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Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

Category: Dwight Howard

Andrew Bynum says he believes the Lakers won't trade him

The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz talks with Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who says he believes he'll remain a Laker after the March 15 trading deadline--The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz talks with Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who says he believes he'll remain a Laker after the March 15 trading deadline. Schmitz also reports a rumor involving the Magic and the Lakers: The Lakers trade Bynum and Pau Gasol to the Magic for Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson. 

--The Times' John Cherwa looks at how Lakers and the Clippers are strongly represented on this year's Western Conference all-star team. 

--The Times' Ben Bolch looks at the Clippers' improved popularity in Los Angeles. 

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore and the Orange County Register's Janis Carr examine West all-stars Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Bynum. Bonsignore explains how Bryant uses All-Star weekend to rest

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky hands out midterm grades to the Lakers. 

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe wonders how much Bryant wants a fifth All-Star MVP award. 

--Fox Sports West's Joe McDonnell reflects on Magic Johnson's performance in the 1992 NBA All-Star game.

--Sheridan Hoops' Chris Sheridan details how NBA Commissioner David Stern remained unanswerable in whether he thought it was appropriate to stop Paul from going to the Lakers. 

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears reports that Howard is ready to finish this season with Orlando. 

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker argues that Lakers would be a much better team had Paul been allowed to stay with the team. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano reflects on Bryant's first NBA All-Star game. 

Tweet of the Day: "Hardest thing for Lakers fans today will be seeing Kobe, CP3 & Bynum in the starting lineup knowing that could've been their nightly lineup." -- ArashMarkazi (ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "We need youth, a point guard, offense and leadership.
So Jim Buss gets us an old, retired, defensive-minded power forward, that holds records for technical fouls. BRILLIANT!" - Neil Garces

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Andrew Bynum finishes off a dunk against the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Feb. 23. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

Pau Gasol takes Clippers 'very seriously' (Web links)

 

The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner explain why Lakers forward Pau Gasol takes the Clippers "very seriously"

 

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner explain why Lakers forward Pau Gasol takes the Clippers "very seriously."

--The Times' Turner reports it's possible Clippers guard Chris Paul will play Wednesday against the Lakers.

--The Times' Melissa Rohlin reports Blake Griffin's contention that he doesn't flop.

--True Hoop's Henry Abbott looks at the rare times the Lakers have functioned well on offense.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr focuses on Gasol's unhappiness with his role.

--Fox Sports ranks the Lakers at No. 15.

--The Daily News' Tom Hoffarth breaks down the differences between rooting for the Lakers and for the Clippers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi argues that Dwight Howard wouldn't fit in well with the Clippers.

--Fox Sports West's Michael Martinez notes that the Clippers don't view their match-up with the Lakers as a rivalry.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin explains why Lakers Coach Mike Brown is "still searching" with his team.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky dissects how Gasol can balance scoring and facilitating.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe argues that the Lakers' main problem on offense has to deal with their lack of shooters.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller wonders if the Lakers could win the title without acquiring Howard.

--Sports Illustrated's Britt Robson ranks the Lakers at No. 15, saying it's partly because they are squandering Gasol's skills.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Stephen A. Smith argues that the Lakers should keep the current roster intact and wait to sign Kevin Garnett via free agency this summer.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell compares and contrasts the low-post touches that Gasol and Andrew Bynum receive.

--The Orange County Register's Dan Woike notices that the Clippers are refusing to engage in any trash talk with the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman wonders why the Lakers remain horrible from three-point range.

--Clips Nation's Steve Perrin argues that the Clippers shouldn't have a hard time defending the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "Pau Gasol said today that the Clippers needed to be taken "very seriously." A year ago, people would have laughed at him. Not any more." -- Mike_Bresnahan (L.A. Times Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan) 

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "The team has an identity and its a winning one: 3 Finals, 2 Rings, 4 Playoffs. Its Brown and his coaching staff who don't know what they are. They're not teaching old dogs new tricks, they're telling the bulldogs they're now suppose to be greyhounds. Good luck with that." -- Pi Ang

RELATED:

The Kobe System stresses adaptation

Little clarity provided about Pau Gasol's role

Mike Brown: NBA reassesses Blake Griffin's push on Darius Morris

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Pau Gasol battles the Clippers' Blake Griffin on Jan. 14. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Deron Williams' short list includes the Lakers

Kobe Bryant/Dwight Howard

--ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reports New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams wants to stay with the New Jersey Nets should they secure Dwight Howard. If not, Williams has a short list of desirable destinations, including the Mavericks, the Knicks and the Lakers

Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details the Lakers' horrific offense in their 92-80 loss Friday to the Orlando Magic. 

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding notes the Lakers appear tired. 

--The Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robinson details the Magic's dominance. 

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford focuses on the Lakers' offensive struggles. 

Notebooks

--The Daily News' Teaford reports Kobe Bryant doesn't take cortisone shots before every game. Instead, he takes a numbing agent that dulls the pain in his right wrist similar to what Novocain does on dentist visits. 

Sidebars

--The Times' Bresnahan focuses on Metta World Peace's lack of productivity. 

--Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick talks to Lakers assistant Chuck Person about the transition from the Phil Jackson to Mike Brown era, among other topics. 

--ESPN.com's Zach McCann highlights Dwight Howard's effort.

--The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz talks to Magic General Manager Otis Smith, who contends the trade talk surrounding Howard has affected Jameer Nelson's play. 

Columns

--The Times' Bill Plaschke argues Howard stated his case in Friday's game against the Lakers on why the purple and gold need to acquire him. 

--The Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi calls out Shaquille O'Neal for arguing Bynum is better than Howard. 

--The Orange County Register's Ding argues it shouldn't be a surprise the Lakers are struggling offensively. It's one of the reasons why he thought Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw would make the best candidate to replace Phil Jackson. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin argues the Lakers can't depend on Bryant to bail them out on offense. 

--ESPN The Magazine's Chris Palmer advocates for the Lakers to secure Howard. 

--Fox Sports Florida's Tim Povtak argues Howard may have hurt his own trade cause by playing well. 

Blogs

--True Hoop's Henry Abbott argues Bryant's heavy minutes hurts the Lakers' title chances. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky breaks down the Lakers' loss to Orlando. 

--Ball Don't Lie's Eric Freeman argues Williams' wish list means very little. 

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell provides a running diary of the Lakers-Magic game. 

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark argues the Lakers are a broken model. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano breaks down the good and the bad in the Lakers' loss to Orlando. 

Tweet of the Day: "Longtime NBA scout watching Lakers: "This reminds me of the post-triangle hangover when Rudy T. took over from Phil. It takes a while."" -- WojYahooNBA (Yahoo! Sports' NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day:

What an outrageous disaster we are.. No inside game, no shooting accuracy, no offence, no hungry.. nothing!, You wanted to see Bynum against Howard? well it happened and andrew was crushed, no more speculations Howard is the best center by far.

This Florida trip has showed us what is gonna happen on the road or against elite teams.. we re gonna be outscored, and with humiliation. Kobe is running out of fuel, and with only 17 games played, the bench is nothing but a bunch of crap. One question.. wasn t Mike Brown a defensive specialist?? Where is our defense?" -- Leonardo Bovone

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected] Follow the Lakers blog on Facebook. 

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant pulls down a rebound in front of Magic center Dwight Howard in the second half Friday night in Orlando. Credit: Brian Blanco / EPA

Lakers need Dwight Howard, but can they get him?

Andrew Bynum/Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard soared. Andrew Bynum sunk. Howard blocked. Bynum fouled. Howard provided another reminder why the Lakers should want him. Bynum provided another reminder why the Lakers should deal him.

The Lakers' 92-80 loss Friday to the Orlando Magic provided one obvious answer. The Lakers need Howard before the trade deadline. But it just raises another obvious question. How on Earth can the Lakers acquire Howard when their centerpiece revolves around a player Howard severely manhandled?

It might seem surprising to what degree the Lakers' offense remains a mess. But it shouldn't seem surprising that Howard (21 points, 23 rebounds) outmatched Bynum (10 points, 12 rebounds), unless of course you're Shaquille O'Neal. But just as Bynum appeared to be elevating his play and market value, he provided a visual reminder on how much more he has to learn.

Avoiding foul trouble. Remaining aggressive. Passing and posting up on double teams. Preventing offensive putbacks. All areas Bynum lacked inconveniently before an audience the Lakers hoped would remain impressed with Bynum as Howard's alternative.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sizes up Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is nowhere near the basketball court these days.

He has been busy preparing for a visit to Brazil starting Sunday in his first official trip as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department.

But the former Lakers center and the NBA's all-time leading scorer still keeps tabs on the Lakers. In particular, Abdul-Jabbar maintains a watchful eye on center Andrew Bynum after working with him as a Lakers special assistant coach from 2005 to 2011.

The Lakers (10-6) visit the Orlando Magic on Friday at Amway Center in a game that features a matchup of Bynum and Dwight Howard, who leads NBA centers in points (20.1) and rebounds (15.6) per game. Abdul-Jabbar was reluctant to say which player the Lakers should covet more ahead of the league's trade deadline March 15.

"That's hard for me to call," Abdul-Jabbar said Friday in a phone interview with The Times. "I've never seen Dwight Howard play in person. I've only worked with Andrew. I've never seen Dwight up close for a period of time to have a good assessment of him. But the statistics don't lie. He's one of the best in the league and is a very valuable commodity." 

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Things to watch in Lakers-Magic game

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Some things to keep an eye on when the Lakers (10-6) visit the Orlando Magic (10-4) on Friday at Amway Center:

1. How will the Lakers' energy hold up? The Lakers have looked tired in their last three games -- against the Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat -- and it remains to be seen whether that will change. The Lakers are coming off the second night of a back-to-back. Even though they entered the fourth quarter trailing Miami 77-56, Coach Mike Brown played his starters most of the final period in hopes they could compensate for lost practices. Considering how slow and unathletic the Lakers are to begin with, their execution could drop significantly should fatigue remain an issue. 

2. Andrew Bynum versus Dwight Howard. Eager to learn and grow, Bynum always uses his matchups with Howard and Tim Duncan as measuring sticks for where he stands. This time around, Lakers officials will surely be viewing the matchup with an eye toward determining how intently they should pursue Howard. If Bynum holds his own, it's possible his market value increases. That could prompt the Lakers to be more restrictive in packaging a deal with Bynum as the centerpiece. In turn, Orlando may be more inclined to demand less in a trade involving Bynum. 

3. Will Kobe Bryant find his sweet spots again? After scoring at least 40 points in four consecutive games, Bryant has shot 15 of 43 (34.8%) from the field in the last two games. It's pretty easy to explain why. In the four games in which he scored at least 40 points, 77 of his 172 points came from either within 10 feet or at the free-throw line.

According to Hoopsdata, Bryant went three for 12 from shots within 16 to 23 feet and zero for three from three-point range against Dallas. According to NBA Statscube, Bryant then shot five for 15 on mid-range jumpers and zero for three from three-point range against Miami. Credit Miami's LeBron James and Shane Battier as well as Dallas' Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion and Jason Terry for forcing Bryant out of his sweet spots. But it's clear that the Lakers deviated from setting up Bryant where he has been so effective. 

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Andrew Bynum downplays comparisons with Dwight Howard

The two remain commonly linked.

Andrew Bynum remains the current Lakers' center, showing vast improvement in his post play, ability to fight through double teams, and for now, staying healthy. Dwight Howard remains the current Magic center, considered by many to be the league's top center, the league's top defensive player and the Lakers' most coveted prospect.

When Bynum steps into Amway Arena on Friday for the Lakers' game against the Orlando Magic, he'll use it as a measuring stick for both the team's development as well as his own. Even if Bynum says, "I don't make any comparisons" with himself and Howard, the Lakers' center then reveals his hand.

"The guy is definitely more proven," Bynum said of Howard. "So for myself, I always look up to him and want to be able to get the ball and do the things he does with it. I think I learn a lot from watching him play, the way he rim-runs, and gets low and things like that. It's a fun game."

For what it's worth, however, former Lakers center and TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal told The Times' Ben Bolch that Bynum "is the best big man in the game right now." But who knows to what degree O'Neal just wants to continue taking swipes at Howard. So below the jump is a more neutral tale of the tape.

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Mike Brown compares Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

 

The Times' Ben Bolch notes Mike Brown's belief that Kobe Bryant is more "serious-minded" than LeBron James

--The Times' Ben Bolch notes Mike Brown's belief that Kobe Bryant is more "serious-minded" than LeBron James.

--The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer talks to Brown about how he's adjusting to the Lakers. 

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr says she believes that Andrew Bynum has a strong chance to make the All-Star team.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer says he loves the story lines surrounding Bryant and James. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky explains why Steve Blake's rib injury severely hurts the Lakers at point guard.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford argues that the Lakers' next three games against Cleveland, the Clippers and Dallas could be emotional. Brown used to coach the Cavs, the Lakers nearly landed Clippers guard Chris Paul and former Laker Lamar Odom was traded to the Mavericks.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell does some number-crunching regarding Bryant's scoring.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark argues that the Lakers need Dwight Howard's teammates more than they need Howard.

Tweet of the Day: "The Lakers have just 5 home games in the next 32 days." -- ESPNChrisPalmer (Chris Palmer, ESPN The Magazine NBA writer)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "The Lakers need to get themselves a pointguard someone who's going to put the bigs in a better position to score. Kobe contolling the ball takes the effectiveness away from Pau and Bynum. It's great Kobe is scoring lots of points but Kobe is not playing team ball. He's more concern about trying to catch Shaq." -- Ronald A. Mitchell 

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers Coach Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Lakers should still covet Dwight Howard over Andrew Bynum

Dwight Howard

Each dunk, rebound and nifty post move that Andrew Bynum makes softens the Lakers' collective anxiety over how well they will perform this season.

But each sequence apparently has blinded some Laker fans to believe the current roster remains fine. According to a poll on Lakers Nation, 56.8% of fans argue the Lakers are better off keeping Andrew Bynum than shipping him off for a deal involving Dwight Howard. So much for that spirited defense I made last season that Laker fans are more intelligent than the general public believes.

OK, I'm just kidding. You guys are great. But it boggles my mind that Bynum's three games, in which he's averaged 22.7 points on 62.2% shooting and 17 rebounds suddenly changes everything, at least among the majority fans who voted in that poll. Bynum's strong start may have surprised even his most ardent supporters and assuaged the Lakers' feeling that they need to make a major move in order to contend for a title. But that doesn't mean the Lakers still shouldn't pursue Howard at Bynum's expense.

Comparing Bynum's stat line to Howard's (19.1 points) on 58.9% shooting and 16 rebounds remains hogwash. Howard remains a more physical defender, more capable of playing through double teams and more importantly will remain healthy. Bynum says he feels 100% fully healed and he's devoted more time to rehab his knee, but he remains adamant that he will wear a brace on his right knee for the rest of his career.

"It's always going to be in the back of my mind," Bynum said. 

And that's one of the many reasons why Bynum's impressive play should simply serve as a complementary role. Should Bryant's wrist worsen and, heaven forbid, force him to sit out games, Bynum wouldn't thrive as much on the double teams defenses would throw at him. Howard practically deals with that all the time on Orlando. Bynum doesn't have the same appeal as Howard to draw other superstars to the Lakers. Howard's easygoing personality and desire for a championship make the Lakers' Hollywood aura a perfect fit. And measuring the two side by side, Howard's superior defense bodes much stronger into Mike Brown's system than Bynum's will, even if his improved conditioning and 7-foot frame still brings value.

The only thing that should change regarding Bynum's strong start involves the way the Lakers negotiate for Howard. Bynum's market value increases. This lessens the chance Orlando remains adamant that the Lakers have to deal both Bynum and Pau Gasol to land Dwight Howard. And while these talks continue, the Lakers can still feel comfortable they have a flourishing frontcourt with Odom's absence. 

But acquiring Howard in a deal involving Bynum, the team's $8.9 million trade exception and a handful of role players still proves to be the better option. Even if sentiment among Laker fans suggest otherwise. 

RELATED:

Andrew Bynum showing more aggressiveness

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard would mesh well together

Who would you be willing to give up to get Dwight Howard?

Lakers shouldn't pin Andrew Bynum as their franchise player

-- Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Orlando center Dwight Howard kicks the ball as he shoves away Washington Wizards' Rashard Lewis, No. 9, and Kevin Seraphin at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday. Credit: Stephen M. Dowell / MCT.

Lakers' wish list to Santa Claus

It's the time for everyone to feel in a festive mood.

Family and friends pass out gifts. They attend church service. They drink eggnog. They watch "A Christmas Story" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" for the millionth time.

And for basketball fans, they still receive their daily NBA fix. The Lakers may relish playing on Christmas Day for the 13th consecutive year, but they're hardly walking in a winter wonderland.

They have an extensive wish list that may go unfulfilled, unless of course Santa Claus pulls through at the last minute. In no particular order after the jump, the list includes the following.

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