Hey, what's up? Everybody feigns of the Los Angeles Lakers and fans of Laker Central.
Welcome to the liquor Central Livestream.
I'm your host, Alex.
If you're paying attention to the Lifestream, then clearly you guys should know who I am.
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Um, shut out to all the active subscribers Shot out to everybody that is a participant in my Laker Central chat groups that I run on Snapchat and WhatsApp It's It's been a wonderful experience running these groups for folks that want a kind of, um, get away from just, ah, the mess that can sometimes be social media.
So social media specifically Twitter, instagram, Facebook, Um, even the Lakers Twitter is like this huge thing.
You often interact with a lot of trolls from other fan bases.
You often interact patrols from our own fan base, so it's nice to kind of pull back a bit and to be, um, or controlled groups controlled setting.
So the folks who are on my Laker chat groups on Snap and what's that? Our great Ah, I think everybody so far has enjoyed it.
I've received a ton of messages from folks saying that they really appreciate me running those groups and putting them together, particularly in the wake of losing Kobe Bryant.
I think it's been real supportive.
Everyone in the groups have been supportive of each other and we've got participants around the world.
Um, Argentina, obviously the United States, Canada, um, Peru.
I We've got folks from, um, Australia, Japan.
And I had folks hit me and say, You know, hey, you know, because of the time zone that a man, you know, I don't want to wake people up Well, the good thing is, people are around the clock and so you know, people been real supportive in the group, so shout everybody that's decided to participate.
And so today it's Sunday.
All Star game would be on tonight and so I decided to jump on here and kind of talk about you know, where the Lakers stand up into this point.
Ah, going into the second half of the season and and as Lakers fans, we have time to be happy about.
We can often get down, Um, when the Lakers lose.
But by and large that this team has been super successful, more successful than we've been in the last six years.
And, um, I think it's it's important to celebrate those things.
And so, um, just other night we be Denver, a really good team.
The team has basically been, you know, the second seed in the Western Conference most of the season.
And when you look at this Lakers team were 41 12 and we sit four games above Denver and because of the Boston Celtics beating the Clippers, we set five for five full games above Ah, the Clippers, who were in the third spot in the Western Conference Lakers or seven and three our last games last 10 games and look coming into the season.
There were a ton of naysayers that said the Lakers were struggled to win 10 games.
50 games, struggled 1 50 games and went 41 at all Star break.
The Lakers on paste And when I think like 62 or 63 games, I mean, they're gonna crack 60 games.
There's there's no doubt in my mind that they will crack 60 games.
And there are some folks that have hit me up that have revisionist history, that air saying Nobody said the Lakers wouldn't be this good man if I felt like taking the time to go back and find all those articles.
Plenty of people down at the Lakers.
I mean, there were people who literally said Denver would be better.
The Clippers will be better.
Utah would be better.
Portland would be better.
I mean, there were plenty of people that were betting against the Lakers, and as we stand, the Lakers have held down the number one seed all year long, and so that's a really impressive feat.
Um, especially when you consider the Lakers waited almost.
You know, all the free agency for Kawai and he chose the Clippers.
And so, at that point, options to build out this roster were limited and robbed it as good of a job as he could to build out a team that complement each other.
And of course, the team has its flows, but more importantly, they're playing well and and they see never camaraderie that might be tops in the NBA.
And so those are things to celebrate.
Um, as I mentioned, the team has their issues and point guard and wing.
It's been talked about ad nauseum.
I've talked about it on my show.
Um, it was a blow to learn to.
Darren Collison had opted to stay retired, and that's his choice.
And I'm supportive of that choice.
I'm not one of those people that that, you know, are are upset because he's not coming back.
I would laugh like him to come back, but if he's happy at home and doing what he's doing more power tool.
I'm I'm pro player in regards to players making decisions that benefits them, you know.
But a lot of our issues, that point guard can simply resolved by Rondeau playing less and Bruce oh playing more.
And Caruso was absolutely, absolutely instrumental in that win over Denver and so I think we're going to see more of him in the second half of the season and in the playoffs.
Wing is a bit trickier because I think Kyle Kuzma has not been as consistent as we would have liked him to be.
And so I think the Lakers will look to improve in the bio market.
A lot of Lakers fans were like Mo Harkless.
Ah, to be bought out and end up on Lakers.
Who knows that will happen.
If anything, what's going the Lakers right now is, um, Rob Pelinka, you know, does not want to mess up a good thing.
And while the Lakers have flaws, they've got such a good team chemistry.
Such a good camaraderie, especially in the wake of losing Kobe Bryant that they don't want to shake those things up.
So I don't know.
I don't know what's gonna happen.
Um, and then Frank Vogel.
It just, I think, uh, on Saturday mentioned that DeMarcus Cousins is on track to be back by the playoffs, and there's been whispers that he would make it back, and that might have been one of the reasons they were hesitant to trade him or even cut him.
You know, I don't know if he'll be back in time for the playoffs, even even if he comes back, he'll be in shape because n b A players.
Even when they're hurt, they're in better shape than the rest of us.
Now, he won't be in game shape.
But, you know, maybe the Lakers know something that we don't know.
You know, obviously they've got some of the best doctors in the world.
Uh, Marcus knows his bet body better than we do.
So if he thinks that he can give the Lakers something that he thinks that he's not gonna further hurt himself, then he'll make a decision on returning.
And if he can play, you know, my theory is 10 minutes.
Oh, and give the lick or something.
That's that's a lethal weapon, you know, coming into this season, one of the reasons the Lakers didn't sign another point guard or maybe a better point guard than Ryan does because they were going to run much of the offense through democracy cousins because he and Anthony Davis had such a great report down in New Orleans when they played together.
And DeMarcus cousins, even though he's a big man, he's great at at running the office doing offense through him.
He's a heck of a passer.
You can put him at the top of the key.
He confined guys, you can shoot from distance.
And so I also think the Lakers long term thinking is they want to see what he can do the rest of the season, and they're gonna probably look to bring him back next year if he's healthy.
So let's see what he can.
D'oh! Um, But as I mentioned, you know, when you consider what this Lakers team has been all season long, Um, there's there's not a lot to complain about.
Lakers fans should not be complaining.
We've led the West all year long.
We faced adversity that no other franchise has faced, and the Lakers have kept pushing alone.
Um, the Lakers have a 500 record against current playoff teams.
And if you ever you know, if you've watched my Livestream, if you listen to my podcast, if you follow me on Twitter, the one thing you know about me is I consider a good team to be a team that beats up on all the bad teams and splits the splits games against the good teams.
And if you could do that, you will be successful and the Lakers have done more than that.
They've been date.
They've been beyond what we thought they would be at this point in the season.
And so you know, they're really good team and and their teams out there, like the Clippers, who are, I think, in my mind, the Clippers are specifically built to Thio Challenge the Lakers.
But being built that way has made them neglect other teams like Denver, like Houston.
They've ignored other Western Conference.
You know, playoff teams out there so I wouldn't get caught up in the fact that the Lakers haven't beat the Clippers yet.
I wouldn't get caught up in that at all.
Lakers have done what they're supposed to do.
We will be all right.
So switching gears a bit, something else I wanted to talk about, Um, there was an article I read the other day by Tom Habits, drove NBC sports, and he talked about in his article that it was unfair for LeBron James and the Lakers, too, to basically say they wanna win a championship for COBE.
Offer it for fans to put that on them.
For fans to say, the Lakers will win one for Kobe and Tom caught it a no win situation.
Um, he basically said that, you know, if LeBron he said that if LeBron can't do it, then he'd be ridiculed for not living up to Kobe Standard.
And if he could do it, thin fans would credit Co.
Before willing the team from above from the heavens.
And while I can see that that point of view, um, let me speak.
From my perspective, the Lakers wanted wanted to wanted to win a championship prior to Kobe's death.
Right? We all know that they undoubtedly want to win one for Kobe.
Now Jeanie Buss is known Kobe his entire adult life.
Rob Pelinka, Kobe's best friend.
Jeon is godfather.
Magic Johnson has known Gobi is holding his entire adult life.
I mean, look, there are a number of people people in the organization that that knew and cared for and still love Kobe.
So So the Lakers wanna win for Kobe.
I lost my mom last year to breast cancer, and ever since that's happened, you know, I've made decisions on what I think my mom would do, what I think she would want done, how I think she would react, You know, that's what we do.
It's humans when we're grieving, when we've lost someone close to us.
Kobe Bryant was, and is immensely important to the Lakers into the basketball world.
And if anything, his death has showed us how transcendent he was.
Ah, beyond sports, and few have ever become that.
So let me try to speak from what I consider a unique position of a fan of over 25 years are huge.
Let me repeat huge Laker fan and someone who devotes an insane amount of time to creating content via this podcast and other media for for Laker fans.
When not, if the Lakers win championship, it will be.
It will be for Kobe, but it will also be for those players on the court and those those employees in the front office and for ownership and all those people behind the scenes.
All those individuals deserve credit.
And if and if by some chance the Lakers do not win a championship this season, it will not be because the team did not live up to Kobe's lofty standards.
What it will mean is that they will have to pick themselves back up and get back into the gym, get back into the training facility and get better, just like Kobe did when the Lakers lost in 1998 to the Spurs.
And then after that, the Lakers went on a three peat, just like Kobe did when the Lakers lost to the to the Celtics and 90 in in in 2000 and eight.
And then we won two championships in a row.
That's what Kobe's expectations are Not that you win every time, because even he knew that you couldn't but that you try to win every time.
And when you fall short, you come back with a vengeance because that's exactly what he did.
And so this season was always important.
Any season where you have LeBron, it's important.
But when the bronzes, the year 17 there's only so many years that he can go on and perform the way that LeBron can perform it at peak levels.
But then Anthony Davis is also a free agent after this season, so so much hands on this year's this.
This team's success this year there was already a lot riding on this season and so I'd be lying if I said I didn't want them to win one for Kobe.
How could I not? His loss still hurts.
I was watching a video the other day of him, and I still get get teary eyed.
So as far as time, have a shrill goes or anyone that says it's unfair to put that on the shoulders, it is unfair to put that on their shoulders.
But let me say this.
If they lose, they're not gonna get blamed for not winning one for Kobe.
And if anyone blames them in Lakers Nation, I will call them out.
And if anyone blames them, any media types, anyone that's not a Lakers fan, I will call them out.
Those of us will really Laker fans.
Real Kobe fans will understand.
You win some and you lose some.
Jake the Great, the late, great John with a s****.
You live to fight another day.
So let me get off that rant for a second.
Um, uh, you know, it's a tricky thing when when you have those kinds of things happen and and everyone wants to shape the Lakers narrative, how they want to see it.
And so there's so much to be happy about about this Lakers team LeBron has been healthy all year long.
Anthony Davis has been healthy all year long.
They both played like M v P candidates.
Anthony Davis is played like defensive player of the year.
Dwight Howard has had a real research, a surgeon's.
He's having a one of his better years in recent memory.
Fans love him again.
Avery Bradley's had a balance back year.
KCP has had a bounceback year like this team is good.
There's there's a lot to be proud about.
What? The scene.
One stat that jumped out to me that I read the other day.
Um, I believe the Lakers.
So 33% of all the Lakers shots are coming from within three feet of the basket, and they're hitting 72% of those shots.
So in today's MBA, we often talk about three point shooting, which is important, and Lakers are, you know, just above a little bit better than half of the MBA and three point shooting.
And that's important.
You've got to knock down your threes, but when it comes to the playoffs, the game slows down.
It grinds to a halt sometimes, and you better be able to get slip get easy baskets and the Lakers do a **** good job of getting to the basket and converting.
And we have anti Davis, LeBron James.
Obviously, that's a big chunk of it.
JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard has lobbed threats.
That really helps, right? So the Lakers have been really good at the rim.
They're getting easy baskets and in the playoffs, I think that's gonna bowled well from him.
Frank Vogel has looked like Coach of the year.
He's coaching the All Star game tonight.
Rob Pelinka looked like executive of the year like there's so much to be happy about when it comes to this, this Lakers team that, of course, there's things they can do to get better.
I could have said the same thing about the books.
The Bucks could have said the same thing about the Bucks, and you know what they did.
They wouldn't got Marvin Williams toe after their wing dept.
Because they know they needed some help.
The Clippers, for everyone saying the Clippers are better than Lakers, you know what they did? They went and got Marcus, Marcus Ah, Morris because they needed more help and I believe today there are working out.
Ah, Evan would Evan Turner from the Timberwolves? He's working on a buyout, and there they've got permission to work him out.
Like all these teams know they need to get need to get better.
The Lakers know that to it.
If there's an opportunity to get better, they'll get better.
But the Lakers have something that everybody else doesn't have.
LeBron James, and they have to top two top 10 players to top five players.
No one else has that.
And when you look at the Clippers, Paul George just just sustained another hamstring injury.
That's his third of the year in.
Regardless, if you ever played basketball on had a hamstring injury, or maybe you just watched enough basketball hamstring injuries linger.
And so that could be an issue for the Clippers.
So I say all these things to say the Lakers are in very good shape right now, and they're in such good shape that I suspect that as the season draws closer to an end, LeBron and Anthony Davis weapon opportunity to rest for a few games at the end of the season and one of the things I'm also looking for at the second half is to see Frank Vogel open up the playbook a little bit more in the first half the season, he didn't wantto show too much and Jason Kidd said as much that they that they just didn't want to show too much.
But I think we're going to see Maur of their offense because they need to run more plays.
You know they've got LeBron Anthee Davidson.
They rely heavily just on what they can do, but you need to implement a little bit more.
I think we're going to see that something else.
I think we should celebrate that No one talks about at this point, but was talked about all in all season.
Jason Kidd has not been a problem, and I didn't think he'd be a problem.
So many people said Jason Kidd was gonna backstab Frank Vogel.
That has not been an issue all season long.
Everything about this team was went just fine, just fine and sure winning cares a lot.
But if anything, everybody on this team, everybody in the front office and ownership knew that they were all on emissions this season to do their jobs and everybody has worked to do their jobs.
And so I'm gonna end the lifestream on that.
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Um, I enjoy doing this. Guys.
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