Tag:Los angeles Lakers
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:37 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 11:41 pm

Report Card: Lakers-Heat Grades

Grades from the Heat's 98-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night. 

LeBron James

Well, he was on 4-9 in the fourth quarter. But then, that didn't really matter, since he scored 31 points (but needed 27 shots), had 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. That's about as complete a game you're going to find in a game with this kind of pace. James had pretty much everything working. A teardrop, a hook shot, threes, mid-range, dunks, the works. His team needed him to step up with flu-like symptoms and he got it done. It's not the flu game, but it is very impressive.

Erik Spoelstra

Spoelstra managed a pretty magnificent stratagem against the Lakers. He doubled Kobe Bryant as aggressively as you can, daring the Lakers' perimeter shooters to hit shots from range. When they couldn't, the Lakers' offense fell apart. Bryant was forced into either deferring or poor shots. The Heat's defense was in fine form. They funneled the ball where they wanted and when it went where they didn't (Andrew Bynum), they hammered the Lakers and made them hit free throws. Masterful game by Spo.

Mario Chalmers

Didn't shoot well, but ran the offense effectively and was disruptive on defense. Chalmers made no boneheaded plays and wound up with six assists. He did what the point guard on this kind of team needs to do. His job, and nothing more.

Chris Bosh

Bosh was charged with a brutal task. Score against two of the best big men in the league and defend them when they have multiple inches and tons of weight on him. Yet Bosh was effective in deterring entry passes and being active on the weak side. He spaced the floor with 15 points and set the tone.

Pau Gasol

The lone bright spot, Gasol should have gotten the ball much more in this game. He had the mid-range and was aggressive driving. It was a vintage performance wasted by a terrible Lakers offense.

Kobe vs. LeBron

The record is 11-5 and James just beat him with flu-like symptoms (Bryant obviously dealing with a torn ligament in his wrist that is arguably much more severe). James has won five straight against No. 24. Those that feel regular season games are meaningless won't be affected by these games (or anything short of James winnning six rings). But if we're buying into head-to-head to any degree, James' dominance is clear.

Kobe Bryant

Some poor shot selection, which you expect. But a lot of shots he usually hits just weren't falling. He controlled his shooting, controlled his turnovers, and tried to get the Lakers back in the game. Bryant's biggest problem Thursday night was not being as good as LeBron James. And really, on a night like Thursday, how do you blame him for that?

The Lakers mystique

Note that James didn't have an A game, Bosh didn't have an A game, the Heat didn't have Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant scored 11 straight in the fourth.... and they lost by eleven. The Lakers can still win a title this season. But no one's scared of this team right now. The menace is gone.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 8:50 pm

Video: Josh McRoberts cheapshots LeBron

Posted by Royce Young

Hey Josh McRoberts, that's Andrew Bynum's move. Except LeBron James is a tad bit bigger, stronger and faster than J.J. Barea.

In the first quarter of the Lakers showdown with Miami, LeBron drove hard to the basket. Metta World Peace grabbed him from behind and then McRoberts came over the top to meet LeBron. But instead of even remotely going for the ball, McRoberts threw a forearm right into LeBron's grill.

McRoberts was assessed a technical for the move. I don't know if he was trying to send a message, but there's a difference between a clean hard foul at the rim and a total cheapshot, which is what McRoberts pulled.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:06 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 3:14 pm

5 Things to Watch: Lakers at Heat

The Heat need LeBron James, who is a gametime decision with flu-like symptoms, against the Lakers Thursday night in Miami. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

The Heat and Lakers are probably the most recognizable teams in the league at this moment in time. Featuring a likely six All-Stars between them, it's a marquee matchup of the season. Even with Dwyane Wade out and LeBron James a gametime decision, all eyes will be on South Beach Thursday night to see if the Lakers can get past the wall they've recently hit against LeBron's teams, and if Kobe Bryant can continue what has been an incredible month for him. The Lakers need this game to avoid another loss to a playoff team, and their second loss in three games, while the Heat need a win to stave off a disastrous four losses in five games stretch. With that, here are 5 Things to Watch or Miami Heat vs. L.A. Lakers 2012, Round 1. 

1. A Sick Attitude: LeBron James isn't feeling well. And it's not even the Finals! (Hey-O!) James is a gametime decision against L.A. due to "flu-like symptoms" that he's been dealing with this past week. James was also not feeling great against the Spurs and missed several layups and jumpers in the first half. Then apparently he had a Hi-C juice box at the half because he came out and demolished the Spurs in the third quarter to help the Heat turn a double-digit deficit into a double-digit route. That's what he can do. The question will be if his condition has worsened and how he reacts to it. Thanks to Michael Jordan, expectations actually raise if you have the flu. So LeBron's under pressure not only to win, but to extra special while sick. With the compact schedule, there's little rest, so James could be far less than 100 percent Thursday night. Which pretty much dooms the Heat. This is not the Hawks.

2. Spreading the Wealth: Kobe Bryant has been ridiculous over the past week, Mavericks game aside. He's been on tear of scoring 40 per game which came to an end against the Mavericks, but they got the win anyway. He's also been shooting an insane amount. His usage rate, or percentage of possessions used, is at 39.7 percent. So basically 4 out of every 10 times the Lakers come down the floor, he's the one who winds up with a shot or turnover. Against Miami, he may want to get everyone else involved so the Heat's help rotation defense doesn't neutralize everyone else, leaving him to go it alone. Granted, Dwyane Wade being out opens up chances for him (Shane Battier remarked after practice today that he was going to get some Hail Mary's in before the game). But the Lakers can dominate the Heat inside. An efficient game from Bryant that uses Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum's advantage over a small Heat frontline to open up opportunities for Kobe could be the difference. That way Kobe gets the points, and the win.

3. The Inside Man: Well, I was worried about Andrew Bynum tearing the Heat apart, but Eddy Curry might play. The Heat are saved! But seriously, Bynum should be able to have his way with the smaller Joel Anthony and much smaller Chris Bosh. The Heat may even put Dexter Pittman on Bynum due to his size, but the youngster won't have the experience or muscle to hang with the wunderkind. If Bynum gets touches, the Lakers can play at their pace and rough up the Heat. Do that and you slow down the Heat's transition attack, their biggest asset.

4. Old Friends: Mike Brown knows LeBron James' tendencies as well as anyone in the league, having coached him for years in Cleveland. And setting aside whatever personal history exists between them, Brown will likely have his team prepared to combat James' effectiveness, flu or no flu. Whether it's goading him into his ineffective mid-range jumper, bringing help at the right time and position, or attacking one hand or another, Brown will have one of the best books on James you can have in this league, and he has a quality defensive roster and Metta World Peace to implement on him. Classic matchup: superstar power versus coaching stratagem.

5. Next Generation: Norris Cole and Darius Morris could have a lot to say about this game Thursday night. Cole provides a full-speed, no hesitation bucket creator for the Heat they desperately need coming off the bench. Morris provides an athletic point guard, which they haven't had in eons. Derek Fisher's savvy and Mario Chalmers' athleticism and improved shooting should cancel one another out, which means whichever guard can make the most of the attention drawn by their superstar big brothers will make a big swing in a game that features a lot of veterans in role positions. You hate for a game to come down to two rookies, but considering the matchups, whichever handles the pressure better could help their team to a monstrous win.

Your Plus-3 for the game:

- Don't be surprised to see Chris Bosh heavily involved in trying to draw out Pau Gasol, who has struggled with defense in space this season. Bosh has excelled at the pump fake and go, but if his jumper isn't falling, Gasol can pack the lane along with Bynum, keeping the Heat in mid-range jumper mode.

- The odds of a physical conflict in this game are pretty high. Between Udonis Haslem, Andrew Bynum, Bryant and Battier, Matt Barnes, Metta World Peace and the rest of the Heat bench, this will likely not be a pretty game.

- Mike Miller hit his shots against the Spurs in his first game back. He better hope he hasn't used them all up. The Lakers will bring a lot of help and cheat inside on drives, which means Miller will have looks. If he knocks them down, that puts the Lakers' defense into disarray.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:57 am
Edited on: January 19, 2012 1:20 pm

Wade out, James gametime decision vs. Lakers

LeBron James is a gametime decision with flu-like symptoms and Dwyane Wade is out vs. the Lakers Thursday (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

LeBron James was sent home from Heat practice Thursday morning with flu-like symptoms and Dwyane Wade will not play vs. the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night, via the AP: 
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says guard Dwyane Wade's status remains day-to-day with a sprained right ankle. Wade will not play Thursday night.

It's the second straight game Wade has missed with the ankle problem and the fifth overall missed because of injuries so far this season. Wade sat out three games earlier this month with a sore left foot.

James has been battling flu-like symptoms for much of this week.
via James sent home from shootaround with illness, Wade day-to-day - NBA - CBSSports.com News, Rumors, Scores, Stats, Fantasy Advice.

James was suffering from the same ailment during Tuesday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs. James started off struggling in that game, missing several layups. Then the second half came and apparently someone got a fluids treatment, because James started dropping three-pointers like the bucket was a hula-hoop. He wound up scoring 33 points along with five rebounds and 10 assists, because he's a freak of nature like that.

But with him missing practice, you have to wonder if he'll be well enough to even make it to the court, and if so, how effective he'll be against the Lakers' quality wing defenders. With James not at full strength and Wade out, the Lakers have to be expected to win in Miami for a big road win, no matter the circumstances.

Expect for there to be one zillion references to "the flu game" of Michael Jordan, his Game 5 effort in the 1997 Finals, between now and tonight's game. Unfortunately, as nearly everyone is aware, LeBron James is not Michael Jordan, no one is Michael Jordan, this is not the Finals, and any effort at all on James' part will be hindered by the physical effects of his illness. 

Huge break for the Lakers.

Mike Brown said Thursday at practice that he has no doubt James will play. Via the AP: 

"When you talk about great players like him, those guys even though they're sick or a little injured or whatever, they find a way to perform at a high level," Lakers coach Mike Brown, one of James' former coaches with the Cleveland Cavaliers, said Thursday afternoon. "I don't think it's any different for LeBron."
And Chris Bosh summed up how most people will regard the Heat's situation against the Laker: 

"The show still goes on," Heat forward Chris Bosh said. "We're still going to expect to win."

Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:33 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 10:34 am

Mike Brown wants to cut down Kobe's minutes

Posted by Royce Young

That German knee treatment Kobe Bryant had done has been great, but surely it can't be this great.

Kobe is averaging 37 minutes a game and at 33 years old with a bum wrist and shaky knees, that's just too many minutes. Coach Mike Brown knows it and wants to cut into that.

"I do want to get it down,’ Brown said Tuesday via the O.C. Register.

The 37 minutes a game is a four-minute increase over last season with Phil Jackson. But it's not just that. As the story notes, it's a hard 37 minutes. Unlike in the Triangle, Kobe is the constant focus of the offense, working to get shots, fighting to get open, running off picks, using his dribble -- he's having to put in a heavy workload every night.

He's taking almost 25 shots a game this season, which is the second highest total in his career. And it's not just that. Remember, it's a lockout shortened season with more games and less rest. The Lakers want Kobe healthy, rested and ready for April and May, not January and February.

So if Brown has to sacrafice a game here or there to get Kobe some rest, he might be doing that more. Just trying to whittle three or four minutes a night off is a big deal. It doesn't help that Kobe would prefer to play all 48, so it's not like he's volunteering here.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:25 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 2:27 pm

NBA GMs survey: Heat over Thunder in 2012 Finals

Posted by Ben Golliver  


The NBA's chief basketball operations executives have weighed in: The Miami Heat should win the 2012 NBA Finals.

An annual survey of the NBA's general managers by NBA.com reveals that 74.1 percent believe the Heat will revenge their 2011 Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Back in November, Miami was set by Las Vegas as the early favorite to win the title.

An overwhelming 96.3 percent voted Miami as Eastern Conference champions. Miami is currently the No. 6 seed in the East, trailing the conference-leading Chicago Bulls by 2.5 games. The Bulls received just 3.7 percent of the vote. Miami topped Chicago in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

Out West, the conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder are the clear favorite. 67.9 percent of voters believed the Thunder will win the Western Conference. OKC is currently 12-2 and already holding a 3-game lead in the conference. The Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs also received votes. The defending champion Dallas Mavericks,  who started the season slowly, did not receive a single vote.

The survey's selection for Division winners tended to favor established, veteran teams. In the East, Miami, Chicago and the Boston Celtics, currently toiling at 4-8, were picked. In the West, Oklahoma City, the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers were the picks.

Voters selected Thunder forward Kevin Durant over Heat forward LeBron James as the guess for league MVP. Durant is currently averaging 26.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.1 blocks in 35.9 minutes per game. James is averaging 29.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 37.5 minutes per game. Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who is leading the NBA with 30.8 points per game, did not receive a single vote.
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:18 am
Edited on: January 17, 2012 1:29 am

Kobe passes on game-winner, Fisher hits 3

Posted by Royce Young

Monday's game between the Lakers and Mavericks was definitely strange. The two teams combined for just 143 points, the Lakers scored only seven points in the third quarter and Kobe Bryant passed on a game-winning shot attempt.

With the game tied 70-70 with nine seconds left, Kobe held the ball at the top of the key and swung it to an open Derek Fisher standing behind the 3-point line. With no hesitation, Fisher launched and nailed the go-ahead game-winning 3. This is after Kobe had gone for 40 or more in four straight games. Yet in this one, he finished just 7-22 from the floor for 14 points. So he deferred, which is not something you say often.

Was it the right play? Yeah, because it worked out. But in all honesty, what would you rather have: A deep Fisher 3, or a tough contested mid-range jumper from Kobe? Passing to the open man tends to be the smart basketball play and it was Monday because Fisher's shot went in. If not, then Kobe looks like an idiot for taking the ball out of his own hands.

And get this: Fisher scored nine of the Lakers' last 13 points. A strange night at Staples indeed.
Posted on: January 15, 2012 3:22 pm

Kobe: CP3 and Rose only guys that have his edge

Posted by Royce Young

Kobe Bryant has never been shy. Not with the ball in his hands and not with his words. He tells it like it is, says what he means and is often a bit braggadocios with it, which obviously, he has reason to be.

Following the Lakers loss to the Clippers Saturday, Kobe paid Chris Paul, and Derrick Rose, about as high a compliment there is from the Black Mamba.

"He's a dog," Kobe told reporters. "He's going to fight to win, and not too many teams can deal with him.

"Chris Paul is really the only other guy in the league, other than Derrick Rose, who has also that competitive edge," he continued.

Notice the names missing from Kobe's list there. No LeBron James. No Dwyane Wade. No Kevin Durant. No Dirk Nowitzki. No Kevin Garnett. Nope, on Kobe's personal power rankings of players that possess the same competitive edge as him, it goes Kobe and then CP3 and Rose in some order.

That's just Kobe talking, which he likes to do. It's not a slight to the other players but more just something that shows the respect Kobe has for Rose and Paul. Still, it seems like quite an oversight to leave out players like Wade, Durant and Dirk. 

And really, what exactly is that "competitive edge" that Kobe speaks of? What tells him that CP3 and Rose have it? What makes him think that those guys are on another level when it comes to wanting to win? It's just Kobe's opinion and he's more than entitled to that, but still, it's quite a thing to only put two players in your category in terms of competitiveness. Kobe wants to be Michael Jordan, who had a legendary amount of it. And only a couple others are in that territory, evidently.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com