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Tag:Darius Morris
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 14, 2012 11:23 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 11:25 pm
 

Lakers G Darius Morris hits 50-foot buzzer-beater

Posted by Ben Golliver  

From... way... down... town... bang.

Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Darius Morris hit a crazy buzzer-beating three-pointer to close out the first quarter of a Saturday night showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Morris received an inbounds pass with 1.7 seconds left, took one dribble to elude Clippers All-Star guard Chris Paul, and heaved up a one-handed shot as he leaned left in mid-air.  The shot went straight in, much to the delight of the Staples Center crowd. The shot cut the Clippers' lead to 31-24 at the end of one quarter.

Morris, 21, was the Lakers' second round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, selected with the No. 41 overall pick out of the University of Michigan.

Here's the video of Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Darius Morris nailing a 50-foot buzzer-beater against the Clippers.


Posted on: June 30, 2011 7:21 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 10:12 pm
 

Lakers G Shannon Brown opts out to free agency

Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown has opted out so that he can enter free agency. Posted by Ben Golliver. shannon-brown

It's been a fairly quiet summer for the Los Angeles Lakers roster-wise. With one exception, that is.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Lakers guard Shannon Brown has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract so that he can enter free agency.
Lakers backup guard Shannon Brown informed the team Thursday that he was exercising his option to terminate the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.

"We made the best decision for me and everybody around me," Brown said in a telephone interview. "It's an interesting time to do this because of the lockout, but I think this is the best thing for me to do right now."

"I haven't ruled out the Lakers," Brown said. "I don't know if they will rule me out. I'm staying open."
Brown, 25, brought an athletic and vertical presence to the Lakers backcourt, which was otherwise comprised entirely of veterans: Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Steve Blake. Brown is probably most known for his leaping ability but he has grown during his time in the NBA, posting a career high of 8.7 points per game in 2010-2011. Brown has also been quite durable, appearing in all 82 games for the Lakers for the second consecutive season. 

Clearly, Brown is seeking a big-dollar, multi-year extension from somebody. By opting out, he is passing up the opportunity to make $2.4 million in the 2011-2012 season.

It's unclear exactly how aggressive the Lakers will be in working to keep him, as their payroll already hovers around a league-high $90 million and the team selected two guards -- Darius Morris from Michigan and Andrew Goudelock from the College of Charleston -- in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. We won't know until after the NBA lockout is complete.

Posted on: June 25, 2011 5:12 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 6:31 pm
 

2011 NBA Draft: 5 second round steals

Here's a look at five second round steals in the 2011 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver. davis-bertans

1. Davis Bertans -- San Antonio Spurs at No. 42

Acquiring George Hill for picks was a nice win-now move for the Indiana Pacers, but the San Antonio Spurs did very well to get value in the package coming back. Snagging Kawhi Leonard, the major slipper in the first round, was a great move. Picking up Bertans, a Latvian forward with first round potential, was arguably even better. That Bertans fell to No. 42 and the Spurs, historically one of the smartest organizations in the NBA, seems almost unfair. An excellent shooter with great length and a bit of handle to boot, Bertans can develop at his own pace overseas, ready to inject talent when needed in the post-Duncan era.

2. Darius Morris -- Los Angeles Lakers at No. 41

The Lakers needed to address the point guard position after exiting the playoffs earlier than usual this year. The aging Derek Fisher and the frantic Steve Blake didn't perform up to expectations and there are question marks about Shannon Brown's future in Los Angeles. Morris, who has often drawn comparisons to Andre Miller for his play-making and size, was the best point guard remaining on the board and had been considered a first round prospect by some talent evaluators. The Lakers filled a hole beautifully and hedge nicely against Father Time. 

3. Josh Selby -- Memphis Grizzlies at No. 49

Did anyone fall further than Josh Selby? A top high school talent endured a confusing and disappointing single season at Kansas before bailing to the pros as a one-and-done. Anyone snatching him up in the second round, given those circumstances, was getting good value. That he lasted until No. 49 is pretty amazing. Memphis -- led by no-nonsense coach Lionel Hollins -- showed this season that it can keep difficult personalities and egos in check and turn a group of cast-offs into a team that defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. If Selby is able to stick and get his career back on track, his scoring ability in the backcourt would make a trade of O.J. Mayo less painful. If not, the Grizzlies can simply cut their losses. All-reward, no-risk here.

4. Jeremy Tyler -- Golden State Warriors at No. 39

Jeremy Tyler is a risk, without question, and the Warriors are already reportedly $2 million deep into that risk after purchasing the pick used to select him from the Charlotte Bobcats. Tyler was a top 15 talent in this year's draft crop, once regarded as the best high school player in his class. He's shown signs of maturation and his offensive instincts are fairly well-honed. He will need to grow up as a professional but the same goes for many in this class. Getting him on a second-round contract with the flexibility of a non-guaranteed deal means he is on a tight leash and will have every reason to be on his best behavior. He's in a position where he's got to prove himself all over again to really see an NBA payday, the type of which he expected when he left high school early to play overseas years ago. Getting him fully in shape to reach that goal is the first step. No one should be surprised if he becomes the most talented player picked in the second round within two or three years. Golden State needed to get tougher and bulkier inside, which they did here. 

5. Andrew Goudelock -- Los Angeles Lakers at No. 46

Goudelock is a small school scoring point guard without much of a defensive reputation. That description alone carries plenty of question marks and risks. But the Lakers -- with Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Paul Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the fold -- have the talent, not to mention the deep pocketbooks, to sustain those risks with ease. As the guard trio of Bryant, Fisher and Blake ages, GM Mitch Kupchak's job was simply to inject the roster with youth and upside. In taking both Morris and Goudelock in the second round, he gets two different looks to fulfill that goal. Given that they are both on second-round deals, he only needs one of them to stick. The fact that both guards have the upside to be rotation players -- in L.A. or elsewhere -- means the Lakers landed two solid assets late in a shallow pool. That's intelligent drafting.
 
 
 
 
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