Posts Tagged ‘LA Times’

Knuckle Up!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Desperate times call for desperate measures.

And prior to Sunday’s game at the Rose Garden, the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers were the living, breathing, jump-shooting and dunking embodiment of desperate.

The Blazers were trying to snap a six-game losing streak. The Clippers were trying to win on the road for the first time this season. The result was a fantastic wrestling match with some pretty good basketball mixed in for good measure.

Seriously, though, both of these teams will continue to fight to save their seasons. They have to, with so much drama swirling around their respective camps.


About Last Night: PG Issues in LA?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Miami isn’t the only high-profile team struggling to slow down opposing team’s point guards.

The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are going through some trials and tribulations of their own in that regard. In fact, the Lakers’ three-game losing streak has been highlighted by opposing point guards attacking them, including last night’s monster effort from Hang Time Grizzlies flash Mike Conley.

He was the tip of the Grizzlies’ spear, abusing older and slower point guards Derek Fisher and Steve Blake to the tune of a team-high 28 points, which including a 4-for-5 shooting display from long distance.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson insists the problem with opposing point guards is a deeper issue for his team than what’s gone on in the last three games, per our main man Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

“We’ve had trouble with them from the last two or three years,” Jackson said. “So that’s nothing new. There are quick guards in this league.”

The Lakers never could quite figure out how to slow down the left-handed, fleet-footed Conley.

He burned them for 10 points in the fourth, missing just one of his five shots, making his only three-pointer.

That came with 1:41 left and it gave the Grizzlies a seven-point lead they held on to.

“Defensively, we had trouble keeping in front of him,” Jackson said. “And a lot of that is help from the big guys. A lot of it is his talents.”

Sunday night, Indiana point guards Darren Collison and T.J. Ford combined for 19 points and eight assists. Last Friday night, Utah point guard Deron Williams hit the Lakers for 29 points on 10-for-14 shooting, and 12 assists.

Sound familiar?


About Last Night: Perfecto!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Another night, another Lakers win and another stellar outing from Pau Gasol, who played a perfect game against the Warriors Sunday night at Staples Center.

He’s making the conversation about the best big man in the league a short one between he and Magic center Dwight Howard, who is to the defensive end of the floor for big men what Gasol is to the offensive end.

This perfection thing is going around the Lakers’ locker room, though, as my main man Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times explains:

Pau Gasol stole a page from Matt Barnes‘ script, scoring 28 points and making all 10 of his shots two days after Barnes made all seven of his attempts in a victory over Minnesota.

In fact, Gasol and Barnes completed a bizarre run at history, two of a kind with their efficient, but obscure, stat lines. Before the last few days, Charles Barkley had been the only NBA player to get at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a game without missing a shot or free throw (minimum five attempts in each category).

Barnes did it against Minnesota and Gasol did it Sunday, adding nine rebounds and five assists. He made all eight of his free throws.

Perfection this early in the season? Twice in two games by Lakers players?

Interesting, indeed.

“Don’t know what to say,” said Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, who can usually find places to nitpick, though it would have been tough Sunday.

Gasol seemed amused at his brush with the NBA record books.

“Coincidence has something to do with it. It’s kind of weird it happened that way,” he said. “It happened once before in the history of the league and then back-to-back games it happens for two of our players. It’s weird, but obviously it’s a good sign.”

There were good signs elsewhere Sunday. (more…)

About Last Night: Perspective People

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Leave it up to one of our favorite coaches to remind us all of where we are right now.

Alvin Gentry‘s Phoenix Suns are as far removed from the direct light sizzling the Miami Heat these days as anyone can be. But after his Suns lit up the Lakers Sunday night for a jaw-dropping 22 makes from beyond the 3-point line (that’s one fewer made than the Lakers attempted) in an upset win over the two-time world champs, he reminded us all of the need for a little perspective, courtesy of Los Angeles Times Hall of Famer Mark Heisler:

“You guys kill me,” a laughing Gentry said after the game, incredulous at being asked about the Lakers’ attitude and defense.

“Like the season is over for them now? C’mon, give me a break. It’s one game!

“You guys going to analyze this team? Let’s see what happens at the end of June, OK?

“You guys kill me, though. It’s one game, We made 22 threes and we had to hold on to beat them. I think they’re OK, OK?”

Shouldn’t the same sort of perspective be applied to the early season start of other contenders, namely our friends in Miami? Many of you that have weighed in on the Heat around here in the past three weeks believe so, while plenty of others disagree.

Maybe you were one of the thousands that weighed in here on Facebook when our friends at the home office asked,”After starting the season 5-4 (they’re 6-4 now), the Miami Heat need to improve _____________ the most?”