News 'n Views - Feb 2016: Lakers believe they can meld new offensive set with Kobe’s presence
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:06 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant thought Tarik Black 'changed the game' for the Lakers
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Bryant had 38 points, but was quick to credit a less heralded teammate who was arguably just as responsible for the Lakers' tenth win

Tarik Black hasn't played a lot for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, but the man known affectionately as "Boom Boom" exploded onto the scene for the team in their 119-115 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. The Lakers have generally functioned better during Black's limited minutes this season, which is why he boasts the team's best offensive rating (the Lakers have scored 101.5 points per 100 possessions while Black is on the floor), second best defensive rating (98.7) and best net rating (2.2).

Those numbers are skewed somewhat by all of the bench lineups Black has played against during garbage time, but the trend continued on Tuesday night against Minnesota, with Black posting the second best net rating on the team for the night (8.4) behind Julius Randle. Black was flying all over the floor in the first half, with the Lakers outscoring the Timberwolves by 16 points during his 13 minutes of burn.

Kobe Bryant, who received most of the accolades on the night for scoring 38 points against Minnesota, took notice of the second-year undrafted free agent's effect on the game. Afterwards, he made sure the media knew about the Black's positive impact:

Kobe, unprompted, said he thought Tarik Black "played extremely well for us, played w/ a lot of energy & changed the complexity of the game"

Kobe isn't wrong. As has been trumpeted all season, the Lakers sorely need a big man with the types of skills Black provides, and it is baffling that it is the 50th game of the season and the team has yet to deploy him with any consistency.

With the threat of Black as either a lob target or offensive rebounder, which forces opposing bigs to account for him in ways they simply don't for the other big men on the Lakers roster, D'Angelo Russell has more space with which to work with:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:07 am    Post subject:

TDIKH: February 3, 2007
by nba.com

Round two between a pair of the league’s most lethal scorers ended with revenge for Kobe Bryant.

He dropped 39 points to lead the Lakers past Washington and Gilbert Arenas (37 points), 118-102.

Just two months earlier, Arenas erupted for 60 points to top Bryant’s 45 in the Wizards’ overtime win.

“I talked a little at halftime not to make this a personal duel,” head coach Phil Jackson told the media. “But it’s unavoidable sometimes on a night like tonight.”

While the two ended with similar scoring totals, Bryant had a much more efficient night, shooting 14-of-26 from the field and 9-of-10 on free throws, while collecting six rebounds and six assists.

Meanwhile, Arenas shot just 9-of-29, though he did hold his own at the foul line, where he went 16-of-17.

Led by Bryant, Los Angeles shot 51.9 percent to Washington’s 36.3 percent clip.

All five starting Lakers finished in double figures, including Smush Parker (20 points) and Lamar Odom (19 points, 11 rebounds).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:09 am    Post subject:

Byron Scott Says Kobe Bryant Wouldn't Make A Good Coach Because He'd 'Kill Somebody'
by Bill DiFilippo - sports.yahoo.com

Byron Scott’s mouth has gotten him into a lot of trouble over the last few days.

Between his thoughts on keeping the minutes of rookie guard D’Angelo Russell limited in an attempt to help his development as a player to his, um, “hacked” Instagram account, it’s been a weird stretch for the Lakers’ coach. It also doesn’t help that the team hasn’t been great – Los Angeles is 9-41, good for last place in the Western Conference and the second-worst record in the NBA.

But on Tuesday, Scott finally said something that can probably be agreed upon by everyone when he was asked about Kobe Bryant’s future. Someone wanted to know if Scott thinks Bryant might get into coaching when his career is up at the end of the season, and Scott gave the most perfect answer to that question.

Would Kobe be a good coach? Byron: "No. Kobe would kill somebody."

While Bryant could potentially be a good coach – his mind for the game is as good as anyone else’s on earth, plus he’s so competitive that he’d want to go into every game and embarrass his opponent – Scott makes a great point. This does, however, make us want to watch coach Kobe.

What could possibly be funnier than than watching Kobe make Kobe faces during a blowout?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:26 pm    Post subject:

Lakers pleased with Julius Randle’s recent progress
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

The void left Julius Randle hoping the Lakers could absorb Larry Nance Jr.’s absence through NBA All-Star weekend amid soreness in his right knee.

“The big thing Larry brings is energy, hustle and heart,” Randle said. “We have to go out there and fight.”

The void left Lakers coach Byron Scott hoping Randle could stake his case as the starting power forward.

“Julius can really show us where he’s come from,” Scott said, “and show us how much he’s grown.”

Randle already has.

He entered Tuesday’s game against Minnesota at Staples Center averaging 13 points and 11.3 rebounds in the last eight games as a starter. That stretch coincided with Nance Jr.’s limitations. He missed four games because of his knee injury. He then played limited minutes off the bench in three other contests before sitting out on Sunday against Charlotte.

Meanwhile, Randle has shown more consistency with his jump shot, a season-long project in which he has hoisted countless jumpers before and after practice.

“Whether I make it or miss it. I feel confident,” Randle said. “I trust the process and I’ll keep working on it. Eventually it’ll turn around.”

Some things have.

Scott praised Randle’s on-ball defense. Scott complimented Randle’s aggressiveness. And Scott sensed Randle has limited his frustration with missed shots and missed calls.

“I don’t try to focus on it too much anymore,” Randle said. “Calls are going to be made and things are going to happen. It’s how you react to them.”

Hence, Randle’s new outlook on “sticking to the grind of the season no matter if it’s going good or bad.”

“You have to keep working and keep having confidence it’ll turn around eventually,” Randle said. “I try to block it out and remember to go back to the fundamentals on why I was successful at the younger levels and break bad habits.”

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:27 pm    Post subject:

Lakers coach Byron Scott still reveling in Kobe Bryant's 38-point effort
by Bill Oram - ocregister.com

Byron Scott was still glowing over Kobe Bryant’s performance a night earlier, and why not?

The Lakers coach said Wednesday he would try to hang on to the feeling of watching Bryant drop 38 points on Minnesota as long as possible.

“You do kind of look at it and say, ‘Man, I’m going to savor this moment,’ because it might be the last great game that he has,” Scott said.

‘I don’t know. None of us knows.”

Whether Bryant squeezes another such performance out of the final 31 games of this season – of which he is certain to miss at least several – Scott said Tuesday’s 119-115 win over the Timberwolves would be remembered as a “pretty special day for K.B.”

Helping Scott’s mood, of course, was the fact the Lakers won for the first time since Jan. 12.

“Winning never gets old,” Scott said. “You want to enjoy it.”

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject:

Andrew Wiggins says Kobe Bryant 'perfected the game of basketball.'
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Kobe's 38 points impressed the kids who used to watch him on T.V.

Kobe Bryant had one of the final scoring explosions of his NBA career, going for 38 points on 10-21 shooting in the 51st game of his 82 game swan song. It was Bryant's season-high in terms of scoring, and one of the handful of nights this season he has looked not just "good for a 37-year old," but "legitimately good for any NBA player," and it left one of his young teammates particularly impressed.

"It was just another Mamba moment to add to the collection," Russell told Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation after the game. "[There] should be a museum of just Mamba moments." Something tells me if D'Angelo wanted to build one, that's the type of off the court business venture that could do very well in the Los Angeles area.

Russell wasn't the only young Laker enamored with Bryant on Tuesday night. Julius Randle was also amazed by Bryant scoring 14 of the Lakers final 18 points in the close win:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:31 pm    Post subject:

Post Practice Videos - Feb. 3, 2016
by lakersnation.com

Byron Scott Praises Both Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell

Jordan Clarkson On Kobe Bryant: 'It Was Like Watching A Movie'
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:12 am    Post subject:

How would Ben Simmons fare with the Lakers?
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

His name has given the Lakers and their fans hope amid a lost season. His talents have evoked comparisons to Magic Johnson and LeBron James. His mere presence even prompted President Barack Obama to give him a shoutout during a town-hall meeting.

Ben Simmons has sparked as much excitement down here as Mardi Gras. The LSU freshman standout has dazzled the college basketball world, where the 6-foot-10 forward can both direct the offense as a playmaker (5.0 assists per game) and grab rebounds as a bruiser (12.5). Simmons can also do other things, including scoring (19.5) and playing defense (40 total steals, 20 total blocks).

The Lakers (10-41) will not have the luxury of having Simmons on their team when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans (18-29) on Thursday at Smoothie King Arena. But the Lakers currently have a 19.9 percent chance to land the No. 1 pick and select Simmons in the NBA Draft four months from now.

All of which has produced plenty of observations.

An NBA executive that requested anonymity offered this big-picture outlook: “What makes him special is his ability to handle the ball. He’s the most unique handling big to come to the league since LeBron James.”

Lakers forward and LSU alum Brandon Bass provided an in-depth breakdown on Simmons: “He can pass. He has a good feel for the game. He’s a great ball-handler and very talented. I think he has a bright future.”

And NBA TV analyst Steve Smith found some similarities in a former Laker who helped the franchise win back-to-back championships: “He reminds me a little bit of Lamar Odom. He’s a guy that size that can handle the basketball and make plays.”

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:13 am    Post subject:

Julius Randle beginning to find his 'niche' in the NBA
by Jovan Buha - espn.go.com

With 1:11 remaining in a one-point game and five seconds left on the shot clock, Los Angeles Lakers second-year forward Julius Randle caught a pass from Jordan Clarkson on the left wing and sized up his defender, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Randle drove middle and then spun back baseline, where Towns met him with his imposing 9-foot-5 standing reach. Randle picked up his dribble, pivoted into the paint to look for a teammate to pass to, and then spun back around and flung up an off-balanced left-handed hook shot.

The ball clanged on the right lip of the rim, bounced backwards and hit the rim again, then kissed the backboard and fell in. The Lakers extended their lead to three points at 111-108 and then ultimately prevailed, 119-115, over the Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Randle finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, his 19th double-double of the season and sixth since moving into the starting lineup against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 17 because of a right knee injury to incumbent starter Larry Nance Jr.

Count Lakers coach Byron Scott among those impressed with Randle's improvement this season.

"I think his progression has come along nicely," Scott said Wednesday. "We had a good little talk yesterday about some of the things that I want him to continue to get better at. He takes those things to heart. He's trying to put them into play. Last night after the game we talked again and I told him the things we talked about that morning he was able to do [in the game] tonight and you see the results."

Kobe Bryant's 38-point performance garnered the headlines, but Randle's dirty work inside ensured Bryant's throwback performance wasn't for naught.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:14 am    Post subject:

TDIKH: February 4, 1998
by nba.com

In perhaps the Lakers’ most complete game during Kobe Bryant’s rookie season, the teenager came off the bench to complement his veteran teammates’ strong effort.

Bryant racked up 26 points off the bench to assist Los Angeles in taking down Portland 122-115.

Meanwhile, Eddie Jones (28 points), Nick Van Exel (23 points, 11 assists) and Shaquille O’Neal (21 points, 10 rebounds) helped L.A. shoot 55.1 percent from the field.

Bryant shot 6-of-10 from the field and hit all 13 free throw attempts to help combat seven Trail Blazers in double figures.

The first-year Laker also collected four rebounds, four assists and three steals, as the Lakers rolled by taking a 16-point lead by halftime.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:05 pm    Post subject:

Lakers are strangers on the court.

Russell doesn't think he's improving.

Either the Buss kids are wisely milking the tank (I have a hard time believing this), or they are really (bleep) stupid (This is more plausible).
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:36 am    Post subject:

This Ben Simmons' Tweet Has Fans' Imaginations Running Wild
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

A new Ben Simmons Tweet has Lakers fans all riled up

Ben Simmons has become somewhat of a tease on social media, constantly filling Lakers fans with the hope that their heir to the throne has arrived in a 6’10, 240 pound package.

From Snapchats of him saying “You can catch me on the Lakers next year,” to epic photos of him rocking a Magic Johnson jersey in front of a roaring LSU stadium, Simmons has shown he’s ready for his acting debut in Hollywood.

Thursday night, was nothing like the previously mentioned occurrences, but it still had fans rolling, racking up close to 1500 mentions in two hours.

Big homie is in town @Dloading 💯

D’Angelo Russell and Ben Simmons played together in high school so it’s no surprise that they’d try to catch up when Russell was in town. It’ll be interesting to see whether that’s at the actually game, or later on.

Simmons has played for the Purple and Gold nearly his entire basketball tenure, so how fitting would it be for him to come to the Lakers next season.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:37 am    Post subject:

D'Angelo Russell has some post moves, too
by Drew Garrison - silverscreenandroll.com

Making Kobe proud!

D'Angelo Russell's passing and perimeter shooting might be his bread and butter, but the kids got some post moves too. He hit the smaller Norris Cole with something filthy as a reminder:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:03 am    Post subject:

Just Showing Up Is Its Own Reward for Kobe Bryant in His Farewell Season
by Kevin Ding - bleacherreport.com

The ill-fitting Boston affiliation notwithstanding, Kobe Bryant has always seen himself as something of a New England Patriot.

Bryant identifies with Tom Brady's glamour and greatness, he admires Bill Belichick's calculating nature and he even once took to giving himself the code name "Moss" in the Lakers offense—as in Randy Moss, once Brady's deep target—as the big-play decoy opening offense up for teammates.

But Bryant's respect for Peyton Manning—and specifically Manning's maniacal preparation—has always stood as something different.

Their kinship runs even deeper now. Any simpleton can see how both players' bodies have broken down from their unwavering commitment to productivity over so many years—and you've heard fans and analysts alike mutter rudimentary takes about how pathetic it is to see them so less than great.

The nuance that needs to be understood is that even if Manning loses the Super Bowl on Sunday in what could be his final game, even if Bryant's past three games (29.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 turnovers per game) can never be duplicated the rest of his final season, there is beauty in the attempt.

Going out there and putting it on the line in the field of play, for better or worse, is just one part of it. The preparation just to be able to enter that field of play for Manning, 39, in his 18th season, and for Bryant, 37, in his 20th, never gets acknowledged with ovations, but still doing all that dirty work is inspiring on its own.

It's easy to misread Bryant's far more relaxed and almost noncompetitive demeanor on the court in this dead-end Lakers season—and his absence from most team workouts—as evidence he isn't investing as much.

You have no idea.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:04 am    Post subject:

Byron Scott recalls Kobe playing through injured right shoulder vs. New Orleans
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

This city conjured up more memories for Lakers coach Byron Scott beyond the tasty seafood, the festive jazz music, his initial success here and his unceremonious firing. But this hardly marked a joyful moment.

With Kobe Bryant playing in the Lakers’ 99-96 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday at Smoothie King Center, Bryant posted 27 points on 10-of-24 shooting and 12 rebounds, so he could “exercise his demons.”

Bot Bryant and Scott remembered vividly Bryant tearing the rotator cuff in his right shoulder here about a year ago. Before realizing he needed season-ending surgery, Bryant tried to play through his injury. On Jan. 21, 2015, Bryant drove past Pelicans forward Dante Cunningham along the baseline and finished with a dunk. Bryant soon grabbed his right shoulder and believed he just suffered a stinger.

“ ‘My shoulder is a little messed up, but I have my left hand,’ ” Scott remembered Bryant saying. “ ‘I have another hand.’ With how tough he is, he said, ‘I’m good.’ ”

Scott then reported that Lakers trainer Gary Vitti quickly said, “No, get him out.” So Bryant sat with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter to ice his shoulder.

“When I tore it, it wasn’t like the Achilles where I knew I was finished,” Bryant said, referring to his injury in 2013 that sidelined him for eight months. “I thought I can still give it a go. I was trying to search where the pain was coming from. When I can find where the pain is coming from, then I can just not do that. I couldn’t find it. So I felt like I could play and I went out there shooting.”

But he was not shooting with his right hand. After entering the game with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Bryant discovered he could not use his right shoulder. So Bryant used his left hand on a turnaround jumper and two hook shots. After Bryant airballed his second left hook attempt, Vitti advised Scott to take Bryant out.

Afterward, the Lakers determined that Bryant had aggravated his shoulder, but would need to be re-evaluated the following day in San Antonio. Bryant expressed confidence he would not miss any games. But Bryant admitted he thought something different privately.

“It just killed me. I couldn’t feel my shoulder,” Bryant said. “When I went back there again and couldn’t move my arm and took a left-handed jump shot, that’s when I knew it was something serious.”

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Last edited by lakersfreak on Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:05 am    Post subject:

TDIKH: February 5, 1999
by nba.com

The first of many double-doubles of Kobe Bryant’s career came in teaming with Shaquille O’Neal to counter another NBA legend: Charles Barkley.

Bryant provided 25 points and 10 rebounds, while O’Neal racked up 30 points and 14 rebounds to topple Houston, 99-91.

Barkley did all he could to keep the Rockets afloat, pouring in 31 points and 15 rebounds.

However, Houston couldn’t hold onto a three-point halftime lead, as the Lakers outscored them by 11 in the final two periods.

Bryant shot 8-of-21 from the field and 7-of-9 on free throws, while also adding three blocks.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:00 pm    Post subject:

How D'Angelo Russell bullied the Pelicans inside
by Drew Garrison - silverscreenandroll.com

D'Angelo Russell bullied the Pelicans smaller guards. Why that's very important for the Lakers and his growth as a scorer.

D'Angelo Russell is 6'5 with a wingspan that's nearly 7' long, giving him a lanky frame to punish smaller point guards in the league. It will take time for him to learn how to consistently use a size advantage he'll often find himself with, and he is still developing a physical profile to match his skills. Russell showed glimpses of how he can damage a team when he takes smaller players inside in the Los Angeles Lakers' victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, painting a picture of what's to come as he grows.

Russell's shooting touch comes and goes, and his mid-range game thrives around the left elbow but he's inconsistent elsewhere, but he's scoring at a very high clip once he gets close to the basket. D'Angelo has made 80 of the 139 attempts he's taken within 8' of the rim, according to NBA.com, shooting 57.6 percent once he gets inside. The challenge is finding ways to get inside against elite athletes and defense every night. That's where his size mismatch can become a crutch for his game.

D'Angelo's first made basket of the game came after he backed down 6'2 Toney Douglas, forcing his way into the paint before shooting over the top of him for an and-one. The sequence was initiated in Russell's hands above the break ... :

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:01 pm    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant's final game in San Antonio with the Lakers brings the memories flooding back
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

The road games are dwindling for Kobe Bryant, only 13 left before his 20-year career ends.

This might be the most meaningful one remaining.

The Lakers play at San Antonio on Saturday, the home of the eternally marked "0.4" shot and also the start of the Lakers' colossal playoff failure in 1999.

Bryant smiles when asked about Derek Fisher's famous fling — how could he not? — but glowers when discussing the sweep the Spurs applied to the Lakers with a young Tim Duncan and old David Robinson in Bryant's third NBA season.

"They forced me to raise my game to a championship level very, very quickly because of the way that they played, the systematic approach to the game," Bryant said. "They play such a mental game, such a mistake-free game. It forced me at a very early age to step up to that level."

The Lakers eliminated San Antonio on the way to championships in 2001 and 2002, but it was Fisher's turnaround in 2004 that Bryant remembers most about the rivalry.

"That was pretty awesome," he said. "There's a lot of memories in San Antonio. Pretty special."

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:55 am    Post subject:

Wow. Only 13 more road games for Kobe Bryant.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:18 am    Post subject:

Byron Scott credits Kobe Bryant’s recent efficiency to decreased workload
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

In previous years, Kobe Bryant’s absence would spark concerns about his health or rustiness. But in his 20th and final NBA season, things have changed for Bryant beyond becoming more reflective and nostalgic.

Instead, Bryant’s absence during practices and morning shootarounds this season have become normal. Bryant skipped Friday’s session to ensure he will play when the Lakers (11-41) visit the San Antonio Spurs (41-8) today at AT&T Center in his final game here. Lakers coach Byron Scott also believes that approach has largely contributed toward Bryant averaging 29.3 points on 44.4 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the past three games.

“Less work has been better because his legs are fresh, especially the last couple of weeks,” Scott said. “He has a different pep in his step.”

After nursing soreness this season in his left leg, right shoulder and right Achilles, Bryant argued he had had successfully offered a counter punch to Father Time by staying consistent with his around-the-clock treatment. But while that stayed the same, Scott revealed that Bryant changed his workload.

Scott reported for the past three or four weeks Bryant listened to his suggestion to take 200 shots per day instead of 500.

“He tends to work harder when things aren’t going right for him,” Scott said of Bryant. “That’s a detriment to him, too. If his shot is not falling, he gets 500 more shots up that day and next day’s legs are gone.”

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:20 am    Post subject:

D'Angelo Russell Wants Post-Up Game to Become His 'Bread and Butter'
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

Lakers rookie, D’Angelo Russell, showcased a brand new piece of his game Thursday against the New Orleans Pelicans

Coming into the league, Lakers second overall pick, D’Angelo Russell, was known for his pinpoint passing, other worldly vision and sharp shooting from beyond the arc, but in the months since entering the league he’s added another tool to his tool bag: the post up, turn around jumper.

Tuesday night, we caught a glimpse of Andrew Wiggins’ take on Kobe Bryant’s patented fadeaway, so it’s only right that D’Angelo get in on the action as well, seeing that the Black Mamba is actually his teammate.

On multiple occasions, he bullied Norris Cole down into the lane, even converting two and-ones from the elbow.

After the win, Russell revealed that he’s been working hard to perfect this aspect of his game.

D'Angelo said he's been working on his game in the post lately w/ Lakers assist. coaches, wants it to become his "bread & butter" (on TWC)

Standing nearly 6’5, 195 pounds, if Russell is serious about making this shot his “bread and butter,” it’ll serve as a nightmare for smaller guards to defend for years to come.

Additionally, he went onto mention Kobe’s faith in his post work, which is one of the ultimate compliments you could give a young guard.

D'Angelo said Kobe "trusted" him in the post: "He trusts me. That’s the best thing... He told everyone to move & he gave it to me"

However, it was what he said afterwards that should be the brightest sign to Lakers faithful:

D'Angelo Russell (on TWC):
“I’m in love with this process. The bad, the ups & downs, the process of getting to where I want to be."


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:19 am    Post subject:

Byron Scott wishes Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell were 'a tad further along' in his development
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

The Kobe Bryant goodbye tour isn't the only thing winding down.

D'Angelo Russell has a little more than two months to go on the first lap of his pro career.

He had a 27-point game in Sacramento and an almost scoreless one against Chicago, leading to an overall acknowledgment from Lakers Coach Byron Scott that Russell is slightly behind where Scott hoped he'd be at this point.

"I probably thought he'd be a little further," Scott said Saturday before the Lakers played the San Antonio Spurs. "But . . . 19 years old. I always take that into consideration. Every time I try to chastise him about something or get mad at him about something, I always go right back to, 'You know what? Coach, he's 19. He's still a kid, he's still learning, he's still trying to figure out what this league is all about.'"

The second overall draft pick can improve in key areas. He was averaging 12.1 points but shooting only 41.7% before Saturday's game. His assist-to-turnover ratio needs to perk up as well — 3.3 assists and 2.4 turnovers per game.

Scott's thoughts? Russell needs to run the offense better.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:20 am    Post subject:

Julius Randle Injury - Updates on Lakers Star's Ankle and Return
by Joe Pantorno - bleacherreport.com

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reported Randle is undergoing X-rays on his left ankle.

After a lost rookie season due to a broken leg just 12 minutes into his debut, Randle missed just one game out of the Lakers' first 53.

In a season that has become the Kobe Bryant farewell tour, Randle is quietly putting together a solid first full year, averaging 11 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in a platoon at power forward with Larry Nance Jr.

However, his shooting percentage hasn't been as high as the Lakers hoped for, as he's posted a .416 this season.

Still, he's gotten some high praise from opponents, including Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who spoke with Serena Winters of Lakers Nation.

"I think once he gets in that rhythm, a real rhythm, I think he’s really going to be a force to be reckoned with," Green said.

Nance will be the outright starter while Randle recovers, while Brandon Bass and Metta World Peace will likely see an added bump in their minutes.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:22 am    Post subject:

Jordan Clarkson shines offensively against the Spurs, but his defense needs work
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

The Lakers sophomore guard had an up-and-down effort in his homecoming

Jordan Clarkson has become last year's iPhone model in the eyes of many Lakers fans. He still has all of the same features that captured everyone's attention last year, but in comparison to his fresh-out-of-the-box teammates that can do a bunch of new and different things, his weaknesses (mainly defense) have been more apparent than they were when he was the newest and shiniest toy.

Against his hometown San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, Clarkson served reminder that while he has received less attention than the rest of the team's young core this season after having the entire spotlight to himself last year, there are many nights where he looks like the best player on the floor for Los Angeles.

All 21 of Clarkson's points against the Spurs in the first three quarters, as he sat the majority of the fourth while D'Angelo Russell took over the game. He did make a three minute cameo at the end of the game to watch Kobe Bryant try to shoot the Lakers into a win, but did not attempt a single shot. Clarkson shot 9-14 from the field on the night, with his 64.3 percent shooting ranking first on the team against San Antonio.

Clarkson was able to score with such efficiency by getting inside, taking 6 of his 14 shots in the restricted area and making 4 of them. That is right around normal shot distribution for Clarkson, but he was finishing against San Antonio, with that 4-6 shooting at the rim translating to 66.7%, significantly above the 51% he has been shooting from that range on the year.

Playing in front of family and friends, Clarkson did a better job of drawing and exploiting mismatches to get good shots at the tin. On this possession, Clarkson drew a switch from Boris Diaw on a ball-screen at the elbow, and was able to use his crossover to get Diaw and his heels and find his way into the paint:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:23 am    Post subject:

Spurs Give Kobe Bryant Best Tribute Yet (Video)
by Cody Williams - lakeshowlife.com

The San Antonio Spurs unveiled the perfect video tribute to Kobe Bryat before their matchup with the Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to the AT&T Center for a contest against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. Not only was it going to be a tough matchup as the Lakers tried to push their winning streak to three games, but it was also Kobe Bryant’s final game against a Spurs team with whom he has a long history with.

Kobe and the usual suspect for the Spurs such as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and—of course—head coach Gregg Popovich, have been doing battle for over a decade. Subsequently, it was expected that their tribute to Kobe with his impending retirement would hit home.

The video tribute aired during player introductions undoubtedly did just that:

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