Lakers Draft Pick

Lakers Lottery collapse! – LA plunges to #9 spot. Next up: at Bulls

Lakers draft pick trade Celtics Julius Randle NBA draft lottery Celtics tickets Julius Randle

Most recent update:

Not only did the Celtics lose Tuesday. They lost to to the Lakers.

The good news: LA now embarks on a 5-game road trip. They’ll pay a visit to the improving Bulls in Chicago, followed by games in Toronto, Orlando, Brooklyn, and OKC.

The bad news: the Lakers, winners of 7 of their last 10, have now sunk to #9 in the ping-pong-ball race. Still, they trail Dallas by only two games for the #4 pre-lottery spot, and may be able to get back on track out east.

We recommend a team meeting, preferably to include several members of the Ball family.

Reminder: Celtics v Lakers tickets

This game has double-importance, of course, given that 1. a win is a win, and 2. an LA loss helps out in the #CelticsPingPongBall NBA draft lottery race. Plus it’s the friggin’ Lakers. Make that triple importance. Schedule and ticket information here.

Jan. 19 – Lakers 127, Knicks 107

Depressed as hell after the Celtics-Magic game, we last-channel-ed aggressively during the Pats to watch some NBA basketball.

What we got instead was the New York Knicks, wilting before the physicality of Julius Randle (27 points, 12 rebounds) and the Tatumesque smooooothness of Jordan Clarkson (29 points, 10 assists.)

Frank Ntilikina impressed again on defense, a little, but scored 7 and handed out 3 assists in 17 minutes.

Forget about Dennis Smith Jr. and Malik Monk, Knicks fans. You coulda had Alex Caruso (9 points, 8 assists, 0 turnovers, 3 steals in 30 minutes) who was playing for the Lakers on a 45-day loaner contract with the G League.

There’s just never a Charles Oakley jersey around when you need one.

Lakers — *ulp* — are coming the realization that Celtics247 is right: Randle is Marshawn Lynch with a basketball.

Added to which, Clarkson is 4Q Jordan, and the two of them together are, well, scary.

As Nathan Smith put it:

At least the Nets won.

And for two hours and a half, or so, we had a chilling taste of what it’s like to be a Knicks fan.

Jan. 19 – Lakers 99, Pacers 86

Jordan Clarkson out-dueled Victor Oladipo, scoring 12 of his 33 points during a 15-2 Laker run that put the game away in Staples.

For the most part, LA couldn’t get a rebound, while Indiana couldn’t make a shot. The Pacers shot 2 of 25 from 3-point land.

The Lakers made only two free throws on the night, shooting 14% from the line. Thus, they became the first NBA team since 1964 while shooting less than 20% from the stripe.

A revived Laker defense, however, kept them in the game. Other than Oladipo, the Pacers went virtually scoreless in the final since minutes as LA moved outside the pre-lottery top 5, and dangerously close to falling out of the top 10.

They’re now 1-8 when Lonzo Ball sits… 15-21 when he plays. Ball continues to struggle with his shot, but it’s not really debatable that his presence on the floor makes the team better.

On a cold shooting night for him and the whole Pacer team, Victor Oladipo made what are sure to be some top-10 highlight reels with his assaults on the rim. It just wasn’t nearly enough for Indiana.

Jan. 17 – Thunder 114, Lakers 90

The Oklahoma City Thunder, behind 27 points by Carmelo Anthony, “strolled past” the Lakers, as the LA Times put it, 114-90.

Russell Westbrook added 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists as the Thunder enjoyed a night of unusually balanced scoring. Steven Adams scored 21 points on just 12 shots, and the Thunder bench added 30.

Lonzo Ball missed his second consecutive game because of a knee injury. The Lakers also lost starting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (achilles strain) in the second quarter and rookie forward Kyle Kuzma (finger sprain) early in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Ingram returned from a sprained ankle, but Paul George “not only contained him,” he pretty much stopped him. Ingram scored just eight points in 26 minutes.

Grizzlies 123, Lakers 114 – January 15

Lakers 107, Mavs 101 – January 13

Julius Randle returned to beast mode, scoring 23 and grabbing 15 rebounds as LA took an overtime thriller Saturday.

“He was tremendous,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “I know he’s a local kid. It’s the best I’ve seen him play in person. He’s had some OK games against us. But never one like this.”

(Recall it was Carlisle, a former Celtic, who blasted ESPN last week for airing Ball’s broadside against Laker coach Luke Walton and, implicitly, LAL management. Carlisle is head of the coach’s association.)

By winning its sixth road game of the year, LA also extended the “Lavar Speaks” winning streak to four games.

(Yes, we’re serious about the Lavar thing. In a perverse way, he gave Luke Walton, most of Lonzo’s teammates, and Laker brass a common enemy. And a reason to play even harder.)

Next up for the Lakers: Monday at Memphis, a critical game given LA now trails the Grizzlies by 1 1/2 games in the ping-pong ball pennant race.

Sometimes, if you want something done, you just have to do it yourself. The Celtics visit the Lakers on January 23. Calling Jack Nicholson right now….

January 11 – Lakers nip Kawhi-less Spurs
as “Lavar Speaks” streak continues

Laker nation enjoyed a rare win over an actual NBA team Thursday, topping the Spurs.

Are we concerned? Well, yes.

Lakers top Kings, drop to 4th-5th place tie in lotto race

Lakers fans erupted as the team extended its winning streak (well, two games) Tuesday, topping the Kings 99-86.

Lonzo Ball had a Marcus-Smart type game, unable to buy a shot but catalyzing the win with critical hustle plays, 4 steals, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds.

The Kings pitched in of course. Despite 24 Laker turnovers, Sacramento shot a dismal 5-18 in the final stanza.

Lakers nation breathed a sigh of relief Sunday night as LA blew out the Atlanta Hawks, 132-113.

The win pushes the Lakers back to 4th place in the race for a top lottery pick. Next up, the Kings visit Staples…. a key matchup with lottery-playoff implications.

When the Lakers were 8-11, we encouraged Celtics fans to realize, “they’re not that good.” Now we’d say, “they’re not as bad as 12-27. Happily, though, 12-27 is what they are.

Lakers 132, Hawks 113

Eight Lakers scored in double figures in an early blowout. BI, Lonzo Ball, and Julius Randle shone. LAL young core showed what it can do whenever Lavar Ball comments publicly on team management.

Hornets 108, Lakers 94

We were nervous about this one, as the reverse twitter timeline shows. Charlotte came into the game with a total of four road wins on the season.

Interestingly — and this is a good sign, in a way — the young Laker core had a good game. Lonzo ball nailed several threes and pushed the ball. Julius Randle was a beast. Brandon Ingram had a career game, as @Lakers tweeted out to a disgruntled #Lakers Nation that was not pleased with the scoreboard.

At least the Laker cheerleaders provided some energy off the bench.

OKC 133, Lakers 96

Still waiting for a new edition of Colin Cowherd’s “LeBronzo Meter.” Haven’t seen it since he predicted a Laker surge during “California home stand” for them in November-December.

But don’t get tooo giddy yet, Celtics fans. The LAL’s next three games (at home vs. Hornets, Hawks, and Kings) will be critical to their year-end lottery position.

The Thunder didn’t even let this game get interesting.

LA fans reportedly cheered every Paul George basket raucously; Laker nation playing 4-d chess?

New Year’s Day: Timberwolves 114, Lakers 96

A weary Laker squad (back to back following double-overtime loss) braved the cold in Minnesota, but came up losers.

Now 11-25 on the year, the Lakers — be forewarned — face at least a little soft spot. Of their next six games, four are against current-lottery teams, and five are at home.

This is a key stretch; we’re guessing the LAL — especially with Randle now at center — will get a little bounce. Don’t be discouraged if they do. They’re still solidly in the NBA’s “top 10” for draft position, and unlikely to drop below the 4-5 spot any time soon.

Dec. 31: Crushing double-overtime loss for Lakers, 148-142

Enjoy part one of our Lakers Season Diary here

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Celtics247 staff

Celtics247 staff

Celtics247 staff is composed of fans, journalists, disbarred attorneys, people laid off by ESPN, and other disreputable types who spend too much time watching basketball -- and loving it. If you'd like to join our merry band, you can post a comment, tweet us at @Celts247, or email us (see the contact page.) The only requirement is that you bleed green.
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