Welcome back for another dose of the Lakers Lair, where hosts Randy King and BJ Boyer greet a new guest to discuss current news and analysis for the Los Angeles Lakers. Stepping inside the Lakers Lair this week is former Division II standout for San Francisco State and current sports reporter in St. George, Utah, Ryne Williams.
The Los Angeles Lakers have not been playing their best brand of basketball in the bubble. Attribute that to rust and players that have been consistent for the Lakers, trying to find their rhythm.
Out of all the teams in ‘the bubble’, the Lakers are the worst shooting team. Not only from deep (23.4 3PT%) but from the field as well (40.9 FG%). One of the main players that has been taking a lot of heat from the Lakers nation on his shooting slump is Danny Green. In the first five games in Orlando since play has resumed, Green is shooting 20.0% from three, 6.6 PPG (below his season average of 8.1 PPG), and a plus-minus of -9.4.
Williams had several uplifting words on how the full onis is not on Green, but for all the Lakers to get back to getting back to shooting well.
It’s even more crucial that him (danny Green) getting in the gym, is going to be guys like Lebron and guys like ad,” williams said. “The leaders on the team stepping up and saying we know you can knock these down there just not falling so how do we get that next step and get these to fall because it is crucial.” – Ryne Williams
Dion To the Rescue
One guy who has been a lone bright spot for the Lakers has been veteran Dion Waiters. He has been coming off the bench and primarily being the ball-handler when LeBron is not on the court. He is getting to the basket and making good reads as a facilitator.
Now, although he is averaging 10.4 PPG off the bench, his shooting could be improved on as he is only shooting at a 13.6% clip from beyond the arc. Boyer is not concerned at all for Waiters confidence going forward for one particular reason:
“People that hoop from Philly are never going to lose their confidence, Dion Waiters is the stereotypical philadelphia hooper,” Boyer stated. “He has so much confidence to the point where he might be overly confident and think to highly of himself, so that is one thing that we will never have to worry about with D. Waiters.”
Change of Pace?
Given all the shooting woes that seem to hover over the Lakers like a storm cloud, they have been committed to the defensive side of the ball. That is a credit and direct representation of their head coach Frank Vogel, who is widely respected across the NBA as one of the top defensive minded-head coaches.
Another player who has struggled to gain traction in the bubble has been Lakers big JaVale McGee. McGee came into the bubble averaging 6.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.5 BPG. In the four games that he has played in Orlando, McGee is far below those averages with 3.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 0.5 BPG. It is the defense for McGee for which he thrives, but the energy has not been there for him.
King offers perspective on what just might be the main reason as to why McGee is struggling.
“We all know frank VOgel’s claim to fame is his defense and it’s just a matter of how productive the center can be at protecting the rim as we saw n Indiana when he had Roy Hibbert,” said King. “Now, we know how good Javale McGee can be defensively when he is on his game but a lot of times his offense impacts his defense which shouldn’t be the case for a player that should understand his role for what it is.”
More topics were brought up between the three on the episode. Listen below to here the full dialogue.