Lakers: Anthony Brown making most of opportunity

Anthony Brown’s journey with the Lakers has been hot and cold to say the least. On Friday, he made his second start of the season and recorded five points and five rebounds against Philadelphia.

On Saturday afternoon, he was assigned back to the D-League and will be in uniform for the D-Fenders’ game against the Bakersfield Jam.

It has been that kind of journey for Brown so far but the rookie from Stanford is starting to find his groove and maximize his time on the court, no matter how limited.

“Every game for me, I feel like I’m getting more comfortable,” Brown said Saturday, “First time I was out there against [Oklahoma City], the game was moving so fast for me and now it’s starting to slow down a bit game by game.”

Aside from his starts, Brown has only played more than 20 minutes once in his nine games this season. His first start saw him thrown into the fire guarding Kevin Durant but against Philadelphia, he showed a glimpse of his shooting touch making his lone 3-point attempt.

He only attempted three shots all game but found ways to make affect the game with his defense and rebounding, something that impressed head coach Byron Scott.

“He took what the defense gave him and didn’t try to force anything. He did the exact thing, we wanted him to do, which was guard,” Scott said. “He just needs more time and he’ll get that. His experience with just being in school for four years I think absolutely helps him out.”

Scott did said that Brown could eventually find his way into getting more minutes as a full-time backup, although the timetable for that has yet to be determined. Until then, Brown,who was an standout player at Ocean View High School, is learning how to adjust and thrive when he can.

“I’m just trying to make an impact anyway I can. Shooting, defense, rebounding,” Brown said, “I just have to be ready for my shot knowing that I’m not going to get a ton of shots.”

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Greg Monroe said there wasn’t anything Lakers did wrong in free agency pitch

The Lakers started their free agency off on an awful note, a two-hour meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge leaving him frustrated that they focused more on marketing glitz than X’s and O’s substance. The Lakers also missed out on their next target in Greg Monroe, who agreed to a three-year, $50 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.

But even if he turned down the Lakers less than 24 hours after meeting them for two hours in Washington D.C. on July 1, Monroe had nothing to complain about the Lakers’ pitch.

“There wasn’t anything they did wrong. I just made the best decision for me,” Monroe said in an interview with Los Angeles News Group. “It wasn’t anything they didn’t do or did do.”

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Lakers’ Byron Scott: “We don’t trust each other on the floor”

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott against Portland, during the second half at the Staples Center.  Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015.         (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott against Portland, during the second half at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015.
(Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

The Lakers rank 29th out of 30 NBA teams in offensive efficiency and 28th in defensive efficiency. Other than that, everything has gone well for the Lakers.

“We don’t have chemistry problems. Our guys get along,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said after practice Friday at the team’s facility in El Segundo. “We just don’t trust each other on the floor.”

Scott then mentioned how the team has several ball-dominant players, including Bryant, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Lou Williams and Nick Young.

“Guys sometimes want the ball in their hands and they don’t trust making passes to other guys. We have to get to the point where the ball doesn’t stick and we find open guys,” Scott said. “When you have young guys that are so used to having the ball, getting rid of it is sometimes an issue. That’s what we’re trying to break.”
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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant preaches importance of ball movement, developing young players

The concept caused Kobe Bryant to laugh loudly. The Lakers’ star went on a monologue stressing the importance of ball movement and developing the team’s young players. Then the irony hit him.

Isn’t Bryant the same player who cemented a reputation as a high-volume shooter with little regard for team play?

“Can you believe I’m saying this [stuff]? Are you kidding? I’m a kid that grows up and suddenly sounds like his parents,” Bryant said with a loud chuckle following the Lakers’ 102-91 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday at Staples Center. “I never thought I’d see the day where I become the voice of ball movement-reason. I never thought I’d see the day where I’m preaching that stuff. That’s crazy.”
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Lakers: Byron Scott says team was “fatigued” in loss to Sacramento

After watching the tape of last night’s 132-114 loss to Sacramento, Lakers head coach Byron Scott found an unusual culprit aiding his team’s defensive struggles. Fatigue.

It’s a bit unusual to hear that two games into the regular season and something Scott said he hadn’t noticed in years past coaching.

But upon review and talking with the team, tired legs may have been a factor in the team falling behind by as many 31 last night.

“What I did see was guys making the effort but they just looked fatigued,” Scott said.

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Marcelo Huertas impresses Lakers in his NBA debut

SAN DIEGO — It took eleven years for Marcelo Huertas to excel on the hardwood in Spain before it became good enough for an NBA team to offer him a contract. It took two weeks before Huertas healed enough from a strained right hamstring before he could show the Lakers’ brass what he could do against an NBA opponent. And it took only one NBA game for Huertas to leave a positive impression.

In the Lakers’ 85-70 victory against Golden State on Saturday that ended with 2:16 left in the third quarter, Huertas posted four points and six assists in 12 minutes off the bench. As a 32-year-old Brazilian point guard, Huertas made up for lost time by accelerating his familiarity with teammates and improving his chances with staying on the roster on a non-guaranteed contract.

“It’s important to know how each of them play so I can find them on the court,” Huertas said. “I’m a guy that is pretty unselfish. I like to share the ball and make other people happy. If I get them happy, they’re probably happy back at me.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott saw Robert Upshaw playing “okay” in preseason loss to Toronto

Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Ca. (Micah Escamilla/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Ca. (Micah Escamilla/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

ONTARIO — He spoke in an excited tone, Robert Upshaw experiencing the initial wave of euphoria surrounding his first NBA exhibition appearance. The Lakers’ reserve center just posted six points on three-of-four shooting, three rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one turnover in 25 minutes in the team’s 105-97 preseason loss to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday at Citizens Business Bank Arena. That left Upshaw appearing on cloud nine as he sat by his locker.

“It was really good,” Upshaw said. “I finally got to get my feet wet, go out there and play some good basketball and just keep up the energy.”

Outside of the locker room, Lakers coach Byron Scott spoke in a more solemn tone about Upshaw’s performance.

“He was okay,” Scott said. “He made a ton of mistakes on both ends of the floor. That’s probably to be expected in his first game.”
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Lakers’ Julius Randle unfazed during fall in preseason loss to Utah

HONOLULU — Nothing stood in Julius Randle’s way as he leaped toward the basket.

The Lakers’ forward had an open lane to throw down a thunderous dunk after D’Angelo Russell threw a no-look bounce pass. Randle felt fully comfortable bulldozing his way inside with his brute strength. And he no longer looked limited with a surgically repaired right leg that left him sidelined for nearly his entire rookie season.

But then Utah forward Trevor Booker fouled Randle from behind, sending the Lakers’ forward crashing down on the same leg that he injured nearly 11 months ago. Hence, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant could not leap out his seat fast enough to attend to Randle.

“You damn right I did,” Bryant said following the Lakers’ 90-71 preseason loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday at Stan Sheriff Center. “If I was fast enough to catch him, I would.”

The incident may have left the Lakers skittish. But it left Randle amused as he recalled thinking “nothing” as he took a fall that sparked gasps among the nearly partisan 10,300 watching in person and the countless purple and gold faithful observing around the world.

“I was fine,” Randle said. “I didn’t think I hurt myself or anything. I came down on my right leg, didn’t I? I think I came down on my right leg. I was more worried about getting back up.”

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Lakers’ Roy Hibbert hopes improved diet can help him adapt to modern NBA

Los Angeles Lakers Media Day in El Segundo Monday September 28, 2015. Roy Hibbert interview. Photo By  Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze

Los Angeles Lakers Media Day in El Segundo Monday September 28, 2015. Roy Hibbert interview.
Photo By Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze

All the numbers suggest the NBA teams should go small, the influx of speedy point guards and outside shooters forcing the game to put less of an emphasis on size and power.

But to break that trend, Lakers center Roy Hibbert wants to take advantage of another number. His weight. Hibbert spent a significant chunk of his offseason losing 15 pounds in fat, so he would no longer become seen as a plodding big man.

“With how the NBA is going, you have a lot of quick centers,” Hibbert said on Monday at the Lakers’ Media Day at their practice facility in El Segundo. “It’s changed some things up. But I feel I’m in a place where I can hold my own in the post and get up and down the court.”

One of those centers includes Golden State’s Andrew Bogut, whose contributions Hibbert believes quickly became overshadowed with the outside shooting from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s emergence as well as the defense from Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green. Yet, the 7-foot Bogut still landed on the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team and finished sixth in Defensive Player of the Year votes despite averaging a career-low 23.6 minutes per game.

“He didn’t score a lot, and he’s not the fastest guy out there. No disrespect to him,” Hibbert said of Bogut. “He was a friend of mien and I’ve known him for a while. I admire his game and how he sacrifices what he does to help his team win a championship. I don’t mind being the older guy that has to sacrifice and be the defensive anchor.”

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Lakers’ Jeremy Lin, Ryan Kelly return to starting lineup

It’s no secret that Jeremy Lin has been playing mostly well since being demoted to the bench in December. After a season-high 29 points on Sunday against Philadelphia, Lin will be rewarded with a return to the starting lineup on Tuesday at Oklahoma City.

Byron Scott announced the decision following practice on Monday by saying that Lin would be paired with Jordan Clarkson and it was something he had considered the previous weeks based on Lin’s performances leading up to Sunday

“It had nothing to do with last night but last night obviously made it a little bit easier to throw him in there because he played so well. We’ll see what happens on this trip,” Scott said.

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