September 19, 2012 |
Everywhere he turned this week at Pelican Hill Golf Club, Oklahoma City Thunder Coach Scott Brooks couldn't escape the subject that's left every Lakers fan giddy this off-season. As Brooks played host to his annual tournament benefiting his alma mater, UC Irvine, he was asked again and again what he thought of the purple and gold acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. It came with the implication those additions would be enough to unseat Brooks' Thunder team. After all, his squad had eliminated the Lakers last season in five games in the Western Conference semifinals, before the Miami Heat beat the Thunder in the NBA Finals.
May 8, 2012 |
Things to watch when the Lakers play the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night at Staples Center. The Lakers have a 3-1 series lead. 1. The Lakers need to get off to a fast start. The opening minutes will provide a good gauge on how each team views this series. Will Denver pour everything it has on the floor to avoid elimination or will it show resignation that the Lakers will likely advance to the next round? Will the Lakers build on their 12-1 mark in closeout games since 2008 or will they use this series cushion as an excuse to slack off?
March 14, 2012 |
Dwight Howard may soon find out he can't have it both ways. He wants to remain with the Orlando Magic through this season, but refuses to sign a long-term deal or an extension. In turn, ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reports Howard's plea has only pushed them closer to trading him before Thursday's trade deadline. Meanwhile, the Lakers may also soon find out they can't have it both ways. As much as I've advocated in the past for the Lakers to acquire Howard, even if it means trading Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, Howard's latest reaction should give the Lakers some pause.
July 24, 2012 |
Below are five ways Jordan Hill's return to the Lakers significantly helps the team's bench. 1. The job of the Lakers' front office becomes easier. By securing Hill with a two-year deal for around $7 million, the Lakers' quest to upgrade their bench becomes a lot easier. The Lakers could offer such a contract partly because they own Hill's "Bird Rights. " But they had hoped to acquire every other reserve at the veteran's minimum. Such constraints would've made it nearly impossible to find another forward with a skill set similar to Hill's.
April 27, 2012 |
Below is a breakdown of the Lakers' starting lineup entering the postseason. 1. Kobe Bryant. Finally, the Black Mamba enters a postseason where he's fully healthy and rested. Those lingering knee and ankle issues that hobbled him in the playoffs for the past two years? He took care of that last summer in Germany. That torn ligament in his right wrist he suffered at the beginning of the season? Bryant played through it and it eventually healed. Same with his broken nose and neck pain stemming from whiplash and a concussion he suffered during the All-Star Game.
May 5, 2012 |
Various points in the Lakers' 99-84 Game 3 loss Friday to the Denver Nuggets define both the good and the bad that Andrew Bynum offers. There's the dominant Bynum. That one scored 18 second-half points, aggressively fought through double teams and consistently established post position. The Lakers didn't always feature him as they should, but he still pushed, stood strong and delivered when he received looks. There's the lazy Bynum. That one went scoreless in the first half and attempted only three field goals.
August 12, 2012 |
After taking his physical Monday at the Lakers' training facility, forward Devin Ebanks will sign the Lakers' qualifying offer that entails a one-year deal worth a little more than $1 million, according to his agent, David Bauman. The deal doesn't exactly elicit the same headlines as the Lakers' acquiring Steve Nash or Dwight Howard this off-season. But it is yet another move the Lakers have made to shore up a bench that finished near the last in the league in scoring. Ebanks, 23, averaged 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in his second season with the Lakers last year, and earned a few unexpected promotions.
April 19, 2012 |
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Kobe Bryant didn't need to feel pressured into expediting his recovery from a sore left shin. Instead, the Lakers went 5-2 in his absence while Bryant rocked some pretty suits as he coached on the sidelines. But that will all end soon since Bryant expects to suit up Friday at San Antonio for the first time in 11 days. Before that happens, it's time to reflect on a few things that stood out during his absence. 1. The Lakers relied more on ball movement.
September 20, 2012 |
The Lakers trail by one. The clock ticks down closer to zero. Everyone at Staples Center rises to their feet. And then what happens? Do the Lakers follow the script and let Kobe Bryant take the last shot? Do the Lakers feed it inside either to Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol? Do the Lakers have trusty point guard Steve Nash take charge in both organizing the offense and attempting the game winner? Would they even take their chances giving the ball to a wide-open Metta World Peace?
April 3, 2012 |
The benchings involving Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum last week garnered plenty of headlines. The numerous trade scenarios last month sparked the most anxiety leading to the March 15 deadline. The compacted schedule all season has contributed to the Lakers' never-ending concern regarding fatigue and injuries. But there's one huge area that has kept the Lakers unsettled for most of the season. The only thing the Lakers have shown consistently involves their inconsistent play. The Lakers epitomized that last week as they not only struggled to keep up with the Western Conference's best team (Oklahoma City)