April 21, 1997 |
Riding high even after being knocked off, for the third time in four games against the Portland Trail Blazers at that, the Lakers quickly put Sunday behind them and looked confidently to Friday. "We're going to be fine," Shaquille O'Neal said. "You just wait and see." Asked if that meant the Lakers were going to beat the Trail Blazers in the first round, he nodded.
April 5, 1997 |
His days as the starting small forward are numbered, but only because Robert Horry is back. Not because of the way Jerome Kersey has played. Whatever doubt had remained about the signing of Kersey at the league-veteran minimum has been erased with his contribution the second time around in the starting lineup. Once the Lakers were concerned about his age: 34. Now he averages a solid 6.6 points and seven rebounds and was shooting 44.6% in the 14 games before Friday. And there are the intangibles.
February 17, 1997 |
Shaquille O'Neal had run out of knees to hurt, so fate was forced to pick on a new Laker Sunday afternoon, turning on Robert Horry similarly, as if misery needed company in this locker room. Their third knee injury of concern in the last six games came in the fourth quarter of a 102-91 matinee loss to the Seattle SuperSonics at the Forum, a defeat that would have been much tougher to take had there not been a greater urgency.
December 29, 1996 |
Here stands Jerome Kersey, because he can. That wasn't such an easy thing for the last 2 1/2 months or so, what with the broken left foot that cut short training camp and put him on the injured list for the start of the season, and then the strained right Achilles' tendon that came soon after the return. But now, finally, Kersey said he is a healthy Laker for the first time. "It's been very frustrating," he said.
December 13, 1996 |
The concern for Coach Del Harris when he moved forward Jerome Kersey into the starting lineup was the effect the move would have on bench production. No wonder. In the five games since Kersey was promoted, the Laker bench has been outscored by an average of 27.8 points to 23 and outrebounded, 16 to 12.2. Reserves are shooting only 36.6%. "The guys are hanging in there," Harris said. "We're going big minutes with our starters."
November 23, 1996 |
Shaquille O'Neal had 29 points and 21 rebounds, the 16th 20-20 of his career and the first as a Laker. Eddie Jones had 24 points and four steals. Nick Van Exel had 14 points and nine assists against one turnover. And the guy playing at about 90%, the guy playing power forward at 6 feet 7, won the game for the Lakers on Friday night. "Shaquille and Eddie were outstanding," Coach Del Harris said after the 96-86 victory over the San Antonio Spurs before 17,505 at the Forum.