Monthly Archive for November, 2007

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Trevor Ariza Quick Facts

Today the Lakers acquired Trevor Ariza from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Maurice Evans and Brian Cook.

Ariza in the NBA
Ariza came into the league as the youngest rookie in New York Knicks history and had an immediate impact on the club with his unique blend of youthful enthusiasm and athleticism. Trevor played in 80 games that year (12 starts) averaging just under 6 points and 3 boards in 17 minutes of play.

He continued to play well for the Knicks and became a fan favorite, but saw his minutes decline after the team drafted David Lee in the 2005 draft. Consequently he became part of the trade that sent Steve Francis to New York in exchange for Penny Hardaway’s contract.

Trevor’s numbers increased as a member of the Magic as he tallied 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Magic in 57 games during the 2006-07 season. He missed 5 games due to a sore right foot and 19 games because of a sprained right MCL.

So far this season Ariza has appeared in all of Orlando’s 11 games, but is only averaging 10.5 minutes per game. The Magic’s signing of Guard Rashard Lewis in the off-season has been the main reason for the decline in Trevor’s minutes.

More Ariza

  • High School Standout at Westchester High, named Parade All-American his Senior year, and had his #4 retired by the school
  • Played at UCLA for one season and was named to All-Pac 10 Freshman 1st team
  • Drafted in the second round by the Knicks
  • Traded to Orlando as part of the Steve Francis deal
  • Athletic swingman known for his defensive prowess
  • Pacers Scouting Report

    Check out Lakers Courtside Connection before every game for the scouting report straight from the coaching staff.

    The Indiana Pacers feature many of the same players who finished last season with the team but feature a new coach – Jim O’Brien – and a different pace that they are going to try to play. In the recent past the Pacers would walk the ball up and run their offense almost exclusively through All-Star Jermaine O’Neal. While they will not be confused with the Phoenix Suns anytime soon, they are looking to push the ball and create some early scoring opportunities based on the skills of the players they got in the trade with Golden State last season.

    Click here to read the full Scouting Report

    Lakers Today: 11/20/07

    A shiny 6-3 record is a nice thing to have with ya as you head out for a three game road trip. The Lakers left early Monday in preparation for their game tonight against the Indiana Pacers.

    Center Kwame Brown remained in LA nursing his sprained left MCL. The team will miss his defense tonight against Pacers big man Jermaine O’Neal. O’Neal hasn’t been himself thus far this season as he recovers from off-season knee surgery and a new up-tempo offense.

    “I look at where we’re at right now and where I’m at physically, I’m on schedule to get back to where I need to be,” he said. “Obviously, I need to score some more points, get some more rebounds, block some more shots but we’re only 10 games in and we kind of game myself a 10-game cushion to get my rhythm going, get my cardio going. I’m really looking forward to (Tuesday’s) game to really pick it up on the offensive end of the floor.”

    Pacers Head Coach Jim O’Brien won’t be sleeping on Kobe.

    “He’s the best player in the world,” Indiana Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “If he’s interested in scoring, he’s going to score. Defensively, he showed for USA Basketball this summer that he’s one of the great shutdown guys in the world — certainly in our league.”

    Bryant has been held under 20-points the last two games, which is extremely out of character for him. The emergence of the “Bench Mob” has taken some of the responsibility off of Bryant’s shoulders. The second unit eclipsed their own 67-point outing against the Suns with a 73-point effort against the Bulls on Sunday night, the most since the heyday of Showtime.

    Jordan Farmar continues to lead the charge for the bench players.

    “I’m definitely just more a part of it,” Farmar said. “The ball is in my hands a lot so that’s what it may seem like, and I’m making a lot of decisions. But nothing happens if they don’t help me defensively, if we don’t make the rotations, if I make the extra pass and they don’t knock the shots down. We’re just having fun.”

    Andrew Bynum has also had a strong season while playing on the second unit and it is likely that Chris Mihm will get the starting nod in Brown’s absence.

    Kwame Brown Injury Update

    Lakers Center Kwame Brown had his injured knee examined by team Doctor Steve Lombardo Monday. The MRI showed that Brown has suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee. He will be sidelined indefinitely.

    Brown left Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls three minutes into the first quarter after colliding with Ben Wallace and going down in a heap. He had to be helped off the court and did not return.

    Kwame missed 41 games last season and spent the off-season recovering from surgery to both his right shoulder and left ankle (for which he continues to wear a brace during games).

    Brown will be re-evaluated in a week.

    In the Rankings: Week 3

    Every Monday the BasketBlog checks the net to bring you the latest NBA power rankings.

    The Lakers took what could be one of their toughest four game stretches of the season and turned it into a successful 3-1 record with wins at Houston, before coming home to defeat the Pistons and Bulls.

    Aide came from the opponents injury list. Houston star Tracy McGrady left the game early in the second quarter, Detroit was without starters Chauncey Billups & Antonio McDyess, and Chicago was missing forward Luol Deng.

    Injuries aside, the Lakers took care of the business on the floor and snagged three wins while not playing their best basketball.

    The team got off to sluggish starts in all three games and relied heavily on the “bench mob” to provide the spark that keyed all three victories.

    The only blemish came at the hands of the defending champion Spurs on Tuesday night in a game that got away from them early in the second quarter.
    This Week: 8 | Last Week: 10 | Diff: +2

    We’re starting to realize that Kobe and the Lakers can put the drama aside when they take the floor. We just wonder if the drama will ever completely go away.
    This Week: 7 | Last Week: 10 | Diff: +3

    Kudos to every other Laker. They got a little more help with T-Mac going down Wednesday and Chauncey sitting out Friday, but they’ve also been nails through all the Kobe chatter. Especially compared to Chicago.
    This Week: 11 | Last Week: 9 | Diff: -2

    Like Denver, they just can’t seem to keep their big men healthy either. Kwame Brown (knee) has joined Ronny Turiaf (ankle) on the sidelines, meaning Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm and Brian Cook will have to step up. On the positive side, Jordan Farmar continues to provide a spark off the bench.

    Average Ranking: 8.66 | Last Week: 9.66 | Diff: +1

    Overall the Lakers pick up a point in the rankings, but it could have been more. Dropping two spots in SI’s poll after a 3-1 week is suspect.

    The upcoming week sees the team hit the road for three road games (at Indiana, at Milwaukee, at Boston) before returning home to celebrate the 5th annual Chick Hearn Night against the Nets on Sunday.

    Lakers vs. Bulls Post-Game

    Get all your post-game info in Lakers Gameday

    The Lakers followed up on their impressive victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday with a 106-78 blowout of the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night. The Lakers went into halftime down 46-45 before the second unit sparked the team in the latter half of the third quarter, outscoring the Bulls 61-32 in the second 24 minutes. The Lakers came out particularly sluggish in the first half, failing to establish any consistent rhythm on offense. In his post-game comments, Jackson said, “I’m surprised that the crowd was still there when we came out in the second half.”

    The Lakers bench scored 73 points, the most points Lakers reserves have scored since April 24, 1988. In all, five bench players scored in double figures, the first time that has happened since March 9, 1985.

    Jordan Farmar led the way again for the Lakers, scoring 14 points and divvying out a career high eight assists in 25 minutes of play. Jackson singled Jordan as one of the key beneficiaries of the new up-tempo offense he implemented before the season. Andrew Bynum also excelled off the bench, contributing 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Chris Mihm played his best game of the season finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds. The Lakers needed Bynum and Mihm to step up as center Kwame Brown left the game in the first half with a mild to moderately sprained knee after a Bulls player fell on him in the first quarter.

    Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Bulls Post-Game’

    Lakers vs. Bulls In-Game

    Inactives for tonight’s game:

    Chicago Bulls: Luol Deng, JamesOn Curry, Victor Khryapa

    Los Angeles Lakers: Coby Karl, Javaris Crittenton, Ronny Turiaf

    1st Quarter:

    12:00 Magic Johnson’s in the house for the game tonight.

    10:48 Nice penetration dribble and layup from a nimble looking Kwame Brown. Kwame looked as surprised as anyone that he was able to complete the uncharacteristic play.

    8:28 Kwame’s on the ground holding his knee and in obvious pain after falling on a Bulls players’ knee. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti’s on the floor as the Lakers called a full timeout.

    Kwame was just assisted to the locker room by Chris Mihm and Vladimir Radmanovic. It looks like Brown is unable to put any pressure on the knee, but hopefully it looks worse than it is.

    7:30 Sloppy play for the Lakers so far…Cook, Turiaf’s fill-in at power forward looks lost out there on offense.

    Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Bulls In-Game’

    Lakers vs. Bulls Pre-Game

    After months of Kobe Bryant trade speculation–arguably the most heated discussion taking place with the Chicago Bulls–the two teams will take the court in a game that will not feature one of the most talked about potential trade commodities in Luol Deng. Deng will not play tonight as he still experiencing pain in his lower back. Coach Phil Jackson expressed disappointment with Deng’s absence as he said he was looking forward to the Lamar Odom-Luol Deng match-up following Lamar’s outstanding effort on the defensive end versus Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince in the Lakers win on Friday night.

    With renewed trade speculation following the Bulls into Los Angeles, Jackson said his team is much more focused than the squad that showed up to training camp dispelling any lingering issues regarding Kobe’s status and team chemistry. Despite having a roster filled with younger players, Jackson said that his team has bonded together in the face of the trade firestorm. When asked if there was a sense of irony surrounding tonight’s game, Jackson responded that “It was the same thing on Friday,” in regards to the recent trade rumors that had Kobe heading to Detroit for a packaged built around Prince and Richard Hamilton.

    With less than an hour before the Lakers tip off, Jackson said he has yet to decide whether or not injured power forward Ronny Turiaf will play in tonight’s contest. As of now, the plan is for Jackson to talk to Turiaf after he completes his shoot-around and determine his status thereafter. The Lakers could use Turiaf’s muscle inside to offset the Bulls Ben Wallace as the Chicago forward is a bruiser underneath the basket and is notorious for disrupting teams’ flow in the lane.

    One match-up that will certainly spark interest tonight is that of Kobe Bryant and Kirk Hinrich–the defender most likely assigned to Kobe. Jackson said that Kobe, like Michael Jordan, has a tendency to increase his aggression when he knows he has a smaller, less athletically inclined player guarding him. However, Jackson cautioned that Bryant needs to resist the urge to rely solely on his post-game against the 6’3″ Hinrich as that is likely exactly what Chicago would like him to do.

    Despite Chicago’s surprisingly slow 2-6 start, Jackson said, “They’re still a team to be reckoned with” so the Lakers would be wise to not take the Bulls lightly.

    Lakers vs. Pistons Post-Game

    The Lakers smothering defense in the fourth quarter and timely shooting helped the team knock out the Detroit Pistons, 103-91—an important victory that should continue the momentum from the Houston victory into this Sunday’s showdown with the Chicago Bulls.

    Lamar Odom had his best game of the season for the Lakers, scoring 25 points and pulling down an impressive 15 rebounds. Perhaps, more importantly though, the forward continued to show no ill signs following his comeback from shoulder surgery. The Lakers were fortunate that Odom chose tonight’s game to break out as Kobe Bryant only made six of 18 shots for 19 points, even if his last three field goals did come during a pivotal stretch midway through the fourth quarter where the Lakers took over the game.

    As has been the case all season, Jordan Farmar and the second unit excelled once the Lakers starters headed to the bench, igniting the team in the fourth quarter and eventually propelling them to victory. Vladimir Radmanovic, Andrew Bynum and Maurice Evans also played a huge role in tonight’s win with their timely defensive plays and a flurry of momentum-changing layups in the fourth quarter. The STAPLES Center crowd has really seemed to take a liking to the “bench mob,” as dubbed by Odom after the game.

    While the Lakers should be pleased with their effort tonight, it was almost in vain as the team gave away a nine point halftime lead to the Chauncey Billupsless Pistons before reclaiming the lead in the fourth. The Bulls will provide a similar test for the Lakers this Sunday in a game filled with intrigue due to the widespread Kobe to Chicago trade speculation a few weeks ago.

    Lakers vs. Pistons In-Game

    Inactives for Tonight:

    Antonio McDyess, Chauncey Billups, Rodney Stuckey


    Coby Karl, Ronny Turiaf, Javaris Crittenton

    Tonight’s Starters:


    SF Tayshaun Prince, PF Jason Maxiell, C Rasheed Wallace, SG Richard Hamilton, PG Flip Murrary


    SF Lamar Odom, PF Brian Cook, C Kwame Brown, SG Kobe Bryant, PG Derek Fisher

    1st Quarter:

    12:00 Brian Cook is starting in place of the injured Ronny Turiaf.

    10:12 A three-pointer by Brian Cook to immediately make his presence felt. Perhaps we’ll see Cookie contribute one of his random twenty or so point outbursts that seems to happen every few weeks. He’s yet to have one this season…

    7:34 Great drive and one for Derek Fisher following consecutive misses from beyond the arc for the guard. Nice to see Derek finishing the play after blowing a few easy ones against Houston two nights ago.

    Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Pistons In-Game’