Tag Archives: Kobe Bryant

Do the Lakers Need Some Love?

Kevin Love LA Lakers

Kevin Love

The Los Angeles Lakers are constantly searching for ways to shake things up. They are exploring trade scenarios, they are looking for their next superstar. They will have to find a way to turn things around and stop their descent.

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.

Kevin Love trade

Love

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.

Lakers Kevin Love trade

Laker Love

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.

How Much Are Lakers Tickets?

Lakers Tickets Staples Center

Lakers Tickets

How Much Are Lakers Tickets? Prices on Lakers Tickets can very on different factors. If Kobe Bryant is playing prices on Lakers Tickets usually run high, prices also depend on who the Lakers are playing. If the Lakers are playing the Miami Heat or the Toronto Raptors can mean a difference in 20-30% price wise.

Let’s look at some of the games. The Miami Heat are always one of the biggest draws in the NBA when they come to town. The Lakers face the Heat without Kobe on Dec 25th at the Staples Center prices with Kobe playing started about $250 per ticket for 300 level seats and without Kobe playing they have dropped to $150 per ticket.

When the Lakers play some of the stronger opponents such as the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets Upper Level Seats can start on average about $45 to $65 per ticket, 200 level seats on average can run between $125- $175 per ticket. Premiere Level Seats which come with waitress service, access to the Bar as well as a VIP Entrance can start at $195 a ticket and go to about $280 per ticket on average. Lower Level tickets from $155 to $725 a ticket. Courtside Tickets for a Lakers game can run anywhere from $2500 a ticket to $7000 a ticket.

If your wondering how much are Lakers Tickets when they play teams such as the Wizards, Pelicans, Bobcats (soon to be the Hornets), Cavaliers or Milwaukee Bucks ticket prices drop. “Get in the doors” or 300 level ticket prices can start at about $35 per ticket on up to $70 per ticket. Middle Level Behind in the 200 levels can start at $92 and go to $149. Middle Level Premiere seats $148 per ticket to about 195 a ticket and lower level seats $125 to $615 per ticket in section 111 which is dead center court. Courtside seats for these types of teams run $1500 to $3500 a ticket.

How to get free Lakers Tickets

Free Lakers Tickets

Do you guys ever have free Lakers Tickets? The best way to find out when we have free Lakers tickets is to follow Barry’s Tickets on any one of our social networks (Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Google Plus) where we run contests weekly giving away free Lakers tickets, Lakers merchandise, and Barry’s Bucks which are good on Lakers Tickets as well as all Concert, Sports and Theater Tickets. You can also sign up to receive emails regarding special free Laker Tickets giveaways and contests as well as discounts on Lakers Tickets. The best chance to get free Lakers Tickets is at the beginning of the Lakers Season and even Pre Season games.

Lakers Tickets discount codes and Lakers Tickets promo codes when available can be found on our blog posts, social media pages and well as exclusive discounts in our emails. Barry’s Tickets has offered 75% off on Lakers Tickets discount codes down to $10% off on tickets, Save $15 off of tickets when you spend a minimum of $100 as well as save $25 off when you spend a minimum of $100. In order to save on tickets you use the Lakers Tickets discount codes and Lakers Tickets promo codes at the checkout on BarrysTickets.com.

How Can I Buy Cheap Lakers Tickets? It depends on what you consider as Cheap. The actual face value of Lakers Tickets can run up to and over $300 per ticket from the box office so finding actual “cheap Lakers tickets” isn’t as easy at is seems. Many brokers advertise fake amounts such as $90% off Lakers Tickets and show a cheap price when you first look at their prices but have as much as a 35% service fee at the end of the transaction. Since Barry’s Tickets has the largest physical inventory of Lakers Tickets online we are able to offer Lakers Tickets as cheap as possible and with no service or hidden fees on any tickets. By:Chris Michaels


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Senior editor at Barry’s Tickets

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Lakers Heat Christmas Day What To Expect

Kobe Lebron Christmas

Kobe Lebron

Over the past week the Los Angeles Lakers have slowly integrated Kobe Bryant back into the lineup, after his six-month absence due to a torn Achilles. Los Angeles is 2-4 since the return of Bryant, but is coming off of a solid road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers will have three more games to tune up for their big Christmas Day game versus the Miami Heat. Due to their incredible success under Kobe Bryant the Lakers have been a regular participant on Christmas Day for years with many memorable games. This year will be no exception when the Lakers welcome in Lebron James and the two-time defending NBA Champion Miami Heat into STAPLES Center. Much maligned after his exit from Cleveland, James has taken his already incredible game to an even higher level this season, operating at an offensive efficiency that few players in league history have ever achieved.

Here’s a look at what to expect when Miami visits the Lakers on Christmas Day:

Expect to pay an arm and leg for Lakers Vs Heat Tickets on Christmas Day. Prices for Lakers Tickets on Christmas Day against the World Champion Miami Heat can run roughly two and a half times the average game. A 300 level “get in the door” ticket usually will cost about $90 per ticket but for the Lakers Vs Heat they can run $215 per ticket. A 200 level for the Lakers Vs 76ers is about $168 per ticket but the same section (207) for the Heat is about $566.00 per ticket. Dead Center section 111 row B for an average game can run $625.00 per ticket and for the Lakers Vs Heat it is about $1750-$2000 per ticket. If prices are to steep and after your done opening presents you can always go down to the Staples Center to checkout LA Live and the crowd around the Venue then hop into our office next to the Staples Center and see if there is last minute tickets available at a cheaper price.

King James Lebron

King James

Lebron James is really, really, really good: With Lebron James ascending to levels that few have reached, fellow stars Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh have taken a back seat to the Heat superstar. James is shooting just under 60% and 41% from behind the three point line. Under the leadership of Erik Spoelstra, James has refined his game to maximum efficiency, shooting from select spots on the floor, while maximizing his unique passing skills and vision. Considering how well he’s played the last two seasons it’s hard to fathom that James continues to get better as a player. Dywane Wade, who nearly singlehandedly won an NBA title in 2005, has dealt with chronic knee pain over the past three seasons and has to play in spurts, typically missing back-to-back games and playing fewer minutes this season. Bosh has carved out a secondary role that emphasizes his unique ability to extend the floor as a shooting big man, helping make the Heat ball-movement offense work.

The Lakers are a lot more fun to watch: Last year’s debacle, where the Lakers barely made the playoffs after being touted as a title contender coming into the season, was a failure on multiple fronts. Beyond the underachievement of the team was the fact that Los Angeles just wasn’t fun to watch. The Lakers offense was stagnant and plodding due to their lack of youth and multiple players (like Gasol) playing out of position. This year’s club may not be as talented but they’re a lot younger and a lot more fun to watch. Mitch Kupchak has done a good job infusing life into the lineup on a limited budget.

Miami has built a solid core: General Manager Pat Riley has smartly built a veteran core around James, Wade and Bosh through smart moves and veterans taking reduced contracts. Shane Battier is versatile defender often found guarding power forwards while providing grit on the boards and hitting the open three point shot. Ray Allen, perhaps the greatest three point shooter in league history, hit one of the biggest clutch shots in league history last season to send game six of the NBA finals to overtime. The ageless Allen helps extend the floor as one of eight legitimate Heat three-point shooting threats. The Heat shoots just under 39% as a team from behind the three point line.

The surprising evolution of Michael Beasley: Perhaps the most interesting Heat acquisition is Michael Beasley, the former second overall pick who fizzled out in Minnesota and Phoenix. Beasley is a talented scorer who may have found a home during his second stint with Miami. He has an impressive PER of 22.1 while averaging 11.4 points per game in just 17 minutes played. Beasley is shooting a lights out 55% from the field and 50% from behind the three point line.

Kobe the Distributor: During his re-insertion into the lineup Bryant has often taken a secondary role, more of a classical “point-forward”, looking to make the extra pass. As he gets comfortable athletically his shot volume should increase and he should once again be the go-to guy down the stretch. Bryant hasn’t quite found the rhythm yet, but his minutes and offensive contribution is increasing.

Lakers Miami Tickets

Lakers Miami

Any Kobe Bryant and Lebron James matchup is a big deal with this year’s game being perhaps more anticipated than in years past. The STAPLES Center crowd and the national television audience should eagerly tune in to see how Bryant, coming off a potentially career ending injury, can match up with the reigning champions. Expect a great deal of energy from the Lakers, especially from their athletic youngsters like Wesley Johnson and Nick Young. With Pau Gasol the Lakers will have an advantage over the smallish Heat interior and will need to exploit the big Spaniard’s advantage in the post to offset the difficult Heat “small-ball” attack. Look for a spirited effort from the Lakers, especially Bryant, as they play in front of a national television audience. By:Chris Michaels

Should the Lakers Trade Pau Gasol?

Pau Gasol Trade

Pau Gasol

Amidst the excitement around the return of Kobe Bryant, recent comments by Pau Gasol have reminded the Lakers organization that the veteran big man is still not 100% comfortable in the Mike D’Antoni offensive system. Thursday Gasol vented to the press his frustration about not getting the ball in the post and how that directly affects his aggressiveness. Even with Dwight Howard in Houston and not taking up space in the post it’s clear that Gasol still isn’t completely happy with his role in the current incarnation of the Lakers offense.

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.

Pau Gasol

Gasol

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

Lakers Finally Taste Victory With Kobe

Los Angeles Lakers

LA Lakers

With Kobe Bryant’s return to the lineup still a work in progress the Los Angeles Lakers lost consecutive games to Phoenix and Oklahoma City to start the week before rebounding with a huge Saturday night victory in Charlotte over the Bobcats. The Lakers are now 12th in the Western Conference with an 11-12 record, a half game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves in a bunched group of contenders.

Week Recap: After losing to the Toronto Raptors in Bryant’s debut the Lakers hosted the surprising Phoenix Suns at STAPLES Center on Tuesday night. The Sun ran out to a lead behind the solid play of point guard Goran Dragic and held off the Lakers fourth quarter comeback. Bryant score 20 points in 29 minutes of play, looking sharp in contrast to his Sunday debut. Bryant led a balanced Lakers attack and also notched three assists. The Lakers had three days off before traveling to Oklahoma City to take on Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Oklahoma City jumped out to a fifteen point halftime lead and never looked back, winning in impressive fashion. Bryant played the role of a distributor, attempting just six shots in 23 minutes, but notching 13 assists. The Lakers had no answer for Kevin Durant who scored 31 points on just 13 shots. With the Oklahoma City win the Lakers record with Bryant back in the lineup dropped to 0-3 and the loss set up a must win game Saturday night in Charlotte. The Lakers outscored the improving Bobcats by seven in the fourth quarter to notch a three point victory. Bryant led four Lakers in double figures with 21 points. Bryant nearly had a triple double with 8 assists and 7 rebounds to go with his 21 points. Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill had a solid night inside with 15 points each.

The Week Ahead: The Lakers continue their east coast road swing with a back to back Monday and Tuesday nights in Atlanta and Memphis. The Hawks are having a solid season in a very weak eastern conference and feature a solid trio of veterans in Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap. Memphis, a fifty-win team each of the past two seasons, is in the midst of a three-game losing streak including a Sunday night loss at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Grizzlies are trying to make do with All Star center Marc Gasol. Following the Monday/Tuesday back-to-back the Lakers return home to STAPLES Center for a Friday night matchup versus Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota got off a hot start this season but has played .500 basketball of late. The combination of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love gives Minnesota one of the best inside/outside duos in the NBA. After a short one game home stand Los Angeles makes a tough trip north to Golden State to take on Stephon Curry and the Warriors.By:Chris Michaels

Lakers Vs Heat Tickets

Lakers Vs Heat Tickets Discount Code

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Five Reasons To Be Optimistic About The Lakers

Kobe Bryant Returns

Kobe

A little over a month into the 2013-2014 NBA season there’s a general feeling off positivity among the Lakers fan base. This year’s Lakers club clearly isn’t a title contender but they’re also not the outright disaster that many predicted. With Kobe Bryant rumored to be making his season debut Friday night versus the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, things are looking up. Here are five reasons for optimism among the Lakers fan base.

1. The Return of Kobe Bryant: A week ago the Lakers locked up there superstar for two more years giving Lakers fans peace of mind that one of the franchises greatest players will play his entire career in Los Angeles. The two year contract extension will ensure the presence of Bryant as the Lakers complete this transition period. How effective Bryant will be on the court is still to be determined, but his legendary work ethic and intensity should have a positive effect on this year’s Lakers team. Young players such as Nick Young and Wesley Johnson should benefit from the return of Bryant, both from the presence of Bryant on the court and the example he sets in going about his business. Most importantly the presence of Bryant will give the Lakers a deadly option at the end of games. Los Angeles has been in most every game they’ve played of late but have lost some close due to fourth quarter fades. The presence of Bryant should give the Lakers the fourth quarter edge he’s provided throughout his legendary career.

2. They are fun to watch: By all accounts last season’s Lakers team simply wasn’t enjoyable to watch. With nearly a full season and an offseason to instill his system the Mike D’Antoni style is taking shape. General Manager Mitch Kupchak has done a fine job injecting life into the roster with limited resources. This year’s club is one of the more entertaining teams in the Western Conference. Nick Young gives them instant offense off the bench and has thrived in D’Antoni’s system. Former fourth overall pick Wesley Johnson is showing signs of the talent that made him such a high draft pick and provided major energy and athleticism on both ends of the court. Jordan Farmar is out for a month due to injury, but prior to getting hurt gave the Lakers excellent minutes off the bench.

3. Pau Gasol is Free: Playing Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard on the floor last season just didn’t work. The presence of Howard often made Gasol play in spots on the floor where he just wasn’t as effective or confident. With Howard in Houston, Gasol is no longer playing out of position and the 33-year-old veteran is back in the post and after a slow start is picking up his play. The absence of Howard has also allowed Jordan Hill to flourish. The former first round draft pick is playing the best basketball of his career and doing many of the things the Lakers envisioned from Howard. Hill’s constant hustle and grittiness has given the Lakers a positive companion to Gasol. The Lakers will get Chris Kaman back from injury this week, adding another big body and veteran post player back into the rotation. The trio of Gasol, Hill and Kaman gives the Lakers solid depth at a position where many of the contenders are lacking.

4. Mike D’Antoni: After much criticism last season the Lakers head coach has had a year to institute his system and the Lakers are showing very positive signs. As his time in Phoenix demonstrated D’Antoni often does his best job when expectations are low, as they were heading into this season. Whether the D’Antoni system can ever produce a title is debatable, but there’s no question that it is effective at times when he has the right mix of players. The potential X factor for Los Angeles is when and if Steve Nash can be effective again. Nash became an MVP in Phoenix under D’Antoni and he’s uniquely qualified to run the system. Steve Blake has done a great job in Nash’s absence but the potential return of their veteran point guard can be a huge factor in their ability to compete in the Western Conference as the season moves forward.

Of course the big criticism of any D’Antoni team is their inability to play defense. The Lakers are generally more athletic across the board this season but are still struggling defensively, ranked 27th in the league in points allowed. Granted their free-wheeling style contributes to defensive struggles but they’ll need to shore up the defensive unit as they get into the heart of the playoff race. Bryant, once a great defender, has struggled defensively in recent years and will likely struggle more due to the fact he’s coming off of injury.

5. They’ll be fresh down the stretch: The Lakers legitimately go eleven deep on their roster with Gasol leading the Lakers in minutes per game at just over 30. Los Angeles may not have a starting unit that can contend with Portland, the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs but their strong depth will benefit them greatly in a long and arduous NBA season. This depth will also allow the Lakers to slowly work in Kobe Bryant when he returns, as well as Steve Nash if and when he finally comes back from his latest time off due to injury. As the season turns into the final third the Lakers, specifically their veteran players, should have legs that are fresher than many of the teams they’ll be competing against. Add in D’Antoni’s aggressive style and the Lakers should have many a fourth quarter edge on teams toward the end of the season. The increased minutes from the bench players should also build the confidence and comfort of many of the young players. As the Lakers near playoff time their rotation will surely tighten up, but the head coach will have a deep potential bench to rely on moving forward.

Share this article on Google, Facebook or Twitter and you could win a pair of Lakers Tickets! Just hashtag #kobereturns and your entered! By:Chris Michaels

Lakers Get Two More Years Of Kobe Bryant

Kobe Signs for Two Years

Kobe Bryant

In the midst of a three-game winning streak that’s brought them back up to the .500 mark at 7-7 the Los Angeles Lakers announced this morning that they have locked up Kobe Bryant on a two-year deal that will allow the superstar to finish his career with the Lakers. While they Lakers wait for their superstar to return from his ruptured Achilles tendon, Lakers management has ensured that Bryant will likely never play for another team and likely compile the longest single tenure with one team in league history. The two-year, $48.5 million deal will give the Lakers consistency as they continue their transition into a new era.

Locking up Bryant makes good business sense while sending a message to the current roster and the fan base that the team is committed this season and beyond. With Bryant out and Dwight Howard in Houston the Lakers have revamped their roster to try to inject some new life into what looked to be a stale squad. The Lakers will have difficulty stacking up against the best teams in the Western Conference but General Manager Mitch Kupchak has given Mike D’Antoni some new pieces to work with. The bench is younger and more athletic, with players like Nick Young, Xavier Henry, Chris Kaman and Jordan Farmar making solid contributions. The starting lineup, currently built around Pau Gasol until Bryant returns, has benefited lately from solid contributions by Jordan Hill, Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks. If Steve Nash can return and provide some solid minutes this season the Lakers, once Bryant returns, have the pieces to make a playoff run.

The fan base will be energized by the Lakers commitment in Bryant. Locking up their star rather than taking a potential amnesty route is a sign that the club expects Bryant to return and contribute to the success of the team. Bryant has been practicing for the past week and should make his return by the middle of December at the latest. If the Lakers can navigate their upcoming road trip successfully and stay around the .500 mark the return of Bryant should give the Lakers the boost needed to stay in contention the remainder of the season.

The deal also is a signal to potential free agents that the Lakers aren’t necessarily a rebuilding process. The Lakers still will have the Steve Nash contract on the books next season, but will have around $22 million to bring in a max free agent for next season. The big story around the league will be the potential of Lebron James leaving the Miami Heat by exercising his out clause. It’s hard to imagine James leaving the Heat for the Lakers, but the Lakers have pulled off such moves in the past. Beyond James though the free agent crop is pretty slim, making a potential sign and trade deal for another asset perhaps more of a reality. The other wildcard is what the Lakers decide to do with Pau Gasol. The Lakers big man has a cap hit of $20 million until he signs with the Lakers or someone else. They’ll have to access their options before they decide whether or not to bring Gasol back.

Whatever the Lakers decide to do this offseason they are committed to Bryant for the next two seasons as they transition into the next era of Lakers basketball

By:Chris Michaels

Kobe will return to Lakers for Christmas Day

Kobe Bryant Returns

Kobe Returns

Kobe Bryant made his return to practice Saturday, ramping up expectations for his eventual return to the court and to potential salvation for the Lakers. Friday night, while the Lakers were losing to the Memphis Grizzlies, Kobe tweeted that if Friday night’s game was a playoff game he’d be playing. Six months removed from the Achilles injury he suffered versus the Golden State Warriors the Lakers are struggling to keep afloat and badly need their superstar. The worst thing Bryant can do is rush back from injury so he’ll likely work up his conditioning over the next few weeks. According to Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak Bryant will definitely not return in the next two weeks, pushing the timeline to the first week of December at the earliest. So the big question is when will Kobe Bryant return? And when he does return will the Lakers be in contention?

Some of the speculation around Bryant’s return to game action points to the NBA’s traditional Christmas Day game. This year the Lakers take on Lebron James and the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat. A month ago Bryant changed his twitter picture to an image that alluded to 12/25. Whether he’s pointing to Christmas Day for his return or Kobe is simply looking at Christmas Day to be his coming out party the timing of Christmas would force the Lakers to play an additional month without their star. Los Angeles is currently 4-7 and fourth to last in the Western Conference, ahead of just New Orleans, Sacramento and Utah. The Lakers have lost four of their last five games including double digit losses to New Orleans, Minnesota and Denver. Friday night’s loss was a perfect example of where the Lakers miss Bryant. They were facing a 3-6 Memphis team that has struggled all season. The Lakers held a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter only to see Zach Randolph score fourteen in the fourth to put the game away. It’s the type of game that Kobe simply wouldn’t have allowed Memphis to win. In the Western Conference you have to defend your home court and Los Angeles is just 3-3 at STAPLES Center on the season. The Lakers have three games remaining on their current home stand, Detroit, Golden State and Sacramento. The Pistons, who the Lakers play Sunday night, are wrapping up an extended road trip and are ripe for a defeat after beating Sacramento on Friday night. While Golden State is an elite team, the Sacramento Kings are sitting at 2-7 and look completely discombobulated on offense. If Los Angeles can take two of the final three they’ll have some momentum as they leave STAPLES Center.

Whether the Lakers are in contention when Bryant returns is contingent on when he returns. After they wrap up the current home stand the Lakers head east for games at Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit. The Wizards are young and have trouble finishing games, like versus Cleveland on Saturday night. Detroit is a talented bunch but is still getting their rotation and interior combo of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe to play consistent together. Brooklyn is loaded with veteran talent but has struggled this season and may be without Deron Williams for an extended stretch. After a home game versus Portland the Lakers play at Sacramento followed by home games versus Toronto and Phoenix. This stretch of games encompasses the next three weeks and as far as the Western Conference is concerned is a relatively manageable stretch. If Los Angeles can go 5-5 over these next ten games they could potentially target Friday, December 13th versus the Oklahoma City Thunder for Bryant’s return following over three weeks of practice. If Bryant can give Los Angeles and immediate lift they just may claw back into contention.

If I was a betting man I would be the farm that come hell or high water Kobe Bryant will return to the Lakers to play on Christmas Day if not before! Lakers Tickets are available for Christmas and all other home games at the LA Staples Center. By:Chris Michaels

Lakers 2013-2014 NBA Season Playoff Chances

Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers

What a difference a season makes. Just twelve months ago the Los Angeles Lakers were seen by many as potential NBA title favorites. In a classic Lakers move the franchise added superstar center Dwight Howard to a lineup that already included three veteran superstars, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. The Lakers were so confident that former swingman Metta World Peace predicted 73 wins. The rest of the NBA was shaking their heads at another classic Lakers instant rebuild. Flash forward a year later and the team is in potential disarray with an unknown future. Dwight Howard is a member of the Houston Rockets. Kobe Bryant is recovering from a potential career ending injury. Steve Nash is going on forty and coming off an injury filled season. Metta World Peace is now a member of the New York Knicks.

So what’s in store for the Los Angeles Lakers this season? What will the team look like a year from now? Here are five stories to follow as the Lakers kick off the 2013-2014 season next Tuesday night versus the Clippers. You can get special Discount Codes for Battle For LA Lakers Vs Clippers Tickets now.

Kobe Bryant’s Health: In a season full of injuries and inconsistency Kobe Bryant put together a tremendous, MVP-like regular season. Although his game was diminished on the defensive end, Bryant was as effective as ever offensively. Typically when a player goes out with an Achilles injury it’s safe to write them off for nearly a year—not Kobe Bryant of course. The Lakers expect their star back much sooner than expected, perhaps even this calendar year. How quickly and effectively Bryant returns is the most significant factor for the Lakers this season. A healthy and effective Bryant can lead them to the playoffs. If he’s not the same player the Lakers have to think about the future.

What to do with Pau Gasol: Dwight Howard has come and gone while Pau Gasol remains. The veteran Spaniard remains one of the best big men in basketball. Without Howard clogging up the middle Gasol will be the number one option in the post. He’s an effective scorer, passer and all around efficient offensive force. If the team stays healthy and Kobe Bryant returns ahead of schedule they may have the veteran core to challenge for the playoffs. If last season’s frustrations are repeated the Lakers have a trade-able asset in Gasol. Gasol is in a contract year and resigning him will eliminate some of the cap space they have for next year’s free agent push. Trading him will also put the club under the luxury threshold, a tempting proposition, especially if the Lakers are under .500.

Improved Bench? The Lakers had very little depth last season. An aging team that only went eight deep was an issue. With limited cap space Mitch Kupchak did his best to rebuild the bench. Chris Kaman will provide capable size, defense and hustle in the post. Nick Young and Wesley Johnson are athletic wings who can hit the three point shot. It’s not a lot to work with but there is more quickness and youth than last season. Many are predicting a breakout year from Young as a wing off the bench. If the veteran starters stay healthy it’s a perfectly respectable bench. If the Lakers suffer injuries to the top rotation and the bench is thrust into regular duty like last season the Lakers will struggle.

Mike D’Antoni: The decision to go with D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown wasn’t a popular one. The perception was that D’Antoni’s system wasn’t conducive to the Lakers roster and the fact he isn’t a defensive minded coach were valid points. Howard clearly didn’t work out in the D’Antoni system, and he’s moved on as a result. The Lakers lack of youth will remain and issue, especially on the defensive end of the court. A second year in the D’Antoni system, combined with an offseason to mold the team in his favor, should benefit the club. Still if the Lakers get off to a weak start and struggle D’Antoni may not be long for the sidelines.

Next Year’s Draft: Next June’s draft is considered one of the deepest drafts in years with several prospective “can’t miss” prospects. Players such as Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker and Andrew Harrison are seen as potential NBA All-Stars. If Kobe Bryant doesn’t return as soon or as effective as the Lakers would like the franchise may make the logical decision to trade Pau Gasol and build for the future. With only Robert Sacre and Nick Young on the books after next season the Lakers could very well re-sign Bryant, earn a high lottery pick, and then have the choice to sign two potential max-players—such as Lebron James.

Prediction: Too much of the Lakers success is based on the giant question mark surrounding the return of Kobe Bryant. He Lakers star has continually proved people wrong over the years and has an incredible work ethic. Expect Bryant to return earlier than expected and to put together a solid season. The Lakers will be better than many predict and will fight for one of the final playoff spots in the west.

Lakers Tickets are available for all home Staples Center at up to 50% off.
By:Chris Michaels

Lakers Fall To Warriors In China

Los Angeles Lakers

LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors played their last game outside of the USA. In a game that took place in Shanghai, China, the Los Angeles Lakers got smashed by the Warriors with a game ending with a score 115-89. The game went out of reach after the half, when the Warriors, led by Klay Thompson got really aggressive and put the game out of reach. The Lakers and Warriors will meet up again on Nov 22nd at the LA Staples Center!

Thompson showed for yet another time why Golden State is considered as a team the best-shooting backcourt in the league. Although his fellow sharpshooter, Stephen Curry stayed low, going 3 for 12 from the field, Thompson hit the target five times in six attempts from three-point range. He finished with 25 points leading all scorers. David Lee was also aggressive adding 16 points for Golden State with 16, while Kent Bazemore and Draymond Green scored 14 each coming off the bench. The newcomer star forward, Andre Iguodala had just four points but added 14 assists.

Golden State went on a 25-6 run late in the third to seal the victory, while the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to be lacking energy, especially after the halftime break. Unfortunately, Golden State saw their center Andrew Bogut experiencing back spasms early. He exited the game early in the first quarter and did not return. The Australian big man is already in contract negotiations with the team. The Warriors want to include some terms in the new contract that will secure the team from potential health issues Bogut might experience. Bogut appeared in just 32 games last season with Golden State.

The Lakers were happy to see their leader, Kobe Bryant, participating in the team’s warm-up before the game for the first time after he went down with a torn Achilles injury. The Mamba stated a few days before that he could be playing if it was postseason. Nevertheless, he will most probably sit during the Lakers’ season opener. Bryant joined the Lakers’ bench in the last quarter of the game, forcing the crowd in Shanghai to react with a big applause.

Gasol was the leading scorer for Los Angeles. He ended up scoring 16 points and also grabbed seven rebounds. However, all other Lakers players finished with single points. LA found themselves behind by as many as 30 points. They also got outrebounded 46 to 36. The Head Coach of the team, Mike D’Antoni downplayed the loss, stating that it all comes down to the regular season and more specifically the playoffs.

Klay Thompson on the other hand commented that it’s always good to beat the Lakers. Gasol pointed out that, as obvious, there is still much more work left for the Lakers. Especially now that Bryant is not available, the Lakers have to gather themselves up if they want to make a solid beginning in the season.
Yao Ming, a Shanghai native watched the game courtside. The former NBA superstar received a cheer from the crowd.

By:Chris Michaels