Tag Archives: Houston

Lakers Take 8th Spot, Can They Hold On?Move Up?

Image from ESPN

Image from ESPN

It seems like it was just yesterday when Charles Barkley would roll his eyes and say that the Los Angeles Lakers would not make the playoffs this year. Fans were losing hope, waiting for Mitch Kupchak to have yet another trick up his sleeve. Many opposing fans were enjoying their time as they watched the team they despise have a terrible season.

The Lakers have finally set a foot inside of the 2013 playoffs after defeating the Chicago Bulls, who sit at the 5th spot in the East, at the Staples Center 90 to 81. This time there was no dramatic comeback as the Lakers led and had control of the game most of the way. After a great performance by Kobe Bryant against the Toronto Raptors, he did not score 40 or 30 points. This win was an overall team effort, which is what the Lakers will need the most if they stay in the playoffs.

It was a convincing win by the Lakers over the Bulls with a total of six players in double digits. Kobe led the way with 19 points  and 9 assists. Both Dwight Howard and Steve Nash had 16 points each. Metta World Peace added 12 points and Earl Clark seemed to have found his groove again having 11 points. From the bench it was Jodie Meeks who delivered 10 points. With the win the Lakers are now half a game in front of the Utah Jazz.

The Utah Jazz have fallen out of the playoffs but they have not said goodbye. They are still in position to take their playoff spot back. The Lakers need to continue winning to avoid finding themselves outside of the playoffs again. Los Angeles can also look to maybe go up to the 6th or 7th seed. The Houston Rockets are currently at the 7th seed only a game ahead of the Lakers while the Golden State Warriors are the the 6th spot, just two games ahead. The Warriors and Rockets both have their next games at home. Warriors play the New York Knicks and the Rockets take on the Phoenix Suns.

Lakers take the floor again when they visit Dwight’s formal team, the Orlando Magic on Tuesday. It will definitely be interesting to see the reception Dwight will receive from the fans. Will Dwight receive a Lebron James type of reception when he returned to Cleveland? Or will Dwight receive a reception that is better or worse?

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Filed under 2013 Playoffs Talk, 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.

Team

Record

Games Back

Conf. Record

Streak

 1.  San Antonio

48-15

26-10

Lost 1

 2.  Oklahoma City

46-16

1.5

31-9

Won 4

 3.  LA Clippers

44-20

4.5

27-12

Lost 1

 4.  Memphis

41-19

5.5

21-13

Won 3

 5.  Denver

41-22

7

27-11

Won 7

 6.  Golden State

35-28

13

19-19

Won 2

 7.  Houston

34-29

14

15-21

Won 1

 8.  Utah

32-30

15.5

18-19

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

Lakers Reach .500

By Kevin R. Linares

 

The Los Angeles Lakers have reached the .500 mark after defeating the Atlanta Hawks 98-99 at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant continues to show no signs of slowing down in his 17th NBA season with another 30 point game and having a highlight dunk over Atlanta Hawk’s Josh Smith. The Lakers did not take this game easy after blowing a 16-point lead in the second half, which ended with Steve Blake stealing a pass in the final seconds allowing L.A. to win at home by one point.

Bryant and Nash led the team with 34 points for the “Black Mamba” and 15 points with 10 assists for the Canadian. Howard, who was up against his childhood friend in Josh Smith, added 11 points and led the way with 15 rebounds. A good sign for the Lakers franchise and fans was Smith telling reporters that he believed Dwight would remain in the Lakers purple and gold, who will also join the all star center in the upcoming free agency.

The Lakers did not catch a break in the standings however with the Houston Rockets easily defeating the Dallas Mavericks. Los Angeles continues to trail the Rockets for the final playoff spot remained 2.5 game behind. Games the Lakers will be keeping an eye on are the Utah Jazz visiting the Milwaukee Bucks and the Raptors playing at Golden State.

Up next for L.A. is an away game at one of the toughest buildings to play at in Oklahoma City. The Thunder just came out with an impressive win playing the Clippers on Sunday. Oklahoma looks determined to take over the Western Conference top spot now with the injury to the San Antonio point guard Tony Parker. The Lakers will try to continue their fight to the playoffs and can show they mean business with a statement win over the 2nd place  Thunder.

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Filed under Lakers 2013 season, Uncategorized