Archives For Byron Scott

Happy Monday, everybody. Here are your best Lakers-centric reads from the week:

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Happy Monday, everybody. Here are this week’s top Laker-centric reads, news and notes from around the web:

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Happy Monday, everybody. Here are a few of the best Laker-centric reads, news and notes from around the web:

Continue Reading…

Forum Links: The Kids Man Up

Myles Duve —  December 21, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. Here are a few of the best Laker-centric reads, news and notes from around the web:

Lakers’ Schedule for the Week:

  • The Lakers have a four game slate this week that includes a back-to-back set featuring a road matchup against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, December 22nd (6 p.m. PT, TWCSN) followed by a home game versus the Thunder on Wednesday, December 23rd (7:30 p.m. PT, TWCSN). The team then has a date with the Clippers on Christmas Friday (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN and TWCSN) and closes out the week at Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on on Sunday, December 27th (3 p.m. PT, TWCSN), kicking off a three-game road trip.

Lou Williams is a player whose role is about as well-defined as any on the Lakers’ roster. He will come off the bench with a score first mentality, look to create shots and if the shot isn’t there then, well, he’ll probably throw one up anyway. This is the way of a “chucker” and this, in a vacuum, is what Lou Williams has proven to be over the course of his nine-year career. However, despite its negative connotation, the “chucker” moniker is one Williams embraces and it has earned him other titles such as “2015 Sixth Man of the Year” in the process.

Whether creating space for a one-hop pull-up, taking his defender off the dribble, or leading and finishing on the fast break, Williams plays the game with flair. His nifty crossover, stalling hesitation move, and quick first step combined with a proven scoring ability should quickly make him a favorite among Lakers fans who haven’t seen a true “spark” off the bench since D’Antoni got his hands on Nick Young.

For all of the talent he offers as a playmaker, though, where Williams may need to find his niche with this Lakers team is off the ball.

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A favorite refrain from Jalen Rose is how positions were added to the analysis of basketball to help the more casual fan understand where certain players belong on the court. It’s an interesting premise that might hold water if plays weren’t designed around players fitting roles based on their skill sets and size (you know, positions). There has, however, been a move toward positionless basketball – a more free-flowing, offensive predicated on versatility and individual skill.

Granted, “free-flowing” is not what you think of when Byron Scott’s crossed arms pop up in your head, but the Lakers do have the pieces – especially in their starting five – to make this work, at least for stretches.

The first player most point to when they think of positionless basketball is LeBron James, which makes sense as he should be the guy anyone thinks of first in terms of any style of basketball. He’s really, really good. When considered in this scenario, though, it’s because of his versatility. He’s a Ferrari in a semi’s body, Karl Malone, but as a point guard. Being so athletically dominant and so skilled makes any offense built around him otherworldly.

While the Lakers may not have LeBron on their team, they do have plenty of guys who are more than capable of playing a few positions or stretching the boundaries of what their position typically demands.

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Nick Young couldn’t possibly have felt great about his Lakers signing Lou Williams this summer. The redundancy between the two is fairly obvious if simplified down to layman levels. Young and Williams are both chuckers best used off the bench to bring an immediate scoring punch to whichever lineup they’re joining on the court.

So, Young took the type of measures any normal person would if threatened with replacement by their employer: get a Tupac tattoo on the arm previously reserved for buckets. In all seriousness, though, trying to figure out what to expect from Young this season is pretty difficult given the several variables at play heading into the 2015-16 campaign.

First, we need to understand how we got to this point. Two years ago, Mike D’Antoni’s system lent itself to success in the form of spot-up jumpshots in efficient parts of the floor and isolations against defenses spread thin by excellent spacing. As a result, Young enjoyed a career season and earned the contract the Lakers seemed pretty quick to want to shed this offseason.

So, the question begs asking: is Young the player we saw under D’Antoni or the punchline to the joke that was last season? The answer, as usual, is somewhere in the middle and, as such, he still deserves a spot on an NBA roster. But, Young has some roadblocks to overcome if he hopes to flip the narrative.

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For those of you who managed to escape from the forest fire that became of Tuesday’s post, today’s links (hopefully) serve as a shelter of reassurance as we focus on the Lakers’ future.

To put it bluntly, this summer’s free agency was something of a slap in the face for both Lakers fans and the front office. However, the team has since dusted off their wounds and, as Bleacher Report’s Josh Martin writes, the Lakers’ current construct could lead to a significant turnaround in the near future:

One of these days, a top-tier free agent is going to buy what the Lakers are selling and not just as a product of sheer persistence on the part of the NBA‘s marquee franchise. At this point, the Purple and Gold are counting on the precocious but unproven trio of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson to improve and eventually make their pitch to players in search of a new home.

With any luck, those three will eventually have the chops to pull it off.

The key word is “eventually.” If there’s anything the Lakers learned from their sojourn to NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, it’s that their most promising prospects all appear to be a long way from actualizing their tantalizing potential, both individually and as a collective.

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By now it has been well-documented that not only is coach Scott aiming to start Kobe at the small forward spot this season, but he also expects him to spend some time at the four. Beyond the question of how this transition could play out on the court, Scott’s apparent open-mindedness led Andy Kamenetzky of LakersNation to ponder whether he has finally “evolved” as a head coach:

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