...is it ok to talk Lakers season preview? (Lonzo is connective tissue!)
i watched the first half of the Lakes/Dubs pre-season game...and I think this Laker team is just a little off. I think they'll get the 7th or 8th playoff spot...but I think there's going to be some fan grumbling for a good part of the year.
So let the grumbling begin! ;-)
First off, this Laker team is going to beat no one with 3 pt shooting. They were 29th in the league last year. I think they'll be at the very bottom again this year.
Like it or not, the Lakes (IMO) need to have a lot of games where they shoot 60% from inside the arc and get the other team in foul trouble so they get a lot of trips to the line (but they're not a good FT shooting team because LeBron is not a good FT shooter) if they're going to win.
The Lakers need buckets, not bombs. Stops, not stop and pops. If that's their identity, who's going to help or hurt them be that team?
These are the players who i think will be "net positive" performers for the Lakers (in no particular order):
1. LeBron...lifetime member of the "Winning Time Five" (WTF) that plays during crunch time
2. JaVale...I love his length, hops, shot blocking and rebounding. I think he's a sometime member of the WTF because of his D and rim protection.
3. Stephenson...I had no idea his body still has so much wiggle and jiggle. He seems to be able to shake free 1on1 for a mid-range J very consistently. That's key for the 4th Q. He'll see some WTF PT.
3. Hart...I think he's going to be a member of the "Winning Time Five" a lot. I like his D, his 3 ball, and his ability to make plays (key pass or scrappy loose ball grab)
4. KFC...finger lickin'...ok. Probably not "good". But streaky potential. LeBron, say hello to your new JR Swish/Clang.
5. Ingram...net positive, but I think he will underperform relative to the hype/expectations. Probably a FT member of the WTF because he's the "future face" of the franchise (the FFF). He's just not that good a shooter. He's not as good a ball handler as Durant. He doesn't seem to have one or more unstoppable "moves" like Durant does. It won't take a Harry Potter wand to make him disappear for large chunks of big games.
Guys that will be "neutral" (neither plus nor minus)
1. Rondo...Can he be a threat on O? If not...I don't think his other contributions will significantly offset his "let's play 5 defenders v 4 O players" downside
2. Kuzma...man, I miss Julius Randle!!! I would like this team SOOOOO much more if Randle stayed and Kuzma went. Kuzma and Ingram are basically the same guy: tall, lean, not much handle, erractic shot from 3 which doesn't stop them (esp KK) from hoisting them, not really great finishing around the rim.
3. Lonzo...I think he's in for a tough, tough season. He'll be part of the WTF to start the year. And that will NOT go well. When the LALs lose a few close games early, who's going to be the scapegoat? Not LeBron. Maybe Ingram. But mostly the guy with the busted jumper (and the dad with the big mouth and the $5,000 BBB shoes). For his sake, I hope he starts fast. His summer could not have been worse for his confidence. His knee doesn't respond to therapy or training, so he finally admits he needs surgery, which happens VERY late in the summer, so he only has 2.5 months to rehab it before the season starts, and the greatest player of his (LeBron's) era joins Lonzo's team, putting him instantly on the hot seat. Welcome to the pros, Lonzo.
No thoughts on Mo Wagner since he hasn't played. He's an intriguing piece. But not someone a championship is built around.
I think Svi could be a very good "D & 3" player and hope he makes the team.
I don't think Beasley will make the cut. He looks lost and very intimidated, and his play is about that "off" right now.
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