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Archive for December, 2013

Lakers Lose to End 2013, Miserably

31 December 2013 Leave a comment

If it takes a team 7 minutes to score a point to start a game then there’s not much chance they’er going to win! Ridiculous. But that’s what this season is becoming, for The Lakers: hopelessly ridiculous. They needed wins vs. Phoenix, Philly and Milwaukee to keep their hopes alive – if there was any hope left of them making the playoffs.

Bucks 94, Lakers 79 (Recap).

79 points? That’s it. Ridiculous. And, yet, spotting the visitors a 14-point lead only resulted in a 15-point loss! In between the opening tip and the final buzzer there was a lone bright spot for The Lakers: Kendall Marshall can play! in 27 minutes, he posted 4/7 FGs with 7 assists! Farmar had 7 assists, too, in 20 minutes; but, his hamstring was tight all night, and he was a mere shell of himself – hopefully he hasn’t torn it again. But, playing without Nash, Blake or Farmar who started the season available, if not healthy, they are out of action still – and other options to play the PG position in Kobe Bryant and Xavier Henry are also sidelined due to injury. Marshall played well – better than Farmar.

And Pau Gasol returned to the lineup! Only eight players played tonight? Wow.

And, The Lakers provided another opponent with an opportunity to post career highs against them: Brandon Knight went off for 37 points! If not for Knight, The lakers might have won this game! Seriously? Check the stats for yourself, or watch the game over again – if you can stomach such a thought (Yeah, just skip the first half of the 1st Quarter, if you do watch the replay of the game – it’s a good plan.). Hopefully whatever time Mike d’Antoni thought Kendall Marshall needed to learn the playbook has been achieved by now. Hopefully he can play more minutes, effectively, than the 27 minutes he played tonight.

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Saving a Season: Is That Posible Still, for The Lakers?

29 December 2013 Leave a comment

Before I write anything else, I haven’t seen the loss tonight to The Philadelphia 76ers – yet. I’ll still watch the replay, eventually. I went on a dinner date with my wife, including the movie afterwards: “Saving Mr. Banks” – she liked it. Most people we have spoken to have enjoyed it. There were parts of the movie I found depressing, which I was reminded of when my dad told me that The Lakers lost tonight – and that Xavier Henry is the latest player to get injured. We were picking up our daughters from my parents’ house, and all I could think of was how I am persistent to find a way through adversity, no matters the odds against me. The Lakers seem to be reaching that place in the regular season, at 12-17, when it becomes a coin toss whether most teams would “go for it” or “tank: for a shot at a lottery player. I don’t see The Lakers folding quite yet, if ever. I don’t believe it’s in their DNA. But, you never know: I might be wrong…

76ers 111, Lakers 104 (Recap).

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Can The Lakers Win Tonight w/o Pau?

27 December 2013 1 comment

I recently wrote: “If Pau Can’t Play, Lakers Can’t Win” – but that was at Golden State, not Utah. If The Lakers can’t beat the worst team in the NBA, then it’s going to get rough rolling towards the playoffs without our best 2 players: Kobe Bryant is a huge loss, but Pau Gasol also provides a huge presence that a team, any team, would prefer not to have to play without him in the lineup.

I’m hopeful that Jordan Farmar starting for The Lakers gives them a boost, although he is likely to still be a bit rusty. Somehow, if turnovers can be reduced, and assists increase (as an indicator of better shot selection), this game will provide the team – and “we the fans”! – with some much-needed encouragement that there is still time to overcome the adversity already endured thus far.

Go, Lakers!

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Lakers Effort Better Christmas Day, But Miami Dashes Hopes of Victory with Late Rally

26 December 2013 Leave a comment

I’m not sure that The Los Angeles Lakers ever had a true opportunity to win he basketball game yesterday. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade seemed to turn on the afterburners, in different spurts, almost toying with The Lakers who were actually leading in every quarter. Jordan Farmar returned to action off his Achilles tendon injury, so the offense ran a little bit better; but, assists were still low, turnovers were still too high – and the result was, therefore, not too unexpected.

Heat 101, Lakers 95 (Recap).

Chris Bosh played steady for Miami in the post, and once again The Lakers tweaked their starting lineup due to problems with their interior defense. Pau Gasol seemed to play better, as he improves from an illness (upper respiratory infection?) last weekend that caused him to miss the game at Golden State. The fans at Staples Center were treated to some great shots by LeBron James, Xavier Henry, Nick Young…

In the end, it was just nice for “we the fans” to see our team not be thoroughly embarrassed for a third game in a row – especially since it was on national TV. There was maybe some peace and goodwill, some professional courtesy involved – possibly – as LBJ and Kobe embraced in a quick hug as the teams exited the court at the final buzzer.

Hopefully there is life left in this group of Lakers players, struggling to stay around .500 for the eventual return of Kobe Bryant to give them the needed push to propel them into the playoffs. Now injured again, they played well for a win against Minnesota last week – and then it all seemed to rip apart like wrapping paper on a new toy. It would be nice to see that passion to play aggressively on both ends of the court return for a few of the next easier games on the schedule before heading into a block of  games against tougher opponents. But professional courtesy by opponents probably won’t be extended to The Lakers by any other teams the rest of the season.

Go, Lakers!

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Did The Lakers’ Adrenalin Wear Off? They Were Playing Well

23 December 2013 Leave a comment

What happened? Pau Gasol returned to play, but after a loss at Golden State on Saturday, to dip below .500 again, I was sure hoping for a better effort than what The Los Angeles Lakers came out with tonight vs. The Phoenix Suns. Mike D’Antoni doesn’t need to worry about losing his job anytime soon to Kurt Rambis: The Lakers defense is miserably, horrible, disgusting…

Suns 117, Lakers 90 (Recap).

It wasn’t too difficult to change the channel away from the misery of tonight’s Lakers effort to watch another of my favorite sports teams play: The San Francisco 49ers beat The Atlanta Falcons tonight, 34-24!

I had hoped this would be an “easy” game on the current schedule, since they will now face Miami on Christmas Day before playing a few “easier” opponents as a warm-up for some tougher teams: DEN, DAL, HOU, LAC…

If I were to ask you to guess which stats for Xavier Henry represented his Field Goal Shots vs. Free Throws Attempts could you get it right? 3/12 and 7/14. It was an ugly game. Pau Gasol played, but only 20 minutes – and not well. Worse, The Lakers gave up a 20-rebound game to Miles Plumlee, a rookie! They also let Eric Bledsoe, a Guard, grab 11 rebounds – does much more need to be said?

The Lakers have now played a couple awful games after a nice win vs. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who I consider a much better team that The Phoenix Suns. Who knew Portland and Phoenix would play so well this year? Who knew Memphis and Golden State would play so poorly, compared to how they finished their season’s last year? The West is a really competitive conference, but this is ridiculous!

Not many teams should be able to beat The Miami Heat, so the next game on The Lakers’ schedule is probably a loss, to go to 13-16. I was thinking we might be 14-14 now, 14-15 after Miami on Christmas, then perhaps 17-16 after games against PHI, MIL, PHX and PHI leading up to DEN, DAL, HOU, LAC. Somewhere in that run a return by Jordan Farmar should be afforded The Lakers, improving their chances at keeping turnovers lower with a true Point Guard handling the ball.

Will Kendall Marshall get an opportunity to play any time soon? Ryan Kelly played tonight, a teammate of Miles Plumlee last year – it didn’t help us: 3 points, 2 fouls, 1 turnover. Hopefully “we the fans” will survive what may be a few more games like this before the coaching staff, and our players, can figure out a better “team chemistry” that can begin to produce wins again.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

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Pau Didn’t Play, Lakers Couldn’t Win

22 December 2013 Leave a comment

After two brilliant performances by Pau Gasol, one with Kobe Bryant in Memphis, one without him Friday night at Staples Center, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope that The Los Lakers stood a chance to win some more games with their depleted roster; but, with Pau Gasol unavailable Saturday night, against The Golden State Warriors, the game was over before it started.

Warriors 102, Lakers 83 (Recap).

The highlight of the game was probably Nick Young getting horse-collared by Maureesse Speights – who was summarily ejected with a flagrant-2. Deservedly so. Maybe I should term such a lowlight? My bad. Turnovers were killer (again), and Chris Kaman, shooting 4-16 from the field, pacing the way of all players shooting poorly left The Lakers no chance at stealing a win. They started okay. Jordan Hill played fairly well, early on. The 1st Quarter ended up 27-26, so there was hope! But it just got ugly from there. Andrew Bogut hit the mother lode with rebounds, and that was it. Andre Iguodola wasn’t very effective, coming back from a recent injury; but, it just didn’t matter.

Thankfully, Kendall Marshall was able to get onto the court: 2 minutes, 2 turnovers – yippee!!!! But we’re going to need him, if he has any ability to learn the offense (sooner better than later!). On Christmas Day, The Lakers play The Miami Heat – and that’s probably not a winnable game (anymore than our loss against OKC, recently); but, prior to that we play Phoenix, whom we will also play then shortly after Miami, as well as Philly twice and a game against Milwaukee: Those are winnable games, before a series of tougher matchups: Denver, Dallas, Houston and The Clippers – and we may actually be able to hover around .500 through it all. That would be amazing!

Go, Lakers!

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These Kobe-less Lakers Are Fun to Watch!

20 December 2013 Leave a comment

What a crazy year it has been for our Los Angeles Lakers to endure: starting the year without their star player, Kobe Bryant, and with a highly-adjusted roster of forgotten, but younger players, it seemed hopeless by outsiders not familiar with this organization’s history.

What a crazy week it has been for Kobe Bryant, and crew, as he learns about a new injury that will sideline him for another 6 weeks after only recently returning to the lineup himself for a handful of games when we lost all of our Point Guards!

Yet, we saw the unbelievable happen tonight! Didn’t we? Maybe “we the fans,” the fans that actually know our Lakers team best, knew differently; but there weren’t any talking heads giving The Lakers a shot at winning this game tonight – even though it was being played on our home court!

The funny thing is: The Lakers signed a Point Guard, Kendall Marshall, and didn’t play him (yet); and, instead, we saw the efforts of Xavier Henry, Nick Young and Pau Gasol running the offense put up better assists numbers than the highly-acclaimed Ricky Rubio!

Kevin Love was effective, in the 1st Half; but The Lakers should be commended for their team defense that shut him down in the 2nd Half – that was amazing!

Nick Young was amazing! He shared high point honors with Kevin Love for the game (25). Except for the crazy number of turnovers when he tried to lead the team in the 2nd Quarter (5), he played awesome! He “finishes” well, that was said all night long; but, hopefully, Kendall Marshall can learn the play book quickly. “Team chemistry” may suffer, again, as he finds his way around, figuring out how to get the ball to guys where they want to receive it.

In the meantime, if Pau Gasol can put up back-to-back 20 point games, and also rebound plus dish at a near triple-double level, we may see a Lakers team continue to win against all odds! Gotta love it! Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Shawne Williams all had storng contributions to the win tonight. Even Chris Kaman saw some quality minutes for the first time in forever. Jordan Hill and Rob Sacre weren’t as reliable, defensively, against a strong, dominant Center as you might hope they could be; but, they were good enough!

Lakers 104, Timberwolves 91 (Recap). Lakers Website.

Of course, there is always that dark cloud near most silver linings, and the late game slip by Nick Young along the sideline is cause for worry. However, he seemed to be fairly cheery on post-game interviews! “Tripped over some popcorn”? Okay. His turnover total remained at 5 for the game, took a charge, had 4 assists… If The Lakers have a go-to-guy, right now, that’s SwaggyP!

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