Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fisher Still Suits the Lakers & Lamar Doesn't Look Back

Staples Center -- D-Fish spent the better part of last year wearing suits on the sideline while working on negotiating a union labor deal that was suitable, and he senses that he may be closer to hanging up his Purple and Gold for some of those same suits as he realizes he is in the last few minutes of his peak playing days.

While the 'haters' may think that Derek Fisher's better days are 'bespoken for', Kobe Bryant borrows a term from former coach Phil Jackson to describe anybody who doubts what the Lakers' veteran point guard, the Fisher King can do in a pinch...

"That's inherently idiotic," he said.

Fisher hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play and Los Angeles emerged from a dismal offensive game by both teams with a 73-70 victory against the Mavericks on Monday night, snapping Dallas' five-game winning streak.

Vince Carter missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the defending champion Mavericks, who swept Los Angeles out of the second round of the postseason last spring, ending the Lakers' bid for a three-peat.

Neither team looked much like a championship contender in their first meeting since, with 3½ 1/2 miserable offensive quarters before the exciting finish keyed by Fisher, who added another line to an overflowing list of late-game heroics.

"This is what I do," Fisher said. "When opportunities like that present themselves, I'm confident in my ability to step up and make the right play. I've been fortunate in my career to come up with some of those big plays."

Fisher scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, leading a 10-0 run midway through the period before the Mavericks rallied to tie it on Jason Terry's running jumper at the top of the key with 9.9 seconds left.

Bryant, whose streak of four straight 40-point games ended with just 14 against the Mavs, drew the Dallas defense before passing to Fisher. The veteran point guard calmly drilled a long 3-pointer from the wing.

"We made the decision to get the ball out of Bryant's hands, and we just didn't get to [Fisher] in time," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Our full intention was to rotate to him, but he got the shot off quick and he shot it high, so we couldn't get to it. But he made a great shot. In that situation, you've got to live with that decision. And it's tough."

Carter's desperation try was far off, and the Lakers celebrated their ninth consecutive home victory since Christmas.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points for the Mavericks, but committed a crucial traveling violation with 38 seconds left in their first loss since Jan. 5. Lamar Odom scored 10 points in his return to Staples Center, where he won two championships Andrew Bynum had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who have won six of seven overall despite barely scoring 70 points -- the franchise low in the shot-clock era, set in November 2002.

Bryant had scored at least 40 points in each of his past four games, but the NBA's leading scorer didn't even score until midway through the second quarter.

"I like the fact that if we don't score, we can still win games," said Mike Brown, the Lakers' defense-minded new coach. "Hopefully our guys understand that we can win ugly games, we can win pretty games, we can win high-tempo games. However you want to bring it, we can get down that way."

Two elite NBA franchises might have showed the strain of the NBA's compacted schedule, or the excitement of the playoff rematch -- or maybe they both just stunk.

Airballs, turnovers and missed assignments dominated play, which included a seven-point third quarter by the Lakers and 35 percent shooting by the Mavericks, who extended their string of exceptional defensive performances.

Pau Gasol, whose struggles in last year's playoff series played a huge role in the Lakers' losses, had only eight points on 3-of-11 shooting, while Dallas' Jason Kidd went 0 for 8 on 3-pointers and Terry was 2 for 9 from the field until his tying basket.

"Man, we're setting records -- both ways, probably," Kidd said. "I thought we were competing at both ends, but sometimes you've got to make shots in this league, and we just couldn't do it tonight. It was one of those NFC kind of games -- just hand off the ball and run. It was just an ugly game."

At least the Lakers have their first chance to recover from the lockout-compacted NBA schedule: After matching the league high with 15 games in 23 days, Los Angeles has back-to-back days off for the first time this season before Thursday's game at Miami.

Odom said it was "surreal" to be in the visitors' locker room at Staples Center, his home for the past seven seasons. He got a lengthy standing ovation when he entered the game midway through the first quarter, and the Lakers played a video tribute on the scoreboard.

"Actually, it gave me energy," Odom said. "I'm still trying to get my rhythm back. I'm still getting in shape, and once I get there, then I'll be able to help this team. In order for me to succeed, you have to move on, no matter what, and I plan on succeeding in this next chapter of my life."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lakers Hire Real Madrid's Messina

The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be collecting new coaches like my nephew collects Pokemon cards, the latest is European coach Ettore Messina the was added to the collection on Friday.

Messina spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the Spanish League Club, Real Madrid, will serve as a coaching consultant for the Lakers.

"I am honored to have received this opportunity from one of the greatest basketball organizations in the world," said Messina. 'I have great respect for coach Mike Brown and I'm excited to work with him and his staff."

Highly decorated, Messina was named one of the Euroleague's 10 Greatest All- Time Coaches in 2008. Other honors include European Coach of the Year (1998), Euroleague Coach of the Year (2006 and 2008) and Italian Coach of the Year (1990, 1993, 1998, 2001 and 2005).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bryant 'Friend Requests' Pietrus

Kobe has made himself scarce to the media this summer, but seems he's looking to poke a few players and send out a few 'Friend Requests' in hopes of building up the Lakers squad for next year.

In addition to a myriad of questions we have for Kobe, like what are his thoughts on the new coaching staff, about his decision to get surgery on his knee in Germany, and the latest, why do you want Mikael Pietrus to come to the Lakers?

Pietrus, a Phoenix Suns guard with one year left on his contract, told the French newspaper L'Equipe (as first noted by Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin and the Orange County Register's Janis Carr): “Phoenix did not play me, but that’s their problem. I continued to work. The only thing that interests me now is winning a title,” he said. “A lot of teams are interested in me, like the Lakers or the Celtics. This came from the best player in the world: Kobe Bryant. He told me two months ago that he would like to see me with the Lakers.”

Pietrus could possibly provide the Lake Show with some needed three-point shooting, averaging at least 36% from downtown the past five seasons, and some much needed athleticism considering Shannon Brown just opted out of his $2.37 million contract. But Pietrus is an inconsistent shooter overall, shooting 39.2% overall last year with Phoenix. He isn't exactly known to add much on defense. And the Lakers already have plenty of his type of player at the wing position, including Ron Artest, who's a better defender and Matt Barnes who also started ahead of Pietrus in Orlando.

So why would Kobe want Pietrus to play on the Lakers? Not, sure but I think he should just deny his 'Friend Request' and look elsewhere to strengthen the Lakers for their quest for a championship next season.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kobe Gets Experimental in German-knee

The NBA lockout is underway, giving arguably the best player in the league a chance to get back into top form. Kobe has had his bout with injuries, even ignoring doctors advice by playing through them, including his finger injury and the ankle at the end of this season, the lockout may be an opportunity to get back into pristine game shape.

Although he did not miss much time on the floor, the five-time NBA champion has taken a beating on his aging body and now it may have finally caught up with him as his knees just aren’t what they used to be. The two-time NBA Finals MVP has decided to look outside the US to see if there is any way to get his knees back into game shape and ready for the upcoming NBA season.

Kobe plans to recouperate in Germany after undergoing an experimental procedure called platelet-rich plasma therapy. This procedure is becoming very popular with professional athletes in this country and around the world like Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee, Tiger Woods, and New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty having gone through this same procedure.

The procedure should be successful and with three to six years left of playing at a high level in the NBA, Kobe Bryant will need all the help he can get in order to continue playing at a championship level.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Lake Show Hires Quin Snyder, Chuck Person as assistant coaches

Quin Snyder, Chuck Person, Mike Brown, Phil; We miss you already

Lakers hire two more to the cast of characters: Snyder, Person

as assistant coaches to Brown

Ex-Sonic Chuck Person and Quin Snyde have been hired by the Los Angeles Lakers as assistant coaches to the newly hired first-year coach Mike Brown.

Snyder, 44, was a Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach last season. Before working for the Sixers, Snyder spent three seasons coaching the Austin Toros in the NBA D-League and was the league's coach of the year for the 2008-09 season.

"With the addition of Quin to my coaching staff, we've added someone who has an extremely intelligent basketball mind," Brown said. "Quin's most valuable asset, however, is his passion for coaching and his ability to get the most out of the players he coaches."

Snyder was a college coach at Missouri for nearly seven full seasons and went 126-91; he resigned in February 2006 because he believed top school officials were unanimous in their decision to terminate his contract after the season.

"I am grateful to Mike Brown and the entire Lakers organization for providing me with this opportunity," ex-Duke point guard Snyder was quoted as saying on the team's website. "I'm looking forward to fulfilling whatever role I'm asked to assume. I could not be more excited to have this unique opportunity."

Person, 47, was an assistant on the staff of previous Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Person scored 13,858 points in his career.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

NBA commences lockout of its players

The National Basketball Association announced that it will commence a lockout of its players, effective at 12:01 am ET on July 1, until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the National Basketball Players Association.

"The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams," said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. "We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable."

"We have made several proposals to the union, including a deal targeting $2 billion annually as the players' share -- an average of approximately $5 million per player that could increase along with league revenue growth," said Silver. "Elements of our proposal would also better align players' pay with performance."

"We will continue to make every effort to reach a new agreement that is fair and in the best interests of our teams, our players, our fans, and our game."

During the lockout, players will not receive their salaries; teams will not negotiate, sign or trade player contracts; players will not be able to use team facilities for any purpose; and teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings