News 'n Views - July 2016: What’s Brandon Ingram’s Ceiling?
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lakerican
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:00 am    Post subject:

TooMuchMajicBuss wrote:
lakersfreak wrote:
Why Lakers fans should cherish the team’s bright future
by Mike Lucas - lakersoutsiders.com

Let me start by saying this; I’m not a Lakers fan, but I wish I were.

It’s not fun to admit, but I’m a proud New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets fan. As I sit here writing this from my apartment in Tennessee, I can see my 2002-2003 Nets Eastern Conference Championship Banner and my Game 7 towel from Brooklyn’s 2014 season-ending loss to Toronto.

As the NBA draft recedes in our rearview mirror and the chaotic frenzy that is the first week of free agency cools down, it’s time to focus our attention on the upcoming season. As a Nets fan, there’s not much to get excited about.

I’m pleased with all the team’s offseason acquisitions. All their signings have been low-risk, high-reward deals at pretty good market value. However, I’d be a damn fool to think Brooklyn has any chance at even competing with the better teams in the Eastern Conference next year barring any major changes, and we’ll more likely than not finish near the bottom of the conference.

Losing is one thing, but losing without the benefit of a high draft pick is another. The Celtics own the right to swap draft positions with the Nets in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft, and Boston owns the Nets’ 2018 1st rounder. No matter how the team’s front office tries to spin the situation, the reality is there won’t be any superstar prospects coming through the Nets ranks anytime soon.

It’s boring to be a Nets fan these days, and that’s why I’m mad at my parents right now for not raising me on the West Coast.

Over the last two seasons, the Lakers have been just as bad as any team in the NBA (minus the 76ers but do they even count?). Watching Lakers Twitter react after every loss, every Bryon Scott press conference, and every big Kobe moment during that time span was been priceless. You can see a fan base starving to be competitive again but that can laugh at the lumps along the way.

Now, just two years after the rebuilding process began, Lakers’ fans have plenty to cheer about. Unlike the previous few seasons for my Nets, the Lakers’ atrocious seasons brought them D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr. and Brandon Ingram. From their head coach to the last player in their rotation, the Lakers are young, hungry and talented; and that’s something to get excited about moving forward.

Continued....


Nice perspective from a Nets fan. I think he's right.


Indeed. Mike Lucas finished his article this way:

Quote:

Cherish the opportunity to watch a young team grow before your eyes and don’t be discouraged by early failure. There are about 28 other fan bases around the country that would love to be in your shoes right now.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:51 am    Post subject:

lakerican wrote:
TooMuchMajicBuss wrote:
lakersfreak wrote:
Why Lakers fans should cherish the team’s bright future
by Mike Lucas - lakersoutsiders.com

Let me start by saying this; I’m not a Lakers fan, but I wish I were.

It’s not fun to admit, but I’m a proud New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets fan. As I sit here writing this from my apartment in Tennessee, I can see my 2002-2003 Nets Eastern Conference Championship Banner and my Game 7 towel from Brooklyn’s 2014 season-ending loss to Toronto.

As the NBA draft recedes in our rearview mirror and the chaotic frenzy that is the first week of free agency cools down, it’s time to focus our attention on the upcoming season. As a Nets fan, there’s not much to get excited about.

I’m pleased with all the team’s offseason acquisitions. All their signings have been low-risk, high-reward deals at pretty good market value. However, I’d be a damn fool to think Brooklyn has any chance at even competing with the better teams in the Eastern Conference next year barring any major changes, and we’ll more likely than not finish near the bottom of the conference.

Losing is one thing, but losing without the benefit of a high draft pick is another. The Celtics own the right to swap draft positions with the Nets in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft, and Boston owns the Nets’ 2018 1st rounder. No matter how the team’s front office tries to spin the situation, the reality is there won’t be any superstar prospects coming through the Nets ranks anytime soon.

It’s boring to be a Nets fan these days, and that’s why I’m mad at my parents right now for not raising me on the West Coast.

Over the last two seasons, the Lakers have been just as bad as any team in the NBA (minus the 76ers but do they even count?). Watching Lakers Twitter react after every loss, every Bryon Scott press conference, and every big Kobe moment during that time span was been priceless. You can see a fan base starving to be competitive again but that can laugh at the lumps along the way.

Now, just two years after the rebuilding process began, Lakers’ fans have plenty to cheer about. Unlike the previous few seasons for my Nets, the Lakers’ atrocious seasons brought them D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr. and Brandon Ingram. From their head coach to the last player in their rotation, the Lakers are young, hungry and talented; and that’s something to get excited about moving forward.

Continued....


Nice perspective from a Nets fan. I think he's right.


Indeed. Mike Lucas finished his article this way:

Quote:

Cherish the opportunity to watch a young team grow before your eyes and don’t be discouraged by early failure. There are about 28 other fan bases around the country that would love to be in your shoes right now.


I could not agree more. We have a young and exciting team and a great coach. Sure we will loose games, but I think that the team is bonding and will be better than anticipated. It will be fun to see the national media finally realize that they can't bash the Lakers anymore. It will be fun to see Wilbon eat crow for all of his trade DLO for peanuts talk. It will be fun to make the league fear and respect us again!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:39 am    Post subject: Jeanie Buss expresses optimism for the Lakers’ future

Jeanie Buss expresses optimism for the Lakers' future

The Lakers enter this offseason with a goal in mind: to do whatever it takes to set them up for a better future. They fired Byron Scott and hired Luke Walton. The drafted Brandon Ingram. They signed veteran free agents that can complement their youth. And despite striking out on superstar free agents again, Jeanie Buss, president of the Lakers, echoes optimism about the Lakers’ future on an interview with ESPN.

One can argue that one of the biggest acquisitions the Lakers signed this summer was not a free agent or a rookie, but it was a coach, Luke Walton. Buss stresses the importance of Walton’s hire for the future. The culture of fun and excitement that Walton will bring is already making its mark.

“I’m excited,” Buss said. “I think Luke Walton is the exact right person to coach this young team. He has the enthusiasm and the charisma I don’t think he knows he has.”

The optimism surrounded by the Lakers is felt throughout the summer league. Although summer league games are meaningless for some, it is still meaningful for the Lakers considering what happened to them these past years. Winning in any competition is great for the Lakers and their fans.

“I’m optimistic,” Buss said. “You know we’re undefeated in summer league and I know that doesn’t mean a lot. Lakers’ fans are smart, and they have been selling out games because they’re excited about these young players.”

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:51 pm    Post subject:

Jeanie Buss discusses the Lakers’ free agency struggles, but is excited about the current state of the team
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles’ president likes what she’s seeing from the current roster.

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off of the worst three-year stretch in franchise history, and no one involved with the team has come out looking good. The acumen of the front office has been questioned and there have been reports of discord amongst the team’s ownership.

One of the Lakers’ chief struggles over the last several offseasons has been their inability to recruit marquee free agents. Los Angeles has swung and missed on Carmelo Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge, and didn’t even get a meeting with Kevin Durant.

During a sit down with ESPN, team president Jeanie Buss discussed those issues, and she thinks the Lakers’ problems in free agency are a bit more nuanced than most think.

“I understand every player is different. When you talk about Carmelo Anthony, and LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Durant, the players in our league have an opportunity at some point in their career where they decide where they want to play,” said Buss. “And not only is it about the team, but it's about who they're going to play with and what group of guys they're connected to, and also the city because it's about their family.”

All of those factors have led Buss to believe there is no one specific issue with the Lakers that has kept free agents like the ones mentioned above from joining the team.

“I think each player is different and you can't just say 'oh they're all just foresaking the Lakers,’” said Buss. “I think each individual chose the situation that was right for them. Where the Lakers were at that time wasn't right for any of those guys.”

Buss does believe, however, that the Lakers’ situation is getting more appealing, an appeal that starts with their new head coach.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject:

Lakers Still Among The World’s Most Valuable Franchises
by Maximo Gonzales - lakersnation.com

The Los Angeles Lakers have long been recognized as one of the most popular teams in the NBA thanks to its bevy of legendary players, off-court personalities, and most of all its 16 championships.

So it should come as no surprise that despite the struggles in recent years, the Lakers were still recognized as one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world at $2.7 billion according to Forbes.com’s annual rankings.

After coming in at No. 6 in last year’s rankings, the Lakers dropped to No. 10 after suffering their worst season in franchise history. However, the Lakers were still ranked as the second-most valuable franchise in the NBA, behind the New York Knicks.

It seems the lack of success still has yet to affect franchises in the big market areas such as Los Angeles or New York, according to Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times.

“The Lakers reportedly have $304 million in annual revenue and an operating income of $133.4 million – the latter is highest in the league ahead of the Knicks’ $108.9 million. New York has slightly higher revenue at $307 million a year.”

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:53 pm    Post subject:

5 Things to Know: Summer League Lakers vs. Cavaliers
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

Here is what you need to know before the Lakers begin the tournament portion of Summer League against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

1)
The Lakers enter the round of 16 with an unblemished record, as they join Toronto and Chicago as the only 3-0 teams at the Las Vegas Summer League. Los Angeles stomped New Orleans and Golden State by a combined 33 points, while the only drama came in Saturday’s match against Philadelphia when D’Angelo Russell pulled his team from the brink of defeat by nailing a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to escape with a 70-69 victory.

2) Russell has been the Lakers’ clear leader in Vegas and a frontrunner for Summer League MVP. The 20-year-old is averaging 22.7 points on 53.3 percent shooting, while also chipping in 6.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals.

He was especially lethal in L.A.’s last game against Golden State, shooting 9-of-13 from the field while hitting four 3-pointers in only 24 minutes. Thanks to Russell’s offensive explosion, he and his fellow starters were able to rest the fourth quarter and still come away with a 13-point win.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:54 pm    Post subject:

Kyrie Irving FaceTimed Kobe Bryant right after winning NBA title
by Gary Kester - lakersoutsiders.com

The past month has been a crazy, yet entertaining time frame for fans of the NBA, and it all started when the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to overcome a 3-1 NBA Finals series deficit to win their first NBA championship.

Although LeBron James was the unanimous NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, Kyrie Irving played a pivotal part in the unprecedented comeback in the series, capping it off with the go-ahead three with just under a minute to play. When asked about the shot, Irving stated, “All I was thinking, was ‘Mamba mentality.'”

Irving and Kobe Bryant spent time together on Team USA a few years back and have grown closer ever since. They have become close enough friends that Irving FaceTimed Bryant from the locker room immediately after the Cavs’ thrilling Game 7 victory (via Jeffrey Eisenband of ThePostGame.com).

“I actually FaceTimed Kobe after the game as soon as I got in the locker room,” Irving says. “Other than seeing my dad and my sister right after we won, FaceTiming him was just a great thing, knowing how he has won five and I just won my first. Then realizing how hard it is just to win one, my respect for him is already high, but it went to another level knowing that he’s got five of them. I’m trying to get a second one.”

No matter how polarizing Bryant was during his playing career, he certainly impacted a number of fellow NBA players. Not to mention the massive amount of fans he accrued over the last 20 years.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:55 pm    Post subject:

‘Bash Bro’ Zach Auguste is showing the Lakers he’s the real deal at Las Vegas Summer League
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Zach Auguste didn't play in the Los Angeles Lakers' third game of Las Vegas Summer League, but that couldn't quiet one specific member of the peanut gallery.

"Yo, you fake, man!" the heckler yelled at Auguste.

Fortunately, this wasn’t an out of control fan. It was Auguste’s friend and former high school teammate, Noah Vonleh, who was having a good natured back and forth with the undrafted Lakers’ forward for running off down the team tunnel and past a media scrum without him after the Lakers’ Monday win over the Golden State Warriors.

More happily for the Lakers, Vonleh is wrong. Auguste didn’t play against the Warriors as the Lakers handed out several DNP-CDs to give minutes to other players who the team hadn’t used much yet, but he has shown flashes of being a very real prospect during the Lakers first two game at Las Vegas Summer League.

"I think I've played pretty well. It's about the team but I think I came in and contributed, gave great energy,” Auguste told Silver Screen and Roll of his performance in summer league so far. The Notre Dame product has averaged 8.5 points while shooting 61.5 percent from the field to go along with 5.5 rebounds and one steal in 17.5 minutes per game, and he credited his teammates, especially D’Angelo Russell, for helping put him in a position to succeed.

Auguste deferred credit, but he has helped his teammates too. The Lakers have several players who need the ball and can make plays on their roster, and need guys to do “the little things,” and Auguste thinks he can provide them.

"Great energy, run the floor, transition, and the pick-and-roll,” Auguste said when asked to describe what he brings to the Lakers. “I think I can actually help on the defensive end as well."

Auguste’s self-assessment of his skillset is essentially the list of qualifications on a theoretical Craigslist Ad for the perfect modern big. Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss need frontcourt help, and every team wants explosive athletes who can catch and finish out of pick-and-rolls.

In fact, the main thing working against Auguste is the Lakers just signed a very similar player in Tarik Black to a long-term deal. Still, the big man acknowledges that all he can control is his own performance, which has impressed the Lakers summer league head coach, Jesse Mermuys.

“I really like Zach's energy, he's been awesome for us coming off the bench, attacking the offensive glass, keeping basketballs alive, his screen-and-roll game,” said Mermuys. “He's been a big part of those first two wins, his energy off the bench has been crucial for us, and given us a lift. I'm really impressed and we like him a lot.”

It’s easy to see why. Auguste has taken a cue from fellow Lakers’ forward Larry Nance, Jr., who he’s spent minutes alongside in small-ball lineups during summer league. The endless activity of the two leapers memorably helped key the Lakers’ late comeback against the 76ers, which led to a new nickname for the pairing:

Continued....
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject:

Tarik Black Says Luke Walton Promised Him A ‘Fair Shot’ This Season
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

Going into last season, Tarik Black was one of the more intriguing young players on the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster. After a solid rookie season, many hoped to see Black build on that and carve out regular minutes for himself.

That did not turn out to be the case as Black appeared in only 39 games and his failure to garner consistent minutes was not only questioned by fans but also seemed to be a concern within the organization a well.

Black re-signed with the Lakers on a two-year contract this season, but before he did so he had a conversation with new head coach Luke Walton in which he asked for one thing, according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:

“‘I don’t ask to be given anything. I just ask for a fair shot,’” Black recalled of the conversation. “‘If I earn something, give it to me.’”

Black and Walton have a previous relationship as Black played for the University of Memphis when Walton served as an assistant during the 2011 NBA Lockout. Black said that Walton told him that he would honor his request:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject:

The Lakers lose their game and their power forward on unfortunate night in Las Vegas
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles talked all week about wanting to go all-in, and they busted on Thursday night.

A stunned murmur settled over the crowd at the Thomas and Mack Center when they realized what was happening. The Lakers had blown a lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers that had ballooned to as much as 19 points while the Lakers pushed pace and asserted their will in the first half.

Unlike the stunned fans filling the arena to support him and his team during the 88-80 loss, D’Angelo Russell thought the reason the Lakers’ undefeated run at Las Vegas Summer League came to an end was pretty simple.

“We just didn't make shots,” said Russell following the game. “I feel like, I don't know how many shots we missed, or took, but we missed a lot, and they made shots. So at the end of the day, it's put the ball in the basket.”

Platitudes aside, Russell thought fatigue may have played a role in the unexpected result.

“We ran out of gas. I feel like we scratched, fought, did everything we can do, but we ran out of gas,” said Russell. “They rebounded more, we missed free throws at the end. We just couldn't make shots and get stops at the same time.”

Making shots and getting stops are fairly key parts of winning basketball games, and the Lakers had alternately excelled at both at times during their run through Las Vegas.

Even in the first half when building their big lead, the team forced the less naturally talented Cavs to launch shots over their long arms on defense, and when those heaves clanked off of the rim, the team used quick outlet passing to get out in the open floor and get easy baskets.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:04 am    Post subject:

Summer League After Game Videos - Lakers lose to Cavs
by lakersnation.com

Larry Nance, Jr. Suffers Probable Hand Fracture

D'Angelo Russell On Lessons Of NBA Summer League

Ivica Zubac On Larry Nance's Hand Injury, Team Improvements

Jesse Mermuys Disappointed After Lakers Loss To Cavaliers
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:57 pm    Post subject:

Ingram, Zubac Shine Despite Loss In Summer League Finale
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

Larry Nance Jr. was back in Los Angeles having his sprained wrist examined. D’Angelo Russell was resting in preparation for USA Basketball training camp on Monday. Even Summer League Head Coach Jesse Mermuys had the night off.

Still, the Lakers managed to battle down to the final possession thanks to sterling performances from their 2016 draft class.

Brandon Ingram erupted for 22 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Ivica Zubac piled up 16 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks during the Lakers’ 92-88 loss to Utah in a consolation game at the Las Vegas Summer League.

Ingram, who had struggled at Summer League before breaking out in the finale against the Jazz, looked particularly sharp on offense, shooting 9-of-13 from the field while hitting from all over the floor, including on a few turnaround jumpers.

With Russell watching from the sidelines, Ingram even took over as one of the team’s secondary ball handlers.

“We wanted to keep him aggressive, get him the ball on the block and at the elbows — areas we felt that he he was comfortable,” said Theo Robertson, who filled in for Mermuys. “And he was able to knock some shots down. We were also pleased with his ability to playmake down there.

“He didn’t force anything when he got in the paint and he drew two (defenders) and was able to drop to some of our bigs or kick out to shooters.”

Ingram had averaged just 9.8 points on 31.6 percent shooting at Summer League prior to this breakout. He was particularly cold entering on a three-game slump that saw him hit just 7-of-29.

Despite ending on a crescendo, Ingram had a tempered evaluation of his performance in Vegas.

“It was OK,” Ingram said. “I think as a player you’re never satisfied. I think I could have shot the ball a lot better, and on the defensive end I could have been a lot better.”

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:59 pm    Post subject:

Brandon Ingram eager to build off Summer League growth onto U.S. Select team
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com

Everywhere Brandon Ingram turned, he could have easily noticed the finality approaching.

The passionate Lakers crowd that dominated these Summer League games appeared smaller. After exerting his scoring superiority, Lakers second-year guard D’Angelo Russell dressed in street clothes and sat on the bench. And no matter the outcome, the Lakers would no longer play any more games here.

Yet, the Lakers’ 92-88 loss to the Utah Jazz in their consolation game on Friday at Thomas & Mack Center showed how Ingram’s work just started.

Without Russell’s playmaking, Ingram assumed a larger offensive role. So Lakers summer league coach Theo Robertson drew up plays that ensured Ingram would receive more looks in the post and along the wing. After averaging only five points per game on 31.6 percent shooting in the first four games, Ingram responded with 22 points on a 9-of-13 clip.

“I felt comfortable,” Ingram said. “I got off to a slow start. It kind of gave me motivation to try to push the team and get buckets and get it on the defensive end.”

Ingram also has another source of motivation that will keep him busy while most of his summer-league teammates will enjoy some rest. Starting on Monday, Ingram, Russell and Lakers third-year forward Julius Randle will begin training with the U.S. Men’s Select team at UNLV. Then, that team will practice against the U.S. Men’s Olympic team.

Robertson rattled off his hopes how Ingram learns as much as he can about those stars’ work ethic, professionalism and endless nuances that lifted them to stardom. Ingram’s bucket list seems even more detailed.

“To learn from the top players in this league,” Ingram said. “I think that’s very important for me coming into this league and trying to adjust to the physicality and pace of this game and see how they score so easily and on the defensive end how they get after it.”

Continued....


Last edited by lakersfreak on Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:01 am    Post subject:

Anthony Brown is the Lakers’ biggest question mark after Las Vegas Summer League
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles’ sophomore second rounder had an up and down tournament in Las Vegas

The Los Angeles Lakers’ time at Las Vegas Summer League may not have ended with the title the team hoped for, but overall the tournament did answer many of the questions about their roster.

Brandon Ingram flashed plenty of potential, but the second-overall pick also made it clear he still has a long way to go to reach his ceiling as a player. The other member of the Lakers’ 2016 draft class, 32nd-overall pick Ivica Zubac, showed that he may be a better prospect and further along than anyone really expected.

As for the returning second-year players, D’Angelo Russell demonstrated his scoring ability is too far advanced for the tournament, but also that the team wants to make sure it doesn’t keep him from making plays for others. Despite an unfortunate injury to prematurely end it, Larry Nance, Jr.’s second stint at summer league proved he’s the real king of Las Vegas.

The one major question mark left about the Lakers is regarding their fellow sophomore, Anthony Brown. What exactly was he trying to show during summer league?

“First thing, that I'm the best defender on the team, obviously,” Brown said after the Lakers’ win over the Golden State Warriors, his soft-spoken tone at odds with the self-confidence of his statement. “You know that's how I feel, so obviously I want to establish that.”

If Brown didn’t establish that, he came pretty close. The 6’8 wing used his 6’11 wingspan to harass over-matched summer leaguers into turnovers or errant shots that just barely got past his fingertips.

“He's been one of our best there, so we're really pleased with that,” said the Lakers head coach for Summer League, Jesse Mermuys. “His effort and his physicality is what has surprised me there, he's been a much more physical defender than I thought he was.”

Multiple Lakers coaches used the term “physicality” to describe Brown’s defense, and not only did he use that physicality to get into the body of the players he’s guarded, or to grab or push them around on defense, but also to slither around or fight through countless screens both on and off the ball.

While all of that has impressed him, Mermuys still wasn’t quite willing to go as far as anointing Brown the best defender on the team yet.

“It's hard to say the best, because I feel like Big Z has really protected the rim for us, and when breakdown's have happened out on the perimeter, Big Z has been great for us as far as protecting those guys,” said Mermuys. “But [Brown is] right there. AB, perimeter-wise, has done a really nice job defensively for us. “

So Brown was close to reaching his goal, and was almost assuredly the best perimeter defender on the team. As far as his other goals for Las Vegas, those went a little less well.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject:

The Lakers' new head trainer says '(the players) are actually enjoying themselves' this year
by silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles' brand new head trainer spoke to a positive new vibe around the team.

Positivity has run rampant throughout this summer, with several factors involved. Brandon Ingram has been added to the Los Angeles Lakers, guys like D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and the rest of the young core is a year older, the team enjoyed some success at Las Vegas Summer League and, there was one more thing I was going to mention... It's on the tip of my tongue... Ah, if I remember it, I'll come back to it.

Another major change (aside from those listed and that pesky other factor I simply can't remember at the moment) is a brand new head trainer: Marco Nuñez. He sat down for a podcast with Mike Trudell on the Lakers' official show, "The Popcorn Machine", and he said some pretty interesting things about the dynamic between him, the players and the coaching staff.

Oh that's right! The Lakers got a new coach and fired that other guy.

Look, it wouldn't be fair to credit the coaching change solely for the improved positivity around the team, but it would also be pretty naïve to think the young guys haven't enjoyed not being yelled at or kept consistently late for windsprints as they were last season.

While we were in Vegas, it was impossible not to notice those improved attitudes on and off the court, as well as on the bench. This was a completely different team than we saw a year ago at this time.

Nuñez spoke to this new vibe on the Popcorn Machine:

"The big change that I've seen from this year to last year is: this year they want to come to practice. They want to play the games. Everybody, Larry Nance, D'Angelo, Anthony Brown, the words that they keep saying to me is like, 'I love basketball again. I love basketball. I want to come here. I want to play.' They want to get on the court. They're having fun. That's the most important part. They're actually enjoying themselves, even at practice."

I mean, at no point last season did we hear anything like this. None, whatsoever. Nuñez goes on:

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:51 am    Post subject:

With young, talented core, Lakers fans have reason for excitement

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"I sense some excitement among the fans, which hopefully will carry over," Kupchak said before the Lakers closed out summer league play with a 92-88 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday. "Some of our best players are not here -- Julius [Randle], Jordan [Clarkson] and, of course, the veterans, some of which we had last year and some of which we signed -- Luol [Deng] and [Timofey] Mozgov. So overall, I like where we are. I like our mixture from young players, which are really what the future is all about. We're very hopeful that two or three of them can develop into real, real productive NBA players. [But], I think, as you know, it's hard to get a player to change overnight. It takes time."

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/17087120/los-angeles-lakers-fans-reason-excitement
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:07 am    Post subject:

Everyone throwing shade at Byron. Lmao.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject:

Vancouver Fan wrote:
Everyone throwing shade at Byron. Lmao.


Welp. Lol.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:50 am    Post subject:

Vancouver Fan wrote:
Everyone throwing shade at Byron. Lmao.

Been like that all summer lol can't say I'm surprised tho
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:56 pm    Post subject:

Biggest Takeaways from Summer League
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

A 3-0 start at the Las Vegas Sumer League warranted plenty for the Lakers to be excited about and, despite back-to-back losses to end the week, the final two games also allowed individual players to flaunt some of their game.

In particular, Los Angeles’ starting five made the most of its time in Las Vegas, as the Lakers’ rookies and sophomores flashed some potential that the team hopes they can build upon in the regular season.

D’Angelo Has Made Strides
D’Angelo Russell provided the highlight of Summer League by draining a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against Philadelphia, but his performance was much more than the one shot and “ice in my veins” celebration that followed.

The 20-year-old proved to be clearly more talented than his summer competition, as he averaged 21.8 points on 47.7 percent shooting with 6.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists before resting during Friday’s consolation game against Utah.

While Russell’s numbers are impressive on their own, the variety of ways that he reached them were even more so. He showed off a refined post-up game, while also thriving in pick-and-rolls with Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac. When the defense gave him too much space, he simply rose up from 3-point range, where he shot 10-of-25 (40.0 percent).

Simply, Russell — who will stay in Vegas for USA Basketball’s four-day training camp — looked like a completely different player than the one who put up 11.8 points on 37.7 percent shooting at last year’s Summer League.

Continued....
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:58 pm    Post subject:

Ivica Zubac exceeds expectations in Summer League
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com

The viewing party started at 4:30 a.m., an ungodly hour usually only reserved for extended stays here at the casinos and posh nightclubs. For Ivica Zubac’s friends and family members in his native Croatia, however, that marked the time his close ones would watch the Lakers’ 19-year-old rookie center.

There, Zubac provided the same kind of excitement generated when a gambler throws all of his chips in on the correct number at the roulette table. Zubac sparked several cheers from the partisan Lakers crowd for his timely blocks, promising post presence and infectious enthusiasm. He earned new nicknames, ranging from “ZUU,” “Big Z” or “ZU-BLOCK.” And after Zubac averaged 10.6 points on 64.7 percent shooting and 7.2 rebounds during summer-league play, the Lakers believe they found something more than what a No. 32 draft pick can usually offer.

“In two or three years, I can’t see why he can’t be like Marc Gasol,” Lakers second-year forward Anthony Brown said. “Seriously. He’s talented.”

Bold words considering Gasol morphed from a burly Spaniard into one of the NBA’s most dominant centers. Gasol has made two All-Star appearances (2012, 2015) and a won Defensive Player of the Year award (2015). At this stage of his early career, Zubac has actually developed quicker than Gasol. After all, the Lakers did not blink whatsover in trading his rights after selecting him 48th overall in the 2007 NBA draft.

Not only did that move represent part of the deal to Memphis that secured his brother, Pau, and two subsequent NBA championships. The Lakers considered Marc Gasol a long-term project. As for Zubac, he showed it would not take long to show off his array of skills.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:58 pm    Post subject:

Anthony Brown leaves Summer League frustrated with his shooting
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com

The positive energy emerged in numerous ways for a Lakers organization that struggled finding any of that in recent years.

D’Angelo Russell looked invigorated under a more aggressive game and a more nurturing coaching staff. Until he sat to treat a sprained right hand, Larry Nance Jr. seemed unstoppable with his countless dunks and hustle plays. Ivica Zubac became an instant fan favorite for his pure enthusiasm, his constant blocks and his commanding post presence. Brandon Ingram appeared determined both to show his potential and fight through his initial shooting struggles.

For all the warm feelings the Lakers’ young core generated through Summer League, one player from that group walked away frustrated with how things turned out.

“I definitely was not happy with my offense all week,” said Lakers second-year forward Anthony Brown.

Brown said those words in a matter-of-fact tone. The stoic nature in which Brown provided his self analysis masked the inner frustration with two things.

He had airballed a potential game-tying 3-pointer that could have forced overtime in the Lakers’ 92-88 loss to the Utah Jazz in the summer-league consolation round on Friday at Staples Center. Brown also averaged seven points on 36.1 percent shooting in 21.8 minutes through five Summer League games. Even with increased playing time against inferior competition, Brown only posted modest increases after spending last season averaging four points on 31 percent shooting in 20.7 minutes per game through 29 appearances.

Brown still offered some solace in the Lakers’ summer-league finale against Utah There, Brown posted 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Lakers summer league coach Theo Robertson praised Brown for becoming more aggressive. With Russell resting, the Lakers set Brown up for looks as he moved both off the ball or off of pindowns. Brown held out optimism that marked “a step toward where I want to get to.”

“Hopefully that gives him confidence,” Robertson said, “heading into the rest of the summer.”

Can Brown achieve that?

Continued....
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:02 pm    Post subject:

Brandon Bass signs with Clippers
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

The veteran forward will switch locker rooms in Staples Center next season.

Brandon Bass agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, according to Shams Charania of the Vertical. Bass opted out of the second year of his two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he posted averages of 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game last season.

Those averages don’t tell the whole story for Bass, who was one of the most productive players for the Lakers at times. This is reflected by his net rating, as the Lakers were only outscored by 2.6 points per 100 possessions with Bass on the floor, no small feat on a team that was outscored by an average of 10.7 points over that same sample size.

Bass will provide veteran frontcourt help for the Clippers as power forward and small-ball center, and will likely be more effective in a smaller role for a playoff team.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:03 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton Opens Up on Timofey Mozgov Signing
by Maximo Gonzales - lakersnation.com

When the Los Angeles Lakers decided to bring in Luke Walton as their new head coach, he brought with him the vision of an up-tempo, high energy offense with the hopes of entertaining fans, and winning games.

It was for that reason many were surprised to hear the Lakers sign the 7’1, 275-pound Timofey Mozgov to a 4-year, $64 million contract immediately after free agency got underway.

After seeing very little time in this year’s NBA Finals, Mozgov’s mobility has raised questions about his ability to fit with the Lakers’ new-look offense. Head coach Luke Walton joined LA Today with Bill Reiter and Leeann Tweeden on AM 570 to discuss why wanted to sign Mozgov:

“To me, the best way to run is to get stops on defense. And the best way to get stops on defense is to have a big that can anchor that defense down and change shots and block shots, and now we’re out and running.”

Walton was one of the key factors in bringing Mozgov to L.A., as the two talked quite a bit on the phone leading up to the signing. Aside from the obvious defensive presence that Mozgov brings, Walton also feels that he can be a solid contributor on offense as well:

Continued....
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject:

Tarik Black could prove to be a pivotal difference maker under Luke Walton
by Keith Rivas - lasportshub.com

The latest Lakers rumors surround the upside of Tarik Black under new head coach Luke Walton next season.

Of all of the Los Angeles Lakers that could have a breakout season next year, one of the players that could easily be overlooked is Tarik Black.

Luke Walton has offered him a chance to make an impact on the team, and now that other young players look ready to step up, the same could be said about the undrafted forward out of Memphis.

When asked how his experiences in the league thus far would propel him to keep doing better, here’s what he told the LA Daily News.

Per the report:

It taught me so much and prepared me to be the player I’m going to be moving forward,” Black said. “I definitely learned patience and perseverance. It’s tough mentally to still work hard in all situations. Throughout the season, I continued to work and always stayed competitive when I got on the floor.”

D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Brandon Ingram will easily be the biggest players to look for, with incremental improvement being the key to long-term success, but Black could prove to be a pivotal role player in a new look Lakers team.

Continued....
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