Tag Archives: Lakers

Jordan Clarkson & D’Angelo Russell Shine In Summer League Debut

The Los Angeles Lakers shook the scales when they drafted D’Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor with the second pick in the 2015 NBA draft. If their debut in the 2015 Summer League is any indication, pairing him alongside Jordan Clarkson will give the Lakers a versatile and athletic tandem in the back-court.

Russell controlled the offense and scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out six assists with three steals. Clarkson scored a team-high 23 points.

Lakers Pick Up The Pieces: Roy Hibbert

XXIV, PAGE 24, Lakers

After being rejected by LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, and Greg Monroe, the Los Angeles Lakers salvaged their summer of free-agency by trading for two-time All-Star Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert is by no means a franchise player like Aldridge, but does address a need on defense. In the 2014-2015 season, the Lakers were 29th in both defensive rating and opponents points per game. Hibbert is a 7’2 legitimate center that will provide instant rim protection..

The move allows the Lakers to keep their financial flexibility. Hibbert is 28 (younger than Aldridge) and in the final year of his contract, which should provide added incentive to play well.

In this edition of P.A.G.E. 24 we analyze why the Lakers haven’t been able to lure free-agents to Los Angeles the past few summers, and how Roy Hibbert can help their young core.

Lakers Last Supper Portrait for the 2010 Lakers album 'Purple Reign'

Lakers Album: Purple Reign

Intro:

 

Lakers World Order Theme:

 

2 Sweet:

 

Gunz Blazing:

 

Light’s Out:

 

The Greatest Show:

 

Lakehouse:

 

Downtown Live:

 

The Hotness:

 

Lakers Haters:

 

Outro(Fame & Fortune) / Never Give Up:


BONUS TRACKS

The Public Option:

 

Count On Me:

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.

Jordan Clarkson should make NBA All-Rookie Team

Most coups occur in the middle of the night when regime change by force is unexpected. The Los Angeles Lakers executed one in plain sight during the 2014 NBA Draft with their selection of Jordan Clarkson.

Clarkson was the 46th pick in the second-round.  His 10 ppg average is more than the point-guards selected ahead of him, most notably lottery picks Dante Exum (4), and Marcus Smart (7), and LeBron James recruit, Miami’s Shabazz Napier (5). Milwaukee’s Tyler Ennis is averaging 3 ppg after being selected 18th, Detroit Piston Spencer Dinwiddie (4), and Houston Rocket Nick Johnson (2) were both selected ahead of Clarkson.  

Despite the Lakers’ forgettable season, Jordan Clarkson has taken it upon himself to remind everyone why teams had him as a first-round selection on many draft boards.

Clarkson recently scored a career-high 30 points against MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, drawing faint comparisons by Lakers Head Coach Byron Scott to the athletic scoring OKC Thunder point-guard.

Clarkson’s steal and furious slam dunk on Exum in a 100-97 Lakers win over the Jazz was evidence that he is further along in his game than the 19-year-old Aussie. Some may still believe Exum has a higher ceiling, but Clarkson’s college experience at Missouri is evident in his polished game.

After beginning the season in the shadows of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash,  and  Jeremy Lin, Clarkson is poised to finish at the controls. His dynamic play has earned trust from his coaches and teammates.

His statistical averages of 10 points 2 rebounds and 2 assists alone garner All-Rookie recognition. But Jordan Clarkson is providing Lakers’ fans with realistic hope for next year.  For that seemingly insurmountable task alone, he should be rewarded.

Jordan Clarkson is ready to be an L.A. Boss

 

It wasn’t simply Jordan Clarkson’s throw down dunk on Dante Exum. It was him stealing the ball from the Australian sensation beforehand which initiated the instant classic hi-lite. Los Angeles Lakers rookie Jordan Clarkson symbolically had his coming out party in a 100-97 win in Utah against the Jazz.

While the Lakers are racking up injuries, DNP-CD’s, and overall bad vibes, Jordan Clarkson infused hope for the future with one facial that will surely stay in rotation for seasons to come.

Clarkson has now earned league-wide credibility.  Players are wacthing YouTube, Vine, and are just as engaged on Twitter as any fan. Best believe the next defender will think twice about challenging Jordan Clarkson at the rim, lest they get Dante Exumed. There is visual evidence that he got game. Jordan Clarkson wants to be that dude and his chance has arrived.

Now this may not have been Jordan in the back-court Kobe Bryant dreamt of playing alongside in his fleeting thoughts to sign  with the Washington Wizards earlier in the decade. But Clarkson’s tenacity fulfills the prerequisite of being accepted by Bryant. After years of having to defend the other teams point guards, Clarkson’s athleticism should relieve Bryant of the burden for the remainder of his career. Defensively the Lakers can finally address Stephen Curry, Damian Lilliard, Russell Westbrook, and the long list of guards who dominate the Western Conference.

With four draft-picks this off-season, and the return of Julius Randall, Jordan Clarkson is poised to lead the youth movement in Los Angeles.

 

Steve Nash, Lakers, are having fun clowning around and beefing on Twitter

Just when you thought things could not become more weird in Lakerland, two-time MVP Steve Nash decided to joust with a Twitter user. In response to a Tweet, the injured Lakers’ guard replied “I’m the hardest 41 yr old you know Brodie. Watch your mouth or temecula.”

Steve Nash or temecula

Steve Nash warns fan about how hard he is

This comes on the heels of Nick ‘Swaggy P’ Young, Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin embarrassing this once proud franchise in a post-game interview after winning an overtime game against the Boston Celtics, ending an eight-game losing streak. Kobe Bryant appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show and had a classic “Kobe state” reaction to his teammates antics. Coach Byron Scott joined in Kobe’s lack of enthusiasm:

“Kobe’s reaction was pretty much my reaction when I was watching it,” Scott said. “I was just shaking my head like, ‘I can’t believe this. That’s not us as Lakers. That’s not how we act. It showed a lack of professionalism.”

This just may be the worst Lakers team in history, but that hasn’t stopped them from keeping social-media sites popping with their non-basketball chicanery. Steve Nash may have gotten the “lolz,” but I’m pretty sure Lakers’ fans would prefer to see him run pick-and-roll instead of his videos playing golf and talking about how “hard” he is on Twitter.

Nick Van Exel goes X’s and O’s

Former NBA All-Star Nick Van Exel went from crafty point guard on the court to calling plays from the sidelines. The man who coined the term ‘Lakeshow’ is currently an assistant coach for the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.

Van Exel was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1993, representing them in the 1998 NBA All-Star game in New York. His career spanned 13-years and included stints with the Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers, and San Antonio Spurs. He was known for being a gritty left-handed point guard with nice handles and a three-point shot that complimented his ability to get to the basket.

Van Exel began his transition from player to personnel in 2009 as an assistant coach for Texas Southern. He worked in player development for the Atlanta Hawks from 2010-2012, and again as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks from 2013-2014. He now coordinates the offense for the Legends under Head Coach Eduardo Najera.

It has been said in football that former quarterbacks make the best head coaches. The same is true for point guards in basketball.

Derek Fisher earned a 5-year, $25 million dollar contract to become head coach of the New York Knicks. Although he had no prior experience, the leadership he displayed as a player served as his qualification. Other former point guards have seen success as head coaches like Scott Brooks of the OKC Thunder, ABC Commentator Mark Jackson, and Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Van Exel, who played under Bob Huggins at the University of Cincinnati, has the pedigree of a professional basketball player who experienced triumph and dealt with adversity. He has the talent, background, attitude to one day become a head coach in the NBA.

A Van Excellent Ending

Before Derek Fisher’s heroic .4 game-winner in 2004 against the Spurs, Nick Van Exel performed magic of his own in the playoffs at the Alamodome. He hit a running three-pointer to beat the Spurs in overtime of Game 5 of the 1995 Western Conference Semi-Finals. The underdog Lakers were later eliminated by MVP David Robinson’s team after upsetting Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp’s Seattle SuperSonics in four games.

Closing Out The Garden

Although he never had a chance to face them in the NBA Finals, Van Exel does have a page in Lakers vs. Celtics history. He made an improbable game-winning  corner three-point shot in the final Lakers game played in Boston Garden on January 20th, 1995.

 

XXIV, PAGE 24, Lakers

Reggie Miller Fights The Ghost Of Kobe Bryant

TNT Analyst Reggie Miller is an expert on defending oneself against Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He’s had the unique opportunity to battle each in the NBA playoffs and on-court scuffles. Miller recently appeared on the Dan Patrick Show where he compared the two:

No question. Michael Jordan on his worst day is 10 times better than Kobe Bryant on his best day, and that is not short-changing Kobe Bryant because he gave me my lunch-pail too. Michael Jordan on his worst day I will take over Kobe Bryant on his best day.

Revelations, rTT, TT, Run The Triangle

World-Peace Still Defending LeBron James

Former NBA strongman Metta World-Peace took to social-media to defend Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. He mentioned ESPN Analyst Stephen A. Smith’s name specifically, and asked a question of the media in general about LeBron sacrificing his scoring for team basketball.

James is by far still playing like a superstar who is miles ahead of everyone. But there have been moments this season where his athletic ability has seemed to wane. Most notably in a 102-100 loss to the Utah Jazz where Gordon Hayward got a chase down block on James followed by a transition dunk.

Much like Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, LeBron James has been playing in the NBA since the age of 18, and has spent a significant portion of his career making deep playoff runs with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. LeBron may be dealing with fatigue rather than the declination of his game.