The Lakers Reality Show

HomeRunBaker

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For the record.....it's ok to like Ball's growth and still believe he'll be moved for veteran(s) who better fit LeBron's window as this is the camp I'm in. I like Ball as a rea solid player similar to Doncic's ceiling in a way......but don't think his ceiling (or Doncic's) is what many feel it is.
 

lovegtm

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For the record.....it's ok to like Ball's growth and still believe he'll be moved for veteran(s) who better fit LeBron's window as this is the camp I'm in. I like Ball as a rea solid player similar to Doncic's ceiling in a way......but don't think his ceiling (or Doncic's) is what many feel it is.
This is reasonable. Doncic has more ability to work off the dribble and put pressure on a defense, even if it's a work in progress. That has a ton of value.
 

DrewDawg

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For the record.....it's ok to like Ball's growth and still believe he'll be moved for veteran(s) who better fit LeBron's window as this is the camp I'm in. I like Ball as a rea solid player similar to Doncic's ceiling in a way......but don't think his ceiling (or Doncic's) is what many feel it is.
I mean, it's really early, but Doncic is at 19.6/6.2/3.8, and hitting 35.1% from three. If that's a true level, do a search on the number of rookies that have done that.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I mean, it's really early, but Doncic is at 19.6/6.2/3.8, and hitting 35.1% from three. If that's a true level, do a search on the number of rookies that have done that.
I'm not talking about production numbers on what SRS has as the leagues 29th best team. He is getting good usage on an awful team who have at this point had the leagues easiest schedule. There's no doubt he's a player with an advanced skillset at a young age ready to contribute immediately.....that has never been questioned. I'm referring to his long term "star" potential or upside. This has little to do with current production and more to do with how high the ceiling is from where his current skillset is today. He's already advanced.
 

DrewDawg

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Haven’t lots of rookies had a chance to play on bad teams?

Anywho, look who’s on the list at the numbers he’s posting.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Haven’t lots of rookies had a chance to play on bad teams?

Anywho, look who’s on the list at the numbers he’s posting.
Nobody is saying he isn't a very good rookie......again, I'm referring to long term upside not short term production numbers.
 

ElUno20

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Injuries haven't set in yet for the rest of the conference but whose playoff spot are they taking? Rockets, okc, nuggets, or pelicans?
 

Sam Ray Not

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Injuries haven't set in yet for the rest of the conference but whose playoff spot are they taking? Rockets, okc, nuggets, or pelicans?
Nuggets don't have a playoff spot to take; assuming they're for real, they'll be taking someone's spot too.

Of last year's WC playoff teams, I think the Wolves are the safest to boot out. I would have said Spurs as the other team at the start of the season, but so far, not for the first time, Pop is making me look foolish.

Still, something's gotta give if both LAL and DEN are getting in (as I suspect they will), so if you twist my arm right now I'll say it's MIN and SAS who drop out, with LAC just outside the bubble, and NOP and OKC sneaking in. UTA and POR don't appear to be going anywhere; and you gotta think HOU — who were 53-7 last season with a healthy CP3/Harden/Capela — will restore a semblance of order at some point.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Of last year's WC playoff teams, I think the Wolves are the safest to boot out. I would have said Spurs as the other team at the start of the season, but so far, not for the first time, Pop is making me look foolish.
Pop is looking for a couple more mid-range shooters to fill out his rotation.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I think Minnesota is going to make the playoffs, especially if they hang on to Marky Mark's new bestie.

Its interesting, aside from Golden State and maybe Utah, the West isn't that top heavy with talent. But the rest of the field outside of Phoenix has a bunch of scrappy and/or well coached teams that can make runs. All due respect to LeBron and the fun Lakers but I can see them easily missing the playoffs, regardless of who is coaching them with the caveat that, say, a trade for a guy like Butler changes everything.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Minny's full squad is in Oakland tonight — Butler, Towns, Wiggins, and renaissance Rose all good to go — which could give a good snapshot of where they are right now. With Butler, yeah, they could be on the OKC-NOP-SAS tier, but without him I'd probably rate them below LAC. And didn't Woj recently say he'd be shocked if Butler is still there after Thanksgiving?

Agreed with your overall take on the West. Going into the season, I had Boston and Toronto as the #2 and 3 teams in the league (in no particular order); with the Rockets scuffling as badly as they are, that seems even safer to say now, with the drop-off after #3 more pronounced than I had imagined.

Tier 1: GSW
Tier 2: BOS, TOR
Tier 3: ? Maybe UTA, HOU, and MIL?

On topic: put the Lakeshow on Tier 3 if they can somehow pry Butler.
 

Devizier

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It's early in the season but, Lakers with a positive BPM differential:

Lebron +6

and three others:
Javale McGee +4.1
Lance Stephenson +1.3
Lonzo Ball +0.2
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tier 2: BOS, TOR
Tier 3: ? Maybe UTA, HOU, and MIL?

On topic: put the Lakeshow on Tier 3 if they can somehow pry Butler.
I like Utah to make the playoffs but why are they getting soooooo much love? They seem like a team that maxes out at 50-52 wins due to their limitation of top end talent. Houston looks like a team that could be in the lottery unless they get a full year out of Harden, Paul and Capela.

Someone mentioned it yesterday but the West is not all that top heavy......their strength is in the quality depth they have in the conference as there will be 2-3 teams who miss the playoffs who many would never have expected to do so. That conference this season is the most competitive, top to bottom (especially once you remove the Warriors and Suns), that I ever recall seeing in the NBA.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Why doesn't anyone want to play with LeBron anymore?

Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who has been more ambiguous about his potential free-agent plans for next summer, said he understands why certain stars might balk at joining forces with LeBron. "It depends on what kind of player you are," Durant said. "If you're Kyle Korver, then it makes sense. Because Kyle Korver in Atlanta was the bulk of the offense, and he's not a No. 1 option at all, not even close. So his talents benefit more from a guy who can pass and penetrate and get him open. "If you're a younger player like a Kawhi, trying to pair him with LeBron James doesn't really make sense. Kawhi enjoys having the ball in his hands, controlling the offense, dictating the tempo with his post-ups; it's how he plays the game. A lot of young players are developing that skill. They don't need another guy."

Hmm, which of these two types of players does Durant fancy himself as, I wonder?
 

snowmanny

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Why doesn't anyone want to play with LeBron anymore?

Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who has been more ambiguous about his potential free-agent plans for next summer, said he understands why certain stars might balk at joining forces with LeBron. "It depends on what kind of player you are," Durant said. "If you're Kyle Korver, then it makes sense. Because Kyle Korver in Atlanta was the bulk of the offense, and he's not a No. 1 option at all, not even close. So his talents benefit more from a guy who can pass and penetrate and get him open. "If you're a younger player like a Kawhi, trying to pair him with LeBron James doesn't really make sense. Kawhi enjoys having the ball in his hands, controlling the offense, dictating the tempo with his post-ups; it's how he plays the game. A lot of young players are developing that skill. They don't need another guy."

Hmm, which of these two types of players does Durant fancy himself as, I wonder?
I read that as he thinks Steph Curry is a lot like Kyle Korver
 

Tony C

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Kuzma seems to be turning himself into a core piece -- improving his defense and passing, and really good offensive footwork around the hoop. Ball and Ingram not so much on the development front -- Ball is good at a lot of things, but is an unbelievably bad finisher at the hoop. I could still see his 3 point shot developing further, but the lack of strength, handle, and aggressiveness around the hoop really hurts him. Ingram is a plus defender, too, but his 80s style mid-range game isn't efficient enough. Both still young so wouldn't write them off yet, but they sure do look on the development path to being nice complementary pieces rather core.
 

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I don't see a real path for Kuzma to become a starting level player on a contender. He's a good energy forward, but doesn't really seem to have the tools to be actually good on either end of the floor. He's too slow to be a good defender at at PF (and way too slow to keep up with 3s). He doesn't have the length to protect the rim. He can shoot a bit, but not especially well. He can rebound a bit, but nothing special there either. He's an okay passer, but that's not a plus skill for him either. He's not particularly young either.

Different players, but he seems on the way to that Ken Faried zone, where they seem really interesting until you actually have them in your lineup on a day to day basis and the team is constantly looking to upgrade.

Ball is a better today than Kuzma, and has a much more viable path going forward. Ingram is a disaster, but I can likewise see a path forward if he gets a lot stronger.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Kuzma seems to be turning himself into a core piece -- improving his defense and passing, and really good offensive footwork around the hoop. Ball and Ingram not so much on the development front -- Ball is good at a lot of things, but is an unbelievably bad finisher at the hoop. I could still see his 3 point shot developing further, but the lack of strength, handle, and aggressiveness around the hoop really hurts him. Ingram is a plus defender, too, but his 80s style mid-range game isn't efficient enough. Both still young so wouldn't write them off yet, but they sure do look on the development path to being nice complementary pieces rather core.
I certainly wouldn’t write Ball off but playing out of position without the ball in his hands is the worst possible situation for him. He needs to get traded for his own good sooner rather than later.

Kuzma is a great secondary scorer and shot creator who doesn’t do much else and has a very low BBIQ judging from how I’ve seen him react on the court. Definitely a better “fit” on the Lakers than Ingram or Ball but he isn’t an all-purpose “number 2” guy that LeBron desires.
 

bosox79

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I don't see a real path for Kuzma to become a starting level player on a contender. He's a good energy forward, but doesn't really seem to have the tools to be actually good on either end of the floor. He's too slow to be a good defender at at PF (and way too slow to keep up with 3s). He doesn't have the length to protect the rim. He can shoot a bit, but not especially well. He can rebound a bit, but nothing special there either. He's an okay passer, but that's not a plus skill for him either. He's not particularly young either.

Different players, but he seems on the way to that Ken Faried zone, where they seem really interesting until you actually have them in your lineup on a day to day basis and the team is constantly looking to upgrade.

Ball is a better today than Kuzma, and has a much more viable path going forward. Ingram is a disaster, but I can likewise see a path forward if he gets a lot stronger.
Kuzma is kinda Julius Randle redux.
 

Tony C

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I dunno. I'm no basketball scout and it's a total small sample size thing -- but fwiw the last few weeks I've seen Kuzma show he's developed some of his skills. Specifically, on one side of the ball he had happy feet defensively; that has really slowed down and he's been much more effective than before. On the other side of the ball he looks like a player for whom the game is slowing down. Unexpectedly, some really good passing and attacking the hoop effectively and at the right times. Significantly better than prior to that. Maybe it's just a good 2 week/3 week stretch, whatever it's been, but he's looked like more than a side scorer.

I used the term "core" for him and I guess that could imply a #2 to LeBron. Definitely not that: I guess I meant a solid starter, as opposed to a helpful bench piece, which is what I had him pegged on before.

It's too early and too small sample size on Ball and Ingram, too, but I'm a bit shocked that Ball's FT shooting remains so poor and after a fast start his 3 point % is sinking fast, too. Worse is how legitimately awful he is finishing at the rim. That said, he's great defensively a really good rebounder, and has awesome instincts/anticipation. Ingram is really good and could be great defensively, too, but his offensive game should really be picking up now in his 3rd year in a way that isn't happening.

Like I said, I'm likely wrong.
 

Jimbodandy

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Kuzma is terrible. Basically the same player as last year, but he should be better due to being a year older and having Lebron around. At least Ingram is young and might eat a few cheeseburgers someday.
 

bosox79

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Kuzma is terrible. Basically the same player as last year, but he should be better due to being a year older and having Lebron around. At least Ingram is young and might eat a few cheeseburgers someday.
I'm always amazed how sour people are on Ingram around here. I think he's been miscast the last 2 years. He's not Oladipo, but his game has been hamstrung by playing alongside Lonzo and now LeBron. His passing ability isn't utilized at all.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm always amazed how sour people are on Ingram around here. I think he's been miscast the last 2 years. He's not Oladipo, but his game has been hamstrung by playing alongside Lonzo and now LeBron. His passing ability isn't utilized at all.
This is why I say Kuzma is the best fit with a LeBron team as a complimentary piece as all he has to do is score the ball while playing off LeBron. Having LBJ here takes away the best parts of Ball and Ingram's games......which is why I've always felt neither will be here opening night next year.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Tony C

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Very convincing piece, at least on Kuzma and Ingram (he's more positive on Ball than I would be).
 

Sam Ray Not

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Who knew: Magic and Pelinka were self-satisfied nincompoops to fall in love with their brilliant young draft picks rather than going all in to try to team LeBron at age 34 with PG13 and Kawhi. Next year LeBron is 35, and who knows who well his hammies, ligaments, etc. will continue to hold up to his years of, er, totally natural body-building.

Now: their young'uns are slowly losing whatever luster they had; PG13 is locked up forever; KD and Kawhi are pipe dreams; Klay isn't leaving the Bay; Kyrie isn't reprising his old role as LeBron's son; and the Anthony Davis "plan" consists of ... what, a Jedi mind-meld on Dell Demps convincing him that Ingram, Ball and Kuzma (none of whom at their peaks will be half what Kawhi or PG are now) are the droids he's looking for?

The Warriors this season look a lot more vulnerable than anyone expected, too. This should have been the year to go after it hard. Unfortunately, as constituted the Lakeshow has next to zero chance of getting past OKC, Denver, or Houston, let alone GS or any of the Big 3 in the East.

Now watch Luke Walton take the fall in 5...4...3...2...
 

lovegtm

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Who knew: Magic and Pelinka were self-satisfied nincompoops to fall in love with their brilliant young draft picks rather than going all in to try to team LeBron at age 34 with PG13 and Kawhi. Next year LeBron is 35, and who knows who well his hammies, ligaments, etc. will continue to hold up to his years of, er, totally natural body-building.

Now: their young'uns are slowly losing whatever luster they had; PG13 is locked up forever; KD and Kawhi are pipe dreams; Klay isn't leaving the Bay; Kyrie isn't reprising his old role as LeBron's son; and the Anthony Davis "plan" consists of ... what, a Jedi mind-meld on Dell Demps convincing him that Ingram, Ball and Kuzma (none of whom at their peaks will be half what Kawhi or PG are now) are the droids he's looking for?

The Warriors this season look a lot more vulnerable than anyone expected, too. This should have been the year to go after it hard. Unfortunately, as constituted the Lakeshow has next to zero chance of getting past OKC, Denver, or Houston, let alone GS or any of the Big 3 in the East.

Now watch Luke Walton take the fall in 5...4...3...2...
I probably harp on this too much, but people, especially old dudes like Magic and Pelinka, just don't get how much social media changed things for players. They simply don't need to be in LA to get with hot girls now, and that's a game-changer. LA's always there waiting i the offseason anyway.
 

Jimbodandy

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I probably harp on this too much, but people, especially old dudes like Magic and Pelinka, just don't get how much social media changed things for players. They simply don't need to be in LA to get with hot girls now, and that's a game-changer. LA's always there waiting i the offseason anyway.
There may be some of that, but I'm not sure that their patience is a bad thing. I suppose it looks more so in retrospect, since Ingram, Ball, and Kuzma haven't really done anything to increase their asset values (partly for reasons discussed here). But there's something to be said for seeing what you have, who Lebron fits well with, etc.

It's not like they can't make moves this offseason. There will be guys to trade still, expiring deals, etc. Things change, coaches and GMs get whacked, etc. I'm not saying that I have huge faith in Magic or anything, but I'd hardly call this Lakers team the finished product. It's year one of the Lebron deal.

May the Lakers be terrible and win nothing every year, but this year's meh product does nothing to assert that they won't win 50-something games next year and end up the 2-3 seed in the WC,
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Over half the players in the league are free agents next year. A 35-37 year old LeBron has a very good chance to be a top-8 player in the league. Couple that with Ball and Kuzma coming into their primes...the Lakers have a shot to be very good over the next three years.
 

Swedgin

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Now: their young'uns are slowly losing whatever luster they had; PG13 is locked up forever; KD and Kawhi are pipe dreams; Klay isn't leaving the Bay; Kyrie isn't reprising his old role as LeBron's son; and the Anthony Davis "plan" consists of ... what, a Jedi mind-meld on Dell Demps convincing him that Ingram, Ball and Kuzma (none of whom at their peaks will be half what Kawhi or PG are now) are the droids he's looking for?
I dislike the Lakers as much as the next Celtics fan, but this seems a bit much. KD and Kawhi are "pipe dreams"? If you put a gun to my head, I would say KD is a Knick next year. Kawhi is an enigma, he may not even be of our species. But by all accounts LA is the preferred destination, if not for Kawhi then at least for his uncle. The Lakers have to at least have a fighting chance against the Clippers, right?

As to Davis, I think the Jedi mind trick goes like this. Lebron's confidant, close friend (and business partner) Rich Paul tells Demps that AD wants to go to the Lakers and Dell can either deal him there for a passable return or AD, through his representatives, will make his intentions well known throughout the league spiking his value.

And before you bring up the example of Pop, Kawhi and the Raptors, Rich Paul is not Uncle Dennis, Demps is sure as hell not Pop and I can't think of another team like the Raptors who spent several years banging their heads against a ceiling and whose window is closing making them risk tolerant enough to see what happens.
I cannot imagine Danny putting Tatum or Elton putting Simmons in a deal if AD is telling them he won't sign with them. If AD wants to be a Laker, he will be a Laker. He can even go to the team now, when the Celtics can't bid, tell Demps supermax be damned and request a trade.
 

Big John

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Who knew: Magic and Pelinka were self-satisfied nincompoops to fall in love with their brilliant young draft picks rather than going all in to try to team LeBron at age 34 with PG13 and Kawhi. Next year LeBron is 35, and who knows who well his hammies, ligaments, etc. will continue to hold up to his years of, er, totally natural body-building.

Now: their young'uns are slowly losing whatever luster they had; PG13 is locked up forever; KD and Kawhi are pipe dreams; Klay isn't leaving the Bay; Kyrie isn't reprising his old role as LeBron's son; and the Anthony Davis "plan" consists of ... what, a Jedi mind-meld on Dell Demps convincing him that Ingram, Ball and Kuzma (none of whom at their peaks will be half what Kawhi or PG are now) are the droids he's looking for?

The Warriors this season look a lot more vulnerable than anyone expected, too. This should have been the year to go after it hard. Unfortunately, as constituted the Lakeshow has next to zero chance of getting past OKC, Denver, or Houston, let alone GS or any of the Big 3 in the East.

Now watch Luke Walton take the fall in 5...4...3...2...
Cruel but true.

So who replaces Luke? Tyron Lue? Fred Hoiberg? Rob Pelinka? Rick Pitino?
 

BigSoxFan

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I dislike the Lakers as much as the next Celtics fan, but this seems a bit much. KD and Kawhi are "pipe dreams"? If you put a gun to my head, I would say KD is a Knick next year. Kawhi is an enigma, he may not even be of our species. But by all accounts LA is the preferred destination, if not for Kawhi then at least for his uncle. The Lakers have to at least have a fighting chance against the Clippers, right?

As to Davis, I think the Jedi mind trick goes like this. Lebron's confidant, close friend (and business partner) Rich Paul tells Demps that AD wants to go to the Lakers and Dell can either deal him there for a passable return or AD, through his representatives, will make his intentions well known throughout the league spiking his value.

And before you bring up the example of Pop, Kawhi and the Raptors, Rich Paul is not Uncle Dennis, Demps is sure as hell not Pop and I can't think of another team like the Raptors who spent several years banging their heads against a ceiling and whose window is closing making them risk tolerant enough to see what happens.
I cannot imagine Danny putting Tatum or Elton putting Simmons in a deal if AD is telling them he won't sign with them. If AD wants to be a Laker, he will be a Laker. He can even go to the team now, when the Celtics can't bid, tell Demps supermax be damned and request a trade.
AD hasn’t gotten anywhere close to burning his New Orleans bridge. He may have an LA move in mind but it won’t happen until the summer, if ever. So, they’ve effectively just wasted a year of LeBron’s prime. If they land AD or Kawhi this summer, they’ll be ok with that. If they don’t, they’re in trouble. Magic’s master plan wasn’t to get Kemba Walker or something. He needs to reel in a big fish and soon.

Their young guys are all decent players but none of them are capable of being the Robin to LeBron’s Batman.
 

Sam Ray Not

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I dislike the Lakers as much as the next Celtics fan, but this seems a bit much. KD and Kawhi are "pipe dreams"? If you put a gun to my head, I would say KD is a Knick next year. Kawhi is an enigma, he may not even be of our species. But by all accounts LA is the preferred destination, if not for Kawhi then at least for his uncle. The Lakers have to at least have a fighting chance against the Clippers, right?

As to Davis, I think the Jedi mind trick goes like this. Lebron's confidant, close friend (and business partner) Rich Paul tells Demps that AD wants to go to the Lakers and Dell can either deal him there for a passable return or AD, through his representatives, will make his intentions well known throughout the league spiking his value.

And before you bring up the example of Pop, Kawhi and the Raptors, Rich Paul is not Uncle Dennis, Demps is sure as hell not Pop and I can't think of another team like the Raptors who spent several years banging their heads against a ceiling and whose window is closing making them risk tolerant enough to see what happens.
I cannot imagine Danny putting Tatum or Elton putting Simmons in a deal if AD is telling them he won't sign with them. If AD wants to be a Laker, he will be a Laker. He can even go to the team now, when the Celtics can't bid, tell Demps supermax be damned and request a trade.
As far as KD: I have it on pretty good authority (someone who's talked with Rich Kleiman) that he thinks, er, knows that James Dolan is a "hapless moron." If Dolan sells the team, I could definitely see the Knicks having huge appeal to him; otherwise I'd be pretty shocked if he signed there. Fwiw, David West — just another voice in the crowd, but likely far more in the know than any of Broussard's "multiple sauces,," et al. — thinks he's re-signing with GS. We'll see; I kinda doubt even KD knows, and suspect the decisive factor may be how the next 5-6 months play out. But I think the safest bet is still GS.

KD to the Lakers has to be pretty close to 0% after his recent comments, which LeBron still sounds salty about.

Kawhi: You're right, he's way too opaque to say how much of a pipedream he is. I'm extrapolating from KD's comments about how "players like Kawhi" don't want to play with LeBron, but who knows if Kawhi himself shares those feelings. My general sense is that he mostly wants to be in a place that's warm, and that the Clips are the current frontrunners.

You could definitely be right about AD/Paul/LA; I don't have enough of a read on the situation to even hazard a guess.

I guess my main point was that whether or not they can reel in AD or anyone else, not putting the full court press on native Angelino Paul George was a huge mistake. He's an absolutely perfect fit alongside LeBron — an elite defender who can offset some of his defensive limitations as he ages, fantastic both on and off ball, a superstar who's humble enough to be a second banana. Even without Kawhi, that tandem would have frightened me; and I also think that with Ingram, Kuzma and others, they had the pieces to land Kawhi, which would have terrified me. (Though it's possible Popovich and co. were a hard no on the Lakers no matter who they dangled).
 
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HowBoutDemSox

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Luke calling out Lonzo and Ingram:
"They're trying, but they're young," Walton said of Ball and Ingram, both just 21 years old. "At some point, we need more passion. We need more fight. And that's not scoring more. That's more diving for loose balls, communicating loudly, grabbing [rebounds].

"Brandon had some really nice crack-back rebounds tonight that we can get out and run [from]. We need that all the time from him. So, it's not just them, but until we get healthy again, you got to play in this league with some passion and fire. It's hard to win in this league when you are healthy. So you need to double that effort when guys are down."
"I talk about it with them all the time," Walton said when asked if he's been able to connect with the former No. 2 picks when they are disengaged. "There's no secret to it. As far as finding that way, I can find it with a lot of people. I don't have the exact answer on those ones yet. But I also have all the belief in the world in them that they'll figure it out and they'll get it going. So, they know that we need them, and they'll get it going for us."

Ball did not disagree with his coach's critique.

"We weren't physical enough," Ball said. "That's a big, strong team over there. I don't think we brought the fight today."

It was Ball's second scoreless game of the season and his first since a 130-117 loss to the Orlando Magic.

"We're down a lot of scorers right now," he said. "I've got to pick up that load. Obviously I didn't do it tonight. I got to pick it up tomorrow."
"I always feel like I can do so more, so if that is my frustration then I'm frustrated," Ingram said. "But I'll just go back and watch film and get prepared for the next game.
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25701223/luke-walton-says-lakers-need-more-passion-lonzo-ball-brandon-ingram

More quotes at the link.

Tonight they’re on the second half of a road back-to-back in Dallas, which is a tough team at home. We’ll see how they respond.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Luke calling out Lonzo and Ingram:




http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25701223/luke-walton-says-lakers-need-more-passion-lonzo-ball-brandon-ingram

More quotes at the link.

Tonight they’re on the second half of a road back-to-back in Dallas, which is a tough team at home. We’ll see how they respond.
IIRC, the team responded well the last time Walton called them out publicly. I see a nice juicy spot for them tonight +7.5 in Dallas against a Mavs teams first game back after a 4-game road trip and an overall rough time of it having been on the road for 9 of their last 11. For one night I'm a Laker fan.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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IIRC, the team responded well the last time Walton called them out publicly. I see a nice juicy spot for them tonight +7.5 in Dallas against a Mavs teams first game back after a 4-game road trip and an overall rough time of it having been on the road for 9 of their last 11. For one night I'm a Laker fan.
Is there a trend with respect to teams playing their first game at home after a road trip? Because in a vacuum, I’d have guessed the home team coming off a rest day would have the leg up on a road team on the second half of a back to back.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Is there a trend with respect to teams playing their first game at home after a road trip? Because in a vacuum, I’d have guessed the home team coming off a rest day would have the leg up on a road team on the second half of a back to back.
I do recall reading such a trend years ago (not necessarily versus a team playing a road B2B though but a B2B coming off a bad loss isn't necessarily a negative) and you'll always hear players talk about their first game back from a road trip being the most difficult as they are attending to family matters, appeasing wife and kids, etc etc rather than fully preparing for the next game. I'll see if I can find any data out there though.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I do recall reading such a trend years ago (not necessarily versus a team playing a road B2B though but a B2B coming off a bad loss isn't necessarily a negative) and you'll always hear players talk about their first game back from a road trip being the most difficult as they are attending to family matters, appeasing wife and kids, etc etc rather than fully preparing for the next game. I'll see if I can find any data out there though.
Certainly didn’t mean to put you on the spot or anything, was just curious. And I wonder if those concerns about first games back after road trips are mitigated at all by an off day before that first game back.

Anyways, were I currently in a state with legal sports gambling, I’d be more inclined to take Houston -1.5 hosting the Nuggets tonight, the way the Rockets and Harden have been playing. Maybe an NBA regular season gambling discussion thread might be fun, if we don’t want to dilute this one or the general NBA game thread.
 

HomeRunBaker

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IIRC, the team responded well the last time Walton called them out publicly. I see a nice juicy spot for them tonight +7.5 in Dallas against a Mavs teams first game back after a 4-game road trip and an overall rough time of it having been on the road for 9 of their last 11. For one night I'm a Laker fan.
Ingram and Ball combine for 60 on 20-36 shooting as the Lakers win by double digits. Very nice work there by Coach Walton.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Ingram and Ball combine for 60 on 20-36 shooting as the Lakers win by double digits. Very nice work there by Coach Walton.
50 points (including a predictably cruddy 6-11 from the FT stripe) but yeah. Erased a 15 point first-half deficit, too.

Big win for them given how insanely crowded the West is around the playoff bubble. They would still have clung to #8 with a loss, but would only have been 2.5 games up on the #15 seed (Memphis).
 

Sam Ray Not

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Stock Up: Lakers Haters

The Lakers have a rhythm this year. They look underwhelming and dysfunctional for a few weeks, then they look surprisingly decent and fun, and then they crash back to earth. That was true even with LeBron James in the lineup. Now that LeBron is hurt, things are getting particularly dicey. L.A. is nearing the end of a seven-game stretch against the Knicks, Wolves, Mavs, Pistons, Jazz, Cavs, and Bulls. Two weeks ago, six of those seven games looked like Lakers wins; the Lakers have now lost four of the first six on that stretch, including Sunday's night home loss to a 9–35 Cavs team that came to L.A. having lost 12 straight.

It's a good time to be a Lakers hater. Even if you assume the team will stabilize from here—currently tied with the Jazz for eighth place in the West—the past few weeks have been the most sobering stretch of the season. The young players (Kuzma, Ingram, Hart, Lonzo) have been a step short of disastrous, but they're still generally underwhelming. Each player's game has gaping holes that still haven't been addressed, and it's not clear that any of them has improved in any meaningful way over the past 12 months. The stagnated stars will hurt L.A.'s bid for Anthony Davis or any other star; it may also be an indictment of the development infrastructure in L.A. If none of the young players are improving as much as the team hoped, maybe it's too simplistic to blame everything on the players themselves. And along those lines, there are now renewed questions about whether Luke Walton is the right coach for this team, plus all the usual questions about what the hell the Lakers front office was thinking with all of the non-LeBron offseason decisions.

Also of note: their ineptitude at FT line, which I pointed to before the season as one of their (many) issues. They're dead last in the NBA at 68.3%, with KCP their only rotation player over 76%, and Lonzo apparently avoiding contact like the plague for fear of exposing his 42% FT stroke in public.

.417 Ball
.605 Stephenson
.615 Rondo
.622 Ingram
.653 Chandler
.662 McGee
.682 James
.692 Hart
.755 Kuzma
 

bigq

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+/- has its limitations but I found it interesting that all Lakers' starters last night had a negative +/- in a game that the Lakers won by 10 in overtime. The starters were a combined -51 while the bench was a combined +101.
 

Jimbodandy

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+/- has its limitations but I found it interesting that all Lakers' starters last night had a negative +/- in a game that the Lakers won by 10 in overtime. The starters were a combined -51 while the bench was a combined +101.
It helps that the OKC bench looks like five guys from the Y.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Zach Lowe included Lonzo in one of his "10 things I like and don't like" column, you can read the whole thing here, including some video, but Lowe with some numbers on how difficult it is to figure out what Lonzo's role is in the half court:
It's still hard to figure how Ball should function in a half-court offense. He won't be a lead ball handler alongside LeBron James. He's not a spot-up guy; he has hit just 32 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s, and he's too smart and hyperactive to stand still. He's like Lowry -- always buzzing around the court, vibrating with activity -- only without a jump shot.
Perhaps no NBA player is in more dire need of a midrange game. Only 15 percent of Ball's shots have come from between the rim and the 3-point arc, a share that ranks in the lowest possible percentile among guards, per Cleaning The Glass.

Ball could also be shying from contact. He's shooting 41.7 percent from the line on one attempt per game. That is unacceptable. Hassan Whiteside is embarrassed for him.

The Lakers are scoring just 0.82 points per possession when Ball drives, or passes to a teammate who shoots right way -- 220th among 256 players who have recorded at least 50 drives, per Second Spectrum. He averages only 7.5 drives per 100 possessions -- on par with Chandler Hutchison, Kevin Knox, Royce O'Neale, and other guys who weren't drafted to run NBA offenses. (That number leaps to 10.3 with LeBron off the floor -- exactly where it was last season, and still way low for a starting point guard.)

Ball is inscrutable -- limited in obvious ways, hard to project forward, but enticing because he's a visionary who cares about the right things.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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