Oct 29, 2014

Lakers fall in their season opener, Randle suffers injury

The Lakers were hoping to start off the 2014-2015 season on the right foot. Instead, they were routed by the Houston Rockets and suffered a big blow when the Lakers' 7th round draft left with a leg injury. Lakers only shot 35.4% from the field. The offense just didn't flow as the Lakers seemed like they were running motions on the court. The Lakers were led by Bryant and Boozer. Bryant had 19pts, while Boozer contributed with 17pts. It wasn't enough as the Rockets were efficient on both offense and defense.

The Lakers did make a surge in the 3rd quarter, but couldn't capitalize on turnovers. The Rockets were led by Harden who had 32pts, followed by Ariza and Jones both contributing 16pts a piece. There was also a little scuffle that ensued when Bryant and Howard got into it when Howard swung his elbow and hit Bryant in the jaw.

Things got worse for the Lakers, who have already lost Nash for the season, when rookie Julius Randle suffered a broken tibia. He had to be carried off in a stretcher while his teammates surrounded him. Really heartbreaking for Lakers fans, as Randle was just starting his career. It may be put on hold now. The Lakers were riddled with injuries last season, and now it looks as though its repeating. The only thing the Lakers can do is go out and play hard every night regardless on who in on the floor. They can't rest as they face the fast running Phoenix Suns tomorrow night. 

Oct 13, 2014

Lakers still trying to figure things out

Last night's game against the Warriors ended up in another double digit loss in the preseason with the Lakers losing 116-75. The game felt like it was over once the first quarter ended. Stephen Curry had 10pts in about one and half minutes. From there, the Warriors were shooting the lights out once again. The Warriors are one of the most dangerous shooting teams in the NBA, and they showed why.

Now, this is the preseason and its still early, but the Lakers have struggled on defense and offense the past couple of games. Bryon Scott has made it adamant that defense would be their main focus. Well, they have a lot of work to do before the season starts. The Lakers are considered to be a young team with the exception of Nash, Bryant and Boozer who are seasoned veterans. Players are still trying to get used to each other and their playing styles. It will take time and we'll most likely see some growing pains as the season progresses. The more games played, the team will eventually feel comfortable and play as a cohesive unit. Health is key for this Lakers team, and so far it hasn't been kind to them. Lin, Clarkson, Henry, Young, and Kelly have been injured, but the good news is four out of the five will possibly see action soon. Nick Young will be the only one who will miss some significant time when the season starts. 

There shouldn't be panic as it is too early to tell what this team can achieve, but they do have to start playing better as a unit. 

Oct 7, 2014

Kobe solid in preseason opener against the Nuggets

It was a long summer for the Lakers, but the team got back at it against the Denver Nuggets in the preseason opener. The focus was the health of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash and whether or not they could sustain their energy in their first game. Kobe's first shot was an airball, but quickly scored on his second attempt on a fade away jumper. Kobe finished with 13 points and 5 assists. He looked great out there. Wasn't hesitant when jumping, and played solid defense. Nash had 11 points and 5 assists. Nash looked really good and fluid out on the floor. 

Both rookies (Randle and Clarkson) were solid as well. Randle has a quickness in a big man that you don't see too often. He handled the ball well and made some good decisions. Clarkson missed a lot of shots, but wasn't shy to shoot the ball. These two will certainly have a good NBA career if they work hard at it. Another surprise was the play of Ed Davis. Here's a guy who hasn't been really given a shot in the NBA with his previous teams (Raptors and Grizzlies). He's got a lot to prove and he played surprisingly well in the preseason game. Made some good high percentage shots and blocked some as well. 

Bryant who's in his 19th NBA season looked like the Kobe of old, with his patented fade aways, and jump shots. The healthier he is, the more the Lakers can win some games. The next preseason game will be on Thursday against one of the best back courts in the game with Curry and Thompson. 

Jul 30, 2014

Byron Scott is now head coach with lots of work to do

Los Angeles native Byron Scott was named head coach of the Lakers. A storied franchise whose luck with coaches before Scott has been less than mediocre. Scott was part of the 'showtime' era, in which he won three NBA championships. During Scott's press conference, Laker legends Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jamaal Wilkes stopped by to talk and support their former teammate. When Laker legends show up like that, you know that it is something special. 

Scott's first agenda is for the team to understand and play defense. He has been emphasizing it time and time again. Rightfully so, since last season, the Lakers ranked close to last in the league. Not only is Scott a former Laker, but he understands the brand and what it means. He will instill that sense of pride to the current Lakers on the roster. The roster, which was constructed in the last month or so is a mix of young talent and a few veterans. Nash, Bryant, and Boozer will have the most experience on the roster. Last year, health plagued the team resulting in multiple different lineups throughput the year. Players like Nick Young, Jeremy Lin, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, and Julius Randle will be heavily counted on through a tough NBA season. Scott will have to mold this team to compete in a extremely tough Western Conference. There's certainly a lot of work to do. Scott will also have to put together his coaching staff, which will presumably be done soon. 

There was never this much excitement heading into a season. A new coach with Laker ties, and a young roster will definitely be interesting to watch. Is this a championship built team? Maybe not, but they can compete if they learned to play together as a unit and toughen up on defense. The Lakers will try to make the playoffs with Scott at the helm.  Scott still has a lot to prove coaching wise. He will be ready to take on the challenge and see if he can lead a Laker team to the promise land in years to come. 

Jul 23, 2014

Bright future for Randle

The Lakers 7th pick has high expectations. Randle is the Lakers highest top 10 lottery pick since James Worthy in 1982, who was selected number one overall. Randle didn't play in the teams first summer league game, and didn't know if he would play in the tournament. Randle didn't sign his contract until hours before the second summer league game. 

After watching this 19 year old play, Laker fans have something to be excited about. Randle has excellent ball handling capabilities and quickness. He can put big and tall defenders at a stand still and can go around them. He can post up small big men with his size. His ability to get to the basket is uncanny and the quickness for his size something that can truly benefit his game. He can also grab boards and is relentless. The characteristics he has in his game reminds us of James Worthy, who had a similar way of playing. Worthy could also post up, use his quickness to get to the basket, and was a good rebounder and defender.

Randle will get to learn from Kobe Bryant who has had a stellar career. His guidance will definitely help Julius down the road. Carlos Boozer, who is a new Laker addition, has been around the league as well and is a seasoned veteran at the power forward position. Randle will be set up with all the tools needed to have a great career in the NBA. Of course, he's got to work hard and earn it. There's no doubt that the Lakers picked up a gem in Randle. We'll wait and see how his career grows with the Lakers. 

Jul 21, 2014

Nick Young is officially back with the Lakers

.@NickSwagyPYoung in GM Mitch Kupchak's office making it official. He's back in the purple & gold. pic.twitter.com/vTCh62VQdM

The Lakers tweeted today that Nick Young officially re-signed with them. The guard out of Southern California was one of the bright spots during last year's injury prone season. He has become one of the fan favorites in Los Angeles, especially his nickname, 'Swaggy P'. Young averaged 17.9 ppg, 1.5 apg, and 2.6 rpg last season.  

Jul 12, 2014

Focus on the Post-Kobe era for the Lakers

It's no secret that every great dynasty must come to an end. The arrival of Kobe in Los Angeles signified the start of something special, as a 17-yr old kid from Philadelphia grew up to be one of the greatest to ever play the game. Kobe has amassed 5 NBA championships, multiple All-Star game appearances, won awards, and the list goes on. As his storied career is coming close to an end, the Lakers know that they have to start thinking about the future.

The Lakers got off to a great start of getting younger and acquiring 7th pick Julius Randle in the 2014 NBA Draft. Randle led the Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA championship game against UCONN, which they ultimately lost. Most experts projected him to be in the top 5, but fell to the Lakers lap. He's expected to contribute and be a main key for the future. Lakers also drafted athletic guard Jordan Clarkson from Missouri. Then, the Lakers went big and tried to impress free agent Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers were a long shot to get Anthony, but they were in contention as Anthony was impressed by the Lakers pitch and plans. After the LeBron James decision, all the dominoes started to fall and word got out that the Lakers may not have a chance to get Anthony. With the trade of Jeremy Lin to the Lakers along with a 1st round pick, and the re-signing of Nick Young and Jordan Hill, that signified that the Lakers were no longer in the hunt for Carmelo Anthony. Gasol might also be on the move to Chicago with a possible sign and trade.

What the Lakers are doing is getting younger, short term contracts, while acquiring assests and draft picks. This might not appease Kobe, but the Lakers will try again in the 2015/2016 free agency market where Kevin Love, Keven Durant, and Russell Westbrook will be available. Its always the objective for the Lakers to compete every year, but its also about bringing in the big stars which they'll ultimately do down the road.

Jun 18, 2014

Coaching search

Our own Bobby DeMuro and Courtney Henderson weigh in on the Lakers coaching search.