DALLAS, Feb. 11, 2010 – Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd and New York Knicks forward David Lee have been named by NBA commissioner David Stern to replace injured West All-Star guard Kobe Bryant (ankle) of the Los Angeles Lakers and East All-Star guard Allen Iverson (personal reasons) of the Philadelphia 76ers, respectively, in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas.
Kidd, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time All-NBA First Team selection, will be making his 10th NBA All-Star Game appearance. Lee, in his fifth NBA season, has recorded 30 double-doubles on the season for the Knicks and will be making his first NBA All-Star appearance.
West All-Star head coach George Karl and East All-Star head coach Stan Van Gundy will determine which players will replace Bryant and Iverson in the starting lineup.
The NBA All-Star Game will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages worldwide at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 14.
Lakers.com All-Star Central
Pre-Season Game #8
At the risk of sounding like a broken record (a reference for those of you still enjoying vinyl), we know that the first major threat from the Nuggets is their transition game. They do such a great job of looking up-court once they get possession of the ball. This thrust creates mismatches and puts defensive communication to the test. In the game last night there was a clear example of how they hurt us in this fashion last night. In the play, the Nuggets get the rebound and immediately get the ball to their quarterback, Chauncey Billups. Whether the first pass is up the floor or in this case after Billups takes one dribble, they always look to pass the ball up the floor to create an early scoring opportunity. In this case they got the ball to Carmelo in a scoring position and on the weakside of our defense we had a breakdown in communication. This leads to an easy dunk for Denver. We must do a better job of limiting these types of baskets.
We also saw in the game a good example of a basic sequence within our triangle offense. One of Lamar Odom’s special skills is that he can rebound the ball on the defensive end and initiate the transition. In this example he gets us into our offense with a dribble entry. One of the principles of our offense is to simply pass the ball to the first open man you see. As Lamar pulls the ball to the wing to set up the strong side triangle he sees Derek Fisher open at the top as his man has decided to play off him in order to help clog the paint. Fish gets the ball and immediately passes to Artest at the position we call “pinch post”. The fact that Fish makes a hard cut also helps keep our offense flowing effectively. On the weakside, the defender guarding Kobe gets caught “playing the play”. What that means is that he knows that Kobe is supposed to pop up off the screens and the defender anticipates this and changes his positioning. Kobe correctly reads and reacts to this mistake and cuts hard to the basket opening the passing lane for the unselfish Ron Artest to make the assist on Kobe’s reverse lay-up. This play is a good example of how some simple basketball fundamentals executed within our offense can create an easy scoring opportunity.
In the NBA press release about Derek Fisher, Kobe’s status was also referenced:
Jackson also announced that the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant has been assessed a Flagrant Foul Penalty One for elbowing Houston’s Ron Artest in the chest area with 6:57 remaining in the fourth period of last night’s game.
Click here to read the full press release
Kobe Bryant has decided to forego getting surgery on his right pinkie. The injury originally occurred on February 5th and Bryant passed on surgery at that time in order to complete the Lakers season and to subsequently play in the Olympics. It had been anticipated at the time of the injury that Kobe would get surgery after the Olympics and miss at least some of training camp, however, according to the release on kb24.com, further discussions with doctors revealed an estimated 12 weeks of recovery time.
Kobe said, “When the doctors told me recovery from a procedure could be 12 weeks, I just decided now was not the time to have surgery. What it really came down to for me is that I just didn’t want to miss any time ‘punching the clock’ for the Lakers, given all we are trying to accomplish as a team this NBA season.”
Kobe is expected to participate fully in training camp and the upcoming pre-season and regular season.
You can read the full release on kb24.com.
Team officials with the Lakers have confirmed that the team has agreed to general terms on a contract with point guard Sun Yue. The Lakers hope to finalize the terms and formally sign Sun soon. Per team policy, terms will not be released.
Earlier in the off-season, General Manager Mitch Kupchak had commented that the team hoped to be in contact with Sun about this upcoming season.
The Lakers drafted Sun Yue in the second round of the 2007 NBA draft at #40 based on his size and ball handling ability. Click here for an interview with Mitch Kupchak following the 2007 draft or you can watch Sun’s pre-draft workout from 2007.
Since that time, Sun, 22, has continued to play with his club team Beijing Aoshen and with the Chinese national team. The Chinese National team played in the 2007 Las Vegas Summer League and will participate in the upcoming Olympics, playing Team USA this Sunday.
This off-season the Lakers have also signed guard Dwayne Mitchell and drafted guard Joe Crawford, who remains unsigned.
Sun Yue would join Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, Kobe Bryant, recently re-signed Sasha Vujacic and Coby Karl in the Lakers backcourt.
The Lakers will not be having away game viewing at STAPLES Center (called Home Court Advantage in the past) during the 1st Round of the playoffs.
Please check back to Lakers.com for updates on Home Court Advantage should the Lakers progress in the playoffs.
You can find the playoff schedule here. The schedule will update with specific game times for Round 1 when the information is released.
Pau Gasol was injured in the 1st quarter of the Lakers game at New Orleans after playing just 2:33. Pau rolled his left ankle and immediately left the game. X-rays were negative. The ankle sprain is severe enough that he will miss the game at Houston on Sunday and he is expected to miss the remainder of the 4 game road trip. Pau will be re-assessed in the next few days to determine the full extent of the injury.
The Lakers got out to an early lead and spent the rest of the game fending off Heat runs. The Heat never got the score too close, but they did hover within striking distance for most of the second half.
The Lakers had 5 players in double figures, including a career high by Jordan Farmar with 24. More remarkably, there were 4 Lakers in double figures in rebounds. The energy spent on the boards led to a lot of one-and-done in the second half and was doubtless a part of fending off the Heat runs.
On the down side, Phil pointed out that the Heat still managed to get 11 offensive rebounds and the Lakers were unable to put the Heat away until late, even though they never got too close.
Jordan’s performance highlighted another strong effort from the bench, with Jordan, Sasha and Ronny combining for 43 points. More importantly, given the game tomorrow, their play got an easier night for Pau and Derek. Also strong tonight was the interior defense. Miami didn’t attack as much in the first half, but in the second half they were more insistent about getting to the rim. However, the Lakers stood strong and got 12 blocks as a team, with 4 from Pau and 3 from Ronny. Ronny might have had a higher total still, but for a couple of foul calls.
In all, the Lakers matched the Heat in terms of energy and were able to seize and maintain the lead. They learned from some of their mistakes against the Trailblazers by paying more attention to the boards and now get to fly to Portland to have their energy tested again, now with a 10 game winning streak on the line.
Tonight and tomorrow night mark the second game against an opponent after Lakers wins (Miami on 2/10 and Portland on 2/26). Against Atlanta, another team the Lakes played twice in a short period of time, the Lakers had the fire in their eyes from losing the first game, hopefully they will be similarly motivated tonight.
When the Lakers met the Heat in Miami it was shortly after the Shaq trade and in the middle of the Lakers monster road trip. Now the Lakers catch the Heat at STAPLES Center, but also a Heat team that much more familiar with the new construction of the team. That game was tight until the third quarter when the Lakers opened a 17 point lead, only to see the lead whittled down to 4. They were able to seize control after that to seal the 10 point win.
Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Heat Pre-Game’
The Nets are a team that has under-performed relative to expectations this year (or at least relative to the names on their roster) and seem to have lost some of their focus. This could be because their franchise point guard is asking for a trade six months after they re-upped their star shooting guard for another four years.
Somewhat surprising has been that the problems exist on both sides of the ball. As a result, they have gone 2-10 over their last 12, though that string included a 6 game road trip out west where the Nets lost all 6 games.
Despite the dysfunction, New Jersey still sits in the eight spot in the Eastern Conference, a full game ahead of the Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers and Nets met earlier this year on November 25th in a game that can be considered one of the Lakers worst home losses of the year. LA saw an early lead evaporate during a strong New Jersey 3rd quarter and was unable to recover. Also in that game, the Lakers bench had a subpar performance while Kobe and Vladi had poor shooting nights.
The game will also feature an odd reunion, as Pau and former Memphis teammate Stromile Swift meet up on opposite sides, both having been traded over the last few days.
For more on how the Nets play, check out our Scouting Report in Lakers Courtside Connection and the gametime blog on NJNets.com.