Tag Archives: 2014-2015

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What Should the Los Angeles Kings Do This NHL Offseason

One of the most memorable postseason runs in recent history gave the Los Angeles Kings their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. After playing three consecutive seven-game series to reach the NHL finals, the Kings dispatched the New York Rangers in five games for the title. General Manager Dean Lombardi has built an impressive core of talent, one that should contend for the next several years. In the era of the NHL salary cap, the Kings will still have some roster decisions to make in the offseason. Their overall depth and stable of young players should offset any major veteran losses.

Here’s a look at what the Kings need to do in the offseason to continue their potential dynasty:
Bring Back Gaborik: The Kings Trade deadline acquisition of Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets turned out to be a masterstroke, especially in the first and second rounds of the playoffs. The dynamic forward scored several big postseason goals, forming a winning combination with Anze Kopitar. Gaborik led the NHL in postseason goals with fourteen, winning his first Stanley Cup in the process. He’ll be a coveted free agent but all signs indicate that the Kings have the interest and ability to re-sign the Slovakian forward. This postseason the Kings became a much more dynamic offensive team, and Gaborik’s presence was a big factor in that evolution.

Sign either Willie Mitchell or Matt Greene: Lombardi has done a fantastic job locking up the core of the roster in long-term deals. Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez, the team’s top defensive combo, are signed through next season. Two veteran blue-liners, Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene are unrestricted free agents. Both have battled injuries the past couple of seasons, but are key contributors when healthy, as well as a veteran presence. Mitchell, in particular, played a massive role this postseason. The Kings don’t need to resign both veterans but should look to bring one of them back for the veteran presence and overall depth of the defense.

Continue the youth movement: In the new NHL salary cap era, it’s incredible how adeptly Dean Lombardi has built the roster and managed the salary cap. Core players Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Slava Voynov and Mike Richards are all signed for the next five seasons while Anze Kopitar, Alec Martinez, and Jarett Stoll are all signed through at least next season. The long-term deals have given the King’s stability while their young players have developed. This past postseason the LA Kings received massive contributions from the exciting young talent of Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, and Kyle Clifford. All three played big roles and should play even bigger roles next season. The offensive spark provided by the three, along with Gaborik, played a role in the King’s offensive evolution from a defensive and puck possession team to the highest scoring team in the past postseason.

Along with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Kings will be the favorites to represent the Western Conference in the NHL finals next season. They are a potential dynasty, a franchise built for the long haul. The key now is health and the continued evolution of the young talent the organization has built. In the last twenty seasons, dynasties in the NHL have been few and far between. In an era of competitive balance created by the salary cap, the Kings have a real opportunity to win consecutive Stanley Cup titles. Find out how much LA Kings ticket prices are for their upcoming games at the Los Angeles Staples Center.

Stanley Cup game 5

GAME 5 KINGS VS RANGERS STANLEY CUP

Kings Vs Rangers Stanley Cup

FACE OFF LA KINGS VS RANGERS

LA Kings Jonathan Quick

QUICK PASSING THE RANGERS TEAM

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    Can the Heats Failure Help The Lakers?

    Spurs

    SPURS WIN

    The San Antonio Spurs redeemed themselves by beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat after five games in the NBA Finals. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Gregg Popovich can now celebrate their success while the on the other hand, a period of skepticism and uncertainty begins in Miami. Each of the Big Three holds an option to terminate his contract for next season and on top of that, it was clearly exposed that the Big Three are no longer invincible. This crystal clear loss to the Spurs might open to LeBron’s free agency and the Los Angeles Lakers have to take advantage of the opportunity.

    Kobe Bryant LA Lakers

    Kobe

    The Lakers are looking for a way to not just turn things around and do better next season but also for a way to solidify their future for the years to come. Kobe Bryant is 35 and he will have two or three years more ahead before he starts to seriously considering retirement. The Lakers have three players under contract for the upcoming season, Kobe, the 40 – year old Steve Nash and Robert Sacre. This seems to be the ideal time for Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers to make a strong push for LeBron. And as a matter of fact, they do stand good chances to land him.

    Lebron to Lakers

    KING JAMES

    LeBron now knows that his chances to win more rings in Miami are getting thinner. The Big Three did what they could do together, they reached the NBA Finals in each of the seasons since they were formed and they also won two championships. However, in order for LeBron to continue winning while at the same time being a member of a big organization, living in an environment like Miami, LeBron might have to head elsewhere.

    And the Los Angeles Lakers are a very appealing destination.

    Of course, the Lakers will have to cook up a very clever plan for their future, one in which LeBron and Kobe can co-exist alongside a capable supporting cast. Mitch Kupchak has not even found the next head coach of the team. And LBJ will have to see a well-designed plan for success before he jumps in.

    Could Lebron James Come to Lakers

    KOBE & LEBRON

    For sure the Lakers can offer LeBron a maximum contract. However, a Kobe-LeBron duo will not be enough for the Lakers to win the championship and James will have that in mind when deciding about his next destination. The Lakers will have to carefully study all the possible scenarios and try to ensure that they will be able to not just bring LeBron in LA but ensure long-time success for him and the team
    .
    Miami’s loss to the Spurs opened the window for the deformation of the Big Three and it instantly increased the Lakers’ chances to land Lebron James. Of course, there will be several other teams willing to lure LeBron this summer. And ultimately, LeBron will be the one to choose which uniform he wants to wear next season. Nevertheless, the Lakers are certainly one of the top destinations for the best basketball player in the world.

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    Five things the Lakers should do to make the playoffs next season

    Los Angeles Lakers Tickets

    LAKERS

    At the moment, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of a transitional period. They will enter the 2014 – 2015 campaign with a new head coach and most probably with several new faces in the roster. In fact Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre are the only three players with guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season. So what should the Lakers do in order to at least make it to the postseason in 2014 – 2015? Let’s break down five things Kobe Bryant and the Lakers should do to make the playoffs next season.

    1) Kobe should adjust his game

    Lakers Tickets Staples Center

    LAKERS

    The Black Mamba is coming off a series of injuries and although he showed some promising signs during the few games he played last season, he is not getting any younger. In fact, act the age of 36 and following an extended period out of action, Kobe will have to slightly alter his game to help his team win. Kobe will most probably never fully rehab from his injuries and in fact, the Lakers will have to preserve the most valuable piece of their puzzle. Fewer minutes, less drives to the basket and more passes will have to become a habit for Bryant next season. After all, he has proven that he can be a great distributor and that he can alter his game when his team needs him to.

    2) Kobe should handle the ball

    We all know that Kobe is a deadly scorer. In fact he is one of the best scorers the league has ever seen. However, with Steve Nash turning 41 midway through the next season, Kobe and with the point guard situation still unsolved, Kobe will have to step up and handle the ball more. He will have to set up the team on offense and help the Lakers run their plays. In fact, the Black Mamba did that with success during the 2012 – 2013 season and when almost any of the Lakers’ point guards faced injury issues.

    3) Make the best use of their No.7 pick

    Whether that means trading it on draft night or finding the right prospect, the Lakers have to make the most out of their seventh pick in the upcoming draft. There will certainly be able to add some talent but if a team is willing to offer them a better fit in exchange for their pick, they should go for it.

    4) Find affordable role players

    The Lakers are one of the most recognizable sports franchises in the world and they are one of the biggest spenders when it comes to salaries. They were the fourth most expensive team last season and prior to Dwight Howard’s departure they were the most expensive one. However, money doesn’t guarantee more victories. That was made crystal clear last season. What the Lakers should do is try and find affordable role players to surround Kobe and another star they might sign.

    5) Pau Gasol’s case

    Lakers Paul Gasol at Staples Center

    PAU

    I am not going to vote pro bringing back Pau Gasol. He will be 34 next season and his performance is declining. Nonetheless, the Lakers might not have many better options at their front line, especially if the Spaniard center takes a pay cut to stay in LA. But even if Gasol decides to get on the move, the Lakers should try and benefit from his departure, by agreeing on a sign and trade with another team. They should get something in return instead of watching their former superstar walking away.

    The Lakers tip off the Las Vegas summer league play on July 11th Vs the Raptors, July 13th against the New Orleans Pelicans followed by July 14th Vs the Golden State Warriors at the Cox Arena. You can purchase Lakers Tickets for all Summer League Games as well as all games at the LA Staples Center.

    Barry's Tickets Downtown

    Barry’s Tickets Luxe Hotel

    Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the Staples Center
    1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
    (across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
    Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
    213 749 0057

    Chris M.

    Rip City Is For Real

    Damian Lillard Blazers

    Damian Lillard

    The 2013-2014 season has been a roller coaster ride for Rip City. After reaching the top of the tough Western Conference early in the season, the Portland Trail Blazers fell to the fifth spot and they also saw their chances to make it to the top reducing. The Blazers entered the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs as the underdogs in their matchups against the Houston Rockets but they managed to eliminate them after six games. Now, they are being dominated by the veteran group of the San Antonio Spurs and their playoff trip might soon reach its end.

    However, despite the failure to top the San Antonio Spurs, a task that is of course very difficult for any team around the league, the Blazers’ course during the 2013-2014 campaign is anything but bad. In fact, even if Rip City exits the playoffs in the second round, the entire city should feel proud about this team. After everything, the Blazers have gone through and after all those top-player severe injuries, Portland has found a way to turn things around.

    In addition, the future looks really bright for this team, given that it has now found the Big Three around which it can build. Damian Lillard showcased his leadership skills not just during the playoffs but even throughout the regular season. The versatile point guard has already reached a superstar level and he is just 23 years old. He and LaMarcus Aldridge are under contract for the next season, with the Blazers holding a team option, which will most probably exercise for the season after and also a qualifying offer for the 2015 – 2016 season. Nicolas Batum is also under contract till the end of the 2015 – 2016 season but what is even more important is the fact that something seems to be changing in Rip City.

    The Blazers are finally starting to find their way to success and whilst they still haven’t formed an elite team, they are certainly on the right track. Portland has found its new franchise face, in Damian Lillard and also a truly capable star veteran, in LaMarcus Aldridge, who might just be the perfect fit alongside Lillard. Nicolas Batum is the third wheel of the Blazers’ engine and several analysts compare them to the San Antonio Spurs, stating that the Blazers are a younger version of San Antonio. I couldn’t agree more with this statement and I would go a step further, stating that Damian Lillard will soon have the same essence to Rip City like Kobe Bryant has to the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, he is that good.

    So, summing up, there is absolutely no reason for Blazers fans to feel disappointed with their favorite team this year. The Blazers did what they had to do. They went as far as they could. Now, the fun part begins, as the team will try to further improve during the postseason. We should all expect the Blazers to stay in the forefront of the NBA for the next seasons.

    Lakers Finally Turning Toward Youth

    Lakers Tickets

    Lakers

    It’s no big news that the Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling all season long this year and the Lakers Tickets prices have also reflected it. It’s also no big news that the team is recording one of the worst seasons of its recent history. However, just when everything seemed to be going south for LA, there is some light appearing at the end of the tunnel. Some young players, who were recently acquired or emerged as solid contributors for the team are here to give hope to the team and all its fans.

    Of course, the 2013-2014 season is a lost one for the Lakers. No matter what happens from now on, the Lakers will not be able to turn things around. The team ranks dead last in the Western Conference with a 19-38 record. The playoffs are a dream for this season and without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers might even end up finishing last in the West.

    Lakers Kendall Marshal

    Kendall Marshal

    However, the team did perform a few positive moves as of lately. The first one came when Kendall Marshal was switched to the starting point guard position. Marshall has now started in 20 of his 29 games this season and the performances he is recording give hope to the team for the future. The 22-year old point guard is averaging 9.8 points, 9.4 assists and three rebounds up to now in the season. He is also shooting very well from the floor, 44.4 percent but also from downtown, 46.8 percent.

    The newly acquired Kent Bazemore really exploded since he arrived in LA. Going from a team where he barely played to a struggling Lakers team where he has the chance to shine, the 24-year old shooting guard instantly became the leading scorer of the Lakers. In his three games with his new team he is averaging 18.3 points to go along with 2.7 assists, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field. Bazemore is now showcasing his skills and hopefully he can continue to play big for the Lakers, at least until Kobe Bryant gets back.

    Lakers MarShon Brooks

    Brooks

    MarShon Brooks was also acquired at the trade deadline by the Los Angeles Lakers. In 22.7 minutes per game, Brooks is now averaging 10.7 minutes, 2.3 rebounds and 50 percent shooting from the field. Although Brooks seems to be taking almost any shot he is given the chance to put up, he has been delivering.
    It’s true that the Lakers will need more than such performances next season in order to become competitive once again. However, if we add up Ryan Kelly and Xavier Henry in the mix, a core of capable players is formed, which could be vital for the team going forward. The Lakers need to find some solutions for the next season or at least hope that they will have some quality pieces to surround Kobe and any other star the team possibly lands.

    Lakers Ticket prices for the secondary market have reflected the drop in performance by almost 20% from a year ago. With the signing of the Lakers new youth, the hope for a good draft pick, trading of Pau for next season prices might start to rise again. Chris Michaels