Monthly Archive for January, 2008

Page 4 of 9

Ariza Update: Fractured Foot

Trevor made a visit to the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic compound today to meet with foot specialist Dr. Ken Jung.

The prognosis is that Trevor has suffered a fractured right foot that will keep him out approximately 8-weeks.

A mid-march return to the lineup would hopefully coincide with the return of Center Andrew Bynum and give each enough time to work themselves back into game shape before the post-season begins.

Lakers Remember MLK

As the Lakers matchup with the Nuggets tonight it is important to remember that today is also a time where our nation takes the time to celebrate one of it’s great leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King. Although his life was cut short, his impact has been immeasurableness.

LakersTV caught up with Derek Fisher, Javaris Crittenton, & Lamar Odom after practice this week to get their thoughts on Dr. King.

Flea’s Back

After taking the first couple months of the season off, Flea is back blogging for NBA.com.

Flea’s open letter to other Lakers fans touches on Thursday’s booing of Kwame Brown and the differences between LA fans and other fan bases.

anyone who is a real laker fan and actually follows the team and is not a bandwagon jumping johnny-come-lately

knows that kwame is a sensitive man who can get down on himself when he makes a mistake and potentially spiral into much less quality play than he is capable of

he can be hard enough on himself without supposed laker fans insulting him

the more we support him the better he will do, the better the team will do, and maybe the lakers will get through this rough patch without our wunderkind a little bit better

kwame can do it kwame can do it kwame can do it kwame can do it

The Chili Peppers bass player takes a look back at the showtime days to illustrate his point. Give it a read here.

Lakers Sign Mbenga

The Lakers added some size up front to make up for absence of Andrew Bynum & Chris Mihm. The addition of DJ Mbenga gives the Lakers a shot blocking presence in the middle to spell Kwame Brown & Ronny Turiaf in the middle.

Los Angeles is the third NBA stop for DJ this year after being in camp with the Dallas Mavericks before getting cut just before opening day. Mbenga then moved onto the Golden State Warriors where he appeared in 16 games.

Mbenga signed a 10-day contract. The Lakers roster is now maxed out at 15 players.

null

In the Rankings: Week 12

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

NBA.com
This Week: 3 | Last Week: 1 | Diff: -2

So in the first game without Bynum, Kobe puts up 44 shots. Good thing he didn’t stop at 43, or the Lakers might have lost. Their schedule this week (vs. DEN, @ SAS, @ DAL, vs. CLE) could affect the Pacific standings more than Thursday’s loss to the Suns. Oh, and this won’t help.

The “this” in there refers to this.

ESPN.com
This Week: 7 | Last Week: 4 | Diff: -3

You’ll recall what injuries did to last season’s Lakers after a similar 26-13 start. So maybe all these injuries (Bynum, Mihm and now Ariza) are just another chance for these Lakers to prove how much they’ve grown.

SI.com
This Week: 7 | Last Week: 5 | Diff: -2

Kwame Brown was booed unmercifully by the home crowd in last Thursday’s loss to the Suns that snapped their seven-game winning streak. Don’t L.A. fans realize that with Andrew Bynum (knee) out for two months and a difficult schedule ahead, the Lakers are going to need a confident Brown?

Average Ranking: 5.66 | Last Week: 3.33 | Diff: -2.33

Ariza Breaks Foot

It looks like the treatment room at Lakers camp will be adding to it’s already illustrious lineup as the news of Trevor Ariza breaking his right foot makes it’s way around the net.

Lakers officials say the injury occurred during practice when Ariza came down awkwardly on the foot of Derek Fisher. Ariza was taken to the hospital for x-rays. A timetable for Trevor’s return will be determined after meeting with a specialist on Monday.

Centers Andrew Bynum & Chris Mihm both remained sidelined as well as forward Vladimir Radmanovic.

Lakers vs. Suns Post-Game

As one might imagine, Phil was not pleased with the night’s result, but “Phoenix had a lot to do with it. They played really well tonight. We played tired and reacted poorly to the ball and to the things we have to do.” Among those things is to make Nash a shooter rather than a distributor, but he tuned the Lakers to 20 assists (to just 18 for the entire Lakers team). Things were pretty dismal until the fourth quarter, when as Phil said, “We just had to find a line up that could shoot the ball and do some things.” But the rally fell short as, “at a couple of critical plays that would have put the game into perspective, where we could of had a one or two possession game didn’t happen for us,” explained Jackson.

In game two of the Andrew Bynum is injured tour, things turned sour for Kwame Brown, playing more minutes in Bynum’s place. He was greeted by a chorus of boos after a series of bad plays in the 3rd quarter. Thereafter he was booed each time he touched the ball. As Phil noted, this hadn’t ever happened, “Not on a team that I’ve coached. I’ve seen it in other buildings and teams, but not in my situation.” When asked why he didn’t pull Kwame out when things started to go downhill, “I wanted to let him work himself out of it and his teammates wanted to help him work out of it. They gave him the ball and gave him opportunities, but it wasn’t going to happen. Not tonight.”

The Lakers now sit a half game behind Phoenix in the Pacific Division at 26-12. While on the bright side, Lamar did assert himself as Phil had hoped against the Suns, tying his personal best in rebounds, the takeaways from this game are largely negative. The bench continued to struggle, the team hasn’t found balance in the 2+ games since Bynum when down and their defense has been even more affected than their offense.

Now it’s on to Denver on Monday as the Lakers continue to feel out their team, depleted by injury and facing stiffer competition.

Lakers vs. Suns In-Game

Inactives for Tonight’s Game
Suns: Alando Tucker
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm

1st Quarter
There’s a beginning you don’t see every game. Luke sails a pass out of bounds as he and Lamar saw different things, then Nash passes to Diaw who doesn’t even see the ball go by as he is distracted by who knows what.

8:59 – The team is following Phil’s directive to get Kwame opportunities to go at Stoudemire, but thus far it hasn’t yielded positive results. You just worry about Kwame losing confidence, but it’s worth it to continue attacking the middle. The Suns have opened an 8-2 lead, though their offense hasn’t been especially fluid.

5:18 – The rumbles of discontent are palpable throughout the arena. The fans have seen their team not get a series of calls that certainly the players thought were coming their way. Of greater concern is that Kwame has gotten several opportunities and hasn’t converted, including missing a lay-up that would have been a Bynum dunk. It’s hard to fault Kwame too much, he lacks any lift with his ankle, but you would like to see more ferocity. The refs are allowing contact, up to that offensive foul on Kwame. That’s 2 on Kwame and now the Lakers go smaller with Ronny.

Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Suns In-Game’

Lakers vs. Suns Pre-Game

The big questions for tonight center around how the team will fare without Andrew Bynum, who was so instrumental in the Christmas Day win over the Suns. Naturally, that puts the focus on Kwame Brown, himself still on his way back from an ankle injury. “We know what he can do defensively” said Phil, but the question is, “with Kwame in this type of situation, can he run the court with Stoudemire and is he in the kind of shape to play the kind of game that the Suns are going to provide.” The biggest question is whether he can move his feet quick enough on defense, lateral movement being so difficult on a weakened ankle, to handle the high pick and rolls that the Suns are certain to run. Phil added that , “Offensively Kwame has got to get some touches tonight. We have to give him a shot to go individually at Stoudemire.”

There are several other Lakers who have been hit by the injury bug. Sasha will be back tonight, after making it through a practice yesterday. Luke Walton is still feeling the effects of a lingering ankle injury and was pulled from practice, as Phil, “wasn’t pleased with how he was running.” Luke said he felt better today and will play an important role with his match-up against Boris Diaw, who has taken the place of Grant Hill since he went out for an emergency appendectomy. Phil thought that Luke’s injury, “might be something that we have to keep track of during the course of the season.” Vladimir Radmanovic is also out with an ankle injury and he, “still has some issues that are still healing and the foot specialist said a week to 10 days.” Phil hoped to have Vladi for the east coast swing and that he might get some action beginning the end of next week.

Phil was also asked to compare this year’s team with last year’s since it was at this point in the season last year when the Lakers fortune turned for the worst. He felt that they were definitely better, but he still, “wasn’t pleased with the involvement of Lamar, and I think Lamar has to figure a little more in the offense especially with Andrew’s absence” Phil pointed out that, “He’s playing a different role this year and the ball isn’t in his hands as much.”

Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Suns Pre-Game’

Links To Get You To Tip-Off

A couple of great Laker related items on the web today that should be enough to hold you over until tonight’s 7:30 tip.

The Yahoo! Experts Blog (which has been pretty awesome so far in thanks to the work of Kelly Dwyer) has a feature called YouTube of the Day, which usually spawns into two or three entries a day. The second version of today’s YToD features some great interactions between the legendary Chick Hearn and former Laker/current radio play-by-play man Mychal Thompson. Both videos are hilarious. Check them out here.

Henry Abbott over at TrueHoop goes in-depth with Assistant Coach Kurt Rambis on a myriad of topics as part of his Playbook series. Read it and you’ll be a better Laker fan.