Author Archive for Mike Trudell

Page 4 of 5

LAL 99, Nets 94: 11/27 Running Diary

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

Starters
Lakers: Blake, Meeks, Johnson, Hill and Gasol
Nets: Livingston, Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Blatche


FIRST QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets
SECOND QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets
THIRD QUARTER

Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets
FOURTH QUARTER

LAL 100, Kings 86: 11/24 Running Diary

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

Starters
Lakers: Blake, Meeks, Johnson, Hill and Gasol
Kings: Vasquez, McLemore, Mbah a Moute, Thompson and Cousins

FIRST QUARTER


Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers
SECOND QUARTER

THIRD QUARTER

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers
FOURTH QUARTER

Lakers – Kings Sideline Notes

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles LakersHere’s a look at everything you need to know about the Lakers (6-7) and their Sunday evening opponent, the Sacramento Kings (4-8):

KINGS NOTES
- Carl Landry is out with a tear of the left hip flexor muscle; rookie Ray McCallum was assigned to the Reno Bighorns.
- DeMarcus Cousins has been terrific this season, and is the only player in the NBA to lead his team in scoring (21.5 ppg on 46.4% FG’s), rebounding (9.9), steals (1.8) and blocks (1.4). He went off for 23 points, 19 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal in the narrow loss to the Clippers last night.
- SAC turns the ball over the fewest number of times per game, surprisingly, at (12.8); LAL are 15th (15.6).
- Isaiah Thomas is ranked second in NBA in bench scoring (18.4 ppg), trailing only NOP’s Ryan Anderson (19.3). Nick Young is third at 17.1 ppg (4th). Thomas also ranks first in NBA in fourth-quarter scoring (8.8 ppg, including 14 in the 4th Q against the Clippers on Saturday afternoon). The next 3 in 4th Q scoring: 2) Ryan Anderson (8.3 ppg); 3. Kyrie Irving (8.3 ppg); 4. Kevin Durant (8.2 ppg).
- Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was a college teammate at UCLA with Jordan Farmar (2005-06).
- Patrick Patterson scored 21 points off the bench on Sunday, with starter Jason Thompson playing only 10 minutes to PP’s 32.
- Greivis Vasquez has struggled some this season after a breakout 2012-13, reaching a new low with just 2 points and 2 assists in 15 minutes against the Clips. He’s averaging 10.5 points and 5.4 assists on the season, down from 13.9 and 9.0 in New Orleans last season.

LAKERS ARE THE LAST TEAM TO GET AN OPPONENT ON A B2B
For the first time this season, the Lakers will draw an opposing team that’s on the second game of a back-to-back. Every other team has been in that situation at least one time, making the Lakers the last squad to gain what’s typically an advantage, as the Kings lost a tight one to the Clippers (103-102) on Saturday afternoon.

According to NBA.com’s John Schuhmann, the average team drew an opponent on a back to back 19 times. The Lakers tied with the Spurs for the fewest, with just 12. Why? Likely a combination of number of times on national TV and having most weekend games on Sunday instead of Saturday (since most teams play Friday).

WHY L.A.’s 6-7 RECORD (WITHOUT KOBE) LOOKS BETTER
The average winning percentage of teams the Lakers have faced thus far is 59.2%, which ranks behind only the Memphis Grizzlies (60.3%) for having the league’s toughest schedule. Thus far, 12 of L.A.’s 13 opponents have been .500 or better, the 4-8 Detroit Pistons serving as the exception.

YET AND STILL … LAKERS ARE 13th in the CRAZY DEEP WEST
Only Sacramento (4-8) and Utah (1-13) have worse records than LAL’s 6-7 in the West, with the Suns, Pelicans and Nuggets all at 6-6 and every other team above .500. If the Lakers were in the East, they’d be sitting in the 7th playoff spot.

DOUBLE-DOUBLING:
In the last 5 games, three Lakers are averaging double doubles:

Pau Gasol: 17.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.8 apg
Jordan Hill: 17.0 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg
Steve Blake: 10.4 ppg, 10.4 apg, 3.4 rpg

THE LATEST KOBE BRYANT INFO
After going full speed at practice on consecutive days (Tuesday and Wednesday), Kobe Bryant took Thursday off to recover, before returning to the court on Saturday to work out on his own. Mike D’Antoni told me that Bryant went through his own workout at the team’s facility before heading to the training room to do some further rehabilitation and management with the training staff (head physical therapist Dr. Judy Seto in particular).

“(Bryant) will amp it up as much as he needs to,” D’Antoni explained. “It’s not soreness of the Achilles, just general soreness. He hadn’t played since April and he went hard, and you just feel sore and sluggish. It’s a normal thing. He didn’t have to back off because of injury.”

Bryant had previously acknowledged the possibility of returning in November, which leaves the 26th, 27th and 29th (a three-game trip through D.C., Brooklyn and Detroit), but that’s by no means a prediction as to his actual first game action.

LAKERS IMPROVEMENT ON DEFENSE CONTINUES
Since Jordan Hill and Wesley Johnson entered the starting line up, the Lakers are playing considerably better on the defensive end:

First eight games: 106.5 ppg, 46.4% FG’s, 40.2% 3-PT FG’s
Last five games: 97.8 ppg, 42.7% FG’s, 30.3% 3-PT FG’s

Here’s what Mike D’Antoni said: “Guys are starting to get into rotations and how we do things without thinking so much that it becomes a habit, and that way you can react quicker and they react quicker to the ball and different situations. As a young team, that takes time, but it’s starting to settle in a little bit.”

RELATED: LAKERS ACTUALLY UP IN DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY
LAL are up to 15th in defensive efficiency, not terrible considering their rough schedule. They were 18th last year with Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace. On the other hand, The Lakers were 8th in offensive efficiency last year thanks in no small part to Kobe’s outstanding offensive season. This year, they’re only 21st through 13 games.

LAKERS BOMBING THREES, MAKING 2nd MOST IN NBA W/5th BEST %
After draining 11 more triples against the Warriors, the Lakers are up to 5th in the NBA in 3-point percentage, hitting 41.0% on the young season, way up from their 35.2% mark in 2012-13 (20th in the NBA). They’re also making more than any other team but Golden State, connecting on 10.2 per game. Jodie Meeks ranks 10th in the NBA in 3-PT FGM (32), and Steve Blake ranks 15th (28). At 48.5%, Meeks ranks 14th in the NBA in accuracy, while Blake’s 47.5% puts him at No. 23. Below is a shot chart of the team’s efficiency from beyond the arc, courtesy of NBA.com/stats. blog_131124lakersthrees

JORDAN HILL EXCELLING AS A STARTER
In his five games as a starter Jordan Hill is averaging 17.0 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks on 59.6% FG’s and 89.5% FT’s, earning walk off interviews in two of the last three home games. His minutes increased from 16.1 (first eight games) to 31.2. He posted career-highs of 24 points and 17 boards in last Sunday’s win over Detroit. Hill ranks second behind only Detroit’s Andre Drummond in field goal percentage this season at 60.9%.

Here’s what Kobe Bryant said about Hill: “Tremendous. He really worked hard this summer and got himself into good shape, shed some weight; he’s extremely strong, (has) long arms, athletic. He has a knack for the ball and is great around the rim. He has a great touch on the low post and a great touch on the perimeter. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”

YOUNG CONTINUES TO SHINE OFF THE PINE
When coming off the pine, Nick Young is averaging 17.1 points per game, which ranks third behind only SAC’s Isaiah Thomas (18.4 ppg) and NOP’s Ryan Anderson (19.3 in two games). As a reserve, Young is shooting 52.3%, compared with 33.3% as a reserve, and is hitting 40.0% from three compared with 23.5% as a starter:

STARTS (6): 21.5 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.7 spg, 33.3% FG’s, 23.5% 3’s
BENCH (7): 26.9 mpg, 17.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 spg, 52.3% FG’s, 40.0% 3’s

Perhaps related: Young’s taking better shots, closer to the hoop, taking 6 percent more shots in the paint in his last five games. He also said he heard Rihanna shout “Swaggy P” during Friday’s win over GSW, which is nice.

LAL 102, Warriors 95: 11/22 Running Diary

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

Starters
Lakers: Blake, Meeks, Johnson, Hill and Gasol
Warriors: Igoudala, Thompson, Barnes, Lee and Bogut


FIRST QUARTER



SECOND QUARTER


Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
THIRD QUARTER



FOURTH QUARTER

LAL 99, Nuggets 111: 11/13 Running Diary

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

Starters
Lakers: Blake, Meeks, Johnson, Hill and Gasol
Nuggets: Lawson, Foye, Hamilton, Faried and Hickson

FIRST QUARTER

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets
SECOND QUARTER


Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets
THIRD QUARTER

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets
FOURTH QUARTER

Lakers – Nuggets Sideline Notes

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles LakersHere’s a look at everything you need to know about the Lakers (4-5) and their Wednesday evening opponent, the Denver Nuggets (2-4):

NUGGETS NUGGETS
- Ty Lawson leads Denver in scoring (21.7 points, T-13th in NBA), assists (7.3, T-10th), minutes (36.9), three’s made (10 total, tied with Randy Foye), free throws made (34, 81.0 percent) and steals (1.3, also tied with Foye). No other Nugget is averaging more than 10.3 points per night (Jordan Hamilton).
- Wilson Chandler has not played this season, but is listed as a game-time decision with his hamstring strain and could make his debut. He was one of Denver’s three best players not named Ty Lawson last season who’s either been hurt (Danilo Gallinari, torn ACL) or changed teams (Andre Iguodala). If he doesn’t play, Jordan Hamilton should get more SF minutes (he started the last two games and had career highs of 19 points and nine boards at Phoenix on 11/8.)
- JaVale McGee is out indefinitely with a left tibia stress fracture; Timofey Mozgov is the likely starter in his place unless coach Brian Shaw goes with J.J. Hickson.
- The Nuggets rank just 11th in the NBA in fast break points (15.5 per game), and 13th in points in the paint (42.2). That’s quite a difference from last year, when they led the NBA in FB points (19.7 per game) and also points in the paint at 57.3 a contest. New coach Brian Shaw is trying to establish them as more of a balanced team that can post up, which is going to take some time.
- Denver owns the second best home court record in the NBA since 2007-08 at 191-49 (.796), trailing only San Antonio’s 187-47 (.799). The Lakers are third at 182-52 (77.8%).
- Kenneth Faried broke out of a slow start to the early-season (in part minutes related) with 15 points and 13 boards in Monday’s win at Utah.

THE (DREADED) SECOND NIGHT OF A BACK-TO-BACK IN DENVER:
The Lakers are 16-16 (.500) all-time when playing at Denver in the second of a back-to-back, which is actually pretty surprisingly good, because all-time, teams are just 160-376 (.299) when playing in the mile-high city in the second of a back-to-back.

This is less surprising: Since the 2003-04 season, the Lakers are 1-7 (.125) when playing at Denver in the second of a back-to-back. The combined league record since 2003-04 when playing at Denver in the second of a back-to-back is 27-118 (.186)

In related news: the Nuggets were a much better team, overall, after 2003-04 (when Carmelo was drafted) than prior to that time.

YOUR 2013-14 LAL LEADING SCORER IS … JODIE MEEKS?
Perhaps nobody has improved his game more this season from last than Jodie Meeks, who scored 15 more points on Tuesday on 5-of-7 FG’s (3-of-5 3’s) with three boards and a steal in LAL’s 116-95 W over New Orleans. As such, he improved to 13.0 ppg on the season, which leads the Lakers through nine games, thanks to 52.6% FG’s and 47.6% from three.

The Kentucky product is currently seventh in the NBA in adjusted field goal percentage (where three’s weigh more heavily than two’s) at 65.8% and eighth in true shooting percentage at 69.0%.

BLAKE CONTINUES STRONG PLAY
Steve Blake came into the game vs. New Orleans averaging 15.3 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds on 50.0% FG’s (16/32), 61.1% 3-PT FG’s (11/18) in his previous three contests, and while he took only four shots (making one, a triple) against the Pelicans, he led the Lakers with 10 assists to just two turnovers in a solid floor game. He was consistently setting up Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol inside and Meeks outside, setting the tone for good ball movement all evening (33 assists on 44 field goals for the team).

Of Blake’s 29 field goals made this season, 22 have been 3-pointers. He ranks 5th in the NBA with the 22 makes, trailing only Damian Lillard (25), Kevin Martin (24), Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (24) apiece. Below is a shot chart of his efficiency from three-point range, courtesy of NBA.com/stats.
blog_131112blakethrees
“FLUCTUATION” THE OPERATIVE WORD FOR LAL’s LINE UPS
Through nine games, the Lakers have utilized six different starting lineups, and nine different players have started a game. With Nash out, we saw what may be a regular rotation for a few weeks:

Starters: Blake, Meeks, Johnson, Hill and Gasol
Bench: Farmar, Henry, Young, Williams and Kaman

Williams only played about 13 minutes against New Orleans, however, as Hill and Wesley Johnson may get some of those reserve minutes at the four spot.

D’Antoni would like to establish an identity ASAP, as he said at practice on Monday: “One thing we have to do is find our identity. We don’t play slow or fast, we don’t do anything with a purpose and we’re trying to get that. We’re trying to clarify what playing hard means because sometimes I misconstrue that in the press. Being able to anticipate what’s happening, being mentally alert. They’re all trying but a lot of time they’re one step or two steps behind because we didn’t anticipate or get to a spot. We need to get there to be able to benefit from playing hard. It’s not a character issue, it’s a matter of an execution thing.”

BOMBING FROM THREE CONTINUES:
For the second time this season, the Lakers hit over 50% of their three-pointers, sinking 11 of 20 against New Orleans to improve to 40.9% on the season, good for 7th in the NBA. They’re making 10.4 per game, good for 3rd in the league (Washington and Golden State rank 1st and 2nd, respectively). The Nuggets shoot the three well also. Though they make only 7.8 (13th), they’re hitting 40.5%, just behind the Lakers for 8th.

Steve Blake leads the Lakers at 48.9%, with Jodie Meeks close behind at 47.6%, the starting backcourt getting the job done. Xavier Henry is up to 44% after sinking all three of his triples against the Pelicans.

HENRY SNAPS HIS SLUMP IN STYLE
Tuesday night was a much-needed boost for Xavier Henry, who put up 15 points on 6-of-8 field goals and 3-of-3 three-pointers plus three steals to break out of a four-game slump. In the previous four, he’d really struggled, both by the eye test and the numbers: 4.0 PPG, 6-of-26 FG’s (23%), 0-for-4 threes, 11 rebounds (season-high 8 vs. MIN). Meanwhile, his monster jam over University of Kansas teammate Jeff Withey was ridiculous, and had Staples Center rocking.

Continue reading ‘Lakers – Nuggets Sideline Notes’

LAL 104, Mavs 123: 11/5 Running Diary

blog_131105gasolBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s road contest at Dallas with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Nash, Blake, Henry, Williams and Gasol
Mavs: Calderon, Ellis, Marion, Nowitzki and Dalembert

FIRST QUARTER

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks
SECOND QUARTER



THIRD QUARTER



FOURTH QUARTER

LAL 89, Warriors 115: 10/18 Preseason Diary

blog_131018shanghaiarenaBelow is a running diary of L.A.’s preseason contest against Golden State with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Starters
Lakers: Nash, Blake, Young, Williams and Gasol
Warriors: Curry, Igoudala, Thompson, Lee and Bogut

FIRST QUARTER


SECOND QUARTER

THIRD QUARTER

FOURTH QUARTER

LAL 95, Warriors 100: 10/15 Preseason Diary

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

Starters
Lakers: Nash, Meeks, Young, Kaman and Gasol
Warriors: Curry, Igoudala, Green, Lee and Bogut


FIRST QUARTER


SECOND QUARTER


THIRD QUARTER


FOURTH QUARTER

LAL 86, Kings 104: 10/10 Preseason Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s preseason contest against Sacramento with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:
Starters
Lakers: Nash, Meeks, Young, Kaman and Gasol
Kings: Thomas, Fredette, Outlaw, Patterson and Cousins

FIRST QUARTER

SECOND QUARTER

HALFTIME


THIRD QUARTER

FOURTH QUARTER