Lakers sign Josh McRoberts to fill in for Lamar Odom

19 Comments

Josh McRoberts has a lot of fans around the league because he is a hard-nosed, smart player — not flashy but he plays within himself and gets the job done.

Which will make him an interesting fit on the Los Angeles Lakers. McRoberts signed for two years with the Lakers for the mini mid-level exception of $2.5 million per year, tweets Marc Spears of Yahoo. McRoberts, a Duke alum, played last season in Indiana.

McRoberts essentially replaces Odom on the court, although in a very different way. McRoberts is a great pickup at that price for the Lakers — solid rebounder and defender who is a very efficient scorer around the rim (68 percent shooter within three feet, according to John Schuhmann at NBA.com). He’s going to get open looks in L.A. he did not in Indiana, so his midrange may improve. He will provide quality minutes behind Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum (especially now that Derrick Caracter may be out for the season with a torn meniscus in his knee).

But he will not provide the versatility or skill of Odom, who could come in off the bench and just change a game. He also is not married to a Kardashian. Well, at least not yet.

The other thing McRoberts will not provide is a locker room presence. Darius Soriano of Forum Blue & Gold phrased it well — in the Laker locker room Kobe Bryant is the bad cop, Derek Fisher the good cop, and Odom was the big brother who put his arm around you and talked to you about it. He will be missed.

That is not to diminish what is a nice pickup by the Lakers.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

Getty Images
Leave a comment

NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

Getty Images
Leave a comment

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

1 Comment

This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

1 Comment

Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?