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After earning their first win of the preseason on Sunday against the Kings in Las Vegas, the Lakers are back in Los Angeles tonight to face off against the Utah Jazz. This is truly the “home stretch” of preseason, with only two games remaining before the regular season starts.

In saying that, I’d imagine the coaches are going to want to play things a bit more “straight” when it comes to lineups, personnel groupings, and rotations, some of which is evidenced by the team waiving VJ Beachem and Stephen Zimmerman on Monday. So, it could be noteworthy that the starting lineup for tonight’s game is unchanged from the one against the Kings:

Nance, of course, replaces Randle with the first 5. He’ll lineup with Ennis (I think), KCP, Ingram, and Lopez. Lonzo Ball remains out with his ankle injury. Andrew Bogut remains out with his strained groin.

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Laker Film Room: Lakers 75, Kings 69

Pete Zayas —  October 9, 2017 — 

Las Vegas continued to be kind to the Los Angeles Lakers, as they got their first win of the preseason, beating the Sacramento Kings 75-69 in a contest that only early-October could love. Brook Lopez made his Lakers debut, and Luke Walton decided to start Larry Nance, Jr. in place of Julius Randle. Randle was undaunted, putting up 17 points and 10 rebounds alongside a strong defensive effort. Kyle Kuzma found ways to contribute despite his outside jumper not falling, including some big plays down the stretch to close out the Kings, continuing his fantastic preseason.

In the latest installment of Laker Film Room, I take a look at Lopez, Randle, Kuzma, Brandon Ingram’s struggles, and the team’s improved defensive effort.  Continue Reading…

For those thirsting for more Lakers news out of training camp besides how the team finally got their first win of the preseason, the team announced they have trimmed their training camp roster to 18, waiving Forward VJ Beachem and Center Stephen Zimmerman.

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The Lakers earned their first preseason victory of the preseason, beating the Kings 75-69 by holding off a late game surge  from Sacramento. After controlling the scoreboard for most of the game, a rough shooting second half combined with some sloppy play put the contest in the balance but the Lakers were able to regain control and hang on.

While there were many stories of the night, it was the play of several frontcourt players which resonate most.

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After not playing since Wednesday — a tough loss to the Nuggets that had Luke Walton questioning the team’s effort — the Lakers preseason continues against the Sacramento Kings. The game will take place in Las Vegas and the proceeds from this game will actually be donated through the MGM Resorts Foundation to benefit the victims, their families, and first responders related to the tragic shooting that took place last week in Las Vegas.

That’s a somber note, I know, but I’m glad the Lakers, Kings, the NBA, and their business partners are doing something to help. Nothing can bring the lives lost back and the pain those people feel — to say nothing of those who are injured and live on dealing with the aftermath of having this happen to them — but doing something where you can should be applauded.

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The Lakers Preseason Offense Is Getting out in Transition at a Historic Rate

Through the first three games of preseason, LA has 26.5% of its possessions coming from transition. 13.9% was the NBA average the last three regular seasons. As I spoke about before, we can typically expect that percentage to drop 1.28% once we hit the regular season.

If that drop happens, the Lakers will still have more than a 5% edge on the next closest team in NBA history going back until the beginning of Synergy’s databases (05-06).

We’ve never seen a team play this fast, and if the Lakers can keep it up they’ll be a very entertaining team to watch and should get some easy shots from those great transition opportunities. Continue Reading…

The waves coming in and out at the beach. A sunset. Steph Curry shooting jump shots. These are all pretty things. Andrew Bogut’s offensive Synergy profile? Not so much.

Bogut played 26 games last season for the Dallas Mavericks. He didn’t have big minutes or play a ton of games, but he had 944 touches last season, 80% the number of touches Ivica Zubac had.

If you were to pull Bogut’s Synergy data, you’d see his 0.612 points per possession scoring efficiency, which would rank him 397th of 398 players who had at least as many possessions as Bogut last season.

You’d also see that he has the highest turnover percentage of any of those 398 players at 33.3%. One out of every three possessions Bogut had was a turnover.

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Lakers Podcast: Kuzmania

Darius Soriano —  October 6, 2017 — 

In the latest episode of the Laker Film Room Podcast, Pete and I discuss the Lakers preseason through three games. Our primary focus is Kyle Kuzma, who has been playing fantastic to start this preseason. We break down his game, discuss why we think he’s been so successful, and also get into the repercussions to him playing as well as he has.

With that, we transition into the play of the other Lakers Forwards and whether those guys should lose minutes in order to make time for the Lakers rookie. We then get into how Julus Randle, Larry Nance, and Brandon Ingram have played to this point in preseason and, based on that play, who might be the best candidate to have their minutes impacted by Kuzma.

Lastly, Pete has some strong feelings about the performance of the Lakers coaching staff and questions whether — just as we do with players — we have seen signs of growth from Luke Walton and his assistants. It’s a worthwhile discussion that gives some context to some of the things we’re seeing on the floor — even if it is understood we need to see more over the course of the year before coming to final conclusions.

It’s a good conversation, click through to listen to the entire thing.

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