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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:50 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Kyle Kuzma may be destined to join Rick Paul and Klutch Sports 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:46 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    AD and Boogie seem to have a genuine affection for each other 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:45 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Computers are the new basketball coaches! 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:56 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Brook Lopez transformed himself from a traditional center his last year with the Brooklyn Nets. After making just 3 of 31 three-point shots his first eight years in the league for a 9.6% shooting percentage, he made 134 out of 387 attempts in 2016-17 for a 34.6% shooting percentage.

      He then made 112 out of 325 attempts in 2017-18 for the Lakers and set new records for centers by making 187 out of 512 attempts for the Bucks in 2018-19. His closest competitor for centers was Karl Anthony-Towns who made 142 out of 355 attempts for 40.0%.

      In other words, Brook took over 150 more attempts than any other center in the league. He was the first center in NBA history to attempt more than 400 threes and completely redefined what it meant to be a stretch five. His next challenger could be the Lakers’ DeMarcus Cousins.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:41 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Could Boogie be the next Brook Lopez? 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:08 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael,

      Remember when you brought up the huge volume of threes that DeMarcus Cousins took in 2017-18 with the Pelicans? Boogie made 104 out of 294 threes for 35.6% in just 48 games before tearing his Achilles. If you project that over a full 82 game season, Boogie would have made 178 out of 502 threes for 35.4%. That would have been just 9 makes less than Brook’s NBA record for centers of 187 and just 10 attempts less than Brook’s record of 512. Boggie could be the next Brook Lopez.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:15 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers to hire Quinton Crawford as assistant coach on Frank Vogel’s staff 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:03 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Another Lakers player working with Chris Matthews as their shooting coach! 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:59 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Why Boogie Should Come Off Bench! 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:01 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Frank Vogel’s a defensive oriented coach who believes defense begins inside-out with strong rim protection so he’s going to want to start Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee, his two best shot blockers. He’s also going to want his best defensive players to start to guard the other team’s best offensive players. That’s why Avery Bradley, Danny Green, and LeBron James will likely comprise the rest of the Lakers’ defensive oriented starting lineup.

      It also explains why Vogel will be more comfortable bringing offensive oriented players like Demarcus Cousins, Kyle Kuzma, and Jared Dudley as well as guards like Quinn Cook, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Troy Daniels off the bench where they won’t be facing starting quality defensive or offensive players. Building a defensive oriented starting lineup paired with an offensive oriented bench is solid well-tested rotation strategy.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:17 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lakers Starters:

      PG: Avery Bradley
      SG: Danny Green
      SF: LeBron James
      PF: Anthony Davis
      CE: JaVale McGee

      Lakers Reserves:

      PG: Rajon Rondo
      SG: Kentativous-Caldwell Pope
      SF: Jared Dudley
      PF: Kyle Kuzma
      CE: DeMarcus Cousins

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:53 AM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lakers! How Paul George’s past informs DeMarcus Cousins’ future 

    It’s been almost five years since then-Pacers star Paul George broke his leg in grisly fashion during a USA basketball scrimmage in Las Vegas. It’s not easy to come back from such a traumatic injury, either mentally or physically, and George took a couple of years to return to being the player he once was.

    Frank Vogel was the head coach of the Indiana Pacers at the time. He’s now using George’s path to inform his approach to another supremely talented player coming off a devastating injury.

    DeMarcus Cousins.

    “I talked to DeMarcus about Paul George and overseeing his recovery from that broken leg,” Vogel said. “The first year you’re out. You don’t play. You’re not even in uniform. I mean, you’re just not even in uniform. Year 2, you’re in uniform, but you’re not quite yourself the entire year. Gordon Hayward saw it this year. It takes, to me, a full second year to regain all of your rhythm, timing and explosiveness and quickness. It just takes time.”

    Cousins tore his Achilles tendon in January 2018, when he was playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. He missed the rest of the season and went into what should have been a lucrative free-agency season with hardly any options. He signed a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors, who had such a talented team that they had the luxury of waiting on Cousins’ recovery.

    Exactly six months ago, Cousins made his debut with the Warriors, but he wasn’t himself. Then, in the second game of the playoffs he tore a quadriceps muscle and returned in the Finals, still not quite himself.

    In some ways the Lakers might have gotten Cousins at the perfect time. They have Cousins on a one-year deal worth $3.5 million and he’s in his second year since suffering the injury. But Vogel hopes Cousins remains with the team for years to come.

    “This is the year that I think that [he] hopefully starts to really gain his form, and if he does, then we have one of the most powerful, dominant players in the game,” Vogel said.

    Vogel isn’t the only one excited about the possibilities. Davis was perfectly candid during his introductory news conference on Saturday – he does not like to play center. That’s why the Lakers went out and got Cousins, with whom he enjoyed playing in New Orleans.

    Cousins’ ability has never been questioned, but his demeanor has, in part because he piled up technical fouls with gusto while in Sacramento. Davis scoffed at those potential concerns, using air quotes to dismiss the media attention Cousins got for being “emotional.” He never saw that in New Orleans.

    The thing is, Cousins never played on a playoff team in his six and a half seasons with Sacramento, where he started his career. Davis feels that on a team with playoff aspirations Cousins is a great fit.

    “Obviously last year it was rarely talked about, him being ‘emotional,’” Davis said. “When you come into another situation like this, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem at all because we have one goal and it’s to win here. I loved playing with DeMarcus.”

    • therealhtj

      therealhtj 12:43 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      All due respect, but a broken leg is hardly an Achilles.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:09 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        PG’s broken leg was not just a simple broken bone. It was as serious as an Achilles and the type of injury that usually takes two full years before the player fully recovers and is close to the same player

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:38 AM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    Have Lakers Surrounded LeBron James, Anthony Davis with Enough Shooting? 

    Last year’s Los Angeles Lakers graduated with a doctorate in How Not to Build Around LeBron James. This season’s team is, by all appearances, determined to avoid the same fate.

    Lessons learned have no doubt played a role in the Lakers’ thinking. They know last year’s team missed the mark. The stakes are also higher. They’re no longer dealing with one superstar. Anthony Davis both raises their ceiling and heightens the urgency to get it right.

    Have they?

    The league average on wide-open threes was just over 38 percent. The Lakers hit 34.8 percent of their uncontested triples, dead last in the NBA. Caldwell-Pope, Ingram and James were the only players who appeared in more than 25 games for them and matched or exceeded the league average on those looks.Zeroing in on the Lakers’ overall catch-and-shoot efficiency allays some of the uncertainty. Check out where next year’s rotation players finished last season:

    Avery Bradley (Los Angeles Clippers): 73.4 percentile
    Avery Bradley (Memphis Grizzlies): 17.6 percentile
    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: 81.0 percentile
    Quinn Cook: 96.8 percentile
    DeMarcus Cousins: 15.8 percentile
    Alex Caruso: 54.2 percentile
    Troy Daniels: 70.5 percentile
    Anthony Davis: 72.7 percentile
    Jared Dudley: 73.4 percentile
    Danny Green: 98.0 percentile
    LeBron James: 58.6 percentile
    Kyle Kuzma: 49.9 percentile
    Rajon Rondo: 39.4 percentile

    Looking at how most of these players fared on wide-open threes helps as well—particularly when weighed against the efficiency of those who left:

    Hindsight is not an adequate method of criticism in this case. If you have a one-in-three shot at landing a top-five player, you take it. The Lakers did nothing wrong by waiting for Leonard’s free agency to play out. And relative to who was left on the board, they rebounded nicely.

    That isn’t an excuse for sugarcoating what they have. Many of their shooting upgrades are TBDs.

    Cousins has to be better. Bradley and Kuzma have to be more consistent. KCP is a year-to-year study. Dudley is 34. Rondo is Rondo. At least one of Caruso, Cook and Daniels must hold up in a more prominent role.

    In the aggregate, though, the Lakers look like they’ve cobbled together enough shooting around Davis and James.

    Not the most, not the steadiest, but enough.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:35 AM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    The Creator, the Shooter, and the Dominant Big! 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:09 PM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Anybody who doesn’t appreciate LeBron’s playmaking ability or think he’s old and over the hill or that the Lakers should walk the ball up the court this year should watch this great 15 minute Peter Zayas video highlighting how having Anthony Davis on the inside and Danny Green on the outside is going to unleash LeBron James to show he is still the best player on the planet.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:30 AM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    A few Lakers putting in early work at the Mamba Sports HQ 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:54 AM on July 19, 2019 Permalink |  

    LeBron’s Team Looks Totally Different Now. But It’s A Lot More Like His Finals Teams. 

    Over the course of his 16-year NBA career, there are several characteristics that have come to define LeBron James-led teams.

    The first is the constant presence of James himself: LeBron played in at least 84 percent of his team’s games each season, from his debut in 2003 through 2018, the final year of his second go-round with Cleveland in which he played all 82 games for the first time ever. The second is elite offense: Between 2008-09 and 2017-18, James’s teams ranked inside the top six in offensive rating every season, per NBA.com. The third is controlling pace: Between 2007 and 2017, James’s teams played every season at a pace that was slower than the league average, and for the most part played even slower during the playoffs.

    And of course, his teams almost always had elite results. In every season between 2008-09 and 2017-18, James’s teams won at least 50 games1 and ranked inside the top seven in per-possession scoring differential. James’s teams went to the playoffs every year between 2005-06 and 2017-18, winning the Eastern Conference and advancing to the NBA Finals every year between 2011 and 2018.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 10:23 AM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He’s the most prolific athlete his sport has ever seen. From hype to results to conditioning to leadership to branding to magnanimous personality.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 11:27 AM on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ve never understand the love affair with playing faster than everyone else. There have been very few teams that go all the way with this game plan. See EVERY SINGLE Antoni coached team. On the other hand, a well thought out offensive game plan, carried out a slower pace, like one run by the Spurs, has garnered them 20 post season deep runs.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:53 PM on July 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Picking Lakers’ FA Target Next Summer 

    Los Angeles Lakers ($44.4 Million): Andre Iguodala

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    “On a long list of teams interested in Andre Iguodala—Lakers, Rockets, Mavericks, Clippers, etc.—don’t forget Denver,” the New York Times’ Marc Stein tweeted. “The Nuggets want to bring Iguodala back to the Mile High.”

    Several teams are hoping to add the 2015 Finals MVP, including the Lakers. Assuming they can’t pull off a deal now, they’ll likely continue to pursue him when he’s a free agent in 2020.

    Iguodala is closing in on the end of his career, but he can still contribute in the appropriate role. As the game grows increasingly positionless, his versatile defense holds value.

    His minutes will probably need to be limited, though. If he’s burnt out playing 25-30 minutes per game over the course of an entire regular season, you may not get the explosiveness you need in the playoffs.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:47 PM on July 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Lethal Shooter explains what Kyle Kuzma has changed about his jump shot! 

    So a couple notes on the benefits of this raised set point:

    First and foremost, this is all made possible by Kuzma getting stronger. Typically, a lower set point allows for increased range. It’s unlikely that he would raise it and put the distance from where he could hit at any kind of risk. So in a way, even more-so than the hundreds of clips of him working out, this is some legitimate proof of the fruits of that labor.

    Second, raising the set point allows for better vision throughout the shot. For the vast majority of the time basketball has been played, most players have focused on raising the set point above their eye. In recent years, following the lead from Stephen Curry, some have actually lowered it to at or below eye-level, so as to increase their range.

    Last season, as Pete points out, Kuzma had his set point literally at eye level, which meant at a key point of the shooting motion, he lost sight of the target pretty much altogether. This can lead to wild inconsistencies, as you would imagine.

    Something else Lethal Shooter points out: Kuzma’s improved balance on the shot. Look again at the comparative clips Pete put together — specifically right at the beginning.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:25 PM on July 18, 2019 Permalink |  

    Los Angeles Lakers: DeMarcus Cousins is the biggest steal of offseason 

    The talk of town all summer for Los Angeles Lakers fans has been Anthony Davis, and rightfully so. However, the move of the offseason for the Lakers was signing DeMarcus Cousins. The reason being that they didn’t have to give up anything for him, and got him at an incredibly low price tag.

    Cousins signed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. Cousins stated that he is completely healthy from a quad injury that slowed him down late in the season. The star center didn’t have the explosiveness we had seen from him in previous seasons, due to the achilles injury he suffered in 2018.

    It’s understandable that the 28-year-old wasn’t himself in his first season back. Despite not being near 100 percent, Cousins was productive on the best team in the Western Conference. With the Warriors last year, he averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in just under 26 minutes.

    It was easily his least productive season statistically since 2013. From 2014-18 he averaged at least 24 points and 10 rebounds.

    One thing to consider is that if he played his normal 32-33 minutes a night, he would’ve easily put up 20 points and 10 rebounds a night. Cousins already looks in terrific shape heading into the season.

    The Lakers don’t need Cousins to be the franchise player he was the last 6-7 years. The team just needs to play at a similar level as he did with Golden State in the regular season.

    If DeMarcus Cousins can stay healthy, that alone will make him the biggest haul of the offseason. The Lakers paid him pennies compared to how other “stars” are being paid. It’s mind-boggling that other teams didn’t offer him some money.

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