Around The World (Wide Web): Laker’s Chasing That Final Spot

Ryan Cole —  April 9, 2013

From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll: For the briefest of moments, it was there: Hope. The belief that the Lakers had tricks up their sleeve that had not yet been revealed. For 9 glorious minutes, as the Lakers took the court against the Los Angeles Clippers, they did something previously thought to be impossible. They defended well, as a team, together. Not Dwight Howard changing shots. Not getting a couple of missed shots that lead to a big run. Just good, solid, team defense, with rotations at the proper time and to the proper place. It was a sight to behold. It was also short-lived. By the end of the first quarter, the Lakers had 6 turnovers and the Clippers were in the midst of hitting 10 straight shots, including a few threes, and the game was all but over. In the 2nd half, the 7 man rotation the Lakers have been working with of late ensured that there was little hope of any kind of grand comeback, and the Clippers kept the Lakers at arm’s length the rest of the way.

From Mark Heisler, Lakers Nation: Was this the Lakers’ playoffs? Or what if the Clippers drilled the Lakes—again–this time by 109-95—to record their first sweep over you… and they barely noticed? “For the first time ever you’ve been swept by the Clippers,” someone said to Kobe Bryant. “How frustrating is that?” Apparently not very much. Bryant paused, grinned, said wearily, “Man, we we got a bigger challenge to worry about than beating the Clippers one game.” And those were the good, old days, so to speak, around 4 p.m. Sunday with the Lakers still No. 8 in the West. About three hours later, the Jazz upset the Warriors in Oakland and the Lakers’ challenge was even bigger, going from a half-game ahead of Utah to a half-game behind… which is effectively 1.5 games with the Jazz having won the season series.

From Arash Markaz, ESPN LA: Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace said he will start Tuesday night when the Lakers play the New Orleans Hornets, just 12 days after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee that was supposed to sideline him at least six weeks. World Peace participated in a three-on-three scrimmage at practice Monday, and Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said there was a 90 percent chance World Peace would play Tuesday. “He’s good,” D’Antoni said. “It’s probably a game-time decision, but he looks good. He’s raring to go. The medical staff will make a decision tomorrow. It’s unbelievable. He’s different. … I’ve never seen this before.”

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: If ever there’s a time for the Lakers to sweep a back-to-back set, it’s now. Age and injuries could always be blamed, but inconsistency would be the biggest, saddest mark of a team that hasn’t won on back-to-back days this season. “It’s a good time to start,” Kobe Bryant said Monday. The Lakers have never gone a whole season without sweeping a back-to-back series in their 64-year history. Even their worst team, the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers who finished 19-53, managed to nail a back-to-back. The maligned present-day Lakers (40-37) play host to New Orleans on Tuesday and then are at Portland, their personal haunted mansion, on Wednesday. In the mess that this season has become, a surprising bit of positive injury news trickled out of the Lakers’ medical flies Monday.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Such is the depth of the hole the Lakers have dug themselves — even in the sprint to the finish to get the eighth and final playoff spot in the West Los Angeles does not control its own destiny. Utah is the team in the driver’s seat. Win out their remaining four games and the Jazz head to the playoffs. It doesn’t matter how many points Kobe Bryant scores or how fast Metta World Peace comes back from injury, if the Jazz win out the Lakers can do no better than tie and Utah has the tie breaker (they won the season series). The Lakers still have a chance, but they likely need to go at least 4-1 in their last five to get there. They may need to win out. And their schedule is anything but easy.

Ryan Cole

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6 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Laker’s Chasing That Final Spot

  1. Lakers won a few games without Kobe…but coach still cant find 5 minutes of rest….No trust of the other players…Gasol and Howard should be mad….coach doenst trust them without Kobe…..for even 5 minutes of a game….What do you think??

  2. Right now there is nothing we, as fans, or the front office can do. There is relatively little the coaching staff can do or change with 5 games to go. It is pretty much on the 8 players playing the game.

    As fans, it is now time to watch each play, each qtr, each game. It is now time to really appreciate what Kobe is bringing to the table. Win or lose, this year certainly adds to his legacy. Win or lose, we are watching one of the very best basketball players ever to lace on a pair of shoes and it is not a foregone conclusion that he can have anything like the year he has had next year. Father time never loses; he just sometimes get put off for a while.

    Fans – enjoy the ride, because you won’t see its like again soon.

    Go Kobe!
    Go Lakers!

  3. Let me ask a question that I think needs to be asked:

    Is the team better off by making the playoffs?

    I frankly don’t know. I want them to make the playoffs because I have hope in this team, but I’m worried about injuries (new and existing) so part of me wants certain players to shut it down and begin their off season rehab programs.

  4. MannyP: I think just by being a Lakers fan there’s a belief that if this team gets into the playoffs that the talent will take over. But the chemistry has been a roller coaster all season and defense is still a major issue. I still think if Lakers make the playoffs and get the Spurs with their injuries the Lakers can overwhelm them with talent and possibly make it to a game 7. My question would be and one that will come up is does Nash retire? That would help with the cap and make a easier decision to amnesty Metta and keep Pau. But I do think they are better off missing the playoffs that would be embarrassing to the franchise and the drive to get back on top would be even greater from everyone involved.

  5. Kevin_: I’m a firm believer in re-birth when it comes to this organization. After we were humiliated by the Spurs in 99(??), look what happened that offseason and in seasons that followed. Same is true after missing the mark for two years post-Phil. A good kick in the pants, a little bit of embarrassment and some humble pie (more than what we have already experienced.) may be just what the DR ordered.