September 17, 2012 |
With a two-week vacation just ending, I'm fully recharged and ready for the NBA's 2012-13 season. But are the Lakers? Oh, they're considered one of the heavy favorites to win the NBA title. But so are the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. And with the gold standard in L.A. remaining championship or bust, that means there are still some unanswered questions. When will Dwight Howard fully rehab his back? To what degree will Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant be able to rest so that the veteran backcourt duo will become most efficient for the postseason?
August 29, 2012 |
It's far too presumptuous for now to camp out on Figueroa Street to ensure a good viewing location for the Lakers' championship parade. First off, any Lakers fan who does that will sacrifice actually viewing the games next season. More importantly, it might just be a wasted exercise. Some members of the media, including myself , believe the Lakers are the favorites to win the NBA championship. But no one should exactly be shell-shocked if the Purple & Gold fall short for reasons beyond Vegas oddsmakers and NBA analysts such as TNT's Kenny Smith favoring the Miami Heat to repeat.
December 7, 2013 |
MIAMI AT INDIANA When: 4 p.m. PST Tuesday. TV: None. The ever-evolving Paul George has helped the Pacers compile the NBA's best record and stands as a possible threat to LeBron James' winning a fifth most-valuable-player award. The Heat has suffered through some early-season three-peat malaise during recent losses to Detroit and Chicago, both without Dwyane Wade. No matter what happens during the teams' four regular-season meetings, this rivalry is almost assured to be continued in the playoffs.
October 18, 2012 |
After 12 NBA seasons and with a firm reputation as a pure shooter, Clippers guard Jamal Crawford tried something during the off-season he had never done before. He practiced shooting. It's astonishing to think that Crawford, who is the NBA's career leader with 34 four-point plays and ranks 21st all-time with 1,387 three-pointers, didn't routinely spend his summers in stuffy gyms trying to perfect his shot. "I've never actually been drilled before. Seriously. I told Blake that, and he couldn't believe it," Crawford said of teammate Blake Griffin.
April 28, 2012 |
The meeting between Coach Mike Brown and All-Star guard Kobe Bryant would mark an important breakthrough in defining their relationship. Bryant had remained quiet about Brown's hire as Phil Jackson's replacement since the front office didn't alert him beforehand. Brown arrived in Los Angeles to a throng of skeptics, and he needed to make sure Bryant wasn't one of them. And the meeting, set at a golf course in Orange County, reconfirmed what drives Bryant in his 16th season as he stressed the desire to win a sixth NBA title.
December 27, 2009
LAKERS AT PHOENIX Monday, 6 p.m. PST, Ch. 9 With Lakerdom out of its home trot after the home team's marquee pratfall on Christmas, everyone will be waiting to see how the Lakers handle more challenges, and a schedule with 33 of their last 54 games on the road. The Suns, getting cricks in their neck from looking up at the taller Lakers, are 2-8 in their last 10 meetings, losing the first two this season by margins of 19 and 20 points. Nevertheless, the Suns, led by Steve Nash, have their own little resurgence and this marks the end of their brutal start, with 17 of their first 30 games on the road.