December 1, 2009
VS. NEW ORLEANS When: 7:30. Where: Staples Center. On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 710, 1330. Records: Lakers 13-3, Hornets 7-10. Record vs. Hornets: 1-0. Update: These aren't the Hornets that finished second to the Lakers in the Western Conference two seasons ago. Former UCLA guard Darren Collison has played well in Chris Paul's absence, but the Hornets miss their floor leader, who will be sidelined again by a sprained ankle.
November 30, 2009 |
And you thought the Lakers had problems. Whatever issues filtered in and out of their first 16 games -- Pau Gasol's hamstring, Sasha Vujacic's shooting slump, Ron Artest's free-throw woes -- didn't come close to the jumbled mess that rolled into Staples Center on Sunday. The New Jersey Nets tied the worst start in NBA history with their 17th consecutive loss, which happened to come against the Lakers, 106-87, and added a measure of perspective to the word "problems." The Lakers have three potential All-Stars.
November 27, 2009 |
Good thing the Lakers' big men don't stray far from the lane. There were a lot of three-point attempts -- and a lot of misses -- from the Lakers' power forwards and centers in the team's annual "Turkey Trot" scrimmage that ended predictably bad for the big players. The guards and small forwards pummeled the centers and power forwards, 145-100, at the Lakers' training facility Thursday in El Segundo. Official stats weren't kept, but Ron Artest was unstoppable for the small team, drilling three-pointer after three-pointer.
November 14, 2009 |
All of them talked about the pain they endured all summer, about not being able to escape what the Lakers did to them in the playoffs last spring, about their own failures in that postseason. So when the Denver Nuggets faced the Lakers on Friday night for the first time since the teams played in the Western Conference finals in May, they played with an attitude that the Lakers were unable to match. The Nuggets, still unable to forget losing in the conference finals in six games, trounced the Lakers, 105-79, at the Pepsi Center.
November 9, 2009 |
Not that long ago, 19 months to be exact, the Lakers and New Orleans Hornets were enmeshed in a late-season race for the top seeding in the Western Conference. Now the Hornets can't even come close to beating the Lakers -- despite another night of only suits and ties for Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. The Lakers toyed with the Hornets on Sunday night, leading by as many as 27 points on the way to a 104-88 victory at Staples Center. Kobe Bryant didn't need to score 41 points again, settling for 28 on a night when the Lakers cruised despite missing two-thirds of their starting frontcourt.
November 6, 2009 |
It was a day of medical terms and injury evaluations, a time for the Lakers to take a breath after two overtime road victories and, of greater importance, take stock of their ailing big men. Andrew Bynum was their latest 7-footer to undergo an MRI exam, the results showing a strained right elbow that left him listed as doubtful for tonight's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Pau Gasol did some work on the practice court Thursday but declared himself out for tonight's game, unless his strained right hamstring suddenly felt much, much better today.
October 25, 2009 |
There will be a celebration, a time to honor the 2008-09 NBA champion Lakers, a time to pay homage for their accomplishment. The ceremony Tuesday night will have the players hyped and excited to receive their championship rings. The fans will be in a frenzy to see their beloved Lakers raise the franchise's 15th banner. But then the Lakers have to play a basketball game against the Clippers, a game in which their emotions will be sky-high, a game in which they'll have to find a way to settle themselves after they are crowned the NBA's best from last season.
October 23, 2009 |
When the Lakers boarded a row of double-decker buses for their championship parade in June, they should have left one seat open, reserved for Good Fortune. They managed to keep almost everybody off the injured list, an often-overlooked part of their successful season. Kobe Bryant played in all 105 of their games. Pau Gasol played in 104. So did Derek Fisher . Andrew Bynum missed 32 because of a torn knee ligament, but his replacement in the starting lineup, Lamar Odom , missed only four games.
October 20, 2009 |
It was a prevalent theme last season, Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza facing an uncertain future with the Lakers while in the last year of their contracts. Odom stayed, Ariza left for Houston, and what will become of this year's Lakers in the last year of their deals? It's a party of five -- Derek Fisher , Jordan Farmar , Adam Morrison , DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell -- with only one starter among them. Fisher, who makes $5 million this season, will be 36 a year from now. He has already said he wants to keep playing after this season, though he's not stressing out about it. "I'm kind of excited about it this time around," he said.