Monday, December 22, 2014
Blog Page 190

87

On the brink of elimination for the first time in the post-season, the Lakers could have cowered under the pressure and watched their hated rivals celebrate a championship on their home floor. With Andrew Bynum strong mentally but limited physically, they could have allowed the Boston Celtics to push them around just as they’d done two years ago without their young center in the line-up. Failing to produce for their team on the road, the Laker reserves could have left this pivotal Game 6 in the capable hands of their starters. The Lakers could have done many things to take themselves out of contention for that 16th title, but tonight they did more than fight for their right to a Game 7 — they demolished the competition to get there.

When Ron Artest (15 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block and a whopping +26 to lead all +/-) and Sasha Vujacic (9 points) are hitting three-pointers (6-10 combined), it’s not difficult to guess what kind of game the Lakers will have.

In the first quarter, the home team was scoring in every which way — Kobe Bryant got his, Andrew Bynum tossed up a hook shot, Pau Gasol’s jumpers were hitting nothing but the bottom of the net and Artest’s trips to downtown were fruitful as could be. In the first 12 minutes, the Lakers shot 60% from the field, a complete 180 degrees from the dreadful shooting display in Game 5.

1

The Voice of the Nation is broadcasting LIVE after Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Giving you full post-game coverage, and taking your calls to discuss your thoughts on the game!

Talk LIVE with David Brickley and Gregory Small, via TalkShoe.com.

Powered by TalkShoe

27

The Los Angeles Lakers are back at the Staples Center for a must-win game. They have given away at least two games in this series and return home with several questions and very little answers. Their defense has regressed and has allowed the Celtics to utilize more than one way to beat them. I am still of the belief that the trend of the Lakers playing badly will end tonight.

Despite the fact that the Lakers haven’t played well or like the championship team they are, the Lakers need to stay together. This series isn’t over and will be going seven games. It will take a concerted effort from everyone wearing a Purple and Gold jersey and passion on every possession.

A lot has been made of Kobe Bryant berating his teammates at the end of Game 5 as opposed to lifting them up or motivating them. However, 100% of the people in the media that made the above statement have no idea if he later did just that or not. The fact of the matter is, that in Game 4 and 5 this series has looked eerily similar to the 2008 Finals and I was under the impression that the Lakers had learned from their mistakes.

The Lakers have to win the game in the trenches, with their big players in the middle, meaning it goes back to what Pat Riley said years ago “no rebounds, no rings”. They have to be physical, aggressive and be the one hitting first. They have to play with a bit of desperation; it is imperative that they outwork, outhustle and outrebound the Celtics.

It is a must that the Lakers ball movement and player movement improve, this is a key in moving the Celtics’ defense and when the opportunity presents itself, they must execute their offense at finish. They need to have productive trips offensively.

35

The Lions Den.

It’s the name commonly referred to the crowd at Staples Center in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. Arguably, the loudest crowd for a game in Staples Center history. It’s almost no question that the crowd lifted the team when it needed it the most, throughout the entire game, going into the fourth quarter with a big deficit, and turned that into a victory.

Since then, the Staples Center crowd has been looked down upon in terms of team support. It’s without a question that the Lakers fan base is the largest in basketball, it’s not a question whether Lakers fans are loud, it’s a knowledge that the noise and energy has diminished.

The following games could be the biggest in franchise history. The Lakers have one chance to win or get eliminated by the Boston Celtics, followed by another chance to win a championship or lose a championship to the Boston Celtics. For two of the most storied franchises in Basketball history — battling for supremacy — it’s a two championship swing. It’s Kobe Bryant’s legacy. It’s Phil Jackson’s future.

This isn’t a plea or request for Staples Center to be loud. This isn’t an argument about fans being priced out of the lower bowl, or even upper bowl. This is a reminder of what Staples Center is capable of, and what’s at stake. We have homecourt advantage, let’s make sure the basketball world knows.

115

We’re back with another giveaway for tonight’s all-important Game 5! Phiten is joining us once again to giveaway 3 more sets of titanium necklaces and bracelets tonight.

For your chance to win, predict the total number of points the bench will score during tonight’s Game 6 (6pm PT on ABC). Leave your predictions in the comments section below anytime before tip-off. The three (3) closest answers will win!

Don’t forget to check out all the great NBA products Phiten has to offer! If you see something you like, use promo code PLAYOFFS42 when you check out and your shipping is FREE!

Good luck, and go Lakers!

23

As I write this with 8.9 seconds to go in Game 5, praying for a miracle but knowing the Lakers lost, I know I share the frustrations of the rest of the Lakers Nation. I am sure lots of hearts were broken Sunday night, where instead of looking for the closeout on Tuesday and planning on how to get a good view by Figueroa this weekend, the Lakers are facing elimination against the Boston Celtics. Again.

Let’s throw out the obvious points…

Apart from Kobe Bryant, the rest of the team was just atrocious, especially in the second half. The Lakers dug themselves a hole by shooting 39.7% in the field, compared to the Celtics’ 56.3%.

Seriously, you can’t rely on Kobe shooting 48% night in and night out against the Celtics’ chest-to-chest defense while the rest of the team chucks up 35% (Fisher and Artest, in particular, each going 2-9 at a time like this is just inexcusable); almost as ugly as Tony Allen‘s jumpshot.

19

The paint is always a good place to start for the Lakers considering they have two 7-footers with incredible footwork occupying it. Jumpshots…. not their forte.

Lakers.com: Perhaps the biggest discrepancy between L.A.’s play at STAPLES Center and at the TD Garden was how effectively the Lakers were able to execute in the paint.

As it turned out, the Lakers averaged 37 points in the lane in L.A. thanks largely to a powerful 48-point performance in Game 1’s 102-89 win, while Boston came in at 33 paint points on the other end. L.A.’s average might have been considerably higher had Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum not combined to take 25 free throws in Game 2, making 20, while Boston’s bigs attempted only nine foul shots.

But in Beantown, it was an entirely different story, the Celtics averaging 50 points in the paint through three games, and L.A. only 34.7.

The specifics:

FINALS POINTS IN THE PAINT
Game 1: L.A. 48, Boston 30
Game 2: Boston 36, L.A. 26*
*Not including the 25 FT attempts by Bynum/Gasol.
Game 3: Boston 50, L.A. 38
Game 4: Boston 54, L.A. 34
Game 5: Boston 46, L.A. 32

In short, the Lakers were +4 at home, and -15.3 on the road.

Continue reading ‘Home vs. Road in the Paint’

45

Yahoo! Sports: On his way into the losing locker room, the most angry man in the Garden was heard to bellow a spontaneous stream of curses into the ears of his Los Angeles Lakers. As the door slammed behind them, a witness heard Kobe Bryant(notes) screaming that he needed some-bleeping-one to make a stand with him.

The Lakers have been pushed to the edge and Bryant to the brink. Here it was, the most important night of these NBA Finals, a Game 5 with everything even, and it felt like the post-Shaq Lakers with Bryant left to fend for himself. Bryant had gone for 38 points at the Garden, one tough shot after another, a great Celtics defense daring him to make baskets from one more odd angle, one more contested circumstance.

The loneliest Laker had to be Bryant, watching one breakdown after another, a procession of Celtics getting baskets and rebounds and loose balls when they most needed them. He needed someone to grab a defensive rebound, stop Paul Pierce(notes) and get between Rajon Rondo(notes) and the rim.

A little more than an hour after the 92-86 loss, the surliness was gone, replaced with pursed lips and a glare gone to Game 6 now. Bryant wore unlaced high-tops for an ankle that had been hurt again as he walked to a waiting bus on the loading dock.

“We’ve regressed since Game 1,” Bryant confessed to Yahoo! Sports. “Our defense belongs on milk cartons in the last two games.”

Continue reading ‘Lakers wither under Kobe’s glare’

178

If the 2010 NBA Finals were the Land of Missed Opportunities, the Lakers would reign supreme. After a harrowing 4th quarter performance by Derek Fisher to win Game 3, they led by 8 points in the third quarter in Game 4, then allowed Boston’s bench to outplay them to tie the series 2-2.

After trailing by double digits (actually, trailing most of the time in tonight’s Game 5), Kobe Bryant put in a 19-point 3rd quarter, and the Lakers got within five with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter and what did they do? They failed to box out for rebounds, faltered on defense and allowed uncontested lay-ups, not to mention missed crunch time free throws. They’ve missed two chances to put themselves in a favorable position before the trip back to L.A.

Down 3-2, the Lakers have only themselves to blame.

1

The Voice of the Nation is broadcasting LIVE after Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Giving you full post-game coverage, and taking your calls to discuss your thoughts on the game!

Talk LIVE with David Brickley and Gregory Small, via TalkShoe.com.

Powered by TalkShoe

196

A pivotal Game 5 is just a few hours away – who’s ready!? Tonight’s contest is courtesy of our friends over at Sports Enemy who have given us one (1) of these great Boston Massacre shirts to giveaway to you!

Tonight’s winning question will be a little bit different than in previous contests. Throughout the NBA Finals, Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant have been key for the Lakers down the stretch.

For your chance to win, tell us how many total points those two players will combine for in tonight’s Game 5 (5pm PT on ABC). Leave your predictions in the comments section below anytime before tip-off. The closest answer will win!

Be sure to visit Sports Enemy and pick up your Boston Massacre T-Shirt! Good luck and Go Lakers!



55

The Los Angeles Lakers literally wasted a golden opportunity to place a stranglehold on the series in Game 4. There are four games of the Finals in the books and without some mistakes and a lack of execution down the stretch the Lakers would be up 3-1 in this series. They have played better, but haven’t closed out games well and have allowed the Celtics to hang around. I’ve never been a fan of the NBA Finals 2-3-2 format, but the good thing is tonight’s game will be the last of three in Boston.

The Lakers lost Game 4 by being outrebounded, allowing too many points in the paint, giving up 16 fast break points, and allowing the Celtics’ bench to become too much of a factor.

Both teams know each other very well and know each player’s tendencies. Several times Playoff games come down to adjustments and execution. The Lakers need the presence of Andrew Bynum. His shown me a lot playing with an injury by being effective and giving his all. It shows that Andrew Bynum has matured. I applaud his effort and desire to be a factor in this championship run.

If Andrew can’t go tonight, D.J. Mbenga or Josh Powell will have to step in limited minutes. Both guys can provide solid defense and rebounding. This also means that Lamar Odom will more than likely be matched up with Glen Davis again.

Odom has to step up and become a factor in this series. Offensively, he has to start on the perimeter, avoid relying on jump shots, be aggressive, attack off the dribble, and get to the basket. Being aggressive will also allow him to move the defense to find an opening for him or a teammate. Defensively, he has to play defense without fouling, hold his ground, and force Davis to shoot over him. It should be a known fact to him by now that Davis is going to play the bull in a China shop and act accordingly. Odom needs to get in front of him, plant his feet, and be willing to take a charge if necessary, the Lakers need stops.

23

The will of the warrior… Bosh would never have done this.

ESPN: After having his right knee drained of fluid for the second time this postseason, Lakerscenter Andrew Bynum says he’ll be ready to go for Sunday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Celtics.

“One-hundred percent sure I’m playing,” Bynum said when asked after Saturday’s practice about his status.

Bynum had fluid drained from his right knee after Boston evened the series 2-2 with a 96-89 win Thursday night. He was encouraged the swelling had not returned. He had fluid drained from the same knee before the series and the swelling reappeared.

He knows it will happen again.

“It’s going to come back after Game 5, for sure,” Bynum said. “It’s guaranteed. But as long as I’m able to be out there and be effective, that’s what counts.”

Bynum has a torn meniscus and bone bruise in his knee. Surgery is scheduled for July with an expected rehabilitation period of 2-5 five weeks, he said.

Continue reading ‘Drew ‘100 percent’ ready to play’

Social

Latest

6
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.