Luckily for me, I’d say, I did not watch the Lakers/Spurs game live. A review of the film, however, pretty much reinforced what the boxscore told me. The biggest item from that boxscore, of course, was that Jeremy Lin did not play a minute. Lin was hurdled in the rotation by rookie Jordan Clarkson (who enjoyed a fine performance in his first start of his NBA career) with Price serving as his backup. After the game, Lin left his media availability after speaking to one reporter and while Byron Scott was still answering questions of most of the beat reporters. There was some controversy around that, but in reality I don’t make much of it. If Lin didn’t want to speak, I’m okay with it considering he’s typically taken any and all questions all year without any issues.
In any event, we’ll see if Lin’s role changes tonight. One thing we do know for sure, is that the Lakers’ starters will not:
Same LAL starters tonight vs. Houston: Clarkson, Ellington, Kelly, Hill and Sacre.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 25, 2015
I’d get worked up about this, but honestly, I don’t see much point in doing so. Scott seems to be skewing younger and that’s a good thing. My opinion about how to do this is different, but not so much as to get so upset over:
If going with the young guys, I'd start Lin, Clarkson, Wes, Kelly, & Davis. Bench would be Price, Ellington, Young, Hill, & Black.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) January 24, 2015
Boozer would be the odd guy out in the frontcourt & Price's minutes would be cut into for Clarkson to also get minutes at PG.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) January 24, 2015
I should clarify, not worth getting so upset over if you’re anyone but Jeremy Lin. In the lineup Scott played on Friday, Lin was the odd man out and as long as Scott’s love of Price remains at its current levels, that will likely continue. The fact that Lin is stuck behind Price is, to me, at least, comical at best. But, maybe that’s just me. It’s not because Lin has been some all world talent this year that has earned playing time without questions about how it should be deployed or adjusted from game to game. But, simply, that Lin is a better player than Price when you total the sums of their contributions and abilities on the court. The fact that Scott either A). doesn’t see this or B). does see it and plays Price anyway doesn’t much matter — both are wrong and that’s that.
Anyways, when it comes to tonight, the Lakers will play a Rockets’ team that will likely be without Dwight Howard. Dwight is a bit banged up – but the bigger takeaway is that the Lakers, especially without Kobe, have become the team you can rest your best players against and still likely win. If this game had more meaning to the Rockets or if the outcome was seriously in doubt, I’d bet Dwight plays. But, you know, those things aren’t true.
And, so, here we are. I could talk about what I’d like to see tonight, but I’ll probably just write about Jordan Clarkson another time. After all, he’s pretty much the only new thing to discuss when it comes to this team right now. And probably the only “fun” thing worth discussing too. Read those last two sentences again and poor out a cup for the Lakers’ season. This is what it has come to.
Where you can watch: 6:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
Well … Brandon Jennings is out for the season I just read. I wonder if the Pistons have any young pieces the Lakers could use in exchange for Lin. Probably not. It’s the Pistons. Not much to trade there, unless the Lakers want an injured Jennings. But I know the Lakers want to make a go at Rondo. Still, Jennings wouldn’t be a bad pickup for L.A. if you’re really being realistic. I think he has just one year left on his contract in Detroit.
I agree with you Darius. That’s basically it. Your tweets on Byron’s lack of vision or direction or a sense of coaching, i agree with. The sad part is, especially on Twitterverse, is that so many Lin haters will make any questioning comment about Lin not playing is because his fanbase is crazy. Yes, some are crazy. Lots are. But Lin should be playing over Price.
Lin’s benching was easily argued and understood. Kobe, much like Harden on the Rockets, is a ball dominant off guard, and with this year’s iteration, Kobe was the team first guy that made the plays. Lin’s strength (among many weaknesses) is his ability to penetrate with the ball, create for other players (Ed Davis especially), and get to the foul line. He is not effective as a spot up shooter. So playing him with Kobe makes no sense. (Playing Kobe 10 minutes in the first quarter doesn’t make sense either, but one thing at a time.) Kobe is probably out for the rest of the year. Lin is the next best creator on this team; and with the crappy offense we have, it’s nice to have someone who can pick and roll well. Lin is better than Price at that.
Playing youth is what you’re supposed to do when you’re rebuilding. Lin is 26 years old compared to Price’s 31. Lin is making an amazing amount of money this year, but he’s not coming close to that next year and will be taking a significant pay cut next year. Shouldn’t you want to play him more to see if he fits in with this group of big men? Especially as a come off the bench scorer.
The final thing that bothers me: Byron’s reasoning. “i know what Jeremy can do. I wanted to see what Price can do.”
WTF? He’s been starting just as much as Jeremy Lin started. In december he averaged 25 mpg compared to Jeremy’s 20 minutes per game. That makes no sense either.
Look, I hate tanking. But it’s obvious Byron is definitely on team tank. So I’m done with him knowing the Lakers way. Come at me! twitter Radius1238
Before Clarkson show up on any scout report, he should enjoy the freedom for not been known by any other teams.
So Scott is going to try this new starting line up for “15-20games”. So the worst lakers starting line-up I’ve ever seen in over 30yrs of watching the Lakers play. The only good news is that this disgusts me so much, that I’m not watching the games anymore. I’ll maybe check the box score or watch an occasional Low-light reel as we slip from bad yet competitive to laughing stock bad.
First off Kelly isn’t a SF and he is going to get destroyed by most of the decently quick SF’s out there. IF Lin gets another DNP then he has a good shot at having the best Plus/minus rating at ZERO. Basically if your injured or get a DNP you will now have one of the better Plus/minus ratios if not the best nearly every game.
Every game preview from now on can be summed up as “Tonight we are going to lose on purpose to (fill in the blank)…” Clarkson is basically the only real guy worth giving minutes for development purposes to. The rest is just a way to lock-in on losing at an epic level. Went from watching Magic as a kid and feeling inspired by basketball, to watching this–making me no longer want to watch basketball. I’m just going to watch other teams for a couple years, mabye I’ll check back in on this site in 2017–maybe by then we will really be rebuilding/improving–rather than losing on purpose. All the best to everyone here and this is a nice site Darius–all the best to you and yours as well.
If we’re going development then I’d start it as
tankyou: Is there any combination of players on our roster that would not result in one of the worst starting line ups in our history?
Thomas Rickard says
I’ve stated numerous times how I feel about Lin, and it appears that the Lakers have finally decided to work on the future and Lin probably isn’t going to be part of it, the difference between him and Price isn’t important because they are at best backend bench players, certainly nothing to build a team around. Hopefully when Black is healthy he’ll take over for Sacre, unfortunately Davis will probably move on, so perhaps a trade that brings back some youth would be best, as for Hill, if the right deal is offered, why not.
They are tanking (not saying ‘we’ until they change their mind). Period.
Scott’s talent is that it is difficult to tell whether he is tanking on purpose or is genuinely trying to do things with a vision with a few losses in an already lost season. Actually, I am giving him too much credit. It’s pretty obvious that the answer is neither and he is just happy playing with house money.
You left out a significant number of people who are upset about Lin not playing. I own him on my fantasy team. I’m sure many others do too. Not pleased at all (although he didn’t do too much to please me even when he was playing, but that’s another story).
Won’t be watching this one. As long as Sacre continues to start, I’m not going to subject myself to this insane lineup. What a joke.
If you were to rate the worst starters by position on the NBA
Would be dead last.
I guess that makes BS exactly his initials.
Reading these last ten comments and letting the horrible truth of the situation sink in.
Fortunately, none of this horrible, stinky mess is the fault of the FO because of “the veto”, because the new CBA is “too hard” to navigate, and I guess because Dwight Howard is just a big ‘ole meanie.
Craig W. says
You are so astute. Next we can nominate you for satire.
When a team looks like they never played basketball in their life maybe its time to look at Scott’s inability to coach the past 5 years.
Lakers have become a league wide embarrassment.
Nick Young is making some bad decisions and passes tonight. Lakers not taking care of the ball, so many turnovers.
Man, I miss D’Antoni. That’s how bad it is. this team would work for his offense. And while they probably would lose, they’d be more fun to watch.
But hey, Byron is teaching home economics.
Chance at the all time low in Points. Who ever drafted, traded or acquired these guys should be banned from pro sports for 3 lifetimes.
–> channeling my inner Aaron here…
Come on guys! It’s not rocket science! The FO isn’t run by idiots and the message was obviously sent earlier this year that the “tank” was on! Not playing Lin is obviously tanking to anyone who knows anything about basketball.
How did I do?
Seriously though…this team has been laughing stock bad for quite a while now this year. The only time this team is remotely competitive is when they are playing another laughing stock team or against a team that just decides not to show up.
I’m just looking for growth from Clarkson, Black, and Davis.
This is D’Antoni’s team. Or did we forget that Scott was not hired until well after the final player was selected in the draft and mere weeks prior to training camp? Asking Scott to coach player’s suited for D’Antoni’s system is akin to asking Oprah to fit into Jennifer Aniston’s bikini.
R: Wow – that was so over the top with sarcasm I almost believed it until I saw it was you : ) There are some who believe every word you wrote : ) You left out Byron though. To complete your paragraph. This year is all Byron’s fault and the FO has no responsibility for Byron. We have Magic to blame for that.
The horror… the horror…
Klay Thompson may have out scored this mess of a team for the entire game.why is Kelly, Sacre and Price in the NBA?
Back when KB signed his deal, I suggested that the FO appeared to be scared in some sense…of exactly what tonight looks like: a hopeless, boring team full of marginal and unknown players that not many people really want to watch. Having KB around allowed the Lakers to pretend that they are still the Lakers.
How did I do?
I don’t think most of these players are suited for anybody’s system!
Looks like Young is benched….
Looks like Nicks haircut got him benched.
We’ll no one said keeping that 5th pick would be pretty or painless. However, it feels as if the FO finally gets it. No sense chasing incremental victories now. I have pretty hard on the FO because of their ‘trying not to win while trying not to lose’ strategy. I will back off now that they are doing to right thing.
My hope, though is that we don’t pursue any 30+ year old FAs. We are at least three years away so it’s best to identify younger FAs that will still have their legs when the Lakers begin to hit their stride. So, Reggie Jackson is a better bet than Rondo since he’s 6 years younger (and a better player).
Why the heck is clarkson riding pine in the 4th??? Hey Byron price sucks and Lin isnt that much better!! Play the kids and at least try to develop them.
The impressive backcourt of Lin Price and Clarkson is 3 for 18. Makes sense to bench Nick so as to not mess up that stat.
Lin attacking the basket tonight. That’s one positive. Second positive is Black looks ok on the ankle. Clarkson didn’t do well at all today. Nick justifiably got benched for 4 consecutive bad plays in the 2nd.
Clarkson started, went 28 minutes, and is 2/10 from the field with 2 AST and 5 TOs. I think the young man got the learn/burn he needs tonight.
So, I think if people want to complain about minutes…Black only went 7 tonight.
He’s young with fresh legs play him 35-40 minutes. Time to waive price and boozer and call up a couple of young guys from the d league. 99%!sure Booz and price won’t be on next years team, no need for them to be here now.
Move along…nothing much to see here!
BS couldn’t figure out Swags answer when asked what he was doing out there?
Gee BS no one has understood Nick for 8 years yet today it was an issue?
Your sounding more like Mike Brown the excuss machine more every day.
Aaron, your observation is spot-on.
Harden has carved out a fine career for himself by remaining in the gym working on his game to the point that he found his niche. That’s the dedication and determination that has eluded recent players on the Lakers rosters. Remember Ebanks and his self-assured, surly attitude wonder what country he’s playing for? He had the body and athleticism to become an elite three and ‘D’ player.
Mark my words … Swaggy P will have his statue in front of Staples Center one day.
So all you haters, knock it off!
Chris J says
Mark my words … Swaggy P will have his statue in front of Staples Center one day.
So all you haters, knock it off!
Sorry if there’s some context from prior posts that suggests you’re kidding. Because you have to be kidding…
I heard they’re moving to The Sports Arena and looking into Bill Fitch or Chris Ford as possible replacements for Byron but the Swaggy statue will remain at Staples.
Only statue Swag will have is either in front of a shoe store or Alan Iverson “broke by age 30 book store”. The guy pays two people to manage his shoes?
Renato Afonso says
I agree with almost everything said above. Any team with Price, Sacre and Kelly playing significant minutes is not going to compete in the NBA. And Darius is also right: there’s no justification to play Price over Lin.
This team is an embaressment for two years running and the FO should remember that it’s easier to destroy a brand than to build it…
On player development, the only guys who are healthy and who the Lakers control whether or not that player will be in a Laker uniform next year are, Young, Hill, Kelly, Sacre, Clarkson, and Black. With exception to Ellington that covers the current starting line-up. So from a development point of view this line-up actually makes a lot of sense.
Under MDA line ups could change every night. Under Scott line ups change at a glacial pace. Might be nice to see Scott experiment a little faster. This may not be the best line up the team could put out but, it does make sense.
Calvin Chang says
How can the Lakers have missed Hassan Whiteside? Mitch K himself said before the season that the team doesn’t have a rim protector. Miami finds d-league 7-ft bum Hassan Whiteside and turns him into Alonzo Morning. What a game-changing luxury to have a big that – when your guards get beat off the dribble – you know he’s got your back.
Darius Soriano says
That’s a rational way of looking at it and that is likely tied the decision. That said, I’d like to see more of a balance between that and trying to find the right mix of players to help promote their success on the floor. For example — playing Kelly at PF rather than SF and playing Clarkson w/ another PG/Combo Guard who can allow him to work on and off the ball depending on matchups.
This is what I mean when talking about “process”. Will starting Kelly at PF or Clarkson as a nominal SG next to Lin lead to more wins? Most likely, no. But that might, in my opinion, promote better success for them by putting them in positions where they are playing more to the role they will likely have as their careers develop.
Calvin Chang says
RKelly is definitely a 4. He’s too slow to guard good SF’s. And he’s not that strong that he can post up opposing SF’s. But Kelly can be a stretch 4 like Ryan Anderson, and his speed is more useful against 4’s. One way to develop these guys is to have this lineup: Lin, Clarkson, Wes or Ellington, Kelly, Hill. Then have them run and play – ironically – D’Antoni’s system. Clarkson’s best asset is his speed and athleticism. So when they get the rebound, have Lin, Clarkson, Ellington push the pace and attack. Instruct Lin to set up these guys. No long 2’s. If Lin shoots a 20-footer, bench time. He should look to attack and dish. None of these long 2’s. Shoot 3’s only when open. In a half-court, have Clarkson or Lin run pick and pop with Kelly and look to kick it to Kelly for 3’s. Sacre unfortunately is only a 2nd or 3rd string C. There’s nothing else to see in Sacre. But need to get Clarkson a lot of fast-break opportunities. And Kelly in pick and pop/ floor spacing kick-out option 4.
If the FO is serious about trading any of our current ‘assets’ then a balance may need to be made in terms of developing players and showcasing others. Those payers that should get playing time to increase their trade value are: Lin, Hill, Davis* and Young. I would start all four of them in addition to Clarkson. On the other hand if there is no intent to be active at the deadline then we may see more of last night’s starting 5 and reserve rotation.
*Davis has a player option on his contract next year. He would have been a keeper in my eyes, however he’s likely going to demand a 5 yr/$25 million conract going forward. I’m not sure that is a good fit for these Lakers. Especially since Black provides similar production on a rookie deal with more upside potential.
bryan S. says
“think the young man got the learn/burn he needs tonight” –well put.
“How did the Lakers miss Hassan Whiteside/”– Yeah, and every other team as well?
And here I thought R Kelley was just “needed” to play the 3–never imagined Scott would believe that he might be a 3. . . .
Jahili Okafor: Too slow. One-way big. Big mistake to draft #1. Lakers stay clear!
Agree about Whiteside. He’s not a superstar (yet??), but a good, solid center like him would have given the Lakers a chance. The only player with true center size is Sacre, and we can all see he is not the answer.
It’s become popular to cite the Veto, and the contracts of Nash and Kobe as the biggest millstones that have dragged the Lakers down and it is hard to argue that point. We can also point to the failed potential of one Andrew Bynum. Andrew is 27 now, just the right age to be entering his prime. Injury and a whacky sort of entitled lethargy that engulfed him ruined a promising career. Had he lived up to expectations, there would have been no Dwight Howard in FB&G, and probably no Steve Nash. When the Lakers repeated in ’10, it sent shock waves through the NBA because the Lakers had won back to back with minimal contributions from a then 22 year old Bynum, whose best years seemed in front of him. Miami formed a triple Axis of sorts to counter the Lakers. Those were heady times. In January 2009, “Socks” scored a career high 42 points against a perennially weak Clipper team. Even though a young DeAndre Jordan scored a career high 23 in return, there were probably very few basketball pundits who would have taken Jordan over Bynum at that point in time. How the worm has turned!
My point is that things in sports change quickly sometimes. Nothing stays the same. Our Lakers are down now. It won’t be forever. At least that’s what I keep telling myself! 🙂
Chris J says
Not to be one of those “When I was younger” types, but…
When I was younger the Lakers were so deep, the types of conversations we’re having now were reserved for the ninth or 10th guy — “That Tony Campbell, he could be a good scorer if you paired him around the right lineup,” or “If only Billy Thompson could keep his head in the game, he’d be something.”
The fact that we’re now having such discussions about the entire starting lineup is beyond sad. As I said over the summer, this season is a lost cause so let’s hope the FO looks long-term. At this point, only insanity would prevent that course.
Chris J – couldn’t agree more. I mean, at this point Nick Young is the face of the franchise. It’s why I joked about him getting a Staples center statue.
“The fact that we’re now having such discussions about the entire starting lineup is beyond sad.” True, which is why many of us are taking refuge in sarcasm. I found that hysterical weeping wasn’t working too well as a coping mechanism. For one thing, co workers and family members started looking at me uneasily …
Chris/R: The historical comparisons and our current situation need sarcasm just to cope as R indicates. There are on going issues resulting from Chris J’s “10th guy” conversation. Success begets more success. People want to play for winners, guys chase rings, and a winning environment develop better players (getting burn is good, but significant burn in blowout losses is not really that good). And of course failure begets more failure. Guys do not want to sign with losers, rather they walk out the door. The tanking discussion begins. In spite of the tanking discussion, the coach is looked upon as a loser. So – it is not an environment that fosters success. Hard to turn around. Which is why you never do the in between thing the Lakers have done,. You either keep the band together (San Antonio) or you completely rebuild (Celtics). The combination of being this bad and having so few young players and picks is hard to replicate if you actually tried to do it.
T. Rogers says
“People want to play for winners, guys chase rings, and a winning environment develop better players..”
Remember that West actually built a 50 win playoff team before going after the big free agent catch (Shaq). When we think of the last big free agent signing that part is often missed. Shaq was not simply coming for the Lakers name. Jerry West’s track record at finding and developing talent had to play into his decision. In fact, West wasn’t looking for Shaq to be the starting point. He was looking for him to move them from competitive to title contender status. Even then West understood that big time free agents wanted a competitive team before electing to move.
I’m so desperate for things to go right I really wish the FO’s plan succeeds. I can’t see it succeeded. It makes no sense in my mind. But I’m hoping for it none the less. The Lakers need something to go right for them. I don’t dislike Jim Buss so much that I want more failure on his watch. No, I want as much success as possible. I’d be the first to call Jim a genius if this all works out under his watch.
The other day my six year old daughter was sitting next me as I was flipping through various games on League Pass. She knows how much I love the Lakers and loathe the Clippers. She looked at me and asked, “Daddy why do the Clippers always win and the Lakers always lose?” It was like a shot to the gut! I was literally speechless for several seconds wonder what the world had come to. So I broke out my 2010 Lakers championship DVD and proceeded to tell her about the glory days.
Various sources confirming that Kobe will have his surgery on Wednesday.
If what LKK is reporting is true, this will be the third season-ending injury in three seasons for Kobe.
Hard to believe he will ever return as a player. And that is a sarcasm-free statement.
Saw it on Pro Basketball Talk and the NBA Game Time app…sad but true.
Kobe may come back next year for various reasons, but his best days are way behind him.
ESPN is reporting it too.
LKK : “Kobe may come back next year for various reasons, but his best days are way behind him.”
True; however, I’d like to see him hang it up, for his good and the good of the team.
Chris J says
Interesting take on Bynum. I was a huge Drew fan — not quite on the Aaron level, but close — and your points on where the Lakers would be today if he were a big factor on the court were another in the many, “What if…?” memes we could explore.
On the night the Chris Paul deal was first announced, I was elated that the Lakers had seemingly added an All-Star point guard without losing Bynum in the trade. But months later, even as an avowed all-world Dwight Howard hater, the problems with Bynum had become so great that by the time that deal went down, even I felt it was in the Lakers’ best interests to move a player I’d loved for one I totally despise(d).
Aside from the constant worry about another season-ending injury each time he bumped into someone, Bynum’s on and off-court antics just reached a tipping point. The kid never grew up into a dedicated pro, which is a waste. We’ll never know what could have been had a few things gone differently, but that’s the game and that’s life right?
J C says
Out of the mouths of babes!
T Rogers: Nice post – I feel for you with regard to that Clips comment : ) You are correct about West and Shaq coming here partly because of him. We are talking about the greatest GM/Exec of all time, and he worked for the greatest owner of all time. And yes we had a reasonably competitive team at the time. Then we later added the greatest coach of all time and the picture was complete. We do not have any of that now. With regard to Jim. I would love for him to succeed as well, but am not seeing it either. This is similar to a tanking discussion. I always root for the Lakers even though I know the losses are better for our pick. With Jim it is similar. I always root for the Lakers, but there is a diabolical side of me that says if we go 0-82 next year, Jim will be forced to leave. And I think Jim leaving is a pre-requisite to our future success. Don’t worry though – I will never root for losses !
“So I broke out my 2010 Lakers championship DVD and proceeded to tell her about the glory days.”
That’s right T Rogers!
J C says
This year Kobe played 35 games and scored 780 points or thereabouts.
He earned 23.5 mil.
So that’s roughly $30,128 per point.
Not too shabby.
>Even then West understood that big time free agents wanted a competitive team before electing to move.
Indeed. I have made this point many times, and it is a key one. The team Shaq joined here had gone 53-29.