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Category: Pau Gasol

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 mgmedin@gmail.com

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

Andrew Bynum to have knee procedure

Lakers center Andrew Bynum will miss Saturday's practice during All-Star weekend because of a previously scheduled appointment with his longtime knee specialist, David AltchekThe Times' Mike Bresnahan notes that Lakers center Andrew Bynum will miss Saturday's practice during All-Star weekend because of a previously scheduled appointment with his longtime knee specialist, David Altchek. Bresnahan says Bynum will receive a Synvisc injection in his right knee, part of what the Lakers called a routine procedure to lubricate joints in the knee.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin also says Bynum is just undergoing the procedure for maintenance purposes.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell also details Bynum's procedure.

Game stories

--The Times' Bresnahan focuses on the off night Kobe Bryant and Bynum experienced in the Lakers' 100-85 loss Thursday to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding explains why the Lakers couldn't match the Thunder's speed.

--The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry believes a changing of guard has taken place between the Lakers and Oklahoma City.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford says Oklahoma City controlled the tempo against the Lakers.

Notebooks

--The Daily News' Teaford explains what Lakers Coach Mike Brown admires about Oklahoma City General Manager Sam Presti.

Sidebars

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr profiles Bynum.

--The Oklahoman's John Rohde highlights Kobe Bryant's contention that the media needs to stop scrutinizing Russell Westbrook.

Columns

--The Times' Helene Elliott argues that the Lakers' inconsistency will persist if they don't make a roster move before the March 15 deadline.

--The Oklahoman's Barry Tramel explains how the Thunder's victory over the Lakers validated their efforts in acquiring Kendrick Perkins.

Blogs

--Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin believes a changing of the guard is taking place between the Lakers and Thunder.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky as well as Ramona Shelburne debate the Lakers' future.

--ESPN Los Angele's McMenamin breaks down the Lakers' loss to Oklahoma City.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore argues OKC undressed the Lakers' weaknesses.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Phillip Barnett breaks down the good, bad and the ugly in the Lakers' loss to the Thunder.

Tweet of the Day: "I asked Dwight if true there was 0 percent chance he'd stay in Orlando: "If it's not about All-Star weekend I don't want to talk about it."" -- sam_amick (Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "These losses to better teams will continue unabated. we will not ever beat the Heat, the Bulls, or the Thunder, until we add a PG and another scoring threat. Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo, and Ramon Sessions are out there for the taking, and none of them will cost us any of our big 3 of Bryant (of course), Bynum, or Gasol. I don't know what Kupchak is waiting for....this team has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will not get past the 1st round of the playoffs if they get there at all." -- Jeff Sadie

RELATED:

Lakers lose to Thunder in Oklahoma City, 100-85

Kobe Bryant's performance in Dallas shows he needs rest

Kobe Bryant deserves better communication from Jim Buss

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

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

Derrick Rose denies report he wants Bulls to acquire Pau Gasol

Pau GasolAfter nearly every made basket, Pau Gasol smiled, high-fived a teammate or laughed.

It's amazing what Kobe Bryant's public stewing about the front office regarding Gasol's future can do for the Lakers forward's psyche. That was on full display during the Lakers' 96-91 victory Wednesday over Dallas. Gasol's 24 points on 11-of-18 shooting, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals showed his stronger aggression and engagement, signs that he's handling his uncertainty with the Lakers better than last week.

Here's another item that might help Gasol feel more at ease: Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose strongly denied a report that he wants the organization to acquire Gasol before the March 15 trade deadline.

"That's something I wouldn't say to anyone, that I need someone to come to this team or I'm trying to get rid of someone on this team," Rose told reporters in Chicago. "It was all false and that's something I would never do."

Sheridan Hoops' Chris Sheridan reported that Rose let it be known to management that he wants to play with Gasol if Chicago swings a trade with the Lakers. That semantic difference leaves room for Rose to deny that he said anything to management himself because an intermediary could have delivered such a message on his behalf.

The supposed terms of the deal would have sent forward Carlos Boozer and point guard C.J. Watson to the Lakers for Gasol. That would be a horrible move for the Lakers for various reasons. Boozer may not command as many touches as Gasol does and open up the post more for Andrew Bynum inside. But he offers little outside of rebounding on defense and is injury prone. As for Watson, he's proven to be only a decent backup point guard, hardly the answer to the Lakers' backcourt needs.

Gasol would be better served if he didn't read these things, anyway. Plenty of trade scenarios will emerge before the deadline with his name attached to them. Instead, he should play like he did against Dallas, with aggression, enthusiasm and energy, and refuse to let his uncertain standing affect him. For now, at least.

RELATED:

Kobe Bryant taking measured approach in leading Lakers

Pau Gasol fights frustrations during Lakers' win over Phoenix

Kobe Bryant: Trade speculation has made Pau Gasol emotional

-- Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Pau Gasol tries to put up a shot in the first half of the Lakers' 96-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press

Lakers show offensive improvement in 111-99 victory over Phoenix Suns

Summoning his players over, Lakers Coach Mike Brown looked them in the eye and told them to appreciate what they have.

Embrace the grind that a compacted 66-game schedule entails. Relish the hard work that comes with nailing down his offensive and defensive system. Tolerate the fluctuating lineup changes. Block out the "outside noise" regarding what moves the Lakers will make before the March 15 trade deadline. Understand that all of these challenges remain an ongoing effort.

"I knew we were going to get socked on the chin because I didn't have enough time to figure out what I had," Brown said. "So it starts with me. Then, to our guys' credit, they were searching too. I'm not saying we have arrived, because we have not, but we are getting better."

Mike Brown on win over Phoenix

The Lakers  showed that in their 111-99 victory Friday over the Phoenix Suns. They reached their season high in points and reached the 100-point threshold for the fourth time all season. After shooting 37% from the field in the last seven games, Kobe Bryant dropped 36 points on 14-of-25 shooting, including 18 in the third quarter. The Lakers bench combined for 34 points on 13-of-20 shooting. Andrew Bynum showed tremendous ability in passing out of double teams and re-posting en route to 17 points on a seven-of-13 clip.

It remains to be seen whether the old adage What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" will apply to this current Lakers team. The Suns (12-19) rank 23rd overall in total defense (97.32 points allowed per game) and 20th in opponent field-goal percentage (45.2%). The Lakers allowed Phoenix to cut double-digit leads in both the second and fourth quarter, partly because of 17 turnovers. Bryant believes Pau Gasol's 10-point effort on four-of-13 shooting relates to the possibility the Lakers might trade him.

Still, the Lakers' progression leaves Brown confident enough to say that "I'll bet on us in the playoffs." It leads Suns Coach Alvin Gentry to dread the Lakers the same way as when L.A. eliminated Phoenix in six games of the 2010 Western Conference semifinals. It gives the Lakers' players some hope that progress finally feels as if it has arrived.

"For this stretch that we've been on in the first half has been difficult," said Bryant, whose team currently ranks fifth in the Western Conference. "But we haven't had many practices and juggled with the lineup, played two rookies in the fourth quarter on the road and they have to learn on the fly. It's been tough.  I think I'm fairly pleased with where we are at this point."

Continue reading »

Pau Gasol fights frustrations during Lakers' win over Phoenix

Once he slipped a well-placed pass from Kobe Bryant out of his hands, Pau Gasol picked it up and smacked it against his palms.

A few moments after Steve Blake threw an unreachable lob over his head, Gasol slumped over on the bench on the next timeout.

When former teammate and Phoenix guard Shannon Brown snuck behind for a put-back dunk that cut the Lakers’ lead to five points with 4:28 remaining, Gasol stared off into the distance.

Plenty of images defined Gasol’s frustration on a night the Lakers exuded positive energy everywhere else in their 111-99 victory Friday over the Phoenix Suns. Bryant’s 36 points on 14-of-25 shooting came after a seven-game slump where he shot only 37% from the field. Andrew Bynum’s 17 points on a seven-of-13 clip showcased his continual growth in passing and re-posting out of double teams. The reserve unit’s combined 34 points suggested it finally escape remaining one of the NBA’s least effective benches.   

As far as Gasol, though, his 10 points on only four-of-13 shooting conveyed something to Bryant beyond the Lakers’ forward having a bad game. Bryant attributed Gasol’s effort to “an emotional couple of days for him” as reports circulated this week the Lakers may trade him before the March 15 deadline. An online report mentioned the Minnesota Timberwolves offered Derrick Williams and draft picks for Gasol. 

“Personally I don't understand that crap,” Bryant said. “But it is what it is. It's important for him to know we support him. I support him especially. I just want him to go out there and play hard and do what he does best for us.”

Continue reading »

Lakers face hurdles in signing J.R. Smith

The Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan reports that the Lakers are pursuing free agent J.R. Smith
--The Times' Mike Bresnahan reports that the Lakers are pursuing free agent J.R. Smith, but that they can offer him only about $450,000, the prorated portion of the veterans' minimum. Smith made $6.8 million last season with Denver. Bresnahan mentions that New York, Chicago, Indiana, Orlando and the Clippers are also pursuing Smith.

--The Times' Baxter Holmes mentions that Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro had a recent conversation with Smith.

--Sheridan Hoops' Mark Heisler ranks the Lakers at No. 9 in his power rankings. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky says he doesn't understand why Devin Ebanks hasn't cracked the rotation. 

--The Times' Chris Erskine compares Lakers fans with Clippers fans.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin notices that the Lakers had more fun playing Atlanta after seeing Jeremy Lin's heroics. 

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford explains how Steve Blake's return helps the Lakers. 

--Fox Sports' Chris Tomasson reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves have offered Derrick Williams and draft picks to the Lakers for Pau Gasol. 

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell talks with NBA-TV's Rick Kamla about the best players to interview. 

--Silver Screen and Roll's wondahbap argues that the Lakers are a deeply flawed team. 

Tweet of the Day: "The NBA should use the couch Jeremy Lin slept on as some sort of obstacle in the All-Star skills competition." -- ZachLowe_SI (Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "Amazing, how a relative nothing like Smith, who went away to play in China like unwanted baseball players go to Japan, has become the object of the Lakers' search for the holy grail. And that they still may not be able to secure him! Sure, he can help out in several ways. But it sounds like they're banking on JR Smith to be the missing piece that will save the season for them. The state of the Lakers as a contender has become pathetic." -- Craig Hill

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: J.R. Smith, then with the Denver Nuggets, battles for a loose ball with Lakers Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant in 2010. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times 

Gilbert Arenas reportedly works out for Lakers

Kobe Bryant--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin reports that Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak attended a private workout for free agent guard Gilbert Arenas while the Lakers were in Toronto.  Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowksi and Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick confirmed the news.

Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains why the Lakers played so poorly in their 94-92 win Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding focuses on the Lakers' nearly blowing an 18-point lead against Toronto.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford credits Kobe Bryant for his game-winning shot against Toronto.

Notebooks

--The Times' Bresnahan looks at the Lakers' struggles defending point guards.

--The Orange County Register's Ding presents a photo slideshow of his six-game trip.

--The Daily News' Teaford explains why Metta World Peace still has the green light to shoot.

Sidebars

--The Edmonton Journal's Bruce Arthur notices Bryant makes this game-winning shot thing sort of a routine.

--The National Post's Eric Koreen highlights Toronto's late-game unraveling.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Holly MacKenzie details the Lakers' "average" 3-3 trip.

Columns

--The Toronto Star's Cathal Kelly describes Bryant's mannerisms as rude and condescending.

Blogs

--True Hoop's Henry Abbott argues Bryant kills crunch time.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky breaks down the Lakers' victory over Toronto.

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

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark argues Bryant's game winner against Toronto rectified his poor play earlier in the game.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Zephid breaks down the good, bad and the ugly in the Lakers' win over Toronto.

Tweet of the Day: "Fans got Kobe & Bynum right 4 All Star. Asked Phil why coaches got it wrong not adding @paugasol. He said they must like small ball." -- JeanieBuss (Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "In terms of the Lakers down the stretch, I want Kobe take game-winning shots in the final minute or final seconds, but he starts going into Mamba mode in the last five minutes of a game, which is way too early. He wants the ball on every possession down the stretch in the final five and that's hurting the Lakers. It's completely predictable by now. When they trailed by four, Pau finally had enough and drove the lane and dished to Bynum for a dunk. Why not do more of that? Kobe bailed the Lakers out, but he also put them in the hole." -- Fred Robledo

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant elevates for what proved to be the game-winning shot over Raptors forward James Johnson with 4.2 seconds left in the game Sunday at Toronto. Credit: Nathan Denette / Associated Press / February 12, 2012

Coach Mike Brown could face suspension in wake of ejection

Lakers2_350The Lakers will play Philadelphia on Monday.

Will Mike Brown coach them?

The Lakers coach could face a suspension after appearing to bump referee Zach Zarba early in the fourth quarter of a 96-87 loss to Utah on Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

Brown was upset after watching Utah guard Earl Watson mug Pau Gasol for a steal that led to a dunk by Derrick Favors with 8 minutes 35 seconds left in the game. The Lakers coach bounded onto the court and received two technical fouls, resulting in his first ejection of the season.

"I thought [Watson] ran through him to get the ball," Brown said later after watching a replay in the locker room.

The Jazz went on to score the next nine points to complete a 14-0 run. Gasol, who finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds, agreed with his coach's assessment that he was fouled on the play.

"There was definitely contact," Gasol said. "There was definitely a possibility for the ref to make the call. He didn't make it."

Brown said he apologized to his team but did not think his actions resulted in the defeat.

"I shouldn't have done what I did because it put our team in a deeper hole than it was in," Brown said. "It's not good to do that. It's not setting a good example or setting the right tone for our team."

Kobe Bryant, who scored 11 of his 26 points during a late comeback in which the Lakers trimmed their deficit to six points, pinned the defeat on a discrepancy in rebounding, not a loss of composure. Utah had 18 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Lakers overall, 50-42.

But the big story was Brown, who might be watching his team play Philadelphia on Monday from a fancy hotel room.

"I don't know," Brown said when asked if he bumped Zarba. "I'm just upset about the loss."

RELATED:

Lakers vs. Jazz photos

Lakers falter at the finish in loss to Jazz

Josh McRoberts is latest victim of decreased playing time

--Ben Bolch in Salt Lake City

Photo: Lakers Coach Mike Brown is restrained by security after getting ejected for bumping referee Zach Zarba in the fourth quarter Saturday night in Utah. Credit: George Frey / EPA

Five things to take from Lakers' 93-89 win in Denver

Lakers31. An important road win against a conference playoff contender. Let's start with the biggest positive of the night: a quality win on the road against a conference opponent. So it wasn't pretty, but the Lakers still went on the road to beat the Nuggets, 93-89. When they want to know whether you won or lost, they ask how many, not how well you played. The Nuggets (15-8) have proven to be a formidable opponent since the departure of Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks as well as Kenyon Martin (now of the Clippers) and J.R. Smith to China. Just as impressive, the Lakers (14-9) overcame some controversial calls, or non-calls, to earn the victory and move up in the Western Conference standings.

2. Broken record: The Lakers need to execute better on offense. Once again, the Lakers continued to have breakdowns in running their offensive sets, often resulting in poor-quality possessions that ended with rushed shots at the end of the 24-second clock. And with Andrew Bynum running hot, how can he end the game with only 13 shots? The Lakers continually failed to get him the ball when he had great post position. A couple of scenarios in the game included the Lakers' two most veteran players -- guards Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant -- failing to get Bynum the ball when he had established himself on the block. Bryant ended up driving wildly into the lane and hoisting an off-balance shot on more than one occasion.

3. Broken record II: The Lakers need to improve their transition defense. Too many times the Nuggets were able to get down the court for easy layups. And that included big men Nene and Timofey Mozgov as well as the speedy Ty Lawson and other perimeter players. The Nuggets are primarily a young and athletic team, and they're not the only one in the West that will torch teams in transition if defenses aren't paying attention. Think Thunder, Clippers, Blazers, Jazz, Warriors, etc.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Nuggets

4. Broken record III: Kobe Bryant needs to know when to defer to the big men. Bynum made 10 of 13 shots for 22 points while collecting 10 rebounds and Pau Gasol was five of 10 from the field for 13 points while pulling down 17 rebounds. It became obvious as the game unfolded that the Lakers had the advantage on the front line. When your two big men are shooting better than 65% combined, they need to take more than 23 shots in the game.

5. Andrew Goudelock continues to impress. The rookie guard made six of 10 shots, including one of three from three-point range, for 13 points, his fourth double-digit effort in the last five games. When Steve Blake returns to the lineup, the Lakers' backcourt will have more weapons and depth, plus the ability to give more rest to Fisher and Bryant.

RELATED:

Lakers avoid stumble at start of road trip

GM Mitch Kupchak remains positive despite road woes

Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum lead the L.A. All-Star contingent

--Dan Loumena

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives the baseline for a reverse layup in front of the rim against the Nuggets in the second half Friday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Credit: Jack Dempsey / Associated Press

Lakers enjoy plenty of rest against Bobcats

Some highlights of my breakdown of the Lakers' 106-73 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday:

  • The main thing in this win has to do with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum resting. That's because it's misleading to try to gauge anything else after a win against the worst team in the NBA. Considering how little Coach Mike Brown has rested Bryant, Gasol and Bynum, however, it's crucial that the Lakers found an opportunity to do so against Charlotte.
  • Andrew Goudelock's confidence continues to grow. Who knows whether he'll able to sustain the double-digit efforts that he's shown in the last four games? But with Steve Blake's continued absence and uncertainty about whether the Lakers can upgrade at point guard, team officials are relieved that someone can at least hold the fort temporarily.
  • It remains unclear if Brown will continue shuffling Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes at small forward. But it's very clear that Barnes brings more consistency.
  • Games like the one Tuesday night can be deceiving. The victory could serve as a nice psychological boost for the Lakers as they begin a six-game road trip Friday in Denver. Or it could give them a false sense of confidence.

ALSO:

Uh-oh, here come the . . . Bobcats?

Things to watch in Lakers-Charlotte Bobcats matchup

Mike Brown more concerned with development than limiting minutes

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

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