Saturday, December 31, 2011

Andrew Bynum's season debut performance points to another title

The Los Angeles Lakers are a complete unit now all thanks to Andrew Bynum fresh off his 4-game suspension.

In today's victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets Coach Brown did not waste any time using his big man as the first play was drawn for No. 17. Right from the tip-off Andrew's presence was felt as he scored the teams first 6 points.

It was known early that Bynum was going to leave an impression in his season debut and boy did he leave quite the impression.

Let me give you an example of how great Bynum played in his first appearance of the 2011-12 NBA season. Below are season first appearance numbers for Bynum:

November 2, 2005 -NBA debut (5 minutes)
  •  0 PTS (0-2 FG); 2 REB; 2 BLKS
October 31, 2006 (24 minutes)
  • 18 PTS (7-11 FG); 9 REB; 5 AST
October 30, 2007 (19 minutes)
  • 4 PTS (2-6 FG); 4 REB; 2 AST; 1 BLK; 3 STL
October 28, 2008 (28 minutes)
  • 8 PTS (4-10 FG); 3 REB; 1 AST; 3 BLK
October 27, 2009 (38 minutes)
  •  26 PTS (9-15 FG); 13 REB; 2 AST; 1 BLK; 1 STL
December 14, 2010 - Late appearance due to knee injury (17 minutes)
  • 7 PTS (1-5 FG); 4 REB; 1 AST; 2 BLK;
December 31, 2011 - Late appearance due to 4-game suspension (32 minutes)
  • 29 PTS (13-18 FG); 13 REB; 1 AST; 2 BLK; 1 STL
Favoring facts not to ignore:

The last time Bynum played this well in his season debut was in the 2009-10 season when the Lakers took home their last Larry O'Brien.
 
Andrew Bynum's career high best NBA season so happen to be that year as well averaging 15 PTS/8 REB.

If we were to determine how well the Lakers would play in a season based on Bynum's season debut performance then we are in for one hell of a ride for another NBA championship title this season because today was Bynum's best season debut performance of his seven-year NBA career as evidenced above.

Photo credit: AP

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Candy Man has gone sour in Dallas

Getty Images
In lieu of talking about the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks who've yet to win this season lets talk about Lamar's performance so far with the team.

In Lamar's first three games of his Dallas Mavericks inaugural season his numbers are, well lets just say not so Laker-ish. He's 4-27 in field goals, 1-11 behind the arc and consequently has only scored a total of 14 points with an average of 5PPG/4RPG. Finding his role in Dallas has proven to be more difficult than his natural transition as a Laker.

To compare oranges to apples, in Lamar's first three games of his Laker debut in the 2004-05 season he was averaging 14PPG/11RPG/2BLK/3STL/3AST. Granted Odom was given more playing time but that goes to show that Lamar's role for the Lakers was more valuable than his current role for the Mavs sitting on the bench only averaging 21 minutes.

Looking back Gasol handled the vetoed trade in a much different manner than Odom. Pau kept his composure and went back to work despite his name continuously being brought up in trade rumors. His professionalism stood out while Odom looked for the nearest exit sign. Lamar voiced his frustrations on the air waves and demanded to be traded. The Lakers then made his demands a quick reality and sent him to Dallas. In retrospect maybe Lamar should've cooled down before being so reactive, perhaps a reaction fueled by a drama queen reality TV star wife.

We wish Lamar the very best and hope that he finds his groove as a Mav soon.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lakers and Knicks - Oh yeah it's on

Los Angeles Lakers (1-2) vs. New York Knicks (1-1)
Streaks: Lakers Won 1 - Knicks Lost 1
Time: 7:30PM PST - TV: TNT

Preview

Coming into tonight's game the Los Angeles Lakers have winning momentum while the New York Knicks have their fourth quarter melt down from last night's loss to the Warriors still lingering in their taste buds.

Melo was off, I mean more off than a Vampires light switch last night against the Golden State Warriors. He shot 3-13 FG and was 0-4 3PT only scoring 13 points. The last time he shot this poorly was back on 11/9/2011 where he scored an equally 13 points.

Lakers need to capitalize on his shooting slump. They need to put pressure on him quickly so he can continue bricking before Melo catches an early shooting rhythm and scores 30+ like he did in their season opener.

Remember, Andrew Bynum is serving his last day of his 4-game suspension tonight. Upon his return, He will be replacing Pau at the 5 and Pau will be replacing McRoberts at the 4. McRoberts will be coming off the McBench from that point on.

I've said it before this will be the Lakers "toughest" match-up yet.   

Projected line-ups:

Lakers starting five and averages:
  1. Derek Fisher (6pts/2reb/3ast)
  2. Kobe Bryant (28pts/7reb/6ast)
  3. Devin Ebanks (7pts/3reb/1ast)
  4. Josh McRoberts (5pts/6reb/2ast)
  5. Pau Gasol (17pts/9reb/2ast)
 Knicks starting five and averages:
  1. Toney Douglas (13pts/4reb/3ast)
  2. Landry Fields (11pts/2reb/3ast)
  3. Carmelo Anthony (25pts/5reb/2ast)
  4. Amare Stoudemire (19pts/8reb/1blks)
  5. Tyson Chandler (5pts/3reb/3blks)
Notable stats
  • Kobe Bryant is currently ranked 3rd in points (27.7 ppg)
  • Even with Melo's bad performance last night he's still ranked 5th in points (25 ppg)
  • Tyson Chandler is currently ranked 4th in blocked shots (3 blkpg)
Mismatches to consider

Ebanks/Melo - Yikes. Coach Brown will need to keep an eye out on this one. This match-up is heavily favored for NY.

McRoberts/Stoudemire - Yikes Part II. If Stoudemire gets his way with Josh, L.A. will be in a heap of trouble.

Kobe/Landry - Okay now we're talking. The Black Mamba should have his way and make Mr. Fields here a Mrs. Fields Cookie if you know what I mean. This 2-year young buck will get schooled by the more experienced 5-time NBA champ.

Gasol/Chandler - This one is a toss up for me - I definitely see Gasol outscoring Chandler easily but on the other side of the token I see Chandler playing better defensively. If great D equals points then this match-up should be a good one.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lakers defunk and get their first win

Getty Images
Los Angeles Lakers (1-2) beat Utah Jazz (0-1)
Final Score: Lakers 96 - Jazz 71
Stats: Box Score courtesy of Yahoo! Sports
Video: Game Highlights courtesy of NBA.com

Post Game

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES COME ON!!! Lakers looked KOOL out there AND THE weak game Utah brought last night was GANGed up by the Lakers. They finally grab their first win of the season all thanks to good old-fashioned defense.

I was getting nervous, Lakers hadn't won a game since April 28, 2011. They earned this victory convincingly over the Utah Jazz which allowed Kobe plenty of resting time in the fourth.

Lets point out why the Lakers were so successfull against the Utah Jazz.
  • Jazz had no starters scoring in double digits. Lakers first unit outscored Utah's starters by 39 points. (Utah 30 - L.A. 69)
  • Lakers honed in around the perimeter allowing Utah only 1 made three-pointer from 13 attempts.
  • Both Kobe and Gasol shot better - Kobe had 26 pts. (8-17 FG/3-5 3PT) & Pau had his first 20+ point game w/ 22 (6-11 FG)
  • Lakers were more aggressive over the much younger Utah team. (Free-throws: Lakers 30-37 - Jazz 12-17)
  • Defense - Lakers held the Jazz to just 71 points. Gasol had a game high 5 block shots.
  • Metta continues to play well coming off the bench. He had 14 points. For Metta the words "coming off the bench" are really just words because he's getting more minutes than starter Ebanks. 
The icing on the cake for the Lakers is that they've completed their only triple back-to-back games of the season. Andrew Bynum also needs to serve just one more day of his 4-game suspension before he can help display the Lakers true potential as a complete team.

L.A.'s next opponent comes all the way from New York City. The Knick are strong and Melo had an unbelievable game one of the season scoring 37 points. This will be the Lakers toughest match-up so far but it will be at home so maybe the home crowd can be the difference in the game.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lakers 0-2 to start season

Getty Images
Los Angeles Lakers (0-2) @ Sacramento Kings (1-0)
Final Score: Kings 100 - Lakers 91
Stats: Box Score courtesy of Yahoo! Sports
Video: Game Highlights courtesy of NBA.com

Post Game

The Lakers first win of the season will have to wait as they fall to the Kings in Sacramento now having lost two straight to start the 2011-12 NBA season. For the Lakers the upside to all of this is that the possibility of winning 64 games is still up for grabs.

I don't get it, the Lakers were competitive against the well premised Chicago Bulls but have difficulty against the scrappy Sacramento Kings. Stu Lantz said it best, its all about basic fundamentals and its clear L.A. lacks the basics right now. Where are the pick and rolls? How about dribble penetration for the open kick out at the wing? It seems that L.A. is playing to find the slasher for the bail out two rather than using the playbook. These fourth quarter comebacks have come back to bite the Lakers in the ass as they just cannot find a groove to play effectively in the first three quarters to enter the last 12 minutes with an assured lead.

Perimeter defense will always be an issue for the purple and gold. This bad habit of leaving their man open behind the arc is going to continue to haunt the team until they learn to fix this major blooper. Sacramento shot .500 (9-18) from long distance while L.A. shot .062 (1-16).

Blake's shot looked flat, one of Luke's shots was attempted from the palm of his hand and Fisher went fishing only catching 3 fish in 10 different lakes (horrible analogy but you catch my drift).

Lakers need balance with their shot attempts. Kobe shot the rock 24 times with Metta coming in a distant second place off the bench with 14 shot attempts and Gasol, 12.

Yes Kobe Bryant is giving fantasy basketball owners enough to be happy about averaging 28.5pts entering the third game of the season but this doesn't help the team when he's only 1 of 2 starters putting up notable numbers. Kobe's 29 points tonight matched the entire total points scored by the other 4 Lakers starters. Meanwhile Sacramento had 4 starters scoring in double digits.

Lakers weakest link continues to be at the 1. Fisher/Blake had a total of 6 points (Blake 0-4) vs. the Kings PG's Tyreke Evans/(R) Jimmer Fredette at 26 points.   

Spark off the bench

Metta World Peace was just 2 shy from mirroring the King's entire second unit point contribution of 21 points. He had 19 going 8-14 in FG. He played 29 minutes coming off the bench. His latest performance might make coach Brown reconsider starting Ebanks who only scored 6pts. in just 18 minutes tonight.

Lakers next game is tomorrow night back home against the Utah Jazz.

Lakers look to bounce back in Sacramento

Los Angeles Lakers (0-1) @ Sacramento Kings (0-0)
Time: 7PM PST - TV: KCAL, CSCA, NBATV

Preview

Game two of the Lakers back-to-back-to-back grueling season opening schedule begins tonight. Someone told me that the season started for the Lakers yesterday, that's funny I don't remember watching the Lakers lose to the favored Bulls in the closing seconds where Kobe turned the ball over when he should've just kept the ball for the intentional foul only to give it up to the leagues reigning MVP and yes Rose made the Lakers pay by making his high arching teardrop over Gasol then Kobe attempted to shoot over three horned defenders to redeem himself only to be blocked while Derek Fisher stands alone wide open at the corner...yeah...no I don't remember watching that game.

It's okay, today is a new day. A day that has the Lakers favored for the W over the (almost Anaheim) Sacramento Kings. Sacramento is one of the youngest teams in the league only having four players over 25. Tonight's game will showcase the old and the wise vs. the young and the quick. Bynum is now serving his 2 of 4 game suspension. The Lakers played fittingly without him so far. Will the Lakers match-up well with the Kings? Lets see the projected starting lineups shall we?

Lakers starting 5 and last nights numbers:
  1. Derek Fisher (2pts/3reb/3ast)
  2. Kobe Bryant (28pts/7reb/6ast)
  3. Devin Ebanks (8pts/1reb/2ast)
  4. Josh McRoberts (6pts/8reb/2ast)
  5. Pau Gasol (14pts/8reb/3ast)
The young and banged up Kings starting 5:
  1. Tyreke Evans (sore left shoulder)
  2. Marcus Thornton
  3. John Salmons (thigh contusion)
  4.  Chuck Hayes (heart abnormality - 2nd physical proved he's capable of playing now)
  5. DeMarcus Cousins (recovering from ankle injury)
Kings to look out for:

Tyreke Evans averaged 18pts/5reb/6ast. last season and look for him to come out strong, especially with the Lakers highly publicized PG situation. We all know Evans is trigger happy so defending him well and forcing him to shoot low percentage shots is key. 

NBA Sophomore DeMarcus Cousins had a great rookie season last year averaging 14pts/9reb. He is the better scorer compared to Hayes. He's tough and does not back down. Gasol will have to put a body on him at all times.

Marcus Thornton came out of nowhere last season having been traded to Sacramento mid season from New Orleans. He averaged 8 points with the Hornets (46 games) and then ended the season averaging 21 points for the Kings (27 games). He sparked the Kings late in the season and look for him to keep the fuse going in their season opener tonight.  

The unfortunate reality for Sacramento is that Kobe's pissed at himself for yesterday's collapse and he's looking for redemption.

Sources: Yahoo! Sports, The Sacramento Bee.    

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lakers win but then lose in the closing seconds of their opener

Original Photo: AP
2011-12 NBA Season Opener
Los Angeles Lakers (0-1) vs Chicago Bulls (1-0)
Final Score: Bulls 88 - Lakers 87

Video: Game Highlights courtesy of NBA.com
Stats: Box Score courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Post Game

For my hearts sake, why couldn't the Lakers just convincingly lose by 20? Why get an 11-point lead with 3:45 to play and/or a 6-point lead with under a minute to play only to lose it all in the final seconds by a Rose teardrop that was answered, leaving the home crowd absolutely stunned to what had transpired just seconds prior. Lakers were outscored 17-5 in the final 3:36. Kobe's turnovers and McRoberts McMissing consecutive free-throws late in the fourth quarter certainly didn't help.

I'm not one to throw the refs under the bus BUT Luol Deng DID travel in that last Bulls possession but oh well. It is what it is. Lakers can't leave the game at the mercy of the refs in the closing seconds.

Kobe should've settled for a better looking shot rather than attempt the impossible over three Bulls defenders with four hands in his face. 

On the brighter side of things, Lakers played a hell of a lot better than expected. Their season opener by cruel joke was against presumably the best team in the league who are anticipating nothing less than a Larry O'Brien this season.

One of Mike Brown's coaching strengths is in his defensive approach and it showed today, especially in the third quarter where the Lakers outscored their opponents by 8 but unfortunately Rose and Deng found a way to squeeze through the cracks to pull the victory out of their asses.

Kobe Bryant did his usual thing by scoring a lot of points. Lets ignore his 8 turnovers. He had a game high 28 points, pulled down 7 rebounds and dished the ball for 6 assists. Pau Gasol helped by adding 14 points and 8 rebounds with 3 blocked shots but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Josh McRoberts crashed the boards for 8 total rebounds, 3 offensive.

Contribution off the bench

Steve Blake played well scoring 12 points off the bench and hitting two big three-pointers when it really counted. Troy Murphy pulled down 8 rebounds, 5 offensive. Andrew Goudelock in just 12 minutes went 2-3 behind the arc.

Lakers have nothing to be ashamed about. They had the W in the palm of their hands but failed to keep it. Today's loss may be heartbreaking but it should serve as a huge sign of promise for a bright future. I was among those who had forgotten about Bynum not playing because the game was so exciting.

Lakers are strong and once Bynum is off his 4-game suspension the Lakers will be even stronger. Lets not hold our heads down Laker fans, lets stand tall united as a nation because today's loss reminded the league not to take the Lakers lightly. WE ARE THE LAKERS!

Lakers have to leave this game behind quickly because game two of the season is tomorrow night.

Lakers vs Bulls - Christmas Day Preview

2011-12 NBA Season Opener
Los Angeles Lakers vs Chicago Bulls
Time: 2PM PST - TV: ABC

This time around last season the Lakers were 21-8 at the top of their division heading into their Christmas Day spectacular against the Miami Heat - fast forward to today's realities of a lengthy NBA lockout dispute and its residual schedule - the 2011-12 NBA season will now tip-off at the traditional 30-game mark of the season this Christmas Day.

Teams only have 66-games to figure things out, get warmed up, fix all system bugs and find the right rotation. It's sink or swim time gentlemen.  

As for the Lakers, they'll be hosting the Bulls for their season opener as the underdog. Yes you heard me right, they're considered the out-of-towners at home. Hold your dark horses, could this be right?

Lamar Odom being traded to Dallas, Andrew Bynum serving his 1 of 4 day suspension, Kobe's healing wrist and a new coaching system might be contributing factors to this foolish prediction but everyone know's you should never count the Lakers out, especially when you have No. 24 fancying his new System Supreme's.

Here's a look at the Lakers starting 5 and last season averages:
  1. Derek Fisher (7pts/2reb/3ast)
  2. Kobe Bryant (25pts/5reb/5ast)
  3. Devin Ebanks (3pts/1reb)
  4. Josh McRoberts (7pts/5reb/2ast)
  5. Pau Gasol (19pts/10reb/3ast)
Here's a look at the Bulls starting 5 and last season averages:
  1. Derrick Rose (25pts/4reb/8ast)
  2. Richard Hamilton (14pts/2reb/3ast)
  3. Luol Deng (17pts/6reb/3ast)
  4. Carlos Boozer (18pts/10reb/3ast)
  5. Joakim Noah (12pts/10reb/2ast)
Okay on paper it certainly looks like Chicago is the better team but you should never judge a team by its stat sheet. In order for the Lakers to come out victorious the usual suspects in Kobe and Gasol will have to carry the team offensively in hopes that their teammates won't slow them down.

One thing's for sure, the better team will win on Christmas Day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nike Zoom Kobe VII System Supreme


Here's a look at Kobe's latest signature shoes, the Nike Zoom Kobe VII System Supreme's which were released earlier this week on December 22, 2011.

What really makes the new Nike Zoom Kobe VII shoes different from previous designs is the System Supreme concept. The complete system includes the Attack Fast and Attack Strong interchangeable soles. The video above shows Kobe Bryant and Nike Creative Director Eric Avar discuss in greater detail what the System Supreme entails.

Kobe approached his newest design with the intent to truly enhance the wearers game. Thanks to Kobe's vision and Nike's creative team, his new shoe is a work of ingenuity.

The new Nike Zoom Kobe VII System Supreme shoes come with the following add-ins:

Play Fast soles
The Play Fast or Attack Fast add-in is a detachable sole that has two zoom bags, one in the heel and one in the forefoot, which gives the wearer low profile and very responsive cushioning.

Play Strong soles
The Play Strong or Attack Strong add-in is a detachable cushlon midsole and sensory cuff made out of lunar foam which provides a little more cushion and optimal comfort and protection from the explosive movements.

Entire System Supreme
To recap, the entire System Supreme includes the Nike Zoom Kobe VII shoes and interchangeable Play Fast and Play Strong detachable soles.



Cost breakdown:

Nike Kobe VII System Supreme: $180
Attack Fast and Attack Strong version.
Nike Zoom Kobe VII System: $140
The Attack Fast version only.
Click here to get your pair.

Photos courtesy of KicksOnFire.com.

FS WEST - Lakers Preseason Special

<a href='http://www.foxsportswest.com/pages/video?videoid=cc08c353-5a3b-4b24-9384-fc8fef61cc58&amp;src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Lakers Preseason Special: Part 1'>Video: Lakers Preseason Special: Part 1</a>

Part 1: 2-Time Laker Champion Norm Nixon and Patrick O'Neal speak on the following topics:
  • Inception of the 2011-12 shortened season
  • David Stern veto
  • Derek Fisher talks about what the team expects in the upcoming season
  • Pau Gasol
  • Andrew Bynum
  • Kobe Bryant
<a href='http://www.foxsportswest.com/pages/video?videoid=9bb0a36f-3ed0-4d23-8cf3-1e47618cd659&src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Lakers Preseason Special: Part 2'>Video: Lakers Preseason Special: Part 2</a>

Part 2: 2-Time Laker Champion Norm Nixon and Patrick O'Neal speak on the following topics:
  • Key games in January
  • Metta World Peace
  • Matt Barnes
  • Josh McRoberts
  • Outside shooting needing improvement - Troy Murphy/Jason Kapono/Steve Blake
  • Derek Fisher
  • Coach Mike Brown's new system
<a href='http://www.foxsportswest.com/pages/video?videoid=006c74e7-cc4b-47f0-a728-af9a99bd20ca&src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Lakers Preseason Special: Part 3'>Video: Lakers Preseason Special: Part 3</a>

Part 3: 2-Time Laker Champion Norm Nixon and Patrick O'Neal speak on the following topics:
  • Key games in February and March
  • Sit down interview with coach Mike Brown

<a href='http://www.foxsportswest.com/pages/video?videoid=e32c715d-a610-4e57-b6cf-4b74bf3b4f14&src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Lakers Preseason Special: Part 4'>Video: Lakers Preseason Special: Part 4</a>

Part 4: 2-Time Laker Champion Norm Nixon and Patrick O'Neal speak on the following topics:
  • Key games in April
  • Key additions to the Western Conference
  • Sit down interview w/ Kobe Bryant
  • Keys for the Lakers this season
  • Who's stepping up  for Lamar Odom's absence
  • Lakers bench

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lakers preseason sweep looks promising

AP
2011-12 NBA Preseason - Lakers vs. Clippers
12/19/2011 - Clippers (a) win 114-95 - Yahoo! Sports Box Score
12/21/2011 - Clippers (h) win 108-103 - Yahoo! Sports Box Score

Yes those pesky neighboring Clippers swept the Lakers in both preseason games by a total margin of 24 points but do realize Clipper Nation, 'tis the [pre]season so don't start your yapping quite yet.

Here's a friendly reminder for those over zealous Clipper fans, these were two exhibition games that do not hold any competitive value and are nothing more than a set up to the highly anticipated 66-game 2011-12 NBA season.

I'm not going to highlight notable stats (just click on the box score links above for that), I will however talk about how these two losses give Laker fans light at the end of the tunnel and something to smile about.

We've all heard it, the weakest link for the Lakers is at the 1 and 5. Lakers need a point guard who can quickly push the ball forward while having the capability of scoring to assist Kobe and a big man who isn't afraid to pound it inside. Thanks to these last two preseason games, the Lakers are not in as tight of a pinch as we'd thought.

POINT GUARD WORRIES NO MORE

Rookie Darius Morris made the most of his (just under) 24 minutes in the 1st preseason game by going 5-9, adding 11 points off the bench. He was electrifying and became a quick fan favorite by making several long distance buzzer beaters in the 1st half. He is a spark off the bench and shoots the ball with veteran-like confidence but also reminds fans of his rookie-like shot selection. Roll the clip.


Steve Blake played exceptionally well in the 2nd preseason game. He went 6-9 in FG's and 5-7 behind the arc, scoring a total of 20pts. coming off the bench. This is a very good sign for Laker fans. If Blake can continue to shoot this well, not picking up CP3 this past off season will be nothing more than an afterthought. There's even talks about Blake starting over Fisher.

WE HAVE OUR BIG MEN, WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Andrew Bynum had a double-double in both preseason matches, scoring a total of 37 points and bringing down 23 rebounds. The bigger highlight for me personally was the fact the he played over 30 minutes in both games and showed no visible signs of any aching knees. In fact, outside his big offensive numbers, defensively he was a presence too by blocking a total of 4 shots. His preseason performance should shine light for a promising regular season.

Pau Gasol was among the top 3 Lakers scorers for both exhibition matches. He scored 16 then 13 the following game. His numbers could be a little better but Pau's hesitance to shoot the ball has clearly gone away. He went 10-17FG and 1-2 long distance. Ha ha, only in the preseason would Gasol attempt a 3-pointers in consecutive games.

Both preseason games were hosted by two L.A. based teams that call the Staples Center their home. One big difference though, both home games seated predominantly Laker fans. The first game obviously did since this was a home game for the Lakers. I was at the second game and I saw what looked like more Lakers jerseys than Clippers. I didn't have a tally for every single fans that attended but I felt my observation skills were accurate based on the "Let's Go Lakers" chants vs. no "Lets Go Clippers" chants. The atmosphere was as electrifying as a playoff game. You would think it was game 7 of the NBA Finals.

During timeouts when the jumbo screen showed a Clippers fan the boo birds would come out and when the jumbo screen showed a Laker fan, well, you would hear cheers. Clipper fan-boos; Laker fan-cheers; all of this at a Clippers home game. With the CP3 add-on and all of the talk about the Clippers now being the dominating team in L.A. I was expecting to see Red and Blue everywhere but I was amazed to see and hear how many Laker fans were in attendance. The changing of the guard in Los Angeles won't be that easy. It's clear, by preseason standards, that the Staples Center is still the home of the Los Angeles Lakers in spite of the Chris Paul trade.

Outside was just as crazy. I arrived a little early for the photo ops. One in particular was the Jerry West statue that was unveiled this past February. I'm the late bloomer who just now had the opportunity to see it. The statue of West stands on this massive marble base with inscriptions paying tribute to his Laker career. You can't miss it, it's huge, just as the legacy West left behind.

L.A. Live looked amazing. Excuse the camera quality as I had forgotten my camera at home. Photos taken from my iPhone. The Nokia Plaza had a massive Christmas tree of lights and an ice skating rink for those who fancied the ice that night. The span of just one block from the Staple Center to L.A. Live and all of its festivities is L.A.'s version of the Vegas Strip at night. If you haven't gone, go. It's amazazing!

I'm not going to talk about Kobe's wrist injury because its simply just his way of saying, "I need a break" from all the drama surrounding his personal life and that's okay. Him missing a preseason game is fine by me. Lakers cannot afford to see him land on his behind like he did twice in the first preseason game. He'll be ready for the season opener.

The only concern I have for the Lakers is at the SF starting spot. I feel that Barnes would not be the best candidate for the starting role and I feel the same for World Peace. I've said it before, Matt's temper will hurt the team and Ron's shot is as predictable as Cali's next big earthquake. Ebanks looks good. He only missed 2 of his 9 FG attempts in the preseason. Coach just needs to give him more minutes. Maybe he can be the teams starting SF. You can call me crazy. I just think Artest needs to be less "stiff" and Barnes less "reactive". Again, I know it was just the preseason but Ebanks looked cool and collective on the court with his limited playing time.

On a personal note - I want to thank my good friend Norman for inviting me. I had a blast!

Happy Holidays from the Los Angeles Lakers

Holiday Greetings from the Lakers
Here are some video clips of the Lakers Team talking about their holiday remembrances courtesy of Lakers.com.

Just click on the graphic to the left or the link just above to see. Flash is required to play. 

The only Christmas afterthought I want to have is the Lakers going 3-0, beating the Bulls, Kings and Jazz without Bynum and possibly even now Kobe.


Merry Christmas everybody and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lakers acquire sleeper Troy Murphy

Lakers sign free agent forward/center Troy Murphy to a one year contract at the veterans minimum salary of $1-million. This might be the best off season sleeper move thus far. 


Upside for getting Troy
(besides hosting epic parties where Greeks roll up in massive Trojan horses)

Lakers add a player who brings 10-years of NBA experience and a career average of 12PTS/8REBS to the depth of their frontcourt. Troy averaged a double-double in 5 of his 10 NBA seasons. In those 5 season he averaged 30-35 minutes.

A year to forget for Troy (besides 1900 BC where a bunch of Trojan cities were destroyed)

Troy didn't have a great season last year only playing in 35 games while bouncing from New Jersey to Boston with an average of 6PTS/6REBS for both teams total. He also couldn't throw a rock in the ocean, only making 42 of his 114 shot attempts last year (36.8% FG).

Troy will need to get out of his shooting funk from last season, especially with the second string minutes he'll be getting. Who knows, if Bynum's knees fail yet again (knock on wood), Troy will most likely get the starting PF spot and Gasol will move up to the 5. Given Troy's capabilities, this is good cushion to have for the Lakers.

Source: Lakers.com

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Barnes to start over World Peace

Getty Images
Coach Brown has decided to start Matt Barnes over Metta World Peace (still chuckling when I read his name) for the start of the season. This is not to be misconstrued as a demotion for Metta but more of an opportunity for his leadership to serve a vital role in the second unit.

Since Lamar is in Dallas now, filling in the void left behind by the reigning 6th Man of the Year will have to be tried by the better candidate for the job, Metta. With that in mind this makes sense however coming of the bench will give Metta less playing time.

This concerns me. Metta is a monster defensively and knows how to control his temper better than the loose canon Barnes (go figure). Matt has serious issues controlling his temper. If the opposing team is smart all they have to do is match Barnes up with a player that would test him in hopes he gets a technical or two.

Last summer Barnes slapped an assistant coach during a summer league game and punched an opposing player this past summer in a San Francisco Pro-Am game.

Matt was also suspended for one game in March when he came to the defense of Steve Blake after Blake was pushed to the floor by Dallas Maverick Jason Terry. That was actually the moment I became a Barnes Liker. Matt was the first one to rush in and return the favor but also shoved assistant coach Terry Stotts in the process. Even though it appeared that Barnes lost it yet again, him pushing Terry is the kind of team chemistry the Lakers will especially need this upcoming season. Here's the video...


If Barnes can remain healthy (53 games last season), this is the opportunity he's been waiting for as a Laker but the very second he loses his cool and forgets what coach Brown sees in him, his starting role should be given back to Metta.

Last season averages to consider:

Matt Barnes - 7PPG, 4REBS, 47% FG and 78% FT.
Metta World Peace - 8PPG, 3REBS, 2STL, 40% FG and 68% FT.

Matt is the better shooter but Metta is the better defensive player. Which player would you start at the 3 if you were coach Mike Brown?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Say it ain't so Kobe

The Lakers organization is saved by the bell, the Orange County Superior Court's front desk bell that is. Whatever pressure Kupchak had to make his big off season move has now been overshadowed by Vanessa Bryant's big off season move. Kobe Bryant's wife filed for divorce today citing irreconcilable differences.

Click here to see the filed documents posted by TMZ.com.

Kobe is in deep (bad pun), I mean REAL DEEP. No prenup and having been married for over 10 years? With no prenuptial agreement, Vanessa will be entitled to half of Kobe's total earnings during their 10-year marriage (estimated to be more than $100-million) and on top of that since their marriage lasted more than 10 years in this great state of California Kobe will have to pay Vanessa alimony for the rest of her life, unless of course she remarries. Chances are she won't remarry.

I'm not one to throw out over-said cliche's but this opportunity is begging to be called. These apply to both Kobe and Vanessa:

Kobe - "Once a dog always a dog"
Vanessa - "Past is Prologue"

Clever, clever girl. While Kobe sadly earns his, Vanessa is strategically awarded hers. Kobe's unfaithful past has become Vanessa's quite profitable prologue. I'm not going to be empathetic to Mrs. Bryant as she certainly planned this, patiently waiting for the right time to divorce her cheating husband. It's no coincidence that she filed for divorce just months after the 10-year mark of tying the knot. She's rushing in to cash in her earnings and call it a loss. Unfortunately the loss comes at the expense of their two beautiful girls, 8-year-old Natalia and 5-year-old Gianna who will have to see Mom and Dad separately now.

Kobe should've done what Tom Cruise did. No not jump the couch but file for divorce before the 10-year mark to avoid having to pay a lifetime of alimony. If Kobe was still fooling around like Vanessa is claiming he was, he should've at least manned up by ending the marriage in a smart way rather than being sucker punched days before the season starts. Talk about a distraction.

What woman would be worth this much trouble? Let me rephrase, what women would be worth this much trouble? Let's backup here and revisit Kobe's bad boy behavior that caused his new-found bachelorhood. 

Kobe is arguably the best player on the court but unfortunately for his wife Vanessa, he holds this title off the court as well. His highly publicized adulterous D'oh! moment that officially labeled Kobe Bryant as just another unfaithful NBA player came in the summer of 2003, just two years into his young marriage (Kobe 22/Vanessa 18) when he was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting the woman he fooled around with at an Eagle, Colorado hotel. His mug shot hit newsstands the following month courtesy of Sports Illustrated. The case was later dropped but the accuser's civil suit was settled outside of court.

Kobe was quick to get his wife an 8-carat purple diamond ring worth about $4-million and Vanessa was just as quick to accept it. Apparently one with money can buy a second chance. Hmm, man cheats on wife, man apologizes with very expensive gift, wife accepts very expensive gift and forgets all.

So you ask, "What's better than a $4-million 8-carat I'm sorry diamond ring? How about a tattoo that will always remind your apologetic husband how important you are in his life.

Kobe had his upper right arm inked to show his wife he will never be unfaithful ever again. The tattoo shows the name Vanessa under a crown to represent the importance of his wife, two angel wings and the inscription Psalm XVII to express his faith.

That's another thing, why do people suddenly declare their faith in troubled times? Stop playing the God card, He's not your convenient scapegoat. Tiger did it, Kobe did it, OJ Simpson did it, every celebrity does it. If your new-found faith is truly genuine and your new way of life, you wouldn't be doing the same stupid shit that got you in trouble in the first place now would you?

Nobody's perfect I know but when failure is upon you, you tend to learn from it. Kobe displays this on the court, he seeks perfection and when he fails, he works harder to be that much better. He leads by example and is always the first one to hit the hardwood pregame. This is why he's so successful in the NBA.

It's too bad he couldn't reciprocate his basketball ethic towards his marriage.

This off season has been an eventful one for the Lakers to say the least. Don't you dare blink because I have a feeling there's more to come. 

Sources: TMZ.com, npr.com.

Would you bet on the Lakers beating the Bulls on Christmas Day?


Getty Images
If you had to make the decision today, would you bet on the Lakers winning their season opener against the Chicago Bulls?

The Bulls look pretty damn strong, especially with the recent pickup of Richard Hamilton who will serve as Rose’s perfect wingman. Adding “Rip” Hamilton only makes Chicago that much stronger.

Let me remind you of their starting five that flashes four team captains? Chicago’s backcourt will be led by their superstar reigning and youngest regular season MVP ever Derrick Rose at the 1 who averages 25ppg. At the 2 a recently acquired Richard Hamilton who will quietly average in double-digits behind Rose. In the frontcourt the Bulls have the always reliable Luol Deng at the 3 spot who averages 17pts/6rebs per game, 9-year veteran Carlos Boozer who averages 18pts/10rebs per game at the 4, and a stronger by the minute big man at the 5 Joakim Noah who had a great season last year averaging a career high 12ppg w/ 10rebs (48 games).

Chicago made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year and they have no intention to stop there this season. The only goal Chicago has is to win it all, especially with the opportunity of a 66-game season. 

As for the Lakers, they’ve gotten weaker. Their depth is as deep as a kiddie pool having lost Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom this off season. Their absence will really hurt this franchise.

Now before you quickly drive out to Vegas or place your online bet with a point spread of 50, be cautious because our brilliant GM still has his big off season move to unveil. So take your time, in fact read up on some online casino reviews and don’t be so eager to lose your money. Lakers will come out with a move that will blow everyone’s minds. 
   
If the season started today, the Lakers starting five would look like this:

Derek Fisher (PG), Kobe Bryant (SG), Metta World Peace (SF), Pau Gasol (PF) and Andrew Bynum (C).

Last season averages:

Derek - 7pts/3 assists; Kobe - 25pts/5assists/5rebs; Metta - 9pts/3rebs; Pau – 19pts/10rebs; Andrew – 11ptys/9rebs (54 games).

The season opener is on Christmas day, December 25th in Los Angeles.
Start time: 2PM PST on ABC.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Los Angeles Clipper - Chris Paul

Where to begin? As I stare at my computer screen struggling to filter my intro, I can't stop but think about what's transpired over in Clipper land. I am in complete disbelief that the other team sharing our arena robbed us from Chris Paul. Clips more deserving? Perhaps, but there's still a crime scene to investigate here. Charges have to be made right?

Before I rant, the Clippers and its fan base have been patiently waiting for this day to happen for a long time now and for that I congratulate them. Sports analysts have rightfully labeled the Clippers as a viable playoff team for years to come now that they've acquired a 26-year-old superstar PG in Chris Paul. Also, claiming Billups from the league's amnesty waiver where he can't be traded this season really helps too.

Where is Dan Gilbert now Stern? Check your junk email folder because emails are often sent there accidentally. Anyhow, how can a different team that shares the same arena as the "large market" Lakers get away with a similar trade?

Clippers CP3 Trade
New Orleans Hornets got:
  1. Clipper - Eric Gordan
  2. Clipper - Al-Farouq Aminu
  3. Clipper - Chris Kaman
  4. First-round draft pick
Clippers along with Paul get two future second-round draft picks
Lakers CP3 Trade
New Orleans Hornets would've gotten:
  1. Laker - Larmar Odom
  2. Rocket - Luis Scola
  3. Rocket - Kevin Martin
  4. Rocket - Goran Dragic
  5. First-round draft pick.
Pau Gasol would've gone to Houston.

This is where my frustrations start. Regardless of how I personally felt about the Odom/Gasol trade initially, Chris Paul going to the Clippers (who are essentially in the same demographic market as the Lakers) veto-free is outrageous and unfair.

As a Laker fan you have to ask yourself, "Where is the justice in all of this?" I know the Lakers would've lost Odom/Gasol regardless if there wasn't a trade disqualification but losing Odom to Dallas (Kupchak not informing Odom of the trade to begin with didn't help either) for an 8-mill trade exception and no Chris Paul is a massive blunder to this Laker dynasty.

Today, the Orlando Magic pulled Dwight Howard off the trade market. They said that the Nets and Lakers offers "were not worth executing."

Add this to your pile of bad news this offseason.

There's speculation however that the Orlando Magic made the announcement in hopes that the Lakers would counter with a more appealing offer.

In Kupchak's recent interview with the media yesterday, he did say that he intends to keep his three "primo" players, Kobe, Pau and Andrew. So what fire power do the Lakers have if they are still in pursuit of Howard?

I can't wait to see what big move the Lakers have in store. I hope the move will remind fans of how awesome their Lakers GM is in his abilities to always find a way to move the Lakers forward.

Sources: BleacherReport.com, DailyBreeze.com, LakerNation.com, ESPN.com.

Is it time for the Lakers to trade Kobe Bryant and start over?

Now that the Los Angeles Clippers have snagged top point guard Chris Paul, they appear to have a better, younger squad than the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact I think the Clips will make the playoffs and end up with a better record than the Lakers. Do you know why? Because the window has closed on the Lake Show.

Think about it. Phil Jackson is gone. Lamar Odom is gone. And if Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has his way, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol could be next. But trading two bigs for one big, in Orlando's Dwight Howard, makes no sense.

Face it Laker fans, it is time to do the unthinkable. It is time to trade perennial All-Star Guard Kobe Bryant. The Lakers can easily get a big haul in return - and there are quite a few teams looking for a good shooter like Kobe.

We need to keep Gasol and Bynum and build around them. Trade Bryant and you can fill the hole at point guard and probably land a decent small forward and another guard as well as a draft pick.

Don't you think the Chicago Bulls would be interested? Imagine what the Black Mamba could do in the back court with terrific point guard Derrick Rose!

I don't know if Bryant has a no-trade clause but surely he might be willing to waive it if the Lakers can send him to a team that can win now. How about the New Jersey Nets? They would be a different team with Deron Williams, Kobe and Brooks Lopez as their top trio. And they could send a bunch of spare parts to L.A. in return - or maybe help the Lakers in a three-way with Orlando, where the Lakers would end up with Howard and Bynum would end up either in Orlando or in New Jersey.

How about the Philadelphia Sixers? They might be willing to bring Kobe home to where he played high school ball, and they have a ton of young players and picks that they could send to L.A. Perhaps they might even throw in Andre Iguodala?

If Kupchak puts Kobe on the market, the offers will come and the Lakers will be able to start the rebuilding process, perhaps sooner than we all thought it would come. But it does appear to be time to blow up the roster, as Magic Johnson himself recommended after the Dallas Mavericks beat L.A. last year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kupchak addresses the media

AP
Today Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak addressed questions about the recent dramas involving the team to the media. Thanks to the Mason & Ireland show on 710 ESPN we have the audio clip.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Interview begins at the 18 minute mark.

Topics discussed:

- Expectations to keep "primo" players (Kobe, Pau, Andrew)
- League disqualification of CP3 trade
- Losing Lamar Odom
- Pursuing of big deals

This begs the obvious question, how in the heck are the Lakers going to catch Superman if the organization intends to keep their "primo" players?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Dallas Maverick - Lamar Odom

Photo credit: AP
ESPN.com reports that Lamar Odom WANTED to leave L.A. I mean do you blame the guy? Why would he want to stay with a team that didn't give the courtesy of a phone call to let him know, "Hey we might be trading you".

Before the veto, the trade would have sent Odom and Gasol to New Orleans for CP3. Gasol would have then been sent to the Rockets for Scola, Martin, Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick.

The damage was done despite the trade being blocked by the commissioner. Lamar Odom didn't deserve this and he showed his disgust by not attending the first day of training camp. He did however make a quick stop to Kupchak's office to let him know, "Hey you can trade me now".

Two days later, Odom is now a Dallas Maverick. The Candy Man w/ a 2012 second-round draft pick and some throw in's for the 2013 draft, was sent to Dallas for an $8.9 million trade exception and a protected first-round pick. 

What do the Lakers gain from trading Odom? More fire power for Howard I guess but that's it. First off, the Lakers lose the reigning 6th Man of the Year, a 14pt, 9reb contribution coming off the bench and a big chunk of the working element to this team's chemistry. This is definitely a sad day for Laker fans as they just lost their #1 reserve. If the Lakers don't at least land Howard because of this trade, losing Odom for practically nothing will be the most epic fail in franchise history.

To think Odom's last game as a Laker was against the Mavs. In fact he was ejected from that game just as he's being ejected from the team today. Cue video...


Lamar you have a strong following and no matter where you suit up, you will always be a Laker. You will be missed and thank you for everything.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Revisiting Fishers performance in Game 3 of 2010 NBA Finals


Lets revisit, in my opinion Derek Fisher's best Laker performance, Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals. With all of this talk about the Lakers weakest link being at the 1 and the possibility of grabbing CP3, I wanted to remind Laker fans that Derek may be aging and he may be described as the anchor slowing this team down but he played a very important role in helping us get our last championship banner.

Remember when Pierce taunted fans by saying Boston wasn't coming back to L.A. in the closing seconds of game 2?

Remember how angry his words made Laker fans?

The following day at practice, when asked about Pierce's comments, Derek answered with a blank stare and absolutely no words. We knew at that exact moment that Derek was going to mean serious business two nights later...and he did. In game 3, Fisher was clutch, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter, securing a Game 3 victory. Lakers of course went on to beat Boston in seven games to bring home back-to-back Larry O'Briens.

Fisher is as clutch as they come. He deserves more respect than what he's getting right now. If and when he chooses to retire, his heart and work ethic won't allow him to retire on a sour note. He will leave as a Laker when he feels is right. We need him more than fans think. His leadership and basketball IQ is vital for the younger players. His work ethic alone should serve as example. When was the last time Fisher missed a game? He has played in all 82 games in the last 6 seasons. This equals to 492 regular season games without calling in sick. I haven't even mentioned postseason games. In a league where players don't suit up because of a hangnail, this speaks volumes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Magic did say to blow up the team

Remember back to the Dallas/Lakers Western Conference Semifinals this past postseason, specifically on May 7th when L.A. Times.com posted an article about Magic fuming to Buss that the team needs to blow up and make drastic roster changes after going 0-3 in the series?

Magic said, "Dr. Buss has a lot of work to do, he's probably going to have to blow this team up after the season if the Lakers lose this series because you have to come back with some fresh faces. You have to pick between the two big men with which one you keep and then you trade the other one."

He continued to say, "The Lakers have two problems, they're too slow and they have no athletes. This is an athletic league now. When you think about all the teams that are in the playoffs right now, they all can run fast and jump high."

"Sometimes you can be together too long...this group has been probably together too long."

Click here to read the full article

Magic's words are coming to fruition. The team has been exposed and the burning fuse will reach the bomb that will inevitably blow this team apart.

Shannon Brown is leaving for the Suns. That makes the Lakers bench more depleted. Is Luke Walton going to stay for the money? He needs to retire. The Lakers' greatest weakness is their bench. The Heat, Thunder, Bulls, and others do not have that problem.  

The Lakers need to pick up CP3 and start looking for other star players. The organization is re-building the team. The Heat is stacked now; they just picked up Battier.

Remember, Lamar is 32 years old. CP3 is 26. Pau is soft and Lamar wants to make a movie - according to a Steven A. Smith interview;

"It would be a good movie... gonna get that script ready." - Lamar Odom.

We need to get back to business. Pau and Odom are going to leave regardless per Jim Buss. I would rather trade Bynum.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lamar thanks fans for the support

This from Lamar Odom's Twitter account:


Stop the Presses! Gasol & Odom are still Lakers

Getty Images
Hold up! Wait a minute! Let me put some veto in it! As quickly as Odom's tears were drying up, NBA team owners ran to Commish David Stern screaming VETO! VETO!

SI.com just posted this on their site:

"League sources have told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that several owners have contacted NBA Commissioner David Stern in an attempt to convince him to veto a three team deal that would send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. Paul’s current team, the New Orleans Hornets, is owned by the NBA, which has upset many owners, Wojnarowski has reported."

The execution of the veto was confirmed by both ESPN and Yahoo! Sports.

This is great news in my personal opinion. The thought of losing both Odom and Gasol in one trade for CP3 and perhaps Okafor made me sick to my stomach, literally. I'm eating soup right now.

As of tonight, December 8, 2011, one day before the NBA Free Frenzy Agency officially starts, Gasol and Odom are still Lakers and are not going anywhere. Who really knows what to expect the next several weeks though.

What does this roller coaster mean to Odom and Gasol who clearly are on the chopping block? How do we expect them to feel knowing now that the only reason they weren't forced to call their real estate agent was because of several team owners rushing to Stern to veto the trade?

I know we need a PG but losing both Odom and Gasol in the process is nightmare-ish. This kind of stuff is how horror movies start.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dr. Buss hospitalized

Photo credit: L.A. Times
According to TMZ.com Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss has been hospitalized due to blood clots in his legs.

A team rep told TMZ:

We're told doctors believe the 77-year-old's condition was caused by "excessive travel."

"He's progressing well and expects to be released in the next day or two."

I say considering the bad news, Buss being released in the next several days is great news.

We wish Dr. Buss a speedy recovery.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kapono oh no

Getty Images
According to Gil Alcaraz IV from Yahoo! Sports Lakers invited free agent forward Jason Kapono for a workout this past Monday. What I'm about to say is by all means no disrespect to one of the greatest shooters in UCLA history but Kapono really hasn't done much in the NBA but hold several NBA 3-Point Shootout trophies and a straddling NBA title w/ the Heat when Shaq and Wade went crazy in '06. To Kapono's credit he did have back-to-back seasons where he led in 3pt pct shooting 51.4 percent for Miami in that '06-'07 championship banner season and then 48.3 percent for Toronto in '07-'08.

Kapono has played for five teams, suiting up for Cleveland, Charlotte, Miami, Toronto, and finally Philadelphia. If the Lakers are looking for consistency behind the arc why look at someone who played in just 24 games last season (minutes total to 3 NBA games in their entirety). Kapono showed the most consistency while playing for the Toronto Raptors in back-to-back seasons of his 5th and 6th year being in the league.

I would understand the interest if this was 3 off-seasons ago where Kapono would be coming off appealing high shooting averages but nowadays he's as rusty as they come. Kapono will have great difficulty putting up consistent numbers right away, especially with the added pressure of playing near his hometown Alma Mater for the first time in his NBA career.

If Buss wants to dish out 1-mill for a player that averaged 1 point (.7 to be exact) last season, why not invest that mill in free agent Mike Bibby who shot a career high 44 percent from long distance and averaged 8 more points than Kapono? I'm sorry to say but a belief that Kapono has a contributing season on the ready set to help an organization that needs chipping in even from the towel boy next season is just foolish. His downward stats will prove to you otherwise. Lakers shouldn't invest in Kapono's stepping stone rebuilding years.

Lakers do not need another forward, they need a point guard that can reintroduce the fast break and Bibby would be the perfect fit.     

Nepotism may be a factor in the recent workout invite. Mr. Alcaraz IV also stated that Kapono may have a slight edge over other prospects because of his relationship with Quin Snyder who was hired to the Lakers' coaching staff this summer as an assistant. Their history could be the difference when the Lakers decide who they're going to sign in the next couple of weeks.

2011-12 Lakers Regular Season Schedule

Today is a great day for NBA fans. Just weeks ago fans were left with an NBA season that had an outlook as dismal as a dead man walking on a green mile. Yes, fans have been pardoned with a 66-game regular season schedule and today showed evidence of it.

For the Lakers, opening the season with a 3-0 record won't come easy. They start their 2011-12 regular season with the only back-back-back of their [a little more than] 4-month schedule.

December 25-27 will consist of the Bulls (h), Kings (a) and Jazz (h).

Thanks to Lakers.com, we already have the schedule dissected and it doesn't look good. Yikes! 18 Back-to-back games?

Day-By-Day Games

Sunday - 14 (10h/4a)
Monday - 5 (2h/3a)
Tuesday - 11 (7h/4a)
Wednesday - 10 (2h/8a)
Thursday - 7 (2h/5a)
Friday - 13 (8h/5a)
Saturday - 6 (2h/4a)

Month-To-Month Games

December - 5 (4h/1a)
January - 17 (9h/8a)
February - 13 (4h/9a)
March - 17 (9h/8a)
April - 14 (7h/7a)

Five Feature Games

Jan.16th vs. Dallas
Jan. 19th @ Miami
Feb. 23rd @ OKC
Mar. 11th vs. Boston
April 20th @ San Antonio

Click here to view for the entire Lakers 2011-12 regular season schedule

Click here to download the official 2011-12 Lakers Regular Season Schedule Wallpaper courtesy of Lakers.com

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Do we really want to lose Gasol, Bynum for Howard?

Credit: Source24Designs
 The latest big trade rumors circle around Orlando Magic's 3-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. Howard aka Superman will be a free agent next summer and everyone expects the Magic organization to make a move before keeping him for another season and gamble losing him for nearly nothing in the 2012 off season. 

Every sports radio station is buzzing around this hot topic. Dwight is no stranger to rumors of coming to L.A., before the NBA lockout was even looming, articles were being written headlining the subject. So, could the Lakers actually land such a superstar big man?

First of all, only if Dwight Howard wants to come to L.A. Lets make it clear that the Magic organization will not willingly let their star center leave unless he wants to. Trust me when I say this, they intend to exhaust every last second of his ending contract.      

Dwight Howard might consider the success L.A. received when they stole Shaq from Orlando. Three championship seasons in a row would be enough to say see ya! The Lakers did also pick up coach Phil Jackson when Shaq came on board. No more Phil might also come into play but then again L.A. has a lot of planking opportunities.
In a recent phone interview Ken Berger of CBSSports.com said that the Lakers will have to lose Gasol and Bynum for Dwight and a throw in consolation prize of Turkoglu. I say that is way too much to lose, especially when Laker fans should anticipate a shortened season to benefit an injury prone Andrew Bynum. Rest assured, the kid is healthy and he will have his best season yet. We can't afford to replace our twin towers for just one.

In fact, L.A. is okay in the big man category having Gasol, Bynum and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Odom at the 4 spot. Why are we so quick to make roster changes when we already have the artillery in the back court? Don't let the Dallas sweep convince you otherwise. We are okay.

If there ever was a spot on the roster to consider trading for, it's at the #1. J.J. Barea, Aaron Brooks, Rodney Stuckey, Mario Chalmers, Mike Bibby, T.J. Ford, Patrick Mills, Carlos Arroyo, Earl Watson, Sebastian Telfair are all legit free agents this season.

Let's not forgot the entertaining possibility of trading for CP3 and D. Williams too.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dodger fans believe in Magic

When you read about HOF Magic Johnson and the L.A. Dodgers all on one sentence, it's typically about, well, what the heck is it typically about? In this case its all about the possibility of Magic being part owner of the once eminent Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Today he made the big announcement via (like most celebrities do nowadays) Twitter. He tweeted:


Yes it's true, Bill Plaschke from LA Times.com wrote an article covering the story and his intro reads:

Magic Johnson, the Lakers legend-turned-businessman, has lined up the Guggenheim financial services firm and respected baseball executive Stan Kasten in hopes of buying the Dodgers. 

The great city of angels desperately needs this lift, this spark that will revive the spirit of all Dodger fans who've given up on their boys in blue. They've had a tough year to say the least, a year that began with a nasty and very publicized divorce of (ex)team owner Frank McCourt that ultimately led to a filed bankruptcy of the organization and two Dodger fans who carelessly with no concern for human life brutally assaulted a Giants fan on opening day.  

Magic said this in a phone interview today:

"I am so hyped, I'm ready to start right now. The Dodgers have been so important to this community for so many years, for so many reasons. I've lived through it all like everyone else and I want to make them great again."

Magic is a leading staple in the L.A. communities and his foundation, The Magic Johnson Foundation is fueled by their motto, "We are the communities we serve". MJF partners with key corporate companies in efforts to help the communities eliminate negative cultural barriers; advance economic and social equality by engaging minorities in every aspect of their communities; increase academic and innovative achievement; and raise HIV/AIDS awareness, treatment and prevention.

This year Magic is celebrating two milestones. He is celebrating 20 years of beating HIV and 20 years since the inception of his foundation. Its been an especially great year for Magic. To think it might be capped off with him owning a piece of an L.A. legacy that is awaiting rebuilding.

Source: LATimes.com