Saturday, December 20, 2014
Blog Page 197

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Lakers Examiner: The most telling replay I’ve seen of Ron Artest’s bonehead three-point attempt with a minute to go last night was the one I saw on SportsCenter this morning. The SC anchors were silent and played the live game sound with no commentators. What I heard was incredible.

After Artest misses his first shot, you hear the crowd give the traditional “awwwww” and then cheer when Pau Gasol snatches the rebound and kicks it out. Then, as Artest gets the ball and lines up for a three, you hear an amazing crescendo of “NOOOOOOOOO!” from the crowd, right before a sigh of disbelief as the shot careens off the rim.

Why was this clip so revealing? Because even the fans knew Artest was taking a horrible shot.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of NBA fans who know their stuff. They know what a pick and roll is, how to detect a 1-3-1 zone, and when a coach needs to call a timeout. But there are others, and I’d say it’s the majority of people in the stands, who are what we call “casual fans.”

They are the ones who you hear saying “Bynum’s so tall, why doesn’t he just turn around and dunk every time?” or “Nash is so slow, why can’t the Lakers stop him from scoring?”

Continue reading ‘Artest’s absent-mindedness leads to failure… then success’

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The momentum had clearly shifted. After leading by 18 points, and then failing to reach out for defensive rebounds (they had three chances!), the Lakers got what they deserved — a bank-in three-pointer from Jason Richardson to tie the game at 101.

It had come down to this… again. 3.5 seconds left in regulation and all eyes on Kobe Bryant. Flanked by Steve Nash and Grant Hill, Bryant tossed up a prayer and hit nothing but air. Channing Frye had his arm wrapped around Pau Gasol who stood by the hoop, and Jason Richardson awaited the ball’s landing, when as if from nowhere, Ron Artest sprinted, reached out his arms, grabbed the ball and tossed in a layup. Two points. Buzzer. Lakers lead the series 3-2.

“I always remind him, this is why he came here,” Lamar Odom said of his childhood friend, who can now add a game winner to his resume. “Not too many people would follow a shot, but his whole life is about perseverance.”

When the game began, it appeared as if the Lakers had brought their C-game back from Phoenix. Perseverance was nowhere to be found. Pau’s first two shots were blocked by Amar’e Stoudemire, Kobe committed two fouls two minutes into the game, and it took almost 4 ½ minutes between the home team’s first and second field goal makes. They looked hesitant on offense, frazzled on defense and the exact opposite of focused.

In 9:40 minutes of game, the Lakers had 13 points and were shooting 25%. It certainly wasn’t the start they were hoping for in a pivotal Game 5, but eventually, the defending champions found their mojo.

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Ron Artest redeems himself from what would have been considered a poor game; etching himself into Lakers Playoff history lore. Game 5 is in the books, Lakers can close out Saturday in Phoenix!

P.S. Hey, hey, say Queensbridge. Say it!

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The Los Angeles Lakers are back at the Staples Center tonight after an unsuccessful road trip. The Phoenix Suns come into tonight’s game with some momentum, although that will change by the end of the night.

The Lakers lost the two previous games by allowing the Suns to control the tempo and by not playing defense. The zone defense that the Suns have been and will continue to employ has been effective as well as the topic of conversation in this series for far too long. That has been the case due to the Lakers not attacking the rim properly and settling for way too many jump shots. The last thing the Lakers need to do is get into a three point shooting contest. It’s not a good look at all.

Thanks to the Lakers, the zone defense has given the Suns confidence. It has caused me to ask the question, where is Kobe’s help? The zone has enticed the Lakers into accepting the fools gold of open jump shots and hurried three point shots. It has caused the team to not be patient within their offense and getting the ball inside to the post area. It has limited the number of touches for Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom. The zone has slowed the Lakers down, but the team is still shooting 50% from the field.

It was a known fact that the Suns have had a very explosive bench. The Lakers bench had been outplaying them. It appeared that both benches realized who they were and played accordingly. The Lakers held the Suns’ bench in check until the 54 point explosion in game four.

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Kobe continues to climb the ranks!

Lakers BasketBlog: When Kobe Bryant nailed a three-pointer at the 2:04 mark of the second period in Tuesday’s Game 4 in Phoenix, one of his six in the game, he surpassed Karl Malone (4,761) for fourth on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. Only three players remain on the list ahead of Bryant: Shaquille O’Neal (5,248); Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762); and Michael Jordan (5,987).

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The Los Angeles Lakers have been in this situation four times in the last 2 seasons. A Playoff series is once again tied, 2-2, and they now go back to Staples for a critical Game 5.

In this episode, D-Bricks and G-Small discuss…

  • Phoenix Suns make it a 3 game series
  • Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson audio on the Lakers defense
  • Does G-Small call Kobe Bryant’s 38, 11, and 7 boards quiet, and ineffective… again?
  • Phoenix Suns bench explodes for 54 points
  • Jordan Farmar, and Shannon Brown no shows on the road
  • Free throws discrepancy; do the refs have it in for the Lakers?
  • Angry Lakers Fans leave their thoughts in the voicemail inbox.
  • D-Bricks tells you why the Lakers are a lock to win Game 5
  • And much MUCH more…

Audio
Eminem – We Made You
Jay- Z – A Star Is Born
Drake – Over

Additional audio courtesy of NBATV!

Call the Voice of the Nation Voice at our toll free number: 1-866-520-4037!

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #90

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Like it or not, the series it tied, 2-2, heading back to Los Angeles for the all-important Game 5 at Staples Center (Tonight, 6pm PT). Be there LIVE for the biggest game of the Lakers season. Barry’s Tickets has over 900 last minute tickets still available at the best prices anywhere in Los Angeles.

You can buy your tickets online, print them at home or pick them up across the street from Staples Center before the game. The best part? Barry’s is now waiving ALL service fees! Go see the defending champs before ticket prices skyrocket for the NBA Finals!

Check Barry’s Ticket Inventory Now!

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This is a huge honor for the Lakers. They gotta make it happen!

ESPN: “I’ve got to go with the Lakers again,” Obama said. “I think Gasol may be the best big man in the league right now. He’s different from Dwight Howard, but he’s [got] unbelievable footwork, speed, savvy, he’s playing magnificently.

“Kobe is the fiercest competitor in the league and they’ve got what I continue to believe is the best coach in the NBA right now in Phil Jackson, so they’re going to be formidable and I think it’ll be a tough series. Boston’s a veteran club, but the Lakers are looking pretty good.”

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The Orlando Magic heard it. The Phoenix Suns heard it too — all the talk of a Lakers/Celtics showdown before the Conference Finals even began. The round before the “real round” was a mere formality, a required prerequisite before a team could advance. In the first two games of these series, a Lakers/Celtics Finals appeared inevitable with the way the recent defending champions thumped their then (considered) inferior opponents, but now four games in the Conference Finals and it’s obvious that everyone counted their Finals appearances before they were hatched.

Kobe Bryant sat on the bench during a timeout in the fourth quarter, staring blankly straight ahead, then at the ground, wondering how the small lead he created had suddenly turned into another 9-point deficit. Was it because the Suns’ bench finally lived up to their reputation? Was it difficulty with attacking the Suns’ zone and getting their offense going?

“We lost a sense of urgency defensively. Our focus turned to how to attack the zone instead of focus on the other side of the court,” Kobe Bryant said. “We didn’t lose the game because [we didn’t score enough]. We lost because our defense sucked.”

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The Los Angeles Lakers came up short in game three and took a loss. It was their first playoff loss in about month. It doesn’t change the fact that the Phoenix Suns have the unenviable task of winning three of the next four games to advance to the NBA Finals; the Lakers won’t allow that to happen.

Several thoughts have arisen to explain the loss, such as shooting way too many three point shots, the zone defense played by the Suns, Lamar Odom pulling a disappearing act. and the big players getting into foul trouble. All are valid reasons for the loss, but what about defensive intensity?

I’ll give credit to the Suns for showing something new with the zone defense. However, I’m not buying the talk that they actually played some serious defense. The Lakers lost because of a lack of execution as well as no defensive intensity. A few things happened in game three that should not have occurred, the Lakers post players were not aggressive enough in establishing position in the painted area and made several ill-advised passes that resulted in way too many turnovers. I have faith that the Los Angeles Lakers will learn from their mistakes, make the necessary adjustments and get back on track with a win tonight.

It is imperative that the Lakers front line play aggressive on both ends of the court. Specifically, I want to see the front line of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom aggressively establish position in the low post. The guards need to control the basketball and make accurate passes into the post.

The Lakers will win this game by controlling the tempo and making game four a half-court game. They have to trust their triangle offense, it provides a solution for any defensive tactic. They have beaten the Suns in five of the seven played this season because they exploited the size advantage and executed their offense. It might sound simplistic, but focusing on proper execution will be the difference in the game.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be hosting a live game chat with a few of his friends during tonight’s game. James Worthy, Jamaal Wilkes, Rick Fox and Marques Johnson (just a few friends, no big deal), will be talking basketball while fans can engage and interact as they share Laker memories from the ’85 Playoffs.

You can catch the live stream starting at 6:00 PST on www.KAJ33.com.

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Our friends over at BeardHead.com are back to give away ONE more Beardhead for tonight’s Game 4 vs. Phoenix.

Here were the winners from Game 2: KB24ForLife, I_Love_LA_Germany and DanG. If you haven’t already, please drop us an email with your name and contact information so we can get your prize sent out to you.

For tonight’s contest, we’re going with Pau Gasol. Predict the total number of combined points, rebounds and assists he will have in Game 4 vs. the Phoenix Suns (6pm PT on TNT). Leave your predictions in the comments section below (please don’t break it down by individual stats, we just need the total combined number). The first person to correctly predict his stat line will win!

Lastly, BeardHead.com also has set up a coupon code for $6.00 off for all our readers! Just enter the code: “LAKERS_5″ during checkout to receive the discount!

Good luck, and go Lakers!

9

Even though we had to put the brooms back in the closet, the Los Angeles Lakers are still in command of the Western Conference Finals. G-Small and D-Bricks discuss the Game 3 setback, and look ahead as the Lakers look to make their third straight NBA Finals appearance.

In this episode, D-Bricks and G-Small discuss…

  • Los Angeles Lakers Sloppy in Game 3
  • Phil Jackson calls out the role players
  • Audio from Kobe Bryant on Amare Stoudmire’s play
  • Should Andrew Bynum shut it down?
  • G-Small calls Kobe Bryant’s 36pts, 11ast, and 9reb’s quiet, and ineffective
  • Chris Bosh in the Purple and Gold?
  • A long time listener gives the nation his rant on Game 3
  • Are the Conference Finals rigged for ratings?
  • The Chicago Bulls reach out to Phil Jackson
  • And Much More!

Audio

Public Enemy – By The Time I Get To Arizona
Beach Boys – God Only Knows
Bone thugs and Harmony – Hard Times

Additional audio courtesy of NBA TV & Lakers.com.

Call the Voice of the Nation Voice at 1-866-520-4037!

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

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.


Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #89

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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.