Archive for the 'Playoff Podcast' Category

2012 Playoff Podcast No. 4: Kevin Ding

L.A.’s reward for a tough 7-game Round 1 series with Denver is a young, fresh, talented Oklahoma City squad that’s been resting for nine days after sweeping Dallas 4-0 … but could that actually help the Lakers steal Game 1?

Orange County Register beat writer and columnist Kevin Ding joined us to break down the entire series, from specific matchups to general areas of importance.

We touched on the importance of Andrew Bynum’s constant defensive energy (can he bring it?), Pau Gasol’s All-Star level play in Game 7 (can he sustain it?), Kobe Bryant’s impact (count on it), the point guard situation (Sessions/Blake vs. Westbrook), Ding’s favorite thing about Oklahoma City (clouds) and more.

You can listen by clicking below:

2012 Playoff Pod No. 3: Bill Macdonald

Bill Macdonald just completed his first regular season as the voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, sharing the games with fans alongside analyst Stu Lantz, and was in his usual courtside seat as the Lakers defeated Denver 92-88 in Game 4 to bring a 3-1 series lead back to Los Angeles.

Macdonald joined us from his Orange County home to discuss what the Lakers need to do to close out the Nuggets in Tuesday’s Game 5, what he’s noticed behind the scenes with the team throughout the year that will come into play moving forward, what stands out the most about Kobe Bryant in the postseason, how he approaches his craft calling games and more.

To listen, click below:

Playoff Podcast No. 2: Benjamin Hochman

With the Lakers heading to Denver holding a 2-0 lead in their first round playoff series against the Nuggets, we called up the Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman to provide some insight leading into Friday’s Game 3.

L.A. controlled the first two games in Los Angeles, never trailing in two wire-to-wire victories, getting 34.5 ppg from Kobe Bryant and dominant all-around play from 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, who helped limit the Nuggets despite a far better Game 2 effort led by Ty Lawson.

Hochman offered his report from Wednesday’s Nuggets practice, detailed what to expect from Denver in Games 3 and 4 and explained how he came upon the nickname “Tinafey” for Timofey Mozgov (get it???).

To listen, click here:

2012 Playoff Podcast No. 1: Kevin Ding

Now that the playoffs have started, there are ever so more many interesting topics to delve into here in Los Angeles, and few platforms provide for easier access to in depth analysis than the podcast.

And so, we’ll be posting regular pods featuring various guests that have a level of expertise on either the Lakers or L.A.’s opponents, beginning with longtime Orange County Register beat writer and columnist Kevin Ding, who also previewed the series with us on LakersTV.

After an impressive 15-point Game 1 victory over Denver featuring Andrew Bynum’s triple-double with 10 blocks (tying an NBA record), we discussed what the performance might mean moving forward into the playoffs, what makes Bynum tick and how his teammates respond to his personality, in addition to a breakdown of all things Kobe Bryant (Ding has been covering Bryant since 1999).

You can listen by clicking below:

Finals Game 7 Playoff Podcast: Kevin Ding

blog_100521_kevindingWith so many story lines, so much to discuss heading into Game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics, we had to spend nearly 24 minutes breaking things down in podcast form with the Orange County Register’s Kevin Ding.

Ding, in his third playoff podcast appearance and sixth time covering L.A. in the Finals, went back and forth with us to discuss how the absence of Boston’s Kendrick Perkins (knee) affects the matchups, what to expect from Pau Gasol and Kevin Garnett, how Kobe Bryant will approach the contest, what Phil Jackson may want to do from a tactical standpoint, why the Celtics can’t be counted out, how respective bench players could impact things … and, well, everything else.

To listen, click play below.

Playoff Podcast:’s Steve Aschburner

Heading into Tuesday evening’s Game 6, we enlisted’s Steve Aschburner to chat about perhaps the most important matchup of the series: Pau Gasol vs. Kevin Garnett.

Aschburner is the guy to do so, since he nearly covered Garnett’s entire career in Minnesota while writing for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, allowing for some perspective on KG.

We had detailed the discrepancy in numbers between the Spaniard and Garnett earlier on Tuesday, and Aschburner gave his opinion as to why, in addition to his expectations for Game 6 and a potential Game 7.

To listen, click play below:

Finals Playoff Podcast: Kevin Ding

blog_100521_kevindingL.A.’s crucial 91-84 Game 3 victory in Boston was so full of story lines, we needed a long-form podcast to fully cover and digest the events.

To do so, we called upon Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register after L.A.’s media session on Wednesday morning, just as the Celtics took the floor to go through their own meeting with the press.

Ding – in his 11th season covering the Lakers, six of which have concluded in the NBA Finals – joined us to discuss what enabled Derek Fisher to come through in the clutch, Fisher’s relationship with Kobe Bryant (plus Kobe’s impact on the game), Andrew Bynum’s presence in the paint and maturity off the court, what to expect from Thursday’s Game 4 and more.

To listen, click play below.

Playoff Podcast: Chris Bodaken

56648469Lakers Scout/Director of Video Services Chris Bodaken was so good while breaking down the Phoenix Suns in advance of the Western Finals that we had to have him back to detail L.A.’s preparation for the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals.

Before delving into the matchup, Bodaken revealed the movie that Phil Jackson has had him edit/incorporate into the video breakdowns of each series: “Inglourious Basterds” by Quentin Tarantino.

Bodaken explained that Jackson in years past would use a different movie with a theme for each individual playoff round, but “Inglourious Basterds” is long enough that the Lakers have been able to stretch it out across the playoffs.

That knowledge gained, we were able to focus on how Boston’s defense compares to that of the 2008 title-winning version (and how Kobe Bryant can counter it), the increased offensive role of Rajon Rondo, what plays the Celtics like to run, what the Lakers can take from the past season’s matchups, the impact of Ron Artest/Andrew Bynum and more.

Playoff Podcast: Chris Ballard

ballard_11The first chapter of Sports Illustrated senior writer Chris Ballard’s “The Art of a Beautiful Game” is entitled: “Killer Instinct: Why Kobe Bryant Wants to Beat You at Everything.”

As you might expect, we end up talking more about Kobe Bryant than anything else when Ballard joins us for Playoff Podcasts, and the most recent conversation was no exception.

Ballard took us through a terrific anecdote from his book about the ruthless Bryant playing 1-on-1 in high school, talked about how he’s seen Bryant develop particularly across the past few seasons, detailed how Bryant has returned to best-player-out-there status since getting healthy and more.

We also went through an incredible Game 5 (which Ballard unfortunately missed in person), chatted about Steve Nash’s ridiculous shot making, looked ahead at what’s to come in the playoffs and listened as Ballard weighed in on “Kobe vs. LeBron.”

To listen, click play below or head over to our Lakers Playoff Central page.

Playoff Podcast: Kevin Ding

blog_100521_kevindingThe Orange County Register’s Kevin Ding has covered the Lakers’ beat throughout Phil Jackson’s tenure in Los Angeles, starting back in the 1999-2000 campaign, meaning he’s nearly through with his 11th season of Purple and Gold basketball.

Ding joined us on the latest Playoff Podcast to delve into the always-interesting topic of Lamar Odom, to trace the symbiotic relationship of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol over the past three seasons (forged in part on a language of extremely high basketball IQ), to examine the up-and-down nature of L.A.’s bench (currently: up) and more.

To listen, click play below.