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Surprisingly, Lakers Turned Game Around in 2nd Half in Sacramento, to Stay in Playoff Hunt!

30 March 2013 Leave a comment

Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that The Los Angeles Lakers pulled out a victory tonight, in a must win scenario – losing without any signs of hope early, giving up 37 points to The Sacramento Kings in the 1st Quarter. After all, Kobe Bryant guaranteed they would make the playoffs: didn’t he? He meant it, apparently – he played the entire game, to ensure the victory! Except for 23 short seconds…

Dwight Howard played like, well… Superman! In the 2nd Half. Except for some miscues at the FT line. I’ll take it! If the inside play that we hadn’t seen all season until tonight is any indication of what is to come, then – by all means – bring it on! Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard played great together, tonight! But my favorite play was Dwight’s scramble to retrieve a loose ball, in the corner, dribbling back toward the paint and feeding Earl Clark a great pass for an assist on a fantastic dunk!

That The Lakers had to play stellar defense in the 3rd Quarter to even get back into contention, and then carry that effort throughout a tightly contested 4th Quarter to the final buzzer, it was quite pleasant to the eyes of Lakers Nation – something “we the fans” haven’t seen much effort by them on the road this year. And Meeks, what can be said of Jodie? His shooting was atrocious, but that late steal under the basket to prevent the score from being tied was huge! Who knew? Is he the defensive stopper we lost with the injury to Metta World Peace? Probably not, but he was exactly what we needed tonight! Earl Clark had the highest efficiency rating of any player, contributing 4 RBs, 2 Steals, and 2 Blocks to go with a great team defensive effort that was a key to the victory!

Final Score: Lakers 103, Kings 98 (Recap).

Without great shooting by Antawn Jamison, and Steve Blake (who played a “big time” role in the absence of Steve Nash), this game was ALL going the way of The Sacramento Kings early. How we stopped them, or pressured them into making so many turnovers to close out the 3rd Quarter on a 14-1 run boggles my mind! But the night belonged to Kobe Bryant! He started the game 4 points shy of breaking into the Top 4 Scorers in NBA History, passing Wilt Chamberlain! He can probably pass Michael Jordan – eventually. But Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? #maybenot

Don’t bet against The Black Mamba, though! Even with a heal spur, even though he was on crutches because of it after the last game, Kobe Bryant not only played tonight, he didn’t really leave the court – ever! Neither did Dwight Howard, in the 2nd Half! They have nothing left but a very long off-season, if they don’t do everything humanly possible to make the playoffs. Maybe, by then, Jordan Hill and Metta World Peace will be able to join them, and share the load of playing so many minutes until then. Tonight, Kobe’s shot may have been a bit off but… he tied his season high in assists, garnering 14 assists for the 3rd time! He almost had a triple-double! Kobe, Pau & Dwight all had double-doubles!

Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton played tough, but DeMarcus Cousins fell apart in the 2nd Half – and especially down the stretch. Isaiah Thomas, Jr. looks like he’s going to be one heckuva great player, someday. Patterson had started for them the last time The Lakers played Sacramento, but he wasn’t much of a factor off the bench. Turnovers normally kill The Lakers, but not tonight! Instead, Sacramento made untimely turnovers time & time again, as The Lakers defensive pressure seemed to unravel them – it was great to see The Lakers play so well, defensively. As far as turnovers, Kobe & Pau had something like 20 assists between them but only 1 turnover for the entire game! Even a turnover by Dwight Howard late, scrambling for a loose ball, stepping on the baseline, wasn’t a big deal because of the tenacity which he exhibited trying to get it.

The Lakers simply refused to be denied a win tonight. #incredible

Great win, tonight: Go, Lakers! #keepitup

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Lakers Started Well, but… Not Surprisingly Falter in 2nd of Back-2-Back Games

28 March 2013 Leave a comment

After the game tonight, Dwight Howard was quoted by Kevin Ding (Orange County Register Sportswriter who travels with the team) as saying: “We have to win all of the games we have left” [to make the playoffs]. He might be correct. The Los Angeles Lakers lost a golden opportunity to correct a glaring problem for them this season: They have lost EVERY opportunity at winning back-to-back games! They were up 88-87 when The Milwaukee Bucks went on a run to closeout the game with energy the Lakers tired, old legs could not match!

With one back-to-back game left on the schedule, their shot at making the playoffs as the 8th Seed is in real jeopardy – with both The Utah Jazz and The Dallas Mavericks close behind. What they have left to meander through as they try desperately to build momentum toward a playoff opportunity won’t be an easy mountain to climb, either! They have to play The San Antonio Spurs, The Memphis Grizzlies and The Los Angeles Clippers! They all enjoy better records than The Lakers do, and we have to end the season against The Houston Rockets (who we are unlikely to catch for the 7th Seed). Hopefully Howard’s just hinting at a need for the Lakers to collectively play better defense, and not prognosticating!

The injury bug just won’t stop pestering them: Tonight, Steve Blake’s bloody knee was the least problematic, as Steve Nash is having hip spasms and/or back issues, and Kobe Bryant left the building on crutches due to a bone spur in his foot. The Lakers can’t seem to catch a break. They can’t seem to stop opponents from posting career highs, either! Larry Sanders ? He went off for 21 points and 13 rebounds tonight! Final: Bucks 113, Lakers 103 (Recap).

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Was Lakers Win Tonight in Minnesota a Quality Win?

27 March 2013 1 comment

A friend was watching tonight’s Los Angeles Lakers road game, tape delayed – due to commute/work schedule (life circumstances): I waited until he saw it to write about it (now). I wasn’t thrilled with the “new” lineup d’Antoni implemented against The Minnesota Timberwolves, in the wake of MWP’s news about his knee: “Get well, Metta! Fast. We need you!” My friend responded to the game in this manner: “Worst win of the season.” I’m actually stunned that we won with such a balanced scoring attack from Minnesota with great contributions from their bench of Barea, Budinger & Cunningham! Peckovic played better against us than ever before, and we weren’t great – by any means, except for the play of Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant. Am I being too harsh? #idontthinkso

Maybe this is exactly what our newest Head Coach “Mike…” wanted: Maybe tonight Lakers fans got a taste of what “d’Antoni Ball” is all about! I still don’t like the aftertaste, 2 hours later… Matter of fact, watching the “Backstage Lakers” excerpt on TWC when Steve Nash says the team chooses to eat breakfast together between back-to-back game, maybe it’s a tradition that should end – immediately (Skip tomorrow’s breakfast pow-wow, guys! Please? Might I suggest room service?).

Anyway, not to be a pessimist, I can’t help but be a realist – even though you optimists out there will think I’m whining… I am not complaining that Dwight Howard didn’t play well enough: he played great tonight! Mostly. I’m encouraged that Kobe Bryant played well, moving from Shooting Guard the opposite direction from Point Guard to be our newest Small Forward. #CountOnKobe However, the nagging issues of this team were not overcome tonight: defense and turnovers were still a huge problem!

Final Score: Lakers 120, Timberwolves 117 (Recap).

I saw the game in parts, and I will watch the repeat, since I had to work tonight – but I saw the entire 2nd Quarter, and from mid-3rd to the end! Well, 3 minutes from the end: Why was Ricky Rubio upset with Kobe Bryant at the end? #rhetorical

The stats look good, for the most part – especially AJ’s contribution tonight, before he appeared to aggravate his bad wrist (shooting hand). #cringe

Maybe the “7 Seconds or Less” Offense can be perfected now with this “smaller” lineup that d’Antoni has probably been eager to input has a perfect opportunity to be experimented with: Maybe the fact that they beat a non-playoff team, shorthanded, shouldn’t be my perspective. Perhaps I should be grateful that “A win is a win!” – and leave it at that.

However, this team while scoring 120 points gave up 117! That ain’t good, folks!

We haven’t yet won a back-to-back series yet this entire season, but we’re going into Milwaukee tomorrow night with hopes of fixing that problem against an Eastern Conference playoff team! #smh

I would much prefer to play to our strengths – to put a team on the floor that can intentionally defend anybody, instead of accidentally outscore most teams. There were some good moments in the game, like better play from Pau Gasol, and outside shooting that included Steve Blake. Our guard play was better, on offense, than in most games – which was meaningful, since Minnesota has a good crop of guards to be tested by.

I wasn’t happy with the idea of starting Jodie Meeks, especially after he did nothing great with his opportunity to start during Kobe Bryant’s recent absence with his ankle injury. Defensively, putting a forgotten, seldom-used bench player in the game (a la EZ) by the name of Devin Ebanks makes more sense to me: Wasn’t he a shutdown defender last year?

Did I mention I would also prefer to see Pau Gasol come off the bench, until he’s closer to 100%? I think Earl Clark has earned the opportunity to start, having played well in Pau Gasol’s long absence – remarkably well, and beyond expectations earlier although faltering recently. However, that said, EZ was off tonight and Gasol played better. So… #sigh

But, alas, I must admit: We won! Lakers win! Lakers win! Lakers win! Yippeee!!!! Our playoff hopes are alive! And, The Miami Heat lost! A big shout out to The Chicago Bulls! Thank you, Chicago! Lakers fans of every generation are happy tonight! Perhaps. Am I? I want to be. Should I be? Maybe I’ll be happy tomorrow, if The Lakers conquer their inability to win back-to-back games? Yes, that will make me very happy! Gotta stay ahead of Jazz and surging Mavericks now. Beat the Bucks! Beat the Bucks!

Go, Lakers!

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Lakers Don’t Appear to be Anywhere Near Fully-Committed to Winning

26 March 2013 Leave a comment

What we keep hearing, in recent weeks, is: The Lakers are nearly at full-strength, Pau coming back (with only Jordan Hill missing from the lineup); but, that’s not true, is it? Yesterday morning, watching TWC’s AllSportsNet “Lakers” channel well before tipoff in Oakland, I heard Andy Adler, Coach Dave Miller and Ramona Shelburne talking about our team’s highs & lows – what caught my ear was when Ramona stated that Mike d’Antoni has had to compromise his offense for the good of the team, too (in substance). But I’m curious why a team in trouble, a coach in quicksand, why any of them would pretend “All is well in Lakers Land”? Why would a coach ever compromise his beliefs about how to win, if he was brought in at a critical time to rally the troops to victory? After the game, it became obvious things are not okay: Dwight Howard wouldn’t answer questions, except to say “Ask the coach.” Metta World Peace, who is never shy to answer reporters questions, would not even talk about how his own knee feels! “Ask Gary (Vitti).”

Say what?! Say nothing? The Lakers woes aren’t due to injury, they’re due to disinterest in playing defense for all 48 minutes of a game! If The Lakers were committed to playing defense, intentionally, like they proved they can do in the 4th Quarter last night, then they would be fine! They won the 4th Quarter: 27-15. But they’re not fine: they’re careless, reckless, unfocused, undisciplined, probably due to selfishness, arrogance and greed. Only when self-pride, dignity, exasperation with annoyance of having to win a game to justify a paycheck do they same capable of putting together the effort needed to try to win a game! It is a plan, if you call it a plan, that has worked against lesser teams: the 101-100, come from behind victory over The Bobcats comes to mind… But to still not be willing to play any defense against a playoff contender, a team they should have been able to take 6th place from last night, if they hadn’t loss to The Phoenix Suns and The Washington Wizards in their most recent games, then the league would be standing up, taking notice of The Lakers right now! Instead, nobody in their right mind believes this team has any chance of knocking off The San Antonio Spurs, The Oklahoma Thunder, or even The Denver Nuggets or The Memphis Grizzlies! Forget about playing against The Miami Heat for the championship – forget about it!

The Golden State Warriors made changes to how they are choosing to play a game against The Los Angeles Lakers: they were prepared to win, committed to win, believed they could win, and they faltered down the stretch, as they are known to do, but not by enough – what they did was what they needed to do to win. Their head coach, Mark Jackson, doesn’t play Hack-A-Dwight anymore: instead, he chooses to contain him from scoring, and it appears to be working: Dwight Howard took some silly shots in the 1st Quarter, that didn’t delight anybody, and finished with only 8 shot attempts! He did make some critical FTs, something Kobe & Pau couldn’t seem to do to close out the 3rd Quarter – what’s up with that? Jodie Meeks driving into the paint is generally laughable, and it was – again – last night, except for one shot that was blocked that he was able to control and put back-in with a nice shot off the glass, fouled, sent to the line (he missed it, didn’t he?) Antawn Jamison’s wrist appears to be worse than anybody cares to admit, publicly: Is that why the coach has squashed everybody from speaking up, talking openly & honestly? Pau Gasol should not be starting: Earl Clark earned a starting role, and even with his recent decline in numbers his efficiency rating had improved – besides, he is better (even if considered an “average” player) than a slow, awkward, less than 100% Pau Gasol (who is admittedly better when a 100%).

Final Score: Warriors 109, Lakers 103 (Recap).

But it wasn’t that close. That game last night that The Lakers were playing for the first 3 quarters was a different game! The basketball game was never really winnable by The Lakers since Halftime. The weird part is: I’m still going to watch them play, for some reason – I know, it’s irrational, it’s a waste of time, but if everybody else in America can live in fear & anxiety since 9/11, then, darn it, so can I if I want to! It’s crazy, right? But for whatever reason, this grouping of elite (?) players seems to play best when the chips are down, their backs are against the wall, and everybody has given up hope. I suspect their is some life left in these guys, that their is that inner pride that will force them to rise up through circumstance, happenstance, and every other kind of stance, and find a way to win! Their reputations demand it of themselves: Will they rise above their current distress, or fold under pressure? I don’t know. Do you know? Does anybody know? Maybe that character Michael J. Fox played in “Back to The Future” knows, maybe he can give us some insight. Yeah, laugh – we all need a laugh, a smile, right about now: don’t we? The weird part is: I think the game the players were playing in the 1st Half was played for a different purpose.

Certainly Dwight Howard doesn’t want to be blamed for another head coach being run out of town on a rail. But if somebody else made that happen, or the organization made that decision for themselves, then I don’t see how he could be – or would be – unhappy about it at all. The attitude of the players seems resigned to: This is what we have to work with, and we have to make the most of it. They can do what they need to do, in order to win! They prove it, occasionally. They just won’t play adequate defense for 24 seconds at a time – and let’s not go there, please, with talk about doing it for 48 minutes (SEE comments above). This team is in trouble: they needed to win the last 3 games to secure a playoff berth – now, with the schedule ahead of them, which includes 2 back-to-back situations and the likes of The San Antonio Spurs, The Memphis Grizzlies and The Los Angeles Clippers. There is a high likelihood that they lose all 5 of those games. Currently 1-game ahead of The Utah Jazz (Jazz with the tiebreaker), The Lakers listless play is looming as a likely lost season nears. They are 36-35, and there are only 11 games left: they probably needed to go 8-5 over the last 13 games to make the playoffs. Now, The Lakers have to finish 8-3 to finish the season? Right. Okay. Yeah, they can do it. Sure.

Kobe Bryant finished the game with 30+ points, 3 assists, but 2-10 from 3-point range. Steve Nash almost had a triple-double! But there were no “super”-subs for The Lakers last night. The Warriors had a SUPER-sub! Jarrett Jack killed us, again. Carl Landry, statistically, didn’t do much, but he ended the game with the highest efficiency rating somehow – his defense, his tenacity was apparent throughout the game. But how we let Steph Curry and Klay Thompson get wide pen looks early & often is inexplicable! You know they will take the shot, if given the opportunity, so why didn’t we try to contest their shots! That’s a poor game plan – I blame coaching for it. If we can’t hit 3-point shots ourselves, then you push the ball inside, get the other team in foul trouble, make your free throws, and whittle the lead away slowly. Instead, Dwight finishes with 8 shots – I blame coaching. Sure, you want your best people on the court at the end of a game; but, why not use your reserve players to irritate your core group of guys to play better, sooner? Devin Ebanks has got to be chomping at the bit to prove that he is still a valuable part of this team, able to be a shutdown defender! The chances of this team making the playoffs may require a new hidden gem on the bench, like Earl Clark has turned out to be with the loss of Pau Gasol for a month, and that might very well be Devin Ebanks – it’s probably not Chris Duhon, or even Darius Morris. But I could see banging bodies in the paint with Dwight and Rob as an effective way to attack on defense! Isn’t that what The San Antonio Spurs are doing with Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter, defensively? It works!

Whatever Mike d’Antoni is doing isn’t working. If The Lakers were at a critical time, desperate for change in November, what is it about what they are doing now that is so impressive that they are choosing to do nothing at all to fix problems that are obvious to all who care so deeply about this team? Let Bickerstaff run the team! George Karl doesn’t run any plays: he coaches his team how to exploit mismatches and let’s them play. It’s working! Bernie was 4-1 as our interim head coach between Mike Brown and this next Mike: all he did is tell them to “Play Ball!”

C’mon, Lakers: Get it together! If I had a voice in how The Lakers should proceed: Let Bickerstaff run the team, start Dwight, Earl, Metta with Nash as Shooting Guard and Kobe Bryant committed to being a facilitator (again) at Point Guard, then bring Pau, AJ & Blake off the bench – of necessary, add Meeks & Ebanks to the mix. Or, just let them play ball and figure it out amongst themselves…

Let’s go, Lakers! No time to waste crying about losses…

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Woeful Wizards Reveal Sickness of Lakers Season Still Present

23 March 2013 Leave a comment

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to play inconsistently this season, from game to game, from quarter to quarter, no matter what schemes whatever coach devises. The Washington Wizards are one of the worst teams in the league, even though they have a few talented players; but, they came into this game shorthanded, playing without Emeka Okafor or Brandon Beal. Worse, the sickness of losing their last game to another winnable team, The Phoenix Suns, didn’t seem to propel these Lakers to play with any real concern that their playoff hopes are dangling by a thread!

Final Score: Wizards 103, Lakers 100 (Recap).

Dwight Howard only missed 2 shots last night! He missed one shot from the field and only shot from the free throw line! So, why didn’t he take more than 9 shots?

A former Lakers fan favorite, Trevor Ariza, dazzled on the court – all night long! And he didn’t even start! He posted career marks shooting the ball, with 7-12 from 3-point range! And that’s not why he gets playing time: he’s a great defender. Of course, John Wall wouldn’t be denied a share of such a spotlight on success, posting a career high 16 assists! What does that say about The Lakers ability to play defense? Shouldn’t they have been able to figure out what it takes to play shutdown defense by this point in the season, if they have any hopes of building momentum into a playoff run?

Nene was outplayed by Dwight Howard in the 1st Quarter, but Mike [d’]Antoni was outcoached, again! Whatever The Lakers were doing correctly, early, wasn’t being done at the end of the game: Was that because of Pau Gasol shooting 2-10? Was that because Kobe Bryant really didn’t do a whole lot, expect play decoy, until the 4th Quarter – except commit a high number of turnovers, again? By the end of the game, the only guy that tried to score for The Lakers was Kobe Bryant – but, more telling, in defeat, was how sick The Lakers are by how Nene dominated the paint, late, and Dwight Howard was powerless to stop him!

Maybe I’m just venting. Maybe I’m just frustrated from feeling sick: I will be seeing a doctor today (Saturday) – I had to watch the game with my glasses off, at times, due to sinus pressure. I was encouraged, the way they started the game (The Lakers); but, as they moved away from the success of playing an inside-outside game that The Washington Wizards actually know how to play I hope they’re taking notes! I coached “back in the day” and had my 6th Grade team play an exhibition game at The Fabulous Forum in Inglewood before a Lakers game started vs. The Washington Bullets (same team, new name) – a game where I diagrammed plays in the stands, and my kids were inspired to dream up plays of their own the next week! That was during they years of Magic Johnson & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I don’t know what this group of rag-tag players for this year’s Los Angeles Lakers is thinking: do you? They seem poorly prepared, and they seemed to play without any passion, or any concern that their hopes of playing in the playoffs, of competing for a championship this year, are going down the drain! Earl Clark probably should’ve started, letting a weak Pau Gasol who’s not yet back in “basketball shape” take his time with short bursts of effort as he tries to get back to being a dominant player. Now The Lakers have a new injury to worry about: What is the extent of Antawn Jamison’s wrist injury?

As much as I adore all that Kobe Bryant has ever accomplished, what he has done this season is maybe his most remarkable season yet! He has played as Kobe The Facilitator, showing an unselfish side never before revealed as he has been a wizard at passing the ball some games as well as John Wall did against us last night! Other games, he has been Kobe The Rebounder – he even recently starred as Kobe The (Assistant?) Coach! But when the game gets chippy, especially late, the way he likes to get as Kobe The Legendary Unstoppable, Extraordinary Shooter has become less effective for the team and less interesting to “we the fans” as his isolation plays seem to stifle teammates into uselessness, cluelessness, and disinterest to expend any effort on defense, or to do anything but watch like a spectator in the crowd. Why is that?

Was the inability of The Lakers to run a sound offense, to play any real defense in the 4th Quarter due to a moodiness between players, where communication on the court in the 1st Half disappeared during the 2nd Half? Are players that sensitive, that moody, that offended, that if they’re not included on offense that they then won’t make any real effort to play sound on defense? I don’t get it. Yeah, I get it that iso-moves by Kobe The Magnificent aren’t much fun to watch when they’re not working. The missed shot in the lane, late, a 15-foot fallaway jumper over Nene that is a patented 95% sure shot rimmed out to tie things up. But he made up for it with a deep 3-pointer to get The Lakers close, 101-100, didn’t he? Oh yeah, the missed free throws…

The Black Mamba was off last night, unless you were watching “Megamind” on FX! SO, if Kobe Bryant doesn’t take control of the game early, but instead plays decoy for 3 quarters, is it possible for The Lakers to win? Probably not. If The Lakers showcase Dwight Howard early, but the opposition makes halftime adjustments to nullify his effectiveness, does that mean that The Lakers should stop trying to get him the ball down low? No! One aspect of this game that The Lakers seem to have lost sight of is that getting an opponents players into foul trouble, early, is imperative to creating a successful formula for winning games easily! Of course, their tendency to relax when another team’s 2nd Unit is on the court is another problem: Trevor Ariza & Kevin Seraphin killed us! And with Martell Webster & John Wall playing well, and Nene playing well enough in crunch time, The Washington Wizards became a dominant force these confused, inconsistent Lakers couldn’t overcome last night.

I had thought that The Lakers needed to go 9-4 through the last 13 games of the season to make the playoffs: if they only go 8-5, they probably won’t make it. The teams they have to play, including 2 back-to-back games (which are likely losses), make it unlikely they will play much better than that. But last night’s loss wasn’t included it that formula for success! I wonder if there is any magic left in this Lakers season to thrill the fans? It seems like this group of guys play best with their backs against the wall. Well… The Lakers backs are against the wall! Thanks to John Wall & Company! Thankfully, The Utah Jazz lost last night – so, that’s a good thing, right? #whatever

C’mon, Lakers: Let’s go!

Categories: Uncategorized

If The Lakers Scored Only 76 Points, Would You Guess That They Won or Lost?

18 March 2013 Leave a comment

This 2nd game of a back-to-back for The Los Angeles Lakers was a very winnable game, even after 3 quarters when they were down to The Phoenix Suns by only 5 points. But, putting up a mere 10 points in the 4th quarter is hardly something most sane people would consider a solid effort. C’mon, Lakers! 8th Place shouldn’t be good enough…

Final Score: Suns 99, Lakers 76 (Recap).

The New York Knicks were kind enough to dispatch The Utah Jazz for us tonight: Yippeee!!!! #whatever

But trying to decipher what actually happened to The Lakers tonight is proving difficult, if you thought perhaps any of the players might give us a glimpse of the reasons for their poor play tonight. A lot of fans via “tweets” seemed to believe (as I do) that MDA needed to go deeper into his bench to change the Lakers “luck” from losing every back-to-back 2nd game played so far this season. He did finally put Devin Ebanks into the game, after the game’s outcome was already decided. make no mistake about it, Luis Scola wasn’t going to let this game get away from Phoenix if he had anything to say about it. #unstoppable

In the Time Warner Cable SportsNet post-game #Lakeshow (boy, that’s a mouthful!), James Worthy said similar things, as did Robert Horry, that the coach needed to trust his benchplayers to be able to give the starters a breather once in a while. The Phoenix Suns coach Lindsey Hunter called a much better game! And that, coming off a series of 4 games where The Suns lost by an average of 20 points? That’s what I am told. Maybe I’ll research it later. Disgusting. This was a very winnable game for The Lakers, but their shot selection was horrible, their effort was lacking on both ends of the court, and they just seemed to rush their shots, play without patience, struggle by playing accidental instead of intentional, only in the game at all after 3 quarters due to turnovers by The Suns! Jermaine O’Neal had seemingly done The Lakers a favor by picking up 3 fouls early in the 1st Quarter! Instead, The Phoenix Suns were led by their bench scoring 52 points! Goran Dragic didn’t hurt us, any more than Markieff Morris or PJ Tucker or Wesley Johnson did! Instead, their attack came from a bench led by Scola that included Michael Beasley and Kendall Marshall and Jerrod Dudley that we had no ability to stop doing whatever they wanted to do.

I really don’t understand Mike d’Antoni in the way he answers questions after games, any more than what was heard from Dwight Howard: We couldn’t make plays, they did; it’s a loss; hopefully we turn things around before the next game. Great. Reads scripts well. Not impressed. Maybe there was (false) hope of Pau Gasol’s availability for tonight’s game, which would certainly explain the neutralized effort of Earl Clark tonight. Maybe Dwight Howard wasn’t happy to hear of the future plans of what was being dreamed up for him to coexist (somehow) with a refurbished Pau gasol for the stretch run into the playoffs. Both Steve’s (Nash & Blake) seemed to play well in the 1st Half, but nobody on The Lakers squad played well after resting up during Halftime.

A pro- Phoenix Suns Perspective

Why did they come out so flat? What was Jodie Meeks doing, firing up an outside shot to start the 4th Quarter instead of choosing to set up the offense with a higher percentage shot from the paint? It just didn’t seem like anybody was making good decisions, including The Phoenix Suns, until The Suns stopped making so many turnovers that allowed The lakers to hang around earlier! That 4th Quarter effort by Luis Scola was amazing! The Lakers weren’t anything near amazing. #disappointing

C’mon, Lakers! 8th Place shouldn’t be good enough…

Categories: Uncategorized

Lakers Played Well Enough to Win @ Home vs. Kings sans Kobe

17 March 2013 Leave a comment

Thank God for The Sacramento Kings: Their timing couldn’t have been better, attempting to win vs. our shorthanded Lakers without their star Center, DeMarcus Cousins themselves. Thank you! Thank you, very much!

Final Score: Lakers 113, Kings 102 (Recap).

Preparation. Performance. Perseverance.

E-F-T.

How do you prepare to play a game with your fearless leader unable to play? How do you find the will within yourself to perform well with limited ability to find rest throughout a game being played with limited substitutions? How do you persevere through adversity that comes during a game that saps your energy, nips at your attitude, forces you to find that extra gear – that one you may not have even knew existed! – to overcome your opponent? The Los Angeles Lakers did all that last night against a team that has actually shown a desire to still play at a high level, even though they are without a shot at a playoff spot. The Sacramento Kings smelled blood in the water: they were ruthlessly seeking some way of coming away with a desired road win, to play spoiler, to come up with something satisfying to make this season – for them – just a bit more palpable, a bit more memorable (in a positive way, in the long layoff before the next season starts for them, somewhere – still unknown?).

The Los Angeles Lakers played a great game! Well, offensively. Defensively, they waited – again – until the 4th Quarter to clamp down hard. I want so badly to credit their newest Head Coach – Mike d’Antoni – with drawing up a great gameplan to come out with the victory, but seeing Kobe coach from the sidelines Friday night for the last 3 quarters vs. Indiana, I wonder who the players respect enough to listen to. Don’t you? The doghouse of MDA has included such players as Earl Clark, Devin Ebanks, Jordan Hill, Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, and Antawn Jamison – they have all gone long stretches of games without ever seeing meaningful minutes on the court. Without the presence of Antawn Jamison on the court tonight, this game is probably not a win. If DeMarcus Cousins had played, Dwight Howard most likely would have been in foul trouble – and who knows how much the complexion of the game could have changed? With his rim protection, we’re incapable of stopping penetration into the paint. Without the steady play of Metta World Peace the last few games (after a horrendous stretch), this game would not have been won – even though he ended the game without any rebounds. But, he started shooting 8-8 before finishing 10-13: he was super! Superb!

Nash & Blake: Our guard play was great!

The Steve’s had a combined assist total that was unreal! The Steve’s shot well, too! But without DeMarcus Cousins in the middle for the opposition, Dwight Howard had an easy night of rebounds, and he was also able to stay out of foul trouble – good thing! That MDA only chose to play 7 guys was a bit frustrating, disturbing, and probably not a good thing – elite teams will be taking notes, and they will respond in ways that will challenge The Lakers more than what Sacramento was able to do. But they gave it their all, and were as close as 90-88 before The Lakers pulled away late in the 4th Quarter.

Tyreke Evans was once considered a great rookie prospect – but he that hasn’t yet reached his potential (imho). Isaiah Thomas, Jr. isn’t what his dad once was, but he’s an awfully good talent – talented enough that Lakers killer Aaron Brooks isn’t on the team any longer? But having traded away players at the deadline to pick up Patterson from The Houston Rockets, The Sacramento Kings may be a much improved “team” next year as The Seattle Sonics! For now, they’re just on the outside looking in – like the opponent for The Lakers tomorrow night: The Phoenix Suns. An easy schedule after a tough battle against the East’s 2nd best team, The Indiana Pacers, has happened rather timely, I might say. The Suns are dreadly poor, defensively; but, they have played The Los Angeles Lakers tough this year – a potent offense, if given the chance to roll with a momentum shift. The Lakers defense will have to be better throughout the game tomorrow, especially with Kobe still out and playing a back-to-back (home tonight, road tomorrow). Can they do it playing only 7 guys? I guess we’ll know soon enough. Or maybe d’Antoni will have a change of heart and look for more help from the bench. I know: Who am I kidding! Right? #smh

E – F – T.

What’s that, again, Coach Dave Miller? Energy – Focus – Tenacity ? Something like that. If that’s it, they did it well.

Let’s go, Lakers! Keep it up! Let’s keep this winning streak alive!

C’mon, Lakers! We still have only a very slim lead for 8th Place, barely in front of The Utah Jazz – and I think all fans of The Lakers would like to see a move past The Houston Rockets for 7th or even a move as far through the bracket as 6th by finishing ahead of The Golden State Warriors (if such is a true possibility).

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