Very fulfilling game to watch, And win.
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Oh Oh, if Randle can make that outside shot, watch out league.
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Where be Lakers???
Don’t know about the rest of yuse but, I’m seeing real improvement in every aspect of the Lakers play. Kudos to Byron Scott and the players, this might not be a lost season after all.
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Davis with back to back blocks, Randle coast to coast, I’m thinking some crazy shyte right now.
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Interesting note on J-Dub. My son and I went to see the KIngs play the Pacers in an exhibition game in Evansville, Indiana and we hung around the Hotel where the team was staying (so my son could get pic and autos). We saw Chris Webber and this balded headed white guy walk out to get some food. The Beckett my son had showed Williams with long hair, I didn’t recognize him leaving, lol! I though I had messed this up for my son, but I knew they had to come back and they did from the local McDonalds and both took pics and signed for him, very nice, especially Chris!! Whew, that saved my day!
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Henry Abbott can think what he likes–but he put his opinion in 'Laker sources' mouths. I have way more than he does. Mine don't think that
— Mark Heisler (@MarkHeisler) October 22, 2014
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BY MARK MEDINA FOR INSIDE THE LAKERS
The clock is winding down. The game is on the line. And because of those two variables, every single play magnifies.
Kobe Bryant lives for those moments, cementing his 19-year NBA career that feature far too many clutch performances and game winners to count. But so does Jeremy Lin, who has admitted he cares more about finishing games than starting them.
“You just love it,” Lin said. “As a kid you always think about hitting that shot at the buzzer or making that one game-winning play. When the game is on the line, you have a chance to do that.”
The Lakers’ 114-108 preseason loss on Tuesday to the Phoenix Suns may have featured Lin’s first game back since nursing a left sprained ankle that kept him out for the previous three exhibition games. But Lin could not have provided a better audition tape on stating his case for finishing games after finishing with 15 points on 3 of 5 shooting and five assists in 23 minutes off the bench.
Most of Lin’s production happened in the fourth quarter, where he posted 11 points and two assists by driving aggressively through traffic and organizing the offense. He scored seven consecutive points for the Lakers at one point that included a 27-foot three-pointer, a finger roll and a pair of free throws. And he played all but 11 seconds in the final period before fouling out.
Lin provided the 8,037 fans at Honda Center plenty to cheer about beyond Bryant’s late-game scoring. Meanwhile, Steve Nash’s back remaining tenuous, while nine-year veteran Ronnie Price started for the fourth consecutive game. So will Lin close out games in the future?
“This was more of a chance seeing him play 20 something minutes and for Ronnie to get some rest,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “We’ll see how both those guys feel tomorrow.”
Lin believes he will play when the Lakers host the Portland Trail Blazers tonight in Ontario. Though the Lakers and Lin will not officially know until tip time in case of any unexpected setbacks with his ankle, Lin sure looked comfortable in his first game in the past week. Lin dressed the past even more toward the end.
Lin brought life to an offense that often became stagnant whenever Kobe Bryant wasn’t scoring. Lin set up Lakers backup center Ed Davis for a lob and an open dunk off pick-and-rolls, a staple that the two immediately established before Lin’s ankle injury. Lin ran the offense to ensure enough floor spacing that eventually helped Bryant work in isolation on the wing before making three consecutive turnaround fadeaways. Lin
“I’m a Jeremy Lin fan. I’ve been waiting for him to get back,” Price said. “He puts a lot of pressure on the defense. A lot of guys are happy that he’s back because he’s getting them open looks.”
Even for someone who commands the ball, Bryant allowed and encouraged Lin to run the offense.
“Jeremy makes a huge difference,” Bryant said. “Creating shots for others, we’ve got somebody else who can penetrate, make plays for others and put pressure on the defense. It’s a really big difference.”
Yet, Lin downplayed about whether he fulfilled that job description to state his case as the Lakers’ closer at point guard.
“It goes back to my overall mindset this whole season. I’m not trying to prove anything to any human out there,” Lin said. “I’m enjoying the game and playing for God. I’m very free mentally. I’m not even thinking about that right now.”
Instead, Lin said he is thinking about something else.
“Just trying to stay aggressive the whole game and make plays,” Lin said. “That’s how I like to play so as long as I continue to do that, I feel like over time, things will open up and the floor will open up especially as a point guard. You can’t just score all the time. It depends on what the defense is giving you.”
Whether Lin will provide that role late in games hinges on a few variables. Can Nash restore his health and maintain it? How does Lin’s ankle hold up? Will Lin’s presence remain better suited with an energetic second unit or the veteran starting lineup currently manned by nine-year pro Ronnie Price?
Meanwhile, Lin conceded the challenge in guarding Phoenix guard Isaiah Thomas, who posted 26 points on 6-of-12 shooting in 31 minutes. Lin also lamented fouling out after spending the majority of his offseason working on defensive drills.
“It’s going to be a style that refs haven’t seen me play before in terms of being more of an aggressive and attacking defender,” Lin said. “I’d rather foul out now and then slowly build a reputation as a good defender who plays a certain way.”
By that point, Lin had already ignited a crowd encouraged by his late-game heroics. He will soon find out if he will have more opportunities to close out games in similar fashion.
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BY LAKERTOM FOR LAKERHOLICS.NET
While the Lakers ultimately lost last night’s game in overtime to fall 2-4 for the preseason and continue to struggle to get healthy, there were some promising signs that bode well for Lakers regular season.
1. Kobe Bryant.
Kobe may not have his game legs yet but I thought he played extremely well and showed signs that there is still a lot of elite basketball left in those old bones. Kobe also seems to be understanding that he needs to be a more efficient scorer rather than the volume scorer he used to be. I loved the wide open free throw line jumpers off down screens and what Lakers fan didn’t love the four clutch fade away jumpers in the closing 2 minutes. The only concern were the 5 costly turnovers. Otherwise, vintage Mamba.
2. Jeremy Lin.
Jeremy Lin is the best point guard the Lakers have right now and should be the starter. What impressed me most was how well Jeremy ran Byron Scott’s muddled half-court offense. While he would obviously be better in a faster paced, more wide open full court style run-and-gun offense, Jeremy did a great job getting the ball to Kobe, attacking the rim to get to the line, and hitting from long range. Best of all, he filled up every category on the stat sheet (15 points, 5 dimes, 4 boards, 2 steals) without turning the ball over. So far this preseason, Lin has posted 19 assists with only 3 turnovers. I was also impressed with his defense on Isaiah Thomas. Jeremy did an outstanding job guarding him, especially in the 4th quarter.
3. Ed Davis.
How do you keep this guy out of the starting lineup? If the Lakers are going to start Jeremy Lin at the point, then they need to start Ed at center, move Hill to power forward, and bring Boozer off the bench. Lin and Davis have such great rapport that they need to be on the court together as much as possible. Davis is also the Lakers only real shot blocking threat and needs to play starter minutes. This is no disrespect to Carlos Boozer, who has played pretty well offensively, but this team needs to protect the rim and Ed is really our only true shot blocker. Byron needs to make this change before next Tuesday. The Lakers best front combination would be Ed Davis at the 5 and Jordan Hill at the 4.
4. Wesley Johnson.
Byron was right that Wes was good, bad, and ugly last night. What an up-and-down stat line: 15 points on 6-10 from the field and 3-3 from deep, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocked shots, and 8 turnovers, mostly due to horrible sloppy passing. Bottom line, Wes is starting to learn how to impact the game. For the most part, he played excellent defense and his offense, especially his 3-point shooting kept the Lakers close until Kobe took over late in the fourth. Small forward is the Lakers shakiest position so it was great to see Wes make progress. Let’s see if he can do the same except for the turnovers tonight.
5. Byron Scott.
As everybody knows, I have been all over Byron for his idiotic comments disdaining the importance of the 3-point shot in today’s NBA. While the Lakers did manage to hoist 14 3-pointers and make 5 of them, they still were outscored by 18 points from beyond the arc. Hopefully, the return of Kelly, Clarkson, and eventually Young will enable them to turn the tide and win or at least even the 3-point shooting battle.
On the positive side, I thought the Lakers defense the last game and a half has been outstanding. Their rotations and challenging of shots at the rim and behind the 3-point line has been much better. I have to give Byron great credit because we definitely do not have a roster chosen for their defensive prowess. What helps greatly is having two point guards in Price and Lin who actually make an effort to prevent penetration. Huge improvement over the point guard defense from Kendall Marshall last year
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 22, 2014
Stephen Curry receiving 60.7% of the vote from GMs as the best shooter in the NBA makes me wonder what is wrong with the other 39.3% of GMs.
— Raj Dhillon (@runscreatedplus) October 22, 2014
— SI Edge (@SI_Edge) October 22, 2014
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— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) October 22, 2014
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