Archive for the 'Derek Fisher' Category

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Derek Fisher Practice Audio

Derek Fisher talked this morning about the foot injury that limited him towards the end of last season. Click below to listen to what Fish had to say.

Player Capsule: Derek Fisher

Contract Status: Under contract

While the internal improvement of the Lakers’ younger players and the trades for Gasol and Ariza certainly boosted team morale amid an injury-riddled season, Derek Fisher’s steady leadership and lethal outside shooting were instrumental in helping L.A. reach the NBA Finals. Returning from stints as a Warrior and Jazz, the 6’1” guard was fourth on the team in scoring with nearly 12 a game, on an impressive 41% from beyond the arc and 88% from the charity stripe.

Heading into next year, Fisher will likely once again start out the season as the team’s starting point guard. In 2007-08, Derek played over 27 minutes per game at the position with Farmar nabbing the other 20 or so. With the veteran one year older, the split might be a little more close to equal next year. Still, there are no signs of any major slow-down in Derek’s game as the twelfth year guard out of Arkansas-Little Rock played in all 82 games, even after it was revealed that he was playing with a partially torn ligament in his foot.

The Finals Game 5: Pre-Game

Before tonight’s pivotal Game 5 against the Celtics, Coach Jackson said that the team’s mood was good. The veteran coach said that he told his team that “The only way to approach this is to keep playing,” reiterating to them that they were “young enough and dumb enough” to pull off the impossible by becoming the first team in NBA Finals history to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

According to Jackson, the veteran players on the team responded particularly well to the Lakers’ crushing 24 point collapse in Game 4, noting that the light was back in their eyes. Jackson said he isn’t worried about how the Kobe Bryant’s and Derek Fisher’s will play tonight, but more so the team’s youthful bench who particularly suffered in the second half on Thursday.

“Our bench didn’t score in the second half of the game on Thursday night and I really wanted them to get the confidence back because they’ve supported us all year and that’s where I need to see the confidence come back in their faces, their eyes,” said Jackson.

For the Lakers, tonight’s matchup is all about “focusing on what’s happening right now in this game,” said Jackson, instructing his team to remain in the present instead of looking at the potentially daunting task of having to win the final two games of the series in Boston.

The Finals Game 3: What Went Right/Wrong

What Went Right:
• Kobe had his best shooting night of the series so far, making 12-20 shots en route to a game-high 36 points. Moreover, the MVP came through when it mattered most, making critical buckets in the final three minutes of the game to seal the victory for the Lakers.

• While Bryant’s effort was important, Boston Coach Doc Rivers said that Sasha’s 20 point outburst was the key to the game. Vujacic was similarly clutch too, making the biggest three pointer of his life with just under two minutes to go to create some distance from the Celtics.

• The Lakers played stellar defense on Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, holding the star duo to a combined 8-35 shooting and 19 points. After the game, Coach Jackson singled out Kobe for his defense on Pierce in particular, holding the forward to a series low six points.

• After dishing out 16 assists in Game 2, Rajon Rondo suffered an injured ankle that is threatening his status for tonight’s Game 4. In Game 3, the young Celtics guard only scored eight points to go along with four assists and wasn’t much of a factor on offense.

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The Finals Game 1: Lakers vs. Celtics Post-Game

The Lakers led the Celtics by five at halftime, but were unable to weather a red-hot Paul Pierce in the third quarter as they were outscored 52-37 in the second half on their way to a 98-88 Game 1 loss.

It was a tale of two halves tonight,” said Coach Jackson after the game. “We had some control in the first half, played the kind of game we wanted to play, and the second half we came out and immediately wiped out the lead we had established in about 20 seconds, a matter of two possessions. So it was quite a flurry that they came out and played that third quarter with, put us back on our heels.”

Although Kevin Garnett led Boston with 24 points, Paul Pierce shined with 22 points after being carried off the court by his teammates due to a knee injury sustained during an important juncture in the third quarter.

“A guy grabs his knee, you know, there’s no good thoughts,” said Celtics Coach Doc Rivers. “I was really proud, honestly, of our team during the stretch when he was in the locker room. I thought that was the biggest part of the game. We could have easily felt sorry for ourselves. We actually made a little run there. But then when he came out he was big for us.”

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Lakers Talk Matchups Against Celtics

Although Game 1 is still three days away, the Lakers are already talking matchups against the Celtics.

While Lamar Odom will almost certainly match up against Kevin Garnett at some point in the Finals, the forward says that he’ll likely start out guarding Boston center Kendrick Perkins.

“I think Gasol’s going to start out on him (Garnett),” said Odom. “I think we’re going to double him as much as possible. We’re going to get that ball off the rim and run. I’m not scared to play against anybody, it’s just basketball. On this level, that’s a matchup I’m kind of looking forward to. It’s the championship game and you want to play against your toughest opponent. He’s always been a tough cover for me so I look forward to going out there and giving it my all.”

Regardless of whether or not he spends the majority of his time on the floor guarding Garnett, Odom respects the Celtic forward’s versatile offensive and defensive game.

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Lakers and Celtics Both Feature Fresh Faces

With the Lakers’ stunning mid-season acquisition of Pau Gasol coupled with the season-ending injury to Andrew Bynum, the Celtics will be seeing a dramatically different Lakers roster when the two teams hit the hardwood on Thursday. While Boston’s made changes of their own, adding veterans P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell, Kobe believes that the Lakers have a slight advantage over a Celtics team that has yet to really see this current version in action.

“We got a nice little donation since then,” said Bryant, alluding to the trade for Pau. According to the MVP guard, the Lakers were still trying to figure out their identity in the rivals’ two early-season matchups.

Although Boston’s changes weren’t as wholesale as those made by the Lakers, Kobe said that L.A. shouldn’t discount the mid-season signings and internal growth of the Celtics.

“Both teams are different,” said Fisher. “Boston’s playing tons of different personnel. P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell weren’t even on the team. Obviously, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins have really grown in their confidence, experience and ability. Both teams are different versions of the teams that played earlier in the season, but at the same time, still have some of the basic tenets and principles that it will take to be successful.”

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Lakers Not Intimidated by Lack of Finals Experience

Although Kobe agrees with the cliche that the NBA Finals separates the men from the boys, according to the MVP, this year’s youthful Lakers squad is just as prepared to bring a championship to L.A.

“You couldn’t tell if it’s the Finals or the First Round,” said the MVP. “Everybody’s the same old, same old.”

Bryant said that, along with fellow veteran Derek Fisher, he’s kept it short and sweet in the advice he’s offered to some of his younger teammates.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re not trying to execute something new under the sun; we’re also not doing something that we’ve never seen before,” said Bryant. “Just go out there and play, just do the things that you’ve been working on and preparing since training camp.”

While Fisher and Bryant are the only two Lakers who have won a championship, Luke Walton was on the roster when the team lost to the Pistons in 2004-05–a feeling he won’t soon forget.

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WCF Game 5: Lakers vs. Spurs Pre-Game

Before tonight’s potential series-clinching game against San Antonio, Coach Jackson said that he opted against any kind of prolonged pre-game speech, instead showing the team clips from the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross in which one of the memorable quotes is “always be closing.”

Jackson also spoke about the NBA’s public statement declaring that a foul should have been called on Derek Fisher on the last play of the Lakers’ Game 4 victory. Jackson said that the league’s ruling came as a surprise to him since “the league normally doesn’t get involved in stuff like that.”

Regardless of his own feelings on the merits of the non-call, Jackson said that the team is happy to be home tonight, leading the Spurs three games to one. “We can’t give it back and we’ll take it and move on,” said the Lakers coach.

According to Jackson, NBA referees arguably have the hardest job amongst officials in any professional sport due to the physicality of the game. Jackson said he tips his hat off to NBA refs, praising them for always doing the best that they can to call the game fairly, which is an almost possible thing to do.

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WCF Game 4: Lakers at Spurs Post-Game

Thanks to the steady play of Kobe and a return to form by key role players, the Lakers thwarted San Antonio’s last-minute rally, 93-91, and now stand just one away game from a birth in the NBA Finals. San Antonio nearly had a chance to either tie or win the game with no time remaining in regulation, but the officials ruled no foul on a bump by Derek Fisher on Brent Barry as he was going up for a three point attempt.

“I felt like I left my feet with enough distance to come down,” said Fisher. “I think the contact was more incidental on that part of both players. I would like to think if the guy is just shooting and the defender runs right through him, they would call the foul.”

Foul or no foul, Lamar Odom credited the Spurs’ resilience in the final minute and a half of the fourth quarter after the Lakers had built a nine point lead.

“They made plays…they’re a good team,” said Odom. “It’s a team that’s been there and done that. It showed tonight. They have the hearts of a champion, and they showed it right to the last second.”

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