Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 222

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Wow, who knew that Jordy had an injury too? I guess Kobe had an impact on the team!

L.A. Times: Jordan Farmar missed Tuesday’s shoot-around because he was getting treatment on a sprained joint on his left pinkie.

Yet, despite not getting that extra shooting he loves on game days, Farmar knocked down shot after shot later that night during the Lakers’ 122-99 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center.

Farmar made eight of his 10 shots, including three of four three-point attempts.

He finished with 19 points, the second-highest total for the Lakers behind Kobe Bryant’s 24.

“I got the finger taped up and just got a good look to start with and went in and just tried to get to the basket,” Farmar said. “They play a spread-out style of basketball. You can get up and down a little bit. So early in the game, I just tried to be aggressive and get to the basket.”

Continue reading ‘Jordan Farmar plays through injured pinkie’

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Ron named a dirty player? Its called defense people, get it right!

L.A. Times: A Sports Illustrated poll of 173 NBA players called Lakers forward Ron Artest the second dirtiest player in the league, behind only Toronto forward Reggie Evans.

When told about it, Artest paused and thought about the question before he answered.

“I’m just aggressive,” he said. “I don’t know. I guess when I hit people, yeah, they feel it. But I don’t think I’m dirty. I just think I just use my body.”

Well, Artest was told, he doesn’t really hit people.

“It’s like a hit,” Artest responded. “But it’s not really a hit.”

Artest received 13% of the vote while Evans received 21%.

Kobe Bryant also made the list, finishing fifth with 4% of the vote. Sacramento forward Andres Nocioni was third with 6% and Cleveland forward-center Anderson Varejao was fourth with 5%.

Continue reading ‘Is Ron Artest a dirty player?’

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Doesn’t seem like the Lakers are interested in adding another piece.

L.A. Times: The Lakers are entering the final, minor phase of roster retooling, taking a look at who was waived in recent days and determining if they could help thicken their bench.

Former San Antonio forward-guard Michael Finley might want to come to Los Angeles, but the Lakers have no interest in a player who turns 37 on Saturday and was averaging 3.7 points in 25 games with the Spurs this season.

Power forward Kenny Thomas was cut by Sacramento last month and, while providing solid post defense, would be in a numbers crunch on the Lakers bench, parked behind Pau GasolLamar Odom and even Josh Powell.

Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas was bought out by Washington but probably will likely rejoin his former team in Cleveland by the end of the month.

Continue reading ‘Don’t look for late season pickups from the Lakers’

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The inconsistent efforts from the team and still #2 in the NBA.

L.A. Times: Arf!

If “dog days” was in the dictionary, they might have a picture of a marquee reading:

INDIANA AT LAKERS

Tuesday, March 2

Of course, having misplaced their game, the Lakers can’t ease up against anyone . . . or, at least, that was the plan, before easing up in Tuesday night’s first half, then awakening to bury the lowly Pacers, 122-99.

Kobe Bryant, coming off his three-for-17 game against Denver, went five for 14 from the field but scored 24 points, his most since his Feb. 23 return in Memphis.

For all their struggles, the Lakers still moved six games ahead of the West, even if the question all Lakerdom is asking is:

THIS TEAM IS 46-15?

Coach Phil Jackson, normally the sunniest of optimists, acknowledged his team’s malaise at Monday’s practice, noting: “With Kobe playing like he is, it’s hard to judge who we are right now.”

On the other hand, it wasn’t hard to judge who the Pacers were. As the late Chuck Daly used to say, “You are what your record says you are, no better, no worse” — and they were the team with the 20-39 record, No. 26 in the NBA.

Reggie Miller, the greatest Pacer of them all, dates their fall to the 2004 Auburn Hills melee, noting recently they “have never, ever recovered from that night. Things will never be the same until they get lucky in the draft.”

At the moment, the Pacers are also the team trying to play small ball, making the Lakers their ultimate test.

“They’re the ultimate test, period,” Coach Jim O’Brien said before the game. “It doesn’t matter what lineup you put out there when you play the world champions, you know you’re going to be tested at every spot. . . .

Continue reading ‘Lakers show more bark than bite’

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The Lakers finally blew out an opponent Tuesday night at Staples with another balanced scoring attack.

Th offense really came through for the Lakers as they hit over 50% of their shots including 10 pointers with lots of points off the bench. They also had 33 assists for the night and forced many turnovers to a sloppy Indiana team.

It was just a very good performance by the Lakers as they looked as good as they have in a long time.

Every Laker that played scored, except for Powell and six hit double figures. The Lakers really just hit their shots and grabbed every loose ball.

Definitely a fun game to watch!

Now, the bests of the day…

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Out of Bounds with Jason Riley

I have never been a celebrity gossip fanatic, to say the least. Just about every story is the same generic piece, right?

(Celebrity A) was seen at (Semi-Normal Place) with (Celebrity B) doing (Semi-Normal Activity).

I can hardly contain my excitement. Maybe it’s because I have always associated gossip enthusiasts with bubbly teeny-boppers bouncing around the mall making absurd comments like, “Oh. My. God. Did you see Taylor Swift drinking her Mocha with whole milk? She’s sooo gonna’ die soon!”

Gag me.

Thankfully, my celeb-gossip connoisseur girlfriend has the inside scoop on the daily adventures of Hollywood’s elite. Every once in a while, she will drop me a story that doesn’t leave me feeling like J.R. Smith after an English exam. This morning, she read me a piece of an interview from US Weekly (I’m told that’s a magazine) where the following exchange with Lamar Odom happened:

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UPDATE: It looks like the Lakers are interested in picking up Finley…

Yahoo: A league source also said the Los Angeles Lakers eventually could have interest in Finley as an “insurance player” to help strengthen their own bench.

Would you guys pick up the vet for the post-season run?

Sporting News: Speculation around the league, though, has Finley looking at league powers like the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics. “There are other teams, championship-caliber teams that want Michael,” Thomas said. “But he is not going to be in a hurry. If you know Michael, you know he is going to think about this very carefully and make the right decision for him and his family. He won a ring with San Antonio and he will never forget that. So, that will weigh into his decision.”

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye! On Thursday March 4th,  join the Vick the Brick, between 5:00PM and 7:00PM, and the Lakers Nation’s friends and family at the newly opened Bullseye Bar at the Black Angus Steakhouse in Northridge, and watch our Los Angeles Lakers do battle in Miami against the Heat.

Worried they won’t be enough televisions for this madness? Have no worries, since they have 11 High-Def televisions to accommodate everybody that joins us!

If meeting Vic the Brick and watching the game with your TLN friends and family isn’t enough for you to be there, how about a chance to win tickets to Staples Center to watch the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Utah Jazz… and many many other cool prizes. So yeah, you pretty much have to be there.

So please join us at the Bullseye Bar’s GRAND OPENING and enjoy 60 ounce domestic draft beer pitchers for only $9.99 all month long!

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The (45-15) Los Angeles Lakers start their March schedule tonight hosting the (20-39) Indiana Pacers.

The Lakers’ first win over the Nuggets this season on Sunday was huge. As usual the Nuggets played physical and did a lot of talking without saying anything of substance; Lakers on the other hand could simply tell the team from Denver to take a look at the scoreboard and the banners in the rafters.

Tonight’s game  is the Lakers second game of the year against the Pacers; this will be a battle of two teams going in different directions. The Pacers are a young team that’s currently last in the Central Division Standings; scoring on average 99.5 points per game, allowing 104 points, and they’ve have won only three of their last 10 games. Tonight’s run is their first of a four-game Western Conference road trip; the Pacers are 7-23 on the road this year.

The Pacers have used several different starting lineups this season; they have recently been playing a lot of ‘small ball’ as part of a shorter lineup. The team has experienced some success by playing small as well as playing an up-tempo game. Nevertheless, they will have difficulty just matching up with the length of the Lakers.

Indiana does a good job of moving the basketball and their motion offense can be very effective, the Lakers have to communicate on defense. The Pacers will start the game with Luther Head attempting to defend Kobe Bryant, and Dahntay Jones coming off the bench will have his opportunity to foul out as well.

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Strong words from George Karl, taken in a good way or not?

L.A. Times: Bryant was asked what his reaction was to Denver Coach George Karl’s saying the Lakers turned the game into a wrestling match.

“That’s encouraging for us,” said Bryant, knowing that his team has been labeled soft. “We’ve always been the cupcake team. I’m happy to hear that.”

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Good to see they are doing well.

L.A. Times: Sasha Vujacic, who has been out because of a sprained right shoulder, has been unable to practice, but said he hopes to be available next Monday after the Lakers return home from a three-game trip.

Luke Walton, who has been out because of a pinched nerve in his back, worked out on an exercise machine Monday and said his back felt good, but that “good is a relative term right now.”

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Post-injury slump continues…

L.A. Times: So, Kobe Bryant, what’s going on with your jump shot these days?

“Well, three for 17, I’d say it’s a little [messed] up,” Bryant said, laughing.

He was referring to his performance Sunday against the Nuggets.

One reason for the concern is that Bryant sat out 18 days — and five games — recovering from a sprained left ankle. Then he came back against the Memphis Grizzlies last week and looked as if he hadn’t missed a game.

Bryant was 13 for 19 from the field, including the game-winning three-pointer with 4.3 seconds left. He also made a three-pointer with 54 seconds left to tie the score.

But since that game, Bryant has shot 19 for 56 (33.9%) from the field. He has missed all six of his three-point attempts.

“I had a lot of time off where I wasn’t able to shoot the basketball, so that’s why it’s inconsistent,” Bryant said. “Now I’ve got a chance to get in and kind of work on it a little bit. I did a little bit today and I’ll do a little more tomorrow and get it back to that level of consistency that it needs to.”

Continue reading ‘Kobe searches for his shot’

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If the Lakers were going to win this game, George Karl probably advised his team, they would have to do it with someone other than Kobe Bryant leading the way.

Arron Afflalo, ready for the challenge, velcroed himself to Kobe all afternoon and, with help from other Nuggets, had Mamba constantly surrounded. It worked; he was 3-17 and had five turnovers.

A bad shooting night for Kobe usually translates into trouble for the Lakers.

If it came down to the last second against this new and improved Nuggets team, you have to wonder, would Kobe have been able to hit a game winner, and would it have omitted the 4-18 line in his box score? Probably, but today, instead of fighting through the stingy Denver defense with a ridiculous volume of shot attempts, Kobe helped close the game by taking a little detour from Scoring Street, to venture into Assist Avenue and Defense Drive.

Other than his 14 points, he also had 12 assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. It’s a shame that only when he struggles offensively, do we get to appreciate the rest of his talents and skills.

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Just goes to show when Kobe is off, Ron can be counted on to step up.

O.C. Register: Did you sense it, Lakers fans?

Kobe Bryant did.

Bryant felt it as surely as Denver’s Carmelo Anthony felt Ron Artest’s breath Sunday. And his forearms and his bowed chest and, quite possibly given how close the two players were throughout, a couple of Artest’s internal organs.

In his team’s 60th game of the season, Artest officially became a Laker, formally arrived as theLaker this team will need in the coming three or four months.

Here it was, the last day of February, and the Lakers finally made a key free-agent sighting.

“He earned his money,” Bryant said of Artest, who didn’t fight through the Nuggets’ repeated picks Sunday as much as he MMA’d through them. “That’s what he’s here for – play defense and make life uncomfortable for the other team. He’s here for these situations, these types of small forwards.”

It’s possible this particular forward never looked smaller than Carmelo Anthony did the moment he fouled out, Artest absorbing one too many body shots and drawing Anthony’s sixth personal with the Nuggets in position in a four-point game.

It was the sort of call not often made in the NBA. It was the sort of call rarely made in the final three minutes. It was the sort of call almost never made when the result is the disqualification of a star player.

Continue reading ‘Not enough Kobe, but plenty of Artest’

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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.