Monthly Archive for December, 2013

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Gasol To Sit Out At Utah

Miami Heat v Los Angeles LakersThe Lakers received good news when Jordan Farmar returned to the lineup on Christmas Day, but now they will be without Pau Gasol at Utah on Friday evening. Gasol has been dealing with an upper respiratory illness and is being listed as day-to-day, according to Lakers PR.

Gasol did not practice on Thursday in advance of the team’s flight and will not accompany the team to Salt Lake City.

“I think it’s lingering a little bit,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I think it does affect him.”

The 7-foot Spaniard missed the team’s game at Golden State on Saturday, Dec. 21, because of the same issue. Prior to the Warriors contest, he was the lone player to appear in the starting lineup through the first 26 games.

“Like anything else, you’re not 100 percent physically and you’re going to have shorter times of energy and stuff like that,” D’Antoni said. “He’ll get over it. He’ll be fine.”

Despite playing through various ailments, there has been a noticeable improvement in Gasol’s production over the last seven games, as he’s averaged 16.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.7 blocks on 53.8 percent shooting. In the previous 22 contests, he had averaged 14.4 points on 42.3 percent field goals.

Lakers-Heat Postgame Numbers

Miami Heat v Los Angeles LakersWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 101-95 loss against Miami:

58
Paint points for Miami. The Heat attempted 35 of their 80 field-goal attempts (they made 28) within five feet or less, according to NBA.com/stats, and they were a perfect 9 of 9 in transition towards 21 fastbreak points.

33
Minutes for Jordan Farmar in his first game back after suffering a tear in his hamstring. Farmar acknowledged he felt a little rusty postgame, but his contributions showed in his ability to get open looks for his teammates from the three-point line (14 of 36, 38.9 percent) and space the floor to take advantage of Miami’s aggressive defense on the screen and roll.

20.8
Points Nick Young is averaging in the last six games. With his 4 of 7 effort from the three-point line against Miami, Young is shooting 19 of 38 from distance during that span, too. Below is a shot chart of his efficiency beyond the arc in the last six contests, courtesy of NBA.com/stats.
blog_131225nickyoungthrees

11
Missed free throws for the Lakers, as the team converted on just 15 of 26 from the charity stripe (57.1 percent). Aside from Young hitting both of his free throws, each player who got to the line – Farmar, Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, Jordan Hill, Xavier Henry and Ryan Kelly – missed at least one.

5
Turnovers for the Lakers in the fourth quarter, including three in a six-minute span that allowed Miami to go on a 13-5 run to break an 83-83 tie. Dwyane Wade scored eight down the stretch and was key for Miami throughout, as he posted 23 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals.

LAL 95, Heat 101: 12/25 Running Diary

Miami Heat v Los Angeles LakersBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s home contest against Miami with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Farmar, Meeks, Johnson, Williams and Gasol
Heat: Chalmers, Wade, James, Battier and Bosh

FIRST QUARTER



Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers
SECOND QUARTER


Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers
THIRD QUARTER


Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers
FOURTH QUARTER


Farmar To Return Against Miami

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles LakersThe Lakers received some good news in advance of their Christmas Day matchup against the Miami Heat: Jordan Farmar was cleared to play after undergoing an ultrasound that showed complete healing of his hamstring.

“I felt good for awhile,” Farmar said post practice. “But finally to get the clearance and just be able to come out there and help the guys out and do anything I can is what I’m excited about.”

Farmar had missed the previous three-plus weeks after suffering a tear in his left hamstring in L.A.’s home contest against Portland on Dec. 1. While sidelined, the team also lost Steve Blake to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and then Kobe Bryant to a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau of his knee. With only three healthy guards on the roster, that left Xavier Henry to assume starting point guard duties over the last three games.

“He did a good job,” Farmar said of Henry filling in at point guard. “It’s tough to just throw somebody out there who has no previous experience and then have no backup for a long time. It was tough and he did a good job with it. Now I look forward to him being able to attack and do what he does best.”

Farmar understands his main duties for a team that has struggled of late on the offensive end, especially in the last two games at Golden State and at Phoenix. In those contests, the Lakers averaged just 86.5 points and shot 34.8 percent from the floor, and their assist numbers were down from 23.3 per game to 11.5.

“I’m just trying to get everybody back to doing what they’re comfortable doing and be in positions where they can really be successful,” Farmar said.

Prior to his injury, the UCLA product had been playing some of the best ball of his career, particularly on the team’s three-game road trip at the end of November. In those games, he was averaging 16.7 points, 4.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 61.3 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent on three-pointers.

His return comes against a Miami team that has won five in a row and seven of their last eight games. The Heat defeated Atlanta in overtime on Monday, after erasing a seven-point deficit in the final 1:39 of regulation.

“They move the ball, they spread the floor, they’re very aggressive defensively and they turn you over,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “That gets them out on the fastbreak and they’re a devastating team (in transition).”

Miami ranks first in the league in forcing turnovers (18.4 per game) and ranks second in the league in offensive efficiency (109.6). LeBron James, who is shooting a career high 59.9 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent on three-pointers, spearheads that offense.

“He’s playing at a very, very high level,” D’Antoni said. “He gets better every year, which is scary. You don’t him to get to the rim and you don’t want to foul him. You try to do that and you try to contain him as much you can.”

But with Farmar back in the mix, the Lakers receive what they hope will help spark a team that has lacked the playmaking ability on offense recently. And the coaching staff remains optimistic that this group can get it done, despite facing adversity all year long.

“We have to rise to the occasion,” D’Antoni said. “This is another chance to do that. We have a good group that’s fun to coach and we have to pull in the same direction to make sure we’re hitting on all cylinders.”

Lakers-Suns Postgame Numbers

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix SunsWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 117-90 loss at Phoenix:

62
Rebounds for Phoenix, a season high. The Suns held a plus-23 edge over the Lakers on the glass, as center Miles Plumlee and guard Eric Bledsoe both recorded career highs in rebounds with 20 and 11, respectively.

37
Free throws attempted for the Lakers, who only made 24 (64.9 percent). Despite Phoenix shooting 17 free throws in the first quarter, L.A. still attempted 12 more than Phoenix for the game. Xavier Henry made 7 of 14, while Jodie Meeks – a career 87.9 shooter from the charity stripe – converted 4 of 7.

19
Points for Nick Young, his 14th straight game in double figures – one shy of his career-long streak of 15. In 22 games coming off the bench, the USC product is averaging 17.2 points.

18.8
Percentage of field goals made for the Lakers in the third quarter on 3 of 16 shooting from the floor (17 points). Phoenix meanwhile put up 26 points (18 inside) in the third to extend their lead to 22 entering the fourth. In the last two third quarters at Golden State and at Phoenix, the Lakers are shooting a combined 6 for 37 (16.2 percent).

14
Three-pointers made for Phoenix, half of them coming in the second quarter. The Suns bench made 12 of 21 from distance, with Gerald Green (6 of 11, tying a season high) and Marcus Morris (5 of 6, a career high) leading the way.

LAL 90, Suns 117: 12/23 Running Diary

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix SunsBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s road contest at Phoenix with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Henry, Meeks, Johnson, Williams and Gasol
Suns: Dragic, Bledsoe, Tucker, Frye and Plumlee

FIRST QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns
SECOND QUARTER



THIRD QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns
FOURTH QUARTER

Lakers-Warriors Postgame Numbers

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State WarriorsWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 102-83 loss at Golden State:

32.5
Percentage of field goals made for the Lakers, a season low. With no healthy point guards (outside recently signed Kendall Marshall), L.A. struggled to gain any rhythm on offense, particularly in the third quarter when they shot just 3 for 21 (14.3 percent). For the 11th time, Golden State held an opponent under 40 percent from the floor, which ranks second in the NBA behind the Indiana Pacers.

20
Rebounds for Andrew Bogut, including nine on the offensive end – both season highs. The 7-footer has now grabbed double digit boards in eight straight games, averaging 14.4 in that span.

17.1
Points per game Nick Young is averaging off the bench. For the second straight contest, Young led the team in scoring with 20 points. Though he shot just 5 for 18 from the floor, he did convert on 9 of 12 from the charity stripe.

12
Different starting lineups the Lakers have used this season. Pau Gasol, the only Laker to have started every contest prior to Golden State, missed his first game of the year because of a upper respiratory infection. Outside of Jordan Farmar, Ryan Kelly and Marshall, each player has started at least one game.

4
Three-pointers made for the Lakers, a season low. In the month of December, the team is shooting just 31.2 percent from beyond the arc and averaging just 7.3 makes per game. In October and November, those figures were at 41.2 percent and 10.6 makes per contest.

LAL 83, Warriors 102: 12/21 Running Diary

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State WarriorsBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s road contest at Golden State with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Henry, Meeks, Johnson, Hill and Gasol
Warriors: Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Lee and Bogut 

FIRST QUARTER


Continue reading ‘LAL 83, Warriors 102: 12/21 Running Diary’

Lakers-Wolves Postgame Numbers

Minnesota Timberwolves  v Los Angeles LakersWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 104-91 win against Minnesota:

34.7
Percentage of field goals made for Minnesota. In the second half, the Lakers allowed 38 points on 15 of 48 field goals (31.3 percent), and just 15 fourth-quarter points on 6 of 25 shooting from the floor.

27
Assists on 42 made field goals for the Lakers, including at least four dimes from five different players. “Ball movement,” Pau Gasol said of the team’s offensive success. “Trying to get everybody involved, and trying to make the right plays. It came from the unselfishness of getting everybody involved, moving the ball and keeping the defense on their toes.”

22
Offensive rebounds for the Wolves, compared to just seven for the Lakers. Minnesota’s center Nikola Pekovic grabbed 10 alone, allowing for a plus-16 advantage in second-chance points.

18
Plus-rating for Shawne Williams – a team high – in 20 minutes off the bench. Williams scored two points, but grabbed nine rebounds, and played a key part in the Lakers defensive success in the second half.

3
Players finished with a least 20 points for the Lakers, led by Nick Young’s 25 off the bench. In his first career start as a Laker, Xavier Henry recorded 21 points, while Gasol nearly finished with a triple double of 21 points, 13 boards and eight assists. Even with no true point guard on the floor, the Lakers still shot 53.8 percent.

LAL 104, Wolves 91: 12/20 Running Diary

Minnesota Timberwolves  v Los Angeles LakersBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s home contest against Minnesota with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Henry, Meeks, Johnson, Hill and Gasol
Wolves: Rubio, Martin, Brewer, Love and Pekovic

FIRST QUARTER


Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers
SECOND QUARTER



THIRD QUARTER


Minnesota Timberwolves  v Los Angeles Lakers
FOURTH QUARTER