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3/25/15: A few years ago the Los Angeles Lakers made news by trading for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard then addling longtime nemesis point guard Steve Nash. That was supposed to be a daunting lineup, though injuries kept those two out for much of that season. Howard eventually went to Houston and Nash went to the trainer's room. Nash formally announced his retirement last week. He has not played all season and this was really just a formality. If nothing else, he was one of the best guards in the game in his prime and probably the best ever to come out of Canada.
3/18/15: Lin-sanity is coming to the Staples Center. Actually, it has been there for a while and even was the starter at the beginning of the season. Fellow point guard Jordan Clarkson basically took over the starting position and the former second round pick has been one of the few bright spots for the Lakers this season. So it only makes sense, then, that head coach Byron Scott announced he would be removing Clarkson for the final 10 games of the season and giving his minutes to Lin. This seems like an attempt to either a) show off Lin for a possible trade, or b) if Lin fails, then to amass a few more losses and improve draft selection.
3/11/15: Time to take a trip down memory lane for the Lakers fans out there. Legendary center Shaquille O'Neil had his greatest success with the Lakers and the franchise won many NBA titles with him. Back then, the Clippers were the laughingstock of the league, and a chance for star players to pad their stats. Looking back at March 6, 2000, Shaq had his way with the Clippers, dropping 61 points on the then sad-sack franchise. It was also Shaq's 28th birthday. Shaq finished that game shooting 24 of 35 from the floor, 13 of 22 from the free throw line and also pulled in 23 rebounds. Happy Birthday, Shaq.
3/4/15: Lakers star Kobe Bryant has been making the media rounds while rehabbing from injury. The Lakers have not had much to celebrate since the injury. Heck, they did not have much to celebrate even with Kobe in the lineup. Wins are at a premium and the Lakers picked up their 14th of the year last week. Lakers players celebrated following the win, but that did not sit well with either Kobe or head coach Byron Scott. Scott believed it showed 'a lack of professionalism'. At the same time, it was only win 14 of the season and the players probably needed a little celebration during such a miserable season.
2/25/15: By many accounts, the Los Angeles Lakers really wanted Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic. They made a play for him at the trade deadline, but simply did not have enough assets to finalize a trade. In the end, the Suns traded Dragic to the Miami Heat. But many reports indicate that Dragic wants to be a Laker. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and the Lakers may try to give him a max contract of $80 million over four years. Miami may be able to keep him by being able to offer more: $100 million over five years.
2/18/15: It is fair to say that the Steve Nash experiment in Los Angeles did not work out well. He has been injured for almost all of the duration of his contract. That means that the Lakers are still searching for their point guard. It is reported that they have their eye on Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns and are willing to offer him a max contract of $81 million over four years. The Suns have a glut of guards and may be willing to trade him as well. Of course, the Suns could decide to hang on to Dragic and then could offer him a max contract of $109 million over five years. Either way, Dragic looks like the big winner here.
2/11/15: Count Lakers head coach Byron Scott among those that were unhappy that the Orlando Magic fired head coach Jacques Vaughn. Not because he supports Vaughn, but because the Magic did so right before facing the Lakers. He contends it is a 'slap in the face' that the Magic would view the Lakers as a chance for a fresh start with a new coach. Teams often fire their head coach before a string of perceived 'easy' games to help change momentum, and the Magic had lost 10 in a row before firing Vaughn. However, Scott's case does not look so good considering the Magic won the game.
2/5/15: With Kobe Bryant now officially out for the remainder of the season with a torn rotator cuff, the next logical question will be if he will retire or return for a 20th season. Bryant has one year left on his contract for $25 million, but historically, players in their late 30's tend to be far less effective as age catches up with them. Add to that the major injuries that Kobe has suffered over the last few years and it may be an uphill climb for him. At the same time, Kobe is notoriously competitive and many, including Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, expect Kobe to return for at least one more go around.
1/28/15: Many people are officially writing of the Los Angeles Lakers for the rest of the season. Of course, many more people had written off the team before the season started. But things have hit critical mass as Kobe Bryant is finished for the season since he tore the muscle off of his shoulder bone. The Lakers only have 12 wins on the season, so losing him is not likely to bring many more wins this season. In any case, Kobe says he wants to come back next season, which may well be his final season in the NBA before he retires.
1/21/15: Lakers coach Byron Scott conceded that if the team was not in playoff contention in March then they may consider shutting down Kobe Bryant. With 12 wins on the season in mid-January, they can probably move that time frame up a bit and still be comfortable. For his part, Bryant claims that he will allow himself to be shut down if the team asks, though he insists how much he hates to miss games. Bryant has only one more season on his contract, so it may make sense to slow down his play this year and have him at full bore for a possible final season in the NBA.
1/14/15: Not that the Lakers are a very good team this season, but they have been a bit better than expected. They already have 12 wins to their credit, so it is likely that they are will surpass 20 on the season - which is more than many experts expected. Part of that is due to the extra high load that Kobe Bryant has been carrying. However, even he realizes that he needs some rest, and sat out three games over the past couple of weeks. But for all the wear and tear he is putting on his body, there apparently is no thought of shutting down Kobe for the season. Maybe more rest going forward, but keeping him on the court when possible.
1/7/14: The L.A. Lakers are not winning a lot of games this season, but they did earn their tenth victory against the Denver Nuggets last week. And, for those following along at home, it was vintage Kobe Bryant. Kobe recorded the 21st triple-double of his career with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in 32 minutes. Overall, Kobe is fourth in the league in scoring with an average of 24.1 points per game. It is not enough to get the Lakers in to the playoffs this season, but it is also not enough to keep them from having a good odds on landing a high lottery pick.
12/3/14: Another week, another difficult week for the L.A. Lakers. They finished last week with a total record of 3-13. No doubt this is not sitting well with head coach Byron Scott. He ripped into his players following a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and is looking to make changes. The current starting five is surrendering 121.7 points per 100 possessions on defense, which is the worse defensive rating of any five-man lineup in the league. Again, it looks like Kobe's huge contract is preventing the Lakers from getting the defensive talent they need to be marginally competitive.
11/19/14: The L.A. Lakers have a notch in the win column last week by beating Charlotte 107-92. And while Kobe Bryant is putting up excellent personal numbers, he does not have much of a team around him, which is why the Lakers are wallowing in last place in the West. Bryant admitted that he is 'jealous' of the stability that Tim Duncan has in San Antonio. Bryant has been through seven coaches in L.A. while Duncan has played his entire career under Greg Popovich. More than that, the Spurs organization has managed their salary cap better and Duncan is not demanding $27 million per year, thereby hurting the rest of the team.
11/12/14: The L.A. Lakers continue to be a soap opera unfolding in front of our eyes. The team dropped their first five games of the season and many think they may be lucky to win 20 games this season. At least Kobe Bryant is getting his points and paycheck. The Lakers confirmed that guard Steve Nash will miss the season with a back injury, but was filmed playing golf - causing an internet uproar. Nash posted a personal note to the fans stressing how hard he works and sacrifices and how much pain he is in, and that swinging a golf club is different than playing an NBA game. All of that aside, the Lakers are going to struggle all season and should be looking out for their lottery pick.
11/5/14: The Lakers are going to be worth watching all season, though not for the reason many Lakers fans would like. The team is, admittedly short on talent. While they still have Kobe Bryant, he is in the twilight of his career and making an obscene amount of money. Opening night against the visiting Houston Rockets is a great example. The Rockets blew out the Lakers, but the highlight was a bit of a scuffle between Kobe and former Laker Dwight Howard. After the game, Kobe implied that Howard was 'soft' by referring to him as a 'big teddy bear'. This season may not shake out with a championship or even a playoff birth for the Lakers, but there will be no shortage of drama and storylines for the fans.
10/29/14: This is shaping up to be a very pivotal season for the Lakers. The team has come under heavy media scrutiny for giving injured star Kobe Bryant $24 million per year for the next two years in light of the belief that his value is much lower and he will not be able to play every night. That high salary limits the Lakers' ability to sign other players to improve the team. Add to that the Steve Nash situation. Nash will miss the entire 2014-15 season with a back injury, and may well have played his last game. In any case, Lakers games are always events. They open on the road on Saturday, November 1st at Golden State, then have their home opener on Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns.
2/28/13: the Lakers are trying to get back in the mix for the playoffs, and certainly the media is following every single move they make. L.A. had won 11 of 14 games to get back within striking distance, including a win at the wire against Dallas on Sunday afternoon on a nationally televised game. But they could not follow that up the next day against the Denver Nuggets, who simply ran the Lakers off the court with their youth and rest. L.A. is three points out of a playoff spot now. There is still time to get back into the mix, but the season is dwindling down.
2/21/13: The dysfunction continues for the L.A. Lakers, as center Dwight Howard and franchise leader Kobe Bryant continue to feud. The latest reports include Dwight ridiculing Kobe with other players at the All-Star Game, while Kobe completely avoided Dwight. But there was real tragedy in L.A. last week, as long-time owner Dr. Jerry Buss died. Buss bought the franchise, along with the L.A. Kings and L.A. Forum in 1979. Now the team is worth over a billion dollars, and many consider Buss the greatest team owner in history. The Lakers won their first game after Buss' death.
8/10/12 ? After a year of watching and waiting, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally acquired center Dwight Howard in a 4-team offseason deal. The Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will get Andre Iguodala, the Philadelphia 76ers will pick up Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic will receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, and a future first-round pick from each of the three teams. Howard averaged 20.6 ppg and 14.5 rpg in a season where he made it no secret he wanted to leave Orlando. He was drafted first overall by the Magic in the 2004 NBA Draft. In eight seasons with the Magic, Howard was a three-time defensive player of the year and six- time NBA All-Star. He will join Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and a recently acquired Steve Nash.
The Los Angeles Lakers will open the 2012-2013 NBA season against the Dallas Mavericks. The new NBA schedule was released on Thursday and the Lakers will open up their season on October 30th at the Staples Center against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs. The Lakers are still in the hunt for Dwight Howard as the offseason wears on and the Dwight Howard saga continues, with no foreseeable end in sight. Reports that surfaced earlier claimed that the Lakers were offering to give up center Andrew Bynum in exchange for Howard, however those rumors never materialized.
5/25/12 The Los Angeles Lakers could not hold off the Oklahoma City Thunder and fell in 5 games with a 106-90 loss on Monday night to end their season. Kobe Bryant put up a valiant effort to keep the Lakers' season alive with 42 points and 5 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for Los Angeles. The Lakers will have a lot of questions to answer going into the offseason, namely regarding their free agents and addressing their needs in various positions heading into the 2012-2013 season. They hope to retool through the upcoming draft and fill in some holes in a few areas of need during free agency and return even stronger next season.
5/18/12 The Los Angeles Lakers led for most of Game 2, but down the stretch they squandered a 7-point lead with under 2 minutes to go and fell 77-75 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum each had 20 points for the Lakers and Pau Gasol added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Down the stretch however, Bryant was mostly ineffective, and the game-tying shot was left to role player Steve Blake. The Lakers will now head back home to the comfy confines of the Staples Center for Games 3 and 4 and will need to find an answer for neutralizing the effectiveness of Durant and Westbrook if they want to extend this series.
5/10/12: After scoring 31 and 38 points in the Los Angeles Lakers' two wins, Kobe Bryant was limited to 7 of 23 shooting and 22 points in Game 3 as the Los Angeles Lakers suffered their first defeat of the postseason.
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Next 20 Games
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Scores and Schedule
|Apr 13, 2015||Los Angeles Lakers - Sacramento Kings||92 - 102|
|Apr 12, 2015||Dallas Mavericks - Los Angeles Lakers||120 - 106|
|Apr 8, 2015||Los Angeles Lakers - Denver Nuggets||101 - 119|
|Apr 5, 2015||Los Angeles Clippers - Los Angeles Lakers||106 - 78|
|Mar 30, 2015||Los Angeles Lakers - Philadelphia 76ers||113 - 111|
|Mar 29, 2015||Los Angeles Lakers - Brooklyn Nets||99 - 107|
|Mar 27, 2015||Los Angeles Lakers - Toronto Raptors||83 - 94|
|Mar 25, 2015||Los Angeles Lakers - Minnesota Timberwolves||101 - 99|
|Mar 24, 2015||Los Angeles Lakers - Oklahoma City Thunder||117 - 127|
|Mar 22, 2015||Philadelphia 76ers - Los Angeles Lakers||87 - 101|
|Mar 15, 2015||Atlanta Hawks - Los Angeles Lakers||91 - 86|
|Mar 12, 2015||New York Knicks - Los Angeles Lakers||101 - 94|
|Mar 10, 2015||Detroit Pistons - Los Angeles Lakers||85 - 93|