January 6, 2010 |
Just for old times' sake, the Houston Rockets, or as they're known in Lakerdom, the Grinches who almost stole last season, won this season's first trip here. Of course, there's a limit to how many times the Lakers can let down against the same team . . . even if the number was getting up there, and they had to fight the Rockets to the wire to win, 88-79, Tuesday night in a defensive struggle, or the NBA version of mud wrestling. Gritty as the Rockets are, starting the night 20-14 without Yao Ming, they couldn't have hit the ocean from a boat in the first half when they shot 36%, and finished four for 23 on three-point attempts overall.
November 4, 2009 |
Four months later, Trevor Ariza still has some bitterness when he talks about his contract negotiations with the Lakers. On the court, basketball is about winning, about producing, about becoming an NBA champion. Ariza did all that last season, having the best of his five seasons in the league, as the Lakers won the NBA title with him starting at small forward. Off the court, though, basketball is a business. "You learn that it's cutthroat," Ariza said Tuesday. "It doesn't always go the way you want it to."
July 18, 2009 |
Houston center Yao Ming will have surgery on his broken left foot next week and probably will miss all of next season, the latest blow to the Rockets' faltering bid to return to the NBA's elite. The team said Friday that there is no timetable set for the return of the 7-foot-6 Yao, a seven-time All Star, but that he is "expected to be available for the team's training camp in 2010." That camp is 16 months away.
June 30, 2009 |
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming's broken left foot could be a "career-threatening" injury. Dr. Tom Clanton, the Rockets' team physician, told the Houston Chronicle on Monday that Yao's injury "has the potential for him missing this next season and could be career-threatening." Yahoo Sports first reported that the Rockets and Yao's representatives were concerned the 7-foot-6 All-Star would never play again.
June 25, 2009 |
A trade that brings the Minnesota Timberwolves the No. 5 overall pick in today's draft has been completed. The Timberwolves and Washington on Wednesday struck a deal that gives Minnesota its fourth first-round draft choice, along with Wizards forwards Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov. The Wizards receive guards Randy Foye and Mike Miller. Minnesota has the fifth, sixth, 18th and 28th selections in the draft.
May 11, 2009 |
The Lakers have talked about winning a championship since training camp began on a sunny September morning in El Segundo. Seven months and 12 startling days later, they might not even get out of the Western Conference semifinals against the severely, even unbelievably, undermanned Houston Rockets.
May 10, 2009 |
No one's quite saying it around here, but in the words of Jerry Sloan, things look pretty bleak. Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is out the rest of the playoffs because of a hairline fracture in his left foot, and Ron Artest can't stop getting tossed out of games, giving the Lakers one of the strongest 2-1 series leads the Western Conference semifinals has ever seen.
May 7, 2009 |
Well, well, well. The Lakers finally checked into their playoff series with the Houston Rockets, carrying several intriguing elements with them, including the one of greatest importance -- an attitude. When the final technical foul had been assessed, and all the ejections sorted out, the Lakers had beaten back the Rockets, 111-98, evening up their best-of-seven series at 1-1.
May 6, 2009 |
No, "the sky is not falling on the Lakers," as Coach Phil Jackson admonished the media after practice Tuesday. But in the eyes of Lakers Nation, these are gloomy days. The Lakers' faithful reached the stage of despondency after just one loss, after the Houston Rockets defeated their beloved team in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Monday night at Staples Center, taking home-court advantage in the process.
May 1, 2009 |
Finally, the wait is over. The Lakers, home resting after beating the Utah Jazz in five games of their first-round series, will meet the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the conference semifinals Monday night at Staples Center. Houston took care of business Thursday night at home, finishing off the Portland Trail Blazers in six games.