Thursday, November 27, 2014
Blog Page 227

0

Interesting article that breaks down the challenges the Lakers approach.

ESPN Los Angeles: Thursday afternoon’s NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and the Lakers have officially settled on the 13 players they hope will bring the franchise a second straight championship. If they seem familiar, it’s because they’re the same 13 guys management was banking on Wednesday afternoon, too.

To paraphrase the great Norman Dale, their team is on the floor.

The Lakers, though, are hardly playing four-on-five. At 42-13, they’re six games ahead of Denverfor the top seed in the Western Conference, are very much in the fight with Cleveland for the best record in basketball, and remain a favorite to win another title.

But with things more or less finalized (save an unlikely free agent signing) from a personnel standpoint, it’s a good time to look and see where the weak spots exist.

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
Washington’s fire sale has changed the landscape for the Lakers.

Dallas is better with Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler, and more importantly, the Cavs were able to get Antawn Jamison for (once Zydrunas Ilgauskas is bought out by Washington) virtually nothing of value. And while Jamison may not have the same marquee value of Amar’e Stoudemire, there is also far less chance he’ll screw with Cleveland’s successful formula.

Dallas likely still isn’t good enough to beat L.A. in a seven game series, but Cleveland already has knocked off the Lakers twice this year, and seems to match up well. Meanwhile, Denver didn’t make a move, but has shown the ability to knock off the champs, beating them soundly in the first two meetings of the season. In short, the road to repeat isn’t going to be easy. I’m not sure who said it would be, but it won’t.

So should the Lakers have done something?

No, or at least not because the opposition did. The worst trade is generally the knee-jerk reaction to another team’s deal (see O’Neal, Shaquille to Phoenix). It is much easier to make an elite team worse than to improve it with a high-profile deal. The Lakers had more wants than needs at the deadline, and the needs would have been tough to fill without risking damage to the core of the roster. Cleveland’s acquisition of Jamison might make it harder for the Lakers to beat them. So be it. That can’t be a reason to make a trade.

Continue reading ‘After the deadline: The challenges are ahead’

3

Congrats to Pau!

ESPN Los Angeles: Lakers star Pau Gasol and track star Allyson Felix received the highest individual honors at Friday night’s Los Angeles Sports Awards.

Gasol received a standing ovation from the crowd at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live when he was honored as the region’s sportsman of the year for his contributions to the Lakers’ NBA championship run and work in the community.

“It feels great, it’s obviously great recognition for me in my second year here,” the Spaniard said. “It didn’t take long for me to feel at home when I came to L.A.

“Everything just clicked quickly here, in the basketball court and outside. Everybody is just so warm and giving me a great welcome. People here made me so loved.”

Felix, a native of the San Fernando Valley who attended USC and trains at UCLA, was recognized as sportswoman of the year for becoming the first woman to win three 200-meter World Championships.

“This is really a huge honor for me,” Felix said. “L.A. is the land of Hollywood and celebrities so to be recognized here is really special.”

The Lakers’ victory over Orlando in the NBA Finals was selected as the top sports moment of the year. Lakers owner Jerry Buss was honored as executive of the year for his commitment to winning and leadership of the Lakers. His daughter, Lakers executive Jeanie Buss, accepted both awards in person. Derek Fisher’s clutch three-pointers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals were recognized as No. 5 overall sports moment.

Continue reading ‘Pau Gasol received the highest individual honors at Los Angeles Sports Awards’

6

An article to show how Ray broke down the Lakers defense and burn them for 24 points.

L.A. Times: So this was the player the Celtics were supposedly trading.

Guard Ray Allen had often been the subject of trade rumors as the deadline approached. And the reasons were fairly obvious. Though he’s part of the Big Three, including forward Kevin Garnett and guard Paul Pierce, Allen has shot a career-low 33.3% this season.

Yet, despite having a two of 10 effort Jan. 31 against the Lakers, he scored a team-high 24 points on 10 of 15 shooting in the Lakers’ 87-86 loss Thursday to the Celtics. And after a look through the game footage, Derek Fisher’scontention that Allen’s performance stemmed between Allen being a good shooter and team defensive breakdowns is pretty accurate.

“Obviously he’s a great shooter. Sometimes they’re not going to be really anything you can do to maybe keep him from having the type of night he had tonight,” said Fisher, who largely struggled defending Allen. “But there were a few times where we didn’t defensively react the way we needed to, which allowed him in particular a couple transition threes and he got a dunk in transition. Those are points you cant give him. If he makes a shot with a hand in his face, you have to give him credit for being Ray Allen. There are some times when he was wide open and those are the breakdowns we can’t have in a game like that.”

Although Fisher isn’t absolved from some blame for those lapes, the film shows that the problem wasn’t squarely solely on him and Shannon Brown. Though they often trailed Allen’s efficient cutting from screens, rarely did the rest of the team help adjust its defensive strategy. Below is a breakdown on all of Allen’s shot attempts.

Continue reading ‘Ray Allen exploits Lakers’ defensive lapses’

22

Rasheed is bitching crying about the tech he received for tackling, shoving Gasol. Here is what he said about it after the game. Keep in mine he is a few tech’s away from a suspension.

Boston.com: “That was some bull (expletive),” he said afterward. “And the ref was watching that the whole way. But he decides to call it on me. He sees the cat put me in a headlock, all that but yeah, he decides to call it on me. I ain’t tripping on it, though. I was expecting it from him.”

22

Even though we fell short, Fish is willing to take the big shot.

O.C. Register: Yes, but Jackson said the other day that if Bryant weren’t around, he’d most likely turn to Fisher for a clutch shot. And Fisher said after his failure that he figured he had to be the guy in Bryant’s stead to take the shot and the heat: “If there’s anybody else on the team who is willing and can take it, it’s me.”

6

Doc and Phil made some great points about a blaring loophole.

ESPN: It wasn’t quite on the same level as San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich calling for an independent trade committee to be formed in protest of the Pau Gasol deal a couple of seasons ago, but there were two coaches calling for changes to the NBA’s trade process Thursday. Both Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Celtics coach Doc Rivers had strong things to say about Cleveland’s acquiring Antawn Jamison by using Zydrunas Ilgauskas as a key piece in the deal, with the eventuality assumed that Ilgauskas will be bought out from his contract by the Wizards and return to the Cavaliers after 30 days.

Jackson declined to comment on the Jamison trade when he was asked about it at Thursday’s shoot-around, quipping, “I don’t care about that,” and dodged two more questions about it in his pregame media session before not being able to bite his tongue any longer. “They’re going to get Ilgauskas back and it’s going to be one of those scenarios that we see in the NBA where you ship a player out, you get another player, then your player retires or they pay him off and then he comes back in 30 days,” Jackson said. “I don’t know what that does for the league. I think that’s kind of a weird situation.”

Rivers agreed with Jackson, even though the loophole has helped his team in the past. “I have a problem with that,” Rivers said before Thursday’s Lakers-Celtics game at Staples Center. “I loved it three years ago when we did it with Gary Payton if you remember, but now I think it sucks. I think it’s a terrible deal.”

Rivers and the Celtics traded Payton to Atlanta in March 2005 for Antoine Walker and Payton returned to Boston after being waived by the Hawks. “I actually do have a problem with that though. We did it, and I’m joking, but I do think [it’s a problem]. I don’t know what you do [maybe] just not allow them to go back to the same team or whatever. … I do think that will be changed eventually, but I do have a problem with it.”

Continue reading ‘Phil Jackson, Doc Rivers criticize the Jamison trade’

65

With no Kobe in the line-up for a fifth straight game, the need for a clutch understudy was up for grabs.

Sadly, not even a Fish could save Los Angeles tonight. But the Lakers had it. They were almost there. Yes, Boston had dominated for the greater part of the game, but even despite the 11-point lead to break down, there was still hope.

The bench came in the third quarter and nearly ran these old and creaky Celtics ragged. Sasha Vujacic, probably thankful that he was still in a Laker uniform after this afternoon’s trade deadline had passed, chipped in 4 quick points and stuck to red-hot Ray Allen much more effectively than Derek Fisher could the entire game. Allen scored 24 points on 10-15 shooting and proved that his struggles of late were not at all indicative of what he still had the ability to do, and tonight what the Lakers missed most about Kobe was not just his clutch appeal, but his defense on Allen.

Andrew Bynum, still nursing an injured hip, played as well as he could, contributing 14 points on 7-15 shooting and bumping against wide loads like Kendrick Perkins and Glenn “call me Uno-Uno” Davis.

Pau Gasol, not to be intimidated by technical foul-loving Rasheed Wallace, did not back down, but did allow Rajon Rondo to steal the ball right from under him three times too often. Though with 22 points and seven rebounds, this loss was not for his lack of effort.

33

Pretty cool article on the “hate” of Kobe Bryant…

Bleacher Report: Kobe Bryant #24 the Los Angeles Lakers beats Rasheed Wallace #30 of the Boston Celtics to a loose ball in the second half at the TD Garden on January 31, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash /Getty Images) Jim Rogash/Getty Images

If anything is clear this season, it is that Kobe Bryant may have finally been surpassed by Lebron James as the best player in the league. With Lebron projected to finish in the top five of all time in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) for the second consecutive year, an argument can be made that Lebron is the most statistically dominating player ever.

Kobe still holds on to the crown, but the advanced statistics are harder and harder to argue with every day.

PER, Roland Ratings, Efficiency, Value Added, and Win Shares all suggest that Lebron is superior to Kobe Bryant.

With Lebron making a strong case for best player in the league and Kobe on the sidelines because of injury, some commentators have taken the opportunity to once again question Kobe Bryant.

Just about every reputable publication from Foxsports to ESPN to SportsIllustrated to SportingNews has named Kobe as the NBA Player of the Decade. There’s a good reason why. Kobe Bryant has been a top three player for the entire decade. He’s been the consensus best player for half the decade. Nobody—not Shaq, not Duncan—can say the same.

Continue reading ‘Kobe Hate Will Fuel Lakers to Second Consecutive Title

34

The (42-13) Los Angeles Lakers get back to action at the Staples Center by hosting the (33-18) Boston Celtics.

Another chapter in the long history of competition against their historic cross country rivals. Barring a return to the court reminiscent of Willis Reed of the Knicks in game seven of the 1970 NBA Finals, our Lakers will go into battle without Kobe Bryant.

Regardless of the teams records or what building the teams compete in whenever these teams play; it is a must-win game for the Lakers. They needs to continue to play with a sense of urgency and approach this as a Playoff game.

The Lakers are 4-0 without Kobe Bryant allowing him time to rest and heal. The frontline of Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, and Lamar Odom have been playing well by averaging 49.6 points and 33 rebounds in the first three games without the ‘Black Mamba’, but witnessing the starters combine for 88 points against the Warriors was impressive.

Andrew Bynum played well in his return from injury; he pumped in 21 points and grabbed seven boards. Lamar Odom was active on the glass by grabbing 18 rebounds. The trio of Gasol, Artest, and Odom off the bench shot poorly and will need to improve in that area.

As usual Boston again will attempt to be the more physical team and attempt to out-muscle the Lakers, they must be aware that their opponent will use this tactic and need to be prepared for it.

15

It has been one of the most wild trade seasons that I can remember. Here is a breakdown of what has went down throughout the league (we’ll update it in this final half hour as well).

February 13, 2010- Wizards/Mavs:
To Washington Wizards: Quinton Ross, Josh Howard, James Singleton, Drew Gooden
To Dallas Mavericks: DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, Cash

February 16, 2010 – Blazers/Clippers
To Portland Trail Blazers:, Marcus Camby
To Los Angeles Clippers: Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake, Cash

February 17, 2010 – Cavs/Wizards/Clippers (3-Team Trade)
To Cleveland Cavs: Antawn Jamison, Sebastian Telfair
To Washington Wizards: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Al Thornton, 2010 first-round draft pick from Cleveland, Rights to Emir Preldžič, 57th pick in 2009 NBA Draft
To Los Angeles Clippers: Drew Gooden

February 17 ,2010 – Knicks/Wolves
To New York Knicks: Brian Cardinal
To Minnesota Timberwolves: Darko Milicic, Cash considerations

February 17 ,2010 – Knicks/Rockets/Kings
To New York Knicks: Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez
To Houston Rockets: Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries
To Sacramento Kings: Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey, Larry Hughes

13

For those hoping for trades, this will be a buzz kill.

Bleacher Report: As of 3:00 p.m. EST tomorrow, the NBA trading deadline will expire and all indications point towards the Los Angeles Lakers letting that time pass without making a change to their roster.

Smart move indeed, because up to this point, the Lakers haven’t shown the need to make major improvements on their roster in their quest to repeat as NBA champions.

Los Angeles arguably has the deepest roster in the entire league and are capable of substituting with talent at each blow of the whistle. If any more proof is needed, last night’s win over the Golden State Warriors serves as a fine example.

For the fourth game in the row, the Lakers were able to defeat an opponent with relative ease minus the services of Kobe Bryant, and true to form, another Laker stepped up their efforts in his absence.

Starting in Bryant’s place, Shannon Brown scored a career-high 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds and led a Laker charge, which witnessed all five starters reach double figures.

In another example of their incredible depth, Andrew Bynum returned from a hip injury to score 21 points and seven rebounds and illustrate why the Lakers are a dangerous team regardless of who is on the court.

Which makes it seem more and more likely that all the trade talk was pure speculation, and the multiple rumors were probably caused by people outside of the franchise’s inner-circle.

Although an extra guard would have been nice to add, it would serve more as a luxury than a need since Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown, and Sasha Vujacic all have championship experience.

At times, the trio have faced issues, but they all have played a significant part in the team’s recent success while Bryant has been sidelined, and they have used the extended time on the court to boost their confidence.

An extra body for the post was something else which may have been considered due to Pau Gasol’s injuries but he is now healthy, and the Lakers’ answers to their woes in the paint may be more an issue of chemistry.

Continue reading ‘Lakers set ti repeat with current roster?

Social

Latest

2
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.