On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by his colleague, Frank Urbina. They react to LeBron James‘ debut with the Los Angeles Lakers, discuss the biggest takeaways from Los Angeles’ loss to Portland, analyze how the team’s supporting cast performed, answer some questions from listeners and more. Time-stamps are below.
2:45: Breaking down what LeBron James, specifically, did well in his debut with the Lakers.
3:30: Discussing how LeBron must adjust to playing with young players throughout the season, and how the team’s confidence completely changed when LeBron checked out of the game.
5:55: The LeBron Effect is real; he’s going to get his teammates easy baskets when they’re cutting or getting open from beyond the arc. Which players seemed to benefit the most from playing alongside LeBron in this first game?
6:40: Discussing the Lakers’ biggest weakness: shooting.
9:45: It’s important to understand that it’s going to take quite some time for the Lakers to get everyone on the same page. Not only did they add a huge focal point in LeBron, they added a new group of role players as well.
10:50: Last year, the Lakers finished No. 1 in the NBA in pace and, after adding LeBron, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson, they’re poised to lead the NBA again. Does that mean Luke Walton will have a deep rotation? Will LeBron take more plays off on defense?
17:10: Should the Lakers start Josh Hart over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope?
21:23: The Lakers’ young guys will soon realize that when you’re on LeBron’s team (and constantly on national television), there are zero nights off. You get every team’s best shot because this game is circled on the schedule.
23:05: Breaking down Lonzo Ball‘s tentative first game and what to expect from him going forward.
26:10: Will the Lakers limit LeBron’s minutes more than in past years? He’s played 54,000+ minutes, counting the regular season and postseason. It seems that would be the best approach, especially given this team’s long-term plan.
31:10: The Lakers were out-rebounded by eight and they allowed the Blazers to grab 14 offensive rebounds. Is that a major concern for the Lakers?
34:05: Discussing why Michael Beasley barely played in the opening game.
36:20: A listener asked: Is Kyle Kuzma overrated? Frank wonders why the Lakers aren’t using Kuzma differently.
44:25: Several listeners asked: Are there any remaining free agents the Lakers can add to improve their shooting? Frank and Alex discuss several available players – Nick Young, Jason Terry, Corey Brewer, Joe Johnson, Jameer Nelson, Ramon Sessions and Xavier Silas – but agree that shooters should’ve been added in July.
49:20: Several listeners asked: With the Lakers struggling to shoot the ball, is a mid-season or deadline trade more likely? Kyle Korver, Courtney Lee and Troy Daniels among others are discussed.
53:50: Who should be the Lakers’ crunch-time lineup? Frank and Alex share who they’d have on the court to close a game.
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Lakers, Podcast, Podcast, Top, Brandon Ingram, Courtney Lee, Jameer Nelson, Jason Terry, JaVale McGee, Joe Johnson, Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Korver, Kyle Kuzma, LeBron James, Lonzo Ball, Nick Young, Rajon Rondo, Ramon Sessions, Xavier Silas, Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers