Monthly Archive for February, 2009

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J-Peezy’s Playlist – No. 2

Josh Powell

About three hours before he dropped a season-high 16 points with seven boards (five offensive) in L.A.’s Wednesday night win over Golden State, Josh Powell sat down with us to talk music.

In this the second edition of J-Peezy’s Playlist, we talked about Peezy’s earliest musical influences, his two-year-old daughter Patience’s musical ear and took a moment to clarify a text messaging problem we had.

Here’s the podcast:

Lakers 129, Warriors 121: Postgame

56782237Falling down by as many as 12 points in the third quarter at ORACLE Arena against the Warriors didn’t seem to worry the Lakers.

Not even a little bit.

After all, Golden State may possess more than its fair share of offensive firepower, but the squad simply struggles to get stops when it counts. Keeping that in mind, the Lakers buckled in on defense in the third – dwindling the home team’s lead down to just two entering the fourth – and it was no surprise that the Lakers scored 37 points in the final quarter to emerge with another win.

Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom all scored at least 20 points, while Trevor Ariza and Josh Powell each made key contributions off the bench to bury Golden State.

Here’s the breakdown: Twelve of Bryant’s 30 came in the fourth, and he added a team-high nine assists; Gasol went for 24 points, 13 boards and five assists; while Odom scored 22 points with seven boards, limited on the glass due to the Warriors’ hot shooting and his need to play defense on the perimeter. Meanwhile, Ariza nailed clutch back-to-back threes 30 seconds apart at around the four-minute-mark of the fourth, while Powell hit 5-of-6 field goals and all six of his free throws for 16 points.

“We had some substantial bench play tonight,” said Phil Jackson. “Jordan (Farmar) and Sasha (Vujacic) had pretty good floor games, and Josh Powell and Trevor (Ariza) gave us some decided help … They gave guys rest and we were able to come back, play strong and finish the game up.”

Finish the game up they did, outscoring the Warriors by 10 in the final quarter. The home team led for almost the entire game before losing the lead for good with Ariza’s triples. G.S. got its lead thanks to some terrific shooting – including 7-for-9 threes in the first half – that saw Corey Maggette, Stephen Jackson and Jamal Crawford all score at least 23 points, but they couldn’t sustain it in losing to L.A. for the third time this season.

The Lakers earned their 19th road win in 25 tries, including eight of the last nine games, the best away-from-home mark in the NBA.

Some numbers:

Game lead over the Denver Nuggets, who currently hold the West’s No. 2 seed. The Spurs, meanwhile, dropped to eight games behind the Lakers.

Offensive rebounds for the Lakers, led by five off the bench from Josh Powell.

Plus rating for Lamar Odom, who’s been playing with a great deal of passion much to Phil Jackson’s pleasure.

Assists by the Lakers on 46 field goals for a solid 72 percent. Kobe Bryant led the way with nine helpers, while Luke Walton added six in just 19 minutes of play.

League-high wins for the Lakers, tying the Boston Celtics.

Shooting percentage by Pau Gasol, who made 10-of-15 shots for 24 points plus his game-high 13 boards and five assists.

Lakers – Warriors Running Diary

Jordan FarmarAs always, feel free to refresh your browser for live updates throughout the game … On second thought, I guess they wouldn’t technically be “live” updates since you have to press refresh. But whatever.

Previous Lakers – Running Diary/Postgame
Lakers – Warriors Running Diary 1-7-2009
Lakers 114, Warriors 106: Postgame

Lakers – Warriors Running Diary 12-28-2008
Lakers 130, Warriors 113: Postgame

Lakers: Sun Yue, Andrew Bynum
Warriors: Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, Kelenna Azubuike

Lakers Fish, Kobe, Luke, Pau and Bynum
Warriors Monta Ellis, Jamal Crawford, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf

I was excited to see that Golden State simply borrowed the NBA’s “Where ___ Happens” for their pregame video, not worrying about any potential lack of originality. Whatever, the fans in this building will soon make up for it – to my mind thus far this season, it’s been the best (non Lakers) crowd.

Also, Nellie Ball is going to be in full force tonight, because Golden State’s four best players are all shoot-first guys: Ellis, Crawford, Jackson, and Corey Maggette off the bench. That’s fun.

Trevor ArizaFirst Quarter
11:42 It didn’t take long to notice the sizeable presence of Lakers fans here, not with the explosion of support after Fisher opened the game with a triple.

8:38 Pau’s first assist of the night came after Bryant smartly cut to the hoop to put L.A. up 11-7. Gasol seems to never miss the open man, so this is no surprise coming off his 10 assist game last night at STAPLES. In fact, Pau and Odom’s passing at the five and four positions combines with a great passing three man (Walton) and two solid passing guards to make this current group of Lakers the league’s best passing starting five. Wouldn’t you say?

7:36 How dumb is defensive three seconds sometimes? While Ellis was dribbling the ball on the opposite side of the floor, Odom had one foot in the lane about 20 feet away, and was given the technical. What’s the point? No one was stacking the paint.

6:08 Randolph, a rookie out of LSU, has been doing his best Odom impression in grabbing four offensive boards (though two were on his own missed layups), the latest tip-in giving G.S. a 18-15 lead. Meanwhile, Odom got whistled for his second foul, bringing Josh Powell in early as the Warriors went on a 7-2 run to take an eight-point lead.

3:47 Well there’s something we haven’t seen yet this year: Kobe’s 360 dunk. It came thanks to a Bryant steal and ensuing breakaway, capping a 6-0 run to cut the lead to three.

1:47 Gasol’s second dunk of the quarter followed another vicious Bryant dunk to again cut the home team’s lead to three after they’d pushed to seven behind Turiaf. The former Laker was everywhere in the quarter, going for nine points, two boards, two assists, two blocks and a steal. But his replacement hasn’t been bad either, with Josh Powell registering three offensive boards (four total) plus four points in five minutes.

0:00 The quarter ended with a missed three from Ariza, and the Warriors took a 34-30 lead into the second. Scoring has been quite easy for L.A., so once the purple and gold picks up its defensive intensity a bit they have to feel OK about their chances.

In the quarter, the Lakers shot 52 percent but turned the ball over six times and committed six fouls, and the Warriors sunk 4-of-5 threes to just the game-opening triple from L.A.
Continue reading ‘Lakers – Warriors Running Diary’

Phil Jackson On Mihm Trade (Pre-Warriors)

Before L.A. took the floor in Oakland’s ORACLE Arena, Phil Jackson addressed assembled media regarding the Chris Mihm trade.

“Hopefully it’s a chance for him to play,” said Jackson. “He’s in a free agent year, and it kind of settles our roster down a little bit too.

Jackson also talked about how much the coaching staff and players liked Mihm, explained that in this particular contest a backup center wouldn’t be an issue with Golden State’s small lineup and gave his thoughts on former Laker Ronny Turiaf.

Here’s the audio:

Lakers Trade Chris Mihm to Memphis

Chris MihmThe Lakers have acquired a conditional second-round draft pick in 2013 from the Memphis Grizzlies for center Chris Mihm, it was announced on Wednesday by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Here’s the press release from L.A.

The Los Angeles Lakers have traded center Chris Mihm to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a conditional 2nd round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Mihm, currently in his 5th season with the Lakers, is averaging 2.0 points, 1.9 rebounds and 5.8 minutes in 18 games this year. His best campaign came in the 2005-06 season, when he averaged 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

“The last two years have been difficult and frustrating for Chris in coming back from his ankle injury,” said Kupchak. “But Chris has handled himself with true professionalism the entire time. With the depth of our roster, especially at the center position, Chris has not had the opportunity to play that he deserves. At this point in his career, and especially as someone who will be a free agent this summer, we felt it was in his best interests to go to a team that would give him a chance to play. Chris has made significant contributions to our team over the past five years. We’d like to thank him and wish him the best of luck for the remainder of his career.”

Lakers head coach Phil Jackson is expected to address the trade further prior to Wednesday evening’s game at Golden State. We’ll have full coverage for you on

USC Senior Hits From Halfcourt – For $165 Grand.

While participating in The Mirage Big Shot Jackpot Contest at the end of the third quarter during L.A.’s victory over Atlanta, contestant Robert Ward lined up from halfcourt for a chance at $165,000…

… And he banked it in.

Repeat: The shot went in the hoop, after 124 consecutive misses at STAPLES Center.

How about that?

Even better: Ward, a 23-year-old Mission Viejo native, is currently a senior at USC who plans to use some of his money to pay off college loans.

To read more and watch video of Ward plus reaction from Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Sasha Vujacic, CLICK HERE.

All-Star Postcards

Weren’t able to head to Phoenix over the weekend to watch Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and L.A.’s coaching staff at All-Star?

Worry not … We were snapping pictures.

Take a look.

Lakers 96, Hawks 83: Postgame

BenchWhat impressed you the most in L.A.’s 96-83 trouncing of Atlanta on Tuesday night?

Let’s play multiple choice:

A) Pau Gasol’s third career triple-double (in 30 minutes): 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists plus two blocks
B) Lamar Odom’s 15 points, five assists, two steals, two blocks and 20 rebounds, following up consecutive games of 17, 18 and 19 boards
C) USC senior Robert Ward’s banking in a $165,000 half-court shot after the third quarter
D) All of the above

Gotta go with D on that one.

Alas, as the shot was fantastic to see – Ward plans to pay off his college loans with the money – it was a terrific second quarter that ultimately allowed L.A. to cruise to an easy victory with all five starters icing their knees for the majority of the fourth quarter.

In that second quarter, the Lakers held the Hawks to only 12 points, before outscoring the red-clad visitors 40-24 to run away with the victory. Seven of Odom’s 20 boards came on the offensive glass, Gasol collected five of his 10 assists in the first four minutes of the third and Kobe Bryant needed to score only 10 points in 28 minutes as L.A. boosted their league-best record to 43-10.

Some numbers:

Reasons Robert Ward has to be happy.

Rebounds for the Lakers, a season-high.

Offensive rebounds for the Lakers, just two below their franchise best (30).

Points scored in a putrid fourth quarter from L.A.’s bench.

Season-high assists from Pau Gasol in three quarters of work.

Straight games that Lamar Odom’s amassed his season-high in rebounds. He started with 17, then went up one in in two straight games until tonight’s 20. Golden State, whom L.A. plays on Wednesday night, is the squad against which Odom grabbed his career-high 22 boards last season.

Career triple-doubles for Gasol after his 12, 13 and 10 against the Hawks. His first two triple-doubles came as a Memphis Grizzly.

Massive block from new Laker Shannon Brown, who destroyed a Mario West layup attempt with two hands on the glass.

Pau Records First Triple-Double as a Laker

Pau GasolAt halftime, Pau Gasol had eight points, eight boards and five assists, but was a central player in the third quarter run by getting to 10 points, 12 boards and 10 assists at the 4:10 mark. His 10th dime came on a 25-foot triple from Bryant, his second of the quarter, to put L.A. up 75-52.

This is Pau’s third career triple-double and his first as a member of the Lakers.

Gasol had his first career triple-double with 21 points, 12 boards and 12 assists on March 8, 2006 at Seattle, and his second on January 24, 2007 at Utah, when Pau recorded his second triple-double as a Grizzly with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists.

Lakers – Hawks Running Diary

Walton As always, feel free to refresh your browser for live updates throughout the game … On second thought, I guess they wouldn’t technically be “live” updates since you have to press refresh. But whatever.

Lakers: DJ Mbenga, Sun Yue, Andrew Bynum
Hawks: Flip Murray, Speedy Claxton, Othello Hunter

With DJ and Sun on the inactive list, we’ll see Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison in uniform together for the first time since they came over from Charlotte for Vladimir Radmanovic. Before the game, Phil Jackson said that both had made progress learning the triangle offense, and there’s a chance we’ll see either one tonight (or not).

Flip Murray’s absence could hurt the Hawks, who will miss his spark off the bench that nets 11 points per night. Murry’s out for at least two games due to undisclosed family matters.

Lakers Fish, Kobe, Luke, Lamar and Pau
Hawks Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Al Horford

Pau GasolFirst Quarter
12:00 A question to start things off: How many rebounds for Lamar tonight? His last three games have gone up by one each time with 17, 18 and 19 window cleans. Can he get 20 on a Hawks team that’s relatively small with the 6-10 Horford playing center and 6-9 Smith at power forward?

11:34 We’ll wait and see on the boards, but Odom did start the game by picking off a Horford pass, racing up the floor and converting 1-of-2 free throws.

9:16 A 14-foot Gasol J from baseline was just the second of eight field goals in a slow L.A. start that found the purple and gold down 8-5 early. More interesting to me is that Bill O’Reilly, star of one of my favorite YouTube clips ever that I can’t link to (language), is sitting seven seats away from Phil Jackson.

7:56 Pau exceeded his rebounding total from Utah last Thursday (3) with his fourth. That dud (dead legs) came after board totals of 14, 12, 14, 15 and 14 in the five previous games to average 13.8.

3:59 Fisher’s layup made it 18-15 Hawks, who immediately went on a 6-0 burst highlighted by two Williams’ steals to go up nine. Sometimes the Lakers simply don’t take their opponents not named Celtics, Cavs or Spurs too seriously, and squads with as much talent as Atlanta can take advantage should they bring their A game. Surely that’s what we’ve seen so far, as the hustling Hawks had gathered five steals to spark easy transition hoops (in other words, exactly what assistant coach Brian Shaw warned against in our pregame report).

1:37 L.A. responded perfectly out of Jackson’s timeout, getting consecutive hoops from sub Jordan Farmar and Kobe’s first field goal to cut the lead to three.

1:00 Make it one. Farmar blew past Hawks sub Acie Law IV and finished under Zaza Pachulia at the rim with his left hand to cap an 8-0 run. Gasol then swatted Pachulia at the tail end of a solid defensive possession before Vujacic missed an open three to close the quarter.

The Hawks failed to score in the final 2:55 of play, missing jumpers and failing to produce turnovers, as L.A. trailed by just one (24-23) despite shooting 39.3 percent from the field.
Continue reading ‘Lakers – Hawks Running Diary’