Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz
Wed Feb 25, 9:00 PM EST – ROOT, TWSN
Line: UTA -10.0, O/U: 192.0
EnergySolutions Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
It’s a Celebration! Actually, no, no it’s not.
When your team is bad, these are things, I suppose that come up. If you missed the “news” you are better off than I am, but I will now
drag you down with me explain it to you. After beating the Boston Celtics on Sunday, several Lakers’ players — Nick Young, Jordan Hill, and Carlos Boozer, to be specific — celebrated the victory by, essentially, acting a silly and hamming it up for the camera during post game interviews. When the tape of this celebration was showed to Kobe Bryant and, subsequently, Byron Scott, it became an issue as those actions were deemed unprofessional and, gasp!, not the Laker way.
Honestly, I couldn’t really care less about this subject, but, again, when you’re bad, these are the things you end up talking about. My opinion is pretty straight forward: those guys acted a bit over the top, but did so after a game in which they almost lost, came back to win in OT, and against a rival that, before the game, their head coach discussed his strong dislike of (even noting that he wouldn’t coach for them if offered the job). So, this is an opponent the team was expected to get up for, actually won (only their 14th win out of too many to count), and then got a bit out of hand when expressing their happiness about said win. So, while I see both sides of this, I tend to lean towards this being mostly harmless fun by a group of guys who probably haven’t had much fun this season.
Anyways, the Lakers’ celebration will likely end tonight as they face a Jazz team who, the last time they played, beat them fairly easily. In that game Gordan Hayward did his best impersonation of Rick Barry, scoring easily, dishing out dimes, and working the glass well. Hayward showed he was clearly the best player on the floor and led his team to victory handily. Tonight, then, it would be prudent to try and slow down Hayward if the Lakers want to win this game. Only, you know, they really don’t have a person capable of doing so. Unless something dramatic changes, Ryan Kelly will start at SF and, as it’s been when he has played this position in all other games this season, will be ill-suited to defend a quality wing like Hayward. Kelly simply lacks the foot speed and perimeter defensive chops to do much to contain a player of Hayward’s quality.
If the Lakers can’t slow Hayward, their next best bet is to contain the rest of the roster to minimize their impact. That mostly means limiting Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Trey Burke, Dante Exum, and Trevor Booker. With the recent trade of Enes Kanter, that is one less big body who can score to deal with, but his moving on also means more of Gobert, a giant of a man with athleticism and burgeoning feel for how to exploit that on both ends of the court. Gobert’s emergence will make matters hard on the Lakers’ bigs when they try to score inside and test their pick and roll and transition defense when he’s diving to the rim looking for lobs or put back dunks. Combine him with Favors and the perimeter play of Burke and Exum (who, late in his rookie year, is starting to catch on to how to make things happen at this level) and the Lakers are likely to be outgunned.
This is especially true with the Lakers on the road, in Utah — a notoriously hard place to play. The team will need above average play from multiple players, but the only way I see them hanging tough is if
Nick Young (Young is not playing) and Jeremy Lin provide a nice push off the bench when they are matched up with the Jazz reserves. I am already counting on the Lakers’ starters struggling to keep pace (the Hayward match up alone swings things their way a large amount), but there is a chance that can be countered by some shotmaking from Young and Lin. If Davis can continue his recent strong play, this may well be a game.
I just don’t count on it.
Where you can watch: 6:00pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
I like the Jazz a lot. I see them as heir apparent’s to the current Western Conference elite.
Reposting last two comments from previous thread as I’d like to hear folks thoughts on the apparent FA or bust approach that the FO appears to be embracing. Especially iffy now that our 2016 target is showing signs of excessive wear.
Alan: It is my belief that the Lakers are on a very slippery slope. Jim Buss is putting virtually all of his eggs in one basket (free agency) and I do not believe it is a sound way to rebuild the team.
Todd: Plus, in the un-restricted FA world you’re talking about older and expensive players. So you are eating into cap space and talking about ‘windows for winning’ as soon as you sign them.
Trip: While the Lakers have a distinct built in advantage in attracting FAs I do acknowledge an increased emphasis by elite players to focus on their legacy. So I think winning is as important as money. So if the money is the same between the Lakers and Team X and Team X has better young talent and assets then it’s not a slam dunk that the Lakers get their guy. It’s been said that a good FA will sign for the money and an elite FA will sign for the money and the best chance to win.
Personally, I’m a little concerned about who the Lakers want to attract. I hope last summer’s play for Melo was a one-time dalliance as opposed to the FO’s new mantra. The Lakers have a chance to build a team around a young talented core (if you include keeping this year’s pick) which will give then a huge window to win with. No sense in spending our one asset, cap space, on players that due to their age or mileage have a limited window from the get go.
PS: Has anyone noticed that our 2016 target is already beginning to show signs of wear and tear? Why would our FO want to give up a chance to keep our top pick this year and enjoy the cost controlled years of a franchise player?
T. Rogers – “PS: Has anyone noticed that our 2016 target is already beginning to show signs of wear and tear? Why would our FO want to give up a chance to keep our top pick this year and enjoy the cost controlled years of a franchise player?”
I’ve noticed. And the 2017 target (his teammate) has already had three surgeries on the same knee. Sure its not giving him any problems now. But what’s the chances Westbrook’s knee starts acting up during his next contract that will begin when he’s 29 years old? Yet another reason why the multiple max free agent strategy is flawed.
Thomas Rickard says
I watch the celebration live and several times since, I don’t remember seeing Boozer, but regardless it went over the top, not very professional, but then as you pointed out the team hasn’t played aa very high level, and I doubt anyone but Swaggy will be back next year.
George – Who is this 2016 target you mention? Just curious. Also, the 2017 target. Sorry, I have no idea.
Everyone knows it’s best to have a players first seven years instead of their last seven… Especially when you think of the cost considerations. It’s just rare to get a top three pick where superstar players are typically selected and even more rare for a superstar to be available when you have that top pick. If you have to get a Durant for the worst seven years of his career then oh well. It sucks. But it’s the draft system we are stuck with. It’s immoral to me for people not to pick where they want to work when they are skilled labor. Soccer has it right over and over.
We need to hope we draft a Durant talent but we also have to hope we sign the actual Durant. His feet issues aren’t as serious as Westbrooks knee issues. Westrbooks entire game is built on athleticism and he is 6-3. He won’t age as well as KD. In both their primes give me Westbrook all day. A better two way player and created more looks for his teammates. But for us… KD is the better option.
Craig W. says
IMO, it is the ‘talking heads’ and posters here who are sure they know what the Laker ‘plan’ is. The Lakers are not talking, nor should they.
Craig W. – your non talking FO, led by Jim Buss, has said in a number of interviews that the Lakers have enough cap space to sign two max FAs. So your constant comments about the FO never talking are not true.
Anon: KD in 2016 and RW in 2017.
Not fair having to play 4 on 5. Kelly could be worst Laker in history. And he still starts. Zero and another 0 for 5 for jelly girl.
Craig W. – if I’m not mistaken Jim talked about signing two max FAs in a Shelburne interview.
We better lose this game …. if we win out of our pick this will be the worst possible year ….. at least get the pick
Looking like rondo is on his way out Of dallas …. would we wamt him at 10 mil per?
Need this L badly!! Esp with Wolves winning tonight.
A little strange to foul up four points with less than 15 seconds left with the lead, looked like Davis fouled on purpose. .
T Rogers says
Meaningless win. It’s a shame I’m upset about the team actually winning. The league really needs to change this system.
If the Lakers want to keep losing, they need to get Nick Young back in the lineup.
Maybe I don’t know how things work in the NBA, but wouldn’t it be illegal (tampering) for the FO to say they are going after a specific player not currently under contract with the organization? Does the same not apply if the FO would say “we plan to lose as much as possible to manipulate the system and get the top pick.”
I think that’s what Craig is saying about the FO not talking. It’s other people that interpret the “we will target free agents” to mean KD etc. no?
We are royally screwed! I’m done for this season.
BTW, Clarkson wants this, he’s going to be a surprise along the line of a Lilliard. I did not say he was Lilliard, I said he will be a surprise player like Lilliard.
Wow – just wow. I am at a loss as to what the Lakers are doing. To me losing this pick will be a huge set back. Jim Buss better have a miracle up his sleeve because I can’t see how this gets turned around any time soon.
Man – someone didn’t get the memo did they? You beat Boston, then you lose games. ESPECIALLY when the TWolves win. Come on guys, get with the program.
On another, related, note – this kind of win basically shows that the team isn’t trying to tank. (Or if they are, they’re truly terrible at it…. I don’t even want to think about this any more!)
Jerry Ross says
Yikes – come on lakers. Come up with a dang plan already and execute it. If you’re going to tank, then seriously tank. Give us fans something to hope for.
Craig W. says
Sorry all, but I am rooting for the Lakers to win the remainder of their games. We are seeing development of players and chemistry coming together – all good things. Clarkson is starting to look like the steal of the draft. Ellington is playing himself into a good contract next year – like Meeks did last year. Lin is beginning to look like an NBA contributor. Is it possible the Lakers could have a reasonable guard group next year? If so then that simplifies what they do this summer.
As for me, I think I will restrict my wishing to the Lakers getting one of the top 3 picks via the lottery.
@shaun: the way rondo is looking right now? not worth a penny during a rebuilding process
i hate losing as much as everybody else, but we are playing for a hight pick and win a game down by 12 going into the 4th? this team is so bad they even dont know how you tank properly….
on a positive note, clarkson is BALLIN!!!! great find by our FO….if he keeps this up, one should seriously consider him as a roy candidate (even though in dont see him winning this thing over wiggins, who himself is showing some promise as of late)
Relax. The Lakers’ only real competition for a lottery pick right now is the Minnesota Timberwolves and there are only two games separating them — the Lakers are now 15-41, Minnesota 13-43.
But tonight the Timberwolves beat an excellent Washington team by 20 points(!). Minnesota now has Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, and N. Peckovic back to play along side Andrew Wiggins. This could actually be a fairly strong team. I fully expect the Timberwolves to play better than .500 ball the rest of the way (26 more games). The Lakers, even with a relatively “easy” schedule the rest of the way, will NOT win half their games. But Minnesota, I truly believe, could begin winning in a big way.
The Lakers’ losing out on the lottery will not happen…the evidence of the last 2 games notwithstanding. If the Lakers finish with the 3rd worst record in the league — which I fully expect them to do — then they will almost certainly be in the chase for Karl-Anthony Towns or another Blue chip prospect.
Meanwhile, rejoice in the fact that Jordan Clarkson is the real deal. Next year Clarkson + Julius Randle + K-A Towns (hopefully) + another 1st-round draft pick + 2 decent FAs + others (including Kobe, of course) could produce a VERY different, younger, more athletic, and almost certainly a better team. The Lakers could actually be in the process of building a core for the future. FAs for 2016 and 2017 will then take notice.
One must have a little faith.
My feeling is that the Lakers will regret not keeping this pick. The only path left for them to improve the team is through free agency. Winning meaningless games cost the team a better pick last year and may cost our pick this year.
What could the FO have planned that can improve the team more than a top 5 pick from this draft? What am I missing?
So your constant comments about the FO never talking are not true.
Indeed. I have also noted that right after the lockout, ESPN ran a story saying that the Lakers were going to try to get Paul and Howard.
And good points above about Minnesota.
Stuart, from your post above, just curious who is that player who became a better pick before Lakers got Julius Randle? Embiid, Parker, Gordon, Exum, Wiggins, Smart, are they really great picks? I don’t hear anyone who has really helped their new teams. From NCAA to NBA, all of them are suspects, you never know who and how will they pan out unless they are proven Superstar even in the minor league like Lebron, Kobe, Magic, Bird and MJ. Perhaps, we have one in fast track like Clarkson, however still premature to make big plans for there are only few game samples.
My point, just play the game and see where fate would lead you. Lakers need psychological lift and momentum and start believing that Kobe has a replacement in the future. If the goal is always reserved for tomorrow; not doing your job today; nor review and improve your mistakes yesterday; then where is the guarantee that you can really achieve that goal tomorrow? Forgive my philosophical preach.
Good points about Minnesota — include the emotional lift from KG and I think they will play better than the Lakers down the stretch as well.
One quibble — Wizards are not an excellent team right now, but one that is falling apart and cannot seem to pull it together. Lot going wrong with that team right now.
-Clarkson doing his best to convince the Lakers to take 6′ 5″ pg’s Russell and Mudiay off their radar.
-Today’s fun stat, which cities are NBA players from? Following is a list of the top 15 North American cities:
Oldtimer: Wiggins is special and I think that Exum will be as well.
“I think that Jim Buss is a genius.” — Sam Hinkie, General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers
Keith: “I think that Jim Buss is a genius.” — Sam Hinkie, General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers
I wouldn’t worry about missing out on this year’s draft lottery. My sense is that the Jim Buss led Lakers will have many more opportunities to win it in the future.
Time to have Clarkson shut it down for the season. (sarcasm)
Well, since it’s looking more likely that the Lakers will use free agency to turn the team around, here is an ESPN article about potential FAs this off season. Note, Insider subscription needed.
T. Rogers says
That list is pretty interesting. I didn’t realize Los Angeles had so many players in the league. It makes sense when considering the size of the city. I think I’m more surprised its so far ahead of New York. New York got the “Mecca of Basketball” name for a reason. There was a great Grantland piece awhile back about the decline of basketball in New York City. It was an excellent read. I’d recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the game.
This year’s All Star game had three L.A. area guys in Harden, Thompson, and Westbrook. And Kyle Korver was born here but attended high school in Iowa.
Stuart – The projected cap in 2015/16 is $66 million. Kobe takes up 38% of that at $25 million. One max player (at $20 million) laves the Lakers about $21 million under the cap. To sign 2 max FAs, as Jim has mentioned, essentially eats all our cap space.
As I look over the list I can’t see many players that a) would leave their current teams or b) young enough to make a difference for the Lakers. I also think that Love stays w/ Lebron. Assuming that Clarkson stays at the One, I like Butler, Monroe and Green but again their current situations are likely better than what the Lakers could offer. The best solution for the Lakers is to keep our pick and sign one of these guys. That way we keep moving this thing forward.
The reality is if we lose out on our pick this summer, we’ll need more time to get this back on track. Heck, even with this pick we will be 3 or 4 years away so if you are matching ‘windows for winning’, then it doesn’t make sense to look at any FA that is 29/30.
-@ T. Rogers, I was very surprised L. A. had so many more current NBA players than NYC. Also surprised at how many current players are from Toronto.
-ESPN’s Baxter Holmes has a nice piece explaining WHY feelings persist that the Lakers are wayyy behind in the use of analytics (not only in the NBA, but all four major league prof sports teams in North America):
Calvin Chang says
I was skeptical of Clarkson at first because he was putting up numbers with a green light to play and without the pressure of winning. But last night, he played very well and is showing maturity and patience. Nashty is teaching him well. You can see when Clarkson uses the PNR to attack, he patiently seals off his defender while reading the defense. Nash does this very well. With Clarkson’s speed and good shooting fundamentals, he will become a very good player very quickly. #Gilas2016
Calvin Chang says
A seasoned JClarkson with Randle and Jahlil will be a good core to develop. I’d prefer Jahlil to Towns. Athletic rim protecting bigs are not that difficult to find. But a big with excellent low-post scoring fundamentals is very rare. It’s a luxury to have a big you can just dump the ball in the post and have him get a good percentage shot on single coverage.
Calvin – Next year we’ll be dumping the ball to Sacre. The Sixers will be dumping the ball to Jahlil.
Thanks for the links Stuart. though Amin was also saying that those F/A’s wanted to earn good money and have a chance to win. If Lakers keep on rebuilding every season protecting their draft picks next season while lukewarm in competing, then no sane Superstar or medium star willing to stake his career with a moribund franchise. People always align themselves with a winner, something to be proud of, especially with the sports and media capital like Los Angeles. We just concluded the Oscar’s, the Grammy’s, 3 NFL team are egging out to be in LA market. Why? our strategic location is the prime mover here in the West Coast. Here comes the legendary Lakers after losing Dr. Buss, the franchise also about to join him in his grave. With due respects, may he rest in peace. With the inheritors, respect should be earned not inherited just because they’re Buss.
Based on the F/A’s mentioned, I will really chase PF Love, C -Gasol and PG Dragic while retain of course Kobe, Randle, Clarkson, Davis and Wellington. This will lift the Lakers away from being an underachiever. Don’t be afraid to pay them well and Lakers will reap what they sow by being pro-active, optimistic, super alive and vibrant.
Considering that Long Beach is part of L.A. County, L.A. is double to the #2.
BCS Wow – That article even depressed me:
“they haven’t hired anybody that anybody has respect for in the analytics community”
“Lakers’ progress with analytics matches their record this season: almost dead last.”
“ESPN.com have put the Lakers in the bottom 10 across professional sports in terms of their commitment to analytics.”
“Extending Kobe was an unmitigated disaster,” the official said, “at least where winning basketball games is a concern.”
“I don’t know if the Lakers are trying to do that or what they’re trying to do to understand the value of draft picks, cap space and tying that all together. ”
rr: Were you interviewed for this article?
BigCitySid – Thanks for the heads up on the Lakers and Analytics article.
The more new evidence that comes out about the inner workings of the Lakers’ FO when combined with the decisions/results we have seen these past years make for a damning conclusion of management.
I am more convinced than ever that in three years time Jeanie will have to put a completely new basketball operations team in place. I truly like Mitch but the reality is that he will be 63 when Jim’s completes his three year ‘race to irrelevancy’.
Opening the Lakers’ doors to a new, more efficient and effective approach will be long overdue.
I said weeks ago Clarkson should be sent to the D league for the rest of the year. You need to play washed up vets… Not young talented players that will improve from game to game.
Also… Everyone should listen to Mitch on ESPN LA radio yesterday. Mitch explains they have no interest in giving away their metrics. For obvious reasons. They want to keep every advantage they have
Calvin Chang says
Good job by the FO on this one. I think a few years down the line, it will show that Clarkson’s the best PG of this draft class. He’s like a sponge, learning and improving with each passing game and applying lessons he learns from Nashty. The speed and athleticism has always been there. But the sound shooting form, one-hand tear drop, plus learning to read the defense on the PNR to make a play based on what the defense gives is what will make JC a very good PG.
Calvin Chang says
For all the FO’s missteps so far, they really scored in Jordan Clarkson. He’s a future olympian. #Puso
Question: If Lakers end up with the #4 pick, and Sam Hinkie offers Joel Embiid for the pick straight up, do you make the deal?
Clarkson learning is a good thing. Not being able to keep his minutes down because of Price’s elbow injury is the bad. Missing out on a top 5 pick extends the misery a few more years and I don’t ever want to be angry towards a two game winning streak again.
Serious question for Robert: It seems that the ESPN article faults the Lakers for saying they are embracing analytics but failing to “show” how truly committed they are to the analytical storm by making certain coaching hires (including Byron Scott and Mike Dantoni) that admittedly dislike analytics. So, in that respect, shouldn’t ‘t a portion of the blame also be laid at the shoes of the coach for refusing to utilize proven statistical data to his advantage? I get that the FO shares the blame here since they hired Byron Scott, but I do not think any rational mind would argue that he was hired to execute a new analytics-driven methodology for this team. IN fact, I honestly believe he was hired (1) to partially quiet Kobe since Kobe respects him so much and (2) to ensure we keep our 5th pick. No?
Also, I take offense on the article’s points on Kobe. You do not need to know one bit of analytics to know that the Kobe contract extension was more about ensuring Kobe stayed with the team until retirement and no so much about immediately contending for a title. Sure, it was a bad move on paper (and in a spreadsheet), but completely understandable from the point of view that, after 19 years, Jim, Jeannie and Mitch probably view Kobe more like family than a hired hand – so I forgive them for making that contracting error. I know you are a huge Kobe fan, so I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
@ Big City Sid – appreciate the link. This article comes on the heals of the national piece by ESPN’s Pelton which although ranked the Lakers very low still left some hope that a light bulb was on in the FO. The Holmes article turns out that light.
For our FO apologists these recent articles come on the heals of a string of ESPN pieces that rank all NBA teams:
1) In September’s Future Power Rankings, the Lakers were ranked 28th out of 30. Interesting that a subset of that assessment, looking specifically at “Management’ ranked our FO 28 out of the 30 teams as well.
2) In December’s, ‘Every NBA Team’s Chance Of Winning A Title By 2019’, the Lakers were tied for 29th in terms of being least likely to win a championship.
There is mounting evidence that the Lakers are a big mess.
Also… Everyone should listen to Mitch on ESPN LA radio yesterday. Mitch explains they have no interest in giving away their metrics. For obvious reasons. They want to keep every advantage they have.
The Lakers PR company must be the most over worked firm in the city. If you listen to any Lakers interview they are full of plausible but not really defendable positions. They take the term ‘spin’ to ‘spinsanity’ levels.
Calvin: There is now a 20+% chance that the Lakers lose the pick. And let’s not bring luck into the equation – our beloved Lakers don’t have any.
Mitch explains they have no interest in giving away their metrics.
Uhhh, nobody really gives away their metrics that I am aware of, and if any FO were accused of such, they would deny it. This is, as noted, just Mitch being what he is: a company man. The Lakers do not, AFAIK, have a full-time director of analytics with actual academic quals for the position. Some people may be cool with that, others may say that we shouldn’t talk about it because we don’t really know what’s going on anyway, and others will say that they have a huge analytics department but don’t reveal it to the public because the FO is more closed-mouthed than Frank Pantangalee’s brother in Godfather II.
Any of those positions may be true to one degree or another. But it is probably still just Mitch being a company man.
As to Clarkson, unless you want the Lakers to find 12 guys who simply should not be in the NBA, they are going to get a few wins. In the Boston game, Jeremy Lin and Wesley Johnson were a combined 19/24 from the floor and and a combined +26. Even mediocre and bad NBA players will have some good games.
Anon: Sure, it was a bad move on paper (and in a spreadsheet), but completely understandable from the point of view that, after 19 years, Jim, Jeannie and Mitch probably view Kobe more like family than a hired hand – so I forgive them for making that contracting error.
“Extending Kobe was an unmitigated disaster,” the official said, “at least where winning basketball games is a concern.” Kobe’s contract has paralyzed the franchise and produced the two worst records in Lakers history. Back to back, I might add.
rr: I think the board needs your balanced insight about:
1) the Lakers recent mini win streak putting our pick in in jeopardy
2) how successful the FO can be implementing an improvement through free agency approach
3) Recent articles about the FO’s lack of ingenuity/analytics or secretive use of them
Hope you can post soon.
Darius Soriano says
I thought the Baxter Holmes article was interesting for a variety of reasons. I think it’s worth everyone’s time, if only for some an idea about what, from comments from Mitch/Byron/Madsen on the record, the Lakers are doing with analytics.
As I said on twitter, however, some of that article comes off as cronyism from anonymous people where they are saying, essentially, “we don’t know who these people are or what they do exactly, so we assume it’s not very good”. I don’t think that’s the biggest deal in the world, but I think it’s worth pointing out and considering rather than just taking what these anonymous folks are saying as fact.
Ultimately, what I think most is that articles like that one contribute to the perception problem the Lakers are going through. It’s hard to tell a team that’s winning that they’re doing it wrong. It’s much easier to do so with a team that is experiencing the opposite. Since the Lakers are the latter, I expect folks to pile on. Some of it will have merit, some of it won’t, and some of it will be a mix of both where the idea has some validity but the evidence or data points used to make the argument are slanted or come from a place of bias, etc.
Anyways, like I said, I found the article interesting more for what we gleaned from on the record comments from people who work for the team than the on the record comments from people who did not divulge their identity and, at least somewhat, admitted that they really don’t know what the team is doing but that what it “appears” they are doing isn’t something they are impressed with.
Darius Soriano says
I think it’s fair to point out that Mike D’Antoni wasn’t analytics averse at all. He consistently cited points per possession as the metric for measuring offense and defense, talked about how he wanted his team to shoot three pointers/get layups & dunks/get to the foul line to score (which are now commonly thought of as the most efficient shots in the game), and talked about using lineup data to help inform his rotations decisions. These are all common practices among teams who would be considered analytically friendly.
Byron, meanwhile, is pretty much the opposite and refers to himself as “old-school”, wearing the title as a badge of honor. So, there is a strong distinction between the two.
Todd: Like I said, I do not like his contract but I understand why he deserved it. I also understand the impact this had and continues to have on “rebuilding.” I still think this is a forgivable act.
Darius Soriano says
Also, it should be noted that opinions about why Mitch says one thing or another is just that, an opinion. And when a comment is prefaced with “as far as I know” like rr’s is, it should be taken as exactly that — something that he’s speaking on with his knowledge of the situation.
This isn’t breaking down game film or tallying boxscore stats or any other item that can actually be measured by an outsider. This is parsing words and choosing whether or not to believe what someone says. When the article cites Mitch saying he has 4 full time analytics guys on staff who mostly deal with the SportVU data plus an additional two (Rudy T & his son) who parse typical boxscore data with information from public stats sites (like the statscube tools at NBA.com), people can choose to believe that or not. But if it’s a “not” and the logic is “he’s just being a company man”, then this really isn’t a discussion worth having.
Darius: You are right. I remember reading about how he (Dantoni) tried to show Dwight that he (Dwight) was a more efficient scorer in pick and roll situations than when he got the ball in the post (or something like that).
rr: How many NBA teams have a full-time director of analytics with actual academic quals for the position? Also, how does the size of the analytics team in the Lakers compare to other teams? Not busting your you-know-whats, you just seem to know a bit more about this stuff than most so I am just trying to determine just how far back the team truly is.
Calvin Chang says
I wonder what Byron would do if Clarkson progresses very quickly and starts leading the team to a winning streak? Would you now bench him? Wow, what a conundrum. BS can’t win 🙂 That’s why Lil Pau, JC and I offer our services to you, Mitch. For free Kobe sneakers, season tickets next year, and personalized jerseys, we will dutifully play and guarantee losses. Blowout losses.
The entire point of analytics is to get an advantage over the other teams in the league. It completely defeats the purpose to have anyone know (including many in the organization) how you’re using the information. These are trade secrets.
At some point effort and good intentions have to give way to the real bottom line of wins and losses. Aside from finding Clarkson (a real gem) the Lakers are doing more things wrong than right.
As fans we don’t know who within the organization weilds the accountability hammer (Jeanie or the Lakers’ board?). We also don’t know the timing of when that hammer hits (is the three year deadline a hard one or a soft one?). Finally, we don’t know who it hits when it comes down (would Jeanie ask her brother to leave or is he reassigned within the organization, out of the public eye, where he would still weild control?).
I love this board because it gives me a chance to vent about the Lakers, a team I have loved soince being a kid. This board also gives me the chance to push our conversations in provacative directions. However, in moments of calm I understand that the TWC deal gives the Lakers far more leeway than other organizations. I’m sure, despite their woeful record, the team will still earn over $100 million dollars this year.
The urgency to get it right is a little different in the Lakers FO. I’m sure Lakers’ management wants to win its just that when you’re dealing with family objectives, repercussions and timetables get a little blurry.
bryan S. says
Mid-W: Good take on the tank. Our #4 position is pretty solid, as long as we don’t win too many more. If we get a good losing streak going, I really like our chances to sink to the third spot, as Minnesota, as you’ve commented, is a pretty good team that wants to win right now. (It’s hard to root against the purple and gold, and I really didn’t feel too bad after that high effort win.)
Clarkson: My sixteen year old 6’3″ baller and volleyball stud (touches 10’6″–brag Dad) asked me last night what I thought Clarkson’s ceiling was. I told him that I was elated that the Lakers got him with a 2nd round pick, and at the time of the draft, I thought he could become a solid rotation player. That was then. Now he is quickly moving to NBA starter potential. A bigger sample size might yield a even higher projected ceiling, particularly if he can improve his outside shooting (low release point).
Draft: I think it’s a four guy deep elite player/franchise changer group. Towns, Okafor, Mudiay, Russell. After that, pretty big drop. Stanley Johnson doesn’t have elite size or quickness for the three. I would be saddened if we took him at #5. I actually like his teammate, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, more as a pro because of his elite quickness, defensive ability (but not a #5). If we end up at #5, I like Kevon Looney’s considerable upside.
With the mid-twenties pick from Houston, the lakers may get a very nice player. I really like Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker: sf, 6’9″, athletic, skilled shooter. Think a more athletic and better defender version of Chandler Parsons. More upside than his teammate, Kaminsky. In the hard to go wrong with an athletic, huge guy pick category: Kentucky’s center,Dakari Sampson, 7′, 260 lbs. could be a draft steal, who I expect to rise in draft boards when the pre-draft workouts begin.
Robert: Ambulance chasing is weird. Look at these value picks: Sacre, Kelly, Clarkson. Consider that Randle may end up a top tier starter. They’ve done very well with excellent scouting. Yes, we need to better utilize analytics, and we know that the team has made hires to that end. But just because the analytics guys working in the league don’t know the laker hires means absolutely nothing. Tons of well-paid analytics people working in industry who’ve never heard of the NBA guys. My guess is that the Lakers hired some capable grad students from USC on the cheap. Point here is that this article, as so many do out of the great maw of espn, has an agenda.
Baylor Fan says
As much as I like Clarkson, remember that he is on a two year deal. After next season, he is a free agent and will become just as expensive as he and his agent decide what his market value should be.
The analytics discussion in regards to the Lakers is ignoring the obvious. If the Lakers have been analytics driven the past few years, we would see it in player development. What young players have the Lakers identified and developed in the past 4 years with an eye to making them part of the Lakers future? What offensive and defensive schemes are supported by their player development? Hint: they would not change every year if they had confidence in what the analytics were saying. If you want a peek under the hood of how modern analysis is done, check out “Department of Defense” on Grantland.com. I would be delighted if the Lakers had the ability to do that type of analysis and had access to the computing power needed to do it.
bryan S.-Mark Madsen has ties in Silicon Valley after all he graduated from Stanford and remains a university darling. I’m quite sure he can get someone to perform analytics for the Lakers, too.
So far, Clarkson has exhibited all of the characteristics one desires in a draft pick regardless the position taken. He is hungry, plays with passion, and is fearless. We’ll have a more accurate idea of Clarkson’s potential after his workouts this summer. As it pertains to basketball, basketball players improve during the off-season and apply what they’ve worked on during the season. I believe in post-season weight lifting and skills drills.
Still hoping for Elias Harris, and a top 5 pick.
Not hoping for Lakers to sign two high priced FA’s over 30. Too risky, too much money.
Still hoping they can unload Nick Young on somebody.
Still see Clarkson as a two guard. Plenty of young points available, even lower in the draft. Time to get their own, stop bringing in everybody else’s problems.
bryan S. says
Still hoping for Elias Harris.
Stopped me right there.
Not hoping for … two hight priced FA’s over 30.
…unload Nick Young on somebody.
No takers there.
see Clarkson as a two guard . . .
Undersized for the position. Takes away most of his advantages that he has as a one.
Anon: Reasonable questions. There is no doubt that Scott has placed no value in the stats (and the article says as much with quotes from him), and as such he is old school/behind the times. However the coach would use the stats to decide playing time and rotations and such. The other use of these stats comes in player acquisition (FA and draft) which Byron has nothing to do with. We agree that Byron was a known quantity coming here and it was no secret about his old school ways inclusive of the stats. I also agree with the Kobe factor in the hire. I do not agree that the FO was trying to tank when they hired him. This has been an accidental tank not an intentional one (half of his board was predicting a “surprising” team this year – not a team that was going to tank). I think they wanted someone for Kobe and the Laker tradition ties. I said all of this when I predicted early on that he would be hired. The odds that he would coach us to a championship were always slim and now they are less than slim.
You are correct that I am a huge Kobe fan, but I am a Laker fan first. I openly discussed letting Kobe go or using the A bomb on him a few years ago. In retrospect “all” would have been better off – keep in mind I went to Minny and saw a few other choice Kobe games that I would have sacrificed for the good of all and KB : ) I was against the extension from the beginning, and could point you to the archives where I said that I would be simply be rooting for Kobe records (which I do not even have right now). I would have loved for the Lakers to have put together a team for KB to get #6 in LA, but once I realized that was not possible we needed to look to the future. More importantly – no way we contend for a title next year, so the object is not to make moves so we can be better in 2016, rather needs to be when we contend in the future. If we can make a move that does both (like drafting well), then great, but FA that makes us better next year and worse off in the long run would be a big mistake. Next years team should be called KB and the Youngsters, because that is what our roster should look like. In any case – thanks for the questions – because I like this type of discussion And differing opinions are good for discussion.
bryan S: We all have agendas. Some are just more apparent than others : ) We all have our interpretations. However results are what they are. PS: Why are we hiring people on the cheap anyway : )
The Department of Defense article on Grantland was a very good read. Well worth it for any NBA fan, Lakers or otherwise.
The Baxter Holmes article I’m mixed on. It felt a lot like the Abbott Kobe takedown from a while back (I know, there’ve been a lot of those, but I’m referring to the feature article one). A lot of “sources” and very little attribution. After McMenimen, Holmes has been a BIG change in how ESPN covers the Lakers. Very critical, and occasionally “haterish”.
I think (hope?) that the truth is somewhere in the middle. LA are nowhere near the full embrace a big data like Houston et. al., but there has been positive movement. For all of the banging on about Byron saying “3s don’t win titles”, that’s an adjustment that seems to have been made. If you take out the first month-and-a-bit of the season, LA are shooting quite a lot of 3s. Still way too many mid-range shots though.
It’s a work in progress.
Now, get that top 3 pick, find a FA or 2 that want to play in LA, and we could see a nice turnaround next season. As everyone is noting, Clarkson is looking like a 2nd round steal and there are some nice pieces on the roster. And we haven’t even seen Randall play a real NBA game.
Does this make me a glass half full or half empty guy?
You must be really down on the FO if you didn’t think they were trying to tank when you looked at this roster. As you know there was no doubt in my mind the Lakers were trying to keep their draft pick from the start of the summer after they couldn’t get LBJ.
T. Rogers says
ESPN is going over the top with its analytics worship. No sane, thinking person would be against collecting and analyzing data to help with decision making. What gets tiring is how these guys act like they are a bunch of Galileos discovering the Earth does indeed revolve around the sun. It just gets annoying. We can make a list that stretches from El Segundo to Staples Center of all the things the Lakers organization has done wrong over the last several years. And failing to be cheer leaders of basketball anayltics wouldn’t even make the first draft.
Craig W. says
We have 5 players out for the year with injuries (most starters)…and this on a club that was trying to rebound from last year and develop some talent. To say the Lakers intended to tank this year is – IMO – totally ingenuous.
Venting is needed and ok, but to totally ignore that the Kobe contract was about marketing and ‘butts in the seats’ – as well as a bit of loyalty – illustrates that either marketing isn’t being considered by the commenter or they just aren’t interested in anything outside their agenda, ala a number of ESPN articles we all read. The Lakers being the biggest sports name means that they can’t pull a 76’er ‘stunt’ and get away with it – they actually have to try to get better.
Craig W. says
Loved the comment about Byron Scott being the coach and not the GM – meaning that he has no responsibility to analyze players the front office is looking at. His job is to coach – and Mark Madsen might be able to help him to see some of his players weaknesses, but Bryon isn’t the one that will do the number crunching. As long as he at least will listen to Mark, I don’t have a problem with delegating the number crunching.
P.S. A Stanford grad and experienced NBA player with a statistical background isn’t exactly the worst person I could pick to select talent to work on analytics. I really don’t care who knows who’s name, as long as they can do their job. Until someone ‘hits a home-run’ nobody knows their name in-any-case.
Aaron: Me? Down on the FO? : ) In an case, both you and I looked at the roster and predicted a bad season. We differ on the motive.
T Rogers: ” We can make a list that stretches from El Segundo to Staples Center of all the things the Lakers organization has done wrong” Is that measured in distance or by time, factoring in traffic? : ) In any case the article is interesting in that it discusses process. There is no doubt that our results are poor, but some think this is due to circumstance and bad luck, and our processes are good. I could care less about stats vs gut feel – I want results. We do not have them, and this article claims some of our processes are bad. It might be right or wrong, but the results are what they are.
There’s a marquee match-up on TNT with the Warriors at the Cavaliers.
Remember when the Lakers played in games with something at stake, and you left work early to beat the traffic to attend the game or rush home to watch on television.
“I’ve been loving you, too long to stop now.”
1st question: How many NBA teams have a full-time director of analytics with actual academic quals for the position?
2nd question: Also, how does the size of the analytics team in the Lakers compare to other teams?
If you Google NBA TEAMS WITH ANALYTICS DEPARTMENTS it takes you to a page with guys listed by team, and most of them jump to Linked-In Profiles. Here is one example:
This guy has a BA from Michigan in Sports Management and a Masters from Harvard in Information Tech, and looks very young. Most teams seem to have guys like this; the Lakers link is to Rudy and Trey T. So, I suppose that Mitch is implying that the Lakers have four guys like this working under him and Jim Buss, but they don’t give them titles or whatever. That may be the case. But the Lakers could say who these dudes are and what their quals are without giving away anything and for whatever reason, they chose not to do that, as Baxter Holmes points out:
(The Lakers declined to reveal the identity of their analytics staffers, provide much information about them or allow them to be interviewed.)
2nd question: Nobody really knows, but there have been many articles to that effect and Jim Buss has neither the academic nor basketball quals that most guys in his decision-making position do around the league. That is a fact, and it won’t change. The counterpoint to that as noted is the long apprenticeship under Jerry West, Jerry Buss, and Mitch Kupchak.
Baxter Holmes is a Boston guy, and his Lakers coverage is usually somewhat slanted against the org. But at the same time, the FO could just say who these guys are and what they do in general terms.
With regards to analytics, it is hard to apply them with the Lakers team in these past two seasons. During Dantoni’s coaching, he was more interested on three’s than p & r or post plays, no emphasis on rebounds or transition defense, therefore stats are useless when the frame of mind were set in stone. In the case of Scott’s team, how can you apply analytics when they are a confused flock, dunno whether they want to win or lose to save the draft pick? When you have been watching basketball for so many years, I will tell you who the best players on the court, those who play with passion and those who play for the show. I believe in statistics being a Marketing Research guy during my formative years but basketball analytics (in my opinion) are only good for people in the broadcast booth, blogs, radio talk show, they have to say something to their audience to get attention. Well, there are coaches who claimed to possess analytically minded like Mike Brown, he was able to convince Jimbo that he was a defense oriented with video expertise etc. etc. can’t win in a preseason games huh! However when it comes to analytics, there is no substitute for the glib talker, Francis Dale “Chick” Hearn who can described a play as it happened, provides you everything in one sequence. He has been dead now for more than a decade but his basketball mind is beyond comparison in describing players and educating fans which is really irreplaceable. That’s the kind of analysis that we have been accustomed to which turned us into avid fans. Today, we listen to Stu and MacDonald, Ireland and Mychal on radio; Big Game James, to Rob Horry, to Coach Miller on TWC, they try their best to sugar coat the plays, analysis of the game but it is just really bad and awful from a naked eye. No need of analysis, grandma of Chick could say what is wrong? lol!
rr: I think the board needs your balanced insight about:
1) the Lakers recent mini win streak putting our pick in in jeopardy
2) how successful the FO can be implementing an improvement through free agency approach
3) Recent articles about the FO’s lack of ingenuity/analytics or secretive use of them.
George–thank you for the compliment. My opinions:
1. I kind of addressed this above. Guys are going to have good nights sometimes and sitting Clarkson is untenable. The Lakers probably have the worst roster in basketball, and these two wins were in OT and by three points over deep lottery teams. Add that to Minnesota getting their guys back, and I think the pick is pretty safe.
2. I am skeptical. I think that Durant will either stay in OKC or go home to DC and as noted both he and Westbrook will be/are on the downside by then. If the Lakers get this turned around in FA soon, I think it will be because Anthony Davis signs a QO in NO,decides to hit a market with some new CBA money in it, and wants to be a Laker. I see no particular reason to believe that will happen, however.
3. Those kinds of articles have been around for awhile. Kevin Pelton flatly stated in 2010, when the Lakers were on top, that he had heard that they made less use of analytics than any other team. Here is what we know:
1. Mitch is respected but is generally seen as old-school.
2. Jim Buss’s quals are what they are and the Lakers have made a point of saying that he does stat stuff.
3. Byron is old-school–just ask him.
4. The Lakers were neither willing to reveal who the four guys working for Mitch nor to say what they do.
None of this means that the Lakers are lagging, but the perception does of course matter. If some agents etc. believe this, then that is an issue.
If Davis accepts a qualifying offer he won’t be an unrestricted FA until the 2017/18 season. That’s three years from now — a long time for Jim Buss to roll cap space forward.
Ironically, that will be the final year of JB’s promise to step down if the Lakers are not contenders. Could Anthony Davis save Jim’s bacon?
I was listening to sports talk on ESPN 710 yesterday and the topic came up regarding Rondo’s tirade and suspension. The feeling was that it made it less likely that he resigns in Dallas. The next question was would the Lakers be interested. The concensus was no, with Clarkson’s development, Rondo’s age, injury history and price tag would not be a fit for where the Lakers currently are. The view was Rondo was more of a final piece, not the first piece.
But there was an interesting twist to the discussion. What if, because the Lakers are admittedly down, no one else wanted to come either. What if every other FA either decided to stay where they were or go to teams closer to winning ? In that scenario, would the Lakers feel desperate to get anyone and make a bad decision to bring a Rondo on board because of the need to do something?
To be honest this is my greatest fear with the Jim Buss FO. I hope we don’t make some rash decision — the path we are on will require a few more years for things to start to come together. I just don’t want the FO to make decisions that take away the one thing we have going for us – cap space.
I wish I was as confident as all of you about keeping our pick this year. The mini streak makes me feel as if the FO hasn’t factored in keeping the pick or not. My rationale is if you want the pick then you sure as heck make sure the coach is in on the plan. If you’re not sure then you let the chips fall where they may.
I look at the talent we have and what we can get through FA and I get a little concerned about how long it will take to get good again – I mean we’re talking a 3 or 4 year process at this point. So, I ask how can we speed that up and still keep most of our assets (young talent, future picks and cap space)? The answer is keeping this pick.
I can see how that would help, many of you can see that it will help — as you have already imagined certain players on next years’ team. I’m just not sure if the FO thinks it matters. Jim has been so contrarian about how he wants to put the team back together that I fear he truly believes its a matter of, ‘We are the Lakers, we have cap space — we’ll be fine.”
If it was me calling the shots and I wanted to keep this pick I’d make sure that the odds we lose it were smaller that 25%.
Kevin: Don’t worry too much about this. Mitch came out last week and mentioned that the team was not going to sacrifice the future to try and make Kobe go out a winner. So I think we are safe — at least while Kobe is on the team.
This is a good point though – what happens in the ‘post Kobe’ Lakers future. Let’s say that the rebuild stalls these next two years and we’re still missing the playoffs — looking at the talent level on this team that is not out of the realm of possibility. If Lakers fans are freaking out now can you imagine a 4 year run of sub .500 teams? Would Jim go all in on ‘older downside of their career’ FAs in an effort to get over the hump and keep to ‘his’ schedule?
One thing is for sure these will be interesting times.
Aaron, I rejected your tanking hypothesis early in the season. However, I now succumb to that theory only in lieu of no other viable option.
The Lakers are in a distinct situation to nab one of the top 3 picks in the impending draft. Why not take advantage of that? What is the Lakers opportunity cost of foregoing more ping pong balls? The benefit forgone by not receiving a top 3 draft pick today for a free agent in the future is the lost revenue derived from Jack Nicholson et.al rejecting the Lakers product. Additionally, a continuing decrease of viewership on TWC and merchandise remaining on the shelf or not available in stores. For example, I recently went to Sports Authority to purchase Lakers t-shirts, and there were only three crappy versions and one hat on the side of the corner. Meanwhile, Clippers memorabilia was prominently placed in the front of the store and on the wall from ceiling to floor. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this happen.
I advocate that the Lakers give Hill, Boozer, Johnson, Young and Lin DNPs for the remainder of the season. Those players had ample opportunity to win games early in the season and failed to yield wins even in games they could have won, so their window is closed. Opportunity only knocks once.
On the celebration: Does anyone think that celebration was a nod to the Android commercial of NBA players celebrating? Nick Young has a spot appearance in that ad. However, I admit I have not seen the celebration.
Trip – If it was me calling the shots and I wanted to keep this pick I’d make sure that the odds we lose it were smaller that 25%.
Is this accurate? We really only have a 75% chance of keeping this pick? I’d feel better if we were in the 95% range. Shouldn’t Jim and Mitch have a little meeting with Byron to talk this over?
I mean we play.250 ball through the first 55 games and now we’re going to finish by playing .400? Doesn’t that moral victory set the team back a few years?
Craig W. says
The Laker front office simply cannot comment on ‘tanking’ – period. The coaching staff cannot manage a group of players who are playing for their NBA lives so as to tank. The players themselves have absolutely no incentive – any way you cut it – to purposely lose games.
From marketing, to the NBA office, to trying to establish a winning culture, to trying to inculcate the right way to play — the Lakers simply cannot tank the season. All the comments on this blog and the idiots at ESPN who keep this topic alive are simply wrong. This team may not be talented enough to win very many games, but trying to lose – no way.
We have lost too many front line players this year – from a squad that wasn’t deep to begin with – to win a lot of games. So be it! However, talking as if the organization, coaching, and players should be collaborating to keep our pick is just silly talk.Great, it makes us fans feel better, but we are just kidding ourselves.
Calvin Chang says
CHearn- If the team goes all in to tank and lose on purpose, DNPs Booz, Lin, Wes, Nick, Hill, what do you tell the fans who paid hundreds to watch at Staples? Paying $500+ for 4 seats to the March 8 Mavs game is a lot of money. A lot. What do you tell your sponsors? I agree that the Lakers should lose out for the future. But if you’re going to lose out, you have to compensate the paying fans. Refund all tickets, give away Kobe merchandise, don’t cash your sponsors’ checks.
Craig W. says
I enjoyed Shane Battier’s comments that peer-pressure means more than coaching in winning games. Perhaps the best coaches can make some difference, but – IMO – what the best coaches do is establish the best environment for the stronger players to correctly pressure the rest of the squad. That is why I would prefer Kobe and Steve Nash be around the club – at least when they are at home.
Byron is handicapped, in that he doesn’t really have any active veteran presence on the bench. …hence Kobe’s comment about the celebration was a good thing, however you read it.
I would think that any NBA team that comes out and says “we are in tanking mode” would be heavily sanctioned for “tampering” by the NBA and likely lose draft picks. I could be wrong, but the fact that not a single NBA team has ever said “we are taking on purpose” leads me to believe that I am correct. This is why I think its pointless to argue that we need the FO to tell us what they have planned. Has not happened. Will never happen.
I also do not think we collectively grasp the correct “danger” of low ratings with respect to the TWC deal. It’s not that TWC will terminate the deal or that the Lakers may forgo “bonuses”, the real impact will come when the deal is up for renegotiation and the TW executives are sitting accross from Jeannie and her team and remind her that they stuck with the team through a very bad time and now they deserve a renewal and a little discount off the top. In short, if the team wants to be fair with TWC, it will hurt the Laker’s ability to dump TWC and seek a more lucrative deal.
The same goes for season tickets. Its not the risk that demand will go down (Don’t want your $75 seats anymore? no problem. I’ve been on a wait list for Lakers season tickets going on for 5 years. I would jump at the chance to buy in now). The risk is that the team may not, in all fairness, be able to raise ticket prices for the average fan to a level that they like and maybe forced to lower prices for the very expensive seats that none of us will ever get to sit on.
Scott is a little behind Aaron but better late than never… We need to get Clarkson off the floor.
“Byron Scott said he plans to get Jeremy Lin back in starting lineup at some point in 25 games.”
Anon: I don’t think anyone is asking theta the FO tell us they are tanking – of course that would be against league policies. I think what many of us are saying in that the team has played at a .250 winning percentage up until this streak. I for one would not mind them continuing at that pace for the balance of the season – nothing sinister there.
Calvin Chang says
I’m a bit torn on this one. Starting Lin will help the tank if he’s cooperative, but it’s important to develop Clarkson’s leadership. These last 20+ games are perfect for Clarkson to use for training. Summer league is crap. If Clarkson can use these remaining games to practice Nashty’s lessons and mature, it will establish him as the starting PG going forward. Clarkson seems more coordinated and fundamentally sound than Elfrid or Marcus Smart. JC’s a real scoring threat.
Calvin Chang says
Clarkson is better than MCW. He’s got length, size, speed, plus weapons on offense like the floater, mid-range shot, 3pt shot, good FT accuracy. If he pushes the pace and attacks aggressively on offense, he can easily average 18+ ppg next season. For now, he’s already learning to maintain his dribble after getting in the lane to read the defense. He needs to get stronger to be able to fend off pesky PG defenders like Pat Beverley and CP3.
I think what many of us are saying in that the team has played at a .250 winning percentage up until this streak. I for one would not mind them continuing at that pace for the balance of the season – nothing sinister there.
I second that motion.
Craig W.: However, talking as if the organization, coaching, and players should be collaborating to keep our pick is just silly talk.Great, it makes us fans feel better, but we are just kidding ourselves.
So you’re saying that the Lakers are above asking Scott to regulate who to play and how many minutes to play them. That is very commendable on the FO’s part.
However, my gut says that if we miss out on this pick, the road back to contention will be very difficult for the organization. I also think that it makes Jim’s three year promise tough to deliver on.
Trip: “the road back to contention will be very difficult for the organization” Ya think? Some of us said this 2 + years ago. Now that we are in the bottom of a hole looking up I think your statement is safe : ) “I also think that it makes Jim’s three year promise tough to deliver on.” Does anybody know when the 3-4 years started or when it ends? Is there any criteria for success or failure? If so – who is the judge?
Tanking: The FO can tank by trading down. We can trade payers for picks and vets for youngsters not ready yet. Having the coach intentionally losing games is an integrity issue and I do not think that is happening although I admit that there is incentive to do so.
Byron: So he might win too many games so does this mean he is too good/smart? Or perhaps he is an idiot because he is not on board with the tank? Which of course would mean earlier in the year he was on board and was very smart. Wow – complicated – who does his performance evaluation?
We are a lot closer to a championship than we were years ago with Nash and Dwight. We are two years in to the rebuild. So we are two years closer. We are a lot closer than the Clippers for instance. The worst thing you can be in the NBA is average. You want to be this bad if you want to get better. Everyone needs to stop the pitty party. If I were the Clippers I would be feeling bad for myself. They have to go through the process again of tearing it down. We have already tore it down.
Aaron: The worst thing you can be in the NBA is average.
Calling the Jim Buss Lakers ‘average’ would be a compliment. This team has been a joke for two years running – with no end in sight.