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The Land O'Lakers Podcast by the Kamenetzky Brothers
44 minutes | 3 days ago
Dennis Schröder's return, LeBron James, age and the MVP award... plus Kobe Bryant as The Logo?
As the Lakers endured a four-game losing streak, we said on this show the losses, while frustrating, revealed little about the makeup of the team, short of the obvious: When the Lakers don't have Anthony Davis and Dennis Schröder, they're too short on talent to win a lot of games. Particularly on the offensive end. If the losing continues after they return? Now they've got a real problem. This week, though, showed how that may not be an issue. Schröder returned from his stint in the league's health and safety and the team beat Portland and Golden State, two teams that had been playing pretty well. The "why" shows what Schröder brings to the table. From there, we answer a question that seems to be popping up whenever people discuss LeBron James and his performance this season: Should his age be a factor in judging MVP-worthiness? Lakers fans got a look at Damian Jones, who still hasn't missed a shot as a Laker. But all kidding aside, how much might he help, and how much help might be out there for the Lakers to shore up holes in the roster? Finally, we look at one of this week's big stories in the NBA - should the NBA make Kobe Bryant the new logo? The answer is... complicated.
53 minutes | 10 days ago
The Lakers, tired and shorthanded, are slumping as trade and buyout rumors start flying!
That the Lakers are slumping without Anthony Davis (calf strain) and Dennis Schröder (health and safety protocols) in the lineup isn't exactly a surprise. Most teams would suffer without an all-world guy like Davis, and the type of dynamic scorer that Schröder is, particularly when nobody left on the roster not named LeBron James can serve as that type of offensive catalyst. The Lakers, in short, are having trouble scoring. Why? We mentioned the absences, and then there's the shooting. It remains horrible over the month of February, with the team under 30 percent from beyond the arc. They're just not making shots. One reason might be fatigue. The team, as a group, looks physically and mentally tired. And who can blame them? Honestly, if there was a way for LeBron to sit for 10 days without any real threat to his health, we'd be up for it... and toss out a couple strategies to make it happen. Can the Lakers preserve enough energy to get them to the playoffs and thrive? Finally, we're getting to everyone's favorite part of the season, trades and buyouts and free agency! This week, the Lakers were tied to a couple of Houston Rockets, P.J. Tucker and DeMarcus Cousins. One (Tucker) could be had via trade, the other (Cousins) as a street free agent once the Rockets release him as expected. Which guy makes more sense for the Lakers? Which guy is more gettable? We break it all down.
51 minutes | 13 days ago
Injuries ruin Lakers vs. Nets, 35,000 points for LeBron and more All Star Game headaches for the NBA
The Lakers and Nets were supposed to have a marquee, earth-shaking tussle on Thursday, but instead had it derailed by player absences. No Anthony Davis, no Kevin Durant, and then in a surprise, no Dennis Schroder, who was a late scratch after being put in the COVID protocols. More information about that will surely emerge in the next few days. But in the meantime, it meant there wasn't much to learn about what a Lakers vs. Nets NBA Finals might look like. One thing is clear, though, the Nets are a whole lot of fun to watch, and in some ways represent the NBA's equivalent of the Cheeseburger Diet. Is that a responsible way to lose weight? No, but if you can pull it off it beats kale! From there, it's onto LeBron James, who scored his 35,000th point on Thursday. It's a remarkable achievement, which we celebrate with a game of Over/Under 35K. How much longer can he keep it up? Is LeBron a shoe-in to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the league's all time leading scorer? Finally, we look at the mess the NBA finds itself in with an All Star Game, now set for March 7th, that nobody wants to play in. Could this cause real damage between the league and its players? How much does the money matter?
52 minutes | 16 days ago
Anthony Davis is out... so what happens now? How Dennis Schröder can help save LeBron James.
The Lakers got bad news on Monday, though it certainly could have been worse. Anthony Davis, who re-aggravated his Achilles tendinosis Sunday in Denver, will almost surely miss the nine games remaining for the Lakers before the All Star Break. But an MRI revealed no structural damage to the tendon itself, meaning long term hopes for the season are still, like A.D.'s leg, still intact. But what happens now? The Lakers first have a decision to make about who starts. It's likely Kyle Kuzma, but should it be someone else? How can the Lakers fill the gaps on both sides of the ball created by the absence of Davis? Why is Dennis Schröder arguably the most important player on the team, insofar as stepping up to make sure LeBron James doesn't grind himself into a pulp carrying the team while Davis is out? This moment for Schröder comes at an interesting time, as well, since starting this week he can officially get into contract extension talks with the team. From there, we dissect what matters and what doesn't over these next nine games. Oddly enough, team accomplishments may be a lot less relevant than how individuals perform. We explain why. And oh by the way, all of this happens while the Lakers are deep in a shooting slump that is reaching a point where it's fair to worry if "slump" is actually the right word for it. Just how good were they, anyway, at perimeter shooting? If it doesn't come back to better levels, what damage does it cause the plans for a repeat? Finally, Blake Griffin is essentially done in Detroit. The Pistons and Griffin agreed to have him sit until he's either traded or bought out. It's a bummer of an ending for a guy who has worked incredibly hard to expand his game while his body disintegrates around him. It's not easy to figure out the how, but if they had the chance to bring him in, should the Lakers do it?
41 minutes | 24 days ago
Anthony Davis has a sore Achilles tendon. Cause for concern? Plus the Wisdom of Alex Caruso and more
As much as anything can be in this day and age, the 2020-21 season for the Lakers has been pretty smooth sailing. No COVID-19-related cancellations, little by way of injuries, piling up wins, and so on. Now, we seem to be passing through a potentially more challenging stretch. Anthony Davis has been diagnosed with tendonosis of his right Achilles. The Lakers don't seem to be overly concerned, and reports say structurally the Achilles is fine. He's likely to miss Monday's game vs. OKC, and nothing has been said beyond that. So are his injury and his disappointing-for-him play to this point related? It seems hard, given how much his name pops up on those mandatory injury reports the league mandates. Next, we look at the team's odd inability to score effectively n the fourth quarter. Saturday against Detroit, the Lakers went the last four minutes of regulation without a bucket. It's not the first time that has happened. In fact, even while they're currently 6th leaguewide in 4th quarter offensive efficiency, over their last five games the Lakers are 23rd. They've looked too often like the team that stood around so LeBron might bail them out. What accounts for the drop off? Finally we look at a pair of comments from Alex Caruso. First, he said the Lakers need to avoid getting bored in games, which set off a couple alarm bells for sure. But does Caruso mean the Lakers are complacent? Or are they just not above human nature, which generally tells people they can let up a little after building a big lead. And it's Starts, they're Just Like Us," LeBron James edition.
67 minutes | a month ago
The Lakers thump Denver, LeBron Thumps the Proposed 2021 All Star Game, Dudley Thumps George, and more...
For one half on Thursday, the Lakers looked vulnerable. The visiting Denver Nuggets made Anthony Davis uncomfortable. They crashed the offensive glass and built a 12-point lead at the half. Then in the third quarter, the Lakers hit a gear on defense the Nuggets couldn't overcome. That spilled into the fourth quarter, too, and in the end LA walked away with a 21-point win.That's a 33-point swing. And it happened in a way that had to be really discouraging to the rest of the league. Not just because the Lakers cranked it up and throttled a good Western Conference team, but the how. Anthony Davis? Good, but not special. LeBron? Doing his thing, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary. It's not that they can't be beaten, but doing it four times in a seven game series will be a tall order for anyone. Some of Thursday's conversational highlights: -The comfort level of Kyle Kuzma, who is playing with a level of freedom we haven't seen in a while. How much is related to the security of his contract extension? How much is the Lakers validating his performance, and for playing the role they need him to play? Either way, if he keeps playing like he is, Kuz will glue Markieff Morris to the bench.-The ascendence of Talen Horton-Tucker continues. He was dynamic against Denver, and is providing the Lakers a type of scoring from the bench they didn't have before (including from Kuzma, who isn't nearly as efficient putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim). THT is proving to be the real deal, and making it almost impossible for Frank Vogel to take him off the floor. Which, like Kuzma is doing to Morris, will keep Wes Matthews on the bench.-Dennis Schroder, after a slow January, looks like he's getting comfy again. This is a good thing for LA.-Finally, Davis was only modestly productive against Denver, and does have moments where he seems to fade in and out of games. We used to say the same of Pau Gasol. Is there a commonality there?From there, we tackle the All Star Game. Should it be played? The NBA is pushing ahead, but LeBron James said Thursday he's not a fan of the idea. What are the good reasons for cancelling the game? The crass money grab turns people off, but should it?And finally, it's Jared Dudley vs. Paul George!
43 minutes | a month ago
Do the Lakers have a new rotation? And what's in that tuna salad, anyway?
The Lakers have played some impactful games on the road trip, but none going forward might be more impactful than Saturday's win over Boston, not because of the final score (though the Lakers were happy to break a two game losing streak) but rather who Frank Vogel had on the floor during those 48 minutes. That's where we start (4:45) in the latest edition of the Land O'Lakers podcast. Who was in, who was out, and what does it mean going forward? Does THT really squeeze Wes Matthews out of the rotation? Has Kyle Kuzma helped make Markieff Morris unnecessary? Or are these guys just not playing well enough to deserve time over Horton-Tucker, even if he's only 20? Something to watch for sure. 12:30 - How much leeway does THT get going forward? He brings a skill set the team definitely needs. 15:45 - Alex Caruso has clearly established himself as a guy who will play in virtually every closing lineup. In Boston, when Montrezl Harrell was having a good game and Vogel kept him on the floor was Kentavious Caldwell Pope, not Caruso. There's a lot of angst among Lakers fans regarding Caruso's minutes, but this should show people may not need to worry so much. 23:00 - One guy who won't be squeezed? Kyle Kuzma. Once again, his role has been re-invented, and this year he seems to be thriving. More than last year. And if the perimeter shooting - 38 percent as the week begins from 3-point range - he has an entirely new influence on the team. 27:30 - Man, did Klay Thompson and Draymond Green go off on Detroit's Rodney McGruder! 34:00 - Subway is being sued by people saying their tuna salad is not actually made from tuna. Like, literally none. Granted, the suit doesn't actually say what actually IS in the tuna salad, but it nonetheless raises the question, how far away from actual tuna would you be ok with, here?
57 minutes | a month ago
The State of the Lakers, and the First Anniversary of Kobe's Death ... Guest, Kyle Goon
This week the Lakers will pass the quarter pole on the 2020-21 season, and things on the court are going well. The Lakers start the week 13-4, and on most nights find their biggest flaw to be a tendency to let teams eat into large leads they've built up, rather than continuing to roll that opponent out of the building.Of course, that means they have to build that lead to begin with, no easy feat in the NBA. First world problems, for sure.That the Lakers are good isn't surprising. That they're this good, despite clearly not putting forth 100 percent effort as a team? That's the first question we ask Kyle Goon, who covers the team for The Southern California News Group. Why have things clicked so quickly? Is it simply a matter of upgrading talent? We break down why the Lakers starting lineup, dominant last year, has been even more so this season.There is still some conversation around the starting lineup, and whether Dennis Schroder should be in it (especially as he suffers through a brutal January offensively), but what about the closing lineup? Against the Bucks last week, Frank Vogel finished with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso and Schroder. Is this the lineup people should expect, all things being equal?From there, we turn to the other significant news of the week. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others. It remains a profoundly difficult tragedy, particularly in Los Angeles and in NBA circles. It is, for a great many people, very difficult to talk about. But the Lakers still keep Kobe central to the season, not just as an organization but as a team. They still break huddles with "1-2-3 Mamba," for example. At the same time, interest in Kobe is real. Stories about him, remembrances of him, and so on. He continues to drive conversation, and generating content about him is undoubtedly an easy way to generate interest. So what's the line between responsible and respectful coverage of a legitimate news event and engaging in something more exploitative of his memory? Where the motivation shifts from serving the audience to serving the content creator? We talk with Kyle about that challenge. How he's handling it personally, and the ways in which trying to tell this story while hamstrung by COVID-based restrictions complicates things. His is still a complicated life to memorialize, as well. It's an interesting conversation for sure, one that gets into the nuts and bolts of how the work gets done. We wrap with a discussion about relative weaknesses... that may not be really that weak. How poorly is Wes Matthews actually playing, and how might it get fixed?
63 minutes | a month ago
The Lakers Lose on MLK Day with Eastern Conference Contenders Looming
So.... that happened. The Lakers got off to a great start on MLK Day at home against Golden State, but ultimately blew a 16 point halftime lead, then an 11 point margin after three quarters, ultimately losing 115-113 to the Golden State Warriors. What happened? How a bad alchemy of bad offense led to easier opportunities for the Warriors... or was it bad defense letting the Warriors score too much and then set their defense? It was also a little different, not just because the Lakers lost, but because the rotation was different. Very little Markieff Morris, and no Talen Horton-Tucker. Is this a sign of things to come? From there, we turn to the road trip. Last season, the Lakers made a point of never losing two straight. And ultimately, they were very successful at limiting consecutive losses. So the big question isn't necessarily what they did against Golden State, it's how they respond. Especially since a game in Milwaukee, thanks to COVID-19, will have a much more neutral-court feel to it, as all NBA games this season do. That might make it a more accurate barometer of where these teams stand relative to each other. Same goes for Boston, same goes for Philly later in the trip. We could learn some stuff about the Lakers over the next two weeks. How much do these games matter? Finally, it's a quick look at the MVP race in the VERY, VERY, almost LAUGHABLY early going... but in a season this disjointed, with so much in flux thanks to the pandemic messing with rosters and game schedules, then the big trade between Houston and Brooklyn, no real early narrative has emerged. And for an award that is driven largely by narrative, that matters.
67 minutes | 2 months ago
BREAKING NEWS POD! Harden to Brooklyn, Kyrie takes personal time, COVID hits the NBA hard... Guest, Jared Weiss
Wednesday morning, we thought we'd hit two of the bigger stories of the NBA this week with guest, Jared Weiss of The Athletic. First, his great feature this week on how COVID-19 has hit the NBA hard, forcing cancellations and changes in the league's virus protocols. Are they giving enough attention to the possibilities of on-court transmission between players? And while we had him, we figured we'd talk a little Kyrie Irving, currently on what is being described as personal leave with the Nets. Weiss, after all, covered Irving in Boston Then... James Harden was shipped from Houston to Brooklyn. So change of plans! We break down the trade, asking all the important questions: -What was your initial reaction when the news dropped? -Can Brooklyn integrate three gigantic talents who are also three potentially challenging personalities? What about playing style? Can Harden change his game enough to fit in alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie? -Is Kyrie coming back anytime soon? Does the trade make it more likely or less that he'll get back quickly? Were the Nets hedging against him perhaps not coming back at all? -How valuable could those draft picks be for Houston? Potentially, very. And even if things go well for Brooklyn, Weiss says, some of those draft assets near the end of the deal (2024-27) could be very valuable. Finally, we get back to focus on his excellent COVID breakdown. The league has already cancelled eight games this week. Where did this all start? Is there anything the league can really do to stop it, short of stopping the games? (Which, it should be noted, wouldn't necessarily prevent the virus from spreading among players.)
61 minutes | 2 months ago
Early Season Surprises for the Lakers, and Curiosities Looking Ahead
The Lakers picked up another win Sunday in Houston, dominating the Rockets on both sides of the ball to run their record to 11-3. After a quick breakdown - including some speculation on the future of James Harden - we look at some early season surprises for the Lakers, 11 games in. For starters, there's the emergence of a mid-range game with Montrezl Harrell, something that definitely wasn't a thing last season with the Clippers. Is it real? Trezz says so, but he might be biased. Then there's the emergence of Talen Horton-Tucker as a legit NBA rotation player. Yes, it was hinted at in the Orlando bubble and during the preseason, but you never know how things will go once real games start and a young player ends up on another team's scouting reports. Early returns appear strong, and that's a great boost for the Lakers. From there, we look at questions and curiosities. What trends are most interesting, from the size of Frank Vogel's rotation to the sustainability of the outside shooting to the LeBron James Maintenance Plan. Finally, it's mailbag time! Who is the true A.D. in L.A.? What player from last year's team are the Lakers most likely to miss? And aside from Goodfellas, what's your favorite Scorsese movie?
56 minutes | 2 months ago
How Jeanie Buss Made History... Guest, New York Times features reporter Katie Rosman
When the Lakers won their 17th championship this fall, it was history on a few levels. One piece that may not have received enough attention? Jeanie Buss became the first woman to lead a team to a title in American team sports as an owner. We spoke with Katie Rosman, features reporter at the New York Times, who authored an excellent story about Buss earlier this week. We covered a great deal of ground, including questions about... -What drew her to the story, and why, particularly as a reporter working outside of sports for readers who are also not necessarily steeped in the spots world, this story matters. -What has made Buss successful, after a difficult transition following the death of her father? What motivates her? -What qualities does she exhibit that run counter to expectations? -How would things like posing for Playboy or dating the coach be perceived today? -Rosman profiled Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder, who is widely reviled as an owner, running an organization that devolved into a mysoginistic boys club. Could what happened in Washington happen under a female owner? What does that say about the need to have women in powerful positions? It's a great conversation built on an outstanding profile. We close by talking about Buss's growth as an owner. What's different now? How has she improved, and what does it mean going forward?
59 minutes | 2 months ago
The Lakers are Evolving and Winning at the Same Time... Guest, @Tim_NBA (Cranjis McBasketball)
The Lakers are still a work in progress, but they're a winning work in progress, kicking off the week with five wins in seven tries and the best point differential in the Western Conference. So what's working and what isn't? How are the new guys fitting in? To break it down, we welcome @Tim_NBA - known in NBA Twitter circles as Cranjis McBasketball - to the show. Tim runs the outstanding bball-index.com, and hosts the equally excellent Lakers Exceptionalism podcast on Twitch. He deconstructs the data, along with the x's and o's, around what the Lakers have been up to in the early going. Some of the big questions we ask... -How have the new guys fit in? What works for Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroeder particularly on both ends of the floor? Any reason to believe they won't be significant contributors throughout the season? That they might be vulnerable in the playoffs? -What are the Lakers doing differently on the defensive side of the ball? How has new personnel changed the way Frank Vogel has to scheme? -The Lakers are shooting the lights out from 3-point range. Why Tim thinks they have a good chance to remain one of the league's better teams from distance, which would certainly be a massive shift from recent seasons. -What exactly does an elite shooting Lakers team mean for their title chances? (Spoiler alert... it certainly doesn't hurt them.) Great stuff from one of the best analysts out there. Sponsored by Manscaped.com, BetOnline.ag, and Delicious Pizza.
53 minutes | 2 months ago
The Lakers Look Strong... What Trends Will Hold and What Might Change?
After pasting a Karl Anthony Towns-less Minnesota Timberwolves squad Sunday night, the Lakers are 2-1 through three and aside from the first quarter against the Clippers in the opener, have looked pretty good or better. So what accounts for the solid beginning? For starters, the Lakers simply have more talent on hand than last year, and can attack opposing teams in more ways. Frank Vogel says they're a work in progress for another month or so, and that from the perspective of the coaching staff, in many ways they're still in a preseason mode. That's an encouraging sign, all things told, because so far, so good. But within the early sample size theater, there are a few numbers that stick out. We play "Trend or Mirage?" with three of them, asking whether current trends will hold... 1) LeBron is averaging just over 28 minutes a game... 2) Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder are averaging 22 shots a game, combined. 3) The Lakers are shooting nearly 40% from 3-point range. From there, we break down a legitimately historical effort from Marc Gasol, and discuss what unlocking him fully means for a team like the Lakers. And we wrap with talk of an extension for Schroder. This early into the season, is there a risk for giving him a new contract?
68 minutes | 2 months ago
The Lakers Get Their Rings... Then Get Dropped By the Clippers - Opening Night Reaction
So apparently, the Lakers know a winning formula when they see it. Losing to the Clippers in the opener worked out last season, so Tuesday night, as the NBA kicked off the 2020-21 season, they tried it again. The LAC beat the Lakers 116-109. But before that, we got another example of just how good the Lakers are at stagecraft, as they turned what could have been a sad and underwhelming ring ceremony, staged in an empty arena with rigid social distancing guidelines, into something really fantastic. First, they had frontline health workers from UCLA Health "present" rings to team staff. Then for Frank Vogel, Rob Pelinka and the players, their families delivered messages of congratulations and love. It was awesome, and clearly moving for the players. And by the way, it's another thing that helps attract players to the franchise. It leads to a conversation about what "Lakers Exceptionalism" actually is -- a form of extreme competence that allows the team to win. That's how it was when Dr. Buss was around, and they're back in a similar place now. Then, it's on to the game. How did the new guys look? What went wrong? Anything to worry about? As for the last question, no, but it's certainly possible the Lakers could look a little more like a work in progress than last year's team did over its first 20 games. Vogel has already noted how the Lakers will need to be careful with LeBron and Davis, minding their workloads. They won't be the only ones. Rotations will need to be tweaked, and changes in personnel - the center position has much less shot-blocking, for example - will require more adjustments. They'll likely win a lot more than they lose, either way, but how much of a work-in-progress will the Lakers be? Finally, a look at the Clips. Oh, by the way, they won this game, and they're really good, even if you'd still pick the Lakers to win the conference.
75 minutes | 2 months ago
An Extension for Kuzma, Preseason Reaction and INCREDIBLY HARD MOVIE CHOICES... Guest, Kelvin Washington
Only days before the start of the regular season, the Lakers remain busy. Joining us to talk about it, and later tackle a painfully difficult question that's only about choosing what movies you get to watch for the rest of your natural life, is our friend Kelvin Washington from Spectrum News One. We start with Sunday's big news - the Lakers and Kyle Kuzma agreed to a three year contract extension, after the prospects for that sort of thing seemed pretty low. It's a fantastic bit of work for both sides. Kuzma gets a solid amount of money that might be a bit of an underpay should he have a big season... but also hedges against a year where he can't find a consistent role that lets him shine as a scorer. The Lakers lock up a potentially useful piece that could be very hard to replace if he blows up this year. And at the same time, he becomes a lot easier to trade, should the Lakers go that route. Solid work again from Rob Pelinka and the front office. Then, we react to the preseason. Any surprises? What might - might- be a problem for the Lakers going foward? Are there contenders who are built to run with them? A team that may not win as many games, but represents a challenging matchup? Styles, after all, make fights. Or it is as simple as the Lakers have Lebron and Anthony Davis, and other teams don't? Finally, we get to this question: You can only watch the filmography of one actor for the rest of your life. Who do you choose? It's a very, very hard one to answer, and requires some real strategic thinking.
56 minutes | 3 months ago
Head to Head - Comparing the Lakers and Clippers... Guest, Jesse Kass
Two preseason romps for the Lakers over the Clippers notwithstanding, the 2020-21 NBA season, at least the Western Conference portion of it, stands very much to be about the two Los Angeles teams. Last year, the Clippers entered the season as the consensus favorite. This year, it's the Lakers. So what will happen?To preview these Western Conference powerhouses, we're joined by Jesse Kass, who hosts the Bleav In Clippers pod on the network. After talking about what went wrong for the LAC a year ago, we ask five questions looking forward for this season:Can motivation from last year's collapse, and a dose of Ty Lue, cure what ailed the Clippers last year?The Clippers biggest strength against the Lakers will be what?What about their biggest weakness vs. the Lakers?While last year the Lakers kept the pedal down all year, this season they'll have to be far more careful preserving LeBron, Anthony Davis and other vets. What lessons can they learn from last year's lack of on-floor continuity the Clippers periodically showed?Who wins a prospective Western Conference Finals? (Yes, it's early prediction time!)From there, we add our own response to the conversation. Ultimately, if LeBron is LeBron and Davis continues to ascend - it's not crazy that he could be in the conversation for best in the league by season's end - does it matter what the Clippers, or any other team, really do?Finally, we discuss the transition from 2020 to 2021, and that the latter could be the calendar equivalent of Playoff Rondo. Not so hot for a while... but awesome at the end.
45 minutes | 3 months ago
Three Players to Watch as the Lakers Start a New Season... Guest, Trevor Lane
The Lakers have started training camp with a lot of sameness, in the sense that their big stars are back (and will be in L.A. for a while going forward, based on this week's news), as are key names in the supporting cast. On the other hand... G.M. Rob Pelinka wasn't shy about mixing things up. So how concerned should the Lakers be about chemistry, given how critical it was for their success last year? It's just one topic of conversation with guest Trevor Lane, senior writer at LakersNation.com, and host of the Lakers Nation podcast. From there, we each pick a player we're particularly interested in this season, and break that guy down. Trevor takes Kyle Kuzma. Last year, he set very goals for himself, and in the most obvious ways (scoring, shooting) didn't get anywhere close to meeting them. On the other hand, Kuz improved his defense, paid more attention to playmaking, and did what was asked of him without complaint. But now, entering a season where he's looking for a contract and facing more competition in that third scorer role, how will he respond? Can he still be part of the long term plan? Andy takes Dennis Schroder. Is this whole "I want to start" thing a problem? What role would actually be most valuable to him? Is it the one the Lakers need him to play? And in the end, given how badly the Lakers will need to retain him if he plays well, does it really matter if he's a starter or sixth man? Brian focuses on Anthony Davis. How much space is there for him to make another leap this year? What happens if he does? And what, exactly, would that look like?
80 minutes | 3 months ago
LeBron Signs an Extension and Misfit Stars Change Cities: Guest, Seerat Sohi
In this crossover episode of the Land O'Lakers Podcast and the Late Night Happy Hour with the Kamenetzky Brothers, Seerat Sohi of Yahoo! Sports joins the show. We start on LeBron James and the surprising news Wednesday of his two-year extension with the Lakers, one that barring the unusual will keep him in L.A. through the 2023 NBA season. Why did he decide to break career norms and make a longer term commitment? What does it mean for the Lakers? For LeBron himself? From there, we turn to the other massive news Wednesday brought -- Houston and Washington swapping problematic contracts as John Wall goes to the Rockets, with Russell Westbrook headed east to the Wizards. How exactly do these parts fit together? Is Wall a better match with James Harden than Westbrook was? What Wall is Houston even getting, here? It's basically been two years since he played. What about Russ with Bradley Beal? Is that combo any better? Does the move entice either incumbent star to stay with his current team long term? We talk too about Seerat's column about Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller. Why did that story hit so close for her? Finally, it's a Christmas tradition... with a TWIST! Our annual Land O'Lakers Hallmark Christmas Movie Game has a third person in it for the very first time. Who knows the genre better?
61 minutes | 3 months ago
How the Lakers Managed to Make a Championship Team Better In a Week
The 2020-21 Los Angeles Lakers aren't quite a Completed Thing On Paper yet, but are awfully close after a big trade last week and a weekend of acquisitions in free agency. GM Rob Pelinka said the Lakers wouldn't rest on their laurels, and certainly held true to his word, taking a very aggressive role in the market. In are Montrezl Harrell, Wes Matthews and Marc GasolThis, of course, on top of acquiring Dennis Schroder from Oklahoma City in a trade.Out? Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard and JaVale McGeeAnd Danny Green, sent to OKC (and then quickly to Philadelphia!) in the Schroder deal. Meanwhile the Lakers held on to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and are still hoping Markieff Morris returns, as well. So are they a better team now than they were in Orlando, when they won a title? It sure seems so. We explain why. What challenges do they face this year that are different than a season ago? How do the new pieces help? What potential problems could arise?We go through each of the new guys, talking fit, role, and reasonable expectations.Finally, how does all of this reflect on Rob Pelinka? Is he better at this GM thing than we thought? Has he evolved? Yes to both?
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