Around The World (Wide Web): A Peace Punch, Earl Clark, Dwight, Lakers

Ryan Cole —  February 4, 2013

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: That free agent in the Lakers’ front-court stands to make a lot of money this summer. Sure, Dwight Howard will get paid too, but Earl Clark has gone from a career washout to a gradual climber up the NBA’s free-agent list in July. “Obviously, not playing earlier and averaging those [low] numbers, I didn’t know where I would end up,” Clark said. “Playing good now and with other teams wanting you, you can pick your own destiny. It feels good to be in the driver’s seat.” He’s quick to add that his first choice is the Lakers, who can sign the unrestricted free agent even though they are already well over the salary cap next season. “This is my first team that gave me an opportunity. I love the guys here,” Clark said. “The organization and the style of play fits me. I really want to stay here.” Clark, 25, has been the feel-good story in an otherwise grim Lakers season.

From Ben R, Silver Screen & Roll:  On paper, this was a matchup that seemed to be firmly in the Lakers’ favor. Detroit was not yet able to employ the services of Jose Calderon, who had eviscerated the Lakers earlier this year, due to visa issues and the Pistons’ best front-court in Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe was finally one against which the Lakers could employ their Twin Towers without losing too much versatility on either end. The Lakers could limit Detroit’s offense into difficult Monroe post-ups and use Dwight Howard’s presence to quench the penetration from Detroit’s wings. Or that was the plan at any rate considering that little has gone as predicted for the Lakers this season, as without Howard, the Lakers were faced with a rare size deficit in the interior and it showed repeatably as the Pistons took ownership of the paint. So even though we expect this team as part of its recent turnaround to be capable of beating teams like this on the road decisively, the Lakers are neither deep enough nor sufficiently in tune with their system to be capable of doing so. And right now, that’s okay.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA:  Metta World Peace was hit with a flagrant foul 1 in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 98-97 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday for getting tangled up with Pistons guardBrandon Knight, and Knight doesn’t believe that punishment was severe enough because he was hit with a fist. “The play needs to be reviewed because he definitely threw a punch,” Knight told reporters after the game. “It felt like he threw a punch. That’s why I reacted the way I did. “The play was over and he grabbed me around the neck. If someone grabs you around the neck, you’re not just going to let that happen. You do what you need to get that person off you.” World Peace and Knight tussled under the hoop with 1:43 remaining in the second quarter while going for the rebound after Greg Monroe was called for a shooting foul on a shot attempt by Pau Gasol. Play was stopped and an official timeout was signaled so the referees could assess the situation.”He’s a small guy,” World Peace said after finishing with eight points and nine rebounds in the win. ”

From Elizabeth Benson, Lakers Nation:  Have your hearts recovered from the Lakers’ head-scratching win against the Detroit Pistons on Super Bowl Sunday? While the Lakers continue to find ways to blow leads in the fourth quarter, the fact remains that they left the Motor City with a win. After all, that is where the team stands at this point of the season; leave the game with a W no matter how beautiful or downright ugly the game is. What has been extremely apparent over the last three games is how crucial Dwight Howard’s presence on the court actually is. Of course, any casual fan will agree with this statement solely based on Howard’s resume. However, when it come to closing in on what and where he is most effective, these past three games would have definitely played out differently. Why? It comes down to defense.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Dwight Howard rested, but many other Lakers used their Sunday to put in some serious work. It was barely enough for the Lakers to avoid another devastating setback and edge the lowly Detroit Pistons, 98-97.  Pau Gasol, even though Howard mocked his lack of lift on an earlier dunk, got up just high enough to distract Detroit’s Andre Drummond on a last-second alley-oop chance for Detroit — and led the Lakers with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Metta World Peace wasn’t afraid to assert himself physically even in the house where he endured his most infamous moment going into the stands to fight in 2004 — bringing the energy on a day when relieved Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said after surviving: “These are playoff games for us.”

 

 

Ryan Cole

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11 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): A Peace Punch, Earl Clark, Dwight, Lakers

  1. reposting from last thread:

    Hou next 10 games: GS, @MIA, POR, @SAC, @GS, @LAC, OKC, @BKL, @ WAS, MIL

    freefalling Portland’s next 10: @ Min, @ Dal, @ Hou, @Orl, @Mia, @NO, Phx, @Lakers, Bos, Den

    LA next 10 games: @BKL, @BOS, @CHA, @ MIA, Phx, Clips, Bos, Port, @DAL, @ DEN (B2B)

    I can’t make any sense of this Lakers team, but I still think we have a reasonable chance to be right in the midst of the playoff hunt by the end of this month and perhaps already in the 8th spot. I still believe! (Sort of.)

  2. Clark: It is early yet, so let’s see how Earl plays for the rest of the year. However, let’s project that he will continue to be a very good role type player. That said it will interesting to see what the FO does with him, We have been more than willing to spend on top players and coaches, and then we tend to be a little spendthrift on the “middle of the roster” (I love to spend the money of others). Guys like Sasha, Shannon, and Barnes have basically been told – the price is too high and we don’t want any. As correctly stated above, there would be no financial, “basketball” reason why we could not sign him (although yes I would try to avoid the multi-year deal with player options – just in case this year is not the norm – see Luke and Blake).

    MWP: ”He’s a small guy,” Priceless

  3. Brandon Knight may be right about Metta punching him. It looked to me that Metta hit him in the stomach with an uppercut during their melee. I hope the tech is the only penalty that Peace incurs.

  4. Rusty Shackleford February 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I love when Jeff Van Gundy has been calling Laker games. He rips Dwight the entire game. If anyone can get a message to Mike Breen please beg him to ask Jeff if he has ill feelings toward Dwight because of the situation in Orlando with Stan.

  5. punch!?

    that was a punch!?

    ok, it was a bully move, but Knight’s head didn’t even move. MWP pushed his wrist under Knight’s chin. the message was “if this were a fight, you’re already broken. chill out”.

    if MWP wasn’t on my favorite team, i wouldn’t like that exchange at all, but i still wouldn’t done more than seperate the two of them if i was a ref. they are both grown men. “break it up and get on with the game and end the shennanigans NOW” would be my ruling. if you really want to give a tech or two, ok, but that’s another waste of time. that was NOTHING. basketball is a physical game, there will be conflicts occasionally. there was no damage to either player and it was over quickly, move on!

  6. Robert,

    I responded to your post in the other thread. Also, I hope that our disagreements do not cause me to lose my place in the reorganized FO after you buy the team.

  7. Reposting from last thread:

    The Duke of Earl, deserves a decent contract from the Lakers (if not them, from some one else). He was thrust into the fray of a tumultuous season with the Lakers and has been very, very consistent. Clark has filled five core areas that the Lakers lack: athleticism, rebounds, points, defense, and a Swiss army knife. No, he is not perfect in any of these areas. However, he has shown enough of a sample size that the Lakers can use to determine his viability going forward. Just have to hope that he is not one of those players that plays well in their contract year, and disappears after getting locked in for years.

  8. Too many bigs. If Earl Clark can play the 3 (his perimeter d will have to improve and he will have to prove the outside stroke isn’t a fluke) then it may be worth it to sign him. Amnesty Artest maybe?

    I can’t figure out if Detroit just hit their shots in the 4th or if the lakers had a lot to do with it. It’s safe to say that this season’s team has shooken my confidence in analyzing lakers basketball. … So… Your take on resign clark is better than mine, lol :D

  9. Even if Clark’s production drop off tge rest of the season his value is higher than it was at the beggining of tge season when he was no more than a toss in on the Howard trade. The FO should be wise to keep him, he is the kind of youth and athleticism the Lakers sorely need and he could be better. I just hope his agent dont try to put an Ariza on the team.

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