Is Dwyane Wade the Lakers’ penultimate step?

You can’t always go for the juggernaut right away. To make the critical strike in a game of chess, you have to be thinking ahead and make some set up moves before unleashing that power punch. When high jumping, the approach is essential, but it’s that penultimate step, the last step before the one you jump from, that’s more important than any of the others. A similar approach is needed when teambuilding in the NBA.

When the Lakers are recruiting big name players, like LeBron James, they now have some of these set up moves ready to leverage. Not only is there the allure of a storied franchise and the big market of Los Angeles ever a component of their pitch. Now the Lakers will be able to point to some young studs in Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, both of which have legitimate shots of being great players. Lonzo in particular looks to be a transcendent playmaker who very well may be THE most fun player to play alongside when it’s all said and done after the 2017-18 season. Continue Reading…

There’s been a lot of site news lately. We have new contributors. We’ll be redesigning the site and have implemented a new commenting platform. We’re the first Lakers blog to be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Okay, that last one isn’t true. Yet. We’re working on it, though.

We’re not done making changes, either. In fact, we want to make more of them. And you could be a part of that. We are looking for new contributors at the site. We want to continue to add to our team and, like the Lakers, are looking to free agency to fill out our roster.

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Site News: More Changes Underway

Darius Soriano —  September 19, 2017 — 

Yesterday we told you that we were bringing on Pete Zayas (writer + video god) and Grant Goldberg (social media jedi) as full time contributors to FB&G. I’m beyond excited to have both in the fold and think their additions will help grow and improve the site over the long term.

That said, staffing aren’t the only types of changes you’re going to see. I just wanted to give you a heads up that in the coming day or so you’ll see a new commenting platform in use here at the site. I hope this transition will be seamless, but whenever technology changes I get a little nervous. So, I’m asking in advance for your patience in understanding as we implement and adjust things at that level. I really appreciate it.

Please know that I understand the value of this community and the fact that commenting at the site and having a discussion among each other is a big part of what makes this site special. I do believe this new commenting platform will be an aid in that, but like all change it will take some getting used to. Again, I ask for your patience and for an open mind.

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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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