Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers
Sun Apr 5, 9:30 PM EST – NBAt, PT, TWSN
Line: LAC -11.5, O/U: 211.0
Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
In the lead up to the Lakers’ Friday night game against the Blazers, most of the conversation was focused on the team’s last eight games and how those contests related to the standings and the team’s ability to hold onto their own draft pick come June. Tangentially, then, the discussion was also about the Orlando Magic who were only behind the Lakers by 1.5 games for the 4th worst record in the league.
Since Friday, though, the Magic have won two straight games and, with the Lakers’ loss to the Blazers on Friday, the difference between Los Angeles and Orlando has swelled to a three game difference with the Magic now possessing four more wins and two fewer losses. With the Magic only having five games left on their schedule and the Lakers only having seven, there would need to be a dramatic shift in the final two weeks of the season for the Lakers to not end up with the 4th worst record. Considering the Knicks are one of the teams left on the Magic’s docket, things are even more likely to end that way.
That brings us to today where the Lakers face the Clippers in the first game of a home and home (where both games will, of course, be at the Staples Center) between the teams. In theory, the Lakers could help themselves draft wise by winning this game as it would put the Clippers in position to surrender the 2nd round pick they owe the Lakers. They would be forced to surrender their 2nd round pick in this year’s draft if it falls between #51-55, which would be more likely if the Lakers actually win this game.
The Lakers would also likely want to win just because the Clips have owned the Lakers over the last couple of seasons and, while this isn’t a rivalry in the traditional way, these teams both want to beat each other every time they face off — and a bit more than in other games. And while that’s unlikely from the Lakers’ side today, don’t put it past them to put out their best effort and try to get a W against a team they surely dislike.
Where you can watch: 6:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
Please expand, “They would be forced to surrender their 2nd round pick in this year’s draft if it falls between #51-55”
Craig W. says
The Lakers don’t automatically get the Clipper 2nd round pick (obtained in a past trade) this year. They could potentially wind up with 2 first round picks and 2 second round picks this year – but only if the Clipper pick is between 51-55. This means the Clippers record must be between the 6th-10th best record in the NBA. They are in danger of winning enough to finish with the 5th best record or better – leaving the Lakers without that 2nd round pick.
Currently they are the 6th best team and we want them to remain there – or drop a spot or two.
Not a great pick, but the Lakers have proved they can spot talent in the 2nd round. This is the reason for rooting for a win tonight or Tuesday.
The Kobe Bryant contract was about staying above the minimum salary floor and making money while tanking. Why not do that? It wasn’t fooling the fans it was giving them what they want. They want to lose and watch the greatest Laker of all time. And kobe gets the money he deserved in this sapart cap league. He desserved that money and some. The Lakers gave it to him legally this way. This is something a good organization does. The next greatest Laker of all time will be able to be told “although there is a cap and we can’t pay you what you are worth… We will give you at least an extra sixty million at the end of your career. We have done it before and we will keep doing it.” That’s a lot of money. People like money. Who loses there? Everyone wins.
Craig W. says
Kobe’s salary is such a ‘hot point’ that people can stop thinking objectively when it is brought up. It was a business and PR signing – and he has earned it over the years. Besides, who else were they going to sign with that money? Nobody else will bring in the money Kobe does – unless you are talking Lebron, and even that is arguable.
Thank you, Aaron and Craig W 🙂
I have to disagree with your Kobe assesment. We are still losing with him on our roster.
Since Hill could clearly give a ????????????
About playing, how about bringing in Davis who actually cares.
I hate the laker commentary, totally dumping on the players instead of scott who puts the combinations together. Not once ever do they second guess there buddy scott
Who exactly would you like him to play Karen? Stu is 60 and McDonald is 5’9′ and the trainer had bad knees?
Kobe’s salary is such a ‘hot point’ that people can stop thinking objectively when it is brought up.
Here is what I said to you a couple of days ago: You should consider the possibility that people who bag on the FO do not have any major personal animus towards Jim Buss and are not guided by emotional concerns, other than wanting the team to get better, and, in fact, it is you who lacks the ability to critically and objectively evaluate the Lakers FO and those who take issue with its performance. You have told us for the last two years that the team on the floor would be better than we thought and that the organization is in good hands. You have been demonstrably wrong on the first point and the evidence is very weak on the second.
Kobe’s salary is such a ‘hot point’ that people can stop thinking objectively when it is brought up
As I said to you the other day, the one person here who is is least objective about the FO and the team’s personnel decisions, is, in fact, you. If the best argument for Kobe’s deal is that some unnamed FA at some unspecified future time will be persuaded to sign here by what the Lakers did for Kobe, then you would be wise to give up trying to defend it.
So there are two ‘Trip’s’ on the board. No offense Trip but I’ll be changing my name.
Craig W: re the extension
I honestly think that so many decisions had blown up in his face that Jim got gun shy. In his mind the Kobe extension would buy him two years before he’d have to make a move that really mattered. Of course, the extension blew up as well.
The extension proved to me that the FO is not all about winning. The last two years proves that fact. Their hope was that the team could tread water and not be embarrassing. We all know how this ‘hope’
Why would you want to change your name? Trip is a good name.
This Lakers team is getting really hard to watch. It’s one thing to tank but to lose like tonight shows no pride. I get it that the Clippers are a much better team, but our guys didn’t even bother to rotate on defense. They just watched the ball all game and took punches to the face without doing anything about it. Just disgusting. Can one loss tarnish the legacy of the franchise? Probably not, but these beat downs feel more damaging than a regular season loss.
That was a 1-2-3 Cancun!!! game.
The Lakers have a decent bench now. Next they need 3 or 4 starters.
bryan S. says
Did we learn anything about Clarkson from this beat down? Like maybe isn’t as good as he’s seemed? Forget it. Defensively the Clippers focused on blitzing him with two defenders every time he got the ball at the top of the key. Once he realized that he had to move the ball right away he began to do just that, but his teammates couldn’t shoot for beans. As usual the screens he did get were anemic. Short of it, we won’t really know what he can do until he has talent around him, as BS suggested the other day. I still like the experience for Clarkson. You beat the blitz by slinging passes to cutters as soon as the second defender leaves his man. Clarkson will see that when he looks at the film. (Gotta have finishers though–hello Randle!)
Well put and correct. The Kobe deal was more about the TW contract that costs them money with bad ratings. His injury is the worst to come back from for basketball. Only 2 in history have.
Trip nailed it. Go back and watch Hill going through the motions and the D-League guards getting picked like a nose.
Not that it matters but team quit before they started tonight and that might be on BS who was also doing zero coaching tonight. Is this what they have become? Can one top 5 pick really erase the embarisment?
Not one of the top 5 picks last year have made a difference in their teams won-loss record in 2015!
In the 2015 Baseball Prospectus, in the Yankees comment, the argument was made that Derek Jeter’s farewell tour was probably worth around 25-30M or more to the Yankees–far more than what they paid him, in other words. So, that is really the argument for Kobe’s deal, although if we presume that next year is Goodbye it would apply only to that year.
1. Jeter’s deal was still a negative on the field.
2. In addition to having no salary cap (although they do have taxes) MLB teams have to maintain large farm systems, draft 40 guys a year, have international scouting budgets, etc. There are more obvious things to spend money on than there are in the NBA.
But, if the Lakers make a huge killing off having Kobe next year, one could argue that they could put that money, or some of it, back into basketball ops, international scouting, improving the DLeague ops, injury analytics, or just put it away for future luxury tax payments, etc. That is a more reasonable argument in defense of the deal than those that I have heard so far.
The only real defense of the Kobe deal is the same argument that came up in relation to Derek Jeter’s deal in the 2015 Baseball Prospectus, which was that the Yankees probably made around 25-30M or more off of Jeter’s farewell tour–much more than they paid him.
So, if one wants to argue that KB’s presence next year will bring in big money and that the Lakers can use that money to try to improve future Lakers teams in various ways, that is a better argument for it than those I have heard so far. Because Jeter’s deal, like Kobe’s, was a big negative in terms of W/L value for the money.
Can one top 5 pick really erase the embarisment?
No, but as has been discussed, Clarkson/Randle/pick/young FA who is a good starter could be the beginning of getting off the canvas, even if the Lakers will still be a ways away from being able to counterpunch.
People also need to remember that if they keep the pick this year, it is still owed to PHX and is only Top-3 protected in 2016.
The comment at 9:27 did not come from This Trip. Someone please intervene here.
Chris J says
Not one of the top 5 picks last year have made a difference in their teams won-loss record in 2015!
So by this, what are you suggesting? That there’s no short-term benefit to holding a high pick, because two of the top five picks from 2014 have missed most/nearly all of the season with injuries; two others have shown solid to some promise in turning their respective organizations around; and one of the five (Gordon) hasn’t set the league on fire yet? Again, what’s your point?
If I were a Wolves or Jazz fan, I’d be very encouraged by the progress those young teams are making with Wiggins and Exum and others. No, their Top Five picks didn’t put them in the playoffs in Year One, but to hope that drafting a solid rookie in and of itself will “erase the embarisment? (sic)” is just not realistic, and it also undermines the value of adding good young pieces while building a successful core.
Not every player can pull a Magic Johnson, enter the league in a damn-near perfect situation and win a title, or even make a playoff run, in a single season. But let’s look back on the past NBA championship teams and ask, a simple question: “How many recent NBA champs had zero Top Five players on their roster, as a starter or key contributor?”
I went back as far as 1980, with Magic… Of the past 35 teams which won NBA titles, there was not a single instance in which a roster did not have at least one player in the rotation who was chosen in the first five picks of the first round of the NBA draft. Zero. The streak may go back farther; it wasn’t worth my time to look more to further prove a point.
Some were guys you knew right away would likely be All-League, and maybe become Hall of Famers — the Magics, Jordans, Shaqs, LeBrons, Birds, etc. Others were lesser stars, like Gasol or Garnett, even a Tyson Chandler, Chauncey Billups, or Bobby Jones of the old Sixers.
Their roles varied, but the common denominator was if you wish to win in the NBA, it has seemingly been proven that the mix must include at least one Top Five pick.
Just because last year’s class got off to a slow start doesn’t erase the past 35 years’ of history. Let’s hope the Lakers keep their Top Five this year and he helps carry on this statistical tradition a few years from now.
There can only be one Trip!
to funny ko. scott again says he is embarrassed by team play. Of course scott its never you. Duh, hill, boozer, davis. Keep lin in there and lets start sharing the ball. Clarkson has turned into another ball hog like kobe
Per the current NBA standings, our Lakers have a 3.5 game cushion over Orlando for the 4th worst record in the league. The Lakers have 6 games left and the Magic have 5. Per Tankathon the Lakers currently have a 37.8% chance of landing in the top 3 and a 11.9% of landing the top pick. The meaningless wins against Philly cost the Lakers the 3rd worst record spot. The 76ers have a 46.9% chance of landing in the top 3 and a 15.6% of landing the top pick.
This is what being a Lakers fan has been reduced to under the Jim Buss regime.
KO: You and I are on the same page about most things in the NBA and our Lakers. I think we can agree that the 2014 draft did not produce many game changers. I might add the qualifier, ‘yet’.
True, there were far too many injuries to top selections to get a real read on their ability to contribute at this level. However, I think Wiggins is a star and if not for a few meaningless wins (costing us a more favorable draft position) Dante Exum would be paired with Clarkson to give the Lakers their back court of the future.
You are correct, though, that teams which selected Parker, Embiid, Gordon, Randle and Vonleh did not experience the immediate benefits of those higher draft picks.
Baylor Fan says
“How many recent NBA champs had zero Top Five players on their roster, as a starter or key contributor?”
In contrast, how many top 5 picks in the last 35 years never made it to the finals let alone win a championship? How many times does a team have to tank to find they guy that will lead them to the promised land? Is tanking the only way to get that player? The new redistribution of players will guarantee that the quality of the teams winning the championship is going to decrease and that a team will need fewer stars to win. We have already seen this the past few years. Go back to the Magic-Bird era and the Lakers and Celtics teams. They were bringing in former all-stars to sit on the bench and come in with the second units. Loading up on all-stars is the way teams used to win championships. The successful teams going forward will figure out how to maximize the contribution of the players they can get. Dallas has been doing this under Carlisle and has not had to tank to win a championship.
But that’s why bird in hand is so important. What if Randle explodes and the Lakers sign Leanard this offseason? Then this draft is our last chance to get a top pick. Keeping this pick is vital. Plus we always have a chance of getting a top three pick next year also.
Next season we add 2 picks…. Randle plus one.Also Clarkson didn’t start playing till the second half.Randle…Top 5 Pick….FA….Kobe….plus not playing Kelley and Scare will help.
Darius Soriano says
This name thing is silly with the two commenters named “Trip”. One has been here forever and the other is new. The newer one should change their name to something else. If not, I will just create a new log-on commenting system that most of you will hate. Your choice.
Darius: I was one of the Trip’s and have posted infrequently for the last six months or so. Not sure if that makes me Trip 1 or Trip 2. I submitted the 9:16 AM post on April 5th and haven’t posted anything else under that name since Friday evening — when the ‘strange’ posts started showing up and I asked for your intervention.
I’m unsure of what name I will use in the future but it won’t be ‘Trip’. My given name and logical handle are already being used. I usually just read as opposed to post anyways.
I honestly think there is a third poster using ‘Trip’ just to stir some ugly things up.
I was honestly tempted to also post with the “Trip” as joke, but I did not given that the “original” Trip seemed to be just a bit bothered by it (I completely understand). So, to our new friend, Trip2, you seem like a nice guy. May I suggest a new user name: “Trippin”. How does that sound? I’m trying to be funny here (probably failing) – and also hoping you keep commenting. In times like this, where our beloved team is going through a rough patch, we certainly could use more folks contributing with their thoughts.
rr – The money factor you mention in resigning Kobe may very well be a strong motivator for the Lakers. As far as I know, the Buss Family is one of maybe 2 or 3 total ownership groups in the NBA whose primary income stream and primary asset is the team itself (the only other ones that I can think may fall here are the Utah Jazz and Spurs, but both of these owners also have side dealership businesses, so I am not sure if they should even be considered?). So, unlike guys like Mark Cuban, Balmer, Jordan, etc., whose fortunes can better weather a bad year (or a bad contract), here and there, and who can also infuse cash from their personal wealth into the organization if necessary, the Lakers are not in such a position. Because of this, I think that letting go of Kobe was not an option for the Buss family as they were not in a financial position to let go of Kobe AND absorb the diminished financial returns that would come with a 2-3 year rock bottom tank necessary to bring in picks and rebuild as most other NBA typically do. So, the reality is that by resigning Kobe, the Lakers were actually letting us fans know that the rebuilding process would drag on longer than what people would expect.
This is also why I think the entire “small” market vs “big” market argument in keeping the salary cap in place is such a joke. If all teams were owned similarly to the Lakers, that would make sense, but in a day and age where most teams are owned by billionaires (note that before, his death, Dr Buss was supposed to be worth around $600m. That is far below guys like Cuban (3 billion) in small market Dallas, Herb Simon (2.2 billion) in small market Indianapolis, and Edens and Lasry’s combined worth (3.4 billion) in small market Milwaukee. If anything, these Billionaire owners should be open to the polar opposite idea of not having a salary cap in the NBA as they are better poised to offer huge contracts to free agents, where as teams like the Lakers, with owner cash flow limited to basketball, may not be able to do so.
Then again, since I am not a billionaire, I’m probably wrong here.
Chris J says
In contrast, how many top 5 picks in the last 35 years never made it to the finals let alone win a championship? How many times does a team have to tank…?
More than I can count, but so what? The washouts don’t matter — what matters is the teams that have won over the past three-and-a-half decades have had Top Five-level talent playing a key role. Right now, the Lakers lack that, and will hopefully soon find themselves in a good position to alter that.
As to “How many times does a team have to tank” hopefully for the Lakers, it stops this season. What the Sixers have done is deplorable, but the fact of the matter is this is where the Lakers find themselves in 2015, so my hope is they add a top-line guy now, add via trades or later picks or free agents, and build a winner accordingly, making progress toward that goal next season.
Your Magic-Bird era comparison holds no water. There was no free agency then, and in a 21-team league with only a handful of national TV opportunities per week, there was a totally different landscape than exists today. You can’t just expect to “load up on all-stars” anymore unless you either A) draft them (like OKC) or B) draft well enough to acquire assets to use to acquire all-stars (like HOU did to land Harden, or Memphis did to acquire Marc).
You maximize the contributions of players you have in large part by drafting well; cap management and coaching also come into play, the latter of which is the Lakers’ biggest cause for concern, in my view, having whiffed on four of the past five hires.
bryan S. says
Ko: My only solace if that is true is that I and many others, I suspect, won’t stick around to read your bitter bile.
Winslow or Dekker? Take a good look tonight as the former is a likely top five pick and the latter a possible top five pick. Two guys who are going to be better at the pro level.
Bryon that was not my post. Ghost writer is back. I think they will be back in 2 years.
bryan S. says
Sorry Ko !
Craig W. says
It is instructive to note to atmosphere surrounding the Kwame Brown / Pau Gasol trade at the time. Memphis didn’t really know what they had in Marc Gasol, but needed a big in return for Pau, as Kwame was considered only cap space relief. They sort of ‘lucked’ into Marc Gasol and it only became apparent several years after the trade. As a matter-of-fact, that trade was really the precursor to the VETO and lots of owners allied themselves and later blocked the Chris Paul Laker trade.
I note this only to inform bloggers all trades are a gamble, though frequently they are not ‘pig-in-a-poke gambles. There is a good deal of risk in trades, though not as much as in drafts – it is just that the drafts come around more often and cost an awfully lot less to retain a good player.
Joe A says
If we win the lotto, I hope the front office saw enough in this tournament NOT to draft Okafor. Kaminsky may be a better pro than him, and he’s not top-5 worthy. Actually, I didn’t see any future star NBA players on the court last night…and maybe only two future impact players.
I’m not hopeful that our draft pick is going to help our circumstances much…would be OK with moving whoever we pick, a la CLE with Wiggins, to acquire proven NBA players (like a certain young SF, if SA blows up the team after Duncan retires).
Kaminsky is a lot older than Okafor–22 to 19.
Based on what I have seen, I would take Towns over Okafor, and I would rather have Sam Dekker than Kaminsky. But Okafor has value, and Kaminsky will have an NBA career as a bench guy IMO.
the other Stephen says
Okafor’s hands: https://twitter.com/SSpakeESPN/status/584499399763562497/photo/1
Baylor Fan says
“Memphis didn’t really know what they had in Marc Gasol” – really? Jerry West was just throwing darts and hoping he got lucky? Maybe you mean that the Lakers did not know what they had. Marc hit the ground running in the NBA and was a clear “keeper” by his second year. That was important since he was up for a new contract as a second round pick and Memphis had the cap room needed to lock him up.
bryan S. says
rr: spot on all points @ 9:29. Kaminsky has a narrow torso, the kind of build that doesn’t lend itself to gains in strength. Very skilled though. Dekker will benefit from the spaced floor of the NBA. A good comp is Chandler Parsons–not bad. Okafor is ponderous.
Fantasy: We land a top two pick and trade it plus picks to Sacto for the unhappy Cousins.
Chris J says
“Memphis didn’t really know what they had in Marc Gasol”
Not true. The GM, Chris Wallace, and owner, Michael Heisley, were each quoted in multiple news articles at the time saying they had to trade Pau while he had value, with an eye on getting young talent that would develop a few seasons down the line.
Wallace told ESPN on the day of trade that he viewed Marc Gasol as a “high No. 1 pick if he came out this year” and he also mentioned a desire to land Marc as playing a factor in a conversation he had with Marc and Pau’s parents, who were initally upset that Pau had been shipped off to L.A. (The parents had moved to Memphis and obviously didn’t like the idea of seeing Pau move west.)
They may not have known he’d develop into an All-Star, but in another article Pau was quoted as telling Heisley he believed Marc could be “better than me” and the Grizz would be wise to sign him and not let Marc go to Europe. Marc was definitely a trade target there.
the other Stephen says
Ugh. Pretty ironic for Byron to utilize that figure of speech:
“I got a sense of a whole lot of them I wouldn’t want to be in a fox hole with…I think they’d end up shooting me in the back. So I’ve got a pretty good sense of the guys that I think are going to be around, that we will build around, build together in this process and go through it.” (via L.A. Times, http://lat.ms/1ah7wjj)
Chris J says
Well at least if Nick Young is one of those whom Byron is concerned about shooting him in the back, the upside is we know Young misses most shots he takes…
Joe A says
IDK, think Winslow is the only person on the court last night I’d consider using a high 1st on…and his absolute ceiling is K. Leonard circa last year (in my opinion). Dekker doesn’t strike me as NBA player (I’ve watched him only 4 times all season though). Rather draft that Hezonja kid…more upside.