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  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 12:52 PM on February 19, 2018 Permalink |  

    Growth Spurts 


    While watching all star weekend most of the chatter centered around who the Lakers could land instead of who they have. While the record is not good they have lost a lot of games they could have or even should have won. And the trade has taken even more of the shine off the kids. For me this has been the most fun I’ve had in years watching Laker games. We really do have a bright future. I don’t think our chances of Landing a star this summer is good. But in a another year or two we might be a prime destination for a star.

    I think BI maybe the closest to becoming a home grown star. He has had some serious growth spurts this year. Besides the versatility to play one through three his offensive game has been evolving quite quickly over the season and for a 20 year old his defense is very good. By the end of next season we may not need more then one star.

    Kuzma on the other had took a step back but I think it’s just temporary. First he hit the dreaded rookie wall. Most of the time it takes awhile to develop an NBA body unless your Josh Hart who Already had one. The league now has a book on him now. He will need to adjust to the adjustments. I think he will. He has shown signs of just that the last few games. One thing I would like to see is Kuz getting some more run at the 3. They say your position is the position you can defend. While a bit simplistic there is some truth. I’m thinking ahead to what happens if we don’t get an all star. I have this fantasy of a line up with Ball, BI, Kuz, Randle and a rim protector behind them. That could be amazing. BI has shown the ability to defend guards Kuz has a offensive game that translates to SF if he can defend the SF, man that line could rock.

    Randle is another that has shown multiple growth spurts. He has become a more efficient beast inside and his defensive improvement this year is off the charts. If he can just develop a reliable 10 to 15 ft jumper and even a adequate 3 point shot he’s another guy the could become a star sooner then later.

    Poor Josh Hart, first his teammates won’t high five him(I think that’s hilarious) and then playing in the shadow of Lonzo and Kuz he hasn’t received much pub. Yet I would venture to say that in a redraft he just might be a lottery pick. He has shown tremendous growth over the last 20 games. He has everything it takes to become a very special 3 and D guy.

    Lonzo showed signs of improving offense before he was hurt. He already was running the show, rebounding and playing D before he was hurt. If he can stay healthy he will be the catalyst for another overall team growth spurt.

    Even if we don’t get a star this year. By the end of 2019 we could have our pick of them or just wait until 2020 and add AD to this group. We easily could become a legit contender.

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 1:33 PM on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      MH, kinda tired of waiting. Hope the Iron is hot for us this summer.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:12 PM on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Excellent post, Michael. I agree that the focus on the Lakers always seems to be what they don’t have rather than what they do have. Here’s my assessment what we have:

      1. Future starters and All-Stars under contract: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma
      2. Future quality role players under contract: Josh Hart, Thomas Brant
      3. Future elite role players who are free agents: Julius Randle

      That’s a pretty solid core of 6 young players under 23-years old.

      All we need is a starting 2 and 5 and backup 1 and 3.
      PG & NN and IT & TA.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:26 PM on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey Michael, I couldn’t agree more on your take of Ingram. If he keeps this up all year it will make sliding him over to the 2 to accommodate (hopefully) Paul George’s arrival a lot easier. He can hang with all but the quickest of players and he’ll out-length all but the tallest.

      I also agree on Randle. I’ll settle for BI like improvement with his outside shot. Hit those 15-20 footers for a good while, then step out to the three point line. He also needs to take them to make them. It’s often his 4th or 5th option but when he rears up and lets fly, like with his free throws, he’s a lot better.

      I think Josh Hart would be a lottery pick in a re-draft. What I really wonder is if we would end up with Donovan Mitchell or if Philly would have him now in said re-draft. Love his demeanor and he plays, solid guy to have on the team.

      I’m more dubious of Ball’s offense than others but I’m also squarely of the opinion it doesn’t matter. He only needs to score enough to force the defense to guard him off of screens which means over the summer he’ll need to get better at coming off of screens. If we keep IT Jr that is the one, tiny little bright spot I could see is if Thomas can help him get better at P&R.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:36 PM on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree with both of your assessments of Randle but not Ingram, whom is not a good fit to play the 2. Paul George is a much better fit at the 2 than Brandon Ingram. Right now, Ingram is far better playing the 3 than chasing defenders through gauntlets of screens. PG is also a much better catch-and-shoot player who can play without the ball coming off screens whereas almost all of Ingram’s shot attempts come off isolation drives and pull ups.

      • tate793

        tate793 11:20 PM on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Who the heck is IT Jr?

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 9:59 PM on February 15, 2018 Permalink |  



    That’s 3 games now that we played well against the T Wolves only to lose down the stretch. Having Butler is a big plus I guess. But there were some good performances. Zubac was great. I would give up Brooks’s 3 pointers if he played the way Zubac did tonight. Zubac played big man ball while Brook doesn’t play big that much anymore. I was also impressed with Zubac’s defense against Towns. He forced him to pass out of the post several times. Everyone wants to see more of Bryant but outside of the 3 point shot Zubac has been better then Bryant in most other areas in the G league games I’ve watched. They both have upside and I hope we hold on to both.

    Randle had another strong game as well. He also played great defense against Towns. The guy is just a beast and I’m so glad that we didn’t trade him. Maybe Luke should have played Zu and Randle more together because Gibson was having his way with Lopez and Kuz. We could have put Randle on Gibson. Neither Kuz or Lopez brought much offense tonight. Brandon wasn’t as good as some of the previous games but I thought he was okay. Kind of got use to the level he had been playing at. But KCP made up for it with his best game in weeks. I think this was a game we win before the trade because IT was bad. 3 for 15 is not going to cut it. I think Luke rode him too long. It was his missed shots and turnovers in the 4th that really killed us. Hopefully a little rest, practice and a Healthy roster will translate into some good wins after the break.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:12 PM on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey Michael, Zubac played great, as if he had no rust. Active on the glass, using his vertical defense and moving his feet. Best game since last year. It’s on him to make the most of the vacuum left by Larry. Loved when he went to the floor and forced that turnover. Made free throws, hit his shots. Solid.

      Randle in the starting line up has been great. I wish he had been there all season but I think in some ways it forged that edge better. AT a y rate, my new hope is for Randle to develop abetter 4th quarter game. He has no adjustment to when they key in on him and double/triple team him in the post. He’s either gotta kick faster or pull it back out and reset. He’s at his worst when he plays in one dimension, or along straight lines. Don’t be the Rook, at least be the Bishop or, better yet, the Knight. Although Rooks can be a force to be reckoned with…

      Josh Hart continues to be a revelation. IT struggles in the paint and most teams won’t leave him open. He made some great passes tonight, really got that second unit engaged. I has hopes he and Zubac would develop a game together, the bigger the screen the more daylight Thomas gets and he doesn’t need much. Kuzma started well, faded and then got sat in favor of Lopez which I was fairly ‘meh’ about.

      Not that that my ‘meh’ matters, I just feel like down the stretch you either ride Zubac who was killing it or use Kuzma to at least have more than 2 options on his shot attempts (whether they fall or not). Brook has either plodding post moves that are barely effective in the first quarter or he shoots threes. Anyhow, it is what it was and I wish we had been able to pull it out. It was right there.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 7:18 AM on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m guessing that this came from the front office. If Zu played well, Brook would be bought out. We’ll see.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 7:34 AM on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Frontline shorthanded with Frye missing..

          • keen observer

            keen observer 7:56 AM on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            True. I’ve always liked Zubac’s potential and still do even in today’s NBA. He stands tall, has soft hands, finishes well and has a smooth stroke. He’s very young and I bet the front office struggles with whether to continue to develop him or if he’s just not in their vision.

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 12:46 PM on February 16, 2018 Permalink

              That’s all great, he’s a complimentary player with a group of Perimeter athletes. That’s his ceiling.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 12:53 PM on February 16, 2018 Permalink

              Perhaps, but he turns a whopping 21 next month. Bigs take a long time to develop in the NBA and, with his skill set, he can be the rim protector we need. I also think he can stretch his shooting range. Again, he’s an infant Like I said, I have no idea what plans Magic and Rob have for him, if any, but my extremely amateur eyeballs have always liked his game. You may be right about his ceiling, but if being a quality complimentary player with a bunch of perimeter players is an essential piece for a championship team, i’m buying some Zublocka stock!

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:21 AM on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael,

      Good stuff. Julius continues to play like a man possessed. His helter skelter bully ball is leaving bodies in its wake. He has become a very dangerous guy to guard as many defenders are finding out as elbows and bodies crash together. While I thought his on defense on Towns was excellent, he didn’t provide much rim protection and was a -17 in plus/minus, second to worst to Ingram’s -22. I thought this was one of Ingram’s poorest games defensively but I loved how he pushed the ball in transition.

      You never quite know what to expect in these last games before the All-Star break. Unfortunately, the Lakers couldn’t live up to the hope and hype and probably blew their remote chance at sneaking into the playoffs this year with the three road losses. Disappointing but not really a big deal. Lakers are still positioned to be a major player in free agency and trades going forward and their young core is one of the most promising in the league. That’s a lot of progress since Earvin and Rob took over.

      What jumps out about last night’s game and all of our games against the Timberwolves was how having an elite player like Jimmy Butler and a quality veteran like Taj Gibson make all the difference in the world closing out games. We can talk about Ingram and Kuzma showing some potential as closers but they have a long way to go to be in the class of a player like Butler. He was impressive at both ends. As talented as Towns and Wiggins are, the Lakers young talent held their own. The difference was the Wolves vets outplayed the Lakers vets. Kuzma, Thomas, and Lopez were frankly terrible.

      It was fun being able to yell ‘Zu’ every time Ivica scored last night and hopefully this will infuse him with the confidence to work his way back into the young core. Much as I love small ball, sometimes you just need size to hold your own or take an advantage. I also think much of Zubac’s success was directly attributed to Isaiah Thomas’ playmaking skills off the pick and roll, something that is not yet one of Lonzo’s strengths. But what we got from Isaiah last night was move the Cavs’ IT than the Celtics’ version, although I think much of it is still recovering from the hip and conditioning.

      Personnally, I think you can pin the last three losses on our defense. Probably missed Nance some in making smart rotations and the team in general didn’t seem to be in sync on defense. I thought there were inspiring moments on offense, especially in transition with Ingram pushing the ball, but we never seemed to be able to lock down on defense. I also think we were playing over our head without Lonzo and that finally caught up to us in our last three games. Happens to young teams. Can’t take away the great effort without Lonzo but his defense and culture changing playmaking were missed.

      Frankly, I like the Lakers personnel and financial position better than the Timberwolves for several reasons. First, while I love Wiggins and Towns, neither has shown promise as a two-way player whereas I see Ingram and Ball as both potentially being elite two-way players. Throw in Kuzma, Randle, Hart, Zubac, and Bryant and I think the Lakers have a potentially superior offensive and defensive roster. They just need the upgrade for which they’re perfectly positioned to separate themselves from pretenders like the Timberwolves.

      Watching the impact that Butler has had against the Lakers started me wondering whether I would rather have Paul George and say Klay Thompson or Paul George and a healthy Isaiah Thomas, Julius Randle, and Nerlens Noel. There’s no doubt we need a superstar to lean on in the clutch and I think Paul George is the perfect elte player to fulfill that role for the next decade along with our young core. If Lonzo, Brandon, Kyle, and Josh have the upside I think they do at both ends of the court, then the Lakers may be smart to be patient and use the cap space for a second star for a trio of second tier stars who could make the team bettter in the long term.

      Bottom line, I go into the All-Star break pleased with where we are as a team and the job done by the front office and coaching staff. I’m excited to see how we play the second half of the season. The week off is exactly what the team needs to regroup and refocus themselves on the taking the game to another level for the rest of the season. I would love to see us finish 15-10 over the remaining 25 games. I would love to see Lonzo rack up a few more triple doubles and Isaiah prove he can be the elite player he was with the Celtics. But most importantly, I want to see the Lakers get back to playing great defense. Go, Lakers!

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 2:55 PM on February 12, 2018 Permalink  

    Pretty Insane 

    I wonder if Lavar understands how the NBA works. Will there come a time when the circus just isn’t worth it?

    Donatas Urbonas
    Donatas Urbonas
    LaVar Ball on his big plan how he’s going to bring Lonzo, Melo and Gelo to one NBA team: “Lonzo will be on his 3rd year and I want let every NBA team know, that Lonzo is not going to resign with the Lakers, but will go to any team, that will take all of my three boys.”

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 4:06 PM on February 12, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Right after we win the Chip, lol!

    • John M.

      John M. 4:17 PM on February 12, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That’s over the line. He’s more likely to get all 3 blacklisted. About time Lonzo has a talk with him, unless Lonzo agrees…

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 4:36 PM on February 12, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This buffoon is over his skies, now John.

        Took a while. Here we are.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:43 PM on February 12, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Dad’s going to have realize there is coming a point when his boys will want to make their own decisions. Lonzo will be 21 by then and LaVar is not his agent. Just his father.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 4:55 PM on February 12, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        In a media spat, if you lose to Trump, and it makes you look less rational than him…you’ve lost all credibility.

        He should have let it go, Tom. He was never going to beat Trump playing Trump’s game and he fell into the trap like a Fly in a Spiderweb.

    • mud

      mud 5:08 PM on February 12, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      pretty meaningless.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 11:13 PM on February 11, 2018 Permalink  


    Kamenetzky Brothers
    Kamenetzky Brothers
    Thursday hot take: How could the Cavaliers be stupid enough to make a trade that gives the Lakers enough space to sign LeBron???!!!

    Sunday hot take: How could the Lakers be stupid enough to make a trade that will keep LeBron in Cleveland???!!!


  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 10:48 PM on January 26, 2018 Permalink  

    8 of 10 

    We have now won 8 of the last 10. And a big part of that has been the excellent play of Randle and Clarkson. They both had solid games again today. I’m hoping we keep them. Cousins tearing his Achilles is a perfect example of why you don’t trade for cap space. Like I’ve maintained, if you have good players on reasonable contracts they can be traded if need be. Plus you want solid trade assets Incase a star player does come on the market. Clarkson is on a reasonable contract for his skill level. And with the money crunch this summer Randle is not going to be offered a huge contract. Let’s see if we can get one star first and worry about the 2nd if we need too.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 6:42 AM on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I believe that a vast majority of Lakers Nation is in agreement with on on Ju and JC. They are becoming young veterans, still a few years away from their primes. I feel real bad fore Boogie though. I wonder if Luol Deng’s contract would fit snugly into the Pellie’s Injury Exception (if they can still get one this late in the season). Would it be worth giving them a 2021 1st round pick? I think so.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:17 PM on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Very interesting notion, Keen, I’d be waaaaay into that. Gives them some re-stock, a vetern [player to help them down the stretch run. Deng is a swiss army knife and would pair well with AD…I’d love it if something like this happened.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 12:20 PM on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Once you designate a player for IR, they have to stay there until the end of the season.

          No one can trade for Boogie.

          • keen observer

            keen observer 2:05 PM on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            It’s past the January 15th date to get the injured player exception. Never mind.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 12:19 PM on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        He’s on IR keen, he can’t be traded until he comes off.

        Or in this case becomes a UFA.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 10:55 PM on January 23, 2018 Permalink  

    Rookie Show Down? 


    Life is beautiful when you beat the Celts. Just some random thoughts.

    The Tatum vs Kuzma showdown was called off when Tatum didn’t show up. There are a lot of games left, Simmons shouldn’t start practicing his ROY speach just yet. Kuz has his legs back.

    Randle out played All star Horford with 14 and 14 and tough physical play and we want to trade this guy? Go figure.

    This was the most lopsided one point game I’ve ever seen. I guess missing 15 free throws will do that. We should have won by double figures.

    Clarkson was good again. 22 points and great in the clutch. And we want to trade this guy? Go figure.

    Nance was also good on D and missed a double double by one rebound. And we want to trade this guy? Go figure.

    BI is a very good defender for his age. He really slowed down Kyrie down the stretch. That’s why I think he could play the 2. With that length he’s hard to shake and can really challenge.

    Add a max guy this summer but keep this group together. They can be special.

    • Worthy42

      Worthy42 4:30 AM on January 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      My name is Bob, and I endorse this post.

    • keen observer

      keen observer 8:13 AM on January 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Build it and they will come.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:20 AM on January 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      You have to think that the last three games has to have Magic and Rob rethinking dumping Randle, Clarkson, and Nance for cap space. Time to focus on which ONE superstar we want to sign this summer.. Like Michael said, “Go figure!”

      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 11:52 AM on January 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I really think that’s what we need right now. Just that one superstar and keep our young talented group intact.

      • mud

        mud 12:46 PM on January 24, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Magic and Rob are playing chess.

        bloggers think they are playing checkers…

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 12:06 AM on January 10, 2018 Permalink  

    Trade Randle? Really? 

    I was looking at what Randle has done since becoming a starter and it’s impressive. 17.5ppg 10.2 rebounds 3.4 assists with solid defense in only 27.4 minutes. Paul George one of the guys we covet has 20ppg 5.5 remounts 3.1 assists in 36.6 minutes yet we want to move Randle to make room him and another. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Randle is still young and developing while George is pretty much who is going to be.

    I have been waiting all year to see Brook and Julius together and it was really good tonight. If you pair Randle with a shooting big he’s very good. Earlier in the year when Kuz and Julius were coming off the bench together we had the best bench in the league.

    Ingram’s the real deal and I think that Ball and Kuz are as well. So why not keep Randle and let them grow together. It doesn’t matter if he starts or comes off the bench you can still get him 30+ minutes like Lamar. I would move Clarkson and Nance if it meant keeping Randle. I hope Magic is paying attention.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 12:30 AM on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      My rotation next year
      Lonzo Pg
      Avery Bradley SG
      Cousins C
      Ingram SF
      PF Kuzma
      Randle PF/C
      Clarkson SG/PG/SF
      Hart SF/SG
      Corey Joseph PG
      Tomas Bryant C/PF

      Money is going to be tight and Bradley will not get max money. Stretch Deng and use the MLE on Joseph. This is a better team then what we would be stripping the team to fit 2 max players.

    • Worthy42

      Worthy42 4:43 AM on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I 100% endorse this post. I would much rather build a team from youth than bring in “stars” from somewhere else. Let ’em play and learn.

      • p ang

        p ang 6:52 AM on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That line of thinking would have prevented trading for Kareem.

        • Worthy42

          Worthy42 8:58 AM on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Yeah, also I am not a time traveller. Here and now is my focus.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 6:55 AM on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I endorse this post as well, without Clarkson, and with a better but cheap backup point guard. We’re all seeing the same thing (except for those who don’t care for Lonzo Ball for some weird reasons). If Randle is moved, it means that Magic is seeing something or knows something not available to the public.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:13 AM on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Can’t trade Randle for just cap space unless the Lakers have inside info on free agents coming to LA. Lonzo and Randle had team high +33 plus/minus last night. I know Luke was on Julius for a couple of bonehead plays but his energy combined with Lonzo’s is a big part of what makes this team so exciting. Just hoping Julius keeps playing like this. It will either mean Lakers rethink their ‘grand plan’ or the value we get back for Randle goes up. It’s silly to think Clarkson and Nance have more trade value than Julius. I would have no problem with Lakers signing only one elite free agent and keeping youth but it’s not going to happen. Magic and Rob are not going to give up their dream of two superstars next summer.

      It’s a shame Randle missed his rookie year and his contract has become a road block to his staying in purple and gold. People always talk about unicorns like Porzingis but Randle in his own way is also a unicorn. There is no power forward in the league who can deal with Randle’s quickness and fury. Yes, he still makes dumb plays at time but he is still only 23-years old, can impact the game at both ends of the court, can play and defend multiple positions. Main concern would be his fit next to many centers because of his inability at this time to spread the floor. He does fit well with Brook and could conceivably fit well with Cousins because they can spread the floor. Going to hate seeing him traded away. Maybe with the Thunder struggling, we’ll get a chance to trade him for Paul George.

      The comparison of Randle and George in interesting but nobody is likely to prefer Randle over George. You can cherry pick stats but the reality is PG is a proven elite player at both ends of the court and much better than anybody the Lakers have on their roster. The question is whether PG is worth Randle, Clarkson, and Nance. Unfortunately, the answer is likely yes, especially the way Clarkson has been playing of late, which reminds me of his fading second half last year. Bottom line, Randle, Clarkson, and Nance for Paul George is still the deal that works for the Lakers and Thunder. That’s a deal the Lakers and Thunder should both be eager to make. Bird in the hand is worth it for Lakers. Clears the space to go for Cousins this summer.

    • tate793

      tate793 1:02 PM on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Seems like Kyle Kuzma has regressed since being moved back to the bench. Rewarding-on-the’court play with more playing time, or allowing play-per-performance can be a slippery slope.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 5:10 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink  


    So Julius get 19 10 2 and a block in 14 minutes. But I know, let’s trade him for a guy with a bad attitude that can’t get off the bench on a bad team.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 5:20 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s the economics…not the stats

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 5:37 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      But why trade him for a guy with no trade value? Try and get something good. If you can’t, hold on to him Incase the free agent plans fall through. Noel is unrestricted this and he’s not demand much. Sign him then if you can’t get Cousins.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 5:50 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Bird in the hand type deal. If the assumption is that Ju is gone regardless then you get to take a look at how Noel fits before possibly commiting a free agent deal to him. I’m not a fan of Noel but I can see the logic in it. Especially if Ju can’t bring us PG or DMC in a trade…

        • NBA4ever

          NBA4ever 7:51 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Why is the assumption he’s gone regardless? He’s perfect in many ways in the small-er NBA. Not everyone needs to shoot the 3 when they can score effectively near the basket and provide the prototype small “big-man” on the defensive end. None of us know until we know… as of now I’m not trading him for anyone who isn’t better so the package better include Cousins because no other trade rumored makes sense.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 8:01 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Randle showed his stuff tonite!

            • NBA4ever

              NBA4ever 8:10 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink

              As I have thought he could do all along as long as he’s given the right opportunity.

              So did Heart & Ennis!

              And a special thanks to Brewer winning me some cash as a great value pick :) lol

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 8:18 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Why? Because we’ve seen nothing to indicate that the “sacred cap space” mantra has changed.

      • tate793

        tate793 8:14 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Michael, how can you assert that Noel has a bad attitude? Or, that he won’t put in the work? Are you privy to something I don’t know? Remember, Byron, and Luke, both, benched Julius. It could be said that Julius has an attitude problem, as well. We do have a glut out the 4.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 5:40 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One has to wonder if, had he gotten consistent minutes, if he’d be an All-Star? Coming off the bench or not, if he was playing a solid 30 mpg I think he’d be up there. We’ll never know…

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 5:56 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        If the goal is 2 max FA slots (which it’s always been) then Ju has never been part of that equation. The math just doesn’t work

        • keen observer

          keen observer 6:26 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Then go to Plan B and sign one max guy, if that’s even possible. You can always make trades. Daryl Morey seems to do it with ease. Solid contracts are more valuable than cap space. Randle will be a beast, possibly an all-star in a couple of seasons.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade 6:36 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Plan B is to shoot for the other max guy (Klay?) In 2019.
          Paying Ju still doesn’t fit unless you think he’s signing for 1 year

          • keen observer

            keen observer 6:36 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Says who? Tom? Klay isn’t leaving the Warriors.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 6:45 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink

              Says who?

            • keen observer

              keen observer 7:19 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink

              The odds are much better of Klay staying with the Warriors than the so-called Plan B. They can plan whatever they want, but if recent history is any indication, the superstars will go to the super teams and we’ll continue to rebuild

          • MongoSlade

            MongoSlade 6:40 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            “The cap space is sacred.”


            I don’t necessarily agree with it but they haven’t said or done anything that leads me to believe the thinking has changed.

            • keen observer

              keen observer 7:20 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink

              Like that’s gospel.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade 8:19 PM on December 31, 2017 Permalink

              That’s the gospel they’ve been preaching since they got to the altar…

            • keen observer

              keen observer 9:33 AM on January 1, 2018 Permalink


  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 9:25 PM on December 23, 2017 Permalink  

    Another Head Scratcher 

    I’m beginning to lose a little confidence in Luke. Another game we should have won. First they were killing us in the second half on the switches.

    With Ingram out I don’t understand why Kuzma wasn’t playing some at the 3. I love Hart but they were killing us inside. Hart was playing well. Maybe KCP plays less.

    Harkless was having his way with Kuzma. Why didn’t Luke switch Randle on him? Randle instead is on Davis who isn’t a threat. And as usual Randle has 16 and 9 boards in only 23 minutes. Production doesn’t seem to matter.

    Why at the end was Clarkson on the bench? 18 points in 21 minutes on 50% shooting and 50%!from 3. Instead we run two plays for KCP who is having a terrible shooting month. And speaking of Clarkson Caruso gets 11 minutes? Really? While Clarkson is lighting it up. And sitting?

    Missed free throws again. Turned it over again. Were jobbed by the refs again. But still Luke could have done a better job with his substitutions. It’s becoming a pattern.

    • mud

      mud 9:37 PM on December 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Luke didn’t lose the game.
      the players did.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 9:40 PM on December 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The Warriors probably did, if you know what I mean.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:27 PM on December 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Who chooses what players are on the court and when? It’s not like he’s got anything resembling a set rotation, roles for any of his players, heck, last year you could at least say we ran plays that worked to get guys open. The Weave works better in the half court than anything we’ve run this season. That ain’t on the players.

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

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:28 PM on December 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’m a long way from advocating for anything but patience but these things don’t happen in a vacuum.

          • mud

            mud 11:38 PM on December 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            the players did fine. if they made their open looks, didn’t force bad shots or action unnecessarily, and made free throws, this team would be a top team in the west, but the fact is that these players cannot do that at this point.

            some of the Lakers aren’t bad players, they just aren’t that good. others, they are just that green. complain all you want, but the truth is that Luke has already shown he can do the normal job with great players. the team wins. it’s not like the Del Harris days when the Lakers had a pretty stacked team but couldn’t win, but the moment Jackson got here, they won it all. if Jackson ran this team, they would struggle. i’m not saying that Luke’s a great coach, but the team plays together even when things go bad, they are not bad defensively at all, even with their obvious mistakes. it’s clear that they have a plan. also, offense is starting to look like an actual offense. it’s still simple, but it’s effective.

            no, Luke could have experimented less, but he has a limited roster and two starters were out on the second night of a back to back. i was not surprised to see him try different things on a night when Lonzo and Kuzma couldn’t throw a rock in the ocean and Clarkson forgot how to play defense and kept having hallucinations in which he was Kobe. add to this two Blazers playing out of their minds, and a little help from the stripes, and then don’t make your free throws? it’s a loss.

            i still prefer this to last year, all day and all night. this is getting better. it could be getting worse.

            • Michael H (Editor)

              Michael H (Editor) 12:09 AM on December 24, 2017 Permalink

              I guess the Kobe hallucinations was why Clarkson shot 50% from the field and from 3 and scored 18 in 21 minutes. I hope he has them every game. As for defense you might want to take another look at the game before dumping it on Clarkson. At one point Luke had four guards out there. While Portland has Harkless and a 7 foot Collins on the court. And while Harkless abuses Kuz, Luke had Randle one of our best defenders on Davis, not exactly an offensive threat. Yes the players lost the game but they don’t decide who plays or what schemes to run.

            • mud

              mud 12:47 AM on December 24, 2017 Permalink

              games are not won or lost via stats. shooting percentage is not the only measure of offensive effectiveness.

              Clarkson’s game was worlds better than the last few games, and he did some really good things. he also made some mistakes that really hurt the team. timing is an important thing.

              don’t worry, i don’t think Clarkson is bad or blame him for the loss. i do recognize that he scored points, as he should. i don’t think another 10 minutes of Clarkson would have led to victory, though. +/- is a lousy stat, i’ll admit, but i’ll use it to tell a story. whether the story is true or not, is opinion. Clarkson was -13 on the night, KCP was +7 and Hart was +8. Connaughton was +10.

            • mud

              mud 12:59 AM on December 24, 2017 Permalink

              i’ll grant you the problems with Harkless and Collins but again, i don’t see that as that thing that led to a loss. Luke attempted to use Bryant, but the kid was a little lost out there, so the Lakers just played small.

              it’s all in the execution. they need to be more consistent. free throws are the perfect example for this. they are showing heart and run around with purpose. that is all a coach can do at this point with these players.

              i keep thinking it’s about to come together for them. i might be thinking that all year, i know. but, if they can keep me fooled, then they will have given a full effort, which is ok for where the franchise is at. for a franchise with a healthy, prime Kobe or Magic or West, anything but the finals is a bust. for these guys, right at the moment i type this, the playoffs are a triumph.

              i think the outrage is better saved for more serious issues. it’s just my opinion.

    • tate793

      tate793 9:52 PM on December 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      No secrets. Nothing to see, here, folks. Keep walking. A simple case of missed free throws = missed opportunities to win games.

      I’ll throw back the sarcastic question that was asked a while back.

      “How many games are they going to lose because of missed free throws?”

      So far, ELEVEN! Bad calls and other factors, notwithstsnding -- we make the missed free throws, we don’t lose those games.

      If we had made those free throws, and won those 11 games, we would be 3rd seeded in the WC. That’s bittersweet. An easily correctable problem, yet, a sad commentary to our inability to accomplish it.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever 12:04 AM on December 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Agree with every single point Michael regardless of missed free throws and missed open shots. Which is silly to say it came down to that- it didn’t have to if the right players were on the floor. Totally losing confidence in Luke…

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 6:24 AM on December 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It just is what it is….

      The biggest hurdle for a team this young is inconsistency. So u get great effort one night & poor effort the next. A guy will go off for a few games then backslide for a few. Add in other factors like losing ur center, ur small forward to a last minute scratch, and ur sg in & outta jail & the lineup and who knows where his head is at…well there ya go. The lineups were definitely weird (I get trying to get a look at Bryant & Caruso..but Ennis?) and yeah the free throws again but after all that they had opportunities to win it at crunch time…

      On to the next one….

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 9:21 PM on December 7, 2017 Permalink  


    Serena Winters
    Serena Winters
    Luke Walton yelling out to Brandon Ingram about his game-winner after his postgame interview: “If you would’ve made your free throws, we wouldn’t have needed that!”

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:28 PM on December 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Truth though, big issue for this team. Coaches need to own up on this, too. Need to practice the basics and attain mediocrity. All in all, we overcame a lot to win this game. Nice to see them pull one like this out.

    • tate793

      tate793 10:32 PM on December 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      There is a definite need to improve our free throw shooting.

      Yet, there were so many positives about this game.

      I do think that Lonzo showed some progress in overcoming his personal challenges.

    • Worthy42

      Worthy42 5:05 AM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Meanwhile Embiid hits them with ease…close to 80% on the year. Go figure. That kid has some skillz. Great win.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 8:17 PM on November 29, 2017 Permalink  

    Randle played too well 

    I guess Randle was playing to well. 8 points 2 boards and an assist in 5 minutes. So let’s take him out. He’s playing too well.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 8:42 PM on November 29, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I must apologize too Luke. It appears that he was matching Randle with Green. Put him back when Green came back.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 7:56 AM on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Then he should have started Randle. I am not one to constantly criticize Luke like some in here, but enough is enough with Julius Randle’s short minutes. It is painfully obvious that for some stupid reason he is not a part of this team’s future. If they get rid of him, it will haunt them.

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 8:45 PM on November 29, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nice first half! Clicking well. Keep it up boyzzzz! : )

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 10:18 PM on November 27, 2017 Permalink  

    I don’t understand 

    Clarkson has 17 points on 66% shooting 8 boards and 5 assists. And Luke closes with Lonzo? I just don’t understand.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:29 PM on November 27, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yah brah, I don get it neither…mystifying AF.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:08 AM on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      At some point, development has to include trying to win games besides giving key players experience. Looked to me like both Clarkson and Kuzma were miffed at Luke for his rotations and substitutions. What happened to the guys who got you there finishing the game? Luke getting too cool for school again. Play the guys who are playing well rather than hunches on who might play well.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 10:40 AM on November 20, 2017 Permalink  


    Taco Trey Kerby
    Taco Trey Kerby
    Lonzo now undefeated and averaging a triple-double in games immediately following his dad being criticized by the president.
    4:38 AM · Nov 20, 2017

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:42 AM on November 20, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      LOL. It’s only a matter of time before POTUS starts tweeting about Lonzo’s shooting.

      • NBA4ever

        NBA4ever 2:49 PM on November 20, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        He has an UGLY shot…. Believe me it’s horrible, the worst, he’s a loser…… The league should suspend him for that UGLY shot…he is toast in the league…….overrated loser bigly

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 8:53 PM on November 16, 2017 Permalink  


    Wow the Suns put up 65 in the first half! Unfortunately for them the Rockets put up 90 :) Harden has 33.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 9:50 PM on November 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not sure what’s gonna feel worse tomorrow..
      That 3 of our 7 wins came against these dudes
      That we lost to these clowns the night after they gave up 90 in a half

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:22 AM on November 17, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Dang. Suns are going to be well rested for a back-to-back.

  • Michael H (Editor)

    Michael H (Editor) 4:44 PM on November 10, 2017 Permalink  

    On trading Randle 


    Tom is right. If we trade Randle it should be for someone we intend to keep. I would never trade him as part of a salary dump. I was thinking about Clarkson and Randle for George which makes sense but looking into the numbers it brought up a bigger question. Why are we not playing these guys more?

    Paul George 35.3 minutes per
    Shooting .423 .381 from 3
    19.5 points per
    4.7 boards per
    3.1 assists

    Clarkson 21 minutes
    Shooting .511 .429 from 3
    15.3 points
    2.5 boards
    2.8 assists

    Randle 19.1 minutes
    Shooting.607 (not enough 3 attempts to matter)
    11.4 points
    6.5 boards
    1.7 assists

    So in this trade we give up shooting efficiency, 7.2 points. 4.3 boards and 1.4 assists. Even if George scores 23.7 like his best year it’s still a net loss in points. Also Randle/Clarkson are only playing a combined 5 minutes more Paul.

    Looking further at the per 36 stats

    Clarkson 26.3 points 4.3 boards 4.9 assists

    Randle 21.4 points 12.2 boards 3.1 assists.

    For me before we trade these guys we should play them more and see what we have before trading it away. Over 36 they both out perform him. I already think not playing them more have cost us a couple of wins already.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:04 PM on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael,

      If the Thunder continue to struggle and they were willing to trade PG for Randle and Clarkson, the only reason why I would not do the deal is if Julius Randle continued to play like he has and shows that he can still perform at the same level if he were playing 24 to 30 minutes per game. In other words, I would find a way to keep Randle if he continued to play this well, even if it meant not getting a second elite free agent. Randle shows just too much promise to me as a small ball center to trade him if he continues to play this well. I’ve always loved his handle, rebounding, and playmaking but it’s his defense that sealed it for me. I truly believe Julius can have a Draymond Green impact on the Lakers. In fact, he already is doing that.

      I don’t have as strong conviction that Clarkson can continue to play at this level but would be thrilled if he does. The problem is that Jordan has started out hot before and tailed off. He still at times is making poor plays but does seem to rebound better and play more consistently. But he can score the ball and that is a skill we desperately need. I’m rooting for he and Randle to become our “second” elite free agent next summer. The ideal situation would be to re-sign Clarkson and Randle as one elite free agent and then sign DeMarcus Cousins as the second elite free agent. A starting lineup of Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle, and Cousins could be a championship contender if the four starters and Clarkson all developed and matured.

      With that starting lineup, I think the Lakers could easily add more shooting and defense for the bench. With so little cap space out there, there are going to be some outstanding players signed for bargain contracts. Of course, none of this will happen if LeBron and PG want to come to LA but next summer is so many days and events away that the Lakers need to focus on their existing roster and make sure they win enough to show prospective free agents a promising situation. We’re at a critical point right now where many pundits expect us to drop like we did last year. We need at minimum to win 1 of the next 2 road games. Then we have a stretch of games that should give us a shot at finishing the first quarter of the year at .500 …. just like last year but hopefully with a better ending.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 6:12 PM on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Clarkson is under contract for 2 more seasons. There’s no need to re-sign him now. He’s already signed.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:14 PM on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          You’re right but he would have to be traded if we want to sign two elite free agents.

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

            Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 6:20 PM on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I don’t see how that configures with: “The ideal situation would be to re-sign Clarkson and Randle as one elite free agent and then sign DeMarcus Cousins as the second elite free agent.”

            You already have Clarkson. If you’re not W&S Deng or re-signing Brook or KCP then you have all the cap space you need. Now you’re talking about re-upping large with Randle and signing Cousins. Or whomever. Clarkson has nothing to do with it, save for that he’s signed for two more seasons after this one.

            The other scenario basically means gutting and capping out the team. Not sure we do that unless it’s for LBJ, which I don’t think is happening.

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:23 PM on November 10, 2017 Permalink

              How about:

              The ideal situation would be re-sign Randle and not trade Clarkson and consider them and their salaries as our “second” elite free agent.


    • mclyne32 (Director) 9:57 AM on November 11, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      No to trading either of them unless they significantly drop off from now until the deadline.

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