Spirits And Expectations Are High In Lakers Training Camp
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With the preseason set to begin tonight as the Los Angeles Lakers head into action against the Utah Jazz with the teams in Hawaii (Stan Sheriff Center), it is probably a good time to take a look at what a successful camp and overall preseason might look like. The team remains upbeat and seems to share a somewhat encouraging level of confidence and chemistry for a group that has only been in camp for about a week.

Signs of a definite camaraderie were already evident with the younger players during Summer League, but there was even a sense of a shared focus, drive and overall optimism throughout the team when LakersNation.com was able to catch up with the players during last week’s Media Day.

“I think we’re very optimistic here, and we look forward to the challenge,” reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams told LakersNation.com. “Obviously, this team hasn’t went to the playoffs in two years, but they’ve dealt with a lot of injuries and a lot of youth. You bring in some veteran leadership [Williams (himself), Roy Hibbert, Brandon Bass], everyone is coming into camp healthy; so like I said, I’m very optimistic and look forward to the challenge.”

Brandon Bass and Tarik Black were among others that echoed similar sentiments, but the overwhelming message left from Media Day was a collective feeling of optimism. Beyond putting together a diverse blend of youth and veteran players, the front office should also be commended for finding a nice “mix” of players and personalities that genuinely appear to to enjoy playing with and for one another; a bit of a welcomed surprise at such an early stage.

Black, in particular, discussed just how connected this group is and how much the younger players have benefited from battling against some of the vets at the practice facility throughout the summer.

“[Metta World Peace] is cool, he’s cool,” Black said. “Honestly, it seems like he’s done it [coaching/mentoring] before. He has a passion for working with young guys and helping them reach their potential…We had all guys that paid attention to him every time he had something to say. We soaked it in, we’re sponges. Us young guys, we’re trying to get after it. I know our vets want us to.”

Part of the reason why the World Peace signing was so low-risk, high reward is exactly what Black mentioned. When you have so many young and unproven players trying to adjust to life in the NBA both on and off the court, you can never have too many veterans on hand to not only pass on their basketball knowledge and tricks of the trade, but to also condition the younger players to avoid some of the pitfalls that can also come with suddenly being on such a grand stage and in the constant spotlight. It is very promising that such an “education” has already commenced over the course of the summer.

The focal point of camp, much like what you’d hope would be the main focus throughout the season, should be upon developing these young players both on an individual basis as well as teaching them how to be successful members of a collective effort. That aspect — transitioning from being the “man” on a team throughout most of their playing careers to an effective contributing component — may go overlooked by some, but is absolutely vital when trying to put together a successful team. This group, while very confident, doesn’t appear to have an issue with conflicting egos and agendas. We can’t stress enough just how much of an advantage that can give an emerging group; especially if they maintain such a connectivity.

The preseason is generally where veterans work themselves into the type of playing shape the regular season requires while young players take advantage of the last time they’ll be able to string together so many crucial practice sessions prior to the unrelenting physical and mental demands of an 82-game season.

In terms of actual expectations, more than anything, you simply want to transition into the regular season relatively unscathed. Russell appears to have already adapted to the foot discomfort, but you’d really like to see the team shake some of the ‘bad juju’ that has plagued them in recent years when it comes to injuries as the team enters the regular season.

Overall, it’s great to be at a place where we have a majority of positive vibes and storylines surrounding the team. After a few seasons of futility, drama and disappointing injuries, it comes as a much-welcomed return to relative normalcy for fans of the team.

Great article on Metta World Peace.
I’m not sure why the title doesn’t match.

  • Great article on Metta World Peace.
    I’m not sure why the title doesn’t match.

  • Lakers should try these lineups in the preseason and see how it goes
    Russel
    Kobe
    Metta
    Randle
    Hibbert

    OR

    Russel
    Clarkson
    Kobe
    Randle
    Hibbert

    Clarkson
    Kobe
    Young
    Bass
    Hibbert

  • Lakers should try these lineups in the preseason and see how it goes
    Russel
    Kobe
    Metta
    Randle
    Hibbert

    OR

    Russel
    Clarkson
    Kobe
    Randle
    Hibbert

    Clarkson
    Kobe
    Young
    Bass
    Hibbert

  • You beat me to the punch. …
    GREAT ARTICLE.

    What a refreshing contrast to some of the other authors pushing gloom and doom and their sales MO.

    I’m excited this guys!

  • You beat me to the punch. …
    GREAT ARTICLE.

    What a refreshing contrast to some of the other authors pushing gloom and doom and their sales MO.

    I’m excited this guys!

  • Russel / Huertas
    Clarkson / Williams
    Kobe / MWP
    Bass / Randle
    Hibbert / Black & Upshaw

    I don’t like the idea of having three rookies playing at the same time at the beginning of the season.

  • Russel / Huertas
    Clarkson / Williams
    Kobe / MWP
    Bass / Randle
    Hibbert / Black & Upshaw

    I don’t like the idea of having three rookies playing at the same time at the beginning of the season.

  • You still have time to call Mitch, but your starter line up only has one ROOKIE.

  • You still have time to call Mitch, but your starter line up only has one ROOKIE.

  • My starting five has two rookies in Russel and Clarkson?!

    Mitch and the coaching staff do what they want, I just voice my opinion as a fan.

  • My starting five has two rookies in Russel and Clarkson?!

    Mitch and the coaching staff do what they want, I just voice my opinion as a fan.

  • Greeting fellow citizens! Does anybody know the over and under regarding Kobe’s field goal attempts tonight?

  • Greetings fellow citizens! Does anybody know the over/under regarding Kobe’s field goal attempts tonight?

  • This team still has a cobbled-together feel to it. The Lakers are in the phase of rebuilding where they are just attempting to acquire talent, any talent, wherever they can. It make take a couple more years of free agency and trades to put together a team that looks like it was assembled carefully, willfully and strategically. This group is what they could get. It may have the beginnings of a team in Russell, Randle, Clarkson and possibly Hibbert, but as a whole they still lack pieces designed to work together. I’m looking forward to this season, but I’ll bet anything that at the end of the season some of these guys will be playing for other teams.

  • This team still has a cobbled-together feel to it. The Lakers are in the phase of rebuilding where they are just attempting to acquire talent, any talent, wherever they can. It make take a couple more years of free agency and trades to put together a team that looks like it was assembled carefully, willfully and strategically. This group is what they could get over the summer. It may have the beginnings of a team in Russell, Randle, Clarkson and possibly Hibbert, but as a whole they still lack overall talent and pieces designed to fit precise needs: a defensive scheme, a specialist filling a hole, etc. I’m looking forward to this season, but I’ll bet anything that at the end of the season some of these guys will be playing for other teams.

  • Hibbert already proving to be a huge upgrade from Hill. Defense is finally being played in the paint

  • Hibbert already proving to be a huge upgrade from Hill. Defense is finally being played in the paint

  • 1) Kobe looks really good
    2) Why is Sacre playing ahead of Black and Upshaw lol?
    3) Want to see me some Holmes, Frazier and A Brown

    I was wrong. Jabari Brown deserves a spot in the 15.

  • 1) Kobe looks really good
    2) Why is Sacre playing ahead of Black and Upshaw lol?
    3) Want to see me some Holmes, Frazier and A Brown

    I was wrong. Jabari Brown deserves a spot in the 15.

  • Only these 10 are going to play and next game this bench won’t see time and the others guys will play.

  • Only these 10 are going to play and next game this bench won’t see time and the others guys will play.

  • that’s good. because holmes deserves to play a 30-minute pre season game to exhibit his full range of skills.

  • that’s good. because holmes deserves to play a 30-minute pre season game to exhibit his full range of skills.

  • i think both teams realize that they will be battling for the 7th and/or 8th seeds all year long. they need to take these two pre-season games very seriously.

  • i think both teams realize that they will be battling for the 7th and/or 8th seeds all year long. they need to take these two pre-season games very seriously.

  • ya but if russell and clarkson are going to be starters, i don’t mind lou/jbrown as the second unit back court.

  • ya but if russell and clarkson are going to be starters, i don’t mind lou/jbrown as the second unit back court.

  • This team looks good. The bench with Lou, Swaggy, bass and brown looks like the best bench in the league

  • This team looks good. The bench with Lou, Swaggy, bass and brown looks like the best bench in the league

  • Lou looks good as the backup point and Huertas will probably end up being the 3rd string point

  • Lou looks good as the backup point and Huertas will probably end up being the 3rd string point

  • Russell to Randle has a Stockton-Malone ring to it. Let’s hope they do what is expected of them in years to come.

  • Russell to Randle has a Stockton-Malone ring to it. Let’s hope they do what is expected of them in years to come.

  • True. He’s too fixated on developing that mid range jumper. Needs to give it time and work more inside

  • True. He’s too fixated on developing that mid range jumper. Needs to give it time and work more inside

  • Larry Nance please! We need someone to clean up bricks and out-hustle guys at the post. Larry brings a skill set that nobody else has on this roster!!

  • Larry Nance please! We need someone to clean up bricks and out-hustle guys at the post. Larry brings a skill set that nobody else has on this roster!!

  • Randle looked so much better last preseason… i think he still hasn’t recovered from the injury..

  • Randle looked so much better last preseason… i think he still hasn’t recovered from the injury..

  • Yup. I know it’s just preseason, but they don’t look all that good. Just about every basketball journalists said they’re going to get the 8th seed this year, but I too feel like they’re overrated.

  • Russell is like a young Mike Bibby right now… too many flashy passes..

  • Yup. I know it’s just preseason, but they don’t look all that good. Just about every basketball journalists said they’re going to get the 8th seed this year, but I too feel like they’re overrated.

  • They’re not a lock to get the 8th seed but they along with the lakers kings Suns and mavs will fight for the 8th seed

  • They’re not a lock to get the 8th seed but they along with the lakers kings Suns and mavs will fight for the 8th seed

  • nah. julius is the future. you’ve got to keep going to him. it’s PREseason, bro.

  • nah. julius is the future. you’ve got to keep going to him. it’s PREseason, bro.

  • I think it will come down to the Jazz and Mavs battling for the 8th seed, but from all the talk about this being the year for the Jazz, I really don’t see anything special from them. If this Lakers team can stay healthy, I wouldn’t rule us out and I doubt the Suns will have a good season this year.

  • now u know why jazz had the best defensive efficiency in the league last year. they allowed only 93 pts a game. fantastic defensive unit.

  • I think it will come down to the Jazz and Mavs battling for the 8th seed, but from all the talk about this being the year for the Jazz, I really don’t see anything special from them. If this Lakers team can stay healthy, I wouldn’t rule us out and I doubt the Suns will have a good season this year.

  • now u know why jazz had the best defensive efficiency in the league last year. they allowed only 93 pts a game. fantastic defensive unit.

  • Sit Sacre down, we already know what little he can do. Bring in Upshaw and Metta.

  • Sit Sacre down, we already know what little he can do. Bring in Upshaw and Metta.

  • Yah him and Kelly are garbage. they need to go from working for the lakers to waste management

  • Yah him and Kelly are garbage. they need to go from working for the lakers to waste management

  • Kelly must’ve been working with Clarkson in the offseason since he keeps driving to the paint

  • Kelly must’ve been working with Clarkson in the offseason since he keeps driving to the paint

  • PREseason, man. relax. if we are playing like this in game #8, then you have a point.

  • PREseason, man. relax. if we are playing like this in game #8, then you have a point.

  • they should be treating pre-season like the regular season! only way to build chemistry and co-ordination. doesn’t help when scrubs get so many minutes while promising young guys like Upshaw, Holmes and Frazier sit out.

  • they should be treating pre-season like the regular season! only way to build chemistry and co-ordination. doesn’t help when scrubs get so many minutes while promising young guys like Upshaw, Holmes and Frazier sit out.

  • I don’t know what to make of it either. He needs an offensive coordinator desperately.

  • hey its not about missing shots. its the type of shots we created because of terrible chemistry. if they were missing good shots, i don’t mind. its the type of shots.

  • I don’t know what to make of it either. He needs an offensive coordinator desperately.

  • hey its not about missing shots. its the type of shots we created because of terrible chemistry. if they were missing good shots, i don’t mind. its the type of shots.

  • Yeah, it’s a sore eye seeing them to be honest.. I hope they’re just there for show and to give rest on key players on this pointless game.

  • Time is of the essence. When the first regular season game starts, we need to have ironed out all our flaws and built great chemistry/co-ordination. Doesn’t help when scrubs play so many minutes when clearly they will get cut/demoted in a few weeks. Why not give young guys like Holmes, Upshaw and Frazier a chance?

  • Yeah, it’s a sore eye seeing them to be honest.. I hope they’re just there for show and to give rest on key players on this pointless game.

  • Time is of the essence. When the first regular season game starts, we need to have ironed out all our flaws and built great chemistry/co-ordination. Doesn’t help when scrubs play so many minutes when clearly they will get cut/demoted in a few weeks. Why not give young guys like Holmes, Upshaw and Frazier a chance?

  • lakers committed 31 fouls and gave up 48 free throws, we lucky Jazz only hit 70% of those lol

  • lakers committed 31 fouls and gave up 48 free throws, we lucky Jazz only hit 70% of those lol

  • THAT’S THE FUCKIN PROBLEM! We shouldn’t be treating these games as “pointless games”. We need to build chemistry and need to approach these games as the build block toward the regular season. That’s not what BS did tonight. He just flat out refused to try.

  • bro if Sacre and/or Kelly avg even 12 minutes per game over the next 7 games, would you still justify your comment?

  • THAT’S THE FUCKIN PROBLEM! We shouldn’t be treating these games as “pointless games”. We need to build chemistry and need to approach these games as the building block toward the regular season. That’s not what BS did tonight. He just flat out refused to try.

  • bro if Sacre and/or Kelly avg even 12 minutes per game over the next 7 games, would you still justify your comment?

  • If this was regular season then we’d have the win. No reason for sacre or Kelly to be on the court at all times

  • EXACTLY my point! we need to treat these pre-season games like playoff contention games.

  • If this was regular season then we’d have the win. No reason for sacre or Kelly to be on the court at all times

  • EXACTLY my point! we need to treat these pre-season games like playoff contention games.

  • well, they’re still on the team. players theoretically improve over the summer. this isn’t the playoffs, man. come on. give it some time.

  • well, they’re still on the team. players theoretically improve over the summer. this isn’t the playoffs, man. come on. give it some time.

  • NEXT GAME BS NEEDS TO START THIS SECOND UNIT:

    Upshaw
    Larry Nance
    Holmes
    Frazier
    Huertas

    CUT SCRUBS SACRE AND KELLY NOW!!!!

  • NEXT GAME BS NEEDS TO START THIS SECOND UNIT:

    Upshaw
    Larry Nance
    Holmes
    Frazier
    Huertas

    CUT SCRUBS SACRE AND KELLY NOW!!!!

  • I agree. We know what these two CAN’T do for the Lakers. Lets get a look at Upshaw and the others.

  • I agree. We know what these two CAN’T do for the Lakers. Lets get a look at Upshaw and the others.

  • Kelly has been looking good, don’t know why you want him cut before the end of preseason. The person that needs to be cut is BS.

  • Kelly has been looking good, don’t know why you want him cut before the end of preseason. The person that needs to be cut is BS.

  • Those two are the face of the last two year’s worth of suck. They need to stay off camera.

  • Those two are the face of the last two year’s worth of suck. They need to stay off camera.

  • 1st critique—Randall needs to play Closer to the basket…his 15″ shots look unrefined and a bit awkward….Defensively they have improve but nothing to Brag about….They have learn to help Hibbert out when he’s blocking shots by having his back….2nd half Defensively they Pooted…..Tuesday looking for improvements.

  • 1st critique—Randall needs to play Closer to the basket…his 15″ shots look unrefined and a bit awkward….Defensively they have improve but nothing to Brag about….They have learn to help Hibbert out when he’s blocking shots by having his back….2nd half Defensively they Pooted…..Tuesday looking for improvements.

  • Because he is on the “bubble.” He is likely to be cut when they go from 20 to 15. Make sense?

  • Because he is on the “bubble.” He is likely to be cut when they go from 20 to 15. Make sense?

  • Naturally. Wesley Johnson was right, nobody knew what they were doing, but this early in the season I shouldn’t have been surprised.
    I didn’t watch it all. I had to go put cold compresses on my eyes, so I may have missed seeing Huertas and Underdog’s debut. Did they play? Nick looked fairly good at the half. He has such a nice stroke.

  • Naturally. Wesley Johnson was right, nobody knew what they were doing, but this early in the season I shouldn’t have been surprised.
    I didn’t watch it all. I had to go put cold compresses on my eyes, so I may have missed seeing Huertas and Underdog’s debut. Did they play? Nick looked fairly good at the half. He has such a nice stroke.

  • Oh come on, like you don’t know what I mean. I personally consider players to be rookies as long as they don’t have two full seasons under their belt.

  • Oh come on, like you don’t know what I mean. I personally consider players to be rookies as long as they don’t have two full seasons under their belt.

  • Well sure, but what you consider and what the word means isn’t the same. 2nd season players are usually called sophomores. But the point is he has NBA experience under his belt and he played pretty good last season, so it’s unfair to put him in the same boat as Russell. He’s not a rookie anymore.

  • Well sure, but what you consider and what the word means isn’t the same. 2nd season players are usually called sophomores. But the point is he has NBA experience under his belt and he played pretty good last season, so it’s unfair to put him in the same boat as Russell. He’s not a rookie anymore.

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