The off-season is here for the Lakers and that means a slow-down of news around our forum blue and gold clad basketball team. Fear not, though, faithful FB&Ger’s as there is still plenty of good reading and listening around the web to consume you until the next piece of breaking information comes out of El Segundo or Staples Center.
With that, below are some things I have been checking out around the web, along with a few thoughts of my own. Enjoy and have a good weekend…
- Our old friend Kobe Bryant, putting in work at the Player’s Tribune, wrote about being obsessed with Allen Iverson and how that obsession led him to try to shut him down in a random game in 2000. A fun, short read from Mr. Bean.
- Of course, a blog post like Kobe’s can’t go without folks digging in and trying to find footage of that game. Luckily, our partner in podcasting, Pete Zayas, got the tape and did one of his classic breakdowns of the game over at Laker Film Room. Check it out.
- If you want a good discussion on the West playoffs with a brief tangent on the MVP debate, I really enjoyed this Lowe Post episode where Zach Lowe chatted up Kevin Arnovitz.
- Speaking of the playoffs, if you missed my post the other day on the best player theory and how it makes me think about the future of the Lakers, you can rectify that right now. (What? It’s my site, I’ll link to what I want. Ha.)
- Do you think the Lakers should try to trade for Carmelo Anthony? If so, this post is for you.
Okay, we’re taking a break from our regular scheduled programming so I can quickly comment on that Carmelo piece. Let’s just say, I do not agree. I will preface this with one real truth: I actually like Carmelo Anthony. I think he’s still a very good player who, beyond his name cachet, can actually be a key contributor on a really good basketball team. I just don’t endorse the Lakers trying to trade for him. In fact, even if the Lakers could trade only Deng + Mozgov for Melo, I would still then probably try to trade Melo again for a different style of player who is a better fit on this Lakers’ team.
Without going too deep down a hypothetical rabbit hole, I think the Lakers need to add 3 specific skill types in any player they acquire — superstar or not: shooting, passing, and defense. Any “star” or high salary player, should be able to do at least 2 of those 3 things at a plus level. Carmelo, though, a really good offensive player, only checks the “shooting” box. Further, he’s best utilized as a PF now, but hasn’t completely bought in to playing that position for most of his minutes. When you consider that and combine it with the Lakers then needing to try to move off of Randle and/or Nance in order to accommodate minutes for Carmelo at a position he probably doesn’t even want to play full time while also only providing 1 of the aforementioned 3 key skill sets the Lakers need more of, I don’t see a reason to entertain this scenario at all.
Again, I like Melo. Add him to a team who can convince him to play PF and surround him by enough defensive talent at the 1, 2, 3, and 5 and I think you can optimize him to the point he plays similarly to the “Olympic Melo” that everyone loves. The problem is, there’s only like 5 of those teams out there (Clippers, Jazz, Thunder, Spurs, Warriors — maybe a couple more). Notice who’s not on that list? That’s right, the Lakers. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
- Magic Johnson talked briefly about his expectations for the players this off-season. A big one seems to be that every player needs to get into better shape.
- I really enjoyed this piece by SI’s Rob Mahoney on the work the Bucks are doing to quarantine DeMar DeRozan.
- Due to the death of his Grandmother and being with family, D’Angelo Russell had his exit interview a couple of days after the rest of the team had theirs. You can watch Russell’s full media session here.
Lastly, when the following play happened live in the Lakers last game of the season, it looked impressive and got me out of my seat:
DAR’s skill on this play. Watch how he turns the screen w/ a push dribble out w/ his left hand then seamlessly moves to his right to attack. pic.twitter.com/vhsvAjjbeJ
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) April 21, 2017
When I re-watched the play, though, it’s even more impressive to me. Russell actually does a “Shammgod” dribble coming off the pick — though it’s not as pronounced at the angle in which he executes it. Further, after executing that dribble, he then goes right into an in-and-out move with his right hand, and then closes with a dream shake. Quite the combination of moves to get that bucket by Russell.