Thanks, I’ve been around, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions right before the All-Star game, as there was no practice time for the team to work with Thomas. I knew the defense was breathtakingly bad — so bad, the team dropped from 11th to 13th in defensive team rating after those first two games.

BTW, I’ve been looking at stats trying to find anything that seems to have a high correlation with the game result. Sometimes you hear game announcers pull out these crazy stats, like “when player X shoots less than 20 times the team wins 90% of their games.” So I’ve tried to do the same thing and started tracking some interesting stats. I’ve mentioned two above, turnovers vs win-loss record, and 3-point shooting/win-loss record. If you haven’t read a couple of other articles, these are my three current favorites:

Beast Mode Minutes: Randle’s stats when he plays at least 30 minutes in a game. This guy is not the same level player when he plays 24 minutes or less. His numbers are not proportional with his minutes played. Here are his stats for the 18 games this season where Randle played at least 30 minutes (Lakers record is 11–7):

20.3 PTS, 9.5 REB, 3.9 AST, 0.6 STL, 0.5 BLK, (.578 FG%, .681 FT%)

Balls’ Loose Balls: Lonzo ball is a top assist guy, but his turnovers are a better indicator for team success. When Lonzo has 2 turnovers or less, the Lakers are 14–7. Of the seven losses, two were overtime games with Golden State, one was at Boston, and one was against Philadelphia in the game where Joel Embiid made history (45–17–7 with 7 blocks had never been done since they started counting blocks.) When Ball has 3 turnovers or more, the Lakers are only 4–13.

The King Whisper Numbers: Lonzo Ball’s shooting since Lebron spoke to him after the Cavs game in December, made a major jump. Before the Whisper, Ball was shooting .296 on his 3-point shots. After the Whisper, Ball is shooting .426 on his 3-point shots.

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