Morning Shootaround — March 5


VIDEO: The Daily Zap for games played March 4

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Kobe: ‘Revenge is sweet and quick’ | Clips unsure when Redick will return | Brown won’t focus on Sixers’ slump | Chandler mulling N.Y. future | Popovich talks offense

No. 1: Kobe has a message for Lakers’ doubters — Point guard Steve Nash, who hasn’t played since Feb. 11, may or may not return to the Lakers’ lineup next season. Star shooting guard Kobe Bryant has appeared in just six games this season and hasn’t played since Dec. 17. Power forward Pau Gasol has been in and out of the lineup with injuries all season. That’s all lead to the Los Angeles Lakers bringing up the rear in both the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. But, the uber-confident Bryant has a message for the Laker doubters out there, according to ESPN.com and Lakersnation.com:

Kobe Bryant plans to use the Los Angeles Lakers’ dismal 2013-14 as motivation for next season.

And he’s hoping his teammates will do the same.

Bryant, speaking this weekend during an appearance to promote his new Nike Kobe 9 Elite shoe at Westfield Culver City mall, told Power 106 radio in Los Angeles that he’s looking forward to getting revenge on all those doubters next season.

“This year, we all know it’s been a real tough year for us, right?” Bryant told Power 106, according to Lakersnation.com. “So what I’d like everybody to do is to really just sit back and just absorb this year. Take it all in. Sit back and watch and listen and hear all the hate that’s being thrown at us and remember every person that’s kicking you when you’re down, because next year it ain’t gonna be this way.

“Appreciate it now. Let it sit in now, because revenge is sweet and it’s quick.”

Bryant told Power 106 that proving those who had a lack of faith in the Lakers and his recovery wrong is what fuels the five-time NBA champion now.

“You’ve got to appreciate that and enjoy that and use that as fuel as motivation to basically just shut everybody the hell up,” Bryant told the radio station, according to Lakersnation.com. “It’s that challenge, that challenge that drives us all, I think, and definitely keeps me going.”

***

No. 2: No timetable yet for Redicks’s return to Clips — Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick has not played for the last 11 games as a bulging disk in his back has reared its ugly head. While L.A. has tried to offset Redick’s absence with the recent signing of Danny Granger as another player to use on the wings, the team is growing increasingly concerned about when Redick will actually play again. Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times has more:

It is still uncertain when starting shooting guard J.J. Redick will return to the court for the Clippers.

Redick is sidelined by a bulging disk in his lower back. He has missed the last 11 games, including Tuesday’s game at Phoenix. When the Clippers disclosed the nature of the injury on Feb. 18, Redick had already missed four games with what the team had been calling a hip injury.

There still is no timetable for his return, and Clippers Coach Doc Rivers was asked Tuesday night if he feared that Redick could be out for the rest of the season.

“I don’t know,” Rivers said before the game against the Suns. “I haven’t had that fear yet. I don’t want that fear, maybe would be a better way of putting it. But I don’t know. I just keep getting updates.

“I’m sure there is some thought of that. He’s been out for so long. But we’re just hoping for the best.”

On Monday in Los Angeles, Redick did some shooting before the rest of the team practiced.

But there are only 20 regular-season games left, and the Clippers are unsure how Redick will respond to treatment.

“He’s doing a lot better,” Rivers said. “He’s shooting a little bit. I don’t know what that means, but at least he’s moving around shooting. But there’s been no update. I don’t think he’s improved to the point we thought he would, so far. We had anticipated him being back almost [by now].”


VIDEO: Clippers coach Doc Rivers talks about L.A.’s victory in Phoenix

***

No. 3: Sixers’ Brown won’t harp on Philly’s skid to playersWith last night’s 125-92 defeat on the road to the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder, the Philadelphia 76ers have a 15-game losing streak. While Philly is clearly in a rebuilding mode and has struggled to find any kind of stable footing all season long, coach Brett Brown has preached that 2013-14 is about learning the game and developing good habits, not so much wins and losses. That continues to be his point of emphasis as the Sixers’ losing streak goes on and on, writes Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News:

Coach Brett Brown’s personality is one that makes him approach things head-on. There is little wiggle room in what he says. It comes from the heart, it is the truth and it is without filter.

So bringing up the current losing streak, which reached 15 games with last night’s 125-92 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, is expected by the first-year coach of the 76ers. He talks openly and honestly about it. And he charges at it just as he would a 15-game winning streak. He just doesn’t bring it up to his team.

“I don’t even think I’ve mentioned it, this streak,” Brown said. “We talk candidly about having to make sure we share the ball, don’t play in a crowd, get back in transition. Everybody talks about us not winning for the rest of the year, or whatever they say. And that’s all true. We have to focus on sharing the ball, playing together and not playing in a crowd because we drive the paint all the time and we don’t have great perimeter shooters right now, and we better get back in transition.

“The beat-down thing doesn’t really rear its head because it’s [losing] 12 games or 14 games or the month of February. We don’t quantify it like that. I really try to sell it and I think these guys have bought in. Keep getting better, keep getting better. Winning is not our report card this year. I hope that that is good enough. I hope they believe the truth. That is how we’re approaching that and that is all we’ve got as this season plays out.”

“I really like being on the court with the players,” Brown said. “I like coaching the guys and trying to find ways to inspire them or help them get better. We’ve said from Day 1 [that] I feel the one thing that will help me connect all the dots is if they genuinely know that we care about their development. [Even though] somebody is going to trade them or somebody isn’t going to play them as much as they hoped, that they know they have a coaching staff that comes to the gym and really pays attention and cares.

“We want them to play well. Oftentimes I feel so naked where you’re playing in the NBA and teams are getting better, yet not only are we young and have been losing, we’re getting new faces in. We want to practice and we want to do those types of things where we can continue to develop. That’s what keeps me motivated.”


VIDEO:Sixers coach Brett Brown talks after Philly’s loss in OKC

***

No. 4: Chandler unsure of role with Knicks — Just two seasons ago, Tyson Chandler was on his way to winning his first Defensive Player of the Year award for the playoff-bound New York Knicks and a season ago, he was the defensive anchor for an Atlantic Division-winning Knicks team, too. Even as New York has fallen into the pits of the Eastern Conference this season, Chandler has remained a stalwart defender — perhaps the only one on the Knicks that can claim that. But as Marc Berman of the New York Post reports, Chandler is tiring of all of New York’s losing and whether or not he wants to be a part of the team long term:

Knicks center Tyson Chandler is so disillusioned, he isn’t sure he wants to be part of the team’s long-term future.

With the Knicks in chaos, owner James Dolan is going to look to rebuild or reload at season’s end. Whether Chandler, who is starting to show signs of age, is part of the blueprints is unclear. And Chandler may not want to stick around either.

“That’s something I have to visit during the offseason,” Chandler said. “We’re all going to have a lot of decisions to make.”

“For me, it’s important regardless [to finish out strong],” Chandler said. “I got a lot more pride than this, coming in night in, night out losing, and not putting forth the type of effort it takes to win. At this stage of my career and what I’ve established, I refuse to let it put a blemish on it.”


VIDEO: Tyson Chandler talks after the Knicks’ loss in Detroit

***

No. 5: Popovich talks secrets to offensive success — A cursory glance at the stats reveals that San Antonio is second in the league in field goal percentage (48.8 pct), first in 3-point percentage (39.1 pct), ninth in points (104.4 ppg), seventh in offensive rating (107.4) and second in both effective field goal percentage (53.7) and true shooting percentage (57.2). In short, the Spurs — despite injuries this season to standouts Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker — remain a solid offensive group. In a brief Q&A with Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, coach Gregg Popovich shares a couple of insights into his offense’s success:

Q. Can you explain the concept of “good-to-great?”

Popovich: “There are a lot of good shots, but if you can turn that into a great shot, percentages go through the roof. Contested shots are really bad shots. People’s percentage goes down almost by 20, almost without exception. All those things in an offense are things a coach is always trying to develop. It takes time to get everybody to the point where they all buy in and understand how it’s good for the group to do things.

“You want to penetrate not just for you, but for a teammate. Penetrating because I want to make things happen. It could be for me. It could be for a teammate. It could be for the pass after the pass I make. As people start to realize that, then you get a flow and people start playing basketball rather than just running the play that’s called or making up their minds ahead of time.”

Q. How do you get players to take ownership of the offense? Is it a confidence thing?

Popovich: “That’s a good question. A lot depends on the competitiveness and the character of the player. Often times, I’ll appeal to that. Like, I can’t make every decision for you. I don’t have 14 timeouts. You guys got to get together and talk. You guys might see a mismatch that I don’t see. You guys need to communicate constantly — talk, talk, talk to each other about what’s going on on the court.

“I think that communication thing really helps them. It engenders a feeling that they can actually be in charge. I think competitive character people don’t want to be manipulated constantly to do what one individual wants them to do. It’s a great feeling when players get together and do things as a group. Whatever can be done to empower those people …

“Sometimes in timeouts I’ll say, ‘I’ve got nothing for you. What do you want me to do? We just turned it over six times. Everybody’s holding the ball. What else do you want me to do here? Figure it out.’ And I’ll get up and walk away. Because it’s true. There’s nothing else I can do for them. I can give them some bulls—, and act like I’m a coach or something, but it’s on them.

“If they’re holding the ball, they’re holding the ball. I certainly didn’t tell them to hold the ball. Just like, if they make five in a row, I didn’t do that. If they get a great rebound, I didn’t do that. It’s a players’ game and they’ve got to perform. The better you can get that across, the more they take over and the more smoothly it runs.

“Then you interject here or there. You call a play during the game at some point or make a substitution, that kind of thing that helps the team win. But they basically have to take charge or you never get to the top of the mountain.”

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins took to Twitter to say he wasn’t impressed with LeBron James‘ 61-point game … Good feature from the Indianapolis Star that takes a look back at Jermaine O’Neal‘s glory days with the Indiana Pacers … Suns rookie Alex Len got his first start of the season last night … Pelicans coach Monty Williams shuffled the lineup as New Orleans topped the L.A. Lakers

ICYMI of the Night: Pacers guard George Hill hits an amazing over-the-head, no-look, and-one shot against the Warriors last night that you’ve just got to see …


VIDEO: George Hill sinks an amazing over-the-head layup against the Warriors

27 Comments

  1. jg says:

    kobe who?

  2. splash says:

    kobe did say that he was testing out his ankle during the first few games back that’s why he wasn’t running and jumping up and down the floor. He was just starting to get more active during the memphis game where he injured his knee. I think he’s going to be avging 18 ppg at least for the next two years.

  3. Andrew says:

    U tell them Kobe. U need the fire and alongside Nash, u guys will prove the doubter next season. Recover well Nash #10.

  4. MJalltheWAY says:

    Kobe, TIME IS UP! Only MJ can play at his best at your age. H e simply can’t play the way he did before… more like a carmelo anthony… shoot,miss, miss, miss, shoot, then many more misses unit he reaches 30 pts. You can’t beat Lebron nor Durant whose fg % are way better. But I wonder what if D Rose never got injured, must have turned out different for the HEAT. LOL!!! D Rose all the way!

  5. TheAll-Star136 says:

    There isn’t much left in Kobe. The only way for him to win another champion is to leave LA. No Kobe, its time to move on. I rather leave a struggling team than to stay there.

  6. WALID says:

    WHO HAVE SEEN TOMARROW

  7. WALID says:

    who have seen tomarrow .

  8. Sorry America none of you stand a chance, i created the Miami Heat team mawahahahahahaha!

  9. Kobe Bryant you are one of the greatest players to ever play the game but with all due respect as a Miami Heat fan i will tell you that you have no chance against LeBron James. This is the NWO Miami Heat super team and Miami will rule the basketball world for many years to come. I think Kobe should retire and hang it up, three is no shame to walk away now. Durant and LeBron are difficult to compete with now along with the new younger guys.

  10. Kobe Bryant you were one of the greatest players to ever play the game and i respect you, but you don’t stand a chance against the NWO Miami Heat Super team as LeBron James will rule the NBA for many years from here forward. I think you should just retire, there is no shame in walking out now. It is tough to compete with LeBron, Durant, and the new younger superstars.

  11. AC says:

    to Kobe:

    LAKERS R DEAD !!! REVENGE – OUT OF DAY PLAN ))))))))))))))))

  12. Kobecrusaders says:

    All of yall are haters. Kobe has been doubted so much ever since Shaq left the team. Kobe proved all those haters wrong that he couldn’t win a championship without shaq and once he won 2 more without him, every hater was on his back saying how great he is and how they knew he was going to do it. The point is that he is going to prove all of you wrong AGAIN and then all of you guys will be on his back again talking about how great he is. You know how many players, in all sports, have came back from his injury and played at a high level ? come on now

    • skrutz says:

      It’s not the same every time. He’s a lot older, and has hardly played in a long time. Nobody can come back from that and instantly win a championship, unless they get some crazy new teammates (which they won’t, since Kobe’s salary is like a 3rd of the team).

      Maybe he will be amazing, but it doesn’t sound like it. It’s weird to see this many comments of non-supporters… its usually all Kobe lovers.

  13. Vernus says:

    Now that the Heat’s big 3 will break up… a lot of mouths will start running. Not only This guy.

  14. Rob says:

    It’s a shame for Kobe Bryant that he’s not half as good as he thinks he is, but, nobody is half as good as Kobe Bryant thinks he is.

  15. TTKIN says:

    Pop and Phil Jackson’s methods are pretty similar. 2 of the greatest coaches ever…who woulda though am i right??

  16. squala96 says:

    Lakers have gone from best overall to the worst in the West within a span of 4 years – how quickly things can change! The current lineup is not the worst though. The Suns, who lost their key players and currently have a rookie coach, are surprisingly doing well. The Bulls, who unfortunately are without Rose once more, are managing quite alright. That’s because those teams have a guy who can make the most out of whatever players are on the list. Imagine what Tom Thibodeau could have done to transform the Lakers.

  17. Stephisbeast says:

    Kobe: Shhh… too much talking already. Just retire. Go away. Like a little chihuahua… so annoying.

  18. MZ! says:

    LAKERS are bad until KOBE COMES BACK… I AM A WIZ FAN I M BEING HONEST RIGHT NOW LEBRON AND KD IS BETTER

  19. dustydreamnz says:

    Well said Joe.
    Brett Brown appears a good coach who won’t tolerate mucking around, he doesn’t have a squad to work with yet.
    Did Pop tell the interviewer, ‘Good question?’

    • Jeff says:

      That’s the first thing I noticed “Good Question”. If that’s the case it would be a first ever!!!! Pop hates stupid questions but to get one that he says “Good Question” should receive an award I think. Mind you it was a rather insightful question. Clearly the interviewer knows more about coaching than one would think. I’m not a Spurs fan (hard not to like the team) but Pop is the best coach…..it’s a no-brainer.

  20. cramerica66 says:

    Ofc he will talk up next season. Lakers always get a franchise player very quickly when one is lost or deteriorating. They will tank the season get a high caliber player and be contenders in no time. As much as I hate the Lakers franchise I’m pretty sure they won’t be losing for very long.

  21. Joe says:

    Kobe Bryant is wishful thinking because he is injured and helpless he can’t ever be the same player again.He may never play a full schedule again and he may never be relevant again in terms of being a All Star level player in the future.I would just keep quite if i was Kobe because he is just talking nonsense honestly.The Lakers are a lottery team and will remain a lottery team with or without Kobe.Lakers are currently irrelevant in the current NBA landscape.Major changes are needed and a coaching change in order to fix the Lakers.Kobe is way past his prime he turn 36 in late August.

    • WhatEverMan says:

      I disagree with you. If Kobe can return to All Star level is yet to be seen. Even if he doesn’t, he has played at the highest level for more than half his life. Just last season, he was still considered a top 5 player. That’s good enough. The Lakers are one of the richest teams in the NBA and they are also in one of the most attractive locations. They will not remain a losing team for very long. Lastly, how can they be irrelevant when they get talked about more for having a losing season than some teams for having a winning season? I can see them being back in the playoffs next year and back in the running for a title within the next five years.

  22. BlueAndGold says:

    Bottom link on the page says “: Robin Lopez powers through the lane and jams on the Lakers’ Robert Sacre”

    That was yesterday’s morning shoot around clip.

    • syn says:

      yo.talk downers watch out for next season.I don’t think kobe is just trash talking watch out.