Sunday, November 27, 2016

Are the Lakers a Playoff Team?

The Lakers hit some roadblocks during the last week or so as they have stumbled against the league's elite -- the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors.  After playing the Spurs in a tight game (the Lakers were within 4 points during the 4th quarter), the veteran Spurs were just too good and too solid for the young Lakers.  The Lakers rebounded by beating Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder at home, with Nick Young hitting a game winning 3 pointer with seconds left to thwart a rather gallant comeback by the Thunder.  But then injuries hit, with D'Angelo Russell tweaking his left knee, Julius Randle with a hip pointer, and Nick Young with a bruised, nearly broken toe.  Ultimately, 2 more losses back to back against the Warriors in Oakland and then back at home at the Staples.  Angelenos are pretty sure this is just a temporary slide due to injuries so we won't get too concerned.  It will give other a shot to step up from the "bench" and succeed, such as Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Ingram.  Clarkson has already proven himself but Ingram really has a chance to gain some solid experience.  He hasn't shot particularly well, but has defended really well and made very good passes.  I don't think anyone is really noticing his point production too much because he has looked very much like he belong on the court.  I'm looking forward to him continuing to succeed because this Lakers team is fun to watch! Going into tonight's game against the Atlanta Hawks, they are 8-9 and out of the top 8 in the West by a hair.  Once their guys get healthy, anything is possible. Go Lakers!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Excitement in Laker Town

Despite tonight's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Los Angeles Lakers have given Angelenos a taste of the future in their young core of players.  Their new free agent additions of Timofey Mozgof and Luol Deng, combined with the young nucleus of Julius Randle (former no. 7 pick), D'Angelo Russell (former no. 2 pick) and Brandon Ingram (recent no. 2 pick), and the Lakers are rolling.  Their bench is one of the best in the game today, with Lou Williams (former 6th man of the year) and Jordan Clarkson leading the 2nd team.  Ingram is coming off the bench and learning from Deng, who was brought to the Lakers to help manage the locker room and to provide a steady, consistent voice and reassurance to these young Lakers.  A nice surprise has been Nick Young, whom many thought would have been shipped off to another team during the offseason given his "issues" with Russell.  Young has been terrific, providing an accurate 3-point shooter to the team's first unit and...surprise surprise....lock down defense?  Credit that to new Lakers head coach, Luke Walton, who has been fantastic in his first 11 games, going 6-5 to start the season.  These Lakers are not an easy W for any team and I look forward, along with all other Laker fans, for a great season to come!  Playoffs?