Author Archive for Mike Trudell

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LAL 110, Jazz 99: 1/3 Running Diary

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

Starters
Lakers: Marshall, Meeks, Young, Gasol and Sacre
Jazz: Burke, Hayward, Jefferson, Williams and Favors

FIRST QUARTER


Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
SECOND QUARTER


Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
THIRD QUARTER


Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
FOURTH QUARTER

Lakers Trying to Cope Amidst Injury Plague

Miami Heat v Los Angeles LakersHere’s the likely starting five for the Lakers against Utah on Friday: Kendall Marshall, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Pau Gasol and Robert Sacre.

Before the 2013-14 season, there was absolutely no way to forecast such a line up for Mike D’Antoni’s squad, but with a plethora of injuries wreaking havoc on the roster, that’s how things look for a team on a six-game losing streak after a relatively impressive 13-13 start.

The “Games Missed” list is borderline ridiculous with only 32 played thus far:

Kobe Bryant: 26
Steve Nash: 26
Steve Blake: 11
Jordan Farmar: 10
Chris Kaman: 5
Pau Gasol: 3
Wesley Johnson: 1
Xavier Henry: 1
TOTAL: 83

More problematically, all but three of those players – Kaman, Gasol and Johnson* – remain on the shelf, ranging from Henry’s re-evaluation at the end of next week from a knee strain to Bryant being out at least until the end of the month with his knee fracture.
*Johnson may return to the starting line up with Young heading back to the bench depending upon how he feels on Friday after missing Tuesday’s game and Thursday’s practice with gastroenteritis.

Furthermore, the Bryant-Nash-Farmar-Blake-Henry group happen to make up the team’s five best perimeter playmakers, and their collective absence has really stalled what’s now the 23rd ranked offense in the NBA in terms of efficiency. D’Antoni’s been pleased with the effort all season, but a lack of perimeter playmaking is difficult to overcome in the NBA.

“Yeah, we’re getting effort,” said D’Antoni after Thursday’s practice. “It’s hard to sustain it sometimes because the offense is shaky and we don’t have the swagger we had. I don’t think you should ever question these guys’ hearts or wants. That’s not the problem this year.”

Milwaukee Bucks v Los Angeles LakersCaptain Obvious can tell us that injuries have been the problem. That’s why Marshall — who was cut by Washington after a two-year stint in Phoenix as the No. 13 overall pick in 2012 — now has the keys to D’Antoni’s car. A 6–4 point guard out of North Carolina, Marshall was most recently starring in the D–League for the Delaware 87ers, averaging 19.4 points, 9.6 assists and 4.7 boards in seven games.

After playing a total of 10 minutes in his first six games in Los Angeles, Marshall filled in for the ailing Farmar in 45 total minutes in losses to Philadelphia and Milwaukee, hitting 7 of 12 field goals (4 of 7 three-pointers) for 18 points with 10 assists and four turnovers.

With Blake at least three weeks away, Farmar four and Nash’s return unknown, Marshall has the job through the coming stretch of 10 of the next 15 games on the road. He’ll at least have a reliable post presence on offense in Gasol, who’s been feeling better the last two days after missing three of five games with an upper respiratory infection.

Gasol’s trying to stay positive amidst the acknowledgement that “everything is far from ideal right now,” detailing how the team has to think.

“It takes a big group effort, really coming in with a special and positive mindset, pulling each other out and helping each other out, and having great energy and focus on the game and understanding we’re shorthanded,” he said. “We still have five guys out there on the floor playing basketball. If we play together, we play with intensity and energy, we can make things happen and have good games.”

What L.A. seems to have lost during the six-game losing streak that they relied upon early in the season is a certain swagger and hopefulness, a unification behind injuries with the expectation that players were coming back soon to help, and none more so than Kobe Bryant. But with Bryant going down in Memphis on Dec. 17 and given a six-week healing period, the swagger has departed as the injury list has only grown.

D’Antoni’s mission is to simply keep fighting through the difficulty with the players who are on the floor, to continue searching for a spark.

“We’re going to do everything we can to win every game and every second,” he concluded. “That’s our mindset and that’s what it has to be. You can’t control other things like injuries. Our job is to win. We’re not doing that right now and it needs to start tomorrow night.”

LAL 79, Bucks 94: 12/31 Running Diary

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

Starters
Lakers: Farmar, Meeks, Young, Williams and Gasol
Bucks: Knight, Ridnour, Antetokounmpo, Ilyasova and Sanders


FIRST QUARTER



SECOND QUARTER


Milwaukee Bucks v Los Angeles Lakers
THIRD QUARTER


Milwaukee Bucks v Los Angeles Lakers
FOURTH QUARTER

LAL 104, Sixers 111: 12/29 Running Diary

Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles LakersBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s home contest against Philly 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 Hill
Sixers: Carter-Williams, Turner, Thompson, Young and Hawes


FIRST QUARTER



SECOND QUARTER


Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers
THIRD QUARTER


Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers
FOURTH QUARTER

LAL 103, Jazz 105: 12/27 Running Diary


Below is a running diary of L.A.’s road contest at Utah 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 Kaman
Jazz: Burke, Hayward, Jefferson, Williams and Favors

FIRST QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz
SECOND QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz
THIRD QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz
FOURTH QUARTER

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


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

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’

LAL 88, Bobcats 85: 12/14 Running Diary

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

Starters
Lakers: Bryant, Meeks, Johnson, Hill and Gasol
Bobcats: Walker, Henderson, Taylor, McRoberts and Jefferson

FIRST QUARTER



SECOND QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Bobcats
THIRD QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Bobcats
FOURTH QUARTER

A Look at LAL’s Line Up (Sans PG’s)

Charlotte Bobcats v Los Angeles LakersOn Thursday afternoon, we learned that Steve Blake will miss at least six weeks with a torn elbow ligament, joining already-injured point guards Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) and Jordan Farmar (torn hamstring) on the inactive list.

Mike D’Antoni was asked after Thursday’s practice if he’s ever seen a team with so many injuries at one position.

“Yeah, last year,” he said, pointing to a 2012-13 campaign in which he inherited a team without both Blake and Nash. “We’ve really had (many) good point guards, but the problem is (they) have been hurt for two years in a row. We’ll lick our wounds today, but tomorrow, we have to come out. Somebody else will have a great opportunity to step up, play more and get it done.”

Last season, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon* got some minutes at point, but Kobe Bryant ended up doing much of the playmaking, and that’s what we’ll likely see again with the following starting line up: Jodie Meeks, Bryant, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol.
*Neither player is currently on an NBA roster.

Just two games into his own comeback from (a major) injury, Bryant’s going to have to be up for increased responsibility.

“I don’t really have much of a choice right now,” he said. “I got to get out there and do a lot more than expected in terms of handling the ball and doing significantly more running.

“We have guys that can hopefully bring the ball up and just get us into some stuff and then save my legs a little bit by having me play from the elbow and from the post a lot more and being on top of the floor running screen and roll actions.”

D’Antoni expects Xavier Henry to continue the role he’s taken since Farmar went down of initiating the offense with a second unit that will likely include Nick Young, Shawne Williams, Robert Sacre and one of the starters. The only other healthy body right now belongs to rookie Ryan Kelly, who’s yet to crack any regular rotation minutes.

Nash’s return date is unknown; he’s heading back to Vancouver to work with his personal trainer/therapist while the team is away on the road trip, and is expected to rejoin his teammates subsequently.

Farmar is the closest of the point guards to a return, said D’Antoni, and he’s in line for the most playing time of his career once he’s medically cleared. The UCLA product and L.A. native is going on the team’s four-game road trip (Dec. 13-17) to continue to rehabilitate, and will be re-evaluated upon the team’s return to Los Angeles.

On Thursday, Farmar lingered after practice to work on his shot, and told me he’s already feeling much better. The tightness he’d been feeling in what was a very small tear of his left hamstring has gone away, though he conceded that he’s yet to do anything that might irritate the injury, like sprinting.

Until he’s ready, it’s going to be a big, unique line up for Los Angeles. Stay tuned.