Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Blog Page 223

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L.A. Times: Ron Artest sat in his chair with his hands on his chin, a towel wrapped around his waist, an ice bucket nearby, a look of interest at the mob of reporters surrounding teammate Lamar Odom.
Artest slowly began to dress, appearing content with the job he had just completed.

He was acquired last summer by the Lakers to put the clamps on All-Star small forwards such as Denver’s Carmelo Anthony.

And Artest did, using his strength and defensive acumen to hold Anthony down to the point the Nuggets’ star fouled out during the Lakers’ 95-89 victory over Denver on Sunday at Staples Center.

Artest refused to give Anthony an inch, the two going head-to-head, the Lakers’ forward grinding down Anthony to a seven-for-19 shooting game, 21 points and eight turnovers.

“He’s definitely one of the better players in the NBA,” Artest said. “But like I say all the time, when I’m playing, for years, I never worry about the offensive player. Whether they get 50 or whether they get 10, I don’t really care about an offensive player, even if they have a good game.”

Artest held Anthony eight points below his average. Before that, he held Golden State’s Corey Maggette three points below his average, Boston’s Paul Pierce seven below his, Memphis’ Rudy Gay three below his average and Dallas’ Shawn Marion a point below his average.

“Some people get in a defensive rhythm,” Artest said. “I can get into a defensive rhythm. I think I’m in a little rhythm right now defensively. That’s what I’m going to try to do, keep people under their average and keep my strength.”

Continue reading ‘Ron pulls out the defensive stops’

4

Gasol stood up against the “physical” play in the game, and he’s responding to the Nuggets verbally after.

ESPN: “They talk too much,” the normally reserved Gasol said after the game. “Way too much. I don’t listen to things that don’t make sense. I’m a player that likes to play and that’s how I talk, by me playing. Other players can’t do that.”

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This was a fun game to watch.

The Lakers made yet another comeback Sunday afternoon at Staples Center against the second place Nuggets.

Both teams really played well tonight. There was a lot of aggressive defense, good passing, and some incredible shots on both ends.

For a game built around two superstars, the scoring was very balanced. Neither team had a player score more than 21 points.

If you knew the Nuggets would only shoot 36% from the field and the Lakers would have 16 steals, you probably would have guessed a blowout game, but this one stayed close to the very end.

Lamar Odom really stepped up today as Gasol was getting pretty abused on the inside. Phil took out Pau briefly in the fourth to send him a message and Gasol responded with a huge rebound, a big score, and the game securing tip rebound to the backcourt.

It was a big win for the Lakers as the Nuggets are likely the team they will face in May again.

Now, the bests of the day…

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LeBron wants to be a Laker? Lazenby reports…

HoopsHype: The greatest NBA free agent of all time, LeBron James, is quietly making overtures to the Los Angeles Lakers.

He wants to play for them. And James is not all that concerned whether Kobe Bryant is part of the equation. Bryant, of course, has yet to sign a contract extension with L.A. and could wind up a free-agent himself, albeit one with high mileage.

But the overtures have been made. LeBron wants to wear the purple and gold. Mainly, he wants to wear a championship ring, which means he wants to play for Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

“LeBron wants to win. He’s a smart guy,” explainsone of my best inside sources, a close Jackson associate. “And Phil loves LeBron, absolutely LOVES him.”

There are many, many complicating factors to such a scenario, not the least of which is the fact that it’s way far from certain that Jackson will even be the coach of the Lakers next year.

“The Lakers have not made Phil an offer,” the Jackson source points out. However, rest assured of this, Jackson’s close associate maintained. “Phil will coach somewhere next year.”

Jackson wouldn’t dare take off next year if he’s not coaching the Lakers because he believes the following year will bring a lock-out, the source says. Jackson craves the chance to win another title before the NBA owners lock out the players in 2011-2012 to force a new contract.

“The whole league is under review,” the source points out. “Franchise values are falling, so the owners feel they must force a new labor agreement.”

Continue reading ‘Report: LeBron wants to be a Laker’

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The (44-15) Los Angeles Lakers are at the Staples Center to host the (39-19) Denver Nuggets.

Today’s run will be the third of the four games between the best teams in the Western Conference, and unfortunately, the Lakers have lost the two previous games by double digits.

The last time the Nuggets came to town the Staples Center faithful had to witness the Chauncey Billups show as he led Denver to a road win by putting on a shooting clinic from behind the arc.

This is a must-win game for the Lakers, but it begs the question can the Lakers bring the proper focus to beat the Nuggets? We’ve seen the Lakers either show a lack of focus or desire and lose games that they should win this season.

It appears that on more than one occasion they’ve  been going through the motions and haven’t gotten up for their opponents. If that happens today, this contest will be over early. The Lakers need to play every game with energy and passion. It’s time for this team to play with passion on every possession.

This game will be decided by the Lakers frontline. The duo of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum combined for 43 points in the paint and 24 boards against the Sixers; they will need a repeat performance.

The Nuggets frontline will be physical with the Lakers, how Gasol, Bynum, and Ron Artest respond will be the difference. Lakers need to establish both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the painted area and look to hurt the Nuggets in this area.

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As we slog through the dog days of the NBA, Voice of the Nation returns to bring you mid-season form Lakers talk!

G-Small and D-Bricks analyze how a veteran Lakers team is starting to feel the effects of a third straight title run, why the point guard play may become a real source of worry.

J.R. Smith popping off at the mouth, teams making shady personnel deals, and G-Small and D-Bricks getting their Kobe and Shaq on?

Tune in to Voice of the Nation #71!!!

Audio
G-Small – Stand Up!
Notorious B.I.G. – What’s Beef?

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #71

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The game was close throughout and the lead went back and forth all evening. It could have been an exciting game between two opponents playing their hearts out. It COULD have been that kind of night, but it was far from it. The Lakers could have given this game away. They gave Philadelphia every opportunity to steal one from their own homecourt, but the defending Champs did enough to win tonight.

Their version of enough, however, was barely watchable.

On a night where Kobe played facilitator to the tune of eight assists, both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol produced an impressive set of double-doubles (20-13 and 23-11 respectively) and five Lakers scored in double figures — the flow and energy of the game could have been a lot more exciting than troubling. Instead, turnovers, which the box score indicates was 10 but on-air stats reflected about 14, seemed to occur every other possession.

The Lakers were throwing passes that were constantly deflected, stolen, and scored from; they committed THREE shot clock violations and the defense? The term “Defending” Champions” might take a hit after tonight’s effort, or lack thereof.

The Lakers might as well have laid a red carpet to the basket because the Sixers walked right up to it with little to no resistance… the entire game.

12

Phil speaks out on the loophole “trade” which the Cavs acquired Jamison and will most likely sign back Big Z.

NBA FanHouse: Phil Jackson called it a “sham.” He dubbed it “disrespect for the league.” He called it “charades.”

So, Phil, how do you really feel about Cleveland’s recent deal involving forward Antawn Jamison and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas?

With Ilgauskas all but certain to return to the Cavaliers after having his contract bought out earlier this week by Washington, FanHouse asked the Lakers coach after Friday’s shootaround his thoughts on the situation.

Cleveland on Feb. 17 had sent Ilgauskas to Washington in a three-team deal, landing Jamison, a two-time All-Star. It now looks as if the Cavaliers will be getting Ilgauskas back after the NBA-required 30-day waiting period, which would place his return around March 20.

“It’s something that’s going to have to be addressed in the next (collective bargaining agreement),” Jackson said of the rule in its current form. “It’s a sham of sorts to make that kind of trade. You’re not really trading a player. You’re just trading a money situation. It’s a sham, and I think it’s a disrespect for the league and the players to be involved in this type of a thing.”

Jackson had expressed disapproval last week about the deal, calling it a “weird situation.” But these were his strongest comments yet about it.

Jackson said perhaps the rule should be changed to make it a waiting period of multiple months before a player could return to the team that dealt him.

“You only have a rule about not being able to trade the player after you signed him in free agency until mid-December after you signed him in August,” Jackson said of the rule that calls for a player signed as a free agent during the offseason not being eligible to be traded until Dec. 15 or 90 days, whichever is later. “Maybe something like that could be instituted where it’s two or three months … if it’s the same team. Otherwise, it’s just kind of charades.”

Continue reading ‘Phil Jackson: Ilgauskas Situation a ‘Sham’ and ‘Charades”

11

The (43-15) Los Angeles Lakers are back at Staples Center hosting the (22-35) Philadelphia 76ers.

The Purple and Gold split their two road games, but some people felt that Kobe Bryant was tired playing in a back-to-back game. He did an excellent job of distributing the ball and getting his teammates going.

However, the entire team didn’t play with a lot of energy and looked tired in the Dallas Mavericks game. Their were also some questionable calls in the game by the officials as evidenced by Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and Pau Gasol shooting a grand total of four free throws.

Describing the referee’s calls the term’s confusion, bewilderment. or perplexity could be used if you like, but I’ll stick with calling the Mavericks beneficiaries of ‘several home calls’. Especially when Dirk put up at least 17 free throws.

I understand why Andrew Bynum stated to Lakers reporter John Ireland that “it’s hard to play eight on five”. Right or wrong, you just can’t say it without being fined by the league office.

Kobe Bryant moved up to 13th on the All-Time NBA scoring list with 25,280 points. Bryant will lead the Lakers tonight in an effort to avoid a rare two-game home losing streak.

The 76’ers aren’t playing their best basketball at this time, they have a record of 12-18 on the road and have won six of their last ten games. As their record indicates, the Sixers have struggled all season.

Philadelphia is a young team with a lot of talent although being a team that wants to get out in transition they’ve struggled to run the Princeton offense preferred by Coach Eddie Jordan.

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Bynum had some “8 on 5″ comments for the referees following the loss to the Mavs. The league has taken action:

Twitter: The NBA has fined Andrew Bynum $25,000 for ripping refs after Lakers loss to Dallas on Wednesday.

Here is a recap of some of what was said:

CBS: After Wednesday’s game Jackson wasn’t alone in his curiosity over some of the calls. Andrew Bynum took exception to the referees and articulated his frustration after the game with John Ireland saying that “it’s hard to play 8 on 5.”

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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.