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  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:53 AM on December 29, 2018 Permalink  

    Sick baby, 5 Things MIAish 

    With Sydney coming down with a bad cold go close out 2018 I haven’t had the time to overly dissect what tickles my fancy, but this is where I’m at with our 5 young core players.

    1) Lonzo Ball playing with aggression. That’s the player we need to see every game. Is it a mental adjustment? Assuredly, when LeBron comes back he’ll be playing more off the ball. Will his role fluctuate? Yep, that’s life, but for a select few, in the NBA. But when he drives the ball with the intent to score or comes off a screen looking to shoot he is a much better player.

    2) Same goes for Ingram. Lately he’s middling about shooting too many mud-range 2’s and making poor reads. He’s turning down 3 point shots and coming up short on his drives. His free throw percentage is in free fall this month. If there’s a player on the roster that needs the calendar to turn it’s BI.

    3) Kyle Kuzma. It’s the opposite with Kyle, he needs to slow his roll down at times and find that space in his head where the game slows down. When he’s under control he’s a true force in the NBA. When he drifts into reckless Nd out of control he’s very ordinary. His defensive intensity comes and goes, with LeBron he’s cutting less and going iso more, and his three point shot isn’t falling like it did last year…yet.

    4) Josh Hart and his drives to the rim. He’s gotta take a ref out to dinner, watch some James Harden game film, I don’t know what but something to find out why he can’t buy a grrr throw on his drives to the rim. In many ways Hart is our most consistent young player but he’s also asked to do a lot less and has had the most stable role.

    5) Zubac. Zu’s come back to Earth playing without LeBron or Rondo. Our other primary play makers have yet to perfect the art of the pick and roll (or command less respect from the defense) and so his scoring went down once those 2 went out. Like most young players he struggled with that and his overall play has gone down, as well.

    All in all, a disappointing 2 games. Hopefully the ship can be righted to some degree but this is honestly what generally happens when you remove transcendent players from the line up.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:23 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Happy New Year, Jamie. Hope Sydney gets well soon. Sick babies seem so helpless.

      A disappointing game for sure but not unexpected considering how young we are. It’s hard in this league to roll out three 21-year olds and two 23-year olds and expect to compete against a solid group of vets like the Clippers have. Bottom line, none of the Lakers’ young stars have the ability to create their own shot at will whereas the Clippers have Sweet Lou Williams. Game over.

      1) Lonzo continued to play aggressively 19 points, 5 boards, 6 dimes, and a steal but also turned the ball over 4 times and again missed two bunnies after sensational defensive plays that were enough to make you pull your hair out as a Lakers fan. One good thing is he did swish his two free throws. Zo just needs to continue to play aggressively and get into downhill mode even when Bron returns.

      2) Ingram is driving me crazy as is Luke continued insistence that he’s our only option to backup Lonzo at point with Rondo out. It’s one thing to have the ball stick like it does with LeBron at times but to do that all game long and fail to record even a single assist tells you all you need to know about Brandon Ingram at this point in his increasingly disappointing career. He’s going to be a star at some point but it’s becoming clearer every day it won’t be in purple and gold.

      3) Kuzma also struggled with turnovers and unsuccessful out-of-control iso plays as he and Ingram took turns unsuccessfully trying to take over the game down the stretch. His long range shot isn’t falling and he continually turns down open shots to drive and take floaters attacking the paint. Kuzma can be an elite scorer and star but he’s not a guy who can instantly create an open shots for himself or a teammate. That’s a limit to his game that will prevent him from being LeBron’s co-pilot.

      4) Josh continues to contribute as an undersized but tough wing. It was good to see him hit some threes and play sound defense with three steals. He had some tough matchups against bigger players on the Clippers and did a good job on boards and moving the ball. You’re right he needs to study guys like Harden and Lou Williams as he never gets the call attacking the rim.

      5) Zubac had another disappointing game and obviously needs an elite pick-and-roll playmaker like LeBron or Rondo to be successful I still believe Luke should give Bonga a shot to play with Zubac. Isaac runs the pick-and-roll beautifully and excels in delivering great passes off the dribble to the roller for easy dunks or baskets. Unfortunately, Lonzo just does not have Rondo’s or LeBron’s skillset to deliver easy dimes off pick-and-rolls. That should be playmaking priority for him this summer.

      On to the rematch with the Kings on Sunday. Hopefully, JaVale will be available and we can stop this two game losing streak before things get worse. While every game is critical in the Wild West, Sunday’s game is as close to a ‘must wiin’ game as any we’ve had so far this season.

      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 3:13 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Sorry to hear Sydney’s sick, Jamie. I hate watching children fall ill. Strangely it’s usually the adults who feel helpless, wishing we could take away the pain and discomfort the babies are feeling.

        Agree on most of your points and Tom’s about the last two losses.

        I don’t want to be too high or two low over what’s been happening lately. Definitely not wanting to write off BI. The struggles we faced have been due to these bloody injuries that take people in and out of rotations. The players have had to adjust to changing expectations and playing styles. It affects younger players more than seasoned veterans. Kids still finding themselves find it hard to build a mental model for their roles when these variables keep changing.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:29 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        JaVale is certainly better than Zubac, no doubt, but a lot of his offense is generated in the same manner as Zu’s so it still kinda figures to be a slog on offense.

        Outside of LeBron and Rondo we have a ton of iso-specific guys or role players. Our young players can all make plays, some see plays at a high level, and they have a lot of talent. For me, to a man, they all lack in executing really basic basketball plays. Without a wizard like Rondo or a powerhouse like James the Laker pick and roll is an easy one to defend. Nobody really fears any of our young guys and they certainly don’t look like they would make the playoffs without James or Rondo like Boston’s kids did.

        Just makes trading any of them for a player like AD or any other All Star, really, highly unlikely. You have to really believe in one or more of them. I think they’ll all carve out nice NBA careers, here or elsewhere, but I am further away from the opinion that one is destined to break out than ever, at this point. Still a lot of season but as we near the midway point I had hoped at least one of them would have pushed themselves into the All Star conversation and that seems unlikely

        I still hold out a lot of hope that one of KidCore would have it in them to break through into the ranks of current great NBA players, here’s hoping a new calendar is all it takes. Just might not happen this year, either, or even as Lakers. Time will tell.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 1:14 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Jamie,

      Nice job as usual. We live in a instant gratification world fueled by social media. It’s easy to forget how young these kids are. Once in a while a young guy will come in and dominate. But it’s much easier to find examples of players that take some time. Kobe, Kawhi and PG come to mind in that regard.

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Lebron goes out and we see the Lonzo we hoped we would see. The challenge for Lonzo like you pointed out, is aggressiveness. Once Lebron returns we will be playing through him again and I think it’s important that he stays aggressive when the opportunity presents itself. He has a tendency to fade into the background when he’s not running the show and he can’t let that happen. He has the game of a young Jason Kidd but Kidd was in charge so Lonzo’s Challenge is greater at this point of his career.

      BI season thus far has been frustrating. Although missing 11 games hasn’t helped. On the one hand he is our best on ball defender. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Harris did very little last night or KD shot 38% when BI was on them. On the offensive end his free throws have been terrible and his 3 point shooting hasn’t been great although he’s only taking less then two a game. His assists are down but that has more to do with Lebron and last night guys missing easy looks. The rest of his game is fine. One thing I would like to see the coaches do is post him up more when he has a smaller player guarding him. He’s getting the ball to far out. Everyone wants BI to be become KD. Personally I think Pippin will eventually be the better comparison.

      Kuzma is the closest to being that 2nd star but he is also a couple of years older. He has improved his rebounding and playmaking. He’s 2 for 15 from 3 over the last two games and 30% for the year. If he can regain his 3 point shot he becomes that legitimate 2nd scorer we have been looking for. While his defense has improved he is still somewhat of a liability on that end.

      Hopefully Josh is over his slump and his shots are starting to fall again. Like you I would like to see him attack the rim more and it would be nice if he got a little love from the refs once in a while.

      Zu knows how to play pick and roll. The challenge isn’t his. It’s more up to Lonzo and some of the other guys to learn how to play pick and roll. They did try to get him the ball but many of the passes were off or late and Zu would be looking at Bobans arms nearly touching the rim. Zu’s mistake was forcing it and kicking it back out. I’m sure he will learn from that. On D he was still pretty solid. I still see a solid NBA role player in him.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 1:57 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Glad to see you back in action and I hope your kid gets healthy today.
      This year is all about seeing how the pieces fit around LeBron.
      Consistency aside, out of the kids, this is how I currently see their fit from best to worst:
      1. Kuz
      2. Hart
      3. Zublocka
      4. BI
      5. Zo
      Take this in mind: there is still more than half a season for this to change.
      Zo has been very impressive lately and may be able to learn how to keep this up when LeBron returns. However, it’s still perplexing to me that he can’t run basic PnR sets. This has come I to focus with the re emergence of Zubac. When LeBron or Rondo run the point, they turn Zu into a legitimate starting center. When Zublocka has to rely on Zo to feed him, he looks like a G League castoff. Yes, I am the hardest on Zo because of the fact that he came in with the most hype and promise since Magic and has only delivered in short glimpses. I think he may get there someday, but will his team mates be wearing purple and gold when he does? Right now, that’s the biggest question mark surrounding our team.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 2:03 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        As for the rest of the kids, they have all been inconsistent this year, but I don’t see any real issues with fit.
        Would we all like them to be further along with their individual and collective growth?
        Of course.
        I’m trying to remain patient with this whole process.
        A lot can change between now and the end of the season.
        A lot will change regarding who stays and who goes during this summer’s free agency period.
        Even more will change if we can coninvce the Pellys that our offer is the best before Ainge can play his hand.

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 2:33 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Take care of your family my fiend!

      • mclyne32 (Director) 2:47 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        My fiend!!! Lol!!!
        Deej, what’s your take on the current state of our Lakers?

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:49 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          LOL. Sign KD, trade for AD, and draft Zion!

          • mclyne32 (Director) 2:55 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply


            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 4:00 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink

              My take is LBJ is great, Kuz is very good. Zo and Hart and Ingy are very inconsistent as you said. Missing McGee. The rest of the bunch are pretty average. Luke seems to be less than average. Should have won the last 2. We can’t keep giving away games to teams we should beat. Kinda the same ol same ol as the past 5 years. Most of us think (me) ours kids are better than they really are. We traded DLO and let Randle walk. Need a super guard to add with LBJ. Walker? Beal?

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 3:52 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply


      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 3:15 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        DJ and his Freudian slip!

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:54 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          LOL. More like his Freudian Ship, Seely. DJ doesn’t want anybody on the Lakers whom he doesn’t deem worthy of taking a selfie with his son.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 10:39 AM on December 30, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Now that hurts! Ha, ha.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:50 AM on December 30, 2018 Permalink

              You’re like a gunfighter born in the wrong era, DJ. With Selfies and all, this would have been a better era for your efforts. More than making fun of all your shots with stars, we’re probably more than a little jealous. One thing that’s terrific about today’s social media is how much more of life is documented so you can come back when you’re our age. Wish I had a lot more pictures and videos of things from when I was younger.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 4:45 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Doc put out that junkyard dog lineup with Beverly, Bradley, & Harrell and our youngsters folded like a cheap suit. We didn’t want any of that action..not a good sign. Makes me wonder how the rest of the league is sizing them up in terms of trade value. Like I said before..do the Pels really want a more expensive version of the 2017-18 Lakers who won 35 games?

      • mclyne32 (Director) 6:06 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        They sure need to improve by the end of the season for the Pellys to be interested.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:15 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Truth is we have a pair of #2 picks that haven’t lived up to their draft positions and two late first rounders who’ve played more like late lottery picks. The big rub on all of them imo is that none of them are guys who can create and make their own shots.

        Kuz is the closest to being able to create his own shot but his missing three ball is pulling him down. Ingram has the highest potential but is probably three years away from being what we need next to LeBron. Lonzo is imo the most likely to stay because of his elite defensive and playmaking abilities. Hart is likely a throw in.

        Assuming we make an AD trade this summer, it’s almost certain to include Ball and Ingram because they make significant salaries ($9M & $7M next year) where as Kuzma and Hart make too little ($2M each next year). Going to be tough to trade in summer because all of our trading chips expire and new signees can’t be traded until midseason.

        That’s why the Lakers might be smart to consider taking on a tradable 2 or 3-year contract for a valuable role player who could be attractive in trade for AD or easily moved for a pick if we needed the cap space for KD. Otherwise, we would have to send out all of our young players to match salaries this summer or involve a third team.

        The big question is whether we should be targeting signing AD in free agency in summer of 2020 rather than KD, Kawhi, and Klay summer of 2019? That would allow us to sign players next summer who have two year deals and not be limited to just guys on 1-year deals. The benefit would be upgrading this season’s team and improving our trading chips for a summer AD deal. The risk would be having to move the guy on the 2-year deal to sign KD but that’s doable.

        The benefit of immediately improving this year’s team and improving our chances of trading for or signing AD more than offset the risk that we couldn’t move a tradable player with a year left on his favorable contract.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:32 PM on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the kind thoughts and well-wishes, Syd is feeling a lot better but the real proof will be in how much she sleeps tonight. Let’s get one back tomorrow night!

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:32 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    Great Christmas present for Lakers fans everywhere. While the sight of LeBron struggling with an apparent groin injury is a not a comforting one, the way the team responded was awesome.

    1) The Lakers trains staff and LeBron’s support team. Waiting for his MRI results (probably publicized early tomorrow) and the estimated number of games he’ll miss will be one rough Christmas hangover. Hoping it’s mild, the missed games few and the recovery complete. Injured groins are no joke. Wishing the King a speedy recovery.

    2) Rajon Rondo in full wizard mode. Rondo must be an infuriating player to guard. He can score well enough that you have to respect his drives and outside shot. Once he has you committed to stopping him he simply makes a play for the team. Brilliant game by Rondo, especially after James’ injury.

    3) Zubac’s rennaisaince. Three games of the Zubac you always dreamed of. The dude is playing the best basketball of his life right now and it’s coming at the perfect time. With McGee still recovering from pneumonia and Chandler just being old and only able to contribute to a limited degree Zubac’s play in the paint has allowed us to maintain our defensive identity. The points per game has been fantastic, too.

    4) The Bench Crew stepping up big. Quality (albeit few) minutes from Lance, Hart with a good game, KCP playing to his potential and the G-Leaguers seeing some 4th quarter action in a victory. Great game by the guys off the pine.

    5) Luke’s strategy to contain the Warriors. Doubling Durant and Curry hard, forcing Loony, Green, AI and the struggling Thompson to beat us and letting Rondo Wirk his magic.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 10:35 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Clippers (back to back)

      Next 5

    • mclyne32 (Director) 10:56 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      18ppg, 3 boards, 7.5 assists, 47%fg
      We would be on top of the West if we had picked this kid.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 11:39 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Just like that. I disagree.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 12:23 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think you are right MC. He is so fast.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:07 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m still hopeful we see some upwards momentum from Lonzo in the scoring department. Regardless I’m withholding judgement (for as much as that matters) until the end of the season. Just needs to find and stay in that aggressive scoring headspace and leave the passive stuff at home.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:10 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hindsight is always easy, Matt. You could argue we could have been better off drafting Tatum or Mitchell too. Fox will have to prove he can hit that outside shot because he has never shot this well from deep in high school, college (24.6%), or as a rookie (31.6%). I loved D’Aaron’s speed and think he is going to be a superstar if he can continue to shoot like he has so far this season.

        It’s the other end of the court where Fox doesn’t measure up. His defensive and net efficiency ratings are lower than Lonzo’s and he ranks #37 among point guard with a DRPM of -0.38 vs. Lonzo’s #13 ranked +0.47. The stats clearly show Lonzo is the superior defender with boards, steals, and blocks greater than Fox. I think they’ll both be future stars at the point with Fox excelling on the offensive end and Lonzo on the defensive end.

        Should be a great matchup tomorrow night with a rematch on Sunday night. Let’s see how they do head-to-head. Fox has won these individual matchups in the past going back to college. This should be a huge game and opportunity for the Kings. Let’s see if you boy Fox can outdo Lonzo this time. I’m sure both are looking forward to the matchup.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 1:44 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Good points LT on Lonzo. He plays all the aspecks of greatness, save the awful shooting from any distance. It is still a hard sell when you can’t shoot. In his head or ? Come on (Zo) man!

        • mclyne32 (Director) 3:00 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Actually, I never thought Tatum would be THIS good, but after seeing what both Lonzo and Fox did in College, I wanted the Lakers to pick Fox. Go back and look at the posts if you don’t believe me.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 3:04 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Yeah MC, I was in both Fox and Tatum, watched them alot in college. I knew about Zo, but I saw his lousy shot technique. Could have been or can be Jamal?

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:09 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            There were times when I wanted Fox too, Matt, so I’m happy to see him shooting the rock so well, especially since that was something he never did in college or as a rookie. Always loved his speed.

            Never considered Tatum seriously because we needed a point guard. Ironically, what worried me about Lonzo was his defense since he only played zone in college and not his shooting, which was funky but solid.

            That’s why you never know what you get until you get it. Still too early to tell if Tatum was really the best player from that draft. A lot depends on where players land and how they fit on their new teams.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 3:19 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Hey, we got Zo and hope he can improve his shooting and driving. Perhaps drive and kick out more too. Need a Beal type shooter.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:22 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Hey, DJ, I’m now hoping we sign Machado. Need something to keep up with the BoSox. Still have concerns about our starting pitching. Like defense in basketball, pitching is the difference maker to win it all.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 3:27 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              U B right on that LT. I just think sign Harp and Macho and go from there trade-wise. Might get a Number one Starter for Miguel Andujar (I really don’t want to see him go though).

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

      Great stuff as usual, Jamie. Hope you and your wife enjoyed your first Christmas with a baby. Makes the holiday truly special even if she’s just a toddler. One of those magical times in life. Not unlike last night’s Lakers’ game, which I watched with family and then re-watched after everyone went to bed.

      My Fav Five:

      (1) STRATEGY! Luke listening to and then deploying Jesse Murmys’ strategy to double Steph and KD and force Dray and the other Warriors to beat them. I’ve been a very vocal critic of Luke and his staff for their lackluster offense and their resistence to hiring a shooting coach so I was glad to see Jesse step up with the perfect strategic adjustment to beating the Warriors.

      (2) EXECUTION! Strategy is only as good as its execution and the Lakers responded with precision and never wavered even when Iggy was torching them in the first half and the Warrior’s pulled to within 2 points after one of their signature 14-Zip runs late in the third quarter. While Steph and KD missed some wide open shots, the Lakers’ elite execution of a brilliant strategy was a thing of beauty.

      (3) SWAGGER! While the Lakers blinked as the Warriors ripped off a 14-0 run to come within 2 points late in the third quarter, the young Lakers refocused and closed the quarter strong with Lance’s dagger three at the buzzer putting the lead back up to 9 and setting the stage for the Lakers to blow the Dubs off the floor with a 36-19 fourth quarter blitz that had the Warriors frustrated and running in mud as the younger, quicker, and faster Lakers ran them into the ground.

      (4) ZUBLOCKA! I must have waived, cut, or traded Zu a hundred times over the last year and a half, lamenting why the Lakers kept him over Thomas Bryant and never in a million years did I expect Ivica to come out and give us the level of play he did over the last three games. I remember watching Zubac have stretches in preseason where Rondo and he were killing opponents in pick-and-rolls but then Zu seemed to disappear and he was truly the one piece of our young core that we had all written off. Well, opportunity knocked and Ivica Zubac answered and we suddenly have a three-headed center.

      (5) RONDOSMART! When you lose what could be the smartest basketball mind playing the game, it helps to have what could be the second smartest basketball mind ready and able to take over. Rondo has reinvented himself as a point guard on his way to becoming an NBA head coach and he stepped in when LeBron went down and led his young Lakers teammates to a confidence boosting trouncing of the champs. 15 points, 10 assists, 5 boards, and zero turnovers in 23 minutes. Game balls to Rondo and Zu.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:35 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks LT, always great to see family for the holidays and Syd enjoyed her first real Christmas a ton. Although she’s still a bit tuckered today. I watched the game twice, too. Love Christmas victories!!!

    • mclyne32 (Director) 11:14 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      My favorite 5:
      1. Defense
      2. Defense
      3. Defense
      4. Defense
      5. Defense

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:33 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It’s been pretty solid and Zu has been a big part of that recently

      • keen observer

        keen observer 11:40 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Mr. McLyne is Mr. Defense, yet he hates our best defensive player. Such hypocrisy.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 11:43 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Hate is a tad strong, keen.

          That word invokes intense and passionate feelings.

          As Matt’s friend, I can assure you he doesn’t hate anyone.

          I’d use the word ‘irritated’ and he’s not ‘irritated’ about his defense.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 11:45 AM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I mean your the textbook definition of a Liberal bully.

          How’s that for hypocrisy?

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

            Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:14 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            No need for bullying on any side, let’s call it a gentlemen’s disagreement and move on.

            We all wish Lonzo Ball scored better and more often, he also doesn’t have the reigns in his hands like Fox does. Impossible to compare the situations and Ball defends very consistently, not sure I’d say the same about Fox.

            Having said that, he’d be the one I’d pick if we had a do-over and I knew LBJ was coming. Just a more finished product at this point.

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 2:01 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Yup. It’s about preference in that draft room.

              Fox is a great talent, has a lot of analytical attributes to fall in love with.

              Zo has god-given instincts.

              I’d take Zo.

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

              Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:23 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Preference and fit. At the time Magic and Rob needed the cap space for the future we are currently enjoying, hence D-Russ was attached to help ship Timofey’s a$$ out the door. Needed a PG and lo, there was a hometown hero just waiting to be drafted. Based on how he shot the 3 at UCLA I don’t think anyone anticipated this much struggle for him to score. No question that he has something special when it comes to defense and seeing the floor. His reads are hit or miss but he definitely sees plays a lot of other players do not.

              All he needs is time, but with LBJ that may end up being a luxury he doesn’t really have.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:17 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Not sure hate is the right phrase, either. LT is critical of Ball but I’d bet if he was pressed he’d still profess belief in the eventual stardom of LB. Mclyne would likely (maybe?) say the same.

          But everything is being viewed through the lense of LeBron now and the team may decide it can’t wait for his scoring to come around.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 1:47 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            That’s the great point. I think if we had known the future with LBJ, Fox was probably the one, but we didn’t. I wonder with Rondo playing so well, what minutes will Lonzo get? Perhaps you just play the Hot hand.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:04 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              DJ, you’re completely overlooking Lonzo’s contributions in playmaking, moving the ball, igniting fast breaks, and especially in setting the tone defensively. There’s little question Lonzo is the better playmaker, rebounder, and defender at this point and that’s what LeBron needs.

              Fox is a minus defender who doesn’t even rank in the top 30 point guards in DRPM. He also has never shot over 30% in his life other than the first third of this season. Let’s see if he can keep up shooting this well before you anoint him as a future star. I’m betting he doesn’t finish over 33%.

              As for fit with LeBron, Fox has also has a 24.5% usage rate (greater than even Kuzma or Ingram) compared to Lonzo’s 16.1% usage rate. That’s why your claim that Fox would be a better fit with LeBron doesn’t hold water. Way too early to make a declaration that stats and common sense doesn’t support. Fox is still a one-dimensional player.

              No doubt that Lonzo will have to improve his scoring and shooting but he’s a far better fit with LeBron than Fox is, even if he somehow manages to continue to shoot like he has so far this season. There’s a good chance his shooting from deep regresses back to the low 30’s by the end of the season. Lonzo could even end up with a higher 3-point percentage but fit with LeBron and the rest of the team is not just about shooting or scoring.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 2:05 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              When Rondo’s been healthy (or not suspended..lol) Lonzo has been on the bench during crunch time of a whole lotta close games.

              Speaks volumes…

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 2:07 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Buddy Hield makes life easier for Fox as well.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:08 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              LOL. Rondo closing games mostly speaks volumes about Rondo’s skills and experience as a point guard and LeBron’s trust of a proven vet over second year player with less than 90 games under his belt.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 2:10 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              I said that Lonzo is great in all aspecks, cept lousy shooting from any distance. Perhaps Lakers can live with that?

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 2:12 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Maybe they can, but the way the league is going, if you can’t shoot, it doesn’t matter what else you can do.

              Remember Kobe said “shooting opens the doors for everything else. If you can’t shoot, it doesn’t matter if you can go right or left.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:15 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Perhaps Lonzo can improve his shooting. He’s already finishing much better than in the past.

              What LeBron and this team needs most, DJ, is defense, not another scorer, especially if we add another superstar. Lakers need players like Lonzo who don’t need the ball in their hands and that’s not D’Aaron Fox.

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 2:26 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Shooting is a learned skill after all, Zo can get better at.

              His mechanics need to be rebuilt as a skilled apprenticeship.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:28 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Here’s the thing, DJ, it’s not just about finding players to play with LeBron but finding players who can play with LeBron and a second superstar. LeBron and Wade or LeBron and Kyrie both had usage rates of around 30%. There’s only one basketball so the players you need to play with LeBron and KD or LeBron and AD, or LeBron and Kawhi are going to have to be players who excel without the ball, like Kuzma or Hart. Or Lonzo Ball.

              Unless the Lakers sign a shoot first point guard like Lillard or Kemba, a shoot first ball dominant point guard like Fox is not the right fit. I’ve always loved Fox and even was thinking the Lakers should consider drafting him over Lonzo at one point in time but with LeBron, he’s not the right fit. Like most of the Lakers young guns, he’s still too young to be counted on as our second superstar. So it’s not who’s the better scorer or shooter or even better player. It’s who fits with LeBron and another superstar.

              That’s the point I was trying to make to you and Matt. I’m not saying you don’t appreciate Lonzo’s strengths or trying to downplay his obvious weaknesses, which have caused me many times to doubt his ultimate level of upside. Bottom line, I still believe Lonzo is going to be a great point guard and the perfect fit for LeBron and a second superstar. But he will have to improve his shooting and scoring to do that.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 2:41 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Just the same, Lonzo’s daddy has pretty much moved off his #1 son. He knows Gelo ain’t suited to be nothing more than a strip club bouncer, so they’ve pinned their hopes on Ball #3. It ain’t a coincidence we don’t hear from him any more. Even he sees Lonzo ain’t cut out for stardom.

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

              Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:44 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              Ball was drafted because D-Lo was always going to be the sweetener to ship Mozgov out. They needed another PG and Ball was at the top of a lot of team’s leader boards. Nobody knew LBJ was coming, either, but I don’t think it would have changed Magic and Rob’s thinking. They’ve been in lockstep with Luke’s vision of a defense-first team from day 1. That’s where Lonzo fits perfectly with the Lakers’ vision.

              mongo’s been saying it since minute 1: LeBron changes all the timelines because he’s only going ot get older. Every season is a win-now season and the team may decide that he’s better at sweetening a trade for a win-now move or they may choose to develop him slowly while letting Rondo take control late in games where he has superior experience.

              I tend to go with staying pat, at least until the summer.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 2:57 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink

              All good points ya’ll! It is true with Ingy, LBJ, Kuz that we don’t need scoring so much. Like LT, I still think a 2nd SS would do wonders for the squad. Are you listening KD or Kyrie (reunion?) or ?

          • mclyne32 (Director) 3:10 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I’m not so sure he will be a “star,” but he will have a long career in the NBA. Just like every other Laker fan, I root for him to improve, but I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that he will turn into a dependable shooter. It won’t matter anyway since he will be included in a trade for AD.

        • mclyne32 (Director) 3:03 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          You don’t understand the definition of the word. I’ve always given Zo praise for his defensive instincts. I don’t hate him- would just rather have Fox.

    • John M.

      John M. 3:15 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I trust Magic saw enough of himself in Ball, knows how rare the skillset is, and made the best choice at the time. As Tom and others have said, there’s only one basketball, and Lonzo’s job is quarterback. His shot will improve.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 3:21 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        i get a bit confused when Zo is on the court and yet Kuz or Dancin or Ingy run the point.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 3:40 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Still don’t understand why some here feel the need to convince or shame others into loving their favorite Laker.
      It’s very childish.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 3:48 PM on December 26, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t think there has ever been a “super star” that has played in the NBA that had trouble finishing at the rim, or had no post game, or consistently overpasses when they had a clear floater in the lane. It’s not just the outside shooting that is amiss. It’s the lack of a basic offensive game which is glaring. Maybe he will have a miraculous turnaround when he’s playing for the Pellys next season, maybe not. He’s still young, and may develop into a decent offensive player some day.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:02 PM on December 23, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    This one was hard to find five things given our 4th quarter showing. This was a very winnable game but it looked and felt like the team was looking ahead rather than playing in the moment. We’ll try and squeeze a fiver out, tho…

    1) ZUBAC! aka Zublacca with another great game. 19 points, 4 blocks and only 4 rebounds. But he did a lot of work in the paint to free up the board for his team. Zubac is making a case to usurp some minutes when McGee and Chandler get healthy. This is an old classic from a Costa Mesa pop-punk band called Supernova (you have to imagine Zublacca for Chewbacca on your own) and this one’s for you, Zu. Go get it.

    2) Lakers starters played pretty well as a unit…until the 4th. They certainly did better than our small ball line up which continues to get annihilated on defense. Luke left Kuzma on Gasol for too long, which is a nice of saying at all. Kuzma, for all the aspects of his game that he has improved and we’ll get into that one in a minute, cannot defend traditional centers in the NBA. He just can’t. Maybe a summer spent on defensive footwork will help but really it seems more like a matter of mentality. Josh Hart has decent footwork but he has the mentality part right on. Kuz at the 5? Just say no.

    3) Kuzma the play maker is a great thing, though. Kuzma had some great passes where he chose not to take either a contested shot or a 3 and found teammates for easy buckets. 6 assists and the fact that he’s finding the open man, or even better helping to get the man open via his aggressive play, is a great thing for the Lakers. Other than his passing, though, Kyle had an off game and looked like he got a little banged up at one point in the first half. Hope the young gun can shake it off and be ready for Christmas Day.

    4) Ingram doing his Ingram thing. One of two Lakers that managed to score 20 points, LeBron being the (semi-obvious other one). The thing is…it’s just not quite enough out of him. He and Kuzma both need to figure out how to be this good every night and push the variance needle higher. Make 20 points the normal, and hey look at that he just dropped 30. Some of that is his role, both Kyle and Brandon get to eat after LeBron but the flip side is that LeBron rewards aggression on offense just about every time. I can count on 1 hand the number of times James has missed a cutter and not at least made the pass.

    5) Simply has to be the multitude of things that are irksome just about every game. For a team that bleeds out points from the free throw line, that turns it over like they do and is dealing with injuries like we are you just can’t turn in a completely flat effort from tip off to the final horn. At some point you need to assert yourself. Credit J.B. Bickerstaff for calling some well-placed time outs. Kuzma looked off after halftime, Ball had another no-show of a game (yeah, I know he 3 steals and 2 blocks and was the only other player besides Zubac with a + rating for the game, dude has to score to make that stuff matter. Maybe not a lot but he has to at least be a threat to do so.) and Luke didn’t make good adjustments to what the Grizzlies were doing. LeBron only shot 2 times in the first half although he ended up with a team-high 22. Just a real frrrrrrrrnt of a game.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:47 AM on December 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      5 things I hated:

      1) Luke’s substitutions. Kuzma guarding the five didn’t work before and it sure didn’t work tonight. Luke was slow making adjustments. Left Rondo in the game way too long. Rajon’s D sucked. Went under or just quit on screens. This loss goes to Luke Walton.

      2) Lonzo’s shooting. When your shot’s not there, you adjust and attack the paint. You don’t just keep flinging shots up there. Having the confidence to take the shot is fine but you also have to know when you just don’t have it. Those missed threes were all flings with little follow through. Despite what Zo said, he didn’t shoot those with confidence. They were quick flings like when he went to the line.

      3) Magic and Rob’s stupid failure to hire a shooting coach for this team if not specifically for Lonzo. Missed free throws are a continual problem. If Luke loses his job, it will be because he pulled a Trump with his coaching staff by hiring cronies instead of coaches who could really help him elevate his coaching.

      4) Moe Wagner. I’d much prefer to see Bonga get minutes than Moe, who can’t guard a glass of water and set a record for the biggest negative +/- in just 4 minutes. Wagner can shoot the ball but he is such a huge liability on defense that Luke cannot play him if we want to win.

      5) 3-point defense. Letting the team with the worst 3-point percentage in the league shoot 26 threes and make over 50% of them. I don’t know if they were looking ahead to the Warriors but it was a poor performance. Great timeouts by Bickerstaff just drained the Lakers mojo every time they got it going.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 10:55 AM on December 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That Jackson kid looks like he’s going to have a very nice career. Great pickup for the Grizz.
      Such an uninspired game that I was falling asleep in the fourth.
      I sure hope JaVale will be ready tomorrow because we will need him to play great to have a chance.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 11:51 AM on December 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        And here I thought this game was one of Luke’s best coaching jobs so far. We held Memphis to only 107 points. Held every one , but their rookie to under 20pts. Forced them into 9 TO’s. We also held them at just 53% from 3pt land. We nearly had 3 guys at 20pts or more (Zub-19). And at least Lonzo kept firing 3’s. Ya can’t make em if ya don’t shoot em. LBJ had 1/3rd of our Rebounds (14) and gotta remember Memphis had lost 5 in a row and at Staples ya know they were gonna come out gunning and we only lost by 8pts. I’m sure Luke will motivate us to beating GS at GS. Wait and see.

        • mclyne32 (Director) 2:05 PM on December 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Well, our two best post defenders were out and we can never rely on Zu and Mo to stop a good team’s attack. Zu can defend well enough close to the rim, but he can’t guard multiple positions or switch out effectively like JaVale can.

          • Seely_Iggy (Director)

            Seely_Iggy (Director) 2:14 PM on December 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            There’s a reason Zu gets minutes only when our main players are out. He plays well in limited minutes but tend to lose focus when given extended play time. His inexperience shows. Maybe given more opportunities he’ll get much better and be more consistent.

            • Michael H (Editor)

              Michael H (Editor) 2:35 PM on December 24, 2018 Permalink

              Nice post Jamie. I always enjoy your positive spin even in disappointing games. I did like Zu’s game. He did a good job for the most part on Gasol. He has shown a real knack for finding the creases in the defense for scoring opportunities. I also liked BI’s game. For missing that many games he hasn’t shown to much rust. He did go under a couple of screens but that seemed like the theme for the whole team. I like Kuz looking for assists. However I think was passing up some good shots for himself. There were two to Zo in the 4th that made me cringe. He had a good look and passed it to Zo who missed, one was an air ball. Sharing is caring but if you have a good look you don’t pass it unless it’s to Curry or Thompson.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 3:51 PM on December 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I actually remember that song from way back- I was a part of that scene.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:03 PM on December 22, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    1) LeBron overcoming the bug making it’s way thru the NBA for his 3rd triple-double as a Laker. He set the tone early with 7 first quarter assists and was steady throughout the entire game. Making a play when we needed one made, scoring a basket when we needed one and generally playing a fantastic overall game.

    2) The Laker 2nd half defense. We turned what had been a see-saw battle with both teams running up the score to a comfortable win. The team really honed in on that end of the floor after the break which I’m sure made the coaches happy.

    3) The return of Brandon Ingram. BI looked like his normal, smooth and steady self, playing long, driving the ball well on that ankle and having the kind of impact you’d expect. He’ll never be as flashy as Kuzma or plucky as Hart but BIhas a style all his own. Welcome back Brandon.

    4) The return of Rajon Rondo. Rondo also looked like he was suffering no ill-effects from the broken hand making some great passes, forcing the defense to collapse to him and kicking the ball out or finding a cutter. Didn’t really have his scoring touch going but Rondo has always found ways to impact the game beyond scoring.

    5) ZUBAC!!!! The big lug got the starting nod last night and all he did was drop the best game of his young NBA life. He did it by simply playing to his current potential, staying in the moment and being a the big man that he is. His game last night was the quintessence of “stay ready for when your number is called”. Nobody would have been surprised if Zubac had dropped a dud against AD, largely considered the best center playing, instead he didn’t shirk from the moment and a career night. Now all he has to do is stay ready for his next moment and do it again. The hallmark of any kind of NBA success is consistency.

    Memphis on Sunday, hope we can flush this bug out of the team’s system and have the whole roster ready to ball.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:06 PM on December 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This was awesome. Sorry you had to end up on Zu’s highlight reel Ju…naaaaw, I ain’t sorry at all


    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:18 PM on December 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff, Jamie. I especially loved how LeBron and Lonzo came out and immediately got Zu a couple of easy baskets to get him going and boost his confidence. If Zu can contribute some minutes playing at that level, it would give us some needed depth in a critical position. That block of Randle was the crowning glory to Ivica’s best game as a Laker. I was shocked by how well he played.

      I also love seeing Ingram do what he said he was going to do, which is figure out how to fit better with LeBron. His defense is the difference maker, especially against teams with bigger wing scorers. Brandon even played AD tough on several occasions, skied for a couple of elite rebounds, and found ways to get shots much closer to the basket where he can take advantage of his size and length, exactly the steps everybody has been saying he had to do to be great playing with LeBron.

      Kudos to Luke also for resisting staggering LeBron and BI as many of us had expected and thought would be wise. BI must have shown Luke in practice that he really understood now what he had to do to succeed with LeBron. With Zu filling in perfectly for JaVale, the Lakers starting lineup gave LeBron superb support all night long. The defense in the second half was really clicking and I loved how the team competed all night long. I’m pretty much going all in on the kids right now. We’re closer than people think to being a championship team. A few more growth spurts by the kids and a few roster tweaks and the Lakers might surprise everybody come the playoffs.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 4:40 PM on December 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One thing I didn’t like: watching Ju improve his game from last season. I miss watching that dude play bully ball.
      I’m happy with my team now, but still wishing Julius could have been a part of it.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 7:22 PM on December 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        What ya’ll said. Crazy Wild West. Still think we need that 2nd Star, but whatever Magic can do. Would like if Ball and Hart could be more consistent. You could tell LBJ was worn in the late 4th.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 8:18 PM on December 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          That fall hurt. Hell, he will be fine.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 8:22 PM on December 22, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            What a game! Looks like PG13 is who we thought he was. : (

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 8:25 PM on December 22, 2018 Permalink

              I’m glad I’m not an Okie from Muskogee :)

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:32 PM on December 19, 2018 Permalink  

    For all the hullabaloo we’re still a top-ten team in the Association, 4th in conference and 2nd in the division, All positives, this while absorbing injuries to key players, in the case of Rondo for 17 games and possibly counting. It’d be nice to avoid Julius Randle getting his spiritual D-Lo on, no more revenge losses needed. Make AD think about it. Has to be this season before the deadline for us to have a shot. Hope we get an injured dude or three back and contributing.

    • Worthy42

      Worthy42 5:02 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Amen. Patience.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 5:37 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I agree except for the timeline.
      Even Broussard, a known Laker hater thinks we have more than enough to get the deal done this summer.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 7:12 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Broussard is Skip Bayless’s brother from another mother. Talk about a grain of salt.

    • Seely_Iggy (Director)

      Seely_Iggy (Director) 6:33 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think a revenge game by Randle is inevitable. Luke yanked his chain more than anyone else on the young team.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 7:13 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Agreed, although Luke wanted him back more than anyone, too. He’s going to brutalize Kuz.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 8:22 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Ju didn’t suit up last night vs MIL with a bad ankle…not sure if he’s even in the lineup tomorrow

        • Seely_Iggy (Director)

          Seely_Iggy (Director) 10:32 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Aww man, that would be too bad. As much as I dread a revenge game, I also want to see him play against his old team. I still wish him well and hope he thrives in his new environment.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 8:37 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We’re still a work in progress and I tend not to put a whole lotta emphasis on playoff seeding right now with most of the conference bunched up with similar records. Folks were throwing HOU on the junkpile a coupla weeks ago when they were outta the “playoffs”…then they hit a mini hot streak and shazam..they’re the 7th seed, one game in the loss column behind us. Conversely, MEM was riding high and now a coupla weeks later they’re on the outside looking in.

      Looking at the schedule, we have a ton of home games between now and the end of January..I think we only leave the state 5 times. So far we haven’t played GSW, OKC, BOS, MIL, or PHIL. Hopefully we’re able to bank some wins during this stretch before we hit the road again for a coupla lengthly trips beginning in February.

      A few good wins or bad losses are gonna determine alot by the time it’s all said and done in the West…

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 10:24 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yup a lot going on.

        OKC hasn’t had a West heavy stretch…changes now.

        Conference Losses matter more than Losses to the East.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 9:39 AM on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      For all the worry and hand wringing that BI isn’t a good fit with Lebron we were 10 and 4 in November and 3 and 4 after his injury. BI is our best on ball defender and With the exception of one game Josh has not really filled his shoes on offense. He is an important piece and it will be good to get him back.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:44 PM on December 18, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    Disappointing road trip, feels like the defense hasn’t been able to overcome the losses of McGee, Ingram and Rondo (in that order) and I still don’t know why we ever go small. We’re a terrible small ball team.

    1) The imminent return of Ingram (7 games missed) and Rondo (17 games missed) and one must assume McGee (2 games). The Lakers were able to overcome the defense and all around game of Brandon Ingram and Rondo with the two-headed defensive monster that JaVyson McHandler morphed into, LeBron James turning back the clock for a good stretch of games and Kuzma and Hart playing well as starters. But with McGee going down for the last 2 losses, Kuzma and Hart returning to their earlier season versions and LBJ looking a little gassed by the end of the roadie we looked more like the team we saw in the first 15 than the last 16. The Lakers need some home cooking and the return of key players both of which are just over the horizon.

    2) Lonzo’s best game of the year on offense. 23 points (9-16, 5-9 from three…0-2 on free throws). Only had 3 assists but that’s more of an indicator as to how the rest of the team played. Which was pretty poorly. 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 turnovers and he fouled out. Solid game and his best scoring performance in a long while and was also the 1st time all year he cracked the 20 point mark.

    3) Solid game from LeBron, started slow, got a dunk stuffed in his face by Jarret Allen’s great block, only made 2-7 from 3 but the last 2 misses were just to get buckets in a poorly executed final2 minute drill

    4) The number of times Luke, the staff and Rondo will get to say “Jared Dudley” in the film session associated with this game. Dudley was a clutch part of a Brooklyn bench that outscored ours 48-12. We could talk about the 10 missed free throws and number of bricked 3 pointers but where we really got our buttocks handed to us was from the Brooklyn bench. Dudley schooled our defense for a couple of times for wide open layups when there was no traditional center on the floor. We are a bad small ball team, especially without Ingram. Just not enough length.

    5) Laker first half and then some. We were in this game through 2/3s of the game. Just ran out of gas. Too many injuries, too many days on the road in cities where it’s easy to miss out on some extra sleep, and the team lost a true fan in Penny Marshall. This isn’t a game to over-sweat the loss. Getting a player or 3 back, getting some home sleep and resetting for the 2 game Christmas home stand and some in-state away games. Time to turn the ship around with a strong December finish.

    • Seely_Iggy (Director)

      Seely_Iggy (Director) 8:00 AM on December 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When I saw D’Angelo played last night I had to keep reminding myself that we got Kuzma in exchange for him (and gobs of cap space free). Dlo played well and I can’t help wondering what could be if we managed to keep him with the rest of our young guys.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:33 PM on December 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Biggest miss was JaVale. Chandler doesn’t have enough left to hold down the fort and Hart has been terrible on offense and defense last two games. When Hart stumbles, we really miss Ingram’s defense on other team’s elite scorers. Dinwiddie and Russell are a potent guard combo.

      A great game by Lonzo wasted but good signs on his aggressiveness and attacking the basket. Just too many missing components to survive against a hot team playing one of their biggest games of the year. Flush it and move on. Hopefully, we’ll be at full strength for Friday’s game.

      One last troubling development has been LeBron’s inability to finish the last two games. Bron definitely looks tired and doesn’t have the hops he normally has. Hope this is just the weight of the road back-to-back and not the first signs that Father Time is looming. LeBron is human and these last two games showed worrisome signs.

      • DJ2KB24

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

        Okay Kobe, done flushed! Lol! Oh, for today anyway.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:45 PM on December 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yeah, having to rely only on Chandler (or Wagner or Zubac) basically forces us to go small and we are really bad small ball team. Letting both Randle and Thomas Bryant walk pretty much put the nail in that coffin for the time being. There are only a handful of centers mobile enough to defend a small ball line up. McGee is one of them, even though he can’t hit the 3 (or at least shouldn’t try too hard to) he can switch onto any player save for the most elite and those guys five everyone fits.

        LBJ at the 5, or Kuzma, is a loss just waiting to happen and our “Death Line up” just sucks in general.

        • mclyne32 (Director) 2:58 PM on December 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Our “Death Lineup” is supposed to kill the other team, but every time does the opposite.
          It’s time to drop it altogether, Luke.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:33 PM on December 16, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things About That Game 

    Just not enough to like. All sorts of little chinks in the armor raised their head but listening to the post game chit-chat it sounds like they’re just ready to move on to Brooklyn. Smart choice, vets are doing their job.

    1) KCP. Don’t trade the man, at least not yet, he’s just heating up! Pope went off for a team-high 25 points on a blistering 9-12 shooting (admittedly cooling off in the 2nd half) a team-leading 4-6 from three and he canned all his freebies. He also grabbed 6 boards, and 5 assists to z-e-r-o turnovers. KCP is usually good for one bone-head pass/game and if he can change that narrative this year and be the force off the bench that he was I think that we’ll be OK without Ariza. I love Trevor, loved what he did for us against Orlando, but that time is over and gone. KCP can play himself into better value than that and he may just be worth holding onto.

    2) WAGNER!

    That was the player that we all expected to see on offense. Poured in 12 points in 17 minutes with a nifty 2-3 from three. Nice game, rookie.

    3) Something that galls me still was Luke’s kind of non-reaction to Lonzo getting utterly hammered by John Wall. The only thing I can imagine is Luke already picked up a tech for arguing with the refs on this trip and didn’t want to pick up another one? I dunno, I feel like that could have been reviewed for a flagrant 1 and deserved at least a tech if not getting outright tossed. I know Luke’s under a lot of pressure and wants to exude cool but that felt, to me at least, like a little too cool for school.

    4) Michael Beasley doing his family thing. The Lakers have always, always been a class organization that has stood by it’s players, made sure that they know that family comes first and that the Lakers are a family that stands by it’s own no the eff what. That has been proven in spades. While Beez beign with his ailing Mother may not be on the level of Magic’s HIV announcement or Kobe’s post-Colorado presser, it was a real class act and I hope Momma Beez is on the mend and gets to see her son get back to balling sometime soon.

    5) Off night for KidCore. For me KidCore consists of Lonzo Ball as, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Ivicia Zubac. Zubac is there only because he’s lasted as a young Laker. They just didn’t have it and usually one of them does. On a night LeBron also didn’t really have it going that was more than enough for the Wizards to use us as a streak-breaker. So it goes.

    Day off in the big city, I’m sure nobody on the team was looking forward to that tonight :)

    Nets and D-Lo up next!

    • Seely_Iggy (Director)

      Seely_Iggy (Director) 11:02 PM on December 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m with ya on KCP. Now that Ariza is out of the picture, stick with KCP cos I think he’s on an upward trajectory.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:53 AM on December 17, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the post, Jamie. Toughh game but good stuff as always.

      There’s no doubt that KCP is a valuable piece for these Lakers and is starting to play like he did the second half of last year. Right now, he could be our most reliable 3-point shooter. He’s still our best trading chip right now. While Magic is not going to trade any of the young core or give up picks that could be used in an AD trade, it’s probably a long shot that KCP will survive the season.

      I do think both the Lakers and Ariza will be looking for a reunion this summer. I could see the Lakers signing Ariza to a 2 or 3-year deal for the Room Exception. Would love to see Trevor finish his career in purple and gold. I also don’t think it’s impossible that the Wizards might be tempted to trade Ariza if the Lakers were to offer KCP and a first round pick. Problem is that’s one less pick to offer for AD.

      I’m with you 100% on Wall’s flagrant foul on Lonzo and Luke’s total failure to support his player. The favoritism by NBA refs for the supposed superstars is unacceptable but for a young star’s coach to sit on his hands after Zo is slammed and fouled hard by Wall of a breakaway is criminal. I lost a lot of respect for Luke on that play. Frankly, I think it may signal Luke’s lack of faith in Lonzo. FU, Luke.

      By the way, I thought Lonzo had another excellent game and didn’t back down at all against a furious John Wall. 10 points, 5 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks on John Wall. Couldn’t buy a shot from deep but did a great job finishing at the rim and finding players for open shots. Unfortunately, LeBron had one of his rare human games and the shooters who couldn’t miss Saturday couldn’t hit the side of a barn on Sunday.

      Best wishes to Beasley and his mom. That was a great gesture for Michael to have him mother at the game. Best wishes to both of them. Beasley may not have delivered on the court as hoped for but he’s apparently been a great player in the locker room. Good to see the Lakers as a team supporting him during these tough times.

      Finally, a word about the John Wall and Bradley Beal auditions, which Wall aced and Beal flunked. I just hope this game doesn’t make Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka start thinking about trading Lonzo and pieces for Wall. Wall couldn’t have had a better audition. Adding his blistering speed and abiliity to finish as LeBron’s second superstar had to tempt Magic and Rob, especially when they see Wall actually shoot 50% from deep for the game and score 40 points. Last guy I want to see on Lakers.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 12:49 PM on December 17, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        At this point, on Court, you’d be nitpicking Wall and his flaws.

        I’ve always loved Wall and Cousins skillset, that was never the issue.

        Neither one bring many positive intangibles with them.

        There’s a reason AD is a Champ and Wall and Cousins still pine about losing.

        Anthony Davis has intangibles to spare. Big difference.

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 10:13 AM on December 17, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kinda disagree on KCP, he has a great game every 10-15 games. He’s been in the league 5 years and has not progressed. We’ll see in the next few games.
      I don’t think Wall beat us, it was Green and Dekker, who???

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:16 AM on December 17, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        DJ, I think the point is more that KCP is going to be better at both ends than any of the players for whom he could be traded. He’s not a keeper long term but is still better than any of the options out there. You don’t trade him unless it upgrades the roster enough to make up for the loss of continuity. Right now, KCP may be our best 3-point shooter.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 10:18 AM on December 17, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        DJ, KCP is a finished product friend…he is who he is.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 11:38 AM on December 17, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I thought we’d have a 2-2 road trip, so now we just have to take care of D-Lo and go home. To me, that is a satisfactory road trip sans Rondo and BI. Hopefully, JaVale McGee will be strong and healthy for the Nets game. One of the positives that came out of yesterday’s game was that Luke clearly knows what he is doing by starting McGee and having Chandler come off the bench.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:02 PM on December 15, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    Great, dominant bounce-back win. Loved it.

    1) LeBron James’ triple-double. 24 points in 30 minutes. 12 rebounds. 11 dimes. LeBron has been dominant against Charlotte in his career and it continued tonight. He got where he wanted when he wanted and made great reads all game long. His triple-double was the fuel that propelled this team to a big win after a game they all probably felt was theirs for the winning against Houston. Great teams bounce-back fast, this team has shown that more often than not this season.

    2) Lonzo Ball’s triple-double. Lonzo’s was a little corn-fed, got the last rebounds and assists in garbage time but it still had to be gotten and he became part of the first Laker duo to both get triple-doubles in the same game since Kareem and Magic did back in 1982. What was great, for me, was how aggressive he was in his scoring. until his jump pass out of a wide open lay up to Svi for three for assist #10 he didn’t do anything silly with the ball. Just solid basketball plays. Finished better at the rim than I’ve seen in many games. Hit back-to-back threes in the pivotal 3rd and did his usual excellent thing on defense. Hope this serves as confidence booster he can ride to a ice string of games.

    3) Ref’s teeing up Lance for his air guitar. No, wait, that was ridiculous not only because it was done to the audience (as allowed by NBA rules) and was short like it always is but…c’mon man…it’s the coolest celebratory gesture going. Lance had a great game and was a big part of the win. Also, he made this recently:

    4) Garbage time gang. Bonga, Wagner and Zubac are all on the floor? It’s either a blowout win or a blowout loss and it’s generally been in wins this season. Love it. Bonga made a nifty shot, Wagner canned a three, Zubac played. LeBron sitting in crunch time is a gas, he has energy ready to go so he channels into pumping up his team.

    5) Defense. The real reason we won this one. Kemba Walker? 4 points, part of a starting 5 that put up 31 points to our starters 78. Charlotte Bench maybe ought to be starting? At any rate, some more solid defense en route to a blow out victory. Hang your hat on that peg, boys.

    3 PM west coast game time tomorrow. Let’s get 2!

    • Seely_Iggy (Director)

      Seely_Iggy (Director) 9:15 AM on December 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hahahahahha…. keep them curls tight, man!

    • mclyne32 (Director) 9:34 AM on December 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Love me some Lance! Seems like the kinda dude I would be friends with.
      Excellent win.
      Love the dual triple doubles. Very impressive. Zo’s D should never be underestimated.
      Let’s keep the good times rollin’ today!

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:48 PM on December 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Five great things to like, Jamie. Maybe best game we’ve played all year long. Everybody was engaged. My fav five:

      1) LeBron. A class above everybody else in the league.

      2) Lonzo. Restored my recently shaken belief in his upside.

      3) JaVale: 9 of 10 from the field and 3 blocks (thought it was more).

      4) Boards: Outrebounding Hornets by 19

      5) Assists: 34 assists -- ball was moving.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 1:17 PM on December 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Although I really like JaVale, his great play this year may get him included in a potential deal for AD this summer.
        An excellent signing and glad to see him show the world what he can do.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:25 PM on December 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          That’s a good thing. But until we get AD, JaVale is one hell of a center, Matt. We wouldn’t be 18-11 without his great rim protection and finishing.

          • mclyne32 (Director) 7:29 PM on December 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            That’s why I stated he was an excellent signing.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:19 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink  

    Trevor Ariza trade to Washington Wizards from Phoenix Suns 

    Visit ESPN to get up-to-the-minute sports news coverage, scores, highlights and commentary for NFL, MLB, NBA, College Football, NCAA Basketball and more.

    Source: Trevor Ariza trade to Washington Wizards from Phoenix Suns

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:28 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Which Booker was booking his flight outta town? Deal fell apart around MarShon and Dillon Booker, not Devin. Lotta Bookers…

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:30 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Robert Sarver refusing to trade to the Lakers!
      Once an a*****e, always an a*****e.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 10:17 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t blame him…his GM already colluded with his ace Lebron to buyout Chandler weeks before it was necessary….how many times are they supposed to bend over?…lol

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:56 PM on December 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lakers were unwilling to give up players or picks they might need in an Anthony Davis trade. That’s why they were not willing to add a first rounder to get the deal done. But Ariza wants to come home so look for the Lakers to prioritize signing him with their Room Exception next summer.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 2:01 PM on December 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Giving up Kelly Oubre for a 33 year old specialist.

        Grunfeld managed to rebuild this franchise only to place it in a situation to crumble and now crash down. Smh.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 2:22 PM on December 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        They weren’t gonna pay Oubre this summer…wasted all that money on Porter already

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:58 AM on December 14, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things That Are Officially Driving Me Crazy 

    The James Harden Effect aside that was a terrible game. Yes, Harden (again) shot an absurd number of free throws but that’s not why we lost. We lost because there a re number of things that we do just about every game that make this season a lot harder than it needs to be.

    1) Free throws. If tate were blogging here he would likely have blown a gasket or two about the free throws. It was his mantra last season and holds true now. I’m not talking about the number of attempts or the ones we give the other team. I’m talking about making a $%&@ing free throw!!!! LeBron (2-6), McGee (1-4), Lonzo (1-2, but more on why he should have shot more below), Josh Hart (1-3) and KCP (2-5) all missed free throws. Kuzma was 7-7 and should have shot 2 more on non calls from Harden’s…defense… But this is a miss or make league and we are bricking free throws at an absurd rate. The fact it hasn’t cost us more games is both gift and a curse. A gifurse, if you will. Because it will hurt us in the playoffs.

    2) Big men blocking out but guards not rebounding.Not one Laker pulled down more than 5 rebounds last night and a lot of the 50/50 balls went the Rockets way. In the first quarter we held them 35% shooting and were shooting over 50% and we were still behind. That’s not taking care of the defensive glass and it’s an issue that has only cropped up a couple of times. But the way the Lakers play under Luke Walton the bigs are supposed to box out hard and let guards and play makers grab the rebound. Brook was great at it and it opened up Julius Randle’s game in a big, big way because he didn’t have to fight for possession just grab and go. but when the guards don’t crash and everyone leaks out (like at the beginning of the year) nothing works right.

    3) Losing their collective cool. The hands behind the back thing was cute and the griping to the refs was warranted. But on a night when the Rockets could have been down for more of the game if we had hit some free throws and grabbed a couple more defensive rebounds, when Nene got ejected, on a night when the Rockets were actually whistled for more fouls overall than we were…we were the team that lost it’s composure which also happened the last time we played them. Nobody likes being punked and the Rockets are team full of little punk players who have done nothing. You have to take the Obamas’ advice on this one: when they go low, we go high. Be a better person, keep it together.

    4) Getting the rim with a wide open layup and passing the ball in mid-air. Lance Stephenson and Lonzo Ball are the biggest offenders in this category. In Lance’s case I think he just plays at a manic pace and often overthinks. Lonzo is the same but I am also of the opinion he has no desire to get to the free throw line. That needs to change. Getting to the foul line puts pressure on the other team, even if you miss them. It gets you into the bonus quicker which helps the whole team, makes it harder for a defender with multiple fouls to play the best defense. And on and on. Of course, making the free throws once there would be nice… Overall, Lonzo had an OK game. Still shooting like a blind donkey but his defense was solid and he made some nice plays. Is that enough for him to get serious playoff minutes when points are at a premium? he has the rest of the season to figure out how to score at an average NBA level.

    5) Not stomping on a team that’s down. Honestly, this hasn’t been all that much of a problem. But it needs to stay that way and with us being on the road for three more what really ought to be winnable games we can’t lose our cool or get baited into bad defense. We stayed in 5th place because just about every team in the conference above us lost, too, but the reality is we gave away a chance to move up in the standings while we have guys out. Those opportunities cannot be wasted, especially if the current Lakers want to stay Lakers. Maybe they don’t, who knows, but not letting a down opponent up and giving them life needs to be a priority for this squad.

    • Seely_Iggy (Director)

      Seely_Iggy (Director) 11:14 AM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As always, Jamie -- great write-up! Those second chances the Rockets got had me hopping up and down in frustration. The Lakers lost their cool alright when the calls didn’t go their way. Instead of moving on to focus on the next possession, they get distracted trying to get the refs’ attention, and miss a defensive rotation (looking at you, Josh Hart).

      But Lonzo “shooting like a blind donkey”, Jamie? Hahahahahha first time I heard that. Too funny!

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:27 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Seely. Yeah we didn’t have focus on our rebounding early and lost our composure late. LeBron can’t shoot free throws like this, just isn’t something I expected to see hm struggle with so much.

        I hate harping on Lonzo’s shooting but it’s a big time concern going forward. I love what he brings, love his cool under fire composure but at some point you need to be able to score. 7 game series will have him sitting wide open all game long and he can’t drive it into the defense and then jump to pass. Just won’t work.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 11:20 AM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’d offer Steve Nash an executive role with Earv and Rob…kill two birds with one stone to, Nash becomes an internal shooting coach.

      Zo has a broken shot…you fix a broken clock, you fix a broken lamp…you fix a broken shot or it stays broken.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:25 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        From everywhere on the floor. Can’t shoot from distance, can’t finish at the rim, poor free throw shooter. He has to really bring the intangibles every single night for the whole game to warrant a large role. He’s been doing that, for the most part, lately and a broken shot is fixable (if DeAndre Jordan can get good from the stripe anyone can!)

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 12:56 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Refs would grade poorly last night. It’s a hard job, and they’re scrutinized and this particular game, poorly called.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever 2:12 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      LeBron sickens me how horrible he is at the line. I have ZERO confidence in him when he is there.
      Can’t be the GOAT when you can’t hit at least 80% of the easiest shot in the game.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:37 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Terrific write up, Jamie. I would put it up there among your best. So many excellent takes.

      I was afraid of this game for all the reasons you enumerated -- free throws, rebounding, composure, missing or not taking easy shots, and not stepping on opponents’ throats. But give the punks credit. For the second time this season, they stole a game from us we should have won. We lost the game more than the Rockets won it far as I’m concerned. Right now, that’s the key aspect of this loss. The Lakers, without Rondo and Ingram, were the better team even though James Harden had one of the greatest games of his career. I’ll guarantee you they won’t win the next time we play them.

      One the things great teams do is learn from their losses, especially when the issue that led to the losses were not new problems, like free throw shooting and defensive rebounding. But learning is just half of the solution. You need to take action to improve the situation. Sometimes, it’s just refocusing the team on an issue. Sometimes, it’s maybe tweaking the rotation and paying more attention to matchups. Sometimes, it’s making a roster change, like we did with Chandler and are apparently trying to do with Ariza. Frankly, I wish some reporter would ask Magic, Rob, or Luke how come the Lakers don’t hire a free throw coach. That’s the first step they need to do to get everybody’s attention and reboot the campaign to eliminate that as a weakness.

      Your comment about Lonzo’s “shooting like a blind donkey” was brilliant but horrifying. Lonzo’s on a teeter-totter where he’s a catalytic stat stuffer one game and a passive by stander in the next game. I have no doubt at some point Lonzo is going to be a transcendent point guard in this league but I’m starting to think it’s not going to happen soon enough for a Lakers team with just three guaranteed years on their contract with LeBron James. And that’s a crying shame because Lonzo is exactly what the Lakers need on a LeBron led superteam. If he could score enough points to hold his own. Hard to see an NBA team winning in today’s game with a point guard who can’t shoot or score.

      The inevitable conclusion is that it’s Kuzma and Hart who are the better fits with LeBron and Lonzo and Ingram who are the tougher fits. For fun, I created a three-way trade on ESPN’s Trade Machine where the Lakers traded point guard Lonzo Ball to the New Orleans Pelicans for power forward Julius Randle and small forward Brandon Ingram to the Brooklyn Nets for D’Angelo Russell. While it would never happen, the point was the trade projected an additional 12 wins for the Lakers. That’s not surprising considering Russell would be a huge upgrade at the point over Ball and Randle would fill a major need as Kuzma’s backup a power forward the backup at center when we want to go small. Both would be better fits on the Lakers and with LeBron than Lonzo and Brandon currently are.

      I doubt we do anything until this summer but Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are going to have to make major strides towards proving they belong long term on the Lakers because right now there are plenty signs that say they don’t. There are a few situations out there that I think the Lakers will be closely watching where trades could be made involving Ball and/or Ingram that would not reduce our cap space. The one I still like is Lonzo and Brandon for Kemba. Right now, the Lakers have as good a chance as any team. Trading KCP for Ariza and Ball and Ingram for Kemba would suddenly make the Lakers one of the favorites to win it all while still protecting our ‘sacred’ cap space for next summer. If I’m Magic and Rob, I’m almost ready to pull that trigger and move on and win.

      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 6:28 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Another reason I don’t think this trade would ever happen, Tom -- it’s an admission by the front office that they made several colossal blunders -- sending away the wrong guys and drafting the wrong ones. Not sure Magic and Rob are ready to acknowledge that.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:18 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks LT, it was a real frustrating loss and the free throws especially are really starting to chap my hide. At any rate, got a back to back this weekend to atone and get ourselves back on the good foot.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:07 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Long story short…it was a 3pt game with 4 minutes left.

      Harden makes 3 free throws (yes..it was a legit foul)
      Lebron chucks a 3pt brick
      Harden hits a 3
      Kuz gets shot blocked
      Harden hits another 3

      Lead balloons to 12 in under a minute .
      All the other shyte is just window-dressing.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:14 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Sure but the missed free throws kept the game closer than it needed to be lessening pressure on the Rockets and we gave up some key points and got some techs around that referenced 4 minute mark. Harden made the big shots and lifted his team, our 2 guys didn’t, yes, but there’s a lot more to the journey up to that point than just the watching.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 10:13 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The techs were in the 3rd…but even with all that the game was still there for the taking. You either man up & take it or make excuses. Spurs held Harden to 2 free throws the other night, so it can be done. Maybe we should be watching that tape instead of trying to defend with our hands behind our backs.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:22 AM on December 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          lol, that was silly in the extreme. You’re not going to convince the refs by acting cute, just man up and defend.

          and I would say that watching tape on how the Spurs defend is never a wasted effort.

          My bad on the techs.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:59 PM on December 10, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    Real fun game at STAPLES, D-Wade’s final contest against the Lakers and his good buddy LeBron James. Great effort by both teams but the Lakers got the stops they needed and James made just enough free throws to bring it home for the purple and gold.

    1) 16-15, advantage LeBron. Tonight was the rubber match between LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. LeBron James walked away with the tie-breaking victory ensuring a lifetime of bragging rights over his fellow banana boat shipmate.

    2) Some folks like to portray things as LeBron finding his Robin and I’ve always seen things more like Wolverine finding the X-Men. Of course, being a Marvel guy, I was never all that into Batman, Superman or any of the other DC rags. Basketball is a team game and the strongest teams win, especially against singular entities. LeBron knows this, it’s why he came here. So while Kyle Kuzma has been pouring it in, pouring it on and looking downright like an All Star I still think we’re the strongest aspect of ourselves when we have solid contributions throughout. But tonight, Kyle Kuzma was way more than Robin, he was the best player on the floor, besting the career night in scoring by Justice Winslow. Great game for Kuz who continued his comeback tour tonight.

    3) Defending the three. On a night where the game was this close our defense at the three point line was a huge key in our victory that will go unnoticed in the shadows of the Wade/James story line and Kuzma’s offensive eruption. But make no mistake, our limiting their effectiveness from three (11-34 for the game) was instrumental in the win.

    4) STAPLES center crowd. They were on their feet for the final minute, they got loud when the team needed a little extra push, they were so not LA! But they were LA and they always will be, it’s just nice to see the home town crowd really into an early December basketball game and the team responding. Feels really good. Also, I have tickets to the March home game against Boston. Oh yes, it’s happening.

    5) Winning before a roadie. Leaving STAPLES behind for our second longest road trip of the season, always good to leave home on a high note. May the wind remain firmly in our sails on our journey away from home.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 8:43 AM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply


    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 11:01 AM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff as always JS.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:03 AM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks dudes.

      DJ, out of curiosity, what did you think of Lonzo’s effort last night?

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 11:12 AM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Well, actually tried to keep physical notes. His line was 10, 7, 4, 3. Shooting was poor as expected. Missed too many bunnies. very bad foul toward the end of the game. Great block at the end of game. Still pretty average overall. He’s only 21 so has some growing time, just not sure we (LBJ) can wait long.

        PS-My pick Fox line last nite was 25, 4, 6, 4 with great shooting and so much speed. Oh well, we still need a Star along with Kuz and Ingy, IMHO.

        • mclyne32 (Director) 11:16 AM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Mine too, Deej.
          At least Zo plays excellent D.
          Hopefully, his shot and finishing in the paint will improve.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 11:32 AM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Kuz has been stepping up major!

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 1:01 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink

              All that tanking netted 1 max player.

            • mclyne32 (Director) 2:14 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink


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

            Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:28 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I’ll take improvement finshing at the rim and free throws, three ball would be gravy, at this point.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 1:50 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink


          • mclyne32 (Director) 2:16 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            they weren’t trying to tank- they were just led by an imbecile.

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 2:57 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink

              fastest swimmer on a slow day

            • mclyne32 (Director) 4:46 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink


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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:11 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          You’re one of a kind, Deej. Love that you kept physical notes. I’m assuming you mean pen and paper style. Pretty much agree with your take. he has fantastic defensive instincts, tries for the home run pass when a normal solid-fundamental pass would actually work better (see Luke’s face memes) and those blown layups are just inexcusable from someone playing in the NBA. That just has got to change like yesterday.

          Might top out as a Tony Allen-type of guy but with far better court vision and feel, like you said: still only 21. Room to grow…but how much is the big question.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 2:18 PM on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff, dude.
      I have tix to the game against PHX at the end of Jan.
      I sure hope Booker is 100% by then.
      My favorite Laker is showing up big again- Kuuuuuuuuuuz!

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:09 PM on December 10, 2018 Permalink  

    Missed a couple ‘5 Things…’ 

    Hey there blog-o-maniacs. Had some time issues this weekend with family endeavors and personal this and that. The debris of life, as they say. At any rate there were 2 great games in that span, one ended with an ‘L’ the other with a ‘W’. So I’m going to do a combo-type thing and feel free to chime in or chat to your heart’s content. Dig it:

    1) The Jekyll & Hyde 4th quarter effort. To be honest I really only liked the Hyde, beast-mode 4th quarter against the Grizz. I thought we lost our composure a bit against the Spurs (with reason, still can’t believe LeBron got hit in the head and not 1 ref saw it, hard to imagine that happening when the best player in the game is driving to the rim, with the ball, draws all sorts of contact and whistles get outright swallowed, but hey they missed a lot of calls in that game!) What I liked was that we didn’t get a repeat performance the next night. The ship was righted and righted well at that. Those are the kinds of little things that would have led to a 4-5 game losing streak last year. Some of that is LeBron and our veteran core of players but it’s also the growth of our young guys.

    2) Svi for 3! OK, it’s 2 whole games but Svi has quietly started to find his NBA groove. He ws 2-3 from three against the Spurs and 3-6 against the Grizzlies. While that is good to see I’m not so sure it heralds his arrival. I need to see him put in a few more games like this before I call myself a believer. But, however you feel about it, it is tracking towards a positive. If Svi can ball like he did the last 2 games, making good reads, hitting the open shots, and playing adequate defense, he could help ease the seemingly inevitable trade of KCP. It’s a lot to put on a rookie but Pope has done himself no favors with his largely inconsistent play on both ends.

    3) Josh Hart’s bounce back game against Memphis. Mr. Hart had been struggling since his ankle injury but in recent games he looks better and more fluid. Against Memphis he was on fire canning 4-7 from three, playing great defense and looking like the Josh Hart we expect to see most games. While I have a hard time seeing Hart ever replacing Brandon Ingram in the starting 5 (unless Brandon is traded) his ability to effect the game on both ends off the bench is key for our club.

    4) Kyle Kuzma looking like he did last season. In both the San Antonio and Memphis games Kyle looked like, well, Kyle. He’s shooting a little better from three, still making the occasional play for a teammate, and being aggressive at the right moments. One little issue that I’d like to see him stop doing: out-rebounding his teammates. Far too often do I see him bump a fellow Laker off a rebound. While I don’t think it’s led to a turnover it’s just not cool, dude. Unless it’s a fast break opportunity (and a lot of them have not been) let the big man who did all the work get the board, no stat padding! (lol)

    5) Issac Bonga’s first point! Came on a technical foul free throw. The vets just love it when the rookies finally scratch in the NBA and this time was no different.

    This is great stuff, good fun for the vets, positive for the bench guys and rookies need to be ribbed a little bit. Nice to see Mr. Bonga get his first points and rebounds at the professional level.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:09 PM on December 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the great double dose, Jamie.

      1) LeBron is getting the Shaq treatment from the zebras. I don’t mind the refs not calling every little bump when he drives as long as they don’t do that for other players. Unfortunately, bump James Harden or DeMar DeRozan or any of the other perimeter oriented stars who attack the rim, and you automatically get two free throws. Meanwhile, LeBron gets clocked hard one drive after another with nothing called. There’s a totally different and unfair standard for what constitutes a foul on LeBron.

      2) I’m 100% with you on Svi’s emergence providing additional motivation for the trading him for Trevor Ariza. Aside from bringing the roster better guard/forward balance, Trevor coming home gives us that wing defender who can guard the bigger guards like DeRozan and Middleton as well as small forwards like KD and Rudy Gay, who are just too big for the players we have backing up LeBron. I think the addition of Ariza would catapult the Lakers into a top five NBA team as a hot team on the rise.

      3) Great to see Josh bounce back. Again, the better he and Svi play, the easier it is to consider trading KCP, whom the Lakers have done a brilliant job showcasing over the last few games. The Sixers should be salivating right now with the prospect of adding a quality two-way player who can rain threes to help them climb up the standings in the rejuvenated Eastern Conference.

      4) Kuzma is finally back. Doing it all: scoring, rebounding, playmaking, and defending. His integration of the floater has transformed his paint game and he’s finally gotten back the mojo that playing stretch five apparently sent into submission. More and more, I keep wondering whether the best two prospects in the Lakers’ young core are not Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart rather than Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. Both may not have the upside as their younger teammates, but there’s little question both are better fits playing with LeBron and more ready to compete for an NBA championship at this point in their careers.

      5) Bonga fills the stat sheet: 1 point, 1 board, 1 dime, 1 steal. Great to see the bench go crazy when Isaac sank that free throw. If we trade KCP, Bonga may be the best free throw shooter on the team. He has always been a mid eighties free throw shooter and is shooting high forties on his threes. Have not heard but am hoping Isaac will get to stay active for the varsity for the next three games that Brandon is scheduled to miss. Bonga is going to be a star on this team before all is said and done.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:07 PM on December 6, 2018 Permalink  

    Lakers’ Ingram (ankle) to have precautionary MRI 

    While X-rays on his injured left ankle came back negative, Lakers forward Brandon Ingram is scheduled for a precautionary MRI on Thursday night.

    Source: Lakers’ Ingram (ankle) to have precautionary MRI

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:48 PM on December 5, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    1) This future poster, maybe for my daughter…

    2) Another Laker home win where we are a very respectable 10-4. Did the right thing in not letting the Spurs use us as comeback vehicle for their miserable season and made sure we won one for Brandon Ingram (hope the ankle isn’t serious and the hold out more precautionary). Need to rinse and repeat on Friday in San Antonio.

    3) That 4th quarter. Bottle it, preserve it, embalm it…whatever needs doing to make that a constant for our team. We outscored the Spurs by 12 to the tune of 43-31 led by LeBron James but featuring his supporting cast. Josh Hart with 2 bog 3s, Lonzo Ball canned a trey, and Kuzma started the 4th off really aggressively to help set the tone early.

    4) Tyson Chandler’s unheralded excellence. I don’t know how he does it but man is Tyson Chandler somehow a part of every big run the Lakers go on. JaVale has been spectacular but it’s been Tyson who generally finishes the game, mainly because he sets wipe-out screens and is a solid rebounder. Great game from the vet.

    5) Oh dang…I think I meant this poster…

    Ah well, just have to get ’em both. Seriously, Lonzo had a great game. Might not show up in the box score in the same way LeBron’s game did but it’s undeniable all the same. Clutch three pointer in the 4th quarter, laser blast extra pass to Josh Hart for a three pointer in the 4th quarter and made a lot of great reads, my favorite being his 15′ jump shot he really wanted to pass the ball on in the first half. If BI is out for more than a couple games we’ll need Mr. Ball to put in efforts like this more consistently.

    15-9, 5th in the western conference, 3rd in one of the tougher divisions, swept the 4 game home stand. Good stuff, go Lakers.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:23 AM on December 6, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff, Jamie. And some great videos for your daughter, including Lonzo going LeBron with the dunk.

      Last night was superstars night. LeBron 42 to lead Lakers, PG 47 to lead Thunder, and Steph 42 to lead Warriors, Kawhi 36 to lead Raptors.

      Loved how LeBron trusted the young guns down the stretch and they delivered. Critical threes by Kuz, Lonzo, and Hart.

      Also loved how Kuzma came up big guarding DeRozan down the stretch with BI out.

      Have not heard anything about Brandon’s ankle. Hopefully, it won’t keep him out and we’ll get Rondo back.

      Lakers rocking and rolling!

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 10:40 AM on December 6, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Likely out a couple weeks. Hopefully it’s not one of them high sprains that can take weeks to heal.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:59 AM on December 6, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          That’s too bad about Brandon. That was definitely an intentional effort to undercut him by Aldridge. Glad to see it called. Hope BI can get back soon. Doesn’t sound like Rondo will be ready for the weekend so Bongo could really get a legitimate shot to play this Friday and Saturday.

          When one door closes, another opens. This could be a huge plus for the Lakers if Isaac can make the leap the varsity. He can do everything -- shoot, make plays, rebound, and play and defend multiple positions. Bonga could be the Lakers’ Silver Linings Playbook.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:05 PM on December 6, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply


      When he’s hitting 3’s it’s damm near impossible to stop him.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:39 AM on December 3, 2018 Permalink  

    5 Things I Liked 

    Three in a row! Moving up the playoff ladder! It’s barely December! Still dig it.

    1) Bench getting quality minutes. Here’s a handy formula that, hopefully, holds true for the season: Zubac + Wagner / quality 4th quarter minutes = Great game! Of course it could be a blowout in the other direction. Not last night as the rising Lakers sunk the hapless Suns by the end of the 3rd quarter. Every player who could play did play. These kind of wins are most valuable in terms of keeping LeBron’s career low minutes at a career low. The fewer minutes he plays in games like this the better for the team.

    2) Welcome back Michael Beasley! The Beez looked like himself, had life in his legs, looked sure of his shot and was key in keeping the game a blowout with the rest of his bench mates. If he can be that productive for us off the bench and if we can unlock the secret of Lance’s slump we have the makings of a solid NBA bench, one that can hold and potentially extend leads. Great to see him look more like the player we know he can be.

    3) Moe Wagner’s first points. Magicman already posted the hilarious clip of JaVale and Tyson “losing it” when Moe got his first NBA points at the free throw line but here’s his full game highlights.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say his first actual basket should have been an ‘and-1’ and it was great seeing him can that three. The fact he and Zubac shared the court for a few minutes is still cracking me up. Not something I had really expected to ever see, for some reason…

    4) Kuzma putting together a complete effort for the whole game (or at least until the beginning of the 4th quarter when Luke inserted the bench for mop up duty). Kyle looked great against the Suns defense and hopefully it gets him back on track in terms of playing with decisiveness. He took the open shots, drove it into the paint when they closed hard, and pulled down 8 boards while dishing 3 assists to only 1 turnover. Led the team in scoring, to boot!

    5) Josh Hart’s ridiculous +32!?!?! In his 18 minutes Josh Hart was, statistically, instrumental in winning the game. But truthfully when he’s paired with Tyson Chandler and another playmaker Josh Hart is a stalwart off the bench. While the debate as to who should start will likely rage all season I see Josh as being most effective off the bench and bullying the lesser talent on other teams.

    All in all, a lot of positives from a game we should have won going away, especially after the Suns lost Devin Booker to another hamstring injury. The fact that we did indeed win the game going away bucks a script the Lakers too often like to read from. Laker teams in the past would have slacked off on D, stopped executing or let all sorts of little errors crack the door open and let the Suns back into the game. Not last night. Good stuff.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 10:30 AM on December 3, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The thing I’ve really liked about these past coupla games is the balance. For a most of the season it’s been Lebron or bust. Hopefully the supporting cast can continue to show consistency & growth and then bring it all together when Rondo gets back. I’m excited to see us up against some better competition to measure how we stack up….

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:57 AM on December 3, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Agreed, granted these wins have generally come against teams I feel we should beat but still takes going out and beating them. Last night could have very easily been a “trap” game but was not. This stretch against the Spurs and even moreso the Grizz should be informative as to how we stack up against team’s that defend well. Spurs a re playing a little back on their heels, right now, but they always seem to find it in their hearts to play us tough. Grizz could be as legit of a contender as anyone if Conley and Gasol figure out how to stay healthy.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:44 AM on December 3, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fun stuff, Jamie. Thanks for sharing.

      1) Loved seeing Moe get his chance and especially loved the threes. Unlike last year, when our three first round draft picks all got great early opportunities to show what they could do, this year’s crop of draftees, which included two second rounders, have not had the same opportunities, even though I think before everything is said and done, they’re going end up being a great draft class. Ironically, there is possibly a better chance that Moe, Svi, and Isaac could outlast Brandon, Kyle, and Josh as Lakers.

      2) Besides Beasley looking like he could contribute (and we obviously need some bigs who can stretch the floor), what I loved most was hearing before this game how he was still being a great teammate and positive force on the bench. If he can play at the level he did coming off the bench for the Knicks last yar, that would really help the Lakers repertoire of weapons at Luke’s beck and call.

      3) Moe playing well and hitting those threes was a big plus for me. Both Wagner and Beasley bring something to the table at power forward or at small ball center that we’ve have lacked, which is the ability to stretch the floor and spread the defense. Of course, now that Svi and Moe have gotten some run, Isaac is next. Just one of the reasons to wish for a Lakers’ blow out every game.

      4) It was great to see Kuz bounce back with a strong all-around game. Kudos to Luke and his staff for looking to match Kyle up with players whose games are good matches for Kuz’s defensive strengths. He’s been doing a great job following his man over screens and using his length and quickness to contest shots. Time not only gives the players the opportunity to learn how to play with each other but also the coaches on how to create the most favorabled matchups for all of their players at both ends of the court.

      5) Having Hart play well is just another plus in a game full of pluses. When LeBron plays well and the young core shines, the Lakers almost look invincible. Of course, everybody looks that way when they play the Suns. Hated to see Booker go down with a hamstring. The new tank rules don’t really give the Suns the kind of advantage that previous teams with the worst record in the league used to have. And Ayton doesn’t look like he’s going to be an impact player, especially on defense. Booker will boook the first flight out soon as he’s a free agent.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:06 AM on December 3, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        1) 100% Any game where we empty the bench and take home a W is a great game. LeBron playing a career low minutes was a priority from the beginning and to see us winning and making that goal a reality is something that will probably get more attention later in the season.

        2) Agreed. Beasley being effective will give Rondo another tool to use to pick apart NBA bench defenses. He was great for the Knicks last year but until last night we hadn’t seen anything like that player. Hopefully this is the turnaround for the season and not just a flash in the pan moment.

        3) I don’t know that I would say he played well, especially on defense where he got scored on repeatedly in the paint, but it was nice to see him pry the lid off the basket and score from the spots he needs to be scoring from. Moe has a long way to go to become a player of true impact on our squad.

        4) Yup. He’s been rebounding pretty well lately and his defense has been better. I will add that he has a penchant for out-rebounding his own teammates which has always been irksome to me: let the bigs get their boards, it’s one of the few things they let them do, but his enthusiasm shouldn’t be quenched, yet, so it’s fine.

        5) Hart’s been awesome all season and looks like he’s bounced back from that ankle tweak.

        Booker just signed a big extension so he’ll need to demand a trade to book that jet plane out of town, lol.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 1:24 PM on December 3, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Jamie
      Nice recap. For me again it’s defense. While Kuz has been hitting some 3’s the last couple of games I am more excited about the D and rebounding he’s been showing for the last few games. I always thought his 3 pointer would come around. I know one can say it was only the Suns but Booker didn’t go down until about 5, 6 minutes left in the 2nd and he was 3 for 8 with 6 points at the time and Crawford was only 2 for 6 for the game. Both guys are world class scorers.
      I especially enjoyed that 2nd quarter where the 2nd unit brought us back. While Hart’s +32 is amazing BI’s +25 for the QUARTER is just sick.
      If BI and Kuz can get a little more consistent shooting I’m good with the 15 to 20 a game from each of them. That coveted 2nd scorer won’t be as important if that happens.
      Beasley played very little early and when he did it was at the 5. Kuz began to get it together when Luke stopped playing him there. I’m hoping that Beasley plays better now that he’s not being used at the 5. With the addition of Chandler I don’t think we will see much small ball and if we do it should be Lebron at the 5 like we did a few games ago. I really think at this point he’s about the only guy that’s capable.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:32 PM on December 3, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Agree and thanks!

        A “2nd scorer by committee” works for me as long as, like you said, the defense is solid. Chandler pretty much ended the ‘small ball’ debate until the last few minutes of every game. Then, depending on the in-game situation I think LBJ, Chandler or McGee can handle the 5.

        BI’s defense has been stellar, he and Kuz are really playing well with Lonzo on the perimeter and making the opposition take contested shots or funneling them to the big man guarding the rim.

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