Monday, December 22, 2014
Blog Page 165

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UPDATE: Mission accomplished. Thank you for donating over $100,000 for Paralyzed Veterans of America! A special thank you to James Worthy, Landon Donovan, Tommy Lasorda, among others who helped out. Happy Veterans day!

In an effort to pay tribute to the men and women who have fought for our country, and give back to those who have incurred a debilitating injury, we’re helping our friends at AM570 KLAC honor U.S. military veterans on Wednesday, November 10th by hosting the 3rd Annual commercial-free radiothon from Noon-7 p.m. PT.

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High on a dominant win against the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday, the Lakers should have won this game easily. Maybe they didn’t want to show up their former assistant coach, Kurt Rambis. Maybe they know they can still get by with just a few players turned on. Or maybe they need to start thinking like defending champions again.

This game produced a long list of coulda, woulda, shouldas – could’ve created more quality shots; would’ve had a better scoring percentage; should’ve rebounded more. In the end, the Lakers got what they wanted – another win, and the fans got what they wanted – a still perfect record. But in between these wants remain a laundry list of items to work on. #1 on the list should be FOCUS, no matter the opponent. Just as they played against Toronto, dumbing down their game against lower-tiered teams, so they appeared to do against Minnesota.

23 points, 24 rebounds – It looks like Pau Gasol’s stat line, or maybe Lamar Odom’s or possibly Kobe Bryant’s. It’s Kevin Love’s stat line and 24 boards (11 on the offensive end) for an opposing player is too much to give up. Gasol had just three boards for practically the entire first half and in the end, the Lakers were outrebounded 54-42 (26-14 offensive).

As much of a factor (or more like THE factor) as Gasol (18 points on 8-13, 10 rebounds) has been the last few games, he was a non-factor in the first half of this game. He did not appear himself tonight, unable to catch and then hold on to passes that came to him, unable to pass properly out of double teams, and absentee effort on the glass.

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This statue is long overdue. None the less, he earned it. For his contributions as a player and GM.

ESPN: The Los Angeles Lakers will unveil a statue honoring Hall of Fame guard Jerry West during this season’s NBA All-Star weekend, multiple sources confirmed to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Los Angeles is the host city for All-Star weekend, running from Feb. 18-20.

West retired as the Lakers all-time leading scorer before Kobe Bryant eclipsed his point total of 25,192 points during the 2009-10 season. Known as “Mr. Clutch” during his playing days, West won a championship with the Lakers in 1972 and holds the distinction of being the only player in league history to be named NBA Finals MVP while playing on the losing team (1969). West was a 14-time NBA All-Star and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996.

West transitioned from Lakers backcourt to the front office and worked for the team as the head coach and a scout before being named general manager prior to the 1982-83 season. With West as the GM, the Lakers went on to win seven championships and he was named NBA Executive of the Year in 1995.

The statue will be the fifth to be erected at Staples Center and the third that is Lakers-related, following Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Oscar De La Hoya and broadcaster Chick Hearn.

Continue reading ‘Lakers to reveal Jerry West stature during All-Star weekend’

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The Lakers are back in action at Staples Center tonight to host the Minnesota Timberwolves and extend a warm welcome to longtime Laker Kurt Rambis.

The Lakers are one of the leagues two remaining unbeaten teams along with the New Orleans Hornets.

The Purple and Gold are seeking their 12th straight win over the Timberwolves as well as an 8 – 0 start for the second time in team history. They’re scoring a league-best 114 points per game which just happens to be the exact amount of points the Timberwolves are allowing and ranking dead last in the NBA in points allowed. They have struggled mightily losing 40 of 45 on the road since the start of last season.

The Lakers all-time record against the Wolves at the Staples Center is 17-4. However, the Wolves lead the league in rebounding by posting 48.7 per game.

The Wolves have been terrible of late, being treated like a Piñata; losing to Miami by 32, Orlando by 42, Memphis by 20, and Houston by 26. Despite the love that the Lakers have for Kurt Rambis, there will be a Purple and Gold addition to the above mentioned list.

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We all know there are many NBA players that play for stats (i.e. Andray Blatche – almost killing himself for a rebound to complete his triple-double). This article will be all about stats, it will mainly focus on the Big 3 of the Lakers and the Heat.

Beginning with the Lakers. Through 7 games, Kobe, Pau and Lamar are combining for 64.5 ppg, 27.6 rpg and 12.9 apg. Kobe is usually averaging the most on the team but this time, he’s averaging 22.9 ppg. Pau leads the 3 (and the team) in points, averaging 1.2 points more than Kobe, at 24.1 ppg. Pau leads the 3 in assists with 5.0 apg, and Lamar is owning the glass with 11.1 rpg. Kobe, Pau and Lamar average these stats on an average time of 34.8 minutes per game.

Then you have Miami’s Big 3. You’d think they’d be averaging an “unimaginable amount” points, rebounds and assists cause of their tremendous level of talent, right? Well, compared to the Lakers’ Big 3… not quite. Through 7 games, Wade, Bosh and James are combining for 59.2 ppg, 16.5 rpg and 13.2 apg. Wade ties Pau with 24.1 ppg, LeBron dishes out 7.9 apg, Bosh owns the glass with 5.4 rpg. The Miami Thrice average these stats on an average time of 33.5 minutes per game.

Side stats: Combined together, the Lakers’ Big 3 is shooting 165-313 (52%). Thanks to Lamar for boosting that stat cause he’s been lights out this season, shooting 47-75 (63%) and shooting 9-13 3PT (69%), Pau is shooting (54%) and Kobe shooting (44%).

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THERE they are!

After dominating with offense in their first six games, the Lakers reminded everyone (probably including themselves) that they earned back to back titles with their defense and that is how they will earn a third. In their first true challenge this season (or so many thought), the home team greeted the 5-2 Portland Trailblazers with an early knockout from which the young team never recovered. The Lakers led by 15 after one quarter, 22 after two quarters, and led by as many as 29 by the fourth quarter until the buzzer sounded and a 25 point beatdown had been recorded.

In his post-game locker interview, Matt Barnes mentioned that he and Ron Artest (11 points on 5-8), schemed to work together to stop the leading scorer on every opposing team.

“If you cut the head off the snake,” Barnes said, “it’s hard to win.”

At the top of the Lakers’ list of chores tonight was to contain the Blazers’ head honcho, Brandon Roy. Charged with the bulk of the responsibility was Artest, but it would take every Laker on the floor to stop such a crafty scorer. Roy had just four points in each of the game halves, going 1-6 for the night. Reported to be experiencing some pain in his back and knee, Roy was limited even without the Laker defense smothering him, but it shows that he remains, even with veteran Andre Miller taking on the scoring load, the head of Portland’s snake.

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The D-League could sharpen their skills, but I’d like to see them stick with the team. They could learn more that way.

O.C. Register: Rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter know better than to get too comfortable in the Lakers locker room. As second-round picks, nothing is guaranteed.

Not even if you are playing well.

Phil Jackson said Sunday that he would like to see Ebanks and Caracter get more experience in the Developemental League this season, a real possibility when Andrew Bynum returns. Bynum, who continues to rehab his surgically-repaired knee, is expected back in the lineup around Thanksgiving.

“I expect to move them aound a lot, but not until Andrew comes in,” Jackson said. “We’ll have to have that full roster right now.”

That gives the two rookies 18 days to live the NBA high life and make a bigger impression. Ebanks, who was placed on the inactive list Friday, has scored eight points in 26 minutes, while Caracter, who has been filling in at power forward, has scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 23 minutes.

Continue reading ‘Ebanks, Caracter could spend time in D-League’

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The Lakers are back on the Staples Center hardwood tonight hosting the Portland Trailblazers.

The argument can be made that the Lakers played down to their competition in the previous game against the Raptors. It can also be said that they escaped. A strong point could be made by stating that the Purple and Gold had to face some adversity for the first time this season. For those that don’t know, DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson are local kids that came home and put up strong efforts for their friends, family and employers. DeRozan went to USC and Johnson starred at Westchester High School.

The game against the Raptors was a unique mixture of both good and bad things. The good can be summed up easily, Lakers forced 21 turnovers and now possess six wins this season.

Now the bad; check that, the unacceptable, the Lakers defense et al! The Lakers surrendered a 13-point lead in the process of being outscored 38-22 in the second quarter. They were outrebounded; the Raptors also won the interior battle by scoring more points in the paint, got out in transition and scored more fast break points.

The Lakers are a veteran team that knows that everything starts and ends with their defense. It is time for this Lakers team to re-dedicate itself to defense and rebounding. This is the deepest Lakers team coached by Phil Jackson but trust me when I say they’ll figure it out.

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Who will can stop Kobe?

FOXSports.com: As Kobe Bryant has returned to health and form, he has had a little “get well” present.

Instead of a nightly dose of Shane Battiers and Raja Bells, old hands who at least know Bryant’s catalog of tricks (even if they are sometimes powerless to offset them), he has been defended by greenhorns.

In the Lakers’ past three games, Bryant has been guarded by Memphis’ O.J. Mayo (23), Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans (21) and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (21).

All three may be future stars in the NBA, but in present times all are still learning their way around the league – particularly at the defensive end of the court.

“Anytime he gets a younger guy on him, you can see it,” said Lakers reserve forward Matt Barnes. “We were talking about it on the bench. He completely sets them up for everything he does. Not to mention he’s the best player, but he always outthinks the person that’s guarding him, too. For a young guy, that’s going to be tough.”

Against Mayo and DeRozan, Bryant had a physical advantage, and so he worked them – particularly Mayo – inside. Against the thicker Evans, he hit a pair of early jumpers, then set to work beating him off the dribble. DeRozan’s length – with his 6-foot-7 frame and long arms – may have enabled him to have the most success against Bryant.

Continue reading ‘Kobe feasting on young defenders’

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Outrebounded 49-31, beaten in points in the paint and simply shown up by a struggling (though talented and young) Toronto Raptors team, and maybe it was a good thing. Of their perfect 6-0 record, the Lakers simply outscored their opponents, but did very little to keep their opponents from scoring. Their offense, frankly, is gold, especially when they’re moving the ball and running their offense. Their defense, however, is no more than suspect at this point and they’d be wise to start figuring out that part of their game…and soon.

After falling behind by four points early in the first quarter, the Lakers quickly found their rhythm. Derek Fisher (11 points on 4-7, four steals) stole the ball from Andrea Bargnani and beat Jarrett Jack to the hoop for a layup. Kobe Bryant (23 points, six assists) ran full-court and sent a Showtime pass over his right shoulder to a running Pau Gasol (30 points, seven rebounds) who tossed it in the hoop for two. Steve Blake (14 points, 4-6 from three), hit three after three and suddenly the lead was 20-33 after the first quarter. Unfortunately, there were still 36 minutes left to play. Toronto knew that, but the home team, after 12 minutes of game time, appeared to check out.

The Raptors came out of the second quarter gate at full throttle, their bench leading the way to 38 points in the final 12 minutes of the half. The Lakers? They were barely awake to witness their 13 point lead turn into a deficit when Leandro Barbosa hit a last second three to end the second quarter.

The second half was not much different from the first. The lanes that led to Toronto’s basket remained as open as the 405 freeway at 3 am, resulting in layup after layup. The suffocating defense that earned the Lakers their Championship trophy have been amiss this early regular season, and tonight was the most glaring evidence of it all.

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The Lakers are back at Staples Center tonight to host the Toronto Raptors.

Despite a spirited effort by the Kings, the Lakers (as expected) left Sacramento with the win. Beating the Kings gave the Lakers their fifth straight win.

Kobe Bryant led the way with his 17th career triple-double by posting 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Perhaps seeing the Black Mamba in attack mode will again serve as Kobe’s cease and desist letter to anyone questioning the health of his surgically repaired knee.

Kobe reached another career milestone when he passed the captain; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to become the Lakers franchise leader in minutes played. Kobe and Pau Gasol became the first pair of Lakers to score 20 points in the teams first five games since Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain did it for six games. Also, Lamar Odom has been on fire and has had his all around game on full display nightly.

The Purple and Gold split their two games with the Raptors last season. They lost Chris Bosh to free agency who posted a consistent 24 points and 11 rebounds. They can score, but won’t really get to where they want to be until the front office realizes that this is the NBA and not the Euro-League and acquires some players that can defend.

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Congrats to Adrian, who provided us with this awesome video of his game 7 experience, and Tisha, who represented in a hostile Celtics’ bar in Boston. You have each won a pair of L.A. Galaxy playoff tickets for Sunday’s game vs. Seattle, 6:30pm at the Home Depot Center. You will be hearing from us soon!

Thanks to everyone who participated, it was really fun reading how THE Nation experienced last years’ game 7! Be sure to follow The Voice of the Nation on Facebook for another chance this afternoon to win a pair of L.A. Galaxy playoff tickets!

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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.