Tag Archives: Curry

Biggest Threat to Lakers in Keeping Howard?

 (USA Today Sports/Craig Mitchelldyer)

(USA Today Sports/Craig Mitchelldyer)

By Kevin R. Linares

With talk about where Dwight Howard will end up next season growing, there have been many teams that have risen as possible threats to the Lakers. Teams that have been named include the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks  and even the Los Angeles Clippers.

Teams like the Warriors and Clippers would definitely love to have Howard playing for their team. How crazy would it sound to have Howard, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the Warriors? Or how about both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul on the Clippers? That would definitely make Laker fans “love” David Stern and his vetoed Chris Paul to Lakers trade even more. Realistically speaking, Howard going to the Warriors or Clippers would be a long shot. Both teams would have to make difficult arrangements to free up space as well as break up the teams they have now which are not bad at all.

The Mavericks, Hawks and Rockets are teams that would be able to bring Howard because of their free cap space or ability to free up cap space. The Mavericks have put themselves in a great position and are reportedly shopping around their 13th pick in the draft to make their run at Howard. With Dirk Nowitzki aging, would Howard give up around $30 million that the Lakers can offer more to go play with an aging superstar in Dallas. People will say he already is playing with an aging superstar in Kobe Bryant but how about that $30 million difference?

The Atlanta Hawks will have some edge with it being Howard’s hometown. With players coming off their payroll they will have enough cap space to bring in Howard. If Josh Smith, a close friend of Howard’s, intends to resign with the Hawks he can be the man to try and lure Howard. Again, will teaming up with Josh Smith in his hometown be enough to have Howard turn down that extra $30 million the Lakers will be able to offer him?

The Houston Rockets have been able to assemble some young and very talented pieces led by James Harden and coach Kevin McHale. This is a team that almost shocked the favorites in the West in their first year being together. Something the Rockets were missing was defense and bringing in Howard would definitely be a boost in that category. The Rockets can work to make cap space for Howard and might have enough in terms of talent to lure Howard away from the Lakers.

No team can offer Howard as many years and as much money that the Lakers can. Howard wanted to be in the spotlight and what better place for that than with the Lakers in Los Angeles. It would take sometime for the Lakers to bring in some other pieces to bring them back into title contention with them having an aging roster but if all healthy and in the same page they can be a threat. We saw a a glimpse of that in the second half of the 2012-2013 season. The biggest threat to the Lakers would be the Houston Rockets. The spotlight is definitely not as big, the money and years are not as much but the roster is something special. Howard will listen to what teams have to offer and coming to play with a young talented roster led by James Harden in Houston will be something he will take into serious consideration, for the Laker’s sake, hopefully not too serious.


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Filed under Free Agency

Warriors Too Much For Lakers

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Kevin R. Linares

The Los Angeles Lakers could not get it together against the Golden State Warriors losing 103 to 109. The Warriors, currently in the 6th seed, did not let the Lakers come close, leading by double digits almost the whole game. No one expected this game to be an easy win for the Lakers but after taking a couple days off there was no excuse for the way they played throughout the game.

Stephen Curry was questionable for tonight’s game but did play and leading his team in scoring with 25 points. Jarrett Jack gave the Lakers problems the last time they met and did so again off the bench scoring 19 points.  The Lakers did make a push late in the 4th quarter but dug themselves in too big of a whole. Every time it looked like the Lakers could make a run the Warriors took over and widened the deficit. The little trouble the Lakers gave Golden State came from Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. Bryant scored 36 points while Nash added 21, which was the same amount of points the bench scored all together.

Pau Gasol was in the starting line up for the second game in a row after coming off his foot injury. Gasol played limited minutes again scoring 7 points and still needs time to get back into rhythm. Antawn Jamison played tonight after suffering an injury to his wrist against the Wizards. Injuries are still hurting the Lakers and you can now add Metta World Peace as the latest victim. World Peace strained his left knee and after the game Mike D’Antoni did say there was a lot of pain but no word on whether he would sit out or not. World Peace did not give to many details himself when talking to reporters just saying that he would have to wait and see tomorrow. If World Peace were to miss a game, Jodie Meeks or Earl Clark might be expected to start.

The Lakers could have looked to secure a playoff spot with a win against the Wizards or Warriors but after losing both they are now closer to falling out of the playoffs if they do not find a way to win. The Utah Jazz are trailing the Lakers by just one game and the Dallas Mavericks are making a late run behind a game and a half. The Lakers play again on Wednesday taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves who will be finishing up back to back games in Minnesota.

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Filed under Lakers 2013 season

Best Western Conference Playoff Picture?

By Kevin Linares

The NBA playoffs are among us and it is always fun to look at all the possible and more entertaining match ups that we basketball fans can all hope for.  Of course every fan is going to want to see their team battling it out in the playoffs but what story lines will be the best? What teams offer interesting match ups? Will old friends become foes? Those questions will be answered here.

Lets start off by looking at what teams are seeded in the playoffs as of today.



Games Back

Conf. Record


 1.  San Antonio



Lost 1

 2.  Oklahoma City




Won 4

 3.  LA Clippers




Lost 1

 4.  Memphis




Won 3

 5.  Denver




Won 7

 6.  Golden State




Won 2

 7.  Houston




Won 1

 8.  Utah




Lost 3

The top five seeded teams which include the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Memphis and Denver seem to be locked in the playoffs. The only thing that can really change there is teams moving higher or lower in the playoffs. The last three however can still be up for grabs if the Lakers, who are currently in 9th place, half a game behind the Utah Jazz, continue to chase after a playoff spot.

The Golden State Warriors can still fall out of the playoffs if they lose a large amount of the games they have left and the Jazz, Rockets, and Lakers win enough to push them out of the playoffs. The Warriors falling out of the playoffs seems unlikely. The Rockets have been looking better recently and are currently in the 7th spot, 2 games ahead of the Lakers. The Utah Jazz are at the 8th spot right now, the final playoff spot. Both the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz are very reachable and can be knocked out of the playoffs making space for Los Angeles.

Now off to what can be a possible Western conference picture filled with story lines.

 1. Oklahoma City vs.  8. Houston
 2. LA Clippers      vs.  7. LA Lakers
 3. San Antonio     vs.  6. Golden State
 4. Denver            vs.  5. Memphis

I have Oklahoma City and the LA Clippers taking advantage of Tony Parker’s absence with the Spurs, bringing them down to the 3rd spot. The Lakers do not just make the playoffs but make it to the 7th seed after a season that could be looked at one of their worst in terms of early expectations and star power. Houston Rockets end up just making the playoffs and the Utah Jazz fall out of the playoffs.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets

A match that will certainly have many people turn on their televisions to watch James Harden take on the team that traded him breaking up their young core of Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Houston Rockets are a young team with great offensive power taking on a Thunder team determined to return to the finals once again but leave home with the trophy this time. Houston will have a tough time taking on the Thunder but I see an exciting match up with Harden’s scoring and showing the Thunder why they should not have traded him. Oklahoma City should be able to win this match up with Kevin Durant leading them and the caged tiger in Westbrook coming out to show how deadly he can be.

LA Clippers vs. LA Lakers

The battle for Los Angeles, the match up that everyone is wanting to see. Chris Paul takes on the team he should have been on to try to show what team runs Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant will show why they call him the “Black Mamba” and why his new nickname “vino’ should stick. Lakers might have the home court advantage at the 7th seed in this series unless the Clipper fans turnout to show if L.A. bleeds red or purple and gold. The Lakers will have their hands full taking on one of the deepest teams, if not the deepest team in the NBA. With the injuries the Lakers have been suffering will they be able to keep up? Will Pau Gasol be healthy enough to play? Will Dwight Howard show he was worth trading for? Will the Clippers finally dethrone the Lakers in L.A. and get their hands on a championship? Can the Lakers honor one of the greatest owners in all of sports in Jerry Buss by shocking the world and doing what many thought was ridiculous and impossible? Who will win the battle of Los Angeles? We will just have to wait and see if it happens.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors

The Spurs have been atop the elite in the NBA for quite sometime and year after year they go unnoticed. Golden State started the season off right but are showing inconsistency  as the season gets closer to the playoffs. Stephen Curry has been impressive after his All Star snub and would like to continue to show why he should have been chosen. Tony Parker is not mentioned as a MVP as much as he should be and plans on showing why he should be. Will the Warriors make some noise and challenge the veteran Spurs with one of the best if not the best coach in the NBA right now in Greg Popovich? Mark Jackson has not been doing so bad himself as coach and his Warriors will try to show the NBA that they are something to look out for in the future.

Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The two dark horses in the Western conference will be something exciting to watch. Memphis, with the big headline trade of Rudy Gay earlier in the season has much to prove. Denver has been a fast paced and exciting team to watch but are without an actual superstar to lead the team. Both teams lack a leader that can be the one taking those 4th quarter shots especially in the playoffs but have plenty of players willing to step up to the plate. There is only room for one dark horse this time. The question is which one will come out of this series?

The headlines and match ups are there but will they happen? For the basketball fans out there, the answer should be and probably is hopefully so. The West will have another exciting playoffs as they have been so many times in the past. The East seems to lack the competition to draw the attention the West can. The Heat have been impressive winning 15 straight games. The Pacers are there to give them a challenge but the Heat definitely look too big of a challenge for them. Who do you think will come out of the West to represent and possibly win it all? It is up for grabs.

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Filed under 2013 Playoffs Talk