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Tag: Luke Walton

Darius Soriano: “Onus Is on Lakers’ Player Development Folks” to Maximize Potential

Darius Soriano has high hopes for Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram (pictured), who figures to see his role increase as Luke Walton focuses on his team’s young core (Zach Frailey/Flickr).

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The Los Angeles Lakers have a new president of basketball operations and general manager, as first-year head coach Luke Walton leads a youthful squad headlined by lottery picks from the past three drafts, Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. At this critical juncture for the team, Forum Blue & Gold Editor-in-Chief Darius Soriano stops by to break down the biggest storylines for LA’s present and future.

2:44-3:43: Sadly, the biggest Lakers-related news this season happened off the court with last week’s management shakeup:

“The writing was sort of on the wall once Magic [Johnson] was hired as an adviser to Jeanie Buss…The timing of it, though, was awkward and just the way it was handled, I thought, was rough for everyone involved…I’m sort of intrigued by the [Rob] Pelinka aspect, and I think the Magic Johnson thing – I don’t want to say ‘cautiously optimistic.’ I’m more along the lines of ‘I’m just sort of hanging back and waiting to see how things go.’ Magic’s very well respected in the business world, and obviously he was an amazing player. We’ll see how all of that translates that to a final decision-maker on the basketball side [for the Lakers].”

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The Clippers’ Suffocating Defense Earns Top Spot (Power Rankings: Nov. 11, 2016 Edition)

In the debut of On the NBA Beat’s biweekly (the every-other-week kind) NBA power rankings feature, Doc Rivers’ Los Angeles Clippers lead the field, four Eastern Conference teams rank in the top seven spots, Los Angeles’ other team cracks the top half, the “no-longer-tanking” 76ers occupy the last spot, and so much more.

Our three panelists, Loren Lee Chen, Aaron Fischman and Joshua Fischman, independently ranked the league’s 30 teams from top to bottom. Their averaged rankings produced this 1-30 list and took into account all NBA regular-season games up until and including Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Therefore, the results of Thursday’s four games will not be reflected in these rankings, but the blurbs and team records will be completely up-to-date. Future editions will also include each team’s net change from the previous rankings.

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Waxing Warrior, Media Negativity and Locker Room Reporting

Kevin Durant had some pointed comments about the media's treatment of Kobe Bryant this season. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

Kevin Durant had some pointed comments about the media’s treatment of Kobe Bryant this season. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

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The podcast warriors wax Warrior, as they delve into why Splash Brother Klay Thompson has not been splashing as much, Festus Ezeli’s promising development and coach Luke Walton’s reluctance to rest his stars. The trio also takes sides on a couple of juicy player battles with the media: Kevin Durant vs. the media on their treatment of Kobe Bryant and Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut’s beef with Utah Jazz writer Ben Dowsett on locker room reporting.

Music: “Who Likes to Party?” by Kevin MacLeod

Andy Liu: The Warriors Are “Cocky as Hell”

Harrison Barnes has been a huge part of the Warriors success this season. (nikk_la/Flickr)

Harrison Barnes has been a huge part of the Warriors’ success this season. (nikk_la/Flickr)

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As Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors continue to make history, Andy Liu of SB Nation’s Golden State of Mind comes by to drop some knowledge. He opines on the team’s dominant 19-0 start, Stephen Curry’s MVP play, the Warriors’ biggest weakness (huh? they have one?), their underrated front-office selflessness and so much more.

Here are some juicy bites:

6:30-6:55 Curry’s core strength: “He’s bigger now than he was before, but really the way he’s moving his body is allowing him to stay more grounded and less flimsy when he’s running around. And I think that’s really helped in terms of allowing him to drive aggressively without getting hurt, without getting scared of getting hurt.”

14:30–14:50 The Harrison Barnes enigma: I think he’s overrated in terms of the potential he has…but he’s also underrated in that some people on the other side of the spectrum think he’s not very good…and he only makes open shots and he does what he has to do because it’s easy.”

16:30-16:55 Draymond Green’s importance to the dominant, small-ball lineup: “The ‘death lineup’ doesn’t happen without him. And he’s also the most vocal guy on the team, easily. They call him the heartbeat…he’s the guy that brings the fire out.”

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The Still Undefeated Warriors and the Aesthetically Pleasing Hawks

Reigning MVP Stephen Curry has managed to add 9.8 PPG to last season's scoring average as his team sits pretty at 14-0 (Noah Salzman/Wikimedia Commons).

Reigning MVP Stephen Curry has managed to add 9.8 PPG to last season’s scoring average as his team sits pretty at 14-0 (Noah Salzman/Wikimedia Commons).

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Despite Aaron’s absence, Joshua and Loren revisit the Hawks conversation that began with Lang Whitaker earlier in the week. We touch upon Atlanta’s mounting injuries and how those might impact such a well-balanced Hawks squad even more than a typical star-centric team. Although new acquisition Tiago Splitter might not be garnering too many minutes in the early season, we talk about the types of contributions he can make come playoff time.

In the second segment, we reflect on the Warriors’ exhilarating comeback Thursday night against the Clippers. The Dubs’ small lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green has been killing teams in their limited minutes together so far. Should that unit be utilized more? And how integral is the team’s second MVP, Draymond Green? Finally, despite the embarrassing national TV loss, Joshua details what encouraged him about the Clippers’ performance Thursday.

Music: “Who Likes to Party?” by Kevin MacLeod

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