Last Friday the Lakers played the New Orleans Pelicans and lost with an 11-game winning streak being snapped. Anthony Davis dominated in that game scoring 32 points and 12 rebounds. On their second meeting of the season the Lakers got their revenge beating the Pelicans 116-92.
The Lakers had control the whole game and looked nothing like the team the Pelicans saw in their first meeting. Anthony Davis was in early foul trouble and finished the game with just 15 points and 5 rebounds. Mike D’Antoni went to a new starting line-up with Steve Nash expected to be out for at least two weeks due to nerve root irritation. Jodie Meeks starting at shooting guard with Steve Blake getting moved to point guard. Jordan Hill started the game for the first time this season and did not disappoint. Hill led the team scoring his career high 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Jodie Meeks had a good game as well with 15 points and Pau Gasol added 14 points. Off the bench Xavier Henry had 15 points and had a highlight dunk over his former Kansas teammate Jeff Withey. Nick Young did well off the bench doing most of his work in the first half finishing the night off with 17 points. In total five players for the Lakers finished with double digits while the Pelicans only had three.
From the start the Lakers came out strong and did not take their foot off the gas pedal. The Lakers will play again tomorrow on back to back games against the Denver Nuggets. It is safe to say that D’Antoni will go with the same starting line-up again tomorrow with the way the team played tonight.
(USA Today/Chris Humphreys)
Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed fourth year shooting guard Xavier Henry. Henry played his college ball in Kansas before entering the NBA draft in 2010 where he was chosen 12th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies but has not been able to play at the level that many expected him to.
The 22-year old shooting guard has also played for the New Orleans Hornets(now known as the Pelicans) and last season played in the D-League for the Iowa Energy. In the NBA Henry has averaged 4.5 points per game and 1.8 rebounds.
The Lakers this week have now signed Shawne Williams and Henry which makes it 14 players signed going into training camp. The Lakers have one more roster spot open for the season but can sign up to 20 players going into training camp. The players that the team has signed this off season have been players that will fit Mike D’Antoni’s style of play. NBA training camps will start on October 1st and it will be interesting to see who else the Lakers look to add before and what players will make it on the team.
(@KobeBryant on Instagram)
By Kevin R. Linares.
Kobe Bryant is expected to be sidelined for 6 to 9 months to recover from surgery which was been successful and completed around 4 p.m. on Saturday by Dr. ElAttrache and Dr. Lombardo according to the Lakers. The Lakers are still in a tight race for the last playoff spot in the West. Without their leader in Bryant the team will have to step up and there will be many questions about the future of Los Angeles and being without arguably the greatest Laker of all time.
This season has been full of disappointment for fans and many have been looking for someone to blame. After Kobe Bryant went down and it was reported that the injury could be a torn Achilles many were angry and looking for someone to blame for that too. Many took to twitter and blamed coach Mike D’Antoni saying he should have not let Bryant back in the game. A few “#firemiked’antoni” tweets were at it again. The truth is the season has been full of bad luck. Kobe Bryant did not continue playing in the game just because D’Antoni told him to play, he continued because his team needed to get the win and he helped them get it. No one saw the injury coming it is something that could have happened to any player on the court.
Would the Lakers consider using their amnesty clause on Kobe? “That’s not even something that we’ve discussed” was the answer Mitch Kupchak gave reporters when asked if they would look at the option. It is an option, a disrespectful one for all that Kobe has given the franchise. The Lakers would take a huge PR hit with fans not believing they would really amnesty the Black Mamba.
The one and only way I see an amnesty is if Kobe were to ask for it himself, with him knowing he would not be able to play next season and possibly making a comeback later than the 6 to 9 months it is said he would be expected to miss. Kobe is set to make 30.5 million next season and would save the Lakers a lot of money going into the luxury tax. When Kobe does comeback, if amnestied, even with him being age 35 there will still be a lot of interest in him by other teams. If there is anything Kobe does better than playing basketball it might be filling up arenas and selling tickets. Whether it is a hater or a fan there will be many willing to pay to be one of the last to see one of the greatest to ever play and many teams will recognize it. With that being said although there is much Mitch has said they have not looked at in the past but indeed they have, it is not something I see happening and believe when Mitch Kupchak says that it is not something the team is looking at.
Fans lost hope that the Lakers could make the playoffs when hearing of Kobe’s injury. The Lakers can still look to keep their playoff spot and make some noise in the playoffs, but making noise in the playoffs is not enough for the Lakers, it’s championship or bust. With Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, who should be returning to the line up soon, the Lakers still have enough to make some kind of run. There is no replacing Kobe, but the time has come for Dwight Howard to show he can be the leader of this team for years to come. Unfortunately the end is near for the Black Mamba and it will take a lot getting use to. For now we can just wait to see how he responds to the injury and hope to see one of the greatest end his career the right way.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
By Kevin R. Linares
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol returned to the line up after sitting out with injuries but the Lakers could not defeat the Washington Wizards falling 100 to 103. Another game that should have been an easy win at home became another disappointing loss in the Lakers disappointing season. The Lakers were up by 18 at one point in the game but could not hold on to the lead. Washington was led by former Laker Trevor Ariza who scored 25 points, hitting seven 3-pointers.
Kobe Bryant hit a three to tie the game late in the 4th quarter and would get another opportunity to send the game to overtime with seconds left when he received a pass from Dwight but the shot did not go down. Kobe did not have his time reduced even though he was returning from an injury. He led his team in scoring with 21 points and added 11 assists as well. Dwight Howard, Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison joined Bryant in scoring double digits. Dwight Howard scored 20 points and had 15 rebounds. Meeks scored 16 points and Jamison put up 11 points coming off the bench. As the two stars returned from injury, the Lakers unfortunately suffered another one as Jamison sprained his right wrist. Jamison received an x-ray after the game that came out negative and will have an MRI on Saturday.
Pau Gasol only played 20 minutes but did start in the game scoring four points. Gasol still has to work on his conditioning after missing about six weeks with the injury to his foot. There was much criticism on Gasol and Mike D’Antoni earlier in the season. There were questions whether Gasol would be able to fit in D’Antoni’s system and if Mike would be able to find a way of utilize the Spaniard. As Gasol continues to work back into game shape it will be interesting to see if he will continue in the starting line up or perhaps move back to the bench where he did provide a big boost. Gasol was not too happy coming off the bench but did mention that he would take the role for the season if the team needed him to this season.
With the loss tonight the Lakers could not take advantage of better securing the 8th spot as they remain ahead of the Utah Jazz by only a game and a half. Next up for the Lakers is the start of a four game road trip starting on Monday against the 6th seeded Golden State Warriors.