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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:31 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink |  

    Stephen A. Smith Talks Potential LeBron James, Kyrie Irving Reunion with Lakers 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:16 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink |  

    Should Lakers trade for Bradley Beal – 24.8 PPG | 5 RPG | 5 APG 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:27 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If the Lakers are looking for superstars who can excel off the ball, you could argue that a shooter like Bradley Beal, who was assisted on 41.2% of his two-point shots and 78.1% of his three-point shots, would be a perfect fit playing for the Lakers and worth trading Ingram, KCP, and Lance or Beasley for.

      Beal is more ball dominant than Klay, who was assisted on 74.4% of his two-pointers and 91.3% of his three-pointers, but far better off the ball than KD, who was assisted on 41.4% of his twos and 55.1% of his threes, or Kawhi, who was assisted on just 24.0% of his twos and 64.1% of his threes.

    • Magic2Worthy

      Magic2Worthy 2:00 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey LT, yes Beal would be a terrific fit. Not sure the BI and expiring contracts would be the best offer for BB. WAS needs cap space for sure, so this would help, but I think many others would exceed this offer.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 2:21 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What’s his free throw percentage???

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:02 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink |  

    0 of James Harden’s 115 points over the last 2 games have been assisted 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:10 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Harden might as well be playing one-on-one. Of course, of the 115 points, 38 came at the line. In other words, Harden averaged 19 points per game from the line. Nothing as boring as watching King Flopper do his thing in iso or from the line while his teammates stand around watching. That’s why I’m hoping the Lakers might end up with Klay Thompson because it would signal the exact opposite style of play that James Harden and Rockets do. Funny, how Lakers fans all complained that D’Antoni wasn’t able or willing to adjust his style of game to his players. From share the ball and shoot within 7 seconds to give the ball to James and let him iso for 24 seconds. Rockets have no choice right now but Harden is destined to choke once again in the playoffs. He’s the MOP (Most Overrated Player), not the MVP.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:09 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink |  

    Klay Thompson would make the Lakers the team to beat 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:14 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Klay is probably the perfect player to play with LeBron James because he doesn’t need the ball and plays great defense.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 11:55 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It struck me as odd that Klay wasn’t mentioned alongside Kawhi & KD as a Laker target in that Windhorst comment.

    • therealhtj

      therealhtj 12:01 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Doubtful the Dubs don’t give him 5 years at the most they can pay the second they’re able to do so, and other than some misguided belief he wants to come play where his pops did, what makes anyone think he’s even got the Lakers on the radar? 2nd, when Klay is hitting, sure he’s unstoppable. When he’s just good or slightly off, and there aren’t 2-3 other guys capable of picking up the slack, he doesn’t really move the needle. He’s been more of the latter of late.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 4:10 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He ain’t coming.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:51 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink |  

    Ingram posted the highest assist percentage of his career over last five games 

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:38 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The game is starting to slow down for Brandon. It seems like it does around this time every year, maybe he should start his own training camp in July? At any rate, he and Lonzo are players who attack in two very different ways. Brandon has a measured, set his defender up way of going about his business. Lonzo uses sheer speed and athleticism to make his plays. Both are useful on the same team and work, they also just need to score more efficiently without LeBron.

      • Magic2Worthy

        Magic2Worthy 2:08 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I like the diversity of all our young guys. Hart uses the bull in the china shop approach and Kuz tries everything (including running hook shots which are rare today).

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:42 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink |  

    Kyrie called LeBron to apologize for “being that young player that wanted everything.” 

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

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:55 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    5 Things I Liked 

    Sorry these have been coming along so late, too much work, too many flu-cold-type things. Regardless, here you are!

    1) Youngsters playing with aggression. In our recent spate of frustrating losses the one bright spot has been that our defense is not the problem. We’ve actually been one of the best defenses in the league since LeBron and Rondo went down with injuries. That is in stark contrast to last season where were middle of the pack on defense but had a higher ranked offense. I think part of the problem the youngsters are now facing is threefold: intensity, recognition and re-learning how to play on the fly. What I mean by that is the games are ramped up because they mean something, a topic often discussed here. These guys are known now, nobody is letting Kuzma let fly from three or Brandon snake to the rim for easy buckets. Lastly, these guys all came to over-rely on LeBron and even Rondo and now they no longer have that crutch. Couple with the other points every game now looks and feels like an uphill battle. Some of that is self-inflicted (the coming out flat in so many games is inexcusable) but some of that is the simple reality of 20-somethings having to truly win at the NBA level on the fly.

    2) Beating the beatable. After lackluster losses to the Knicks and Cavs it was nice to see the Lakers beat a team they really ought to beat, injuries and all. Learn and incorporate how that felt and what worked going forward, this won’t be the last winnable game and the way we finished reeked of how we had been starting games. Go for the jugular for your opponent is surely doing the same.

    3) Josh Hart losing his starting spot to KCP. No offense to Mr. hart but he is just not an NBA starter, yet. He has been at his best over-powering second string players and canning open looks. Right now he’s not doing either and so I hope to see him get his mojo back doing damage off the bench because the bench needs help in that department since Lance has stopped dancing.

    4) JaVale McGee losing his starting spot to Tyson Chandler. When he was healthy JaVale was a candidate for DPOY. Since his bout with pneumonia he has looked more like the player most expected to see when we signed him. I think that bout cost him more than a few games it also robbed him of strength and stamina and he has not gotten those back, yet. One can only imagine that, for a person with an already chronic asthma condition, pneumonia is probably the last thing you want to pick up. To top it off Javale is an elite athlete. Give him a month of some weight room and cardio work and I’ll bet we see the McGee of old start to show up, again.

    5) Svi for 3! I’ve been preeeeeetty relentless in my criticism of rookie SG Svi Myhkailiuk so it was nice to see him hit his open three pointers, play some solid defense and dish out his 1 assist. Nice job, rook. Keep it up.

     
    • Magic2Worthy

      Magic2Worthy 7:36 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I agree Jamie on all points. If I can add one more, Lonzo really looked engaged. He was active and agressive. Loved his drives and dunks. He turned down a few wide open shots he should have taken, but he did find better shots for teammates some of the time. I especially liked him continuing to take open threes even though he missed his first four. I want to see more of him in high gear!!! He is incredibly quick at times.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:19 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks dude, yeah I thought the whole young core was pretty fired up and engaged. the shots weren’t falling in half #1 but they stayed the course and got some open looks to fall in half #2. I will never mind seeing Lonzo putting up double-digit shot attempts, it shows me he’s engaged, putting pressure on the defense and not being one-dimensional and deferential to other playmakers on the team. He’s the point guard and our second best playmaker after LeBron, he needs to be the one controlling the flow of the game more with his quickness and strength. The team functions so much better when he does.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 8:22 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good stuff, dude. I think the two guys who have suffered the most with LeBron being out are Josh and JaVale. Yes, McGee’s ailment definitely set him back but he has also missed James setting him up for all of those easy looks. As for Josh, he greatly benefited from the opponents spending so much focus on LeBron. I think these guys will get their mojo back once LeBron returns. I’m really hoping for This to happen against PHX since I will be at Staples Center rooting them on.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:51 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    No one ever said it was going to be easy, but it’s the Lakers 

    “He’s competitive as hell, but I think the way he’s handling this year, I don’t know if I could do a better job,” Rondo told ESPN. “It’s tough: He’s having to teach at the same time as he’s trying to get wins, managing egos, and dealing with vets and leadership.

    “Someone asked me today if we have enough plays. The game isn’t so much about having plays; it’s about playing the right way. Because if you have plays, you’re easy to scout. If you don’t have plays and you put guys in certain structures that have the right skills and know how to play in the game, then you’re a lot tougher to defend.”

    It was starting to come together on Christmas, too. After experimenting with a different roster composition than any James-led team before, emphasizing playmakers over shooters, the Lakers saw enough to realize that it wasn’t working and transitioned into the style of play that’s been successful for previous James-led teams — James creates, and the team benefits.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:56 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Interesting comments by Rondo about teams running plays or just playing basketball. Teams that run plays can become predictable but then there are counters you can run to take advantage of that. Coaching youth basketball, we’re always trying to teach read and react rather than specific diagrammed plays. Ideally, you want to have a system or set of compatible plays that provide a structure to organize the offense but have multiple options depending on how the defense reacts. Obviously, that’s something the Lakers don’t have.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 8:14 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aimlessly passing the ball around the perimeter with no purpose isn’t playing the right way and Rajon knows that which is why we’re a different team with him on the floor. But I respect him for backing his coach…

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:35 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think that we need a little bit of both. When we NEED a bucket the offense tends to stall out, especially in the 4th when the defense ramps up. When the opposition switches to a zone we tend to stall out. Not all of our guys are great at shooting from everywhere. There needs to be a few plays that we can run to maximize the skillsets we have. The out of bounds lob plays Luke draws up are a great example of how well we can run an offense based on a predetermined play. I think guys like Ingram and Ball would do well, with some sets to rely on. Kuzma seems to thrive in the flow/motion offense Rondo talks about. The kind of recognition and reaction a player needs to execute in the type of flowing offense Rondo speaks of might be a few years out for our younger guys. They’ll probably get there, eventually, but having some sets to fall back on wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, either.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:44 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    LeBron James has been cleared to return to Lakers practice next week 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:07 AM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He’ll probably miss the Warriors game on Monday in addition to the two road games and then return for the home game against the Wolves a week from today. Doesn’t make sense to come out against the Dubs on MLK Day.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:43 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    Woj: ‘No Promises’ on Anthony Davis’ Future in New Orleans Beyond Trade Deadline 

    “Rich Paul, Anthony Davis’ agent, told me they have not had any real substantial discussions about Anthony’s future in New Orleans with the Pelicans. Anthony’s focus has been on…the playoff picture. There’s no promises about his future beyond the trade deadline. It’s safe to say right now, I think he’ll be there beyond the trade deadline. New Orleans does not want to trade him. They will have to be forced into doing that.”

     
    • mclyne32 (Director) 7:36 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      He’s going to ask out the first week of his summer vacation.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:33 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    Luke Walton 'loves challenge' Lakers are facing without LeBron 

    “It’s the best job in the world, and I love the challenge that we have,” Walton told ESPN in a recent interview. “It’s challenging, it’s hard, it’s sleepless nights. But it’s also awesome.”

     
  • 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….

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:28 AM on January 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka need to look in the mirror, not at Luke Walton 

    This is their creation. These are their guys. Some, they drafted high. Others, they have protected in potential trades. Still others, they signed last summer knowing full well they were eccentric veterans whose personalities would not change.

    This is their group, and if this group continues to be a bust, then Johnson and Pelinka must absorb the brunt of that failure.

    This was their idea of how to build a playoff team for Year One of The LeBron James Era, and if this team can’t survive any sort of James absence, that’s on Johnson and Pelinka.

    There has been talk that Walton will take the fall here, and it could be sooner than later, and that’s absurd. The idea that Johnson would fire him in the wake of their current slide without the groin-sore James is as misguided as Johnson’s earlier confrontational scolding of his coach.

     
    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 1:35 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Local media luvs them some Luke.
      How does he get credit for the defense but not the blame for the offense?

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 3:31 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Luke is a genius. Never has someone gotten so much credit having accomplished so little.

  • Caliphilosopher

    Caliphilosopher 3:34 AM on January 16, 2019 Permalink |  

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Just past the halfway point of the season, and here are my (quasi) truncated thoughts:

    A) It was a COLOSSAL MISTAKE to not resign Julius. Absolutely unacceptable in my opinion. I think that continuity is an important thing in building a team, and letting him walk was a major issue. Maybe we could sign him if he opts out of the option year in his contract this summer. I also think it was a mistake to let Brook go, as having him (along with JaVale/Tyson) would have given flexibility for match-ups that I think would have been beneficial.
    B) I completely get the talk about De’Aaron Fox – he’s made more improvements this year than I ever expected. However, I am still completely good with Lonzo as he does bring it on D, has court vision, rebounding skill, and energy that “Ice Water Boy” never did. Lonzo is approaching All-NBA defensive team status.
    C) The FT shooting as a team is ATROCIOUS (especially Lonzo). What the heck, man?
    D) When Rob and Magic said that they wanted to build a roster of playmakers, they forgot to ensure that there were enough people who can shoot. Granted, someone like Joe Ingles isn’t available all the time, but perhaps adding a few people who can actually put the ball in the hole would be fantastic. Maybe we need to keep an eye on people who profile like Bryn Forbes in the next draft class.
    E) The D is pretty solid, and has been the only thing keeping the team in games recently. We’ll see how ready this team is in the next couple of weeks as the games get harder.
    F) Regarding talk that “3>2” stuff, which is reductionary and misses the point – please do have a read of this article: https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/nba-insider-tom-haberstroh/lies-damned-lies-and-statistics-confusing-analytics-nbas-3-point

    Hope you all are well!

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:22 AM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing the post, Cali, and Happy New Year to you and yours.

      A) I agree with you on Julius and still find myself playing with ideas to find a way to get him back, either via a trade of free agency. We’re missing a bully ball power forward who can also play small ball center. We let Julius walk because Magic and Rob didn’t draft him or believe in him and we weren’t willing to give him a player option for a second year, even though he will surely opt out and become a free agent, all as part of maintaining ‘sacred’ cap space that could end up not being used like last summer. Imagine how much better this team would be with Randle backing up Kuzma. Our best lineups last season were the Randle led small ball lineups. Our record would be much better had we decided to hang on to Julius last summer. While I wasn’t a fan of keeping Brook, it’s also obvious that we do need a stretch five to spread the floor for LeBron, like Brook is doing for Giannis. So far, the ‘sacred’ cap space has cost us D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Brook Lopez. Next up is probably Brandon Ingram.

      B) I agree with you on the Lonzo Ball vs. D’Aaron Fox argument. We have to remember that Lonzo just turned 21, missed all of the summer with knee surgery and is only now finally 100% healthy. He’s been working with Rondo on finishing and the results have been very encouraging. He’s been the Lakers’ best 3-point shooter since LeBron went out, and he plays elite game-changing defense. The list of elite veteran point guards who ended up with subpar performances and low shooting percentages after facing Lonzo continues to grow. He’s not a lock-down 1-on-1 defender like Michael Cooper. What he does is ignite and orchestrate the Lakers’ defense with his elite vision and anticipation. There’s no doubt Lonzo has some major rookie warts, most specifically his dreadful free throw shooting, but unless the Lakers trade for another point guard like Kemba Walker or Damian Lillard, the Lakers are not going to give up on Lonzo Ball. When aggressive, he is the perfect point guard to play with LeBron James.

      C) Hire a f*****g shooting coach. I saw a tweet from Pete Zayas of Laker Film Room who said he watched Lonzo warming up before the Bulls game and he went 10 for 10. Shooting 100 free throws in practice is obviously a lot different than shooting 2 free throws in a game but a good shooting coach can work on smoothing mechanics and developing a set routine to follow religiously on every free throw. Fouls should be called during scrimmages and free throws taken just like in a game. It’s mind boggling to me that a big market franchise like the Lakers don’t spend the extra money to hire a proven shooting coach to help with free throws and 3-point shots, both of which are major weaknesses.

      D) Actually, I think we have better shooters than people think. What we need is an offensive coordinator who can create half court schemes to generate wide open threes, especially from the corners. And a shooting coach who can help the players improve their long range shooting. The problem is also partly on Luke, who wants players attacking the rim rather than ‘settling’ for a three. In other words, Luke wants the old school ‘inside out’ game. The problem is the two objectives -- layups and threes -- are deeply and causily related. Layups sag defenses to open up 3-point opportunities and 3-point shots stretch the defense and open up layup opportunities. Bottom line, Ingram needs to either start shooting threes or be replaced by a player who will take the shot. When you have Ingram and a center, you already have two players teams are going to ignore beyond the arc. Lakers need to play outside-in as well as inside-out. The truth about threes is you can’t make them unless you take them.

      E) For me, the Lakers defense is Luke Walton’s saving grace as a coach. I’ve always believed it was much harder for an NBA coach to get players to buy in on defense than offense. Every coach talks that talk before the season but very few actually get their teams to play better defense than they might individually be capable. That’s exactly what I think Luke has done with this team defensively. The one caveat I would raise about the Lakers’ impressive defensive rating is that part of the reason they rank so high is their pace is so high but their efficiency so low that the points scored in their games is depressed, which positively affects their defensive rating. The bottom line, though, is that this team has shown they can really get after it on defense and that’s been the only reason they were able to win 4 of the 11 games that LeBron has been out with injury. We need another bigger wing player like Ariza but give Luke and the players credit. They play D.

      F) I am probably the #1 3>2 proponent on this site, Cali, so I took the time to read Haberstroh’s article. Basically, I don’t disagree with anything in Tom’s article. The reality is no single stat is going to be the only predictor or prognosticator of a team winning. Field goal percentage, rebounding, turnovers, free throws, and assists can easily be more important in any game than 3-pointers made. For me, it’s not 3-points made that matter as much as 3-point differential. What’s changed in the game today is you cannot NOT shoot threes. Even the Spurs with two of the best midrange shooters in the game with Aldridge and DeRozan realize you have to shoot and make threes to win. That’s the essence of the 3>2 argument for me. The analytics have shown that you have to shoot threes, even if you’re playing against the Warriors, because you cannot win trading 3 for 2 every time down the court.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 11:28 AM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Kind of a rotten deal that PG didn’t come here.

      • therealhtj

        therealhtj 12:33 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Re: D) Better Shooters. I have to disagree. We’ve got a few that seem to be able to hit shots on occasion, but I feel like when the get really solid looks within the flow of the offense, they don’t seem to drop. Our shooters can get hot, rarely at the same time, and almost never in consecutive games. Last night, plenty of good open bricks from Lonzo, Kuz, BI, KFC, and company. For that, yes, a shooting coach sure can’t hurt, won’t affect the cap, and quite honestly, they should have a shooting/player development department bigger than the coaching staffs of all the small market sh!thole teams combined.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 12:54 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Also seems like the kids tend to pump fake and drive rather than shoot the open look 3.

          • therealhtj

            therealhtj 12:57 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Cuz they’re not great shooters.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 1:07 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink

              I keep thinking that Kuz and Hart should be, but?

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 1:30 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink

              Kuz has his moments, and is about the only other reliable scorer. Hart is maybe average. KCP can get hot once every 10 games or so.

              The rest are below average to outright bad.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 3:22 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink

              : ( True. Still do not understand our lack of drive and pass out like most teams do? We don’r guard the 3 either? That’s a coaching problem or our guys are just not getting it cuz they are so bad?

            • therealhtj

              therealhtj 3:30 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink

              They do drive and kick. And play hot potato around the perimeter. Then the clock ticks down. And someone ends up taking an ill-fated foray into the paint or bad pass. Sometimes we get luck and BI hits the elbow jumper. More often than not, it’s either a bad shot or turnover.

              If they’re all in on the uptempo, the first guy with the good look needs to let fly.

  • MongoSlade

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

    How bad can it get? 

     
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