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LakerTom
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Legendary college basketball coach Bobby Knight once said “defense is just offense without the ball” and that’s the perfect description of the style of defense Frank Vogel has the world champion Los Angeles Lakers playing.

Defense in the NBA is usually by definition a passive and reactive response to what the offense does and most schemes are built around philosophies designed to defend pick-and-roll actions and protect the paint and rim. …


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Watching the Lakers play, reviewing their roster, and analyzing the stats for the first seven games, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Lakers have traded the defense-first strategy that won them a championship for better offense.

Anybody watching the games can see the difference. The Lakers no longer have to rely entirely on LeBron James and Anthony Davis on offense but the defense is riddled with holes and once great rim protection is non-existent. …


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The image of LeBron’s evolution from high school prodigy to Cavs rookie to Heatles hero to Cavs redeemer to Lakers savior is a reminder of the long and winding road that finally brought the King to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sometimes it’s hard to smile and feel good about anything when everything around you seems to be falling apart and the world we used to know seems like a distant memory until you remember the Lakers are NBA champions. For die hard fans like me, the Lakers winning the championship in the bubble in October was better than even my Yankees winning a World Series. …


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At the heart of the Lakers’ vision for the future is Anthony Davis as a stretch five center. That’s why Frank Vogel wants him to shoot more threes per game and why the Lakers dumped traditional centers McGee and Howard.

While the Lakers don’t want Davis to endure the physical wear-and-tear of playing traditional low post centers in the paint, they clearly understand they’re at their best as a team when he is playing the five instead of the four. The stats and the eye test confirm this so the Lakers’ goal is to figure out how they can play him at the five for more minutes or even all of the time. …


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The Los Angeles Lakers have been a bright beacon of hope for basketball fans throughout this dark and stormy 2020 so I’m hoping they’ll bring even more joy as we struggle through this Christmas without family and friends.

Best wishes to everybody in the Lakerholics family. May you enjoy a warm and wonderful holiday with loved ones safe and secure in your hearts if not with you. Here are the ten gifts I’m hoping the Lakers will give us tonight:

1. A Win Over the Dallas Mavericks

Neither team wants to start the season 0–2 so both will be looking to rebound from disappointing opening games. Dallas lost in Phoenix 106–102. Lakers lost to Clippers 116–109 after championship ring ceremony. …


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Tonight is the perfect opportunity for Frank Vogel to test sitting 2 or 3 players each game to create the best 8 or 9 man to lineup to matchup against opponents to solve deep roster, load management, and Covid-19 problems.

Faced with so many tough decisions as to whom to play and so little time to sort through the options, changing the starting lineup and rotations game to game could be the smartest way for the Lakers to move forward this season. …


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After a brilliant offseason and undefeated preseason, the only questions facing the NBA defending champion Lakers now are how will Kyle Kuzma’s extension and Talen Horton-Tucker’s preseason affect the team’s rotations?

While neither is likely to be in the starting lineup when the Lakers kick off the season tomorrow night against their crosstown rival Clippers, Kuzma’s extension and THT’s breakout preseason could translate into more minutes. …


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It’s definitely premature and disrespectful of proven veteran teammates but I’m going to say it anyway: 20-year old Talen Horton-Tucker is the future at point guard for the Lakers and could be the starter sometime this season.

In four preseason games, Talen averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.3 steals in 31.6 minutes per game, ranking 2nd in points, 2nd in rebounds, 4th in assists, 1st in steals, and 1st in plus/minus for the team. …


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Lost in the discussions of how to find minutes on a championship Lakers team ten deep with proven talented players has been the more important question of what is the position Talen Horton-Tucker is best suited to play?

I think we saw the answer to that question in the last three preseason games where Horton-Tucker averaged 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.7 steals in 34.4 minutes at point guard while shooting an elite 53.3/45.5/89.5%. …


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Last season, the Lakers proved the axiom that defense wins championships. This season Rob Pelinka has given the Lakers an arsenal of elite weapons so their high powered offense could be as good as their championship defense.

While the Lakers clearly gave up some rim protection by not bringing back McGee and Howard, they still have their best shot blocker and rim protector in Anthony Davis, who will be playing the five when they close out games. …

About

LakerTom

Lakers fanatic since 1971 when team traded for Wilt Chamberlain. Founder, editor, and publisher of Lakerholics.com, a community for smart informed Lakers fans.

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