Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

With most starters out, Hawks beat Lakers

The Atlanta Hawks are 52-14 this season, which is the best record in the Eastern conference and second best in the NBA behind the 52-13 Warriors. They believe a deep playoff run is possible. Which means they need to keep their squad healthy, and a good way to do that is to rest key players when their game schedule gets a little too crowded. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

What difference does another starter make?

The Hawks were already resting three starters – Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap – when they lost Kyle Korver to a broken nose during Sunday’s game against the lowly Lakers.

It didn’t matter.

Al Horford, the lone remaining starter, had 21 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists as the Hawks defeated the Lakers 91-86 Sunday night at Staples Center. Horford played a normal 35 minutes as the Hawks controlled much of the game and a held off a Lakers’ fourth-quarter rally in a reserve-lead effort.

Dennis Schroder had a game- and career-high 24 points to go with 10 assists. His layup with 13.9 seconds left stopped a 16-2 Lakers run. He added two free throws in the closing seconds to ice the win.

Byron Scott plans to start Jeremy Lin during final stretch of season

Look. This wasn’t going to be the Lakers’ season, even if Kobe Bryant was healthy. Now, what does that point have to do with this particular story? Not a lot. It just needed to be said, for the sake of general overall perspective. As for Jeremy Lin, here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting:

Byron Scott plans to start Jeremy Lin

Lakers coach Byron Scott will soon make a move that Jeremy Lin supports.

Scott plans to start Lin at point guard, likely with 10 games left in the season. The timing is not definitive. The Lakers (17-46) will host the Atlanta Hawks (51-14) on Sunday at Staples Center featuring Jordan Clarkson at point guard for the 22nd consecutive start. The Lakers will also feature Wayne Ellington (shooting guard), Wesley Johnson (small forward), Jordan Hill (power forward) and Tarik Black (center), a lineup that has started for the past three contests.

But Scott plans to start Ryan Kelly at power forward at some point and Lin at point guard, the latter scenario seeming more definitive on the timing.

“I want to see how much of a difference it is now as opposed to the start of the season,” Scott said after Sunday’s morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.

Byron Scott does not think Kobe Bryant will eventually become a coach

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting Lakers head coach Byron Scott’s views on Kobe Bryant’s eventual post-playing days:

coach kobe bryant?

Scott then quickly reiterated his doubts Bryant would ever coach.

“He would be like Earvin (Johnson),” said Scott, referring to Johnson’s brief Lakers coaching stint that entailed a 5-11 record in the 1993-94 season. “Kobe would be in the locker room like Earvin throwing stuff and going crazy. It’s a tough job. Those two guys, as competitive as they are and as much as they won back on their day, both of them would be beating up players.”

Scott conceded he threw “a tantrum or two” early in his coaching career that included stops with the former New Jersey Nets (2000-04), former New Orleans Hornets (2004-09) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-13).

Scott said he has since mellowed. How did that happen?

“Just the experience of knowing these guys don’t do it the way we did it,” said Scott.

Lakers officially eliminated from playoff contention

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting what was inevitable:

The Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday, marking their earliest elimination since the franchise moved to L.A. before the 1960-61 season.

The Lakers were officially knocked out when the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Brooklyn Nets.

They later beat the Detroit Pistons 93-85 to improve to 17-46.

Their elimination marks only the seventh time in franchise history that the Lakers will miss the postseason and only the second time that they’ve missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons (1974-75 and 1975-76).

Lakers sign Jabari Brown to 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Jabari Brown to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, who was most recently a member of the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, joins the team after leading the D-League in scoring at 24.4 points per game to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 39 games (25 starts). A 2015 NBA D-League All-Star, Brown tallied two of the highest single-game scoring outputs in the D-League this season, finishing with 50 points on January 10th at Sioux Falls and 48 points on February 28th versus Bakersfield.

Brown, a 6’4” rookie out of Missouri and a teammate of Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson last season in college, averaged 19.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 2013-14 before declaring himself eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft. An Oakland, Calif. native, Brown later signed with the Lakers for NBA training camp in 2014.

The Lakers roster now stands at 16 players after being granted a hardship waiver exception from the NBA.

Kobe Bryant wants Rajon Rondo to join Lakers this summer

Would you want to play with Kobe Bryant? In his prime, sure. What about now, as his career winds down? Depends on the other teammates, we’d assume. If Rajon Rondo has to make a decision and it’s going to be Rondo, old Kobe and a rebuilding project, that’s probably not too attractive to Rondo. Anyway, here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

rajon rondo

Rajon Rondo knows Kobe Bryant is recruiting him to join the Los Angeles Lakers when Rondo becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

And the Dallas Mavericks point guard is obviously flattered to hear Bryant admit as much publicly, as Bryant did in late January.

But Bryant’s recruiting efforts appeared especially strong Sunday, when he appeared on the Lakers sideline for the first time since his season-ending shoulder injury Jan. 21 — just in time to watch Rondo’s Mavericks beat the Lakers 100-93.

“When he speaks, it speaks volumes,” Rondo said after finishing with eight points, nine assists, four rebounds and three turnovers. “It’s an honor and a compliment that he’d want to play with a guy like me, but right now, I’m focused on winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks.”

Would Rondo want to play with Bryant, who will enter his 20th, and likely final, NBA season in 2015-16?

“I’m focused on what I have to do right now,” Rondo said. “It’s impossible to play with Kobe right now.”

Julius Randle returns to court for non-contact basketball drills

Here’s the Orange County Register with an update on a promising Lakers rookie who has gained at least a partial NBA education this season but won’t really begin until 2015-16:

julius randle

Officially speaking, Julius Randle’s rookie season will have consisted of 14 minutes of basketball before it ended with a cruel twist and a bad break.

Unmeasured by statistics, is the vast majority of his season that has consisted of two surgeries, multiple stints on crutches and monotonous hours on an elliptical machine.

Finally, Randle was back on the court with the Lakers on Monday, more than four months after breaking his tibia on opening night, and two months after surgery to replace a screw in his right foot.

While Randle will not play again this season, the Lakers are slowly adding to his workload, which on Monday meant working with the coaching staff on some post moves and shooting.

No more Ronnie Price this season for Lakers

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on Lakers guard Ronnie Price, whose time with the team may be over since he’s currently injured, and will be in need of a new contract this summer:

No more Ronnie Price this season for Lakers

Guard Ronnie Price, whom Lakers Coach Byron Scott has considered one of his toughest players and best defenders, is done for the rest of the season after having successful surgery to remove bone spurs and bone chips from his right elbow Wednesday.

The Lakers said Price, 31, is expected to be out approximately six to eight weeks, but Scott said that actually means Price will “be out for the year” considering the Lakers have only 26 regular-season games left.

Price, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, appeared in 43 games for the Lakers and averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 assists in 22.8 minutes a game.

Ronnie Price out 6-8 weeks after elbow surgery

Ronnie Price out 6-8 weeks after elbow surgery

Lakers guard Ronnie Price underwent successful surgery this morning to remove bone spurs and bone chips from his right elbow. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Price is expected to be out approximately six to eight weeks.

Price, who signed with the Lakers as a free agent on September 24, has appeared in 43 games (20 starts) this season, averaging 5.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.56 steals in 22.8 minutes per game.

Here’s TMZ reporting some bad news from Los Angeles:

An L.A. mansion owned by former NBA player Earl Watson was robbed Monday night by at least 4 men in ski masks — who handcuffed the occupants and ransacked the place.

While 35-year-old Watson owns the $4 million Encino home, he currently rents it out to a local elderly couple.

Officials say the men — at least one of whom had a gun — broke in through a back door and once inside, they handcuffed the couple and stole various items … including cash.

Lakers aware that the Kobe Bryant era is nearing its end

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on a topic that will make us cry: That we don’t have a lot of time left to enjoy Kobe Bryant in the NBA. And the Lakers are very aware of this as they determine how to build their team for the future:

Lakers aware that the Kobe Bryant era is nearing its end

The days of the Lakers building a roster to satisfy the needs, and complement the style, of Kobe Bryant are gone.

Just three years removed from the blockbuster summer that brought Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to Los Angeles, one of the Lakers’ top basketball executives said circumstances have dictated that the organization change course.

“This team primarily has been Kobe’s team now for almost 18 or 20 years,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a wide-ranging interview with media, “and we’re much closer to the end of those 18, 20 years than we are to the middle or the beginning. So at some point we have to start a new run.”

And while that will presumably include a 37-year-old Bryant next season, the Lakers are not simply planning on reloading this summer to make one more playoff push for the future Hall of Famer’s swan song.

Lakers stand pat at NBA trade deadline

Lakers stand pat at NBA trade deadline

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the 13-40 Los Angeles Lakers, who are without Kobe Bryant and with a limited present are focused on the future:

As much of the NBA descended into chaos, the Lakers remained intact at the league’s annual trade deadline.

While confused team executives and media members alike were trying to sort out the flurry of blockbuster deals in the minutes before Thursday’s noon deadline, things were pretty much normal for the Lakers.

Jeremy Lin shot free throws in one corner, while Nick Young held court in another. Good news: He and the dolphin species made up last week in Hawaii, following a well-documented incident a year ago in Mexico.

As this unfolded, the Laker most likely to have been traded sheepishly peeked out from the door leading to the team’s weight room.

“I thought J-Hill was gone, too,” Young said, teasing, as Jordan Hill listened in. “Fortunately they didn’t break any of us up.”

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.

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