Sunday, November 23, 2014
Blog Page 206

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Forum Blue & Gold: It’s funny how a loss can plant seeds of doubt into the minds of fans and media. In game three, the Lakers pretty much controlled the game until the closing minutes of the third quarter when they allowed a run that made the game a dog fight for final 12 minutes. In that closing period, the Lakers still fought hard, but a very good OKC team made the key plays and were carried to the finish line by the momentum that comes from a fantastic home crowd. By no means am I trying to discount the Thunder as a team or knock their credibility as a worthy foe. But, if the first three games have shown me anything it’s that the Lakers are the superior team that just needs to play with discipline and smarts for longer stretches of the game. The Thunder players have that youthful exuberance and the athleticism that comes with it, but the Lakers themselves are no slouches physically and if they’re able to establish a consistent focus they can find themselves one step closer to clinching this series after tonight. The question as always is will they do what they know is necessary to take home a win or will they only do what’s needed for stretches?

And the Lakers know what they need to do. From the beginning of this series we’ve talked about adjustments and after game 3 we revisited the topic. The X’s and O’s of this series couldn’t be more clear, it’s the dedication to and execution of them that needs to be better woven into the minds of the Lakers. And really, that’s what this series has turned into. The Thunder are a team that will not quit. They won’t get down on themselves because the score board doesn’t show them in the lead and they won’t roll over because the outcome of the game is in doubt. If anything, these circumstances only make them fight harder and push further to try and turn the game in their favor. As I mentioned above, the Lakers have all the physical talent that they’ll need, it’s the mental aspects of the game that will need to be called upon if they are to prevail. In a sense, they need to be as strong mentally in sticking to their plan as the Thunder have been when trying to dig themselves out of holes. If the Lakers can sustain focus and not go away from what works, Thunder runs will be squelched and control of the game will remain in LA’s favor. But, if the Lakers don’t do this, they’ll again find themselves in a close games at the end that can swing in the other team’s direction.

Continue reading ‘FB&G: Lakers/Thunder: Game 4 Preview and Chat’

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I hope he can continue to play next year!

Pro Sports Daily: “Could this be the end of the NBA line for Derek Fisher?

Not in his eyes.

Could this be his last season playing for the Lakers?

That’s possible, Fisher acknowledged.

But right now, Fisher isn’t thinking that he’s 35, that he’s a 14-year veteran, that he doesn’t have a contract beyond this season with the Lakers.

Fisher’s thoughts are on helping the Lakers win consecutive championships, on playing his best to help the cause.

He made his case Sunday, scoring 11 points, hitting the back-breaking three-pointer late that helped push the Lakers to an 87-79 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of a Western Conference first-round series Sunday at Staples Center.

“I put aside as far as me thinking this could be it in terms of my last postseason playing basketball,” Fisher said. “I know for sure that’s not true.

“This is the last year on my contract. I know I want to play basketball after this. I will play basketball as long as somebody is willing to offer me a job. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be on a team that can win a championship.

“So, from that perspective now is the only thing that matters. You can’t think about next year. You can’t think about the past. It’s just about right now.”

Continue reading ‘This is not Fisher’s last season’

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Good to see Odom show leadership, but he must step up so the rest follow in his example.

Inside Local: Lamar Odom called on the reserves to play better Saturday in Game 4 than they did in Game 3. He said today before the Lakers’ practiced at the Ford Center:

“I think our bench play has to step up offensively and defensively. The first unit is doing a great job of getting a good start. We’re not keeping the momentum up. … We’ve got to find a way for the second group to come in and stretch the game out a little bit and maintain the lead.”

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Thoughts on Bynum wanting to play in the Olympics and Gasol sitting out world games?

Fan House: But the Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum, who has a shot to be this decade’s second-best center after Orlando’s Dwight Howard, would like to help. Bynum turned down an invitation to be with USA Basketball in preparation for this summer’s World Championships in Turkey because of injuries. He said he wants to be with Team USA in the future.

“I definitely do some day,” Bynum said in an interview Friday with FanHouse. “If my body feels good and I don’t have any serious injuries, yeah.”

“I am at the stage of my career where I had a lot of injuries going on,” Bynum, with the Lakerspreparing for Saturday’s Game 4 of a West first-round series against Oklahoma City, said of turning down USA Basketball’s invitation. “I wanted to be able to work out in a controlled environment.. Two knees [that have been hurt] and this Achilles stuff I’m going to have to rest after the playoffs.”

Bryant is expected to represent Team USA in Turkey while Lakers forward Lamar Odom, who also is on the roster, is hopeful but no guarantee to make the final cut. And it’s all but certain Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who led Spain to the gold medal at the 2006 World Championships, won’t help his homeland defend its title.

“More likely, yes,” Gasol said Friday when asked if he’s definitely not going to Turkey.

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I guess Phil won’t back down to anyone.

ESPN: “There’s a certain gamesmanship that goes on that obviously he feels cheapens the game,” Jackson continued. “It never was explained to us until it suddenly came down in this last week that arbitrarily they were going to do this. I missed the coaches meeting last September. Maybe they explained it in the coaches meeting last year because they said there was a couple instances last year when I think it was [Stan] Van Gundy and [Rick] Adelman were fined during the playoffs for statements that led to manipulating the press, I guess is the best way I can say it.

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For those of you who are wondering what this is all about, click here for a brief explanation. For the rest of you, I present to you Game 3 of the Lakers, Thunder series, exclusively told by Twitter.

FIRST QUARTER:

Contrary to what many of us expected, the Lakers began the game in ’91 Mike Tyson form, mercilessly bulldozing the stunned Thunder.

ukuga OKC audio team about to cue Elton John. “I’m still standing!”

therealbenpete Lakers 6/6 so far. These OKC fans wasted their check on these tickets… Unless they are Laker fans.

DavidjBrickley Everybody involved early for the Lakers, 7 straight FG’s to start game. All starters have scored.

SportsFanPJ Kobe hasn’t taken a shot and we’re up 12-3, perfect from the field.

RamneetKB24 An amazing start by the Lakers; I guess the blue shirts aren’t fazing them.

kobethegod Lakers are in championship form… hitting from all angles.

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The Thunder were rolling in Game 3 last night, and G-Small and D-Bricks break down the Lakers lackluster loss in what has been the greatest sports day in Oklahoma City history!

Senior Writer from Hoopsworld.com, Eric Pincus,  joins the show to talk Lakers basketball as well.

Will Kobe ever redeem himself? Are the Lakers through,already? Some of the fans think so.

All of your voicemails, and as usual ALL Lakers talk in Voice of the Nation #80!

Audio
A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran
Sam Cooke – Bring It Home

All post game audio courtesy of NBA TV.

Be sure to follow David Brickley and Gregory Small on Twitter.

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #80

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The Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t so much take this game away from the Lakers as much as the Lakers handed it to them, wrapped in confidence and tied with a pretty purple and gold bow. “We’ll take the next two games, “ the Lakers said. “You can have this one.” Being the opportunists that they are, the Thunder replied, “Don’t mind if we do.” And they did, outscoring the defending champions 58-46 in the second half to win their first playoff game.

Similar to Games 1 and 2, the Lakers came out hot, going 10 points to zero before Coach of the Year Scotty Brooks called the first timeout of the game. The Lakers shot 7-7 from the field to begin, with every starter getting what they wanted from their offense.

Ron Artest scored the first two baskets. It was then followed by two

quick lobs for Andrew Bynum; one from Kobe Bryant and another from Derek Fisher. Kobe’s first shot came from behind the arc, and even Derek’s shots were falling after a notable shooting slump of late. Pau Gasol scored off a rebound from a blocked lay-up. For what appeared to be his prime way to score, Andrew was receiving lob pass after lob pass.

After the first quarter, the Lakers were shooting a much-improved 55% from the field, the Thunder, just 35% and for all it was worth, the road team had only one turnover.

In the second and third quarters, the Laker lead, as per usual, rose and plummeted. Each time the Thunder cut it down, Kobe would hit one from downtown, going 4 of 5 from the 3-point line in that first half. A three-pointer here, a signature lefty-hook from Pau there and the Lakers appeared to have control of the game no matter what the Thunder threw at them.

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The Thunder arena was rocking… and that’s an understatement. Can Staples Center match that intensity when they return from Oklahoma City? Sound off..

During the game, TNT reporter Craig Sager said they have been measuring the decibels and that it is often 100 and hit a 109 in “OKC The LOUD” Center.

He also reported that the previous record was 102 held by the Sacramento Kings up at Arco Arena.

I think “hostile environment” has a new definition with this 1st round war that the Lakers are in.

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Happy 73rd Birthday to long-time Lakers fan Jack Nicholson!

As expected, the Lakers held the home court advantage by taking the first two games of the series. The venue switches from the bright lights of Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, home of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; a city said to have the best of the historic Old West and the vibrant energy of Bricktown, the city’s lively entertainment district.

In my opinion game three is the most pivotal game of the series. It doesn’t matter what happened in the first two games, meaning this game has to be approached as all important because of the significance and advantage gained by coming out with a win. When the series started, I felt that game three was the one game that the Thunder had the best chance of winning due to being able to feed off of raucous home crowd.

The game plan for the Lakers remains the same; get the ball inside to Pau Gasoland& Andrew Bynum in the painted area, take care of the ball, and get back in transition to limit the Thunder’s points in transition. The Lakers accomplished part of the game plan by taking care of the ball and holding the Thunder to 11 fastbreak points in game two.

The Thunder packed the painted area and disrupted the Lakers big men from dominating and the Lakers were slow to adjust. We saw a healthier Kobe Bryant score 39 points, 25 in the second half, take over the game in the fourth quarter, and allow the Lakers to escape with a win. This wasn’t a surprise to the Lakers Nation, to be honest there isn’t anything Kobe can do to surprise us anymore, it will simply adds to the legacy of the Hall of Famer to be also known as the Black Bamba.

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Just in case you have been living in 2008, Twitter is the new Facebook… which, by the way, was totally the new MySpace… I mean, dialing a phone number is so last decade.

Instead of writing a column with my observations from tonight’s game 3 vs. Oak City, I want you guys to write it, via Twitter.

Here’s how it works:

  • Follow me on Twitter – Okay, you don’t technically have to… but you want to. You do.
  • During tonight’s game, Tweet your thoughts and observations (or jokes) with one (or both) of the following hash tags: #TLN or #OOB.
  • In tomorrow’s Out of Bounds column, I will recap Game 3, by quarter, exclusively using the best of your Tweets to tell the whole story.

You will, of course, get credit in the column. Sounds fun, right? I think so.

Help me spread the word! The more tweets, the better the column will be.

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“When Lamar is at his best, the Lakers are virtually unbeatable” – Mark Jackson

ESPN: Throughout the season, the Lakers’ bench has been the target of criticism. But Wednesday, coach Phil Jackson was generally complimentary of how his reserves performed over the first two games of their first-round matchup against Oklahoma City.

“I have to give them credit,” he said. “They’ve held their own against the Oklahoma bench. We’ve really survived that well.”

Still, heading into Ford Center for Thursday’s Game 3, Jackson believes he’ll need better play from his bench players, starting with the most prominent member of the group. “I think Lamar [Odom] has to give us an imprint in the ballgame,” he said.

Through the first two games, Odom has scored a total of 11 points on only 13 attempts. Jackson believes Odom can have a far greater impact.

“It’s an understanding of what the game is. Opportunities are going to be in shots and little things like that and probably little pockets he finds to make penetration,” Jackson said. “He found a couple in the second half [of Game 2], or one for sure in the second half that looked like he had established the kind of game he plays.”

Told of Jackson’s commentary, Odom, who has spent most of his six seasons with the Lakers fighting criticism about a lack of aggression offensively, seemed unconcerned. “He wants to see me play well offensively,” he said. “He wants to see me get involved. He just wants to see me go and get in my comfort zone.”

Continue reading ‘Phil wants more from Lamar’

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Our Los Angeles Lakers have now won two games in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. 14 more for an NBA title!

David Brickley and Gregory Small discuss the Lakers/Thunder series, and their thoughts thus far on the Voice of the Nation #78!

In this edition of Voice of the Nation, we discuss…

  • Kobe Bryant scores 39; is he back?
  • Does G-Small still believe Kobe should be Robin to Gasol’s Batman?
  • Phil Jackson tells Kobe to shoot better or… shoot less.
  • Where happened to the role players?
  • Will Ron Artest stop shooting?
  • Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith continue the hate…
  • Are the Lakers confident or arrogant?
  • TOP LAKERS MOMENT CHAMPION IS CROWNED!
  • They play your voicemails!
  • The guys preview Game 3

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

Audio
Ludacris – Number 1 Spot
Mission Impossible Theme
Randy Newman – I Love LA

Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant audio courtesy NBA TV.

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 #79

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Thousands of Laker Fans from across the globe have voted and followed the madness on the Voice of the Nation through five intense rounds.

This Lakers historic franchise has had so many moments. To find the king of them all seemed near impossible, but we did!

Out of all the moments throughout history one shined brighter then them all.

Ladies and Gentlemen the top Lakers Moment of all time according to the fans is…

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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.