Grading The Lakers So Far This Season

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The Lakers season is about to change drastically. After 18 games and before Kobe Bryant’s first, this is a great moment to reflect on the performance of one of the most unlikely rosters ever assembled for the Lakers organization. A 9-9 record, with quality wins over the Clippers, Rockets, and Golden State has been surprising, given the team’s lack of star power in a brutal Western conference. Roles and opportunities will change with the return of Bryant. In recognition of the work the organization has done to stay afloat during Kobe’s absence, here’s a snapshot of the key players to date.

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Tags: Chris Kaman Featured Jim Buss Jordan Farmar Los Angeles Lakers Mike D'antoni Mitch Kupchak Nick Young Pau Gasol Popular Shawne Williams Steve Blake Steve Nash Wes Johnson Xavier Henry

  • Daryl Peek

    How does Farmar get an A and Blake a B?!? Blake is carrying this team! It is his floor general leadership that’s allowed a team that was in complete disarray early on struggling with Nash that’s now at .500 looking better every game.

    • Jim213

      Nash?! SMH… both Blake and Farmar B’s, as they bring something different.

      • Daryl Peek

        Very true on the change of pace but Blake is the constant steadying force on this team, period. A for Blake.

  • Jim213

    IMO, not sure you’ve payed attention to management’s previous moves but DH left on his own accord (thankfully). The coach gets most of the credit for bringing in the players he needed to fit more of his style given the so called salary restrictions that management had while believing big $ moves would be made come 2014. Management gets a C-, haven’t done anything aside of not being able to close deals (CP3) while finding inadequate talent to hold the fort down (franchise player(s)).

    IMO, B- given that though he’s inconsistent on the offensive (team leader blocks). But it’s just a matter of time before his offense starts to kick in as these last games have shown while appearing to assume a leadership type of role. Nash (brought by management too, SMH) was a bad deal for the franchise who aside of not meeting expectations places the team in a bad spot given his salary.

    • Daryl Peek

      What they said about the FO in this article is spot on! Something I’ve been trying to tell you since the summer… the money matters.

      • Jim213

        Funny how the media/writers/reporters/analyst-SMH believed management would wait until 2014FA to make a big move. Although Kobe, again shouldn’t be blamed for accepting his pay. The coach gets most of the cred for the roster (bench mob) not management who limited their chances to attain at least another go to player this past off-season by seeming to go all in on DH.

        • Daryl Peek

          MDA is doing a great job grooming this roster but it is the FO who stayed the course against the fan and media scrutiny for it. “We want Phil” is a mantra that has been echoed by almost all! Jimmy ignored this. Paying Kobe; Jimmy just pissed off the rest of the owners in the NBA with Kobe’s contract. As recently seen in an interview LeBron said Wade is getting the Kobe deal. Everyone’s looking and the owners know it. Kobe & Jimmy just blew up their big three discount triple checks good will in contract negations. Players are happy about it because it gives them leverage they were losing.

          When Kobe comes back and helps this team get even better than they are, you’ll hear a collective sigh around the NBA with the owners as they are all praying for a Lakers and Kobe failure to justify Jimmy’s ineptitude and Kobe’s selfishness. Winning by this team bucks their prediction of Lakers failure after Howard. It will vindicate Jimmy if the Lakers make the playoffs. As I see it right now, they better start eating crow and get ready to write bigger checks going forward…#Youwelcome

          • Jim213

            Agree and disagree… again, though some still chant for Phil to this DAY this talk ended in the summer as management went with the current coach. Agree with the Heat comment as Wade was asked if he’d want a similar type of pay for his contribution to the Heat. At which Lebron shouted out that he’d be going for a bigger pay down the line.

            Management dishing out this pay to Kobe likely upset many owners but it may have opened eyes come next time owners and players go back to the bargaining table. Although, Kobe will help the team out IMO don’t expect Kobe to be the old Kobe of old until he manages to get back to his strength and conditioning level which will either come down the line or in 2014-2015. But aside of that it’s important for the team to win the games they’re expected to while playing and hustling even more on the games that seem more challenging.

          • Daryl Peek

            None of us know what Kobe is gonna be upon return. What we do know is he’s the ultimate warrior and will help increase the teams intensity in competing. We’ve seen it already as he’s began to practice with the fellas.

            We want Phil mindset in Lakers fans will not die till another championship is won. We all want to see this team win another CHIP. I’m having a hard time understanding your stance on the FO and team given where we are and all that’s happened big picture over the years? Yes there’s been mistakes made but show me a team that’s perfect?

            The current state of this team is much better than anyone could’ve imagined given all that’s happened. The fan base is still very conflicted because most still want to hate D’Antoni and Jimmy but they’ve been given some very good (FUN & competitive) basketball to root for so far…

            IMO this change is a breathe of fresh air that the team has truly needed. Stale and painful to watch is what comes to mind when I think of the last three seasons ring chasing in luxury tax vain.

            The challenges in front of the team are what they are. Nothing can be done about the past. The plan I see being executed so far is a very bold and proper one given the Lake Show mindset of those on the outside of the organization looking in. I’m lovin’ it! This is a very exciting time as a Laker fan. A new frontier of Lakers basketball is being forged, so far fun and heart is the theme.

            Dr. Buss always kept a keen eye on ticket sales as an owner. His philosophy was winning and selling go hand in hand… Showtime. Kobe’s contract was a box office move as an olive branch for the FO transition. It was one that was absolutely necessary also. Free cap space going forward is the plan. This to is absolute of the most important. Building or should I say rebuilding and re-branding a dynasty takes unconventional thinking. The transition is never a smooth seamless one. Jimmy, Jeanie and Mitch will have many more rough days ahead of them to boot. The external white noise being ignored is so far so good all considered, IMO.

  • Daryl Peek

    Another brain fart I see as I’m going through this grading scale. Meeks B- and Young and A?!? Young’s numbers are consistent with who he is as a player in his career. Meeks is off the chart in almost every category! Meeks is a beast for this team defensively also.