Friday, December 19, 2014
Blog Page 215

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Update: Unfortunately, there was a mishap with the survey we used for the Sweet Sixteen — New survey will be added during the weekend. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Lakers talk returns with Voice of the Nation #75!

This episode G-Small & D-Bricks discuss…

  • The Lakers big win over the Spurs
  • Was Ron Artest worth it?
  • Are the Lakers better with Odom as a starter?
  • Bynum and Luke returning from their annual spring vacations
  • The current road trip, a chance for the Lakers to define their season

As always, we would like to hear from the Lakers Nation. Leave us a voice at 1-866-520-4037!

And hit up the fellas @ twitter.com/GregorySmall and twitter.com/DavidJBrickley!

Audio
Little Boys Blue – Seed Of Love
John Holt – I Will
Los Angeles Negros -Tu Y Tu Mirar

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #75

Note: We apologize for the 25 minute soundless gap in the end of the episode. Mistakes happen at three in the morning.

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Congrats, Kobe!

Kobe scored 10 points in the first half to surpass Alex English for 12th all time on the career scoring list.

Next up on the list, John Havlicek who is 759 points away…

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38387
  2. Karl Malone 36928
  3. Michael Jordan 32292
  4. Wilt Chamberlain 31419
  5. Shaquille O’Neal 28255
  6. Moses Malone 27409
  7. Elvin Hayes 27313
  8. Hakeem Olajuwon 26946
  9. Oscar Robertson 26710
  10. Dominique Wilkins 26668
  11. John Havlicek 26395
  12. Kobe Bryant 25636

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Although its not 100%, its still good news.

ESPN: Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he hasn’t ruled out Andrew Bynum returning during the current five-game road trip. But Jackson doesn’t anticipate his center playing before the team returns to Los Angeles next week.

“He did say he is feeling a lot better today,” Jackson said before the Lakers played the Spurs. “I can’t see [him returning] right now but it’s a hopeful note.”

Bynum, who suffered a strained left Achilles’ tendon against Minnesota Friday, is targeting the Lakers’ first home game back against the Jazz on April 2 or against the Spurs on April 4 for his return. If he misses those games he would get an additional three days rest before the Lakers travel to Denver on April 8.

“I want him to consistently take off from that leg and foot,” Jackson said. “I think that would be the key. A lot of it is about stopping, which is interesting. A lot of injuries happen when guys gear down to stop. More of the concern for a player like Andrew is getting off and elevating.”

Bynum, who is still wearing a plastic walking boot, might not be the only player coming back when the Lakers return home next week. Luke Walton, who is on the road trip with the team and returned to practice this week, could be in the lineup as early as next week. Walton has played in 24 games this season while battling a pinched nerve in his lower back. Jackson believes his absence is partly to blame for the Lakers’ bench struggling this season.

Continue reading ‘Drew, Luke could be back next week’

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Jordan, who many consider the G.O.A.T. had this to say about Kobe.

ESPN: “There are very few Kobe Bryants out there. LeBron hasn’t won yet. Dwyane Wade had Shaq [O’Neal] sitting next to him and he had Pat Riley coaching him. So there are a lot of other components that come into play to say if you’re an NBA championship team,” Jordan said. “Detroit did a great job in winning and they had no one superstar on that team. Boston won with three All-Stars. The Lakers won with two All-Stars.

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The Spurs, this season, have been accused of being too old, past their prime, at times lost, and unable to gel with all their new players. They have struggled, it’s certainly no secret, but there has always been an air of confidence about them, from the coach to last player on the rotation, that keeps them in the rear view mirror of veteran teams who know them all too well — like the Lakers.

Kobe said in an interview that the Lakers and Spurs have such a rich history together that they could run each other’s plays, and he’s right. That’s why when it comes to this Western Conference rivalry, it is never about one marquee player against another, Kobe vs. Manu, Duncan vs. Gasol. When it comes to Los Angeles vs. San Antonio, it’s always Popovich vs. Jackson and tonight the advantage was Phil’s.

Since Parker’s absence, Manu Ginobli and 2nd year player George Hill, have taken on the reigns on this Spurs team and have done it convincingly. The Lakers were at the losing end of this starting backcourt’s success in the first half when George Hill went off for 20 points and, along with Ginobli, never saw a three-pointer he couldn’t hit. The Spurs hit 6-17 from downtown in the first half, to the Lakers’ 2-8.

There was no flow or rhythm to the Lakers’ movement in the first half. Lamar, however, exercised his right to be the unguarded one; a player who, in their last meeting, baffled Coach Popovich into stating in a sideline interview that they needed to figure out what to do with him. Lamar ended the first half by grabbing the ball straight from an air born Richard Jefferson and ran down for a right-handed lay-up.

That was the beginning of the end for the Spurs tonight, despite leading 48-41 to end the half.

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Phil spoke briefly on Bynum’s injury and if it’s possible to play on this 5 game roadie.

Lakers BasketBlog: “It’s interesting … I haven’t ruled it out, but I haven’t even thought about it in those terms,” said L.A.’s coach. “(Bynum) did say he’s feeling a lot better today. I can’t see that happening right now, but that’s a hopeful note.”

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The (52-18) Los Angeles Lakers begin their last major road test of the regular season on  a five game minefield starting with a match-up against the (42-27) San Antonio Spurs.

It amazes me that the national perception is that the defending NBA Champions just aren’t the same team from last year. The fact of the matter is that this team has 52 wins despite allowing several winnable games to slip through their fingers.

Both the Spurs and the Lakers are veteran-laden teams that have had to deal with the setback of multiple injuries although both have won seven of their last ten games and are rounding into playoff shape.

The teams split the first two games in the series; the Lakers beat the Spurs 101-89 in their previous meeting without the services of Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant; the game’s best player. The win was a total team effort with everyone making a contribution. Los Angeles had five players score in double digits, led by a monster game by Pau Gasol who posted a line that included 21 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots.

The Lakers are on a six game winning streak; this is a playoff game and the Purple and Gold need to play this game with that mentality. The Lakers needs a repeat performance from Pau Gasol; he recently won the NBA Player of the Week after averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds. The truth is everyone on the team has to re-dedicate themselves to the task at hand and tap into the mental toughness that the Lakers Nation knows that this team possesses.

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This is a great read. Buss had a lot to say about many different subjects.

ESPN: His reputation assured, his fortune secured, the reins of his organization in the hands of his offspring, but the ultimate power still in his grasp, Jerry Buss, at 77, could be content with life in the slow lane, enjoying the excellence of his Lakers from the vantage point of his luxury box.

The most successful sports owner in L.A. history, Buss has put nine championship banners on the walls of Staples Center. As owner of the defending NBA champions, Buss has been praised by Magic Johnson from the floor of the arena during the October banner-raising ceremony and by President Barack Obama in the White House during another event to honor the team.

But for this old lion, winter is still a time to prowl. There are young women to date and a new challenge to take on to satisfy the competitive juices that never seem to stop flowing.

Buss sat down recently with ESPNLosAngeles.com to discuss his passions, old and new, his family and his first love in sports, the USC Trojans.

Question: Are you comfortable with your current level of involvement with the Lakers?

Answer: I’m exactly where I want to be. Eighty percent of the basketball decisions are made by [my son] Jimmy and all of the business side is handled by [my daughter] Jeanie. I don’t have anything to do with that.

I now have the time to pursue another profession. I’m going to become a professional poker player. Well, let’s say I’m going to become a poker player. Whether I can earn a living at it is questionable. But I do play in the World Series of Poker all the time.

Continue reading ‘Jerry Buss Q&A’

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Get well Luke, the bench could use ALL the help it could get!

ESPN LA: Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton, who has missed the last 16 games because of lower back problems, is practicing with the team, working to strengthen and condition his back in hopes of returning to the lineup in early April.

“I’m definitely going to go. Hopefully physically my back stays strong enough and doesn’t regress to where it was before,” Walton said Tuesday afternoon at practice in El Segundo as the team prepared for an upcoming five game road trip.

His current absence marks the second time this season Walton has had to overcome back issues. In November he underwent surgery to relieve pain caused by a pinched nerve and missed 28 games. He returned for 17 games before the pain returned and he was again forced from the lineup.

Walton indicated the setback after his first return is playing into the team’s current strategy.

“I feel good right now,” he said, “but if we start going hard now and it’s still a month away from the playoffs and maybe right before the playoffs [something happens]? There’s no way to know how it will respond.”

Walton said offseason surgery remains an option, but will wait until after the season to decide any course of action.

Continue reading ‘Luke hopeful to be back by April’

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Buss talks about Phil and an extension…

ESPN: The Los Angeles Lakers have their core players signed into the future. Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson is not under contract next season, however.

In a wide-ranging interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com, the enigmatic Lakers owner Jerry Buss delivered some thoughts on the process and addressed recent reports of family tension regarding the re-signing of Jackson for next season.

“If I were to go to him right now and said, ‘Phil, will you coach next year?’ He would say let’s wait until the end of the year and see how I feel,” said Buss. “So, I don’t think it causes any tension, I just have to wait until then before a discussion begins [on a new contract].”

Continue reading ‘Jerry Buss: We’ll talk Jackson deal after season’

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“Bryant for the win… Bang!” For us Laker fans, Kobe’s game winnings shots have been a part of this season, and when the game is on the line we all can trust on Sir. Bryant.

So far this season, Kobe Bryant has won 7 games for the Lakers with a game winning shot. These theatrical shots include fade away bankers, back down jumpers and 3 point swishes; most importantly a 15 footer to beat the Boston Celtics 90-89.

Trusting Kobe to finish off games against solid playoff threats is acceptable. Surviving in Dallas against a tough Mavericks team is a blessing; any margin of victory will do for the Lakers. And coming into the game at Boston, most people predicted a tight game, and so what if Kobe had to carry the team… that’s what he does.

However, what does concern many Laker fans is the fact that five of the seven game winners by Kobe, came against struggle and non-playoff teams.

Miami Heat were yet to find their groove early on in the season but the Lakers barely pulled the win out.

Milwaukee Bucks had been a disappointment at that point of the season with a 11-12 record, but the Lakers were still forced into overtime before Kobe bailed us out.

Sacramento Kings had no chance in playing in April, however still pushed the Lakers to their limits, and who else had to save us from humiliation — Kobe.

Memphis Grizzlies came into the February 23th game with a 28-28 record, while the Lakers had a 43-14 record. Nevertheless, the Lakers did not show any intensity for the first three quarters and had to rely on Kobe once again to win the game.

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Championship hangovers are the worst!

O.C. Register: It makes sense that there is a post-championship hangover, because it’s human nature to relax after success. It also makes sense that a team so incapable of sustained greatness might just not be great, after all.

Perhaps the Lakers will still get to the top floor, but they’re on such a slow-moving elevator that they’re beginning to wonder themselves if something is broken here.

And Lamar Odom is the perfect poster boy for this season of confusion.

Odom was the one to speak out angrily after the lethargic effort two weeks ago against Toronto, ripping his team for looking lax and standing soft. But Odom just a few days before that had sounded a positive note about the team’s identity being patience. And for months before that, Odom had laughed off the Lakers’ problems, cavalierly admitting the team was “playing with too much swag,” cockily suggesting a switch on the locker-room wall could be flipped to send in another gold trophy.

Odom is playing hurt with a sore left shoulder(first mentioned publicly during the Charlotte game on March 5) and still managed a game-high 13 rebounds Sunday night against Washington. He had a team-high six assists, yetPhil Jackson said: “Offensively, he just didn’t seem to be involved.” Odom was out there during halftime warmups running hard … so he could hurry back from shaking hands with actorGerard Butler and producer Jeffrey Katzenbergin the courtside seats.

Continue reading ‘Lakers still a championship riddle’

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Chris Manning and Jason Riley are back with E3 of Basketball Taboo!

This week, they discuss…

– Are the Lakers better without Andrew Bynum on the floor?

– NCAA Tournament vs. NBA Playoffs – What’s better?

– Kobe Bryant vs. Larry Bird – Who’s really ‘The Legend’?

Plus, the guys respond to a bunch of your emails in a new ‘Taboo Mailbag’ segment.

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

[Voice Talent: Sharla Pair]

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Download Link: Basketball Taboo – Episode #3

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Click image for full version | Artwork by Jerrell Conner

Take a trip through Lakerland with ‘Purple Reign’, a Lakers themed album by our very own G-Small of Voice of the Nation & L.W.O. Radio.

Purple Reign journeys through the mind of a Lakers fan who grew up in Inglewood, walking by the Forum on the way home from school dreaming about being Byron Scott.

Join G-Small as he takes you through living the dream of being on AM570 radio after winning the Fame & Fortune II contest, to covering the Lakers for TheLakersNaion.com

For those who got up on Saturday mornings to watch NBA Inside Stuff to see if and Elden Campbell dunk made it, who played Double Dribble on Nintendo, and remembers exactly where they were the day Magic Johnson announced his retirement; this album is for you!

Purple Reign: The Lakers will reign FOREVER!

DOWNLOAD NOW!

*There are 7 Lakers secrets in the album cover. Can you find them?

Track listings after the break…

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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.