Tag Archives: Golden State Warriors

Young Wants Lakers To Get Act Together

The ordinarily comical Nick ‘Swaggy P’ Young was sharply critical and disappointed with his Los Angeles Lakers team following a 103-91 loss to the (then) winless  Philadelphia 76ers.

“All I know is the circus came to town today and we did what we normally do,” said Young, referring to the increased media attention and arena demonstrations to honor Kobe Bryant following his retirement announcement.

The irony of Young, who is in a high-profile relationship with pop music artist Iggy Azalea, being concerned with distractions is that it was he who last season interrupted a post-game interview following a victory which ended up on Kobe Bryant’s Summer Jam screen on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

But after a season of being publicly scolded by Byron Scott for lackadaisical play, it is now Young going on the offensive in the media.

“It can’t be like a video game & you’re playing with your favorite player, you know,” said Young after a Lakers’ 111-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors. “We’ve all got to share the ball.”

It is no secret that the Lakers attempted to trade Young this offseason and had no takers. Their relationship became rocky with Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol after seasons of failed trade attempts.

Time will tell if Young is developing into a veteran who is more of a vocal leader, or has grown weary playing under the lights of the greatest show on earth.

We’re a circus,” chided Young. “We’re playing terrible. We lost to Philly. Philly! What does that make us?”

Kobe Starting To Phil It Up

After the Lakers 111-77 shellacking by the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant had a PHILosophical take on his abysmal 1-14 shooting performance.

“I feel okay. Just pissed. Just frustrated with what were doing,” Bryant said after the game. “It bothered me. So I got out of my Zen.”

There is a bit of irony in Bryant embracing Phil Jackson’s philosophy, which at one time he found boring and restrictive to his game.

As Bryant struggles through the 20th season of his career averaging 15 points shooting 31% from the field, he no longer has the comfort of the Triangle Offense at his disposal. Bryant thrived in that system which got him to his sweet spots on the court. It also helped him get open shots without having to beat defenders one-on-one, a daunting task now at his age.

The Lakers passed on re-rehiring Jackson in 2012 in leu of Mike D’Antoni.

This current Lakers team still hasn’t grasped their offensive philosophy, making it difficult on the 37-year old Tex Winter disciple.

“The way I played, the way I shot, blowing coverages defensively, coming down offensively and not having concept of what we’re trying to do,” Bryant exclaimed.

It is difficult enough for Bryant to be effective on offense with his age and mileage. What has made it worst is the Lakers inability to establish balance, something Jackson routinely preached.


 

Warriors Use Pistons Game-plan Against Shaq in 2004 NBA Finals

It’s a page straight from the 2004 NBA Finals. Larry Brown chose to play Shaquille O’Neal with single-coverage on the way to a 4-1 series win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Detroit Pistons chose to double Kobe Bryant instead and stayed at home with the rest of the shooters. Ben Wallace couldn’t stop O’Neal, who had his way with him, but it wasn’t enough to dominate the series. A younger O’Neal would have went for sixty each night if left alone. But the Pistons knew they were better off letting Shaq get his while shutting down everyone else.

LeBron James scored 44 points in Game 1 of 2015 NBA Finals, but only two in overtime. He continued to struggle with his outside shot, missing a fade-away three-pointer that would have won the game at the end of regulation. Steve Kerr decided not to double-team LeBron James, and as a result, the role players didn’t get open looks.The Golden State Warriors can’t stop LeBron from scoring, but they can stop him from getting his teammates involved.

J.R. Smith who has been huge in the playoffs thus far for Cleveland went 3-13, and starting shooting guard Iman Shumpert went 2-6. The Cavs had only one player with a field-goal off the bench. Kyrie Irving was productive on both ends of the floor, scoring 23 points and blocking Stephen Curry’s game winning shot attempt. But just like Karl Malone on the 2004 Lakers, Irving entered with a knee injury and will not finish the series after fracturing his kneecap.

At this point there is no need for Kerr to make any adjustments. James went 2-8 from the three-point line, and though still in his prime, no longer posses the athletic ability to dominate an entire series by himself. It was Shane Battier, Ray Allen, and Mike Miller who made multiple timely three-point shots during championship runs in 2012 & 2013. LeBron will need that same type of support to win his third ring. The Warriors look to cutoff the support and make LeBron carry the ailing Cavaliers.

Former Lakers Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton battle as coaches in the NBA Finals

Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, and Kurt Rambis played meaningful roles with the Los Angles Lakers, combining for 12 NBA championships as players, and six as coaches. Shaw and Rambis were assistants on Phil Jackson’s staff, and Fisher is  currently head coach of the New York Knicks. But it’s two unlikely bit players in the Lakers Dynasties, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton, who are now on the cusp of adding another ring.

Lue twice won titles in L.A. (2000 & 2001), and is most remembered for being stepped over by Allen Iverson in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals. He is now an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending the past five seasons in Boston and Los Angeles on the bench with Doc Rivers.

Walton won a title with the Lakers in 2010, and had a stint as an assistant coach with the University of Memphis during the 2011 NBA lockout before joining Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors this season.

Both work closely in player development, each possessing a wealth of experience from having played on championship teams with MVP’s. Walton has an NBA father like Steph Curry and was tootled by Phil Jackson like Steve Kerr. Lue was teammates with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan over a span of four seasons, and was a part of the Lakers team that won a title with a 16-1 playoff record.

Kerr spurned Phil and the Knicks to put the finishing touches on what former coach Mark Jackson built. But although his tenure as president has gotten off to a rocky start with the Knicks, there should be a degree off satisfaction for Phil Jackson seeing his former players compete in the roles of coaches for an NBA championship.

Steph Curry: Cool Back

In the 1992 movie White Men Can’t Jump, Billy Hoyle told Sidney Deane “A Black man wants to look good first and win second.” This season NBA MVP Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors has achieved both.

While California was experiencing a record drought, Curry was making it rain. There have been many things said and written about his jumper. It can be surmised in one word: Wet. But not only is Curry scientifically accurate from long-range, he does it nonchalantly.

Curry says he adapted his style from Steve Nash. But Nash never played with this type of flare. When he wasn’t sending players to the floor with his behind the back cross-overs, he was literally doing the moonwalk after made three-pointers.

Curry isn’t simply the flavor of the season. He is in the class of George Gervin and Dr. J. His game is cool. His moves appear to be in slow motion and in rhythm to a smooth jazz track. His on court prowess and body language are that of someone who knows they are fly.

The flashy aren’t often associated with being victorious. What’s made Curry’s spectacular play special is that it has elevated his team to victory.

It started with the Warriors capturing their first Pacific Division title in 39 years, then an NBA’s best 67 wins, earning the number one seed in the playoffs.

After relinquishing home-court advantage in a 97-90 Game 2 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the Conference Semi-Finals on the night Steph accepted the MVP award, the questions began to circulate about his toughness. Those doubts were fortified after Memphis point guard Mike Conley returned from a fractured  face to lead his team to a 2-1 advantage.

The stage was set for the moral of the story to be how once again, hard work and grit beats out style and grace. All that was needed was to knock the finesse Warriors upside their heads and they would fold amid the physicality.

But Curry bounced back with an 11-22 shooting, 33 point performance in Game 3, reclaiming the home-court for Oakland, and passing his first test since becoming MVP. Golden State closed out Memphis on the road in Game 6, and Steph Curry finished the series with more three-point field-goals (25) than the entire Grizzlies team.

So Curry has validated his NBA number one selling jersey, his top vote 2015 NBA All-Star selection, and his Most Valuable Player award. He’s made it look too easy most of the time, understanding that cooler heads always prevail.

Kobe Bryant experiencing Michael Jordan’s mid-90’s crisis

Chris Rock hosted Saturday Night Live the night Klay Thompson went off on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers for 41 points. It made me have nostalgic memories of the Little Penny era of Nike commercials voiced by the comedian.

Rock played a puppet-sized version of Anfernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway in a collection of popular ads for the NBA star’s shoes. It was director Spike Lee and Michael Jordan who took the Kicks campaigns to a new level with ‘It’s Got Be The Shoes’ in the 80’s, and Hardaway along with the new crop of talent had seemingly taken the torch from his Airness.

After retiring to play baseball and having a lackluster comeback that ended with being eliminated by the Orlando Magic, it was apparent by the commercials on television and the new young talent on the court that Michael Jordan had gotten too old.

There were visuals like Nick Anderson ripping him in the 95 playoffs, Allen Iverson crossing him up- moments where the old guy in the gym gets embarrassed by the young punk he’d just been schooling about the fundamentals of the game.

The 90’s ushered in a new era of guards like Temple’s Eddie Jones and Connecticut’s Ray Allen who grew up watching Jordan, modeled facets of their games after him, and now were in line to challenge the Master.

#AirJordan was no longer “trending.” Grant Hill’s Fila’s were hot and Shaq was breaking backboards. We had gotten over MJ.

But rumors of his demise were were greatly exaggerated. It was as if the ascension of the new young talent in the league was predicated on the decentralization of Jordan’s game.

18-years removed being drafted into the NBA, Kobe Bryant is now being offered his golden parachute to make room for the new guys in the office.

Bryant averaged 26 points 6 assists and 5 rebounds on 46% shooting from the field through 78 games prior to the Achilles’s injury. But it’s not simply health or age that are making a growing amount of people get over Kobe. It’s the influx of talent similar to the 90’s.

James Harden, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, John Wall and Russell Westbrook are lighting up the league and are changing the cultural paradigm in the process.

It was Jordan that entered the Association with baggy shorts and cool sneakers that made the NBA recognize hip-hop and it’s marketing value. Now we have The Splash Brothers, Harden’s beard, and the social-media posturing that creates the images which heavily influence today’s perception.

Iverson was dropping bars with Jadakiss in his shoe commercials while Jordan was on the green playing golf. It’s these type of connections that new generation is making that is aiding the call for Bryant to start drawing Social Security payments.

But Money Mike wasn’t quite finished. He bounced back from the debacle against Orlando to average 30 points a game and went on to win three more championships. Kobe has displayed early in the season that he still has some athleticism left, and still possess the ability to score at a high level.

Phil Jackson has confirmed that Bryant’s training is on a much higher plain than was Jordan’s, and the six-time champion himself has confirmed that Bryant shares his killer instinct and prowess.

The next generation has definitely turned a corner, but that doesn’t mean Bryant is ready to turn down.

Run The Triangle is a new testament in basketball.

Klay Thompson is cash money in Warriors victory over Lakers

How did Klay Thompson respond to inking a four-year $70 million dollar extension with the Golden State Warriors? By erupting for 41 points on 77% from the field, including 5-7 from behind the arc in a 127 to 104 trouncing of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Steph Curry added 31 points for the Warriors who picked up where they left off in pre-season when they lambasted the Lakers in two shooting exhibitions. Kobe Bryant scored 28 points but wasn’t as efficient as Thompson, who obviously had something prove against the future Hall-of-Fame shooting guard after getting big money.

Jordan Hill had 23 points, and backup big man Ed Davis added 13. But the Lakers were once again ineffective on defense, surrendering a season high 127 points.

The Lakers will try to avoid an 0-5 start when they face the Phoenix Suns Tuesday at Staples Center.

Run The Triangle is a new testament in basketball.

Lakers at Golden State Warriors Preview: Lakers Trying to Make Splash In Win Column

Golden State Warrior guard Klay Thompson is once again throwing up fours, but it’s not because of an And 1 on a three-point shot. It’s the number of years over which he will paid $70 million after inking a new extension.

Thompson averaged 18 points last season and increased his stock during his Team USA run. After not including him in a deal for Kevin Love and turning down other offers, the Warriors met the midnight deadline to retain the 24-year-old young gun.

Hard Way To Avoid 4

It won’t be easy to avoid an 0-4 start playing the high octane offensive Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back in Oakland.

Stephen Curry has been a problem thus far in his career for the Lakers. Jeremy Lin must make Curry work on the defensive end and not lot his night simply be about sinking 30+-foot daggers against porous defense. Kobe Bryant had to deal with James Harden on opening night and now must contend with the other premiere shooting guard in the league. Bryant takes these types of battles personally, and the son of former Laker Mychal Thompson has about 70 million new reason to prove he’s on his level. Look for Bryant and Thompson to have some one-on-one moments along the way.

Hill Up For Battle?

Jordan Hill can go along way to changing the complexity of this Lakers team by replicating his 23 point performance he had the night before against the Los Angeles Clippers. Andrew Bogut is currently healthy and stays active on the defense end. Jordan’s mid-range game could draw him away from the basket and give Lin and Bryant more space to operate.

In Conclusion

The Warriors are certain to score at will on a Lakers team that’s giving up 115 points a game so far, second-worst in the league. The Lakers must not let the ‘Splash Brothers’ make the game a shooting-range contest between the two, complete with cool handshakes and signals, but make them work on the defensive end.

The Lakers Have Mad Shoe Game

The Los Angeles Lakers proved they are out to win by any means necessary, as Ronnie Price launched a shoe at Andre Iguodala during the Lakers second pre-season loss to the Golden State Warriors.

‘Splash Brothers’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were as good as advertised, while the suddenly short-handed Lakers are still a work in progress.

In this chronicle of P.A.G.E. 24, we discuss what’s wrong with the Lakers’ offense, trisect Kobe’s horrible shooting night, and how the sons of NBA players are creating their own legacies.

In association with the ‘World-Wide LakerGang 4 LIFE’ #WWLG4L Network, it’s Purple And Gold Everything 24.