Archive for March, 2014

Lakers Stealthy Win Over Suns Was Fun!

31 March 2014 Leave a comment

If we were viewing this game at the beginning of this same season, I would have said I expected The Los Angeles Lakers to have the record The Phoenix Suns have now – and vice-versa. I would have thought, with Kobe Bryant playing at less than 100%, but eventually joining the team for the full duration of games remaining come Christmas Day, that The Lakers would be perilously close to not make the playoffs with any minor slip up against weaker teams. Instead, The Suns are in a 3-team race for 2 playoff spots – battling against Dallas & Memphis for 7th & 8th seeds. The Lakers, somehow, avoided further embarrassment by not losing the entire season series to Phoenix.

Lakers 115, Suns 99 (Recap).

What was the most glaring, obvious, reason that The Lakers won? I will give you 3 guesses: 1) Mike d’Antoni made another, smart, starting lineup choice, 2) The Suns couldn’t hit any shots, early, or 3) Pau Gasol played a monster game? The truth is: Chris Kaman played a great game! Yeah, that guy at the end of the bench in great need of a tan, yeah, he actually played! Somehow D’Antoni let him out of the doghouse he’s been spending so much time in this season that the anger & aggression spilt over in a rage of points & rebounds! Oh yeah, and Phoenix couldn’t hit any outside shots.

“Tacos!” Yippeee!!!!

Go, Lakers!

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If The Lakers Can Lose to Worst Team in NBA, Why Not Lost All The Rest?

29 March 2014 Leave a comment

Friday night, The Los Angeles Lakers lost another game, on the road, and it was a doozy – much like the blowout they suffered in recent weeks against The Los Angeles Clippers. But the night before, Thursday in Wisconsin, was way worse, for me, seeing them lose to The Milwaukee Bucks – one of the worst teams in the NBA, maybe even the worst team, unless you consider that honor as belonging to The Philadelphia 76ers. So, last night’s game, Friday night, in Minneapolis-St.Paul, although a train wreck, wasn’t that awful – as awful games go. Sure, any loss by The Lakers is a bad loss, most any year, but against Kevin Love & Crew, The Minnesota Timberwolves, this year, it was somewhat expected. Considering the fact that our head coach, Mike D’Antoni, doesn’t know anything about defense, it wasn’t surprising he would take out our defense-minded small forward, Wesley Johnson, and start offense-minded Kent Bazemore instead. Yeah, that was smart. #not

T’Wolves 143, Lakers 107 (Recap).

Probably more interesting to fans of NBA basketball was The Philadelphia 76ers blowing out The Detroit Pistons 123-98 today, after last winning a game January 29th (that was 2 months ago!). But, for “we the fans” of The Los Angeles Lakers, a game like they played last night still brings some degree of enjoyment – somehow. To be honest, I didn’t watch the game “live,” not completely. I left to pick up my kids from gymnastics and watch them do some interesting stunts. Now, that was fun! And I tweeted Time Warner Cable about their SportsNet channel broadcast being in a foreign language – for the 2nd night in a row! I learned that language to be Korean. #whatever

Off the bench, Rob Sacre, Wesley Johnson and MarShon Brooks played halfway decently. Nikola Pekovic completely outplayed Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman, Kaman only playing for about 5 minutes. Pau Gasol was still out (vertigo, still?). But giving up 41 points in the 1st Quarter was enough for the coaching staff to just play different combinations of guys to continue experimenting with “team chemistry.” Shouldn’t that recipe have become understood before the season started? I know, we lead the league in games lost due to injuries… #blahblahblah

Minnesota made 67% of their shots, Los Angeles 43% – that’s game! How many of these contests are left? Our record is 24-48? #ugh

Well, next Wednesday we might be able to win a game against Sacramento!

Go, Lakers!


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Anybody Surprised Lakers Lost to Worst Team in the NBA?

28 March 2014 Leave a comment

No, it’s not likely the loss by The Los Angeles Lakers last night mattered much, to anybody. Watching the game on the borrowed feed (?) by TWC was annoying at first, but rather hilarious once my daughters came home from gymnastics practice: The enthusiasm of the announcers speaking in a different language made for a strange enjoyment of the emotion of the game! I (we) couldn’t understand anything, and turning on captions just made it worse – even though the words that then flowed were in English, but it blocked the viewing screen to significantly to leave them on. The announcers seemed to really take delight in Jordan Hill’s wild hair, and he had a decent night – again. But, The Lakers, as a team, were too sloppy with the ball, freely committing turnovers, bumbling around, missing defensive assignments for continuous attempts at stripping the ball away from The Milwaukee Bucks. There, I said it – The Lakers lost to the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, who weren’t even playing at full strength! Worse, they lost to a team with a former Lakers player, and semi-decent Point Guard, Ramon Sessions – yes, the guy that The Lakers thought could replace Derek Fisher. #smh

Bucks 108, Lakers 105 (Recap).

Brandon Knight went off for 30 points, for high score honors, but Jordan Hill putting up 28 points with 16 rebounds was the more dominant performance! Unfortunately, The Lakers lost a golden opportunity to build off of a win over The New York Knicks with some “softer” (?) opponents on the schedule coming up than what they had to endure recently (OKC, Spurs). Of course, to make matters worse, or to put the game into better perspective, Larry Sanders couldn’t play for The Bucks, and OJ Mayo, Ilyasova, and Delfino sat out the game – all Lakers killers, in the past. Oh well. Yeah, this potent Mike D’Antoni offense is very reliable. #not

Go, Lakers!

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Lakers Blowout Knicks 127 – 96

25 March 2014 Leave a comment

This has been one crazy year in the NBA, especially for The Los Angeles Lakers and The New York Knicks; but, this season has had some major disappointments of lackluster play by many teams, and a fewer sprinklings of great performances by the better teams. Tonight, there is no way anybody anywhere on any planet expected The Lakers to score 127 points in a game where they only scored 14 points in the 1st Quarter!

Phil Jackson takes over The Knicks and this massacre happens to his team in Los Angeles? Welcome back, Phil! What else can be said? “We the fans,” and probably the players, for The Lakers wish you had never left. Will we be stuck with Pringles as coach for another season after his offense proved so successful tonight? #sayiitaintso

The Knicks were supposed to be good this year. A Twitter “friend” seemed to believe they would easily repeat their 54 wins from last year, or some such thinking. He went so far as to say, last August, that The Knicks would be better than The Nets! And The Brooklyn Nets, even with how far into the luxury tax they spent money to steal a championship last summer, played just awful to start the season; but, they seem to have picked up the pace since Christmas, or… whenever (more recently). No, “my” Lakers aren’t anywhere near winning 53 games like I had stupidly prognosticated, but they play with heart, with passion, every night! I don’t know what that was by The Knicks tonight, but it didn’t resemble much in the “effort” department.

Is Woodson in “deadman walking” status? Is “D’Antoni”? They both should be, shouldn’t they? How can Phil Jackson have any bearing on either team in his capacity? I don’t understand the management of either team. The Lakers did an amnesty thing with Metta World Peace and then The Knicks sign him, but later waive him (and Beno Udrih)? #idontgetit  

J.R. Smith is supposed to be “instant offense” for The Knicks, but he was a dud tonight. Nick Young, Xavier Henry, Kent Bazemore, Ryan Kelly – The Lakers have some guys they should seriously consider signing in the off-season for a couple more years, if they can sign a high profile guy to close out tough games against top teams, somebody like Carmelo Anthony perhaps? WIll Kobe Bryant ever be able to do that again? Or, is he a decoy guy now, a reliable threat to keep other teams honest on defense? These teams have a lot of work to do this summer. 

Lakers 127, Knicks 96 (Recap).

At one point in the 4th Quarter the stats on TNT showed The Lakers bench outscoring The Knicks bench 66-11. Jordan Hill, who had a career high Sunday night against Orlando with 28 points ended with 9 points on 4-4 shooting and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes! Pau Gasol didn’t play (vertigo). Kobe Bryant is out for the year (knee). Steve Nash wanted to play, but he was a late scratch… Who are these guys?

Of course, Carmelo Anthony as the league’s 2nd best scorer (behind Kevin Durant) didn’t start well, even though The Knicks led after the 1st Quarter 22-14. But Melo finished off an 0-7 start to go 10-21. Turnovers between Felton and Prigioni reached a hefty 11. But no number was more crazy than the amount of points The Lakers scored in the 3rd Quarter: 51. Yes, The Lakers, these D’Antoni-led Lakers of 2013-14 scored FIFTY-ONE POINTS in a 12-minute stretch! That followed up a 36-point 2nd Quarter!

And The Lakers did it with the likes of Xavier Henry playing with a torn ligament in his left wrist, his shooting hand. They did it with contributions by every Lakers player available, including those most recently residing in d’Antoni’s doghouse: Chris Kaman and MarShon Brooks! “Swaggy P” had yet another opportunity for a 4-point play but missed the Free Throw. Xavier Henry made the 1st of 2 Free Throws, then got the rebound off the 2nd shot for a slam dunk where The Knicks fouled him again! Bench scoring at games end: 82-12, Lakers. #wow

Can The Lakers do this again? Parity in this league is at an all-time high, and if March Madness is telling any story then the talent across all schools is beginning to tear away at the fabric of top universities not accustomed to losing early. Dwight Howard left millions on the table to not re-sign with The Lakers who would have gladly paid it! Tonight, somehow The Orlando Magic ended a 9-game losing streak in Portland tonight! The Lakers-Knicks game started on radio only until the OKC-Mavs OT game ended) with a Dallas victory!). Indiana seems to be stumbling into the playoffs. Does that make San Antonio the favorite? Or, is Miami still “top dog”? The NBA is FAN-tastic! The Lakers were great tonight!!! #iwilltakeit

Go, Lakers!

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Lakers Played Magically Well vs. Orlando Last Night w/o Star Power!

24 March 2014 Leave a comment

Sunday night’s early start surprised me, but I actually expected The Los Angeles Lakers to win Friday and Sunday – unlike Fox Sports radio that now advertises Lakers games like this: “Tune in to find out whether The Lakers can win another game this season!” Friday night, they could have turned defeat into victory with some wizardry; but, Washington did what they needed to do to hold off any surges The Lakers tried to develop. Last night’s victory, though, over Orlando was a bit easier to pull off – somehow. Up 55-48 at Halftime, and only discovering Pau Gasol was unable to finish the game when the players took to the court to start the 2nd Half, they endured a poor 3rd Quarter to then secure the victory with better team play in the 4th Quarter, led by Jordan Hill’s points and rebounds!

Lakers 103, Magic 94 (Recap).

Once Nick Young got hot in the final quarter, the only real contest was between Jordan Hill and Nick Young for who would lead the team in scoring! Jordan Hill hit his career high, with 28 points – and added to that great defense and 13 rebounds! He also hit 10-13 from the Free Throw line! Before Pau Gasol exited the game, he had a +14 rating, but Jordan Hill topped it with a +17 mark! The rest of the team didn’t actually score very well, although Nick Young scoring 26 points on 8-17 wasn’t too bad. The Orlando Magic were coming off a back-to-back game, and their players were off – except for a local, Lancaster talent Dewayne Dedman who went 2-2 in 10 minutes, off the bench, as their only scorer with a + rating (9). Their rookie Victor Oladipo played fairly well, but Arron Afflalo (of UCLA) was off, and they needed more help from their frontline. Tobias Harris played the role of “Lakers killer” well, in the 1st Half.

But the outcome of this game was all about the strong play of Jordan Hill. He commanded the paint, pretty much, on both ends of the court. I was a bit surprised he was allowed to play, after being ejected Friday night, getting between Drew Gooden and Nick Young to protect his teammate. It would have been nice if Kendall Marshall had played a better game, without the presence of Steve Nash after another setback in Friday’s game. Jordan Farmar is still out. Apparently MarShon Brooks has joined Chris Kaman in the coach’s doghouse. Xavier Henry is now nursing a wrist injury? #smh

Go, Lakers!

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Lakers Ran Into a Wall, Wizards Win

23 March 2014 Leave a comment

It was a great night to take in a Lakers game, Friday night: the price was right (thanks to StubHub), the seats were great PR10-Row7- Seats12&13, on the aisle. And, after playing their last 4 games against The Spurs and The Thunder, it was conceivably a winnable game (at home, against The Washington Wizards). But The Lakers got off to a bad start: Xavier Henry was just “off” when he came into the game.

It was great to see Xavier Henry on the court, though, and eventually there was also the return to action by Nick Young, Jordan Hill and Steve Nash to enjoy! But The Wizards have John Wall, who was a master at everything while on the court, dishing out 14 assists with his 29 points and 4 rebounds! The Lakers only closed the scoring gap when he was off the floor.

Wizards 117, Lakers 107 (Recap).

Nash ended up with 11 assists for the game, in limited action only 29 assists from overtaking Mark Jackson for #1. Otherwise, the only other thing noteworthy that happened was when The Lakers got the score down to a 7-point deficit but then couldn’t finish at the rim, fouls not called, referees allowing game to deteriorate into a melee that was predictable – Jordan Hill coming to the defense of Nick Young from Dwight Gooden. Then Pau Gasol missed 5 free throws, as well as others, and that was the game (no chance to steal a victory from defeat).

Maybe The Lakers will surprise everyone and beat Memphis tonight. No, I am not on any drugs. It could happen, or not.

Well, now, it’s not actually possible to beat Memphis today because they’re playing Orlando! And leading at Halftime, 55-48!

Go, Lakers!

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Spur Managed Lakers (Again) The Other Night

21 March 2014 Leave a comment

It was a deceptively close game, for The Lakers, and for “we the fans,” as they kept the score close with The San Antonio Spurs, for the first 42 minutes: Would you believe that The Lakers were only down 1 point at Halftime? Not unless you saw it. Right? I’m going to Staples Center tonight, in a game that is conceivably “winnable” by The Lakers, against The Washington Wizards. That Xavier Henry is back, and hopeful to see Nick Young back on the floor, there is some scoring punch available, again, which was absent from Wednesday’s loss to the visiting Spurs (Jordan Farmar was out due to a groin injury suffered during practice the prior day).

I don’t think I have faltered in my resolve to write about The Lakers after every game, within 24 hours, until now. What needs to be said? All that there ever seems to be is a steady stream of whining about this, that & the other about The Lakers these days, among fans, media reports, even Lakers announcers. And now Phil Jackson leaves, off to the rich pasture of Dolan’s New York Knicks? Kobe is calling for d’Antoni to be fired? I am amazed that so many people believe Phil Jackson as President of New York’s team will be able to inspire The Knicks to better play, or even encourage Melo to stay! Will Carmelo call Dwight Howard back for his “take” on whether or not to stay with The Knicks now they they have Phil? Will Jeannie Buss return the engagement ring he gave her? #iDoNotKnow

What I do know is: The San Antonio Spurs have got to be one of the least flamboyant teams among all professional sports franchises, and yet, they are always within striking distance of another ring, and their top players stick around, along with their coach (Pop is pretty good!), year after year after year. Tony Parker is a great Point Guard! Tim Duncan may be a relic, but he is still a dominant force. Manu Ginobli is still a very valuable piece in their ability to pull off wins vs. the toughest teams in the NBA. But the real genius of the team seems to be finding complimentary players to add to their core group of guys. The Lakers have no answer to Green, Leonard, Splitter… And now add Belinelli, Mills to a lineup that fills out with Boris Diaw, Cory Joseph, and Matt Bonner? Wow!

Spurs 125, Lakers 109 (Recap).

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