Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 151

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Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Actions speak louder than words, but today, the words spoken said more than any big jump shot, rebound or block ever could.

“This was a measuring stick game for us and we didn’t meet the challenge,” Kobe Bryant said. Well, YOU met the challenge, Kobe, but the rest of your team didn’t seem as interested.

“I didn’t think anybody else wanted the ball [and] we just didn’t move [it] the way we wanted to and do the things we said we were gonna do to start the game,” Phil Jackson said. The team’s been doing that all season – going the opposite direction of the proven plan of execution.

“There’s still time to get better,” Lamar Odom said. Aah, here lies the enigma of this Lakers team. This “time to get better” business might have been a good reason for shortcomings…20 games ago. These Lakers aren’t an expansion team and they’re not a lottery-bound team. They’re a DEFENDING CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM, and the two things this season that have divided their wins from their losses had nothing to do with time. It had everything to do with their common sense and some simple, plain ol’ effort.

Phil Jackson said, with a smirk on his face, that the only player they did a good job defending was Shaquille O’Neal who had zero points on 0-2. As it usually is, when the Lakers play anyone, especially the Celtics, the one item under endless scrutiny is their defense, and the advantage that is SUPPOSED to swing the Lakers’ way in this area is the presence of their two 7-footers, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The (33-14) Los Angeles Lakers host the (35-11) Boston Celtics in a Sunday matinee game at the Staples Center. Both of these teams suffered bad losses on Friday night; Boston lost by 17 to the Suns and the Lakers lost by 5 to the Kings.

The Lakers looked lethargic, flat-footed and as if they needed a collective, B-12 shot. In actuality, both teams were looking ahead to this match-up. A rivalry renewed.

There is never a shortage of storylines when the Celtics and Lakers collide. This afternoon the Celtics return to the Staples Center for the first time this season, and the first time since losing in Game 7 of last year’s NBA Finals. This game will be an emotionally charged event.

Although the Lakers have to keep their emotions in check, live in the moment and play ball.

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We’re a matter of hours away from the regular season game of the year! We’ll be there tomorrow (rocking these) to see the back-to-back champion Lakers bring it to the hated Celtics (12:30p PT, ABC).

If you’ll be joining the party at Staples Center, here’s a little something you can bring with you (courtesy of Kam Pashai). Print ‘em out, bring them to the game and make some noise!

PS – If you’re still looking for tickets, you can get them here.

Download: 8.5×11 or 11×17

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Join David Brickley and Gregory Small as they broadcast LIVE the Voice of the Nation from the Fox Sports Radio Studios.

Patrick O’Neal Fox Sports West Lakers Sideline Reporter, joins the program. As the fellaz talk about the week that was in Laker Land, and get you ready for Boston!

Rundown

  • Kobe Bryant scores 21 in first, yet sits 8 min of 2nd quarter?
  • Kobe moves past Hakeem Olajawon for 8th all-time scoring
  • D-Bricks explains what he learned at Lakers All-Access Event
  • INTERVIEW: PATRICK O’NEAL- FSN Lakers Reporter
  • Pau Gasol from MVP candidate to underacheiver?
  • Brian Shaw says its natural to be complacent
  • ESPN says that Kobe is not clutch down the stretch
  • Kevin Garnett’s new nickname “The Nutcracker”?
  • Preview of Boston Celtics game on Sunday
  • And Much MORE

Additional Audio

  • AM570 KLAC
  • Lakers.com
  • NBA.com

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #113

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In just about 24-hours from now, the Lakers will take the court to face the Celtics in the highly anticipated rematch of last year’s NBA Finals. Staples Center will be rocking, and you can be there to see all the action!

TLN Tickets has 100+ seats priced under $175, and 500+ tickets still available. The overall price average is down 15% from last week, so be sure to take advantage of these last-minute deals before they’re gone!

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In an interview before the Miami Heat took on the New York Knicks, Wade decided to take a shot at Phil, calling him the ‘Brett Favre of the NBA.’ The reason Wade did this was because Phil has been poking fun at the Heat all season long. His most recent attack was saying the Heat weren’t as good as the Celtics.

Wade didn’t appreciate the Zen Master’s comments; thinks he’s playing mind games so he can take his talents to South Beach next season and coach the Heat. Wade went on record and said:

“I think he wants to coach the Heat when he gets done with the Lakers. It’s all an angle to get over here. He wants to coach us but he can’t coach us.”

Score one for Wade… or score one for the Zen Master? Seems like Phil has been playing mind games with the Heat and Wade was the first to bite.

There have been many rumors swirling on Phil’s future in the NBA. No one knows for certain what Phil’s next move is, not even Jeanie. He said he wants to settle down back in Montana but you will never know what the Zen Master till you see it happen with your eyes.

However, many Heat fans have been throwing around this rumor ever since Phil announced his retirement. They say the Miami Heat will be the “East Coast Showtime” if Phil makes his move down to South Beach.

What do you think Laker Nation? Is Phil going to coach the Heat, or did he get in Wade’s head? Sound off!

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Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The bright side? At least it was a single-digit loss. Still, it was another loss the Lakers could have avoided. They decided, however, that they would give the lowly 11-33 Sacramento Kings, a great big confidence boost. On a night that Kobe Bryant surpassed Hakeem Olajuwon to be the 8th highest leading scorer in NBA history, the Lakers, again, fell short on their recent upswing. And here we thought they had turned a corner.

The Sacramento Kings, a whopping 4-16 record on the road, had nowhere to go but up, and with the play of their two big men, DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert, they did exactly that. Known for his dissension and complete immaturity, Cousins displayed tonight that he is trying to grow up. Leading the Kings with 27 points on 11-19. 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks, Cousins was all over what little defense the Lakers offered. He started a somewhat quiet war of words with Andrew Bynum, claiming that the Lakers center didn’t deserve to be part of last year’s championship. With the little that Bynum provided tonight, 12 points, four rebounds, three assists, it’s safe to say that Cousins’ bragging rights just shot up a notch.

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Getty Images | Jeff Gross

The (33-13) Los Angeles Lakers, playing in only their second game of the week, host the (10-33) Sacramento Kings. The Lakers lead the season series with the Kings 2-0.  The Lakers swept the season series last season. The Lakers are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings with the Kings including winning the last eight straight.

The Lakers are 16-7 all-time against the Kings at Staples Center and 8-2 in their last 10 contests. Kobe Bryant is averaging 26.3 points against the Kings. In 35 starts, Pau Gasol has posted an average of 21.3 against Sacramento.

While we are on the subject of scoring, it is time for a Kobe milestone alert.

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ESPN TrueHoop columnist Henry Abbot penned a rather controversial piece this morning (here) on Kobe Bryant’s supposed inability to perform in crunch time. Here are a couple excerpts from that column:

I don’t know who’s the best, but with all due respect to Bryant’s amazing abilities scoring the ball, there’s zero chance he’s the king of crunch time.

And…

Bryant shoots more than most, passes less, and racks up misses at an all-time rate. There is no measure, other than YouTube highlights and folklore, by which he’s the best scorer in crunch time.

I am not one to sit here and argue about statistics. They are what they are – an incomplete and imperfect way to measure a players value. If stats told the whole story, guys like D-Fish (9/3/2 career averages), Robert Horry (7/5/2 career averages) and even someone like James Posey (8/5/1 career averages) would be insignificant footnotes in NBA history.

Before I start rambling (probably too late), I’ll just say this: With the game on the line in the closing seconds, I’d take Kobe ten out of ten times… and I’d be willing to bet opposing coaches, GM’s and players would do the same.

What do you think of Abbot’s column? Sound off, Laker Nation…

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We all know Laker ticket prices are higher than Whitney Houston… (I mean her voice, come on now). If you live in So-Cal and aren’t hooking up with the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, you’re probably not going to be walking by Jack on the way to your seat any time soon.

Thankfully, Fox Sports West: Prime Ticket will be bringing back their ‘Courtside View’ telecast for Friday’s game vs. Sacramento (7:30pm PT). No announcers. No in-game interviews. Here’s what they had to say about it:

Courtside View is achieved using five hand-held cameras placed at various locations along the perimeter of the court. Two robotic cameras will shoot the game from the baskets. An additional mobile camera captures the arena and game as a fan would see it roaming to and from his/her seat. Coverage imitates the human eye; there will be limited use of zoom lenses or sharp cutting from camera to camera.

What do you think Laker Nation, would you prefer to watch games this way? You can find our more information on the broadcast here.

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If you follow Matt Barnes on Twitter, you’d know he gives the fans the current status on his knee. He believes he’s ready to participate in some running drills next week.

He said he’s anxious to get back, but he doesn’t want to jeopardize himself by coming back too early:

“There’s a stretch run coming up. I want to be back and stay there. I don’t want to be back too early and then have to take a few steps back.”

Barnes has made enough progress so far to begin working on the elliptical machine and continual weight lifting. He is expected to return a short time after the All-Star break.

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Photo by Christian Petersen | Getty Images

According to Forbes Magazine, the addition of Amar’e Stoudemire turned out to be more economically useful than another Larry O’Brien trophy.

The Knicks are the champions of the bottom line – the franchise was appraised at $655 million, up a surprising 12% from last year, despite losing out on in the LeBron James sweepstakes last summer. The defending champion Lakers came in just behind New York at $643 million, up 6% from last year.

Other Interesting facts from Forbes report:

  • Chicago, Boston and Houston (Really?) rounded out to the rest of the top 5.
  • The Miami Heat grew 17% in value (no surprise there), while the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped a staggering 26%.
  • That other L.A. team checked in at #22.

Read the full report, or see the complete rankings.

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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.