Thursday, December 18, 2014
Blog Page 207

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He’s been to six NBA Final appearances with 4 titles to accomodate. He’s already the Lakers all-time scoring leader but there is one record he is close to surpassing  yet again…

Jerry West holds the Lakers playoff all-time scoring record with 4,457 career playoff points.

Kobe currently has 4,441 career playoff points, who needs 16 to tie West, and needs 17 points to become the Lakers all-time career points leader in the playoffs in franchise history.

10

Entering the playoffs versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Lakers were struggling and were about to face a run-and-gun Thunder team. Some people actually doubted the Lakers in the series, even though the season series was won by the Lakers.

Game 1 in Staples Center was a very important battle. First, the Lakers would have a chance to take a series lead. Second, the Lakers would try to regain momentum and prove all doubters that they’re still the team to beat.

The game started off with the Lakers firing on all cylinders and took an early 27-13 lead. By halftime, the lead dwindled down to only an 8 point margin. However, a bright spot was that Kevin Durant, the league’s leading scorer, was being harassed and essentially shut down by Ron Artest.

17

It was an early indication of things to come. First, there was the long two over the outstretched arms of Thabo Sefolosha. Then it was a putback after a Derek Fisher miss. On this night, Kobe Bryant would not wait for his opportunity to shoot, nor decide to play facilitator first, scorer second. Tonight, Kobe walked straight up to the hoop and set up their date.

Mamba was due tonight and the Lakers would be happy to witness.

Kobe still shot only 12-28 from the field, but 42% is a vast improvement from the 30+% he had been shooting in the last few games.

The Lakers defense limited the Oklahoma City Thunder to 28% shooting in the first quarter and 39.2% for the game. The home team led by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, and they forced 17 turnovers in all for the visiting team. It would be quite the staggering stat if the Lakers hadn’t collected 18 of their own turnovers.

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No other way to put it.

NBA.com: Lakers coach Phil Jackson wants Kobe Bryant to improve his shooting or take fewer shots.

Bryant scored 21 points on 6-for-19 shooting Sunday in the Lakers’ 87-79 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in their playoff opener. He missed five of 12 free throws.

Jackson said before Game 2 on Tuesday night that Bryant can continue playing the same way, but he’ll have to limit the number of shots he takes. He said Bryant can’t shoot 30 percent as he has recently and expect the Lakers to win.

“He is well aware of it. He’s a little befuddled by it, but coming to terms with it,” Jackson said.

Bryant has been bothered by a swollen right knee, a broken right index finger and a sore tendon in his left ankle, all of which contributed to his missing four of the team’s final five regular-season games.

Bryant’s return for the playoff opener affected the number of touches big men Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum got in Game 1, which Jackson wasn’t happy about.

“They want to give him the ball inside of really seeing that the post is open, and they’ve got to pass it in there,” he said. “They see where Kobe is a lot of times, and sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the most grease.”

Continue reading ‘Phil on Kobe: Shoot better or shoot less’

5

It wasn’t pretty, but most importantly the Lakers won the first game of the series. The best way to look at the first game is ‘one down and 15 more to go’.

NBA basketball can be a game of scoring runs; every team is going to make a few and as an opponent you have to answer said runs. The NBA Playoffs are about match ups and constant adjustments.

Regardless of being on the winning or the losing end, both teams have to make adjustments. The Oklahoma City Thunder will have to make the most adjustments, but make no mistakes, the Lakers also have adjustments to make. The positives were seeing the Lakers use their size and length to their advantage as well as their defense. The most glaring adjustment that needs to be made will be as follows; transition defense, taking care of the basketball, and points in the painted area.

Ron Artest did what he was brought to the Los Angeles Lakers to do, play tough defense and lock up alpha dog players. Artest forced Kevin Durant into a bad shooting night, although I believe that Kevin Durant will figure it out and his shooting will improve. Nevertheless, Russell Westbrook stepped up and kept the Thunder close. The Lakers have to match up and get back in transition to stop the Thunder from getting easy baskets.

The Thunder play good defense and count heavily on the scoring of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Lakers have to make it a point to limit the impact of other players not known for having a scoring impact.

3

We are not going to lose another key assistant coach!

Press Telegram: But the newest Clippers coach could come from a pool of candidates that might include the likes of the Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown (who, earlier this week, said the Bobcats job would be his “last as a head coach”), as well as NBA assistants Brian Shaw (Lakers), Dwane Casey and Elston Turner, or current national broadcasters Mark Jackson and Avery Johnson.

1

Phil still doesn’t like the Lakers’ performance. Great demands earns championships.

ESPN: Phil Jackson wants a better sustained effort from the Lakers against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He got it for one quarter in the playoff opener, then watched the defending champions lose energy the rest of the way.

The Lakers won 87-79 Sunday mostly on the strength of their dominating first quarter, in which 7-footers Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum scored and rebounded with abandon and the team shot 54 percent.

Although never losing the lead, the Lakers didn’t win another quarter and the Thunder got within six points with 3½ minutes remaining.

“Our guys sustaining that effort is where we really have to keep working,” Jackson said after practice Monday. “The big issue with us is we have to have good court balance, take good shots so that their run-out opportunities aren’t available to them or they’re more difficult than they’ve been.”

A subdued Kobe Bryant said he shares Jackson’s concern, although he maintains that getting the win was the most important thing.

“We’ll do better,” he said. “The games are prettier when you score a lot of points and stuff like that, and that’s what we’re capable of doing but at the end of the day, defense and rebounding wins championships.”

Continue reading ‘Phil: Lakers need consistent effort’

11

For as much as we talk about greatness around here, we sure do complain an awful lot when we’re presented with the rare opportunity for it.

The idea of greatness is subjective, but is most commonly expressed about an individual – or in this case a team – when factual critics are silenced, long odds are overcome and the seeming impossible is achieved.

We don’t witness greatness very often because of those very things.

Long odds become stacked up based on accurate data. Critics boast their opinions around real-life observations. The impossible seems impossible because it demands something invisible; and when it comes to logical thinking, evidence is everything.

0

Note: The end of this episode cuts off in the end. If you want the remaining minutes, download it here. We apologize for the inconvenience.

1 down and 15 to go!

G-Small breaks down the Los Angeles Lakers first step on their stretch run to back-to-back titles!

Transcript

  • 3:10 – Thundercats, NO!
  • 4:50 – Stopping ‘Durantula’
  • 5:32 – Kobe Bryant on his match up with Ron Artest in the 2009 NBA Playoffs
  • 7:39 – Being Robin… again
  • 11:22 – Westbrook’s Way
  • 12:53 – Harden: Straight Outta Compton
  • 19:54 – Lakers vs. Thunder: Longtime Playoffs Rivals

Postgame audio courtesy of Lakers.com.

Follow G-Small on Twitter.

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Download Link: Lakers World Order Radio – Episode 8

21

And the Oscar goes to…

O.C. Register: Raise your hand if you agree with Miami guard Quentin Richardson’s assessment of Paul Pierce’s acting ability.

In their playoff game Saturday, Pierce went down on the sideline clutching his shoulder. Boston teammate Kevin Garnett walked over to check on his teammate and Richardson apparently was nearby and the players began exchanging words.

“He started to talk to me, so I talked back,” Richardson said. “I don’t have any business talking to (Pierce), he was on the ground crying. I don’t know what was going on, two actresses over there, that’s what they are.”

“I don’t like them, and they know it,” Richardson added. “Sometimes he (Pierce) falls like he’s about to be out for the season, and then he gets right up. That’s all I said.”

Pierce nearly earned an Academy Award nomination in the 2008 NBA Finals against the Lakers when he crumpled to the court because of an apparent knee injury, had to be carried off the court and then wheeled to the locker room in a wheelchair.

Two minutes later, Pierce came back onto the court and led the Celtics to a Game 1 victory.

Remember that? Now, raise your hand.

64

Kobe Bryant drove into the lane, hopped high above the crowd in the paint and heaved the ball with both hands to an open Derek Fisher for three — SWISH! Running backwards in transition, Derek turned his head over his right shoulder and pointed at Kobe. Their eyes still locked, Kobe lowered his head and pointed right back. That exchange of non-verbal communication from the Laker captains was as telling as the new Championship ring that Phil Jackson gets to sport this post-season. Those few seconds of interaction between Kobe and Fish say, “sometimes it will be easy, and sometimes it certainly won’t. But no matter what stands in our way, we will lead you there.”

For all the doubts and fears that the Lakers instilled in their loyal supporters this past season, it’s nice to be reminded of who is running the helm, and when Kobe and Derek play with as much energy and fervor as they did today, the rest of the team could only follow suit.

There have been many storylines surrounding this Lakers-Thunder series — from Phil’s supposed mind games, to the young ingénue versus the accomplished veteran, to finally being able to measure Ron Artest’s worth to this team — the largest elephant in the room was the effectiveness, or possible lack thereof, of Andrew Bynum who was, yet again, returning from injury.

In his post-game interview, Andrew was asked if he considered himself a veteran. He answered, “I don’t feel like a veteran yet. I’m trying to earn that title. That comes from more experience, it comes from being more of a leader out there, being more vocal. It comes from earning trust in these playoffs.”

With a double-double in his first game back since injuring his achilles, Andrew is well on his way to earning that veteran status. Against an Oklahoma City team who has no one to match against him, Andrew scored on patient post-moves that earned him easy dunks, one over Collison who pales in comparison to his abilities. Andrew also ran back in transition and positioned himself in prime spots to receive passes in the paint for high percentage shots. He collected four blocks, grabbed 12 rebounds (9 defensive) and in the end, he looked like someone who has been here before.

7

This is the best time in basketball the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers begin the defense of their title at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder; an excellent young athletic 50-win team. The Lakers now have the luxury of focusing on one team.

Head Coach Phil Jackson, immediately started ‘working the officials’ about the large number of foul calls going to Kevin Durant. The league deemed the statements or questioning the officials in any way inappropriate, and slapped Jackson on the hand with a fine telling Phil to break out the checkbook and scratch a check to be donated to charity. However, Kevin Durant took the bait, decided to respond, stating that he wasn’t happy and viewed the comments as disrespectful. The Zen master had gotten into Durant’s head; making the $35, 000 fine money well spent.

The Thunder are an athletic young team that likes to get out in transition. The Lakers must get back in transition, control the tempo and limit the opportunities this team has to run. The Lakers have to force the Thunder to make plays in the half court offense.

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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.