Is the third time the charm? It may be somewhat chuckle-inducing to note — or it would be if it wasn’t sad — the Lakers have only three wins on the season and in each subsequent game after getting the W, have lost both times. The first was a 4-point loss to the Knicks. The second was a 19-point drubbing at the hands of the Suns. Tonight, coming off a win against the Wizards, the Lakers face the Hawks and try to get their first set of consecutive wins of the year.
This, though, isn’t very likely. The Hawks are a good team like the Suns are a good team (we do not know what the Knicks are). As noted above, the Suns thrashed the Lakers. That game was on a back to back. Tonight’s contest is not, but it is the 5th game in 7 nights and the 5th in as many cities. In other words, while I expected the Lakers to be tired in their win over the Wizards, I may have simply been off by a night. The fatigue may very well strike this evening. In fact, after a nice win and a longer flight south, I think it will.
Any fatigue, though, will simply be compounded by the fact the Hawks are good at basketball. They have been up and down after a good start, but have recent wins over the Thunder, Grizzlies, and Celtics. Even though they lost DeMarre Carroll to the Raptors in free agency, they still have a dynamic lineup with great front court play in Al Horford/Paul Millsap, a fantastic point guard in Jeff Teague, and one of the best shooters alive in Kyle Korver.
These four alone will give the Lakers big issues. Teague’s ability to set the pace, turn the corner in the P&R, and create in isolation will be especially problematic. He will attack the Lakers guards at every opportunity, and is just as comfortable getting his own shot off as he is pinging the ball to an open teammate.
This ball movement is what will amplify the Lakers’ problems defensively. The Hawks are coached by Mike Budenholzer, a Gregg Popovich disciple. The offense may start with Teague creating, but a pass to Millsap triggers a pass to Horford which triggers a pass back to Teague which triggers another drive…and you get the point. The pressure this type of ball and player movement creates breaks even the steadiest of defenses. Against the Lakers already fractured one? Trouble. Especially with tired legs. Especially with Korver moving around the arc like basketball version of American Sniper changing his perch every possession.
The counter to this is the Lakers making shots of their own. Against the Wizards, they did enough of this to grab a lead and play from ahead early on. Regardless of their ability to give it all back, putting opponents in a hole makes them expend energy and effort in climbing back. That can become an advantage later in the game. It may be too much to ask this happen to the Hawks — who, like the Lakers, last played on Wednesday — but we shall see.
As far as match ups, the one I’ll be watching most closely is Julius Randle against Paul Millsap. The latter should be a player the young Lakers’ forward looks long and hard at as a model for his game. When Millsap came into the league, he was a rugged inside player who rebounded, defended, and worked his way into a starting position he ultimately thrived in. Over time, he developed a consistent jump shot (now out to the 3 point line) and refined his passing skills to the point where he’s one of the most versatile PF’s in the league. Randle, then, will be challenged to guard him at all three levels of the floor. Millsap also will not budge in the paint and will offer quick feet and long arms defensively.
The other item to watch is how the Hawks match up on the perimeter defensively, specifically who Thabo Sefolosha defends and if it creates cross matches. If Thabo defends Clarkson (which I think is likely), that will leave Korver to defend Kobe and Teague to defend Russell. However, I also expect Clarkson to defend Teague and Russell to either guard Korver or Thabo. If that’s the case, transition defense and communication will be especially important as guys scramble to find their own man and match up appropriately. Believe me, you do not want to get lost looking for Korver or Teague as the ball changes ends quickly. That will not work out well.
Where you can watch: 5:00pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen at ESPN Radio Los Angeles 710AM.
Premature was the word of his demise
Spoken by those fans, none too wise
There are many amongst the mob who look like fools
Yet another game over which Kobe Rules !
Kobe Alert: Just when everyone was about to write off Kobe, he strikes like the Mamba that he is. He lays down 31 points and 3 dimes on the Wizards for a victory on the second night of a road back to back. Wow – just – wow. This was Kobe’s 426th thirty point game (5th all time). He needs three more to catch Kareem for 4th. Since the last Alert, KB got by Gary Peyton for 9th on the all time minutes list and now needs 375 minutes to move by Reggie Miller for 8th. Kobe made his 1720th three pointer, and cruised by Dale Ellis for 13th on the all time list. At tip off tonight, Kobe will be playing in his 1296th game and will tie Mark Jackson for 16th all time. He will then need 4 more to tie Ray Allen for 15th. He needs 7 more rebounds to catch Maurice Lucas for 54th as he pursues the top 50 for that category. For those looking for new coaching and development of youngsters, there is one thing that is clear. Kobe eats first !
1 out of 18 games?
Still shooting 32% on year?
I like the Paul Milsap comparison quite a bit. I agree, Randle could develop into a guy like Milsap, which likely would be near his peak. Milsap turned into a pretty good player once he developed that outside game. Although, Milsap in my opinion is not a very good #1 option guy, but the Hawks typically win more as a team on offense. Maybe the Lakers can someday win by committee rather than be like some of these other teams which seem to have their primary motor on the backs of 1-2 really elite guys.
I like your Rhyme Robert, but seriously Kobe is done. It’s great to see him play one good game. But I hope you are just kidding, because IF he wasn’t KOBE he wouldn’t even be get anytime with his stat lines and limited defense that he has shown this season. No joe-schmo player would ever get to jack up 8 threes a game, 20 shots while shooting absolutely horrible and not doing much else either. But I do hope we see a handful of good games out of Kobe, it will make having to watch this “version” of him slightly more palatable. But seriously go rewatch some 2005 and 2006 version of Kobe Bryant–than try watching this version, wow. The 35ppg Kobe that still shot pretty well was something to watch, I rewatched some of his playoff games from back in the day and with that fresh in my mind watched this version–and its a stark comparison. Glad he is retiring, he was amazing for basketball, but like everything time moves along.
Focus on the goal: Ben Simmons.
Ko: It is actually 3 out of 15 games with Kobe, and 0 for 3 without Kobe. We suck. So what is your point? I think my views on the overall situation are well known.
Todd: Kidding about what? I just re-read my posts, and other than the rhyme, I am stating a bunch of facts other than the final statement about Kobe eating first. I am certainly not kidding about that and clearly that is what the Lakers want. Again – my overall views are known. I said 3 years ago on this very board that I would be rooting for nothing other than Kobe records and that is what I am doing (that was back when the Lakers had the 6th best team in the league for those who need a reminder).
Can’t hear you Robert. This is the norm. That was a mirage.
Is nick being disciplined for daring to say the obvious
Yep. Never question Kobe. 1 for 8 tonight.
Hibbert is terrible.
This is the Lakers I want to see for the rest of the season. The Kobe have his victory lap. The future is Ben Simmons.
Hibbert is really bad…even on defense…plus when your other “bad” player is taking 7 shots in the first half.. It’s a recipe for a loss…
I can’t believe I’m going to say this… Sacre would get more rebounds and protect the rim better than Hibbert…
Robert, thanks for the alert. I wonder how far along Kobe would be on some of those lists if injuries hadn’t stolen so much of these last few years from him.
Hawks all over the place on defense locking it down
Al horford is a free agent next year
What exactly did nick young say
If nick young played, Nance Jr would not.
Al horford is a free agent next year
He’s a nice player who’s good years are behind him. Look at the stats, he doesn’t rebound like he used to. Plus, he’s played less than 20 games due to injury 2 of the last 4 full seasons. Steer clear of him.
3 for 14 and most minus on plus minus.
Temind me ehy did they dumb Basemore?
Might be 4th best player today.
Hibbert was a desperate gamble that did not pay off.
Kobe is sharing the ball more at least…
Kobe’s eyes are open !
Robert- there must be another Todd because you and I are always virtually on the same page. BTW I haven’t posted a comment on one of your posts.
You’ll know my posts because they’ll always refer back to what ultimately holds the Lakers back: Jim Buss.
Maybe I’ll be like Snarky George and become Snarky Todd.
Kobe may not be shooting well, but he is playing a nice game otherwise. Same can said for DAR.
Nance is starting to fizzle
Russell getting more comfortable shooting
Where is Clarkson?…Its the vets will hat are killing us..
Todd: my bad – meant tankyou. and yes we are always on the same page. KO and tankyou more are less are too. They are just venting on Kobe instead of staying focused on the root cause – which is Jim.
Oh well. Nice game Russell shooting but 8 TO.
Kobe 4 for 19 again main reason they lose. 21% get him back to 31% on season.
Long long final 64 games of lossing with 36 minutes and 19 bad shots.
Yet Jordan 5 for 8 in 10 less minutes. Thats called the CLEAR CUT TANK.
Hard for us Laker fans to stomach.
I guess nance is actually doing well
Kobe laughing and smiling….after a loss…Nice message to send the kids…Since Kobe doenst care about winning and losing how about playing 15 minutes a game and allow the future of the team to play…
Some strange rotations tonight:
1) Clarkson, for some reason, sat out the entire 4th Q even though he was playing well (13 pts. on 5-8 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 assists through 3 quarters);
2) Bass played more minutes that Hibbert including the entire 4th Q and as always was over-matched when playing the 5 (where is Tarik Black?);
3) Kobe once again played excessive minutes (35:20); this is really concerning me; I truly believe that Byron Scott is playing with fire; also didn’t Scott say that he would limit Kobe’s minutes…or did I imagine that?
The Lakers may have been running on fumes (I can understand if they are a bit tired) but I hold Scott’s rather inexplicable rotations to blame for this loss.
We all know Jim only cares about $$$$$
But for real fans its a farce to see Bryon play a guy who continues to miss and miss.
No way Riley, Phil or Pops would ever allow that. Mean whike Kive laughing after ganes yet Young benched for showing disquest.
Double double standard.
Reporter: what does nick need to do to get back in the lineup. Scott: its only been 2 games, relax!
Matt, nick told reporters the team after a loss the team played like clowns. The ball is not getting shared.
I was pleased with the effort of the team tonight. Thought JC should have gotten more burn at crunch time. Randle was a bit off his game as he only had 5 rebounds on the night. Atlanta’s experience showed at the end.
Completely agree about Kobe’s minutes. Also, Clarkson has earned 4th quarter minutes.
Jim C. says
Byron Scott’s rotations continue to be absolutely baffling.
So now we get D’Angelo Russell playing the entire fourth quarter, but Clarkson sitting virtually the entire 4th quarter out? Nick Young must have done something to irritate our little sensitive coach given that he went from playing major minutes (and playing reasonably well) to two straight DNP coaches decisions.
Brandon Bass’ minutes are climbing, despite being a walking apocalypse as our backup center. I think it’s time to file a missing person report on Tarik Black.
Meanwhile, Lou Williams and Kobe Bryant remain the only two players that you can basically lock in major 4th quarter minutes on a regular basis and Lou continues to get about 12 more minutes per game total than he should. (Routinely getting more minutes than one or the other of the two starting guards ahead of him.)
And Kobe passes the 35 minute mark yet again. And no, you were not imagining things if you recalled constant talk of a “hard” minutes cap for Kobe.
As a stealth tanking move it’s absolutely genius since Kobe’s hurting the team more often than not when he’s out there, but as somebody who has been a Kobe fan my entire career I don’t want his final career to be either:
A. A sad parade of 4-19 games punctuated by an occasional 10-24 game like against Washington or
B. Him ending the season prematurely by being injured again due to the latest in a long line of coaches being unwilling to limit his minutes in a meaningless game
I can deal with losing if there is progression.
But this coach doing the same thing over and over is called insanity.
Worst coach and ownership in Laker history. Yet most money made in history.
How many fans have stopped watching?
I guess the ends (Ben Simmons) justify the means but I’m sorry, it doesn’t make any sense to blame Jim Buss or anyone else for Kobe jacking up 10 threes a game at a 20% clip. That’s just pure selfishness.
A question: If Greg Popovich had been the head coach of the Lakers tonight against the Hawks, what would he have done differently?
1) Would he have played Kobe 35:20? If not, how many minutes? Would he have played Kobe at all (considering that Kobe obviously did not have his legs)?
2) Would he have played Brandon Bass at the 5? If not, whom would he have played at the backup center position?
3) Would he have sat Jordan Clarkson the entire 4th quarter? Would Clarkson have taken only 8 shots for the entire game, especially considering that Clarkson was playing well (5-8 shooting and getting hot in the 3rd)?
4) With the team obviously tiring in the 4th quarter, would he have made extensive substitutions with, say, 6 minutes left? Whom would he have put in the game at that point?
5) What else would he have done differently?
but I’m sorry, it doesn’t make any sense to blame Jim Buss or anyone else for Kobe jacking up 10 threes a game at a 20% clip.
Kobe and the guy who coaches him were guaranteed just north of $60M by the Jim Buss FO and both of them answer to the Jim Buss FO. Both deals were widely derided at the time by many observers for obvious reasons, since both Kobe and Byron had long track records and well-established personalities. Any attempts to decouple the FO from what Kobe and Byron are doing is, at best, weird. No logical argument for that position exists. Emotional ones, sure. Philosophical or contextual ones, maybe. But logical ones? No.
Does that mean that Kobe and Byron have no responsibility at all? Of course not. Maybe Kobe told Jim and Mitch that he would “facilitate” when he signed the deal, and maybe Byron told Mitch in August that he would cut KB’s minutes and shots. But even if that is the case, it falls, ultimately, on the guys who have the power to address the problems.
So, if Kobe’s shooting and Byron’s rotations and tactics are killing the team and holding back the young guys, and they can’t or won’t change (and there is no reason to think they will now, just like there was no reason to think they would when the FO handed them the pens to sign their contracts) then Jim and Mitch need to do something about it.
As I said in preseason, it is my personal opinion that if Russell/Randle/Clarkson have what it takes, then Kobe and Byron won’t stop them. Clarkson has been around KB and Byron the longest of the the three, and they don’t seem to be keeping him from reaching his potential.
Robert, love the poem, and Kobe Alerts as always.
I thought everyone wanted the clown Nick Young traded for two Churros and a Philly Cheese-steak? Now that he’s not playing it’s because he made a comment. When Lou was out, complaints filled this board that Nick was taking time away from Larry Nance.
I don’t know, it was a good game, people here forget that the Hawks won 60 damn games last season I didn’t expect a win on this one, people were complaining about DAR not playing in the 4th the other night, he played 36 minutes tonight hit 4 3s grab 10 rebounds and people still complain he make some rookie turnovers, it happens, i knew It wasn’t realistic for Kobe to play like the Wizard game, nothing unexpected, this season is Kobe’s swan song he is going to do his thing and BS are going to let him do it because the FO is in, and i reeeally doubt that Kobe said ” im going to facilitate” before he got that extension, he got it for services rendered he didn’t ask for it the FO gave it to him, the Lakers played good and made a 60 win team sweat, this game was ok.
Young shouldn’t have been given a four-year deal to begin with.
What do you think R.C. Buford or Bob Myers would have done differently the last couple of years?
@rr I totally agree,all that talk about stunting the kids potential is a lot of bs, they are getting their minutes. Im happy with the effort tonight, trials and tribulations of a young team…
the other Stephen says
Here’s a much more enjoyable story on Kobe than the one with Dwyane Wade: http://www.csnphilly.com/blog/700-level/watch-kobe%E2%80%99s-high-school-pg-goes-quest-reunite-his-final-game-philly
Jim C. says
When and how they’re getting their minutes matters. Who they’re getting their minutes WITH matters. How much they get used offensively when they’re out there matters.
It isn’t just the total quantity of minutes. For example, can you remember the last time Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell played major 4th quarter minutes TOGETHER? I sure can’t. Because Lou Williams MUST be on the court every minute of every 4th quarter apparently. But, guess what, supposedly those two are our backcoourt of the future and they might benefit from learning how to play down the stretch of close games.
Crunch time minutes matter. Crunch time minutes played with your future teammates (and not a washed up former great who is gone next year) matter. Not jerking their minutes, particularly their 4th quarter minutes, around from one game to the next so they don’t know what they’re doing wrong or right matters.
Jordan Clarkson was playing great this game. Like pretty much every game this season, the only drawback to his game offensively has been he hasn’t gotten enough usage. I lost track of the number of times he’d make a pass and never see the ball on that possession again.
But he got benched for the entirety of the 4th quarter. Like how Russell was openly wondering what HE did wrong to get benched earlier this year, I’d be doing the same thing if I was in Clarkson’s shoes right now.
Here’s another thought. If Scott absolutely had to have Lou Williams out there (who WAS playing well) then maybe Kobe should have been on the bench in that 4th quarter and somebody like Clarkson should have been crunch time shots in a meaningless game so he’s a bit more ready to take them in a future game which might actually matter?
It becomes clearer and clearer each game that Byron Scott IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS last year. Nothing has really changed. He will always favor the veterans over the youngsters unless given absolutely no choice.
If this is a stealth tanking job to keep the top-3 protected pick, then that’s one thing. But the alarming indication is that the front office just doesn’t see anything wrong with what’s going on. In other words, they may well think Scott’s doing a perfectly competent job coaching.
Amazed at some defending Kobe’s terrible play and Scott allowing it.
If a baseball manager keeps starting a once great pitcher who 17 games out of 18 allowed hit after hit and walked batter after batter, he would be fired.
If a football coach kept starting a once great quarterback who was 3 for 19 in 17 out of 18 games, he would be fired.
Yet some here defend Bryon and Kobe with a 31% shooting %, last in the NBA.
Sure as heck don’t want them running my companies. I’d be bankrupt.
Bad is bad.
Excuses are for lossers.
Fern, you can’t honestly believe that our kids are being properly developed.
Playing time does not equate to training time.
There is no structure, no support, it’s all about getting Kobe the ball and getting out of the way.
Now Denver and New York, they know how to raise a rookie.
I almost wish for Russell’s sake that one of those teams drafted him.
The only way our rookies will survive under Scott, is to learn from Kobe and look out for number one.
If not, they eat scraps, left overs.
Jim C. says
Just a suggestion to the blog owners. I know that each of you have lives so please don’t take this as a complaint, but getting good conversation going can be a challenge when it takes a while for longer comments to be approved and show up.
Maybe consider relaxing the rules requiring every long comment to be moderator approved?
After all, it’s just as possible for somebody to make a comment with objectionable material that’s a short comment as it is with a long one.
In preseason, I excerpted a piece by Ben Golliver of SI.com which said that Denver’s roster construction and coach would be a lot better for developing Mudiay than the Lakers would be for developing Russell. When Kevin Pelton was talking about Russell and Porzingis about three weeks ago, he said that he thought the Lakers should get rid of Byron, but he (Pelton) held the FO most responsible.
Here are what Russell and Mudiay have done in some basic metrics that would seem relevant, including all games except today. Left to right, the metrics are
PER MPG USG AST% TS%
So, yes, Mudiay is getting more reps and has the ball in his hands more, and he gets a little more floor time. Whether that is really making, or is going to make, a big difference in Russell’s and Mudiay’s respective development arcs is however unknown. Given his age and the situation he is in, Russell is doing fine, and while I like Mudiay, there are already signs that his shooting will be a problem. I think it is would be just as easy to argue that Russell will benefit from breaking in a little more slowly while he adjusts to the NBA, and I say that as a guy who opposed the Kobe, Young, and Williams contracts.
That being the case, I think that this is just more of what I said before: a lot of fans are simply tired of Kobe, tired of watching him shoot and miss all the time, never wanted Byron here to begin with, and if they are going to watch the team lose 75-80% of the time, would rather watch the young guys doing that. As a fan, I get that. But I think the jury is very much out on whether the young guys are actually being hurt by Kobe and Byron, and I don’t see a great case for it at the moment.
When I say the young guys, I mean Russell/Randle/Clarkson, and I have said several times that I think Black/Nance Jr/ABrown should be getting some run.
Well i guess properly developing a rookie in NY and Denver is giving them a ton of minutes, none if those teams have to balance development and A Kobe Bryant on their team, if D’angelo was having the same numbers he had the 1st two weeks of the seaon, yeah but he is playing better as time goes on, so that’s development. There is a bunch of stuff that happens that we don’t see….
Kobe is tied for 3rd in the league for 3 pointers per game attempted with Damian Lillard. So he’s 3rd in attempts, yet he is shooting 22%!?!!? Come on this isn’t a Jim Buss problem, Byron Scott and Kobe can dial those 3 pointers back BIG TIME. Have Kobe play from the bench, ACTUALLY LIMIT HIS TIME so hopefully he doesn’t end up going out to retirement with another serious injury. Plus we don’t need him shooting 18 times a game. Just because he can have a good game once a month is not a rationale for letting him gun it up there–especially from 3 point land. It might be nice for the rooks to occasionally get to win a couple of these close games.
And please trade Lou Williams also we don’t need him jacking up shot either. Just let Clarkson/Randle/DAR get more touches, its not as if Lou Williams is helping us win anyway–he doesn’t fit on this horribly constructed team. Swaggy fits better than Lou b/c he can play SF. Yet swaggy can’t play b/c he’s insensitive to Coach Scott who is insensitive himself and commonly demeans his players in the media. Honestly, watching Lakers basketball for the most part makes me want to vomit. Our teams defense is utter garbage the only thing we have going for us is we have some scorers and some gunners who occasionally have a streaky shooting game like Kobe, or Lou, or Swaggy–who actually has played pretty well. And Hibbert looks like he is getting worse, thank goodness he’s just a one year guy. Let’s experiment with Sacre again baby! Also let’s end the Brandon Bass center experiment, and as others mentioned why don’t we play Tarik Black did he back-talk Byron Scott at some point or something? Please just fire Scott, I just can’t stand listening to his voice anymore. Any respect I had for him as a player has been eroded to the point that I can’t stand listening to him speak to the media anymore.
Pozingis was playing in the ACB in Spain against men not college kids for 3 years, he is far ahead of his peers development wise, Muiday has shown flashes but he is a turnover machine and the less we talk about his shooting the better. So i guess development means forty minutes a night for some people, im ok with the pace of development in LA, and i take DAR’s numbers over Miudiay any day i do agree that Black and Nance need a lot of more playing time….
This is my go to site for everything Lakers. Darius, thank you! My question…Where IS Tarik Black? He’s not suited up and he’s nowhere to be seen anywhere on the bench and I haven’t heard Bill or Stu or Mike T mention anything. Does anyone know what’s goin’ on?
– Let’s face it, our beloved Lakers have one of the worst owners in the NBA if not all professional sports. I’ve lost all faith in these guys since Dr Buss passed away. Hard pressed to find one great decision they have made to improve the team. Last 3 years have been among the worst in franchise history.
What I mean in ‘development’ is mostly related to Russell, as he is our highest pick in decades.
It’s related to giving him the keys to drive, to think, to believe that the team will be his to captain.
As of now he’s in majority Kobe’s UPS driver.
I guess you’ve not noticed how his swag is gone, how he’s rushing his shot as if stealing one for himself, which affects his accuracy.
Had he gone to Denver, we would see the real, confident kid that worked out for us, the one which had a sweet arc to his shot, and handles like a magician.
Yes his numbers are going up, but that is despite Scott, he’s stealing scraps, and fighting for balls in order not to fall into a black hole of irrelevance.
As to his comparisons to Mudiay, Russell is simply a superior player. If he were in Denver, that would clearly be known.
Scott is running a Spartan camp, no place for a thoughtful, polite kid like Russell.
Jim C. says
Russell was bound to player better as time goes on just by virtue of his gaining experience at this level of play and adjusting to the speed of the game. That isn’t proof that his development isn’t being stunted by Kobe and Byron Scott this year.
How much faster would he be developing if Kobe wasn’t dominating the ball with a 29.6 usage rate and Scott wasn’t yanking him out of most 4th quarters?
My personal opinion is that we shouldn’t balance jack **** for Kobe this year. You’re supposed to do what’s right for the team, not for any one individual player. Kobe this year is easily the 5th best guard on this team behind Clarkson, Russell, Lou and Nick.This entire year should be dedicated not to a Kobe traveling circus act, but to giving Clarkson, Randle, Russell and Nance every possible chance to improve and get as far along as they can get before they take over next year.
I will forever be grateful for all of Kobe’s contributions to the Lakers. He’s the greatest Laker of all-time and provided more thrilling moments than we can count. But I think the extra $50M he was paid the last two years he’s going to end up being paid for being essentially useless is plenty of thanks enough.
I don’t think development means giving him the team and get out of the way, one of the few things i agree with BS is that he mantained that he needed to earn his playing time and closing games, stealing scraps and fighting for balls it’s exactly what he needs, one can argue that Denver has set up Miudiay for failure amd he could had benefited from a slower aproach, i know for a fact that if Russell was put in the same situation than Miudiay, given the keys so to speak and he was putting the same numbers as Miudiay, people here would be in an uproar and demand his benching, yeah lets imagine how having a rookie shooting 31% and a commiting turnovers left and right every night would sit here…
Jim C. says
The only problem with Russell needing to “earn” playing time is that the standard is not applied consistently.
Clarkson earned 4th quarter minutes last night. Kobe did not.
Kobe IS shooting 30% on the year but he has “earned the privilege”. Lou Williams is shooting 36% on the year, but is playing every 4th quarter. Brandon Bass has been a disaster as our backup center, but no sniff of Tarik Black.
I think the complaint isn’t about Byron Scott telling youngsters that they have to earn their minutes, but the clear indications that the veterans don’t have to do the same. Remember Ronnie Price over Jordan Clarkson last year? Clarkson basically only started getting major minutes as the last healthy body.
Agree 100% Jim.
Fern, Russell is a more accurate shooter and passer than Mudiay, so no, the numbers would not be the same.
As for earning playing time,.. this is a number 2 pick we are talking about here, not Clarkson at 46 @ 2nd round, or even Randle at 7.
Russell should be learning to run this team, especially since we are in rebuild mode and not going to compete.
Thus there is no doubt his development is being stunted.
Next season, that is, if, these Clarkson, Russell up for trade rumors ( that the Lakers are allowing to circulate ) are lies, then Russell will need to jump from a server boy, to team captain.
Quite a leap.
Come on this isn’t a Jim Buss problem, Byron Scott and Kobe can dial those 3 pointers back BIG TIME
I have said more than once that Byron should cut Kobe’s minutes and get him off the 3P line…and if that is not happening, and the FO thinks it should be, then it becomes a Jim Buss problem. A lot of people seem to think that holding Kobe and Byron accountable means going off on them 15 times a day on the internet. I think it means
a) Saying that changes should come from the top if Byron and Kobe don’t make needed changes themselves.
b) Remembering who put Byron and Kobe in their current roles in the first place.
Kev, Jim C:
You might be right, but the fact is that you have no way to demonstrate anything you are saying. Both positions–that Russell would be doing better in Denver, and that Russell would be doing better here if he he got to play more and run the show more–are hypotheticals/counterfactuals, based mostly, again, on animus towards Scott and Kobe.
This is sort of like people who claim that Clarkson only got to play last year on FO orders and/or that Clarkson would be doing even better were it not for Scott, or people who claim/suggest that the Lakers would have won even more titles than they did during Kobe’s career if he had been a different kind of player. Are those things possible? Sure, I guess, kinda sorta. But that is as far as we can go.
As to Russell, I think he should be going 30-34 mpg and should have a higher usage rate. But I don’t know that he would be doing better if he were, and I don’t think his career arc is being badly damaged right now. If he has All-Star talent, I think he will show that, barring injury.
Sister Mary Margaret of the Sisters of Mercy, armed with her trusty and well dog-eared copy of Practical Modern Basketball, could coach this team better than BS.
Jim C. says
Actually, they aren’t based on animus at all. It’s based on a quarter of the season’s worth of observations this year and a full year’s worth of observations last year, both of on the court play and of off the court quotes from the players and coach involved, and long term strategic thinking.
We are 19 games into the season and well over a year into watching Byron Scott. That’s a large enough sample size to start making some observations of patterns. One observation is that Kobe is cooked. Done. He’ll have a flashback game now and then like against Washington (where it should be pointed out he was still only 10-24 on the game despite it being his most efficient game of the season) but otherwise is not really an NBA caliber player anymore.
Another observation is that Scott will always overplay veterans over youngsters. We’ve seen it time and time again. This isn’t based on animus towards Scott. It’s based on empirical data from his time as a Laker coach over the last year and 19 games. It’s based on watching Jordan Clarkson take off after he finally got major minutes after the All-Star break last year after being glued to the bench in favor of players like Ronnie Price.
A final observation is that, yes, we DO have a way to demonstrate what we’re saying: have Byron Scott actually do something different. Experiment. Try something else. Scientific method. Test your hypothesis. We’ve thoroughly tested any number of failed hypothesis around Scott’s ideas of coaching this year’s version of the team.
-Kobe is still a player who should be shooting 22 times per game and getting 35 minutes per game
-Lou Williams should be playing major 4th quarter minutes over Russell or Clarkson
-Brandon Bass should be our backup center over Tarik Black.
And we’ve seen the results. One thing we haven’t really tested is the opposites.
rr, I agree that the Lakers shouldn’t have given Young a four-year contract, but Jim is sentimental. The Lakers gave Meta a similar lengthy contract after he hit that shot against Boston for the championship, and then there was Kobe’s contract.
Whether anyone agrees or disagrees with Scott’s method for developing young players, he was the commander when Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving burst on the scene as future all-star guards. Look at their usage rate their rookie years in New Orleans and the Cavaliers respectively during that time (based on faulty memory). Those same players now experience minor and major injuries that nag them every year. Is it possible that Scott learned to ease players into the rigors of the NBA, to prevent that outcome? Not playing early on last season has not stunted Clarkson in any way what so ever. In fact, one can make an argument that that’s one of the reasons he advanced his muscle mass, picked up a sweet spot on the floor, and developed a running floater/tear drop, and this year is the Lakers most consistent player. Just a thought.
Great Post Jim!
And I would like to reiterate here, we are talking about developing the decades rare #2 pick here, and one who’s proven that he has the potential to learn what he was chosen for.
You made it through that post without mentioning the FO. Hence my observations about animus. As to the rest I said that you might be right. But as of now it is spec and opinion. And as Chearn points out Clarkson is doing well in this reality no matter what people think of Scott.
I believe that Scott is being granted unearned credit as the so called ‘point guard developer’.
The fact is that he was lucky enough for three outstanding point guards to land on him.
His record with these PGs however in no way lends to his development of them.
One could argue that they would have developed better with another coach.
Lastly, I don’t believe that his old school approach of dogs fighting for scraps is apt for this new generation; as I said before, D’Angelo’s confidence and poise has taken a dive under the Scott regime.
p.s. Please don’t mention Clarkson, his situation does not compare.
Jim C. says
I’m not sure what there is to say about the front office that hasn’t already been said. They’re clearly in tank mode and are using Scott for that purpose.
The difference between the FO and Scott is that I think the FO is doing this on purpose. I don’t think Scott is. I think his tanking is entirely accidental.