Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Blog Page 224

19

It seems that Derek hate is in the air.

O.C. Register: The Dallas Mavericks already had one guard who knows Kobe Bryant implicitly – and has the defensive prowess to defend him – in Jason Kidd. They went out and got another one at the trade deadline in Caron Butler.

Meanwhile, in the eyes of an ever-increasing number of Lakers fans, Bryant’s hopes for another championship could be foiled by another guard … on his own team.

Old buddy Derek Fisher.

Fisher is fast moving into Bryant longtime territory of being an uncommonly divisive player. That’s actually not altogether surprising given that Fisher has a lot of characteristics in common with Bryant. Both would never fail to believe in themselves, which means they’re perfectly willing to believe they’re better than they really are – which isn’t exactly an endearing quality.

But if Fisher believes he’s better than he really is right now, so does Phil Jackson. And ultimately, that’s where the Lakers are with this: They still trust Fisher to do what they need done, which I’ve tried to explain before can’t be boiled down to a shooting percentage or judged by the speed of a defensive slide.

It’s the Lakers’ trust that Fisher will do the right things for the team on the floor that keeps him out there.

That is rooted in but not limited to all the goodwill he has amassed in his past. It’s also that the Lakers don’t have anyone better – and that’s the angle that should be more of a concern for Lakers fans.

Continue reading ‘If Fisher fails, Lakers could get filleted’

13

Could this be the reason for his recent slump?

O.C. Register: Pau Gasol is not every woman’s dream date, but Silvia (no apparent last name) finds the Lakers forward to her liking.

The Spanish cheerleader, referred in one Spanish newspaper as his “fiancee“, was seen with Gasol at the All-Star Game in Dallas and reportedly at the L.A. Sports Council awards, where he was named Sportsman of the Year. Her appearance at these functions is somewhat surprising considering how guarded Gasol is about his private life.

But then again, they are a cute couple.

9

So which animal is Kobe?

L.A. Times: Beyond the usual, “I’m fine,” “It’s OK,” and “It is what it is,” statements Lakers guard Kobe Bryant typically makes regarding his injuries, he recently added an extra wrinkle. “I feel like a gazelle,” he said Monday when he knew for sure he was going to return to the lineup after missing the previous five games because of a left ankle sprain and sore tendon.

He’ll still be known as the Black Mamba in the minds of Lakers fans, but Bryant’s “gazelle” comment raised questions (at least in my mind) as to what other animals could rightfully be associated with Bryant.

I’m by no means an animal expert, and the grades in my biology classes prove it. But I figured I’d contact people who are to lend their insight. Los Angeles Zoo spokesperson Jason Jacobs provided me a rundown on the different behaviors of certain animals and Dana Brown, director of human resources at the L.A. Zoo and a Lakers fan, explained how they are comparable to Bryant’s play.

Tiger: Tigers have to be self sufficient. They have their own territory and they hunt for themselves. They have to be dependent on themselves. They’re camouflaged. No two Tigers striped patterns are alike.

How Bryant is like a tiger: You don’t find a lot of Tigers and you don’t find a lot of Kobes. For the solitary animals that Tigers are, Kobe, while popular and widely recognizable, he’s not really all that social. You don’t see him on the social scene. He’s not the most social person there is. He is sort of predatory. He’s slow and calculating and then he jumps at it.

Mambas: Mambas are venomous species of snakes found in Africa. There’s two types. The green mamba and the black mamba. They are very fast snakes and very deadly. When you deal with them in a zoo situation, you take every safety precaution to transfer them. Black mambas are the largest venomous snakes in Africa and their average length is around eight to nine feet. Some can exceed 12 feet.

How Bryant is like a mamba: He is definitely one of the most deadly players out there. When Kobe is in the game, somebody is going down.

Continue reading ‘Los Angeles Zoo employees compare Kobe’s play to several animal behaviors’

4

Glad to see he is finding ways to improve.

L.A. Times: Ron Artest felt slow and sluggish, very much unlike the defender he used to be.

“I’m trying to get my defense back to what it was a couple of years ago,” the Lakers forward said Wednesday. “I think I’m on the path. The second half of this season and then next year, I should be one of the best defenders.”

Artest was slowed this season by plantar fasciitis — painful swelling on the underside of his feet — but also took a look at something else: his diet.

He weighed 266 two months ago. He kept thinking how he weighed 245 when he was the NBA’s defensive player of the year in 2004.

So he stopped eating late at night and promised himself he would stick to a diet that was 95% fish and vegetables.

With his plantar fasciitis under control, he is also running more often and at unusual times.

When the Lakers arrive in a city for a road game, he’ll hit the treadmill for 45 minutes at the team hotel, even if it’s before the second game of a back-to-back situation. When the Lakers return from a trip, he’ll log another 45 minutes on the treadmill.

Continue reading ‘Ron retools diet to increase speed’

33

A small update on Drew’s hip.

NBC Sports: Andrew Bynum’s performance Wednesday night was clearly hindered by the bruise and ruptured bursa sac in his right hip. Bynum looked strong in the first half but slowed down considerably in the second half, pulling down only two points and two boards. Bynum finished the game with only ten points and eleven rebounds. If this continues, the Lakers may decide to sit Bynum.

22

I tend to agree with him here, thoughts?

L.A. Times: Following Wednesday’s loss in Dallas, Pau Gasol was asked if the Lakers too frequently coast in games. “Sometimes we just get a little too comfortable, too confident in games and we don’t push hard enough at times to be able to pull away from teams,” he said. “You give a home team confidence, they get going, the crowd gets into it. We’ve got to control games. We have enough guys here and enough quality that we can do that.”

4

Looks like the Lakers are taking today’s practice off.

Lakers BasketBlog: The Lakers will hold no official practice on Thursday, opting instead for rest leading into a Friday-Sunday slate of games against Philadelphia and Denver at STAPLES Center.

As is customary, however, several players will congregate at L.A.’s practice facility for unofficial work outs, lifting sessions and treatment for various ailments. This group often includes but is not limited to L.A.’s non starters such as Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown, D.J. Mbenga, Adam Morrison, Josh Powell and Luke Walton.

Among the players that could use a bit of rest is Kobe Bryant, who after 18 days away from NBA games played about 40 minutes in consecutive games at Memphis and Dallas.

“He was probably a little fatigued and tried to help other guys get going,” said Phil Jackson of his guard that scored 20 points and narrowly missed a game-tying three in the final minute.

Bryant and his full complement of teammates will head back to official work at Friday morning’s shootaround, when they’ll prepare for the 76ers.

We’ll be on hand to speak with assistant coach Brian Shaw for a video preview of the matchup.

9

Phil talks about Ariza.

Daily News: The Lakers essentially switched out Trevor Ariza for Ron Artest and they have been impressed with his level of play, particularly on defense.

Opponents are shooting only 31.8% from beyond the arc against the Lakers, which gives them the best percentage in the NBA.

“Trevor was a late bloomer for us last year,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “A lot of people remember him as a starter, but he came off the bench (until late in the season). (Vladimir) Radmanovic started and Luke (Walton) started.

“We moved a lot of people around. (Ariza) was a late guy who came on (strong at the end of the season). We liked his defense, but he wasn’t a 35-minute a night man, and Ron is.

“I think (the Lakers’ defense) has gotten better because of the way we play.”

Continue reading ‘Ariza Wasn’t A 35-Minute Per Night Player’

3

The finger needs to heal up to help Kobe’s shooting woes come to an end.

O.C. Register: “I rested it; it calmed down a lot,” Bryant said. “But it’s broken. So there’s nothing really I can do. The rest helped it, but it kind of is what it is.”

____

“The finger gets stronger,” he said. “I work it a lot and try to strengthen the hand again, try to see if I can’t palm a ball again, but it still gets sore.”

50

This game went much similar to last nights game vs. Memphis, but Dallas wasn’t quite so easy in the final minute.

The Lakers nearly battled back for another road victory, but fell short on a missed Kobe three point attempt with 30 seconds left in the game.

The Lakers defensively played very well holding the Mavericks to under 44 % from the field and 16 turnovers, but they got beat up on the glass and shot 10 less freethrows. They really shot poor behind the arc making only 5 of 17, about one three short from possibly sending the game into to overtime.

Every Laker starter hit double figures and Lamar added 21 off the bench.

This was a big game for the Lakers as it was a potential Western Conference Finals matchup, and the Lakers can take away many good things from tonights loss on the road in a back to back.

Now, the bests of the day…

17

With Kobe’s hanging jumper over Jason Kidd, Kobe passed Reggie Miller for 13th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

It came late in the 2nd quarter where Kobe drove towards the rim, stopped and elevated for a one legged hanging jumper.

Reggie Miller had 25,270 career points.

The next stop for Kobe is surpassing Alex English’s 25,613 career points.

0
Out of Bounds with Jason Riley

Kobe drilled another game winner (his fifth of the season) in Memphis last night; J.R. Smith had a few choice Tweets about Mr. Bryant; Cleveland is struggling (1-3) since pilfering Jamison from Washington; Paul Pierce is back… to crying about another nagging injury (thumb); and the Lakers are (still) running away with the West…

The NBA season is starting to pick up, and that means it’s time for another ridiculously long mailbag! Send me your questions, comments and anything else you want to rant about. You can email me, tweet me, Facebook me, or simply fill out the form below.

4

Derek Fisher reached the 9,000 point miletsone in the Memphis game Tuesday night! Fish had this to say to the fans congratulating him:

Twitter: Thx for the congrats on the 9000 career points! Appreciate all your messages!

24

The (43-14) Los Angeles Lakers are in Texas for a back-to-back game against the (36-21) Dallas Mavericks.

Despite the fact that the Lakers fared well without Kobe, the team and the fans are equally elated to have him back. He returned from a much needed 18-day rest from an ankle injury just in time to save the Lakers from losing to the Grizzlies, again.

Kobe was brilliant in his first game back, playing 40-minutes, filling the stat sheet with 32 points with seven boards, six assists, three steals, two blocked shots, and knocked down the game winning three pointer with 4.3 seconds left to finish off the Memphis Grizzlies.

Bryant is currently 14th on the All-Time scoring list, prior to 6:30pm he will pass Reggie Miller and move up to 13th, 335 points behind Alex English; he will surpass the Hall of Famers point total of 25,613 on March 21st at Staples Center against the Wizards or sooner. Bryant is averaging 15 points against Dallas this season, look for that to change.

Pau Gasol had a solid game posting a double-double with 22 points, 13 boards and an excellent defensive closeout on O.J. Mayo’s attempt at the end of the game.

The good news coming out of Tuesday’s game is that the Lakers got off to a good start and won the game on Kobe’s 5th game winning shot of the season. The bad news is that the Lakers seem to stop playing defense in the middle of the game, shot badly from the free throw line, and were out-rebounded.

The Lakers will face the new-look Mavericks tonight in a battle of two of the best teams in the Western Conference.

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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.