Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Blog Page 149

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Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

I know it’ll be said, and you all know it’ll be said – that the Lakers won this game because the Celtics had a depleted roster. Well to Doc Rivers and his “Lakers never beat us when…” philosophy, I say, cancel my subscription, I’m done with your issues. The Lakers won, not because Boston didn’t have enough players, but because they a) played to their strengths – length and Kobe Bryant b) played defense and c) remained poised until the very end.

Fans, analysts and even the Lakers themselves have gone through the wringer this season for the inability of the defending champions to secure a win against a title contender. All of us watching have grown anxious waiting for the dominant Lakers; the hungry Lakers; the fired up for every game Lakers to show up and run over every team they met. Then Kobe Bryant came on the radio this week and said that, from the beginning, the one word he’d used to signify the 2010-2011 season was patient.

In the third game of their longest road trip of the year, in the arena filled with their biggest haters in the nation, on the night a beloved home team hero would be regaled for making record book history, the Lakers played to victory because they found their focus and maintained that which their fearless leader knew all along they would need – patience.

In their last meeting with Boston at Staples Center, the Lakers were anything but. They forced shots late into each 24 seconds, failed to run any offense, defended haphazardly and therefore ineffectively, their seven-footers played timidly and Kobe Bryant was forced to do too much, too late. Maybe it was the trade talks that got to Andrew Bynum. Maybe it was that “soft” label arising to haunt Pau Gasol. Whatever it was that prompted the Lakers big men to up their game from the last meeting (as there was ample room to rise up from their stinker in January), it was welcomed.

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Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The (36-16) Los Angeles Lakers are in the state of Massachusetts to face the (38-13) Boston Celtics for the second time in 11 days.  The Celtics are hosting the Lakers after a loss to the Bobcats on the road.

There is never a shortage of storylines when these teams meet. Ray Allen will more than likely become the all-time NBA leader in 3-pointers tonight. Leading several people to ask the question, did Allen wait until today to break Reggie Miller’s record at home against the Lakers?

An answer to the question is unimportant.

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For tonight’s Lakers, Celtics preview, we decided to show some love to a few of our favorite blogs/sites. Here’s a nice round-up of game previews. Enjoy!

Forum Blue & Gold
The first two games of the Grammy road trip have been wins and the Lakers seem to be finding their stride a bit. Surely the team could be playing better but I think we’re all happy with the wins just the same. At least, I am. I think Kobe said it best in a sit down with Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski when he stated that patience is needed and that the regular season is a process where making progress towards the end goal is one of the major parts of any season… (More)

Silver Screen and Roll
Today our Los Angeles Lakers take on their arch-rivals, the Boston Celtics, for the second time in less than a fortnight. Since the first match-up, an embarrassing double-digit loss for the purple and gold, the Lakers have finally shown some grit, winning an overtime game against the Rockets with solid defense in the extra period, losing a heart-breaker to the league-leading San Antonio Spurs on a last-second tip-in after a nine-point fourth quarter near-comeback and getting a solid win against the playoff-caliber New Orleans Hornets and a good defensive-minded win over the Memphis Grizzlies… (More)

L.A. Times Lakers Blog
One loss to an elite opponent sparked Kobe Bryant to publicly criticize his team and vowed that he would hold his teammates accountable for any future lackluster performances. Another loss to an elite team spurred Bryant to react with a calm demeanor, acknowledging disappointment to the loss but believing it provided a lesson on what the Lakers need to sharpen… (More)

Land O’ Lakers Blog
Despite appearances to the contrary, the Lakers don’t simply exist to generate talk about Carmelo Anthony. Their central purpose is to play games, and tonight’s is a marquee match-up. It doesn’t get much bigger than Lakers-Celtics, and after the poor showing in January, the Lakers should be primed to ensure a regular season split… (More)

Pro Basketball Talk
The Lakers are the two-time NBA defending champions. They have the newest shiny rings and the banner has barely had time to gather dust. Every time they step on the court they are the team the opposition wants to measure itself against. Except Thursday night. Then the roles will be reversed… (More)

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David Brickley host of the Voice of the Nation went one on one with “Big GameJames Worthy on Wednesday night. The Hall of Famer gave his thoughts on Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers, he explained why he still gets geared up for Lakers vs Celtics games, and will he be purchasing the new uni-sex fragrance by Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian? Get his take on all that, and more by watching this exclusive report.

Be sure to follow Voice of the Nation on Facebook

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UPDATE: Here are some of the Lakers reactions to the Melo-for-Bynum rumors:

Kobe: “They’re rumors, so we don’t really deal with the unknown. That’s (Bynum) our biggest strength… our size.” (via Kevin Ding)

Phil: “I haven’t given it a second thought … I haven’t even entertained it.” (via Mike Trudell)

Bynum: “I just keep playing. That’s all I can do. It’s happened before … I just have to keep playing basketball, can’t worry about it.” (via Mike Trudell)

Artest (on Charlotte rumors): “That’s a rumor? That’s not my expertise. My expertise is defense.” (via Kevin Ding)

By all indications, a Melo to L.A. deal seems to be quite a long shot…

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Voice of the Nation host David Brickley caught up with former Los Angeles Laker, and 3-time champion A.C. Green for an exclusive interview yesterday. “The Iron Man” explained how difficult it is to go for a three-peat, he discussed how he played 1,194 games in a row, and who is the best Lakers player he ever played with: Kareem, Magic, Kobe, or Shaq?

Be sure to like Voice of the Nation on Facebook.

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Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

…when O’s not strong. And the Lakers’ offense was definitely not in its finest hours this night in Memphis so thank goodness they had some good ol’ defense to rely on. It’s been a while since they’ve been able to fall back on that, but we’re sure glad they remembered how to use it.

The Memphis Grizzlies have defeated the Lakers twice this season, including a 19-point beatdown on the Staples Center floor. On the hunt for a playoff spot at the end of the season, every win from here on out is a must for Memphis, who at the moment sit at the 9th spot in the Western Conference behind the Portland Trailblazers, and one up from the Phoenix Suns, who aren’t far behind. Defeating the defending champs for a third time this season would’ve been something they could build on, but the Lakers were not having it.

The first quarter looked much like the two losses against Pau Gasol’s former team. The Lakers fell behind by as much as nine points in the first 9 ½ minutes of game time, with Mike Conley hitting all of his attempts from the field. It took an 8-4 run by the road team to get to within four points to end the quarter. Suffice it to say, the Lakers’ defense was a slow cooker. Memphis shot 55% in that first quarter for their 29 points, but that was as good as it got for the Grizzlies.

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Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The (35-16) Los Angeles Lakers road show stops in Memphis tonight as the two-time defending champions face the (27-25) Grizzlies.

The duo of Kobe and Pau dropped a 30-30 combo on New Orleans and led the Lakers to a much-needed bounce back win against the Hornets to start the road trip off the right way.

The 30-30 performance Kobe and Pau put on was the first time both scored 30+ points in the same game since March 1, 2009, and for the sixth time since becoming teammates in February of 2008. The Purple and Gold are now 5-1 when this happens.

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Set your DVR’s, Laker Nation. NBA-TV will premier NBA Unscripted: Lakers today (Monday) at 3pm PT. Per the write up from the L.A. Times this morning, producer Steve Weintraub had this to say about the documentary:

“It involv(ed) archived material from their library including the Lakers’ 2009-10 champion run and 8-0 start to this season, interviews with the entire Lakers roster and coaching staff and exclusive footage before-and-after games during the Lakers’ contests against the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics.”

We don’t have any details on re-air dates/times quite yet, but will be sure to update this post once we do. For now, here’s a preview:

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Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Lakers walked back to the bench during a time out and the camera cut to a smirking Phil Jackson. Before that quick break, Pau Gasol had blocked David Andersen’s three-point attempt, then Ron Artest followed that by intercepting a pass. That smirk on Phil was probably one of sheer joy that his team remembered what ball movement and defense look like.

The ball movement in this game was signature Lakers and, before we go into, “why can’t they do this all the time?” let’s just be happy they know how to get back to it. It was true team ball being played by the men in purple tonight. Every Laker who got some burn handed out at least one assist, with Kobe Bryant (32 points on 10-22, nine rebounds, five assists, one block) leading the way with five dimes. If there were a stat for the pass before the pass, or even the pass before the pass before the pass, Kobe would be right up there in the ranks. He sees everyone in his 360 and is probably the player best at passing out of a double team, and he did it tonight…often. New Orleans had him cornered every chance they could get and he made them pay for it.

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The Voice of the Nation went live from The Parlor in Hollywood, after the Lakers vs. Hornets game.

David Brickley and Gregory Small broke down their thoughts on the game, and D-Bricks went one on one with Pau Gasol. Well…as close as it gets!

Rundown

  • Lakers v. Hornets Post-game
  • Jeanie Buss to be a Beverly Hills Housewife?
  • Ron Artest meets with Jerry Buss
  • Good News for Kareem Abdul Jabbar
  • Smush Parker gains a few LB’s
  • INTERVIEW: Michael Fanter (Pau Gasol’s Body Double)

Additional Audio

  • AM570 KLAC

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 #115

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Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The (34-16) Los Angeles Lakers are in the crescent city to face the (32-19) New Orleans Hornets.

The Lakers have embarked on their Grammy trip; a seven-city 13-day east coast road trip. The next time they play at Staples Center will be after the All-Star break.

Tonight they’re seeking to bounce back and respond to another disappointing loss at home. I understand that in an NBA season, a team has to deal with several highs and lows. A low point is suffering a one-point loss; allowing a reserve player to be the hero with a tip-in basket.

What I having difficulty understanding is the game ending strategy. The Lakers were in position to win the game. They faced a situation that required a defensive stop, a box out and a rebound needed for a big win, but Andrew Bynum was on the bench.

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There are times when it’s necessary to write a couple of paragraphs explaining what you’re about to see. This, well… is clearly not one of them. Just watch the video.

According to Lamar’s website:

“Two days before Valentine’s Day — on February 12 — Lamar and Khloe will celebrate the release of their unisex fragrance, Unbreakable, with a launch party at Perfumaria at the Florida Mall in Orlando, Florida. Fans of the couple can meet them at the 7PM event, and receive a free gift with any purchase of a 3.4 fl. oz. bottle.”

Shoutout to the Basketball Jones for picking up on this first.

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We’ve got all the details on The Lakers Nation Viewing Party below…

Who: Laker Nation!
What: TLN Lakers Viewing Party!
When: TODAY! at 4:30pm. (tip-off at 5pm)
Where: The Parlor Hollywood (map) (directions) (website)
Cost: Free!

Come hang out and catch the Lakers, Hornets game with Laker Nation!

At halftime, we’ll be giving away a bunch of Laker prizes. To get it on the giveaways, all you have to do is RSVP (Facebook) (Email). After the game, Brickley, G-Small and Riley will be recording a LIVE episode of Voice of the Nation. Be there to see them do work, and be part of the show!

Here are some things you may need to know…

Seating: Even with an RSVP, we can not guarantee seating. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. However, we expect there to be plenty of open tables and seats for everyone. Your RSVP will help give us a head count so we can try to accommodate for everyone planning on being there.

Parking: Plenty of street parking is available (mostly free). Please pay attention to the posted signs. Also, there will be valet parking available for $6. (provided by the Parlor)

Food/Drinks: You can see the menu here.

If you have any questions, please leave them below or drop us an email. We’ll see you guys there!

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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.