Monthly Archive for October, 2008

Page 5 of 10

Lakers Today: 10/23/08

Kobe Bryant didn’t practice yesterday, opting to receive treatment on the knee that he hyperextended against the Bobcats Tuesday night, but said that he expects to play Thursday night in Anaheim. “If I’m good enough to go, I’m going to go. I don’t see why not,” he said. Bryant also went on to say that the injury was scary because it was something he had never experienced before. (Click here to watch Bryant’s post-practice media session)

The Lakers’ roster is down to 15 after the team waived Joe Crawford and CJ Giles Wednesday morning. The team does not have to submit a final roster until Monday so there could be more changes ahead, but they could also stand pat and go into the season with this lineup.

Without a doubt the standout player of the pre-season has been Jordan Farmar. His game continues to grow as he has started doing things the coaches’ way.

Kurt Streeter explores the enigma that is Lamar Odom.

TODAY
Sasha Vujacic will see a foot specialist in the morning in the hopes of getting the final go-ahead to get back on the court. Vujacic has said that he wants to play in at least one of the Lakers final two exhibition games before Tuesday night’s season opener. The Lakers once again face the Charlotte Bobcats tonight, this time at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Check out Lakers Gameday for all your game information.

Bryant Expects to Play Thursday

Kobe’s knee seems to be just fine…

A night of tension regarding Bryant’s knee hyperextension Tuesday night in San Diego rendered positive reports after Wednesday’s practice.

Lakers spokesman John Black said that the original diagnosis by the Lakers’ training staff of a hyperextended knee was accurate, adding that there are no plans for Bryant to see a doctor. Bryant did not practice on Wednesday in favor of receiving treatment, and Phil Jackson noted that while Kobe is “a little sore,” Bryant “expects to play tomorrow” against Charlotte in Anaheim.

Bryant addressed the media himself after Jackson was done; click here to watch the video or look below for the audio.

Here are some of the major points covered by Bryant:

  • He’s used to getting injured, but it’s the minor ones that worry him because little tweaks can sometimes wind up being serious. Kobe was concerned last night but it “feels OK” right now.
  • On whether he’ll play tomorrow: “If I’m good to go, I’ll go. I don’t see why not.” Bryant added that he “should be fine” for the opener, not seeming concerned at all.
  • Bryant said the scariest part was doing tests for areas of the knee like the ACL, but fortunately, there was no soreness in that movement.
  • He’s very relieved.
  • He wasn’t convinced he was going to be OK until this morning, when there was no swelling and the movement was pretty good. He’s putting weight and pressure on it already.
  • Bryant didn’t sleep much last night, opting to get up every once in a while to stretch out and test his knee.

  • Lakers Cut Roster to 15

    The Lakers requested waivers on guard Joe Crawford and forward CJ Giles on Monday, opting to keep guard Coby Karl on the squad perhaps in part due to the condition of Sasha Vujacic and Kobe Bryant.

    Phil Jackson acknowledged how tough it is to cut young guys this late in training camp, particularly as both Crawford, Giles and Brandon Heath (waived last week) gave maximum effort for L.A.

    Crawford was the 58th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Lakers after the 22-year old completed four season at Kentucky, where he averaged 11.3 points, 3.4 boards and 1.5 assists in 127 games. The Detroit, Michigan native averaged 2.8 points in 7.3 preseason minutes for the Lakers.

    Giles, a 6-11 forward who finished his collegiate career at Oregon State after playing two seasons at Kansas, managed 6.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in ten games last season for the Beavers. He competed in four preseason games for L.A., averaging 2.0 points and 2.5 boards in 7.2 minutes.

    Click here for the Press Release

    Irish Chat

    John IrelandKCAL’s John Ireland took some time to chat with us prior to Tuesday’s game in San Diego, detailing what really happened when Shaq started his expletive-laced postgame interview, a charity game Ireland played in S.D. back in the day and what things stand out to him about the 2008-09 Lakers.

    We’ll be touching base with Ireland and each of L.A.’s four broadcasters throughout the season right here on the blog and on lakers.com.

    Here’s the audio:

    GM’s Favor Lakers

    The NBA’s annual General Manager survey has been released by the league and over 46% think the Lakers will take home the title this year.

    The Celtics came in second with 19.2% of the vote and the Hornets garnered 11.5%.

    The Purple & Gold are also the overwhelming favorite to win the West (66.7%) and the Pacific Division (100%).

    As for individual honors, GM’s thought that Phil Jackson was the second best coach in the league (behind Gregg Popovich), but was the best motivator in the league by far. Guard Derek Fisher also made the top three of active players that will make the best head coach someday.

    Lakers Today: 10/22/08

    Kobe bumped knees with Josh Powell at the 3:08 mark of the second quarter last night and that set off alarms all over Lakerland. The official diagnosis is that Bryant is day-to-day with a hyperextended knee. He’ll be reevaluated today. Kevin Ding is once again preaching patience and most of Kobe’s teammates aren’t worried about him missing any time. Phil Jackson didn’t have much to say about it post-game, but you can watch it here.

    Has the SI Cover jinx translated over from football?

    The Lakers also won a game last night. It became a little bit of a side note after #24 left the game but the 102-98 final gave the Lakers their fourth pre-season win in a row and kept the Bobcats winless this pre-season. The balanced attack was led (once again) by training camp standout Jordan Farmar, who had 17-points and four assists. Andrew Bynum was also impressive and Trevor Ariza played well except for some unnecessary turnovers.

    If you’re a fan of “The Office” or “Extras” then you’re probably a fan of Stephen Merchant (or at the very least you should be). Sunday’s pre-season game against the Raptors was Stephen’s first pro basketball game and he scored some choice seats right next to the Lakers bench. Mike Trudell caught up with him during the second half to talk some hoops and some Hollywood. He also calls Mike a nerd.

    TODAY
    Kobe will be reevaluated and we’ll get that news to you as soon as it’s officially released. We’ll also be doing our normal practice stuff… which will probably devolve into all things Kobe anyway.

    Kobe Injury Update

    Official word from the Lakers PR staff is that Kobe Bryant suffered a hyperextended right knee and will not return in the second half. Bryant is being listed as day-to-day and will be re-examined Wednesday.

    Bryant left the game late in the second quarter after bumping his knee.

    Lakers – Bobcats in San Diego: Running Diary

    Nope … Still not using any “Anchor Man” jokes here. I mean, no promises, but I’ll do my best.

    Tipoff should be in about 15 minutes as Charlotte looks to become the last NBA team to earn a preseason win in a game against a Lakers’ squad that doesn’t exactly fit the mold of an easy win. In fact, when playing hard, this team might be harder to beat than anybody in the preseason, since second units get near equal minutes to the first.

    When Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza and Jordan Farmar are the first three guys off your bench, it’s all good … Particularly when Charlotte counters with Matt Carroll, Adam Morrison and D.J. Augustin. Be honest: whom are you taking on paper?

    Quick Injury Note: As we said yesterday, Sasha Vujacic will not play this evening. Vladimir Radmanovic, however, is starting. His sprained left middle finger doesn’t appear to be an issue, but we’ll keep an eye out to see if it troubles him during the game.

    First Quarter
    Sight Disclaimer: I’m sitting directly and literally behind the Laker bench – Farmar and Brian Shaw are within my reach – meaning I won’t necessarily be able to see everything tonight. Right now, the yellow warmups are all standing in front of me, so I couldn’t necessarily tell you who just missed that first show. Fish? Yeah. I’ll work on this. OK I did see Bynum change a shot, grab a board and lay in at the other end for the game’s first bucket.

    That allowed the Laker bench to take a seat, and for me to see a beautiful and crisp Kobe-crossover then dish to a wide-open Vlad, who drained a three. Finger’s fine so far. For the ‘Cats, Gerald Wallace is on the bench and Larry Brown’s going with Jared Dudley at the three.

    There’s Vlad again, draining another three prior to a Fisher J that made it 14-4 Lake Show early. Saying that Vlad should sprain his finger more often wouldn’t be funny, so I won’t, even though he also has three assists and a steal. As a team, the Lakers started 8-for-10, including Vlad’s 2-for-2 and 3-for-3 from Gasol.

    With the score 18-12 at the 5:17 mark, Odom checked in along with Wallace for Charlotte. The difference today is that Jackson left Bynum and Gasol in and stuck Vlad on the bench, giving L.A. a massive front line that quickly connected for four points. The first hoop came on a Bynum dunk after a pretty Gasol feed, the second on an Odom drive to the rack. With all this scoring going on and considering the age of the arena, it’s fair to say that these rims are quite soft. That’s 24-14 Lakers, as L.A.’s getting whatever shot it wants on offense, and hitting 11-of-16.

    How about this lineup from Phil: Pau, Lamar, Ariza, Kobe and Farmar. A super athletic group, it’s ironic that they’ve been rather lackluster with transition defense and allowed the Bobcats a 10-0 run to tie things at 24. Make that 12-0, after an Okafor dunk. Go ahead and erase the second paragraph of this entry from your memory please. Thanks. Good point from Ty Nowell – Lamar’s guarding Adam Morrison and Luke Walton’s on Wallace. Why? The bleeding stopped thanks to Ariza, whose and-1 as time expired put L.A. back on top.

    Continue reading ‘Lakers – Bobcats in San Diego: Running Diary’

    Lakers – Bobcats Pregame

    Sorry.

    There will be no “Anchor Man” references tonight, despite the Lakers presence in San Diego for a preseason tilt against the Charlotte Bobcats. The people here have certainly heard about whale body parts and the like too many times.

    Instead, we’ll talk hoops. Before the game, in fact, I sat down with Lakers TV play-by-play man Joel Meyers to talk both about the team and his preparation as a broadcaster.

    You can listen to that conversation by clicking below.

    I also spent some time with Lakers sideline reporter and L.A. sports talk radio personality John Ireland, but we’ll hold that one until tomorrow. Most importantly, I found out the reason Ireland and KCAL avoided trouble during Shaq’s profanity-laced postgame tirade a few years back. Fun stuff.

    Having more time to kill prior to the 7 p.m. tipoff, I spent some time with Trevor Ariza and Jordan Farmar in the locker room, discussing their picks for the NBA’s skinniest, fastest, highest-jumping and strongest players. That interview’s uploading right now, and will also be available tomorrow.

    As far as tonight’s actual game against the Charlotte Bobcats – the first of three in four days for the Lakers – there’s not much to add from our Gameday post. However, there was one shocking development – Phil Jackson was asked about Lamar Odom’s role and about his starting lineup. I know, I know … that’s crazy.

    Derek Fisher Bobcats Preview

    Lakers guard Derek Fisher talks with Mike Trudell about the Charlotte Bobcats. The Lakers play the Bobcats in San Diego tonight and Anaheim on Thursday.