Archive for the 'Kent Bazemore' Category

Kent Bazemore: 2014 Exit Interview

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles LakersAcquired in a trade from Golden State on Feb. 19 for Steve Blake, Kent Bazemore appeared in 23 games (15 starts) towards averages of 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals on 45.1 percent field goals and 37.1 percent on three-pointers. Bazemore missed the final five games of the year due to a torn peroneus longus tendon in his right foot suffered at the Clippers on Apr. 6. He underwent successful surgery to repair the tendon on Apr. 16 and is expected to make a full recovery for the 2014-15 season.

*There is no accompanying video for Bazemore because his meeting with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Mike D’Antoni came prior to the typical day of exit interviews.

- On what he thinks happened to his foot:
“I (heard) a little pop in it. I had a fracture going into my senior year of college, so the pop was pretty familiar. I can walk on it. We just took precautionary (measures) not to go back out there … I went to turn the corner and it popped. With the combination of what happened to my left foot (in college) … I’ve been having problems with (my right foot) getting worked on, and it just went to the brain and it was a shock: ‘Oh no, here we go again.’”

- On his experience in L.A. thus far:
“It’s been good being able to play and showcase some of my talent and being able to see the hard work I’ve put in to get here actually pay off. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been an adjustment. Once you’re on the scouting report, it’s a whole different game. That’s another battle within itself, but I’m still figuring it out. It’s encouraging cause I’ve really felt I’ve held my own.”

- On Bazemore as a player:
Mike D’Antoni: “Physically, he’s a talent. Defensively, he’s very active and very smart. There are things you can’t teach he has and the things he doesn’t have you can teach. It’s a matter of giving him more playing time and experience and staying true to himself and staying honed in.”

- On what areas of the game Bazemore can improve upon moving forward:
D’Antoni: “What we’re trying to get him to do is make the right plays consistently. He needs to be able to attack the basket and make the right play. That’s what we’re showing him on film and different things. If he improves his shot and his foul shot and (is) able to make that play, he can be a really significant player in our league.”

Injury Update: Kent Bazemore

Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles ClippersLakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health System

Marshall, Meeks Plead Fashion Crime

At shootaround on Thursday in Milwaukee, Kendall Marshall and Jodie Meeks both had something to say about Kent Bazemore’s pants.

Bazemore’s Emergence

bazemore_quote1When the Lakers traded Steve Blake for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, they got in Bazemore a player that had flashed some versatile talent in the NBA Summer League, but had barely played enough actual NBA minutes to prove it.

As an undrafted rookie free agent in 2012, even making the Warriors roster was very much an exception to the typical rule. The now 24-year-old played only 4.4 minutes per game in 61 games (a total of only 267 minutes), but showed enough promise to be re-signed for 2013-14. His playing time increased only slightly to 6.1 minutes per game (a total of 268 minutes in 44 games) this season in Golden State.

But since the trade to Los Angeles, Bazemore has nearly surpassed his total minutes in either season for the Warriors in only seven games. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has been impressed enough with Bazemore’s play to not only start the Old Dominion product, but play him a team-high 32.5 minutes in those contests.

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles LakersHe’s used that playing time to put up 15.8 points per game on efficient shooting numbers for a wing – 46.5 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from three – while adding 3.7 boards, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

“It’s been pretty good just being able to play and show what I’ve been working on since the day I stepped in the league,” said Bazemore. “It’s been fun especially coming into this situation where our back is against the wall. I’m very familiar with that. I grew up this way with not much going for you so you gotta fight and claw, and that’s how you bring the best out yourself. When things are not going well for you, how do you react? So this is a great situation for myself.”

His athleticism and energy has helped the Lakers score 24.0 fastbreak points per game, compared to the 12.7 they averaged before he entered the starting lineup, a mark which ranked 17th in the NBA*.
*Phoenix’s 18.9 FB points per game is a league high, but 5.1 shy of L.A.’s mark with Bazemore.

In related news, L.A. are also scoring more points in the paint, up to 50.7 in the last six games, which would rank fourth in the NBA, thanks in part to Bazemore’s transition game, plus his ability to get to the hoop in the halfcourt. For the season, the Lakers rank 20th at 39.9 a night.

A positive young player who’s quick to credit – and very outwardly root for – his teammates, Bazemore said he’s already taken quite a bit from his six games in Los Angeles.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned that is that I belong,” he said. “I’ve faced guys that I’ve watched destroy the league. I played against a lot of good players and (held my own). The confidence of me being able to play, I think I do belong. I still have a lot of room to grow and still have a lot of room as a player. There are a lot of things I want to fix, so that’s the fun and the challenge.”

#Bazemoring to a Victory

While a member of the Golden State Warriors, Kent Bazemore became known for his work on the bench just as much as his work on the floor. The young guard’s enthusiasm even spawned a phenomenon that became known as #Bazemoring.

In his short time with the Lakers, Bazemore has seen almost as much playing time as he did during his entire rookie season in Oakland, starting four games and averaging 33 minutes, but he’s still found time to make an impact on the sideline as well.

In the above Vine, you can see some of the best #Bazemoring from last night as the Lakers used record setting three-point shooting game to charge back from a big third-quarter deficit. We also got our first taste of Bazemore teaming up with the team’s cheerleading stalwart, Robert Sacre.

The two superpowers of excitement collided on a Ken Griffey Jr-esque homerun scene, but it was more a “game recognize game” situation. When shown the video in the post-game locker room Bazemore wasn’t even aware of Sacre’s presence.

“He’s an elite celebrator, I’m an elite celebrator, that’s just what happens,” said Bazemore.

With chemistry like that, this is just the start.

Bazemore, Brooks Impress in Laker Debuts

Boston Celtics v Los Angeles LakersNewly acquired Lakers, Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, both played big roles in helping L.A. snap an eight-game home losing streak with a 101-92 win over Boston.

In particular, coach Mike D’Antoni was pleased with Bazemore’s play on the defensive side of the ball.

“Biggest thing was his energy on defense, his disruptability and all that, getting out on the break, running the wings like we told him,” D’Antoni said. “He did everything we talked about. Then he added his confidence and making big shots and making big plays.”

The Old Dominion product finished with a career-high 15 points, to go along with four assists, three rebounds and two steals. He also logged a career-high 33 minutes.

“I was able to get the mistakes out of the way, get in the game flow, knock the rust off a bit, get into a rhythm,” Bazemore said.

Brooks, meanwhile, scored a season-high 14 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter to spearhead L.A.’s comeback from an 11-point deficit.

“He got us back in the game,” D’Antoni said. “He came up with the big steals. He was very instrumental in winning the game.”

Known more for his scoring ability coming out of college, the former first-round pick of the Celtics was also a difference maker on defense (three steals).

“I like that he cracked back a couple times and showed some energy on defense,” D’Antoni said. “He showed some willingness to concentrate on defense.”

Pau Gasol echoed similar sentiments about his new teammates.

“They just brought energy,” he said. “They both were aggressive and played with confidence. I think they were excited about the opportunity, so I’m sure it felt good for them.”

Gasol also returned to the starting lineup after nursing a strained groin for three weeks. In his first game action since Jan. 31 vs. Charlotte, the Spaniard notched 16 points, seven boards, three assists and two blocks in 22 minutes.

“I feel good,” he said post practice. “Now the rest of the body has to wake up and get back to being on the floor. The groin is good and hopefully it stays that way.”

Along with Gasol feeling better by the day, the Lakers will also get Nick Young (knee) back on Sunday vs. Brooklyn. The USC product has been sidelined the last six games with a non-displaced fracture of the patella and a bone bruise.

“I didn’t think it was going to be this long, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I’m just happy to be back. I can’t wait to get out there tomorrow.”

Xavier Henry, who was cleared to practice on Friday, went through team drills today. He’s been out of action since Dec. 31 with a bone bruise, but D’Antoni acknowledged he’s at least a week away from returning to game action.