The Lakers gave the Sixers an old-fashioned shellacking Friday night, dominating the game from the first quarter and on en route to a 124-93 blowout win. The team started out hot and never cooled off, making an incredible 47 of 71 from the field. As a team, L.A. had seven players in double figures, led by Javaris Crittenton’s 19 and Andrew Bynum/Derek Fisher’s 17 points each. The trio joined Bryant, Crittenton, Farmar, Turiaf and Ariza.
After the game, Coach Jackson said, “We had a good second period defensively and offensively and kind of broke the game open.” Jackson also singled out the Lakers’ excellent penetration in tonight’s game as one of the leading factors that allowed them to build a lead that exceeded 30 points for most of the night.
Jackson also praised the effort of Andrew Bynum, who scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds after two relatively sub par games against the Jazz and the Celtics. “He was aggressive early on,” said Jackson. “I thought he didn’t look as aggressive in the second half looking to score but I liked the way he tried to use the post position he had in the first half.”
Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Sixers Post-Game’
If Boston is the new measuring stick by which NBA teams are judged, the Lakers fell shorter than the short shorts they donned tonight. Boston—playing its fourth game in five nights—was the team with the fresh legs as the Lakers started the game sluggish and despite a surge to end the half, were manhandled by the Celtics, 110-91.
After the game, Jackson said that his team did not execute the plays learned in practice last week, relying too heavily on outside shooting and not enough on penetration. Jackson also singled out Kobe’s abysmal 6-25 shooting night as one of the key reasons the Lakers were not able to withstand the Celtic’s charge. Lamar Odom was almost as bad from the field, going six for 17 and missing more than a handful of layups in the first half as Boston built its lead.
Andrew Bynum was virtually non-existent for most of the game, fouling out after scoring eight points and grabbing only two rebounds. Jackson said that Bynum needs to learn how to find space around the basket better, as he was unable to combat Boston’s front line. As a team, the Lakers struggled from the field, shooting a measly 36% from the field and showing an inability to sustain any momentum.
Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Celtics Post-Game’
Injury Update: Phil Jackson said before tonight’s game against the Jazz that Luke Walton is still listed as day to day. According to the coach, Kwame Brown is still not ready to start for the team and will likely see limited minutes when he does return until he proves he is ready to handle a larger role.
Jackson praised Trevor Ariza’s addition to the team, highlighted by his 14-point effort against the Suns on Christmas Day. Jackson said that Trevor’s value in starting at small forward lies in his ability to ignite the team’s running game and his ability to penetrate. “His mobility is exceptional,” said Jackson. When asked to address Ariza’s development within the triangle, Jackson said he is now comfortable enough to operate within the system, although he is still learning its nuances.
Following the intense media hype that has ensued following Andrew Bynum’s breakout performance against the Suns, Jackson said that Bynum needs to continue to use his assets–his length and size–to his advantage. Jackson singled out Bynum’s rebounds and blocks as two areas of his game that he needs to focus on. The Lakers coach also reminded reporters that despite Andrew’s rapid development, he struggled against Utah’s interior game in the Lakers’ loss to the Jazz at the end of November.
Jackson also commented on the reaction that Derek Fisher received from the Energy Solutions Arena crowd in his return to Salt Lake City, revealing that he was not pleased with the way Jazz fans treated Derek considering he left Utah to secure better medical help for his daughter.
The Lakers took down the Suns 122-115. The stars of the night were Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum with an honorable mention to Trevor Ariza. Derek Fisher had a slow 1st Quarter, starting 1-5, but led the way in the 2nd, scoring 7 straight points towards the end of quarter. He carried the team into a tie at half-time. Kobe dominated the 3rd, getting 14 of his 38 points. The 4th quarter ended up belonging to Andrew Bynum, who capped off a career night with some key defensive stops and more dunks. Bynum finished with 28 points, a career high, on 11-13 shooting and 12 rebounds. He also forced Phoenix to change their line-up to keep Brian Skinner on the floor, as Amare Stoudemire was in foul trouble for much of the second half.
The Suns’ night mirrors their 3 point shooting. They started 2-10, then hit 8 of their next 10, but finished 0 for 4. That final stretch helped the Lakers to build their lead in the 4th quarter that they held to the end. Phoenix was able to get balanced scoring with nearly all 8 of their players (who saw minutes) getting double figures, only Boris Diaw fell short with 8.
Trevor Ariza gets an honorable mention thanks to his stellar performance in place of Luke Walton in the starting line-up. His task was to stop Grant Hill, which started poorly as Grant went 5-7 in the first half, but Hill finished with just 2 points in the second half. Ariza also repeatedly brought the crowd to its feet with an array of dunks, including the finest over Hill in memory, and a key block. His 14 and 7 rebounds were a key reason the Lakers now sit just one game behind Phoenix in the Pacific Division at 18-10.
The homepage has a feature up right now about the newest Laker, Trevor Ariza. The feature delves into Trevor’s journey around the NBA and his return to Los Angeles.
I read this:
Q. What life lessons can you take away from your time in New York and Orlando?
A. In New York, I was young, like 18, 19 so I definitely learned a lot from the older guys I was with since they’ve been in the game for so long. Sometimes, it was Stephon Marbury, Kurt Thomas…all those guys that were in New York with me. In Orlando, I learned what it’s like to bond as a family on your team.
And said to myself, “Thank God he’s got Derek Fisher to hang out with”
Read the rest of the piece here.
The headline for this game is that neither Duncan nor Parker will be playing up tonight. Both had been questionable going into the game, each with ankle injuries, but the maybe not has become definitely not. It was the first question Phil answered pre-game, when asked if he was concerned:
“We’re worried and I’ll tell you why, because we went without Boozer and Okur in Utah and we got our shirts handed to us at the end,” said Jackson. “They really kicked our butts. So we’re concerned that we don’t have any letdown. These guys are capable.”
In their first match-up this season, Duncan was a relative non-factor (though the Lakers had Kwame Brown available for defense), but Parker and Ginobili shredded the Lakers perimeter defense and created the open looks that got Bruce Bowen 23 points. Not having either Parker or Duncan puts even more offensive onus on Ginobili, who has continued coming off the bench, even though Duncan has been out.
Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Spurs Pre-Game’
Andrew Bynum continues to garner league-wide attention for his vastly improved play to open up the season, highlighted by his dominating 20 point, 11 rebound, 5 block game versus the Warriors on Sunday.
Although there’s not much difference between this season’s start for the Lakers, compared to a year ago, Coach Phil Jackson’s current team has been turning heads around the league because of the play of center Andrew Bynum.
For Bynum, 20, the more he’s able to show Jackson that he can play against a variety of lineups is a plus with the increased number of NBA teams showing quick lineups like Golden State.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and San Antonio Spurs Coach Greg Popovich will wear microphones during TNT’s Thursday night broadcast of the Lakers v. Spurs game as part of a new league-mandated policy requiring coaches to wear microphones for nationally televised games.
Continue reading ‘Lakers Today: 12/11/07′
The Lakers held to a slim one-point lead at halftime, but dominated the second half to overtake the Warriors 123-113. An impressive seven Lakers scored in double figures, led by Kobe Bryant’s 28 and Andrew Bynum’s career-high tying 20 points.
“Well I don’t know what to tell you,” said Warriors Coach Don Nelson. “We were beaten, outplayed, and they deserved to win. We gave it the ol’ college try, and it wasn’t to be today. We just didn’t play well today and I don’t know if they did or not, you have to ask Phil. They certainly played better than we did.”
Coach Phil Jackson credited the Lakers 9-0 spurt in the third quarter as the run that energized the team and established a cushion that helped the team thwart several mini runs by the Warriors in the final 12 minute frame. Jackson praised the contributions of Ronny Turiaf who ignited the Lakers in his 20 minutes on the floor, especially with Bynum out of the game.
Jackson also credited the strong performance of Bynum for helping to set the tone early on in the game. With the undersized Golden State lineup unable to fight back against Andrew’s length, the Lakers center effortless maneuvered his way in the lane, completing yet another double digit outing. Specifically, Jackson said he liked the way Andrew was able to pass out of the post and find open teammates, breaking down the Warriors’ defense in the process.
Continue reading ‘Lakers vs. Warriors Post-Game’
“I think this will be a good test for our team,” said Coach Phil Jackson before tonight’s showdown against the Orlando Magic. Boasting a shiny 14-4 record, the Magic certainly will provide just that for the Lakers, offering a balanced scoring attack and the amazing physical specimen that is Dwight Howard.
When plotting the Lakers’ game plan, Jackson said he will likely have to adjust his defensive schemes throughout the game as there is no “correct” way to guard Orlando. According to Jackson, it’s a pick your poison kind of scenario since the Magic are proficient from beyond the arc, but also present an intimidating interior presence in Howard. Jackson said that Andrew Bynum in particular will be relied upon to keep Dwight at bay, especially with the Lakers best man-to-man defender Kwame Brown out with injury.
With regards to Kwame, Jackson said is able to do some things on the floor, but reiterated that it is still early to declare a definitive return date for the center. If he continues to show improvement, there is a chance he could be back for next Sunday’s game versus the Warriors.
Tonight’s match-up marks the return of Brian Cook and Maurice Evans, both of whom were recently traded to the Magic. Jackson said that it would be a little weird to see both players on the opposite bench, but that it isn’t of the same magnitude as it was when Shaq made his return to Los Angeles as a member of the Miami Heat. Jackson said that seldom used Trevor Ariza-traded for Cook and Evans-would likely see playing time tonight since he knows the Magic better than anyone.
The Lakers meet up with AI, Melo, and the rest of the Denver Nuggets tonight at STAPLES Center (7:30, TNT).
The Nuggets have lost their last two games (at Houston, vs. Indiana), but still sport a 9-6 record that puts them just ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference playoff race. Denver finished as the 6th seed last season, while the Lakers were the 7th seed.
The Nuggets are all kinds of banged up, but could get oft-injured forward Kenyon Martin back tonight. Former Laker Chucky Atkins has been ruled out of the game with a severe groin strain, as have big men Nene & Steven Hunter.
The Nuggets still have Marcus Camby–last year’s Defensive Player of the Year–manning the paint. The Bynum/Camby matchup should be fun to watch when the Lakers have the ball. Bynum continues to blossom, but Camby is averaging 3.5 blocks and close to 15 rebounds a game.
After being the bright spot of the team in the early going, the Lakers reserves have struggled to find their way after the trade to acquire Trevor Ariza and Drew moving to the first unit in Kwame Brown’s absence. It raises the question of “Who Starts?”
Continue reading ‘Lakers Today: 11/29/07′