Battlefield: LA!!!

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I’m sure I’m not the only person that cringes when the Lakers play. One of the most storied franchises in NBA history are just straight up terrible this season. Even though they have one of the best point guards in the league, one of the best two guards of all time, and a pretty skilled and intimidating front line, LA SUCKS! The Lakers have become that confidence boosting game on everyone’s schedule. Even the Bobcats were looking forward to heading into Staples Center earlier this season, where they almost pulled out a win. What’s going on in LA? I’ll tell you exactly what’s going on!!!

For starters, the Lakers have no leader. Yep I said it… Despite what a lot of people think, in my opinion, Kobe Bryant is NOT a leader. A leader is a guy who knows how to communicate and motivate everyone in the organization from top to bottom. Whether it’s his play, the way he practices, the extra time he puts in, or just the confidence he instills in everyone around him, a leader for lack of better words, LEADS. Kobe does not do that. Bryant calls out his teammates, points the finger in the media, and sometimes rocks the boat with the intention of lighting a fire under his teammates. That may work with a guy like Metta World Peace, but may not work with a guy like Dwight Howard. A leader can adjust to get their point across to everyone around them. That is missing in Laker Land. LA should still be upset with David Stern about sending CP3 to the Clippers; I know I would be.

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Secondly, Mike D’Antoni is horrible. In the NBA, great coaches are the guys that can demand the little things from their players, implement schemes on both ends that play to the strength of their personnel, and manage games in the process. Mike D’Antoni does NONE OF THE ABOVE. For a guy that is known as one of the great offensive minds in the league, the Lakers visibly struggle at times on offensive end night in and night out. The run and gun offense that makes D’Antoni a “great offensive mind” doesn’t work in Laker Land. A 33+ year old backcourt grouped with a flat-footed power forward and a center with a bad back doesn’t really fit the seven second or less offensive D’Antoni is known for. HEY MIKE, MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT! I’ve also watched D’Antoni coach whole games against guys like Tony Parker switching all ball screens. This is what I mean by game management. You can not, and I repeat, CAN NOT switch Gasol or Earl Clark onto a guy like Tony Parker. If it isn’t an automatic bucket by Parker, it is one for Tim Duncan. Gotta be smarter Mike.

Lastly, defense wins ball games. It’s clear to see, especially in close games, the Lakers look lost defensively. I’m not sure if it is lack of defensive schemes, or guys just being out of position but something needs to change. You can point as many fingers as you want, but in my opinion, this falls back to your coach. Guys should be well prepared, know their spots, and be ready for the challenge. So far it’s been a mess on the defensive end, even with Dwight Howard serving as the anchor of this team. The Lakers better figure it out, and fast, because in the wild wild west, there is little room for error before you get buried alive or ran out of town.

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Courtside Convo:

It’s only a matter of time before he takes over the league!

Originally posted on Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith | NBA.com:

[nba-video vid=games/mavericks/2013/01/19/0021200592-okc-dal-durants-night.nba]

 

DALLAS – How many players can go 13-for-31 from the floor and finish with 52 points?

KD can.

Kevin Durant is the first in the league to score 50 this season and the Oklahoma City Thunder needed every last one of his career high to secure a sixth consecutive win, downing the Dallas Mavericks 117-114 in overtime.

It goes down as one of the stranger constructions to the half-century mark with Durant going 8-for-22 on 2-point shots, 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and a season-best 21-for-21 from the free-throw line.

The Mavs thought they did a pretty good job of making things tough for the spindly Durant only to look up to see the scoreboard exploding. What can you say?

“You don’t have to say nothing when you do that,” said teammate Russell Westbrook, who dropped 31 points in the game. “You don’t have to say…

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UPDATED: KG/Melo Drama After the Game

The overall view of what happened after the Knicks/Celtics game? Nothing.

The detailed version:

Melo and KG were going back and forth all game and Melo allegedly made an appointment with KG to “see” him behind the scenes after the game.

Melo walks out of the visitor’s tunnel so he can (allegedly) go snuff KG.

Cue the screaming, cue the Celtics jumping in between them, cue the secret service and men in black running to the scene to stop the altercation.

Amongst the things that were being said I heard multiple “nah f–k thats”, “f— that n—” and one very distinct “Melo just take the L”.

Then, KG walks away (back towards the locker room) with a smirk on his face. The Celtics retreat to the locker room. Melo is still trying to get to the locker room but security is holding him back. Melo eventually goes back to the locker room.

The end.

KG has that old-school, I-hate-you-if-you’re-my-opponent type game- with the mouth to back it up. Melo should have known better as the league’s leading MVP.

KG won this one.

Updated: A Cheerios comment did NOT set Melo off.  KG never mentioned Cheerios.  Don’t know where that came from but according to a player, it’s false.  Nope, not saying who.

25 Years Ago: Pete Maravich Dies At 40

Courtside Convo:

Rest In Peace to one of the greatest passers of all time! RIP Pistol Pete!

Originally posted on Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith | NBA.com:

[nba-video vid=channels/nba_tv/2011/07/03/20110630_maravich_broll2.nba]

 

The best anniversaries get celebrated. Others get commemorated, observed or simply remembered. This is one of those.

Twenty-five years ago on this date, “Pistol” Pete Maravich died suddenly after a pick-up basketball game in Pasadena, Calif. He was 40 years old.

Lots of great things in NBA history happened on Jan. 5. Wilt Chamberlain scored 50 or more points on that day for four consecutive seasons (1960-1963). Magic Johnson dished 22 assists against Philadelphia on Jan. 5, 1983, then Nick Van Exel (1997) and Rajon Rondo (2011) pushed that to 23. Hall of Famer Alex English was born on Jan. 5, 1954 and four-time All-Star Spencer Haywood made his NBA debut on that day in 1971.

Maravich’s plans for Jan. 5, 1988, though, were hardly memorable, his expectations low, as Bill Dwyrewrites in the Los Angeles Times:

Everything seemed normal that morning in the…

View original 643 more words

Courtside Convo:

Rest In Peace to one of the greatest passers of all time! RIP Pistol Pete!

Originally posted on Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith | NBA.com:

[nba-video vid=channels/nba_tv/2011/07/03/20110630_maravich_broll2.nba]

 

The best anniversaries get celebrated. Others get commemorated, observed or simply remembered. This is one of those.

Twenty-five years ago on this date, “Pistol” Pete Maravich died suddenly after a pick-up basketball game in Pasadena, Calif. He was 40 years old.

Lots of great things in NBA history happened on Jan. 5. Wilt Chamberlain scored 50 or more points on that day for four consecutive seasons (1960-1963). Magic Johnson dished 22 assists against Philadelphia on Jan. 5, 1983, then Nick Van Exel (1997) and Rajon Rondo (2011) pushed that to 23. Hall of Famer Alex English was born on Jan. 5, 1954 and four-time All-Star Spencer Haywood made his NBA debut on that day in 1971.

Maravich’s plans for Jan. 5, 1988, though, were hardly memorable, his expectations low, as Bill Dwyrewrites in the Los Angeles Times:

Everything seemed normal that morning in the…

View original 643 more words

Rockets Suspend Royce White As Perplexing Saga Takes Another Twist

Courtside Convo:

Royce needs to grow up before he loses everything.

Originally posted on Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith | NBA.com:

HANGTIME SOUTHWEST – Watching Houston Rockets rookie Royce White‘s promising pro career crashing before it starts with one perplexing mishap after another has been nothing short of remarkably sad.

His chances of ever playing for the Rockets this season or beyond took another turn in the wrong direction Sunday with the team announcing that it has suspended the 6-foot-8 forward out of Iowa State. The suspension, which will withhold paychecks from the 16th overall draft pick, comes one week after White refused to report for assignment with the D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

“The Houston Rockets have suspended Royce White effective immediately for refusing to provide services as requires by his Uniform Player Contract,” Rockets general manger Daryl Morey said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Royce to hopefully come to a resolution.”

Morey and White, 21, were unable to reach an agreement during talks this…

View original 432 more words

Courtside Convo:

Royce needs to grow up before he loses everything.

Originally posted on Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith | NBA.com:

HANGTIME SOUTHWEST – Watching Houston Rockets rookie Royce White‘s promising pro career crashing before it starts with one perplexing mishap after another has been nothing short of remarkably sad.

His chances of ever playing for the Rockets this season or beyond took another turn in the wrong direction Sunday with the team announcing that it has suspended the 6-foot-8 forward out of Iowa State. The suspension, which will withhold paychecks from the 16th overall draft pick, comes one week after White refused to report for assignment with the D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

“The Houston Rockets have suspended Royce White effective immediately for refusing to provide services as requires by his Uniform Player Contract,” Rockets general manger Daryl Morey said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Royce to hopefully come to a resolution.”

Morey and White, 21, were unable to reach an agreement during talks this…

View original 432 more words