’s handled the veterans, who were supposed to be a bunch of crazies. I also haven’t given up on Michael Beasley proving he has value on this team too. We may see Michael get Zubac’s few minutes to see what he can do. It’s just a question of the Lakers having too much talent.

      5) I too was thrilled with Luke’s ‘quicker trigger’ on making moves this season vs. last. He’s surprised me twice already. First, by starting Kuzma to replace Ingram and second, by starting Josh to replace KCP. I’m hoping this is a signal that Luke has learned from last year and believes he has the confidence to make whatever moves he believes are best for the team’s chances to win, despite the veteran status and agent of the player in question. It gives me hope Luke will recognize that Lonzo, Kuzma, and Hart are the best fit for playing alongside LeBron. Imagine our bench if we add Rondo and Ingram to Lance, KCP, and Williams. Suddenly, the Lakers depth delivers an elite starting lineup and elite cadre of reserves.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 5:17 PM on October 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Jamie,
      Nice recap. We lost 3 games down the stretch to quality teams as we learned to play together. So I was never too worried. I am also pretty jazzed. He’s been on a roll since the end of last year so I think the sample size is large enough to think this is who he is. He is our best 3 point shooter and should be starting.

      Lonzo has been shooting the 3 well also. However the sample size isn’t large enough yet. But he still will start even after Rondo comes back. I was always of the opinion that he would start once his conditioning was up to par and his timing was back. They still pull him for more frequent tests but that will change.

      I think they figured out how to best use McGee who has been terrific. They play him for shorter then normal bursts that seems to allow him to full speed when he’s in.

      Lance has been great as well. He has always been a guy that can look like an all star one game and terrible the next. He seems to have embraced his roll which if he keeps it up will be huge.

      I’m thinking BI will start when he comes back. It gives us the defensive lineup. I think Kuz will get starter minutes but will come off the bench. I don’t know what the deal with Beasley is but he seems to be in the dog house. Until Wagner can contribute at some point that leaves Kuz to back up the 4. I think we will see him getting his minutes at both the 3 and 4. While there will be plenty of mixing and matching we will probably use 10 guys. With that kind of depth we can run hard for 48 minutes. Looking forward to having all hands on deck and playing as a well oiled machine.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 5:33 PM on October 25, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think the starting backcourt thing is waaaayyyy overblown. Starting the season with Rondo & KCP was more about Lonzo not being in game shape and Joshy tweaking that hammy at the end of exhibition season. Luke went with the healthier guys…it ain’t rocket science.

      And nobody cares about the KCP-Kutcher Sports connection at this point..LeBron is locked in long-term and KCP is likely gone next season (if not before).

      I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that Kuz has flourished the last 2 games while not having the burden of playing center either. Time to end that experiment and just go with Williams.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:18 PM on October 23, 2018 Permalink  

    Rondo denies spitting, says Paul is no ‘good guy’ 

    Rajon Rondo said a mouthguard would impact his ability to intentionally spit on someone, and that the NBA catered to Chris Paul’s “good guy” image when determining bans.

    Source: Rondo denies spitting, says Paul is no ‘good guy’

     

    Spitgate…gotta love it!

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:06 AM on October 23, 2018 Permalink  

    LeBron downplays weight of Lakers’ 0-3 start 

    LeBron James says he isn’t fazed one bit by what has unfolded so far with the Lakers, after they dropped to his first 0-3 start since his second year in the NBA.

    Source: LeBron downplays weight of Lakers’ 0-3 start

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:58 AM on October 23, 2018 Permalink  

    Walton trumpets foul disparity: ‘It’s not right’ 

    Luke Walton was critical of the officiating following the Lakers’ loss to the Spurs, after what he believed were missed calls on the Lakers and LeBron James.

    Source: Walton trumpets foul disparity: ‘It’s not right’

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:45 AM on October 23, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    Well…obviously not the end. LBJ doesn’t need to be reminded that one aspect of his job is to make those free throws, the final shot I was fine with. But those free throws really were a downer. We’ll grow and move past this but, as predicted, rough start to the season and really has nothing to do with who starts or finishes. This a process of acclimation and discovery. There are skill sets that we need to pair with the proper players, yes, but this goes a lot deeper than that. Especially with the kind of aspirations this team surely has. Having said that, there were some obvious things that one could gleen from last night’s game.

    1) Johs Hart needs to start. KCP will probably get a couple more games to right his personal ship but, barring a miracle turn-around or vast imrpvement in his post defense, I just don’t see him taking a big enough step at this point in his career. Luke did the right thing: gave the veteran his spot (especially when Hart didn’t play this well during preseason) and having KCP will be a really good thing moving forward for this team. But there’s simply no doubt that the better player, and the player with the higher ceiling, is Josh Hart. I expect him to be starting by November if this current trend of play continues.

    2) Lonzo Ball looking aggressive with his shot. Although he ended up passing up some open looks both from the three and around the rim his focus on scoring has improved. Last season he would create wide open looks for himself and then dribble right back into the defense. Already he looks to be more comfortabel, and better at, shooting the basletball. His defense has taken a bit of the hit with the new rules, but he fouled a lot less last night than in the previosu games. Once he gets the new rules squared in his head I think he’ll be poised to make a bigger impact on that end than he has thus far. He had some brilliant passes for scores and his new shot looks great. Not so certain he’ll start as soon as hart will.

    3) Kuzma absolutely going off and showing a return to form. You knew it couldn’t last forever. Struggled with his hook shot and three ball throughout all of preseason and into the regular season. He got so hot last night he started making poor reads while trying to force his own shot attempts for a short spell, but Luke took him aside and set him straight. I love it when Kuzma finds that nice blend of his shooting and passing to the open man, not an easy thing to find in every NBA game you play in. It looked like Kyle was making a case to start over BI and if BI struggles in his return (or if Kuzma routinely drops 30+ ppg for the next 3 games) we could see a BI-led bench crew. I can think of worse things as Brandon, like Lance, needs the ball in his hands to maximize his skill set and that simply may not exist right now next to LBJ. Time will tell, and I’m certainly not giving up on Ingram. But Kuzma was playing the kind of game you expect out of a starter and Brandon has yet to do that in this early portion of the season.

    4) Luke havig his team’s back in an overall sense. He got a tech for an incredibly obvious non-call against LeBron, he left Zubac in to make a point about the disparity in how they were calling touch fouls in the paint (it was ridiculously one-sided towards the Spurs) and he stuck with Johnathon Williams. For a guy who will be under fire for everything LeBron related I thought Luke did a great job of managing the team last night and it almost resulted in a win. Great job with the short-handed squad.

    5) Johnathon Williams. While I won’t go so far so as to declare Mr. Williams the back up center of the future he certainly made the most of his minutes and opportunity last night. He and Svi had a nice 2-man game going (to the point Svi passed up an open look or two and was subsequently pulled, plus Hart was killing it) but any time you get that much of a contribution for a guy destined to play big minutes in the G-League it’s a net-positive for your team. While it generally comes at the expense of a player who you expect to deliver, having a guy ready to have his number called electrifys the crowd (it did), emboldens your team (it did) and can often result in a win (well…2 out of 3 ain’t bad).

    All in all, an entertaining game. We’ve hung with the best team and just need to get the fouling out of our defense (or at least convince the refs to call the same fouls on both ends) and get our free throws falling along with our three ball and we’re right there. I have every confidence that we’re looking at a 5-8 seed playoff team if we can straighten just a few minor things out. Wednesday against the Suns could be our first W, here’s hoping.

    Go Lakers.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:39 PM on October 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the post, Jamie.

      1) Josh Hart should start ASAP. Until then, he should continue to play twice the minutes as KCP. He’s a better shooter and driver than KCP and a better fit next to LeBron. Josh does need to improve his defense, especially at the point of attack. Lots of energy is great but he’s got to stay in front of his man.

      2) Lonzo should continue to start even after Rondo returns. He’s a better defender and shooter than Rondo and a better fit next to LeBron. And it does look like Lonzo has improved his shooting. This was only his fifth game since returning from injury. You’re right, the knee looks great.

      3) Kuzma should continue to start even after Ingram returns. We need his volume shooting to spread the floor for LeBron. He needs to play with Lonzo and LeBron. Glad to see Luke drop the Kuz as a small ball center. Still waiting to see if LeBron is going to play some as we move on.

      4) Luke was right to jump all over the refs. Lakers attack with lots of contact and zero calls. Good to se him have the team’s back. I have no problem with the calls on us. We fouled and need to get better at not doing that but the lack of calls at the other end was frustrating.

      5) Jonathan did a great job picking up DeRozan and stuffing his shot. Glad to see him come through. He may be the short term solution until we can trade KCP for a backup center or power forward who can play backup center. That’s more of a need than a second tradtional center who teams will just run off the floor.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:22 PM on October 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks LT,

        1) I think we agree, I do think Luke won’t just bail on KCP (or any of his line ups) that quickly. We’ve not played 5 games, yet. So, while I do believe Hart will be starting sooner than later, I don’t expect it to be permanent just yet. Hart’s ability to defend in the post is the opposite issue KCP has, if we could only combine them into one player… Hart’s lateral quickness simply isn’t on par with KCP. Pope is the better perimeter defender, by far, and Hart the more versatile. Going to be interesting to see how Luke uses both going forward.

        2) I think you’re under-valuing Rondo’s leadership on this one. Yes, he just got into a fight (although watching the same replay the NBA looked at I find it very inconclusive for someone with a mouth piece in) but what I felt was missing down the stretch last night is something Rondo does better than any other NBA player I can think of: someone gathering the troops on the court together and getting everyone on the same page. Lonzo might get there, eventually, but he’s a little too cool for school in that regard and just isn’t the vocal leader you generally like to have on the court, especially in crunch time. Also, Rondo and he are about the same in terms of shooting the ball this season (Rondo is actually better, to be honest, but the difference is fractional):
        -Rondo 50% 3P FG, 58.8% 2p FG, 61.9% eFG (!!!)
        -Lonzo 42.1% 3P FG 57.1% 2P FG, 61.5% eFG% (!!!)
        That’s high for both players, although there is a lot more evidence Rondo will regress to his mean and this is only Lonzo’s second season after a pretty short 1st season. Basically, from my point of view, the jury is still waaaaay out on Lonzo being the better scorer. So far, they’ve both looked good. That’s about as far as I’m willing to go today. In a month or 2 we’ll have a larger body of stats to dissect and continue the debate. Bottom line: I don’t see Luke giving up on Rondo starting as quickly as I believe you do (or at least hope).

        3) Disagree, Ingram has had a rough start but we all saw how he can carve up a defense last year. Kuzma has struggled all preseason and this year and has had one good game. He’s making the most of a great opportunity but his scoring won’t be what gets him into the starting line up. It’s the area he still struggles mightily in and that’s his defense. Ingram is a much, much better defender in every sense of the word than Kyle is and that’s why he’ll keep starting. That and Ingram’s playmaking set him apart from Kuzma on multiple levels. The only way I see it happening quickly is for Ingram to just fall off the map with his shooting, which I also don’t expect. I think that this suspension will light a fire under his butt and he’ll come back ready to prove himself like he talked about and showed he was ready to do in preseason. But it’s certainly something to watch, especially if Kuzma scores like he did last night more often.

        4) Yup.

        5) I trust that Magic, Rob and Luke are in lock step on what the team needs moving forward. I do think that KCP will be trade bait. That he will, when asked to, waive his no-trade clause on account of he’s a multi-millionaire because of us now and he’s part of the LBJ conglomerate. At the end of the day, who knows, but those are my thoughts. I don’t see Williams as a long terms plan, but it was great to see him step up and take the court by storm last night. Love it when the G-Leaguers shine. Zubac just looked terrible and I won’t be too surprised if we end up waiving him before the rest of his season is guaranteed. Had high hopes for the young man, so enthusiastic about the Lakers, but just isn’t showing me anything on the court.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:04 PM on October 23, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Good response, Jamie. Just a couple of comments. The big difference between Lonzo and Rondo in shooting is willingness to take the shot. We need guys around LeBron who will not hesitate and pull the trigger with confidence. That’s not Rondo. 50% on 2 shots doesn’t compare to 42.1% on 19 shots. I’ve a lot more confidence in Lonzo shooting.

          I do agree we might see Rondo alongside Lonzo to close games. Depends on the matchups but we could have used some leadership and organization down the end of the game and overtime. I just think there are better options than free lance shots in both situations.

          As for Ingram, I hope Brandon comes back and makes me eat crow but we saw in preseason and so far this season that he plays best with the ball in his hands. His length makes it difficult for him to be that catch-and-shoot guy and you need the ball in your hands to do those Euro step drives to get layups and draw fouls. Don’t see playing with LeBron and Lonzo as giving Brandon those opportunities.

          Talentwise, I think Ingram will eventually start but probably not immediately after returning frrom suspension. If he wants to work his way back into the starting lineup, howeve, he’s going to have to learn how to play without the ball. Kuz did a great job of that last night. And he’s going to have to take and hit his threes. He can’t hesitate and step into those long twos.

          Imagine he and Rondo replicating the playmaking duo that LeBron and Lonzo would have on the starters. When you look at who fits with whom, Brandon should be our 6th man. He’d play starter minutes and usually close games and be the star who has to be on the court whenever LeBron takes a breather. I think that’s the perfect role for Brandon.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 5:02 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink  

    4 games for BI, 3 for Rajon 

    Could have been a lot worse, 2 games for CP3 so everyone gets a taste.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:26 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great opportunity for Lonzo to take over the starting point guard role. Maybe also a shot for Kuzma to take over for Ingram and maybe convince Luke to shift things to keep him in the starting lineup. This situation could end up with a legitimate silver lining.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:58 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Ingram is actually very lucky that that haymaker he threw didn’t seriously hurt somebody. He’s lucky that he was only suspended 4 games. The last thing the Lakers need right now is for Ingram to turn into Kermit Washington or Bobby Portis and wreck his budding career. Lots of the frustration was due to his poor start to the season. Hopefully, some time to reflect and get his head together will enable him to break out when he comes back.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 6:30 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Bullsh$t!
      Once again, the instigators get barely a slap on the wrist.
      Absolute bullsh$t.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 10:20 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sounds about right…BI was the 3rd guy in and threw a haymaker from the blindside. Luckily, like most ball players, he can’t fight for shyte and barely grazed anybody.

      Rondo was the instigator so he got the extra game over CP3.

      I don’t see the silver lining in any of this as the team is trying to build some continuity but now they’re missing multiple rotation players for a week, will be playing some funky lineups, and then gotta reset again next week when Rondo & BI get back.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:59 AM on October 21, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I liked 

    Wow. Well that was certainly a home opener. In a game that was supposed to be all about LeBron James somehow it became about every other aspect of the Lakers as they currently stand. Mercurial vets we brought in after signing LeBron causing distractions? Check. Rondo and CP3’s bad blood was on full display and Lance played peace-maker, sure, but only after he did a masterful job of enticing Harden into a T. Ingram with that half court sprint into a cheap shot punch…that’s an unfortunate course for that young man to have embarked upon, cheap shots like that really have no place in anything. I was fine with the shove, he’d been the focus of their offensive attack in the first half and wasn’t getting the same love, as none of the Lakers did, from the whistle-bearers. But there’s no place for that kind of cheap shot. Hope he learns from it.

    Anyhow…

    1) Lonzo Ball. The only Laker to make more than one 3 pointer. With Rondo bound to be missing a game or 3 let the Ball era begin anew. Lonzo was 4-8 from 3 and is shooting them with confidence. He still gets lost on defense and where he needs to be off the ball on offense but with Rondo getting suspended he has a great opportunity early in the season to re-capture his starting role. Lead the team to a win tomorrow and it’ll go a long way towards making that a more legitimate choice.

    2) JaVale Mcgee’s defense. Played 20 minutes again, altered a ton of shots, scored efficiently. While I question his repeated outside shooting his skills around the rim on both ends are top shelf. Keep it up, JV.

    3) Rajon Rondo pre altercation. I don’t see Rondo spitting on Chris Paul in any replay I can find. That’s some bush league CP3 shyte and I hope the league suspends them equally. To that I expect Brandon to get suspended the most, cheap shots like he chose to throw are the kind of things the league loves to come down hard on. They could take into account his 3 seasons of generally stellar conduct…but we’ll see. But Rajon, pre-antics was rolling. Outside of a couple ill-advised full court passes (and he’s not the only one throwing those) he was killing it. Hitting smart shots, making great reads and playing decent D.

    4) Identity points. 68 points in the paint, 22 fast break points. If we start hitting free throws and couple more three pointers per game we’ll be in great shape. As a team we only committed 11 turnovers, it was our sending Houston to the line the amount of times that we did (and missing our own). Our defense and passing acumen is leading us to easy scoring chances, we’re missing wide open threes and free throws. Need to clean those things up.

    5) Lance Stephenson. No offense to Brandon Ingram, he’s my favorite young Laker although his latest escapade was dismaying, but Lance is playing better right now. Lance may not have the three point touch, but his defense is great and he can create his own shot. The only thing being that, if Ingram is suspended, we’ll need someone to score off the bench. At any rate, had the fracas not occurred I’d have been fine with the rotations as they were for a good 15-20 games. The fracas changes everything. Lance just might see himself in the starting line up and if he’s a part of our first Laker win it’ll make the conversation about who should start a legit one.

    Ingram coming put of nowhere, and frankly even pushing James Harden, was a big surprise to me. I hope he hasn’t been holding his emotions in so tight he’s reaching a boiling point. Because, frankly, this isn’t even pressure yet. This the beginning of what will later become true pressure, when everything is at a literal boiling point and every second of your on-court life matters to a level that approaches the absurd. But it’s truth, and it’s the kind of truth that makes a person uncomfortable. Because the only thing it reveals is the current state of your character and strength of will. At this level your sill and ability is pretty much undeniable, you add to that through hard work. But the pressure attacks something different, something you can;t make stronger with weights or running a lot. It attacks your soul and your will.

    All the young Lakers are struggling. Ball not so much mentally but getting back to his best, current, physical self. That’s what could end up setting Lonzo Ball apart from the other young bloods: his strength of spirit. That dude is as cool as a cucumber. We’ll see how this all shakes out soon enough. I expect the Lakers will be “short-handed” Monday night.

     
    • p ang

      p ang 3:10 AM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Five things I didn’t like:

      1. LBJ protecting/cuddling CP3 while their other buddy Melo was harassing BI. Time for LBJ to take lessons from Magic v. Isiah Thomas. Lakers bigger than any friend.

      2. BI’s punch. Stupid stupid stupid. At least he didn’t punch and run away like Melo did in NY. Melo and his stupid tough guy act. Notice how Lance didn’t even pay any attention to him?

      3. KCP’s diet. I’m blaming his current lousy play to his diet. Go back to what you use to eat in Detroit, KCP!

      4. Laker’s collapse. Maturity hopefully will cure that.

      5. JaVale’s 20mpg. Guy should play 30mpg along with Rondo.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 10:24 AM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree with all of those.
        I hope some of LeBron’s team mates, maybe Rondo, brings up the fact that he had Chris’ back instead of protecting “his guys.”

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 10:49 AM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          We could have won that game, if all that ruckus that BI kinda started or finished would not have happened. Gain control young Ingy, gain control. Why do we keep KCP playing? Never been impressed except about 1 of every 5 games. He’s gone next year anyway. Nice game by Zo! Really need a win Monday.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 3:05 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lebron averaging 38 minutes so far; pretty sure that wasn’t the plan.

      It doesn’t seem like Javale can go for more than 5-6 minutes at a time before needing a significant rest. Dude looks like he’s just finished a marathon everytime he goes to the bench. He’s been great while he’s in there but we need to figure out what to do for the other 28 minutes.

      Gonna take time for these guys to learn how to play together and especially how to play off Lebron. This is a byproduct of turning over half the roster every year with these 1 year contracts.

      Luke already seems to have settled on a 9 man rotation of Lebron, Rondo, Javale, BI, KCP,.Hart, Lance, Lonzo, & Kuz. With the upcoming suspensions Beez, Svi, Zu, or maybe even Mo will get another chance to make a better impression. Really disappointed in Beez so far but not really surprised. The backup center role was his for the taking…still is.

      The fight? Not a big deal. You aren’t gonna spit on Chris Paul (intentionally or not) and not have it turn into a scrum. Take the punishments and move on.

      We’ve been in both these games going into crunch time but couldn’t pull em out. Eventually Lebron will figure out who to trust and when it’s time take over..he always has.

      Just Roll With It…..

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:35 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Had kinda hoped Ingram would be more willing/able to step into that second banana role but just hasn’t been able to put together a solid offensive outing. Like the whole squad I think it’ll come together sooner than later. Just a matter of when.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:06 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Ingram has been so frustrated by not being able to hit his threes that it might be good for him to sit a few games and get his mojo back. His defense has been excellent but it’s been a struggle for him to play off the ball when with LeBron and Rondo. I think time off watching could help him get his head back on straight. He’s got the toughest job fitting in with LeBron and needs the ball a lot more than Lonzo, Josh, or Kyle.

          LeBron has been working hard to blend in with the Lakers offense, which I think has made it tougher for him to just turn it on and become the closer. The Rockets did a good job on making sure he would have to beat several players to score. Great as he is, LeBron never was the guy you really wanted to take the last shot ala Kobe although he is the guy you want to have the ball at the end of games. Just more of a facilitator than closer

          Anyway, sometimes the passion you love to see just flows over and you get a situation like last night. Losing two tough games that you could have won if you could just make a three plus the usual cheap plays favored by Harden and Paul made a fight inevitable. I’m of the mind that this might end up being a positive for the Lakers in that it will hopefully give Lonzo and Kuzma a needed opportunity to show what they can do as starters with LeBron.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:16 PM on October 21, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff as usual, Jamie.

      1. Loved Lonzo’s game. Showed some grit by hitting those threes even after airballing one. I think he’s chomping at the bit and will lead us to three wins while Rondo is out.

      2. JaVale was a force. He’s been the best Laker during the first two games. He completely neutralized Capela when he was in the game. Would like to see the Lakers slowly increase his minutes from the 20 he played last night closer to the 34 minutes Capela played. At least half the game or 24 minutes.

      3. Rondo was great but we just didn’t need a fight that cost us him for 3 game and Ingram for 4 games. Just hoping Lonzo and Kuzma can turn that into a silver lining. Does raise a little concern about how well Rondo will wear if the team starts to struggle.

      4. Yes, we are starting to create a definite identity for our relentless juggernaut pace. Perfect timing considering the new rules designed to help freedom of movement. I expect the Lakers to set new marks for pace, fast break points, and points in the paint.

      5. Lance may not fit with Luke’s offense but there are definitely times when the offense stutters and you need a guy like Lance who can not only get his shot but make it too. Just need to pick and chose the right times and Lance needs to continue to work hard to fill his role.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:26 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I liked 

    Game 1, great spirit, battled back and now we look forward to Saturday. Having said that…

    1) LeBron Jame’s first dunk. Welcome to LA, LBJ. That was a fine ‘how do you do?’

    2) LeBron James 2nd dunk. That was the moment I really started to believe that this team could do it. We’d go on to brick every first half 3-pointer (0-15 and a lot of them wide open looks) and our defense couldn’t maintain that first quarter energy and focus. But that 2nd dunk was majestic. Came after Dame answered James’ dunk with one of his own. Those were just 2 of our whopping 70 points in the paint and 34 fast break points. I think LeBron is OK with playing fast.

    3) The kids grinding their way into their games. It didn’t come easy for any of them. Hart turned in the best individual performance and Ingram had a nice 3rd quarter run to keep us close. Lonzo looked rusty and still needs to adjust to the new NBA defense rules. He, and a lot of players fouled more than expected (each team shot 29 freebies) Kuzma was better around the rim but couldn’t hit from deep until a too-late 3 at the end of the game. But to a man they never wilted and ground out decent games and helped keep us in it.

    4) Rondo’s double-double. As rusty as Lonzo looked (and he did look pretty rusty) and without the public declaration that he’s on a minutes restriction (only played 19) he still generated some positives. Made both his free throws, grabbed 2 offensive boards and the three he hit looked great. All of that just needs to become the norm. In his less stellar moments he just looked a step off or out of sync. I don’t think the rust is as much physical as it is mental. He’s got a whole new team to get used to (one of the reasons I think he’s being paired more with the players he knows or the iso-centric Lance Stephenson whom anyone can dump the ball off to and see if he can generate a decent look) and his overall timing is still off. Rondo looks solid running things and I’d like to see more of the 2 of them on the court together.

    5) The on-court coaching. LeBron did it a few times, Rondo was great at keeping everyone engaged in the 4th when were almost able to mount a comeback. That kind of thing is monumental for the young players to see and be a part of. That’s how you can fast-forward this process a bit. While it didn’t result in a win last night it was a great foundational moment for them to build on.

    Winning in Portland last night was going to be a Herculean task one way or the other. Portland dominates on opening night, Lakers struggle in Portland, LeBron struggles in Portland, LeBron always loses his opening night contests with a new team, and Portland straight owns us right now (16-0 winning streak for Rip City). Plus it was Paul Allen night so, stacked deck to say the least. Get to .500 tomorrow.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:16 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Without reading your list first:

      1. LeBron’s dunks
      2. Lonzo’s free throws
      3. JaVale’s blocks
      4. Josh’s drives and threes
      5. Rondo’s assists.

    • p ang

      p ang 11:55 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Best analogy, if you guys can still remember it, is a young couple’s first kiss. Everyone tentative and bumbling along. Waiting for Kuz and BI to settle down. And when they do and shots fall down we should have a team.

      Dang, Javale McGee is a gamer. Go stick it to Shaq, Javale. Win three in LA and put the last in your middle finger for Shaq to see. lol.

      Oh, F the 3, find someone to guard the other team’s 3pt shooter. KCP, Hart and Zo aint it.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:29 AM on October 19, 2018 Permalink  

    Coulda Woulda Shoulda 

    The title also applies to the Young Core of the Los Angeles Lakers. From Brandon Ingram to Lonzo Ball the youngins struggled, especially in the first half. The Lakers were 0-12 from 3 at halftime. Finished 7-30 so volume certainly wasn’t the issue.with only KCP (1-1), Rondo (1-2) and Josh Hart (3-5) shooting over 25%. Brandon found his game a little better in the 2nd half but the 3 ball eluded he and LBJ whilst Kuzma and Ball combined to go 2-11.

    The bench got worked in this game and obviously the three point discrepancy was a huge issue. But I really thought this was a winnable game up until a minute or so to go. If Ingram or James could have hit some 3s, if the bench had started a little more in sync, all of this could have gone very differently. It didn’t. First game and this is going to be a journey. One super-duper positive, Lonzo is 100% on his free throws through 1 game. While the perfection may not last his free throw shot looked smooth tonight. Just improving that aspect of his game would go a long way towards realizing his potential.

    Personal umbrages would be not enough Josh Hart, didn’t try Zubac when Kuzma was out-swolted in the first half and, subsequently, the second half (specifically to start the 2nd quarter and end the 3rd into the 4th quarter, felt like Luke never really matched their size…then again, Kuz just might have to learn a bit). Myles Leonard and Zach Collins simply cannot be the reason we lose. Kyle did his best when Portland, inexplicably, went small. Portland is a team that has solid to great talent at the 4 and 5. No adjustment by our team, something to work on.

    0 fer on predictions, btw. C’est la vie.

     
    • mclyne32 (Director) 9:00 AM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s not the individual talent of the big that is the issue. It’s that said big can overpower their smaller counterpart and make the defense collapse.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 9:01 AM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Kuz does not have the body to fend off even the least talented big. He shouldn’t have to, either. That’s not his purpose on the court.

        • therealhtj

          therealhtj 9:37 AM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Just the same, we knew they’d struggle some from deep, but had they at least been acceptable in the first half, this probably goes differently.

          JaVale has been a pleasant surprise. Lance and Beas probably don’t last the season. KCP is only here because of his agency affiliation. He’ll be up in the rafters next to Marbury someday.

          • NBA4ever

            NBA4ever 10:49 AM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Why wouldn’t Lance last the season??? smh

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 1:03 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink

              His basketball ability has abandoned him. His ability to be a distraction remains in tact.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:28 AM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks dudes!

      Something I was mulling over this week leading up to this game: I noted the plethora of hand-wringing amongst media pundits about how little turnover there had been on Portland, that the same team that got swept the previous year was starting the season in Portland red and black, again. I am of the opinion that isn’t such a bad thing. That’s a hungry team up there and they have a full season together under their belts. They know what they’re doing, few mysteries remain in terms of a team ID.

      We’re the exact opposite. You could see it in how many times we knocked over or screened out our own teammates, in the moments where LeBron or Rondo had to get someone to a spot to run the play right, just in a general lack of cohesiveness. The oddest part about that was how lost the team looked when it was guys who had played together before. Whenever KidCore was out there sans Rondo or James it was a mess on both ends. No movement, no talking on defense. That was weird, but it’s one game, everything eill improve which, honestly, bodes really well for the P&G.

      An expected loss, from my point of view but the way we competed gives me a lot of hope for the upcoming schedule. We won’t shoot that poorly from the outside and we were in this game from start to finish. On to the next one on Saturday!

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 11:51 AM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Can’t defend the 3, can’t shoot the 3, we lose. We hung in there and showed no fear. Rondo is a magician. Hart showed his stuff! I think Kuz and Ingy will be fine. One game that we almost took. On to Saturday!

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:00 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Sometimes the shots fall. Sometimes they don’t. When you consider how horribly the Lakers shot from deep and from the line, how they were outrebounded, the poor play by KCP, Lonzo, Ingram, and Kuzma, it’s surprising the Lakers actually had a chance to win the game, on the road, after a short camp and preseason, against a team that was 3rd in the West last season, was dedicating the game to the passing of their owner Paul Allen, in the Rose Garden. I wish we would have won and we have some major issues to address but man, this team has some incredible potential once everything gets clicking.

        Here’s another weird way to look at last night. Blazers outrebounded the Lakers 60-53, giving them 7 more opportunities. Blazers outshot the Lakers 100-93, giving them 7 more shots. Blazers outshot Lakers from deep 37-30, giving them 7 more 3-point attempts. Blazers shot 35% from three so those 7 more attempted threes likely resulted in 3 more makes or 9 points. Thus, the 128-119 victory by the Blazers directly the result of those 7 extra rebounds, 6 of which were offensive.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 11:59 AM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Any opinions on our small ball Center tactic?

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:30 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lakers lost the game but were in it until the last couple of minutes. On the positive side, the Lakers identity as a juggernaut transition team was clearly established. On the negative side, concerns about the team’s 3-point shooting, rebounding, and defense proved to be justified.

      The Good
      —————-

      -Lakers played one of the fastest games in their history, posting a blistering pace of 113.5 possessions, which was the fastest game LeBron ever played and scoring 34 points in transition, which was just 1 point below the most ever by a Lakers team. Team also scored 70 points in the paint.

      -LeBron James made an effective but somewhat subdued debut in purple and gold, posting 26 points, 12 boards, 6 assists, and 1 steal but turning the ball over 6 times and going 0-4 from deep in 37 minutes.

      -JaVale McGee continues to impress with his speed and athleticism posting 13 points (5/6 shooting), 8 boards, 3 blocks, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers in 22 minutes.

      -Josh Hart came off the bench to star, posting 20 points on 8/12 shooting including 3/5 from deep, 4 boards, 1 assist, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in 27 minutes.

      -Rajon Rondo was the Lakers’ best point guard, posting 13 points, 4 boards, 11 assists, and 1 steal with 3 turnovers in 32 minutes.

      The Bad
      —————-

      -KCP had a poor game despite playing 27 minutes, including closing the game instead of Ingram, opening up the door for Josh Hart at the 2. KCP posted 5 points, 1 assist, and 2 boards and was basically a non-factor all game long.

      -Lonzo Ball also had a poor game, showing none of the great defensive fire from preseason and hesitating to shoot with confidence, especially early in the game. He did hit a three late and swished two free throws, which could be critically important to his development.

      -Brandon Ingram was actually pulled by Luke for KCP to close out the game. While BI had not played well, posting 16 points but taking 15 shots to get them and missing 4 corner threes. While playing 28 minutes, Brandon only grabbed 4 boards and was MIA for most of the first half. Concerns about whether he could play off the ball raised their heads again.

      -Kyle Kuzma also continued to struggle, especially when having to play small ball center. Kuz shot 1-7 from deep but only grabbed 4 boards in 29 minutes. He did make some excellent cuts leading to scores off passes from LeBron and Rondo. Question whether having him play small ball center makes sense, other than to keep LeBron from having to guard the 5. Lakers need to use that 15th spot for a backup or small ball center.

      The Ugly
      —————-

      -Lakers’ 3-point shooting concerns proved to be justified as the team started out missing their first 15 threes. Fortunately, they hit 7 of their last 15 to end up with a miserable 7/30 or just 23%. The Blazers meanwhile hit 13/37 threes or 35% and outscored the Lakers by 18 points from deep. Lakers failed to run for corner threes in transition and their half court sets never focused on creating open threes.

      -Lakers’ rebounding concerns also proved to be justified as the Lakers gave up 14 offensive boards and lost the rebounding battle 60-53. The Lakers allowed 56 points in the paint, many on the offensive glass while playing small ball. Lakers were leaking three players on the break and only leaving two behind to rebound. The weak side guard or forward needs to stay and help secure the rebound.

      -Lakers gave up 128 points, including many devastating wide open threes. None of the team’s forwards did a good job helping protect the rim and none of the guards did much to prevent the Blazers from raining threes. Lonzo and Hart starting would definitely help elevate the defense

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 12:35 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yes, what I said, lol. Nice summary LT!

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:38 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Oooweeoooweeooo wah wah wah, indeed.

        Pretty much agree LT, I did think we specifically ran plays for corner 3s a grand total of 3 times but missed them all. If they’re going to shoot that poorly though, I’ll take the transition 2s until someone emerges as legit three point threat.

        Yeah, the red flags that were waved still hold true. Good thing is I feel like those are workable things. Like cutting down on the turnovers. The rebounding will be an issue until we get guys boxing out for our guards to board better. Hopefully fixable with time and reps for our new small ball line ups.

        I think that, if KCP has more games like last night, Hart will supplant him. But Rondo outplayed Ball on every level. The kid is real rusty, man, give him some time. He already has missed a ton of games…because of that knee. I’m fine with easing him in a bit. He’s not going anywhere and has always had knee issues at every level of the game, best to see how it responds. He’ll get there and, for the betterment of everyone, it’ll be organically.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 2:40 PM on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Jamie,
      Nice recap. While I had hoped for something different the result wasn’t unexpected. I’m not going to rush to too many conclusions based on a team that is still trying to learn to play together. While our 3 point shooting will be a concern I don’t expect that Kuz, Bi and Lebron will have very many combined 1 for 15 games either. I think there was a lot pressing especially with the young guys. Opening game with Lebron had to cause a few jitters. I thought BI settled down and had a decent 2nd half. I’m waiting for Kuz to do the same. It’s kind of like BI last year at the beginning of the year. Kuz has been pressing since training camp opened. I think he needs to relax. Although I do have my doubts about him at the 5. We may have to play Zu some and play small less if it doesn’t turn around. For me when you go small you need strong guys like Draymond or Randle to be real successful. Especially on the boards. LeBaron is strong enough but for whatever reason they are not playing him there. I’m hoping maybe Wagner can help once he gets healthy. I’m actually okay with where Zo is right now. He’s actually better then I thought he would be after missing so much time and limited for part of training camp. It’s clear why Luke chose to start Rondo. Once Zo is 100% I wouldn’t be surprised if Luke starts him. As for Josh, just start him already. I predict that after this year he will join Kuz and Mitchell as the steals of his draft class.

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