Tag:Los angeles Lakers
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Podcast: Greg Anthony of CBS Sports, NBATV

By Matt Moore 

On this edition of the CBSSports.com NBA Podcast, former New York Knick and CBS Sports and NBATV analyst Greg Anthony joins us to wrap up All-Star Weekend. We look back on Dwyane Wade's hard foul on Kobe Bryant, and ask whether the players actually get any rest during All-Star Weekend. 

We also discuss Dwight Howard and whether fans and the media oversimplify Dwight Howard's situation regarding a potential trade and being on the fence about leaving Orlando. Anthony talks about how many factors weigh into Dwight's decision and how fluid it can be. We tend to make the situation only about winning, or Orlando's history, or marketing, or playing with stars, or family. And in reality it's a constantly-evolving situation with no clear answer. Great conversation with Greg Anthony, check it out. 

You can also subscribe on iTunes, if that's your kind of thing. 

 
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:01 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 12:07 pm
 

A-Rod: Kobe considered retirement over knee

A-Rod says Kobe Bryant almost retired last summer. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez told reporters on Saturday night that Kobe Bryant almost retired because of the pain in his right knee, until he had the experimental procedure performed in Germany done, which he advised A-Rod to also have. From the Los Angeles Times
Yet, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez told reporters Saturday that Bryant told him the pain in his right knee and ankle felt so overwhelming that he considered retiring. That is, until an innovative procedure in Germany this off-season on both his right knee and left ankle fixed everything.

Bryant "was really adamant about how great the procedure was for him," Rodriguez told reporters. "I know that he was hurting before, almost even thinking about retirement, that's how much pain he was under. And then he said after he went to Germany he felt like a 27-year-old again. I was still a little apprehensive about it and he kept staying on me about it."
via A-Rod: Kobe Bryant considered retirement last season - latimes.com.

Can you imagine if Bryant had retired after last season? That his last moments on an NBA floor could have been the sweep from the Mavericks? Instead, the 33-year-old leads the league in scoring, and has scored over 30 points 13 times this season. The Lakers very much remain in position to contend for the West despite front-office turmoil and a disappointing perfromance from his supporting cast, and Bryant is a huge reason why. 

Bryant became the all-time leading scorer in All-Star Game history Sunday, and passed Shaquille O'Neal on the NBA regular season all-time scoring list earlier this year. In the past three years, he's played his way through torn ligaments in his finger and wrist, severe pain in his knee, twisted ankles, and a broken nose and concussion. The words you're looking for are "tough as nails." That we almost lost a giant in this game like that too early in his career is terrifying. Instead, Bryant looks prepared to light up the scoreboard for another half-decade or more, and has talked about wanting to play till he's 40.  

Let's be thankful we get a few more years of prime Bryant.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:10 am
Edited on: February 27, 2012 10:23 am
 

Howard update and Bynum thinks he's staying

By Matt Moore 

Andrew Bynum has had the same noose hanging over his head that Pau Gasol has for the past few months. The more the Lakers don't look like a Finals contender, the greater the chances are that the team will do what it has always done, reload with the best parts available, in this case, Dwight Howard. That would mean Bynum would be headed out of town, despite being the prized possession of new ower-in-charge, Jim Buss. 

But for Bynum's part? He told the Orlando Sentinel he's not concerned about it, and doesn't think he's going anywhere. From the Sentinel: 
"It doesn't matter to me; I don't read the headlines," he said. "There's a bank in every city, and I'm going to play hard basketball wherever I go, so I'm good."

Bynum believes he'll be a Laker after the trade deadline, although he ought not take that to any bank.

Until then, Bynum isn't going to allow it affect him the way its bothered Lakers PF Pau Gasol.

"I really don't care about it, man," he said. "You've just got to play basketball, just have fun. A lot of people lose that … it's a business and this and that. You're playing a game, and it's something you've been doing since you were a kid. If you just get back to that and just play, nothing matters."
via Orlando Magic: Glen "Big Baby" Davis speaks his mind in Magic team meeting - Page 2 - OrlandoSentinel.com.

Typical stuff in terms of "I don't let trade talk bother me," but the fact he thinks he's not going anywhere either shows a youthful ignorance of how disposable any player is to teams, or an indication from ownership that they don't think Howard is going to fit with L.A..

Meanwhile, Magic ownership shot down a rumor over the weekend of a potential trade with the Lakers for Dwight Howard.  
Orlando Magic continue to say they have made no decisions about what they'll do with Dwight Howard as the NBA trade deadline approaches on March 15.

And they are saying that a rumor making its way around Orlando that they've reached a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and a third team is totally false.

The scuttlebutt is that the Magic would send Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson to the Lakers and the Magic would receive Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. A third team, the Toronto Raptors, could be part of the deal or in a separate trade with the Magic, sending point guard José Calderon to Orlando.

Magic CEO Alex Martins told the Sentinel the rumor is wrong.
via Dwight Howard trade rumor: Orlando Magic deny Dwight Howard trade to the Los Angeles Lakers rumor - OrlandoSentinel.com.

The next step is for the Magic to offer Dwight Howard an extension, again, on March 1st, in the hopes his wonderful experience over All-Star Weekend will entice him to stay.  When that fails, and it will fail, the Magic will have fourteen days to review offers from Howard before the March 15th trade deadline and decide to move him or keep him and risk his entering free agency. There continues to be doubt from those in the league that the Magic will actually leave open the possibility of his abandoning the fanchise in free agency with their having nothing to show for it. But with the stubborn, yet admirable dedication to not losing Howard lingering, it's impossible to tell how this whole saga ends. 

For the time being, Bynum's not going to Orlando, and Orlando's not shopping Howard.  

All's quiet on the Superman Front.
Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:54 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:59 pm
 

Bynum would like the ball more in crunch-time

Andrewy Bynum says he could use the ball more in close games. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

ORLANDO -- The Los Angeles Laker offense has been something of an enigma. Three All-Stars in the starting five, two of the most dominant bigs in the game and a Hall of Fame guard that is fifth all-time in scoring, while leading the league this season in points per game.

But the offense ranks 16th in offensive efficiency with 103.0 points per 100 possessions and 22nd in points per game with just 93.1 a night. Not great. But as average as the offense has been as a whole, it's gotten worse in crunch time situations. Scoring becomes a chore for the Lakers the last five minutes of a game.

"Crunch-time has been tough for us," center Andrew Bynum said Saturday. "Because we're not moving the ball, not playing the same style of basketball that got us where we were at. And really, that has a lot to do with the coaches and just kind of getting people in the spots that are going to make them successful."

It's a little hard to really decipher what Bynum meant there. He said that with a casualness that doesn't suggest that he's throwing blame at Mike Brown and his staff, but he did say that not moving the ball and playing the same style as the first 45 minutes of a game "has a lot to do with the coaches."

Obviously the Laker crunch-time offense runs directly through No. 24, but maybe it should feature Bynum a bit more. He's having one of his most productive seasons yet and is starting as an All-Star. He's averaging career-highs in points and rebounds per game and is shooting 54.4 percent from the field. So does he want the ball a little more late in games? But that means prying it from the cold dead hands of Kobe.

"If I'm doing good things with my touches, I just have to get the ball," Bynum said. "Actually, the team tried to get me going late in the game [against Oklahoma City Thursday]. They started to feed me the ball and that was great."

Bynum's referencing the fourth quarter against the Thunder in which he scored on back-to-back possessions, one a big dunk and the other a low block hook. After that, Kendrick Perkins checked back in to defend Bynum and the Laker big only saw one more touch as the Lakers struggled to stop OKC and score to keep pace, eventually losing by 15.

The Lakers had a players only meeting earlier that week that seemed to help though, Bynum said. The team responded with a big win in Dallas the night after. Question is, how long will that good mojo last?

"I think it will definitely carry over," Bynum said. "We have guys on our team that can play at a high level. It's just believing we can do that."

Bynum had a scheduled injection in his knee on Friday and sat out the West's practice on Saturday with a towel wrapped around his right knee. But it was all planned and he is expected to play in the game Sunday. Which means he'll be starting opposite of Dwight Howard, who has rumors swirling all around him right now. One being that he'll end up a Los Angeles Laker. What does Bynum think of that possibility?

"It would be great. We should get all three guys and nobody would ever score inside," he said. "We already have twin towers and that would just be like the same sort of thing. High-low action and I think our defense would be... crazy."
Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:43 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Kobe Bryant All-Star Saturday sound bites

Posted by Ben Golliver   
Kobe Bryant took questions on All-Star Saturday. (CBSSports.com)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant skipped out on Friday morning's All-Star media availability, citing illness. Later Friday, he magically recovered for a promotional appearance, and he looked in fine form Saturday morning while being swarmed by international media members prior to All-Star practice.

It didn't take long for Bryant to reveal the real cause of his illness: questions that irritate him.

"What type of question is that to ask me? Are you kidding me?" Bryant said, when a reported asked if he would root for the Los Angeles Clippers if they made it to the NBA Finals. "Man, I was sick the other day so I didn't have to hear this."

Further prodded for his preference in a hypothetical match-up between the Clippers and the Miami Heat, Bryant cocked his head to the site, as he is wont to do, and said, "Huh? I'd be on an island somewhere."

Jeremy Lin

Bryant experienced "Linsanity" first hand when New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin exploded for a career-high 38 points against the Lakers at Madison Square Garden in February.

Before that game, Bryant said he wasn't really aware of Lin's game, but afterwards he sang a different tune, extending a complimentary review of the performance.

On Saturday, he went a different direction, attacking the NBA's talent evaluators for doing exactly what he had done in February: overlooking Lin's abilities.

"The biggest thing to me is how everybody missed it," Bryant said. "They all would be fired if I was the owner of the team. I hear this stuff about it coming out of nowhere and it's a load of crap… There had to be something there and everybody missed it."

Dwight Howard

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard continues to draw the biggest media crowds with the game in his backyard and his future up in the air.

"It's a little awkward. It's a little awkward," Bryant said of the fact that Howard's trade demand is hanging over All-Star Weekend.

He then seemed to express some sympathy for Howard's frustration, perhaps hinting at his own feelings about the direction of the Lakers.

"He just wants his team [to win]… with players, sometimes there's a certain level of frustration when we don't feel like we're moving in the right direction."

All-Star Memories

Asked for his favorite All-Star memory from 14 selections, Bryant didn't hesitate. 

"For me the best memory of All-Star Weekend has always been my first All-Star Game. The Golden Greats -- [Michael] Jordan, [Clyde] Drexler, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, those guys. Always my fondest memory."

Los Angeles Clippers

Bryant said he's looking forward to playing with Clippers guard Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin during Sunday night's All-Star Game. 

"We had a good time last year," he remembered. The 2011 All-Star Game was held in Los Angeles.  
Asked if he ever imagined that four Western Conference starters would come from Los Angeles, he delivered a punchline he seemed to have been sitting on.

"Yeah, it was just in Lakers uniforms. Clippers had none."

Mentoring

Given that the All-Star experience is now old habit for him, Bryant joked that he was merely looking for "rest and relaxation" this weekend.

He did say that he also enjoys evaluating the first-time selections to see who has "pre-game jitters" and that he seeks out younger players with certain characteristics to offer a bit of mentorship. 

"Certain players, if I see a little bit of myself in them in terms of disposition and work ethic, I'll help them out," he said, without revealing any names.

Posted on: February 24, 2012 4:52 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 8:11 pm
 

Report: Rasheed Wallace to sign with Lakers

This guy could be a Laker soon, reportedly. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

From CSN New England, reportedly, Rasheed Wallace is back: 
CSNNE.com has learned that the former Boston Celtic forward plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

...

"His days as a starter in this league are gone," said the source. "I think he knows that, and so do the Lakers. But think about it. Of the big men that are available, is there one that's really better? And if he's gotten himself in shape, adding him becomes a huge get for them."
via Source: Rasheed Wallace to sign with Lakers.

The Lakers could use a better backup big that can hit from range, as Troy Murphy has severely disappointed, Jason Kapono can't get time on the floor and they lack a legitimate back up center. The question is whether Wallace has anything left in the tank. At 37 years of age, it's going to be a challenge to get back in shape, a challenge to get into the offense, a challenge to be able to play consistent minutes. This is a pretty big gamble for the Lakers, even on a minimum deal.

That said, Rasheed Wallace is back. Both teams played hard, my man, both teams played hard.  

Also, can we mention that Rasheed and Ron Artest will now reportedly be on the same team? How amazing is that, given the brawl?
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:54 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 10:57 am
 

Video: James Harden and Kobe get into it

By Matt Moore 

Last night as the Thunder were running away from the Lakers, James Harden and Kobe Bryant got into it. It was another horrible shooting night for Bryant, who scored 24 points on 24 shots as Harden was about as high up in his grill as you can get. Harden was also dropping threes and dunking in transition, essentially running the Lakers and Kobe out of the building. Bryant did not take well to it. The Orange County Register reported that Harde was yelling in Bryant's face after a three, and kept at it. Then this whole situation developed, courtesy of @Jose3030 on Twitter

 

Fun times!

The obvious response from Kobe is to say "Count the rings!" and the obvious respone from Harden is to say "That's ancient history, old man." The Thunder continue to make a statement this season that the power rests in the West with OKC and the Lakers are yet another team past its prime trying to hang on.

If these two meet in the playoffs, that's going to be a lot of fun seeing if Bryant can teach Harden a lesson in humility, or if Harden gets to have the last laugh with that beard of his.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:39 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 1:48 am
 

Report Card: Sanity reigns


The Heat&nbsp''s defense swarmed the Knicks on Thursday in a win. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Notable Games: 
Miami 102 New York 88
Oklahoma City 100 Lakers 85

Heat's Defense Miami trapped on the pick and roll, attacked Jeremy Lin at halfcourt on his dribble, contested at the rim with Joel Athony, and made Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire disappear. Individually they are impressive. Collectively they are dominant.
LeBron James His 7-16 shooting percentage is the only thing keeping him from an A. Because James sets the bar just that high. 20 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocks. That's pretty absurd. His defensive work and ability to run the break and control the pace of the game was complete. Another MVP performance.
Joel Anthony How do you only get six boards as a starting center, score no points and get an A? Five blocks, and constantly limit every single baseline and wing penetration. Anthony was outmatched in terms of talent, as he usually is, and played brilliantly, as he has for most of this season.
Chris Bosh The only member of the Big 3 for Miami with a good shooting night, Bosh just kept plugging filling in baseline jumpers and at one point, shook Tyson Chandler something fierce with a step back jumper. Bosh continues a great season he gets no credit for.
Jeremy Lin Yes, he was tired. Yes, it was one of the best defenses in the league. And yes, everyone gets an off nigh. But Lin must cut down on his turnovers. This is not a usage issue. Four turnovers, five turnovers, sure. Lin had six in the first half, eight total, and that just kills everything New York does well with him. Lin did his best, but the bar has been raised for Lin and he couldn't reach it against the best competition he's had.
Amar'e Stoudemire If anyone sees Amar'e Stoudemire, please let us know. He hasn't been seen since the first half against Miami.
Carmelo Anthony Anthony looked good in the first half, moving the ball and moving without it. Then in the second half he faded, going more and more to isolation, and draining the Knicks offense. He had very little choice as the Knicks offense was drowning itself in a pool of its own vomit. But there's still not a measure of total comfort for Melo.
Miami's point guards Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers took it right to Lin and converted turnovers into points, managed the offense, and hit shots. Cole's aggressiveness continues to impress.
Kobe Bryant Twenty four points on twenty four shots. Kobe System. You're welcome.
James Harden It's not every night you get to beat up Kobe Bryant's shooting percentage, talk trash to him, steal from him and then outrun him in transition, and get the win. Harden was brilliant defensively, which isn't commonplace, Thursday night. Staring down Bryant and not backing down gets bonus points.
Kevin Durant 33 points on 22 shots, 6 assist, 3 steals and just 2 turnovers. The model of efficiency and tough shot after tough shot. You know, same ol' same ol' for KD.
Kendrick Perkins Perkins has not been great at times the past two seasons, but Andrew Bynum brings out the best in him. Perkins made some big plays and played the kind of tough defense he's known for. His follow dunk in the fourth quarter Thursday was a statement late that the game was over.
Pau Gasoly Another game, another disappearing act for the most controversial Laker of this era.
Russell Westbrook Westbrook didn't shoot well. He wasn't creating tons of assists, but he made a lot of plays like the one in the fourth quarter where he beat two Lakers to the ball, corralled it with one hand, kicked the break off blowing past two more Lakers, then dished a perfect laser pass to a cutting Harden for the dunk. Westbrook remains, as always, underrated.


E FOR EFFORT
DeJuan Blair (28 points, 12 rebounds, 0 turnovers)
Andre Miller (20 points on 10 shots, 7 assists, 2 turnovers)
Jannero Pargo (15 points in less than 20 minutes)
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com