Happy Monday, everybody. Here are a few of the best Laker-centric reads, news and notes from around the web:
- NOT SO IMPRESSED: This is the first of a string of Byron Scott and D’Angelo Russell-related links, so be prepared. If you missed any of Russell’s showing on Christmas Day (or would simply like to revisit it), here are his full highlights. Without question it was Russell’s most complete game on both ends of the floor, yet, via Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, Scott didn’t leave overly impressed with the rookie’s performance.
- CHANGE ON IT’S WAY?: Medina also reported postgame that Scott plans to stick with the same rotation for the remainder of the calendar year. Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times offered a bit more detail on the wait for Russell and Randle to re-enter the starting lineup.
- THE LAND OF (LESS?) OPPORTUNITY: It is no secret that Byron has coached young point guards successfully in the past. Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving being chief among them. Nevertheless, there exists a difference between their development under Scott and Russell’s, this is something the folks at L.A. Daily News looked into, finding that much less freedom has been allotted to Russell than both Irving and Paul.
- LAST ONE, I PROMISE: As is also suggested in the piece linked above, part of Scott’s unwillingness to simply throw Russell into the proverbial fire could be attributed to the rookie’s limited knowledge of his playbook. This reasoning is something Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll takes issue with.
- TO MATCH OR NOT TO MATCH: There are certainly larger issues currently at hand for the Lakers (like winning games and such), but Jordan Clarkson’s impending restricted free agency is a cloud that hangs over any conversation about the upcoming summer. For those interested in gleaning more into his contract situation, the salary cap-savvy, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times recently explained how the Lakers can benefit from a team extending Clarkson an offer sheet in the offseason.
- KEEPING STEADY: For more on Clarkson, check out Cedelf P. Tupas of the Philippine Inquirer’s piece on how the second-year guard manages to find a silver lining during this rough season.
- TIME FOR REFLECTION: After Sunday’s loss to the Grizzlies, Kobe was asked what advice he would give himself as a rookie. You can check out his response via Baxter Holmes of ESPN.
- THE PROCESS: Recently, Holmes detailed the “all-day process” that is preparing, recovering and maintaining the health of Kobe during what is as physically trying a season that #24 has had to endure in his career. We gave our thoughts on the contents of the article earlier last week but, if you haven’t given it a read already, the entire piece is well worth your time. Now, let’s sing …
- HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN …: All-Star. That’s right, while not yet official, Kobe is highly likely to All-Star game hurrah come January as after the first wave of voting, he leads all players by a very, very wide margin.
- FLASHING POTENTIAL: Larry Nance, Jr. had, by far, the best game of his career in Sunday’s loss to Memphis and Harrison Faigen wrote up a detailed breakdown of the rookie’s performance in that one.
- WELP: Never to be topped by any career-best performance, Nance, Jr. also did this on Christmas. Byron called the play “indicative” of the Lakers’ season thus far. I’d agree, but the ball actually managed to make it in the hoop this time (hey-oh!).
Lakers’ Schedule for the Week:
- The team continues its three-game road swing this week at Charlotte on Monday, December 28th (4 p.m. PT, TWCSN) — our preview for which can be found here — and at Boston on Wednesday, December 30th (4:30 p.m. PT, NBATV and TWCSN). Then, to kick off a three-game home stand, they will face off against the Sixers on Friday, New Years Day (7:30 p.m. PT, TWCSN) and the Suns on Sunday, January 3rd (6:30 p.m. PT, TWCSN).
Enjoy the New Year, folks!