Gasol, Nash considered doubtful vs. Golden State, Kaman to sit out

The Lakers listed both Pau Gasol and Steve Nash doubtful to play Friday against Golden State because of respectively persistent injuries involving vertigo and nerve irritaton.

Gasol completed an individual workout on Thursday, but Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he has not received medical clearance to play. He has missed the past nine games because of the illness. D’Antoni reported Nash “feels a lot better” after feeling what he called “a bite” in his hamstrings in the Lakers’ loss Tuesday against Houston. So much that D’Antoni said Nash “maybe” will play in one of the last four games.

Meanwhile, Lakers center Chris Kaman ruled himself out both Friday against Golden State and Sunday against Memphis after sitting the past four games because of a strained right calf that he said stemmed from landing awkwardly during the Lakers’ loss last week to Portland.

Kaman completed elliptical exercises on Thursday and expressed optimism he could play in the Lakers’ last two games in Utah (April 14) and San Antonio (April 16).

“I’m battling back and forth,” Kaman said. “I don’t want to go backwards at all. I want to make sure I go in a forward direction.”

Lakers guard Jordan Farmar reported no setbacks in his appearance Tuesday against Houston after missing the previous seven games because of a strained right groin. If if Nash sits, D’Antoni said he plans to stay cautious with Farmar so he doesn’t reinjure himself.

“I don’t think about it. We have several days of rest [after the season],” Farmar said. “What happens happens, If Nash plays or not, I’ll be ready. Whenever Mike tells me to come in, I’ll be ready. I don’t think too much about it.”

RELATED:

Nick Young “very confident” he will reach agreement to stay with Lakers

Golden State coach Mark Jackson rooted for Steve Nash to pass him on assists list

Steve Nash doubts he will play again this season after feeling pain during record-setting performance

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Nick Young “very confident” he will reach agreement to stay with Lakers

Lakers forward Nick Young will likely opt out of his $1.22 million player option. But he said he is "very confident" he will reach an agreement to stay with the Lakers

Lakers forward Nick Young will likely opt out of his $1.22 million player option. But he said he is “very confident” he will reach an agreement to stay with the Lakers

A hefty offseason project awaits the Lakers, but it appears they may one measure of clarity surrounding at least one roster spot.

Lakers forward Nick Young said that he’s “very confident” that he will stay with the Lakers even though he plans to opt out of his $1.22 million option.

“I think we’ll come to some kind of agreement,” Young said Thursday after practice. “Hopefully it happens. We’ll have to see what they’re going to do. I know Kobe’s going to want something.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Steve Nash doubts he will play again this season after feeling pain during record-setting performance

Lakers#10 Steve Nash passes the ball around Rockets#1 Isaiah Canaan in the first half. Nash would go on to become the 3rd all-time leader in assists later in the first half. The Houston Rockets traveled to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in a regular season game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA. April 8, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers#10 Steve Nash passes the ball around Rockets#1 Isaiah Canaan in the first half. Nash would go on to become the 3rd all-time leader in assists later in the first half. The Houston Rockets traveled to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in a regular season game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA. April 8, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

His passes showed Steve Nash’s brilliance. His movement showed how Nash has maximized greatness out of a 40-year-old body. The “bite” that he described feeling in his hamstrings revealed his fragility. His uncertain future revealed the never-ending frustration surrounding Nash’s roller coaster through two seasons with the Lakers.

On the same night Nash eclipsed Golden State coach Mark Jackson for third place on the NBA’s all-time assists list, he also revealed that this might mark the final game of a failed Lakers season that entailed a 145-130 loss Tuesday to the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.

“Because I had a pretty good setback today, I probably won’t play again,” Nash said. “If I get a good recovery over the next week, I’d love to play again. A big goal for me was not to go into the summer injured. The fact that I had a setback today was frustrating.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Steve Nash moves up to third place in all-time assists

During a failed Lakers season riddled with missed playoff fortunes and too many injuries to count, Steve Nash provided one dose of positive news.

The Lakers guard moved up to third place among the NBA’s all-time assists leaders, eclipsing Golden State coach Mark Jackson after tallying his sixth assist in the Lakers game Tuesday against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. After missing the past three games because of nerve irritation in his back, Nash came off the bench and broke the record after recording his fifth assist of the game with XX remaining in the XX quarter.

Nash’s record-breaking assist entailed throwing a cross-court pass to Jodie Meeks, who converted a two-handed dunk with 2:14 left in the second quarter. Nash also set up Meeks on another fast-break dunk, as well as a mid-range jumper for Jordan Hill and three-pointers for Jordan Farmar and Wesley Johnson. Once Nash left the game with 1:14 left in the second quarter, the fans at Staples Center gave him a rousing ovation.

The Lakers originally planned to shut Nash down once Jordan Farmar returned from a sprained right groin that sidelined him for the past 11 games. But Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni changed his mind in part so Nash could break the record.

“He’s healthy enough. We don’t want to go too crazy,” D’Antoni said. “But he can play some minutes and he wants to play. There’s some goals there. Why not. There’s some goals here. Why not? He can end up the year the best he can.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Rex Chapman believes John Calipari will coach Kentucky next season

Within a 24-hour span, former Kentucky star Rex Chapman penned Wildcats John Calipari replacing Mike D’Antoni as the coach of the Lakers as a “done deal” toward suddenly predicting otherwise.

“I’d still say Kentucky,” Chapman said Tuesday on The Dan Patrick Show. “Who knows. That’s what I know and hope. I don’t know.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers refute Rex Chapman tweet that John Calipari will coach Lakers

Just before John Calipari set foot to coach Kentucky in the biggest college basketball game of the season, one of the Wildcats former stars predicted big things happening for his alma mater’s coach. It goes beyond winning the 2014 national championship against Connecticut.

Former Kentucky star Rex Chapman tweeted that Calipari will become the next Lakers’ coach.

Chapman cited no sources, nor did he provide any timetable. But no matter. The Lakers immediately refuted what Chapman reported in 140 characters.

“I spoke to [General Manager] Mitch Kupchak and he said the rumor is untrue,” Lakers spokesman John Black said. “Mike D’Antoni is our coach. There have been no conversations about any specific names for any replacement.”

The Lakers have maintained that they will not evaluate D’Antoni’s until after the 2013-14 season. He will be owed a guaranteed $4 million next season, and has a team option for the 2015-16 season.

Meanwhile, Calipari is finishing up his fifth season at Kentucky, where he also won a national title in 2012. Calipari compiled a 72-112 in three seasons with the NBA’s former New Jersey Nets in the 1990s.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

AM830 KLAA appearance entails Lakers talk on Mike D’Antoni, Kobe Bryant & Pau Gasol

Lakers Heads Coach Mike D'Antoni shouts at the officials in the first half. The Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers in a regular season game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. April 1, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers Heads Coach Mike D’Antoni shouts at the officials in the first half. The Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers in a regular season game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. April 1, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

The Lakers’ 120-97 loss to the Clippers on Sunday at Staples Center marked yet another blow. The game featured yet another batch of the injuries, the latest victims falling to Nick Young (sore left knee) and Kent Bazemore (sprained right foot). Yet, there’s always stuff to talk about surrounding the purple and gold.

On my appearance Monday morning on “The Travis Rodgers Show” on AM830 KLAA, I addressed a flurry of topics that included:

-the Lakers injuries
-Mike D’Antoni’s future with the Lakers
-Kobe Bryant’s recovery
-Pau Gasol’s future with the Lakers

RELATED:

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni bearing the brunt of discontent, but he’s not about to stop fighting


Kent Bazemore attributes right foot sprain to “overuse”

Lakers’ Jordan Farmar shows maturity, patience despite challenging season

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Nick Young, Kent Bazemore vow to play through injuries

The Clippers have gone beyond just stripping away the basketball superiority the Lakers once secured with 16 NBA championships. The Clippers also appear to have given them their curse, a well popularized theory explaining the franchise’s fortune of bad luck, questionable management decisions and poor play.

The Lakers’ 120-97 loss Sunday to the Clippers in a designated road game at Staples Center featured two more injured players, an unthinkable prospect considering the Lakers already fielded a nine-man rotation.

Kent Bazemore sprained and heard what he called a “pop” in his right foot with 10:08 left in the second quarter before sitting out the rest of the game. X-rays turned out negative, but Bazemore plans to receive an MRI on Monday to assess the damage.

Nick Young also experienced soreness in his left knee after chasing a loose ball in the final minute of the third quarter. He returned for four minutes midway through the fourth quarter before shutting him down.

“They’re trying to get through it,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They’re playing extra minutes because we don’t have an extra rotation.”

Indeed they don’t.

The Lakers already fielded season-ending injuries to Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee) and Xavier Henry (bone bruise in right knee) as well as day-to-day ailments to Pau Gasol (vertigo), Chris Kaman (strained right calf), Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back) and Jordan Farmar (strained right groin).

If there is any consolation, both Nash and Farmar are expected to play Tuesday against the Houston Rockets.

Young showed plenty of frustration on the bench with a  towel draped over his head. He reentered the game with 8:53 remaining, but lasted only four minutes. Young posted 18 points albeit on 5 of 15 shooting.

“I’m just going to go out with the ship and hang in there with the guys,” said Young, who plans to receive treatment on his knee, which also experienced a bone bruise that sidelined him this season for 16 games. “I’m trying to fight until the end.”

Bazemore attributed his injury toward playing a lot of minutes. He had also sprained his left foot his senior year at Old Dominion, an injury that required a screw.

“I’m not in a position where I can afford to miss games,” said Bazemore, mindful that he will become a free agent this offseason. “Tomorrow will tell all. If I’m able to go, you’ll see me out there.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Five things to take from Lakers’ 120-97 loss to Clippers

LakersÕ Robert Sacre and Jordan Hill try to get a pass from Clippers Darren Collison during game action at Staples Center Sunday April 6, 2014. Clippers defeated the Lakers 120-97.  ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

LakersÕ Robert Sacre and Jordan Hill try to get a pass from Clippers Darren Collison during game action at Staples Center Sunday April 6, 2014. Clippers defeated the Lakers 120-97. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

Below are five things to take from the Lakers’ 120-97 loss to the Clippers Sunday at Staples Center:

1. The Lakers officially became tied for the worst team in Los Angeles franchise history.
The Lakers would gladly have the Clippers’ banners cover up this accomplishment. The Lakers (25-51) would have to win all five of their remaining games to avoid surpassing the 1974-75 team, which finished 30-52 overall, as having the worst record in franchise history since moving to Los Angeles. The Lakers’ loss also cemented only their fourth regular season series loss to the Clippers (2012-13, 1992-93 and 1974-75). Considering the Lakers’ never-ending injuries and persisting losing, it’s likely they’ll make the team record books for reasons that have nothing to do with NBA championships, MVP trophies or retired jerseys. As terrible as this season has turned out, this year’s Lakers team at least surpassed the Minneapolis Lakers team in 1957-58 (19-53) that holds the franchise’s worst record.

2. Kent Bazmore exited the game with a sprained right foot. The Clippers haven’t just taken basketball superiority away from the Lakers. The Clippers also appears to have given them their curse. Bazemore marks the sixth Lakers’ player to suffer an injury while playing the point guard spot after turning his right foot while handling the ball at the top of the key with 10:08 left in the second quarter. Bazemore, who had two points and four assists through 12 minutes, was then taken to the locker room to take x-rays that turned out negative. The Lakers plan for Bazemore to take an MRI on Monday.

Such developments have consistently defined the Lakers’ failed season. The other five Lakers’ point guards to suffer injuries include to Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back), Jordan Farmar (strained right groin), Xavier Henry (bone bruise in right knee, torn ligament in left wrist) and Steve Blake, who missed a combined 32 games because of a hyperextended right elbow before being traded two months ago to Golden State. Meanwhile, both Pau Gasol (vertigo) and Chris Kaman (strained right calf) remain sidelined.

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Five things to take from Lakers 107-95 loss to Dallas Mavericks

Below are five things to take from the Lakers’ 107-95 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center:


1. Nick Young has a mild right ankle sprain.
It seemed like a foregone conclusion. With the Lakers already fielding an injury-depleted roster, it only seemed inevitable that another one would happen. Yes, it has become that kind of season where seemingly no one can stay healthy. Young showed discomfort with 7:04 left in the fourth quarter after grabbing a defensive rebound and landing awkwardly.

Though Young limped his way toward the locker room, any concerns about his health doesn’t appear to be serious. He suffered what the Lakers called a mild right ankle sprain and simply needed to be retaped. Young then returned to the bench with 4:33 noticeably in good spirits. So much that he could be seen hiding a laugh behind a towel. The Lakers’ injury list remains extensive, which includes Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Pau Gasol (vertigo), Chris Kaman (strained right calf), Xavier Henry (bone bruise in right knee, torn ligament) and Jordan Farmar (strained right groin). So it wouldn’t have been hardly surprising if the injury bug kept spreading. But it appears that Young, who scored 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting against Dallas, will still have the chance to build off his strong play.

2. The Lakers had defensive issues. As if that’s a surprise. The Lakers looked awful on defense on the categories you’d imagine. They lacked a rim protector, were outrebounded 52-38 and conceded 64 points in the paint. No one could match up with Dirk Nowitzki, who dropped 27 points on 11 of 14 shooting. Brendan Wright shot a perfect 10 of 10 for 23 points.


3. Steve Nash played what could have marked his final game of the season.
Before exiting the Lakers’ locker room to play in what could mark his last game, Nash joked facetiously to Chris Kaman that the game could mark the last game of his career. It might be too early to pen Nash’s legacy story considering the Lakers have suggested they will leave it up to him as to whether he wants to return next season for the last year of his contract that will pay him $9.8 million. But Nash wasn’t exaggerating when this could mark his last game this season considering Jordan Farmar plans to return from a right groin injury Tuesday against Houston.

There wasn’t much nostalgia, though. Nash finished with four points and seven assists. Oh, he looked dazzling all right, by infusing energy and ball movement in the Lakers’ offense. But Nash fell five assists shy of surpassing current Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson (10,334) for third place on the NBA’s all-time assists list. That’s because plenty of Nash’s amazing passes didn’t materialize. The Lakers opened the first quarter shooting 8 of 22 from the field (35.4%), including four missed shots from Robert Sacre.


4. Jodie Meeks continued his string of consistency.
There marked one point where the only thing Meeks could do entailed making three-pointers. Even that skillset transformed amid peaks and valleys. Fast forward this season, and Meeks showed yet another example with his 25 points on 10 of 17 shooting that he can seemingly do everything. Meeks made magnificent backdoor cuts to set himself up for open layups. He drove to the basket with both force and precision. Meeks hustled on defense. He also nailed his trusty 3-point shot (3 of 7).

If such a performance seems follow, well, it is. Meeks has posted double digits in 13 of the past 14 games. Considering the Lakers’ persistent losing and injury-depleted roster, it would be plausible to conclude on paper that Meeks is simply padding his numbers. But Meeks has actually painted a completely different picture. He has managed to score at a proficient rate because he constantly moves to open spots, passes the ball when covered, scores when he has an open look or drives when he can find a more higher percentage shot. Such concepts epitomize D’Antoni’s mantra of the “ball finding energy,” a philosophy that demands unyielding hustle and teamwork regardless of the circumstances.

5. Jordan Hill provided decent energy.
It’s a tall task to fill in for both Gasol and Kaman. But Hill still provided his usual energetic presence with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The only reboundL: no one else helped him out. Sacre posted seven points on 1 of 7 shooting and four rebounds.

RELATED:

Lakers shut down Xavier Henry for rest of the season

Steve Nash believes Lakers-Mavs game will mark last game of season

Jodie Meeks confident about Kentucky’s chances in the Final Four

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email