Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 98

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Photo by Stephen Dunn | Getty Images

The (4-4) Los Angeles Lakers return to the Staples Center to host the (2-4) Golden State Warriors. The purple and gold are seeking to bounce back from another disappointing loss in Portland at the Rose Garden. The loss was the tale of two halves; the Lakers started fast and finished very slow. However, the game was lost in the third quarter.

The Warriors are a young team with first year head coach Mark Jackson at the helm. A good thing for the Lakers, but unfortunate for the Warriors they will play tonight’s game without the services of their talented point guard Stephen Curry. Warriors coach Mark Jackson has given indications that he will start rookie Charles Jenkins at point guard in Curry’s absence. Monta Ellis appears to be the primary ball-handler whenever Curry was off the court.

The Lakers won last year’s season series 3-1 after sweeping the previous year’s series. The Lakers have actually swept four of the last six season series and have not lost a season series to the Warriors dating back to the 1994-1995 season. The Lakers are 26-4 against Warriors in their last 30 games.

It has been almost four years since the Warriors beat the Lakers in Los Angeles, CA.

Golden State did snap a 12-game losing streak against the Lakers with a win in their most recent game on 4/6/11. The Lakers will have to slow down Monta Ellis. Ellis is a shoot-first, lightning-quick combo guard with a solid mid-range game that can score. Ellis is the Warriors leading scorer at 23.8 points per game; Ellis erupted for 38 points in their last game.

The Warriors are another young, athletic team that wants to get out in transition and run the Lakers off the floor. Monta Ellis, Dorell Wright and rookie Klay Thompson can knock down outside shots.

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Getty Images | Ronald Martnez

It was only the end of the THIRD quarter, but Jamal Crawford’s might-as-well-have-been-at-halfcourt three was the dagger. A dagger with 12 more minutes left in the game – that’s life at the Rose Garden for the Lakers. They were down by just 10 manageable points going into the fourth, but it might as well have been 20 or 30 because, honestly, we all knew how this game was going to end.

It always starts the same way up in Portland, with the Lakers’ offense humming early (68% shooting in the first quarter) and then their game ending on a sour note (33% shooting in the second half). Despite another productive game from Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers lost this game on the defensive end.

HIGH POINTS
Big Game Trio – Again, the Lakers’ big three managed to put in some good work on the floor. Bryant led the way with his 30 points on 13-24, eight rebounds and three assists. His mid-range jumper seems to have its swag back, as his ability to weave through the defense to get to the hoop, which he did a few times tonight. His three-point shot, however, still has a ways to go. His wrist is clearly affecting that area of his game, among other things (like passing the ball efficiently).
Eating second was Andrew Bynum, who had another huge game with 21 points on 9-16, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Bynum is shooting 62% this season, averaging 17 rebounds and two blocks per game. The man is a monster out there on the offensive end. Now he has to work on some defense. His big body alone is menacing,

and he chased Raymond Felton along the sidelines today so he could block the shot (which he did). Bynum did send small heart attacks across Southern California when, at the end of the third quarter, he received a bounce pass from Steve Blake, which he converted, but he landed and appeared to wince as he limped off the court to the bench. He looked fine in the second half, however.
Defense on Lamarcus Aldridge notwithstanding, Pau Gasol had another solid game with his 19 points on 7-10, seven rebounds and two blocks. His jumper started out, this season, looking a little ragged but he managed to snap out of it tonight. Gasol was shooting wide open jumpers and making them.

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Photo by Harry How | Getty Images

In Sunday’s loss at Denver, Kobe Bryant went 6-28 from the field as the Lakers fell to the Nuggets 99-91.

Immediately following the game many people criticized Bryant for shooting too much. Gasol and Bynum had an advantage down low. The Lakers big men combined 56% from the field. Kobe finished shooting a mere 21%

ESPN’s Rick Reilly recently sat down with Kobe and asked him about the criticism, and the people that say he shoots too much:

“Look, I’ve played 15 years. I’ve won world championships. I’ve done all these things. And people still want to talk about this stupid-a** [stuff]? I’m a scorer first … I’ll try to make the good play, the good pass, kick it out when my teammates are open, but I’m a scorer first. I may shoot 27 times. I may shoot 20 times. Nobody complains when I shoot 10 times. You don’t hear ME complaining when I shoot 10 times. It just depends on the game, you know?”

During the interview it seemed as Reilly was playing the role of devils advocate. Kobe seemed to always have a comeback.

The most interesting quote from Kobe came when he was asked about Chris Paul:

“Chris would’ve created shots for me. I wouldn’t be shooting 29 times a game. I’d be shooting 40. Man, what would people be saying THEN?”

Bryant was also asked if he would try the experimental procedure in Germany on his wrist. The same experimental version of platelet-rich plasma therapy that he had done on his knee. “I’m looking into that right now,” Bryant said.

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Photo by Harry How | Getty Images

The (4-3) Los Angeles Lakers are on the road tonight to face the (4-1) Portland Trail Blazers, at their personal house of horrors, the Rose Garden. Portland’s Rose Gardens are world renown for housing a diverse and expansive collection of rare, unique and beautiful roses.

The tenants of the Rose Garden house a tough, young, athletic team ranked 4th in league in points scored (102.0), 2nd in rebounding (47.2), and 10th in assists (21.8) and 11th in points allowed (94.0).

The Blazers added a talented member to their backcourt in Raymond Felton this off-season. Felton is solid point guard who pushes the pace, a very capable penetrator who can finish, reliable outside shooter, solid defender and an upgrade over Andre Miller.

The key player for the Lakers to slow down is LaMarcus Aldridge who is coming off a career year. Aldridge is an elite low post scorer with an unblockable turnaround jumper. Aldridge runs the floor well, possesses a good mid-range game and excels at spinning out of post for lob passes at the rim.

The purple and gold beat the Rockets last night behind a solid effort from their big three; Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol posted a 72-point, 38-rebound night. Highlighted by Kobe Bryant’s 37 point, eight rebounds, 6 assists & one blocked shot and Andrew Bynum’s first 20/20 night scoring 21 points, grabbing 22 rebounds and blocking three shots.

For the Lakers, playing at the Rose Garden has been difficult. The Lakers won last season’s series (3-1), which marked their first season series victory over the Trail Blazers since 2004-2005. It was just the third time since 1989 (2004-2005: 2-1 and 1992-1993: 3-2).

The Lakers are 5-5 against the Trail Blazers in their last 10 games overall. Despite being able to snap a 9-game losing streak at the Rose Garden on 2/6/2010, their first since 2/23/2005, the Lakers are just 4-16 in their last 20 regular season games including a 2-8 mark in their last 10.

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Check out the latest colorway of Kobe’s Nike Zoom Kobe VII signature shoe to hit the net. Part of Kobe’s predator pack, the Zoom Kobe VII Great White Shark features an upper that gives off a deep blue ocean vibe and features a shark logo on the heel. Look for the predator pack to release in March.

What do you think of the Great White Shark colorway of the Kobe VII?

(Via Solecollector)

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Getty Images | Stephen Dunn

There it was – that huge child-like smile that comes from having done well on a test at school. In many ways, “child-like” has been a fitting term for Andrew Bynum the last few seasons; having thrown a few tantrums on the court after not getting fouls called in his favor, bullying smaller kids when things aren’t going his way (sorry, J.J. Barea) and more recently doing the “running in the hallways” equivalent and getting a speeding ticket for it. In his third game of the season, however, Bynum showed quite a bit of maturation on the court. His game tonight, as Mark Jackson would say, was a grown man game.

Along with another huge offensive night from Kobe Bryant, Bynum and the Lakers defeated a very scrappy and very able Houston Rockets team with whom, no matter the line-up, they always seem to encounter issues. There are still quite a few problems to address for future games, but in the meantime, the Lakers can revel in all the good they did to get this win.

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He’s done this before, and he is sure to do it again.

With 9:38 left in the first quarter Kobe Bryant had the ball at the top of the key, drove, pumped fake at the free-throw line, and then assisted himself off the backboard:

Kobe finished the game with 37 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists on 14-29 shooting.

The Big 3 (Bryant, Bynum, and Gasol) for the Lakers combined for some great numbers. They combined for 72 Points (29-55 FG/53%) , and 38 Rebounds.

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AP Photo | File

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

JANUARY 3, 1962
PHILADELPHIA WARRIORS 123 – LA LAKERS 124

WEST, LAKERS OVERCOME BAYLOR’S ABSENCE, DEFEAT WARRIORS AFTER CHAMBERLAIN’S EJECTION

What was supposed to be a star-studded affair at the Los Angeles Sports Arena between the Philadelphia Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers had turned into a game of who could keep their stars in. With the Lakers’ Elgin Baylor out with a knee injury and the Warriors’ Tom Gola out with a wrist injury, that left each team with one superstar: the Lakers with second-year player Jerry West, and the Philadelphia Warriors with the unstoppable Wilt Chamberlain.

Chamberlain, who would finish the 1961-62 season with the video game stat line of 50 points/25 rebounds for the season, could only be shut down by two people during the season: the Celtics Bill Russell and himself, as Chamberlain learned that Wednesday night.

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Photo by Jeff Gross | Getty Images

The (3-3) Los Angeles Lakers are at the Staples Center to host the (2-2) Houston Rockets. The purple and gold are seeking to bounce back from a frustrating road loss and take their record above the .500 mark.

Several people have focused on Kobe Bryant’s 6-28 shooting performance, questioned his shot selection and number of shots, but the team as a whole shot 39.8% from the field. Kobe is a warrior who appears to play through anything; the best thing is that Bryant plays his game without excuses. There is no shame in splitting two games in 48 hours. The Lakers will return to Denver in February to exact some revenge.

Kobe Bryant passed the captain, Kareem Abdul-Jabber, to become the youngest player to reach 28,000 points in his career. The next hurdle for the Black Mamba to clear in his assault on the NBA All-Time Points leaders; Shaquille O’Neal at 28,596.

Kobe can achieve the feat by scoring 10 points per game for the rest of the season, however at his season average of 24 points per game that mark will fall in late February against the Suns, Trailblazers or Mavericks.

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Photo by Ezra Shaw | Getty Images

In back-to-back games against the Denver Nuggets Kobe Bryant shot the ball poor from the field.

The Lakers won one game, and lost one game against Denver over the weekend, while Bryant shot 26% from the field.

However, when you consider that Bryant was averaging 27.8 points on 48.1 percent shooting through the Lakers’ first four games maybe he just had a couple of off shooting nights.

According to TMZ.com, his wrist may have more to do with his recent poor shooting then he is admitting:

Sources connected to the team tell TMZ … the pain has been excruciating.  Our sources say he’s gotten a numbing shot before each game since the injury, and as a result the pain was tolerable during play.  But we’re told the shot did almost nothing Sunday night, and as one source put it, “It was a miracle that he even played.”

Our Lakers sources tell us … in addition to the numbing shots, Kobe’s regimen is now to play with a cast, get physical therapy after each game and wear a flexible cast at all times off the court.

Coach Mike Brown also told ESPNLA that Bryant’s wrist, which still causes Bryant’s right hand to swell up significantly two weeks after he sustained the injury, could be hurting Bryant more than he is letting on.

The Lakers play tonight against the Houston Rockets at 7:30pm PST. Bryant is fully expected to play.

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Brian Bahr | Getty Images

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

JANUARY 2, 2005
DENVER NUGGETS 91 – LA LAKERS 99
BRYANT BREAKS 40+ POINTS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT GAME AS LAKERS DEFEAT EX-LAKER COOPER’S NUGGETS

Following the Shaq-Kobe Lakers, the Lakers roster in 2004-05 was a complete shell of itself compared to the previous seven years. Derek Fisher? Gone, replaced by Chucky Atkins. Shaq? In Miami, replaced by Chris Mihm. Heat castoffs Caron Butler, Lamar Odom and Brian Grant were all starters or significant bench players. Heck, players like Jumaine Jones and Tierre Brown were getting significant minutes with the Lakers Replacements squad.

When the Replacement Lakers walked into Staples Center to play the Denver Nuggets on a Sunday night seven years ago, Michael Cooper, who had played 12 seasons with the Lakers during the Showtime era, had assumed the interim head coaching slot for the Nuggets after Jeff Bzdelik’s departure from the club. Cooper had previously won two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks, and his short-time as an assistant for the Nuggets, along with his coaching acument with the Sparks, had bumped him up quickly to the head coaching spot.

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Getty Images | Christian Petersen

4 points – that’s all Kobe Bryant needed to reach his 28,000th point milestone. Two baskets, four free throws, one basket and two free throws – the permutations to get those four points are quick and finite, yet it took two quarters and two minutes of the third for Bryant to get there. It’s true – the 15-year veteran has never put a great amount of emphasis on attaining such goals, but the context in which he failed to score said points was the big issue in tonight’s loss.

In a game where two of the Lakers’ big three combined for 38 points, Kobe Bryant continued to ignore the success of his other teammates in his attempt to shoot his way out of a bad game. Is this new? No, for Bryant has had bad shooting nights before, but in the end usually wised up to the defense to either improve his shot selection or facilitate the offense. Tonight he did neither and the Lakers lost a game they could have easily won.

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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.