Will the Lakers Turn Around the Road Trip Against HIll-Less Pacers?

The Lakers are in Indiana to face a new-look Pacers team, after their disappointing late blow-out loss to the Thunder Sunday night. I thought the game would be a lot closer, as it was until the eight minute mark or so in the fourth quarter when the Lakers were down by only four, 95 to 91. But, thereafter the Lakers were outscored 18 to five to end the game with their third straight loss, 113-96.

One thing in the game that to me was very obvious was that four minutes of playing time was more than enough to show decisively that ron psycho meta tag artest has absolutely had it as an NBA player. Those were four of the worst minutes ever seen on a pro court as he displayed a total inability to keep up with younger, talented players. It’s time to give that roster spot to a young player who has a future, not to the decrepit psycho unindicted felon.

And speaking of that, it is apropos that the Lakers tonight play the Pacers, the psycho’s

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former team for whom he displayed the most embarrassing conduct ever to have taken place in an NBA arena, when back in 2004 he committed multiple felonies against Detroit fans for which he just now SHOULD be leaving prison. That would be the perfect place to hand him his walking papers.

Indiana made many roster changes during the off season, and it looks like some of those moves were not very conducive to improvement. A playoff team last season, they look more like the disappointing squat of 2014-2015. Most striking was the fact that the team that had been composed of far too many players named Hill has in fact rid itself of every Hill from last year’s team, trading or not re-signing George Hill, Jordan Hill and Solomon Hill. Losing the latter two has to be beneficial as neither of those fellows contributed much last year, but Jeff Teague, the new point guard replacing George Hill has been mediocre, and has to be a major disappointment so far. Through the three games played so far, Teague is shooing an impossibly bad 20%, including hitting only two of 20 shots over his last two games. George, now with Utah, is htting close to 50% and averaging 20 per game, including 23 against the Lakers in their game last week.

2015 first round draft pick Miles Turner remains the starter in the middle for Indiana, but backup Ian Mahinmi is also gone, replaced with an Al Jefferson-Kevin Seraphin combo.

Turner has had a fine start to his sophomore season, doubling his 2015-2016 scoring average and doing a lot more. He’s shooting 62%, hitting free throws (10 of 13) and rebounding, though he did not fare well there in the team’s Saturday loss to the Bulls – four boards but in only 22 minutes. The Turner-Timofey Mozgov matchup could be an interesting one to watch tonight.

Another newcomer to the Pacers is journeyman Thaddeus Young at power forward. Indiana is Young’s fourth team in four seasons, and while Jordan Hill also disappointed last season, Young is under no stretch of the imagination an improvement, though interestingly enough, Hill appears to be out of new Timberwolves’s coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation, making nary an appearance in the team’s first two games.

Luke Walton’s squad should right the ship tonight, and get their first road win of the season.

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