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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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Lonzo’s Slump, Luke’s Rotations, and Trade Machine Fun!

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Lakers statistics, Opinion, Podcast |

It’s podcast day!

We kick things off talking, as any Lakers analyst must do (by law), Lonzo Ball. So the shooting thing… does it get better? And what happens if it doesn’t? The natives are getting restless, if response on postgame shows and social media are any indication. Also generating angst among the natives are Luke Walton’s rotation choices. So what mistakes is he making, and what’s beyond his control? Finally, why is it the Lakers seem to play down to the competition?

Finally, we take advantage of the turmoil in Memphis to crank up the Marc Gasol Trade Machine (with a dose of DeAndre Jordan thrown in for fun).

 

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Are the Lakers Good Yet? Plus Tom Petty and the R’n'R HOF

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

So three preseason games in, are the 2017-18 Lakers good yet? No? Why not? We discuss. From there, what are the most interesting parts of the annual NBA GM Survey? Where does Lonzo Ball fit into it all? And are the Lakers going a little overboard fueling the Lonzo Hype Machine? Finally (on the basketball end of things, at least) Luke Walton dropped some serious hints as to what type of year he thinks this is for his developing group. We decode.

In non-sports news, the death of Tom Petty was (rightly and understandably) overshadowed by the horrendous violence in Las Vegas, but worth some reflection. And as we do every year, it’s time to break down this year’s nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 

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