Archive for February, 2014

Lakers Beat Kings with Late Rally

28 February 2014 Leave a comment

This didn’t necessarily seem like it was a night where The Los Angeles Lakers would turn out victorious, not the way it started. The Sacramento Kings came to Staples Center without their starting Center, DeMarcus Cousins – serving a one-game suspension from acting stupid earlier in the week. The Lakers seemed to play softly, expecting to have an easier time without him clogging the middle. Instead, they gave up 99 points to The Kings in 3 quarters, but somehow staying in striking distance – by hitting a record number of 3-point shots! “Live by the sword, die by the sword?” It seemed like they might cool off at the worst possible moment, but they kept hitting dagger 3s to the end of the game!

Lakers 126, Kings 122 (Recap).

Jordan Farmar went off for 30 points, and MarShon Brooks partnered with him in the 4th Quarter to keep a hot Jodie Meeks on the bench even though he didn’t even miss a shot! Jodie & Pau Gasol really paced The Lakers for the 1st Half, but this game was a gritty last 7 minutes of team defense and spectacular shooting! 72 points in the 2nd Half? 70% shooting from beyond the arc? Wow! A franchise record of 19 made 3-point shots? Incredible!

Without the availability of Nick Young, it was pretty exciting watching MarShon Brooks shooting a vast array of shots: banks, 3s, a behind the back dribble pass for a critical basket by Wesley Johnson at 120-114. Wow! A scoop shot at the end of the game faked out Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson… #smh

There were some great offensive numbers for a lot of guys, obviously. But the block of an Isaiah Thomas layup by Ryan Kelly late was also a key ingredient to the team’s success tonight! And he had a big 3-pointer himself to begin the 4th Quarter! Rudy Gay led Sacramento, and all scorers, with 35 points; but, Jordan Farmar leading The Lakers with 30 points on 8-10 from deep led was one of 4 Lakers players with over 20 points for the night.

That was fun!

Go, Lakers!

Do it again!

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Lakers Played Better in Memphis but Still Losing

27 February 2014 Leave a comment

That game Tuesday, that The Los Angeles Lakers played, at Indiana, was sheer tomfoolery! The Pacers allowed The Lakers to believe that they could play at a similar level. Unfortunately, The Indiana Pacers are an elite NBA team; and, quite frankly, The Los Angeles Lakers are not anything close to it (except in the distant memory of some of us fans). In Memphis, yes, The Lakers played a bit better – after a slow start, that game was available for either team to win until the final seconds of the clock ticked away! Once again, certain aspects of what The Lakers did broke down, in the end (shot selection, turnovers, rebounds); but team defense against The Grizzlies was impressive!

Grizzlies 108, Lakers 103 (Recap).

You would expect a playoof team like Memphis was last year to be able to win a game vs. The Lakers, this year, at home, fairly easily; but, Memphis isn’t a lock to make the playoffs this year – and it showed. The Grizzlies were up early, with what could even be called a commanding lead! But allowing The Lakers to claw their way back into contention in the 2nd Half was a bit surprising, to me. I had begun to watch the game very casually, barely paying attention, as the 1st Half came to a close. It’s tough for any team in the NBA to win the 2nd game of a back-to-back series, on the road. And it just didn’t seem all that likely that this was going to be The Lakers’ night. Kent Bazemore had been shooting well, in his first few games – since The Lakers acquired him from Golden State with MarShon Brooks. But he didn’t play his best basketball vs. The Grizzlies. Kendall Marshall hasn’t played well in weeks. Wesley Johnson seems a little bit better, but he couldn’t guard Zach Randolph effectively. Why was he asked to?

In the end, Jordan Farmar, Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks seem to spearhead a Lakers rally that came up just short of accomplishing their 20th win of the season. Instead, The Lakers are now 19-39 – losing 2 games per every win. What a disapppointing season, for the players, especially, but for “we the fans” as well – hoping against hope that their luck might change soon enough to surge into a playoff spot. That ain’t happening. Heck, Memphis at 32-24 might not make the playoffs! This has been one crazy year of NBA basketabll, where it was believed that the Eastern Conference might be up to the challenge of being as good or better than the Western Conference.

Indiana is a powerhouse, and nobody would dare count out the defending champions, The Miami Heat; but, nobody else in the East scares any teams in the West. On the other hand, the West still boasts perennial contenders San Antonio and Oklahoma City, as well as: Houston, Portland, L.A. Clippers, Golden State – and I would still give Memphis a bid as a “dark horse.” How do you count out a team with Zach Randolph & Marc Gasol? They have some other really nice players, such as a still savvy veteran Tony Allen, plus Mike Conley and a few others who are very capable players. The Lakers played well last night, just not well enough. #next

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The Indiana Pacers are Leaps & Bounds Better Than The Lakers

26 February 2014 Leave a comment

The Los Angeles Lakers started out a home game vs. The Indiana Pacers, down 22-10. Then, they crawled back into the game, making it a contest – for the remainder of the 1st Half. But after getting within 1-point at 59-58 a few minutes into the 3rd Quarter, The Pacers rolled on to a 31-point lead before winning by 20 points. The #1 NBA team on defense can score at will!

Pacers 118, Lakers 98 (Recap).

The 2nd Quarter was a beautiful effort by The Lakers, but there is just no “team chemistry” that can withstand a great defensive team like The Pacers. The Pacers literally paced themselves, toying with their less competitive counterparts. Sure, Kent Bazemore is scoring well – a “volume” shooter, as James Worthy referred to him after the game. Pau Gasol did what he could do, but his response to questions by reporters after the game were quite enlightening.

What annoyed me most about the game was how D’Antoni approached the game, believing we could win with a small lineup! We were out-rebounded, out-defended, toyed with, manhandled – it was sad. Worse, The L.A. Defenders played better “team” basketball the night before than whatever that was that The Lakers were doing in the 4th Quarter. Can you say “ugly”? That effort in the 4th Quarter was… just a smidgen better than the horrific play of The Lakers the last 8 minutes of the 3rd Quarter. #awful

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Deron Williams Too Much for Lakers as They Lose at Home to Nets

24 February 2014 Leave a comment

The Lakers didn’t play all that horrible, really. Sure, they gave up 63 points in the 1st Half to the visiting Brooklyn Nets; but, they won both the 3rd & 4th Quarters, holding the visitors to 45 points in the 2nd Half – but to comeback from a 16-point deficit was just too much to overcome. Not to mention Deron Williams was playing lights out! Paul Pierce didn’t play too shabby, either – which surprised me, except that he is from SoCal, originally.

Nets 108, Lakers 102 (Recap).

Pau Gasol played a fairly decent game, better than the last game – a win with the new guys getting big time minutes. But the adrenalin may have worn off already, as the coach made new substitution off yet another new starting lineup – trying to get minutes for Nick Young, but leaving Ryan Kelly & Rob Sacre on the bench. Bazemore started, and Brooks got some playing time.Wesley Johnson was pretty ineffective, but Jodie Meeks seemed to be everywhere all game long. Besides bad defense, and turnovers, the missed free throws down the stretch just killed any chance for The Lakers to grab victory from defeat. They never led. In the end, Deron Williams was far superior than Kendall Marshall and Jordan Farmar from the Point Guard position.

Off go The Lakers to Indiana and Memphis. After a home game vs. Sacramento, they then travel to Portland. #sigh

C’mon, Lakers! A few more wins this year would be nice. Losing by only 6 points, scrapping for any points to play to a closer losing score was commendable. But, honestly, The Lakers were never in the driver’s seat. Maybe next time? #nextyear

The Nets are only 26-28 after the win tonight. What is The Lakers record now? I don’t want to know, do I? Jason Collins made headlines for returning to the NBA, as a backup Center to Andray Blatche. In other news, The Clippers beat OKC. No, I didn’t watch that game. Are you kidding?

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Lakers Win Series vs. Celtics! Yippeee!!!!

22 February 2014 Leave a comment

The Los Angeles Lakers finally won another game on their home court! It’s been a while – a long while. But who better to beat than Boston to get that accomplished? Nobody. Not even Houston. It was an interesting game: The 3rd Quarter collapse appears to have made a return. How is that possible? But a 38-18 blitz Lakers advantage put them ahead to stay quickly, even though the new reserves stayed in the game!

Lakers 101, Celtics 92 (Recap).

I didn’t like the Steve Blake trade much, but in a position to get 2 players for 1, this shorthanded team needed to do something. And even though Kobe Bryant may be unhappy Blake is no longer with the team, the same goes for Steph Curry of The Golden State Warriors who sounds upset that his team gave away his teammates: MarShon Brooks  and Kent Bazemore scored a combined 29 points in their debut, without really knowing the system that well, or getting much practice time with the team! #smh

Mike D’Antoni chose to put them in the game in the 3rd Quarter when The Lakers needed a spark: Pau Gasol wasn’t playing well, and Jordan Hill wasn’t either- until Chris Kaman entered the game for Gasol. Hill played more effectively after that move. And they played the bulk of the minutes the rest of the game, alongside Brooks and Bazemore and Farmar. Farmar had some really clutch shots, but Bazemore stole the show.

The Celtics seemed in command of the game, probably game planning vs. known Lakers, but surprised by the new additions. Brooks and Bazemore saw very little playing time with The Warriors. Rondo was effective, at times. Sullinger was as easily pushed around by Kaman as Kaman was by Dwight Howard the other night. Nothing that Boston tried in the 4th Quarter could thwart the momentum that The Lakers had built for the stretch to the finish line. It was a nice win.

Hopefully The Lakers have a few wins left in their bag of tricks! Nick Young should be back soon. But other news suggests Kobe Bryant will not likely make a comeback this season. Still, there is hope – The Lakers front office didn’t make any serious moves at the trade deadline, but they are in a good place for adding free agents in the next 2 years. Can any of us wait that long for the team to return to its former greatness? What choice is there?

C’mon, Lakers! Let’s go!

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Lakers Still Outnumbered, Farmar Back but Blake Traded, Lost to Rockets

20 February 2014 Leave a comment

So, what is left to be said about the Lakers season? I had believed Pau Gasol would be available after the All-Star break; but, that was apparently wishful thinking. It was nice to see Jordan Farmar able to return to action, again. But mostly, I am just happy for Steve Blake: Thanks, Steve, for the memories – may you build better ones on a playoff contender (The Golden State Warriors). Last night, it was just a goodnight to “boo”! The Lakers fans that bothered to show up at Staples Center last night not only enjoyed giving a chorus of “boo’s” to Dwight Howard, he joined in on the fun himself. #smh

Rockets 134, Lakers 108 (Recap).

With only 8 players available for The Lakers to choose from, most night’s are now long nights, with players who are mostly bench players forced into a situation requiring more from them than might be reasonably expected. Is that fair? Or, is additional playing time made available to benchwarmers more of an opportunity for individuals to shine than it is a likelihood for the team to falter?

Statistically, “if” the Lakers committed less turnovers and played better defense, a team on the road that typically shoots at a lesser percentage away from their home court might have made 5 less shots? And, The Lakers might have given up less fast break points, not to mention providing themselves more scoring opportunities… “If only…?” “What if…?” The truth of the matter is: there were some good efforts, by some of The Lakers, some of the time. Jodie Meeks has returned to gametime action. Jordan Hill seems to have increased his shooting range, consistently attempting jump shots outside of the paint in recent games and making a higher percentage of them. Marshall had 16 assists… Wesley Johnson is contributing more, offensively – his defense not too bad. But the collective effort of the Lakers is just not good enough to beat most teams on a consistent basis.

What else can  be said?

The Lakers just aren’t playing very well – without Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Nick Young, Xavier Henry… The Rockets were able to do whatever they wanted, the referees allowing Dwight Howard to foul Chris Kaman, at will – somehow totaling zero fouls at Halftime! But Chandler Parson, James Harden, and the rest were shooting at a high percentage all night long – 50% for the game! Wow.

That’s the Lakers season, fun for very few, irritating for most. Steve Blake? Lucky! Better, he may get to play against The Rockets and beat them tonight! Thursday Night: Houston @ Golden State.

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The Lakers Led vs. OKC for 3-1/2 Quarters…

14 February 2014 Leave a comment

Never once did The Los Angeles Lakers seem to falter in their approach to the game last night vs. The Thunder, until Ryan Kelly hit a 3-point shot to begin the 4th Quarter for an 85-72. advantage. That’s a pretty good effort, for them, this year! Right? Suddenly, before you knew it, it was tied, 87-87. Game over? No. The Lakers fought back to tie the the game at 92-92, and had chances with less than a minute to play to tie it up – but, missed Free Throws by their veterans, Chris Kaman and Steve Blake, killed any chance at pulling off a miraculous win.

Thunder 107, Lakers 103 (Recap).

The Lakers have had a habit of being a bad defensive team during the 3rd Quarter most of the season: that wasn’t the problem tonight. Lately, they have also seen a collapse occur during 2nd Quarters, either offensively and/or defensively – that didn’t happen, either. But, honestly, it felt like as bad as OKC had played, it was due to very good team defense – sound fundamentals! – by The Lakers. However, OKC was playing a bit lackidaisical – in my humble opinion throughout the first three quarters. When the visitors chose to turn up the intensity on defense, The Lakers weren’t ready for it: turnovers mounted, and missed shots led to a missed opportunity for a “W.”

That The Lakers played so well with only eight players available against a very strong team was an encouraging sign, for me, as a fan. I liked Wesley Johnson’s cringed look on his face when he had a strong 3rd Quarter as Kevin Durant came back off the court to spark The Thunder’s rally. He had cause to be concerned, as The “Slim Reaper,” whom he was trying to guard most of the night, was beyond his ability to stop. Can anybody stop Kevin Durant, except – perhaps – Kevin Durant? Russell Westbrook was leading the cheers from the bench, still unable to play. Jeremy Lamb had made some clutch shots before fouling out, late, but OKC is just so deep with talent that it didn’t matter. Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison always spell trouble with their tenacious, persistent play.

Perhaps shot selection and time management could be of value to The Lakers going forward; but, those aren’t exactly aspects of Mike d’Antoni’s scheme on offense that he is overly-concerned about instilling in his players – and it shows, at times. I like Jordan Hill’s game, under the basket. I don’t consider Blake Griffin a good enough outside shooter to be worthy of “All Star” status yet (Are you watching it this weekend?), for The Clippers (L.A.’s alternative team?); but, I am even more amazed – annoyed? – when Hill takes 18 footers! He did make one, but still… C’mon, Hill! Play to your strengths. Please?

The All Star Break is here! These remaining 8 warriors for The Lakers will receive a much needed rest. Perhaps more teammates will join them for their next game? Or not. When is Pau Gasol coming back? As well as Kaman’s been playing, perhaps he shouldn’t have been benched so many games earlier this season? #justsayin Xavier Henry will apparently be out an additional 4 weeks…

Go, Lakers!

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