It’s late August. There is no NBA action anywhere in sight. What better time for a hodgepodge of links and notes than now? Onto our latest edition of Fast Break Thoughts…
*Yesterday we talked about the pressure D’Angelo Russell is facing as a #2 overall pick and playing for a Lakers’ organization looking for their next great player. Well, yesterday Russell also made an appearance on ESPN Radio and did an interview with Mike Trudell and Mychal Thompson. The interview was transcribed at Lakers.com and can be found here.
*The entire interview is worth your time, but one quote that stood out to me was when he discussed playing next to Jordan Clarkson:
I feel like we’re dangerous for our team. We both rebound. We both can push the break, and we both can run the wing. So if he gets it and I’m running the wing, he can set up the offense or make the right decisions and vice versa with me. I feel like it’s dangerous, and we can play together easily. I think it will just take some time.
*I’m glad Russell added the caveat that “it will just take some time” to his answer, because it will. The relationship he describes is only developed through reps and feeling each other out on the floor. Russell is correct that both guys can do a lot of the same things on the floor, the process of how they sort out how they get on the same wavelength is what will be interesting to watch.
*A page you should bookmark: the Lakers’ Team Salary page at Basketball Insiders. That page is maintained by Eric Pincus (also of the LA Times) and he does a great job keeping up with CBA activity for the Lakers and the rest of the league.
*Speaking of Pincus, he was a guest on the Lakers Outsiders Podcast yesterday morning (co-hosted by our very own Anthony Irwin). Pincus talks about his start as an NBA scribe, his roots as a go-to guy on the collective bargaining agreement, and much more. Give it a listen.
*What’s that, you want to see Andrew Wiggins dunk on JJ Barrea? I’m glad you asked.
*Kobe Bryant is a guy who, over time, has gotten more and more grief about his high volume shooting at relatively average efficiency levels. Here is a piece in defense of “chuckers” like Bryant (and Russ Westbrook and others of that ilk), which details how players like them do more to help their team’s offense than hurt it. Lots of great graphs and salient points in there.
*Last week we talked about the Lakers investing in youth in their Front Office by promoting Ryan West. This came on the heels (at least somewhat) of the team moving assistant coach and advanced scout Clay Moser off the bench and into a liaison position between the analytics department and the coaching staff. That latter move is one of the topics discussed in a very good piece on analytics, communication, and people skills in NBA office spaces.
*Lastly, it is the 10 year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina struck Louisina. The aftermath of the storm affected countless lives and intersected with all parts of society in the state — including sports. In a very good piece for ESPN, Arash Markazi wrote about Katrina’s legacy for Chris Paul and the NBA. This morning, on twitter, Markazi gave us a peak at a Paul quote that did not make the story. Welp.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 27, 2015