“Lakers-Future Better Than Past”
The Lakers season is like fraternity rush tie on a college campus.
Everyone gets a chance to play the kid Lakers roster, gets a chance to survey what they have, likely beats them up, and get another win.
Tonight is no exception, when the college frat roster that is the Lakers, heads into Houston, where they will likely get smoked by the 3-point shooting (25-4) Rockets. James Hardin and his friends do that to a lot of teams.
But if you have been paying close attention, these games are better now, than they were at the start of the season.
Yes Luke Walton’s kids are (11-18), and there are still losing streaks.
But the 33-point losses are going away. The nights they give up 132 are few and far between compared to this time last year, the year before that, and the year prior to that.
The UCLA rookie, Lonzo Ball, is becoming a more complete player. His defense has been upgrade, his shooting in spurts is better his desire to rebound and to make slick passes, exceptional. Imagine what he will be like with some upper body strength a year from now.
The gem of the young roster seems to by Kyle Kouzma, a shooter from anywhere on the floor, and a guy fearless on his way to the hoop.
Brandon Ingram has now become a floor leader, a shooter, a driver, and willing to do dirty work.
Julius Randle seems undersized, slight, but wiry, and is not afraid to go into the traffic to score and rebound.
Big guy Brook Lopez is better offensively than anyone ever thought and can board, though he is not a true rim protector.
Kantavius Pope came with a reputation as a defender, but has been a better scorer than imagined.
Larry Nance Junior is a leaper like his dad was in Cleveland and seems driven at 101mph when he gets to play.
Josh Hart, a rookie, seems capable of playing with the big boys, without fear.
How do you gauge progress? Wins would be nice, but competitive spirit and productivity weigh into all of this.
They went toe to toe with a Golden State team on Monday night, though the Warriors didn’t suit up Steph Curry and Draymond Green, but LA exchanged buckets, rebounds, fouls and engaged the Warriors in ends to end spurts.
A week ago they didn’t wilt against the King, LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
They slugged with Boston. Dropped a game to the improving Knicks. And staged rallies and wins against the young and talented Wizards, 76ers, and Memphis Grizzlies.
Losses, for sure, but when you start losing by 2-2-4-4 and 10 to the best teams is the league with a roster that probably is more ACC than NBA, that’s progress.
The Lakers need to keep all these young guys healthy, and then add a quality free agent this coming summer, and maybe another one the following summer.
Pay attention to what’s on the court, what you see, not what LaVar Ball’s mouth says.
They appear ahead of schedule right now with all these kids. Better that where they were the prior 3-years, in the wake of all the bungled decisions by Jim Buss
The fans love them. Better today. Going to be a lot better in future tomorrows.