First of all, the Los Angeles Lakers will have to prove they can retain a solid course even with all the misfortunes that are occurring. A bunch of star-injuries made the Lakers struggle last season and with Kobe sidelined for the biggest chunk of this season, things don’t look better. But in order for a star like Love, or any other star of that caliber, to be willing to come to LA, the team will need to prove it can actually be competitive. Whilst it might not contend for a championship, LA needs to at least retain a playoff-course, so that Love is actually willing to jump in.The Los Angeles Lakers should also stay pat during the free-agency of the upcoming summer. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony might be available but they will most probably not be coming to the City of Angels. Both of them were longshots in the first place. Luol Deng is now in Cleveland and he might as well stay there. When the Lakers agreed to extend Kobe, they also placed the team in a position that it won’t have much financial flexibility. If Love comes in the summer of 2015, this seems like a perfect timing.
The Lakers should also consider performing small adjusting moves. That means they should not be chasing superstars like LeBron or Melo, but they should try their best to land quality and emerging players. Lance Stephenson is a very good target, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young are two more. Even Deng could be considered as a candidate, considering that he won’t be asking for a fortune to come to LA.
The good news for the Los Angeles Lakers is that they might see Love coming to LA way before the summer of 2015. Because then, the Minnesota Timberwolves will risk losing him for nothing in exchange. We’ve seen that happening several times in the recent history of the league. That’s why Mitch Kupchak could act quickly and start the discussions with the Wolves. Minnesota wouldn’t be nothing but smart to perform a trade around Love sooner than later.
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Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
Published by Barry’s Ticket Service.
This will be Kobe’s 16th appearance in an All-Star game. Of course, it’s still uncertain if Kobe will be able to play. The 35-year old megastar is still rehabbing from his knee injury and the latest word from the Los Angeles Lakers states that he will be re-evaluated over the next few days.
Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors earned his spot in the All-Star game this season. In fact, there was much criticism around the league because of his non-selection last year. The 25-year old sharpshooter has been recording a terrific season up to now, showing us more of the same lethal scoring abilities, especially from long range. Actually, Curry is averaging career-highs in points per game, with 23.5 and assists with 9.2. This will be his first All-Star appearance.Blake Griffin will make his fourth straight All-Star appearance and this time he will be a starter. Griffin has really taken the Los Angeles Clippers on his shoulders this season due to the shoulder injury of Chris Paul. Griffin has been playing fantastically as of lately. He is averaging 22.6 points and 10 rebounds per game this season for the Clips, while his also shooting 52.4 percent from the floor.
Kevin Durant will of course be a starter for the Western All-Stars. His performance has skyrocketed this season, especially since Russell Westbrook went down with an injury. Durant is leading the league in scoring with 31 points per game. His buddy, Russell Westbrook will not participate in the All-Star game.
Kevin Love will complete the starting lineup for the Western All-Stars. This will be the first time Love will be starting in an All-Star game. He is the league-leader in double-doubles and he managed to steal the starting position from Dwight Howard. The fact that Dwight Howard will not start in this All-Star game was a big surprise.
The Eastern All-Stars will have a weird starting lineup, as none of the frontcourt players normally plays a position above the small forward. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will both start for the Eastern All-Stars. LeBron’s selection comes as no surprise. He still is the best player in the world. Wade on the other hand is experiencing some injury issues as of lately but he should be ready to go for the All-Star game.
Paul George will also be a starter and that was widely expected around the NBA. George is continuing to improve his performance and he is putting up superstar-like performances.
Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving complete the starting five for the Eastern All-Stars. This will be Irving’s second straight All-Star appearance and his first start. Melo will start for the sixth time in an All-Star Game. By:
The team might make a move soon, this summer or eventually the next one. But it will make a move, a big move, that’s what the Lakers have always done. LA needs to find the player who will lead the franchise to the post-Kobe Bryant era. Kevin Love might be exactly that player.
Love could be the perfect fit for the Los Angeles Lakers. He could be the superstar the team needs.
The 25-year old power forward has a contract that expires no sooner than the summer of 2016, but he does have a player option for the last year of his contract. If he chooses to opt-out, he could be a really hot target for the Lakers.
Although the Lakers would be eager to land him sooner, the team doesn’t have the assets to offer the Timberwolves. So such a deal would never work.Nevertheless, Minnesota signed Love to a four-year deal, when they could have offered him a maximum five-year contract. That seemed to bother Love a bit, whilst he wasn’t dissatisfied with the deal, of course. Nonetheless, Love certainly is not 100 percent happy in Minnesota. It’s not just about money. The team still hasn’t found a way to reach the highest level of competiveness.
Love’s addition by the Lakers only makes sense for the team. The departure of Dwight Howard and the rejection of the Chris Paul trade from the NBA left the Lakers with little hopes of finding the next big thing, their next superstar.
Love has many ties with Los Angeles. He was born in Santa Monica and he attended UCLA. There is an obvious link between the Lakers and Love. It’s growing constantly. However, Lakers fans will have to wait for this process to evolve.
For now, Love is just showing a bit of his talents to the Lakers fans, to the entire franchise. That’s what he did during the Lakers – Wolves meeting, earlier this season, when he put up points in bunches and sank one three-pointer after another.There not many more options for the Lakers in the market. LeBron James most probably will stay in Miami, where he will have the chance be a member of a winning organization and play alongside his buddy, Dwyane Wade.
Carmelo Anthony is another tough case. Melo is in the middle of his prime and the last thing he wants is to become a part of a one-star franchise. That’s what the Lakers are projected to become after Kobe retires. Melo has been in a similar situation, when he was a member of the Denver Nuggets.
The addition of Kevin Love is one that only makes sense for both the Lakers and the 25-year old superstar. Time will tell if this will become reality. By:Chris Michaels.
With one-year left on his contract and an option for next season the Lakers have a decision to make that could directly impact the remainder of this season and have big implications on the club’s immediate future. On one hand the Lakers have a proven commodity in Gasol, a veteran big man who’s still among the top 10 centers in the National Basketball Association. The Lakers are still in contention, albeit battling a large group of teams for the final couple of playoff positions in the ultra competitive Western Conference. Due to his expiring contract Gasol is a prime trade target. He can help a contending team immediately and the fact his contract can be off the books after this season makes him an interesting commodity. In re-signing Kobe Bryant for two more seasons at a dollar amount that many nationally thought was a bit steep the Lakers have reduced their flexibility to attract immediate offseason help. The decision on whether or not to keep
Gasol will likely rest on how he plays out the season and whether or not he finds a comfortable place in the D’Antoni system.
According to published reports the Lakers haven’t had any trade discussions with other teams, but there are a few compelling options out there. The Lakers will have to balance the need to get production from Gasol but also weigh any interest to move him for future flexibility, or immediate talent. All indications are the club has interest in Gasol beyond this season, but they also want to maintain their ability to attract a top free agent over the next handful of off-seasons when several such players may become available, including Lebron James and former UCLA star Kevin Love. The issue with trading Gasol immediately is the reality that the Lakers may not get a solid return. One compelling potential option is Los Angeles native Tyson Chandler. The Knick big man has two years and just over $28 million left on his contract. The perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate provides energy and shot blocking and doesn’t require the club to run plays for him.
According to ESPN Carlos Boozer is also available and has a similar contract as Chandler, but the value of Boozer at this point is questionable. Any other trade speculation is nothing but rumor at this point since there are no indications the Lakers have had discussions with anyone.Gasol’s own comments on Friday indicated that his venting may have been more frustration and not an outright plea to be traded. During Friday’s shoot-around prior to the Oklahoma City game Gasol indicated that each individual player has to make themselves responsible for their energy and play on the court, a shift in tone from the day before. Any decision to look to move Gasol in the near term would be a foolish decision by the Lakers. With Kobe Bryant back in the lineup the club will need a solid month to integrate their superstar back into the rotation. Bryant’s style of play since his return, with a much greater emphasis on getting his teammates involved, could bode well for Gasol. The eventual return of Steve Nash can also be a big factor in the Lakers realizing the lineup they envisioned when they went out and signed Steve Nash before last offseason.
The onus is also on Gasol to up his game. Until he proves that he’s the player he’s been in the past his trade value may suffer. The career 51% shooter is making shots at just over a 40% clip, an extremely poor conversion percentage for a big man. The 33-year-old Gasol has played a lot of basketball over the last decade, between deep Lakers playoff runs and a number of international basketball tournaments with Spain. With Kobe Bryant back the pressure is now on Gasol to step up and help the Lakers superstar put together a winning streak that can give them some breathing room in the playoff race. If Gasol can prove he’s still the player he was three years ago the Lakers will have a valuable asset to sign to an extension or convert into assets to build for the future. By:Chris Michaels
Analysis of the Minnesota Timberwolves
While their opponents on Tuesday night may have something to say about it, the Timberwolves have gone from a team few cared about to arguably the most fun team to watch in the NBA. After only winning 17 games last year (in a full 82 game season), the T-Wolves matched their win total in just the first half of this season going 17-17 and staying in the playoff hunt out west. The combination of PF Kevin Love and rookie PG Ricky Rubio seems to be the spark this young squad needed to become relevant again.
Analysis of the Los Angeles Clippers
As good a PG/PF combo Rubio and Love are, the Clippers have them beat with All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The two have put on a show this season combining for 40 points per game on average leading their squad to a 20-11 record in the first part of the season. Currently they’re sitting in the 3rd seed in the Western Conference and will have to at least match their performance during the first half of 2012 in order to keep that seed or possibly move up, something that won’t be easy in the same division as the rival Lakers.
Timberwolves: PF Kevin Love
Love is the star of this team, though he doesn’t make very much noise about it. The young power forward is 4th in the NBA in points per game (25) and 2nd in rebounds (14), making him one of the most effective player sin the game. A tough matchup against Griffin awaits, but Griffin’s focus on offense over defense may be enough for Love to put up a dominating performance
Clippers: PG Chris Paul
Paul is the field general for the Clippers and is responsible for the nightly performance of his team. He’ll get a favorable matchup (as he always does) against Rubio, but that doesn’t mean the night will be his. Rubio is in the top 5 in assists and steals in the NBA (just as Paul is) so a night off for Paul will absolutely mean a loss for the Clips.
The Clippers are a decent team in preventing turnovers, only averaging 14.2 each game (6th in the league). The T-Wolves average 16.2 per game though, 28th in the league. Those 2 turnovers may be the ~5 points that down the Timberwolves in LA, so stopping that from happening will have to be a priority for them.
When these two met in Los Angeles earlier this season Love hit a 3-pointer with no time left to push the Timberwolves to a big win in OT. You have to feel that coming off of the All-Star break both teams will be little rusty but that the Clippers will have the edge due to their depth and talent advantage. The Timberwolves already proved they can beat these guys, but 2 wins against the Clippers in LA is probably 1 too much for this season.
Prediction = Los Angeles Clippers: 95 – Minnesota Timberwolves: 88
Timberwolves Fan? We have Lakers Vs Timberwolves Tickets in stock for February 29th at the Staples Center as well.
In big media companies, you are not allowed to write or speak about the Memphis Grizzlies.
“Nobody cares,” is the common refrain.
Well, it’s time to start caring, and we are going to bend over backwards to explain why that should be so.
First, the basketball part: The Grizzlies play in a division that is home to the NBA’s two hottest teams, the other being the Houston Rockets, who also have won seven straight games. Memphis pulled off an amazing comeback last night to keep their streak alive, rallying from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Golden State Warriors 91-90.
Second, the non-basketball part.
If you attend a game in Memphis, you can exit the arena and walk two short blocks to Beale Street, where you can listen to outstanding live music seven nights a week while downing a 32-ounce coldie that’ll set you back a mere $2.
If you are lucky, the Grizzlies dance team will stop by your juke joint and join you for a beverage. And as my friend and colleague Frank Isola of the New York Daily News so astutely observed and tweeted last season, there is no better assemblage of fine young women representing an NBA team than the members of that particular dance team.
Third, if you have an off-night in Memphis, you can get in your rental car, drive south into Mississippi toward the Tunica Casino and Resort and motor through miles and miles of soybean fields before your senses awake. You can smell it a mile away: Fried chicken.
And if you stop at that chicken stand out in the middle of nowhere, you will eat what Colonel Sanders is secretly chowing down on in heaven. Man, it’s manna, I tell you.
But those last two items are not the reason you are here for your daily update.
So let’s get back to the basketball, and take a closer look at what the Grizzlies pulled off last night in Oakland. After scoring a mere 35 points in the first half while playing their third game in four nights, the Grizzlies erupted for 39 in the fourth quarter to defeat the Warriors 91-90, coming back from a 20-point deficit in the final 15 1/2 minutes.
“We were dead in the water in the first half. We had no answers,” coach Lionel Hollins said. “We don’t quit; we fight. We did that, and we were able to come back and get this win, which is a sweet win.”
It would be a disservice to the Rockets to continue this conversation without including them next. They play in a sprawling metropolis with no zoning rules, which is why you can drive to the far corners of the city and stumble upon one or two 50-story skyscrapers that would seem to have no business being there. For miles around, the next tallest buildings are two-story strip malls.
Back when Jeff Van Gundy was coaching the Rockets, I was working down in Houston and was stopped at a red light when who should pull up in the next lane? None other that JVG himself. “Worst traffic city in America,” Van Gundy observed. “New York has nothing on this place.”
Anyway, it was McHale appreciation night (NOT!) in Minneapolis last night, and the crowd booed McHale lustily during introductions before McHale got the last laugh with a 107-92 victory over the Timberwolves, who got 39 points from Kevin Love (5-for-5 on 3-pointers) and 12 more assists from Ricky Rubio.
The Rockets’ seven-game winning streak has only moved them into fourth-place in the Southwest Division, where they still trail the Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio.
The Spurs were only 1-6 entering their game against the lowly Hornets, but Tim Duncan turned back the clock and scored a season-high 28 points — the final two coming from just inside the foul line off an inbounds play for the game-winning points with 1.4 seconds left. “It was a mix of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, a kind of sky-hook, and we’ll take it,” Tony Parker said of Duncan’s 13-foot game-winner over New Orleans Hornets center Emeka Okafor. Parker added 20 points and a career-high 17 assists.