Archives For Fast Break Thoughts

There is a general excitement about the Lakers that I, personally, have not felt in years. You may need to go back to the off-season of the Steve Nash and Dwight Howard acquisitions to find this amount of optimism about the direction of the team. Of course, that squad had championship aspirations while this team has an over/under win total of 33.5 by Vegas bookmakers. So, let’s be clear about what we’re actually discussing.

That said, people are eager to watch this team play. Including NBA TV games, the Lakers have the 5th most games on national television this year, trailing only the Warriors, Rockets, Cavs, and Thunder. Some of that is about the Lakers being a west coast team and the need to optimize viewing through having teams in the Pacific Time zone fill that 7:30pm – 10:00pm slot. This automatically means the Lakers will get some extra push. It also matters that they’re the Lakers and have a huge following regardless of how good they are.

But, I think it’s also reflective of the buzz which currently exists around this specific group. Call it the Lonzo effect, a desire to see Brandon Ingram develop, or just that they project to be a young and fun team — the interest is real.

And while this interest does reflect the Lakers looking like an up and coming team, I actually view this season as one of transition. The Lakers, at least for this year, occupy a peculiar space where they’re not projected to be that good, have few expectations to be anything besides a plucky team that plays fast, and are looking at a roster that has the chance to turnover by a fair amount within the next 12 months.

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It’s Draft Day!

Darius Soriano —  June 22, 2017

It’s NBA draft day and honestly, my head is spinning. While Wednesday was a bit calmer on the NBA news front, several deals have already been made and there are so many rumors about potential deals it’s impossible to keep track. To recap, this is what has happened and what people are reporting will (or in some cases, won’t) happen:



This isn’t even a comprehensive list, either. But it shows how active this period is, turning the week of the draft into a mini free agency all its own.

The question I think most of us have, though, is what will the Lakers do next? I shudder to make a prediction, honestly. We simply have too little data on this front office to even guess. Logically speaking, though, I would imagine that:

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How are you feeling?

Maybe a little sick to your stomach? Maybe a little excited? Confident? Anxious? Nervous? Tense?

When it comes to being a sports fan, my default position is almost always to hope for the best and expect the worst.

Actually, let’s go on a brief tangent.

When it comes to being a sports fan, my mind naturally veers towards the strategy and nuance involved with the games. Most of my in-game experience, then, is seeking out those details and tying them to what helps win or lose that particular contest. Are you tagging the cutter? Are you holding that screen? Did you open up to the ball when you were supposed to? Why are your hands below your waist? Are you playing a beat ahead or a beat behind the action? And on and on it goes.

The lottery, though part of being a fan, is not a game. There is no nuance. Back in some secluded room a machine spits out numbered ping-pong balls into a sequence. Each sequence is assigned to a team, with the teams that have the worst records getting more sequences assigned to them. Based on the order those sequences are spit out, we have our lottery results. Then, representatives sit on stage sweating out the results they were not privy to back in that secluded room.

It can make for great theater. Especially this year when there are several teams who are dealing with pick protections and swap arrangements that can make a one spot difference in the results a total nightmare.

The Lakers, as you are well award of, are one of those teams. This, in and of itself, can be nerve wracking. For three straight years the Lakers have dealt with this. Which, in some ways, that makes it easier. The Julius Randle year*, I was so stressed out I could not sit still. I paced and paced and paced until the Lakers’ slot was revealed. The D’Angelo Russell year, I was a bit better. The Brandon Ingram year was better yet. This year, I honestly cannot say how I feel. It changes from moment to moment, from somewhat stressed to not stressed at all to pretty (expletive’ing) anxious.

Overall, though, I must say that I will be okay with whatever result occurs.

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The off-season is here for the Lakers and that means a slow-down of news around our forum blue and gold clad basketball team. Fear not, though, faithful FB&Ger’s as there is still plenty of good reading and listening around the web to consume you until the next piece of breaking information comes out of El Segundo or Staples Center.

With that, below are some things I have been checking out around the web, along with a few thoughts of my own. Enjoy and have a good weekend…

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A Quick Note on Progress

Darius Soriano —  December 9, 2016

The Lakers are in the midst of a 4 game losing streak. One of the key reasons for the losses are the injuries to key players they are dealing with, missing their starting back court, they next point guard up in the rotation, and their back up center. The team’s starting and backup PF’s have also been in and out of the lineup for a game or two over the last couple of weeks.

For a team which depended on depth and continuity to jump out to the stronger-than-expected start to the season, the types of injuries detailed above have a cascading negative impact on the team and the on-court results. Either out of rotation players are leaned on for minutes and production or established rotation players are stretched farther and for longer than they were when their production was being maximized.

These are imperfect solutions. They are also the solutions every team turns to in these situations. Ask the Grizzlies or the Mavs or the Nuggets. Next man up, as the saying goes.

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Whether you’re feasting or struggle plating, spending time with family or riding solo, working or relaxing, we at Forum Blue and Gold wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope your day is filled with relaxation, a nice plate of food, and hopefully more good times than not.

As Lakers’ fans we definitely have a lot to be thankful for. Luke Walton is the coach. The young players, even though a couple are a bit banged up right now, are progressing and looking like they are on the right track to being really good. The veterans are playing well and proving to be productive and effective leaders. The team is 8-8 and battling every night. This is not the same team from recent seasons. They are fun and I am having fun watching them.

For this, I am thankful and I’d imagine many of you are too.

I am also thankful for this site, the community of posters, and for all of you who visit to read. I am thankful for the support you all have shown through financial contributions (you can still donate via paypal or at my patreon site) and for your encouragement here and through social media. I’ve now run FB&G for over 6 years and I enjoy it as much now as the day I took over.

With that, I again wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. We will see you tomorrow when the Lakers return to the court vs. the Warriors.

I am guilty. Guilty of standings watching. Guilty of looking at the Lakers’ win/loss record and celebrating it. The Lakers are 7-5! I’ve written joyfully. On here. On twitter. In texts to friends and family and Celtics fans. I am enjoying not just the way the team is playing or the fact they are improved, but the winning. I like winning. I am guilty.

Things are about to get less fun, though. Or at least they should. Matt Moore of CBS Sports tweeted out the Lakers’ upcoming schedule. It is brutal.

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This is great news.

(h/t Pro Basketball Talk)