Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Byron Scott may change Lakers lineup

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting on the 13-40 Lakers:

Byron Scott may change Lakers lineup

The Lakers appear likely to make lineup changes, regardless of whether they make a move leading into Thursdays’ trade deadline that ends at 12 p.m. PST.

With Byron Scott insistent he would evaluate his starting lineup every 15 to 20 games this season, the Lakers coach strongly suggested another shuffle will take place.

“I’ll probably make another lineup change just to get some other guys some time to just go out there and show what they can do as well,” Scott said. “So I do expect probably one more, at least, lineup change.”

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting on Lakers forward Ed Davis:

Ed Davis hopes for long-term deal with Lakers

Davis said in an interview with the Los Angeles News Group that he will opt out of his player option worth around $1 million that would secure his Lakers’ future for the 2015-16 season for one specific reason.

“I’m hoping for a long-term deal,” said Davis, who has until June 25 before formally deciding his move. “I’d love to return here. I know this will turn around eventually.”

The Lakers may keep Davis. But it appears their offseason priority involves the NBA draft and attracting a marquee star once free agency begins July 1. Of course, Davis’ future could hinge on what offers he attracts from other teams…

“This is definitely my first option,” Davis said of the Lakers. “They’re a team that gave me a look last summer when not too many teams were calling. This is definitely where I want to be at. Hopefully I can stay here for the rest of my career.”

The media spotlight is a powerful thing.  It is usually quite good for those who need publicity, but can also quite a distraction for others who are already well-known and would appreciate a little less attention once in a while. Such is the struggle of pro athletes who live the life we all dream of. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting:

Pau Gasol does not miss media glare of Los Angeles

Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls on Thursday morning talked about his emotional return to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Thursday night at Staples Center. He spoke of the memories he’ll realize once he steps onto the floor and all sorts of warm and fuzzy things.

He doesn’t miss the media scrutiny of Los Angeles, however. He made no bones about that.

“Obviously, when things were going well here, it was exceptional,” said Gasol, who spent seven seasons with the Lakers and helped them win NBA titles in 2009 and 2010. “They say L.A. and New york are two of the top cities, the best cities to win at. But they’re probably two of the tougher cities to lose and struggle because you get so much coverage that media have to create stories.”

Remember Steve Nash? Of course you do. He’s had a fantastic NBA career. But the part that many fans may have forgotten is, he’s still a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Yes, Lakers GM says he is in contact with Steve Nash

Lakers guard Steve Nash has basically been a ghost since October, when he was declared out for the season because of back injuries.

Nash hasn’t been a visible presence at games, and while Lakers coach Byron Scott said he has hoped that Nash would be around to help mentor younger players, Scott strangely added that he’s had consistent trouble reaching Nash by phone.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has a different view.

“He’s around,” Kupchak said after shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility Thursday. “I’ve had multiple meetings with Steve. We have breakfast once a month. He will work with some of our players. He may have already started doing that. He’s not going to go out and advertise [but] he’s doing it. … As the season progresses, he’ll be more engaged.”

Los Angeles Lakers (12-26) legend Kobe Bryant is averaging 23.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 34.8 minutes per game this season, on just 37.5% shooting. And just 29.3% from three-point range. Lately, he’s needed a rest. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

kobe bryant

Kobe Bryant has sat out three of the Los Angeles Lakers’ past four games and six of their past 11 — all in the name of rest after playing far too many minutes earlier this season.

Lakers coach Byron Scott admits Bryant’s heavy work load was his fault, but he’s trying not to dwell on the mistake.

“You try to move away from it and forget about it,” Scott said Monday. “But it’s hard to do when you have a guy you care about so much and you think you kind of messed up. I think I played him too much early.

“If I would’ve stuck to the 32 minutes or 33 at the most, he might have been able to play a little bit more of these games that he’s missed. But you know what, I realize it. You have to move on from it, learn from your mistakes and go forward.”

Los Angeles D-Fenders guard Jabari Brown was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 5 – Sunday, Jan. 11. The award is the first of Brown’s career.

Brown (6-4, 202, Missouri) led Los Angeles to a 2-1 record last week, scoring an NBA D-League season high 50 points on 15-of-22 shooting in a 124-99 win in Sioux Falls over the Skyforce on Jan. 10. Earlier in the week, Brown scored a then-career high 35 points in a 133-121 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. For the week, he averaged 32.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

For the season, Brown is averaging 21.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 21 games, seven as a starter.

Other top performers considered included Austin’s Jonathan Simmons, Bakersfield’s Joe Jackson, Oklahoma City’s Semaj Christon, Rio Grande Valley’s Chris Johnson and Reno’s Quincy Miller.

Julius Randle will have foot surgery Tuesday

Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle will undergo surgery on Tuesday morning to replace the screw in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Thordarson of the Cedars-Sinai Orthopaedic Center.

It was previously declared that Randle would miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season after suffering a fractured tibia of his right leg in the season opener on October 28.

Wesley Johnson suffers strained right hip flexor

Los Angeles Lakers forward Wesley Johnson sustained a strained right hip flexor in tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers and will not return. Additionally, Johnson will not accompany the team to Portland for tomorrow night’s game.

Johnson will have an MRI in Los Angeles tomorrow and an update on his status will be given at that time.

Late Saturday night, the Los Angeles Lakers recalled center Tarik Black and guard Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League).

In his first appearance with the D-Fenders, Black recorded a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Clarkson netted a game-high 35 points, handed out 11 assists and grabbed six rebounds in 44 minutes for Los Angeles. In five games with the D-Fenders this season, Clarkson is averaging 22.6 points, 7.8 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game.

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired center Jarvis Varnado and a third round pick in the 2015 NBA Development League Draft from the Iowa Energy, in exchange for the D-Fenders’ first and second round picks, it was announced today by General Manager Nick Mazzella.

Varnado was drafted out of Mississippi State in the second round (41st overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, before signing with Carmatic Pistoia of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A, where he averaged 15.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. The 6’9” center split the 2012-13 season with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. From 2012-2014, Varnado appeared in 45 NBA D-League games for Sioux Falls and Iowa, making 44 starts and averaging 14.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in 31.1 minutes per game. Varnado was selected as an NBA D-League All-Star in 2014, before earning an NBA Call-Up from the Philadelphia 76ers, where he appeared in 23 games with averages of 4.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

As a junior at Mississippi State, Varnado set the SEC single-season blocks record, passing Shaquille O’Neal with 170 blocks in 2008-09. Varnado was named SEC Defensive Player of the year in 3 consecutive seasons (2008, 2009, 2010), becoming the first player to do so. Finishing his career with 561 blocks, Varnado holds the record for most career blocks in NCAA Division 1 history. Varnado joins David Robinson as the only two players in NCAA history to tally 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 blocks in a career. In his senior season at Mississippi State, Varnado averaged 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 blocks in 31.5 minutes per game.

Los Angeles Lakers add Tarik Black, waive Xavier Henry

The Los Angeles Lakers have been awarded center Tarik Black on a waiver claim, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. To make room on the roster for Black, the Lakers have waived Xavier Henry.

Black, an undrafted rookie from Kansas, appeared in 25 games (12 starts) for the Houston Rockets this season, averaging 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 54.2% from the field in 15.7 minutes per game. The 23-year-old Black was waived by Houston on December 26.

Henry appeared in nine games this season for the Lakers before suffering a ruptured left Achilles tendon in practice on November 24 that is expected to keep him out the remainder of the season. In his two seasons with Los Angeles, Henry averaged 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists over 52 games (five starts).

Lakers recall Jordan Clarkson from D-League

Los Angeles D-Fenders guard Jordan Clarkson has been recalled by the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today.

In four games with the D-Fenders, Clarkson has posted averages of 19.5 points, 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 34.0 minutes per game. In tonight’s win, Clarkson tallied a team-high 23 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Clarkson shot 8-of-11 from the field in the second half, totaling 19 points on the half.

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting fun futuristic dreaming type stuff:

Plenty of time awaits before the 2016 offseason strikes. Plenty of circumstances could determine how the free agency sweepstakes play out.

But with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant becoming a free agent in 2016, consider him as the Lakers’ top player they will pursue.

“That’s safe to say,” said a league source familiar with the Lakers’ thought process.

So with the Lakers having their sights on Durant in 2016, has Kobe Bryant made an early free agency pitch?

“No, I think we know each other pretty well,” Bryant said on Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I don’t think it’s a discussion that you have in terms of coming here. But I think it’s more of an understanding how to play with each other.”

Julius Randle already off crutches

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog with an update on injured Lakers rookie Julius Randle:

Julius Randle already off crutches

It appeared like a normal exercise as Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle performed a leg press during Wednesday’s practice. But in Randle’s case, it marked one of many progressions he has made since suffering a season-ending injury to his right leg in the Lakers’ season opener just under two months ago.

Since then, Randle has healed enough to get around without any crutches in the past week.

“Honestly I’m not supposed to be off crutches,” Randle said, with a chuckle. “The doctor said to go at your own pace. My pace was to get rid of them immediately.”

Randle still has a long way to go.

Dirk Nowitzki raves about Kobe Bryant

Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting Dirk Nowitzki’s comments on Kobe Bryant. And as you’d expect from one legend discussing another, they’re quite positive:

Dirk Nowitzki raves about Kobe Bryant

“He’s probably the greatest player in my generation that I played against,” said Nowitzki, who has 27,239 career points and will likely pass Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone over the next few weeks to move up to seventh on the list. “Obviously Shaq was very dominant, Tim Duncan was great, but I just loved watching Kobe. I don’t think there will ever be another MJ, but he’s definitely as close as it gets that we’ll ever see.”

Los Angeles D-Fenders add Ater Majok

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired forward/center Ater Majok, it was announced today by General Manger Nick Mazzella.

Drafted out of UCONN in the second round (58th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Majok appeared in three Summer League games with the Lakers before signing with BK SPU Nitra of Slovakia. The 6’10” forward/center averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 assists in 41 games for Nitra in 2011-12. In 113 games internationally between 2011 and 2014, Majok tallied 9.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Kobe Bryant, point guard? Maybe.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the Lakers, who are 6-16 this season:

Kobe Bryant, point guard? Maybe.

It is no surprise to see Kobe Bryant with the ball in his hands at the end of games.

But late in Tuesday’s 98-95 win over the Sacramento Kings, it was by design.

Coach Byron Scott opted to eschew a traditional backcourt, playing Bryant at point guard for all but the final 34 seconds of the fourth quarter.

It worked, as the Lakers star scored or assisted on each of the Lakers’ final five field goals.

Shifting Bryant to point guard at critical junctures is something Scott said he had been thinking about, and he said he has gone so far as to contemplate starting the 36-year-old at the position.

“I even talked to him about it,” Scott said. “I said, ‘I’m thinking about it, but I’m not there yet.’ So yeah I have thought about it.”

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin, who like most of his teammates is still adjusting to what should be a tough run all season long:

What label to use for Lin from night to night has pinballed: efficient, inefficient, spotty, reliable, aggressive, facilitator. In Wednesday’s loss to Washington, he was just bad, missing all 10 of his shots, including six 3-pointers, which Coach Byron Scott chalked up to an off night. It was the second time he has been held scoreless this season.

But there are issues, bigger issues. Namely, Lin still isn’t particularly comfortable in the Lakers’ offense.

However, it was not entirely unexpected that this marriage between the offensively minded Lin and the Lakers, whose new offense features a two-guard front, would take some work.

“Houston was the ideal system for me,” Lin said earlier this week, “personally as a player in terms of spreading the floor, running and making plays and having guys with a lot of space, stretch fours. That’s the ideal system, but that’s not what we have here.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-assigned Jordan Clarkson and Xavier Henry to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, it was announced today.

Clarkson and Henry will make their second appearance of the season with the D-Fenders, after having previously played with the team on November 15th against the Texas Legends. Clarkson shot 8-of-20 from the field and tallied 28 points, five rebounds and five assists against the Legends. Henry scored a game-high 33 points, connecting on 12-of-20 field goal attempts, while also grabbing four rebounds for the D-Fenders.

Lakers forward Ryan Kelly injured, out at least six weeks with hamstring tear

Lakers forward Ryan Kelly injured, out at least six weeks

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ryan Kelly, who suffered an injury to his right hamstring in the second quarter of last night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, had an ultrasound test and was examined this morning by Dr. Luga Podesta of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.

Results of the test show that Kelly has a tear of his right hamstring. He is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks.

Kelly has appeared in three games this season, averaging 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 0.33 steals in 8.2 minutes.

Basketball blog