It’s been a minute since our last podcast, so Pete and I had a little ground to cover. In our latest, we talk some of the roster moves in the last couple of weeks — specifically wondering if Tyler Ennis is really going to be the backup PG and if Vander Blue can make the final roster.
We also get into whether Lonzo can truly be a culture changer on the floor, or if he might experience some culture clash with some veterans who’s style of play to this point might not jibe as much with how Lonzo will try to play. We specifically talk Randle, Clarkson, and Lopez and how used they are to being ball dominant players.
Lastly, we get into Kyle Kuzma and whether he should get minutes at SF considering the glut of guys who will need to see minutes at PF while also understanding how shallow the team is on the wing behind Ingram. It’s a good discussion and it was good to be back talking Lakers basketball with Pete.
Click through to give the entire show a listen.
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It’s pretty obvious the Lakers are undergoing a “Culture change”. When a franchise’s most showcased player goes from an “I eat first” player to an unselfish setup man, culture has to change. What remains to be seen is how successful this will be on the court…the coming years will let us know.
LT Mitchell says
The culture change is more about returning to a winning culture. Kobe was the epitome of a culture changer in that regard, and hopefully Lonzo will follow in his footsteps.
Style of play doesn’t match???
Truth be told, Ball is not a ball dominant player. He is a pass first player.
Walton does expect that if he passes to you you do something with the rock pretty quickly and not dribble around – looking at you Clarkson. I suspect players how hold the ball will see their minutes decrease this coming year.
I hope you are right, Craig. Common sense suggests you are. I recall somebody mentioning (paraphrase) one has to be alert to the possibility of getting a pass from Ball (essentially at all times). Reminds me of the sort of stuff players said about a young Magic …
A great point is made regarding Clarkson: that when he was being mentored by Nash his passing was promising and he showed signs of being able to play the point. Since then, the lead back court veterans have been ball dominant, shoot first, and do not worry too much about playing defense. Clarkson may thrive playing with Lonzo. If his defense improves, he may press KCP for playing time.
In a way, the greatest evidence that a culture change is taking place is the way the summer league team played in the two games Lonzo sat. The ball still moved and players made cuts to get open. I am less worried about Randle and Clarkson’s ability to adapt to this style of play since they have shown they can pass the ball and this season they will have more targets to pass to.
Clarkson will not be on next year’s team.
Kuzma at the 3 seems like a 100% certainty to me. One comment on a previous thread mentioned it might take up to 4 seasons for Kuzma to gain the necessary strength to tangle in the post at the NBA level. In summer league he flashed the ability to be a mostly perimeter player with catch and shoot and slashing ability. Able to post up mismatches or out run PFs the length of the floor. I think his projection as a PF is flawed because it is mostly just based on his college position. Much like the 6’5″ high school kid who has to play Center even though that won’t be his college position. I believe at Utah, the roster/talent made it necessary for Kuzma to play at the 4 while he has independently developed his game to be a prototype SF at the NBA level.
Former Laker he most reminds me of; Trevor Ariza.
I think he can play stretch 4 in a bench unit-small lineup configuration. But I think in a large sample size, he would be a liability at the PF spot.
Kuzma outweighs Ariza by 20 pounds. He’s a three or a four. Ariza is a three.
Two things about Kuzma. I hope he can maintain the work ethic he had in college and not go Hollywood on us ,now that he`s a pro.As Darius posted a couple weeks ago, much of his success in SL was working with Lonzo and being very aggressive on the offensive end,different from Utah. No matter what position he plays,he has to stay aggressive and not defer to the vets when he sees he can make a play or has an open look. While I agree he can play some 4 in a small lineup,backing up Ingram would seem to be the best choice for this year while he builds strength.
What you failed to mention is that Kuzma played much better as a rookie than Ingram, Randall and Russell did