Episodes
With no LeBron James, the Lakers were already set to paddle upstream against a resurgent Golden State Warriors that's looking to pass them in the standings. Combine that with an absolutely unconscious Steph Curry to open the game, early foul trouble for Anthony Davis, and a collectively cold shooting night from the supporting cast, and paddling upstream became the equivalent of trying to paddle across the entire Pacific Ocean using a golf club. A strong opening quarter and change from the...
Published 02/23/24
The Lakers kick off the second half of the season tonight in San Francisco against the Warriors, and they'll do it without LeBron James. He was downgraded to "out" on Wednesday with a bum ankle, well ahead of tonight's tip. It was something that LeBron himself foreshadowed at the All Star Game, noting that his treatment is ongoing and could keep him out. Could has become will. Does this mean he'll be available for Friday's game vs. San Antonio? We'll find out soon enough. It's an injury the...
Published 02/22/24
The Lakers managed to turn some bad mojo into good vibes heading into the break, and not surprisingly it was built at least in part around not just consistency in the rotation, but a type of consistency that played towards the preferences of the players on the roster. Of course, all (or at least much) of this happened with certain guys, namely Max Christie and Cam Reddish (let alone Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent) unavailable. That simplifies things for Darvin Ham. But they won't stay...
Published 02/21/24
In the wake of an All-Star Game for the ages—not in a good way—it's important to remember that for Lakers fans, the most important thing to come from the weekend wasn't anything related to the competition, but things LeBron James said. Talking to the media ahead of the game, James made it clear that he's happy in L.A., happy being a Laker, has been happy being a Laker for the last six seasons, and (assuming nothing drastic changes, and not being able to see everything in the future)...
Published 02/20/24
Earlier this week, the story broke that Warriors owner Joe Lacob gave Jeanie Buss a ring, asking whether or not the Lakers would trade LeBron James. (And if so, maybe to Golden State?) Jeanie said they weren't interested, but they could run it past Team LeBron, as a courtesy, because if James wanted out, they'd try to honor the request. The answer was no, LeBron isn't interested, and with that, the episode ended. But the intrigue? ONLY BEGINNING! For starters, the context of the conversation...
Published 02/16/24
Have the Lakers finally, mercifully, found themselves? They seem to think so, at the least. That's what Rui Hachimura was talking about following his career high 36 points, which helped the Lakers to a first half-ending win over the Jazz in Utah. Hachimura, who has bounced back in a big way from his 2-point, 38 minute outing against Denver last week, talked about comfort and continuity and guys feeling good about each other. Certainly the Lakers have a lot to feel good about, as they've won...
Published 02/15/24
Andy Kamenetzky and Cyrus Saatsaz host a crossover episode to discuss the shocking news broken this morning by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne that the Golden State Warriors reached out to the Los Angeles Lakers to discuss a potential blockbuster trade that would've traded superstar LeBron James to the Warriors. Talks never got particularly far, beyond it reaching ownership level, with Joe Lacob speaking directly to Jeanie Buss, who said she'd only sign off on a deal involving...
Published 02/15/24
The Lakers, don't look now, have started to put some wins together. Seven of 10 now, factoring in Tuesday's 125-111 win over the Pistons at the Crypt. The starting lineup that swapped Rui Hachimua for Taurean Prince, has won five straight. The offense is flying around, the passing has elevated and turnovers are trending in the right direction. So with that in mind, and with the addition of Spencer Dinwiddie (who made his Lakers debut Tuesday), is there reason to crank up the optimism around...
Published 02/14/24
Monday we reacted to the weekend signing of guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Today, it's a deeper dive into what exactly Dinwiddie can bring to the Lakers, with Adam Armbrecht, host of Locked on Nets and a man present for both of Dinwiddie's stints in Brooklyn. He's a guy with tremendous variance in his output, often seemingly tied to the context in which he's playing. Is it an environment where winning is an option? Is he surrounded by players that can enhance his skill set, and limit his usage to...
Published 02/13/24
The Lakers didn't make a deal at Thursday's trade deadline, but that doesn't mean they didn't ultimately improve the team. Over the weekend, they made the signing of former Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie official. The Lakers will have to figure out how they want to deploy him at a position of relative strength (at least among the starters) but he'll provide badly needed depth in the backcourt, and allow Darvin Ham to always have a true PG on the floor at all times. It could, as well, let Austin...
Published 02/12/24
The last 24 hours have been consumed by questions about whether the Lakers effectively gave up on the season by standing pat at the trade deadline. Well, in their first game following the deadline, the Lakers didn't look like a team that had packed it in. They put on an impressive offensive display and controlled their game against the visiting New Orleans Pelicans throughout and won TK-TK. Balance among the starters was the big story. All of them had more than 20 points, led by D'Angelo...
Published 02/10/24
Man alive, Thursday was busy. It started with the NBA's trade deadline. Over the last few days, it started to look more and more like the Lakers wouldn't be major players on Thursday. And it turned out, they weren't players of any kind. They didn't make a move at all. GM Rob Pelinka said the team worked hard to find a way to upgrade, but couldn't match the right player with the right price. "You can't buy a house that's not for sale," he said. Should the Lakers have done more? Been willing to...
Published 02/09/24
Much ado about nothing, in the end, though the writing was really on the wall. The Lakers saw Thursday's NBA trade deadline come and go, and stood on the sidelines the entire time. The biggest names on the market, including Dejounte Murray, Bruce Brown and Dorian Finney-Smith, weren't traded anywhere. But a lot of smaller names shuffled around. Still, there wasn't, at least in the mind of Rob Pelinka, a player the Lakers could acquire that they felt was worth the asking price. Are they right?...
Published 02/08/24
Wednesday was a very quiet day on the NBA trade market. A couple minor deals, none of which had anything to do with the Lakers. Meanwhile, those with their ears to the rumor mill seemed to come away with the feeling that the odds of a significant deal going down for the Lakers are diminishing. To some degree, that's a reflection of the market. There aren't a lot of high profile players left to deal. Dejounte Murray from the Hawks, still very much tied to the Lakers, is the headliner. After...
Published 02/08/24
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, and for the time being at least things are looking kinda quiet. The Lakers are still connected to just about every player on the market (Atlanta's Dejounte Murray, Toronto's Bruce Brown, Chicago's DeMar DeRozan, Brooklyn's forward combo of Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O'Neale) but that doesn't necessarily mean there will be much action. It's a seller's market, and the prizes aren't automatically worth a major premium. In a perfect world, the Lakers could...
Published 02/07/24
It wasn't more than a week ago that things looked desperate for the Lakers. They lost in back-to-back blowouts, and their star players looked very, very shaky from a health standpoint. Then they won in Boston, without LeBron James, Anthony Davis and (in the second half) Jarred Vanderbilt. Then they won in New York. And then Monday, they finished off the trip with a victory over the 10-win Hornets in Charlotte. Final score, 124-118. And while the game got a little closer than the Lakers would...
Published 02/06/24
It's a very, very busy week in the NBA with the trade deadline coming up on the 8th. And, of course, that means the Lakers tied to any available player on the market, because that's how this works. But while before the chatter was built mostly around Atlanta guard Dejounte Murray, the Lakers now have to fill a massive hole left by the injury to Jarred Vanderbilt. The Lakers now have a gaping hole to fill, in addition to any improvements they want to make in the backcourt, or anywhere...
Published 02/05/24
Thursday in Boston, the Lakers shocked the NBA world, beating the Celtics without LeBron James or Anthony Davis, and with Jarred Vanderbilt missing the second half with a foot injury. Saturday in New York, they had Davis and LeBron back (Vando will miss weeks, at least), facing a Knicks squad down Julius Randle and OG Onunoby, but nonetheless on a nine game win streak. It was a grind and it wasn't necessarily easy, but the Lakers played with the same level of defensive intensity and held New...
Published 02/04/24
On Thursday, the Lakers went into Boston without the services of Anthony Davis and LeBron James, and managed to come out with a fairly shocking win. Part of the underdog story, though, was the absence in the second half of forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who left the game late in the second quarter with an injury to his right foot. News on the injury following the game was light. Negative x-rays (which frankly doesn't mean much, except nothing was broken), but not much else. Friday, the news came,...
Published 02/02/24
According to our friends at FanDuel, the Lakers were double digit underdogs for Thursday's game in Boston, and that was BEFORE the news broke that Anthony Davis and LeBron James would both be out with injuries. That bumped the line up over 15. Whatever! The Lakers shocked the world, taking an early lead over the Celtics and never giving it up, winning 114-105 in a game that, for a night at least, changed the vibes around the team in a very positive way. Austin Reaves scored 32 points, and hit...
Published 02/02/24
For a while, it looked like the most important Tweet to come from a Laker Tuesday in Atlanta would be Christian Wood's, where he "lol"'d right after the Lakers announced a starting lineup that included Jaxson Hayes instead of him, filling in for Anthony Davis. After the game, Wood said it was just a wayward QT. Nothing to see here. Nobody believed him. But all of that was soon eclipsed by LeBron James, who simply sent out a near-empty hourglass. That clearly put people on notice. Was he...
Published 02/01/24
The Lakers were walloped in Houston Monday, and had to turn around Tuesday to play the Hawks in Atlanta. This time, though, they'd take the floor without Anthony Davis, who had to miss the game after aggravating his hip/groin injury. It didn't go well. The Lakers were dominated by the Hawks, 138-122, a score that doesn't really capture how Atlanta controlled the game after the first seven minutes or so of the game. D'Angelo Russell played his worst game in a while -- bad timing considering he...
Published 01/31/24
The Lakers had a double overtime game in San Francisco, in which their primary players generally cracked the 40-minute barrier, or even significantly higher. Anthony Davis aggravated the hip/groin thing that's been bugging him most of the year. So it's no surprise the Lakers came out flat, especially defensively, in Monday's game against the Rockets. Stuff happens. Disappointing? Sure! But it happens. But while Lakers fans (understandably) focus on Darvin Ham's choices with the starting...
Published 01/30/24
In the wake of Saturday's ultra-intense, ultra-exciting double OT win over Golden State in San Francisco, there was plenty to discuss. The superlative performances of LeBron James and Stephon Curry. The continued excellent play, including one of the most shockingly ballsy 3-pointers in recent history, from D'Angelo Russell. And, of course, the incredible shot in the arm provided by Jarred Vanderbilt. But most prominent among Lakers fans was probably the combinations in which all of those...
Published 01/29/24