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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:50 PM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    Jayson Tatum Exposed Crucial Lakers Weakness – will Markieff Morris help? 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:24 PM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    Frank Vogel on Rajon Rondo! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:15 PM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    Kyle Kuzma really rose to challenge against a blistering Jayson Tatum 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:13 PM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    AD talks about Lakers’ 4th qtr adjustments and KCP’s defense down stretch 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:05 PM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    DeMarcus Cousins: Lakers Interested in Re-Signing Center in Free Agency 

    The Los Angeles Lakers waived big man DeMarcus Cousins, who is recovering from a torn ACL, so they could make room on the roster to add forward Markieff Morris, but they are reportedly open to a reunion heading into the 2020-21 campaign.

    According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, both Cousins and the Purple and Gold “have expressed interest” in reaching an agreement during the upcoming offseason.

    Cousins appeared to be a notable addition for the Lakers when they signed him to a one-year deal to bolster the frontcourt before a potential championship run, but he tore his ACL during an August workout and never appeared in a game.

    Cousins did connect on 35.9 percent of his three-pointers while playing for the Pelicans and could tap into that aspect of his game if the Lakers re-sign him.

    LeBron James and Anthony Davis attract plenty of defensive attention, which opens the floor up for perimeter shooters to take advantage of the ensuing space. If Cousins can consistently hit from three-point range, the Lakers could feature him in the regular rotation on next season’s team.

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:43 PM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    Bron hit Jaylen Brown with dream shake for the lead 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:51 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    Anthony Davis and Lakers got one thing on their minds vs Celtics Sunday: payback. 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:34 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    LeBron sporting a Yankees cap! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:30 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    GET READY FOR PLAYOFF LEBRON! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:00 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    What would Playoff LeBron look like playing next to Davis? 

    LOS ANGELES —The Lakers as a franchise have never experienced Playoff LeBron.
    But their coach, Frank Vogel, has seen it. Too much of it, actually.

    “Dominant, mentally focused and locked in,” said Vogel, whose Pacers teams lost to LeBron in the playoffs three times when he was on the Heat, including twice in the Eastern Conference finals.

    LeBron, the playoffs, and what kind of player he’s going to be in them come April is a discussion in February because, well, in each of the past two seasons he’s had to fire up his “playoff mode” right now. As in immediately after the All-Star break. And this year he is definitely not in a position to have to do that — playing for the West’s best team with a monster MVP candidate, Anthony Davis, playing next to him.

    “I never really looked at it like that,” LeBron said after Friday’s game, in which he turned in an impressive 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting and a season-high 11 free throws. “It’s always been a team game. I don’t ever look at it like I have to put a whole franchise or a whole team on my back. It’s just, I need to do my job.

    “If I do my job, then we’ll put ourselves in a position to be successful. And I have to do that again this year.”

    But what does this mean to those who have never experienced it? Playoff LeBron moves with fire in his gut and in his eyes. He’s faster, meaner, speaks lower to the media. Playoff LeBron is more demanding of himself and his teammates, even if they don’t or can’t answer the call. There are things Playoff LeBron does to limit his focus to what’s happening on the floor, and there are the video-game-like things he does in games. Like, say, play all 48 minutes in a Game 7. Or hit a buzzer-beater or three. Or chase down Andre Iguodala with his legacy on the line.

    The season before, in 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers had such a disastrous January that they traded half their roster. Kevin Love was hurt. LeBron barely knew half of his teammates. Figuring this was probably his last year there, he chose to pour it on, not only playing in every game for the entire season and the playoffs, but also going on an epic, singular terror in which he averaged 29.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 9.5 assists after the break. And then 34 points, 9.1 boards and nine assists in the playoffs.

    Oh, there was another time when LeBron said he’d kicked “playoff mode” into high gear before it was time.

    Not only is LeBron not used to being on a team this hot (the Lakers have won six of seven) at this time of year, but also he’s never played with a teammate quite like Davis. Davis bruised his right calf one minute into Friday’s game and had scored four points by halftime. He finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks.

    Davis, in addition to making a furious case to be Defensive Player of the Year, is on pace to become the first teammate ever to average more points (26.7 for Davis) for an entire season than LeBron (25.1), who, in turn, is averaging a career-high 10.7 assists (leads the NBA). Even in the years when James was flanked by Kyrie Irving and Love in Cleveland, and by Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, the offense and the team wholly belonged to him. He was the engine. The Lakers still run through LeBron, but Davis’ presence is so dominant that it begs the question: what would Playoff LeBron look like playing next to Davis?

    Vogel makes Playoff LeBron sound like more of a mindset than anything else, and there’s something to that. To recap, “playoff mode” comes in times of desperation, when the stakes are highest, or when it’s simply time to stop screwing around. When the postseason arrives, LeBron typically separates himself not only from his social media accounts, but also doesn’t watch or read sports media, and turns the volume down on other playoff telecasts.

    Stylistically, though, LeBron’s last few playoff trips brought about changes. He dominates possessions, pounding the ball until the shot-clock is near zero before firing a pass to the open man, who has no choice but to catch and shoot. And he’d better make it. Or, LeBron gets the shot he wants on his own. It’s something to behold, and playing that way usually lands his teams in the Finals.

    LeBron has always carried a tremendous burden to be the thing that gets his team to the top, even when he’s flanked by All-Stars. This season, playing alongside Davis, LeBron’s merely been great, instead of from another planet. There has also been no drama inside the locker room, nor any reasons to feel desperate or inadequate. LeBron and AD have shown to be a serious, formidable pairing. But if LeBron adopts the same form of “playoff mode” from years past, it’s unclear how that would mesh with the near-perfect harmony he’s found with Davis.

    “AD’s on a nice list of great players I’ve played with, but nothing changes for me,” LeBron said. “My preparation, the way I go out and approach the game — nothing changes.”

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:17 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Playoff LeBron is something nobody seems to be considering as a big reason why the Lakers will win their seventeenth NBA championship this season. Unlike Playoff Rondo, Playoff LeBron is a real thing, not a hopeful figment of fans hoping for something that’s highly unlikely to occur.

      Take LeBron’s last season in Cleveland. During the regular season, he averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists in 36.9 minutes per game while shooting 54.2/36.7/73.1%. During the playoffs, he averaged 34.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 7.8 assists in 41.9 minutes per game while shooting 53.9/34.2/74.6%.

      How about the season before. During the regular season, he averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists in 35.2 minutes per game while shooting 51.0/33.9/66.5%. During the playoffs, he averaged 32.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 9.0 assists in 41.3 minutes per game while shooting 56.5/41.1/69.8%.

      How good is Playoff LeBron? In his last two playoffs, he increased his points per game by 21.6% and his minutes per game by 15.4%. So far during the regular season, he is averaging 25.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 10.7 assists in 34.9 minutes per game shooting 49.1/34.4/69.7%.

      Based on his last two years in the postseason, we might see Playoff LeBron average 30.4 points and play 40.1 minutes. So far this season, the Lakers are undefeated when LeBron James scores more than 30 points.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:45 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    We Need To Talk About Kyle 

    Keep It Simple and Keep Moving

    As the season has moved on, Kuzma has gradually gotten better at reducing his turnovers while still setting up his teammates. Here are his raw assist to turnover totals every month:

    November (15 G) – 12 assists / 26 turnovers (Yikes!)
    December (9 G) – 6 assists / 12 turnovers
    January (14 G) – 21 assists / 22 turnovers
    February (6 G) – 19 assists / 11 turnovers

    What seems to be the biggest difference from early on in the season up until this month is that Kuzma has become more comfortable with reading the defense and is reverting back to the “one move and go” style of attacking the paint that he was successful with the prior two years.

    Earlier in the season, the lack of room in the painted area made it really difficult for Kuzma to get to the rim, but since the new year he has gotten better at figuring out where to kick to shooters and when to throw the lob.

    As long as he stays active when the ball isn’t in his hands, good things will happen. Even being active on the boards like he has been lately will also help his on court rhythm.

    The second half of the season should reveal more of what the Lakers coaching staff expects of Kuzma as the team gears up for the playoffs and while fans anxiously await consistent scoring from him, consistent decision making and effort is a welcomed sight.
    It could very well be the biggest thing the Lakers need to raise another championship banner this season.

     
    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 11:48 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yup. He’s positioning himself better and fighting for boards like the guys said. It’s noticeable he’s demonstrable making passes as well, instead of necessarily mindless dribbling.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:15 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink |  

    Big News Regarding the Lakers and DeMarcus Cousins Revealed 

    “DeMarcus has been here rehabbing and been a great member of this team behind the scenes that nobody gets to see because the only thing he can do is be a good teammate and travel, and show up to every game and have a good attitude. And he’s done that,” said teammate Alex Caruso, via Melissa Rohlin.

    Will Cousins Be a Laker Next Season?

    It’s looking like the Lakers have a really good shot at retaining Cousins for the 2020-2021 season. He clearly likes the organization or he wouldn’t be sticking with them for his rehab. According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the Lakers could also have an advantage with a future contract for Cousins:

    If the Lakers re-signed Cousins on a one-year deal in July, even after waiving him for Morris, the franchise would have his early Bird rights in 2021. That would enable the team to make a greater financial commitment, provided he’s able to return to form.

    It wouldn’t make sense for Los Angeles to go through the trouble of holding a roster spot for Cousins most of the season and then allowing him to stay so he can rehab if they didn’t have any future plans for him. He’s not going to command a big contract in the offseason because of his recent injury history, and sticking with a title contender like the Lakers would probably be best for his career. It would appear that “Boogie” will at least get one more crack at playing for the purple and gold

     
    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 9:45 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Uh…uh…

      Eric Pincus, you know d**n well Cousins hasn’t had “recent injury history”

      2017 Torn Achilles
      2018 Blew out a Quad
      2019 Torn ACL

      DeMarcus Cousins since 2018:

      Turned down a two-year, $40M contract from the Pelicans

      Signed a 1-year, $5M contract with the Warriors instead so he could ring chase

      Didn’t get a ring

      Signed with the Lakers so he could ring chase

      Waived by the Lakers

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 9:49 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Only fan base I know that wants to give a big man on the wrong side of 30 this summer guaranteed money he hasn’t been able to earn since 2017, because he is injury prone.

        All these injuries are related. All of them.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 9:54 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          He’s torn his left Achilles

          His Left Quad ruptured.

          His Left ACL was torn.

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 10:19 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Also, and I don’t know why no one else has mentioned it, but a dude with nothing better to do than workout and rehab looks doughy af. Not that he was ever some chiseled Adonis, but given the recent history, you’d think he’d finally address that. If he comes back anything near his formal self, great. In the best case he’s a midlevel type. Ain’t nobody need to worry about gotdam bird rights.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:48 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s important to remember why Boogie was on the Lakers roster to begin with. He is the center Anthony Davis wants to play with because he stretches the floor offensively and handles the banging defensively. If healthy, he is the perfect center to play with Anthony Davis. There is a reason why the Lakers have kept Boogie on the roster this year and continue to want to have him be part of the team. Their doctors must believe DeMarcus can recover and be close to what he was before his injury. I would side with the Lakers front office, medical and coaching staff on why they’re making such a big effort to keep Boogie. I’m confident he appreciates the effort and is going to re-sign with the Lakers this summer.

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 11:26 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        They didn’t love him enough to not cut him instead of Cook or Daniels.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 11:53 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          J.R.’s had multiple games of hitting 10+ treys in a game…if he’s in shape and focused, would you cut TD? If at all, if the potential exists for him to go off, once in a tournament in a big game…would you cut TD?

          • John M.

            John M. 12:42 PM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Just swapping benchwarmers.

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 12:51 PM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Call me biased or whatever, but I’ve seen enough of JR Smith to know I don’t want him anywhere near this squad. I think the potential of him doing anything of meaning in a big NBA game is long expired.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:24 PM on February 22, 2020 Permalink |  

    Favorite part of the Markieff Morris addition is him being a three level scorer 

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 8:32 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Of the 2 twins we may end up with the better one if this all goes down as advertised, kinda hard to see it not happening at this point. Kuzma going to be sitting a lot is the unspoken truth of this move. I’m fine with that, personally. That 3 ball just hasn’t come around and even though you can see he’s trying to impact the game in other ways MM is better by far on D. This is the un-fun practical side of the NBA. If we win a chip this move will probably look brilliant. If we flame out early and Morris struggles to assimilate there will be a litany of ‘what if?’s but that’s for Rob to worry about.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 11:50 AM on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yeah unless he goes like a firecracker in July from deep…this.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:30 PM on February 22, 2020 Permalink |  

    Frank Vogel on Anthony Davis as a Defensive Player of Year candidate 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:54 PM on February 22, 2020 Permalink |  

    DeMarcus Cousins getting some work in pregame last night 

     
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