Baby Lakers

The NBA season is nearing the halfway point. With that in mind I’ve decided to look at where teams currently stand. Today’s post will be a bit different as I share a few thoughts from a friend of mine who is a Lakers fan. My next two posts will be a breakdown of each conference.

Los Angeles Lakers – Currently 11-22 (13th in the Western Conference)

Thoughts from a Lakers Fan (bolded) (My thoughts are in parenthesis)

Lakers so far…impressed with defensive position. Love the effort on both ends…at times. Defense sometimes falls asleep and offense sometimes is one shot and go. (As a neutral I find the Lakers entertaining to watch. Luke Walton has done a good job getting this team to share the ball as they’re Top 10 in assists/game and lead the NBA in PACE at 104.08. They play hard on defense as shown by their Top 10 defensive rating and Top 10 rebounding %)

Happy Brook got hurt because it allows us to go small which suits us better. (Not happy that Brook is hurt. Get well soon big fellow. The Lakers most used 5-man lineup (18 games played) of L. Ball, K. Caldwell-Pope, B. Ingram, K. Kuzma, J. Randle has a plus/minus of plus 1.3 as of December 28, 2017. The 5-man lineup consisting of the first 4 mentioned above – which is second most used in games played – with Brook included instead of Randle has a plus/minus of minus 0.4)

Need more from Ingram. At this point Kuzma is ahead of him in the pecking order as far as last shot (for me anyways) (This is something he and I have discussed. The Lakers ran an excellent play in a game against Portland for KCP that resulted in a missed three. I shared with him that the threat of Kuzma and others is one reason why KCP was open. I don’t think he was feeling that explanation. KCP has been dealing with issues off the court so maybe his shooting and shot selection will improve after that is settled)

Right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if KCP is traded at the ASB instead of Randle/Clarkson. (He REALLY wants KCP off of this team)

The emergence of Kuzma has kind of shifted the need/wants for the team going forward. He can play 3/4. We have too many of the same body types now. Nance/Kuz/Ingram/Randle/Brewer/Deng (Kuzma is a bucket getter. I compared Kuz to Beasley the same day Beasley went ham in Madison Square Garden against Boston. I concluded that Kuz is the better shooter while Beasley can get anywhere and score. Deng’s contract is terrible)

All of them of course won’t be around next season. (The Lakers will play their own version of F/M/K when it comes time to choosing who to keep and who to move on)

I think Zo has done his job. I never cared about his shot looks. That mfer go in. I don’t give a shit. He has to play stronger. I’m not expecting him to be bulky but be stronger in the paint. Hell he 6’6. (Lonzo’s game is settling in as the noise continues to subside. His confidence is up and it’s showing in how he’s played lately. In the 6 games prior to injuring his shoulder, Ball was posting averages of 16 points/game, 7.1 assists/game and 7.3 rebounds/game while knocking down at least two 3-point shots on 45% shooting from that distance. His defense and overall court awareness have been steady all season.)

I don’t know that we need a wing unless it’s Bron. I’d rather us get a Big that can run and rebound. (I’m not discussing LeBron’s future whereabouts. As for the Lakers, they should definitely get a big man that can rebound and defend *cough DeAndre *cough Jordan. The Lakers have young wings and a young point guard that can continue to grow. Don’t want them to mess it up by bringing in a guy that needs the ball a lot to make an impact.)

Forecast: playoffs next season. (Agreed, ain’t no playoffs this season *insert Jim Mora)

Stats and information courtesy of:

https://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2018.html

https://stats.nba.com/team/1610612747/

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Baby Lakers

Odds & Ins

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2017-2018 – NBA MVP – Odds to Win courtesy of Bovada Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Bovada Casino in Las Vegas released their “Super Early” odds on the players favored to win the NBA MVP Award. To no surprise,  the reigning League MVP – Russell Westbrook – and Finals MVP – Kevin Durant – top the list. Behind them in the top 5 are Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, and James Harden. The list from Bovada includes two surprise names and one glaring omission. The two surprises are Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. Both players are young and talented but have yet to show much on the NBA level. Embiid was finally able to see some time on the court last season after missing two seasons due to injuries. While playing in 31 games, Embiid flashed potential that has Philly fans excited about the process. Ben Simmons was the #1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of LSU but never played a minute last season because of a broken right foot. At 66/1 for Embiid and 50/1 for Simmons an ambitious person could take a chance on one or both of them and be in for a nice pay day. The missing name that had a few fans going nuts was “Rudy Gobert” of the Utah Jazz. Gobert is the anchor in the middle for Utah. With Gordon Hayward’s departure during free agency this is now Rudy’s Team. He’ll need to step up his production on offense but his 1st Team All-Defensive selection and 2nd Team All-NBA selection show the type of player he is. According to basketball-reference.com Gobert was top 10 in eight of the NBA’s traditional statistical categories and top 10 in fifteen of the NBA’s advanced statistical categories. Any fan that follows the NBA closely knows that if Utah has success next season Rudy will be a legit MVP candidate.

It’s too early to be considering an MVP in the NBA but I’ll have a bit of fun.

Most likely to be the media favorite: Kevin Durant (Did you see the 2017 NBA Finals?)

Most likely to be the darling pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo “The Greek Freak” (The NBA media is always looking for the next young guy to ride. Right now it is Giannis)

Most likely to be slept on: Steph Curry (KD came to town and everyone forgot about Steph! With another ring under his belt, look for “The 2-time League MVP, Unanimous and first of his kind, Father of the disrespectful 3 point shot, from North Carolina” to unload and help those that are sleeping wake up.

Most likely to lose some votes: Russell Westbrook (The addition of Paul George will help Russell and OKC in a major way. Unfortunately for Russ that may cost him some MVP votes)

Most likely to gain some votes: James Harden (Yes I know Chris Paul joined the Rockets. That’s the main reason I feel Harden will gain some votes. Harden’s movement without the ball while allow him to be more efficient (scary huh?). Also don’t be surprised if you see Harden step up a bit on the defensive end.

The Odds I wouldn’t pass on: Gordon Hayward (The 70/1 odds on him is amazing and down right impossible to pass on. New team – in a bigger market – in the weaker Conference is just one of many reasons to consider wagering on Gordon. Some fans are skeptical but I expect big things from Boston’s new Small Forward.)

Lastly I leave you with a question. Would you wager $1,000 on one player or put different amounts on 3 or 4 players? I’m still contemplating on what I’d do.

 

Odds & Ins