You can’t tell me that Ron Artest hasn’t placed his stamp on this team.
From Silver Screen and Roll: The only thing I was really hoping to write in regard to tonight’s Lakers game, a 106 to 100 mercy-killing of the Sacramento Kings, is that no one got hurt. Was that really too much to ask? Yep, apparently so. Jordan Farmar left the game in the second quarter with a strained left hamstring. It was initially reported that he wouldn’t play tomorrow night against the Clippers, but we’re now hearing that he will. Why risk it? The Lakers will desperately need his three-point shooting in the playoffs, not to mention the defensive help he’d provide against Russell Westbrook. Let Jordan heal fully. In the meantime, his minutes can be soaked up by the likes of Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic.
From Bleacher Report: Some people have been saying whether or not these Lakers are better without Kobe or not. Well I don’t think so. The Lakers are actually worse. But why do they have a good record without him? Like I said before. The Lakers don’t put much effort since they played Cleveland. Why Am i so hard on them? Because as a Laker fan, I have to be critical of them and I analyze their problems. Their problem is their effort. I even talked about this last year in the Playoffs. They think after getting back from a deficit like the Christmas game, that they can relax and then they start shooting 3’s. Anyway I’m getting off topic. Are the Lakers better? No.
From Land O’ Lakers: Asked Tuesday afternoon at shootaround what could be learned from tonight’s game against the Kings along with tomorrow’s “visit” to the Clippers, Phil Jackson scrumpled (new word!) his face, looking for an answer before finally copping to the truth. Not much. Not gonna lie: That sort of candor takes a little bit of the shine off the apple, you know? He might as well have recommended we all stay home and watch “Lost.”
From the Los Angeles Times: Instead of frowns, there were smiles. Instead of tears, there were laughs. Instead of lamenting the team’s latest performances, the Lakers asked everyone, namely the media, to calm down. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said the team’s 2-5 slide is “way overblown.” Lakers forward Lamar Odom teased reporters for constantly using the word, “concern,” during their line of questioning in a five-minute interview. Lakers forward Pau Gasol downplayed a suggestion that someone on the team should speak up about the team’s current struggles, saying, “It is not a time for going crazy here.” And Lakers guard Derek Fisher said the team’s recent woes won’t fracture the team apart.
From the Los Angeles Times: After 48 minutes of plug-nickel basketball, the Lakers beat Sacramento, 106-100, Tuesday night in their final home regular season game at Staples Center. Not that it mattered all that much. The Lakers had already clinched the top seed in the Western Conference and home court advantage throughout the playoffs Friday against Minnesota. After knocking off the Kings, only the Clippers’ game Wednesday stands between the Lakers and their first-round match-up against Oklahoma City this weekend.
From the OC Register: The Lakers will be at Staples Center on Wednesday night, hoping and praying that Baron Davis doesn’t infect them with anything and no one runs into Blake Griffin in the hallway. The Lakers didn’t survive their penultimate regular-season game Tuesday night without yet another injury: Jordan Farmar strained his left hamstring early in the Lakers’ largely meaningless 106-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings. The finale against the Clippers can only mean something for the Lakers if they win and Orlando loses tonight against visiting Philadelphia. Orlando MVP candidate Dwight Howard will be playing his 82nd game in 82 tries as the Magic hopes to lock up the home-court advantage it lacked against the Lakers last June.
ESPN AND NBA
From ESPN.com: Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum said Tuesday he had no ill effects from his workout Monday afternoon in El Segundo. He plans to continue his recovery from a left Achilles tendon injury this afternoon in an effort to return to game action when the Lakers open the playoffs against Oklahoma City this weekend. Bynum ran for 20 minutes Monday on a special anti-gravity treadmill with the ability to lessen the body weight of an athlete and limiting leg strain while the player is rehabilitating an injury. Yesterday he “took about 30 pounds off” and plans on running without any weight restrictions in his next session.
From ESPN Los Angeles: Lamar Odom replaced Andrew Bynum in the starting lineup when the big man went down with an Achilles injury 11 games ago and more recently has replaced Bynum as the Lakers’ resident pregame bookworm, as he’s taken to reading the self-help book “The Secret” in the locker room prior to tipoff. Based on his comments after Monday’s practice, it seemed as if Odom has been reading “The Power of Positive Thinking.”
From NBA.com: In what was their final regular-season home game, the Lakers — already shorthanded without Kobe Bryant — used every available player and had to re-insert the starting lineup late in the game. The Kings, who won seven road games all season, whittled the Lakers’ double-digit lead to four in the final minute. But it was Pau Gasol and Shannon Brown who gave the Lakers an extra push down the stretch as they went on to pull out a 106-100 victory against the Kings. Brown’s performance couldn’t come at a better time. Mired in a slump because of a torn ligament and bone bruise in his right thumb, Brown managed to cobble together his best game in nearly two months.