Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 168

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TLN’s own Jason Riley joined WEEI Boston to briefly preview both the Lakers and the Celtics. You can check out the whole preview here.

ON THE LAKERS: The Champs had a surprisingly busy off-season — picking up a veteran point guard (Steve Blake), another solid, defensive-minded role player (Matt Barnes) and an insurance policy for Andrew Bynum (Theo Ratliff). The Lakers have two simple goals during the regular season…

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Are you following TLN on Twitter!? If not, you’re missing out on your opportunity to win a $75 gift certificate that can be used towards a drop leaf table, or any product from Dining Rooms Direct! We will randomly select one lucky Twitter follower sometime during tonight’s Lakers, Rockets game!

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The Lakers Nation has teamed up with the law office of Bisnar Chase to offer a special promotion to each of you, our readers! One lucky winner will receive a pair of lower-level Lakers tickets for an upcoming game this season (Game TBD). Here’s how it works:

Between now and 5pm on Sunday, October 31st, upload your Lakers Jack-O-Lantern photo(s) to our Facebook page! Yep, that’s it…

We will select a winner, which will be announced sometime on October 31st.

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The night before the season opener, all Laker fans are anticipating another season from the Lakers and #24. The fans were anticipating this day since the Finals ended in June.

The 2010-2011 season marks the first season of the decade and looking back now, time really flew by since Kobe was drafted in 1996. This will be his 15th season playing for the Lakers. What many Laker fans don’t know is that Kobe will set a franchise record for longest career with the Lakers in tomorrow’s game, breaking the previous record of 14 seasons played for Lakers.

This breaks the tie with Laker legends Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Elgin Baylor, whom all had outstanding careers that no Laker fan will ever forget (if they lived around those times).

Congratulations to Kobe, let’s hope he can reach 20 seasons!

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Great news! Now we can focus on basketball again!

TMZ: Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes will not be charged with a crime in connection with his September arrest for allegedly attacking his fiancee.

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This is an interesting little story about Peirce and a kid wanting his autograph.

ESPN: Paul Pierce was out to lunch at Johnny Rockets in his native Los Angeles this past summer when he noticed a young man come in, buy a burger, and do a double-take when he spotted the Celtics star. Instead of approaching Pierce, the teenager quickly dashed out of the restaurant.  Pierce wasn’t sure why the kid was in such a hurry — until he returned about 10 minutes later

“He came back with the biggest Lakers flag I’ve ever seen,” Pierce said. “Asked me to sign it. I snatched that thing from him and threw it [across the room].” No, Pierce hasn’t recovered from the excruciating Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals in June. His frustration over missing 10 of 15 shots in the deciding game lingers, along with the knowledge that opportunities to win it all are fleeting, particularly when you reach an age when your body can betray you at any time, as Pierce’s repeatedly did throughout the 2009-10 season.

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This is really good news! We want Drew out there really quick!

Real GM: Lakers center Andrew Bynum is progressing quicker than expected in his return from surgery performed on his right knee in July.

Bynum ran on the treadmill Sunday with his full body weight on the knee, graduating from an altered gravity machine that he had been using to ease himself back into playing condition.

“He went through some activity that was accelerated,” Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said.

“I think he wants to ramp it up a little bit faster than we want him to. We want him to be able to go in and sustain that effort when he does get back, so he needs to have a real base. He needs a foundation to come back and play with. … We want him back tomorrow, but if he’s back in two, three, four weeks, we understand what it’s going to take.”

Jackson said the team is hoping that Bynum will return around Thanksgiving.

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This is hilarious. It seems that Doc is still in denial from the loss. He’s been saying a lot of things lately and well… read for yourselves.

“Of course paper doesn’t play, people play,” said Rivers, turning to address his players directly. “And on paper we’re the NBA Champions. Now, we have to do it on the floor. So that’s the next step.”

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Pau needs to assert himself as “The Man” while Kobe is recovering.

L.A. Times: The bar has been raised for Pau Gasol — by Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and assistant Brian Shaw. They want him to be more of a force for the Lakers when the regular season starts Tuesday night at Staples Center against the Houston Rockets.

Jackson and Shaw maintained that Gasol has to be The Man for perhaps the first month of the season because, as Shaw said, “We’re kind of limping going into the season.”

They want to see more from Gasol in the regular season than what he displayed during the exhibition season, when Jackson lamented once during training camp that the All-Star has “been on vacation.”

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The Lakers appeared ready to mail in this final pre-season game. The energy (or lack thereof) was evident in their movement (or, again, lack thereof). They lollygagged about the court, rarely running any offensive sets. It’s no surprise they didn’t score their first field goal until the 8:19 mark of the first quarter. And their team defense, when there was any to be seen, was completely transparent, other than Ron Artest (who played the power forward position in place of Lamar Odom) continually stripping David Lee of the ball.

The Lakers played like they were looking three days ahead to opening night. A win or loss this evening was of little to no importance to the grander scheme of the upcoming regular season, and they just needed to come in and get out, while avoiding major injuries.

Taking clear advantage of the Lakers’ complacency in the beginning of the game was Golden State’s Monta Ellis. Ellis made up for playing so few minutes, due to foul trouble, in last night’s loss. “Sharp shooter” doesn’t begin to describe the Warriors’ guard. He can literally put the ball in the hole with amazing consistency from anywhere – from behind the arc, midrange, penetration. In the first half alone, he scored 27 points and finished the night with 41 on 16-30 shooting.

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Not this again.

UPDATE: As expected, official word on Walton’s hamstring: re-aggravated right hamstring strain, done for the night.

Twitter: Injury update: Luke Walton re-tweaked his hamstring and is back in the locker room. Look for an update postgame.

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Sometimes it takes awhile for new players to weave themselves in through the fabric of a team’s system. Sometimes adding new faces can dramatically affect a group’s dynamic (and not always in a good way). Then there are other times when a new set of tendencies and attitudes come in, observe for a minute and before you know it, it’s as if they’d been there the whole time.

For veterans Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff, not to mention rookies, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, getting handpicked to join the two-time NBA championship Lakers is pressure enough. Trying to learn the nuances of the triangle offense and then having to execute it come game time is a whole other challenge. In the seventh game of the pre-season, however, the newcomers not only appear ready to start defending the team’s NBA title, they’ve started to play like it.

54 points on 24-36 (4-7 from 3-point land), 20 assists, 11 rebounds, seven steals and five blocks – This is the stat line for the Lakers bench filled with new players, and that was with Lamar Odom, not to mention Sasha Vujacic, both in the starting line-up.

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Congrats to the both of them and Sasha, you’re one lucky man!

TMZ: Los Angeles Laker Sasha Vujacic just locked down tennis hottie Maria Sharapova … proposing marriage to her with a massive engagement rock to rival any Lakers championship ring.

Sources tell TMZ the pair — who were first spotted holding hands about a year ago — got engaged Tuesday after Sasha popped the question at his home in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Maria’s already been spotted out wearing the ring — we’ve seen it and trust us … even Vanessa Bryant would be impressed by the future Mrs. Vujacic’s ginormous diamond.

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Best of luck to both of them.

L.A. Times: The Lakers released training camp invitees Trey Johnson and Drew Naymick on Thursday, putting the team’s roster at 14. The Lakers entered the preseason with four training camp invitees but released Anthony Roberson and Russell Hicks just before the team’s European trip.

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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.