Lakers Suffer their Biggest Loss in Franchise History

It might be time for the Los Angeles Lakers to throw the towel in on their season. On Sunday, the Lakers suffered their biggest loss in franchise history. The worst part? It came against one of the worst teams in the league. A 49 point loss is inexcusable, especially to this year’s Mavericks’ team.

The Lakers are well on their way to surpassing the 17 win mark achieved last year, which shows improvement. The problem however is that Nick Young and Lou Williams’ stellar play led to those wins. The young Lakers core contributed but on an inconsistent basis. Ingram has yet to show anything but flashes of potential, while Randle, Clarkson, and Russell continue to be porous on defense and too inconsistent on offense to make up for it.

Russell being out on Sunday’s game was no excuse for a whopping 49-point loss. The Lakers lacked energy and effort, something that a team full of young players should never lack. It was as Luke stated an embarrassment.

The Lakers are miraculously only 4.5 games out of the playoffs. However, it is wishful thinking to believe that they will snatch the eighth seed. I strongly believe the Lakers can turn their season around and reach the 30-win mark. My only concern is who will carry us to those wins. It is hard to be happy for a Lakers win when our young core struggles mightily.

The Lakers are the third worst team in the league, and at that rate they would have a 46.9% chance of winning the lottery. In addition, I think the Lakers would do well to trade Young or Williams if not both. Both players have played well this season, which is why we should trade them now while their stock is high. Young and Williams tend to play in the fourth quarter and take closing shots, which stunts the growth of the young core. With playoffs essentially out of the picture, it is only right that we tank for a lottery pick and see what draft picks we can acquire on the open market. In addition, the extra playing time and late game opportunities for our young core will be valuable for their growth.

As for our offseason additions, the four-year contracts are looking worse and worse. Mozgov has been horrible as of late. Trading him would be near impossible. Deng is playing better than he was at the start of the season, and I like to believe he is a good locker room vet for the youngsters. It is only right we keep him unless a good offer for him is presented.

The 49-point blowout loss to a bad Mavericks team has to be a wake up call for management. I still believe that the Lakers future is bright, and that this season was a step forward. Getting picks through trades, and keeping our draft pick should be our main priorities once 17 wins has been surpassed

Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers Continue to Fall in Standings After Strong Start

 It seems like an eternity ago when the Los Angeles Lakers were above .500 and were sitting comfortably in the eight seed. Fans were thinking playoffs and others were left scratching their heads wondering what had gotten into the Lakers.

            The Lakers 123-114 loss to the Raptors on Sunday has them in the twelfth seed at 12-25 overall. Fans have gone from thinking the Lakers can sneak into the playoffs to thinking maybe the Lakers can get a lottery pick.

            Injuries have been a big reason for the Lakers disappointing stretch. D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, and Larry Nance Jr. have all battled injuries, forcing the deep bench players like Calderon, Huertas, and Robinson to take on more minutes.

            Yet despite an abysmal 2-14 month of December, the Lakers are only 4 games out of the eighth seed. For the first time in awhile, the Lakers are relatively healthy. Larry Nance Jr. suffered a bone bruise that will sideline him for 4 weeks, but Thomas Robinson has been playing well in his place. Health will be a key factor going forward for a Lakers squad looking to turn things around

It is important to remember that this is a young Lakers team with a young head coach; there will be ups and downs. They showed at the beginning of the season that they can compete at a high level. It is only a matter of time before they start winning games and shocking opposing fans and teams.

The Los Angeles Lakers might not make the playoffs, but they are certainly headed in the right direction. The Lakers next game is against the 22-14 Memphis Grizzlies 7:30 P.M. pacific time.

The Los Angeles Lakers Continue to Prove Doubters Wrong

Having just played the day before and missing two starters, the Los Angeles Lakers were the clear underdogs when facing the 10-6 healthy and rested Chicago Bulls. The Lakers won 96-90.

The Lakers currently are tied for the eight seed in the Western Conference, having played one of the toughest NBA schedules so far. ESPN and other sports outlets had the Lakers as the worst team in the Western Conference before the season started. Yet here the Lakers are competing for a playoff spot.

On paper, the Lakers do not look like a very strong team. In fact statistics would agree, as the Lakers have a negative point differential. This means that they on average score less than other teams. Despite that, Lakers are sitting on a 10-10 record. The reason is that statistics never tell the whole truth. The differential statistic is inflated by the Lakers’ 43-point loss to a Warriors team that was looking for revenge.

For those who actually watch Lakers game, it is clear that this team has talent and is being led by a good coach for the first time since Phil Jackson. Luke Walton is not afraid to take risks, and for the most part they have worked out well. Moving Jordan Clarkson to the bench was a bold move, but it paid off. The Lakers arguably have the best bench in the league, and a lot of their success can be attributed to the bench play.

Wednesday’s win over the favored Chicago Bulls team goes to show that the Lakers are legit. They continue to find ways to win, and they continue to prove the doubters and naysayers wrong.

The Los Angeles Lakers fact the 12-6 Toronto Raptors next Friday 4:30 P.M. PT.

The Los Angeles Lakers Comeback to Stun the Sacramento Kings

Coming off a lackluster effort against the Mavericks, the Lakers faced off against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers found themselves down big in the second quarter but were able to claw their way to an impressive 101-91 victory.

Sloppy turnovers and an overall lack of energy created a 19-point deficit in the first half. Fortunately, they came out of the locker room with more energy and played with more efficiency. As a result, the Lakers started to make their shots and force the Kings to miss theirs.

Larry Nance Jr. returned from a concussion injury and made his presence felt. Nance continues to be the unsung hero of the squad. He guards multiple positions, plays with energy, and makes smart decisions. At one point in the game, he blocked a shot and ran down the court and dunked the ball.

So far this year, opposing big men have crushed the Lakers. A big part of this is Walton’s decision to go small in the fourth quarter. In today’s game he opted to stick with center Timofey Mozgov in the fourth quarter. Cousins had 28 points but not many of his points came from the paint. Mozgov and the Lakers did a fantastic job of containing Cousins after the first quarter.

Luol Deng had another subpar performance. I am positive that Deng is a great locker room veteran, but the Lakers are paying him $72 million to perform well on the court as well. Deng has looked a step slow on defense all season and his shot continues to not fall. Deng will have to perform better in the future especially since many Lakers’ fans are now thinking about getting the eighth seed.

The Lakers churned out another victory and continue to turn heads. The Lakers have a chance to improve to 6-4, as they play the 1-8 New Orleans Pelicans next on Saturday.

The Lakers Get an Impressive Win over the Hawks

The Lakers snapped their 3 game losing streak with a 123-116 win over the Atlanta Hawks. With a win over the previously undefeated Hawks, the Lakers improved to 2-3.

With Timofey Mozgov out with an eye contusion, Ivica Zubac got his first NBA start. Zubac scored the first 2 Laker baskets but struggled to contain Dwight Howard. Dominant big men seem to be a problem for this Lakers squad, as Howard had 31 points and 11 rebounds. Both Mozgov and Zubac are slow and get into foul trouble easily, while Tarik Black is undersized 6’9”.

Nonetheless, the Lakers led by D’Angelo Russell and Lou Williams were able to help the Lakers seal the win. Williams caught fire in the fourth quarter, where he scored 16 points. His instant offense is proving to be useful for late game situations.

Russell was particularly impressive. He has shown us before that he can score, but today he showcased his ability to get his teammates open shots and play good defense. Russell finished with 8 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal. He seem more committed to playing defense and looked more composed on the offensive end. He let the game come to him and did not force any bad shots.

Coach Walton went with a 10 man rotation today, opting to not play Calderon and Huertas. There are just not enough minutes to go around with Ingram playing the point as well as Lou, Russell, and Clarkson. Walton made the right choice in not putting either in, as both are defensive liabilities.

This Lakers team is definitely a different team than the one we saw last year. They play with more energy and seem to enjoy playing under Luke. The future is certainly bright for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lakers Defeat the Rockets 120-114

The Lakers start off the 2016-2107 season 1-0 with a 120-114 win over the Rockets. It certainly was not pretty, but the Lakers got the job done.

Luke Walton opted to go with a starting lineup of Russell, Young, Deng, Randle, and Mozgov. It was surprising to see Young get the start over Clarkson, but it panned out very well. Young despite an off shooting night was very active on the defensive end. He pressured Harden full court and was relentless coming off screens.

Clarkson was spectacular off the bench. He continues to make his case as the best player on the Laker. He scored 12 of his 25 in the fourth quarter and helped the Lakers secure the win.

Russell, Randle, Mozgov, and even Ingram all had very productive nights. It was a group effort, as the Lakers showcased their immense potential. They were active on the glass and the defensive end and shot the ball very well.

Defensively, the Lakers still have some work to do. They allowed 114 points and at times looked lost as they gave the Rockets several easy baskets. However, they put the clamps on the Rockets when it mattered. The Rockets only scored 18 points in the fourth quarter.

While todays starting lineup could very well change, I think it is an effective lineup. Clarkson can be that huge spark off the bench and if Young can continue to provide the defensive effort as he did tonight then I see no reason to change the lineup.

The Lakers next game is on Friday against the Jazz, who will be playing without Gordon Hayward and maybe even Derrick Favors. 2-0 could very well be possible.

 

Lakers Win Preseason Opener over Kings

The Los Angeles Lakers won their preseason opener over the Sacramento Kings 103-84. The score indicates a blowout, but the Lakers were down 13 at one point. A 20-1 fourth quarter run helped the Lakers secure the win.

Tonight, fans got a real good look at their Lakers team. They might not have a star studded starting lineup, but they are immensely deep. Coach Walton went with a lineup of Russell, Williams, Deng, Randle, and Mozgov. It surprised many to see Clarkson, arguably the team’s best player, come off the bench. The starting 5 was solid. They struggled a bit on offense with the turnovers but managed to keep it close with their defense.

The star of the show was Tarik Black. Clarkson did well with 12 points, but that much was expected given how talented he is. Black, on the other hand, surprised many with his play. He finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds. He was too fast for opposing centers and too strong for the forwards to guard. The Lakers are very deep at the power forward and center position. If Black wants to get minutes, he will need to keep up this kind of play.

The newly added veterans had solid performances. Mozgov and Deng are talented enough players to keep the Lakers competitive in more games than not. Jose Calderon impressed with his veteran presence. He was directing traffic and helped orchestrate the 20-1 run.

The big three of Randle, Russell and Ingram were slightly disappointing. They showed flashes of brilliance but had mediocre games.

Anthony Brown and Thomas Robinson were spark plugs off the bench. They played 7 minutes each; Brown had 10 points of 100% shooting, and Robinson had 8 points and 7 rebounds.

The Lakers turned in a great overall effort. Luke Walton’s philosophies of ball movement and defense were evident in today’s game as well. The Lakers’ staggering depth along with Luke’s coaching will definitely help the team win more games than last year.

Jabahri Brown signs with the Milwaukee Bucks

Former Lakers guard Jabahri Brown recently signed with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks signed Jabahri Brown to a training camp contract. This comes as a surprise because it was rumored that he would be attending the Lakers’ camp.

During his brief tenure with the Lakers in 2015, Jabahri Brown averaged 11.9 points. Brown is no doubt a gifted scorer, but this is a Lakers team that is already full of offensively talented players.

Brown is an isolation player who offers little on the defensive end. Coach Walton has stressed that he wants a strong emphasis on ball movement and defense. These are two things that are not Jabahri’s strengths.

However, it is still tough to see Jabahri leave. He is only 23 years old, and at the end of the day the team that scores more points wins the game. Nonetheless, his departure from the organization has opened up a spot in training camp.

Not missing a beat, the Lakers signed Metta World Peace to a training camp contract. Metta is not the player he once was, but he thrived in his role last year as a player-coach and mentor for the younger players.

Peace’s veteran presence and defensive advice he can provide is invaluable. Losing a talented young player in Jabahri Brown is tough, but Metta World Peace may turn out to be a more valuable asset to the Lakers.

Julius Randle Injures His Right Hand

If you’ve been following the Lakers, you’ll know that the Lakers youngsters have been practicing hard each day. They are motivated to prove all the doubters and critics wrong. They have even earned the nickname “The Breakfast Club” for their early morning workouts

Unfortunately, one of the Breakfast Club members, Lakers power forward Julius Randle, suffered an injury during practice yesterday.

“Lakers forward Julius Randle suffered a laceration to his right hand (webbing between middle and ring fingers) yesterday while practicing. He received 7 stitches and will be re-evaluated in approximately 14 days.” – Los Angeles Lakers

Thankfully, the injury is relatively minor. Randle can continue to do certain workouts and will not miss any camp or preseason time. His development will in no way be hindered nor will all the progress he has made this offseason.

Once fans learned the injury was minor they expressed their disappointment. Julius Randle is often critiqued on not having a right hand. Julius is a lefty, but most NBA stars can attack the rim with either hand. Fans were disappointed that Julius did not hurt his left hand, as they want him to become better with his right hand.

They might be on to something, but I am sure Julius can improve his offhand without having to injure his other hand. In the meantime, we wish Julius Randle a speedy recovery.

What Yi Jianlian Brings to the Lakers

This past Monday, the Lakers signed former NBA player Yi Jianlian to a 1 year 1.1 million dollar contract. Jianlian was drafted 6th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks, but after several disappointing seasons, he retired from the NBA.

However, Jianlian turned heads in this year’s summer Olympics. He averaged 20.4 points, shot 46% from deep, and seems to have improved his physicality on defense.

Despite already having a crowded frontcourt, the Lakers signing Jianlian makes sense. He’s a 6’11 power forward who can stretch the floor and rebound well enough to play in Luke’s small ball lineups. His shooting sets him apart from other Lakers big men.

Jianlian’s best NBA season was in 2010 with the Nets. He averaged 12 points and 7.2 rebounds. It is wishful thinking to hope Yi will reproduce those stats, but Jianlian could end up being a valued trade asset or better yet, an impactful role player.

Jianlian is a low risk, high reward gamble for the Lakers. His contract is only 1 year long and leaves the Lakers with cap flexibility. Yi is also only 28, meaning he is in his athletic prime.

Yi will also help Lakers on the business side. When Jeremy Lin was on the team, the Lakers had numerous Chinese fans buying Lakers jerseys and attending the games. Jianlian will most likely bring the same attention to the Lakers.

Yi Jianlian is definitely an upgrade over Ryan Kelly.