Thursday, November 27, 2014
Blog Page 72

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Photo Credit: BleacherReport.com

I‘m not really sure why it is, but I’ve always liked lists. Lists just seem to keep you organized and on the right path. When you’ve got a plan that needs to be executed, lists help you remain self-critical, on target and they pretty much help you achieve what your goal was in the first place. So, I’ve picked up some things I figured I learned from last night’s game, along with a couple other things some of the Lakers players have figured out (at least from what they shared in their postgame talks) and created a list of 5 things I noticed were important last night and might be even more important in the future.

1. The Detroit Pistons – Well, primarily I’ve learned that the fact that the Lakers played the Pistons was a good thing. Detroit came into the Staples Center with a 0-2 losing record (curiously enough, one loss away from the Lakers’ 0-3 record) and they are not likely to do much this season unless they make some serious structural moves. As a friend of mine would say: “It’s five against five and they all get paid”, which is true. But come on, it’s the Detroit Pistons, a team that I’d say is easier to chew for a Lakers team that is still in its first days of existence. L.A. certainly needed something less threatening in order to get it going.

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Courtesy Getty Images

In some corners of Laker Nation, the first week of the NBA season has been one filled with confusion, disappointment, and, most of all, panic. From the Lakers 1-3 start, to Mike Brown’s shaky rotations, to Steve Nash’s role in the offense and suddenly significant injury, there has been plenty to over-analyze about the Lakers star-studded team.

In a season that has six more months until the real, meaningful Laker games, the one question that keeps popping into my mind is: why stress? Why are we so worried about a slow start out of the gate in what really amounts to season-long marathon? There are plenty of reasons that Laker Nation has a long, long time before hitting the panic button is necessary.

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Photo by Mark J. Terrill/ AP Photo

 

The Lakers finally got a W, defeating the winless Detroit Pistons at the Staples Center last night. The only downside of the night was the fact that Mike Brown brought the starters back into the game when they should have had the rest of the night off. Regardless, here are the grades for last night’s game:

Steve Blake: B

Sneaky Steve had 5 steals on the night and played another solid game in place of Steve Nash dropping 6 dimes and only coughing up the ball twice.

Kobe Bryant: A-

It’s nice to see Kobe only take 10 shots on the night as he focused on setting up the big guys while getting his points when the team needed him. 8 assists (only 1 turnover) and 7 rebounds ain’t too shabby either

Metta World Peace: B+

If Metta can continue shooting the 3 like he did last night, this Lakers team will be nearly impossible to beat

Pau Gasol: B+

Pau didn’t have a great offensive night, but he showed some toughness and defensive prowess against a tough guy like Maxiel

Dwight Howard: A-

He’s not even 100% yet and Dwight is already carrying the team on both ends of the floor. It’s nice to see your center/best player running the floor with maximum effort night in and night out

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Should Kobe have been put back in the game with just under 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter? With all the wear and tear Kobe Bryant has seen over his extensive career, this is a question we as Laker fans can’t help but ask. Not to be overly critical of Mike Brown (although who isn’t nowadays), but this seemed like a rather unnecessary decision.

While the Pistons may have been on a 12-0 run, the Lakers still remained up 24 points when Kobe, Steve, and Dwight checked back into the game with 8:55 to go. Being that the Pistons struggled to put up 24 points in a full quarter on Sunday, the decision to go with Kobe over a different combination of starters seemed excessive.

In games thus far this season, Kobe has played approximately 35, 38, and 43 minutes respectively. Kobe has also been playing with an injured foot. Nobody can question his physical and mental toughness, but he was quoted after the Clipper game as saying he felt like his right foot was “about to fall off” and indicated he would need a walking boot after the game. Being that Mike Brown admitted he overplayed Kobe against the Clippers, it was surprising to see Kobe come back in the 4th quarter with such a big lead.

Overall, it was a great win (albeit against a not so great team), and you can’t blame Mike Brown too much for trying to take the cautious route. The bench squad put him in a tough situation, and being that he was (and still is) on the hot seat, I don’t think he wanted to take the slightest risk of not getting his first win of the season. For Mike Brown, monitoring Kobe’s minutes in games like this will be key going forward. Kobe’s not 20 years old anymore, and we’re going to need our starters looking fresh and healthy for when games matter most.

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Photo credit: US Presswire

Over the last few days, a myriad of tweets and Facebook posts have been dedicated to harsh criticism of head coach Mike Brown and his newly installed Princeton offense. Inside the NBA analyst Charles Barkley, to no one’s surprise, also took a shot, saying:

“I’ve always said I want my accountants from Princeton, not my offense.”

Should Laker Nation really be concerned about the Lakers offense?

Through the first three games this season (ignoring last night’s blowout victory against an unimpressive Pistons team), the Lakers put up 97.3 points while attempting about 72 field goals per game. To provide some context, the Lakers have averaged at least 80 field goal attempts per game each of the past 10 seasons. While some people will immediately blame this gap on the “slow” Princeton offense, the Lakers averaging 19.7 turnovers per game over that three-game span may have something to do with the reduction in field goal attempts. Or perhaps opponents’ second-chance opportunities, created by offensive rebounds, have resulted in more possessions for opponents and less for the Lakers.

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Photo by Stephen Dunn | Getty Images

It was reported on Saturday that Steve Nash was diagnosed with a small fracture of the left fibula and would be re-evaluated in a week.

Now according to LA Times Lakers beat reporter, Mike Bresnahan, Nash may miss a month:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan/status/265269487161454594″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan/status/265322988063309825″]

If a month is indeed the new time table, Nash would return December 5th @ New Orleans. If that is the case he will have missed 16 games.

The question is will the Lakers reach out to this player to fill the roll while Nash is injured?

 

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Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Well it had to happen SOME TIME. And no matter how you slice it, the Lakers needed this win. Their coaching staff needed this win. The fans, especially, needed this win. The quality of the opponent doesn’t matter either. Everyone just needed to be reminded how a victory felt. Kobe Bryant and the team said all the right things when it came to their losing record, but even they had to long for the clarity and/or validation that a win could provide.

Unlike the first three games, the Lakers came out with an energy so great that it was noticeable in the first play sponsored by Mr. Dependable himself, Pau Gasol. He missed a hook shot, rebounded his own miss and then scored on a layup. Effort in not only the first possession, but in consecutive possessions thereafter – where has that been?

That first play immediately set the tone for the rest of this Sunday evening, with the Lakers overpowering the Detroit Pistons on the offensive side and, dost our eyes deceive us – on the defensive side as well! The Lakers played as well as we’ve seen them thusfar this season. It was a sustained effort from tip-off to the final buzzer, and that made all the difference.

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Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Tensions are high as both the Lakers and the Pistons aim to nab their first win of the season. Lakers will host the Detroit Pistons Sunday night and try to improve their 0-3 record. Pistons have also struggled and will enter the game at 0-2 for their start of the season.

The pressure is undoubtedly more on the Lakers to get a victory because of the high expectations the team has yet to meet. Acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash clearly has not automatically translated into victories as the team struggles with their offense. The Pistons have the opportunity to capitalize on the loss of Nash due to his injury, a small fracture in his left fibula.

It seems like it was not that long ago that these rivaling teams were conference champs, battling in the NBA finals. Things have certainly changed for both the Lakers and the Pistons since then. The Pistons have not been in the playoffs since the 2008-2009 season and the Lakers are at their worst start since 1978.

Obviously the season has barely started and both teams have a lot time to improve on their flaws. But with both the Lakers and the Pistons hoping to get their first win, Laker fans can hope to see a more aggressive team on Sunday night come out with victory.

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Source: Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images

A lot can be said about the Lakers’ recent struggles. We can blame the 0-3 start on team chemistry, the Princeton offense, or everyone’s favorite scapegoat, Mike Brown. I’ve always been on the “Give Mike Brown a chance” bandwagon, but throughout his entire time with the Lakers one thing remains clear, Mike Brown has never had a set rotation.

It’s no secret that the Laker bench was one of the worst in the league last year averaging only 20.5 points per game for the whole season. This year, the additions of Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks were supposed to change that. But, Mike Brown can’t find the right rotations for them to be their most productive. He has Jamison playing backup to Metta World Peace instead of Pau, Ebanks backing up Kobe instead of MWP, and Meeks getting close to no playing time (only had 5 minutes in Portland and didn’t get out of his warm-ups against the Clippers). Brown has repeatedly said he’s still testing different rotations and figuring out lineups, but it seems to me that the lack of consistent rotations contributes to the lack of bench production, averaging only 16 ppg in this young season.

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Steve Nash looks to be out at least a week following a small fracture to the fibula in his left leg, suffered in a collision with Portland’s Damian Lillard last week. Nash was hopeful he could return sooner, but an MRI on Saturday revealed a non-displaced fracture in his left leg, thus prompting him to sit at least three more games.

Mike Brown has said that he won’t look to rush Nash back. Steve Blake will continue to start in the absence of Nash, with Darius Morris and Chris Duhon serving as backups. Somewhat surprisingly, Duhon did not play in the Lakers loss to the Clippers on Friday as per Mike Brown’s decision. Brown said on the absence of Nash,

“We got capable guys that can step up and fill his spot and that’s what we’re going to have to get. Obviously Darrius(Morris) is going to get some minutes so it’s going to help his growth and (Steve) Blake is going to get a chance to play with the starting group, so we’ll be able to see what he’s going to be able to bring to the table and we’ll just go from there.”

There’s no question Steve Nash will be missed as the Lakers look to get more production at the point guard role. Steve Blake finished with just 8 points with 2 assists and 3 turnovers on Friday while struggling to contain Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford. Blake will play a key role in the next few games, and fans will hope to see improved play from him as the Lakers look to avoid an 0-4 start for the second time ever tonight against the Pistons.

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Courtesy of Bleacher Report

There is a saying, “The fish stinks from the head down”. Unfortunately, this term applies to our beloved Lakers and head coach Mike Brown. Brown, who was the wrong choice to lead this team from the beginning, must be fired immediately and replaced with a competent coach who is respected by the players and fans. In a preseason game last year, Brown inserted Kobe Bryant late in the 3rd quarter where he injured his wrist. Brown attempted to justify his move by saying he “wanted to see the guys fight”. Such idiotic decisions and statements not only leads to losses but directly led to an injury of our star player. This man is not only a hinderance in our road to a championship but a threat to the health and cohesiveness of our team. He is 100 percent dispensable and must be fired.

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Photo Credit: NBA.com

Kobe Bryant has surpassed Magic Johnson as the franchise’s all-time leader in steals. During Wednesday’s game against the Clippers, Kobe stole the ball from guard Willie Green for his 1725th career steal.

This was Kobe’s second steal of the night. He tied the franchise record earlier in the game during the 1st quarter.

Kobe Bryant is now placed as 15th on the list of all-stime steals leaders. He is behind Derek Harper (1957) and Isiah Thomas (1861).

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Photo: Google Images

Metta World Peace tweeted a photo of the character he played

in “The Eleventh Victim” tonight.

Metta World Peace’s Twitter (@MettaWorldPeace): I’m a detective!!! Shhh… No more spoilers!!! Lol @Lifetimetv in 5 minutes! 8 PM EST/7PM CT

“The Eleventh Victim” is an adaptation of a Nancy Grace novel. In it, World Peace plays a retiring cop named Garlan Fincher who serves as an advisor of Altanta District Attorney Hailey Dean, played by Jennie Garth.

Garth said she wanted to cast World Peace after the two became close friends after meeting each other on Dancing With the Stars. 

 

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Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The finger pointing begins.

At 0-3, the Lakers are off to their worst start in over 30 years. With this unusually slow start to a Lakers season, fans have started to play the blame game already.

Some have blamed the new offense for the team’s struggles, other have questioned the lack of production from the bench, and some have gone as far as blaming the team’s chemistry for the terrible start.

But in the midst of all the finger pointing, anger, and confusion, there is another person who also shares blame for the winless start: Mike Brown.

This is something Brown has become all too familiar with since joining the Laker family. Even before his first game as a Laker coach, the man dealt with criticism and controversy. Some of it was excessive, but some was earned.

After all, the coach has led the all-star filled Lakers to two consecutive seasons with at least an 0-2 start.  Since his reign, his teams have been stagnant offensively. To the surprise of many, even this year’s team has struggled to score despite the fact that the new Princeton Offensive was implemented to make the Lakers’ execution more fluid.

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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.