On the heels of some tough losses, it’s safe to say the Lakers handled their business this week. Three comfortable wins give way to today’s match-up with the Spurs. Here’s everything that happened in between…
Monday, January 19, 2009
- Monday had a very playoffy feel as the Cavilers came to town to do battle in what I would call the second most anticipated home game this season. The day started off with the compulsory Kobe vs. LeBron debate, fed to us by J.A Adande. All eyes were on the two into the night as Kobe took up the defensive assignment on LeBron, and the match-up delivered. The Lakers’ 105-88 win was one of the more physical and entertaining games of the season. Kobe dislocated his right ring finger early in the game, only to re-enter after a 20-second timeout and proceed to post 20 points and 12 assists. Typical. X-Rays were negative after the game and Mr. Bryant went on with his work week.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
- The Times reported Tuesday that Jordan Farmar’s rehab from his December knee surgery was running ahead of schedule. Hoopsworld is reporting that Farmar will be available for today’s game in San Antonio.
- A handful of Dodgers along with GM Ned Colletti visited the Lakers at the practice facility Tuesday as a part of two-week training program for the team’s prospects. Still, no word on Manny, but Kobe Bryant may have a solution. “Put me in left field and I’d run it all down. I’m faster than Manny,” Bryant said before adding he’d like to bat third. “I want the clutch situations. Put me in that pressure spot.” Need a closer? “I’m a big, tall lefty that can get it about 80 to 85 mph with a mean hook,” said Lamar Odom. “I’ve got a natural curveball.” Still though… no word on Manny.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
- It wouldn’t be a Wednesday without more Kobe vs. LeBron talk. Mark Kriegel of Fox Sports made the claim that LeBron would win a ‘ship with the Lakers’ second unit, Shaquille O’Neal crowned Kobe MVP via Twitter, and 20SecondTimeout offered some keen analysis on the topic.
- Week 12 of the Bloggers Power Rankings featured the Lakers in the #3 slot behind Orlando and Cleveland. Boston and San Antonio rounded out the top-five.
- Wednesday night brought the famed (or not?) cross-hallway rivalry (or not?) to the city, and despite the Clippers’ #30 ranking in the BPR, Andrew Bynum would overshadow all news for the day. Bynum stuck a career-high 42 points on the severely undermanned Clips in addition to tacking on 15 rebounds and three blocks. The feat made Bynum the first non-Kobe Laker to hit the 40-point mark since Shaq. If that wasn’t enough in the 108-97 Lakers win, Kobe chimed in with a triple double at 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
- Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld made note that teams simply aren’t interested in making deals for Luke Walton, Vlad Radmanovic, and Chris Mihm with the deadline approaching.
- The highly anticipated All-Star Game starting line-ups were announced Thursday. Not surprisingly, Kobe Bryant will make his 11th straight appearance. This all paved the way for the announcement that Phil Jackson will be making his fourth appearance as an ASG coach–his first since 2000. TLN’s very own Jason Riley explored a possibility that very well may be a reality: a Phil + Kobe + Shaq family reunion at the All-Star Game.
- The Lakers played host to the Wizards Thursday night, turning it quickly into another comfortable win. Andrew Bynum continued with the numbers, posting 23 and 14, while Pau Gasol added 18. Seven Lakers finished the game in double-figures, including Kobe who scored 11–a season low.
Friday, January 23, 2009
- The news that has taken the weekend by storm revolves around 2010 talk. No, not LeBron to New York, or New Jersey, or Brooklyn, or Europe… but wether or not Phil Jackson will be retiring. Phil has reportedly told Magic Johnson that he may retire following next season, and since that news dropped, Phil has been very tight-lipped on the subject. So, as you might expect, a Nation Discussion ensued, and the forums blew up.
Here’s a look at the upcoming week of Lakers Basketball…
Today (1/25) – San Antonio @ Lakers
Tuesday (1/27) – Charlotte @ Lakers
Friday (1/30) – Lakers @ Minnesota
Saturday (1/31) – Lakers @ Memphis