LeBron: ‘I just go out and try to prepare to be the best every night’

Plenty of history was made on Wednesday night in San Antonio. Some we expected and some that was a surprise. First, LeBron James, on his 36th birthday, became the first player in NBA history to have one-thousand straight game in double figures. Next, after Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter, Spurs assistant Becky Hammon became the first woman in NBA history to serve as head coach.

Ultimately, behind James’ team-high 26 points, the Lakers would defeat San Antonio 121-107 at AT&T Center. 

Michael Jordan previously held the record with 866 straight games in double-figures, but James would surpass that mark in 2018. 

After the game, James reflected on one-thousand straight games of 10 points or more.

“I just go out and try to prepare to be the best every night I step out on the floor,” James said about one-thousand straight games in double-figures. “If I’m in uniform, I gotta do things to help our team win. If that’s scoring, rebounding, defending, assisting. Doing the little things, and just be available for my teammates throughout the course of the game when I’m on the floor or when I’m also on the bench.”

This is James’ 17th season in the NBA, so first, you need longevity to pull this type of streak off, and next, you have to have consistency, which means this record will be tough to break.

It’s not easy to score a basket in the NBA, and scoring in double-figures is even harder, but as he continues, James is making many things in the NBA look easy. 

At 36, James is still playing at an elite level, and the way the world-champion Lakers are presently constructed, this team could make another deep playoff run this season. James shows no signs of slowing down, and he appears to be a guy who could play at a high level for years to come. Expect James to achieve more milestones and do more amazing things moving forward. 

At this point, it’s clear, we are all witnesses to greatness.

Mavs’ Doncic: ‘We box out, we win the game’

Playing good defense in the NBA requires players to contest shots and try to stay in front of the offensive player, and at the end, grabbing the rebound on a missed shot. 

On Christmas day against the Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks may have done some of that, but they did not do the rebounding part. Dallas allowed the Lakers to have 35 second-chance points to the Mavericks zero. Ultimately, the world-champion Los Angeles(1-1) would rout Dallas(0-2) 138-115 at Staples Center on Friday night. 

Mavericks-Lakers was the marquee matchup on Christmas day in the NBA. LeBron James against Luka Doncic. James would finish 22 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds, while Doncic poured in 27 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds, but unfortunately for Dallas, LeBron had more help. Anthony Davis led all scorers with 28 points, and Montrezl Harrell chipped in 22 points off the bench.

According to Doncic, the Mavericks’ inability to rebound cost them this game.

“I’m not surprised we lost,” he said. “You can’t win a game when second-chance points is 35 to zero. It’s as simple as that. We box out, we win the game. It’s that simple. I think we did some great stuff on defense, but at the end, you have to finish with the boxing out, and that’s what we gotta work on…

“I think it’s everything about mentality and toughness. It’s gotta be mental. If somebody is rebounding like that, you just have to box them out no matter what. Somebody else is going to get the rebound. Like I said, we have to work on it, and we just gotta get better.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle added: “A team has given up 35 points second chance and had gotten zero. It’s obviously the story of the game.”

At this point, Dallas is missing what Kristaps Porzingis brings to the table. They miss his scoring(20.4 ppg last season) and his ability to rebound(9.5 rpg). Porzingis is expected to return sometime in January after he needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus back in October. 

You’re not going to win in the NBA when you get beat that bad on the glass. The Lakers out-hustled and dominated Dallas on Friday night. After two games, the Mavericks remain winless as they get ready to battle the Clippers on Sunday, which will be another challenging game. Dallas has to find a way to bring more energy and effort against the Clippers if they want to get their first win of the season. 

The first two games have been a disappointment, but fortunately for Dallas, there is a lot of basketball left in the season.

Twitter reacts to Damian Lillard’s performance against Lakers

Damian Lillard continues to dominate in Orlando. After being named the MVP of the NBA bubble on Saturday, Lillard put on a show against the Lakers on Tuesday night.

Lillard had 34 points, including 6-13 from downtown and 10/10 from the free-throw line, five rebounds, and five assists, as the eighth-seeded Blazers defeated the number one seed, the Lakers, 100-93 to take 1-0 lead in their best of seven first-round series.

Dame was incredible, and after the game, Twitter reacted.

Here’s a sampling:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lakers’ Bradley opts out of NBA restart

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Lakers G Avery Bradley will not join the team in Orlando.

According to Wojnarowski, one of Bradley’s three children has a history of struggling to recover from respiratory illnesses and would’ve been unlikely to be medically cleared to enter the NBA bubble with his family, which was a huge reason Bradley decided to opt-out.

Bradley told Wojnarowski the following on Tuesday:

“As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family. And so, at a time like this, I can’t imagine making any decision that might put my family’s health and well-being at even the slightest risk.”

Bradley, along with Kyrie Irving, were leaders of a players coalition who talked about possibly not coming to Orlando for the NBA restart.

With Bradley out of the mix, the Lakers are said to be interested in free agent J.R. Smith, according to Wojnarowski. Smith would be reunited with LeBron James. The two won a title together with the Cavaliers in 2016. 

The 29-year-old Bradley is a significant loss for the Lakers. Bradley is a solid defender and was a starter for Los Angles. In 49 games(44 starts), Bradley averaged 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists a contest. 

Obviously, with COVID-19 out there, players will have to weigh the costs of playing in Orlando. It should be interesting to see who else will opt-out. Players have until June 24 to inform the NBA of their decision.

 

Why Reggie Jackson should have signed with the Lakers

The L.A. Clippers have signed free agent guard Reggie Jackson, the team announced today. 

“Reggie is a proven playmaker and scorer, and we are looking forward to adding his experience and creativity to our team,” said Frank. 

Jackson, 29, appeared in 14 games for the Detroit Pistons this season, averaging 14.9 points, 5.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in 27.2 minutes. The 6’3″, 208-pound guard holds career averages of 12.9 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 544 appearances across eight NBA seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit.

On the surface, it would seem the Lakers might have been a better fit for Jackson. With the Lakers, he probably would have gotten a decent amount of minutes, but with the Clippers, those minutes won’t be guaranteed. Jackson will have to battle Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, and Landry Shamet for minutes. With the Lakers, Jackson would have to battle it out with Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso, so it’s clear that the better opportunity for him was with the Lakers

Jackson to the Clippers probably should have been Jackson to the Lakers, but maybe he knows something that we do not. We shall see. 

Statement from the Philadelphia 76ers on the death of Kobe Bryant

Here is a statement from the Philadelphia 76ers on the death of Kobe Bryant, and his daughter, Gianna.

Bryant was 41.

76ers’ statement:

“The Philadelphia 76ers organization mourns the losses of NBA icon Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and all of those who passed away tragically today in an accident in California.

“Bryant, one of the most decorated players in NBA history and a global ambassador for the game, made an everlasting mark on our league. His determination, passion to win and fierce competitiveness fueled the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships and inspired millions of people around the world. 

“Bryant’s journey to icon status in the world of basketball included deep ties to the Philadelphia region, where he starred at Lower Merion High School from 1992-96. As he honed his craft in Philadelphia, Bryant established a reputation as a player with once-in-a-lifetime poise, grit, heart and an unwavering love of the game.

“While his imprint on the game of basketball will be etched in the history books forever, Bryant will also be remembered for his love of his family, commitment to community through his philanthropic work, and for being an innovative leader in business.  

“The 76ers organization sends its sincerest condolences to Vanessa Bryant and the Bryant family during this incredibly difficult time. We also send our condolences to Jeanie Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers organization and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere.”

Report: Lakers C DeMarcus Cousins tears ACL

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Lakers C DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a torn ACL. The four-time All-Star was working out in Las Vegas on Monday when he had to leave the court, according to ESPN.

The 29-year-old Cousins signed a one-year deal with the Lakers back in July. Last season, Cousins signed with the Warriors after coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2018 while with the Pelicans. The 10-year veteran also tore his quad during this year’s playoffs. However, he was able to return for the Finals.

Obviously, this injury is a big blow for the Lakers and an even bigger blow for Cousins, who was hoping to secure a long-term deal in the near future.

 

Report: DeMarcus Cousins to the Lakers

Free-agent C DeMarcus Cousins has signed with the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It is a one-year deal, according to the report.

The 28-year-old Cousins spent last season with the Golden State Warriors. In 30 regular season games, he averaged 16.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, and 3.6 apg.  The four-time All-Star will be reunited with his former teammate in New Orleans, Anthony Davis.

If he can stay healthy, Cousins can help the Lakers. Also, it would put him in line to get a big raise the following season.

Report: Leonard, George to the Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have just broken the internet. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers will sign free agent Kawhi Leonard, but it does not stop there. The Clippers have acquired OKC’s Paul George in exchange for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick, and two pick swaps, according to Wojnarowski.

This is a stunner. Many believed Leonard was going to sign with either the Lakers or Raptors, but in the end, the Clippers got it done.

There is going to be a lot of great basketball at Staples Center next season.

Cris Carter: Kawhi will not make decision today

Six days into NBA free agency, and we still do not know where Kawhi Leonard will play next season, and according to NFL Hall of Famer and Leonard confidant, Cris Carter, we won’t find out today.

Here is what Carter tweeted out today:

Leonard can get the most money and years if he stays in Toronto. He can sign a five-year, $190 million deal with the Raptors. The 28-year-old NBA Finals MVP could also sign a two-year contract with Toronto, which would get Leonard to 10 years of service, and will allow him to sign for the highest max deal in 2021.

At this point, it seems it will come down to the Lakers and Raptors, but in reality, who knows. I guess we might have to wait until tomorrow.