Yes, it was only one game. And yes, it’s too early to draw any lasting conclusions after this single game. But the Lakers showed some positive signs in their first preseason game, defeating the Nuggets 98-95 in an entertaining, if sometimes sloppy, affair.
In all honesty, there wasn’t a single thing that stood out most to me. Yes, Kobe Byrant looked very good. While his 5-12 shooting night doesn’t look great, at least two of those shots were taken with the clock winding down and from a disadvantageous position. And while his first jumper was an airball, he quickly found his stride thereafter, hitting several nice jumpers including a couple of his muscle-memory fading J’s from the baseline that we’ve seen so often over the course of his career:
It wasn’t just how he looked when scoring the ball, however. Besides his 13 points, Kobe also had 5 assists, flashing some very good playmaking by penetrating the defense, drawing multiple defenders and then setting up a teammate for an easy shot:
All in all, this was a pretty reassuring night from Kobe. He moved well, looked to be in control in how he operated within the offense, got after it on several defensive possessions, and simply reminded you of Kobe Bryant in how he played the game. If the team’s first practices were the first test he aced, tonight’s game was the second straight passing grade from #24.
Kobe’s backcourt partner also looked pretty good tonight. Early on Nash did a lot of spectating off the ball, spotting up as a shooter and moving around to the weak side after receiving or setting a screen. As the game went on, however, Nash became more active, looking for his own shot more and testing the boundaries of his role within the offense by penetrating more and looking to set up teammates. There were a couple of times where he got caught in the air with no release valve, but that’s going to happen to Nash as more teams play him for the pass than for the shot. All in all, though, Nash — like Kobe — looked good physically and reminded folks that he could be a useful player when operating in the middle of the floor with the ball in his hands.
Moving from the old vets to the young players, how about that JULIUS RANDLE:
Not every play that Randle made was as exciting as that smash, but the rookie showed several flashes of his physical ability and it sure was fun to watch. Randle tallied 10 points (5-9 shooting) and 8 rebounds in his 27 minutes of action, proving active, skilled, and strong in the process. And while he was a bit wild on more than one possession and didn’t always channel his physicality in productive ways, it was hard not to notice him while he was on the floor. The way he moved around the floor, could grab a defensive rebound and ignite an open court chance, and use his strength and craftiness to create a scoring chance all stood out in this game. He still has a lot to learn, but he did nothing to dissuade me from thinking he needs to be on the floor a lot this season.
Ed Davis was also quite impressive in his Lakers’ debut. The big man showed off the skill set that had a lot of people wondering how Davis ended up on the Lakers and not a contending team looking to solidify their big man depth. Offensively Davis stayed within himself, slithering to the rim as the dive man in P&R’s and setting up on the weak side to cash in on dump offs for easy baskets via dribble penetration by guards. Defensively he showed off his ability contest shots at the rim, blocking 3 shots on the night and actively challenging several others. On one specific possession, Davis showed off his entire defensive tool kit by hedging on a P&R to help contain the ball handler, sliding back into the paint to recover to his man after a pass was made to him, and then timing his leap perfectly to block the shot at the cup.
It is only natural to transition from Davis to Jeremy Lin since the new PG showed an excellent chemistry with his big man partner off the bench. Lin didn’t have a very good shooting night (he didn’t make any of his six field goal attempts), but he did tally 10 assists to only one turnover in his 28 minutes of play. Lin was excellent in attacking the paint to draw defenders and set up teammates for open looks, finding Davis on more than one occasion (including a nice lob late in the 4th quarter) for an easy basket. In terms of Lin’s own shooting, he looked to over dribble at times and get too deep into the paint where he could not get a clean look at the basket without a big man contesting. The Lakers’ lack of spacing didn’t help him in this area as there almost always seemed to be at least one big defender lurking on his drives, but I anticipate over the course of the year Lin will adjust fine and find ways to get to the cup and score well once there.
All in all, this was a good night for the Lakers. They were very far from perfect, but they worked hard on both ends of the floor and seemed to take to what Coach Scott wants from them. Hopefully they can continue to build on this effort and find ways to continue to improve in the areas where they were not as good.
A few more notes on the game:
*Wes Johnson left the game with patella tendon strain. After the contest he said he was “fine” and here’s hoping that’s true. Johnson is only true SF on the roster who was healthy coming into tonight and losing him would be a big blow to the team’s rotation and their wing defense. Johnson wasn’t spectacular by any means tonight, but he did his job on D and played within himself on O. That’s really all you can ask from him.
*Jordan Clarkson likes to shoot. The rookie guard hoisted 13 shots (making only 3) and added six more FT attempts in his 27 minutes of action. The rookie did have a few good moments out there, but he lived up to the Monta Ellis comparison I’ve been talking about with the FGA’s in this game.
*If you’re looking for a single stat to tell the difference between the Lakers in this game under Scott and the Lakers last year under Mike D’Antoni, look no further than 3 point field goal attempts. The Lakers only fired off 10 shots from behind the arc against the Nuggets. Part of that is not having Nick Young or Ryan Kelly, but part of it was also the Lakers really working the post and mid-range with their offensive sets.
*Carlos Boozer wasn’t awful, but he didn’t inspire me to think he should be playing as many minutes as Randle, Hill, or Davis either. Again, it’s only one game, but even with a couple of nice hustle rebounds when battling Faried, he did not stand out nearly as much as Randle or Davis and was less memorable than Hill too.
*Speaking of Hill, he had a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) in only 19 minutes of action. He was his usual active self on the offensive glass (4 total) and did his typical nice work as a garbage man around the rim on both ends of the floor.
*It was nice to the Lakers run an offense with a two guard front again. In this offense it’s clear that either guard can bring the ball up the floor (on several possessions, Clarkson or Ellington brought the ball up even when sharing the floor with Lin) and it created nice floor balance when transitioning from offense to defense.
*Scott’s offense isn’t super creative, but there was some nice movement and the bigs were doing a good job of setting solid screens on the weak side. There was not a ton of P&R played, but you could see where there will be natural chances to run this action after ball reversals that flow naturally into a hand-off sequence or a quick sideline P&R between the opposite big and the guard who pops up off a pin-down screen.
this definitely looks like it could be a solid team. yes, the glaring weaknesses that everyone worries about were on display. also on display, were signs of a hardworking crew that no one would want to have to deal with in a series, or even a game. i don’t expect this team’s defense to be bad at all. no, i doubt it will be top 5 or anything, but it doesn’t appear that it will be terrible.
of course a lot of things still have to happen and a lot of things need to go right. there’s no reason that things can’t go right at the moment, however.
Excellent breakdown Darius. Here’s some of the things I am absolutely thrilled about, especially given the nightmares of last season:
1) I could tell the team has actually worked on some defensive schemes & philosophies, which should only get better as the season progresses. It was good to see guys making rotations, and they seemed to know at least what they were supposed to do on defense.
2) Playing inside out basketball on offense. Attacking the rim instead of firing away from downtown.
3) Kobe & Nash looking healthy & aggressive.
4) They just all seem to be in the SAME PAGE, as opposed to being a broken team (like last season).
5) Guys playing unselfish basketball, passing the ball around for better, more open shots (Jordan Clarkson’s over enthusiasm being a small exception…but he’ll get better)
My summary of the first pre-season game…it was a success. Why? Because my Lady friend informed me I was smiling as I watched the game from the opening tap. It was good to see the NBA season start and our Lakers perform. Last night was an entertaining mixture of Laker ball, NFL football, & “The Blacklist”. 🙂
The biggest thing that I enjoyed about the preseason game is the slower pace. Instead of pushing the tempo, seek to control it. Also it helps to play defense when you aren’t having to run up and down the floor every game.
Mud, R.G., Big City Sid, G and Darius!
I love the enthusiasm and Lakers joy! Yes. We are seeing the formation of a TEAM, with TEAM effort, TEAM philosophy, and a great work ethic. You can already see it in the first game. I love it.
Jeremy Linn will catch on and make us proud of his wearing the Jersey.
60 + victories coming our way!!!
GOOOOOOOooooOOOOOO LAKERS !!!
Good hustle and energy. Just basic offensive sets and counters so far. Both Kelly and Nick should be very productive with this offense. Too much penetration on the defensive end.
Maybe Boozer would work better with the second unit. His midrange game could draw the defense out of the paint a bit, helping Lin/Clarkson penetrate and score or dish. That’s of less value to the starters, with the defense respecting Kobe’s turnaround jumpers. Plus, Randle is looking kind of ready to start.
Or … Nick Young can hurry and heal up so the paint isn’t so crowded. Hurts Lakers’ defensive rebounding too. Or … Clarkson can settle for building a reputation as an outside shooter to help in that regard. His choice of drives is a little suspect according to this game (unless he starts using it to create opportunities to dish it out instead of just shooting it).
david h says
hey darius; nice read as always.
three things stood out to me: faried wasn’t able to run amuck as he ususally does against this laker team. I thought that a tag team of boozer and hill and later davis and randle did a good job of bodying him up and kept up off the glass for the most part. because of the excellent ball handling skills of both kobe bryant and steve nash; the second thing that stood out for me is that the first unit played such a deliberate style of offense that denver was not able to cause many if any turnovers leading to fast break points. thirdly, the promise of some of the players in the second unit will make for an interesting substitution pattern as there was little performance dropoff between the first and second units (not all of it good nor all of it bad) on this first preseason game down there in good old san diego, ca.
oh, and then there was jeremy lin. for sure, he found the wet spot. what? I’m talking about that tumble he took in the closing seconds of the game and had the presence of mind to bat the ball to the open court……..
the start of the coach byron scott era began last night. so far, so good. now on to face golden state. should make for an interesting test of old guards versus new young guards. would like to see randle go up against david lee.
Go lakers !
We need a big man, a true seven footer. That’s all we need to contend for a Title. The Lakers looked real good last night.
Kenny T says
Only got to see the beginning of the 1st Q but loved seeing Kobe back on the court… Darius’ “reassuring” assessment of Kobe rings true. Hope to catch a replay.
Clarkson looked good,the floaters will start to fall,but would like to see him dish more.Lin-Davis, Clarkson-Randle seem to be good combos
I dont think we need a true back to basket 7 footer…. The heat won two in a row just fine w a skinny 6’10 PF playing the 5. Hill and Davis have the toughness and defense to compete. We have to play nearly perfect ball but i like our chances with BS and KB leading this team!!!!
lil pau says
Wow, that’s a lot of optimism for the first preseason game. don’t forget PJ never won a pre-season game in his life.
positives for me: Kobe’s mobility, Nash’s aggressiveness after turning the corner, Randle’s ball-handling and dunk, Clarkson, Boozer’s interior passing, Wes’ onball D, overall team D, J Hill
negatives: the amount of time Nash drifted around off-ball, Boozer’s turn around fadeaway jumpshots, lack of options at the 3, lack of rim protection (no surprise), maybe Lin but it’s too small of a sample size
I think it’s going to be a fun season, esp with Swaggy and X back, but I’m a long way from thinking this team will easily surpass .500.
the biggest positive to me is how athletic we look– remember west’s comment about the lakers never winning a loose ball? with the exception of Nash, that looks like a distant memory. this bodes well for the present, but supremely well for the future. last night, we actually resembled the kind of team that might attract a superstar.
bryan S. says
So many good things:
Kobe showing that he could get his shot off against top flight defender Affalo, erasing any doubts that his training camp domination was illusory.
Jordan Clarkson can play NBA ball. Better focus on finishing the floater and his game would have really stood out last night. You could say he could have dropped the ball off a few times on his forays to the hoop, but the shot was there. As it was, his ability to penetrate, change speeds on the bounce and the confidence he showed bode very well. He is apparently smart and coachable, so I expect his judgement and floor vision to grow. Truly great pick.
Randle is a baby beast. Needs better fundamentals defensively, as Kobe’s sideline coaching of him showed. Lots of development needed. But wow. NBA body, quickness and power.
Jeremy Lin poor shooting not withstanding, he played very well. Need better spacing on offense for him to attack the rim. Good effort sliding his feet defensively. A little slow but also managed to disrupt penetration on several sequences.
Ed Davis looked like a bargain Dwight Howard with his mobility, shot-blocking and rolling to the hoop. He’s one of those quality role players that are essential to building a roster.
Its ridoculous how big randle is for 19 …. in a few years he will outpower anyone on the block
Outstanding game. We really need to see how the team develops, but I’m expecting them to settle into a primary big man rotation of Hill/Davis/Randle with Sacre and Boozer getting much more limited/situational minutes.
If Wes Johnson can soak minutes at SF, while providing some reasonable (low rent) facsimile of 3&D production to go with his great open court athleticism then I think the Lakers are in decent shape for making a run at the playoffs.
For me I think the key is whether Jordan Hill or Julius Randle will end up being the more productive player this year. Hill is already a per 36 minute stud when it comes to production, so the question is whether he can maintain that level of production with an expanded role.
Really liked how the youngsters played. If Randle, Clarkson and Davis come out of this year proving that they are starters/rotation players it will go a long way in accelerating the Lakers’ return. I loved bryan s’. comment about Davis being a bargain Dwight Howard. Wouldn’t it be nice if next year people began calling Dwight an overpriced Ed Davis.
Lots to like about the first tune up. First team has poise but needs Randle’s speed. Also likely he’ll close games next to Kobe, best to get them floor time early on. Clarkson & Lin will benefit from Nash giving them a point guard mindset too mix with their natural abilities. Very deep team when we get Swaggy and Xavier healthy! Size and rebounding concerns me also the ball sticks. Much rather adopt more fluid ball movement with so many skilled players
lil pau: I agree this is a little exuberant for the first pre-season game. That said it was a good game and a good start. All adjectives and superlatives are OK – no matter how early it is. Let’s just avoid the word “fun” – that one did not work out last year : )
Byron: Seeing all the uses of the words enthusiastic, joy, energy, hustle, team effort, and work ethic. This bodes well for my guy Byron (I still think it is going to be a tough year, but Byron is definitely the right guy).
Kobe: Looking good – would have rather seen 15 mins, but as long as this does not get near 30 in pre-season, I am OK.
Craig W. says
It looks like Randle will be comfortable rebounding and bringing the ball up the floor quickly – more flexibility for our offense, My takeaway on Clarkson is that he needs to work on his passing skills or he will be played exclusively for the shot – and the outcome of that won’t be good for the team.
That was an excellent game for one reason: not one player in the rotation has played extended minutes together…that bodes well for the Lakers. This is an entirely different starting lineup that ended the season last year. I can’t wait until the on-court chemistry is solidified.
Rookies and newbies look ready to add to the Lakers lore.
Lakers fan then, now, and in the future!
Randle is a slower and fatter version of Ron Artest. If he loses weight and gets in shape and gains the athletisism he had in high school his game would be a better version of Artest. The defense would be there. The strength would be there. The playmaking would be there. But would the shooting be there? I think yes. In a few years. That’s his ceiling Ron Artest for a couple years he was a top ten NBA player.
Randle was a draft steal. There is a reason he was considered for the #1 pick. Teams may regret passing on him.
Aaron: I am curious if others also find the MWP & Randle comparison’s accurate. My sense is that they are different players – MWP being a Three with Randle being a little bigger and more of a Four. However, I don’t have an issue if Randle’s ceiling is to have a 5 year run as being a top ten player.
My concern with Randle is the same that I had with MWP: staying in shape. I thought Metta played his last few years as a Laker way overweight. Looking at Randle’s build you can see that this could be an issue for him as well. Byron is right to challenge Randle to get in much better physical condition.
I think if anything randle needs to put on bulk … fairly lean arms compared to metta or dwight …. to me he looks like he has the build that shaq had when he entered the league and (while still very good) it was when shaq put on more weight that he truly dominated … I think randle could be that kind of player more of a charles barklyish kind of guy ….. he is not a 3 … hes an athletic strong quick 4 …. to me it seemed like he was already as big or bigger than boozer …. hes a legit 4
Watching the pistons game now … jodies looking good
I do not enjoy farmar in a clippers jersey ..
bryan S. says
Aaron: Much better upside comp is Blake Griffin. Artest had tremendous lateral quickness, but no vertical game whatsoever. Randle has a 37-38″ vert which was on display last night.
Randle looks to me to be an obvious SF. Half the game is defense. If Randle gets to defend SFs he is one of the best defenders in the NBA at that position with his length and strength. Mitch has already said as much saying Randle is an NBA quality defender at SF. This is assuming he leans out to where he was in high school. If you see those highlights he was ripped and super quick. He needs to lose the weight he gained after his foot surgery basically. Scott said Randle was in good shape but he needs to be in great shape. I would say he is in below average NBA shape and we want him in great NBA shape. If he can do that he can be Artest 2.0. A longer and taller Ron Artest. He just needs to lose weight and develop that shot. And I think he does both. If you remember young Artest he had the same leaping ability as Randle. I’ll look it up but I’m pretty sure.
Craig W. says
Randle is 19.
History would dictate that he will ‘fill out’ and not ‘lean out’ with a bit more maturity. I suspect his growth and maturity will dictate his position, rather than our hopes for him.
Aaron: I agree that part of the decision, if the Lakers play Randle at the Three, will be whether he can defend the position or not. But the other part of the equation is his ability to hit the outside jumper – so he can provide proper spacing on offense. I do not want the Lakers to be like the Pistons who are trying to play Josh Smith as a Three.
The Pistons are struggling, not because Josh can’t guard the position, but because he can’t hit the perimeter shot and ends up moving closer to the basket and crowds out their center (Drummond) and their PF (Monroe) when the Pistons have the ball. The result has been frustrating for Detroit and they finished with a record far below their talent.
This is also curious for the Lakers as Monroe is a FA next year and the Lakers will have cap room. If they were to pursue Monroe would they play him as a Center (where he played his first two years in the league) with Randle as a PF. Or would they roll the dice and play Monroe as a PF and move Randle to the wing.
I have no problem if the Lakers end up playing Randle at the Three. But in my mind it won’t work unless he can knock down perimeter jump shots.
So far I like how the Lakers are playing. I’m a bit disappointed the injury bug seems to biting the Lakers again. I had been looking forward to a season where the Lakers started the season relatively injury free.
Wow just one exhibition game and we already know all about what Randle can do! Impressive, even more so that the guy is still a teen, as several folks have noted ….
bryan S. says
Aaron: I can’t find Artest’s vertical jump info. But I am confident that at 260 lbs 6’6” in bare feet, he was a low flyer in his prime days. Whatever . . . Where I think you are on the money is that if Randle can play at say, 235 lbs, (time to go Paleo–learn from Lebron), along with developing a reliable mid-range shot, he can and should play the three. It would allow him to make full use of his triple threat skills and physically dominate the position. Like Griffin, he can be a point four. Also noteworthy is that apparently Griffin is going to play some three this season.
In today’s and tomorrow’s nba Randle will need to shoot the three ball playing SF or PF. It makes no difference. Everyone besides your center needs to be able to spread the floor now and of course if you have a Perkins who can spread the floor at Center than even better. Or you play your PF at Center like a Bosh to get the same effect on the offensive end. That’s why to me it’s a no brainer the Lakers to play him at SF. And that’s why you hear so much of them talking about losing weight and praising of his perimeter game.
Funny about Griffen finally moving to SF more. The reason the Clippers have always been overrated is because he wasn’t long enough to defend at the 4.
Aaron – There was a major discussion a few weeks back about playing Randle as a Three. In fact, one of the posters did a a survey of starting Small Forwards across the league and found that there were many Three’s that were 6’8 – 6’10 and weighed 235 pounds or more. Their point was that having a Big Small Forward was not out of the realm of possibility. However, the research also showed that in the West, Small Forwards are smaller. So Randle would have to be in shape enough to chase SG sized Threes for a majority of Laker games.
Plus, I think Darius is on record as saying his contacts at the Lakers indicate that Randle is a Four and will be used as one. I’m open to feedback but I don’t think anyone other than you is saying Randle will be paying a Three.
I’m in the same camp as Dave, above. I’m OK with Randle playing the Three as long as he can defend the position and be a threat from the perimeter.
I completely agree with Aaron. I personally think Randle is a better fit at the 3, i just dont see the size for him to play the 4. He is a hybrid type, reminds me of Derrick Coleman. I dont think Blake griffin is a great 4 either because of his defense. Of course Randle will have an advantage offensively against PF but defensively, its better to have length on the court. In time, Randle will learn how to shoot 3 pointers consistently. It just takes practice and hes got time on his side.
Match ups are so important in basketball. How much different would Magic’s advanced stats be if Worthy wasn’t on the team occupying the opponents best 6-8 wing defender. We saw how the 91 Finals changed when Worthy went down with an injury and Phil got to switch Pippen onto Magic. It turned the entire series around.
Another example the Lakers are planning to tank (besides starting Boozer and Nash). Even though it’s statistically proven teams are better off shooting more threes…
Regarding Randle at the Three: Where did Scott play him on Monday night? If I’m not mistaken all of his minutes were at the Four…
Aaron: We have discussed the multi year tank before. Of course we agree that it is a viable strategy. My question is with regard to the FO. Do you think they are actually doing this? If so, then why did they blow their chance last year? Why didn’t we trade Pau early in the year? We could have even traded Young after he had some good games. Instead we won some meaningless games in the end of the year, taking ourselves out of a top pick? Was the FO oblivious to the benefits then and now all of a sudden they are savvy to this and are going to tank this year. Personally I do not think they are even thinking about this. Then again that statement could apply to many other things.
I think Julius is both SF and PF depending on the match ups. As SF, he loves to dribble from the back court thereby supporting 1 & 2 if they are on a fast break mode. However, he is not the perimeter player who would go for threes on the outside, rather loves to go for assault in the post. On some opposing teams, he might be too small to guard the taller and bulkier PF but he is foxier enough to grab rebounds and take it away from bigger opponents. Since Lakers are going for defense by committee, isn’t it nice that Boozer, Hill, Davis, Sacre, Kelly maybe Jeremy Tyler, together with Randle would be helping each other in “help-defense” and team rebounds by tapping the ball to each other? Positions are created in an organized basketball. Everybody started in playground basketball where you play all positions, you should know how to shoot, dribble, rebound and play it within the rules. As your game matures, you are attuned to a definite assignment based on your height and laden talent on the court. Like Magic or Kobe, if there is a need they can play all positions.
I have no doubt the Lakers are tanking. They tried to trade Pau but didn’t get any good offers for him. As for winning meaningless games last year that’s why MDA was fired right away instead of when most coaches are let go in the offseason. MDA didn’t care about the Lakers he only cares about his record. The front office did not want to win those meaingless games. As I’ve said before the reason you hire Scott is because he cares about the franchise and will do what’s best in the long term for the team. And let’s be real… I think he is entertaining haha… But Nick Young won’t get you anything on the trade market.
Well put aaron – though I don’t know if its more about Scott actually having a tactical gameplan to limit the amount of 3’s the team takes vs his own need to be over-controlling of the players on the floor. I get wanting to be different from MDA but sometimes Scott sounds like he’s trying to preach that he’s an authority figure coming to LA to rein players in.
Re tanking:- this is the year to tank if the Lakers want to save that pick they sent to PHX – between a poor team and the hopefully revamped rules which give lottery teams (especially in the top 7) the best chance of moving around/up, this would workout to the Lakers advantage to move into the top 5 and keep that pick.
Baylor Fan says
MDA was not fired, he was not extended beyond this season and so he quit. The Lakers had all the reason to trade Pau during the season – it could have put them below the salary cap. He is not an MDA big. He does not run the floor like a gazelle and has a mid-range jumper. Look for him to flourish in Chicago.
Let’s see if Randle is really healthy before we anoint him superstar status.
bryan S. says
Let’s see if Randle is really healthy before we anoint him superstar status.
Apparently internet chatter carries more weight than the leading foot specialist in the country, not to mention his summer league and training camp thus far. Nary a soul has anointed him a superstar. But if you are paying attention, there is a reason fans are excited by his talent.
Randle might get his BF% down,but I doubt he can get down to 235. He has a lot of weight and strength in his lower body,an asset in holding his position against bigger players on the block and when rebounding. In time he might develop a decent 3point shot, but right now he is more effective on both ends close to the paint and as he gains more experience he`ll become a better interior passer.If the league is getting faster,more athletic,then Randle certainly fits as a 4. I still want to see Randle and Kelly on the floor together. Their different skills would seem to mesh well.
Personally I do not think they are even thinking about this.
Mitch said awhile back in an interview with Sam Amick that he had thought that if things broke right, last year’s team could “win in the 40s.” While it is never wise to take the public statements of big-time execs at 100% face value, I pretty much believe Kupchak. I think the Lakers are trying to have an entertaining, competitive team that people will want to watch, that contends for a low playoff seed, and that they are trying to do that without killing all their cap space. One can argue about
a) Whether that is the right thing to do
b) Whether they are going about it the right way
But I think that is what they are trying to do.
Most of the moves the last two years–Young, Kaman, Kobe’s deal, Lin, Hill–indicate this IMO.
In what world would Mitch admit they are tanking? The point is to tank while tricking the public into thinking you’re selling a good product.
In what world would Mitch admit they are tanking? The point is to tank while tricking the public into thinking you’re selling a good product.
Tell that to Sam Hinkie and the 76ers’ ownership. A guy at another site floated this narrative last year–calling Mitch a “Tanking Ninja.” I have never been a conspiracy theory guy, and I am not buying any narratives of that type about the Lakers’ FO.
But, you are a creative guy and you know a lot about ‘ball, so I’ll play. If this roster is a covert tank job, then what might a non-tank job roster look like right now? Who do you think might be on the team if the Lakers really were trying to win 45 games?
Renato Afonso says
One game in preseason and we’re already discussing if Randle is a 3 or a 4 or if his ceiling is Ron Artest or whomever. How about waiting for a few real NBA games before making any kind of prediction about his future?
With the 2014-15 NBA season just around the corner, NBA TV takes an in-depth look at all 30 teams, beginning Oct. 8 and concluding Oct. 23.
Thursday, Oct. 9, Los Angeles Lakers, 8:30 p.m. PT
J C says
Comparisons to Randle: perhaps a young Karl Malone?
A big strong guy who could run the floor and had some hops.
I believe Malone took some time to develop his outside shot. Randle needs to do that.
I’m not implying Randle’s upside is that high. But maybe Malone’s game is one that Randle should emulate.
“I think the Lakers are trying to have an entertaining, competitive team that people will want to watch, that contends for a low playoff seed, and that they are trying to do that without killing all their cap space.”
rr is on point once again. This team isn’t tanking. You can’t tank with a guy like Kobe starting because he wants to win too badly to tank. I claim they waived the white flag last year after Kobe and Nash both went back down with injuries, but not this year. They’ll be looking to slide into the 8th seed, if possible. Aaron- make sure you come back and admit that you were wrong when they don’t win 20-30 games this year. 😉
I don’t believe Randle has the length to match up with guys like Duncan or Randolph. I think Randle is strong enough to hold his position but guys like those will take adavantage of Randle and shoot over him. I think Randle can play PF against many PF’s but, if he has the ability to play SF it might make him a better 2 way player. I also would be concerned about Randle bulking up as he already has had past issues with his foot.
I also agree with RR, I don’t see how the Lakers moves could be construed as a covert tank. They put together a team that did pretty well early last year until the injury bug struck. I think they have a better team this year, a coaching change has so far seemed to installed a better team idenity, and if they can avoid the injuries they should do well.
bryan S. says
Who do you think might be on the team if the Lakers were trying to win 45 games?
bryan S. says
Renato: Why wait? That’s how we roll . . . .
Last years team was around 50% wins and then Kobe got injured, and then everbody else got injured, this years team has some familiar faces, but more talent than last years team.
We upgraded every position with the exception of SF.
Hill and Davis at C playing for a contract are better then Pau playing for??? Pau is still a great player and could help the Bulls get over the top (as well as OKC, Spurs, Cleveland), but his time in LA was over.
This season started really bad with the NY injury, but as long as Kobe doesnt have to play PF or Randle the PG position will be fine.