Friday, December 19, 2014
Blog Page 213

0

Two rounds are in the books, and we have arrived at an Elite 8 for the Top Lakers Moment Bracket!

Thousands of fans have voted and decided who moves on, and now this round will decide who gets into the Final Four, becoming that much closer to crowning the Top Lakers Moment of ALL-TIME.

Let the games continue…

(1) Horry's Game Winning Three vs Kings - '02 WCF Game 4 vs. (3) Lakers trade to get Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  • (1) Horry's Game Winning Three vs Kings - '02 WCF Game 4 (61%, 604 Votes)
  • (3) Lakers trade to get Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (39%, 381 Votes)

Total Voters: 985

Loading ... Loading ...

(1) Lakers Draft Magic Johnson in 1979 vs. (2) Kobe Bryant scores 81 points against Toronto Raptors

  • (2) Kobe Bryant scores 81 points against Toronto Raptors (59%, 600 Votes)
  • (1) Lakers Draft Magic Johnson in 1979 (41%, 414 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,014

Loading ... Loading ...

Next two polls and brackets after the cut…

1

Follow her on this one guys.

L.A. Times: Jeanie Buss pleaded for calm over ESPN 710, asking listeners, “Please, please, don’t panic. This is not the time to panic.”

0

What are your thoughts?

Bleacher Report: With the playoffs rapidly approaching, and Andrew Bynum sidelined by a knee injury for the third straight year, it’s time to ask a painful question for Laker fans.

If Bynum can’t come back at full strength, are the Lakers the favorites to win the Western Conference any more?

There hasn’t been this much panic in Laker-land since Kobe Bryant told Stephen A. Smith that he wanted to be traded back in the summer of 2007 , and for good reason.

Since Bynum went down with a strained Achilles tendon on March 19 , the once near-invincible Lakers look suddenly mortal. Very mortal.

The Lakers, who’ve gone 13-8 since the All-Star break, were on a six-game winning streak when Bynum went down against the Timberwolves.

Since Bynum’s injury the Lakers are 3-3—with two blowout losses coming at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday and the Atlanta Hawks just last night.

Coincidence? I think not.

Continue reading  ‘Are Lakers favorites to win in the west without Bynum?

9

Hearing recent concerns over the seemingly “Jekyll and Hyde-ish” (as Kobe put it) play of the defending champs, I still think that to fret over a 54-21 record is a fortunate luxury that we all share as the people of the Laker Nation.

Although, it actually does dampen me that I am writing this in between losses to the Hawks tonight and to the Hornets the other night, who aren’t even going to the playoffs.

Yes, it is somewhat of a concern, namely because of three reasons…

1. As cliché as it sounds, A LOT is expected of a team looking to win a second (and potentially a third, and maybe even a fourth) straight Larry O’Brien trophy. Their collective talent just can’t help but suggest that.

And, when I say this, I am including Phil Jackson.

4

Ron Artest’s naked backside.

Unfortunately, that will be the only lasting memory I take from this game, as the Lakers were defeated by the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday 109-92.

There were many areas that pointed to why the Lakers lost; lack of defensive execution, lack of bench support, or playing the final game of a 5-game road trip. But, from my observation, it simply looked as if the other team felt it had more to prove out on the floor.

A Phillip’s Arena employee told me that it was Staples Center South. I have never heard fans cheer so loudly… for the Lakers. It’s almost comical how opposing teams’ fans can come out and support the visiting team so vehemently.

The crowd was full of Purple and Gold colored clothing. There were boo’s for the referee’s when a fouls were called on the Lakers!  Kobe Bryant actually received MVP chants at the free-throw line, and his made baskets were celebrated in much greater fashion than Joe Johnson’s.

I think the home team actually got inspired from their crowd cheering for the opposition. They have to take the crowd out of the game to a certain degree, while at the same time give them something to cheer about.

Kobe Bryant appeared teed off the entire game; he showed the same frustrations that he displayed late in the game against New Orleans Hornets.

He recently mentioned the teams’ lackadaisical play, referring to it as “lollygagging.” I asked him after the game if he felt that the intensity was still missing. He replied, “We played hard, but the execution wasn’t there, particularly on defense.”

6

L.A. Times:  “Sasha had a little run-in with our coaches in a game in Oklahoma and he hasn’t atoned himself yet for that error,” Jackson said Wednesday night. “He knows how to get himself out of it. When he does, he’ll be back in good graces.”

When asked how Vujacic can do that, Jackson pointed back to the beginning of the season.

“There was a promise he made to us before the season that he hasn’t fulfilled,” Jackson said.

Vujacic said before the season that if he talked back to the coaches, he would buy them dinner.

When Vujacic was approached and asked about Jackson’s comments, he wasn’t contrite. He said it was “nothing unusual” to argue with assistant coaches.

“All season I haven’t been getting much playing time,” Vujacic said. “It’s OK. Coach has his rotation. At least now I know what my role is. He said the reason we had the talk, he told me what my role is and now I understand what my role is. I was trying to find out all season long. But now I know.”

23

No long winning streaks at the end of the season could do it. Being blown out of arenas wasn’t cutting it either. Inspirational talks by Derek Fisher? Check. The return of Kobe Bryant’s shooting prowess? Check. Exciting buzzer beating victories to highlight their season? Check. What is there left to do for this team to just play… well?

Are injuries the greatest factor in this team’s demise, really? It’s true that the Lakers have experienced more than their fair share of injuries this season, to half the players on their roster, and at different times and for various lengths in the season.

On this road trip, however, they’re missing only two players to injury — Luke Walton, who has been out for months, and Andrew Bynum, who has been out for 5 games but, in essence, is not an unfamiliar situation. Injuries certainly don’t help a team’s strength, but they don’t have to weaken it either.

In the first quarter against the Hawks, the Lakers looked alert, energetic and ready to play. Ron Artest hounded his prey for the evening, Joe Johnson, and Kobe wasted no time, taking grasp of his offensive opportunities at will. It was obvious early in the game, however, that win or lose, the Lakers would suffer from another opponents’ perimeter shooting capabilities. The most discouraging sight was just how open those shooters were.

The Lakers (maybe until this road trip) rank first in defending the three-point shot. Tonight, however, they showed just how flawed that stat must to be. Atlanta’s shooters appeared to be open every single time they made an attempt from downtown. They made 9-22 for 41%, but defense against the three (or defense in general) was not the only issue.

9

Vote for Kobe!

ESPN: Starting Thursday through April 15, fans can go to www.NBA.com/KiaMVPFanVote and rank their top five choices. The other 124 votes will come from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

4

Old-Man Riley + Youthful Manning = A brand new episode of Basketball Taboo! Trust us, you don’t want to miss this one…

** Lebron James to the Clippers?
** Lakers Playoff Matchups.
** Ron Artest vs. Trevor Ariza.

Plus, an all-new Taboo Mailbag, featuring a question that, well, has the guys a little more than uncomfortable.

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

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions? Complaints? Want to be a Guest? Send us an email: Taboo@theLakersNation.com.

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: Basketball Taboo – Episode #4

9

The (54-20) Los Angeles Lakers are in Atlanta to face the (47-26) Hawks.

Both teams have more than enough incentive to play well; the Lakers want to finish their last extended road trip of the regular season on a winning note. The Hawks are currently tied for the third seed in the Eastern Conference; seeking to expand the number of elite teams in the conference to four.

This has been a strange road swing for the Lakers, but the team has yet to play with any consistency or with a sense of urgency. It makes no sense to wait until the Playoffs and attempt to flip the switch.

Tonight’s game is huge in the sense that due to a series of issues, our team is showing a lot of weaknesses and they are in trouble! This team hasn’t been a solid team on the road, Andrew Bynum is injured, screen and roll defense has faltered, quick guards have abused the squad, and on more than one occasion the bench hasn’t even showed up. All this means, is that our team like every other team in the league has holes.

The NBA is a game of chess and not a game of checkers so to speak its about match ups. The Lakers aren’t playing with any consistency or at a high level. Despite this fact, the the Lakers have won eight of their last 10 games.

The fact of the matter is that you would be lying to yourself if you didn’t notice the dark clouds surrounding our team. However, if the season ended tonight the Purple and Gold would face the Spurs in the first round and the Suns in the second round, two very winnable series against teams that don’t match up well with the Lakers.

8
Out of Bounds with Jason Riley

The Lakers Nation is such a spoiled and self-important fan base – and if you’re offended by that, you’re really just proving my point. In all fairness, we have inherited our egotism from the franchise we passionately support – so why shouldn’t we feel a certain sense of entitlement?

15 NBA Titles, arguably 3 of the 5 greatest players of all-time (Kareem, Magic and Kobe), defending NBA champions…

You get the point.

With success comes swagger – a word we like to use in place of arrogance because it sounds better… even though it really means the same thing. The dark side of the Lakers superiority complex is their tendency to approach the latter part of the regular season with the enthusiasm of an IHOP waitress serving a group of drunken college kids at 3am.

19

… What are you boys doing these days? Your team had found some momentum this past month, the Playoffs are eight games away, and you’ve both picked NOW to stop doing what has given you and the Lakers success this season?

Coming into the game and making a difference (the good kind) — hasn’t that been the Bench Mob battle cry? Whether or not the starters are playing well, hasn’t it been your duty to enter the game and either provide a positive impact or at least pick up where the starters left off? Alongside Lamar, you two were IT for the bench rotation. Even without injuries to your fellow reserves (especially Sasha, who has been patient all season as he watched his playing time distributed between the two of you), it was the new dynamic duo of guards who got Phil’s trust to take the bulk of the non-starter minutes. And now, Phil can barely keep either of you out there before a dozen turnovers have been collected and the lead’s been lost by the wayside.

What’s going on?!

8

Very good news. Luke will help the bench out a lot.

ESPN: “Walton I think will start practicing next week,” coach Phil Jackson told reporters before the Lakers’ game at New Orleans on Monday. “He may even get on the court Thursday when we get back and get in a practice before the Utah game.”

_______________________

“I haven’t put any timetable on Andrew at all,” Jackson said. “We were hoping it would be a couple of weeks, but right now we’ll just let that one go. When he’s ready to go, we’ll notify you. He just started walking without discomfort about two days ago. He feels free enough to walk without the boot on.”

Continue reading ‘Luke to practice; Bynum no timetable’

19

Unpredictable, this season’s Laker team. At times, we marvel at their intelligence, their savvy and their will to win. Unforgettable road victories against rival Boston, a strong Utah squad and a veteran Spurs group were enough to keep the doubters at bay. Other times, however, we are bewildered by their ignorance, apathy and arrogance. Embarrassing losses to Cleveland at home, against a young and energetic Oklahoma City team, and now this, a loss to a New Orleans team who isn’t even Playoff worthy.

Phil Jackson’s hope for a 5-0 road trip were lost when the Thunder showed the Lakers the magnitude of their talent and undeniable drive. What some considered a small blemish to a Western Conference leading record after a strong win against Houston, is now, again, a serious source of concern for anyone remotely tied to this Lakers team.

A 4-1 road record would have sufficed, if not for the lowly Hornets, who have nothing to play for, but beat a Lakers team who used to look like they had something to play for. That loss to the Thunder, and tonight to the Hornets (among other 18 losses), showed one thing  — this Lakers team is eight games away from the Playoffs and they still haven’t figured themselves out.

The game appeared well-handled in the first quarter with Pau Gasol and Ron Artest scoring the majority of the Lakers’ points. Pau was especially aggressive offensively, snatching offensive rebounds for second chance points and making the Hornets defense pay with his quickness and length. With 26 points and 22 rebounds, it appeared early on that Pau was going to carry this team to a victory.

Social

Latest

5
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.