Lakers Nation Debate: Does Starting Ryan Kelly Make Sense?

Lakers Nation Debate: Does Starting Ryan Kelly Make Sense?



Topic Of Debate: Did Mike D’Antoni make the right decision to place Ryan Kelly into the starting lineup?

Context: After scoring 20 points, grabbing four rebounds, and blocking one shot against the Boston Celtics on Friday, it was announced on Saturday that Ryan Kelly would be getting a chance to make an impact with the starting lineup today against the Toronto Raptors.

Kelly has slowly yet surely earned the respect of the coaching staff and his fellow teammates, and he’s put the work in that it takes to be a productive professional player . Because of that, head coach Mike D’Antoni has rewarded his efforts by granting him this opportunity.

However, has Kelly been playing well enough to the point that he deserves to play starters minutes?

Verdict: We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans take on whether they felt Kelly deserved starters minutes. I presented the poll question:

Here are some responses:

Kelly has certainly impressed Lakers fans as of late, but I’m not quite sure that he’s ready to be a starter in this league. We know that he’s the ideal “stretch four” in Mike D’Anoni’s system, as he’s proven that he is capable of converting shots from beyond the arc.

I think it would be more suitable for Kelly if he were to simply get an increased role in the rotation. Increase his minutes and give him a more defined role. I think that starting spot alongside Gasol should be given to Jordan Hill, as his rebounding and defense fits as a better compliment in the first unit.

It’s great that Kelly is developing, but the last thing we want is for him to shoulder more responsibility than what he’s capable of handling. Placing him in the starting lineup could lead to that.

What about you? Do you think he’s ready to make an impact with the first unit?
Kobe Calls Rajon Rondo An A-Hole And Reflects On His Favorite Moment In Boston Garden

  • Boobie Knight

    Starting? He wouldn’t make the roster on most teams. If our team didn’t suck so bad he wouldn’t be getting any minutes.

    • Gregory Choa

      This particular Lakers team, at this particular juncture, is very much UNlike “most teams”…which is precisely why starting a guy like Kelly makes perfect sense. The Lakers have literally nothing to lose with this move – develop a young player that you’re possibly vested in for the future and see what happens – that’s what D’Antoni has already shown he’s pretty good at. There is zero downside to unleashing Ryan Kelly, especially in the wake of the waiving of Shawne Williams. Jordan Hill has already shown that he is more effective coming off the bench so it’s not like there’s another obvious choice on this roster to start at the 4.

  • Daryl Peek

    “I’d rather have Hill starting, our main concern is rebounding,”

    Yet the team has still been struggling rebounding most of the season even with Hill playing? It doesn’t matter what D’Antoni does, most fans are gonna complain in opposition to whatever he does regardless of it being what they previously said he needed to do.

    Most were saying MDA hated Hill yet he started Hill with Gasol. Then it was Kaman, Chris gets PT and the complaints go back to why is Hill on the bench?!?

    Hill has been struggling and Kelly will never be confused as the rebounder Hill is but RK4 is more than just a stretch 4. He’s very active on both side of the ball and is a better offensive threat in the flow of the offense. Improving the offensive flow helps on the boards as we saw in the Celtic game.

    Kelly when playing confident can be fairly aggressive and is very underrated as a mid post to paint offensive threat. If you look at his stat line he gets to the free throw line quite often and is pretty good at creating his own shot if his jumper is defended well to start.

    Another experiment, one that was in the plans from the jump via the reason Kelly was drafted.

    • Jim213

      Given the bigs weren’t getting enough minutes in the first place aside of Pau it won’t change outcomes. Since S Williams was cut the most obvious choice to stretch the floor is R Kelly. The team lacks starting bangers inside so though the coach’s prefers playing like Pau and S Williams/Kelly rather than the other bigs they have to make due with what FO has provided.

      However, given the bigs being bench players foremost they require plays to be developed for them Hill/Sacre as though Kaman can shoot and play the 5 but he gets limited minutes. Things may improve down the line when players PG’s start returning from injuries to help get the other bigs involved though they’ll still struggle to attain wins.

      • Daryl Peek

        Both Hill and Sacre are playing the most minutes of their careers. I love Sacre’s energy and attitude but he’s not a player that shold be getting significant minutes IMO. Kelly was the long term answer at PF as I argued this with you over the summer after the team had drafted him.

        I’d like to see Kaman be the first player off the bench to spell Gasol. That’s my only beef with D’Antoni’s rotations. Kaman has the same skill set as Gasol but is not as good on the boards. I believe we’d have less of an offensive drop off if Kaman was the permanent back up center.

        Defense will always be a struggle for this team simply because of the HC and his offensive pace philosophy coupled with Rambis not being the great defensive coach most want to make him out to be and the team not having a great low post beast in the paint. All we can hope for is better communication in defensive rotations once someone gets beaten on the perimeter, and better offensive flow the leads to better offensive efficiency helping the defense get set like we saw today.

        Kelly fits this mode.

  • roseducanna

    Will coach M.D change starter ?.Why he still coach for LAKERS?.Fire lame duck coach.

  • Florida Coastal

    Ryan Kelly has done great for the Lakers.He reminds me of Ryan Anderson.Don’t hesitate man not so many pump fakes man.Pump fake man is not needed when he shoots so darn good.He needs to just be a knock down shooter.Pump fake man?

  • Daryl Peek

    RK4; 17 pts, 5 reb, 2 assist and 2 steals on 5-7 FG attempts, 1-2 3pt with 6-6 from the FT line. He’s much more than a stretch 4 three point shooter as I tried to tell most. His FT attempts shows his willingness to get in the paint and mix it up.

    Williams was a better defender and was the heart of this group in the protector role but Kelly has much better overall skills that flows with what MDA wants to do. Kelly is not bad defensively either. More PT coupled with bulking up a bit, RK4 will be just fine. GO Kelly GO Lakers…

  • Gelo

    Oh I think Kelly can handle the starting job just fine. Just remember, if it wasn’t for his foot injury in college he would’ve been a first round pick I believe. Dukies know how to play.

  • Gregory Choa

    “Does starting Ryan Kelly make sense?”…is the Pope Catholic?

  • LakersHeatBeef

    @Mike_Bresnahan Only three Laker rookies in last 20 years have back-to-back games of 17+ points: Kobe Bryant, Eddie Jones + Ryan Kelly.
    1 hour ago

  • C*HarrisTHEboss

    Why not