The Baby Lakers, Luke Walton & Kobe's Absence
Let me preface this by saying, I’m one of them; a die-hard Lakers fan. That’s where your pre-conceived notion’s can end. I’m not the irrational and pompous, arrogant, self-entitled stereotypical Lakers fan. For the past two seasons we stunk! With Kobe aging like Ann Coulter’s face, Byron Scott cracked cookie crumb head ass stunting the growth of our young draft picks and Jim Buss disagreeing with his sister Jeanie about everything from parking spots to signing players just to fill roster spots, we were horrid.
Fast forward to 11/19/16. The Lakers are now coached by former Laker, 2 time NBA champion and golden boy who honestly could have won coach of the year stepping in for Steve Kerr when he was out with a back injury for carrying the guilt of inheriting a perennial powerhouse in the western conference; Luke Walton. The core 4 of Russell, Randle, Clarkson and Ingram are getting significant playing time with key roles and BOOM! 13 games into the season the Lakers are 7-6 (They didn’t win their 7th game last season until close to New Year’s day last season) and most nights are in every game until the final buzzer. In fact they’ve beaten the Warriors, Rockets & Hawks; teams who at minimum are considered playoff contenders.
This team is fun to watch, even folks that live to hate anyone who puts on the purple and gold shield are enjoying watching this young team play. The 64 M’s they tossed at Mozgov, doesn’t even seem bad now when Russell is running the pick and roll and he can catch and finish and provide rim protection consistently on the other end. Luke Walton even miraculously has “Swaggy P” playing defense, yes Nick Young and defense in the same sentence sounds crazy, but watch a game and tell me what you see? Lou Williams looks like the player who won the 6th man award a few years ago and Larry Nance Jr. dunks on the David West' of the world almost every night trying to force them into a quick retirement or some kind of seizure after he humiliates them in front of Jack Nicholson and Denzel Washington. Is this even close to a team that can challenge the powerhouses of the league? Hell no. They are a team who so far and who project to continue to exceed expectations and the sky is the limit. The next 6 or 7 games will tell us a lot about if this team can maybe sneak into the post season as a 7th or 8th seed in the always tough and competitive west. I’ll be here to comment and give you guys the true and unfiltered version of how I feel about this team all season and as of today I am pleasantly surprised.
I’ll go into details about these players and more, but let’s just enjoy the effort and drive being put out on the floor at staples and visiting arena’s for now.