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

Ball Dominate

If you’re around anyone that follows the NBA or basketball you’ve probably heard of the “Ball Family”. Lonzo (drafted 2nd by the Lakers in the 2017 draft) LiAngelo (an incoming freshman at UCLA) and LaMelo (one of the top high school players in the class of 2019) are the sons of LaVar and Tina Ball. The family has taken the basketball scene by storm. It all started during their time at Chino Hills High School in California. There the 3 brothers all played on the same varsity squad in 2015. The trio’s talent on the basketball court can speak for them but it’s their boisturious father LaVar that has ruffled the most feathers. 

On the surface LaVar is no different than any other loudtalking parent that you’d run into at youth sporting or extracurricular events. His grandstanding and bragging on his sons is NOT a problem. It does not take away that opposing players and parents will feel some type of way. LaVar is aware of this but it doesn’t stop him from talking. Some consider the extra pressure placed on his sons to be a disatorous recipe. I’m not one of them, these kids have been around their dad all of their lives and are used to this. Also if LaVar was a “quiet – behind the scenes” parent the pressure would be the same. Quiet or loud parents don’t change the scrutiny that comes if a top rated player does not pan out.

This post was sparked by a text from my sister. She asked my thoughts on LaVar and this is what I said: 

He doesn’t bother me. I think he’s funny. It doesn’t seem to irritate his sons. So that’s the main thing. Think the key is he can’t upset or talk about his son’s teammates or opponents.” 

There are two different things at play to me. There’s the basketball side that the son’s control and then there’s the business side that LaVar controls. This is where fans have to ask themselves “why am I booing these guys?” I plan on booing them when it comes to the basketball side. I don’t like the Lakers or UCLA. But I’ll give them their credit if they perform well. On the business side there’s no reason to “boo” them. LaVar has given a blueprint for the way future draft prospects and the people around them should handle the business. This year’s top pick – Markelle Fultz – revealed that he thought about doing a shoe deal with Big Baller Brand before going with Nike. We may not agree with the deals he turned down or the appearance of the apparel but the fact another player considered BBB is huge! 

The winner in all of this hoopla is of course the Ball Family but also the NBA. And when I say “NBA” I mean the league as a whole. From the Commissioner down to the fans. We now have a villain to either root for or against. Fans are booing, players already want to dunk on Lonzo, and LaVar is being LaVar. The NBA’s version of “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart has predicted that the Lakers will make the Playoffs, he threw his hat into the crowd while leaving the NBA draft and even has WWE interested in booking him for Monday Night Raw in Los Angeles. You may not like LaVar’s antics and find him annoying but there’s no denying he’s a Big Baller in Business

Ball Dominate