Nash Gone: Lakers Can Move On and Work on Their Future

In July of 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers completed a Sign-and-Trade deal with the Phoenix Suns that was to cause more disarray and havoc, and long-range damage, than could ever have been estimated by the Lakers’ brain trust who negotiated the deal. For the record, besides Nash’s $27 Million three-year contract, the additional ramifications were the following:

1. The Lakers sent to Phoenix their 2013 and 2015 first-round draft picks, AND their 2013 and 2014 second round draft picks. Continue reading

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Nine New Coaches, Re-Treads and Neophytes, to Start NBA Season

As the 2014-2015 NBA regular season is due to start next week, it will mark the debut of nine, count them, NINE new coaches, including several with no prior NBA coaching experience, and some with no coaching experience at all. Also, several retreads will begin a tour of duty with a new team. Hiring a retread is a fairly safe way to go, but ex-coaches with track records of real success are few and far between. Rather, the majority of retreads were fired from their last job, or last several jobs, for obvious reasons. Hiring a coach with no prior coaching experience, or even no prior NBA experience, would seem to be an even bigger gamble, but four teams have gone that route for the upcoming season.

At the top of the list of teams gambling on neophytes are two who legitimate title aspirations who have hired coaches who have never coached in the league before, one of who has never been a coach at any level. Continue reading

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Key Clippers Hit Stride As Regular Season Approaches

At Staples Center last evening, and in front of new owner Steve Ballmer, the LA Clippers pretty much went through the motions for three quarters, but then, with only 60 minutes of pre-season basketball left to get ready for games than count, the team, and specifically Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, stepped it up and showed Ballmer, Coach Doc Rivers, the Phoenix Suns, and the fans, that they were ready to take on Oklahoma City next Thursday in the season opener.

Paul and Griffin, who scored 35 and 34 points, respectively on the night, combined for 26 points in the fourth quarter, Continue reading

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Don’t Make Too Much of Lakers’ Win Over Portland

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trailblazers in each team’s next-to-last 2014 exhibition game tonight, but don’t get too excited about it, as the win was handed to the Lakers on a silver platter by Portland coach Terry Stotts, who used his five regular starters for a total of 17 game minutes, all from Damian Lillard, as he rested Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Robin Lopez, along with top reserve and former Lakers’ point guard Steve Blake. Granted, the Lakers also rested Koby Bryant, and Jordan Hill also did not play, having now been added to the lengthy LA injured list. The Lakers were closer to full strength then they’ve been in awhile, though, with last night’s return of Jeremy Lin and then tonight’s return of Jordan Clarkson. Continue reading

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Kobe Tries, But Cannot Do It All

The evening after the appearance of Henry Abbott’s ESPN the Magazine article trashing Kobe Bryant, he did his best to almost single-handedly pull his team to a victory against a much better Phoenix Suns team, doing yeoman work in the fourth quarter, but succumbing in overtime. And, when I say a “better” Phoenix Suns team, that in no way should be seen as indicating the Phoenix is necessarily a good team, but it just refers to the fact that the teams in the NBA which are worse than the Lakers are few and far between. Kobe dismissed the article by saying that it’s not the first time nor will it be the last time Continue reading

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Is Byron Scott Panicking Already?

With his Los Angeles Lakers putting on one display of ineptitude after another through the preseason, new coach Byron Scott decided to try to win a game last night, and while his team did respond well and won, don’t think that by outscoring the Utah Jazz by 10 points in the fourth quarter that things are better and that the club’s fortunes are improving as the regular season approaches. The big fourth quarter and the win were products of different coaching approaches to the game, which was practically handed to the Lakers by Jazz coach Quin Snyder. Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Lefties

National League Champion San Francisco Giants’ ace lefty Madison Bumgarner and league also-ran Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace lefty Clayton Kershaw are a little more than a year apart in age, and Keshaw, the older of the two, has been a major league starter slightly longer and has started 51 more games, winning 31 more than Bumgarner during regular league seasons. Kershaw also has a significantly lower ERA and WHIP numbers, 2.48 and 1.06 to 3.06 and 1.13. Kershaw is favored to win his third Cy Young Award to none for Bumgarner, and Kershaw has a stack of league ERA, wins and strikeout titles. Kershaw took home $19 million dollars this season, compared to Bumgarner’s paltry $3.9 million. Continue reading

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Lakers Problems Mounting – More Than Just Injuries

As most NBA teams are rounding into shape, with coaches developing rotations, rookies showing whether or not they can play against professional competition, and with fringe players winning or losing roster spots, the Lakers are failing in every aspect of preparation, and it falls clearly at the feet of the new coach, Byron Scott, and the people who assembled the team’s woefully sub-par roster.

After a season where the team’s hopes were dashed by an unprecedented rash of injuries, one would think that management would put together for the next season a roster deep in experience, potential, and talent. Continue reading

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Friedman to Dodgers a Great Move, But Do They Have Too Many Chiefs?

It was a great move on the part of the best team money can buy to bring in now former Tampa Bay General Manager Andrew Friedman to the front office, but shouldn’t he have been named the new general manager, and not “President of Baseball Operations”, with a new general manager working under him? Doesn’t “President of Baseball Operations” resemble the position that part-owner Stan Kasten has with the organization? No, wait, Kasten is CEO, not President.

But who will be doing what, and aren’t there way too many competing positions at the top of the baseball operations part of the organization? Continue reading

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Lakers Go From Bad to Major Embarrassment

A bad as the Lakers’ looked in their exhibition game last Thursday against the Golden State Warriors, it was far, far worse last night. With Stephen Curry scoring 12 points in the first 2-1/2 minutes of the game, the Warriors built a 24-5 lead by the seven minute mark, and the Lakers gave up 39 first-quarter points in total, and never looked up as they lost by 41. With Steve Nash paying all of 12 minutes – and going 0-5 from the field – and with now both Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson injured, the rest of the point guard time was relegated to borderline journeyman Ronnie Price, and he provided one of the legendary franchises’ most embarrassing moments ever seen throughout its long and storied history. Continue reading

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Mattingly’s Statements After Playoff Blowout Show Why He Must Go

After the Best Team Money Can Buy, the $240 Million per year Los Angeles Dodgers, failed to win even a National League Division Series, let alone get to and maybe win the World Series, the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly has now said, in effect, that the season cannot be seen as unsuccessful, and that he was proud of what he and the team accomplished this season. Tell that to the fans paying out big bucks to finance that payroll, and who closely followed the lack of understanding of team and baseball dynamics on mattingly’s part, and who watched his mistakes pile up, one on top of another. He has said that he feels that he will be returning next season, and that despite talk to the contrary, that General Manager Ned Colletti will also return. Don’t be so sure on either account, don. Continue reading

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Injuries and Bad Defense Still Present as Lakers’ New Season Approaches

A year ago, the LA Lakers had assembled an almost totally rebuilt roster, loaded with talent, but led by the wrong coach, and, as it turned out, minus Kobe Bryant for virtually the entire season. Their undoing, however, was a pervasive raft of injuries, depriving the team of the on-court presence of the most talented of the newcomers, and key veterans, for extended periods, as well as keeping Bryant and Steve Nash from making any contribution at all. Along with the coach, many of those players are now gone, but the injury bugaboo is still present, and early training camp injuries to key players such as Xavier Henry and Ryan Kelly, and to worthless, overpaid, one dimensional jerks like nick young, struck even before the first exhibition game. Then, in last night’s second exhibition game, rookie guard Jordan Clarkson, impressive during the summer and in line to play significant minutes behind the oft injured Nash and new primary point guard Jeremy Lin, suffered an injury Continue reading

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