Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Blog Page 150

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Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

You’ve made your bed, Lakers, now you must lay in it. Get comfortable because boy have you put yourselves into a difficult situation, with more than half the season gone by and this team still not appearing close to being capable of defending anyone, let alone an NBA Championship Title.

Some will look at this game and say the defending champs were able to stay with the first place Spurs; that they never fell behind by double digits; that they contained Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan; that they fought until the very end. The more realistic observer, however, will look at this game and see that rebounding and defense for this team has become a rare happenstance rather than a consistent effort; that the coaching staff is exhausted from having to repeat themselves about playing from the inside out; that the Lakers’ most skillful big man in Pau Gasol couldn’t defend a real swan if one had the ball with 22 seconds left in the game. People can squeeze all the moral victory juices from this loss, but the fact remains, the Lakers’ championship mentality is running quite dry these days, and the team can’t seem to find the well from which to quench their thirst.

The Spurs lost to the Portland Trailblazers on a night that the Lakers beat the Houston Rockets, putting them a whole game (thought still a bit of a ways) closer to first place. Tonight, they had another chance to close the gap even further and they failed for reasons beyond comprehension – because they didn’t fight for rebounds and couldn’t play an ounce of defense for the final 22.7 seconds of the game.

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Getty Images | Photo By Ronald Martinez

The (34-15) Los Angeles Lakers are playing at Staples Center tonight hosting the Western Conference leading (40-8) San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers dropped their last game against the Spurs, losing by 15. The’ve split their last eight games.

The Lakers are 1-5 against the NBA’s elite so far this season. All the chatter the Lakers are hearing, right now, is due to their inconsistency. They’ve experienced and have survived mid-season struggles. They’re just three games off of last years record at this time when they posted a 37-12 record.

A trade is not mandatory. Any good GM, at this time of the year, will remain aware of any available player that can improve his team.

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It appears that Smush Parker ate… well, Smush Parker. Parker is playing in Greece for Iraklis Thessaloniki. Per this report, he dropped 26/3/3 in a game last week.

To commemorate Smush’s playing days with the Lakers, let’s take a look back at his NBA career:

… On second thought, let’s not.

Special thanks to TLN User LANative for linking to the report on here. You can see a couple additional images of Smush by going here.

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Kobe Bryant made an appearance on last nights Conan. In case you missed it, we’ve got it for you right here.

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David Brickley and Jason Riley discuss the Ron Artest “trade demand” that happened on Wednesday. Also, Lamar Odom joins the program and tells the Voice of the Nation if Ron-Ron really wants out of Los Angeles. Lamar also chimes in on what he thinks of Kobe Bryant telling Pau Gasol to be a “Black Swan”.

Here’s the episode rundown…

  • Ron Artest: Does he really want out of LA?
  • Trade Possibilities: Can the Lakers get better?
  • Exclusive Interview: Lamar Odom
  • The Spurs are in town… with the best record in the NBA
  • and much more!

Additional Audio

  • AM570 KLAC

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #114

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Kobe Bryant had a talk with Pau Gasol on the importance of being aggressive, “It’s against his nature, he’s always very nice, very white swan, I need him to be black swan”

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UPDATE: After practice yesterday, Ron officially responded to the swirling rumors around his supposed desire to be traded:

“No, definitely not. Just because you’re not comfortable doesn’t mean that you’re not happy. Obviously when I was on other teams, I got a lot of touches. But I’m playing with the greatest player in the history of the game, and I’m playing with All-Stars. I don’t have a problem with looking bad on the court for the benefit of the team.”

Read the full report here.
Hear what D-Bricks and Jason Riley had to say about it here.
See what Lamar Odom had to say about it here.

(Read the full report, including all the original updates, after the jump)

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Despite last night’s listless overtime victory over the sub-.500 Houston Rockets, the anxiety surrounding the Lakers continues.

Following yesterday’s Farmers Field news conference in downtown L.A., Lakers legend Magic Johnson chimed in on the champs recent struggles, and on Kupchak’s comments regarding a trade possibility before the deadline:

“I think we have to. We have to do something. The Lakers are not responding and two things showed me that — the Miami Heat Christmas game and then the Boston Celtics game [on Sunday]. When you don’t get up for your two biggest games during the season and you have flat performances, then you have to start looking at trade possibilities to improve the team and bring some energy to the team and bring some new life to the team.”

Moments later, he solidified his stance by saying…

“We’re not responding to the more athletic teams and the quicker teams. So we must change something. I think we have to now look at this team and maybe say we’re not good enough. Things might have to change.”

ESPN L.A. columnist Arash Markazi has the full scoop here.

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Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

“It’s against his nature,” Kobe Bryant said about Pau Gasol. “He’s always very nice, very white swan. I need him to be black swan.”

Black Mamba to Black Swan – aid needed on the floor, over.

Copy that, Black Mamba.

Every time the Lakers take on the Houston Rockets, no matter what state either team is in, it’s a battle to the bitter end and tonight was no exception. Each team fought hard, taking turns firing at the other; so much so that a five minute overtime was necessary to finally determine a victor.

After a disappointing Sunday loss to the Celtics, the Laker big men were called out for failing to put up even the slightest ounce of fight against a hated (albeit quite good) rival. With Andrew Bynum out of the line-up for tonight’s game,  Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol (especially Pau Gasol), would need to make up some ground for the missing body. They needed to play, as they should anyway, like the skilled players that they are and thankfully for the Lakers, they delivered.

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Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The (33-15) Los Angeles Lakers are back at Staples Center tonight to accomplish two things 1) host the (22-27) Houston Rockets 2) snap a two-game losing streak and pick up the pieces from their latest lost.

Since October, the Lakers have posted 10-5 records each month. It is becoming blatantly obvious that they won’t have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The information that may surprise you is that the Lakers winning percentage (.688) is very close to last season’s (.695).

The Lakers know what needs to happen and will figure it out. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when.

The Lakers and Rockets have split the season series, so far, with each team successfully defending their home court. The Lakers won the season series 3-1 last year. They’re 8-2 against the Rockets in their last 10 games.

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UPDATE: Per multiple sources, Andrew Bynum has been ruled out of tonight’s gave vs. Houston. He is listed as day to day.

In shocking news, Andrew Bynum missed yesterday’s practice with soreness in his left knee (not the knee he had surgery on during the offseason). According to a report by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, he spent most of Monday’s practice with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti.

When asked whether or not he would be available for tonight’s game vs. Houston (7:30pm PT, FSW), Phil said, “We’re hopeful.”

Judging by the Lakers cream-puff defense in the paint this season, I think we can all agree that we need a healthy and motivated Bynum now more than ever.

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The reasons to dislike KG are piling up like pounds on Rosie O’Donnell. We know we’re a little behind on this story, but thought it was worth posting anyway.

According to a J.A. Adande tweet during Sunday’s Lakers, Celtics game, a Lakers ballboy asked KG for an autograph, to which Garnett replied:

“You’ve got a better chance of catching Bin Laden.”

Ironically, the tweet was later removed, as was the corresponding ESPN post. After all, East-Coast based ESPN can’t have these types of things floating around about their favorite sports franchise.

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For years, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has ducked the glaring spotlight of the Los Angeles media. After another demoralizing home loss to a championship caliber team, he finally broke the silence to NBA.com writer Scott Howard-Coope in a piece posted on NBA.com a couple of hours ago. Here are a couple notable excerpts from Kupchak:

“Regarding a trade, I may have to. I’m not saying that I’ve made calls today or I’ll make them tomorrow. But I just don’t think that we’re playing as well as our talent level should allow us.”

“I try to be as objective as possible, but I’m concerned that our performance is not living up to our talent level. Our record is certainly OK. But we’ve lost a bunch of home games. We’ve lost a couple of big games at home. And to me, those are red flags.”

You can read the entire column, and several additional quotes from Kupchak, here.

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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.