Friday, November 28, 2014
Blog Page 219

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Kobe not even in the same conversation as Jordan?

Sports Illustrated: Barkley had interesting comments on Kobe Bryant’s penchant for last-second shots. He said that some of Kobe Bryant’s game-winners are lucky. What are you going to do when he hits a 20-foot fade-away jumper? Barkley said that the Raptors played good defense against Bryant earlier this week but he hit the game-winner any way.

Barkley said that Bryant isn’t in the conversation with Michael Jordan as the greatest ever. Barkley said that the Lakers “play with no sense of urgency” and only won the title because they had more talent then everyone else. Barkley said that Bryant’s Lakers wouldn’t have a chance against the great Bulls teams.

— Barkley has been very impressed with the Dallas Mavericks. “They’re in the conversation with the Denver Nuggets against the Lakers,” Barkley said. “Clearly the Lakers are the favorite. But Denver and Dallas are right there.”

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The NBA season is a long arduous marathon, and perhaps the Lakers recent run of poor play is just another blip on the radar.

True they broke their three game skid, but it took yet another Kobe game winner to pull it out.

In the grand scheme of things playing like “garbage” against the Raptors probably doesn’t mean a whole lot.

It’s sort of routine for a Championship caliber team to lay up some stinkers against inferior opponents (we’ve definitely made an annoying habit of this though).

And losing three in a row doesn’t necessarily mean that much either, especially if you consider many of this decade’s NBA Champions did, at one point, lose three in a row.

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Odom had some really encouraging words regarding the Lakers and them being considered, “soft.”

O.C. Register: “Got dudes on the Raptors talking (bleep),” Odom said. “They ain’t done (bleep), You know what I mean? As a team, as individuals.”

“Our disposition as a team gives like some of these dudes, they feel like they have the right,” Odom said about the Raptors. “The way we’re playing as a unit, they got dudes on their team that are talking …. They are like .500.  “But our aura comes off like ‘soft’. This was the second game I almost got thrown out. So I see one coming. I’m just going to take one, like, ‘hold up?’ Our energy, we are so laid back right now that these teams are like…

That … that [Orlando’s] Matt Barnes pulled, that ain’t never going to happen again,” Odom said. “He’s lucky it was a close game.”

Odom indicated he’s inclined to take flagrant fouls or even draw a one-game suspension to make clear that the Lakers must be determined and forceful to move forward in this season.

Continue reading ‘Odom willing to make statement, disprove “soft” title’

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The Lakers snapped their 3 game losing streak at home Tuesday night against the Raptors. All it took was a fourth quarter comeback capped by a game winner from none other than Kobe Bryant.

After Bosh hit a three in the closing seconds, Kobe answered with a fadeaway jumper with just over a second remaining to give the Lakers a 109-107 victory.

The Lakers simply didn’t play hard in the first half, giving up 58 points to Toronto and couldn’t hit a shot from downtown ending 3 of 15.

While it was an ugly win, it was much needed. The Lakers need to get some wins with Denver creeping up on them in the standings.

The starting Laker bigs offensively did well with 39 points combined, but did a poor job on the glass as the Lakers only got 40 rebounds as a team, allowing 11 offensive boards.

Now, the bests of the day…

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Kobe Bryant is the absolute most clutch player in the league today, hands down.

Kobe drove baseline and shot a baseline fadeaway over two with 1.9 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a win over the Toronto Raptors.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when the game is on the line, there is NO ONE better than Kobe Bryant.

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TLN’s Chris Manning and Jason Riley introduce “Basketball Taboo” – An all-new Podcast from The Lakers Nation that digs beyond the surface and dives into the taboo topics in the NBA. In this pilot episode, they discuss…

  • Kobe Bryant vs. Lebron James
  • Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan
  • Lamar Odom’s Reality TV Career

Plus, Chris and Jason talk Lakers, Clippers, the ’10 Championship, and whether or not the Denver Nuggets pose a real threat to the Champs.

If you have any topics you would like discussed, feel free to e-mail and/or tweet Chris; or e-mail and/or tweet Jason.

[Voice Talent: Sharla Pair]

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 #1

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The (46-18) Los Angeles Lakers are back at home to host the (32-29) Toronto Raptors after staggering though a forgettable three-game road trip.

It happened after 217 games since Pau Gasol joined the Purple and Gold; the Lakers lost three games in a row. Seeing it happen wasn’t a big surprise nor does it signal that the Lakers run as Champions is over.

This is no time to panic Lakers fans; adversity can be a good thing. There is reason for concern, but the best thing for this team is to move on. I’m not buying the talk from naysayers that state that the Lakers can’t win a championship, the last time I checked, this team is still the defending NBA Champion until it loses in a seven game series.

The Lakers have to play better as a team and simply execute. The Lakers have to get back to the basics such as playing solid defense, eliminating the mental mistakes, rebounding, taking care of the basketball, and knocking down their free throws. The Purple and Gold are getting quality looks although the team isn’t knocking down the shots on a consistent basis.

The Lakers have a total of 18 games to right the ship, so to speak and start playing like a Champion.

Against the Raptors, the Lakers need to come out of the locker room with energy, focused, and aggressive from the start. Toronto is a dangerous team that can score several points, they are very successful with their screen and roll action plays and can attack the team with multiple ball handlers.

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Sasha may return tonight, but that hasn’t meant he hasn’t been busy while hurt! Here is a great new program he’s started!

Vujacic.net: Over 30 million Americans – many of them children – suffer from a skin disease called eczema. Sasha Scores for Kids with Eczema, launched with the National Eczema Association (800/818-7546), is a campaign to raise awareness and funds to support this cause. The first 100 donors will receive an autographed photo of Sasha. Donate now!

Sasha became aware of how severe eczema can be through three year old Lakers superfan Jarrett (see Jarrett and Sasha on youtube).

At three months old, Jarrett was diagnosed with eczema. Because of the discomfort and itch, Jarrett scratched his skin so much that it bled. As Jarrett got older, he became somewhat resistant to the skin treatments he had to follow. His parents tried several different coping mechanisms to keep his mind off scratching and create distractions while applying ointments and medicine. Jarrett’s father Eric, says that when Jarrett was two, he began showing interest in the LA Lakers, so they created routines for Jarrett’s treatment revolving around his favorite basketball team.

Jarrett uses his Sasha Soap, Kobe Cream, and Lamar Lotion to help cope with the arduous skin regime he must follow. Jarrett has endeared himself to the entire Lakers team by memorizing all their names, and jersey numbers, and by being what has to be their most adorable fan.

Continue reading ‘Sasha Scores for Kids with Eczema’

22

You just opened up Pandora’s Box; especially if there is a Lakers/Magic rematch Mr. Barnes…

USA Today: If the Lakers and Magic face each other in the NBA Finals yesterday’s game no doubt will be what’s referenced as the agenda-setter. Orlando survived for a two-point victory as Matt Barnes played intense defense on Kobe Bryant, and Barnes says he’s ready for Round 2.

“They aren’t going to come in here and punk us,” Barnes told Fanhouse’s Tim Povtak after practice today.

Barnes also put some advance pressure on the referees, saying, “I have no problem playing physical, but throughout the game, he (Bryant) elbowed me three times. If I did that, I would have been kicked out . . . (Pau) Gasol takes a swing at Dwight (Howard). If we do that kind of stuff, we get kicked out, suspended. He (Bryant) is the best player. He gets to do whatever he wants. It is what it is.”

Barnes’ parting shot regarding Kobe: “If he’s going to throw elbows, I’m not just going to let him do it . . . Kobe is a killer. He has that killer instinct. If you let him mentally get to you, you don’t have a chance.”

4

A loss is a loss, its how you lose that determines who you are!

O.C. Register: The Lakers were back.

Not to Orlando after last visiting in June. Not from 10 down in the fourth quarter.

They were back to being competitors, and that’s why their loss Sunday to the Magic will stand as a victory in the long run.

The masters of the obvious will call this a low point, the team’s first three-game skid with Pau Gasol. The real truth is that the Lakers laid out there: high-intensity effort, same as they brought last spring when they were good enough to be NBA champions while losing lost five out of 11 postseason road games.

It’s that difficult to win on the road against focused, good teams, so no shame in not quite pulling it out Sunday.

The Magic showed up playing well, riding a four-game winning streak, and motivated after countless days spent sitting in the treatment room at their training facility, where there hangs a photo of Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelsondejectedly watching the Lakers celebrate the championship on Orlando’s home floor.

“That was just a battle,” Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. “That was much more a battle than a basketball game. It was extremely physical, both teams fought extremely hard the entire way.”

As usual in their post-title season, the Lakers ran into a team that fundamentally wanted it more. For a change, the Lakers played like they wanted it, too.

“I saw what I wanted to see,” Kobe Bryant said afterward. “If we play with this kind of effort, it’s going to be hard for a team to beat us four games in a series.”

Continue reading ‘Lakers show signs of life’

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Interesting to see, some could be true, others obviously not so true.


O.C. Register: Last season the Lakers took on all-comers and came away with the NBA trophy. Can they do that again, or will extenuating circumstances and the Celtics or Cavaliers be too much for them to handle this season?

To view the slide show, click here.

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Great news on Sasha!

Twitter: Sasha Vujacic practiced today. Phil Jackson said he expects Vujacic to be healthy for tomorrow against toronto

2

Though it lived a short, yet meaningful life — Ron Artest’s blonde… err… golden, “Rodman style” hair has reached the end of it’s journey.

Ron’s hair peacefully shaved away sometime between yesterday’s loss in Orlando to today’s team practice in El Segundo. But don’t mourn too much; “defense” still remains on his head (and hopefully still on his mind), in three different languages. None of which are in English.

If you’re wondering what Ron looks like with his newly shaved head, here’s a picture courtesy of Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell

So… in memoriam…

Rondman Cut
March 6, 2010 – March, 2010

1

At least he looked good, just not his night though.

L.A. Times: Kobe Bryant was late for Sunday’s pregame activities, but Ron Artest arrived on time, with a new blond dye job and several inscriptions in his hair.

He etched the word “defense” in three languages — Japanese, Hebrew and Hindi, he said.

In plain English, however, his defense was poor Sunday against the Orlando Magic.

Continue reading ‘Despite new hairstyle, Ron’s defense didn’t cut it’

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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.