In an age of teams relentlessly focusing on efficiency and team basketball, the Kobe Bryant isolation brand of ball is frowned upon more and more. Shots with an insane degree of difficulty, many from mid range, and especially in isolation will just drive coaches and analytic heads like me insane.

But Kobe was different. No, this isn’t some sentimental love letter about Kobe Bryant. I want to instead show you some data to show you just how prodigious his iso abilities used to be.

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The 2016-17 Lakers got off to a surprising 10-10 start, allowing the more optimistic fans amongst us to entertain the possibility of Luke Walton hoisting the Coach of the Year Award after an improbable playoff push. Then the clock struck midnight, with the Lakers losing 31 of their next 41, turning a season that began with such positivity into yet another year where many of us prayed to the NBA Lottery gods while cursing every April victory.

So what happened? And how does it impact the 2017-18 season? The answer lies in the lineup data below: Continue Reading…

Just when you thought there were no more deals to be made, that free agency was dead and buried, the Lakers front offices sticks their hand out the gave like Beatrix Kiddo and make another move by signing former Warrior (and Maverick and, most recently, Cavalier) Andrew Bogut.

Well, then.

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The Los Angeles Lakers have promoted Jordan Wilkes to Director of Player Development, the team announced today. Wilkes, the son of Lakers great Jamaal Wilkes, has been with the organization since the 2013-14 season as a Basketball Operations Assistant. The responsibilities of his new role will include assisting Rob Pelinka in day-to-day operations, as well as providing Lakers players with resources, guidance, and life skills as a part of their off court development.

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And here I thought Brandon Ingram spent his summer working on his jumpshot. Turns out, though, he might have just been listening to Skee Lo and then having his wishes get granted. Or, at least, that’s the implication from his sit-down with Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell — who himself thinks Ingram has grown an inch or two over the summer:

I speculated that maybe Ingram gained an inch or two, but the Lakers maintain his current listing at 6’9’’. Here’s how Ingram answered my question about him gaining either weight or height:

INGRAM: I’m not sure. We actually haven’t done any of that. When I came back from my little break, a lot of people were saying I gained a little bit of weight, but I’m not sure.

KEEFE: He looks bigger. He looks stronger. He feels stronger, he plays stronger. And height? I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s possible.

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Nearly 8 years ago, in January of 2010, I took over Forum Blue & Gold from Kurt Helin. I read that sentence now and still wonder where the time went. Nearly 8 years of coming here, my second home, every day to write, discuss, argue, agree, and just hang out with all of you. And all because of the Lakers. We’ve seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows with this team. Day in, day out…here.

If you read that paragraph above and then glanced at the title of this post, maybe you think you’re getting rid of me. You’re probably thinking “like, finally, this dude is leaving”. Sorry suckers, you’re stuck with me for a while longer. In fact, you’re going to get even more of me. Lucky you.

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As our most recent podcast with Julius Randle’s trainer, Amoila Cesar, detailed, the off-season is a time for grinding and improving for the players. Like Randle, Brandon Ingram also attacked his summer training regimen, looking to improve on an up and down rookie campaign while building on the growth he showed to close out the year.

For Ingram, that seeking of improvement took many forms but he’d be the first to admit one major area he needed to tackle was improving his jumper. And in a recent sit-down with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, Ingram detailed what exact changes he worked on to become a better shooter:

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Over the past couple of weeks there were rumors of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball working out with an all-time great at the position (and former Laker) Steve Nash. While Lonzo’s father made some bombastic comments regarding what Nash could teach his son — in the process, dismissing the supposed workout entirely — Lonzo has now gone on record confirming the session took place.

Beyond that, Lonzo provided real insight into what he and Nash worked on and how valuable he found the former MVP’s tutelage. Via Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk:

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