Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lakers End March in Atlanta - Pregame Preview

Los Angeles Lakers (54-20) vs Atlanta Hawks (47-26)
Season Series: Lakers 1-0
Divisional Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Hawks 2nd Southeast
Streaks: Lakers lost 1 - Hawks won 1


With the Lakers losing to the Hornets and the Spurs giving New Jersey their 10th win of the season last night, yes Garnett, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!! The NBA never seizes to amaze me. Lakers are so unpredictable that I stopped my pregame assumptions and forecast only for morning forecast.

The Atlanta Hawks have completely turned things around from a year ago and only have one objective entering every game having no regard for opponents. To win. Josh Smith, the only native still on the roster from that horrid 13-win season last year is on a personal mission to finish first. He's averaging 16 points and having his best rebounding season of his career averaging 9 boards. Josh is one of those players who fills a stat sheet and is a great over-all contributor. Al Horford is a monster! He's had 8 consecutive double doubles! Al is averaging 14 pts. with 10 rebs. Joe Johnson is a definite gung-ho shooter and will have no problem matching Kobe's shot attempts. The big question is which one of the two shooting guards will make their shots? Don't rule out Marvin Williams either. His sporadic pattern shows for an expected outpouring of points any game now. Jamal Crawford is such an important backup guard to have on this Atlanta squad. He's averaging 18 points and is a perfect fill-in for coach Mike Woodson when resting his starters. As you can see, Hawks definitely have fire power and look for them to put some major points on the scoreboard tomorrow night.

Lakers presently have their success in Gasol and Kobe. Gasol is coming off his second best game of the season (26 pts. & 22 rebs) and will need to continue to play this well against Atlanta's big man in Horford. Kobe will need to stay on track or even better, be ahead of Atlanta's high octane offense. If the usual 1-2 punch duo goes rogue with no help from teammates then Atlanta will have their way with us. Artest and Lamar will have to kick it up several notches in order to stay in contention with the Hawks and help balance the score. D Fish and Farmar will need to stop Bibby's bounce and break any rhythm he may have early in the game. Shannon will need to give Kobe some luxury bench time and hold Crawford to minimal production. I think Shannon's role in tomorrow's game will be key, whether it'll be in his defense or offense, he just needs to make a positive impact in the game.

Both teams have a tough first game in April. Lakers host Utah and the Hawks visit Cleveland. A victory entering these games would be ideal for a necessary momentum booster.

Lakers vs Hornets Highlights 3/29/2010

Lakers lose against the Hornets, 100-108.

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (click to enlarge)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Kobe & Pau Show

I agree, this is a freaky photo but if you look deep into his or their eyes you will see the Lakers nucleus as of recent. Both Kobe and Pau have been pulling the offensive load alone producing the teams only 1-2 punch.

Lamar has recently shown a flicker of offensive spark but his Achilles heal has unfortunately always been his inconsistencies. You really never know which Lamar will suit up come game time. When he aggressively plays with purpose, he's deadly with what I call his slashing Triple L (Lethal Lengthy Left) but when he decides to suppress and hold back with the smallest bit of hesitation the entire team suffers.

When the opponent's bench scores 42 points vs the Lakers bench 12 (tonight) you can't help but point the finger towards those poor souls peeking their heads out from the bench warming gloom. The bench needs to have better shot selection and not take so many hasty shots to prove their on-court stay. Farmar is great when he shoots with confidence, in fact he usually is the instigator for the second string when he plays well but when he forgets to fundamentally stop and regroup, he misses shots and/or forces turnovers. It's tough to play well when minutes are scarce I know but Farmar has the capability to play great fast tempo basketball against the leagues quick PG's. He especially shoots well with that carried momentum.

No one will ever complain about Shannon's seeping energy onto the court, especially over the basket but Brown is not shooting well right now. He's great for radiating that needed fire off the bench but doesn't seem to really help out with production when Kobe is resting. He needs to play efficient with the minutes given as the team desperately needs something to happen with the second unit.

Artest is the teams defensive cannon however he needs to seriously put up more numbers in the points column when he's averaging about 35 minutes. He is the reason why I am always on the fence with trying to figure this team out. I would hate to pinpoint to just one Laker at fault when the Lakers lose but my E.T. finger seems to gravitate towards Artest or maybe to his hair. Hmm, I'll get back to you on that one. Typically when he scores in double figures, the team wins but tonight they still lost. I'm tossed.

Perimeter defense is the teams covered (or uncovered) blemish. They try to hide it but when opponents discover it, it's a very ugly scene. New Orleans definitely found this Lakers defensive gap and made ten open 3 pointers tonight in result. Lakers fans know the uncontested 3 point shot is as certain as Kobe's penetrating yell to the basket. It's funny you can literally hear the sighs from the Staples Center crowd when the outlet pass is made to the opposing player wide open behind the arc.

Its always tough to talk bad about D Fish but Derek had no chance with Chris Paul tonight. I think when D Fish is replaced with Farmar to help with any mismatch this throws Fisher's game off tremendously. Phil needs to try Tyler Perry's 80/20 rule when substituting at the PG position. Derek's 3 point shot is still my favorite on this Lakers squad and is really a thing of beauty but again as with all the other teammates the problem lies in individual player inconsistencies.

Listen, all the Lakers have had their inconsistent runs this season but recently Kobe and Pau have consistently produced team high numbers game in and game out. It's time for teammates to step up and end this season on a more collective note as a team entering the playoffs.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Big Easy Game Over In New Orleans

Los Angeles Lakers (54-19) vs New Orleans Hornets (34-40)
Season Series: Lakers 2-0
Divisional Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Hornets 5th Southwest
Streaks: Lakers won 1 - Hornets lost 2


The Big Easy seems to be a giving description for tomorrow's match-up against the Hornets. This New Orleans team has surprisingly fallen victim of the bad season bug and is already out of playoff contention. Now the Hornets only aim to end the season at 500. Here are some determining reasons for the break-down. Chris Paul is now back in the line-up after missing 25 games because of a tear in the meniscus in his left knee. This injury unfortunately required arthroscopic surgery and thus resulting in his 2 month absence. Coach Byron Scott was replaced by General Manager Jeff Bower early in the season due to his 3-6 season start. Man, tough crowd in that organization.

There is a ray of hope for the future of this organization. Obviously it lies in the off season rehabilitation of key player injuries but more importantly the future lies in their rookies Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton. Collison has played remarkably great in CP3's absence. He averaged just over 19 points in the 25 games Paul was out. Another rookie playing well is Marcus Thornton who is averaging 14 pts. These two filled in with promising numbers and will be looked at for major roles next season.

Key Match-ups

Lamar Odom vs David West. West is averaging 20 pts. and Lamar has been given an offensive spark to drive to the basket strong. These two (if matched up come game time) will clash it out for sure. It will also be fun to see rookie Marcus Thornton go up against the veteran in Kobe. Kobe should take this young'en to school. Dereck Fisher vs CP3 or Farmar against rookie Darren Collison will be tough match-ups too. Muscle to muscle & speed to speed at the 1 position. Chris Paul is still rusty and is scoring in low numbers since his return so don't expect to see his usual quick slashing offense. You'll most likely see Collison get more minutes as there really is no need to keep Chris in the game if he continues to struggle early on.

Again, Lakers SHOULD win tomorrow night if their energy indicates a team who is playoff driven rather than a team who knows their terminal fate.

Lakers vs Rockets Highlights 3/27/2010

Lakers move past the Rockets, 109-101

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (click to enlarge)

Friday, March 26, 2010

And The Thunder Rolls

Los Angeles Lakers (53-18) vs Oklahoma Thunder (44-27)
Season Series: Lakers lead 3-0
Divisional Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Thunder 3rd Northwest
Streaks: Lakers won 7 - Thunder won 1

Post Game

Lakers lose 75-91. Where was the Lakers energy? Lakers only scored 15 points in the 1st quarter. The Oklahoma Thunder had way too many uncontested jump shots that led to easy buckets. They were simply faster and showed tight defense, especially against Kobe. This Oklahoma team is strong and very anxious to enter the playoffs for the organizations first time.

Losing factors

Kobe had 9 turnovers (only twice this season) and went 4-11 resulting in just 11 points. Kobe was locked down. LO was L.A.'s only chance for survival but he only ended up with a team high 15 points. The entire 1st squad played horribly. It's as if they partied hard with Garth Brooks (a local resident) the night before where the whisky drowned and the beer chased their blues away. Lakers need to bounce back fast because Houston is just tomorrow night. Even though Houston has been troubled with injuries and are only looking forward to ending this season with no playoff possibility, Trevor and Aaron are playing great together.

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (click to enlarge)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kobe Bryant - 12th All-Time NBA Scorer

Congratulations goes to team captain for scoring his 25,614th point surpassing Alex English as the 12th all-time NBA scorer. His midrange jumper off glass (yes he called it) against Manu Ginobili happened 6:32 left in the first quarter. To Kobe its no big deal but for his fans it's huge. This new achievement also gives fans a bigger arsenal for those relentless Kobe-Haters.

There's only one active player in front of Kobe still making damage at the 5th spot. The irony? Does "Kobe, tell me how my ass taste" ring any bell? I guess it would be appropriate that Kobe be behind Shaq if Superman still wants his ass tasted.

Here is the NEW list of the top 12 all-time NBA scorers:

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38387
2. Karl Malone 36928
3. Michael Jordan 32292
4. Wilt Chamberlain 31419
5. Shaquille O'Neal 28255
6. Moses Malone 27409
7. Elvin Hayes 27313
8. Hakeem Olajuwon 26946
9. Oscar Robertson 26710
10. Dominique Wilkins 26668
11. John Havlicek 26395
12. Kobe Bryant 25622 (as of halftime tonight)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lakers vs Spurs Pregame Preview

Los Angeles Lakers (52-18) vs San Antonio Spurs (42-27)
Season Series: Tied 1-1
Streaks: Lakers won 6 - Spurs won 1
Divisional Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Spurs 2nd Southwest
Time: 6:30PM PST - TV: ESPN


Lakers end the month with a tough 5 game road trip. San Antonio Spurs are first to act. Oklahoma City, Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta are looming behind. L.A. has now won 6 straight and hope to culminate a better road trip than their disappointing 0-3 travels earlier this month.

Spurs Lineup

Spurs are still strong without their star PG Tony Parker. They are just 3.5 games back from Dallas for the Southwest top spot. Although Tim Duncan is having low career averages he always plays well against the Lakers. I think he still holds a grudge with D Fish since 0.4. He's averaging 21 pts & 14 rebs in the season series. Manu is on a scoring frenzy having scored 82 points in his last 3 games. George Hill in place of Tony Parker (broken right ring finger) is playing well. He had a season high 27 points his last game and plans to take advantage of L.A.'s PG match up. Richard Jefferson is too inconsistent to really predict how well he'll play tomorrow so I guess we'll wait to see how he does.

Lakers Lineup

Since Bynum is out with a strained left Achilles' tendon, PJ two finger whistled LO back in as a starter which puts Artest at the SF position. This means Richard Jefferson will hopefully have another inconsistent night trying to fend off Artest's blistering D. Gasol was named the Western Conference player of the week and needless to say has been playing well. Pau will most likely be matched up against Duncan at the Center position. These two will definitely battle it out. Tomorrow night will be yet another monumental night for Mr. 24 (25,612) as he's just one point shy of Alex English (25,613) for 12th place as the NBA's all-time scorer. I think Kobe will score more than the one point needed for this new accolade. Lamar is once again a starter and will make his presence felt by using his lengthy arms to crash the boards. His height is needed to patch up Bynum's hole.

On paper, Lakers are the better team and on map, a lake is much larger than a river walk. Either way, look for Kobe and the Lakers to use this nationally televised San Antonio stage to showcase true championship caliber basketball. Who knows, Kobe might just have game winner #7.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lakers vs Wizards - The Elite vs The Defeated

Los Angeles Lakers (51-18) vs Washington Wizards (21-46)
Season Series: Lakers 1-0
Streaks: Lakers won 5 - Wizards lost 10
Divisional Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Wizards 5th Southeast


Lakers face one of the worst NBA teams, the Washington Wizards. The Wizards have lost 10 straight and show all the signs of losing more. If this was golf, the Wizards low record would be great, unfortunately this isn't. The team is in grave condition and desperately needs a go to guy, a leader that will motivate other teammates to win games and end this horrid season on a semi high.

The key players that started the season jumped ship or left for other reasons. Caron Butler went to Dallas, Antawn Jamison became a Cavalier, Arenas went all-in with weapons charges that resulted to an early season suspension and Josh Howard is out for the season with a torn left ACL. The result is a broken team who only look forward to the end of the season for rehabbing.

Washington's only hope is in Andray Blatche who is playing consistently well, Mike Miller who is always a 3 point threat and Al Thornton who plays well but is very scratchy. Shaun Livingston recently signed a 10 day contract with the team and now it appears he will remain a Wizard for the rest of the season. If you remember he was out the entire 2007-08 NBA season due to this injury. Warning, this video is not easy on the eyes.

Lakers will use this game as practice scrimmage ball and allow for the bench to show some production. A Laker that will definitely not suit up tonight is Bynum. He will be out for 2 weeks with a strained left Achilles' tendon that thankfully revealed no rupture which means no season ending surgery. This will be the Lakers last home game of the month and will easily be the last home win of the month as well.

This game should leave me changing the channel at the end of 3rd quarter.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lakers Fan Jam Experience from a Fans "Stand" Point

(click on photos to enlarge)
My comments are strictly based from my personal experience attending today's (Saturday) Lakers Fan Jam.

Hmm, let me start here. My ticket reads 1:00pm start time so I decide to start my drive from Yorba Linda to L.A. at noon. I underestimated the traffic and got to L.A. at 1:30pm. Frustrating but we (my son and I) were very excited to finally be parked and have the L.A. Convention Center in view. We cross the street and see the area covered with Lakers fans. What an awesome sight.

We get close and then realize there's a line. The line didn't seem that long from our angle until we got closer. The perceived tolerable line grew to an everlasting trail of purple and gold that kept going and going as we walked along side of it. We finally saw it's tail at the front-side of the Staples Center. My mind started to doubt our efforts but I kept calm. You learn to keep calm with an 8 year old who has the words, "Are We There Yet?", in his vocabulary. After being in line for 45 minutes, we reached stairs that led to the entrance of the Convention Center and excitement filled our veins, until we saw this...

...another line that wrapped around the other end of the Convention Center. My heart dropped and my feet began to drag. The hour and a half line was a result of a poorly executed anticipation of fans. At this point I realized I have been robbed. Tickets were cheap, yes, but I would have stayed home if I'd known that the entrance line would take longer than my O.C. to L.A. travel.

Once inside we are greeted with a sea of Lakers fans. Not such an awesome sight this time around. My son at this point was very thirsty so I search for drinks. I find a canopy that sells lemonade and start to walk towards it. As we walk through the endless stretch of people we observe the festivities. It was very cool to see all the different interactive Lakers stations. One that I liked the most was where fans can take pictures with the Larry O'Brien trophies!

Do you see the trophies in the photo? No? Maybe it's because the entrance line had given birth inside. The line to get the photo op with Mr. Larry O'Brien x 4 was at least an hour long from my observation.

I accept the fact that I will not get my chance to meet Mr. Larry O'Brien so I move closer and steal a shot from the side angle before security steps in as you will see in this picture. The trophies look stunning from that close. I could only imagine (or I could have walked into another very long line) how they look up close!

We walk past the dunk contest area of lowered hoops, the Laker Girls signature booths, shooting stations and a loud roar of LUUUUUUUKE! I look towards the noise to see a distant Luke Walton making his scheduled appearance. His line gave me a chuckle because I wasn't EVEN going to fathom the thought of putting forth any effort to participate in another hour and a half long line. All the lines for that matter would've taken the whole day. We pass by the children's jumpers where I was almost tempted to join in as the lines looked refreshingly short. We get to the lemonade canopy and my feet completely stop at a screeching halt when we came around a corner to only witness, yes, another very long line. My son gulps for the far away lemonade stand depriving him of his thirst quench. This was the final straw for me. I look to the nearest exit and walk past the "Exit Only, No Re-Entry" signs to take in a breath of fresh air and call it a loss.

As a Lakers fan I 100% appreciate the thought that went into planning such an event however the execution needed major improvements. As with every other debut of anything, the next edition (next years Lakers Fan Jam) will hopefully present itself with shorter lines and a little better organization to in turn better the experience for the fans.

So, to better my personal experience I decided to erase what just had happened and take a trip to L.A's finest tacos just down the freeway. We were King Taco bound. Yummy!

Lakers vs Timberwolves Game Highlights 3-19-2010

Los Angeles Lakers vs Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-96.

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lakers losing to Sacramento would be sacrilegious

Los Angeles Lakers (49-18) vs Sacramento Kings (23-44)
Divisional Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Kings 4th Pacific
Streaks: Lakers won 3 - Kings won 1
Season Series: Lakers 2-0


Turnovers! Lakers had 24 turnovers last night to almost give the game away to Golden State. Why are the Lakers barely winning over these teams who hold horrible records? It's turnovers. When the opposing team has only 5 turnovers vs your 24, you'll be lucky to come out victorious. Lakers were just that, lucky.

If the Lakers wish to get a W tonight against another poor playing team, they need to step back and completely wash off what was holding them down and show the Kings why we are favorite to repeat this season as NBA champs!

Lets not give Kobe an opportunity to get game winner #7 this season and kick Sacramento's ass! As exciting as these games have been to go down to the wire, I honestly can use a good old fashion landslide of a win. I want to turn my TV off at the end of the 3rd quarter and wake up to see highlights of the Lakers 4th straight victory.

Lakers vs Warriors Highlights 3/15/2010

Lakers win, 124-121

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (click to enlarge)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lakers vs Suns Game Highlights 3-12-2010

Lakers win 102-96.

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (click to enlarge)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lakers First Ever Fan Jam

Article sources: www.nba.com/lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers will hold their first ever Lakers Fan Jam at the Los Angeles Convention Center Saturday, March 20th from 10am to 10pm and Sunday, March 21st from 10am to 6pm. Those in attendance will have the chance to get autographs from Lakers players, legends and broadcasters, see the Laker Girls and test their basketball skills with a variety of games like “Pop-A-Shot,” “Bungee Run” and “Sling Shot Jam.”

Basketball contests include, but are not limited to, “Kobe’s Clutch Performer Shootout,” “Derek’s Last Second Shot” and “Ron’s Relay Race,” plus a free throw and three-point challenge. Guests can show off their jumping ability and dunking creativity on the Slam Dunk Courts with 7’, 8’, 9’ and 10’ hoops.

There will also be a Lakers Kid Zone, providing a variety of activities for younger Lakers fans including a mini court, mini net for dunking, boardwalk games and much more.

Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to take a picture with the 2009 NBA Championship Trophy and measure up to their favorite Lakers by comparing their hand and shoe size, height and arm span at the Get-A-Grip and Walk of Fame areas. Lakers players and Lakers legends will also make appearances throughout the weekend to sign autographs. Fans can meet their favorite Laker Girls, who will provide special appearances, performances and clinics all weekend, including an autograph signing stage.

Tickets to Lakers Fan Jam are on sale through Ticketmaster.com and the STAPLES Center Box Office. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. To get information on group tickets, please contact Donovan Holvay at dholvay@la-lakers.com or 310-426-6042.

Fan Jam Map (click to enlarge)

LakerLiker has no affiliation with this ad nor intends to make money from purchases. Promotional intent only.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Special Thanks goes out to the Maroon who brought the Moron

Late in the 4th quarter in a very tight Lakers vs Raptors game last night, Jose Calderon was running to save a loose ball from going out of bounds when Lapo Elkann, heir to the Fiat Automobiles fortune reached out and touched it first. The moron who was sitting next to his buddy Maroon 5's Adam Levine helped save the day for the Lakers. Lakers then got possession and moments later Kobe hits his signature game winning shot to seal the game with roughly two seconds left on the clock.

Sorry Mini Cooper, I have a new favorite, the mini Fiat.

Kobe's Game Winner #6 against Toronto 3-9-2010

Lakers vs Raptors Game Highlights 3-9-2010

Lakers win with another amazing Kobe finish, 109-107.

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Barnes and Kobe Show

What was up Matt Barnes ass today? Kobe kept his composure and Barnes kept at him. What an idiot. I liked how Kobe didn't flinch when Barnes faked a direct throw at Kobe's face. Kobe didn't even blink! Barnes should've been ejected for that stupid move.

Wait, now I know why Barnes was so upset. Kobe had 34 points vs his (cough) 10.

Ron Artest's Defense is Pretty Hairy

On a day where Laker fans didn't know what team would show up to play the Orlando Magic, seeing Artest's Rodman-like new hairdo was a sign of hope and maybe his attempt to spark up team defense after losing their last two games. His new hair look had the word "defense" dyed in three different languages, Hebrew, Japanese and Hindi. See photo collage of past Artest looks below.

Lakers vs Magic Pregame Preview

Los Angeles Lakers (46-17) vs Orlando Magic (43-20)
Divisional Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Magic 1st Southeast
Streaks: Lakers lost 2 - Magic won 4
Regular Season Series: Lakers 1-0

...and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor goes to

...Andrew Bynum for his performance against the Orlando Magic on 3/7/2010!

Orlando Magic have won 4 straight and are confident to have another W in their home arena against the Lakers who are on a small hump losing their last 2 road games. L.A. needs to seek redemption and use this high profile game to their advantage. Lakers love the hype and their effort that was lost with the luggage the last two trips will have to intensify and illustrate how hungry they want the regular series sweep against Orlando. It's either this sweep or the 0-3 sweep this road trip.

Shannon Brown needs to step up and have the same kind of production he had last time they faced up this past January when he scored 22 points. Key match-up will be with Bynum and Howard. Bynum needs to be the key player today. In order for this to happen Bynum needs to get plenty of inside dishes. He needs to attack the basket to score or get Dwight in early foul trouble.

I will keep this post short as the game is just about to start, Lakers will need to play GREAT defense against the quick guards and strong inside game. Orlando has a solid front line with Carter, Howard, Nelson, Lewis, and Pietrus.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lakers vs Bobcats Game Highlights 3-5-2010

Lakers lose 83-98

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (Click to enlarge)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lakers vs Heat Game Highlights 3-4-2010

Lakers lose 111-114 in OT.

Here is the box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports! (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lakers vs Heat Pregame Preview

Los Angeles Lakers (46-15) vs Miami Heat (30-31)
Division Standings: Lakers 1st Pacific - Heat 3rd Southeast
Regular Season Series: Lakers lead 1-0
Streaks: Lakers won 3 - Heat won 1
Time: 5:00PM PST - TV: TNT

Welcome to Miama, Buenvenido a Miami! Thanks Will! Where the beaches are hot and the women are hotter. Let's just hope that if the Lakers do get burned, it'll be from the Miami sun and not the Miami Heat. Lakers start another tough road trip by going up against Dwayne Wade who recently helped snap the teams 4 game losing streak (Wade was out) by beating a very blah Golden State Warriors. Nothing impressive.

Here's something to be impressed about. The Lakers strength is typically in their starting unit but this season has proven that the bench can come in and help save the day, especially when Kobe can't make a shot with a marble. Listen, we all know he's in a slump that will quickly perish faster than this sentence is completed but to have the confidence that Phil has with his second string is something to, again be impressed about.

The other night, Brown, Farmar and Odom stepped up BIG. Lamar had a team high 7 assists. We can always rely on Kobe (even with his current shooting slump) to put up high numbers, Gasol to have his characteristic double double, Bynum to show promising numbers, Artest to show no mercy with his badgering defense. He has 11 steals in the past two games and the bench to help fill in the gaps left behind from the front line.

As far as Miami, D. Wade continues to play remarkably great fresh off his return from a strained left calf. He's scored 56 points since his return in just two games. Miami can expect their star player to put on a show. Beasley's points and minutes have been inconsistent so you never know what to expect out of him. Jermaine O'Neal's numbers have elevated due to more playing time. Anyone who is a fan knows that O'Neal's successful formula is pretty simple. The more time he's on the floor, the more production you'll see out of him. I've always liked Jermaine, his mid range and inside game is unstoppable. Quenton Richardson will need to have a superb game against Artest's D in order to help Wade carry the offensive load.

Wade is still angry about what happened to him last time he faced Kobe. Don't remember? See the video below. Expect him to come out hot and try to close the game early to avoid another last second game winning shot opportunity for this generation's Mr. Clutch!

Sports Illustrated NBA Poll: Who is the Dirtiest Player in the NBA?

Based on a survey of 173 NBA players, Sports Illustrated names the top 5 dirtiest active NBA players.

Here are the results:

Reggie Evans, Raptors F 21%

Ron Artest, Lakers F 13%

Andres Nocioni, Kings F 6%

Anderson Varejao, Cavs C 5%

Kobe Bryant, Lakers G 4%

I agree with the nut grabbing Reggie Evans (see photo and video above) taking the top spot but Artest at #2 and Kobe at #5? What? Really? These results are ridiculous. Let me guess, these 173 NBA players are probably the bitter bunch who can't get past Artest's strong D and can't stop Kobe.

Click here for article source: SportsIllustrated.com

Lakers vs Pacers Post Game Highlights

Lakers win 122-99.

Here is the box score courtesy of Yaoo Sports! (Click to enlarge)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lakers vs Pacers - Pregame Preview

Los Angeles Lakers (45-15) host Indiana Pacers (20-39)
Standings: Lakers 1st in Pacific - Pacers last in Central
Series: Lakers lead 1-0
Streaks: Lakers won 2 - Pacers won 1
Time: 7:30PM PST - TV: FSW
Lakers: Sasha Vujacic-Sprained Right Shoulder, Luke Walton-Pinched Nerve in the Lower Back.
Pacers: Jeff Foster-Back Surgery, Tyler Hansbrough-Inner Ear Infection, Solomon Jones-Suspended for one game.

Indiana is another one of those teams to not take lightly. Their horrible record may reflect a struggling team but they can catch any team off-guard if given a disrespecting light approach. They've already proven that they can beat the best. Boston, Phoenix and Orlando have all lost to Indiana this season.

Danny Granger averaged 25 points last month. Troy Murphy is scoring 14 pts with 10 rebs a game. Remember Roy Hibbert scored 21 points off the bench during the last matchup. He can be a defensive monster as he leads the team with 103 blocks and is currently in a 3-way tie for 9th in the league. Dahntay Jones can be that stealth threat. He scored 17 pts. in just 20 minutes the other night against the losing Chicago Bulls.

Lakers are on a high right now. Lamar had a huge night recently over Denver scoring 20 and grabbing 12 boards. Artest's defensive game is strong, vert strong. He had his 2nd 6 steal game of the season. His shooting confidence has boosted since last month and will hopefully carry on into March. Gasol is playing healthy and his production game in and game out is nothing less than stellar. Bynum is the opposite as far as consistency. I guess its hard to see which player will suit up. The aggressive go-getter or the hesitant delayed shooter. We will certainly see. Kobe continues to struggle but he'll be the first one to tell you that. He knows he's a bit rusty since his return and its just a matter of time for Kobe to regain his shooting touch.

Overall, Lakers are the more capable team and are clearly presumed to win over the unstable Indiana Pacers. Look for Kobe to come out of his slump and have a great game over the weak defending Brandon Rush.