The Los Angeles Lakers got their first win of the season on Friday night, in an exciting, defense-optional matchup with the Phoenix Suns. Lonzo Ball just missed becoming the youngest player in the NBA history to record a triple-double, notching 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists on 12-27 from the field. Not to be outdone, Brandon Ingram had a scorching shooting performance in the 1st half, tallying a career-high 24 points on 9-14 shooting.

In this installment of Laker Film Room, I look at Lonzo Ball’s domination via his usual outlet passes and not-so-usual pick and roll scoring, Brandon Ingram’s efficient performance, and even show Corey Brewer some love for his excellent work against Devin Booker on the defensive end. Continue Reading…

The Lakers’ first “W” is in the books after a nice bounceback performance against Phoenix on Friday night. Let’s peer into the Lakers data for a look at how the team executed.

 

Lakers Offense

The Lakers offense turned it around against the Suns, fresh off of an abysmal performance against the Clippers. Their game one Created Points Over Expectation was -25.7, meaning that an average team would have scored 25.7 points more on the same shots as the Lakers took. The team looked different this game, and it showed in the data.

The Laker offense this game was actually better than average, scoring 9 points more than we’d expect of them. Continue Reading…

On the second night of a back to back, on the road, and coming off a one sided loss in their home opener I did not know what to expect from the Lakers. Would they come out flat again? Discouraged? Would they play hard and compete? I really didn’t know.

After a 132-130 win against the Suns, maybe I shouldn’t have had so many doubts. Or maybe it was just one game and they won’t always be this fun. Either way, I’m going to enjoy this win for what it was. A fun contest that saw the cornerstone young players show out and some key veterans really play well, showing the poise and resiliency to keep the game close and seize control when it really mattered.

Continue Reading…

Game one is down, and it’s looking like a long 81 games are remaining. Let’s break down how the team did through the help of some post game Lakers data to get a better sense of what happened on the court Thursday.

Utilizing play type data, which I give a tutorial to here for Nylon Calculus, we can look at each Laker performance and compare how the team did to how an average team would have performed had they been given the same amount of possessions.

These possessions also account for turnovers and shooting fouls, and the point totals will incorporate points from foul shots as a result of shooting fouls. Continue Reading…

The Los Angeles Lakers looked wholly uncompetitive in a 108-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, in a game that got the boo birds rustling in their nests at Staples Center. It was the much-anticipated debut of Lonzo Ball, who posted a middling 3 point, 4 assist, & 9 rebound stat line on just 1-6 shooting from the field. The tape was much kinder to him, as his teammates continually botched the opportunities that he created for them. In the latest installment of Laker Film Room, I take a look at Lonzo Ball’s game, as well as the Lakers’ porous pick and roll defense. Continue Reading…

lakers-preview-suns

The NBA is an unforgiving league. While the season start date has been pushed up and a fair amount of the scheduling hardships have been removed, some things are unavoidable. Stuff like opening the season on a Thursday, getting your butt kicked, and then having to fly out right after to play a back to back game on the road in another city Friday is still a thing.

And that’s what the Lakers are facing.

Continue Reading…

Well, how was that? Not what you expected? The Lakers opened their season in about as rough a way as possible, losing to the Clippers 108-92. The game was a sloppy, offensively challenged affair that saw both teams struggle to make shots, but also saw a Lakers team ill-prepared to combat a more seasoned team.

If there’s a story to this game, it’s really that the Lakers just played a disjointed brand of basketball on both sides of the floor.

Continue Reading…

lakers-game-preview-clippers-season-opener

How do you write a Lakers game preview for the first game of the season? Especially after dropping over two thousand words for their season preview? Well, you kind of don’t. So I won’t do so now.

Look, the Lakers play tonight. It’s their first game of the season. They play the Clippers, their co-tenants at the Staples Center and the team that has pretty much owned this matchup for the last handful of years. The Clippers don’t project to be the same caliber of team they were before trading Chris Paul, but they still project to be in the hunt for a 5-8 seed in the playoffs.

If we were going to dive into X’s and O’s, I’d talk about how Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are still a dynamic front court pairing. How Danilo Gallinari is a huge upgrade on the wing. And how Patrick Beverly is going to be a menace defensively — especially in his matchup with Lonzo Ball. These things matter and, well, will likely be a huge factor in this game.

But, honestly, the above paragraph is about all I’m going to say about the X’s and O’s of this game. We know what the Lakers did in the preseason. We have the key stats and have some of the more important takeaways. Those things matter too, but, in a way, they really don’t.

The regular season is here and these games really do count now. For that reason alone, I am excited. Add in the journey that is ahead, with Lonzo starting his career, Ingram looking to take the next step in his 2nd season, Randle and Nance battling for PF minutes, Kuzma looking to usurp them both, and Brook Lopez being the anchor in the middle and I’m geeked for this year to start.

I don’t know how many games this team will win. I don’t even know how competitive they’ll be from night to night. I do expect them, over time, to be a fun team that plays hard. And, heading into tonight’s game, that’s about all that is on my mind.

The NBA is back. Lakers basketball is back. And I couldn’t be more excited about it. Let’s go.

Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TNT.