I’m still pretty much bedridden with a cold, so excuse the short preview today. I’ll try to catch the game, but more than likely will not. Thanks for the understanding. Hope you enjoy the game.
While the Lakers’ record accurately reflects the type of team they are, it should also be noted that they are also changing from what they were early in the year. Over the first 20 games or so, the Lakers’ record was mostly the product of Kobe’s struggles, the inability of the young players to find any consistency, a team not grasping its schemes, and truly bad defense.
Over the last 5 or so games, things have subtly shifted. Kobe is playing better — in some games much better — than he was earlier in the year. The young players are still struggling with consistency, but are better grasping the schemes and are experiencing higher highs (especially Russell) than at any point in the first 20 games. However, the rotations are still dodgy and the defense is still awful.
In other words, the Lakers are still a bad team but are a different type of bad than they showed earlier. I’m not honestly sure how much this matters, but I’m sure it does. At least they’re more watchable.
What this means for today is…well, trouble. The Thunder, despite some bench issues and adjustment to a new coach, have the 3rd best efficiency differential in the league. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are both playing like top 5 players in the league, both boasting PER’s near (or above) 30. Both are taking over games and demolishing opponents.
The Lakers have no one to really guard either of these guys. If Kobe was 5 years younger, maybe he could stay with Durant somewhat. Clarkson has athleticism, but he’s not near the athlete Westbrook nor does he have the defensive acumen to track him all over the floor and stay with him consistently. Further, if the Thunder go to P&R heavy sets, the Lakers’ strategy of sagging well below the pick will not only give OKC’s guys space to shoot open jumpers (which they can make), but will also give them the room to turn the corner and look to attack the paint. It’s the latter that should most concern as both Westbrook and Durant can get Hibbert in foul trouble and still score at the rim through contact.
Offensively the Lakers can hope to keep up through efficient scoring of their own, but that will be tough with OKC’s starters on the floor. The front line of Adams and Ibaka do well to blockade the paint and the length of Durant, Roberson, and Westbrook gives perimeter players issues. The Lakers’ best hope is to knock down three pointers consistently and hit enough mid-range jumpers to make the defense defend close enough to enable drives from 18-feet and in that generate shots at the rim.
Another key will be controlling the backboards. OKC is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league and guys like Adams, Kanter, and, from the guard spot, Westbrook love to get on the glass to get extra possessions. The Lakers can be prone to surrendering extra shots and if that happens today, the Thunder will punish them with makes after extending possessions. If the Lakers are to have any chance tonight, they will not only need an initial stop, but will need to end possessions with rebounds rather than resetting their defense.
Where you can watch: 2pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
Kobe Alert: KB has been filling up the stat sheet and that means gaining on and moving by well known names on the all time lists of NBA history. At tip off tonight, Kobe will be playing in his 1304th game and will put himself in 14th all time, getting by Elvin (he also moved by Ray Allen recently). KBB needs 137 minutes to catch Reggie Miller for 8th all time. Defensive rebounding has been huge for Kobes lately and he has leaped past Michael Cage and Scottie Pippen into 49th all time. He needs 3 more to tie James Donaldson for 48th. Number 44 is only 37 dimes away and this will put Kobes in 28th all time, but more importantly 2nd on the Laker list behind Magic. The 33k point level is 134 away.
R: From prior thread: Thanks for noticing : ) Yes – I left the Spurs out of it, because I did not want to point out too much “consistency”. Some people confuse consistency with “redundancy”. And trust me – I am already worried about the Spurs. I think they are the #2 pick at this point to win it all. Would much rather have another GS victory or even an LBJ victory.
From previous thread:
My guess is that Mitch would love to trade the combination of Sacre & Young for draft picks.
I have no problem if he traded anyone but Randle, Clarkson and Russell. Of course Kobe stays — that’s goes without saying. I’ll get grief for including Nance whom I do like. But I find him redundant with Randle and they can’t play together (no consistent range). Plus, if the right deal comes along for a youngster you might have include someone like Nance in a deal to get another foundational piece back — I’m thinking of a young wing with range.
Kobe out with a sore shoulder.
Worst starters Laker history. Dunk not smart.
OK’s starters are very long.
Lil pau says
Sreven Adams: Love child of Joakim Noah and Adam Morrison
Nasty Durant crossover over on Randle.
35 point 1st quarter. What a defensive battle!
I agree Alan — this season is lost except for Kobe farewell tour and developing the kids — time for Mitch to strip it down. This serves two purposes get usable assets and hopefully keep our pick.
OKC is not the cream of the West and they are owning us.
Guess team was out square fancing late last night. Nice to see Bryon had the team ready to play.
Jimmy and team should probably raise ticket prices again.
Garbage time in the 2nd quarter.
The Durant & Westbrook Laker audition.
This game is brutal, demonstrates clearly how inadequate our veterans can be without Kobe.
Shaq Voice says
Hibbert again getting outplayed by a traditional big. What is a good matchup for him?
Some people were saying Kobe was the one hampering the team. Face it. This team sucks with or without him.
Like been daying Hibbert worst center in NBA by a long shot.
kbj: Exactly. Only less entertainment. Without Kobe – it is the Lou Williams show
Look for Kobe to miss more games against quality opponents. The opposing fans are not laughing with the Lakers, they are laughing at us. 92-53…
Robert: thanks for doing the Kobe alert.
I’m glad he’s having a mini Kobenaissance. I would hate to see him go out like he did start of the year.
This game, well… Whatcha gonna do.
Good feed by Randle down to Bass. 66 to 100 with 3/4ths of a quarter left.
I can sense some more of Murray’s meddling. They gave him a run, now fire him!
DAR/Swaggy with the ever elusive +/- neg 32/33. Not my favorite stat, yet something isn’t happening on the defensive end when the stats get that bloated.
Does this get us back to #1 for worst defense, or should I say #30? IF Kobe can play like he has the last couple games, I can get some entertainment value from watching him at least. This “development” stuff would be more fun to watch if the FO actually built a solid defensive unit around the young guys (instead of guys like L. Williams no defense, all offense). I’m still pretty worried that our 3 young guys may all turn into below average defenders at their positions. Clarkson has been around enough that it’s doubtful he gets a lot better.
Lakers look terrible
“Clarkson has been around enough that it’s doubtful he gets a lot better.”
You can not be saying this with a straight face. Jordan Clarkson has played less than a full season overall (he didn’t really get playing time till after the ASG last year). And he’s only 23 years old. He’s still very much on an upward development curve. And he’s having to share the ball with Kobe and Lou Williams.
Honestly. Comments like this make no sense. You should edit your posts a bit more carefully.
Furthermore, tonight he was one of the few true bright spots…going up against Russ Westbrook no less.
He’s young. He has his career ahead of him. Who know what kind of player he’ll be in 4 years?
Craig W. says
I am not sure what people expect when Kobe doesn’t play and we are playing one of the best teams in the NBA at their place. They are long and athletic and expect to win. There is a reason they fired their coach. There is also a reason K. Durant is the premier free-agent next summer.
Tank, you conveniently forgot Randle’s -29.
Don’t be so pessimistic, the core is simply going through growing pains.
Scouting report against our lakers let them shoot the three
,,how many 3s did we miss
By the way those thunder uniforms are ugly
When i look at the thunder, now I’m realizing way so my people are upset at our f/o, thunder have alot of quality role players, to go along with westbrook and durant, and kanter is a good prospect,
If we resign hibbert I’m going to cry
So randle with his 2 points says we didn’t bring it today, so why they say, he says “i don’t know”. So the lakers really think the 3, dar randle and clarkson are going to attract upper tier free agents. Very sad
The thunder drafted durant, westbrook, ibaka, collison, and adams,,,traded for kanter, and waiters
matt: “now I’m realizing why so many people are upset at our f/o” Welcome aboard.
craig: “I am not sure what people expect when Kobe doesn’t play” I expect nothing but pain.
barty: “Kobenaissance” Nice ! Unfortunately the team it is still in the Dark Ages.
there’s a reason some hall of fame coaches have called them whale poop.
this is how it is and how it probably will be for another year or two. get with it or find another bandwagon.
I do think its all riding on the rooks+ Clarkson. But yeah, they aren’t attracting any proven talents anytime soon. So they will have to try and get lucky with a disgruntled player who wants the bright lights/big city. There are always guys looking for somewhere else to go, unfortunately many of them carry personal life baggage (Howard/Ty Lawson come to mind).
The young guys are all big question marks, but the reality is none of them are ready for primetime. They all have a nice game here and there but that’s about it. The only thing this season has proven for sure for me:
>Don’t resign Hibbert. >Find a way to move Lou Williams we don’t need another guard to take up minutes that doesn’t play D and has no size to boot. >May as well look to move Swaggy as well. >We need bigs with some defense and some offensive talent. >We will not be good again next year for sure, barring some miracle where we get all-star talents to come here somehow.
I’d hope they retain the top 3 pick and trade it for someone good like boogy cousins
I’d hope they retain the top 3 pick and trade it for someone good like boogy cousins
He’ll cost more than one pick. The Celtics are willing to give up both up protected Nets picks and some of their kids to get him. Lakers don’t have that much to offer unless they give the pick plus Randle or Russell.
Boogie’s not worth it.
Hopefully, during that dinner, Kobe was actually making a pitch to Durant to become the new face of the organization next season. And more importantly, if so – by some miracle of all miracles – the pitch works.
Durant + Whiteside + Simmons + New Head Coach to go along with Randle, Clarkson and Russell is just (my) wishful thinking, because after watching us over these last 3 seasons, wishful thinking seems to be all I’m relegated to.
My fear is that we finish with the 2nd worse record in the league – which, in all likelihood, we will – and lose our pick to Philly. AKA: Rock Bottom.
Ouch! This is exactly the type of lessons the young Lakers need. We took some lumps tonight but one day guys with going to be giving them out. Like the fact the rooks took responsibility for their performance. Don’t think they were scared but definitely overwhelmed by OKC. Got a long ways to go that’s for sure. Anxious to see how the rooks perform next time out.
Wow…didn’t check the final Laker FG%, but that has to be the worst shooting performance I think I’ve ever seen from our fellas.
Highlite of the day….in the Kobe post game interview, what I thought was an interviewer with a bad Don King fro, turned out to be a mic cover.
Good post LordMo!
The pessimistic mindset is a disease to be avoided at all cost.
Regarding Scott’s excuse for the loss, saying the core was Scared of the Thunder:
This may be the crack that breaks the ice under his feet !
Both Randle and D’Angelo took offense to the crack, and disputed it to the press.
D’Angelo went a step further and said the problem was being tied down by Scott’s “System” !
Now I don’t know how the front office will view this event, yet clearly, there are hot winds of rebellion in the air, which could start a fire that burns all the dead wood to ash.
BS calls his team “scared”. D’Russ and Randle come out say they played bad but, were not scared. I really feel BS is completely out of touch with his players. He really needs to go.
Byron Scott says the Lakers played scared against the Thunder. D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle openly disagree. In a sense, so does Jordan Clarkson. Here is an article by Dan Feldman exposing what appears to be a growing rift between Byron and his young players:
This article is telling. As Feldman says:
“The Lakers played lousy – no question. But they’re a bad team and poorly coached. They can get blown out without being scared.
“This public disagreement doesn’t point to the situation improving. To the contrary, it could worsen.
“How long until the Lakers’ young players tire of Scott putting Kobe on a pedestal? How long until they tire of Scott blaming them without looking in the mirror?
“And how long until management tires of Scott, period?”
These are excellent questions posed by a respected sports writer. So…how much longer can this go on before Byron completely loses the locker room if he hasn’t already?
Clay Bertrand says
I can’t believe that any of us watched that entire fiasco. My head still hurts.
SO, film from this game WILL NOT be part of the Lakers “Basketball” pitch to Kevin Durant then I’m assuming?????
DoomsDay Reality Prediction:
At the end of the day, the FO will desperately blow their offseason money on DeRozan…SMH…….
Byron: The odds of Scott coaching next year are almost zero. So – the question is – should we just ride out the year with him, or get rid of now. I say ride it out. Getting rid of him now makes no sense. We go to an interim; chaos ensues, we replace the interim in the summer, and we use this as an excuse why DAR and Randle are not playing well next year. So for those who are riding Scott (he deserves it). Do you really want him gone now. What about consistency? And what about the pick? Do we want more wins or not? Be careful what you ask for. A few more wins to lose the pick, an interim coach, and then still waiting for a permanent coach in the off season does not sound like a great plan to me. What is the wish list here? And no Byron is not morphing himself into something else as I have said all year. The time to have replaced him was last summer and the FO chose to have him as our coach and that is where he should remain until this fiasco of a year is over.
Again, this kind of stuff from Byron is the Riley influence. Riley doesn’t talk to the media much anymore, but the last time he did some high-profile media yakking, when the rumors were starting about LeBron James leaving Miami and going back to Cleveland, Riley made it about James’ guts, toughness, etc. That noted, BITD, Riley usually included himself to some extent in his harangues. Scott doesn’t do that, and as I and many others pointed out when Jim Buss put the D’Antoni hire on his late father, leadership is best served by taking blame and spreading credit.
The problem of course is that most teams Riley coached were veteran teams, contenders, instead of a team like the 2016 Lakers, so this is another demonstration of Byron’s problems adapting his style to the circumstances. OTOH, there was ample evidence that Byron was an old-school guy, and would not be especially adaptable, even before he was hired and interviewed several times.
Finally, I have yet to meet anybody who likes other people saying in public that s/he is scared of something. It is a different thing than saying guys played soft, etc. But people who want Scott gone have been speculating about the team quitting on him for awhile now, and I think often project their own feelings about Scott onto the players. But this time may be different. We will see.
So when we lose by 40 points to a veteran contending team, the excuse is the team was scared, well westbrook does look like he can whip some ass but really how disgraceful, i guess the coach did all he could to prepare them and can take no blame, or maybe his team is a bunch of punks, sounds like that’s what he thinks,
I don’t know if there was a game plan, seriously as a coach it’s shameful to lose that bad but I’m running out of words here, BYRON SCOTT is a ___________(fill in the blank),
i understand being hard on your kid for failing a test, but if you helped them study for it, it’s on you too. If he can’t coach our future team, he needs to step down.
If byron is gonna crush the spirits of our young players i would like to see him gone now
Actually, I think that the FO’s reluctance to fire Byron may be a function of their not wanting to have a lot of dead money on the books. If Byron were fired tomorrow, then the Lakers would have to pay him for a while not to coach the team. This would also be an admission of a major error in judgement on their part.
These are difficult pills to swallow.
On the other hand, these recent comments are not originating with their grizzled veterans. (Who cares what Swaggy or BB or Lou think?) Rather, they’re coming from their young core and that’s close to treading on sacred ground.
If the Lakers do keep Byron on board, will it hurt Clarkson’s, Randle’s, and Russell’s development and outlook? That’s a serious issue.
So, is there an alternative? One could always turn over the reins to a current assistant coach (which is possible but hardly ideal), search for a full time coach in mid-season (also not ideal and definitely not recommended), or bring in some one like Michael Cooper (if he’s interested) to try out the hot seat and attempt to teach these young kids the finer points of defense.
Admittedly, the options are few. So what is the FO thinking? Only time will tell.
Some excellent posts regarding Coach BScott and I tend to agree to a point. Again we really do not know what we have on the roster right now. We are basing our future on a bunch of young men trying to learn their craft and learning to become a professional at the highest level in their chosen craft at that! Tough to do people now couple that with coming to one of the most recognized franchises in all of sports in TinselTown. Now come to work every night with the expectations of all of Lakerdom on your young 20 something shoulders. Lets give them a whole season and Coach BScott also. But BScott will have to adjust you cannot coach and motivate a young fragile team like a veteran squad. That’s not JKidd and crew out their…so he must step back and be the old wily sage (aka Master Splinter) of LakerLand and impart his young charges with the legendary lore of Lakerdom!
Who cares what Randle and Russell think, they aren’t Anthony Davis, or Wiggins or Towns or any other talent that can make a difference by themselves.
Maybe they both turn into border line all stars, but I haven’t seen anything that says superstar or franchise player in either of them.
Byron scott is what he is, somebody has to eat these losses, he is willing to do it.
Byron’s deal is guaranteed through next year anyway, and there is pretty much no chance he is retained, so ownership will probably be eating some money on the deal regardless. So, as I said, if they think Byron is hurting the young guys, then bring in an interim. If not, ride it out.
Also, the FO is already paying MDA not to coach the tram and had to do the same with Mike Brown.
Yup we r who we r right now. BScott is willing to fall on the sword for the sake of the team.
@Marques is correct basically the rooks have not earned any right to criticize or complain about anything that’s not out of the norm. So, while they might not like BScott or his regimen at this point who cares. They haven’t won jack in this league and BScott has. So, I will ride this year out enthusiastically but also expect some marked improvement and progress. Going to be frustrating at times but what an exciting time huh? Think we haven’t had a young team like this since the Ceballos / Van Exel days. Kind of welcome the change and some new Lakers winning rings!
Regardless of whats said about bscott our team is playing like a 3 point team for no reason they are not hitting shots from outside but are continuing to take them, is there a coaching strategy here, my eyes say no, so me as a fan says coaching is bad, they should come into the game with a plan and if their plan is shoot 3s its a bad plan
For those saying the rookies shouldn’t criticise the coach i don’t see where they have, they have shown great poise, russell looked impacted when reporter said” coach said you looked scared”, russell held his tongue, infact i have not heard complain, even though he’s been benched, all these rookies seem like they have great character, they look like they are handling it all well,,
The coach on the other hand has acted like a major jerk
Agree matt, they aren’t complaining, only standing up for the pride they require in order to compete.
Coaches that say “They” versus “We” have already lost the privilege to lead.
These young men have already clearly demonstrated, that they have the talent within them. The only things they now require is encouragement, time, support, and training.
Not, ridicule and distancing from all responsibility.