Western Notes: Lakers, Looney, Ball, Nuggets

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters on Wednesday that Alex Caruso and Danny Green are listed as probable for Thursday’s Western Conference Finals Game 4 against the Nuggets, per Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

According to Vogel, Caruso is dealing with soreness in his right wrist and is getting a precautionary MRI. Green has an injured left ring finger. The 26-year-old Caruso only scored two points in 25 minutes off the bench in the Lakers’ Game 3 loss, while Green had four points in 20 minutes.

If Caruso or Green cannot play on Thursday, the Lakers may need to increase point guard Rajon Rondo‘s minutes.

Here’s more from across the Western Conference:

  • According to John Dickinson of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link), Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that center Kevon Looney is healthy and was a full participant at the team’s practice. Kerr added that Klay Thompson and Eric Paschall didn’t practice, as they were going through the NBA’s COVID testing protocol.
  • William Guillory of The Athletic takes a look at the pros and cons of the Pelicans keeping Lonzo Ball. Earlier this week, Ball announced that he signed with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The 22-year-old point guard had a solid first season with New Orleans, averaging 11.8 PPG, 7.0 APG, and 6.1 RPG. Furthermore, Guillory explores what a potential extension could like for Ball after next season.
  • Ethan Strauss of The Athletic writes about the similarities between the 2013 Warriors and this season’s Nuggets team. For starters, Strauss points out how current Denver head coach Mike Malone was under then-head coach Mark Jackson in Golden State. He also explores how both teams built their rosters in the age of free agency and feature an unlikely superstar player.
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31 thoughts on “Western Notes: Lakers, Looney, Ball, Nuggets

  1. Chief Two Hands

    Extra minutes for Rondo isn’t a bad backup plan. He is certainly a plus when he is on the court, 9as opposed to someone like Kuzma). My guess is that we will see a Lakers-Heat Finals with the Lakers winning in 6 games. That could change if the Celtics even the series tonight, but I would still have the Lakers winning in 6 if the Celtics advance.

  2. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Golden State should replace OKC in the playoffs next year while they battle Utah, Dallas, and Portland for the 5-8 seeds in the Western conference.

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      Don’t sleep on Memphis or Phoenix fighting for playoff spots next year.

    • El Don

      What about HOU, they might be the team replaced by the GSW, right?
      Also I can see PHO, NOL & MIN in the fight for playoffs spots, with GSW, HOU, POR & UTA at risk of being left out!

      • arc89

        Just 1 injury to any team can’t keep a team out of the playoffs. If lakers lose Davis they are out or Leonard goes down for Clips. Next year is a long ways away to start saying who will be in and who will be out.

  3. Chief Two Hands

    That’s a safe bet. I think many of us were surprised by OKC this season and the Warriors will be a playoff team, but not the title contender their fair weather fans try to make them out to be. They will be solid, though, and that is likely enough to push OKC out of the playoffs.

  4. x%sure

    That is pretty antagonistic to the team, Lonzo switching to Klutch. He must be relying on Zion’s pull to keep him in town?— but Zion is a couple years from negotiating, and is not a sure thing.

    • Chief Two Hands

      The Ball problem is always the father…but that jackass is also the only reason his kids are in the media. He is ridiculous…to the point that his kids’s talents are overshadowed by his ego and organizations are better off without any of them.

      • El Don

        For real you think so? I must admit apart of for people ranting about LaVar in this forum, I do never, ever, ever hear about him! I wonder how much he is an issue, or is just people making an issue with him.
        As I said, I never heard of him since all the notoriety he got around the time Zo got drafted… like 3 years ago!!!

    • specialfriedrice

      It only means he is attempting to seek a big deal…clearly this will envelope into a ‘he thinks he holds the value of a fat $100 note, but teams will only value as maybe a $10’er…

      It’s hard to see him having a breakout year if Ingram stays and Zion is fit for the year

      • x%sure

        Not sure Lonzo will ever be a breakout scorer. The article had good quick video breakdowns on him and the writer does favor him. Zion has to appreciate his entries, and Jrue his effort on defense, and these are important voices. But his shooting form even on layups can be awkward.

        Lonzo has made several agent changes of late. To speculate, he may be trying to avoid family attachments, but he wind up with Klutch’s Rich Paul, who made such disruption with ADavis.

  5. Simmons>Russ

    According to rumours.
    Pelicans and Nets are discussing a deal

    Jrue Holiday for Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and I’m not sure if it’s a first or a second.

    If such a deal goes through and you get Dinwiddie that means Lonzo is no longer a starter. So maybe they are considering trading also, which I don’t think would be a bad thing either.

    In which case Lonzo Ball grade ideas

    Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram (sign and trade) for Zach LaVine and Lauri Markeneen

    Bulls get two good young defenders in Ball and Ingram and something to build around. Add to that Coby White, Wendell Carter Jr and this years top 10 pick that’s a food start for Billy Donovan to make something with.

    Pelicans would be also building perfectly for the future. Imagine Dinwiddie LaVine Williamson Markeneen Allen with Hart NAW and Hayes.
    Dinwiddie and LaVine were both near all stars last season and would continue to grow and make a solid backcourt duo. The Pelicans would have two of the leagues best high flyers in Zion and Zach which would be tough to stop in space. Markeneen gives you great size and shooting touch at the 4/5 position spacing the floor for Zion Zach and others. You’d be building perfectly around Zion. All of a sudden he has shooters spacing the floor, he’s got scorers and passers for a steady offence which doesn’t lean to heavy on him. Most importantly is young and versatile. You can have Zion at 3 or 4, Lauri at 4 or 5 which allows you to play small ball or big ball.
    Zo and Ingram aren’t good fits with Zion, both players like to have the ball in their hands, both aren’t great shooters from deep, both don’t play his style.

    • dust44

      How would putting Zion at basically the 3 spot be building around him? He’s a very athletic big who outside on one game can’t shoot the 3. He’s def not a wing guy.

      • Simmons>Russ

        He would spend time at the 3 and 4 spots.
        At the 3 he be bigger and stronger than everyone meaning he could consistently bully players and get easy points. Plus you said he can’t shoot the three which isn’t true. He can shoot from deep and so other SFs couldn’t just not guard him on the perimeter either.
        At the 4 spot he would have more even match ups with players taller than him and more defensive paint defenders which means tougher baskets. I think he would make a solid combo forward

    • imindless
      imindless

      “Both aren’t good from deep” lonzo shot .375 on 6 attempts per game (higher than harden) ingram shot .391 from deep…..you have no idea what you are talking about. Pelicans aren’t trading ingram for lavine as ingram is way better, younger and cheaper. Lonzo is still a great 3 and d player to have. If they trade for dinwiddle I can see lonzo being the back pg to lead bench which adds depth.

      • Simmons>Russ

        Cheaper, even tho this offseason he’s going to get a max extension and LaVine gets about 18mil. Way better, even tho they averaged the same amount of assists and LaVine scores more points per game. Younger by 2 years who cares.
        When I said they aren’t shooters it’s cause they aren’t. Their natural games aren’t spacing, they don’t even really like to take open threes. Ingram is definitely a mid range specialist who can shoot some threes. Lonzo is a two way playmaker who can hit some open shots but struggles with consistency.

        Whereas both LaVine and Markeneen are confident shooting from outside. Their play styles suit Zion a lot better. LaVine a athletic freak like Zion who has really developed his offensive game lately and almost made the all stars. Markeneen a long PF/C can space the floor and use the mid range well.

        If they trade for Dinwiddie Lonzo is gone. His rookie deal expires end of next season, they would trade him now while his value is still high otherwise would have to try fight to resign him in FA only to be a back up.
        Pelicans would be giving up Lonzo hasn’t lived up to the hype at all who’s deal is about to expire. Plus Brandon Ingram on an enormous extension. For two players who suit Zion better and are still cheap.

        • El Don

          IMO Dimwiddie would be the one on the bench & Zo the starter, I do prefer Zo! Is my type of PG, a pass first guy, not shoot or score first, which is awful for a PG, he is very good directing the team, opening the half court & defending! Dimwiddie is just another scoring first PG! Not interested!

          • Simmons>Russ

            Your on your own there. Dinwiddie has helped carry the Nets into two back to back post seasons, nearly made the all stars in both years and it’s a solid all round player.

            Name another 5 good pass first point guards in today’s game…
            Rondo Ball Rubio and maybe CP3 are really the only real ones left and there’s a reason for it. Today’s NBA it’s about spacing, being able to shoot from deep and play quick. You say it’s awful for a PG to shoot first or score first which is 90% of the league. Guessing you don’t watch much basketball

            • El Don

              You left out Simmons, man!
              I do indeed watch a tone of hoops, but nice of you trying to guess my personal life!
              That it is the new “trend” or “fashion” to have guys at PG that are all about them instead of the team, doesn’t mean that we all have to love it, we have our personal opinions.
              BTW thinking different that the majority doesn’t ever make you wrong, maybe when you grow up you’ll learn that my friend.
              I do prefer the traditional game with bigs dominating the game, do hate absolutely the small ball game, hopefully that is ok with you!
              Way I figure hoops is that there is more happiness in giving & sharing is caring, that is why I think the PG’s job is making this happen, make the team better & feed the bigs with all the great looks they need.

    • x%sure

      A believable rumor, given that GM Griffin with the Cavs FO liked Dinwiddie. And jitters about committing significant money and dealing with Klutch could show him the door.

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