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The 2017-18 Lakers Season Reviewed, and Previewing the Playoffs

Posted by on Apr 15, 2018 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion | 0 comments

Another year down, and another in the recent run of playoff-free seasons for the purple and gold. That said, was this a successful season for the Lakers? On the one hand, there was a nine-game improvement from last year to this one, which is nothing to sneeze at particularly given the injuries. But what about the young guys? The front office?  Did the Lakers turn the tide on a negative national narrative surrounding the team?

We discuss.

From there, we kick around two significant Kobe anniversaries that came this week — first, five years from the Achilles tear, and two from the 60-point effort capping off his career.

Finally, it’s NBA Playoffs time! We talk about the most intriguing storylines, and make some bold — BOLD!!! – predictions.

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Brandon Ingram Shelved, Kobe’s (Awkward) Oscar, and The Dude Turns 20

Posted by on Mar 8, 2018 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

The Lakers have been among the best teams in the NBA since early January, but — and stop us if this sounds familiar — the injury bug threatens to derail the momentum. Josh Hart is already sidelined (likely) for the year after hand surgery, and now Brandon Ingram will miss at least the rest of this week with a hip injury. Could be more, because nobody wants to mess with a hip.

What will it mean for the Lakers, big picture and little alike?

From there, we get into Kobe’s Oscar win. On the one hand, Kobe won an Oscar! Pretty impressive, without question.  On the other, in the wake of Me Too and Time’s Up, it has brought up tough questions about Colorado that had generally been left alone for a few years. How do we talk about Kobe and those allegations in today’s context? Not just with Kobe, but others facing similar accusations, whether from years ago or more recently? There are, to say the least, no easy answers.

Kevin Love opened up about anxiety and mental illness for The Players Tribune, becoming the latest athlete to speak openly on the subject. It’s an important trend not just for de-stigmatizing mental illness, but for pushing up against some of the more traditional, and toxic, constructs of masculinity.

Finally, The Big Lebowski turns 20 this week. We celebrate the milestone.

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Are the Lakers Legit? Lonzo’s Return, and Soup Tossing

Posted by on Mar 2, 2018 in Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

So the Lakers have won four straight out of the break, and are 16-7 since early January, when they ended the nine-game losing streak. That’s good for the third best record in the NBA. So are the Lakers legit now, and what does that mean for the rebuild? The argument for letting what they have grow is gaining momentum.

We discuss.

From there, we break down Josh Hart’s injury, Lonzo’s return to the lineup, and Julius Randle’s attempt to make it impossible for the Lakers to let him go. Meanwhile, J.R. Smith was suspended by the Cavs for throwing soup. BUT WE DON’T KNOW WHAT KIND, which is a massive failure of journalism.

Finally, a statue for the newest former Laker, Corey Brewer!

 

 

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Lakers post-deadline, LaVar’s big threat, and Groundhog Day

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

So the Lakers have made it through the deadline, and have a new-look roster… how’s it looking? Well, the defense has suffered. Is it all on Isaiah Thomas? Did the Lakers expect this much defensive slippage after the deal? Should it bother them?

Meanwhile in Lithuania, LaVar Ball is making big threats about the future of Lonzo and the Lakers, vis-a-vis the other brothers. According to dad, all three boys need to be Lakers, or Lonzo won’t be there very long. Setting aside the idea that LaVar clearly doesn’t understand the CBA, how much should the Lakers care about this latest headline? The notion he could demand it come true seems remote, but is stuff like this more important than, say, criticisms of Luke Walton?

From there, we look at the state of the NBA, post-deadline. The Cavs are happy again, which makes the East seem a lot less competitive. And the Rockets, not the Warriors, lead the West. Is GSW vulnerable, bored, or both, and what does that say about how the Lakers ought to think about roster construction? Would they be wise to time the peak of their rebuild a little further down the road?

Finally, this week marked the 25th anniversary of “Groundhog Day,” one of the most enduring comedies of any generation. Why has it slowly moved into true canon status? We look at why it is about as perfect as a movie can get, and the way it changed the arc of Bill Murray’s career.

 

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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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