Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lakers Meeting with Phil Jackson Today

The Lakers are moving quickly toward hiring Phil Jackson as their next coach, with one person in the organization calling it a “95%” chance he will return for a third tour with the team.
The Lakers plan on meeting with Jackson on Saturday morning to make sure he is interested in the job. The unknown 5% in their equation is the chance Jackson doesn’t want to fill the vacancy created by the Friday firing of Mike Brown, either because of health reasons or other unknown issues.
Ultimately, Lakers management wants Jackson too. It’s just a matter of where Jackson stands right now. People who have spoken with him in recent weeks say he enjoys his life away from the game but is also intrigued by the Lakers’ roster and the opportunity to return to the only franchise he has known since 1999.
Jackson left the Lakers after the 2010-11 season, and at least one prominent player said he wanted a chance at redemption on Jackson’s behalf.

Durant, Westbrook Have New Agreement?

Russell Westbrook on KD (Kevin Durant) playing an almost passive game: “I think Kevin’s just playing his game. He lets the game come to him. Everybody’s got different personalities. Kevin’s the laid-back type. Everybody knows me as the crazy type. So my job is to do that and his job is to be relaxed.”
Westbrook again said something tonight that he’s repeatedly said in the past. KD’s the go-to guy down the stretch.
Maybe that’s what’s in play here. Maybe Durant is letting Westbrook do his thing for three quarters and taking the reins in the fourth. Maybe that’s something the two stars have agreed to so there can be harmony.
How else can you explain Durant simply watching Westbrook throw up shot after shot throughout the first three quarters tonight, missing more than 70 percent of them? Durant literally did nothing. He didn’t demand the ball. He didn’t make a fuss. He didn’t even appear to try to corral Westbrook.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Was Mike Brown The Lakers’ Problem?

 NBA BEATS - I think Mike Brown was part of the problem. I think the mistake made though was by upper managment for bring in Dwight Howard. Horrible move. All the Lakers needed was a Steve Nash. In my opinion the lakers where the team to beat until they brought in Dwight Howard. I would way rather have Pau Gasol. And Nash would do wonders for Kobe. Kobe could play stress free. I have never been a fan of Howard. He is just a superior being in regards to his physical body. They guy does not have much talent though. Plus he is a diva and is just gona tear up the locker room. Horrible move bring him in. Have never been a big fan of Mike Brown either.

It was bound to happen. When the Los Angeles Lakers went winless in the preseason it raised a few eyebrows, but the preseason is not always a good indicator of regular season success. When the games started to count, though, the losing became more troublesome. Considering the number of changes to the Lakers’ roster, the new offense being implemented, the lack of depth and the injury to Steve Nash, firing the head coach is a bit like putting a band-aid on a cracked dam.
The turnover alone would be enough to derail any NBA team. Yes, the Lakers have four All-Stars in their starting lineup, but once you get past the starters there is a noticeable drop-off in talent. Dwight Howard has foul troubles from time to time, and Jordan Hill is hardly a suitable stand-in. Steve Nash’s age was a concern from day one, yet the best the Lakers have behind him is Steve Blake, who has struggled since he arrived in L.A. Kobe Bryant has been as dominant as ever, but should he need to miss games for any reason the Lakers would be leaning on Jodie Meeks, who is shooting 28 percent on the season. The only position where the Lakers have a strong back-up is at forward, but even Antawn Jamison has had a hard time sparking the team off the bench.
The starting lineup is another story. Bryant is the most demanding teammate in the NBA, a lesson that Pau Gasol learned immediately upon being acquired by the Lakers. Howard does not approach the game with anything like the same level of seriousness as Bryant, and Howard’s recent comments about people needing to “lighten up” are no doubt in reference to Bryant. No one takes losing as personally as Bryant, and it seems only a matter of time before he has to go off on Howard in an effort to get him to take losing more seriously. Until he does, the Lakers will continue to struggle, no matter who is doing the coaching.
Finally, there’s the new offense, which seems to have turned Nash and Howard into bystanders instead of dominant, game-changing players. The Princeton offense, in particular, is a brilliant offense when it’s run properly. Rick Adelman, for example, has had great success with it for many years, spanning a large number of All-Star players on five different NBA teams. It worked with Terry Porter and Kevin Duckworth in Portland, it worked with Vlade Divac and Mike Bibby in Sacramento, and it worked with Yao Ming and a variety of supporting players in Houston. There’s no reason why that offense couldn’t work with Howard and Nash as the primary catalysts, but it’s not something that happens overnight.
There are plenty of reasons for the Lakers’ struggles to date. Lack of depth and the correspondingly low bench production would top my list, and that has little or nothing to do with coaching. Brown was handed a team and told to go out and compete for a championship, but the composition of that team is not such that competing for a championship is necessarily a given. Sure, the starting lineup is impressive, and that lineup has struggled to get on the same page. That comes down to coaching, but the other factors at play are beyond what Brown, or any other coach, can control.

Suns climb back

Phoenix suns were down by 26 tonight hosting Cleveland. They climbed all the way back and won. Great win for the Suns. I was quite impressed by Cleveland though. They are a decent squad. Especially with Dion Waiters. That guy looked impressive!!!

Brandon Roy Admits Legs Aren’t Back

Brandon Roy is off to a sluggish start. But the three-time NBA all-star wants to clarify two things: his knees are fine, and he’s not about to panic.
Roy has not contributed significantly to the Timberwolves’ 3-1 start. He is shooting 26.6 percent and averaging 5.7 points, both career lows. Though he has started all four games, he has not played in the fourth quarter the past three games, and he’s been passive with his shooting.
“My thing was to not come out and make a splash right away but to be ready in the later months,” Roy said Thursday, Nov. 8, after a Wolves practice. “I just need to get my legs back. My legs are still a little heavy. My shot’s been off. Once I get my legs back, the game will get easier.”

Blazers’ Lillard Not Content With Hot Start

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts couldn’t be more pleased with what he’s seen from his young floor general, especially Lillard’s hunger to improve.
“Damian is like everybody has been saying: he’s an excellent, young guy, who’s played well, but he’s not content with how he’s played,” Stotts said. “He’s had three good games that people have been putting into historical context, but at the same time he looks at it as how he can improve, and where the areas are that he can do better, so I think that’s going to help him down the line.”
Lillard has also impressed his team captain early, though LaMarcus Aldridge had seem him in summer league before training camp and preaseason and had an idea what to expect.
“If I didn’t go through training camp with him, I think I’d be surprised,” Aldridge said. “I’ve seen him all through training camp and he’s done this day in and day out, so I’m not overly surprised. He’s that good, he’s talented, he’s smart, he knows the game very well. He has that pace to his game that next-level guys have, he doesn’t get sped up, he kind of dictates the offense, so that’s good for him.”

Mavs’ Focus: Wearing Down Opponents

Featuring two 25-year-old starters that are both at least a decade younger than their predecessors in Dallas, the onus is on wearing down opponents by playing aggressive basketball on both ends of the floor.
“We understand how important it is to come out and be good every night,” Mayo said. “Start the game well every night and guard our positions then, in the third quarter, come out with a strong stance. We’re still learning and we’re still young so we’re going to make some mistakes but, without a doubt, we’re going to go out there and play incredibly hard, lot of effort, lot of energy and just try to give ourselves a chance to win.”
A key factor in the almost instant on-court cohesion between Mayo and Collison is that the pair already had an excellent rapport both on and off the basketball court.  The duo has frequently played pickup games in previous offseasons together and had developed a good relationship off the floor before joining forces in Dallas this past summer.
“Yeah, I like playing with O.J.,” Collison said. “I’ve been playing with OJ for the last two to three summers. He’s a guy that I respect off the court, and vice versa. O.J.’s a guy that continues to work on and off the court, and anytime you see that, it just brings your game up to a whole other level too. He’s excited to play with me, and I’m excited to play with him and it’s only going to be good things hopefully for the near future.”