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  • Lakers Fast Break

    Lakers Fast Break 1:06 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink |  

    Lakers Fast Break- Can The Lakers-Celtics Rivalry Be Reborn? with Skip Sherman 

    Skip Sherman with the Skip and Josh podcast returns to talk about a possible return to a Boston/LA rivalry, the Eastern Conference, if anyone in the East can beat the Bucks and an outsider assessment of the Los Angeles Lakers. 

    Now available on the Lakers Fast Break channel on Anchor
    and on the Lakers Fast Break channel on Apple Podcasts at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lakers-fast-break/id1485406977 , Stitcher, Spotify, Bullhorn, and many more of your favorite podcast apps! 

    Please if possible, subscribe to the podcast, and give us a five-star review so we can attract more Lakers fans to our community.

    Have a question for us? You can post it as part of your review on Apple Podcasts, @lakersfastbreak on Twitter, or e-mail us at lakersfastbreak@yahoo.com and we’ll read it on the air!

    Thanks, Lakerholics as always for your support and “Go Lakers!”

    • therealhtj

      therealhtj 6:29 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Your Boston friend jinxed us Gerald.

      • Lakers Fast Break

        Lakers Fast Break 9:45 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Tom and I did say the team would go 4-1 on the road trip. We just were not sure where the one would be. Let’s get it out of the system now and I have a feeling they will take their frustrations out on the Knicks like everyone else does. It was nice though to hear an outside position see many of the same things we do when it comes to the Lakers and just how really good they are (tonight notwithstanding).

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:29 AM on January 21, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I originally thought the 76ers would be the toughest team but when you look at the talent, the Celtics showed they shouldn’t be underestimated. They were in a funk and nothing better in the world to get them out of it than a game against the Lakers. Time to start a three-game winning streak and to finish the Grammy trip 4-1 like Gerald and I predicted. We need three dominating blow outs to flush the taste of the Celtics out of our system. No pity or mercy for the Knicks, Nets, and 76ers. But Gerald and Chuck still might have jinxed us. :-)

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:55 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink |  

    Great stuff from Jared Dudley. Coaching Dwight from the bench! 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:30 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink |  

    Lakers on MLK Day! 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:41 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink |  

    Kyle Kuzma is taking a crash course in winning basketball with the Lakers 

    From Pete’s article on the Athletic:

    Kyle Kuzma is used to entering new basketball environments without the benefit of the doubt. He was a three-star recruit who played just eight minutes per game as a redshirt freshman at Utah. He was the Utes’ leading scorer by the time he left college, but he wasn’t projected as an NBA lottery pick and got drafted 27th overall in 2017.

    For most of his adult basketball life, Kuzma always started in the back of the pecking order. He had gotten so proficient at climbing these ladders that he established himself as an essential member of the Lakers’ young core almost right away. During the 2017 Summer League, he streaked up the sidelines to complement Lonzo Ball’s 50-foot outlet passes, finished from every angle around the basket and flew off of screens to drill 28-footers.

    He fit right in with the young and fast-paced Lakers, and the fan base embraced him immediately. The doldrums of late July through September incubated that optimism, and by the preseason the beginnings of Kuzmania started to form. A strong start to the season solidified it, culminating in a 30-point game within his first month as a pro.

    The 2017-18 Lakers were the best of the recent pre-LeBron teams, and Kuzma’s role on it fit his natural inclinations. The Lakers were second in the NBA in pace and lacked a go-to guy, so opportunities were plentiful. He shared leading-scorer honors with Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle at 16.1 points per game on a team in which 35 wins represented progress.

    In just three years, Kuzma had gone from the 11th man on his college team to one of the most productive and popular players on the NBA’s most popular team. He had finally climbed as high as he could — until LeBron James showed up.

    It’s difficult for LeBron teams to overachieve. His talent and resume set championship contention as the floor of acceptable expectations for most of the last decade, and that clashed with the trajectory of the existing talent on the Lakers. Maybe Ingram, Ball and Kuzma would someday be ready to stand tall alongside James in a playoff atmosphere, but that’s a lot to ask from players at their age.

    And thus the Young Core era of Lakers basketball ended on June 15, 2019, when the team acquired Anthony Davis in exchange for Ingram, Ball, Josh Hart and draft picks. Only Kuzma was left from the group of homegrown talent that defined the previous five seasons.

    If the arrival of LeBron brought higher expectations, the addition of Davis brought a clear hierarchy to the Lakers — and finally one that Kuzma couldn’t scale. Gone were the touches and shot attempts that he enjoyed during his first two seasons and the freedom to make the game’s subtle mistakes.

    Instead, Kuzma is earning his master’s degree in winning basketball this season — and on an accelerated program. He is not afforded the luxury of gradual progression that most other young players experience as their teams improve. There simply isn’t enough time for that with the Lakers’ sights set on a championship in June.

    Constantly thinking about the right play runs counter to Kuzma’s basketball disposition. He’s an attacking, rhythm player, and any hesitation is detrimental to those attributes. He’s averaging career lows in points and shooting efficiency despite being surrounded by superstar gravity because he’s hesitating more than ever before.

    Kyle Kuzma won’t reach his full potential until these basketball lessons become second nature. Finally being settled into a definitive role should help him do that. The Lakers have managed to go 34-8 before he’s been fully optimized, but they will need him to internalize everything that he’s learning now if they want to reach their ultimate goal.

    • Magic2Worthy

      Magic2Worthy 12:00 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      interesting ideas LT!! I would add that KK tried too hard when he first came back from his injury, he tried to make every play (I remember one game when he shot 11 of the first 15 times he touched the ball). That
      time period killed his stats going forward.
      He’s a hard worker, he will improve.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:20 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hey, Brad. Forgot to note that those were Pete Zayas’ comments, not mine. I do think Pete was spot on that Kuz has struggled not being able to play freely on instinct and is thinking too much and becoming hesitant at times. I thought he was smart to attack the basket to get layups and to the line in the second half rather than shooting jumpers. Every time a player does that, seeing the ball go through the net always seems to get their jumper going. Good game at both ends for Kuz.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 12:18 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We gotta stop being prisoners of the moment regarding Kuzma.
      He’s not as bad as he’s shown in his worse games
      and not as good as he’s shown in his best games.

      I just wish he’d give us something in between every night.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:24 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink |  

    Chandler Parsons seriously injured by drunken driver 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:49 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink |  

    Anthony Davis is available to play for tonight’s game in Boston 

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:03 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lakers load management comes to an end. Let’s destroy the hated Celtics!

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 12:07 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Celts in a funk losing 6 of 8 and 3 in a row.
      We get AD back.
      We should win this by double digits…

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:16 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yep, but that’s why it smells like a trap game. But if you’re the Lakers, I don’t know how a Celtics game can be a trap game.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade 12:29 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yeah…hard to lured into a trap when it’s the Celts in Prime Time on MLK Day.
        Showcase game for the league.
        Then again…Lebron is off watching Bronny play this afternoon on game day so who knows…lol

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:48 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink |  

    Great words from Dr. King everyone needs to hear! 

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:01 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great stuff.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:01 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Happy MLK today. I can’t imagine the challenges that people have faced or face even today because they are black or brown or Jewish or Muslim but the words and efforts of Dr. King changed the world. I would never claim any equivalence as I grew up in a blessed world but as a young boy I spent a lot of time as a kid getting bullied and intimidated and wishing I was all-white and not half-yellow. Took me a long time to accept and become proud of my own heritage and the words and work of Dr. King were always an inspiration.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:54 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink |  

    5 (belated) Things 

    Got to this game late (just finished watching). This one will be tidy. Enjoy.

    1) Danny Green rounding into form. Danny hasn’t played up to either his rep or contract for the first half of the season. He’s had his moments but has largely looked nothing like the game-changing talent we saw in both San Antonio and especially in Toronto. That’s been changing of late and with every game he looks more locked in and is playing with better energy. He played stellar defense on James Harden all night long and was a force on offense scoring 20 points.

    2) 3rd quarter shock and awe. The Lakers were trailing at halftime and used a defense-fueled attack to outscore the Rockets 32-17. The 4th quarter was a draw but allowed the Lakers to maintain their streak of not losing a game when entering the 4th with a lead. Good stuff.

    3) KCP getting it done. This has easily become Pope’s best season as a Laker. Last night KCP was instrumental, again, and has kind of erased the debate as to whether he’s better starting or coming off the bench. He’s good either way and we’re a better team with him fortifying the second unit. Few players in the Association bring game changing offense and defense off the bench. In KCP the Lakers seemingly have such a player.

    4) Kuzma finding his way in his own time. Ask any baker, there’s no shortcuts when it comes to baking. You just have to wait for the bread to rise. Kuzma might not be on the time table any of us want or hope he’s on, he’s on a journey few take and even fewer succeed at completing: to be a super star in the NBA. If one is honest it’s unlikely he makes it and tops out as a second tier talent. That won’t be a bad thing and maybe he could be something more as the first option on a team. I hope we keep Kyle, I want to see him succeed in the purple and gold.

    5) Laker toughness. This is becoming something of a pattern, especially against other top tier teams, one in which the Lakers deploy their best defense, give good hard effort, and the other team loses composure for a good couple of minutes. it’s those minutes that can swing a game and the Lakers have done it a few times. Even better? I can count on one hand the number of games where the Lakers lost their composure. That’s something to hang you hat on come playoff time when the pressure is going to ratchet up.

    Happy Martin Luther King day, Lakerholics.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:17 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Better belated than never, Jamie. Nothing better the your ‘5 Things’ to kick off a holiday with a Lakers’ game against the evil Celtics with Anthony Davis returning!

      1) It was great to see Danny starting to play the kind of defense that built his rep. His hands are so quick. He not only stripped Harden several times but also was helping out doubling down on players in the paint. This team continues to get better, which bolds well for their championship chances.

      2) That was some sensational defense by the Lakers to turn that game around and take control. Best defensive quarter all season. You have to give credit to Vogel and the coaching staff for the game plan and the team’s sterling effort to execute it in the third quarter. I loved the strategy of doubling Harden and the rotations and challenges by the Lakers were elite. This is the model for defending Harden, Kawhi, Giannis, and every other transcendent NBA player. The coaching as well as the execution on this team continues to evolve and improve.

      3) The revenge of KCP (and almost every player on this team) continues. KCP was superb at both ends. I don’t care that he has a no-trade clause. The Lakers would be foolish to even ask him to agree to a trade. He deserves all the praise we can dish out because he continues to perform at an elite level whether he starts or comes off the bench.

      4) Kuzma’s second half comeback, including his defense on Russ, was storybook. And credit to Rondo for his involvement in the decision to have the bigger Kuz defend against Russ, who was killing our guards including Alex the GOAT. Kuz’s size and ability to keep Russ in front of him was great. And one thing I’ve always preached is attack the rim when your shots not falling. That and D are always the recipe when your shooting fails you. Great game by Kuzma.

      5) The Lakers remind me of my 49ers. Both teams are going to win championships this season because they are bigger, tougher, and more physical than their opponents. MccallGee and Howard and LeBron basically bullied the Rockets into submission in the third quarter to take over the game. It was almost as if this team did not miss freakin’ Anthony Davis during these five games, going 4-1.

      Looking forward to hearing more MVP chants for LeBron but this time in Boston Garden (or whatever the f*ck they call their arena now. Go, Lakers!

    • mclyne32 (Director) 1:04 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Regarding Kuz, he is indeed not done baking. Because I think he can develop into the second or third scorer on a Championship Team, he’s a keeper.

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 2:54 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      TNX JS!

    • Buba

      Buba 4:57 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks, Jamie. I really love this team. Great game.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 8:36 PM on January 19, 2020 Permalink |  

    Lakers have second easiest remaining strength of schedule left in the West 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:08 PM on January 19, 2020 Permalink |  

    Breaking down Talen Horton-Tucker’s rookie season in South Bay 

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 5:06 PM on January 19, 2020 Permalink |  

    Kobe, LeBron, History, and 81 Points! 

    • Buba

      Buba 7:42 PM on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It would be more historical if LeBron would do that in one game on the road just like Kobe did on the road against the Raptors. Not that I am expecting that. That 81 point game by the great Mamba was historical and gigantic in nature.

      But I marvel at what LeBron has accomplished close to the top of Mount Rushmore of the NBA scoring ladder. It certainly takes a lot to get there and is no easy feat.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:23 PM on January 19, 2020 Permalink |  

    Happy Birthday, JaVale! 

    • Buba

      Buba 7:11 PM on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Love me some McGee. Happy birthday to you on behalf of we the Lakerholics. We all hope you have a glorious day. We all love and adore you.
      Just keep up the hard work and remember, keep swatting those flies away from the paint.
      You are truly appreciated and beloved in Laker lore.
      Happy Birthday JaVale!!

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:58 AM on January 19, 2020 Permalink |  

    How efficient were the Rockets’ shooters when Harden was forced to pass out? 

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 11:38 AM on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Problem is always the same with the Rockets no matter what players you plug into that system. Dantoni’s inability to make adjustments when the opposition throws something new at him or if the 3’s ain’t dropping at a high rate. Dude has no 2nd gear. Morey does a great job in acquiring talent but that entire analytics-based culture there is flawed.

      • Buba

        Buba 9:34 PM on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It is the theory I mentioned in this blog before. It was something I learned in maths when I was young.
        You have a water tank, and you have an input pipe and an output pipe where the input pipe is bigger than the output pipe, at some point, the tank is gonna get flooded and cause disruption and chaos. Because the input pipe is pumping in more water into the tank while the output pipe is taking out less water.
        That’s the same thing going on with Morey vs Dantonio. Whilst morey is putting in more talented players, Dantonio is making less use of them.
        So I agree with you.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:40 AM on January 19, 2020 Permalink |  

    LeBron James is clearly the Lakers best and most valuable player! 

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 11:41 AM on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not sure why anybody ever thought this was gonna be in question.

    • Magic2Worthy

      Magic2Worthy 11:56 AM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      not disputing this fact, but I do remember talk about LBJ helping AD win the MVP very early this season of he wanted to….. but he decided the second coming of Magic was in order!!

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:05 AM on January 19, 2020 Permalink |  

    Excelent display of BBIQ on this play from Jared Dudley. 

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