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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:11 AM on February 24, 2019 Permalink  

    LeBron’s numbers look good but his body language was poor 

     
    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 11:05 AM on February 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      lmao…the Lebron haters smell blood in the water and are circling…

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:09 AM on February 24, 2019 Permalink  

    On Court NetRtg Since LeBron “Activated” 

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 5:48 PM on February 24, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      From KCP on down is the biggest issue. This is also my issue with one-year deals: all those guys are playing for the next paycheck, not for a team whom I’m sure they don’t intend on being on next season. KCP has fallen off a cliff this season. Lance has been bad all year, I still hope Rondo is just pressing a bit but his main thing are the home run passes he keeps trying to throw. Or when he gets all the way to them rim and kicks it out to a defender. Just make the play, dude, you’re good enough.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:47 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink  

    Mike Muscala is available to play tonight with Lakers after missing last two games 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:01 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      With Okafor starting for the Pelicans, I expect Muscala to be the first Laker front court player off the bench, whether subbing for Kuzma or McGee. I also expect the Lakers to play small ball with LeBron at the five against the Pelicans similar to how we played the Rockets. I look for the same closing lineup: LeBron, Bullock, Ingram, Kuzma, and Hart.

      • p ang

        p ang 3:49 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        with Ju and Okafor down low? it will be a field trip for them against a small ball.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:55 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Kuzma and Muscala will make it impossible for Randle and Okafor to play down low. They’ll be forced to guard a stretch 4 or 5 out at the 3-point line, opening up the lane for LeBron and Ingram to attack the rim. Pels much more vulnerable to small ball without AD in the lineup.

          • p ang

            p ang 4:06 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            you’re assuming Pels don’t know how to play switching defense which would protect their bigs?

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:17 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink

              LOL. No, I’m assuming we’re putting five 3-point shooters on the floor and playing 5-out.

            • p ang

              p ang 10:43 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink

              now thats funny. the Lakers don’t have 5 3-pt shooters in the team. lol

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:29 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink  

    How the Lakers executed their gameplan vs Harden! 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:43 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great adjustment to play off Harden’s left shoulder. Great defensive scheme that the players, especially Bullock, executed to perfection. I continue to be impressed with the adjustments that the Lakers make defensively. Now if we could somehow figure out how to run better sets offensively …

    • p ang

      p ang 3:47 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Harden and CP3 get the superstar calls EXCEPT when LBJ is in the building. They aint the big dog in that scenario. Live with it and stop whining. You get the call with the other 28 teams.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:47 PM on February 23, 2019 Permalink  

    LeBron Sets Tone for Lakers Playoff Push 

    LeBron’s defense in the fourth quarter as the de facto center who rotated out to the perimeter when needed was a key in holding high-powered Houston to just 16 points in the period.

    “Defensively, that’s the biggest thing with him,” said Kuzma. “He did a great job today of being in spots, as you guys saw, taking charges, getting deflections, rebounds — doing all of the little things defensively. I think that’s what he meant by ‘activation.’ In order to win, everybody has to make little plays like he did tonight. It was great to see.”

    The Lakers will need to call upon that LeBron-led intensity often in the final 24 games of the season. Thursday’s game was just one win, but it certainly sets the right kind of example of what the Lakers can and need to be.

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:18 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    How Lonzo Ball fits into small ball lineups next to LeBron James 

    As you might have heard by now, the Lakers have made a polarizing trade of giving up their promising young big man in Ivica Zubac for a stretch five in Mike Muscala. By trading arguably their most productive center to fill a need, it has now put pressure on the other fives on the team.

    It’s no secret that LeBron James has been reluctant to play the five for large amounts in his career and this year, even before the deadline deal, it seemed he would have to. In this last stretch of games for a playoff push, it now seems to be a necessity rather than just a luxury that head coach Luke Walton could pull out.

    DEFENSE

    It’s no secret the Lakers defense has struggled since Ball went out with his injury. In the 47 games with Ball, the Lakers had a defensive rating of 106.3, which was seventh in the league at the time. In the 10 games he’s been out before the Rockets game, that figure has jumped to 118.1, 26th in the league. The Lakers problems stem larger than just Ball of course, but his return is looked upon to help immensely.

    The small ball lineups also have had mixed results but against Atlanta the lineup with James at the five, along with Rondo, Ingram, Kuzma and Bullock played 10 minutes together holding a def rating of 82.6 with a net of plus-13. Those small lineups got torched against Philadelphia, though, and Atlanta isn’t the best team in terms of sample. But down the stretch, an engaged James should be able to keep them defending at a good enough pace.

    We still are unsure whether JaVale McGee will be fully recovered from his pneumonia and whether Tyson Chandler still has enough miles to give big minutes down the stretch of this playoff push. Muscala is currently hurt which is why the LeBron at the five lineups are crucial. They’ve shown some signs of production but Ball coming back should be the key to unlocking those lineups full potential.

     
    • p ang

      p ang 10:57 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      pinning your hopes on a guy who’s always injured is folly.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:55 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    Lakers 2.5 games back of the 8 seed, and 4 games back of 5th seeded Rockets 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:32 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    Lonzo to miss more time than original six-weeks because of bone bruise plus sprain 

    Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has been dealing with a bone bruise in his sprained left ankle that the team believes could extend his recovery past six weeks, according to two people familiar with Ball’s condition.

    Ball is a big part of everything the Lakers do on both ends of the floor, so having him back sooner rather than later would give them a nice boost for their playoff run, but if they can stay afloat without him, he’ll make the roster even more dynamic by the time the postseason rolls around. Get well soon, Lonzo.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:33 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      March 18th would mark 8 weeks since injury.
      Only 11 games left for Lakers at that point.
      Lonzo not likely to help make the playoffs.
      Hopefully, he’ll be there to help win in playoffs

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 7:10 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I had questions about our inexperienced training staff when they were hired.

      Still do….

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:11 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    Lakers go small to close out Rockets! 

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:24 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s all still going to come down to match ups. Luke would have plated McGee or Chandler against a team like Portland or San Antonio. BI boarding hard, Hart playing hard, LeBron and and Kuzma both finding the open man well all night. Rondo with a team high 7 assists and Bullock certainly looks like he’s fitting in OK.

      While it might be early to say that this saved the season it certainly helped steer us in the right direction. But, like Luke said in his post-game, if we don’t show on the road for the next 2 games this win will mean nothing. Just one good step in what needs to be more than a few.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 3:46 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Josh Hart a team high +22. Kuzma was next with +10. Either he was very effective, albeit not that noticeable, or it is simply a bullsh!t statistic.

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 4:00 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      LT, my wife is giving me a heepin helpin of CROW for super, yikes! Keep playing like this, we could be all good!

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:10 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Good for her, DJ. Guess she gets tired of your moaning and groaning too. :-) Luke going small with LeBron at the five saved the day. It will be interesting to see how much small ball we end up playing. Obviously, we’re at the point where LeBron’s willing to play the five if that’s what we need to do to win. It was obvious from the early experiments with small ball that LeBron wasn’t eager to play the five regular season. Good thing he’s able and willing to play small ball five in playoff mode.

        We should probably play some small ball versus the Pelicans on Saturday, especially when Okafor is playing center. He’s not at all comfortable being pulled to the perimeter. If AD plays tonight against the Pacers tonight, the Pels may sit him since Saturday would be a back-to-back. Not good optics playing him vs. Lakers. Going to be interesting to see what happens if AD plays. I think Ingram and Kuzma are going to be primed to go all out to show Pelicans’ fans what they missed out on.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 4:11 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Tom,
      I think this is what we both envisioned when they let Randle go. But I think Lebron resisted it. They tried Kuz but he really isn’t strong enough yet to play the 5. I remember Metta saying once that the only guy he ever played against as strong as Randle was Lebron. I hope Lebron liked the results and buys into small bal 5. Like Jamie pointed out there will be some teams we will have to have one of our 7 footers in for but this will work against a lot of the league.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:38 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Aloha, Michael.

        I think letting Randle walk was more about cap space and moving on but you’re right the Lakers probably envisioned LeBron as their best small ball center option once Julius left. For a team with a roster perfect built for small ball and a history last year of playing their best when going small, it almost looked like the Lakers had abandoned the idea of playing small after the failed Kuzma experiments, especially when JaVale got off to that great start and Chandler seemed like a lifesaver. Circumstances have now forced that conversation back.

        While there are matchups (Embiid, for example) and concerns (LeBron getting banged up) to be avoided, there’s little question LeBron’s ultimate position as he gets older and less dominant is likely to be small ball center. This has become even more obvious watching a LeBron who still lacks his normal quickness and explosiveness. Playing small ball center may be the best way to utilize LeBron until he’s fully recovered. Part of the problem earlier had been our shooting but I think adding Bullock and Muscala is going to solve that issue.

        Last year, we went small over half the time. Last night, we went small over a third of the time. Going forward, I think we’re going to see the Lakers play more and more small ball with James and Muscala playing stretch 5. I would not be surprised to see us playing small over half the time, especially if McGee and Chandler cannot provide the consistency we need on defense. The main reason Josh Hart was a +22 in plus/minus last night was because he was spot on with every rotation and defended and rebounded like the power forward his heart thinks he is.

        Best of all, success playing small is going to allow LeBron time to get back his quickness and explosiveness and Lonzo time to get healthy and ready for the playoffs. Bullock and Muscala are the perfect long range shooters to surround LeBron with. Once Lonzo is back, they will give Rondo all he needs for the bench to build rather than lose leads. I’m looking for Luke to really narrow the rotations with Rondo, Bullock, Muscala, and KCP getting the backup minutes. We beat a team we would need to beat in the playoffs. Now we need to prove we can do the same to teams that won’t be there, like the Pelicans Saturday. Grizzlies Monday, and Pelicans again next Wednesday. Lakers need to put together a four-game win streak.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:09 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    Lakers’ defense last 16 minutes was superb! 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:13 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lakers DEFRTG last night was a superb 102.9. Do that every game and the Lakers would have the #1 defense in the league. With 7 minutes left in the third quarter, the Lakers were behind 60-79. Over the next 17 minutes, we outscored the Rockets 51-27. That was great defense.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:53 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    The Lakers don’t make anything easy, but that’s what makes them fun 

    Nothing was more indicative of an activated James than the fact that he played at center for extended stretches. Against a team that doesn’t have a bruiser at the five, James was able to be the biggest Laker on the court for more than a quarter of the game. It’s not something he likes to do, considering he still classifies himself as a small forward (remember his Space Jam 2 announcement?), but it’s a role the biggest stage demands from him now. With his team on life support to merely get into the playoffs, this is what James had to do.

    It wouldn’t be a classic Los Angeles win if the team was in control throughout the game. No, the Lakers floundered through much of the first half and the start of the third quarter, finding themselves in a 19-point hole with just about 19 minutes left to play. In order to mount a comeback, they pulled out an old Hollywood trick, turning to a player who wasn’t even supposed to take the court, Josh Hart.

    Hart had been limited by knee soreness before the All-Star Break — he only played eight minutes in the four games leading into the break, and looked like he would be given a few more days rest until Los Angeles was forced to unleash him in the second half. Hart ended up playing the remainder of the contest, posting a game-best plus-22 in what ended up being a five-point win. It was a beautifully-scripted return for the second-year Laker.

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:39 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    Predicting NBA superstar moves: KD, Kyrie, AD and Kawhi 

    Anthony Davis:
    1. Boston Celtics – 61.1%
    2. Los Angeles Lakers – 27.8%

    Kevin Durant:
    1. New York Knicks – 63.9%
    2. Golden State Warriors – 33.3%
    3. Los Angeles Lakers – 2.8%

    Kyrie Irving:
    1. Boston Celtics – 52.8%
    2. New York Knicks – 30.6%
    3. Los Angeles Lakers – 11.1%
    4. Brooklyn Nets – 5.6%

    Kawhi Leonard:
    1. LA Clippers – 66.7%
    2. Toronto Raptors – 25.0%
    3. Los Angeles Lakers – 8.3%

    Klay Thompson:
    1. Golden State Warriors – 91.7%
    2. Los Angeles Lakers – 5.6%
    3. New York Knicks – 2.8%

    DeMarcus Cousins:
    1. Los Angeles Lakers – 33.3%
    2. LA Clippers – 19.4%
    3. New York Knicks – 13.9%
    4. Golden State Warriors – 11.1%

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:43 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So per ESPN panel, Lakers best chances for a superstar this summer rank as follows:

      1) 33.3% -- DeMarcus Cousins
      2) 27.8% -- Anthony Davis
      3) 11.1% -- Kyrie Irving

      4) 08.3% -- Kawhi Leonard
      5) 05.6% -- Klay Thompson
      6) 02.8% -- Kevin Durant

      Those odds actually look pretty realistic to me but a strong finish in the playoffs could raise those percentages. That’s why we need to make the playoffs. Increases odds of trading for AD.

      What has to jump out if you’re a Lakers fan is that we are not favored to land any player out there. Could be a scary summer, especially if Lakers don’t make playoffs.

      If the Lakers strike out, they need to keep cap space and signing AD as a free agent the following summer. If we know AD still wants to come here, then we need to wait for him.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:45 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Then there’s Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton, and Nikola Vucevic who could be viable options.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:18 PM on February 22, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Too early, need to see who makes the playoffs/what damage they do once there.

      Bottom line: selling anyone on our team if we miss the playoffs will be a tough one. it won’t be “the kids and my wife and the crew TOTALLY wanted to live in LA for the end of my career”

      Nope, it’ll be: “dang…Bron couldn’t get those guys into the playoffs? I’m going to team _______” Kinda similar to when Kobe was a Laker and we weren’t making the playoffs, either. Had to pull a big trade off that was more equitable than ever advertised. Only problem is we’re dealing with perception, anger at how we publicly conducted our affairs (whether it was more halfsies or not matters little, at this point)

      Everything hinges on at least making the playoffs or this could all go very south.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:28 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    LeBron James leads Lakers back from double-digit deficit to beat Rockets 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:17 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    Lakers go small and finally unleash their own version of a 'Death Lineup' against Rockets! 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:15 AM on February 22, 2019 Permalink  

    Happy Birthday, Rajon! 

     
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