The Lakers are 1-11 in their last twelve games. They have lost eight games in a row – their longest streak of the season. Their last win was 18 days ago against a Magic team who is also quite bad. The team is currently 21 games under .500 and 13.5 games back of the 8th seed in the Western conference. Oh, yeah, and Kobe Bryant is set to have surgery on his torn rotator cuff on Wednesday, which will almost surely end up sidelining him for the rest of the season.
The details of the win-loss record and streaks will change over the course of the season, but the general feel of despair that comes from the words in that paragraph above will not. The Lakers are a bad team and will continue to be a bad team. They have not shown to be particularly well coached nor play particularly well for longer than half a game on most nights (and that might be generous). The only things still worth truly watching for this season are the following:
- Jordan Clarkson, Ryan Kelly, and Tarik Black’s development as potential rotation players.
- What moves, if any, the Lakers make leading up to and at the trade deadline next month.
- Whether or not the Lakers end up with a record that makes keeping their top-5 protected draft pick in the upcoming draft a strong proposition or a coin-flip.
Some might argue that there are some other things to include in that list, and I’m willing to entertain them. But for me, that’s about it. I’m not looking for any major breakthrough in philosophy from Byron Scott. I’m not looking for Jordan Hill or Ed Davis or Jeremy Lin to suddenly start out-performing their season norms. This is it, you guys. 38 more games of this.
With that, it’s the opponents who become the most interesting part of most nights that the Lakers play. Tonight that is probably more true than most others as the Wizards come to town. In the past, that last second would be followed by some sort of sarcastic snicker, but those days are long gone. These Wizards are currently 30-15 on the year and have the 2nd best record in the East. They are powered by John Wall, but have incredible balance with Bradley Beal, Nene, Marcin Gortat, Paul Pierce, and Andre Miller all offering strong contributions.
But, really, Wall is the main attraction. After all, he does things like this:
I mean. Come on, now. Wall is one of the most exciting players in the league and it’s no longer just the league pass junkies who recognize it. Wall will start in the all-star game, beating out more established names like Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade.
And if Wall isn’t enough, there’s always the other guys I mentioned above. Beal isn’t quite at Klay Thompson’s level yet, but he is one of the best up and coming shooting guards in the league. I have always had an affinity for Nene’s combination of bruising physicality and touch/skill all over the floor. And there’s Paul Pierce. Ha. I’m just kidding. I have nothing good to say about Paul Pierce.
In any event. This game will be on tonight. You should watch it to see how Clarkson does against a top flight point guard, to see if Nick Young has a revenge game against his old team, and to watch the other team’s really good players play well.
Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
Pierce is a much more appealing player out of a Celtics uniform. Imagine, if you will, Kobe and Pierce, in their primes, paired together in LA.
That ball spin fake pass is awesome. ;p
Those are some great moves by Wall. I haven’t seen him much, and those plays are both backbreakingly effective, and just plain mesmerizingly wonderful to watch.
Um, can we have a player like that again?
Where have you gone, Magic, Pau, Worthy . . . . [as my mind pathetically runs to the upcoming Top 5 pick…]
Nice first quarter by the Lakers.Will they maintain this for three more quarters and beat the Wizards?
Baylor Fan says
Those are great passes but they do not work unless Gortat is looking for them. I am not sure which is more amazing, the passes or Gortat expecting Wall to make those passes.
At least the Lakers are off to a solid start.
I missed it… Is Nick Young hurt or is he still in the doghouse?
Darius Soriano says
He sprained his ankle on Monday. I thought he might play today, but he was ruled out right before the game.
That was nice by Clarkson pushing the ball up court and dishing to Hill for the slam dunk.
Thanks Darius. Nice to see Clarkson taking advantage of his opportunity. He and Ellington look good out there. Jordan is showing some point guard skills as well. Tide is turning in the 3rd quarter. Sustaining the effort is proving to be a bit much as the Wiz get serious.
Please package Johnson somewhere.
Only 1 TO for clarkson
How to tank a game! Leave Sacre in instead of Davis and allow Wes to have a uniform.
BS has a real plan?
Ko, we all are so lucky to have this guy as coach. Only way to guarantee keeping the puck with all the decisions he makes that defy logic.
Pierce is a much more appealing player out of a Celtics uniform.
“It always saddens me, knowing that Kobe, who is one of my NBA brothers, we lose [him] due to injury,” Pierce said during shootaround before the Washington Wizards faced the Lakers at Staples Center. “It always saddens me.”
“A lot of fans around the league pay to watch Kobe, a lot of fans around the world,” Pierce said. “Regardless of how the Lakers are doing or not, he’s an icon. He’s a player who defined his generation.”
Another well coached game by a bad coach, Davis 6 for 7 and plays 17 minutes, Sacre 6 points and Worthless Wes 1 for 7 each with 28 minutes.
Worst coach by far in the NBA.
Trying too hard to lose, too obvious.
Good effort but predictable results. The Lakers just don’t have the horses.
I wrote the above before I saw your post. Takes talent to have 4 straight years of 30% and less win percentage. Took the brain trust 4 interviews to figure that hire out. guess its called dumb and dumber?
I don’t have big issues with Scott’s rotation right now, except that I think Black should be getting Boozer’s minutes. Boozer is doing what he can and it is not his fault that the FO, pointlessly, brought him here, but there is no point in having him get PT on a team like this, especially when they are not allowed to trade him.
As far as Johnson going 28, Kobe and Young are both out, and Clarkson and Ellington went 37 and 36, respectively.
Sacre playing all those minutes and esp in crunch time was ridiculous when davis was ballin. Scott either just flat out clueless or a genius to play guys who suck which guarantees a loss. Still not sure which it is after 46 games.
Game knows game. The players throughout the league respect Kobe to the utmost. Kobe will leave the NBA in a far better place than he found it.
Indeed. I wanted to post that because I, like many Lakers fans, have always disliked Pierce, made wheelchair jokes, etc. So I thought that people should see what Pierce said.
Johnson is not a guard rr. Last 5 games he is shooting under 30% on jump shots. 0 for 7 tonight. By far worst player. But that is BS plan I guess.
Washington starts two really big, thick guys, Nene and Gortat, and they also often play Kris Humphries and Kevin Seraphin substantial minutes. I think that Scott wanted Sacre’s size in there, and Sacre actually had a slightly better +/- for the night than Davis did.
Again: I don’t think Byron is an especially good coach, and I would have preferred that the Lakers take a chance on a guy taking his first job rather than doing what they did.
But this team just has a terrible roster, one of the two or three worst in the game. So, I think if people are going to trash Scott for his rotations, they should also acknowledge that:
a. The team competed well tonight against a far better squad.
b. Price is getting DNPs and Lin is getting reasonable time, which was one of the big hobby horses of the anti-Scott crowd,
c. Clarkson is starting and has played well two out of three times.
Scott is easy to pick on, because you see him every night.
Johnson is a wing player. The Lakers were missing their two top wings tonight.
Craig W. says
Again the Laker lost this one in the 3rd. After a while it would seem the coach could make adjustments at half-time – the opposing coaches manage to, and beat the Lakers to death in the 3rd quarter.
You can make the argument he doesn’t have the most talent, but when the Lakers are playing well in the 1st half, but drop off a rock in the 3rd, there has to be something said about adjustments. We know the team behind will make them and we should at least plan for some changes.
Calvin Chang says
It was a good loss tonight. Entertaining game – got to see Clarkson put on some moves. Ball movement was good. Ellington shot well, Jeremy found Ed for inside looks. But it didn’t hurt the race to bottom 5. It feels weird to be ok with a loss, but it’s now clear that Byron is not looking to win games. Clarkson said so in the interview – that Byron told him not to worry about wins and losses now. It’s about the process. It’s the first time I’ve heard of Byron actually articulating that winning is not really the goal. (although his actions this season surely show it)
Renato Afonso says
Adjustments? The Lakers don’t need coaches who make adjustments… (see MB, MDA, BS). It’s getting really hard to find a positive note in all of this.
I am not a proponent of tanking, and I’m pretty sure BS is not, either. But all you have to do is look at our roster to see that losing our first-rounder, on top of all the indignities of the last couple years, would be devastating.
Last night the Lakers were competetive until the end against a far superior team. A possible rotation guy (Clarkson) got plenty of PT and matched up well against one of the best PGs in the league. The Ronnie Price experiment seems to be over.
Can you really ask for more, under the circumstances?
J C says
With Davis, Black (injured?) and Hill all available it’s hard to see why Sacre is getting significant minutes. He’s so limited.
FO may have told Byron to play him because the other guys are gonna be gone, or to tank.
I’m also unimpressed with Ryan Kelly this year.
Kelly 19 min 0-1, 1 point, 2 rebounds.
Davis 19 min 6-7, 14 points, a block and a steal.
So what if Kelly is playing the 3!
He’s the same height as Davis.
– Very entertaining game…in the 1st half.
– Coach Scott , the ultimate company man, has followed the decree of the front office to the letter. It’s why he was hired in the 1st place.
– Wondering now more than before about the front office. Regardless if your pro or anti front office, I would think once your best player goes down with a season ending injury, it has to somehow matter, especially when the injury may be career ending. It just seems to me some degree of “adjustment” with personnel has to be made…unless the lost of that player really doesn’t mean all that much in the big picture at this point.
– “Positive” news: Lakers have a very good chance to go 2-3 over their next five games as they face two of the worst teams in the league in the Knicks & Magic:
01/29 CHI 10:30pm
02/01 @NY 2:00pm
02/04 @MIL 8:00pm
02/06 @ORL 7:00pm
02/08 @CLE 3:30pm
Off topic questions pertaining to the D-League:
-I know the Defenders are the Lakers D-League team. Is that the only D-League team the Lakers can call up players from w/o some sort of compensation to another team?
-Robert Sacre makes approx $915K w/ a team option for next season. Is he more NBA ready than any center on the Defenders, or in the D-League? Can’t believe the only reason he’s still on the team is because of his contract, especially when Kobe was playing and some thought the Lakers had an opportunity to make some noise in the Association.
Again the Laker lost this one in the 3rd.
Nah. They lost this one because the other team has front-line talent, and they don’t.
Clarkson had a good night, statwise but a lot of mistakes out there at the point. Still don’t see him as a point guard, he fits the combo guard role much better. He isn’t really good at setting up his teammates or initiating the offense. In his defense, he’s just a rookie so lots to learn & it’s unclear what offense we’re trying to run, so that’s also part of the problem.
I don’t know why they’re not looking at Lin more closely as the starting point guard for the next 2-4 yrs. Yes, he does have flaws but he also has some good passing ability when he goes inside and probes the defense (2 nice assists last night doing that). With some decent coaching he’d be more than servicable and it would be one glaring hole fixed, at least for awhile. We have to start building a foundation.
I’d start Lin & Clarkson and give them a lot of minutes together. It’s a realistic combo and may be useful moving forward.
That “front-line talent” must have been sleeping for the first 2 quarters then. Must you retort to everyone’s comments rr and shoot down their perspective? No one here is saying the Lakers have top notch players but the way they are being coached is asinine. That is if they are actually trying to win the game. I have not seen anything from Scott this year to say he has had a big part in the Lakers winning a game. From his terrible choice of starting line-ups to his overuse of Kobe, to his substitution patterns, he has just been a disaster. On top of that after most games, he is putting the blame on the players and calling them out in the media. Not sure why the Lakers keep hiring these retreads and not go after a young guy like Kevin Ollie to let him learn and grow with the team. Of course, most of this can be blamed on Jimmy Boy!
Like JC, I’m unimpressed with Kelly this year but for different reasons. He just shouldn’t be playing the 3, he’s a (stretch) 4. Period. He needs to be getting time at THAT position (stupid BS) not at another position that he is very ill-suited for.
He had those hamstrings injuries and has missed a lot of playing & practice time. He is not in any rhythm and he seems very tentative/uncertain out there. Plus, he’s not getting any shots – he only took 3 shots last night.
It’s not fair to compare him to Davis, since Davis is much more athletic and guys playing the 3 are crazy athletic. Kelly isn’t. If Kelly is going to get all these minutes, just declare the experiment over and play him at his natural position – better for Kelly and the FO will be better able to make a realistic assessment.
I still see Kelly as a decent player in the league (maybe not as good as I had hoped) but much better than we’re seeing now.
>That “front-line talent” must have been sleeping for the first 2 quarters then.
Pretty much. Look at it this way: How many guys on the Lakers could start for Washington?
>Must you retort to everyone’s comments rr and shoot down their perspective?
If I think they are wrong, sure. Bashing every single thing that Scott does is just a coping mechanism, because it is hard for some people to accept, emotionally, where the team is and how bad the situation is, and like I said, Scott is an easy, and visible, target.
Also, I have said–I even said it in this thread–that I, like you, would have preferred that the Lakers hire a guy who hadn’t coached in the NBA before. But what a lot of people are doing with Scott is the exact same thing that some people did with D’Antoni: since they didn’t want him hired in the first place, his very presence frustrates them, so they bag on everything he does, from rotations to statements in the media to sideline mannerisms.
The truth is that coaches are like players; they have strengths and weaknesses.
Calvin Chang says
I really think Lakers are starting Sacre, Hill and Kelly to either showcase them for trades, or to tank. Last night was a winnable game, but that’s not Byron’s goal right now. He put Sacre back in when Ed Davis was having a great game and Tarik Black being available. It’s impossible to root for wins because the coach himself is not trying to win. When the coach himself tells players not to worry about winning or losing, just go through the process — then rooting for the team to win will simply result in frustration. All you can hope for now is an entertaining loss.
Calvin Chang says
Glad to see Clarkson doing better. Wes Johnson has poor bball IQ. Waste of his athletic ability to just shoot low-percentage long 2’s on the move. Terrible shot selection. I’d like to see a small-ball lineup of Lin, Clarkson, Wayne, RKelly and Jordan Hill or Ed. Once you get a rebound, everyone run. Attack the basket or kick-out. If forced into a half-court set, have Clarkson or Lin run a pick and pop with RKelly.
the other Stephen says
I appreciate the perspective.
My discontent with Byron has been over his general failure to set his players up to succeed, not only his rotations. Rotations have been a more visible subset of the Lakers’ issues, so they’ve naturally gotten more scrutiny; but they are just one issue among others, including an inability (or unwillingness) to hold players similarly accountable for mistakes, and poor spacing and sets.
Take the Lakers’ puerile offensive sets as an example. Overall, there are few secondary actions and counters after the first option, after which the offense breaks down into one-on-one ball. Often, I’ll sense that something is wrong with the spacing, but can’t put my finger on what it is in that moment, when it’s really due to things like Hill or Davis killing a pick and roll opportunity with their spacing; or wings being unable to find their way into the paint because Hill’s man is there, while Hill is waiting outside to launch an 18-foot jump shot.
Lack of talent is a huge issue, but the flip side of that is a system that maximizes the talent of the role players on the roster becomes all the more necessary. Not even Kobe was in a position to succeed within this framework, as we witnessed in his woefully inefficient offensive play this year.
I find it telling that in several interviews this year, Lin has referenced the Spurs and Hawks as a couple of teams to emulate, particularly in the way they move the ball and get it to players where they’re able to do something good with it. Steve Kerr once remarked that playing for Popovich is so great, because he makes the game so easy for his players. Meanwhile, our players are frustrated from putting in so much hard work (Byron literally ran them into the ground), but having little to show for it.
Wall is just sick. Sick sick sick.
I think people should be thankful rr takes the time to educate almost each and every overtly wrong opinion maker/commentator. It might be uneasy or slightly painful but those are the growing pains folks. Would people rather walk around thinking the world is flat? I’ve always been impressed with rr’s patience and commitment to each and every commentator on this site. I for one only respond to a few.
Aaron, Go back to making outlandish predictions dude. Which big 3 are the Lakers getting this summer? Marc Gasol, Jimmy Butler, and Rondo? Or is it LMA, Dray Green, and Dragic? Come on man fill us all in on what your inside sources are telling you. Did Riley move back into his Malibu beach house yet?
bryan S. says
Right now I am interested in *anything* in the game worth observing with an eye towards player development.
Jesse: Clarkson needs time to learn the pg position at the NBA level. It’s that simple. I’ve been roaming league pass to look at this year’s rookie point guards and most of them are pretty lousy right now. The best is Elfrid Payton of the Magic. In a small sample size, Clarkson is playing better than and shows more upside than Marcus Smart (Celtics foolishly took him ahead of Randle much to the consternation of Bill Simmons who was freaked out that the Lakers may have landed a star). Dante Exum looks like the very young kid that he is and is likely two season away from being an impact player.
What Laker fans should study is Clarkson’s progress over the rest of the season. He’s made strides already in a few games. That’s impressive.
You are giving me too much credit, dude. I am just an opinionated grouch. Heh.
always a triangle fan says
Darius hands must be killing him. Banging on the anti-Byron drum must be tiring. This is not a good team and has not been all season. It’s pretty common to see teams that take them lightly end up getting spanked for a few quarters until they get it together. Scott deserves a lot of credit for making this team competitive against much more talented teams. He’s certainly doing a better job than the previous (loser for a ) coach, and certainly would have matched Mike Brown’s results. Considering how difficult Kobe is, it’s been a pretty smooth year in that regard. There’s no way the previous coach would have been able to handle Kobe this deftly and we would have the worst record in the league. Team morale would be miserable, and I don’t see that at all right now.
See that’s why we need rr here. To let the “casual fan”know there isn’t even a big one in any of those “big threes”
Casual fan? Lol son I was a laker fan before u were even born. Of course to u Marc gasol, Kevin love, and tony Parker are all below average players. go talk to your sources and see which pipe dream you and your boy jimmy gonna draw up next. LA no longer premiere destination for elite superstars like lbj, Durant, Anthony Davis. Gotta go after to the next level and build a TEAM like the Spurs and Hawks.
Lakafan guessing he is half our age and watched half the games. As for your thought about Spurs, Hawks that would require a equivalent type coach. Have not seen one in 4 years here.
Seen at NBA Game Time:
Kobe’s surgery was successful and he is expected to be ready for the star of next season, barring complications.
Report I read said 9 months do we think he will be ready?
-For those knocking the talent level of the Lakers, it is what it is. Many of these guys left healthy enough to play are at minimum $$’s and/or on one year contracts. Only guys who settle for those type of contracts are those who couldn’t do better…a WOW moment.
Sounds like October. Time will tell. Hopefully he’ll be able to give it one more shot if he so chooses.
rr, Renato, and triangle fan are all correct. As Renato points out, we are on our third straight failed coach so the issues lie elsewhere. Triangle is correct in that if it wasn’t for Byron being there, the attitude and the ability to interface with the media would be worse. rr is correct on a number of things but mostly on the fact that simply bashing Byron is like yelling at the car in front of you in a traffic jam. For all of you who disagree and want to bash Byron, don’t worry, he has short life span here as I stated before he got the job.
the other Stephen says
rr, see my reply to you above. Related, but Darius, perhaps you could consider having some moderators help you manage and approve flagged comments.
rr-Is one of the most up-to-date and informed level headed posters on this board. Is not the purpose of this board to generate basketball dialogue?
At this juncture, the most compelling aspect of Clarkson’s game is his eagerness to compete. This kid has intangibles that are not measurable, such as the desire to prevent Nene from scoring, running back to his man to bother his shot, and moving his feet on defense. These are aspects that do not translate into quantifiable numbers; however they do define the trait of a winner. This summer will be interesting to see how his work ethic and time in the weight room will turn into on-court improvement.
bryan S. says
At this juncture, the most compelling aspect of Clarkson’s game is his eagerness to compete.
Not at all. It’s his elite level quickness and over-all athleticism. That’s his wow factor right now. His desire would be nothing without his physical gifts. But you are right to laud him for his drive.
Well thought-out post.
I don’t necessarily disagree with any of that, but I also think if the Lakers had a more clever, with-it coach, maybe they would be 15-31 instead of 12-34. And, again (not to badger you, personally, but just because I think it is important): Scott was very much a known quantity when he came here. His best teams in New Jersey and New Orleans were teams with HOF PGs and some other good to very good players, mostly bigs, and those teams had very strong defenses. When he has not had players like that, he has lost, and lost big.
So, what Scott is selling as a coach has never been clever offenses and creative tactical schemes. Like his mentor, Pat Riley, Scott focuses a lot on instilling toughness, letting his PG run the O, and maximizing high-end talent. All of that was 100% clear before Scott had coached a game here.
This being the case, I think that people should, along with going after Scott if they need to, also go one of three ways:
a) Focus their animus on the FO for hiring him while also parting ways with the man who brought the NBA SSOL.
b) Presume that Scott was brought in mostly to manage the end of Kobe’s career with the rest of his job being an afterthought.
c) Comfort themselves with the stealth tank narrative and presume that Scott’s presence as the Lakers’ coach is simply part of a long con being run by Mitch the Ninja and Jim the Genius.
But I don’t see a lot of point in hammering on Scott’s micro-decisions day after day right now. The big thing from last night is that it was a nice step forward for Jordan Clarkson. The fact that the Lakers lost to a much more talented team is a side issue.
Pau Gasol on Thursday will face his former team at Staples Center for the first time since leaving the Lakers to join the Chicago Bulls last summer.
And Lakers coach Byron Scott said fans owe Gasol one thing:
“A standing ovation,” Scott said. “This is a guy that was here that helped to win two championships. He deserves that. Pau was a great player when he was here and is still a great player. He’s having a lot of success in Chicago. But I think fans should show him the respect that he deserves.”
– Knicks won last night
– 76ers won last night
– T ‘Wolves won last night
– now that’s a great night in Laker land…Merry Christmas.
J C says
I predict the Lakers will go on like a ‘crazy’ 3-game win streak, thereby threatening their chances at retaining their pick.
I think it’s gonna come down to an ironic showdown the last week of the season with players (not just Lakers) literally told by their coaches to keep it close, then throw the ball out of bounds, or stuff to that effect.
So Big City what your saying is the other bad teams are improving and the Buss/ Scott well oiled machine is streaking at 9 losses in row.
And that’s good? Is this that Bazzaro episode from Steinfi
Kramer is Jimmy?
Scott is Newman?
Jeannie is Elaine?
Swag is Swaggy Jerry?
Ok I give.
I heard an interview with a TWC representative and even he was OK with losing since it would assure we can keep the pick and speed up the rebuild process. So, it certainly sounds like TWC has written this year off and is looking forward to next season.
I took that news as meaning there is no real resistence to trading what few assets we have on this year’s team. I would hope that the FO is pushinhg the trade envelope with an eye on obtaining draft picks for this year/the future — they are more valuable than incremental victores this season.
– @ Ko, simply put, those three teams winning statistically improve the Lakers chances of keeping their draft pick…and if current trends continue w/ good luck, their pick could actually be better than 5th or even 4th.
– Word is that Kobe will be out approx nine months, meaning, if all goes well he’ll be ready around the start of the season (October-November). However there is a chance he won’t return then or at all. Draft is in June, free agency starts in July.
– Question: should Kobe’s presence (or none presence) on next season’s team be a factor in any personnel decisions made by the front office pertaining to draft choices and/or free agents?
BigCitySid : – Question: should Kobe’s presence (or none presence) on next season’s team be a factor in any personnel decisions made by the front office pertaining to draft choices and/or free agents?
The grown up answer is no. Even if Kobe comes back he should be only be counted on to be a complementary player. For goodness sakes, he’ll be 37 and coming off of 3 consecutive injury marred seasons. Thinking otherwise is what has produced the worst back to back seasons in Lakers’ history.
The future is staring us in the face and the FO has to embrace that fact. If Kobe returns he’ll have a role but that role will defer to the Lakers’ overall plan for rebuilding the team into a winner.
This blog has a weird obsession with Ryan Kelly. What would I need to see him develop for? To find out how he’ll do in the Euroleague?
Craig W. says
No matter what, I don’t see next year as one where we are a contending team.
Given that opinion, I suspect Kobe will be on a farewell tour around the NBA cities and will be utilized within the organization to mentor young players. He will see enough minutes, but I suspect we will be using others in strategic spots to see what they can do.
If all that comes to fruition – and Byron doesn’t change his stripes over the remainder of this year – I really don’t see how Byron could effectively coach next year’s squad, because that type of coaching is not his style. I guess I would rather see Bryon learn and change – earning a chance to coach next year – rather than just dumping him now and picking up another retread or short-term coach.
Ha. No. You deserve it. You take a lot of time discussing pretty rudimentary basketball stuff with each and every commentator on this site. I am pretty sure you’re the only person who does that.
Ryan: I agree with you about Kelly. I had written a response to Calvin in a previous thread which addressed our bench and their likely future contributions.
Calvin Chang: From the Lakers young guys, what do you think are their ceilings and comps? I think Tarik’s ceiling is to be a Ben Wallace with better offense. Sacre’s ceiling is backup center. RKelly’s ceiling is a Ryan Anderson or Channing Frye with better moves off the dribble but softer on defense and rebounds. Maybe a taller Luke Walton? Clarkson reminds me of former Spur Antonio Daniels. Long, fast, athletic combo guard. He does need to bulk up to play more physical defense. Randle reminds me of a young Derrick Coleman, but still need to see more of him against NBA-caliber defense.
Your ceilings are quite high. If our Lakers really had that much upside potential we’d be pretty optimistic about the future. My takes:
– Tarik’s ceiling is equal to Nick Collison. A spot starter but more likely a rotational big.
– Sacre is a 3rd string center or plays overseas
– RKelly’s future is overseas
– Clarkson is the first guard off the bench on a good team
– Randle, I see more of ZRandolph than Coleman. DC had a polished mid-range game when he came into the league. To be honest, the jury is still out on whether he can stay healthy enough to have an impact
Darius Soriano says
The Lakers’ on/off numbers tell an interesting story regarding some of the players fans think pretty poorly about. There are three players who, when they are on the court, the Lakers have a positive efficiency differential:
Tarik Black +9.9
Robert Sacre +5.7
Ryan Kelly +1.6
With Kelly and Black the samples are small. Sacre has been, for most of the year, a regular rotation player. These numbers will be influenced by sample size and the quality of the players they are facing, but ultimately the numbers say the Lakers outperform their opponents when these guys are on the floor. Regardless of what thoughts are of them as individual performers.
Calvin Chang says
DS: That is very interesting indeed. There are a lot of variables, but sometimes, a player does not have to be talented to always make a positive impact. If a player just knows where to be on the court on offense to provide spacing, or knows where and when to help on defense, or get out of the way to let others score, contribute to chemistry, etc. I think Tarik has very high bball IQ and a great attitude. He knows his role and just sticks to it. Doesn’t try to do too much.
Calvin Chang says
Sacre is actually decent as the big when defending the high pick and roll. He knows how to show hard and buy the screened-off PG time to recover on defense. Sacre is serviceable in small doses. Ryan Kelly is really ineffective as a SF. He can play in the NBA as a stretch 4 if he can bulk up and improve on rebounding and defense.
Calvin Chang says
Todd – agreed that Randle can be more of a Randolph than Coleman. Hopefully, Randle can stay healthy.
Calvin Chang says
What do you guys think of Atlanta? That’s a team I’m really surprised at. I keep thinking they’re a flash in the pan because they don’t have superstars and are composed of 2nd-tier players and role players, but they just keep on winning. Horford’s an undersized center, Millsap an undersized PF, Korver just a 3pt specialist. I don’t think Teague is an elite PG like Lillard or Kyrie. How the holy cow do they keep winning?