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Well, here’s some news on the Lakers front. Here’s Mike Trudell of and Time Warner Sportsnet.

Jodie Meeks came to the Lakers last season to help out with the three-point shooting. He shot a decent .357 from behind the arc (122 out of 342). Meeks also averaged 7.9 points mostly off the bench last season in 78 games. But then he injured his ankle in Game 1 of their first round series against the San Antonio Spurs.

At times, Meeks had phenomenal shooting games; he scored 24 points (9 of 14 shooting) in a December win against Washington and had 21 points (7 of 8 from behind the arc) in a November win over Denver. So he can definitely be a dangerous shooter for the Lakers. We just wish he’d control himself a little when he drives to the hoop. Meeks is also, while not the best, a willing defender.

At $1,550,000, Meeks is actually a bargain for the Lakers. With his quick shooting release, the defense still has to watch out for him. Meeks can definitely make a defense pay but while shooting over 35 percent is decent, he is capable of shooting better than that (career-high .397 percent in 2010-11 for Philly). This is a good move by the Lakers and for a team that wants to keep Dwight Howard, the Lakers are going to need as many shooters as they can get.

In the meantime, depending on the circumstances, Jodie Meeks will probably start for Kobe Bryant if #24 isn’t back by the start of the regular season.

What else is there to say?

The Laker season has come to a merciful end after the Spurs put the brooms on them, 103-82. It goes without saying how disappointing this season has been; it’s definitely the most disappointing Laker season in my lifetime in terms of what was expected out of them.

As for the game itself, what did you expect? It was a bloodbath from the start. It was surprising enough that the Lakers were only down six after one and that it took more than 15 minutes of game time for the Spurs to be up by double digits. Then in the third quarter, Dwight Howard got ejected after getting his second technical. Even in losing, the Lakers are spectacular; they go down in flames. They couldn’t take care of the ball (21 turnovers) and the Spurs made very few mistakes (eight giveaways). After Dwight’s ejection, it pretty much looked like Pau Gasol and a D-League team. At least, they had they D-League MVP (Andrew Goudelock) in that squad?

We expected a championship trophy at the end of this campaign but what we got was a rash of injuries, a coaching change that didn’t result to most people’s liking, philosophical clashes between coach and player, and (sometimes) inexplicable losses to bad teams. Sure, the regular season ended with a flourish but luck just wasn’t on the Lakers side as we all know what happened to #24. It was like we all thought we were going to see the cast from Saved By The Bell but instead we got The New Class. Sure, Mr. Belding was still there but it really wasn’t the same and it turned out to be terrible.

Oh, yeah. Hi, Kobe. Nice to see you in the building. Also, hi, T-Mac. How does it feel to be in the second round?

We can all point to a lot of what ifs but the fact of the matter is that THIS is what happened. I’m sure we have a lot of questions in our minds. What if Mike D’Antoni came in from the start? What if Dwight Howard was healthy from the start? What if Steve Nash never got hurt? What if Pau Gasol never got hurt? What if Kobe Bryant played less minutes?

And that’s the theme coming into the summertime: it’s questionable. We’ll have weeks and months to dissect what the Lakers will do in the offseason. Will Dwight Howard stay? How healthy will Kobe Bryant be? Will Steve Nash retire? Will Pau Gasol be traded? Will someone get the amnesty clause? Even the coaching situation will have some questions.

This will be a long, long summer. Mitch Kupchak has a lot of work to do.

Thanks for reading, everybody. I’m sure the other guys here at FB&G can agree with me that it had been quite… an interesting season writing here.

Well, maybe not just a little.

But the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 102-91, to take a 2-0 series lead in this best-of-seven.

It seemed like the disparity of talent showed in this game. It’s not like the Lakers played bad overall but you can see how much better the Spurs are. The Spurs were able to get a basket when they needed to and have a lot more firepower than this depleted Laker team. What’s even worse? Steve Blake (16 points), who had been basically carrying the Lakers in the past week or two, injured his hamstring late in the game. Yes, because what the Lakers need are more injuries.

On the positive side, it was nice to see Jordan Hill back on the court. Did Mike D’Antoni bring him in too late? Perhaps. But the guy just got back from an injury so I don’t blame Coach Mike D’Antoni taking it easy on him. It was also good to see Andrew Goudelock get some minutes and he probably should’ve been used earlier considering how the backcourt was so hobbled.

Also, this was the most energized Dwight Howard had looked this season. He was quick to rotate defensively and made some athletic putback dunks and rejections. Dwight had 16 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks but foul trouble limited his minutes.

It hurt to see Steve Nash out there. The 39-year-old looked more like he’s 89 years old out there and he was laboring. If anything, he seemed to hurt the team more by being out there but it took a lot of guts for him to get on the court. You gotta admire that.

It also wouldn’t hurt for them to get on the post more. They have Dwight and Pau Gasol (13 points, nine rebounds). The Lakers should use them more often. It was nice to see the 2-4-5 alley-oop play even without Kobe and I wonder if they should use that more often.

As for the Spurs, Tony Parker persevered through Steve Blake’s tough D and ended with 28 points. We knew he wasn’t going to be kept down for long. Tim Duncan was his usual brilliance with 16 points. Kawhi Leonard got it going for San Antonio with 16 points of his own. And Manu Ginobili with his herky-jerky movements and pull-up threes poured in 13 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Even Matt Bonner put in 10 points (the Red Rocket, Red Mamba, Red Rooster, whatever). Just too much firepower. When the Spurs made runs, the Lakers simply couldn’t counter.

I don’t have much to say at this point. They’ll be at the comforts of their own home on Friday and we know what the Lakers’ advantages are. So they should go to that more and often. But if Steve Blake isn’t going to play, who will fill in for him? Heck, who will be their third scorer?!

All year long, the Lakers haven’t belonged in a professional basketball league. They really should be in a hospital ward.

Game 3 will be on Friday. Let’s hope we get some good news out of Blake’s injury.

And lastly, I would’ve loved to see Kobe Bryant live-tweet the game. But instead, he probably ended up watching Pitch Perfect for the tenth time. I wouldn’t blame him. That’s way better than watching Game 2.

This wasn’t exactly fun for the Lakers fans. After a triumphant win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, the Lakers lose control of their destiny once again as they lose to their crosstown rivals, the Clippers, 109-95.

The Lakers never recovered after the Clips boosted the lead to 13 early in the second half. From then on, the Lakers tried to play catch-up, and with tired legs against an uptempo team, there was little chance of the Lakers overcoming the younger Clippers.

With Steve Nash, Metta World Peace, and Jordan Hill (of course) all out, Coach Mike D’Antoni opted to use only seven guys in the rotation. I’m not sure if I agree with that, especially with the playoffs coming near. If the Lakers do make the postseason, they’re probably only going to play without legs because they would’ve fallen off by then.

In the first quarter, the Lakers played some good defense, making some sound defensive rotations and making the Clips take some difficult shots. But after that, it all disappeared and the Clippers started to run amok at Staples Center. Kobe played facilitator (10 assists) for most of the game but never got going with his shooting, finishing 6 of 19 (going 12 of 14 from the line gave him 25 total points). Dwight Howard played a decent game, going for 25 points and four blocks. However, his rebounding was nonexistent as he finished with four boards. Pau Gasol flirted with a triple-double, going for 12 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. Earl Clark started off strong and finished with 11 points.

Where the Clippers killed the Lakers was rebounding. The Clips had 50 compared to the Lakers’ 36. It must have been real frustrating for the Laker fans to see the Clips hit the boards as the Lakers, on some possessions, were just standing around. Not ideal.

It didn’t help that the Clippers were making some tough shots and the Lakers were missing some wide open ones. Kobe didn’t have it going. Steve Blake missed some open corner threes. Earl Clark missed some open ones, too, after a fast start. And then you had Chris Paul making floaters, Caron Butler making buzzer-beating shots, and even Blake Griffin making three-pointers. Just a bad combination for the Lakers.

Congrats to the Clippers for winning their first Pacific Division title and sweeping the Lakers for the first time ever. As for the Lakers, they’re going to be fighting for that playoff spot once again. With this loss, they have fallen to 40-37, the same record as the Jazz. However, the Jazz have the tiebreaker so, as of now, the Lakers are on the outside looking in.

The Lakers have five games left. They may have to run the table to make the postseason. So each game from here on out, they’re going to have to go in with clear eyes and full hearts.

Just hope they still have enough on their legs, Coach D’Antoni.

Going into their game against the Sacramento Kings, the Laker had lost four of five games. And it seemed bad going in with Kobe Bryant (foot) and Steve Nash (hip/back) nursing injuries. It started badly, too, as Nash went out after two minutes and didn’t return for the rest of the game.

But the Lakers played some great all-around ball after the first quarter as they stifled the Kings to 61 points in the last three quarters and won the game, 103-98.

What was really nice to see was some ball movement by the Lakers. 28 assists overall by Los Angeles. Saw a couple of high-low plays between Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard and saw Kobe Bryant make some wonderful decisions with the ball whenever the Kings threw the farm at him. Kobe would end up having 14 assists (to go along with those 19 points and nine boards) and Gasol helped out on the dishing with 10 dimes.

Dwight looked jazzed the entire game, looking especially active in the third quarter, and protecting the rim against the Kings. He went for 24 points (10/14 shooting), 15 boards, and five blocks in what was probably one of his top five games this season. As for the rest of the team, Steve Blake (15 points), Jodie Meeks (14 points), and Antawn Jamison (10 points) provided some great support for the stars.

What was also great for the Lakers? They tied a season-low with seven turnovers in this game. This is the kind of game the Lakers are capable of but we wonder if it’s too late.

The Kings got off to a great start and looked ready to run the Lakers out of the building. But the Lakers really took it to the Kings in the third quarter, as they forced Sacramento to commit six turnovers and held them to 18 points. While the Kings still got some easy putbacks that were baffling, the Lakers played a great game on both ends in three quarters.

We probably would’ve been talking overtime had the Kings made a better play than DeMarcus Cousins putting up three-pointers in the waning seconds of the game. Those moments probably reminded some people of when Dawson from Dawson’s Creek forgot his best friend, Pacey’s, 16th birthday. They were basically thinking, “Why are you stupid?!” The Boogie Wonderland saga continues.

Utah also won earlier today so, while the Jazz and the Lakers have identical 38-36 records, they do own the tiebreaker. The Lakers really have to step it up in the last eight games of the regular season, which is probably the reason Kobe Bryant played all but 22 seconds. He knows what’s at stake at this point.

And speaking of Kobe, congrats to him passing Wilt Chamberlain for fourth overall in the NBA all-time scoring list. He has 31,434 points now and can pass Michael Jordan for third on the list (Jordan is 858 points ahead of Kobe). Maybe by then, we can start comparing Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, right? Right?!

In any case, the Lakers have the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. The Mavericks are 1 1/2 games behind the Jazz and the Lakers so this is a very important game for both squads.

Now let’s hope the Lakers can repeat this kind of performance against Dallas. As always, I am skeptical.

But for tonight, let’s all enjoy this win.

This is a broken record. And as we get deeper into the season, the losses get more and more alarming.

It was another game by the Lakers where they would get killed in the first 40 minutes or so before they decide that they would get semi-serious. They were down by 19 in the fourth quarter before the Lakers were able to cut it to single digits. Predictably, like much of the season, the Lakers lost again to the score of 108-103.

Dwight Howard got ejected in the second quarter after getting in a minor tie-up with the Raptors’ Alan Anderson. Since Howard got a technical previously, that second technical sent him to the showers and to the locker room, where he probably giggled and played with some Power Ranger action figures. He looked horrid and seemingly uninterested out there. And I get that it’s a Sunday afternoon game, something NBA players aren’t used to, but, at 17-22 (now 17-23), the Lakers have no room for error this deep into the season.

The ejection of Dwight Howard made room for Pau Gasol. Gasol, predictably, had his best offensive game of the season at 25 points but he couldn’t stop anyone defensively. In fact, the entire team really couldn’t stop anyone defensively for most of the game as they were being beaten by backdoor cuts (PRINCETON OFFENSE, OH MY GOD) and surgically dissected by Jose Calderon (who had six of his nine assists in that all-important third quarter).

The 50-50 balls were mostly going to the Raptors. Landry Fields had a fantastic game, shooting 8 for 11 and getting 18 points, 10 boards, and 4 steals. At times, it seemed like the Lakers were just completely hung over from a fun Saturday night in Canada. No energy to start the game (down 19-4 early) and, sometimes, acting like trees on defense with the dinosaurs running around them.

Kobe Bryant came to life in the fourth quarter but was just off the entire game, finishing 10 of 32 with 26 points. His back-to-back threes in the fourth got the Lakers back into the game but, again, the Lakers have been a bigger tease than Kate Upton in a staring contest (I’m not putting the link here; I might get in trouble). Earl Clark, for stretches, was the best Laker on the court, ending with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Steve Nash had a good game, too, with 16 points and 9 assists but was countered by Calderon’s wizardry (22 points, 9 assists) throughout the game. Miraculously, the Lakers only turned the ball over 13 times.

The Lakers couldn’t stop guys like Ed Davis (18 points, 8 rebounds), Alan Anderson (14 points, 8 assists, 3 steals, and helping Dwight get ejected), and even Aaron Gray early on, who outplayed Dwight Howard for a bit. Again, it’s a broken record at this point. What else is there to say? Yes, they looked good against Miami but once again, the Lakers have taken three steps back.

This is sad. Try to enjoy another sport. Like football. The NFC title game is going on at the moment.

Enjoy your extended weekend, everyone.

Box Score: Lakers 102, Clippers 107

If you didn’t watch the game, don’t let that score fool you.

It was another one of those games where the Lakers weren’t in control for most of the game. They did have that one fleeting chance to steal the victory; that was when they were down, 99-97. Unfortunately, Dwight Howard fouled out after getting Chris Paul from behind with the body (hey, hey, this is a family-oriented blog). Kobe’s three went in and out the following possession. Then CP3 basically sealed it with a long two.

Are we tired of Kobe carrying the Lakers this entire time? Yes, he’s fun when he explodes like this but he was supposed to take a much lighter load this season and he’s taken the heavy load pretty much in every game. 38 points and an efficient 15-25 shooting, even though a lot of them were tough jumpers.

Dwight Howard went for 21 and 15. The Lakers made a concerted effort to get him going early. But he seemed like he was cruising out there like most of the team. Steve Nash had 12 points (on four shots) and 10 assists and I think he needed to shoot more since most of the other guys outside of Kobe and maybe Dwight aren’t doing it offensively. Jodie Meeks was a maddening 3 of 13 for 14 points. I can only laugh like an idiot when he drives in but it has to be one of the more frustrating sights for the Laker fans.

Oh, yeah. Pau Gasol.

If you can find me another game that’s worse than this performance, let me know. Pau Gasol went for a quiet two points and four boards in 27 minutes today. For the most part, he was hanging out on the perimeter, where you don’t want him. And then when he’s at the post, he can’t even jump over a snail. Pau has no lift whatsoever and it makes us think on whether he should get more rest or he really has lost that much confidence on his game. So is this what Coach Mike D’Antoni and Pau talked about during their dinner date? Tell Gasol to hang around the outside and be Quentin Richardson or Steve Novak? He only got into the fourth quarter because Jordan Hill (13 points and 7 rebounds), one of the few players that played really well in this game, hurt his leg late in the game. I’m a huge defender of Pau but even I think he needs a change of scenery at this point. Maybe Atlanta. Toronto. Spain. Antarctica. Saturn. Anywhere.

Anyway, the Clippers basically did whatever they wanted. Chris Paul put Darius Morris in a blender earlier, it wasn’t even funny. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were having magic carpet flights all over Staples Center. And all the Clippers were outhustling the Lakers for most of the game (47-36 rebound edge by the Clips). If it wasn’t for a late rally by the Lakers and if Jamal Crawford actually played in the game (he sat out with a sore foot), the Clippers would’ve won by 147 points. Defense for the Lakers in this game (most of the season) is like me trying to speak Swahili.

So Dwight is still banged up. Pau Gasol probably wants his mommy. Jodie Meeks is stumbling all over the place when he’s dribbling. Jordan Hill’s injuries are mounting up. There are also point guard woes outside of Steve Nash. And the Lakers are being carried by a 17-year shooting guard veteran who somehow still leads the league in scoring. I’m not sure if it’s been brought up before here but at what point do we just say that this team is mediocre? It’s been 32 games. They’re 15-17. They’d have to go 35-15 the rest of the way to win 50 games. And they’ll likely need to win 45 games to make the postseason in the West. Hello? Anybody?

If the Lakers learn that a basketball game is being played for 48 minutes… if Dwight Howard gets healthy… if Steve Nash can regain his MVP form… if Metta World Peace can consistently hit his shot… if Steve Blake becomes the answer to their back-up point guard woes… if Kobe Bryant can keep up his stupendous season… if Jordan Hill can continue his hustle and stay healthy…

Yeah, there are too many ifs. Until they prove they can actually win basketball games, the Lakers will continue to be a mediocre team. Yeah. I wish I could shut my playboy mouth but this is the reality.

Be right back. I’m going to start digging graves.

Oh, yeah. Congrats, Phil and Jeanie. Hey, I had to end it at a positive note somehow.

Box Score: Lakers 115, Mavericks 89

On one hand, I was thinking to myself, “Is this a mirage?”

On the other hand, I was grinning from ear to ear. And I’m sure so did a lot of you readers and the other Laker faithful.

The Lakers absolutely hammered the Mavericks from the start. And I can describe the difference with just one word: energy.

They did not look like a team that played their fourth game in five days. Metta World Peace set the tone by scoring the Lakers’ first ten points. He made his first six shots and finished the first quarter with 16 points.

From there, the rest of the Lakers got involved. Dwight Howard was altering nearly every shot the Mavs put up. Darius Morris, while still raw, was fearless driving into the hole. Kobe Bryant had a huge second quarter. Pau Gasol was schooling people in the post. Antawn Jamison was everywhere. Chris Duhon was providing some timely plays. And Jodie Meeks seemed to hit everything in sight. All in all, it was the best collective game by the Lakers this season.

They beat the Mavs in nearly every facet of the game. The Lakers manhandled the Mavs on the boards (61-39, Jamison had 15 rebounds to go along with his 19 points). Suddenly, they looked like a fantastic three-point shooting team; they made 8 out of 10 in the first half and ended up shooting 12/22 (.545) from behind the arc. And it was nice to see great defensive rotations by the Lakers, which had been a problem all season. Very surprising to see Dallas come out flat but, of course, very encouraging for the Lakers.

If there was anything that Laker fans should be nitpicky about? The 19 turnovers. They were very good at taking care of the ball under D’Antoni in their first three games but they’ve had 37 giveaways over the last two. Jodie Meeks probably shouldn’t be allowed to dribble a basketball and Kobe forced too many bad passes and shots (he had six turnovers in the game). And while the Mavs did go on a 14-1 run late in the third quarter, the Lakers were able to suppress the Mavs in the fourth quarter.

The Lakers scored 115 points in this game but nobody scored 20. How’s that for balance? And holding the Mavs to 89 points is even more impressive. They held O.J. Mayo to 13 points (he was 7th in scoring coming into the game with 22.2 PPG) and Darren Collison was handcuffed to 1 for 10 shooting and 2 points. Scoring on the Lakers tonight was like people trying to beat Battletoads for the 8-Bit Nintendo; it was just too hard to do.

So the Lakers get their first road win out of the way and are now back on .500. They don’t play again until Tuesday when they go back to Staples to battle the inconsistent Indiana Pacers. But who am I to call the Pacers inconsistent when the Lakers have been just as bad? I suppose we’ll see on Tuesday.

Sometimes, you have to hit the bottom first before you make that way back to the top. Great win by the Lakers.

Now go drink some beverages on this beautiful Saturday night!