Friday, 20 September 2019 12:21

Not Much News Out Of LA

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There hasn't been much to write about in Los Angeles for a long time. Ardoin is gone, Terwilliger is gone and most recently, Morrison is gone. Many wish that GM Whetzel was gone. Whetzel was literally a NOSHOW at the draft, forcing staff make a pick of a nowhere near ready point guard in Joseph Powell. The Chaos Roster is mixed between old has beens and young wannabes. Everyone was writing them off as a for certain lottery team in next year's draft.  But wait a minute... something might be happening in old LA. The team is actually on a win streak. It's probably too early to get excited, but something is different.

The Chaos were once a team that went to the playoffs every year for the most part. They may have not been an elite team, but they were a team that you had to be careful of. After Ardoin was traded and management started what seemed like a partial rebuild, the Chaos have lost that fear factor. They missed the playoffs last year and seemed to be headed for a total rebuild. LA still had some power players like Lenny Davis and Octavio Morrison, but winning games on the regular was not in the cards. Ownership sent Whetzel a message as well. The message, although not written in words, went something like this... if you are not gonna win games, I'm not opening my wallet. Whetzel's 2025 budget was decreased significantly from well over $100,000,000 in 2024 to only $87,000,000 this year. When asked about this, Whetzel had this to say, 

"This franchise made Runyan a large profit last year, as we do every year, but because we were not as successful in the win column, he felt he needed to send a message. I guess he could have fired me. The message was received, but not understood. Cutting my budget does not help the team get better, but it does force me to get more creative. Maybe that's what he wanted."

The smaller budget hindered Whetzel in FA signings. He did find some players to fill the roster with minimum deals, but the 2025 roster didn't seem to click. The season started rough. LA quickly found themselves near the bottom of the standings. Whetzel had to do something. LA was lacking a player that could really lead the offense and one that would have an impact on defense as well. Whetzel's idea came in the form of a trade. One of his most marketable players was Octavio Morrison. A versatile player that still has lots of game left. Whetzel traded Morrison and Curtis Stiger to North neighbor Sacramento and got Charles Ottinger and David Bouchard in return. Ottinger speaks for himself, but the player that has turned things around for LA is David Bouchard. Bouchard is a 3-time All Defensive First Team point guard that has been dropping dimes to his capable scorers as well as slowing down opposing forces. It has taken a little bit of time, but the Chaos are starting to climb the standings. As we get closer to All-Star break, the Chaos are sitting just one spot out of the playoffs. 

The Chaos recently have figured out how to score over 100 and keep their opponent's score pretty low. Is it just a trend? Maybe it is, but it certainly looks interesting at the moment. One of LA's most exciting recent wins was against the Pioneers. Now every top team has a dull night, sure... but it was nice to see the Chaos take it to KC, beating them 105 to 83. KC has only lost 6 times so far and LA is one of 5 teams to hang a loss on them. Chaos fans hope that the trend continues.

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