Archives For Laker Analysis

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.

Continue Reading…

I’ve released my proposed ideal Laker playbook for next season, but it’s time to break it down. The playbook is comprised of 55 plays and grouped together in 9 chapters. I’ll be going through the playbook play by play and breaking down each of the plays I think the Lakers should run. Today is the third play of the playbook we’ll be breaking down.

Prerequisite Background Information

If you haven’t first read my earlier Forum Blue & Gold piece about Designing a Great Offense, which covers the 7 principles I think every great NBA play and offense NEEDS, check that out first. Each of those principles will be referenced in these play breakdowns, but for an explanation on the principle itself you’ll need to reference that original piece.

What This Includes

I’ll start with background info on each play, including its name, which team was seen running the play when it was diagrammed, the actions involved in the play, who (me or a FastModel contributor) diagrammed the play, and what alterations I may have made to the original play to make it #good.

After that short background, I’ll dig into how each play incorporates or could use improvement on each of my 7 principles of a great NBA offense.

Continue Reading…

The Lakers are fun again! Or, at least, that’s what many people — including me, I should say upfront — are saying heading into the 2017-18 season. Coming off a run to the summer league championship in Las Vegas and with the infusion of Lonzo Ball’s unique talents as a lead guard, the Lakers are poised to play a style of ball that should have Staples Center buzzing.

It’s not just the addition of Ball which matters here, either. Brook Lopez offers an entirely new offensive approach from the C spot that the Lakers have not had since…well, Pau Gasol. I’m not comparing Lopez to Gasol aesthetically, but a big who can stretch the floor, get buckets in the post, and pass the ball some will be a welcomed addition to any roster, but especially this specific Lakers one. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s arrival should also offer a nice boost. Pope isn’t the shooter that Nick Young is, but he does take 3’s at a high volume while also being able to attack the rim in transition in ways Young did not while a Laker.

So, this is all great! The Lakers can, potentially, make a jump in offensive efficiency and be one of the league pass darlings for NBA fans this year. Fun, fun, fun.

Continue Reading…

I’ve released my proposed ideal Laker playbook for next season, but it’s time to break it down. The playbook is comprised of 55 plays and grouped together in 9 chapters. I’ll be going through the playbook play by play and breaking down each of the plays I think the Lakers should run. Today is the second play of the playbook we’ll be breaking down.

Prerequisite Background Information

If you haven’t first read my earlier Forum Blue & Gold piece about Designing a Great Offense, which covers the 7 principles I think every great NBA play and offense NEEDS, check that out first. Each of those principles will be referenced in these play breakdowns, but for an explanation on the principle itself you’ll need to reference that original piece.

What This Includes

I’ll start with background info on each play, including its name, which team was seen running the play when it was diagrammed, the actions involved in the play, who (me or a FastModel contributor) diagrammed the play, and what alterations I may have made to the original play to make it #good.

After that short background, I’ll dig into how each play incorporates or could use improvement on each of my 7 principles of a great NBA offense.

Continue Reading…

I’ve released my proposed ideal Laker playbook for next season, but it’s time to break it down. The playbook is comprised of 55 plays and grouped together in 9 chapters. Starting today, I’ll be going through the playbook play by play and breaking down each of the plays I think the Lakers should run.

Prerequisite Background Information

If you haven’t first read my earlier Forum Blue & Gold piece about Designing a Great Offense, which covers the 7 principles I think every great NBA play and offense NEEDS, check that out first. Each of those principles will be referenced in these play breakdowns, but for an explanation on the principle itself you’ll need to reference that original piece.

What This Includes

I’ll start with background info on each play, including its name, which team was seen running the play when it was diagrammed, the actions involved in the play, who (me or a FastModel contributor) diagrammed the play, and what alterations I may have made to the original play to make it #good.

After that short background, I’ll dig into how each play incorporates or could use improvement on each of my 7 principles of a great NBA offense.

Continue Reading…

No matter your personnel’s skill or experience, there are principles about designing a schematically sound offense that are consistent everywhere. Incorporating some of these principles can make your offense good. Having most of them can make it great. Having all of them can make it elite.

I’ve been openly critical about how poor the Lakers have been in many of these areas, so I decided I’d bring some potential solutions to the table. Below is a link to a PDF of a Laker playbook that’d match their current personnel and would be much better than what they currently run. It’s comprised of plays from other teams, as well as many plays that I designed or are from plays I diagrammed that other teams run that I made adjustments to (that follow the principles below).

Link to Ideal Laker Playbook: https://goo.gl/M1iQpw

Continue Reading…

It’s been a minute since our last podcast, so Pete and I had a little ground to cover. In our latest, we talk some of the roster moves in the last couple of weeks — specifically wondering if Tyler Ennis is really going to be the backup PG and if Vander Blue can make the final roster.

We also get into whether Lonzo can truly be a culture changer on the floor, or if he might experience some culture clash with some veterans who’s style of play to this point might not jibe as much with how Lonzo will try to play. We specifically talk Randle, Clarkson, and Lopez and how used they are to being ball dominant players.

Lastly, we get into Kyle Kuzma and whether he should get minutes at SF considering the glut of guys who will need to see minutes at PF while also understanding how shallow the team is on the wing behind Ingram. It’s a good discussion and it was good to be back talking Lakers basketball with Pete.

Click through to give the entire show a listen.

Continue Reading…

He is a power forward who does not shoot threes (not yet, at least). He’s not especially long and is not a classic “big” defender who patrols the back line as a paint protector. He is a power player who loves his face up game. A player who, though very much left hand dominant, loves to drive hard to his right hand on initial moves. He is 6’9″ 250 pounds of down-hill, runaway train who does his best work in the open court.

In other words, Julius Randle’s game is not what you would expect. Not from a “modern” NBA power forward. Not in general. He’s unconventional in most every preconceived notion of style and game for today’s NBA at the PF position. And I love him for it. Give me Tasmanian Randle in the bunker next to me any day and let’s go to battle.

Continue Reading…