On Sunday, the Lakers beat the Warriors by 17. On Monday, the Warriors beat the Magic by 6. So, today, the Lakers should beat the Magic by 23. That’s how this works, right?
That is not how it works, no.
But the Lakers do have the rest advantage with the Magic playing on the 2nd night of a back to back and coming off a Warriors game which was closer than expected down the stretch. Combine those factors with the Lakers’ young players doing well of late and this contest offers a rare chance for the Lakers to win two games in a row.
What further hurts the Magic’s chances is the health of Nikola Vucevic. The big man is nursing a sore groin and is questionable for tonight’s game. In the first match up between these two teams, Vucci Mane scored 18 points off the bench, including an 18 foot turnaround jumper in the face of Roy Hibbert to win the game at the buzzer.
If Vuc doesn’t play, losing his offense hurts but it really just shifts the offensive burden to other players. Against the Warriors on Monday, four Magic scored at least 19 points and it’s that type of diversified scoring which can give the Lakers issues. The Magic have several wing threats — Evan Fournier, Victor Oladipo, Brandon Jennings — who can all get hot. They also have dunk competition runner up Aaron Gordon, who has a nice offensive skill set beyond just yamming on opponent’s heads.
This group of players offers a great set of matchups for the Lakers young guys, too. Russell, Clarkson, Randle, and Nance will all get to see counterparts who offer similarly explosive games and provide challenges on both ends of the floor. In fact, it’s these matchups which will likely determine the outcome of the game. If the Magic’s young guys are able to play as well tonight as they did in Golden State on Monday, the Lakers are in trouble.
Moving away from the young guys, what we do not know is whether Kobe will play. Byron Scott said there’s a 50/50 chance Kobe suits up, but that gives us little to go on. Kobe has said he would like to play in all the team’s remaining games, but also acknowledges that would be a longshot. His shoulder is clearly aching and, if what we saw in the Warriors game is any indication, even if he does play he will mostly be an off-ball worker who does not try to extend himself too much.
Lastly, one player who I have not mentioned but am interested in seeing more of his Marcelo Huertas. The rookie (in name only) point guard has been playing good offensive basketball since filling in for the injured Lou Williams, bringing a dimension to the team’s 2nd unit the former 6th Man of the Year does not possess. While Lou offers points in bunches, Huertas has been setting up his teammates wonderfully and running the offense in ways Williams has not been. I hope to see more good passing from Huertas and, hopefully, have some of his want of passing rub off on some of his mates, encouraging more ball movement in the process.
Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM Los Angeles.
No Mamba tonight according to the LA Daily News and Bleacher Report. Shoulder barking. That shoulder has been a factor in Kobe’s poor shooting all year long, IMO.
Jordan Clarkson with a great crossover on Fournier and drains the three.
First time Randle, Russell, and Clarkson all score 20+ points in the same game. The Lakers young core starting to look good.
Looks the Magic must have gone to the same club as the Warriors 😉
Can we lay off the front office for a while?
Larry Nance Jr.
Future is bright!!!
Marlon Brando says
Our young core played a solid game. Are potential FA’s taking notice?
Well. The Lakers have now won the last 2 games by a total of 26 points — both decisive victories. Obviously the kids are really playing well, individually and collectively. I sense real chemistry between them.
Russell had 27 points, Clarkson 24 points (with 5 rebounds and 3 assists), and Randle had 23 points and 11 rebounds. Also, Larry Nance, Jr. was very active with 8 points and 10 rebounds.
Maybe the future is closer than we think.
good stretch for the lakers young guns, loving it…
all these games have something in common: limited time (or none at all) from “Hog-vets” such as kobe, lou, and young…
could ve been this way all along and we would be much further along with our youngs development, but of course, who in the FO and coaching staff would knew~!
DAR, Randle, Clarkson, Nance, Marcelo, all keepers! now come join the party Tarik and Brown!!
(…well most of us on here knew…)
Seems ball movement and team is better with Marcelo instead of Lou on court.
Lou is just a smaller and less clown like version of 34% Young without the mobile hair salon.
BTW, the Lakers have held their last 2 opponents to under 100 points. That’s a lot of tacos.
J C says
The Tank is dead!
Delighted to see D Russell, Clarkson and Randle coalescing. Really impressed with Russell.
Two games is a small sample size but it sure is fun to win games!! A little saddened that Kobe’s involvement in the two wins is reduced but it’s an inevitable progression.
If we start to compete more regularly the front office will look better and paying Kobe the respect it did this year will, in retrospect, look more and more appropriate.
Couldn’t watch the game but seems like the young core is starting to mesh, and it looks like Huertas is playing himself into a new contract next season. Excellent win!!
As wrong as i was with dlo, i told yall
huertas was a contributor once he gets the minutes and gets settled in the league….
F the pick, if thise young guys can sustain this level of play, their confidence will be through the roof going into next season, plus potential FAs will take notice 🙂
– At last, the Lakers are starting to look like a professional basketball team and not a cicus act.
– Don’t believe Kobe’s shoulder was an issue all season, started after a dunk.
-“lay off the FO”? Not a chance. They are the main reason for the worst three consecutive seasons in franchise history.
– As far as the improved play of the young core, I’m one who believes this could have started much earlier in the season if this ownership group would have focused on the future instead of the past.
The Lakers got 6 points from their starting SF and Center. FO will regret meaningless wins if we lose the pick. Why make the future so much more difficult — keep the pick. There’s no such thing as too much talent.
Where are all the commenters?
Is everyone in mourning because the Lakers won? Because DAR is clearly not a bust, Clarkson is obviously more than a mere 6th man, and Randle is the double-double machine that no one predicted?
As Scott Skiles said last night, the Lakers had the 3 best players on the court. Now things start to get interesting.
Isn’t this what we’ve all been waiting for?
What exactly do you want the Lakers to do? They’re banged up. They’re playing their kids as they’re supposed to. It just so happens that things are beginning to click and the Lakers are winning (even though it’s only 2 games).
Do you expect them to throw the game? (That’s against the rules you know.)
What can they do other than play their hearts out, feature their young players, and put forth an honest effort?
We should never expect less than that. Let’s let nature take its course. If the Lakers lose, great. If they win, so be it.
Bear in mind, they could finish with the worst record in the league and still get savaged by the ping pong ball gods.
We should not be complaining about games such as these. The kids are doing everything that we’ve been asking them to do. I say “bravo” for them.
It is still very early but, if the Lakers play well it breaks a lot of memes that have floated around here. The F.O. sucks, our players still aren’t very good, it is all about a stealth tank, Scott will inevitably be fired.
I believed the team was under performing and the main culprit was Scott’s Princeton. Since dropping it they have looked much much better resulting in a few wins. Give credit where it is due. I’m happy to see the Lakers playing well. If they happen to keep their pick it will be icing on the cake.
Isn’t this what we’ve all been waiting for?
We know the kids will be OK. Let’s just wait until next year to start winning games. Makes no sense to throw away the pick as if we don’t need it when we clearly do. A win streak here smacks of MDA screwing the Lakers out of Andrew Wiggins to spite the FO. Time to get on the same page Jim and Byron.
Chris Mannix, of Yahoo Sports, mentioned yesterday that if the Lakers keep the pick (Simmons or Ingram) it would make the Lakers’ coaching job hard for Luke to turn down. The future is bright — why muck it up with meaningless wins now.
Wins now aren’t exactly meaningless. Come this summer when the Lakers start meeting with free agents that would be something they can point to as a reason to come to L.A. So while getting a draft pick would be great, winning games now isn’t a terrible thing either.
– @ Mid-W, “Isn’t this what we’ve all been waiting for?” Sure, problem is it’s too little, too late. As you know, timing is everything. And in true fashion, this ownership group’s timing is off. At this stage of the season (as it s/h been the entire season) the aim s/b to do whatever is best to return the Lakers to NBA relevancy on the court. Maybe some believe the best way to do this is bench the legend, unleash the kids, and implement an offense that takes advantage of their skills for the last 20 games and showcase what the Lakers can be for pending free agents.
Others feel anything that jeopardizes the top 3 protected pick isn’t worth it at this late stage of the game. So some who were calling for Kobe to stop dominating the ball as he was earlier in the season may want to return to that scenario.
– Confusing times indeed for Laker fans…thanks Buss (Bust) Family.
Come this summer when the Lakers start meeting with free agents that would be something they can point to as a reason to come to L.A.
Because FAs cost money — like 4 years $100 million dollars of money. A top 3 pick is cost controlled for four years. Having extra cap space is nice but it fills up pretty fast when you’re handing out max deals.
In ten years winning an extra 8 games, this season, will mean nothing. But if Simmons or Ingram become All Stars, for another team, then the Lakers would have missed out — big time. It’s mind boggling to think of losing the pick over the last 20 games of a season that has been lost since the first month of the. To endure all of this pain and then lose out on the pick would be a huge snub to the fans and negatively impact the future.
Let’s start with a clean slate next season and we can all just root for the team to win.
Bear in mind, they could finish with the worst record in the league and still get savaged by the ping pong ball gods.
I’d rather be screwed by ping pong balls than by meaningless end of season wins that made our odds of keeping the pick far too long. For an organization that always talks about winning championships you mean to say that they are now prizing finishing 14th in the West to the point that they’d give up this season’s pick to do so? That’s insane.
Are these wins truly “meaningless”? As Vasheed states, they could be very meaningful to a FA or 2. And they could have some significant meaning down the line for the kids (even a year or two in the future).
When I played tennis in college, I never had a meaningless win. Never. I drew meaning from every win. Every loss, too.
The meaning wasn’t always evident the next day. But I’d remember those matches 2-3 years later. And I’d learn from them.
This is how you grow. This is how you develop. This is how you become a team. It’s a natural process.
The Lakers have a ways to go. But in 2 years we could possibly look back to this time and realize that this may have been the beginning of the beginning.
Only time will tell.
Back to the game:
1. It’s great to see the Big 3 making strides. How about Randle’s right hand?
2. I love watching the 2nd unit. Nance and Bass are very active on defense, and the inclusion of Huertas changes the flow. I am happy to see him get his chance.
3. Rare Kelly citing last night. After seeing the guy make shots from everywhere in the D-league, it is sad to see him clank in the big games. He’s smart, too; I can’t figure out why his shooting doesn’t translate…
4. Wins/losses – There’s a long way to go yet before we can claim a win-streak. We’ll still be up and down. I’d hate to lose the pick, but the willful tank, while potentially smart, is shameful imo. Its a denigration of the bball gods.
While growth through the draft is certainly something we’d like to do, aren’t we talking about a swing in probability of about 9%? That’s what we are looking at right now if we give up our spot to Phoenix. However, by winning now, and winning well, aren’t we greatly improving our chances of being able to persuade free agents that LA is a destination again?
I don’t see the Lakers “catching” the Suns as the season winds down.
In any event Darius summed it up very nicely.
What FA’s are we talking about this summer? Its a thin crop.
KD, DeRozan and Whiteside are unrestricted. Barnes and Leonard are restricted. All of them are on winning teams and will have other suitors with cap space who are further along than the Lakers are.
It’s simple. If the Lakers lose out on the pick who comes in free agency? If no one comes in free agency and we have no one to trade to get better other than the kids (and you won’t get better trading them) then how does this team improve? Status quo and relying solely on organic growth this team wins what 25 games next year.
More on free agency: Chris Mannix, on the Petros and Money Show, said that FAs — like Durant — are looking for franchise stability and a good coach. We still have a mess of a FO with public bickering and deadlines. Added to this is the fact that we don’t have a coach with any gravitas. It’s hard to see the Lakers getting their act together in three months.
Yet, we have a chance to add another player through the draft — akin to adding another DAR — and every one appears to be more interested in finishing 14th in the West.
However, by winning now, and winning well, aren’t we greatly improving our chances of being able to persuade free agents that LA is a destination again?
I don’t think so, no. The Lakers are 14-51.
Lottery odds, again, since it is back on the table:
2nd-worst record/% of pick
lose pick: ~44%
3rd-worst record/% of pick
Darius Soriano says
Why is it that anytime the Lakers’ pick is discussed the inference is that it’s Simmons or Ingram the Lakers are missing out on? As it stands the Lakers have the 2nd worst record, but that doesn’t mean they’ll pick 2nd.
For the team with the 2nd worst record, the odds breakdown is:
*19.9% for #1
*18.8% for #2
*17.1% for #3
The difference between these %’s is minimal and there’s still a 44.2% chance they lose their pick entirely. Said another way, the odds the Lakers pick 1st or 2nd are 38.7% while the odds they lose their pick is 44.2%. I just don’t see the point in arguing for Simmons or Ingram as the prize when the odds say otherwise.
This doesn’t mean keeping the pick would be bad. As I’ve written, I hope the Lakers keep their pick. I hope even more that it falls in the top 2. I’m just not going to get so worked up over it all. The odds just don’t favor the Lakers here.
I get the points about getting the highest pick possible. I think everyone wants that, but the question comes back to what would you do to ensure that the Lakers keep losing.
Last night, Kobe and Lou weren’t playing. MWP and Ryan Kelly were playing and Byron was still the coach. That seems like a pretty good odds for a loss right there. We didn’t take the lead until mid-way through the 3rd quarter. The young guys were carrying the team, so do you sit them for the 4th? Just sit DLo and have Huertas play the 4th? Have Byron force them to only run the Princeton again?
The point is these guys seem to be finding a rhythm and some confidence that even Byron hasn’t been able to mess up. I think that’s great. I’m guessing so does everyone else here.
Craig W. says
That horrible front office has done such a poor job with their drafting that we feel we must keep our pick this year. Why? Because we may draft a player who may turn out to be pretty good.
The ping-pong ball gods mean we will only have a probability that we will draft anyone in the 1st round this year. The basketball gods mean anyone we draft only has a moderate probability of being a good NBA starter.
We have probabilities upon probabilities that we are aiming for, instead of developing the players we already drafted? This seems nonsense. We are likely to finish with the 2nd worst record in the NBA, almost regardless what we do now, and that still puts our chance of retaining our pick at around 50%.
…at the same time we are talking about our front office being monumentally inept. Sometimes I think we should listen to ourselves.
The Lakers are going to have something on the order of $60 million in free cap next year. They will definitely be hiring a few free agents. Yes they cost money but you also pretty much know what you are getting. Nothing looks better to a free agent then showing you have gotten on the right track.
Yes rookie contracts are priced controlled. However, they are inherently risky. For every LeBron there is a Olowokandi, Kwame, or Oden.
No matter how bad we are the Lakers cannot guarantee they will even keep their pick. As Bluehill has pointed out to preserve some slightly better odds of keeping the pick just what would you have the Lakers do? Bench their rookies because they are playing to well? Re-institute the Princeton? I would love to get Ingram but, as Darius has said it isn’t worth losing sleep over.
I don’t understand the blame towards the front office right now. The last three years have been tough but why can’t fans see context?
Front office tried to get CP3 and was thwarted by the League.
Front office gets Dwight #1 scoring option out of pick and roll AND get Steve Nash who, while old, was the #1 Assist man out of pick and roll and i believe top 3 in assists the year before we got him and shot 50-40-90.
That didn’t work out. Nash broke his leg. Dwight didn’t re-sign with us. Looking at how that’s working out for Houston right now, doesn’t that seem like a blessing in disguise? Randle was drafted. Double Double machine. JC drafted: Looking pretty damn good. DLo drafted: Looking like a damn good #2 pick. Larry Nance Jr. So long as he stays healthy. ive hated their coaching hires (rather take a flyer on you g up and comer than B Scott). but can you really complain about what they’ve done?
T. Rogers says
In some ways I’m more impressed with this win over the Magic than the Golden State win. It shows the intensity wasn’t just for the nationally televised game against the league’s best team. But they kept it up for Tuesday night game against Orlando. Also, the Magic are similar in talent to the Lakers. And they came to play. So that present a different challenge from Sunday where the Warriors were basically sleep walking. I’m really impressed with the young guns over the last several games.
I think Kelly is actually a fairly good player. Last night the PF minutes were gobbled up by Randle and Nance. So Kelly would be playing SF. Last season he showed he can’t play there as NBA SF’s are fast enough that hey can play off him and recover to guard him at the perimeter. He just can’t get any breathing room unless he is playing at PF against slower more traditional PF’s. In the D-League where everyone plays a half step slower Kelly looks really good.
Clay Bertrand says
Orlando on the second of a back to back without their best player is why the Lakers won. Great seeing the young guys start to shine but we aren’t a good team. We aren’t even CLOSE yet!! At least we can see some promise though.
I HIGHLY DOUBT any FA is looking at 2 wins from a last place team and saying, “You know, I think they have something there……They’re up and coming!!! Did you see those two games they won in a row??? Maybe I can be the player that puts them in the FINALS!!!!”
Regarding these ODDS everyone is posting. ODDS are statistical predictors of Chance events. We don’t control chance events so we look at odds as a way to predict the best we can. We DO control how we finish off the season. If we are going to play the young guys and start winning NOW, we should have done it a long time ago.
We are now set to:
1.) Lower our odds at keeping the pick.
2.) Keep Byron Scott as coach because the glaring need to fire him has become a little muted.
3.) Miss out on any decent FA because Byron Scott is still the coach
4.) Miss out on the crop of coaching options who will be filling jobs in Houston, Brooklyn, Phoenix, Washington, Sacramento, Minnesota, etc.
We all love wins but a little more short term winning could keep us losing for a longer long term.
I don’t understand the argument.
The fact is, teams are going to play to win, and most get better as as a unit the season progresses; especially so with rookies.
We are not going to deliberately throw games, and besides, we have zero control over the lottery.
Yet, we have a bright side that most teams don’t: A core of players that could all be all stars; one, a potential super star, and few more pieces that look good and have the right mind set.
Best news is they all share chemistry, great attitudes, and an excellent work ethic, all of which one bad addition could sabotage.
It’s a delicate balance that must be maintained.
This is why most free agent superstars rarely make the difference for their new teams, as their egos, and unearned power upset the team chemistry which was formed in battle with a group.
The same could happen with a lottery pick.
We were very fortunate that Russell clicked with Clarkson and Randle, it could have easily gone south.
Thus, If we are smart, we seek to fill in holes with players who fit in, and watch them grow together into a winning team, then hopefully, into a dynasty.
Some people just don’t get it. We can lose every game the rest of the season and still lose the pick. The Lakers need to play hard every night our kids need to play hard and try to win every night. We will end up with the record we earned for good or ill. It’s disgusting that the Lakers have played the best 2 game stretch of the season against better teams one of them an historic dinasty in the making and people complain that we won. If we lose the stupid pick we still have our young core and 65 freaking million dollars in capspace to build around them. If this was 3 years ago without capspace and we had this pick and lose it in the ping pong game, that would had been a disaster. In 2016? Not so much. It has been discussed to death what scenarios/players could be a good fit for the Lakers if we lose the pick. Because of BS like this is that sometimes i hope we lose every remaining game and still lose the damn pick because we end up with the #4 pick. If we keep the pick and it’s a top two i be salivating about the possibilities as much as the next guy but we have a good core already, one that can be atractive to a certain young coach. Pick or no pick. He is already impressed with the kids…
J C says
It’s a really interesting discussion but losing intentionally, no matter how much it increases our chances of retaining a draft pick, would be difficult at best and next to impossible at worst.
Even if Kobe and Lou are sitting out, is Byron really going to sit one of our three rising stars in the fourth quarter of a close game to insure a tank?
Byron is probably doing his best to win so he can make a case to keep his job.
The young players are playing to win for their next contract or to earn more playing time or simply because basketball is fun to play, and winning is more fun than losing!
You can’t expect young kids learning the NBA ropes or a coach trying to save his job to say, “let’s get out there and throw the game to bring in more talent next year.”
And as Darius pointed out we could just as easily lose the pick or be awarded the #3 pick which probably isn’t Simmons or Ingram anyway.
The thing we can control is whether we retain Byron over the summer, based on whom we can hire to replace him, and how that change could affect our offers to potential free agents.
In the meantime I hate rooting for losses.
Let’s enjoy the wins, even if the opponents are jet-lagged or otherwise distracted.
A Horse With No Name says
Great tank watch tonight: Knicks at Suns. Go mighty Suns! (They can definitely beat the Knicks.)
Beyond the top two prospects, there is big drop off in talent in this year’s draft. Forget Cal’s Jaylen Brown–not nearly as good as I thought he would be. The guy who could and maybe should go third is Utah center Jacob Poetl–just named Pac 12 player of the year. I would be excited if the Lakers nabbed him with the third pick should they get it.
Big shout out to Lou Williams for the past two victories. ( Chuckers who can’t pass or defend getting big minutes will kill any team.) Which begs the question, what happens when he returns? Will he steal minutes from the young back court or the resuscitated Huertas? Never underestimate the inscrutable mind of Byron Scott.
A certain subset of vocal front office detractors are pretty quiet today–no worries though–they’ll be back with the next bad outing. . . .
Play the right way and come what may is the mantra of the day.
…at the same time we are talking about our front office being monumentally inept.
If you’re basing success on the kid’s performance then I’m at odds with your statement. The FO wasn’t really trying for the kids. Jim is on record for wanting to sign multiple free agents. That strategy has been a failure. Because if it were successful then the Lakers would not have been in a position to draft the kids.
However, if you are saying that the FO has failed so miserably that they were rewarded with lottery picks — and given those opportunities that they have then drafted well — I will agree.
But let’s not fool ourselves with tongue in cheek compliments to the FO. They are the reason the team has been 62 – 229 these past two+ seasons.
But let’s not fool ourselves with tongue in cheek compliments to the FO. They are the reason the team has been 62 – 229 these past two+ seasons.
the 2 upcoming games against the Suns will be the real deal in terms of us keeping our pick – suns need to make up 3Ls to get to 2nd spot and have about 6-7 winnable games on their schedule … nets have about 5 winnable games with 2 against the 76ers … lakers have 4 winnable games with 2 against the suns
us with Simmons or Ingram would give us 5 top young players and 60M in cap space – all we need is another 3 guys to really fill out our rotation we could be pretty good pretty quick
Also, loving huetas in the 2nd unit … much better than Lou … just a chemistry that he builds with the unit
I say needs for next year
Center, Wing, stretch 4
C – Horford – whiteside – Gasol, Noah
Wing – Durant – Harrison Barnes , parsons matt barnes, gerald green , lance stephenson
Stretch 4 – Ryan Anderson, Teletovic
we’d probably need a 3rd wing out of that group but crazy things could happen … FA should be really interesting
Clay Bertrand says
There is no argument. This is a philosophical big picture concept…..
We would do better to be able to keep our draft pick this year. I’m not saying how to do it. I’m saying that this sentiment that IF WE DON’T GET THE PICK, SO BE IT because we have CAP SPACE (along with the ENTIRE league) is merely sour grapes acceptance of what is occurring. Losing the pick is NOT favorable to KEEPING IT.
I’m sure we all stressed over the lottery last year like Darius. This is a sport where ONE player is minimum 20% of the team on the floor. ONE player can change the fortunes of a team in the NBA more than any other team sport. Losing out on drafting in the top 3 of the draft with as bad as we are should be seen as a terribly wasted chance to add talent. Not a, “Well so what. No biggie–we still GOT this.”
Again, I am not advocating playing to lose on purpose. I am just saying that everyone acting like its no big deal to literally suck for a whole year and then have nothing to show for it should we lose the pick is Sour Grapes acceptance. It’s LIVING WITH whatever happens and PRETENDING to like it.
We will all HAVE to live with whatever happens obviously. But I for one am still hoping we lose enough to keep our top 3 pick. We need the talent and I don’t trust the FO on a self imposed deadline to succeed to go shopping to buy it with all of the competition from better teams with almost the same money. Its a recipe for disastrous overspending on the wrong guys.
Tongue in Cheek Comment to the the FO: Who drafted these guys we all see promise in anyway?? THE FO.
Crying about the Steve Nash deal STILL??!????!?!?!?! We are 62-229 because of the FO??????? So we are supposed to be a winning team EVERY YEAR and a CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM every other year?!?!?!?!!?!?!? Without losers there can be no winners. We just gotta suck it up and take the losses in this natural down period and rebuild. This isn’t the Globetrotters!! I’d prefer THIS to being a perpetual 8 seed like Dallas.
From total destruction comes new life……I’d personally just prefer that the new life begins NEXT SEASON.
don ford says
“But let’s not fool ourselves with tongue in cheek compliments to the FO. They are the reason the team has been 62 – 229 these past two+ seasons.”
— Nice drafting, guys.
— Inept everything else (coaches, FA prioritization strategy, FA retention efforts & meeting methods, scouting, stats, medical, etc, etc.).
Doubt we’ll see it, but how exciting it would be to have (Jeannie??) clean house by removing Jim Buss, consultant-izing Mitch, and bringing in a fresh smart GM and (Luke??) new coach.
Excited for next year regardless, but one dares to dream…
If Jeanie clean house she needs to start with herself. She is as fuilty as everybody else…
@ Clay “There is no argument. This is a philosophical big picture concept…..”
Clay, we are not saying that we don’t care about the pick,… only that it is out of our control, comes with risks, and most of all, we are fortunate enough to be in a position which only requires time and patience to produce what we all desire: More championships.
The fast track to rings scheme, usually leads to ruin, and greed, to rot.
We have something we haven’t for years,..a foundation to build upon, and for that I am thankful!
P. Ami says
Yay Clay… All strong points of a philosophy I buy into.
Travis Y. says
Blame can go round and round.
The front office has been pleading for star free agents to become Lakers. This has been unsuccessful. However, it is not for a lack of trying.
Rather it is because we have a crappy team! Why would these free agents come here to clean up this putrid stink pile AND bask in the shadow of Kobe’s retirement tour.
The reality is this is comeuppance for 20 years of incredible basketball following Kobe.
You can blame Kobe for not deferring, but that is the mentality that also brought 5 championships. If you don’t like it, you should not resign or trade him. Fact of the matter is, the Lakers FO did so to make us fans happy, to sell seats, and make a profit.
Now onto tanking. If you were a player on the team, would you want to lose games? No way, why would you want a rookie to come onto the team and take your minutes aka points aka money.
The players are going to leave their hearts on the floor.
Coach Scott knows he’s been getting killed in the news, so he’s trying to win to show he’s capable.
Let’s see who Coach Scott plays once Lou and Kobe get healthy.
If he’s about winning, he’ll play them less than 20 minutes a piece and not mess with the current chemistry.
at the same time we are talking about our front office being monumentally inept. Sometimes I think we should listen to ourselves.
There were a few people who specifically wanted Okafor (Renato IIRC was one) but most people have been fairly positive about the draft picks. I certainly have. FO criticism has focused on everything else: coaching hires, contract extensions, trades/lack of trades, FA signings, FA recruitment, organizational optics, roster planning, PR, public statements, analytics, injury analytics, etc.
It’s great that Russell, Randle and Clarkson have been doing well. That doesn’t change where the team is or how things have gone for the Lakers the last three years.
She is as fuilty as everybody else…
No. Jim runs basketball ops. Jeanie doesn’t. And Jeanie is just doing what her father wanted. If your argument is that Jeanie should can Jim and Mitch now, well, you will find others who agree.
Darius Soriano says
Read the comments to the post pre-draft where we profiled Russell or the post after Russell was selected and you’ll see how many people actually wanted Okafor. Really, read them:
I was very much pro-Okafor. But I’m glad we took Russell. Drafting D’Angelo was a very positive, insightful move on the part of Mitch and company.
Sometimes it’s a good feeling to be wrong. I think the Lakers may have dodged a bullet.
Clay Bertrand says
…”Jeanie is just doing what her father wanted…”
Jim is also doing what Dr. Buss wanted. I have gone on record here before to say that just because Dr. Buss wanted his kids to run the team and work within it doesn’t mean that its a good idea. Dr. Buss was in the waning years of his life and in questionable health. He wanted Jim to work under Mitch to learn the Basketball side of things and he had Jeanie working to transition with her busniess degree to the business side.
Who ran these things before the BUSS kids took over??? Whoever it was, they didn’t need to be replaced.
Frankly, not all of Dr. Buss’ ideas were PURE GOLD and this concoction of family acting as EMPLOYEES instead of OWNERS (like he was) is clearly ill conceived. None of them are more qualified than the PROFESSIONALS that work in the industry.
Dr. Buss wanted his family to take over the team and be relevant parts of its operations. He MEANT WELL, but this whole, “I’M IN CHARGE BECAUSE MY DECEASED FATHER SAID SO….” isn’t how to run ANY business. The fact that NONE of the Buss kids, Jeanie INCLUDED, has the integrity to step down from positions they are unqualified to fill doesn’t bode well for our future.
I feel that the others in the FO that ARE NOT NAMED BUSS are getting a bad rap from having to work with them. People like Mitch and Ryan West for example are the Professional talent evaluators so the Drafting has been good.
“FO criticism has focused on everything else: coaching hires, contract extensions, trades/lack of trades, FA signings, FA recruitment, organizational optics, roster planning, PR, public statements, analytics, injury analytics, etc.”
The above items are LARGELY (though not totally) the influence of the Buss kids and their petty, immature infighting. The lack of “organizational optics” (Good Term btw) is due to their being for the most part, UNQUALIFIED.
Lynsi Snyder is the SOLE HEIR and Owner of IN-N-OUT Burger. But she isn’t the EXECUTIVE CHEF!!!!!!! Jean Paul Dejoria owns Patron Tequila but he isn’t the MASTER DISTILLER!!!!! Do ANY of the Walmart girls even WORK for Walmart??????
What is this??? Some episode of UNDERCOVER BOSS that never ends????? The Buss kids need to have some class and quietly replace themselves as employees with QUALIFIED PERSONNEL. Then they can just (gasp!!!!) OWN THE LAKERS instead of WORKING FOR THEM!!!!!!!
Darius: I was one of those who favored Okafor and I still think it is a little early to gloat over the pick although I would love for Russell to exceed Townes if possible. If you want to read some funny stuff in the archives, take a look at what many people said about how good the Lakers would be in the past couple of off seasons (surprising people and better than expected) and how excited they were at the new signings including Hibbert and Williams. Better yet, go back to the beginning of the last MD year when the team won a couple of games at the beginning of the season. People were gloating about how incorrect the people were who thought the team was going in the wrong direction. Really – people actually were optimistic at those times – I am serious – check the archives.
@rr and Jim is doing what his father wanted him to do too, so your point being? They both were given their positions by their father. They are all responsible, im out of passes, i gave them for a couple of years but i ran out of them…
Yeah, if we want to have “fun talking trash with the archives” night, then there are many better options than the draft threads–unless you are in the anti-Aaron camp.
Fun to look to people’s initial reactions way back when. I think the reactions to Larry Nance Jr. are even better than those about Russell. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but probably the funniest is the person ranking Mudiay #1 and KAT #5.
J C says
I love D Angelo but I am sure I’d be delighted w Okafor if he were here.
He seems to be putting up good numbers.
I think what Mitch and Jim were aiming for with Russell is a touch of charisma to go with the talent, a point guard / leader with some flair and tons up upside. I think they nailed it.
Clay Bertrand says
Kev, I totally hear ya bro. I’m really stoked on the young core going forward too and I’m all geared up for a long term rebuild. Back in the 90s, the Nick the Quick, Eddie Jones, Elden Campbell, George Lynch team was organic…..It was our own drafted guys and they were really fun to watch grow up. Obviously the Champ years were the best but that young, growing team was a great time to be a fan also. This group is gonna be awesome to watch and root for once we get these Tanking frivolities out of the way this year!!!!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not pessimistic. I’m just GREEDY!!! I want to be able to add another top prospect on a rookie deal to our current core. Then when Porzingis is a FA, he will leave NY for LA because we will be STACKED!!!!!!! ; )
PS: Bill Simmons is a TURD in case no one already knew. ; )
I was partial for Okafor but didn’t mind DAR, im glad i was wrong. Some reactions to drafting Russell are absolutely hilarious and some surprising reactions from some people, and the bafflement and even scorn to drafting Larry Nance JR lol. I couldn’t comment on Draft night because i spent most of last year out of the country and i was traveling that day. I was kinda surprised when i find out but he was my choice after Okafor since everybody knew KAT was going to be grabbed by the Wolves. @JC im sure that’s what they were aiming for. Charisma and flashy passes, part of what used to be Laker culture.
@rr and Jim is doing what his father wanted him to do too, so your point being?
Jim runs basketball ops. He is, presumably, the final sign-off on basketball decisions. So, the only reasons to be upset with Jeanie are
a) You don’t like the way the Lakers are being run as a business enterprise, as distinct from the team on the floor.
b) You don’t like her public statements
c) You think she should relieve her brother and Mitch of their duties.
Hmm so it’s with me then… im not going back and forth with you on this, she is part of the regime that ruined the Lakers, so she should he held accountable as well. If im more than ok with Mitch getting fired after all he has done for the Lakers, you think i give a hoot about the princess? Like Bertrand said, they should be the owners, no more no less. She is the team president, the leader of the organization, ultimate responsibility lies with her.
J C says
Mitch traded Kwame and an unproven Marc Gasol for Pau and we netted two championships.
He got Dwight for the train wreck otherwise known as Andrew Bynum.
He had CP3 in the bag until the veto.
I like Mitch and I think he’s not the problem with the Lakers.
So reading the DRAFT posts it seems the most wrong was the former Aaron and the most right was Keno currently known as KO.
As Elvis would say.
Thank you bery much.
She is the team president, the leader of the organization, ultimate responsibility lies with her.
Then you want Jim and Mitch fired at the end of the year? Is that what you are saying?
We can also link to the thread where you predicted that the team would win 40+ games and offered to bet Aaron. 😉
Clay Bertrand says
You really don’t get my point?? I was afraid I was overstating it!! : /
My point to be clear is:
NONE OF THE BUSS FAMILY SHOULD BE “RUNNING” THE LAKERS. NOT ANY PART. They should be OWNERS. They ARE Owners and yet they masquerade as PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL AND BUSINESS PEOPLE because they inherited the team.
Jeanie is SUPPOSED to be the Ultimate Leader. She is ABOVE Jim in in the organizational hierarchy and that means she CAN fire Jim as she has made abundantly clear. I don’t think Dr. Buss envisioned his Daughter firing his Son do you??????????? Anyway, Jeanie is the Head of the Snake.
But I DON’T LIKE HER AS A LEADER. Period! She is obviously not big enough to rise above her sibling rivalry and her relationship with the FORMER COACH to be objective and keep her feelings out of her “JOB”. She isn’t professional. She stoops to the bickering and back biting comments and remarks about her brother that perpetuate a terribly well known (league wide) INSTABILITY. She cannot or will not maintain a consistent company line when speaking publicly.
She tries to bond with the fans by BEING A FAN and sort of commiserating with us by pitting us against her brother but we don’t need a FAN running this team. She should be trying to maintain unity or some reasonable appearance of it. She should stand WITH HER BROTHER at least, publicly instead of the flimsy to NO support she demonstrates. We need a Tim Leiweke. A PROFESSIONAL organizational leader. Not this Solomon split the Laker baby BS where one Buss runs the Business, another Buss runs the basketball, another Buss runs the charities, another Buss runs the scouting dept. etc.
Like I said, Dr. Buss MEANT well. But that doesn’t mean its not a bad concept in practice. The evidence is pretty clear so far.
I like Mitch too JC but if that dumb self imposed deadline that Jimbo brought on himself is not met,him and Mitch need to go. And another thing about Jeanie I don’t doubt for one second that famous “source” that talked about Phil returning to run the Lakers was Jeanie herself. That was probing public opinion, she is itching to stick it to Jim for running Phil out of LA. But the reaction was a lot less enthusiastic than she desired. A lot of those “sources” rumors are meant to use us fans as focus groups. If people reacted like yeeaaaahhh let’s bring Phil back!! she would be scheming right now how to make it happen. And maybe she still is. The dysfunction between Jim and Jeanie is one of the reasons this organization look clueless. They better get it togheter like Kobe said last season or get out of the way.
Relax… Lakers will get the pick. The league ain’t stupid.
Your flagship franchise in the tank is not want you want.
Exit Kobe enter Simmons… Bingo! Everyone in NBA & TV land
instantly happy! Sponsors giddy and fans buying Simmons Lakers
Jerseys left & right!
The script has already been written!
Clay Bertrand says
LordMo, I hope you’re right bro!!!!!!!
The Last thing this team of young dynamic modern players needs is the TRIANGLE dropped on them after the PRINCETON like shackles on top of handcuffs!!!
Although both are run by all teams in various forms and to different degrees, Phil’s INSISTENCE on a fairly rigid requirement that his teams run the Triangle is ridiculous. Also, Phil’s Coaching Tree is literally BARREN!!!! No one succeeds with his philosophy or his Triangle.
There are more VAN GUNDY guys coaching than PJ disciples. If Phil wasn’t a Team President, NONE of his preferred guys would even have jobs. He even already had to fire his own handpicked coach halfway thru his second season. That would’ve been Steve Kerr getting canned. I’ll bet he’s glad he steered clear of THAT situation.
Baylor Fan says
I think the losses will take care of themselves for the rest of the season. The veterans are coming back and this team has lost 51 games. Next season will be soon enough to turn things around.
The bet was totals for 2 years. I have a chance.
Clay 100% right. Jeannie gets as pass. For non-mangement.
Receptionist skills rumning a multi-billion company?
Off-topic: Here’s a Bleacher Report article speculating on who might be the next Head Coaches of the Lakers and the Knicks. (I could care less about the Knicks but it’s part of the article.) Here’s the link:
rr: So your argument for Jeannie is that she should stay bc her dad wanted her to run the business side and because she would be smart enough to hire a qualified person to run bball operations since she is not qualified herself.
Yeah. That’s a solid argument.
Dude, if Jim is unqualified, then so is Jeannie. Even more so when you consider how impartial she can be to all things Phil Jackson related. That’s a recipe for disaster. By not acknowledging this weakness in your argument that Jim has to go but not Jeannie, you show a bias that, frankly, calls to question the rest of your argument.
Just because you are an eloquent writer, it does not make you right 100% of the time.
Fern- Firing Mitch would be a huge mistake. It was bad enough that Phils relationship with Phil forced Jerry West out – let’s not make the same mistake with his number one protege.
If Jim is out, put Mitch in charge.
My post on 6/22 was brilliant.
J C says
My sources agree with you.
The Jim/Jeannie rift is real and destructive.
I just don’t think I lump Mitch in with Jim, even though they probably work closely together.
As stated above Mitch was West’s protege and a player too. He has a good relationship with the press and he’s smart. Jim, no comment.
I think the FO gets another year.
The draft and FA loom large for the franchise and for its current management.
Interesting theory about leaking the Phil rumors to test public opinion. Makes sense.
Speaking of coaches, I hope Jim and Jeannie will expand their thinking and not just look for a “name” coach as a way to quell fan unrest. Boston may have just gotten lucky with Brad Stevens, but given their rebuild plan I can understand why they looked at someone like him.
He couldn’t recruit the best talent, but he was able to put together teams that could consistently compete at a high level and make some noise in the tournament as well as develop players with less talent. Kind of like the situation Boston was going to be in as they started their rebuild. Doesn’t mean that he could do the same thing in the NBA, but I’m assuming that Ainge saw some things that suggested that he could make the transition.
We’ll be in the situation next year assuming we don’t land KD and Derozan. I hope the FO fits the coach to the team we will likely have.
The ulnas is on Jeanie plain and simple. It should be and clearly she has become more assertive and rightfully. Her brother has captained the ship dangerously close to the rocks. She has been ultimately given stewardship of her father’s legacy so I’ m sure the weight of all this is not lost upon her especially with people like Phil & Magic to bounce things off of. She is a smart girl and has a good business mind just not a basketball one. My guess is that Jumbo gets the draft and 1 more free agent run to move things in the right direction. If not, he gets the door and I would suspect a move to more of ownership only model for the Buss Family with a Mitch / Phil combo in place to run the organization.
Time to end this modern day King Lear story. You cannot split the kingdom we know this because history tells us so! Dr.Buss made so many great moves but he had to know Jim did not have what it takes to run the Lakers. He failed in all others Sports ventures previously so let’s give him keys to the Lambo? Dr. Buss best move would have been to switch to the ownership only model before his death thus ensuring his legacy the high standards and success he brought to us all would have endured.
When we talk about Jeanie, we talk about the same person who thinks its a good idea to have a naked photo with only basketballs covering her breasts for a twitter profile picture. Enough said.
This would be my plan. Jeanie and Jim take a step back and focus on just being owners. Promote Mitch to VP of basketball operations. Find someone to be president, preferably someone with no relationship with any of the Buss family. Get Troy Weaver, Mike Zarren, Ryan West, etc to be GM.
>rr: So your argument for Jeannie is that she should stay
I never actually said that. But that aside, I guess now some people want Jeanie to…hire someone to hire a new VP of Basketball Ops and a new GM? Or…hire someone to decide whether Jim and Mitch should get fired? Or do they just want the Busses to sell the franchise to someone who will never review any decisions about anything remotely related to FO hires? I mean, sure, maybe you could say it would have been better if Jerry Buss had not left the Lakers in his kids’ hands. But he did, so that is the reality we are looking at.
>Dude, if Jim is unqualified, then so is Jeannie.
Dude, Jim runs basketball ops and the team has gone 62-167 over the last 2.8 years. The business side of the Lakers, OTOH, is supposedly doing very well. So, unless you are saying that Jeanie is actively disrupting basketball ops, then you are back to the team’s performance. As to quals: Jim never coached or played organized basketball at any level, nor does he have a college degree of any kind, much less one that relates to his job. So Jim has neither standard old-school nor new-school quals. As has been said many times, the argument for Jim’s quals rests entirely on the time he spent learning from his dad, Jerry West, and Mitch Kupchak. Jeanie OTOH does at least have a business degree from USC and also of course has spent a lot of her adult life around the org. and working with her dad and siblings.
Where Jeanie has been a negative is with the Phil stuff and with some of her public statements, and as noted, here, by the KBros, and elsewhere, it doesn’t make much sense to fire Jim and or Mitch next summer. It should probably either be done now or put on hold until at least 2018. And that is, AFAIK, her call.
Find someone to be president,
Ok, so who is going to do the job search? I guess a consultant. At some point a Buss will have to hire somebody.
you show a bias that
Do the tough thing. Check the mirror.
Also, Jeanie has never hired anybody to run basketball ops–Jim and Mitch were in place before her dad died. So, in the real world, presumably she would bring in consultants to guide a hiring process. But it isn’t realistic to say that she will have no say at all–she would either make the hire, make the hire in consultation, or hire someone to make the hire. You may not like that, but that is the way it is. And by your reasoning, her old man was not qualified to be involved with the Lakers decision-making about FO hires, either.
One more thing: I have also never said that Jim has to go–just that I wouldn’t object if he were let go. Not the same thing. I have said many times that there is a case for giving the FO more time.
rr, when I said “preferably with no relationship with any of the Buss family,” I meant don’t hire somebody like Phil Jackson. I’m guessing the Buss family would make the decision together to hire the new president.
Ryan craig says
This all gos back to the summer we went for it by getting howard and nash, it didnt work out but no one was opposed to it at the time. All this losing is just fallout from that, and if you want to go back even further the cp3 veto. I think criticizing them for acquiring nash, giving kobe his last contract, or not trading pau/dwight is fair, but most people supported these decisons at the time. Overall our fo has done a great job rebuilding while being hampered by kobes contract and very little assets. And the coaching decisons i think were of very little consequence, we were never winning anything the last 5 years anyway. Mitch needs to stay, jim i dont care about. Lakers future is looking prettt bright to me actually, we have 3 great young players, possibly a top 3 pick, and whole bunch of capspace this summer.
Firing Mitch would be a ginormous mistake
I am happy the DAngelo is doing better now but I was definitely in the Okafor camp and yeah I would say it is still too early to tell – Okafor isnt in the best situation and at least we have guys like Bass, Hibbert, Kobe, Metta, even Bryon teaching our guys .. Okafor has nobody to lean on and a much worse team … even if we are only a few games behind
as much as we suck this year I wonder if Bryon is doing the right things to get these guys ready for the NBA longterm – im liking the articles that are showing he is more humble now and earning his minutes which I think will be good for him longterm
In terms of Bill Simmons … really didnt like his sarcastic tweets yesterday so I tweeted him back pics of Ben simmons in a lakers jersey and the pic of simmons and Russel playing together in HS or something … would be amazing if he had to watch his kids root for the lakers because a “simmons” was on the team and is amazing … the soul crushing look on his face would be priceless
Dr Mike says
Bottom line- Jeanie is head of the organization and the buck stops with her. She is just as accountable for the on-court issues because, guess what, on-court performance affects business performance. Sure Lakers make a lot of money but there’s no doubt that the Lakers brand has taken a huge hit- just think about Lakers national TV exposure nowadays. If the Lakers aren’t leaving money on the table now, it’ll happen soon enough to. This falls directly on the organizational head. If this is not the case then Jeanie shouldn’t have the power to fire Jim.
if people are hoping that the buss clan gets somehow removed entirely – fine, but using an incompetent sister as a way to defend the incompetent brother is just wrong
Craig W. says
If Jeannie is the head of the organization and an owner, then does anyone think she will be firing herself anytime soon? If so, then just remember Donald Sterling – the NBA had to ‘root’ him out. The Buss family will be in charge of the Lakers for the foreseeable future – live with it.
Jim may go, but Mitch has proven he has an eye for talent and that he can make advantageous trades (remember Bynum didn’t play a single game after he left us and Steve Nash was not only a reaction to Chris Paul, but was liked by most of us at the time). As a respected GM, we shouldn’t go throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Dr Mike says
Last I checked Jim is also the owner. Jeanie could get booted out of the FO just like Jimbo if a sufficient percentage of the ownership vote for it.
Craig – I remember an old LA Times article that stated that the Buss Trust, who technically owns the team, had three trustees: Jim, Jeannie and the oldest Buss son, Johnny. In theory, Jeannie could fire Jim any time she pleases, but realistically she probably needs Johnny to agree with her. The “deadline” is probably part of some arrangement between the three about what it would take to get the Johnny to agree with Jeannie to fire her. Assuming she fires Jim without Johnny’s approval, then its easy to see that Jim and Johnie would remove her as well.
Also, remember that Joey and Jesse (half bros to Jeannie and Jim) work for Jim. If a new head ob BB operations comes in, one has to wonder whether he (or she) will have the power to also fire Joey and Jesse. My guess is that part of the reason Jeannie has not pulled the trigger on Jim is because (1) if she brings in a new guy, that may also mean that Joey and Jesse may lose their job, or (2) Johnie, Joey and Jesse are not 100% on her side – at least not yet. So any hesitation to pull the trigger on Jim is not because she believes in Jim (we know she does not, just read any of her comments “as a a fan” and you will clearly see where she stands) – she is not pulling the trigger bc she does not have the backing of her siblings.
This is why Jeannie keeps mentioning the deadline. She wants Jim to honor it so that she can save her own skin in the process.
its my belief that jeanie gave kobe the extension for financial reasons for the franchise. jim and mitch havent made any bad choices since dantoni. byron scott is just here to see kobe off to sunset. if i were to blame someone, itd be jeannie first. jim follows mitchs lead and mitch is a top notch gm, top 5 in the league.
There are no owners in a trust just members.
Everything Anonymous said above is right. Except Jessie gets paid but has no job other then hanging out in the private Staples Governer bar and cigar room with his boyfriend.
Someday a Buss exposey will be written and all Laker fans will be shocked.
A Horse With No Name says
Anon @ 10:21.
Spot on. Jeanie doesn’t have the support of her siblings (yet, and probably never will because the team is trending up) and can’t make this decision without their consent. Nobody is going anywhere if the team movement is upward and the fans are interested.
Spot on. Jeanie doesn’t have the support of her siblings (yet, and probably never will because the team is trending up) and can’t make this decision without their consent.
If you have clear, definitive, specific evidence to support this, bring it. Same for Anon at 1021 AM.