72 Suburbs in Search of a City: Anthony Davis to Los Angeles Lakers

lovegtm

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I have to preface this with the usual stuff about how LeBron is still awesome etc, but watching him this year, it feels like a lot of his gaudy assist numbers are Hayward Assists--passes that are good and extremely smart, but whose volume reflects a decreased ability to get all the way there as much of the time and score.
 

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I have to preface this with the usual stuff about how LeBron is still awesome etc, but watching him this year, it feels like a lot of his gaudy assist numbers are Hayward Assists--passes that are good and extremely smart, but whose volume reflects a decreased ability to get all the way there as much of the time and score.
Honestly, that might bode well for the Lakers. The last two times we saw LeBron in the playoffs, he looked worn down by the Finals. Maybe he’s pacing himself this time in a way that belies the impressive stats and W-L record.
 

lovegtm

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Honestly, that might bode well for the Lakers. The last two times we saw LeBron in the playoffs, he looked worn down by the Finals. Maybe he’s pacing himself this time in a way that belies the impressive stats and W-L record.
Or he’s 35 and is starting to show it, however slightly? I don’t think it’s really debatable that he’s not as physically dominant now as he was a few years ago, even if that still leaves him as a top-5 player.
 

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Honestly, that might bode well for the Lakers. The last two times we saw LeBron in the playoffs, he looked worn down by the Finals. Maybe he’s pacing himself this time in a way that belies the impressive stats and W-L record.
They also have a 4 game cushion on 2 seed. Should have April rest to get ready as well.
 

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Or he’s 35 and is starting to show it, however slightly? I don’t think it’s really debatable that he’s not as physically dominant now as he was a few years ago, even if that still leaves him as a top-5 player.
I agree he’s not peak 2011-16 LeBron. The Lakers are hoping for the 2017-18 version, except with more gas in the tank come May and June.
 

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The huge thing last night showed is that they are super-dependent on LBJ and AD in all ways---offense and defense. If either of those guys is dinged up they are at a pretty significant talent deficit against good teams.

Kuzma may still be getting used to the role and getting healthy/integrated, but right now you can understand the trade rumors: he's looking like a ball-dominant bench scorer which they can use, but only if they have a third scorer on the first team which right now they do not.

The collection of parts--Caruso/Bradley/KCP/Howard/McGee/Rondo--is ok, but just ok. I think this team is at least one 25 miute a game guy short of getting through the playoff grind, and ideally it's a guy who can regularly put up 12-15 points and create a little when needed. Hence why I think Kuzma (or what they can get for him) is huge. Iggy would also help, but not sure that will happen.
 

joe dokes

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Honestly, that might bode well for the Lakers. The last two times we saw LeBron in the playoffs, he looked worn down by the Finals. Maybe he’s pacing himself this time in a way that belies the impressive stats and W-L record.
That's how I saw it. In the past, he seemed to pace himself within a game, and get more aggressive as the game went on. He did some of that last night, but did not go into take-over-the-game mode. So maybe its more of a long-term pacing himself. Perhaps Im giving him superpowers that even he does not have, but my sense is that he knows exactly what he has in the tank and is able to regulate himself short and long term. Whether it will be enough with the supporting cast is a different question.
 

lovegtm

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That's how I saw it. In the past, he seemed to pace himself within a game, and get more aggressive as the game went on. He did some of that last night, but did not go into take-over-the-game mode. So maybe its more of a long-term pacing himself. Perhaps Im giving him superpowers that even he does not have, but my sense is that he knows exactly what he has in the tank and is able to regulate himself short and long term. Whether it will be enough with the supporting cast is a different question.
I think the bolded is likely accurate. He’s still a great, top-5 player, and the Lakers have championship equity, but Father Time is undefeated.

I’m fine going out on the limb that I’d be somewhat surprised if they represent the West in the Finals.
 

lovegtm

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In fairness, they were playing like 31/32 year-old James and not the current 35 year-old one who has lost some agility since then. But your larger point remains. Langford’s D is real and it’s spectacular.
Replying to this in this thread to stay on topic: Yes. I'm very, very bearish on them in playoffs from what I've seen. LeBron just clearly isn't the same guy anymore in terms of being able to physically dominate, and AD would look better on a more spread-out team, as opposed to being a post guy. I know people will throw this back in my face the next time LeBron has a 32-11-12 game, but you can cover him with guys like Langford now without it being a total emergency.

I thought the Lakers were Finals contenders earlier, but now I would honestly be pretty surprised to see them come out of the West. The Rockets in particular would be a bad matchup in the 2nd round, since the theory of their team (big, strong, able to punish undersized teams like Houston) doesn't quite match the reality.
 

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Replying to this in this thread to stay on topic: Yes. I'm very, very bearish on them in playoffs from what I've seen. LeBron just clearly isn't the same guy anymore in terms of being able to physically dominate, and AD would look better on a more spread-out team, as opposed to being a post guy. I know people will throw this back in my face the next time LeBron has a 32-11-12 game, but you can cover him with guys like Langford now without it being a total emergency.

I thought the Lakers were Finals contenders earlier, but now I would honestly be pretty surprised to see them come out of the West. The Rockets in particular would be a bad matchup in the 2nd round, since the theory of their team (big, strong, able to punish undersized teams like Houston) doesn't quite match the reality.
I thought this was pretty glaring yesterday. It stuck out to me that he could not get around Theis on the perimeter. Theis is no slouch on defense but 30 year old LeBron would've abused him. He just doesn't seem to be able to get to the basket at will anymore, and when he does, it isn't automatic. Agree that LAL doesn't come out of the West without physically dominant LeBron. I also agree about AD. I don't think being a post guy suits him. He's so skilled but he's Charmin soft and he can be contained in the post.
 

lovegtm

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I thought this was pretty glaring yesterday. It stuck out to me that he could not get around Theis on the perimeter. Theis is no slouch on defense but 30 year old LeBron would've abused him. He just doesn't seem to be able to get to the basket at will anymore, and when he does, it isn't automatic. Agree that LAL doesn't come out of the West without physically dominant LeBron. I also agree about AD. I don't think being a post guy suits him. He's so skilled but he's Charmin soft and he can be contained in the post.
I mean, "Charmin soft" is a bit hot-takey: AD is awesome. The specific team he's on isn't bringing out the best in him though. If he was playing the role of Bosh or Wade on a spread team like the Heatles, he'd look like a world-beater. The post just isn't really his game: he's competent there, but you're not getting value or creating huge advantages. His stat line looked good yesterday, but a lot of it was garbagey fouls away from the basket in the penalty and putback/scramble stuff, not things that were compromising the defense.

I'm pretty happy as a Lakers hater currently, just because they have no real assets to rebalance the roster going forward, which was always the risk with the AD trade.
 
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BigSoxFan

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I thought this was pretty glaring yesterday. It stuck out to me that he could not get around Theis on the perimeter. Theis is no slouch on defense but 30 year old LeBron would've abused him. He just doesn't seem to be able to get to the basket at will anymore, and when he does, it isn't automatic. Agree that LAL doesn't come out of the West without physically dominant LeBron. I also agree about AD. I don't think being a post guy suits him. He's so skilled but he's Charmin soft and he can be contained in the post.
The numbers back you up on LeBron. Only 5.6 FTA / G, lowest of his career, and 2 FTA / drop from last year. I was actually surprised when I looked this up. Hasn’t been over 8 FTA / G since 2011-2012 season.
 

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The other big gap I was surprised at yesterday given the generally positive defense stats is how porous the defense was for penetration. Some of that was Tatum, who was spectacular, but I came away feeling like it was an old team that you can out-quick at a bunch of positions. Playoffs are different and they may be able to turn it up a bit and also be more physical, but I really wonder if these guys have enough to stop good teams defensively, especially those who can penetrate.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The numbers back you up on LeBron. Only 5.6 FTA / G, lowest of his career, and 2 FTA / drop from last year. I was actually surprised when I looked this up. Hasn’t been over 8 FTA / G since 2011-2012 season.
Isn’t this more of a function of how the game has changed though? He’s averaging a career-high 3PA and a career-low in 2PA attempts which is naturally going to results in drawing fewer fouls. He’s also deferring much more which is hard to believe since he was always backing down off the dribble to force doubles and free up shooters. He’s just doing it more than ever this year and averaging nearly 11 assists a game.

It is another feather in LeBron’s cap that with all this talk about him slowing down we may still be talking about this years MVP runner up behind TGF.
 

BigSoxFan

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Isn’t this more of a function of how the game has changed though? He’s averaging a career-high 3PA and a career-low in 2PA attempts which is naturally going to results in drawing fewer fouls. He’s also deferring much more which is hard to believe since he was always backing down off the dribble to force doubles and free up shooters. He’s just doing it more than ever this year and averaging nearly 11 assists a game.

It is another feather in LeBron’s cap that with all this talk about him slowing down we may still be talking about this years MVP runner up behind TGF.
I don’t think it’s black and white. I think the points you make are valid but the eye test doesn’t really betray us. He’s not as agile as he used to be. I agree that he’s moved into his new phase as a player and it’s still a very effective one. I really think he could play to 45 if he wanted to.
 

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I also agree about AD. I don't think being a post guy suits him. He's so skilled but he's Charmin soft and he can be contained in the post.
I’m curious about which two-way player in the paint you would prefer over Davis and how you feel he is “soft.” Offensively, he’s shouting 73% from close range and 84% from the line while avg 8.4 FTA/g which contradicts any “soft” labels.

There isn’t another big in the league that I’ve seen put as much pressure on the offensive glass off free throws with his length and effort as AD. Maybe it’s his body language or demeanor but I don’t see what is soft about his game at all.
 

lovegtm

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Isn’t this more of a function of how the game has changed though? He’s averaging a career-high 3PA and a career-low in 2PA attempts which is naturally going to results in drawing fewer fouls. He’s also deferring much more which is hard to believe since he was always backing down off the dribble to force doubles and free up shooters. He’s just doing it more than ever this year and averaging nearly 11 assists a game.

It is another feather in LeBron’s cap that with all this talk about him slowing down we may still be talking about this years MVP runner up behind TGF.
I usually agree with you on this micro stuff, but not in this case. When you watch the games, LeBron's 3s are generally a cop-out. He only hits them at 34%, and that's with guys playing off him, so he doesn't get the edge that an elite stepback guy like Harden or Tatum does in terms of guys playing up on them.

Put another way: he's not shooting more 3s because the game has changed and the math is better. The math has always been better for him when he takes it to the rim and combines his crazy finishing ability with foul equity and passes on drives. Those drives just aren't there anymore to the same degree--particularly against good teams. The Lakers totally wax bottom-10 teams (+15.0 or so), and are about even against top-10 teams.

I think LeBron is still extremely good, but I'm fine saying that I'd be very, very surprised if the Lakers come out of the West.
 

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I don’t think it’s black and white. I think the points you make are valid but the eye test doesn’t really betray us. He’s not as agile as he used to be. I agree that he’s moved into his new phase as a player and it’s still a very effective one. I really think he could play to 45 if he wanted to.
He’s definitely still evolving as a player and you won’t get any argument from me that he isn’t as agile as he was 5-10 years ago nor should he be. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him follow Tom Brady into that game of testing ones own physical boundaries of playing well into their 40’s especially with his kid coming into the league.
 

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7/12 FTs Yesterday and 69% for the year.

I never realized how "bad" (at least for a guy who is considered contender for the GOAT) he is at FTs.

How does a guy lose 10pts off his peak at FTs in his 30s?
 

HomeRunBaker

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I usually agree with you on this micro stuff, but not in this case. When you watch the games, LeBron's 3s are generally a cop-out. He only hits them at 34%, and that's with guys playing off him, so he doesn't get the edge that an elite stepback guy like Harden or Tatum does in terms of guys playing up on them.

Put another way: he's not shooting more 3s because the game has changed and the math is better. The math has always been better for him when he takes it to the rim and combines his crazy finishing ability with foul equity and passes on drives. Those drives just aren't there anymore to the same degree--particularly against good teams. The Lakers totally wax bottom-10 teams (+15.0 or so), and are about even against top-10 teams.

I think LeBron is still extremely good, but I'm fine saying that I'd be very, very surprised if the Lakers come out of the West.
Meh, it’s the regular season and he’s only sat out two games. I certainly don’t see the Lakers as a lock to come out of the West especially if the Clippers get healthy but it’s more due to the Lakers role players and Kawhi/George and not LeBron or AD.

The Lakers have lost 12 games.....half have been to EC teams, a couple when only one of LeBron/AD played. They lost 2 to the Clippers who could be favored against them if healthy. It isn’t like they are paper tigers and not beating the good teams in the West. Nor would I expect them to sweep through the good teams as the conference is loading and all those teams are getting up to play the Lakers.
 

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I think LeBron is still extremely good, but I'm fine saying that I'd be very, very surprised if the Lakers come out of the West.
The guy has missed one finals in the previous 9 years and is leading the league in assists while propelling his team to the top of the west with 2nd best record in all of basketball.

I am unsure how this Laker team coming out of the west could be viewed as "very, very surprising"
 

lovegtm

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The guy has missed one finals in the previous 9 years and is leading the league in assists while propelling his team to the top of the west with 2nd best record in all of basketball.

I am unsure how this Laker team coming out of the west could be viewed as "very, very surprising"
This is why I want to put it out there now—it will be less interesting if it becomes obvious and I say it then. I think LeBron has lost a step, and that he’s a smart enough and talented enough player that it doesn’t affect him against mediocre teams, but will hurt him significantly in playoff settings.

I also tend to not be interested in “X has happened every year for Y long” lines of reasoning, since they work up until they don’t, and are generally a narrative crutch to replace more granular analysis.

It reminds me in some ways of last year, when people kept repeating “Milwaukee hasn’t lost 3 games in a row” like a mantra, right up until they lost 4 in a row because Kawhi was able to neutralize Giannis. That scenario just doesn’t happen in the regular season, but it means everything in a playoff setting.
 

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I’m curious about which two-way player in the paint you would prefer over Davis and how you feel he is “soft.” Offensively, he’s shouting 73% from close range and 84% from the line while avg 8.4 FTA/g which contradicts any “soft” labels.

There isn’t another big in the league that I’ve seen put as much pressure on the offensive glass off free throws with his length and effort as AD. Maybe it’s his body language or demeanor but I don’t see what is soft about his game at all.
Yes, "Charmin soft" was hyperbole and there's no doubt he's extraordinarily skilled. I think his post game is more easily defended than guys like Giannis or Embiid because he isn't as strong as those guys and someone like Robert Williams can bother him with length and not strength. We saw that last season. Of course, "easily" is a relative term.
 

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This is why I want to put it out there now—it will be less interesting if it becomes obvious and I say it then. I think LeBron has lost a step, and that he’s a smart enough and talented enough player that it doesn’t affect him against mediocre teams, but will hurt him significantly in playoff settings.

I also tend to not be interested in “X has happened every year for Y long” lines of reasoning, since they work up until they don’t, and are generally a narrative crutch to replace more granular analysis.

It reminds me in some ways of last year, when people kept repeating “Milwaukee hasn’t lost 3 games in a row” like a mantra, right up until they lost 4 in a row because Kawhi was able to neutralize Giannis. That scenario just doesn’t happen in the regular season, but it means everything in a playoff setting.
My thing with the Lakers is that the team is very two-dimensional on offense; in crunch time they are either going to try to get Davis a post-up, which as discussed above, isn't a naturally great position for him and can lead to turnovers, or try and get him in the pick-and-roll. Or LeBron goes iso, tries to use his running floater/turnaround or bull his way against smaller defenders, which is seems less deadly this year. They don't have any other natural shot makers or creators, and that will become a bigger problem during a playoff series when teams will have more time to lock-in double-teams and traps against LeBron and Davis. To win, LA will need guys like Bradley, Kuzma, Pope, Caruso and Green to make big shots, and outside of Green I don't have a ton of confidence in any of that group to be consistent in the playoffs. They are a thin team with two elite players, and history has shown us that is hard to win with.
 

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This is why I want to put it out there now—it will be less interesting if it becomes obvious and I say it then. I think LeBron has lost a step, and that he’s a smart enough and talented enough player that it doesn’t affect him against mediocre teams, but will hurt him significantly in playoff settings.
Would you consider crunch time yesterday a playoff setting? LeBron's final possession he caught the ball on the wing, smiled at Jaylen, faked the drop step that he beat him on earlier and nailed an uncontested fadeaway. This is a savvy players league where a guy with Jokic-level athleticism can still produce an All-Star player......LeBron losing a step from arguably the greatest first step ever pales in comparison. The more LeBron ages the more he's going to settle for jumpers in the regular season. This is a naturally occurs as players age.....it happened with Jordan, Kobe, really happened with Bird, etc etc.


My thing with the Lakers is that the team is very two-dimensional on offense; in crunch time they are either going to try to get Davis a post-up, which as discussed above, isn't a naturally great position for him and can lead to turnovers, or try and get him in the pick-and-roll. Or LeBron goes iso, tries to use his running floater/turnaround or bull his way against smaller defenders, which is seems less deadly this year. They don't have any other natural shot makers or creators, and that will become a bigger problem during a playoff series when teams will have more time to lock-in double-teams and traps against LeBron and Davis. To win, LA will need guys like Bradley, Kuzma, Pope, Caruso and Green to make big shots, and outside of Green I don't have a ton of confidence in any of that group to be consistent in the playoffs. They are a thin team with two elite players, and history has shown us that is hard to win with.
You don't need to be a great player to make big shots. Steve Kerr, Bryon Russell, Eddie House, etc etc. Why wouldn't you expect Danny Green to hit big shots in the playoffs when he has a history of doing just that? Even KCP had real good success in his one playoff series as a young player in Detroit. Bradley made some big shots that one year in Boston. I agree that these players success is going to be crucial when the Clippers double the ball out of LeBron and Davis' hands but it isn't like the Lakers are trotting out Wanamaker and Ojeleye and relying on them making shots. These guys have actually done it before at a high level and in the playoffs.

Edit: Re-read to see your Green disclaimer.
 
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lovegtm

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Would you consider crunch time yesterday a playoff setting? LeBron's final possession he caught the ball on the wing, smiled at Jaylen, faked the drop step that he beat him on earlier and nailed an uncontested fadeaway. This is a savvy players league where a guy with Jokic-level athleticism can still produce an All-Star player......LeBron losing a step from arguably the greatest first step ever pales in comparison. The more LeBron ages the more he's going to settle for jumpers in the regular season. This is a naturally occurs as players age.....it happened with Jordan, Kobe, really happened with Bird, etc etc.
Re the bolded: absolutely this is what happens with age. I'm not sure how many times I have to say LeBron is still good to keep people from arguing against a strawman. It's like when I suggested that maybe Zion hitting some 3s wasn't indicative of much and people freaked out.

In terms of LeBron: my contention/guess/prediction is that while he's still a top-5ish player even with a lost step, the Lakers need more than that to be real contenders, because a) they're fairly thin and b) this roster isn't great for Davis.

I don't really expect people to fully agree--I just want to stake the ground out early.
 

benhogan

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This is why I want to put it out there now—it will be less interesting if it becomes obvious and I say it then. I think LeBron has lost a step, and that he’s a smart enough and talented enough player that it doesn’t affect him against mediocre teams, but will hurt him significantly in playoff settings.

I also tend to not be interested in “X has happened every year for Y long” lines of reasoning, since they work up until they don’t, and are generally a narrative crutch to replace more granular analysis.

It reminds me in some ways of last year, when people kept repeating “Milwaukee hasn’t lost 3 games in a row” like a mantra, right up until they lost 4 in a row because Kawhi was able to neutralize Giannis. That scenario just doesn’t happen in the regular season, but it means everything in a playoff setting.
While it's generally discouraged around here, I applaud this predictive/going out on a limb thought process

Lakers seem too concerned with the regular season. They are riding Bron/AD pretty damn hard with their age/injury history. Historically, LBJ is at a low for mpg, but his USG% is in line with career norms. LBJ's ability to blow by or run over defenders has taken a hit to the eye test, it felt like just about all the Celtic wings, Theis & Smart were able to discourage LBJ old school bully ball. That's a first.

The Lakers have also ridden a hot-hand in regards to injuries this season. Not only 35yr Bron, but they have received most of their efficient (ON/OFF, Net rating) play from key older vets:
McGee 32yrs old (53games / 16.7mpg)
Howard 34yrs old (55games / 19.6mpg)
Green 32yrs old (54games / 25mpg)
Bron 35yrs old (53 games/ 35mpg)

It's a simple equation> father time + games + MPG = eventual injuries

 
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HomeRunBaker

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Lakers seem too concerned with the regular season. They are riding Bron/AD pretty damn hard with their age/injury history. Historically, LBJ is at a low for mpg, but his USG% is in line with career norms.
The injury factor is always going to be there with Davis and moreso as LeBron ages. There is certainly a need for "some" rest for LeBron and Davis but as the season winds down I feel that regular season "rest" has gone from underrated to overrated over the past few years especially with the Raptors success with Kawhi last year. Kawhi apparently has a chronic knee that requires load management whereas this isn't the case with LeBron/Davis. The playoffs begin on 4/18 with the Lakers final 3 regular season games coming against Phoenix, Sacramento, and Minnesota following a unique scheduling twist of 5 games in 6 days including the long-lost Back to Back to Back due to the rescheduling of the Clippers (Kobe) game. In other words, there will be a ton of time for the Lakers to rest LeBron/Davis in the two weeks leading up to the playoffs.



The Lakers have also ridden a hot-hand in regards to injuries this season. Not only 35yr Bron, but they have received most of their efficient (ON/OFF, Net rating) play from key older vets:
McGee 32yrs old (53games / 16.7mpg)
Howard 34yrs old (55games / 19.6mpg)
Green 32yrs old (54games / 25mpg)
Bron 35yrs old (53 games/ 35mpg)

It's a simple equation> father time + games + MPG = eventual injuries
That "simple equation" has been talked about for years with LeBron in regards to games/minutes and only one freak slip on a wet spot has knocked him for an extended period throughout his entire career.

Also, isn't this a good thing in general with experienced veterans as role players in a playoff setting?
 

lovegtm

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That "simple equation" has been talked about for years with LeBron in regards to games/minutes and only one freak slip on a wet spot has knocked him for an extended period throughout his entire career.

Also, isn't this a good thing in general with experienced veterans as role players in a playoff setting?
So your contention is...he'll play forever? Like, at some point it will start to go a bit, and when it does, it will look like this. He still puts up great numbers, has that amazing mind, can hit some big shots, but everything just gets a little tougher, he's not as physically dominant, etc. The guy who was credibly covered by Romeo Langford is not the guy who son'd the Celtics repeatedly down low in 2018. He's still amazing, but not the same guy.

FWIW, this year is the first time I've felt comfortable saying that he's losing a bit. No, I'm not saying LeBron is washed or anything dumb like that.
 

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So your contention is...he'll play forever? Like, at some point it will start to go a bit, and when it does, it will look like this. He still puts up great numbers, has that amazing mind, can hit some big shots, but everything just gets a little tougher, he's not as physically dominant, etc. The guy who was credibly covered by Romeo Langford is not the guy who son'd the Celtics repeatedly down low in 2018. He's still amazing, but not the same guy.

FWIW, this year is the first time I've felt comfortable saying that he's losing a bit. No, I'm not saying LeBron is washed or anything dumb like that.
No, of course not but it's been said literally every year since he left Miami lol. It was said about Tom Brady 7-8 years ago and it took that long for it to show. Training, nutrition, education, equipment, workplace travel......everything has improved so much from 30, 20, and even 10 years ago. The only "age" number that I have yet to see change much if any is the "Age 30 cliff dive of the sub 6-foot guard who relies on his first step" which passes the smell test. 35-year old stars were finished or on their last legs in the past not doing what LeBron does, 35-year old role players weren't able to continue playing at a high level in the right situation like an Ariza.. Sometimes I think we look at a players age and misrepresent what it means in 2020 and still associate it to a degree from what it was a decade or two (or more) ago.

LeBron had extra "rest" last year and returned as half the player he was earlier in the year. Others, like Kawhi, thrive with added rest. Players react differently and LeBron's body has been trained since he was a teenage to play every day or close to it. If he isn't injured or being "worn down" there isn't any reason why he shouldn't play.
 

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That "simple equation" has been talked about for years with LeBron in regards to games/minutes and only one freak slip on a wet spot has knocked him for an extended period throughout his entire career.

Also, isn't this a good thing in general with experienced veterans as role players in a playoff setting?
Yea Bron is an absolute freak, but yesterday was the first time I have ever seen the Celtics literally have 6 players stop him from getting to the rim at will. One of your all-time favorites, Daniel Theis, stopped him. You had to see that, right?
It was a big national game, no regular-season/not trying excuses, from LBJ. How many times did Bron guard Tatum yesterday? LBJ of 2-3yrs ago would have put an end to Tatum's scoring binge, he can't anymore, the only one that slowed down JT was CBS.

Not only are the Lakers dependent on supernova LeBron and AD BUT those older role players have played a lot of games/high leverage minutes. While Danny Green was a regular-season star for the Raptors last season, he cliff dove in his 24 playoff games last season (as he has the 2 previous seasons). So while James/Green/McGee/Howard have been adv metric stars all season I expect them to tail off after 80 games at this age. They are beatable as is with continued perfect health w/age-related in-season wear and tear. It gets even worse if they face any kind of injury adversity.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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Yea Bron is an absolute freak, but yesterday was the first time I have ever seen the Celtics literally have 6 players stop him from getting to the rim at will. One of your all-time favorites, Daniel Theis, stopped him. You had to see that, right?
It was a big national game, no regular-season/not trying excuses, from LBJ. How many times did Bron guard Tatum yesterday? LBJ of 2-3yrs ago would have put an end to Tatum's scoring binge, he can't anymore, the only one that slowed down JT was CBS.
You are placing WAY too much weight on a regular season game. Not all minutes are created equal and giving LeBron a break defensively to allow others to do the dirty work is much less taxing than him defending like he did in the 4th quarter of the ASG. As I mentioned earlier, with the game on the line LeBron got the ball in his sweet spot, literally smirked/smiled at Jaylen......then burned him with a fade-away. This was Larry Bird-level stuff. LeBron took the day off from iso defense, nailed the game winner then went home to his kid.......Bird only did 2 of the 3.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
13,276
LeBron just isn't as good of a jump shooter as Bird or Jordan. His excellent career shooting percentage has always been bolstered by his elite finishing around the basket. This season he is shooting just 34% from the field outside of ten feet. More jump shots from LeBron are bailouts for the defense and if he has to settle for them more often, his efficiency is going to decline significantly.
 

RetractableRoof

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The Lakers picking up Morris could be a big deal. He gives them quite a bit defensively and offensively as well - including the ability to free Davis from the paint a bit.
 

benhogan

Granite is his new binky
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Nov 2, 2007
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LeBron just isn't as good of a jump shooter as Bird or Jordan. His excellent career shooting percentage has always been bolstered by his elite finishing around the basket. This season he is shooting just 34% from the field outside of ten feet. More jump shots from LeBron are bailouts for the defense and if he has to settle for them more often, his efficiency is going to decline significantly.
Bron and AD launching fadeaway 2s is a perfectly acceptable shot by Celtic standards.
They also hit 7-15 3-pointers yesterday, those are shots the Celtics are fine with (ie Marcus Smart is a better 3pt shooter than both of them)
 

The Social Chair

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Feb 17, 2010
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LeBron just isn't as good of a jump shooter as Bird or Jordan. His excellent career shooting percentage has always been bolstered by his elite finishing around the basket. This season he is shooting just 34% from the field outside of ten feet. More jump shots from LeBron are bailouts for the defense and if he has to settle for them more often, his efficiency is going to decline significantly.
View: https://mobile.twitter.com/ClutchPointsNBA/status/1232021812470370304
 

lovegtm

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Apr 30, 2013
6,939
Kiev, Ukraine
You are placing WAY too much weight on a regular season game. Not all minutes are created equal and giving LeBron a break defensively to allow others to do the dirty work is much less taxing than him defending like he did in the 4th quarter of the ASG. As I mentioned earlier, with the game on the line LeBron got the ball in his sweet spot, literally smirked/smiled at Jaylen......then burned him with a fade-away. This was Larry Bird-level stuff. LeBron took the day off from iso defense, nailed the game winner then went home to his kid.......Bird only did 2 of the 3.
Guys guys omg LeBron totally smirked and it was sooooooo cute, like I thought he didn't like me, but then he smiled and like I was so hype you don't even know oh shit oh shit
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
13,276
Guys guys omg LeBron totally smirked and it was sooooooo cute, like I thought he didn't like me, but then he smiled and like I was so hype you don't even know oh shit oh shit
Don't try and act like you like him, I have it on good authority that you think he is washed up and wouldn't trade Brad Wanamaker for him, even if the Lakers were willing to pick up his salary.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Dec 19, 2009
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Wait, does anyone really think that the NBA isn't going to do everything possible to gift-wrap a Finals appearance, possibly even a title, to the Lake Show following Kobe's death and LeBron maybe nearing the end of his truly dominant years? After they just gift-wrapped a regular season home game to that same team, who was playing a Kemba-less Boston team? I'll be shocked if the Lakers don't win the whole thing at this point and I have a feeling Silver and the rest of the league will be pretty upset if that doesn't happen.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
10,933
I'm not big on conspiracy theories, and the league is doing too well to get its hand caught in the cookie jar by forcing an outcome. The Raptors winning it all last season didn't kill interest in the league. So, yes, there is a story line for a Lakers-Celtics or Lakers-Sixers Finals that a Denver-Pacers Finals doesn't have, but Silver seems to be sensitive to any sense of favoritism and is less tone deaf than Stern on the matter. So I'm not expecting a repeat of the infamous Lakers/Kings Game 6 fiasco, as that was when Donaghy was still reffing games (just not that particular one).

The likely path for the Lakers is an opening round series against the winner of the Memphis/Portland/Pelicans scrum. Zion in the playoffs will be fun, while Morant and Lillard are both scary in their own right. But about the best the #8 seed can probably hope for is pushing the Lakers to 6 games, which is not out of the question.

Then it's likely on to the winner of the Houston/Utah series. The Jazz are a good team but I don't see them beating the Lakers. The Rockets, on the other hand, could pose a nightmare matchup, as the ref advantage is neutralized with Harden and Westbrook. No team will want to face them in any playoff series, not even the Lakers. Then it's probably the Clippers, unless Denver pulls off a surprise. Kawhi in LA going for a repeat is a very marketable commodity in his own right.

Bottom line is that if the Lakers get into the Finals, they will have certainly earned it.
 

lovegtm

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Apr 30, 2013
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Don't try and act like you like him, I have it on good authority that you think he is washed up and wouldn't trade Brad Wanamaker for him, even if the Lakers were willing to pick up his salary.
Yeah, I just don’t find LeBron’s devil-may-care wry smile as dreamy as some do. À chaqu’un son goût:love:

I'm not big on conspiracy theories, and the league is doing too well to get its hand caught in the cookie jar by forcing an outcome. The Raptors winning it all last season didn't kill interest in the league. So, yes, there is a story line for a Lakers-Celtics or Lakers-Sixers Finals that a Denver-Pacers Finals doesn't have, but Silver seems to be sensitive to any sense of favoritism and is less tone deaf than Stern on the matter. So I'm not expecting a repeat of the infamous Lakers/Kings Game 6 fiasco, as that was when Donaghy was still reffing games (just not that particular one).

The likely path for the Lakers is an opening round series against the winner of the Memphis/Portland/Pelicans scrum. Zion in the playoffs will be fun, while Morant and Lillard are both scary in their own right. But about the best the #8 seed can probably hope for is pushing the Lakers to 6 games, which is not out of the question.

Then it's likely on to the winner of the Houston/Utah series. The Jazz are a good team but I don't see them beating the Lakers. The Rockets, on the other hand, could pose a nightmare matchup, as the ref advantage is neutralized with Harden and Westbrook. No team will want to face them in any playoff series, not even the Lakers. Then it's probably the Clippers, unless Denver pulls off a surprise. Kawhi in LA going for a repeat is a very marketable commodity in his own right.

Bottom line is that if the Lakers get into the Finals, they will have certainly earned it.
Houston is a really tough matchup for them precisely because I don’t think LeBron and AD, despite their talent, can punish the Rockets for going small as much as you’d think on paper.
 

Smokey Joe

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Apr 9, 2001
607
People interpret smiles in many ways. I thought it was more a “Look at this pathetic mortal trying to guard me. I could drive around him anytime I want, but today I will choose to do my devastating step back and accept the 64% chance that I will miss secure in the knowledge that the ref will bail me out if I do” kinda smile.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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“ Among those disclosing they have returned their Paycheck Protection Program funds: The Los Angeles Lakers. The team said it was returning about $4.6 million it received through the Small Business Program. Potbelly Corporation joined the owners of Shake Shack, the chain Kura Sushi and Ruth’s Chris Steak House in returning its loan. Federal officials clarified last week that the loans should not go to large public companies with other sources of capital.”

 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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Jun 16, 2011
411
Well they were quiet about it. I'm thinking that their initial take was we're eligible for this, it's a forgivable loan to cover salaries, let's go get it. So what if we're not really a small business. And maybe the spin would be we did it all for our employees.

And then they got Shake Shacked.

A source familiar with the situation told CNBC that no other NBA team besides the Lakers received PPP loans, and was unaware of any other team applying for the assistance.

The National Football League on Monday said that none of its member teams have applied for PPP loans.

CNBC has asked Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer whether any of their respective franchises has applied for the PPP program.

 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Sep 10, 2017
1,971
That is amazing. Do they not think word will ever get out that they obtained this money, and they didn't think to check with other professional franchises to say "hey is anyone else applying for this as well?" Adam Silver probably didn't even think he needed to express to the owners that it will be a bad look for the league if anyone takes this stimulus money. And meanwhile the Clippers are starting construction on their new arena with no taxpayer dollars. Oof that's rough.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
36,401
That is amazing. Do they not think word will ever get out that they obtained this money, and they didn't think to check with other professional franchises to say "hey is anyone else applying for this as well?" Adam Silver probably didn't even think he needed to express to the owners that it will be a bad look for the league if anyone takes this stimulus money. And meanwhile the Clippers are starting construction on their new arena with no taxpayer dollars. Oof that's rough.
Best part of this is that every team has access to a league wide credit facility for liquidity. The Lakers really are a collection of assholes.
 

The Social Chair

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Feb 17, 2010
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More Than a Vote, a nonprofit founded by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, is advocating for NBA areas and other large sports venues to be turned into mega polling sites ahead of the November general election, according to the Associated Press' Bill Barrow.

Jonathan Martin of the New York Times reported the group will "partly be aimed at inspiring African-Americans to register and to cast a ballot in November." Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young, Phoenix Mercury star Skylar Diggins-Smith and former NBA star Jalen Rose are among those also involved with the organization.

"Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we're also going to give you the tutorial," James said of the effort. "We're going to give you the background of how to vote and what they're trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting."

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/ATLHawks/status/1277672798027218947


This is a good start. Getting this done in Cleveland, Phoenix, and Milwaukee would be even better.