Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 135

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Photo by Harry How | Getty Images

“I didn’t see him limp one time – did you?” Chris Paul said from the podium when asked about Kobe Bryant’s ankle. The reporter answered that he did indeed see him limp a few times, to which Paul answered, “You probably weren’t watching the same game.”

You’re right, CP, we didn’t see Kobe Bryant limp either. We did, however, see him dunk on Emeka Okafor, which he followed up in the second half with a lefty dunk over Carl Landry. Lessons learned (if it hasn’t been already)? If Kobe Bryant doesn’t want an MRI, trust him. Even if it looked like he rolled, banged or twisted something, trust him. If he thinks discussing his injuries and ailments are a waste of time, seriously, trust him.

Bryant didn’t just “play through” whatever new or re-aggravated injury he had. He rammed his way into it at full force to the tune of 19 points on an efficient 8-13 from the field, adding four dimes, a pair of rebounds and a steal to go with it.

“The more I played, the looser it got,” Bryant said of his ankle. And the two monster dunks over the Hornets’ Okafor and Landry? Bryant just saw he would be challenged in the open lane and said he was up for it. “[My teammates] know I save those. I don’t have many of those left.” It was good thing Bryant had the sense to break out one of those rare, old school dunks, because it energized his teammates, not to mention everyone at Staples Center (heck, everyone watching at home even). He followed that up with a spin move into a floater, and then finished the half with another layup to help maintain the Lakers’ lead. And it wasn’t only the field goal percentage that was impressive; it was that he did it all in just over 28 minutes of playing time. The reason for the rare sub-30 minute game in a playoff game?

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Join David Brickley and Kevin Figgers as they play you post-game player audio, and give you post-game analysis of the Lakers and Hornets Game 5 at Staples Center.

They will be taking calls from the Nation, and the host of the Petros and Money Show on Fox Sports Radio Matt “Money” Smith joins the program!

Rundown

  • Lakers win Game 5 – 106-90 at Staples
  • Kobe Bryant plays through ankle injury
  • CALLS from the Nation
  • POLL QUESTION: Do the Lakers wrap it up in Game 6
  • Ron Artest wins Citizenship Award
  • A Laker player is arrested at a…pancake house?
  • Ankle-Gate 2011
  • INTERVIEW: Matt “Money” Smith – Petros and Money Show on Fox Sports Radio
  • Around the NBA
  • Kevin likes LeBron over Kobe?
  • and Much MUCH More

Additonal Audio

  • AM570 KLAC
  • Lakers.com
  • Fox Sports West
  • TNT

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #132
Like Us: Facebook
Podcast Home: LakersPodcast.com

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Lakers-Hornets series has turned into a three-game series. The Lakers are injured, distracted and tied. This scenario is far from the expected outcome in the first round. One can use several words describing this series; the fact of the matter is ‘completed’ is not one of them. I would also refrain from hitting the Lakers with a ‘lack of effort’ verbal blast.

The issues that have caused a tied series have been prevalent all season. They’re not strangers to a 2-2 series. They found themselves in the exact same position against the young and hungry Oklahoma City Thunder team in their last playoff run.

The Lakers can pull themselves out of the mess that they have created.

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Photo by Christian Petersen | Getty Images

NEW YORK (NBA) — Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers is the 2010-11 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. The award is named for the second commissioner of the league and honors an NBA player or coach for outstanding service and dedication to the community.

Artest won for his tireless efforts to promote awareness of mental health, including fund-raising, appearing before Congress in support of Mental Health in Schools Act and his all-around advocacy on the issue. Artest also raffled off his 2010 Championship Ring, raising more than $650,000 for mental health awareness, and took part in a public service announcement in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

“Ron has such a passion for the issue, and has demonstrated such leadership he was a perfect choice for such a prestigious award,” said Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association. “His work embodies the kind of dedication to important causes that NBA players have become known for.”

The PBWA represents approximately 150 writers for newspapers, magazines and Internet services who cover the NBA on a regular basis. Members nominate players and coaches and vote for the award. The finalists for the award this season were Artest, Marcus Camby of the Portland Trail Blazers, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls.

Ron Artest joins Magic Johnson, and Michael Cooper as the only Lakers to ever win the award

 

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Photo by Jeff Zelevansky | Getty Images

“I should play,” Bryant said to reporters after Game 4. “It’s going to take a lot to stop me from playing.

“I’m concerned, as I am about any injury, but I’ve played through so many of them it kind of becomes old hat for me.”

According to some speculation, it looks like the reason Kobe Bryant is refusing an MRI from the team is because he may know the results will come back positive, and the Lakers will not clear him to play.

Although it has been reported as a sprained left ankle, all reports on the severity are purely speculation.

Also, its important to remember that Kobe privately arranged surgery for his right knee last summer. So refusing an MRI from the Lakers is not as unusual as it seems.

According to Phil Jackson at Monday’s Practice, Kobe Bryant will play in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Kobe was not available for media at Monday’s practice.

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Photo by Jeff Zelevansky | Getty Images

Late in the fourth quarter with less than two minutes to play, Kobe Bryant twisted his left ankle, as he was guarding Willie Green. The injury made Bryant lose his balance, and he fell into Green giving the Hornets two free-throws in the midst of a tight game.

Bryant, immediately started limping around the court once the whistle sounded. Phil Jackson then told Shannon Brown to sub in for him. Bryant, waved him off, signaling that he was staying on the court. However, someone had to get off the court, and Phil Jackson told Kobe to come out.

After the two free-throws, Jackson called a time-out to let Kobe gather himself, and he went back in the game.

He had a noticeable limp in the last 1:32, but still was able to contribute, yet the Lakers didn’t have enough to win Game 4 in New Orleans.

Here’s what Bryant had to say after the game courtesy the O.C. Register:

“It’s more my foot,” Bryant said. “It’s not really my ankle; it’s my foot. I don’t really hurt that too often. It’s a little different.”

“It just rolled over,” he said. “It has been weak since I hurt it last. When it happens, when you throw your ankle once, it’s easy to go. It just went.”

And about Game 5 on Tuesday night:

“It’s going to take a lot to stop me from playing…I’ve played through so many of them, it kind of becomes old hat for me.”

Bryant used crutches as he left the locker room and on to the team bus.

According to Kevin Ding, Bryant will likely have an MRI or X-ray exam Monday. He said he’ll take treatment on the foot and ankle throughout the team’s flight home late Sunday night.

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Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Sting us once, shame on you. Sting us twice, shame on us. That’s what it should say on the Laker white board before Game 5, because if this were a game of missed opportunities, the Lakers would have won, hands down. They had a nine-point lead in the first quarter, then squandered it with careless offense and absent defense (I’m talking to you over there, guarding Trevor Ariza who scored 16 first-half points, ahem, Kobe Bryant). The Hornets made runs to increase their leads throughout the game, and so did the Lakers to catch up. But with each chance to either take the game over, the road team failed to execute time and time again and it cost them another game to finish off this series.

After such effective defense on Chris Paul in Games 2 and 3, the Lakers reverted back to their generous ways, allowing the Hornets’ point guard to get whatever he wanted in this game. Derek Fisher actually had a few effective defensive possessions on Paul, which the Lakers might’ve given him more opportunities to do. Unfortunately, they were caught on switches again, and when Paul sees Gasol or Bynum guarding him, it must literally be like a predator sizing up its prey. 27 points on 7-14, 13 rebounds and 15 assists. 13 REBOUNDS. That work on the glass equals effort says something about Paul’s stat line, because he was overflowing with effort in this game, which is more than can be said of the Laker bigs, none of whom even cracked double digits on the glass.

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Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Hornets stole a game on the Lakers’ home court in Game 1, and on Friday, the Lakers took their home court advantage back by getting down to basics. They got the ball inside and let Andrew Bynum get to work, they played team defense to keep the ball out of Chris Paul’s hands as much as possible, Lamar Odom showed just how vulnerable opposing defenses are against him, Kobe Bryant was…well, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol finally broke into double figures for the first time in this series.

The Hornets will, by no means, fold over and just allow the Lakers another win to head home up 3-1 in the series. They know Chris Paul’s the main target of the Lakers defense and they will undoubtedly find their way around it, or find alternative ways to defeat the visitors without being so dependent on their point guard. The Lakers’ job in this game is to do what they did in the last – keep it simple.

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Photo by Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Kobe Bryant scored 30 points in the Lakers 100-86 win against the New Orleans Hornets in Game 3.

Friday night’s 30-point game marked the 80th time Bryant has scored 30 points in a playoff game.

He now only trails Michael Jordan, for most 30-point playoff games.

Kobe has passed former Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jerry West who have 75 and 74 30-point playoff games respectively.

Here is the breakdown of the numbers:

  1. Michael Jordan – 109
  2. Kobe Bryant – 80
  3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 75
  4. Jerry West – 74

The only note to add to this stat, is former greats like Wilt Chamberlain had less games, and less rounds in the playoffs. For instance, prior to the start of the 2002-2003 season, the NBA switched from a best-of-five first round series to a best-of-seven first round series

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Photo by Chris Graythen - Getty Images

Pau Gasol grabbed a rebound off of Andrew Bynum’s miss and tossed it up. He missed but grabbed the ball again and dunked it in with a showcase of aggression that we haven’t seen from him in this series. The shot didn’t count but he got two free throws which, for the first time in these playoffs, put him in double figures. He followed that with a three pointer to open the fourth quarter en route to his 17 points on 7-13, 10 rebounds, four assists and a block for the night. Ladies and gentlemen, Black Swan has awoken.

A three-pointer from the corner with the shot clock running out was Gasol’s second from downtown this season, and though he’s more dominant closer to the hoop, that one shot did something to and for him. Simply, it got him going. Soon he was going after more offensive rebounds and after getting a shot off a second chance, he ran back on defense and pounded his chest on the way. Where’s THAT been the last two games? Gasol admitted that his performance in Games 1 and 2 affected his confidence, and a reported upper respiratory infection may have had something to do with his unusual lack of efficiency, but if this second half surge is any indication of future games, the Laker forward may have shaken off that lack of confidence completely.

While the second half belonged to Pau Gasol, the first two quarters were dominated by one Andrew Bynum. New Orleans had no answer for the young center. He tossed hook shots over Emeka Okafor with little resistance, received passes that he dunked so quickly, his defenders had no time to react, and the 11 rebounds to go along with his 14 points on 6-13 didn’t hurt. New Orleans Coach Monty Williams said that the Lakers’ offensive rebounding has been a thorn in the Hornets’ foot. Tonight the Lakers took 14 offensive boards and Bynum was responsible for a third. He went down (yet again) in the third quarter after getting his foot tangled with Carl Landry’s, but he got up and told the media post-game that he was okay. Yes, Bynum falling causes the Lakers and every fan to gasp with worry each time, but you have to give the 23-year old credit – he refuses to stay down.

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David Brickley, and Kevin Figgers come to you for another LIVE edition of the Voice of the Nation.

They give you full post game coverage, on the Lakers game three win against the Hornets at Staples. Special Guest Bob Licht play-by-play man for the Hornets joins the show!

Rundown

  • Lakers win Game 3 – 100-86 in New Orleans
  • Pau Gasol is BACK!
  • CALLS from the Nation
  • POLL QUESTION: Will the Lakers now win the series in 5?
  • INTERVIEW: Bob Licht – Hornets TV Play-by-Play
  • Khloe Kardashian freaks Laker Nation out!
  • Ron Artest has the recipe for post-season success
  • Kings to stay in Sacramento?
  • Around the NBA
  • and Much MUCH More

Additonal Audio

  • AM570 KLAC
  • KCAL
  • ESPN TV

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #131
Like Us: Facebook
Podcast Home: LakersPodcast.com

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Carlo Ortega - Winner of Game 5 Ticket giveaway

Carlo Ortega has won the Game 5 ticket giveaway! Here is his quote:

“First of all, thank you so much to LakerNation and ScoreBig for these Lakers tickets!  I registered for the giveaway for fun, and with all the Lakers fans we have I definitely didn’t expect to win.  I was out of town planning to catch the game on TV with some friends, but now it looks like I’ll be heading to LA tonight!  I’m so excited, I know the energy in the Staples Center tonight will be sky high.  Game 5 is obviously a must win situation for us, so I’ll make sure I leave it all out in the stands while our team leaves it all out on the floor!  Let’s go Lakers let’s go!

ScoreBig is the place for fans in LA to get sports, concert and theater tickets for less. All tickets are priced below retail and they never tack on extra fees to trash your deal.

Sound too good to be true? Check out Marco Comia’s response after winning the last ticket giveaway right here on Laker Nation!

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Check out the NBA’s latest playoff ad focusing in on of the greatest moments in NBA history, D-Fish’s .4 shot against the Spurs in 2004.

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With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.