Freeman Cebu Sports

Learning from past mistakes

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

Going vintage has its values but if we talk about sports, it would be better off if antiquated athletes are put to pasture. In any sport, athletes normally hit their peak between 30 to 35 years old. Except for a few gifted individuals, the wear and tear take the shine off, and the disintegration begins.

The LA Lakers tried with a bunch of big-name players on the decline last season with defense as an afterthought.  Intermittent shooting led to a stagnant offense and the lack of focus in general. The experiment promptly blew up on their faces. The stars whose glory had faded promptly made the Lakers as the league’s oldest team for the 2021-2022 NBA season.

They might have learned from their mistakes this time as they had recently signed four free agent players yet to reach age 30.

Damian Jones is a 27-year-old 6-10 center and he would be a regular piece in the rotation considering that Dwight Howard’s tenure with the team is in limbo. If Anthony Davis reverts to his preferred position at the 4, then Jones could start at center.

They added 6-6 guys who can play the 2 and 3 position.  Troy Brown, Jr. recently turned 22 and Lonnie Walker IV is 23 years old. Juan Toscano-Anderson is the oldest at 29 among the new signings but he brings another championship experience to the Lakers. Indeed, they’re young but looking at their stat sheets, they still can’t shoot.

They need to solidify their frontcourt and let AD be comfortable at power forward. Hopefully, the Lakers continue the trend of signing young talents. If the rumored reunion with the 24-year old Thomas Bryant bears fruit, he could share center duties with Jones.

He had played well with the Wizards but injury issues limited him to only 37 games the past two seasons. It was reported that he’s yet to decide whether to play for the Raptors or make a second tour of duty with the Lakers.

If games from the NBA Summer League are to be gauged, LAL’s summer league team, represented by their G-League affiliate South Bay Lakers, had the energy to play quality basketball. Phil Handy, the only survivor of Coach Darvin Ham’s staff house cleaning, called the shots for the team and all indications show that despite some lapses, defense is a premium.

A handful of the summer league players could make LAL’s regular season roster like 7-1 center Jay Huff who is only 24-years old and could ease Howard out of the picture especially if they can sign Bryant. The high-flying point guard Mac McClung on a two-way contract could also be on the 15-man squad.


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