Friday, December 28, 2012

The NOC presents Metta World Therapy Episode 1 "Pressure"



Hey Laker fans, two months ago The NOC released the trailer to their new YouTube show called, "Metta World Therapy". Here is the first episode titled, "Pressure".

Pretty funny stuff. To sum it all up, Metta gets a bargain from his therapist, gets advice to dig up worms during halftime and then gets a demo to pound his fists together three times - all to help relieve the daily pressures of being a Los Angeles Laker. 

We hope these methods work as his team continues to struggle to be at .500.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kobe on Twitter via @NikeBasketball



Laker Fans who eat and breathe all that is social media, specifically those who live on their Twitter TL have been waiting for the Black Mamba to become the inception Twitter egg like the rest of us once were when we created our accounts. The only difference is his egg would grow into a flock of a million birds faster than the first few characters of our first tweet.

The day has finally arrived - Kobe Bryant is on Twitter Laker tweeps! Well at least via Nike's handle @NikeBasketball for the time being.

Just days ago, fans were reading Kobe's thoughts via his website, and facebook page but never would they have thought he'd be tweeting. When asked before, Kobe's expressed his disinterest to join Twitter to the media so really there's no expectations of an official Kobe Twitter account however his taking over the Nike handle will definitely do for now!

Hypothetically speaking, if Kobe were to create his own Twitter account, I can confidently assume that he would beat Lady GaGa's Twitter following of roughly 32 1/2 million followers within hours. Kobe is world renown - just look at his fan base in China alone.    

On Christmas day Nike announced that a special guest would be taking over the account handle. Kobe later made things official:




As of Dec. 26th (11:30AM) he's tweeted a total of ten times, mainly to help spotlight his latest Nike Zoom Kobe 8 shoe but he's been gracious enough to share several personal thoughts and photos in the process, my favorite photo here:


Great pic of the Bryant's. Don't forget to follow Kobe Bryant @NikeBasketball.
 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Warriors are no match to Kobe's lower jaw-jutting grimace


Clippers have won 12-straight. I lead with that because a healthy Lakers team can do just the same. Tonight they look to win their 4th consecutive game opposite a young Golden State Warriors team who've only lost three at home.

It won't come easy (they usually don't). The Warriors are young and typically youth equals speed, which results to full court transition offense faster than Kobe's wailing arms to ref no-calls. Lakers have struggled against quick teams all year long, hence their 14 losses.

Nash made his return after being gone for 24 games from a stubborn bruised left shin. his impact was the game difference and refreshing to watch as he brought back organization and fundamental basketball to the floor. A lot of pick and roll action which led to open jump shots and inside feeds to the big men for easy dunks. His vision to spot the open man is...well everyone knows how good it is. He ended the night with a team high 9 assists.

Nash also shot the ball well. His points came sparingly but all 12 were critically needed. On the other hand Kobe had a season high 41 FGA. This ugly stat will luckily be overlooked by a Lakers 4th consecutive win. Kobe was clutch, especially in the closing seconds. His lower jaw-jutting grimace even made an appearance.

Let's not mention quarters 1-3 since the Lakers seem to kick it in high gear only in the 4th. Lakers were down by 13 to start the game's final 12-minutes. This quarter had a million lead changes.

As the game progressed so did the Lakers as a team. They managed to score collectively and for the first time in a while they played as a complete unit. The final minutes did at times resort to Kobe offense which was frustrating to watch but thankfully Kobe delivered. He ended with 34 points (16-41 FG) and a quiet 10 rebounds.

Metta played great tonight. His clutch deep ball was huge (3-6 3P). His last two games coming off the bench has given the Lakers instant depth. He's averaging 19-pts as the 6th man.

Dwight got in early foul trouble so his stats in tonight's box score won't look impressive but his defense, free throws (3-4), and presence late in the game was key.

Hill get's playing time (Jamison has yet to play since Gasol's return) and makes the most of his 20 minutes. He contributed with 14-pts and 8-rebs. Laker fans know that when Hill is in the game, defense and hustle is gained.

Key stat of the night - L.A. had 56 points in the paint vs. Golden State's 38.

Lakers pull yet another victory late in the game but I honestly can't remember when they've won convincingly. They need to remind the league who the Lakers are by doing so. Hey, it's a 4-game winning streak, and we'll definitely take it!

Post-game info courtesy of NBA.com

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Henderson's missed layup continues Lakers winning momentum


Can the Lakers win their third straight for the first time this season? Odds are they will against the 7-16 Charlotte Bobcats who have lost 11-straight coming into tonight's game.


Yes, the Lakers get the W but truly do not deserve it. They will be coming in this Saturday to read and re-read whatever they forgot to read this past off season.

This keeping it too close against really bad teams stuff has to stop. Really. Lakers had to get a massive 4th quarter run to make this game even competitive to begin with and then defend in the closing seconds to maintain their one point game winning lead that was created by Kobe offense

Charlotte didn't deserve to win either if Henderson made that wide open layup to potentially win the game. The game was fugly but Laker fans will take the win, especially when their team was down by 18 at one point.

If anybody deserves the game ball it would be Kobe who bails out his team yet again. He had a team high (duh) 26-points. He should pass the game ball to the bench though. Their combined 41-points outscored Kobe's fellow starters' production at 30. MWP had 15-pts and Meeks ended the night with 17. 

Gasol returns from knee tendinitis and put in a fair contribution of 10-points and 9-rebounds. Still showed hesitance to drive in the lane and settled for mid-range shots. 

While the Lakers get their 3rd consecutive win, Howard gets his 3rd straight double double scoring 16 and grabbing a game high 17 rebounds.   

A great sigh of relief and a win. We'll take it! Keep in mind that D'Antoni didn't play Jamison or Hill. Winning without their help is indicative of a deep bench. That's a really good thing.

Post game info courtesy of NBA.com

Monday, December 10, 2012

Giving Cards and Boot Campaign team up for Hoops For Troops



GivingCards.com and BootCampaign.com have joined forces to create Hoops For Troops, a contest giveaway to help support our military families.

Here's your chance Laker fans to win two (2) tickets to a regular season Lakers home game this season plus a customized jersey for any NBA team in the size of the winner’s choosing. Wait, we're not done yet, winner will also get an official pair of military boots in the size of their choosing as provided by Boot Campaign.

All you have to do is fill out their entry form. Details are as follows:

HOW TO ENTER:

• The submission period of the Contest begins at 8 AM CDT on November 29, 2012, and ends at midnight CDT on December 20, 2012 (“Contest Submission Period”).
• To enter the Contest, you must fully complete the submission form at www.givingcards.com.
• All Entries must be received by December 20, 2012, to be considered eligible.
• Limit five (5) entries per person.
• Entries received from any person in excess of the limitation will be void.
• Entries will be rejected if:
(a) the entry form is not fully completed and submitted; or
(b) if the Entry does not conform to the specific requirements listed herein.
• The Sponsors are not responsible for late, lost, misdirected, delayed, incomplete or incompatible Entries.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lakers are 1-9 when Kobe scores 30+ points


On a night when Kobe's 30K milestone was announced to a home crowd, a victory for No. 5 on the list of NBA top-scorers is only fitting. That's not going to happen. Lakers lose 110-117.

Right from the tip-off Utah quickly set the tempo with an 8-0 run. The home crowd were still clapping from Lawrence Tanter's announcement when Utah scored their 8th point.   

Defense is still an issue 21-games into the season and consequently Lakers lose their second straight by the visiting Utah Jazz who are now on a 3-game winning streak. Lakers have yet to do so this season.

Jazz had 54-points in the paint versus L.A.'s 34. This stat will drive fans insane. With a superstar cast like L.A.'s, having allowed so much inside damage is a slap in the face. Where's Howard, Hill, weak side help? Who's taking accountability for the defensive void? The team or individual players?
 
Either way, Jazz outran the Lakers scoring 19 fast-break points versus a measly Lakers 4-points. 14 L.A. turnovers did not help either and Utah took full advantage by scoring 25-points from each and every one of them.

Full court transition defensive specifically is what's killing the Lakers. They're just not running back fast enough. All I'm seeing is a bunch of whining at no-calls while the other team is running down court.

There's no doubt that the Lakers can score as they're averaging 98-100 points a game. Tonight there were six Lakers in double digits, but the fact remains, their D is clinging to life. A 9-12 record (11th in the western conference) is a reflection of that.

Something to consider - Lakers are 1-9 when Kobe scores 30 or more points. This will tell one or two things - Kobe only cares about individual stats which by the way only fuels the hatred for Kobe-Haters or he has little trust in his teammates who are struggling to carry the load. Regardless, Kobe's FGA's are way too lopsided. Yes defensive is the reason why they're losing games but it certainly doesn't help so see Kobe's point production so uneven next to his teammates

Post-game info courtesy of NBA.com

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lakers lose to Thunder despite shooting barrage


The only consistency the Lakers have shown so far this season is that they can win one game and lose the other. Beating a very tough OKC team who were 15-5 (9-2 home), and ranked no. 1 offensively entering tonight's game would take an absolute miracle, or at least an absolute heavy shooting barrage from the Lakers. Mission accomplished but still no win. How fair is that?

The Westbrook/Durant duo quickly reminded fans why the Lakers were only able to take one game against them in the semi-finals. Westbrook and Durant combined for 69-points. Those two are so crazy good it's not even funny. We're talking about the top-ranked #2 and #6 scorers in the league that happen to play on the same team. All that the Lakers really could do is pick their poison. 

With his slashing quickness and deadly shooting skills Westbrook is today's quintessential super guard. If teams fail to contain him, they will have a very tough time competing, especially when they have to worry about guarding Kevin Durant as well.  

Despite the 114-108 loss, L.A. actually played well. I mean well enough to match up statistically in FG's. Lakers shot 36-84, where as the winning team shot 41-84. That's as close as you'll want to be against a high scoring team like OKC. Lakers outscored the Thunder 3 out of 4 quarters, but the 2nd quarter was where the game was won for OKC. In those twelve minutes Westbrook scored 14-points and Durant, 15. Their combined 29-points outscored the Lakers 26-point production that quarter. Westbrook ended the half with 27.     

Thunder is the better team right now, Lakers are just not healthy enough to beat the elite. Fans shouldn't walk with their head held down tomorrow. Like Worthy said, this was an encouraging loss...a loss that the team can build on.

Standout individual performances:

Kobe Bryant - 35 points / 7 assists
Dwight Howard - 23 points / 18 rebounds
Chris Duhon - 14 points (4-7 beyond the arc)

Lakers bench: Jodie Meeks scored 17-points and had 5 rebounds in 20 minutes.

Kevin Durant - Game high 36-points w/ 9 boards
Russell Westbrook - 33-points and 8 assists

Post-game info courtesy of NBA.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Congrats Kobe - 30,000 Career NBA Points


Our congratulations go out to Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant, the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. On December 5, 2012, versus the New Orleans Hornets, Kobe became the youngest player to score 30,000 career NBA points. It happened on a drive that resulted in a one-handed jumper over Robin Lopez just several feet from the basket.

It was only fitting that Kobe pick such a stage against the only team to have ever traded him. In fact the trade happened when he was selected as the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the [then] Charlotte Hornets. He was then traded to the Lakers and the rest is history.

Kobe's latest milestone puts him among only 5 NBA players to have scored more than 30,000 points. Tonight, Kobe has 30,016. He inches closer to surpassing the late Wilt Chamberlain who is number 4 on the list with 31,419 points.

So, is it likely that Kobe will pass Wilt this season? We've done the math and the answer is oh yeah. 

Kobe needs 1,404 points to reach the 4th spot. Knowing that there are 63 games left in the season (not counting the post season), Kobe would need to average 23 points a game. He's currently averaging 28. If he remains healthy and plays within his average 19 FGA he should be able to pass Wilt before the end of the season.     

Lakers.com has a really nice piece on Kobe's latest feat. They've also designed a cool desktop wallpaper to help commemorate the moment. Click below to download.

Courtesy of Lakers.com
Oh by the way, the Lakers get a very quiet W. Final score, LAL 103, NOH, 87.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lakers give up booty yet again


Lakers enter tonight's game against the hosting Houston Rockets with absolutely no momentum and they'll enter tomorrow night's game in New Orleans the same. Again, another opponent just lingering around in the fourth until just the right moment to catch a game winning run.

Lakers led at the half 58-45 and I believe by 17 at one point but let's fast forward to the 4th quarter collapse shall we?

I speak for myself (and probably for most Laker fans) when I say that my only memory of Lakers games is what happens in the end and what's been happening to the Lakers in the 4th quarter has to be a terrible joke engineered by some kind of higher being. Perhaps Karma. The fact remains, L.A. is losing games they've won. Their inability to go for the jugular in the final minutes of a game has become costly for this so-called "New Dynasty".  The price they've paid for an 8-10 start (44%) is worse than expected fiscal cliff tax hikes.

Lakers led by 10 to begin the final 12 minutes and they had a 13-point lead with less than 10 minutes to go. Then the opponent like they typically do catch a magical run to take the lead late in the game. The Rockets did just that by sparking their 9-2 run to take a 100-99 lead with just over 2 minutes left. From there you just knew that the Lakers were doomed. I mean at that point the Lakers almost have to pull out their pimp cups with all that booty they gave up. Kobe, Metta and Antawn all had opportunities to tie the game in the closing seconds, but when kismet is inadvertently decided by 19 Laker turnovers, heartbreak will be force-fed cold. 

Lakers played pretty solid D throughout the game as Howard/Hill combined for 7 blocks, but the defense fell apart when Houston's second unit came in. Both Greg Smith and Toney Douglas formed an alliance and decided to have season highs coming off the bench - Smith, 21-points (outscored entire Lakers bench) and Douglas, 22. Even Delfino joined in on all the fun by having an unreserved shooting performance, having 15 shot attempts for 15-points.
 
Second shot opportunities killed the Lakers tonight, especially late. Houston had 21 offensive boards vs L.A.'s 14. 


Original photo credit: AP
I will end with this - Kobe offense WILL NOT WIN GAMES!!! The Black Mamba will strike with no hesitance - especially late in close games - it will have to be up to his teammates to show confidence in their shot/play making skills. If they choose to be in spectator mode, this Lakers team will lose more games than saved by Kobe's heroism.

Tonight, Kobe went 14-31! That's a season high 31 attempts and certainly a stat you don't want to see in a losing box score. Kobe ended the night with 39-points.

The highlight of the night I think was in Hill's performance. Even though his minutes were limited, he still had 9-points, 9-rebounds and 3-blocks. Almost his first double double of the season in just 14 minutes. 

Laker fans will all agree that Hill deserves more minutes. His energy and defensive presence is critically needed and early to set a nice tempo.

Source: NBA.com

Monday, December 3, 2012

Here's a video that Howard should watch over and over and over again



Howard should wanna be like Mike...at least when it comes to his free throw shooting.

Here's a classic video tutorial by Jordan himself on the basic fundamentals of free throws. (excuse the video quality)

Who better to teach Dwight how to make his charity points than the guy who could make them with his eyes closed.

We're 17 games into the season and Howard has managed to miss a total of 100 free throws out of 187 attempts. That's 100 points missing from the final scores of L.A.'s 9 losses. This puts Howard at a Hitchcock shower scene screaming 47%.

BTW - Jordan's career free throw percentage is 84%.

 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Howard's missed free throws and Magic's final run put the Lakers below 500

Kobe and company host the visiting former employer of Howard in a showdown of less than mediocre basketball. Orlando came into tonight's game with a 5-10 record (having lost 3 straight), 28th in offense and 10th in defense. It's only fair for them to struggle their first season after Howard's adieu.

With that being said, statistics don't mean a thing when compared to this inconsistent Lakers team. L.A. hasn't shown steady sign of fulfilling their rosters' expectations. They can win/lose to the best/worst of them on any given Sunday. Tonight is no exception.

Lakers lose to the Orlando Magic 113-103. L.A. drops below 500 yet again.

In a game where the Lakers struggled to build a double digit lead, the Orlando Magic just waited and hung around until late in the 4th quarter where they sparked a 30-11 game winning run. Lakers struggled defensively and could not close the game. They look flat-footed and again fail to carry out winning momentum from previous games.

Everyone knows that Kobe will get his regardless (averaging 18 FGA), but his production alone isn't going to win games. D'Antoni needs to figure out an effective rotation. Jamison is playing well off the bench and it wouldn't hurt to see him start at the PF position over the struggling Spaniard. I'm sure the fans who've hopped off the Gasol train wouldn't mind it.

Meanwhile, Jordan Hill's minutes are murdered by Jamison's recent successes. Hill's energy was desperately needed tonight. Hill fans will wonder why he wasn't put in the game tonight.

Individual Laker standout performances:

Kobe Bryant - 34 points (12-27 FG), 7 rebounds, 5 assists
Dwight Howard - 21 points, 15 rebounds (missed 12 free throws)

Other than Jamison's 10 points the Lakers bench had a disappointing night.

The big mismatch of the night I think was at the 1 spot. Morris and Duhon had a combined 5 points and 6 assists. Jameer Nelson absolutely killed them. 

Individual Magic standout performances:

Jameer Nelson - 19 points / 13 assists 
Arron Afflalo - 30 points (11-18 FG)
Nikola Vucevic - 17 pts / 12 rebs
Glen Davis scored 23 points and brought down 12 rebounds. This is his 7th double double of the season. He's having a great season thus far.
J.J. Redick scored 14 points off the bench and showed ball movement for 7 assists.

Box Score courtesy of NBA.com

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Howard's 20/20 and Lakers bench beat the Nuggets

Numbers will best describe tonight's victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets - LAL 122, DEN 103. Very impressive numbers at that. Let's just go straight to the bare bones of the stand out stats. We apologize for the glorified box score.

Dwight Howard - Howard has a Lakers [early] career high. He shoots 12-16 (75% FG) for 28 points and pulls down 20 rebounds (8 OREBS). This is his first 20/20 game in a Lakers uniform. Eerily enough, his previous 20/20 game happened in his last game in a Magic uniform back on April 4th.

Howard also nailed a momentum driven 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the game. Only his second career 3-pointer in eight years. His long bomb tied the Lakers record of 17 made 3-pointers in a regular season game. Howard also had 3 blocks.

Kobe Bryant - Team captain had a very quiet 14 points and 8 assists.  

Lakers Bench

Antawn Jamison - Jamison followed suit and decided to have his best game as a Laker too. He shot 13-19 (68% FG) for 33 points and crashed the glass for 12 rebounds. This is his second double double in three 25+ minute games. The winning formula for Antawn and the team seems pretty simple...just give him minutes.

Jamison also went 5-10 in 3-pointers.

Jodie Meeks - Meeks broke out of his Lakers shell and caught fire like fans knew he eventually would once he wasn't so, well, meek. He shot 7-9 (all 7 splashes were from beyond the arc) and scored a Lakers career high 21 points in just 17 minutes.

Meeks and Jamison scored a combined 54 points coming off the bench. Their production alone outscore the Nuggets bench by 5.

Chris Duhon - Duhon gets the green light from D'Antoni to play 31 minutes tonight. Although the box score won't look as impressive as his fellow bench dwellers, Duhon did facilitate well having dished the ball for a game high 8 assists (Kobe T-8).

Duhon's point differential was the highest of the game too. The Lakers scored +27 when he was on the floor.

It's clear to see that D'Antoni is entrusting in his bench players and they are returning the favor by not disappointing. I should say that the only downfall with Jamison playing well off the bench is that Jordan Hill will most likely see his minutes significantly decrease. D'Antoni is favoring Antawn playing alongside Howard/Gasol at the 4.

Let's just hope that the Lakers find a way to carry this momentum into another victory against Howard's former team this Sunday and not into a devastating loss like the George Hill incident. Shh, lets not speak of it again.