Thursday, April 26, 2012

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Metta loses a lot of chedda for elbow

It's official, the league has suspended Metta World Peace's elbow for a total of seven games. This means that he will miss the last game of the regular season [no big deal] and six games of the postseason [really big deal].

The seven-game suspension will cost both MWP's wallet and team greatly. As for Metta's chedda, the NBA is biting off roughly $348,000 from his salary and as for the team, they will be without World Peace for the last game of the season and at least the first round of the playoffs, possibly a couple games to start the 2012-13 regular season assuming they get swept from the first round. One thing's for certain, Metta will only be able to help his team pursue their 17th trophy if L.A. moves past the first round. 

All of this because of an uncontrollable energy that Ron Artest (lets call him what he truly is) will never be able to tame. It's in his genetics to snap and go crazy when slightly jolted. Not even the best sports betting sites can predict this type of behavior.

If any opponent is smart enough they would throw in a deep bench warmer to provoke such an Artest reaction to get him suspended for more games. Somewhat like the Hack-a-Shaq defensive strategy, but only this time it would be the Hack-a-crack defensive strategy.

Having Artest on this Lakers squad is a huge liability and knowing very well that his mental state will never allow him to change, I think its time to release Ron Ron to perhaps pursue his rap-rapping career.

Lets take a stroll down memory lane to where it all started for Artest shall we?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lakers win despite Metta's elbow

Despite losing Metta World Peace for a possible five game suspension because of his atrocious elbow blow to the back of Harden's head in the midst of his dunk celebration, the Lakers find a way to somehow miraculously comeback from an 18-point deficit to beat a very tough OKC team.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Metta definitely has a screw loose (hence the recent name change). If a simple Harden bump sets him off just imagine what other awful things Metta can do? The man has some serious mental issues that need to be addressed. 

The old Indiana Pacer showed his ugly face today and his cheap shot will not only hurt his under construction image for the better but will cost the team dearly, especially with the playoff's just around the corner. Take a look for yourself.

This hit was no accident like some delusional fans are claiming it was, Metta knew exactly what he was doing and has to face the consequences now.

What bugged me the most about the hit was the fact that MWP was continuously trying to plead his case to the refs that the hit was accidental as Harden laid on the floor. Even the fans were booing at the foul call. Are you serious? That type of behavior should never be tolerated let alone advocated by a home crowd. It was disgusting.

Okay enough of Metta's stupidity. Today's game actually had many highlights with the biggest one of all, a double overtime victory over the visiting OKC Thunder. Today's win makes the Clippers reaching the #3 spot a bit tougher.

Laker Highlights

Kobe Bryant's unbelievable late fourth quarter and double-OT heroics. The Black Mamba slithered away with a team high 26 points. He caught fire and his two clutch three-pointers, one of them one-footed helped take this game to the first of two overtimes.

Lakers Bench: Steve Blake played great while Sessions had an off game. Blake scored 13 and went 3-5 behind the arc. His three's late the in fourth were a BIG reason for the Lakers biggest comeback victory of the season.

Jordan Hill has his biggest game as a Laker thus far. He was given significant playing time (35 min.) due to Bynum's off game. It's almost as if Bynum and Sessions went to the same party last night. Hill's first Laker double-double consists of 14PTS/15REBS. Not bad. His hustle created second shot opportunities and reminded me of the old Laker Ronny Turiaf.

Devin Ebanks played inspired basketball. His stat sheet doesn't reflect his true impact to the game. Every one of his eight points were needed. He also brought down five rebounds and had two steals to end the game.

Pau Gasol did his thing. He got his ninth double-double and almost quietly got his second triple-double of the month. He ended the game with 20PTS/14RREBS/9ASSISTS.      

Metta's malicious elbow will surely overshadow these highlights. As a fan I hope the league punishes him harshly. He needs to realize how appalling his actions were. It only hurts the Lakers organization which is just getting over cleaning up Bynum's mess from his elbow to Barea last postseason.

Top photo credit: Getty Images

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lakers have hidden depth

When Sessions was acquired by the Lakers he brought in great depth to the bench as the #2 option to Blake but from just a couple of games it became apparent that Blake's quickness compared to Fisher's was no longer inspired compared to Sessions, in fact Ramon's talents quickly became the next hot topic debate.

Should Sessions stay on the bench to serve as the Lakers secret second unit weapon or should he become a starter to match the league's fast pace and help the team build a strong enough lead to where there was enough cushion for the bench to absorb their falls?

Regardless, the outcome is the latter and I personally like the first string Sessions. L.A. needs to start each game strong and there's no other point guard on the team that can match his speed and court vision. He's the perfect candidate for the job.

Going back to the premise of this topic - Lakers have hidden depth - and by hidden I mean Lakers have neglected talent that should be given more playing time outside of late fourth quarter blowouts.

I will start with Andrew Goudelock. After watching last night's second half ass-kicking by the Spurs, I realized, especially after watching San Antonio's tear drops go in, where the hell is Glock? Remember his pretty tear drop shots early on in the season? The man is clutch and played exceptionally well when he had minutes. 

In the five games this season where he received 20+ minutes he averaged 12PPG. The current #2 back up to Sessions is Steve Blake who is averaging 23 min. and just 5PPG. Blake has had plenty of opportunity (51 games) to help contribute with notable minutes. Its time for change. Why not give the rookie a chance to shine? Goudelock has already proven that he can be a scoring threat when given some PT.

Didn't the Lakers also just pick up Jordan Hill? With a $2.8 million dollar salary one would think the team would try to get their money's worth. Barnes and Murphy who are making less are getting more minutes. This makes no sense to me. 

In games where your star center brings down a total of two rebounds you have to wonder why not dare venture into the bench for some assistance. The Lakers have the talent, they're just not using it wisely. So far this season as a Rocket and when getting 20+ minutes, Hill managed to crash the boards for an average of 9REBS. Those nine rebounds were needed in last night's blowout. Hill also averaged 8 points from those 20+ min. games.

Hill has only played a total of 15 minutes as a Laker whereas Troy Murphy is averaging 16 minutes a game and only contributing 3PPG/3RPG. I can almost guarantee you that if Hill got Murphy's minutes this team would be a lot tougher inside, resulting in more second shot opportunities.

I like Josh McRoberts role off the bench. He brings in that necessary spark with his alley-oops and sweet passes for a big man. I would like MWP to come off the bench and Matt Barnes at the starting 3. In my opinion Barnes is the overall better player but Metta is better defensively. I think coach Brown is doing a good job subbing between the two when their skills call.

The one Laker I particular feel bad about is Devin Ebanks who is a fantastic player. He recently was granted favorable minutes because of Kobe's shin injury but will most likely go back into the burrows of the bench mob now that Kobe is healthy again. Matt Barnes and Metta World Peace are filling in quite well as reserves too.

Top photo credit: Getty Images

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kobe who?

While team captain/league's leading scorer fashions a designer suit for the fifth straight game, the Lakers have already celebrated clinching the #3 spot in the western conference. Also, with a 4-1 Black Mamba-less record, some are even boldly asking the taboo question, "Are the Lakers better without Kobe?"

Don't be ridiculous, this teams isn't better without Kobe Bryant. To even dare ask such a question is disturbing HOWEVER the Lakers are filling in quite well and playing exceptional team basketball in his absence. You can't ignore the fact that as of recent the Lakers appear to be playing with a new found purpose. Almost teasing the idea of bringing back to life last season's "switch" chatter.

Here's a list of notable players that Kobe's left shin should be thanking for the extended R&R since he was placed on the IL on April 7th (5 games):
  • Ramon Sessions is averaging 13 PPG and 6 APG
  • Metta World Peace is averaging 17 PPG and 2 steals per game
  • Matt Barnes is averaging 12 PPG and 8 RPG
  • Pau Gasol is averaging 22 PPG and 11 RPG
  • Andrew Bynum is averaging 22 PPG and 17 RPG
So far this month the Lakers are 7-2 and only look to go 12-2 to end the season. With this kind of success and team chemistry, bring on the rain!

Top photo credit: Getty Images

Laker Girls Carls Jr. Tour Highlights

Friday, April 13, 2012

Another Look: Metta's flat-footed three

Please excuse the video quality as this was the only clip we could find. Here's another look at MWP's flat-footed three pointer. This is just craziness. Metta finished the game with a season high 26 points and 5 made three pointers.

If this performance isn't a fluke and put into consideration the usual production from all other starters, this Lakers team will definitely be ready for the playoffs. Bring on OKC!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sessions is getting it done

When the dust settled after March 15th it was shockingly clear that the Lakers organization had finally made the bold move in trading Fisher for a quicker point guard. The end result was a backup guard coming in from Cleveland by the name of Ramon Sessions.

At first loyal fans seemed reluctant to welcome in Sessions having just essentially replaced Derek Fisher who spent the better part of his sixteen year NBA career with the purple and gold but the welcome mats started to quickly show as the newly acquired guard wasted no time reminding fans how important quickness and savvy court vision was to their superstar-packed Lakers team. This void in the back court was desperately needing filling for a while now. In fact the fans were not only welcoming Sessions with open arms but were also throwing a fit with coach Brown's slow approach to moving Ramon up in the rotation. Heck Sessions even got the seal of approval from Jack.

That didn't take long as Brown officially made Sessions the team's number one option at the one after just four games of becoming a Laker. Since then Ramon is averaging 14 PPG w/ 8 APG (11 games). Not too shabby for the second string Cavalier who was averaging 11 PPG in the first 42 games of the season.

It is an unfamiliar luxury for the Lakers to have a starting point guard contributing with double digit numbers. Sessions can push the ball up court and create shots not only for himself but more importantly for his teammates. To put it into few words, he simply makes the Lakers a better team. There's more ball movement, better point distribution and a new found balance that allows this team to finally play like one.

Needless to say Sessions has become an instant fan favorite. There's a new #7 in town.

Top photo credit: Getty Images

Monday, April 9, 2012

What a Pau-werful month thus far

While selfish Andrew Bynum is taking early April showers, Kobe on the bench taxing a left shin with no spring and the Lakers bench acting like April fools, Gasol is not one to passover the opportunity to step up, in fact he's already had 4:20 plus point games.

Just in the month of April the Spaniard is averaging 22 PPG/10 RPG (6 games) and has been a critical part to the teams successful modest 4-2 record so far in this final month of the regular season, despite the aforementioned setbacks.

Since being dunked on by Griffin just a week ago, Gasol is averaging 23 PPG/11 RPG. Wounds still fresh, Pau has definitely moved on in the best way he can, by winning.

Fellow teammate Bynum might've been disrespectfully grinning while Gasol lay on the floor after that vicious dunk but at least Pau didn't bitch down. Next time, instead of running away smirking, try running toward your teammate in his defense.

It's fair to say that Gasol is having one heck of a month thus far and with San Antonio, Dallas and OKC waiting in the wing, any kind of jump start to the Lakers offense and defense is truly going to be needed if the Lakers intend to end the season strong and carry that momentum into the playoffs.

Top photo credit: Getty Images

Bynum Hits a New Low

Andrew Bynum hit his new low when he got fouled out of the Rockets game on April 6th.  Of all of the nights, Bynum gets fouled out of the Laker game where Jerry West received accolades with his former teammates. You know… the game where Jerry West and company won 33 consecutive games.

We all thought that Drew was going through etiquette rehab.

Bynum’s erratic behavior leads to his teammates picking up his slack. His teammates are more likely to get injured when he is ejected from any game.

Many of the sports commentators are missing the point. Bynum is being selfish. He is putting himself before the team. He harms the team and the Lakers franchise with his selfish antics. 

Bynum needs to remember that suiting up as a Laker is an honor. One shall not remove the jersey like a rag.

If West or Johnson cannot get through to Bynum, he should stop suiting up as a Laker. 

Pau Gasol said it best; "He's a great guy, a great person and has a great heart. He just has to emotionally bring it down a little bit."

-LA Times

Top photo credit: Getty Images