Author: Kurt Helin

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers’ rookie Julius Randle to have foot surgery, too


Julius Randle was already out for the season after breaking his leg just 14 minutes into his debut on opening night this season — it was one of the more disappointing moments of the season, robbing Lakers fans of one of the potential bright spots for the future.

While he’s out, the Lakers’ rookie is going to have some other work done — he’s going to have foot surgery, the team has announced. From the official release:

Lakers forward Julius Randle will undergo surgery on Tuesday morning to replace the screw in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Thordarson of the Cedars-Sinai Orthopaedic Center.

This is to repair and clean up an old high school injury.

The Lakers drafted Randle as the seventh overall pick out of Kentucky last June. He’s showed a little promise, hopefully we’ll get to see more of that next season.

Nick Young with crossover then backwards layup for shot of night (VIDEO)

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers
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Nick Young is just a walking highlight.

Down two in the fourth quarter, Young came off a high pick, ran into Luis Scola, crossed him up a little and got close to the rim and found the long arms of Roy Hibbert, so Young turned his back and put up a crazy over-his-head reverse layup thing. That fell, of course.

That tied the game at 74-74, the Lakers needed that point as they went on to win 88-87 on a Kobe Bryant game winner.

Carlos Boozer shoved Roy Hibbert to ground, who bounced up ready to fight (VIDEO)

Roy Hibbert, Carlos Boozer

Carlos Boozer likes to do the little things that can get under an opponent’s skin. Like shove them to the ground, occasionally.

He did that to Roy Hibbert Sunday night and we can safely say Hibbert took exception, bouncing up and going right at Boozer. Teammates instantly stepped in and separated the two, so it came off as a basic NBA non-fight.

Boozer was not impressed with Hibbert, as reported by ESPN Radio’s Beto Duran.

After the official review Hibbert did get a technical but the referees gave Boozer a flagrant one foul for instigating everything. That seems about right to me, and I can’t see the league coming in on this one and tacking on any additional fines. It wasn’t that serious. Kobe Bryant thought it was even less serious.

The Lakers went on to win the game 88-87 on a Kobe game winner.

PBT Monday NBA Winners/Losers: Detroit 5-0 since addition by subtraction with Josh Smith

Brandon Jennings

Every night the NBA can be a cold hard reality — there are winners, there are losers. It’s the nature of the game. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to bring you the best and worst of the NBA each week night. Here’s what you missed while watching every goal (and assist) Cristiano Ronaldo racked up in 2014….

source:  Detroit Pistons. They have won five in a row since the addition by subtraction of waiving Josh Smith — and in the East five wins can put you back in playoff contention. The Pistons are now just four games out of the eight seed and making the playoffs. Think about that for a second. Sunday’s fifth straight win came over the Kings thanks to 35 points from Brandon Jennings who had his jumper going — he was 5-of-5 from the midrange and 5-of-8 from three. That’s emblematic of what is going on, Detroit’s true shooting percentage is up 7.3 points since Smith was traded. Or, look at it this way, in the last five games the Piston’s offense is 13.7 points per 100 possessions better and their defense is 11.7 per 100 better. This is not all about the Smith trade, but the improvement also is not a coincidence.

source:  Sacramento Kings. On the flip side of smart moves by management, there is Sacramento, which canned well-liked coach Mike Malone and have struggled since then. Think it’s not a lot about the coach?

source:  Kobe Bryant. He had 20 points on 14 shots, plus six rebounds and six assists, but all anyone will talk about is the game winner. Kobe had struggled of late with game winners and game tying shots, he’s not what he used to be in terms of explosiveness, but if you let the man get to his spots on the court he will beat you. Like he did knocking down the game winner to beat the Pacers Sunday.

source:  Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade. The two remaining guys of the big three have struggled this season without that third guy in the mix. However, they are still putting up numbers some nights. The pair scored 51 points — or 58 percent of the team’s points — in an 88-84 Miami win over Brooklyn on Sunday. They did that on an efficient 36 shots, too. This was a win the Heat needed, having lost four in a row and about to head out West for a rough road trip. With the pressure on the big guys stepped up.

source:  Rajon Rondo, Tyson Chandler. They are becoming a dangerous pick-and-roll tandem, adding another weapon to one of the league’s best offenses. The kinks are still being worked out having Rondo at the head of the Maverick’s offense, but things are starting to click (Chandler shot 6-of-7 on the night, hitting all six of his attempts at the rim).

source:  Phoenix Suns second quarter. To be fair, they caught a tired Raptors team at the end of a tough West Coast road trip, and frankly even when they’re rested the Toronto defense isn’t impressive. That said, the Suns still dropped 43 on the Raptors in the second quarter on 78.3 percent shooting (and 83.9 true shooting percentage), and that’s impressive. As tends to happen when the Suns get hot it happened when the Suns got out and ran and their guards got hot — Isaiah Thomas had nine points, while Gerald Green and Eric Bledsoe each had eight. The Suns pulled away that quarter and went on to win 125-109.

Kobe Bryant hits game winner, lifts Lakers over Pacers (VIDEO)

Kobe Bryant

There are two parts to defending Kobe Bryant right now. First, don’t bring the double because he’s carving teams up with his passing. Second, you need to be physical with him and not let him get to his comfort zones on the court. Teams that have done that this season have had success against Kobe in game winner or game tying shots situations.

Solomon Hill and the Pacers didn’t do the second part of that with the game on the line Sunday night. Kobe got Hill off balance coming off a pick, got to the elbow area, stepped back then spun into the middle and got right into the middle of the paint. Roy Hibbert didn’t come over and help, staying attached to Carlos Boozer.

So Kobe hit a jump hook that gave the Lakers the win 88-87 win.

The Pacers had 12 seconds to try to get a good shot and the win, but the set they ran shows everything you need to know about their difficulty creating shots without Paul George.

Los Angeles came back from 13 down in the third quarter to pick up the win at home. Bryant finished with 20 points and 6 assists, while Nick Young had 22 to lead LA.