Monday, December 22, 2014
Blog Page 217

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I know it’s been a hot topic in Lakers land, but it’s good to hear. Not only are they getting the ball inside, their rhythm and swag is coming back and Pau and Drew are delivering!

Twitter: Bynum: “PJ’s been really, really getting on guys about getting the ball inside.”

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With the season winding down, I found myself pondering about the Lakers chances of a repeat. Critics and fans alike have noted the lack of blowouts, championship swagger, and professional execution. Even in our current winning “streak,” they’ve looked beatable against the likes of some of the worst teams in the league.

When people think of the most unstoppable Lakers machine ever, they often think of the 2000-2001 season, where the Shaq-and-Kobe Lakers repeated. The unstoppable force went 12-0 in the first three rounds before closing out Iverson’s Sixers in five games.

How do these Lakers stack up against these Lakers?

Consider…

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Its great to have a healthy Drew, now to show him off in the playoffs!

O.C. Register: The past two years around this time, Andrew Bynum was dragging one leg behind. He was trying not to ask the draining “Why me?” questions and trying not to get asked the annoying “When are you coming back?” questions.

Those slow, long days made him fully aware that not everything blooms anew in the spring.

So why wasn’t he embracing the opportunity to run and play this year after evading his annual January knee injury? Why wasn’t he bouncing around the court like a big kid jumping through rainbows from the sprinkler?

Maybe it was the malaise that Kobe Bryant says hit all the Lakers, the real season of the playoffs close enough for them to start looking ahead. More likely it was the ache in his hip and his knee that left Bynum taking his greater health for granted.

It took a man wiser than Bynum’s years to get the 22-year-old spring chicken realizing he should be appreciating the chance to play and play hard this year.

Continue reading ‘Bynum embracing moment to play’

9

Home court is on everyones’ mind!

Daily Breeze: The Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets have loomed large in the Lakers’ rearview mirror recently. The Mavericks and Nuggets each trailed the Lakers by four games in the Western Conference going into Tuesday’s play.

It remains to be seen whether the Lakers finish atop the West for the third consecutive season. No question, it should be their top priority judging by what Lakers coach Phil Jackson had to say.

Jackson actually couldn’t say for certain how the Lakers might fare in the playoffs if they fail to hold on to the No. 1 spot in the West and secure homecourt advantage for at least the first three rounds of the postseason.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I really don’t. We haven’t played great on the road this year.

The last two years we had really good road records. We want to have home-court advantage. We feel we can sustain it if we can continue on the pace we’re going.

Continue reading ‘Lakers look for home court through playoffs’

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Toughest defenders both on the same team? Makes Lakers scarier.

Daily Breeze: Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant were named the toughest defenders in the NBA in a poll of 173 players conducted by Sports Illustrated. Artest earned 42 percent of the votes and Bryant received 13 percent in results announced Tuesday.

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“I was so tired,” Andrew Bynum told Stu Lantz in a post-game interview. “I thought I was gonna have a bad game.”

If tonight’s showing is a reflection of “tired,” let’s hope Andrew is completely exhausted when the playoffs begin.

With 21 points on 9-14 shooting, in addition to 12 rebounds, and the only Laker who shot perfectly from the free throw line, Andrew played with a different kind of attitude today. Actually, he just had an attitude about him today, rebounding on both sides of the court, never giving up on his missed shot attempts, and dunking the living lights out of Arco Arena.

After scoring the Lakers’ first seven points of the game, it was obvious Andrew had come to play tonight, and not just to score on feeds from his teammates. He was active everywhere, manning the offensive glass (5), and refusing to give up possessions until they had scored. He forbade second chance points for the Kings with his seven defensive boards and even collected two blocks for a well-rounded evening.

And the greatest stat of all for Andrew? ONE turnover, an excellent recovery from the eight that must have haunted him from last night against Warriors.

In all, the Lakers had only nine turnovers, with Kobe Bryant collecting the most with just three, a third of what he collected last night. Instead of throwing the ball around carelessly against one of the youngest and most energetic teams in the league, the Lakers threw crisp passes to each other, handing out 23 assists on 42 made field goals, a few on very impressive lobs.

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The (49-18) Los Angeles Lakers are in the state’s capital, Sacramento, to face the (23-44) Kings in a back-to-back game.

The Lakers escaped with a win against the Warriors last night in a strange game. They survived a game that included several mistakes that the Warriors benefited from; such as 24 turnovers, 31 fast break points, allowing 50 points in the paint, and a 100-shot onslaught. As strange as this sounds, the Lakers had the game in control, for the most part, except for a furious rally at the end by those pesky Warriors.

The Kings have given the Lakers trouble this season. The last time these teams met, the game went to double-overtime before the Black Mamba sealed the win for Los Angeles.

The Purple and Gold didn’t play well against the Kings ‘horns set’ screen and roll action and screen and pop out for an open jump shot plays, it allowed Spencer Hawes to have a career day. The defensive rotations and closeouts have to come faster as well as be more effective.

The Kings are a talented young team who feels like they should be 2-0 against the Lakers due to playing two close games against the defending Champions. Young players have to learn that there is a big difference between being close to a win and actually tasting victory. The Lakerss have given too many teams confidence by not putting forth their best effort and playing down to their level. The game against the Warriors was a prime example; turnovers, missed free throws, and poor defense.

The Purple and Gold faced talented Stephen Curry last night, who put on a show by scoring 29 points; they will face Tyreke Evans tonight both are in the running to win the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award.

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I love to hear this kind of attitude. Here is what Josh Powell had this to say on his facebook page:

Josh Powell kobe…kobe…we still need to step it up..can’t keep winning like that…there will be a change…trust me

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Good thing it happens now instead of in-game.

AZ Central: Gasol received a Flagrant Foul 1 after league officials reviewed the foul in which Gasol struck Amundson’s head during Friday night’s game. The play led to Gentry’s ejection and a $25,000 fine for the coach.

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More love for Kobe from an ex-Sun. Suns LOVE Kobe!

Inside Bay Area: Warriors guard Raja Bell is perhaps most known for his rivalry with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.

During his days with the Phoenix Suns, Bell was Bryant’s personal defender in multiple playoff series. The heated matchup included verbal jabs, elbows and shoves, a couple of physical altercations and zero love lost.

But ask Bell who’s the best player in the game, and he’ll answer without hesitation. He won’t say LeBron James or Dwyane Wade or Carmelo Anthony.

“Kobe,” Bell said. “He’s a winner, man. Not that the LeBrons and D-Wades and ‘Melos aren’t. But he just seems to have a sixth sense about closing and timeliness with his game that I think he’s developed over time. I think they don’t necessarily have it to the degree he has it yet. They’re on his heels. But if you ask me who I’d take to win this year, I’d take Kobe.”

Continue reading ‘Raja Bell: Kobe is the best player’

It is time for March Madness, and Lakers fan or not, everybody will be glued to their TV sets in the following weeks to see who comes out of the field of 64.

But what if there was a bracket of the TOP LAKERS MOMENTS of ALL-TIME. What if they squared off against eachother, round by round, until a ultimate moment was crowned the TOP LAKERS MOMENT.

Magic’s hook shot against the Celtics, Kobe’s alley-oop to Shaq against the Blazers, Horry’s game winning three against the Kings.

We need the Nation’s help! Please respond via comment on this post, Voice-mail (1-866-520-4037), or e-mail votn@thelakersnation.com

Tell us what your Top Lakers Moment is, and the Voice of the Nation committee will make the selections, and the moments will face off against each other on each and every Voice of the Nation until the champion is crowned.

Thanks for all your help in advance Nation!

– The Voice of the Nation

Note: If possible a YouTube link to your top moment will help!

33

If you can’t kill them with your size, kill them with your speed. That’s what Don Nelson must’ve told his injury-ridden Golden State Warriors who ran the Lakers into playing at their pace so effectively that it produced 24 turnovers. Kobe Bryant, alone, had nine and Andrew Bynum had eight. With 29 and 18 points respectively, their efficient scoring was trumped by their sheer carelessness with the ball.

The only negative for the Warriors, and true it’s a big negative, is that they didn’t win the game, but they sure played like the victors tonight.

It was obvious that this game would be played feverishly quick and a foreshadowing of all the negligence to come appeared in the very first Laker possession that ended in Bynum’s first of eight turnovers.

The 33-point Laker victory up in Oakland last November must have been clear in the minds of the Warriors as they ran the Lakers ragged to an almost-vengeful win.

At halftime, the Warriors led 65-59 and had scored 17 points off Laker turnovers. Golden State scored easily and freely, hitting wide-open shots from all around the perimeter, and beating their opponents with a quickness the Lakers could not seem to match in return.

The road team allowed three 30-point quarters by the Warriors (1st, 2nd and 4th) and were lucky they got the win when they did.

The Lakers were no match for Stephen Curry who, despite getting his fourth foul with three minutes left in the third quarter, torched every player in a purple uniform to a near double-double of 29 points and nine assists. This young rookie is fearless no matter where he is on the court. Whether he’s behind the three-point line, driving in for a quick lay-up, or taking off for the deadly teardrop, any number of players defending him are better off just letting him pass, which is what the Lakers decided to do tonight.

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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.