At game speed:
At game speed:
It wasn't that long ago (2 weeks to be exact) when Laker fans could only guess what type of team garbed in Lakers jersey will come out of the locker room. There are nights when the Lakers are so engaged that it looks like they're starting to come around. And then there are other games where the Lakers are so much in disarray that their fans could do nothing but sit quietly and shake their heads.
But that was then, this is now.
We've heard analysts and commentators talk about reading the body language of the players to get a sense of the level of confidence and mental fortitude of the team. Watching the Lakers these past few games, but especially against Brooklyn, the players now have that look of clarity and community between them.no comments
This season has been a year of tribulation for the Lakers (22-26) and it doesn't look like it's stopping anytime soon. Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace will miss tonight's season series finale against the Brooklyn Nets (28-19), the team's 4th stop in this seemingly never-ending road trip.
Howard is still feeling a lot of soreness on his right shoulder after re-aggravating it against the Suns a week ago. He'll be sitting out his 3rd-straight game tonight. Meanwhile, the NBA has handed down a 1-game suspension to World Peace for allegedly throwing punches on Brandon Knight during an altercation under the basket in Sunday's win versus the Pistons.no comments
Just when you think the Lakers (20-26) have finally turned a corner, they proved against Phoenix on Wednesday that they're still far from being a playoff-caliber team. Turnovers didn't exactly keep them from winning the last 3-game stint at home. But in this league, they can be fatal on the road no matter the opposition is.
The Lakers travel to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves (17-25) in their 2nd of 7 games of their "Grammy tour". Like the purple and gold, the T'Wolves are finding it tough to win in 2013 having taken only 3 of their 15 games so far. Then again, they're missing both Kevin Love and Brandon Roy.
Love re-fractured his right hand against Portland early January and is expected to be out for nearly the rest of the regular season. He was averaging 18.3 points and 14 rebounds per game before going down with the injury. Roy has had a long battle with knee problems since college and it's resurfacing again. He's played in only 5 games averaging 5.8 points a game for Minnesota this season.no comments
These are not the same Lakers (20-25). Not even close. These Lakers are now playing as one. For each other. And best of all, they're playing with a passion and confidence Laker fans have not seen the entire season. But with all of the excitement of finally seeing this team play like a team, we have yet to see the Lakers translate everything they've shown us these past 3 games on the road.
The Lakers own a horrible record away from Staples Center at 5-15 and have lost their last 7 games in their purple jerseys. What makes tonight's matchup against the Phoenix Suns (15-30) a little unsettling is the Suns have plenty of guys who can shoot the ball from deep. That means that the floor will be spread for the Lakers defensively, which leaves a lot of space in the paint for players like Goran Dragic to operate on offense.no comments
"Whatever it takes."
That's now the new motto for the Lakers (19-25) heading to tonight's matchup with the visiting New Orleans Hornets (15-29). The purple and gold is on a 2-game winning streak fueled by their newfound passion and attitude thanks to the ever-evolving leadership of Kobe Bryant.
Kobe has taken another new role of becoming the team's facilitator and initiator on offense. And with Mike D'Antoni's willingness to further adjust his system around the talent he has on this team, the Lakers have gone back to a slow-tempo, halfcourt team. The overall effect of that transition could not have been established and justified more than the biggest win of the season over the reigning Western Conference champions Thunder on Sunday.no comments
We all know Kobe Bryant is arguably the most competitive and passionate player the game of basketball has ever seen. To him, success is only measured in championships, and there's no such thing as 2nd best. In the past 2 games, Bryant reminded everyone just how much he puts winning above everything.
The Lakers had lost 3 straight games on the road catapulted by a disappointing loss to Miami at Staples Center that could have gone their way if not for the 8 turnovers they committed in the 1st half. Facing a 17-25 record that puts them 8 games below the .500 mark, the Lakers were running out of options, and more importantly, time to give any purpose to the remaining 42 games of the season.
With half of those 42 games on the road and rounding off their season series with plenty of playoff-bound teams the rest of the way, something had to be done...now!no comments
As much it is for Laker fans clamoring for the firing of Mike D'Antoni, the players have to be the ones to take the initiative to resolve the problems themselves. D'Antoni may have been showing how inept he is in coaching this team, especially this month, but it's most likely the Lakers front office won't kick a 2nd head coach out of town this season. They might make some roster moves by the trade deadline, but it doesn't look like they're ready to part with D'Antoni right now. So the only realistic solution is for the players to just go out there and play the game together.
No better person to act like an ambassador than its leader, Kobe Bryant. And no better teammate to start with than Dwight Howard.
The Lakers gave up Andrew Bynum for Howard in hopes that D12 would stick around and become the new face of the franchise. Not only that, the Lakers needed a center who is more pro-active on defense than Bynum. Right now, however, Dwight isn't living up to expectations. At least, not consistently.no comments
The Lakers are a mess. They know it. Lakers fans know it. And just about the entire world of sports is aware of it.
One of their biggest problems is their defense and a reason for that is their lack of communication. According to the LA Times' Mike Bresnahan, the Lakers held a much needed and long overdue team meeting to talk about whatever differences they may have with whatever and whomever.
Mike D'Antoni told his players to focus more on defense rather than complain about the tempo of the offense or individual touches. Steve Nash let everybody know that he's game for anything that will make the team play to their potential on offense. But Kobe Bryant took a more direct and bold approach and bluntly asked Dwight Howard, the franchise's projected heir after Kobe retires, if he enjoys playing with the Mamba. Dwight didn't exactly return an honest answer, but it looks like he got the message and even went as far as calling himself "immature".no comments
The Lakers (17-24) will try to snap a 3-game losing streak to end a 3-game road trip with something positive before heading back to Los Angeles. The loss on Monday versus Chicago symbolized a season where the Lakers just can't seem to get of their own way to win games.
The frustrations of seeing losses after losses are resurfacing again among the players as Kobe Bryant expresses the need for a change now and Dwight Howard pointing at his lack of "touches" in the paint as a vehicle for the result against the Bulls. Even general manager Mitch Kupchak weighed in on what he thinks is the real problem with the team. Nevertheless, the Lakers can't blame anyone or anything but themselves, and only they can get themselves out of it. Tonight is another opportunity to do just that.
The last time the Lakers were in town back in November, Rudy Gay's 21 points were enough to lead his Memphis Grizzlies (26-14) to a 106-98 victory over the purple and gold. After being down 34-18 at the end of the 1st quarter in that game, the Lakers rallied to a 49-46 lead at halftime by outscoring Memphis 31-22 in the 2nd quarter. But since consistency has been a major problem all season long, the Lakers couldn't even build on their slim lead in the 2nd half to scratch out a win.no comments