With the Lakers and Clippers squaring off at Staples Center on Friday, we called Clippers beat writer for the Orange County Register Dan Woike to break everything down for us.
The Clippers come in having lost consecutive (tough) road games at Denver and Golden State, snapping an NBA-season-best 17-game winning streak, while the Lakers dropped a home game to Philly after winning six of seven contests.
We talked a bit about Friday’s matchup, but focused more on the big picture for both teams, as I repeatedly asked Woike about who LAC’s crunch time five will be in the playoffs, and if they can sustain what’s been a terrific start to the regular season.
To listen, click play below:
A veteran of the NBA beat, Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post, took our call to preview Wednesday evening’s contest in the Mile High City between the Lakers and Nuggets.
In the long run, Hochman thinks L.A.’s talent is undeniable, and especially with Steve Nash back, is sticking with his preseason pick that they’ll win the title. He also shared what he thinks we’ll see in tonight’s matchup, explains what’s been going on with underachieving Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari and debates with us what George Karl should do at center with starter Kosta Koufos and the talented, if mercurial JaVale McGee.
Take a listen:
With only 19 of the 82 games played, only 1.5 of which featured Steve Nash and nine under Mike D’Antoni, so much remains to be seen in the 2012-13 Lakers season.
But to start breaking down some of the more intriguing topics, the Orange County Register’s Lakers columnist and beat writer Kevin Ding joined us for a podcast.
We took a look at the developing relationship between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard that’s so critical for L.A.’s ultimate chances, discussed how things will be impacted when Nash returns, went over what has stood out most about D’Antoni since he arrived, discussed Pau Gasol’s tweets to my @LakersReporter account and more.
To listen, click below.
To get an insightful take on how the Lakers will be impacted by the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, we called up Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus
Alongside co-author Bradford Doolittle, Pelton wrote extensively on the Lakers – and every other team – for this season’s Pro Basketball Prospectus 2012-13 book, and we pulled out some topics for our discussion.
Click below to listen:
Sports Illustrated senior writer Lee Jenkins joined us via podcast to discuss some of the bigger picture story lines surrounding the Lakers since the summer (mega) additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.
We debate how Howard’s personality will mix in with L.A.’s over-30 stars, go over what Nash’s team-building style does for a team, talk about how the new look Lakers match up with Oklahoma City and more.
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Former Magic, Knicks and Bulls point guard Chris Duhon came to the Lakers alongside Dwight Howard (and Earl Clark) in a trade with Orlando, and joined us on the phone from Santa Barbara to share his thoughts on the move.
Duhon detailed what it’s like playing with Howard, told us why Steve Nash is so good at what he does, thought about the varying looks the Lakers can throw at opposing defenses from a point guard’s perspective and more:
The summer acquisitions of All-Stars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are enough to carry a whole series of podcasts, but we tried to tackle the nuts and bolts behind the moves with Orange County Register beat writer and columnist Kevin Ding.
Ding and I spent a chunk of the afternoon discussing the impact of the center and point guard on offense, defense and in the locker room, and Ding explained why he thinks Howard and Nash instantly put the Lakers in place to win another championship.
For that and more, click below:
Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person occupied the head coach seat for the franchise’s summer league squad in Las Vegas, overseeing a group that ended up going 1-4.
As Person explained, winning may always be a goal, but it’s not the primary reason the Lakers send players to Vegas.
Among the major focal points in Sin City was putting in elements of the Princeton offense that Mike Brown and his staff could potentially implement for the senior squad when training camp starts in October.
“It was a set out of the Princeton that we tried to operate out of,” said Person, acknowledging that it took a while for the players to adjust. “Summer league is to test things out to see if it’s something you might want to do in the fall. There’s experimentation to possibly run that offense.”
We asked Person to provide a general overview of the Princeton offense.
“It’s a true read and react offense based on footwork, ball fakes, the way the defense is guarding the offense,” Person explained. “It’s a lot of reads, and the reads for that offense have to happen in the moment. If you don’t react in the moment, you lose that timing to make the defense pay for their aggression and lack of positioning.”
In addition to Princeton chat, Person evaluated the individual performances from players like Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock and Christian Eyenga at summer league.
Take a listen by clicking the purple play button below:
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In his 44 years in the NBA, Lakers Director of Scouting/Basketball Consultant Bill Bertka has forgotten more about the game than most have ever learned (this is a time when that cliche actually works).
Bertka is revered around NBA circles, from front offices and coaches to the players. Most recently, Steve Nash was thrilled to chat with Bertka when entering the team’s office for the first time.
Always a fan of watching and helping develop young players, Bertka never misses the summer league, which brought him to Las Vegas last week. From his hotel room, Bertka touched on the summer league roster, but talked to us mostly about more meaty basketball items.
Among the topics: what would the best possible basketball team look like (Bertka used to fantasize with Pat Riley about a team featuring Magic Johnson at all five positions); what’s the best way to play basketball and how has the game changed from his earliest days in the NBA; the rise of athleticism and decrease of post play; and more.
To listen, click below:
After being selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 55th pick in the NBA Draft and acquired by the Lakers shortly thereafter, Darius Johnson-Odom has had a few days to get everything together in his native North Carolina before hopping a flight to LAX.
DJO joined us from his home to discuss his basketball past, his hopes for the future with the Lakers and more in a summer podcast.
To listen, click below: