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00:00:54
welcome to the Laker Central podcast.
00:00:56
The Lakers just defeated the Jazz, so we wanted to jump on and and celebrate that when today's show was sponsored by stitcher.
00:01:04
Wherever you're watching, whether you're listening, check out the stitcher podcast app.
00:01:09
You can get stitches premium free for 30 days.
00:01:12
Use promo code Crossover shot out the stitcher.
00:01:15
They do a great job in partnering with networks like mine in my podcast.
00:01:20
So again, check out stitcher premium.
00:01:23
Check out the stick to wrap use promo code crossover and you get Citra Premium free for 30 days.
00:01:28
Been a was going on.
00:01:30
Man your back. You're back in California.
00:01:32
I am back in California, as you guys can see.
00:01:35
The lighting is much better in the room in my house.
00:01:37
I don't look like I'm in the room of a teenager.
00:01:40
And the Lakers just completed a season sweep of a team that the ESPN nerds and ****ysts were telling us that they may not finish above this season and they officially clinched the first seed even though we know that there is no home court advantage in the bubble and that's been a pretty known at thought, you know, everybody's known that from the very beginning.
00:02:01
This does mean something.
00:02:03
Getting the first seat is congratulatory to the Laker players for the hard work that they did that they've done this season.
00:02:11
They've won 51 games.
00:02:14
Ah, before they've even lost 20 games.
00:02:16
So they're 51 in 15 right now.
00:02:18
And one thing that I know that we've mentioned before that I want to constantly bring up is that Phil Jackson, the greatest coach of all time in basketball, has historically said that the mark of a true championship contender is a team that wants 40 games before they went 20 or sorry before they lose 20.
00:02:40
And the Lakers have won 50 games before they've lost 20 that is, I know the Lakers have the warts when it comes to perimeter defense, but that is incredible.
00:02:49
Not think Laker fans that are tuning in right now or that in appearing this later, it's time to celebrate.
00:02:56
Uh, the job's not finished as Kobe used as Kobe said before, But it's OK to take a moment and enjoy this because that's really what this is.
00:03:03
The Lakers have done a tremendous job and we've had a really long season on and off the court.
00:03:10
Ah, a lot of things that happened with this franchise.
00:03:12
But there is.
00:03:14
This is this is something to celebrate.
00:03:16
And ah, you know, it's crazy to think that the Lakers would be a team that's considered the underdog, but we legitimately have been the underdog all season, so I don't know if you want to bleep bleep this out, Alex.
00:03:28
Later for the sponsors.
00:03:29
But **** all the hipster picks that everybody had.
00:03:33
Jazz, the Rockets.
00:03:35
Ah, you know, the Clippers either show where they were picked favorites.
00:03:37
But you know, the Nuggets, all these books that were using uninjured LeBron season to say that he was No, he was coked and he'd never recover.
00:03:46
And all the folks that wanted to diminish the good play that Anthony Davis had over in New Orleans and ah, yes, also, the pelicans, Feds.
00:03:56
Ah, and the folks who are propping up the pelican saying that they would fish with a better record than the Lakers.
00:04:01
The Laker offense have seen it on.
00:04:04
I'm sure all the Laker fans are gonna be holding ah, their receipts until they actually win the championship before they let it loose for the whole off season.
00:04:12
But this is a time to celebrate, and I'm happy today.
00:04:14
It's a wonderful Tuesday.
00:04:16
It's Wednesday for you since you're working past midnight.
00:04:19
But ah, it's a wonderful evening.
00:04:22
I think for both of us is Laker fans.
00:04:23
It's been a long season, and I'm just glad that, uh, they clinch tonight.
00:04:29
Now, if they you know now, I don't care.
00:04:30
You know, if they're just working on lineups itself, I got but that first half of the game today, I was just like, all right, way try to win this game where we just like messing around again.
00:04:39
So I'm glad that they got it together.
00:04:42
It and, uh, you know, got serious, buddy.
00:04:45
I am, too, man.
00:04:46
I mean, look, clinching the one seed in the West is no, no small feat.
00:04:50
I mean, the West has been the dominant conference basically since Jordan retired the second time.
00:04:56
I mean, the West has been it, and this Lakers team has not been good.
00:05:01
I mean, roughly six years.
00:05:04
But like championship good in a decade, you know, to finally ah, be, you know, be really be considered one of the best teams in the N B.
00:05:15
A rocket wise any other way.
00:05:19
You want to look at it.
00:05:20
I'm happy that they did it.
00:05:22
Their cir***stances that the season is crazy, but 50 wins.
00:05:27
They beat a good jazz team.
00:05:28
I know they're missing a couple pieces, but the Jazz is still a well, coach will ran team.
00:05:32
As we saw in this game, they compete it.
00:05:35
And so the Lakers got this that, you know, they got they got the West one, man.
00:05:39
And at this point, nothing else matters for the rest of these these, you know, uh, bubble games, if you will.
00:05:47
You know, like I don't know how much more we're going to see.
00:05:50
If LeBron and Anthony Davis, I think we'll see some some more of them because you do want to get some more continuity with this team.
00:05:56
Guys like Danny Green's not shooting, but at all.
00:05:59
You've got to get these guys and rhythm.
00:06:01
But at least you know you don't wanna have any.
00:06:05
These guys get injured, anything like that.
00:06:06
So you want to be careful.
00:06:08
But it is a time to celebrate.
00:06:10
The job is not finished.
00:06:12
Kobe never celebrated too soon.
00:06:14
Yeah, it's not going to get any easier once we get into the playoffs, So but tonight we can celebrate anti Davis at a monster game.
00:06:23
42 points.
00:06:24
It's a eat.
00:06:26
He clinched the game with that step back.
00:06:27
Three on the on, all of the ****ysts favorite defense.
00:06:32
A second, you know, second most defensive player of the year pick.
00:06:35
You know, that's the guy I was going to say.
00:06:37
Yep, Bears the one who's been rumored.
00:06:39
A lot of a lot of ****ysts have put him.
00:06:40
Zach Lowe did it.
00:06:41
I think a couple other guys ah, have already think Brian Wynne, horse said he saw him as second.
00:06:46
I'm not sure.
00:06:47
Don't quote me on that, but there's been a couple of the smart ****ytics guys that have said that.
00:06:52
Ah, or smart ****yst guys that have put Ah go bare there and you know, I understand that he's the plus minus and all that data that's behind him itself.
00:07:01
I got but you know, one of things that I like to say is when you're when you're trying to measure up somebody's defense, you have to watch the game.
00:07:08
You can't Data does not tell you what it is that it sees what's actually happening on the court.
00:07:14
And, ah Davis was flying like he had a mind to send a message to the Jazz.
00:07:19
And he's he's typically done really, really well.
00:07:22
Um, and today's game, I would say, Um, there was a very stark contrast in how well Davis played at the five versus before and, ah, he I want to say I know in the first half 1st 3/4 it was about evenly split, how much he played the four and how much he played the five.
00:07:38
But when he was at the five, he was all over the place.
00:07:41
He was driving offensive rebounds, tip ins, hitting wide open, any threes, kicking out to his guys.
00:07:48
Um, he was He was fantastic today.
00:07:52
And, um, him, the Lakers clinching the gate.
00:07:55
Or, you know, clinching the first seed behind a 40 point effort by Anthony Davis is like that's, like been the theme of the season.
00:08:02
You know, um, a lot of these guys have been treated like their castaways, and up to some degree, they have been, you know, the Avery Bradleys, the Danny Green's three Casey Peas um, the Dwight Howard's JaVale McGee's All these guys have been treated like castaways, And, uh, it's just crazy that it even even now they've won 51 games and you're still going to get people who are going to say that.
00:08:26
It's just like, Well, what more? What more do you you know, possibly want Ah Teoh for us to say as it relates to this sort of thing? So, yeah, some of the here go as I'm talking to people watch the live stream you see, looking out for the side cause I could see Laker fans posting screenshots of all of the ESPN things And the Raj, uh, at unwritten rules, uh, Twitter.
00:08:47
He just posted.
00:08:48
It was Denver Clippers, Rockets and Utah.
00:08:50
They had Lakers as as the fifth seed.
00:08:53
Ah, on this ESPN rankings.
00:08:55
So it's like like we understand.
00:08:58
You know, uh, Laker fans understand things have gotten a pretty good idea that it's really fun to crap on LeBron James, and it's really fun to crap on the Lakers because it gets a rise out of Laker fans.
00:09:09
But amen.
00:09:10
Well, just wait.
00:09:12
We'll just keep quiet and we'll wait and we know what's gonna happen? We've heard what the ****ysts said.
00:09:17
Frank Vogel is not gonna Coach of the Year.
00:09:18
Rob Pelinka is not gonna get executive of the year.
00:09:21
Uh, it is that gonna win 89 ranks second on some votes for defensive player year LeBron spot Gonna come second for M v P.
00:09:29
And you're just setting the table for the Lakers to come through and win a championship and just knocked down all of those things that you guys said that they weren't.
00:09:38
So Yep.
00:09:39
You know, um, this is what happens when you rely on companies like ESPN to tell you which teams are good and which ones aren't.
00:09:46
But, you know, Laker fans should enjoy this.
00:09:48
And, um, I think moving forward Laker fans should expect that, vocalist, But I'm gonna do some more lineup testing itself.
00:09:56
I got, um it seemed like today he was doing ah, a lot of three guard lineup testing, And that's something that the Lakers haven't done too much this year.
00:10:06
They haven't run like too many Caruso KCP Danny Green and then, like LeBron in 80 lineups, um, Onley against very specific teams like Oklahoma City.
00:10:17
But when I was watching them today.
00:10:18
Um, the Jazz bench unit.
00:10:20
They do try to like to run.
00:10:22
Ah, three guard lineup.
00:10:23
It's usually like Conley, Clarkson and Mitchell or something like you get, like, three guys. Okay.
00:10:28
See, loves to run that They run shoulder.
00:10:30
Ah, ****.
00:10:31
Villages And, uh, Chris Paul, obviously on all favor Chris Paul.
00:10:35
So I think the Lakers So when I was watching today also said, Why J. R.
00:10:40
Smith playing so many minutes like, Why? Why are wired some of these guys playing seven minutes and then I just kind of stopping It really says, Oh, if you're gonna eventually play anti Davis at the five, you've got to give these guys reps like these guys have to play because you're not gonna be able to just substitute another forward in for anti like you get it early and Francine Davis and expect it.
00:10:58
And chances are based on what we've seen, if you've been watching any of the games, other games.
00:11:03
Houston likes to run three guard lineups.
00:11:06
Okay, See, does jazz do it with the bench? Denver hasn't really done it yet, but they're capable of running three guard lineups that they want the Clippers like to run three guard lineup still run.
00:11:16
Um uh, like three smaller guys, I think, against the Lakers Magic in the first round.
00:11:21
Our first game, I want to say they ran.
00:11:23
Ah, a like Pat, verily, Sham it.
00:11:27
And Paul George lineup, which is uttered, is not really a guard, but you're both.
00:11:32
So I think the Lakers trying to test out playing more three guard lineup switches.
00:11:35
Why we're seeing these weird All the sudden we're seeing, like, these weird lineup combinations and stuff I got, um but from my observation, it looks like Vogel is starting to use Anthony Davis more at the five to get his wraps up at that position.
00:11:49
Um, and you know, I'm hoping keep my fingers crossed.
00:11:52
He continues to do that cause it looks like travails.
00:11:54
Effectiveness is almost like like, this is the most, like, obvious.
00:11:58
It's been like travel, just kind of taking up space.
00:12:00
He's not really doing too much for us, so yeah, I know, like your friends are a little, um, apprehend Very and the paranoid.
00:12:08
Right now, that vocals gonna keep trying to force that issue.
00:12:11
But, uh, like, you know, one thing that we've always talked about is vocals.
00:12:16
A diplomatic guy.
00:12:17
He's not going to just like Yankee and just be like, All right, I'm not gonna give you a reason for pulling you where he's like a guy and be like, Well, you've been sucking.
00:12:24
So we're just not gonna play you.
00:12:26
I think it's gonna be a gradual thing.
00:12:28
And so, um, it's I'm still keeping my eye on it.
00:12:31
But, you know, the Lakers have what, five more games before they actually work into the seating and stuff like that. So we'll see.
00:12:37
Yeah.
00:12:38
I mean, devil wasn't good tonight.
00:12:40
And I understand why Vogel went, you know, he he went big tonight because they're going against Gilbert.
00:12:44
And you don't want to have, you know, 80 bang too much against him, but 80 consistently got up and down the floor and beat everybody else get mad if it was a full regarding ham or go bare.
00:12:54
And so, you know vote was gonna play this right? Every all the smart Laker fans know anti Davis is gonna play more five when they get into the playoffs.
00:13:06
We know that that's that's That's what's gonna happen.
00:13:09
But if your vocal, there's no way in the world you want JaVale sulking on the bench, right? I mean, so you need to gradually kind of wean him out a little bit.
00:13:18
You just can't be a He's out of there.
00:13:20
But one thing that did jump out to me is I'm noticing how much Mawr Dion, Obviously, but not only Dion, like Dion Caruso and Jr playing over Quinn Cook.
00:13:34
And when you look at how Dion and J.
00:13:36
R.
00:13:37
Just got there and Quinn isn't really playing at all, you only played two minutes tonight, but he didn't play out till the games either.
00:13:41
Like, but I saw it.
00:13:43
I was just like what? What is clear? He's not playing at all.
00:13:46
I mean, look, he's an undersized guard anyway, so that poses its own problems.
00:13:51
But Dion has been extremely effective.
00:13:55
He's a plus 11 tonight and I think I tweeted this.
00:13:58
There's +11 play in the fourth quarter.
00:14:00
He crossed his man over, drove to the basket and then kicked out the 80 for the three in 80 83.
00:14:04
But like Dion, he's a threat to pull up.
00:14:08
He's a threat to go to the basket.
00:14:09
And let's say that was Rondo.
00:14:11
There's no way in the world the defense bites on him driving to the basket.
00:14:14
He Rondo might not have driven anyway.
00:14:16
But then earlier in the game, Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy.
00:14:20
We're talking about losing Rondo and Brain had the nerve to say Talk about Rondo's past playoff performances, as if that's an indicator on how good he would be this year.
00:14:31
And And I'm just like you guys.
00:14:35
You're not paying attention at all to the Lakers lighter Adul.
00:14:40
And they're people that listen to them.
00:14:42
They're people that really think that we're losing something by Rondo not being there, But Dion has been great.
00:14:48
I am, I am all for Dion waiters right now and I want to see Jr get a few more minutes.
00:14:53
He got 14 tonight, which I think is sufficient.
00:14:55
I want to make sure he's in good rhythm.
00:14:57
Um because Danny Green and KCP shot okay tonight.
00:15:02
I mean, overall they did.
00:15:03
I mean, but from three, I don't know what's going off Danny Green, and he just he has, you know, he has ebbs and flows.
00:15:11
He's always been like that throughout his career.
00:15:13
The's in one of those, you know, one of those laws right now.
00:15:16
So if he's not hitting his threes, you're gonna need these other guys to step up.
00:15:22
But I'm glad the Lakers got this when, um, and people were DME asking me, What's up with Mark Keith not playing with the injured and I don't think he's injured.
00:15:30
It all e just didn't play tonight.
00:15:32
Whatever reason, Um, I don't know.
00:15:36
I thought today would have been a perfect game for him to play because they run Tony Bradley and they run George.
00:15:41
I kept it outside incredibly Georgian, younger, somebody gon yang.
00:15:45
And now, just like Oh yeah, they could play Marquis If, like, these guys are like world beaters when it comes to their positional styles, it's like maybe they'll climb this game.
00:15:53
But I wonder if the Lakers are, um, trying to prioritize getting their guards into the rotation a little bit more Specifically, Deana Jr.
00:16:02
Because they're expecting to have to run three guard lineup because more Keith, you wouldn't play Marquis thin the three guard lineup and even if you do play marquee from the three guard lineup, so he's just gonna be standing in the corner basically shooting threes while the other three guards running around and he did nt Davis.
00:16:16
You know, I kind of man's the middle and stuff like that.
00:16:18
So, um, I just it just a echo.
00:16:21
Your point, like Dion continues to be fantastic.
00:16:25
Like he continues thes three games.
00:16:27
The Lakers bench has been excellent, like I don't have every single time they come in for that first shift.
00:16:32
They're changing the speed of the game, the effectiveness of the offense.
00:16:36
And you know that one of my favorite parts about Dion is right when a team scores like, ah, top bucket or like it feels like the opposing team's getting momentum like today may have been the first day I saw it compared to the previous you, because Dion was just trying to figure out his role.
00:16:50
But today was the first time where he just kind of like took it like you just took it up the court like you would normally you expected, too, and he took it right to the rack like he didn't wait for his teammates to show up.
00:16:59
He realised that the Jazz, you know, whoever was in front of him, had no backside help and he had a couple of laps or yeah, he had a couple of steps to.
00:17:07
I remember distinctly where he did the I tweet about it.
00:17:09
He did the right toe between the legs, right toe left, just to kind of get a guy asleep.
00:17:13
And then I think it was calling.
00:17:15
There's only just kind of sat.
00:17:16
Or Royston nearly just sat on his right on his left hand and then beyond just frozen and did a lot to right cross.
00:17:21
Everybody's telling me it's the Tim Hardaway cross, but he lost him and he finishes with the layup that that was on the heels of a score.
00:17:28
So, like whatever Momenta Mu built, he's just like it's just gone because he already scored.
00:17:33
And then there was another one where he caught it in the corner.
00:17:36
And then Conley sealed him off, and he basically only had the baseline like Conley was like, OK, try and take it baseline on me and I don't know if maybe calling forgot the scary part.
00:17:45
But Dion loves to go left handed, so he just goes left handed on the baseline and scores like a contested Lee and again that that, like whatever momentum the Jazz built, it automatically got, like, quality down.
00:17:56
It's like the It's a silencing three that we've seen Kobe do where some guy has a big shot.
00:18:01
Kobe comes down, hits another big shot, takes a crowd right out of the game.
00:18:03
There's no crowd here, but you know what I mean? Like, yep, that kind of stuff.
00:18:08
That kind of improvisational, unorthodox thinking is something that the Lakers have not had all season.
00:18:13
Like if LeBron Andy Davis have it, you know, that's what they're going to shoot her.
00:18:17
They're gonna try and score immediately.
00:18:19
But having Dion being that role instead of Rondo, who would probably, like, wait for his teammates to catch up and set in offense.
00:18:26
But the defense get set, it just It's a completely different, different facets.
00:18:31
And I'm you know, there was a couple of plays.
00:18:33
Crusoe seals off this guy.
00:18:35
I think Dion came from buying and still look for Mitchell.
00:18:37
Then they're on a two on one like that.
00:18:40
I'm telling you, I've been on this.
00:18:42
I mean, we both been on this, but that Caruso waiters that that pairing is going to be good because they are both tough guys.
00:18:51
They're not like they're not gonna give ground to the guys that they're defending.
00:18:55
You may fall asleep when it comes to some of his rotations.
00:18:57
That's always been a problem for him, but like hopefully he gets, I figured out.
00:19:01
But there's like their aggressive guys.
00:19:03
They don't play scared.
00:19:04
They don't play like safe like Bill.
00:19:06
Don't continue to attack the offensive ball handler.
00:19:09
And we saw that a couple of times.
00:19:11
I feel like there's a couple of times where they both just got into it.
00:19:13
It just kind of broke up passes and stolen and stuff I got.
00:19:16
So it's just I'm just glad that we're seeing better consistency out of the bench unit and I was telling you right before we started, um, LeBron did that thing that he did with the Cavs game where he spent like 3.
00:19:28
5 quarters, just kind of like chilling out setting up his teammates and in the regular season during that time.
00:19:34
You know, I think even I was like, All right, is LeBron screwing around like this evening? Where about this game and then, like literally that six or seven minutes segment, he's like, All right, let's go ahead and put this team away.
00:19:44
And that was like the last ship that he and Dwight that he was going to four on.
00:19:47
Dwight was playing the five, and they just I mean, they just push the lead up to double digits.
00:19:51
So, you know, I guess sometimes we forget it's LeBron James, you know, like we watch him.
00:19:56
He almost fools of Central watching for 3/4.
00:19:59
And no, some of his athleticism has waned a little bit because of his age because of the injury.
00:20:03
But, like, what do you want to turn on? He could turn up. Leaders had 100 points.
00:20:08
There's like eight minutes or some 67 minutes or something like I love you.
00:20:12
Like it? Yeah, they couldn't make anything in the first half, and there's still some about putting up 100.
00:20:16
So it's, you know, fantastic.
00:20:18
Ah, there's a fantastic um, I'm glad that they turned it around in the second half, especially defensively.
00:20:24
Um, but I think there are first met.
00:20:28
As much as people may think that, like now, the rest of the games. They won't care.
00:20:31
I think there's small things that they're gonna make.
00:20:33
The Bold has already made changes in regards to how his lineup shifts work on how many minutes he's playing at the Davis play the whole first quarter.
00:20:40
He almost never does it.
00:20:42
So that's new eso their small things that I'm sure me and you will be highlighting as we go on.
00:20:47
But no.
00:20:49
All in.
00:20:50
Oh, man, this is this.
00:20:52
It's a great day.
00:20:53
Lakers clinch.
00:20:54
It's been a very long time, I think.
00:20:55
Since last time we clinched was 2000 1st seed was 2010.
00:21:01
I want to say the we got at the, um we got it the first, the first year power got there, which was what? 00 wait.
00:21:10
He got there.
00:21:11
We had was that we wanted you.
00:21:12
Yeah, the two years that we won the championship for the last two times, we clinched the first seed in the Western Europe, if I remember correctly, um, And then the year that we got bounced early, I think the spurs clinched the first seed that year.
00:21:23
Um, so I mean historical precedence basically says that, um the last two times the Lakers have clinched the first seed.
00:21:32
They won the championship, so there is some history on our side.
00:21:35
But we know injuries and all kinds of stuff could possibly happen in the landscape of the playoffs.
00:21:40
But it's been a long 67 years.
00:21:44
Yeah, it's been a tough.
00:21:47
It has been a long ride, man.
00:21:48
It's funny because, like as Laker fans, six or seven years, it seems like a long time for us because it is four.
00:21:57
Championship grew up for Laker fans, but, like in the grand scheme of things, teams go 30 and 40 years that aren't even sniffing at championship.
00:22:05
You know what, So it's it almost feels like we're elitist and in some ways right, which I guess we are as Laker fans.
00:22:13
Um, but these last six years they were brutal.
00:22:16
I mean, it wasn't just that we were bad and struggling to make the playoffs or anything.
00:22:21
I mean, we were historically bad, and so he had that you had draft picks that they're turning out fine now.
00:22:30
But when we had them, they you know, we didn't know exactly what was gonna happen.
00:22:35
Some we wanted these guys to be great, but they didn't.
00:22:39
They weren't world beaters.
00:22:40
Assumes that came in the league.
00:22:41
And then you know everything.
00:22:44
Will Kobe, right? You know, he tears his Achilles, all that stuff.
00:22:48
Dwight Howard he leaves to I mean, And then now you know, you lose Kobe.
00:22:55
It's been a wild, um, six or seven years.
00:22:59
And so for them, Teoh have the one seed in the West des legit.
00:23:03
I mean, we lost the Raptors the other night.
00:23:05
It's gonna happen.
00:23:06
The Lakers that good guards always gonna be a problem for the Lakers. You saw it tonight.
00:23:11
Conley and Mitchell had really good games.
00:23:13
Yep.
00:23:14
It that's just gonna be an issue.
00:23:16
And so LeBron and Anthony Davis have to overcome that, and they should be able to it.
00:23:21
And other guys, they have to step up who's had a big three pointer down the stretch to think a couple minutes to go at the big three.
00:23:28
It seemed tonight, like he played within himself, he wasn't forcing anything, which is it's good they didn't need 20 points out of him to win, you know, I'm saying, like they they got 11 at a at a Howard nine out of coups.
00:23:40
Dion gave him seven.
00:23:42
Like they got just enough.
00:23:43
Yeah, and LeBron wasn't even superhuman.
00:23:46
He was just like, I'm here here a d with superhuman, but yeah, like, LeBron just was kind of like coasting.
00:23:55
This team is gonna be OK.
00:23:56
They're gonna be Oh, it's gonna be tough for any team to beat them four times in a seven game series.
00:24:01
That's not gonna be easy.
00:24:03
Yeah.
00:24:04
And then, you know, I would say it's probably been quite a while since we've got on, like a LeBron signature performance.
00:24:10
Um, I mean, even up until tonight for the lot for a while, it just kind of stuff, like, felt like 80 was only one doing anything.
00:24:18
And, uh, I mean, I don't even realize that he put up 40 until everybody's like, Oh, it is about to have 40. Holly.
00:24:25
What? I thought use.
00:24:26
I got 2028 or something like God, like some, you know, nominal number.
00:24:31
But it's just sometimes we've been so used to seeing this and cheering for this at least this season so far that we sometimes forget, like, how good these guys really are and Obviously there's no fan, so it's hard for us to, like, really absorb, like the energy behind, um, you know them playing successfully.
00:24:48
But if you think about it like we really haven't gone like a LeBron signature game in a while now, like I spent a long time.
00:24:56
Yeah, it's been a while.
00:24:57
And so I mean, obviously the most recent one or the that I'm not recent, but the last one would have been, um, the Clippers game, Uh, they have Lou Williams in them.
00:25:06
That was like the LeBron signature game.
00:25:08
And, um, But there are trends that are now that we're issues four months ago that are now turning okay.
00:25:16
And that's the part that I'm really happy to see.
00:25:18
That's the way I'm kind of compartmentalizing.
00:25:19
This team is a shooting a problem.
00:25:22
Yesterday's because it was also a problem during the four months, except for a couple of guys like, uh, KCP, who were shooting Well, um, but there are certain compartments of this Lakers team that have gotten better the to bigs lineup.
00:25:36
That was really good.
00:25:37
It's still good with Dwight, and when it's Dwight in 80 alright, depend on most nights but with Javelin 80 hasn't been that good in the bubble.
00:25:47
The bench was was an issue.
00:25:49
Uh, we would regularly lose leads with the bench like it was almost expected.
00:25:54
Like we like.
00:25:55
Laker fans have skipped the means ready.
00:25:56
As soon as the Bronn went out, that narrative has completely flipped in the book, The benches.
00:26:02
This, I would argue, is fine.
00:26:03
Better than the starters is in terms of pace, in terms of energy, in terms of defense.
00:26:07
Granted, you know, it's LeBron and he's the engine.
00:26:11
And I think he's kind of making sure imagines is healthy.
00:26:13
Doesn't wanna over exert himself going to the playoffs.
00:26:17
Um, the benches has has approved.
00:26:19
Kuzma has improved.
00:26:21
Uh, and I think those four months it's flipped that he's been more consistent, I would say, Um, not in terms of just scoring, but in terms of just over all as a player, I don't I'm not afraid when he has the ball in his hand, because I think he's gonna turn it over and make a bad pass.
00:26:37
I'm more like art.
00:26:38
If he shoots, it looks like you've taken in rhythm shot or the defense.
00:26:41
I don't feel like Like, you know, it's barbecue chicken. Basically itself.
00:26:45
I got, um, Caruso.
00:26:47
I was really, really worried about, uh, him even just bringing the ball up the court.
00:26:52
But he's been relatively good.
00:26:54
They've mixed in Dion, and he's been pretty good to a swell.
00:26:57
And so, you know, all of these different things, like these small things that they need to work on to improve on.
00:27:03
Um, it looks like those things were happening.
00:27:05
Uh, all we haven't seen is all that come together in one shot.
00:27:09
And I'm not sure if we'll see that until the playoffs actually come.
00:27:13
And we may actually see a couple days before you know, a couple games before the playoffs actually start where you know, they want to be crispy and sharp with their defensive rotations and stuff like that.
00:27:22
But again, every single team in this every single championship contender We just saw the Bucks loose to the to the Rockets in a shootout right.
00:27:33
The Clippers lost their fourth and final match up with the Lakers, right, playing basically their best defensive player.
00:27:40
Every single one of these teams, including the Lakers, has their flaws and there is no team in the N B A.
00:27:48
That comes in to the playoffs or can say this season that we have no flaws whatsoever.
00:27:53
Um, but what gives the Lakers and Advantages eight.
00:27:56
We have arguably the greatest player of all time leading us, Um, who is more cerebral than probably any player I've seen.
00:28:05
I would say since Kobe Bryant, Uh and we have a coach who's willing to make adjustments, was willing to say, Holy crap, We just gave up eight points in the 1st 3 minutes.
00:28:15
I need to get whatever the issue is out of here and adjust my lineups.
00:28:19
So and you know, we have ah, young superstar and and Anthony Davis.
00:28:23
So, um, we just gotta be patient.
00:28:27
Uh, but we don't have to be patient about celebrating because we did clinch the first heat.
00:28:32
And, uh, I'm sure our fans who want to diminish it or downplay they're gonna be level.
00:28:37
You don't get the whole car veg.
00:28:38
We don't care, because last year we were happy just to be in the playoffs and have one year later for like, six months after that, we're clinching a open seat, so you know, like that's That's a pretty huge jump from going basically to bottom of a lot of your top four pick or whatever to, uh, Teoh, number one seed in the Western Conference.
00:29:01
Mind you, not the Easter carpet.
00:29:02
So it's it's It's been a long time and I know like me after that Achilles tear.
00:29:10
You know, we knew writing was on the wall for Kobe at the time, and Lakers gave him that contract.
00:29:16
I'm only bringing this up because this is like a very that was a very, ah, not difficult time for me.
00:29:23
But it was a very I defended Cobiella during that time.
00:29:27
When they gave him that that two year, $50 million contract, you were like, What would you do that? Why would you give this guy this franchise? To do that? Meat meant something.
00:29:38
You know it to Kobe and meant something to fans to reward a guy who did what he did.
00:29:43
Obviously looking at in hindsight, with his tragedy, you know, it means even more to us that we took care of Africa and basically given his legs to us.
00:29:51
Given is like so Laker franchise.
00:29:54
Um, but I always reflect on that moment because I always think to myself that if we never do that, I don't know if LeBron James ever comes to this team, you know? And if LeBron James doesn't come to this team, I don't know of Anthony Davis comes to this team, and if he doesn't come to the same, I don't know if the Lakers get the one seed and they're in championship contention in six years, 67 years.
00:30:16
How many teams are still doing rebuilds? The Knicks are still doing a rebuild their like.
00:30:20
Other third Rebuild.
00:30:21
The Clippers had three re Brents before the end.
00:30:24
He got out of race.
00:30:25
Stand out in a racist owner before they could finally be considered championship contenders.
00:30:29
And, you know, we has Laker fans.
00:30:31
I think we are a little elitist.
00:30:33
We are, you know, because that's just the pedigree of that Laker fans have.
00:30:37
It's what they expect.
00:30:38
Um, and that's I think these moments are the moments that we should celebrate as a defense because, um, it's hard being a Laker fan, that you can win 50 what games and people are going to say, Well, we better watch out for the Blazers.
00:30:53
The Blazers could bounce up in the first round.
00:30:55
Yeah.
00:30:56
I mean, look, that's when I got a mute.
00:30:59
The television, You know, you and I didn't know each other.
00:31:03
When? When? Um, I don't think we did when the Lakers gave him that extension, But I said the exact same thing that you said they were taking care of their guy and that was going to send a message to every single other player around the MBA.
00:31:16
Not only that, he made more money for that team.
00:31:20
They were allowed to pay him because of the cab.
00:31:22
Like that's the reality.
00:31:23
Therefore, $1,000,000,000 franchise, largely because of that man, played for them for 20 years.
00:31:29
So they took care of their guy.
00:31:31
And I thought that that sent the message.
00:31:33
And so, no, you're absolutely right, man.
00:31:36
Um, there's a lot to celebrate right now.
00:31:39
We won't get too high because Kobe wouldn't want that.
00:31:42
But certainly I think Lakers fans could take the night and kind of let out a sigh of relief.
00:31:46
We got the one seed and I know Anthony Davis.
00:31:49
The other night, he kind of only took seven shots.
00:31:52
It kind of looked like he was out of it, But I'm looking at his free throw numbers.
00:31:56
For the last three games, he was 60.
00:31:59
He was, um, 16 of 17 against the Clippers.
00:32:04
He was not of nine against Toronto and then 12 of 15 against Utah.
00:32:10
He's been aggressive from the free throw line.
00:32:12
This guy's easy's done this thing, and I think that he knows what's at stake.
00:32:17
He knows how he left New Orleans, even though I think he left New Orleans just fine that he you you do what you want.
00:32:24
But I know I know.
00:32:25
He's conscious of how people view him leaving New Orleans.
00:32:28
They want to win a title.
00:32:30
And so they will celebrate the night.
00:32:33
I was just looking up at ESPN that LeBron was just doing some of his postgame stuff.
00:32:36
But celebrate tonight.
00:32:39
I think we have okay.
00:32:40
See on Ah, what was next? Yeah, I think it's on Wednesday.
00:32:44
Yeah, there you have window.
00:32:45
So I wonder if the Lakers were trying to warm up Teoh like that three guard lineup against O K. C.
00:32:51
So I'm sure I'm sure the timeline is ah, on fire right now. I would imagine.
00:32:57
Yeah, Yeah.
00:32:59
You know, some folks between get out, I feel like and you know, Lakers Air Laker fans are just holding on to these receipts for that championship.
00:33:07
Once that championship, they're gonna spend all Well, it won't be summertime by then.
00:33:11
It will be like, Oh, this will be some summertime left.
00:33:13
We'll spend all of the all of the offseason limited offseason that we have sharing those receipts everybody.
00:33:18
But, I mean, you know, like of what a lot of things I've talked to you about before is like just dunking on people on Twitter.
00:33:25
It's just like it's not fun anymore.
00:33:27
Like it's not fun making fun of Nick, Fidel and Jackie MacMullan and all these other guys.
00:33:33
Just like Come on, man, like you guys.
00:33:35
I can't imagine that you guys actually believe some of the stuff you say, but maybe you do.
00:33:39
Maybe it sells ratings itself.
00:33:41
I got, but it because for me, because of everything that's happened this season, is just I just want, like to kind of sit back and just like a sigh of relief, you know, just like way made it.
00:33:52
We're here, you know? Um, like I said, Job's not finished.
00:33:57
But this is something that you can.
00:34:00
This is something the players can reward themselves with at least mental and say, the amount of effort that I put in to this and the amount of nonsense that people are saying about us, Um, this is at least something that we can hang our hat and they're still five more games left for the Lakers before the regular season is over in the playoff, pretty much immediately.
00:34:18
Start after that.
00:34:19
Um, but like, I won't be surprised if we have, like, a let down, okay, Seeking like it there Just like, now, kind of working lineups or not trying too hard to, like collide with guys full speed and yeah, Eddie Davis, I felt we hit the ground so many times today I'm like, All right, we don't need to Do you think we don't? We don't need to win the game that bad where you're gonna get into getting hurt, you know? I mean, like, so that in, like, if you you know, you've been watching the three games, LeBron's getting found like and there's not allowing anything.
00:34:48
And so for me, it's just like all right, this is how they're gonna call it itself.
00:34:51
I get then just just stay healthy as you get into the playoffs, and then we can we can work on it from there.
00:34:57
So, um, you know, I'm just happy that way.
00:35:02
Clinched the first seed.
00:35:03
Um, And I'm sure like your sweater will spend the rest of this week, uh, onwards letting all these folks know people already tagging.
00:35:12
Ah, a couple of those riders.
00:35:14
Some of my tweets just kind of killing them.
00:35:17
So it's enjoying that, like your friends have earned it.
00:35:20
They've been defending faithfully, uh, defending this team all season when people are using obtuse metrics and stats to make everybody look worse.
00:35:30
Uh, are, you know, mislead people in.
00:35:31
So I got So it's It's wonderful, man.
00:35:35
It's It's been a great season, and it's been a very long season, but we're not done yet.
00:35:40
Now it's getting into the playoffs healthy and, uh, bringing it all together for ah, for a championship run.
00:35:47
Looks like that's what we're gonna do, man.
00:35:49
So we'll close out on that when they tell everybody.
00:35:53
Would you confine you, man? Ah, you could find me on Twitter at a vehicle.
00:35:57
That's basically where I'm out, have got a newsletter.
00:35:59
You can subscribe to it in the bio.
00:36:01
It's mainly Lakers contact, but, you know, I write about all kinds of different stuff.
00:36:05
I'm trying to absorb his money and the games as they can.
00:36:08
And, uh, once we finally forgot who that 18 is gonna be, well, we'll do some deep dives into, uh, the Lakers could kind of no counter whatever the team is opposing team likes to do and where they're more effective compared to everybody else.
00:36:21
So I'm looking forward to more in depth Laker content once we get closer to those playoffs.
00:36:25
But you can find me on Twitter.
00:36:28
Guys, you can find me on Twitter.
00:36:29
Also, um, at Laker Central CEO, you can follow the podcast at Laker Central 3 65 and you can follow the network at cross over 3 65 on Twitter and Instagram.
00:36:41
You've been listening to Laker Central
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LakerCentral is broadcasting live!

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Aug 3, 2020
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Alex Hollingsworth @LakerCentral

Transcript hideup

00:00:54
welcome to the Laker Central podcast.
00:00:56
The Lakers just defeated the Jazz, so we wanted to jump on and and celebrate that when today's show was sponsored by stitcher.
00:01:04
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00:01:15
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00:01:20
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00:01:23
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00:01:28
Been a was going on.
00:01:30
Man your back. You're back in California.
00:01:32
I am back in California, as you guys can see.
00:01:35
The lighting is much better in the room in my house.
00:01:37
I don't look like I'm in the room of a teenager.
00:01:40
And the Lakers just completed a season sweep of a team that the ESPN nerds and ****ysts were telling us that they may not finish above this season and they officially clinched the first seed even though we know that there is no home court advantage in the bubble and that's been a pretty known at thought, you know, everybody's known that from the very beginning.
00:02:01
This does mean something.
00:02:03
Getting the first seat is congratulatory to the Laker players for the hard work that they did that they've done this season.
00:02:11
They've won 51 games.
00:02:14
Ah, before they've even lost 20 games.
00:02:16
So they're 51 in 15 right now.
00:02:18
And one thing that I know that we've mentioned before that I want to constantly bring up is that Phil Jackson, the greatest coach of all time in basketball, has historically said that the mark of a true championship contender is a team that wants 40 games before they went 20 or sorry before they lose 20.
00:02:40
And the Lakers have won 50 games before they've lost 20 that is, I know the Lakers have the warts when it comes to perimeter defense, but that is incredible.
00:02:49
Not think Laker fans that are tuning in right now or that in appearing this later, it's time to celebrate.
00:02:56
Uh, the job's not finished as Kobe used as Kobe said before, But it's OK to take a moment and enjoy this because that's really what this is.
00:03:03
The Lakers have done a tremendous job and we've had a really long season on and off the court.
00:03:10
Ah, a lot of things that happened with this franchise.
00:03:12
But there is.
00:03:14
This is this is something to celebrate.
00:03:16
And ah, you know, it's crazy to think that the Lakers would be a team that's considered the underdog, but we legitimately have been the underdog all season, so I don't know if you want to bleep bleep this out, Alex.
00:03:28
Later for the sponsors.
00:03:29
But **** all the hipster picks that everybody had.
00:03:33
Jazz, the Rockets.
00:03:35
Ah, you know, the Clippers either show where they were picked favorites.
00:03:37
But you know, the Nuggets, all these books that were using uninjured LeBron season to say that he was No, he was coked and he'd never recover.
00:03:46
And all the folks that wanted to diminish the good play that Anthony Davis had over in New Orleans and ah, yes, also, the pelicans, Feds.
00:03:56
Ah, and the folks who are propping up the pelican saying that they would fish with a better record than the Lakers.
00:04:01
The Laker offense have seen it on.
00:04:04
I'm sure all the Laker fans are gonna be holding ah, their receipts until they actually win the championship before they let it loose for the whole off season.
00:04:12
But this is a time to celebrate, and I'm happy today.
00:04:14
It's a wonderful Tuesday.
00:04:16
It's Wednesday for you since you're working past midnight.
00:04:19
But ah, it's a wonderful evening.
00:04:22
I think for both of us is Laker fans.
00:04:23
It's been a long season, and I'm just glad that, uh, they clinch tonight.
00:04:29
Now, if they you know now, I don't care.
00:04:30
You know, if they're just working on lineups itself, I got but that first half of the game today, I was just like, all right, way try to win this game where we just like messing around again.
00:04:39
So I'm glad that they got it together.
00:04:42
It and, uh, you know, got serious, buddy.
00:04:45
I am, too, man.
00:04:46
I mean, look, clinching the one seed in the West is no, no small feat.
00:04:50
I mean, the West has been the dominant conference basically since Jordan retired the second time.
00:04:56
I mean, the West has been it, and this Lakers team has not been good.
00:05:01
I mean, roughly six years.
00:05:04
But like championship good in a decade, you know, to finally ah, be, you know, be really be considered one of the best teams in the N B.
00:05:15
A rocket wise any other way.
00:05:19
You want to look at it.
00:05:20
I'm happy that they did it.
00:05:22
Their cir***stances that the season is crazy, but 50 wins.
00:05:27
They beat a good jazz team.
00:05:28
I know they're missing a couple pieces, but the Jazz is still a well, coach will ran team.
00:05:32
As we saw in this game, they compete it.
00:05:35
And so the Lakers got this that, you know, they got they got the West one, man.
00:05:39
And at this point, nothing else matters for the rest of these these, you know, uh, bubble games, if you will.
00:05:47
You know, like I don't know how much more we're going to see.
00:05:50
If LeBron and Anthony Davis, I think we'll see some some more of them because you do want to get some more continuity with this team.
00:05:56
Guys like Danny Green's not shooting, but at all.
00:05:59
You've got to get these guys and rhythm.
00:06:01
But at least you know you don't wanna have any.
00:06:05
These guys get injured, anything like that.
00:06:06
So you want to be careful.
00:06:08
But it is a time to celebrate.
00:06:10
The job is not finished.
00:06:12
Kobe never celebrated too soon.
00:06:14
Yeah, it's not going to get any easier once we get into the playoffs, So but tonight we can celebrate anti Davis at a monster game.
00:06:23
42 points.
00:06:24
It's a eat.
00:06:26
He clinched the game with that step back.
00:06:27
Three on the on, all of the ****ysts favorite defense.
00:06:32
A second, you know, second most defensive player of the year pick.
00:06:35
You know, that's the guy I was going to say.
00:06:37
Yep, Bears the one who's been rumored.
00:06:39
A lot of a lot of ****ysts have put him.
00:06:40
Zach Lowe did it.
00:06:41
I think a couple other guys ah, have already think Brian Wynne, horse said he saw him as second.
00:06:46
I'm not sure.
00:06:47
Don't quote me on that, but there's been a couple of the smart ****ytics guys that have said that.
00:06:52
Ah, or smart ****yst guys that have put Ah go bare there and you know, I understand that he's the plus minus and all that data that's behind him itself.
00:07:01
I got but you know, one of things that I like to say is when you're when you're trying to measure up somebody's defense, you have to watch the game.
00:07:08
You can't Data does not tell you what it is that it sees what's actually happening on the court.
00:07:14
And, ah Davis was flying like he had a mind to send a message to the Jazz.
00:07:19
And he's he's typically done really, really well.
00:07:22
Um, and today's game, I would say, Um, there was a very stark contrast in how well Davis played at the five versus before and, ah, he I want to say I know in the first half 1st 3/4 it was about evenly split, how much he played the four and how much he played the five.
00:07:38
But when he was at the five, he was all over the place.
00:07:41
He was driving offensive rebounds, tip ins, hitting wide open, any threes, kicking out to his guys.
00:07:48
Um, he was He was fantastic today.
00:07:52
And, um, him, the Lakers clinching the gate.
00:07:55
Or, you know, clinching the first seed behind a 40 point effort by Anthony Davis is like that's, like been the theme of the season.
00:08:02
You know, um, a lot of these guys have been treated like their castaways, and up to some degree, they have been, you know, the Avery Bradleys, the Danny Green's three Casey Peas um, the Dwight Howard's JaVale McGee's All these guys have been treated like castaways, And, uh, it's just crazy that it even even now they've won 51 games and you're still going to get people who are going to say that.
00:08:26
It's just like, Well, what more? What more do you you know, possibly want Ah Teoh for us to say as it relates to this sort of thing? So, yeah, some of the here go as I'm talking to people watch the live stream you see, looking out for the side cause I could see Laker fans posting screenshots of all of the ESPN things And the Raj, uh, at unwritten rules, uh, Twitter.
00:08:47
He just posted.
00:08:48
It was Denver Clippers, Rockets and Utah.
00:08:50
They had Lakers as as the fifth seed.
00:08:53
Ah, on this ESPN rankings.
00:08:55
So it's like like we understand.
00:08:58
You know, uh, Laker fans understand things have gotten a pretty good idea that it's really fun to crap on LeBron James, and it's really fun to crap on the Lakers because it gets a rise out of Laker fans.
00:09:09
But amen.
00:09:10
Well, just wait.
00:09:12
We'll just keep quiet and we'll wait and we know what's gonna happen? We've heard what the ****ysts said.
00:09:17
Frank Vogel is not gonna Coach of the Year.
00:09:18
Rob Pelinka is not gonna get executive of the year.
00:09:21
Uh, it is that gonna win 89 ranks second on some votes for defensive player year LeBron spot Gonna come second for M v P.
00:09:29
And you're just setting the table for the Lakers to come through and win a championship and just knocked down all of those things that you guys said that they weren't.
00:09:38
So Yep.
00:09:39
You know, um, this is what happens when you rely on companies like ESPN to tell you which teams are good and which ones aren't.
00:09:46
But, you know, Laker fans should enjoy this.
00:09:48
And, um, I think moving forward Laker fans should expect that, vocalist, But I'm gonna do some more lineup testing itself.
00:09:56
I got, um it seemed like today he was doing ah, a lot of three guard lineup testing, And that's something that the Lakers haven't done too much this year.
00:10:06
They haven't run like too many Caruso KCP Danny Green and then, like LeBron in 80 lineups, um, Onley against very specific teams like Oklahoma City.
00:10:17
But when I was watching them today.
00:10:18
Um, the Jazz bench unit.
00:10:20
They do try to like to run.
00:10:22
Ah, three guard lineup.
00:10:23
It's usually like Conley, Clarkson and Mitchell or something like you get, like, three guys. Okay.
00:10:28
See, loves to run that They run shoulder.
00:10:30
Ah, ****.
00:10:31
Villages And, uh, Chris Paul, obviously on all favor Chris Paul.
00:10:35
So I think the Lakers So when I was watching today also said, Why J. R.
00:10:40
Smith playing so many minutes like, Why? Why are wired some of these guys playing seven minutes and then I just kind of stopping It really says, Oh, if you're gonna eventually play anti Davis at the five, you've got to give these guys reps like these guys have to play because you're not gonna be able to just substitute another forward in for anti like you get it early and Francine Davis and expect it.
00:10:58
And chances are based on what we've seen, if you've been watching any of the games, other games.
00:11:03
Houston likes to run three guard lineups.
00:11:06
Okay, See, does jazz do it with the bench? Denver hasn't really done it yet, but they're capable of running three guard lineups that they want the Clippers like to run three guard lineup still run.
00:11:16
Um uh, like three smaller guys, I think, against the Lakers Magic in the first round.
00:11:21
Our first game, I want to say they ran.
00:11:23
Ah, a like Pat, verily, Sham it.
00:11:27
And Paul George lineup, which is uttered, is not really a guard, but you're both.
00:11:32
So I think the Lakers trying to test out playing more three guard lineup switches.
00:11:35
Why we're seeing these weird All the sudden we're seeing, like, these weird lineup combinations and stuff I got, um but from my observation, it looks like Vogel is starting to use Anthony Davis more at the five to get his wraps up at that position.
00:11:49
Um, and you know, I'm hoping keep my fingers crossed.
00:11:52
He continues to do that cause it looks like travails.
00:11:54
Effectiveness is almost like like, this is the most, like, obvious.
00:11:58
It's been like travel, just kind of taking up space.
00:12:00
He's not really doing too much for us, so yeah, I know, like your friends are a little, um, apprehend Very and the paranoid.
00:12:08
Right now, that vocals gonna keep trying to force that issue.
00:12:11
But, uh, like, you know, one thing that we've always talked about is vocals.
00:12:16
A diplomatic guy.
00:12:17
He's not going to just like Yankee and just be like, All right, I'm not gonna give you a reason for pulling you where he's like a guy and be like, Well, you've been sucking.
00:12:24
So we're just not gonna play you.
00:12:26
I think it's gonna be a gradual thing.
00:12:28
And so, um, it's I'm still keeping my eye on it.
00:12:31
But, you know, the Lakers have what, five more games before they actually work into the seating and stuff like that. So we'll see.
00:12:37
Yeah.
00:12:38
I mean, devil wasn't good tonight.
00:12:40
And I understand why Vogel went, you know, he he went big tonight because they're going against Gilbert.
00:12:44
And you don't want to have, you know, 80 bang too much against him, but 80 consistently got up and down the floor and beat everybody else get mad if it was a full regarding ham or go bare.
00:12:54
And so, you know vote was gonna play this right? Every all the smart Laker fans know anti Davis is gonna play more five when they get into the playoffs.
00:13:06
We know that that's that's That's what's gonna happen.
00:13:09
But if your vocal, there's no way in the world you want JaVale sulking on the bench, right? I mean, so you need to gradually kind of wean him out a little bit.
00:13:18
You just can't be a He's out of there.
00:13:20
But one thing that did jump out to me is I'm noticing how much Mawr Dion, Obviously, but not only Dion, like Dion Caruso and Jr playing over Quinn Cook.
00:13:34
And when you look at how Dion and J.
00:13:36
R.
00:13:37
Just got there and Quinn isn't really playing at all, you only played two minutes tonight, but he didn't play out till the games either.
00:13:41
Like, but I saw it.
00:13:43
I was just like what? What is clear? He's not playing at all.
00:13:46
I mean, look, he's an undersized guard anyway, so that poses its own problems.
00:13:51
But Dion has been extremely effective.
00:13:55
He's a plus 11 tonight and I think I tweeted this.
00:13:58
There's +11 play in the fourth quarter.
00:14:00
He crossed his man over, drove to the basket and then kicked out the 80 for the three in 80 83.
00:14:04
But like Dion, he's a threat to pull up.
00:14:08
He's a threat to go to the basket.
00:14:09
And let's say that was Rondo.
00:14:11
There's no way in the world the defense bites on him driving to the basket.
00:14:14
He Rondo might not have driven anyway.
00:14:16
But then earlier in the game, Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy.
00:14:20
We're talking about losing Rondo and Brain had the nerve to say Talk about Rondo's past playoff performances, as if that's an indicator on how good he would be this year.
00:14:31
And And I'm just like you guys.
00:14:35
You're not paying attention at all to the Lakers lighter Adul.
00:14:40
And they're people that listen to them.
00:14:42
They're people that really think that we're losing something by Rondo not being there, But Dion has been great.
00:14:48
I am, I am all for Dion waiters right now and I want to see Jr get a few more minutes.
00:14:53
He got 14 tonight, which I think is sufficient.
00:14:55
I want to make sure he's in good rhythm.
00:14:57
Um because Danny Green and KCP shot okay tonight.
00:15:02
I mean, overall they did.
00:15:03
I mean, but from three, I don't know what's going off Danny Green, and he just he has, you know, he has ebbs and flows.
00:15:11
He's always been like that throughout his career.
00:15:13
The's in one of those, you know, one of those laws right now.
00:15:16
So if he's not hitting his threes, you're gonna need these other guys to step up.
00:15:22
But I'm glad the Lakers got this when, um, and people were DME asking me, What's up with Mark Keith not playing with the injured and I don't think he's injured.
00:15:30
It all e just didn't play tonight.
00:15:32
Whatever reason, Um, I don't know.
00:15:36
I thought today would have been a perfect game for him to play because they run Tony Bradley and they run George.
00:15:41
I kept it outside incredibly Georgian, younger, somebody gon yang.
00:15:45
And now, just like Oh yeah, they could play Marquis If, like, these guys are like world beaters when it comes to their positional styles, it's like maybe they'll climb this game.
00:15:53
But I wonder if the Lakers are, um, trying to prioritize getting their guards into the rotation a little bit more Specifically, Deana Jr.
00:16:02
Because they're expecting to have to run three guard lineup because more Keith, you wouldn't play Marquis thin the three guard lineup and even if you do play marquee from the three guard lineup, so he's just gonna be standing in the corner basically shooting threes while the other three guards running around and he did nt Davis.
00:16:16
You know, I kind of man's the middle and stuff like that.
00:16:18
So, um, I just it just a echo.
00:16:21
Your point, like Dion continues to be fantastic.
00:16:25
Like he continues thes three games.
00:16:27
The Lakers bench has been excellent, like I don't have every single time they come in for that first shift.
00:16:32
They're changing the speed of the game, the effectiveness of the offense.
00:16:36
And you know that one of my favorite parts about Dion is right when a team scores like, ah, top bucket or like it feels like the opposing team's getting momentum like today may have been the first day I saw it compared to the previous you, because Dion was just trying to figure out his role.
00:16:50
But today was the first time where he just kind of like took it like you just took it up the court like you would normally you expected, too, and he took it right to the rack like he didn't wait for his teammates to show up.
00:16:59
He realised that the Jazz, you know, whoever was in front of him, had no backside help and he had a couple of laps or yeah, he had a couple of steps to.
00:17:07
I remember distinctly where he did the I tweet about it.
00:17:09
He did the right toe between the legs, right toe left, just to kind of get a guy asleep.
00:17:13
And then I think it was calling.
00:17:15
There's only just kind of sat.
00:17:16
Or Royston nearly just sat on his right on his left hand and then beyond just frozen and did a lot to right cross.
00:17:21
Everybody's telling me it's the Tim Hardaway cross, but he lost him and he finishes with the layup that that was on the heels of a score.
00:17:28
So, like whatever Momenta Mu built, he's just like it's just gone because he already scored.
00:17:33
And then there was another one where he caught it in the corner.
00:17:36
And then Conley sealed him off, and he basically only had the baseline like Conley was like, OK, try and take it baseline on me and I don't know if maybe calling forgot the scary part.
00:17:45
But Dion loves to go left handed, so he just goes left handed on the baseline and scores like a contested Lee and again that that, like whatever momentum the Jazz built, it automatically got, like, quality down.
00:17:56
It's like the It's a silencing three that we've seen Kobe do where some guy has a big shot.
00:18:01
Kobe comes down, hits another big shot, takes a crowd right out of the game.
00:18:03
There's no crowd here, but you know what I mean? Like, yep, that kind of stuff.
00:18:08
That kind of improvisational, unorthodox thinking is something that the Lakers have not had all season.
00:18:13
Like if LeBron Andy Davis have it, you know, that's what they're going to shoot her.
00:18:17
They're gonna try and score immediately.
00:18:19
But having Dion being that role instead of Rondo, who would probably, like, wait for his teammates to catch up and set in offense.
00:18:26
But the defense get set, it just It's a completely different, different facets.
00:18:31
And I'm you know, there was a couple of plays.
00:18:33
Crusoe seals off this guy.
00:18:35
I think Dion came from buying and still look for Mitchell.
00:18:37
Then they're on a two on one like that.
00:18:40
I'm telling you, I've been on this.
00:18:42
I mean, we both been on this, but that Caruso waiters that that pairing is going to be good because they are both tough guys.
00:18:51
They're not like they're not gonna give ground to the guys that they're defending.
00:18:55
You may fall asleep when it comes to some of his rotations.
00:18:57
That's always been a problem for him, but like hopefully he gets, I figured out.
00:19:01
But there's like their aggressive guys.
00:19:03
They don't play scared.
00:19:04
They don't play like safe like Bill.
00:19:06
Don't continue to attack the offensive ball handler.
00:19:09
And we saw that a couple of times.
00:19:11
I feel like there's a couple of times where they both just got into it.
00:19:13
It just kind of broke up passes and stolen and stuff I got.
00:19:16
So it's just I'm just glad that we're seeing better consistency out of the bench unit and I was telling you right before we started, um, LeBron did that thing that he did with the Cavs game where he spent like 3.
00:19:28
5 quarters, just kind of like chilling out setting up his teammates and in the regular season during that time.
00:19:34
You know, I think even I was like, All right, is LeBron screwing around like this evening? Where about this game and then, like literally that six or seven minutes segment, he's like, All right, let's go ahead and put this team away.
00:19:44
And that was like the last ship that he and Dwight that he was going to four on.
00:19:47
Dwight was playing the five, and they just I mean, they just push the lead up to double digits.
00:19:51
So, you know, I guess sometimes we forget it's LeBron James, you know, like we watch him.
00:19:56
He almost fools of Central watching for 3/4.
00:19:59
And no, some of his athleticism has waned a little bit because of his age because of the injury.
00:20:03
But, like, what do you want to turn on? He could turn up. Leaders had 100 points.
00:20:08
There's like eight minutes or some 67 minutes or something like I love you.
00:20:12
Like it? Yeah, they couldn't make anything in the first half, and there's still some about putting up 100.
00:20:16
So it's, you know, fantastic.
00:20:18
Ah, there's a fantastic um, I'm glad that they turned it around in the second half, especially defensively.
00:20:24
Um, but I think there are first met.
00:20:28
As much as people may think that, like now, the rest of the games. They won't care.
00:20:31
I think there's small things that they're gonna make.
00:20:33
The Bold has already made changes in regards to how his lineup shifts work on how many minutes he's playing at the Davis play the whole first quarter.
00:20:40
He almost never does it.
00:20:42
So that's new eso their small things that I'm sure me and you will be highlighting as we go on.
00:20:47
But no.
00:20:49
All in.
00:20:50
Oh, man, this is this.
00:20:52
It's a great day.
00:20:53
Lakers clinch.
00:20:54
It's been a very long time, I think.
00:20:55
Since last time we clinched was 2000 1st seed was 2010.
00:21:01
I want to say the we got at the, um we got it the first, the first year power got there, which was what? 00 wait.
00:21:10
He got there.
00:21:11
We had was that we wanted you.
00:21:12
Yeah, the two years that we won the championship for the last two times, we clinched the first seed in the Western Europe, if I remember correctly, um, And then the year that we got bounced early, I think the spurs clinched the first seed that year.
00:21:23
Um, so I mean historical precedence basically says that, um the last two times the Lakers have clinched the first seed.
00:21:32
They won the championship, so there is some history on our side.
00:21:35
But we know injuries and all kinds of stuff could possibly happen in the landscape of the playoffs.
00:21:40
But it's been a long 67 years.
00:21:44
Yeah, it's been a tough.
00:21:47
It has been a long ride, man.
00:21:48
It's funny because, like as Laker fans, six or seven years, it seems like a long time for us because it is four.
00:21:57
Championship grew up for Laker fans, but, like in the grand scheme of things, teams go 30 and 40 years that aren't even sniffing at championship.
00:22:05
You know what, So it's it almost feels like we're elitist and in some ways right, which I guess we are as Laker fans.
00:22:13
Um, but these last six years they were brutal.
00:22:16
I mean, it wasn't just that we were bad and struggling to make the playoffs or anything.
00:22:21
I mean, we were historically bad, and so he had that you had draft picks that they're turning out fine now.
00:22:30
But when we had them, they you know, we didn't know exactly what was gonna happen.
00:22:35
Some we wanted these guys to be great, but they didn't.
00:22:39
They weren't world beaters.
00:22:40
Assumes that came in the league.
00:22:41
And then you know everything.
00:22:44
Will Kobe, right? You know, he tears his Achilles, all that stuff.
00:22:48
Dwight Howard he leaves to I mean, And then now you know, you lose Kobe.
00:22:55
It's been a wild, um, six or seven years.
00:22:59
And so for them, Teoh have the one seed in the West des legit.
00:23:03
I mean, we lost the Raptors the other night.
00:23:05
It's gonna happen.
00:23:06
The Lakers that good guards always gonna be a problem for the Lakers. You saw it tonight.
00:23:11
Conley and Mitchell had really good games.
00:23:13
Yep.
00:23:14
It that's just gonna be an issue.
00:23:16
And so LeBron and Anthony Davis have to overcome that, and they should be able to it.
00:23:21
And other guys, they have to step up who's had a big three pointer down the stretch to think a couple minutes to go at the big three.
00:23:28
It seemed tonight, like he played within himself, he wasn't forcing anything, which is it's good they didn't need 20 points out of him to win, you know, I'm saying, like they they got 11 at a at a Howard nine out of coups.
00:23:40
Dion gave him seven.
00:23:42
Like they got just enough.
00:23:43
Yeah, and LeBron wasn't even superhuman.
00:23:46
He was just like, I'm here here a d with superhuman, but yeah, like, LeBron just was kind of like coasting.
00:23:55
This team is gonna be OK.
00:23:56
They're gonna be Oh, it's gonna be tough for any team to beat them four times in a seven game series.
00:24:01
That's not gonna be easy.
00:24:03
Yeah.
00:24:04
And then, you know, I would say it's probably been quite a while since we've got on, like a LeBron signature performance.
00:24:10
Um, I mean, even up until tonight for the lot for a while, it just kind of stuff, like, felt like 80 was only one doing anything.
00:24:18
And, uh, I mean, I don't even realize that he put up 40 until everybody's like, Oh, it is about to have 40. Holly.
00:24:25
What? I thought use.
00:24:26
I got 2028 or something like God, like some, you know, nominal number.
00:24:31
But it's just sometimes we've been so used to seeing this and cheering for this at least this season so far that we sometimes forget, like, how good these guys really are and Obviously there's no fan, so it's hard for us to, like, really absorb, like the energy behind, um, you know them playing successfully.
00:24:48
But if you think about it like we really haven't gone like a LeBron signature game in a while now, like I spent a long time.
00:24:56
Yeah, it's been a while.
00:24:57
And so I mean, obviously the most recent one or the that I'm not recent, but the last one would have been, um, the Clippers game, Uh, they have Lou Williams in them.
00:25:06
That was like the LeBron signature game.
00:25:08
And, um, But there are trends that are now that we're issues four months ago that are now turning okay.
00:25:16
And that's the part that I'm really happy to see.
00:25:18
That's the way I'm kind of compartmentalizing.
00:25:19
This team is a shooting a problem.
00:25:22
Yesterday's because it was also a problem during the four months, except for a couple of guys like, uh, KCP, who were shooting Well, um, but there are certain compartments of this Lakers team that have gotten better the to bigs lineup.
00:25:36
That was really good.
00:25:37
It's still good with Dwight, and when it's Dwight in 80 alright, depend on most nights but with Javelin 80 hasn't been that good in the bubble.
00:25:47
The bench was was an issue.
00:25:49
Uh, we would regularly lose leads with the bench like it was almost expected.
00:25:54
Like we like.
00:25:55
Laker fans have skipped the means ready.
00:25:56
As soon as the Bronn went out, that narrative has completely flipped in the book, The benches.
00:26:02
This, I would argue, is fine.
00:26:03
Better than the starters is in terms of pace, in terms of energy, in terms of defense.
00:26:07
Granted, you know, it's LeBron and he's the engine.
00:26:11
And I think he's kind of making sure imagines is healthy.
00:26:13
Doesn't wanna over exert himself going to the playoffs.
00:26:17
Um, the benches has has approved.
00:26:19
Kuzma has improved.
00:26:21
Uh, and I think those four months it's flipped that he's been more consistent, I would say, Um, not in terms of just scoring, but in terms of just over all as a player, I don't I'm not afraid when he has the ball in his hand, because I think he's gonna turn it over and make a bad pass.
00:26:37
I'm more like art.
00:26:38
If he shoots, it looks like you've taken in rhythm shot or the defense.
00:26:41
I don't feel like Like, you know, it's barbecue chicken. Basically itself.
00:26:45
I got, um, Caruso.
00:26:47
I was really, really worried about, uh, him even just bringing the ball up the court.
00:26:52
But he's been relatively good.
00:26:54
They've mixed in Dion, and he's been pretty good to a swell.
00:26:57
And so, you know, all of these different things, like these small things that they need to work on to improve on.
00:27:03
Um, it looks like those things were happening.
00:27:05
Uh, all we haven't seen is all that come together in one shot.
00:27:09
And I'm not sure if we'll see that until the playoffs actually come.
00:27:13
And we may actually see a couple days before you know, a couple games before the playoffs actually start where you know, they want to be crispy and sharp with their defensive rotations and stuff like that.
00:27:22
But again, every single team in this every single championship contender We just saw the Bucks loose to the to the Rockets in a shootout right.
00:27:33
The Clippers lost their fourth and final match up with the Lakers, right, playing basically their best defensive player.
00:27:40
Every single one of these teams, including the Lakers, has their flaws and there is no team in the N B A.
00:27:48
That comes in to the playoffs or can say this season that we have no flaws whatsoever.
00:27:53
Um, but what gives the Lakers and Advantages eight.
00:27:56
We have arguably the greatest player of all time leading us, Um, who is more cerebral than probably any player I've seen.
00:28:05
I would say since Kobe Bryant, Uh and we have a coach who's willing to make adjustments, was willing to say, Holy crap, We just gave up eight points in the 1st 3 minutes.
00:28:15
I need to get whatever the issue is out of here and adjust my lineups.
00:28:19
So and you know, we have ah, young superstar and and Anthony Davis.
00:28:23
So, um, we just gotta be patient.
00:28:27
Uh, but we don't have to be patient about celebrating because we did clinch the first heat.
00:28:32
And, uh, I'm sure our fans who want to diminish it or downplay they're gonna be level.
00:28:37
You don't get the whole car veg.
00:28:38
We don't care, because last year we were happy just to be in the playoffs and have one year later for like, six months after that, we're clinching a open seat, so you know, like that's That's a pretty huge jump from going basically to bottom of a lot of your top four pick or whatever to, uh, Teoh, number one seed in the Western Conference.
00:29:01
Mind you, not the Easter carpet.
00:29:02
So it's it's It's been a long time and I know like me after that Achilles tear.
00:29:10
You know, we knew writing was on the wall for Kobe at the time, and Lakers gave him that contract.
00:29:16
I'm only bringing this up because this is like a very that was a very, ah, not difficult time for me.
00:29:23
But it was a very I defended Cobiella during that time.
00:29:27
When they gave him that that two year, $50 million contract, you were like, What would you do that? Why would you give this guy this franchise? To do that? Meat meant something.
00:29:38
You know it to Kobe and meant something to fans to reward a guy who did what he did.
00:29:43
Obviously looking at in hindsight, with his tragedy, you know, it means even more to us that we took care of Africa and basically given his legs to us.
00:29:51
Given is like so Laker franchise.
00:29:54
Um, but I always reflect on that moment because I always think to myself that if we never do that, I don't know if LeBron James ever comes to this team, you know? And if LeBron James doesn't come to this team, I don't know of Anthony Davis comes to this team, and if he doesn't come to the same, I don't know if the Lakers get the one seed and they're in championship contention in six years, 67 years.
00:30:16
How many teams are still doing rebuilds? The Knicks are still doing a rebuild their like.
00:30:20
Other third Rebuild.
00:30:21
The Clippers had three re Brents before the end.
00:30:24
He got out of race.
00:30:25
Stand out in a racist owner before they could finally be considered championship contenders.
00:30:29
And, you know, we has Laker fans.
00:30:31
I think we are a little elitist.
00:30:33
We are, you know, because that's just the pedigree of that Laker fans have.
00:30:37
It's what they expect.
00:30:38
Um, and that's I think these moments are the moments that we should celebrate as a defense because, um, it's hard being a Laker fan, that you can win 50 what games and people are going to say, Well, we better watch out for the Blazers.
00:30:53
The Blazers could bounce up in the first round.
00:30:55
Yeah.
00:30:56
I mean, look, that's when I got a mute.
00:30:59
The television, You know, you and I didn't know each other.
00:31:03
When? When? Um, I don't think we did when the Lakers gave him that extension, But I said the exact same thing that you said they were taking care of their guy and that was going to send a message to every single other player around the MBA.
00:31:16
Not only that, he made more money for that team.
00:31:20
They were allowed to pay him because of the cab.
00:31:22
Like that's the reality.
00:31:23
Therefore, $1,000,000,000 franchise, largely because of that man, played for them for 20 years.
00:31:29
So they took care of their guy.
00:31:31
And I thought that that sent the message.
00:31:33
And so, no, you're absolutely right, man.
00:31:36
Um, there's a lot to celebrate right now.
00:31:39
We won't get too high because Kobe wouldn't want that.
00:31:42
But certainly I think Lakers fans could take the night and kind of let out a sigh of relief.
00:31:46
We got the one seed and I know Anthony Davis.
00:31:49
The other night, he kind of only took seven shots.
00:31:52
It kind of looked like he was out of it, But I'm looking at his free throw numbers.
00:31:56
For the last three games, he was 60.
00:31:59
He was, um, 16 of 17 against the Clippers.
00:32:04
He was not of nine against Toronto and then 12 of 15 against Utah.
00:32:10
He's been aggressive from the free throw line.
00:32:12
This guy's easy's done this thing, and I think that he knows what's at stake.
00:32:17
He knows how he left New Orleans, even though I think he left New Orleans just fine that he you you do what you want.
00:32:24
But I know I know.
00:32:25
He's conscious of how people view him leaving New Orleans.
00:32:28
They want to win a title.
00:32:30
And so they will celebrate the night.
00:32:33
I was just looking up at ESPN that LeBron was just doing some of his postgame stuff.
00:32:36
But celebrate tonight.
00:32:39
I think we have okay.
00:32:40
See on Ah, what was next? Yeah, I think it's on Wednesday.
00:32:44
Yeah, there you have window.
00:32:45
So I wonder if the Lakers were trying to warm up Teoh like that three guard lineup against O K. C.
00:32:51
So I'm sure I'm sure the timeline is ah, on fire right now. I would imagine.
00:32:57
Yeah, Yeah.
00:32:59
You know, some folks between get out, I feel like and you know, Lakers Air Laker fans are just holding on to these receipts for that championship.
00:33:07
Once that championship, they're gonna spend all Well, it won't be summertime by then.
00:33:11
It will be like, Oh, this will be some summertime left.
00:33:13
We'll spend all of the all of the offseason limited offseason that we have sharing those receipts everybody.
00:33:18
But, I mean, you know, like of what a lot of things I've talked to you about before is like just dunking on people on Twitter.
00:33:25
It's just like it's not fun anymore.
00:33:27
Like it's not fun making fun of Nick, Fidel and Jackie MacMullan and all these other guys.
00:33:33
Just like Come on, man, like you guys.
00:33:35
I can't imagine that you guys actually believe some of the stuff you say, but maybe you do.
00:33:39
Maybe it sells ratings itself.
00:33:41
I got, but it because for me, because of everything that's happened this season, is just I just want, like to kind of sit back and just like a sigh of relief, you know, just like way made it.
00:33:52
We're here, you know? Um, like I said, Job's not finished.
00:33:57
But this is something that you can.
00:34:00
This is something the players can reward themselves with at least mental and say, the amount of effort that I put in to this and the amount of nonsense that people are saying about us, Um, this is at least something that we can hang our hat and they're still five more games left for the Lakers before the regular season is over in the playoff, pretty much immediately.
00:34:18
Start after that.
00:34:19
Um, but like, I won't be surprised if we have, like, a let down, okay, Seeking like it there Just like, now, kind of working lineups or not trying too hard to, like collide with guys full speed and yeah, Eddie Davis, I felt we hit the ground so many times today I'm like, All right, we don't need to Do you think we don't? We don't need to win the game that bad where you're gonna get into getting hurt, you know? I mean, like, so that in, like, if you you know, you've been watching the three games, LeBron's getting found like and there's not allowing anything.
00:34:48
And so for me, it's just like all right, this is how they're gonna call it itself.
00:34:51
I get then just just stay healthy as you get into the playoffs, and then we can we can work on it from there.
00:34:57
So, um, you know, I'm just happy that way.
00:35:02
Clinched the first seed.
00:35:03
Um, And I'm sure like your sweater will spend the rest of this week, uh, onwards letting all these folks know people already tagging.
00:35:12
Ah, a couple of those riders.
00:35:14
Some of my tweets just kind of killing them.
00:35:17
So it's enjoying that, like your friends have earned it.
00:35:20
They've been defending faithfully, uh, defending this team all season when people are using obtuse metrics and stats to make everybody look worse.
00:35:30
Uh, are, you know, mislead people in.
00:35:31
So I got So it's It's wonderful, man.
00:35:35
It's It's been a great season, and it's been a very long season, but we're not done yet.
00:35:40
Now it's getting into the playoffs healthy and, uh, bringing it all together for ah, for a championship run.
00:35:47
Looks like that's what we're gonna do, man.
00:35:49
So we'll close out on that when they tell everybody.
00:35:53
Would you confine you, man? Ah, you could find me on Twitter at a vehicle.
00:35:57
That's basically where I'm out, have got a newsletter.
00:35:59
You can subscribe to it in the bio.
00:36:01
It's mainly Lakers contact, but, you know, I write about all kinds of different stuff.
00:36:05
I'm trying to absorb his money and the games as they can.
00:36:08
And, uh, once we finally forgot who that 18 is gonna be, well, we'll do some deep dives into, uh, the Lakers could kind of no counter whatever the team is opposing team likes to do and where they're more effective compared to everybody else.
00:36:21
So I'm looking forward to more in depth Laker content once we get closer to those playoffs.
00:36:25
But you can find me on Twitter.
00:36:28
Guys, you can find me on Twitter.
00:36:29
Also, um, at Laker Central CEO, you can follow the podcast at Laker Central 3 65 and you can follow the network at cross over 3 65 on Twitter and Instagram.
00:36:41
You've been listening to Laker Central

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