Archive for the 'Trevor Ariza' Category

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Lakers vs. Nets Post-Game

Kobe Bryant missed a critical free throw that would have tied the game with seconds remaining as the Lakers fell to the New Jersey Nets 102-100. L.A. led by 12 points at halftime before being outscored 35-23 in the third quarter. The team appeared to regain its focus with under three minutes to go, assisted by Kobe’s sudden hot streak. But, in the end, the rally was too little, too late for the Lake Show.

Vladimir Radmanovic-starting at power forward in place of the usual Ronny Turiaf-had a forgettable night, going 0 for 10 from the field and missing a potential game tying shot at the buzzer after New Jersey’s Nachbar missed the second of two free throws. Coach Jackson said that the final play was not designed exclusively for Kobe as they were actually hoping to use Bryant a decoy to allow Andrew Bynum to get the ball.

Richard Jefferson continued his impressive play to start the season for the Nets, chipping in 27 points to go along with Vince Carter’s 19 and Jason Kidd’s double-double (15 points, 14 assists). The Nets took over the game in the third quarter as the Lakers seemed to lose most of the energy that built them their lead. Jackson said, “It was a matter of energy and a matter of sustaining effort,” both of which the team was unable to accomplish tonight. Don’t blame fatigue though as both Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom said that jet-lag was no excuse for losing a game they were clearly in control of at one point.

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Lakers vs. Nets Pre-Game

The Lakers are currently enduring a mini slump, dropping the final two games of their road trip at Milwaukee and Boston. The Lakers began their three game stint back east with an easy win over the Pacers and should have beaten the Bucks after controlling the game up until the fourth quarter. Tonight’s game versus the New Jersey Nets—the first in a stretch in which the Lakers will play at home in four of their next five games—could be the exact remedy the Lakers are looking for. However, like their game versus Milwaukee, the Nets are a potentially dangerous team whose subpar 6-7 record does not necessarily indicate how capable they are.

Prior to tonight’s contest, Coach Jackson said he is not concerned about the Nets’ abundance of All-Stars, alluding to the fact that it is often the referees, not the players, who over emphasize star power. However, he did praise perennial All-NBA guard Jason Kidd’s uncanny ability to rebound from the guard spot and push the ball up the floor. When asked about the possibility of Kidd’s trade prospects as the deadline gets closer, Jackson explained that he prefers not to deal with hypotheticals as 90% of trades that are discussed never happen.

Jackson also spoke about the Lakers emerging strength at the point guard spot, a weakness last season that prompted widespread speculation about Kidd being traded to L.A. The Lakers coach singled out Jordan Farmar’s excellent play to open up the season, disregarding his average game against the Celtics on Friday night. According to Jackson, Farmar hit the proverbial rookie wall around the Lakers 35th game last year, but has come out his year ready to earn more minutes. Jackson also made sure rookie Javaris Crittenton was included in the point guard conversation, revealing that despite the fact that he’s been “sheltering” Crittenton as he learns the NBA game, “He’s going to be a player some day.”

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Lakers vs. Bucks Pre-Game

After last night’s slaughtering of the Pacers, the Lakers need to come out equally focused for tonight’s game versus the Milwaukee Bucks. Many times, young teams like the Lakers tend to get overconfident after they come out of the gates winning seven of 10 games.

The Lakers must be especially careful though as the Bucks are on a three game win streak of their own, including an impressive, confidence-building victory over division rival Cleveland last night. As always, the Lakers are faced with the difficult task of stopping All-Star Bucks guard Michael Redd who has lit up L.A. in the past.

On the Lakers end, Bynum and Mihm will go against Andrew Bogut at center, a player who is known almost exclusively for his offensive skills. In other words, the chances of Bynum continuing his streak of productive games are pretty high.

The Lakers will also get their first look at newly acquired forward Trevor Ariza who passed his physical and will be in uniform for the team tonight. On the opposite end of the floor, L.A. will get its first look at much talked about Bucks rookie Yi Jianlian who has showed flashes of brilliance for Milwaukee in their nine games thus far.

Like the Lakers, the Bucks are a balanced squad who present scoring threats at almost every position. But, if L.A. can hold Redd in check and continue to get exceptional results from its bench, the Lakers should be able to extend their four game win streak and avenge the two losses they suffered last year at the hands of the Bucks.

What # To Wear?

Many people’s first reaction to the news of the Lakers trade for LA native Trevor Ariza was probably to head out and make sure they were ready for his home debut on Chick Hearn Night with a crisp, clean, brand new Sunday White Ariza jersey.

Those early go-getters are on the cutting edge of Lakers fandom for sure, but could be making a grave mistake because of Trevors eclectic uniform past.

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Details On The Ariza Deal

Why Make the Deal?
Trevor Ariza brings a defensive presence at the three spot that no one currently on the Lakers roster can match. While Lamar Odom creates a mismatch on the offensive end for opposing teams, he sometimes has trouble guarding the quicker small forwards in the league, an area were Luke Walton also struggles.

The deal also clears up a glut at a couple positons for the Lakers.

“We thought we had some duplication on the roster—particularly at that Power Forward position between Vladi Radmanovic and Brian Cook,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. “I also thought that we had duplication in the backcourt and although Maurice was a backup player I thought he might not get the minutes he felt he needed.”

The deal takes the Lakers roster number down to 14 and will give Sasha Vujacic, Javaris Crittenton, and the Lakers’ other backcourt players more of an opportunity to play.

Kupchak added, “Trevor is very young, but it is his fourth year in the league. We think there is a lot of upside there as well.”

Ariza Ecstatic
Ariza is local to Los Angeles having played his high school ball at Westchester High School and collegiately at UCLA. He also maintains a residence in LA and is looking forward to returning to the area.

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Lakers vs. Pacers Pre-Game

The Lakers announced earlier this afternoon that they have acquired Orlando Magic forward and former UCLA standout Trevor Ariza in exchange for forward Brian Cook and guard Maurice Evans—a subplot that will surely carry over into tonight’s game versus the Indiana Pacers.

Tonight’s rematch between the two teams that battled it out in the 1999-2000 NBA Finals already had plenty of intrigue on its own with widespread speculation that the Lakers and Pacers were in discussions this summer that would have sent All-Star forward-center Jermaine O’Neal to Los Angeles in exchange for a package built around Kwame Brown, Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum.

Nearly six months later and no substantial trade talks since then, the Lakers are sitting pretty with a 6-3 record with the aforementioned Bynum blossoming off the bench for the Lakers. O’Neal meanwhile is struggling, averaging just over 13 points and eight rebounds—numbers that are well below his career averages. However, the Pacers player said before tonight’s game that he is nearing 100% health and is ready to assume his usually role as one of the league’s preeminent scorers. Hopefully the Lakers won’t fall victim to his newfound motivation in tonight’s game.

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Trevor Ariza Quick Facts

Today the Lakers acquired Trevor Ariza from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Maurice Evans and Brian Cook.

Ariza in the NBA
Ariza came into the league as the youngest rookie in New York Knicks history and had an immediate impact on the club with his unique blend of youthful enthusiasm and athleticism. Trevor played in 80 games that year (12 starts) averaging just under 6 points and 3 boards in 17 minutes of play.

He continued to play well for the Knicks and became a fan favorite, but saw his minutes decline after the team drafted David Lee in the 2005 draft. Consequently he became part of the trade that sent Steve Francis to New York in exchange for Penny Hardaway’s contract.

Trevor’s numbers increased as a member of the Magic as he tallied 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Magic in 57 games during the 2006-07 season. He missed 5 games due to a sore right foot and 19 games because of a sprained right MCL.

So far this season Ariza has appeared in all of Orlando’s 11 games, but is only averaging 10.5 minutes per game. The Magic’s signing of Guard Rashard Lewis in the off-season has been the main reason for the decline in Trevor’s minutes.

More Ariza

  • High School Standout at Westchester High, named Parade All-American his Senior year, and had his #4 retired by the school
  • Played at UCLA for one season and was named to All-Pac 10 Freshman 1st team
  • Drafted in the second round by the Knicks
  • Traded to Orlando as part of the Steve Francis deal
  • Athletic swingman known for his defensive prowess