Thursday, December 25, 2014
Blog Page 161

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The last thing we want to hear with our starting center already out.

ESPN: The Los Angeles Lakers were finally able to hold Pau Gasol’s minutes-played total under 40 Wednesday, but the reason for the rest is the last thing the Lakers wanted.

Gasol checked out of the game with 40.2 seconds left in the third quarter and went straight to the locker room, where team trainer Gary Vitti stretched out Gasol’s sore left hamstring. Gasol tweaked the hamstring Wednesday night against Memphis.

After Vitti worked on him Gasol re-entered the game with 9:26 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers were outscored 29-15 from that point until the final buzzer. The Lakers lost 109-99 to the Rockets and are now enduring a four-game losing streak for the first time since April 8-13, 2007. Gasol was hampered by the injury, going 0-of-2 from the field and grabbing only two rebounds in the period.

“It’s a little sore,” Gasol said. “It bothered me out there. Today it didn’t get loose at all so I couldn’t play the way I wanted to. … I’ll take it day-by-day and see how it feels [Thursday]. Hopefully I will give it a rest tomorrow and recover. As you all know, I’ve been playing quite a bit.

“Hopefully it’s just tight from fatigue,” said Gasol, who played 40-plus minutes in each of L.A.’s past four games coming into Wednesday and seven of their past 10. “My concern is that it doesn’t get better or gets worse and becomes a problem. … Then we’ll really have a problem.”

Continue reading ‘Pau’s hamstring sore after loss to Rockets’

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Getty Images | Photo by Ronald Martinez

I know what you’re thinking, fellow Laker fans…
[expletive]
[expletive]
[expletive]

Where to begin the recap? Should we start with the monster game of Lamar Odom (25 points on 11-16, 11 rebounds)? How about the 12-point lead the Lakers lost in the last two minutes of the second quarter? Maybe we should talk about the efficient and hustle-filled evening of Matt Barnes (14 points on 5-18, eight rebounds)? Or discuss the struggles of Pau Gasol (eight points on 2-8, nine rebounds) against a 6’6” Chuck Hayes? Maybe it’s best to just ask what we’ve all been dying to ask…

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THIS LAKER TEAM?!!!!!!!!

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Getty Images | Photo By Jeff Gross

The (13-5) Los Angeles Lakers are in Houston, Texas on the second night of a two-game road trip against the (5-12) Rockets. The Lakers arrive in Houston saddled with a three-game losing streak.

The Lakers, surprisingly, had another lethargic outing losing yet another game that the squad should have won.  To avoid the first four-game losing streak since 2006-2007; their energy, focus, effort, and especially their defense have to improve.

Have we returned to Kobe carrying the majority of the scoring load and waiting for other players to step in?  All of the Lakers problems can be solved by playing better defensively, doing a better job of moving the ball and running their offense.

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Getty Images | Photo By Doug Pensinger

112-118 loss at Denver.
116-121 loss versus Phoenix.
96-102 loss at Utah.
92-95 loss versus Indiana.
96-98 loss at Memphis.

Five losses with an average point margin of 4.4 and a scoring average of 102.4. One could look at these Lakers losses thus far and claim that a) They’ve never been blown out and b) They’ve still managed to score 90+ points in each game. It’s only been 18 games into a still longer season and it’s true – there’s no need to panic. But the picture these close losses paint is not only that the Lakers weren’t dominated over, it’s that they COULD HAVE won but didn’t.

Except maybe for the game in which Phoenix shot their historic 22-three-pointers, the Lakers were in a position to win all of these games. They had leads in all of them; a whopping 19-point lead against Utah, but they lost because from a lack of defensive effort and because they went away from one of their greatest strengths – ball movement.

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Getty Images | Jeff Gross

The (13-4) Los Angeles Lakers are in Memphis, Tennessee to face the (7-10) Grizzlies and avoid the first three-game slide of the season.

The Lakers have been held under their season scoring average of 112.5 points and under 40-percent shooting in the last two games. What better way for them to break out of the funk that they find themselves playing at the Forum. No, not the Fabulous Forum, that all Lakers fans hold near an dear to their hearts, The FedEx Forum.

Tonight’s match-up will be the second game of the series and of match-ups of the Gasol Brothers this season.

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So happy for Big Drew! The time is almost here!

The projected date for his return is December 19.

O.C. Register: Bynum said Monday that he could be back in uniform in 2 1/2-3 weeks instead of three weeks that he mentioned Saturday. After competing in a four-on-four half-court scrimmage, Bynum said he hopes to be ready to play recover during the Lakers’ six-game trip in mid-December.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Bynum said. “The knee didn’t really hurt much. If I feel something, it goes away right away. Everything is good. I’m healing it up. Just get ready.”

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First Phil Jackson questioned the coaching situation in Miami, and now LeBron James (0:25 Below) is running into Eric Spolestra. On Purpose?

With all these things coming out of dysfunctional Miami. Voice of the Nation host David Brickley had to give you his take on the team that was suppose to be on their way to meeting the Lakers in June not 5th 6th in the Eastern Conference at (9-8)

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.

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Getty Images | Photo by Jeff Gross

It was an all-too-familiar scene, and we’ve witnessed it in the last two games – the Lakers unable to get anything going offensively so it turns into a whole lot of Kobe Bryant and very little of everyone else. When that has to happen, the end result is not always a favorable one for the Lakers and tonight was no exception as a second 2-game losing streak this season has emerged.

There is more bad than good to report from this game. For one, scoring droughts hindered the Lakers tonight. It took almost four minutes before they scored on Matt Barnes’ (7 points on 3-6) layup in the second quarter (he actually scored the team’s first seven points of that quarter) and almost four minutes before a made field goal in the third on Lamar Odom’s layup. The best offensive team in the league, the Lakers shot just 39% in this game. And the best three-point shooting team in the NBA, the Lakers went 7-23 from behind the arc. Shooting slumps will happen and there isn’t cause to stir panic now, but the problem for the team tonight wasn’t simply missed shots, it was their lack of ball movement.

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Getty Images | Photo by Harry How

The (13-3) Los Angeles Lakers are at Staples Center tonight to host the (7-7) Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are coming off of an overtime loss to the Oklahoma Thunder and the Lakers to a disappointing loss to the Utah Jazz.

The Lakers loss to the Jazz was a perfect example of what happens when a team doesn’t defend and can’t knock down shots from behind the arc. It also proves a point to those who refuse to believe that during a season, every team faces tough times on the road.

The Jazz were able to add to their list of slow starts and spectacular finishes coming back from a 19-point deficit to win 102-96. The Lakers lead the NBA in three-point shooting, but when the squad relies on that aspect of their game, they’re not playing to their strong suit or interior size advantage. It’s great to see the Lakers leading the league in three-point shooting, but it’s a double-edged sword because you know for a fact that there will be nights like this. Ironically, despite the above mentioned facts, the Lakers were still in position to win the game at the end, but failed to execute down the stretch.

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That shotclock issue was messed up.

Getty Images | Photo by Stephen Dunn

ESPN: The Los Angeles Lakers saw a five-point lead with 2:32 remaining turn into a six-point loss at the final buzzer after the Utah Jazz finished the game on an 11-0 run Friday.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson was asked after the game what caused his team’s stalled offense down the stretch. His reply: “The 24-second clock operator.”

The Lakers trailed by two with less than a minute to go when Derek Fisher advanced the ball up the court in a transition opportunity.

The referees whistled the play dead because the shot clock was stuck at six seconds. The clock was reset, and the Lakers took the ball out on the sidelines with the Jazz given the chance to set up their defense.

On a previous time down the court, the Jazz had to reset their possession out of bounds in similar fashion, but that came on a play that started out of bounds on the baseline after a Lakers made basket, not a fast-break scenario.

“What was going on there?” Jackson asked after the game. “That stopped a break on our part. … Fish had a nice rhythm going on a transition with a 3-point deficit, and it stops the ball and starts it out of bounds. It’s not right; it’s just not right.”

Jackson said the officials did not offer him any explanation of what caused the clock malfunction. The Jazz declined comment through a spokesman when asked about the sequence after the game.

Continue reading ‘Phil upset with faulty shotclock’

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Drew’s rehab is almost over, and so is the other 29 teams’ season.

Getty Images | Photo by Ronald Martinez

ESPN: In Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum’s first full-contact on-court workout Saturday, he leaned on an old friend — literally.

Bynum participated in half-court drills and banged bodies with Lakers backup center Derrick Caracter, who despite being a rookie is only six months younger than the sixth-year veteran. The two played prep basketball against each another in their home state of New Jersey.

Now Bynum is prepping to make his return from offseason surgery on his right knee and his rehab is in the home stretch.

“I want to [return] midway through December,” Bynum said. “Hopefully, that’s two weeks. It’s looking more like a little bit later, probably. I have these two weeks here, then a week of practice. Realistically I’m looking at three weeks.”

The Lakers play in New Jersey two weeks from Sunday, three games into their upcoming seven-game road swing. The following Sunday they play in Toronto to finish the road trip.

When asked if the Christmas Day showdown with the Miami Heat a little less than a month away was his “target” to return by, Bynum said, “I don’t have a target. I just want to be back within three weeks, that’s my personal goal.”

The 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum stressed that the timeline he presented was his and his alone.

“That’s just me, what I want,” Bynum said. “The training staff and other people may see things differently and want to slow it down. I’m not sure.”

Continue reading ‘Bynum aiming to rejoin the team in 3 weeks’

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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.