Saturday, December 20, 2014
Blog Page 202

12

It appears we will see a Lakers/Suns Western Conference Finals showdown.

Here is the released schedule (via ESPN)…

Date / Matchup / TV / Network / Time

  • Wednesday, May 19 Western Conference Finals Game 1 TNT 9 ET
  • Friday, May 21 Western Conference Finals Game 2 TNT 9 ET
  • Sunday, May 23 Western Conference Finals Game 3 TNT 8:30 ET
  • Tuesday, May 25 Western Conference Finals Game 4 TNT 9 ET
  • Thursday, May 27 Western Conference Finals Game 5* TNT 9 ET
  • Saturday, May 29 Western Conference Finals Game 6* TNT 8:30 ET
  • Monday, May 31 Western Conference Finals Game 7* TNT 9 ET

47

Cold-blooded. Clutch. Closer. These are the three C’s that make up Kobe Bryant, but in the grand scheme that is the NBA Playoffs, Bryant rarely goes after the kill alone. Always lurking behind the deadly Mamba is one bulldog named Derek Fisher.

Phil Jackson noted that the Utah Jazz took away the Lakers’ post-game. Andrew Bynum’s only field goal attempt was blocked by Krylo Fresenko, and Pau Gasol did not score the bulk of his 14 points until the second half.

Tonight, the Lakers’ guards reminded the Jazz that they were more than just their big men. Tonight, the Lakers’ backcourt took care of their frontcourt, scoring 69 of the team’s 111 points.

The game began just as the Jazz could hope for, with the visiting team starting 1-7 and the Lakers offense reduced to a Kobe-centric style of play. The Lakers did not dominate from inside as they had in the first two games, settling for jumper after jumper while the Jazz scored from wherever they pleased; from downtown, from mid-range, from penetration, and because they attacked the paint, from the free throw line. At the end of the first quarter, however, the field goal percentage of both teams were nothing short of paltry. The Lakers were shooting a lowly 29%, which the Jazz were not better with 33%.

Before the first half came to a close, the Lakers had gotten to within four points after having been down by 13. Kobe’s 20 first half points sure helped, and Derek Fisher did a good job getting Deron Williams into foul trouble. Jazz’s point man had collected three with just over a minute left in the second quarter.

The Lakers played from behind at the onset, but by chipping away at the Jazz double-digit lead before halftime, they took advantage in the third quarter, laying the groundwork for what was a very competitive final 24 minutes. This game was destined to wind down to the very last second, with the Lakers and Jazz trading basket after basket, reaching tie after tie, and lead change after lead change. Leading each team with their offensive onslaught were the least likely players in Kyle Korver, Ron Artest and Derek Fisher.

0

As I said, the media made it bigger than it was.

ESPN: Player and coach have made nice, Ron Artest for his late-night Twittering and Phil Jackson for his misunderstood “witticism.”

Speaking to reporters before the Los Angeles Lakers’ 111-110 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, Jackson said he had discussed Artest’s Twitter comments with his players and that Artest was apologetic and he was “sympathetic.”

“I’d been a little animated [Thursday] at practice and I think I kind of stirred the mix, so to speak, a little bit,” Jackson explained. “I kind of understood where he might have had some difficulty that day.”

The timing of Artest’s Twitter tantrum seemed peculiar because the forward was referring to comments by Jackson about his 3-point shooting made more than a week ago in the first round against Oklahoma City.

Jackson explained Saturday that Artest was fined an unspecified amount Thursday morning for showing up late to practice and thought that his Twitter comments was just Artest “kind of lashing out a little bit.”

Continue reading ‘Ron Ron & Phil clear air’

2

Kobe’s toughness has rubbed off onto the young center, playing with injuries is nothing now.

ESPN: Andrew Bynum didn’t participate in Friday’s practice, instead continuing to receive treatment on his injured right knee.

Bynum suffered a torn meniscus April 30 in the Lakers’ 95-94 series clinching win in Oklahoma City, but played effectively through the team’s first two games against the Utah Jazz.

The teams haven’t played since Tuesday, and the time off has certainly helped.

“I feel good right now,” Bynum said. “I got a lot of treatment in today … [The rest] has been big. Got to stay off it, and keep the swelling down. ”

He has acknowledged the injury could very well require surgery in the offseason, but he will continue to play despite discomfort.

“It’s something I’m dealing with,” he said. “Keep on pushing through.”

Continue reading ‘Bynum skips practice; receives treatment’

9

The media is making this bigger than it is.

ESPN: Ron Artest has made a point to make his inaugural season in Los Angeles as controversy-free as possible, stonewalling reporters time and time again when asked about his individual effort and turning the conversations to focus on the Lakers as a team.

Artest’s Twitter feed, @RONARTESTCOM, is a different story.

Late Thursday night, Artest’s account posted a string of tweets expressing frustration with Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

The first unedited tweet, posted around 9 p.m. PT, read: “Finally Phil Jackson didn’t mention me in media before talking me Now I can build on game 2. Hopefully he talks to me before the media.”

The next unedited tweet, posted approximately an hour later, read: “Ever since phil mention things about me in media before coming to me first I was weird . So every pray he can somehow close his yapper.”

At Friday’s practice, Artest would neither confirm nor deny that the tweets were his, even though his brother, Daniel, wrote on his own Twitter account, “Whoever hacked [Artest’s] twit page is foul,” hours later.

“I’m never upset at my coach,” Artest said Friday. Artest would also not verify his brother’s claim that the account was hacked either, saying, “You got to call him.”

Continue reading ‘RonRon-Phil feud developing?’

4


6 down, and 10 to go as the Lakers take care of the Jazz in Game 2, and look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead up in Utah on Saturday.

In this episode the fellas discuss…

  • Game 2 recap
  • Has a defensive switch been flipped in the postseason?
  • Kobe Bryant’s injuries no longer a factor?
  • LeBron James “Elbow Talk” is getting annoying!
  • SIZE MATTERS!
  • Listener react to Magic Johnson passing the torch comments
  • The awkward “Kobe White Out” pictures
  • The fellas play listeners voicemails
  • And much more!

Music
Jay-Z – The Lost Ones
Bone Thugs and Harmony – Crossroads
Maino – Million Bucks Instrumental

Additional Audio
Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, and Kobe Bryant audio courtesy NBA.com
AM570 KLAC

Leave a voicemail to the guys at  1-866-520-4037

Be sure to follow G-Small and D-Bricks on Twitter!

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #85

0

Sure, we’d love to call Episode 8 the Basketball Taboo Playoff Extravaganza Podcast, but we already did that once. We’ll just call this one The Sequel.

This week, Manning and Riley continue to suffer from the NBA Playoff fever…

– Does the road get easier for the Lakers?
– Is this the year of Lebron?
– What happened to the Dallas Mavericks?

Also, Riley tries to defend his Miami Heat in 6 games prediction, Manning  jumps on the Celtics bandwagon and the guys break down the Lakers/Jazz series.

Co-Host: Chris Manning
Co-Host: Jason Riley
The Voice: Sharla Pair

Be sure to follow Jason and Chris on Twitter and check out their preview for the Lakers, Jazz series on The No Look Pass.

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions? Complaints? Want to be a Guest? E-mail us at Taboo@theLakersNation.com.

If you would like to sponsor the show, or advertise your business with a 30 or 60 second audio spot on this, or other TLN podcasts, email us at advertise@theLakersNation.com.

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Downloading Link: Basketball Taboo – Episode #8 — The Sequel

4

It was announced today that Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have again been given All-NBA honors. The panel of 122 sportswriters and broadcasters selected the two Lakers stars on the heels of a top Western Conference run.

Kobe Bryant was named to the All-NBA first team for the eighth time in his career, his fifth consecutive. Joining Kobe in the first team were LeBron James and Dwight Howard, both with 610 first team votes; young Thunder star, Kevin Durant (579 votes); and Dwayne Wade (520 votes). Kobe Bryant was selected with 604 votes.

Pau Gasol was named to the NBA’s third team for his second year, racking in the honors last season as well.

55

Let’s just sit back a minute and hear out Sekou Smith. I completely agree man!

NBAHangtimeBlog: That impending feeling of free agent doom looming over our friends in Canada grows stronger by the day.

Cousin Doug (Smith of Toronto Smiths and the Toronto Star) dropped this little morsel in his morning offering.

For those of you that are opposed to link-clicking, here’s Cousin Doug’s brief mention of Chris Bosh being at Game 2 of the Lakers-Jazz series:

Oh oh.

Chris Bosh was at the Lakers-Jazz game in L.A. on Tuesday night.

Can only mean one thing, right?

Yep, he’s gone.

Or maybe he’s out there on business. Or vacation. Or some convention of tweeterers or whatever the heck they’re called.

You may remember Bosh sending out a couple tweets last week asking for advice on what he should do in free agency this summer. Maybe he was just trying to get some advice from Kobe Bryant or Ron Artest, who made a similar appearance in LA around this time a year ago. We all know how that turned out.

Of course, this visit by Bosh could simply be the case of a well-known basketball fan visiting with some of his friends …

Listen, we’re not in the business of speculating around here (at least not until free agency cooks up), but if we were, the idea of Bosh playing with the Lakers is frightening … for the rest of the league.

Continue reading ‘Bosh in Purple and Gold?’

6

Kobe Bryant’s made the NBA’s All-Defensive first team for the fifth consecutive year. Again, for the fifth consecutive year, I don’t think anyone is really surprised.

Associated Press: Kobe Bryant is on the NBA all-defensive first team for the fifth straight year.

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo made the first team for the first time, earning the second-most points behind the league’s defensive player of the year, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.

Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace also made the team for the first time, with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James making it for the second straight year.

Many give credit to Kobe’s reputation as a great defensive player, rather than his actual defensive play, for his recent multiple honors. Although voting was closed towards the end of the first round during his years Playoffs — Kobe gave great reason to silence the critics when he took on the role of guarding Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

This is Kobe’s tenth time making an All-Defensive team. Congratulations, Mamba!

77

Think it might be worth a mention that today is our 3 year anniversary. Yeah, we’re old timers.

The site officially opened days after the Lakers were eliminated by the Suns in 2007. Since then, we’ve been a hub for Lakers fans across the world. We dish out the latest news, we’ve formed a large Lakers Nation community, we’ve provided as much media as we could  — in essence, we’ve tried to bring one of the world’s largest fan bases together, while telling the teams story along the way.

For those that are longtime followers, those who have been with us for 3 years; we greatly thank you. If you know our sites origins, it was primarily based around starting a fan movement to help this team make the right moves in order to win a championship.

This website doesn’t belong to any individual, this website belongs to every Lakers fan. Its our public trust to maintain it for the fanbase.

To celebrate our 3 years, we’re going to give stuff away. Because we know that’s what you like. No, no, don’t thank us. We’re giving out a Only Kings Have Rings or Here’s Ronnie t-shirt, by our friends over at The Forest Lab! How do you win? Simple…

Write a comment below with your favorite Lakers moment in the past 3 years (we’re talking 5/5/07-present) and why. Most compelling story wins one of these ridiculously awesome shirts. If you don’t win one here, don’t worry — we’ll also be giving away another shirt on our Twitter and Facebook later on during the day.

You have until the end of the day to enter, get at it. Thanks again for the great support, looking forward to the next 3 championships… err… years… should all be within the same time frame.

4

O.C. Register: After every game, Kobe Bryant makes it look like he’s burrowing his feet in soft, relaxing sand during a day at the beach. After the Lakers’ game in Toronto this season, Andrew Bynum tried it.

Bryant is used to soaking his feet in postgame buckets of ice water to minimize inflammation from all the pounding. He’ll often chat comfortably with reporters while his feet are submerged in icy water. Yet when Bynum tried to do that in Toronto in late January, he became a cartoon.

There was shivering, teeth chattering and overwhelmed gasping. There very well could have been icicles hanging from his ears, too.

But this was the season that Bynum vowed to get more professional and maintain his body better. On Sunday after Game 1 against Utah, Bynum sat there unflappably with those feet once reserved only for UGG fleecy slippers now chillin’ in the ice water. On Tuesday in Game 2, we saw a more distinct people-can-change inspiration from him.

Many were surprised by the way Bynum started this postseason so strong despite coming off that strained left Achilles’ tendon. Many are shocked that he is giving the Lakers so much now that he has torn cartilage in a right knee that needs surgical repair.

The frame remains predisposed to knee injury – the wide pelvis and knock-kneed frame are here to stay – but the spirit inside the brittle body has changed.

Continue reading ‘Brittle Bynum has become tough enough’

25

“I’m not even thinking of the pain,” Andrew Bynum said to Craig Sager during a half-time interview.

“During the game, he never complains,” Phil Jackson said of his young center.

“Andrew’s a trooper,” Lamar Odom praised.

“I was so pleased,” Pau Gasol gushed of his fellow 7 footer’s performance.

To think that two seasons ago, Bynum sat on the bench while the Boston Celtics mauled his teammates. Last season, he didn’t do more than foul Dwight Howard for every opportunity (or maybe “certainty” is a better word) for missed free throws. Now this season, he is not only playing injured, but playing effectively while he’s injured.

Consider this Andrew Bynum, the refurbished edition; a few nicks here and there, but working just fine, much to the disappointment of the Utah Jazz who have no one to stand in his way.

The Lakers started 1-7 in the game to instantly fall behind to the Jazz. It appeared as if the Jazz had found their mojo and would finally break their 15-game losing streak at Staples Center. After missing 6 of their first 7 shots, however, the Lakers scored 6 straight points to tie it, then took the lead and never looked back.

It helped that they took the heart out of Utah by keeping the ball out of Deron Williams’ hands. He only managed 15 points on 4-16 shooting, though he did hand out 9 assists. In his place, the Jazz got strong performances from Paul Millsap (26 points), C.J. Miles (20 points), Carlos Boozer (20 points), but even though the Jazz got within four points of the Lakers’ quickly dissipated 15-point lead, there was just never a threat of the home team losing tonight’s game; not to this smallish Jazz team.

7

The Lakers got off to a good start by winning the first game of the series. It wasn’t an easy playoff game, since it appeared that the starters had to win the game twice. The reason for this, you guessed it — once again, the lack of production from the bench. Consequently, the game was close and the Lakers had to grind out another win with the Black Mamba closing the show.

This scenario has played out many times this season and the Lakers have had to grind out way too many victories this season with little or no assistance from the bench. Fortunately, the Purple and Gold have played through pain and have won several games despite the above-mentioned scenario.

The Lakers are champions and are very well-aware of how they need to play to defend their title. The playoffs come down to adjustments, execution, experience, and the ability to wrap these items together in a solid performance on one of the NBA’s brightest stage.

The Jazz have to make the most adjustments. However, the Lakers have several adjustments to make as well.

The Lakers can’t get complacent, they have to be on high alert after being outplayed after a solid first quarter. The Lakers blew a 14-point lead, allowed C.J. Miles, Wes Matthews and Paul Milsap to be major contributors, who combined for 46 points and almost beat them. The major adjustment is making sure that it doesn’t happen again.

The Lakers have to use their height advantage more. The triangle offense provides an answer for whatever challenges the defense presents. They need to establish Andrew Bynum andPau Gasol in the low post and allow them to destroy the Jazz in the painted area. The Lakers have to use the triangle offense to find a high percentage shot going to the basket and stay with that strategy.

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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.