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The Lakers Go Big at the Trade Deadline

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018 in Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

For all the buildup around the Lakers, when the NBA’s trade deadline actually arrived, things looked awfully quiet in El Segundo… until things weren’t.

The purple and gold were front and center in the day’s biggest deal, sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and Cleveland’s first round pick in the 2018 Draft. As far as deals go, this qualifies as a BFD, not so much for what it does this season, but the way in which it clears a path for the Lakers going forward. By moving Clarkson and Nance for two expiring deals, L.A. has the ability to open up enough cap space this summer for two max free agents. Or they could roll that money over to the summer of 2019. Or they could make trades, short term deals netting them longer term assets, or really anything they want.

In the words of Rob Pelinka, the Lakers can choose whatever path they want, and in an NBA where cap space is hard to come by, operate in a position of power. What will they do? We discuss.

From there, we talk about how the new guys might fit in. Will Thomas recover from a disastrous tenure in Cleveland? What does this mean for Josh Hart, especially when Lonzo Ball comes back? As for the league at large, did the Cavs do enough to keep LeBron around, or did they just make it that much easier for the Lakers to poach him this summer?

All that, and… well, not more. Just that. But that’s a lot, right?

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Lonzo Ball’s Knee, the Challenge of LeBron, and Griffin Goes North

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Blake Griffin, Julius Randle, Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

A week or so away from the trade deadline, things are getting interesting around the NBA. For the Lakers, though, the top-of-mind question isn’t about who is coming and who is going, but who isn’t around at all. Namely, Lonzo Ball. Still out with an MCL sprain, he seems unlikely to play on the road trip. So when is he coming back, and should fans be worried it’s taking this long?

From there, we dive into what appears to be a growing dumpster fire in Cleveland. The Cavs can’t play defense. Kevin Love is out. The owner is apparently running the front office. They’ve still got LeBron and most people think they’ll win the East, but warning signs abound. Meanwhile, LeBron is issuing yet more passive aggressive social media missives, another reminder that having James on your team isn’t easy. It’s a serious challenge for any front office. Is L.A.’s experienced and skilled enough?

Finally, we look at the Blake Griffin-to-Detroit deal. What does it mean for the Clippers going forward, and how might that impact the Lakers?

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Luke Walton Recovers, Tea Leaf Emergency, Kobe’s Oscar nod, and Three Billboards Backlash

Posted by on Jan 26, 2018 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

Man alive, it’s been a busy week. The Lakers, left for dead a couple weeks ago, have now won seven of their last nine games heading out on the road for a five-game trip. All without the previously indispensable Lonzo Ball…

So what accounts for the change?

We break down the regained consistency on defense, and look at the role Luke Walton played in bringing the team back from a darker place. Does this streak after that streak help validate his growth as a coach? What about the bouncebacks from Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, and Julius Randle?

From there, we get into Kobe Bryant’s fairly remarkable Oscar nomination for “Dear Basketball.” Anyone out there still think he’ll have trouble adjusting to life after the NBA? What about this year’s “backlash” film? Last year, it was “La La Land.” This year, it’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” But for completely different reasons. Is the backlash deserved? How does the criticism fit into the larger movement for diversity in Hollywood?

All of that, plus a lesson on when jokes… just. don’t. land.

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Missing Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma’s Wall, and … Anthony Davis?

Posted by on Jan 18, 2018 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

This week in Lakerland, we learned once again what we knew last week, namely that the Lakers just aren’t as interesting, nor competitive, without Lonzo Ball. And it’s not even close. And as Lonzo starts to put together more solid games, the statistical contributions he’s making as a rookie are becoming more clear. We discuss, with data!

As Lonzo rises, Kyle Kuzma could be hitting the proverbial wall. His efficiency has declined month to month this season, and since Christmas has bottomed out. So what’s going on there, and how fast might it change? What does the bump in Kuzma’s road say about Julius Randle’s value? How will the Lakers deal with Randle at the deadline?

It’s one of a few trade related questions we ask, including this one: Would you trade the farm — Lonzo, Brandon Ingram, Kuzma, Randle — for Anthony Davis? We break it down both the micro (Does Davis get hurt too much? Do you know free agents would follow) and macro (Do you do whatever it takes to acquire a player you know is transcendent, even if it means taking on serious risk?

And finally… THE STATUE GAME IS BACK! In honor of the Lakers signing Gary Payton II, we give out a Lakers statue to the original.

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Paul George, Luke Walton One Year(ish) Later, and Lithuanian Hip Hop

Posted by on Jan 4, 2018 in Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

So Paul George visits Staples Center Wednesday night with the Thunder… what are the odds he’ll be visiting all the time next year as a member of the Lakers? His comments this week didn’t end the speculation, and meanwhile Russell Westbrook says they’ll make a hard sell in Oklahoma City by winning a championship. So where does it all go?

From there, we look at some informal Twitter polling data on confidence in Luke Walton and new Lakers management. Are fans getting impatient with Walton? Do they still believe in Magic and Pelinka? Where has each done well, and where have they stumbled?

Finally, there’s a nice young lady in Lithuania who, with some help from Kendrick Lamar, would like to welcome the Ball Brothers to her home nation.

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Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, and Star Wars

Posted by on Dec 16, 2017 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Podcast |

The Lakers finished their road trip with a 2-2 record and four competitive games, a strong showing by any fair standard. Of course, the last of the group — a trip to Cleveland for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and the rest of L.A.’s traveling tribute to potential and hope — was the most significant. Lonzo and LeBron James on the same court, all eyes on them.

Everyone performed well. Lonzo was strong, Ingram balled out, and LBJ seemed to appreciate the talent. So he’s coming, right? We discuss.

(And don’t look now, but Lonzo’s FG% was about 40 on the roadie. Not brilliant, but a significant improvement. We talk about the impact that type of output would have were he to sustain it going forward.)

Finally, Star Wars. You heard? A new one is out! We deconstruct 40 years of Star Wars characters, then ask an important question: How good really is this franchise, from a movie making standpoint?

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