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  1. #71
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    I won't comment much on the games anymore as the Lakers are too decimated by injuries to be expected to compete. Ingram is out for the year with a blood clot in his shoulder. Ball is apparently going to be held out for the rest of the year as well. Kuzma is injured. The Lakers are reducing LeBron's minutes and not planning to play him in back-to-back games.

    Wagner had his first career start last night and scored 22. Good for him. G-Leaguers Jonathan Williams and Alex Caruso with good games. Starters Rondo and KCP had 4 and 2 points, respectively.

    The Lakers now have the 10th worst record and have a shot at 6th. They're 3.5 games behind behind Memphis for that spot. New Orleans and Washington seems locks to pass them in the standings, with only Dallas (1-9) in full tank mode.

    Lakers play mostly playoffs teams in their last 16 games. Only seemingly winnable games are against Chicago, New York, Washington and New Orleans and 3 of those are on the road. Wouldn't be surprised if they only win one or two more games at this point.

    If they end up with the 6th worst record, they'll have a 37.2% chance of a top 4 pick. About a 9% chance at each of the top 4 spots.

  2. #72
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    Clippers are accepting applications from Kobefans that can't stand Lebron the Lakers GOAT.

  3. #73
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    Muscala got his first start (I believe) for the Lakers last night, scoring 2 points in 11 minutes while going 0-5 from the 3. Since the trade he has shot 5 of 24 from the 3 and 10 of 32 overall.

    This is what GM Rob Pelinka said at the time of the trade:

    “When we took a look at our five spot, we had three elite rim protectors-rim rollers. We felt like we wanted to diversify that position a little bit. It was hard to trade Zu, a great young player, but we feel like Muscala can spread the floor and add a stretch five, play some four as well. Just open the court for our drivers, like, Rondo, LeBron, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo when he comes back, I think it’s important. We just felt like if we tweaked our roster a little bit from a chemistry standpoint and added some shooting, if we could just make that push and get that eighth spot or seventh spot, get in the playoffs and then let a player like LeBron do what he does in the playoffs.”

    So the reason for trading away Zubac - now a starter on the playoff team - was to improve shooting.

    Zubac isn't setting the world on fire on the Clippers, but he is doinf okay, shooting 46%, compared to Muscala's 31%. Luke hardly plays Muscala as he is so ineffective.

  4. #74
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    Comparing Zubac (center) to Muscala - 50% of his shots are 3 pointers? Okay!

    Clippers are very happy with what Zu is doing. In fact, it's just what the Clippers needed, a young C who can run the floor, plays D, willing to learn, great attitude, AND remember Kareem said he's "the only one who wants to learn the skyhook.'

    Great job handing us #Zu

    Quote Originally Posted by HeadInjury View Post
    So the reason for trading away Zubac - now a starter on the playoff team - was to improve shooting.

    Zubac isn't setting the world on fire on the Clippers, but he is doinf okay, shooting 46%, compared to Muscala's 31%. Luke hardly plays Muscala as he is so ineffective.

  5. #75
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    There are some holes in Zubac's game, but he is coming along.

    The story is that the Lakers contacted the Clippers about the trade proposal. I'm sure the Clippers' GM was trying to hide his giggles.

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    I didn't hear the backstory. Curious to see what Clippers can get done this Summer in the way of FA. Could be a big swing if they land two big fish and LAL strikes out. Quite possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by HeadInjury View Post
    There are some holes in Zubac's game, but he is coming along.

    The story is that the Lakers contacted the Clippers about the trade proposal. I'm sure the Clippers' GM was trying to hide his giggles.

  7. #77
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    Lakers appear likely to stay at about the 10th spot in the lottery standings. Could possibly move up a couple of places or move back one.

    Rondo, Stephenson and KCP leading the tank brigade last night shooting a collective 6 for 31. Impressive.

  8. #78
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    Magic resigned his position with the Lakers this today. Basically said he isn't having fun and the league rules against tampering stop him from even saying something positive about a player on another team and he hates that. His interview today was a rambling mess. I imagine there is a lot more to the story than what is currently known.

    Jeannie made a terrible hire here. Great players rarely make great executives. As is her custom, Jeannie tried to make herself look good by making the popular choice. After LeBron signed, it looked like it might work, but the list of Magic's failures is pretty long for having only held the job for 2 years.

  9. #79
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    Well, the front office saga continues.

    Note that, since Magic walked away, the Lakers haven't made any announcements about what their plans are for the front office. In the past couple of weeks, the media is reporting that the organization is a complete mess. Neither Jeanie Buss nor Rob Pelinka have made any public statements. With the draft lottery coming up this week, and the Lakers having to send a representative, they are sending Kyle Kuzma, a player they recently offered to trade. Poor guy will be asked to comment on Magic, the state of the front office, the attempt to trade him, etc. Really an unfair position to put him in.

    Whether the front office is really in as bad of shape as the media is reporting is open to debate I suppose. Lakers news drive viewers and clicks and local sports radio talks about little else. So they may be over-hyping it. It's not like Magic was doing a good job, so his departure doesn't hurt much.

    It is an issue though if the perception among free agents is that the organization is poorly run. Heading to the Clippers who do seem to have a better owner, better front office and better coach might look like a better option. Could you imagine if KD and Kawhi both chose to go there.

    The latest rumor is that Frank Vogel will be the new coach. He was successful in Indiana and unsuccessful in Orlando. He was in a similar situation in Orlando as Luke was here, a coach hired by the prior front office that later was replaced. Vogel was known as a good defensive coach in Indy, but let's not pretend he's an elite coach.

    The Lakers reportedly are also going to be hiring Jason Kidd as an assistant coach. Some think he is going to get the head coaching job eventually. Nothing like having a coach with both a history of domestic violence and a DUI. While he did not have success as a head coach, some credit him with helping develop Giannis' game and apparently the Lakers want him to work with Lonzo Ball. Well, Kidd was a great point guard in the NBA whatever his personal failings. He is not Vogel's choice, but the front office's. Apparently this was part of the reason both Monty Williams and Ty Lue refused the Lakers' offer.

    My concern is that the front office has no clue about how to build a winning team. Jeannie has no basketball acumen. Now she apparently is relying heavily on Linda Rambis, her friend of 40 years, who likewise has zero basketball acumen. You would think that the organization would start with hiring Magic's replacement, and then let that person make the coaching decision. There is no rush to hire a coach right now. It's not like Lue or Vogel are in high demand. Apparently, Kurt Rambis was leading the coaching search. So perhaps he is Magic's de-facto replacement. Rambis has no front office experience. His coaching stops were disasters. There are reports in the media that Jeannie was relying in part on Phil Jackson's when making the offer to Vogel. Phil of course never made a good coaching hire when with the Knicks, and his time there was an unmitigated disaster.

    So Jeannie hires her friend Magic to run operations. She hires Pelinka to be GM because Kobe recommended him. Neither had any experience in a basketball front office. It turns into a quagmire, Magic leaves, and Jeannie relies on the Linda and Kurt Rambis, who have no experience, and Phil Jackson, a proven failure. In other words, she just turns to friends for help. Nothing to inspire confidence.

    To be fair, Pat Riley had no experience when hired as the Lakers coach. He was literally Chick Hearn's color analyst at the time. So sometimes it is possible to strike gold.

    In the end, if the Lakers do get a top tier free agent and become competitive, these last couple of months will be quickly forgotten. But that is a short list: KD, Kawhi, Clay Thompson and maybe Kyrie Irving. Not looking too good right now to land any of the first three, and Kyrie didn't exactly help a much better Boston team.

  10. #80
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    Lakers beat the odds and move up from 11th to 4th in the NBA draft. Pelicans get the first pick and the right to sign Zion. Lakers chance of moving into the top 4 was less than 10%.

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