Archive for the 'Trevor Ariza' Category

Ariza Invited to Team USA Mini Camp

Here’s a release from USA Basketball detailing Trevor Ariza’s invitation to Team USA Mini camp in Las Vegas:

Twenty-five top rising NBA players have accepted invitations from USA Basketball to participate in the 2009 USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp that will be conducted July 22-25 in Las Vegas, Nev. The selections were announced by USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo.

The July USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp will feature practice sessions on July 23 and July 24 at Valley High School, and the mini-camp will be capped by the USA Basketball Showcase, a Blue-White intra-squad game, on Saturday, July 25, 8 p.m. (PDT) at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2009 USA Basketball Showcase, with seats priced at $10 to $75. Tickets can be purchased through www.UNLVtickets.com or 702-739-FANS.

Accepting an invitation to attend the July 22-25 mini- camp were: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers / Texas); Trevor Ariza (Los Angeles Lakers / UCLA); D.J. Augustin (Charlotte Bobcats / Texas); Jerryd Bayless (Portland Trail Blazers / Arizona); Ronnie Brewer (Utah Jazz / Arkansas); Glen Davis (Boston Celtics / LSU); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder / Texas); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies / Connecticut); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers / New Mexico); Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder / Georgetown); Blake Griffin (University of Oklahoma); Devin Harris (New Jersey Nets / Wisconsin); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers / Arizona); Kyle Korver (Utah Jazz / Creighton); David Lee (New York Knicks / Florida); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets / Stanford); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves / UCLA); O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies / USC); Paul Millsap (Utah Jazz / Louisiana Tech); Greg Oden (Portland Trail Blazers / Ohio State); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls / Memphis); Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers / Washington); Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks / Oak Hill Academy, Va.); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder / UCLA); and Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia 76ers / Georgia Tech).

USA Basketball announced on May 21 that Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano, Utah Jazz assistant coach Tyrone Corbin, Detroit Pistons assistant Dave Cowens, former New Orleans Hornets assistant Kenny Gattison, and innesota Timberwolves assistant Jerry Sichting, would serve as the staff for the 2009 USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp.

“While we look to continue to build continuity within the USA national team program and continue to improve, in 2009 we will get a look at some of the top young NBA players who haven’t been involved in USA Basketball at the top national program level previously. Although some of these players have represented USA Basketball in the past, this is their opportunity to be considered for the next generation of players who will help make up the USA Basketball National program. As was the case in 2005-08, the roster for the national team program will be fluid in 2010-2012 and we will make adjustments to the roster each year to help insure we have the strongest program and the strongest teams possible,” said Colangelo.

Twenty-one of the expected 25 mini-camp participants have prior USA Basketball team experience.

Trevor Ariza: Exit Interview

blog_090616trevorarizaNo Laker improved more from the regular season to the playoffs than Trevor Ariza, as witnessed by his numbers.

During the regular season, Ariza averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and a team-high 1.67 steals in 24.4 minutes on 46 percent shooting from the field and 31.9 percent from three. In the playoffs, he went up to 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.57 steals in 31.4 minutes, but most impressive was the improvement in his shooting and thus his efficiency. He nailed 47.6 percent of his three pointers and 49.7 percent overall from the field, consistently punishing teams for leaving him alone.

However, much of Ariza’s exit interview dealt with his pending free agency:

- He opened by suggesting he doesn’t want to go anywhere: “I would love to, I hope so, I feel like I am at home because I am, but I’d love to come back.”

- Ariza added what’s most important in his coming contract: “Definitely stability would mean the most. Money is important, this is our job … But I built a bond with my coaches and teammates, and I get a feeling we could be really good for a really long time.”

- Ariza said that Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak told him that he improved a lot, and were really happy with how he played and how much he was able to help the team. “I felt loved in there,” he added. “I felt a lot of love.”

- When asked how much winning plays a part in his decision, he said this: “I’m a winner. I love to win. I hate losing. When I played for other teams even in college I wasn’t too happy. Winning plays a big part of it.”

- Ariza said he didn’t get the sense that it was between him and Lamar Odom in terms of whom the Lakers could re-sign.

- Will he continue to improve? Of course: “I’m a person that will never stop working no matter how good I get because I always feel that you can get better in some way.”

- He said he thought Derek Fisher’s leveling of Luis Scola in Game 2 of the Western Conference semis was the biggest play of the postseason because it showed L.A.’s toughness.

- Ariza concluded that he wants to focus most on his guard skills in the offseason, though he said he’d be working on “everything.”

Ariza Probable, Walton Questionable for Game 5

What was it about L.A.’s small forwards and ankle injuries in Utah?

Let’s take a look:

Starter Trevor Ariza: Prior to L.A.’s 108-94 Game 4 victory in Salt Lake City on Saturday evening, Ariza tweaked his right ankle by stepping on Josh Powell’s foot, and aggravated the injury during the first quarter. That didn’t prevent him, however, from playing 27 minutes and coming up with a key steal and three-pointer in the fourth quarter. He finished with five points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Status: Ariza is listed as probable for Monday’s game and expected to start.

Sub Luke Walton: During a third quarter run in which Walton played a crucial role, he jammed his ankle – spraining it without rolling it – and missed most of the rest of the ball game. Nonetheless, he contributed markedly with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in only 18 minutes.
Status: Walton is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision.

After Sunday’s practice, Phil Jackson confirmed that Ariza is the more likely Laker to play, but didn’t rule anything out. Fortunately for Jackson, he can slide Sasha Vujacic, Kobe Bryant or Lamar Odom over to the wing, and might activate Adam Morrison should Ariza or Walton not be able to go. Clearly, clinching their series against the Jazz is paramount for a team that would like not only to allow its small forwards to rehabilitate, but get some needed rest for Pau Gasol and additional practice time for Andrew Bynum.

Post Practice Video: Sunday
To watch Jackson’s post-practice comments, along with those of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday Practice Report

A few tidbits emerged from L.A.’s practice facility on Wednesday, including a Trevor Ariza’s post-Iggy thoughts, NCAA tournament talk, a look at the coming seven-game road trip and even some jury duty talk:

Ariza Guarantees Effort
Lakers small forward Trevor Ariza, who failed to commit L.A.’s foul to give before Andre Iguodala pulled up for a game-winning three pointer on Tuesday night, simply took the blame and said it wouldn’t happen again:

“We can’t settle for what we’re doing at the time, we have to keep the effort going the whole game,” explained Ariza after a few heated games of four-on-four. “Sometimes we just relax when we shouldn’t, we take things for granted a little bit, but I guarantee you that won’t happen again. We won’t take anything for granted again.”

Six Lakers Fill Out NCAA Tourney Brackets
Jordan Farmar (UCLA), Luke Walton (Arizona), Shannon Brown (Michigan State), Adam Morrison (Gonzaga), Derek Fisher (Arkansas-Little Rock) and Josh Powell (NC State) filled out NCAA Tourney brackets for us to score on Lakers.com. Lakers.com threw its collective hat into the competition as well, though Ty Nowell’s bias/insistence towards Alma mater Arizona State could be our downfall. Alas, you can track their respective brackets throughout the tournament to see whose personal bias affects them the least (Arizona in the final game, Luke? Really?). Click here to see everyone’s brackets.

Road Trip Looming
Chicago, Oklahoma City, Detroit, New Jersey, Atlanta, Charlotte and Milwaukee. That’s quite a bit of travel, right? While the seven teams don’t look as good as Boston, Cleveland or San Antonio on paper, most of the squads play well at home, and several are playing much better basketball of late. For example, the Bulls have won seven straight home games to improve to 21-11 in Chicago; Atlanta 26-7 at home, the league’s fourth best record; Charlotte is for some strange reason L.A.’s toughest opponent; Detroit’s playing better basketball, Milwaukee’s well above .500 in Wisconsin and OKC gets fired up in their building, leaving only New Jersey (14-19) as a team that’s struggled in their arena (is it the smog?). Of course, L.A. seems to bring out the best in its road opponent regardless of placement on the map.

Jury Duty
Finally, Kobe Bryant wasn’t available for L.A.’s team photo to be taken at the practice facility today thanks to … you guessed it … jury duty. Phil Jackson said that he doesn’t expect Bryant to be selected for a case, and that Kobe will be in the starting lineup for Thursday’s game against Golden State.

Ariza to Continue Starting

ArizaPrior to L.A.’s win against Houston, Luke Walton approached head coach Phil Jackson with an idea: why not see if L.A.’s flow worked better with Trevor Ariza starting and Walton coming off the bench?

Jackson concurred, and both players were effective in L.A.’s 102-96 win. Ariza scored eight points with six boards, three assists and two steals in 29 minutes, while Walton logged eight points alongside five boards and two assists in 23 minutes.

Jackson said the team would stick with that lineup for the foreseeable future.

Ariza had protested a starting role earlier in the season, but apparently changed his tune when the bench wasn’t producing much in the last few weeks. After the Houston win, Ariza said that “It’s cool” for him to continue starting, as long as it’s helping the team.

Ariza, Odom React to Third Quarter Incident

Trevor Ariza - Rudy FernandezWith 2.2 seconds remaining in the third quarter of L.A.’s 111-94 loss at Portland, Trevor Ariza committed a hard foul on Blazers wing Rudy Fernandez. Here’s how we described the play in our running diary as it happened.

0:02.2 … Ariza committed a hard foul on Fernandez going to the hoop, but seemed to get a decent amount of ball. However, Fernandez went down really hard, and Portland’s entire team* ran over to get in Ariza’s face. It didn’t appear that any punches were thrown, but there was a great deal of pushing going on, particularly from Brandon Roy and Travis Outlaw… etc.

*To clarify, I meant Portland’s four other starters.

The replay of the incident shows that Ariza did indeed first make contact with the ball, but followed through to connect solidly with Fernandez, who stayed on the ground for a good 10 minutes (while Fernandez had movement in all of his extremities, he did complain about chest pain, as he did fall almost directly on his elbow and side). The result of the play was a flagrant two foul on Ariza, which demanded an automatic rejection, but does not mention a mandatory suspension on NBA.com’s rule page.

“Trevor went for the ball,” said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. “That’s what you do when you’re a player. It’s just unfortunate.”

After the game, surrounded by reporters, Ariza first stated that his only concern is Fernandez’s health, explaining that there was definitely no intent to injure, and that his thoughts were with Portland’s rookie from Spain. He went on to say this:

L.A.’s other potential concern following the incident is the question of whether or not Lamar Odom left the bench enough to warrant a suspension by the NBA. Odom certainly didn’t think so.

“I stayed on the bench,” he said. “I stood up, but I stood right there … (The league) will see the replay … I (didn’t) go anywhere. No intent.”

Odom added that L.A. might want to start treating every team as if they’re the Boston Celtics, but all in all, we’ll surely we’ll hear more about it on Tuesday.

Ariza Cleared to Play in Minnesota

Lakers forward Trevor Ariza, who had been suffering from concussion symptoms following a Tuesday night collision against the Bobcats, has been cleared to play in Friday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Ariza received a CAT scan and an MRI Friday morning in Minneapolis, and both came back negative. This is certainly good news for the Lakers, as prior to Friday morning, Ariza had not yet been cleared to practice.

The game tips off at 5 p.m. Pacific from Minneapolis’ Target Center.

Ariza Update: Thursday Morning

Trevor Ariza again met with team physician Dr. John Moe on Thursday morning, and again showed slight improvement from the concussion he suffered Tuesday against Charlotte.

Ariza has not been cleared to practice, but will join the team flight to Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon. He’ll be re-examined once again on Friday morning.

Injury Update: Trevor Ariza

After suffering a concussion during Tuesday evening’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Lakers forward Trevor Ariza saw team physician Dr. John Moe on Wednesday morning.

Ariza showed slight improvement but is still suffering from some symptoms of the concussion. He’ll be re-examined on Thursday morning to determine whether or not he’ll make the team flight to Minnesota on Thursday afternoon.

Ariza To Make First Start

Lakers forward Trevor Ariza will make his first start of the season for the Lakers, who are missing Luke Walton due to a foot injury.

Speculation may have been that Vladimir Radmanovic would slide back into the starting lineup after performing well as a starter during the season’s first 20 games, but Jackson’s instead rewarding Ariza for what’s been an excellent stretch of play in the last few weeks, including his 12 point, nine rebound, five steal performance in Friday night’s victory.

Walton is listed as day-to-day, and more will be known after he sees a foot specialist tomorrow morning.