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  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 3:29 PM on January 20, 2019 Permalink |  

    Dammit! 

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 9:01 PM on January 19, 2019 Permalink |  

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 2:51 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    The NBA’ Best Young Cores 

    1. Nuggets
    2. Sixers
    3. Celts
    4. Bucks
    5. T-Wolves
    6. Suns
    7. Lakers
    Young core: Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Johnathan Williams, Moritz Wagner, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Isaac Bonga, Alex Caruso

    The Los Angeles Lakers’ young core had their chance to prove their worth following LeBron James’ absence due to a groin injury. Unfortunately, they have failed to impress, at least relative to expectations.

    Lonzo Ball still can’t shoot worth a lick (32.7 percent from three, 41.7 percent from the free-throw stripe this year), Brandon Ingram still struggles with bouts of inconsistency, especially in fourth quarters, and Josh Hart has taken a step back after a strong rookie campaign (hitting just 41 percent from the floor, 34.6 percent from three).

    The only member of Los Angeles’ 24-and-under group who has improved upon last season is Kyle Kuzma, who is averaging 18.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, even without his three-point shot falling (as he’s shooting 29.9 percent from deep this season).

    The Lakers’ young core still has all the talent in the world, but it’s disappointing they haven’t shown to be further along in their development in 2018-19.

     
    • mclyne32 (Director) 7:31 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Disappointing indeed. We all were hoping that our guys would be around the second or third best on this list. There’s still enough games left to turn it around.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 8:11 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The thing that strikes me is that alotta the young dudes on the teams above us are perennial all stars, potential mvp candidates, and the best players & leaders on their team (except Boston with Kyrie holding that role). Best we got is a guy who might make all-defense….

  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 8:41 PM on January 15, 2019 Permalink |  

    How bad can it get? 

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 9:51 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink |  

    And just like that… 

    …we’re tied for 9th looking in from the outside

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:52 PM on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Was just going to post something like this. It’s still a jumble out west, 2 games out of anywhere. But the Pelicans are grooving right now, Minnesota is getting it’s feet under them and we just loafed up our softest part of the schedule. A perfect storm of bad situations.

  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 8:28 PM on January 3, 2019 Permalink  

    Just maybe….. 

    …summa these dudes are just gonna be role players. I know folks like to say things like “Well look at (insert random HoFer)’s numbers in his 2nd year!” Yeah but also look at (insert random journeyman)’s numbers in his 2nd year too….sometimes you turn into Draymond Green, sometimes (most times) you turn into Gerald Green. I’m getting the feeling that we may have drank (drunk? drinked? dranken?..lol) too much koolaid when it comes to our young core…and maybe our young head coach as well. And it’s not even from a talent standpoint, because all these guys possess a high level skillset. It’s more about the mindset and how they approach the game. I can’t take another article where Luke has to implore BI & Zo to be aggressive. Seems like that’s the thing that separates them from Kuz & Hart and their ability to “fit” with Lebron. That ain’t something that can be taught..you just gotta have that dog in you.

    Last night’s game was winnable but this was the 3rd time in the last few games where the youngsters wilted when the defensive pressure got ratcheted up. Rondo stabilized em in the GSW game, no answer for the Clipps & OKC tho. And this is how it’ll be in the playoffs. Can’t always rely on pace to get you through..gotta execute in the half court when things slow down.

    Of course alotta this will be remedied when Lebron returns. But what his absence has shown is that our young core hasn’t really advanced like we thought they did…it was mostly just Lebron being Lebron. If we continue to get exposed over these next 7 winnable games it makes me wonder if AD really wants to play with these guys after his 2yr window with Lebron is over…..

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:38 PM on January 3, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      LOL. Or whether the Pelicans would want to trade for them? Hopefully, it’s still early and it’s going to be a while until LeBron and Rondo are both back and we’ll know a lot more by then. To say that how the Lakers young guns play the rest of January is going to tell us a lot, especially with February 7th now just a month away.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 8:46 PM on January 3, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      These are still the same guys who won 35 games a year ago.
      AD is already out here going 40pts/20rebs and losing.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 10:59 PM on January 3, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The answer is drunk.
      Yes, almost all of them will just be decent roll players.
      It’s not like we drafted Harden, Russ, and KD. That rarely happens and even OKC managed to screw it up.
      I think we’ll be fine once LeBron comes back. We may not get back to the fourth seed, but we’ll still make the playoffs.

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 7:19 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The bigger concern is the team loses the same way with or without Bron. They don’t improve, come out uninspired, lose focus, and blow games the same way over and over. That’s not solely on the players -- that’s on the FO and coaches. Everyone needs to take stock and be better. Bron needs to do like Harden and put the team on his back and worry about May in May, not January. If he can’t do it any more because of age/mileage, than that’s that and no one should be expecting much more than what we’re seeing now.

        As for koolaid, speak for yourselves. Every lottery pick was pretty much botched with an all-star, max money level talent taken later on in the draft. Other than Kuz, the tanking era was mostly a waste primarily because they didn’t tank quite hard enough nor scout quite well enough.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 7:54 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Jim and Mitch being over their head ain’t an issue. Spilt Milk. Though every word, I agree with.

          No way LeBron was coming here with those guys in charge.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:19 PM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Hey, Stan, the reason we’re losing the same way with LeBron is that Ingram is trying to be LeBron. Well, actually he’s trying to be Kobe but without the Mamba effect. What we should be doing is giving the ball to Lonzo so he can focus on sharing the ball rather than Ingram who generally only focuses on shooting the ball.

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:02 PM on January 3, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Couldn’t agree more Mongo. There’s a lot of Kool-Aid going round for all the young guys. Having HOFers in Rondo and LeBron help cover up a lot of mistakes. As a PG you need to be in control, deferring to the SF who moved to SGvwho is also the backup PG isn’t a recipe for greatness. Riding the pine in a game where we’re that short handed is a big concern.

      In Brandon’s case he needs to make shots but I found it hard to question his aggression. You have to take them to make them and he had no problem getting to his spots or taking the shots. But there’s definitely big questions about how well he fits with LeBron. Nor has he really upped his value this year. Feels like he’s kind of treading water and his silly punch of CP3 near the beginning of the season may be his defining moment thus far.

      Kuzma is really the only player close to a ‘must keep’ at this point. He plays well with LeBron, his defense has improved and he’s shown a lot more ability to create for the team. Hart is still too inconsistent and Zubac is a back up center, at best.

      Problem is that kind of makes Kuz the most tradeable. All the talk, thus far, has been on when AD asks out but what if he doesn’t? Does the current stretch of play and the injuries to key vets force Magiccsnd Rob to make a trade? Time will tell.

      • p ang

        p ang 5:19 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think its more of defining the correct roles.

        BI should be defined as the defensive stopper who can score instead of the other way around. If you look at it that way he becomes invaluable. Team no longer looks for him to carry them. Lakers no longer worry about Harden, Thompson etc because BI’s here. Think Kobe, how he loves to take on the best opposing player and giving them a bad night. Or a Michael Cooper but longer. Pair BI with a Liiiard type PG and you’ve got a winner.

        Kuz is perfectly defined. An offensive player who can guard some. If it was the other way around then he’s fukked.

        Zo’s definition is a young guy learning the ropes. Stop saying he’s a leader. Leaders are mentally tough, Zo aint. At least not yet. 2-3 years from now, maybe.

        BTW, at the rate Javale is playing, Lakers might not be able to afford him, Rondo and AD (or the like) next year. Time to trade KCP and other expensive players for Draft picks.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 10:04 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Harden scored 44/15/10

          Hit the GW and brought his team back from 20 at Oracle.

          Not worried?

          Dude, LASIK surgery can help a lot of people having this same problem. Lol.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:26 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I think you’re absolutely correct about BI, Peter. Every time I get frustrated with his offense and pencil him out, I miss his defense and how critical that is to the team. I’ve said the same many times. The worse thing you can do to Brandon is make him into an iso offensive player. That only makes it harder for him to fit with LeBron. Respect his impact defensively and change his role so he learns to be effective off the ball. I don’t even mind him shooting 10-14 foot midranges at a high percentage. Just get him the ball there instead of expecting him to use his slow first step and loose handle to get him there. That’s a waste of time and a movement killer. Even with LeBron and Rondo out, give the Ball to Lonzo and let Bonga play the point with Zubac. Use Ingram the way he will be a good fit with LeBron and get lots of easy shots.

          What everybody forgets is we don’t need Lonzo, Brandon, or Kyle to be superstars. That’s what we have LeBron and hopefully AD for. What we need are exactly what Lonzo, Brandon, Kyle, Josh, and hopefully Svi, Moe, and Ike have the potential to be is great complementary pieces to fit around LeBron and AD. You win championships with superstars and elite role players. The Robert Horry’s and Andre Iguodala’s. If that’s what we have in Ingram, Ball, Kuzma, et al, we should be thrilled. The only question is do we get greedy and trade them all for Anthony Davis or do we wait one year and sign him for nothing so we have the deep and versatile bench you need to complement two superstars to build a championship dynasty. Or is not ‘wasting’ one year of LeBron’s four year’s so important you ignore the long term potential?

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:30 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      First off, excellent post and subject, Mongo. Thanks for posting it.

      As Keen has often reminded us, the draft is a crapshoot. What’s worse is you often don’t know what you’ve gotten until two or three years after you drafted them or until they’ve moved on to a new club where they suddenly find the right fit or opportunity to realize their potential. Where you end up also adds to the crapshoot aspect of drafting players. Where you go often dictates fit and opportunity.

      Are there any superstars or all-stars among the budding young players the Lakers have? At this point, you’d have to say the chance of one of them becoming a superstar is slim to none. Ingram probably has the best chance followed by Lonzo but all-star is more likely their respective ceilings. Kuzma and Hart, both of whom are two years older, project as potentially valuable role players on a contending team.

      As has been pointed out, where there kids were drafted has had a major impact on expectations and evaluations of how they’ve done to date. When you’re 18 or 19-year old one-and-done kids drafted second overall like Ball and Ingram, there’s a completely different bar or standard against which you’re judged than when you’re 22-year college seniors with 4 years of experience drafted late in the first round. No matter how much you love Kuzma and Hart, two years from now the gap in potential that separates Lonzo and Brandon from them will suddenly become much greater.

      Here’s the thing that’s been bugging me the last week or so as I’ve struggled with the Anthony Davis situation, that hopefully the Lakers will be able to turn into a win, which would in many ways would transform our failure to take advantage of the PG and Kawhi situations into silver linings because we ended up with AD. Frankly, that’s why I never cry about missed opportunities (doesn’t mean I won’t rant about them) because sometimes they open the door for an even better opportunities.

      Back on track, the reality is that even if some of our young players are going to turn into superstars or all-stars, it’s not going to be in the next two or three years. Lonzo and Brandon are 21-years old and not likely to hit their prime until they’re 25 or 26, which is likely to be right after LeBron’s 4-year contract is up and he’s 38. Like it or not, that’s been the problem from the start once we signed LeBron. Their championship windows just don’t match.

      While you can look at that as a problem, you can also look at that as a positive, meaning Lonzo and Ingram in their prime could be exactly what the Lakers would need and should want when LeBron’s run is over if they don’t want to end up like Cleveland. If the Lakers are smart, whether they admit it or not, the smart move might be to do what’s best for the next ten rather then just four years.

      Which is why I continue to talk about how the Lakers’ smartest move, whether by design or just by being lucky, could very well be to save their cap space and sign Anthony Davis as a free agent summer of 2020. While you can argue they might have wasted one of LeBron’s four years by doing that, you could also argue that you suddenly guaranteed a successful transition from LeBron with AD and the kids.

      If Anthony Davis really wants to come to LA, the Lakers have an opportunity to land an even more valuable asset for the franchise than a 33-year old LeBron James in a 26-year old Anthony Davis, who could help LeBron win a couple of championships before taking over as the heir apparent as the next great Lakers superstar.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 9:58 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The young players were and have been given plenty of rope.

        They’ve managed to hang themselves.

        Time’s up as Jig Saw would say.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 10:02 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        A crapshoot?

        That’s as disingenuous and covert as you can be, just silly talk.

        So all the scouting, hours, months, years, is for what? A larf? That’s disrespectful and just plain moronic to say.

        It’s a calculated skill.

        It’s like playing poker not a slot machine.

        What an idiotic formation to make.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:34 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          First of all, it’s not an idiotic formation to take, Sean.

          I’m not at all discounting the value of scouting or the great job our scouts have done but the harsh reality is there are rarely any sure things in the draft. Best you can do is swing the odds to your favor by making intelligent choices.

          Would we rather have picked Tatum than Ball? Probably but that dynamic could change. Did we think Kuzma would be this good? No way. Same scouting department that took Ingram and Ball also took Randle and Russell.

          My point is good scouting can make it a lot less of a crapshoot but in the end, you’re betting on projecting how a bunch of kids will develop, which is as much an art as a science with a healthy dose of lady luck.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 11:55 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      These are the facts about where we are as a franchise:
      1. We are in “win now” mode.
      2. The kids have had plenty of time to prove themselves.
      3. Most, if not all will be shipped out for consistent, veteran players.
      4. Magic and Rob will not sit back for the next three and a half seasons for a chance in the dark that a few of these guys will figure it out. That does not line up with LeBron’s time table here.

      IMHO, Hart, Kuz, and Zu should be kept because they have proven to be successful alongside LeBron.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 11:59 AM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hey, we’ve been spoiled as Laker fans to.

        The chance to win a Championship when it’s there you put all your chips in, rather than hope developmental talent wins a chip.

        Proven talent>Developmental talent wins championships.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:45 PM on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Don’t disagree with your ‘facts’ although they’re more like assumptions. They only become ‘facts’ when they happen, Matt. My problem is that might not be the best strategy. Why trade away all your young talent for AD when you can keep them and sign him for nothing as a free agent. We’re not likely to sign KD, Kawhi, or Klay and the odds we can trade for AD are probably less than the odds we sign him as a free agent. I think whoever ends up getting AD may be the team to beat the next ten years assuming he goes to Boston, Golden State, Houston, or the Lakers. That’s the player Magic should be focused on and the only way to get him in a trade is to have the cap space to sign him as a free agent. It’s just a question of whether to settle for trading him if you could get him for free. 1 year of LeBron to create a sustainable dynasty that could last a decade.

  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 8:57 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink  

    No Chill 

     
    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 8:58 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hahahahahaha

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 9:00 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This game has some chippiness to it and I like it!

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 9:50 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Taking over

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 9:57 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Somebody needs to do an extensive investigation piece about this free throw debacle. Is the organization doing anything to help these guys improve? At this point, I’d just hack any random Laker (besides KCP) whenever they got close to the bucket. Absolutely ridiculous…

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 10:02 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lonzo on the bench in crunch time once again

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 10:10 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Russ couldn’t shoot a pea in the ocean tonight, still got a trip dub.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 10:22 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Because he can do everything else on offense…

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 10:27 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Had twice as many Turnovers as Ball.

          • Magicman (Editor)

            Magicman (Editor) 10:29 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            3-20

            He was killing them.

            He’s not efficient.

            Like a Kobe or MJ, can shoot you into 5 games and shoot you out of 5.

  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 8:49 PM on January 2, 2019 Permalink  

    Nailed It 

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 5:52 PM on January 1, 2019 Permalink  

    Gotta have that 2nd gear 

     
    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 6:03 PM on January 1, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The man knows ball, I’ll defer to his expertise.

      I think the kid has that Mamba Mentality, he will figure it out.

  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 9:15 AM on December 28, 2018 Permalink  

    Welp… 

     
    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 9:28 AM on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Saving grace is that we have a ton of home games in the month of January…5 total road games (not including the Clipps). Caveat is that we’re beginning to play better opposition.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 9:36 AM on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Funny how AD and Rondo miss around the same amount of games a year, yet Rondo’s toughness and durability are never questioned.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 10:02 AM on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        What’s “toughness” gotta do with needing surgery?

    • mclyne32 (Director) 10:12 AM on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kobe would still play, and he did with a fractured finger.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:36 AM on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Tough break for Rondo and Lakers. What concerns me, besides the obvious loss of Rajon’s veteran leadership and elite playmaking, is how Luke Walton and his staff will likely respond to Rondo’s absence by continuing the frustrating and ill-advised effort to turn Ingram into a point guard. That’s a poor answer for not having enough capable point guards on roster.

      While Luke may have had no other option at point without Lonzo, Rondo, or LeBron last night, Brandon just does not have the handle, quickness, or mentality to play the point and putting the ball in his hands just handcuffs the team’s ball and player movement. It also hurts Ingram’s development as a complementary player and undermines his trade value.

      Ingram did a fabulous job defensively on Buddy Hield last night but his ball dominant iso approach on offense just took the wind out of the Lakers’ sails offensively in the fourth quarter. The Kings adjustments to challenge him at half court slowed the Lakers’ offense down to a crawl in the fourth quarter. Giving Ingram the ball played right into the Kings’ hands.

      It’s great to give young stars opportunities to expand their skillsets and ability to contribute but there’s a point in time where the coaching staff has to decide their experiments aren’t working. Kuzma cannot play small ball center and Ingram cannot play point guard. There’s a point when the head coach and front office have to realize that this is hurting the player and the team.

      The Lakers continue to misuse Ingram by trying to make him into something he’s not. He may be able to torch second string defenders when he comes off the bench and dominates the ball but that’s not going to help him be his best or fit alongside LeBron. Ingram needs to adjust his game to play off the ball and complement other players to realize his star potential.

      What Luke and his staff need to do is take the d**n ball out of his hands and force him to play off the ball. While Ingram doesn’t have Kuzma’s speed and quickness to get open off the ball, he does have great size and length and could dominate other guards in the post. We see glimpses of it but then Luke and Brandon revert to him futilely trying to run pick-and-rolls.

      The Lakers need to run plays where they use screens and misdirection to free Ingram up in the paint where he can easily get high percentage shots off passes from LeBron, Lonzo, and Rondo. Just giving him the ball or trying to get him to run slo-mo versions of pick-and-rolls is not efficient or conducive to sharing the ball or to Brandon becoming a great player.

      As for the backup point guard, time for the Lakers to give Caruso or Bonga a shot to play. Both do an excellent job running pick-and-rolls while Ingram struggles. This iso ball Ingram experiment should come to an end. Instead, let’s put Ingram in a position to do what he does best, which is not pounding the rock for 15 seconds before even getting into the paint.

  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 10:11 PM on December 27, 2018 Permalink  

    None of the Dubs look like they’re having any fun….

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 8:46 PM on December 21, 2018 Permalink  

    It’s gotten to the point where I’m more surprised when Lonzo actually finishes at the rim than when he hits a 3 pointer.

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 1:37 PM on December 15, 2018 Permalink  

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 6:56 PM on December 14, 2018 Permalink  

    Uh Oh….. 

     
  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 11:19 AM on December 8, 2018 Permalink  

    B.I. to miss 3 more games…at least 

     
    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 12:59 PM on December 8, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That’s a tough break. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we are 1-3 against the Spurs with BI only on the floor for a total of 5 minutes. More then the 15 points he brings we really miss his defense. We could have really used him in that 4th quarter.

      As for Aldridge there is video out there of him sticking his foot under other guys. When it’s a deliberate act like it was with BI and it causes an injury there should be a suspension if the act causes an injury. A simple flagrant one isn’t enough. There is no room in the league for that kind of garbage.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:15 PM on December 8, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yeah, Pops is a total hypocrite and crybaby when it comes to fouls for undercutting shooters. Shooters would rather get knocked down than undercut. Hard to shoot when you’re worried about coming down.

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