Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – not earning his paycheck and hurting the team!!!!

I point to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s terrible decision making as one of the primary reasons the Lakers have been in a tailspin, having lost nine consecutive games. Now in his fifth year in the NBA, he was signed to a one year deal with the Lakers who expected KCP to be a defensive stopper, a three-point shooter and “a veteran who the young Lakers will learn from and emulate”!

The Lakers’ $18 million player (making similar money to Klay Thompson, De Marcus Cousins and John Wall) scored zero points in twenty minutes in the upsetting loss at home to the Hornets Friday night. This is the culmination of bad choices starting last year while still playing for the Pistons when he was charged with driving under the influence. Then he failed to take the drug/alcohol tests required as part of his sentence. This resulted in a 25 day sentence in a Seal Beach jail where he was allowed to leave jail for Laker practices and California games but not allowed to leave the state for away games.

Exactly what are the young Lakers supposed to learn or emulate from this bad behavior? Since KCP began serving his 25-day sentence, he has been playing very poorly, his on-the-court body language has been disgusting, he looks so distracted and he has been scoring considerably below his career averages. Add to that the other Laker starters out due to injuries, KCP playing poorly at home and not playing at all outside California, is it any wonder the Lakers have dropped to last place in the West?

KCP. shame, shame on you!!!!!!

LAKERS ON THE ROAD AGAINST THE KNICKS

I was disappointed by the overtime loss at MSG last night but thought the game was highly entertaining.  The score was 113-109 so, once again, the Lakers were in the game to the very end.  The main reason we lost was the Unicorn … Porzingis had 37 points (5 out of 8 three pointers!), 11 rebounds and 5 blocks.  We just didn’t have an answer for him (although I liked the trapping defense the Lakers tried on him from time to time).

It’s funny how you make assumptions during the game but the actual game stats don’t always reflect your assumptions.  I was sure the Lakers were considerably out-rebounded by the Knicks.  But, oh no, not true.  The Lakers had 52 rebounds last night … that’s right, 52! (20 offensive and 32 defensive); the Knicks had 49 to our 52 (15 offensive and 34 defensive).

I always look at the Lakers’ free throw shooting after their games because they are last in the league at making free throws, so it’s a real problem.  Against the Knicks, the Lakers shot 12 of 15, a very respectable 80%.  Randle missed 2 free throws at a pivotal time in the game and turned the ball over 3 times, but it was a team loss last night.

The Lakers’ best players last night were Kuzma with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and Ball with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 1 block.  Can you please tell me why KCP took 14 3-pointers last night???? he only made 4 of them.  I know Luke wants KCP to take 3-pointers but 14?  Really?  Maybe one of the biggest reasons for the loss?

Ingram struggled mightily with Porzingis guarding the paint most of the evening.  Porzingis had 5 blocks … were they all against BI??? And then BI’s jumper wasn’t falling either.  Finally, let’s talk about our young point guard, Lonzo Ball.  There was a moment in the game last night where I felt Zo became a legitimate NBA player.  Zo jumped high above the rim as a lob was thrown to him  and slammed it down like he’s been doing it for years.  It was the moment after that when Zo looked in the camera with a little grin before running down the court; that’s when he became a player who belongs in the NBA.  His entire body language changed after that play and, if he hadn’t hurt his knee, I’m quite sure this would have been his best game.  Note to critics:  Shut up about Lonzo Ball.  You’re going to look real stupid when people look back at your dumb comments!!!!

Finally, we were tied with the Clippers for 10th place at 10 and 15 for a minute.  But now the Clippers have moved ahead of us again as they win a game and we lose one.  I believe we will end the season with a better record than the Clippers for the first time in a long time.  Who agrees?  Who disagrees?  And why?