The 2012 – 2013 Lakeshow: A Box Office Flop?

High above the Staples shows the number of championship and Laker greats in the past

High above the Staples shows the number of championship and Laker greats in the past

When you mention the word Lakers to any basketball fan the different words will come to mind, Magic, Wilt, Kareem, Worthy, Shaq, Kobe and all other later greats recently the name Dwight Howard was mentioned and former MVP Canadian Steve Nash can be included in those word association. (well other than the words Champion and perhaps the Celtics – due to their rivalry and other lore or lores that such as the Magic Baby hook, Fisher’s .3 will make the cut as well).

Before the start of the NBA season as discussed here in this blog as well, the Los Angeles Lakers pulled the trigger that landed them prized center and former Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic while giving up the oft injured Center Andrew Bynum (which landed in Philadelphia). Suddenly the world is abuzz, with the recent signing of veterans Nash and former All-Star Antoine Jamison the Lakers we’re suddenly the team to beat, retaining some of their core from championship past such as Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol, the chance of tying the Boston Celtics with the most titles in the NBA is suddenly becoming a reality (Celtics has 17 NBA titles while the Lakers sits in 2nd place with 16). With Coach Mike Brown steering the Lakers, it seems nothing could go wrong, and of course the collection of talent the Lakers have in their fold, Brown will have a field day on what to do, and how to molest defenders while he shuffle and make mismatches on defense and offense, and of course expectations where high, even with the resurgence of the Oklahoma City Thunders, the always consistent San Antonio Spurs, and the surging Memphis Grizzlies the whole NBA and I daresay the twitter and facebook world went nuts, fans celebrated others show concern on chemistry and others proclaimed them to be a shoo in champs or at least a Finals Berth. Analyst breakdown the Twin Towers of LA and how Kobe and Nash can molest the perimeter and the paint with their penetration and shooting.

Fast forward to the start of the season, they suddenly find themselves humiliated by the Portland Trailblazers (they registered an L against the Dallas Mavericks the previous night), where Kobe Bryant registered 7 turnovers and with Steve Nash out of the line up because of injury. Despite winning against the Detroit Pistons (in an emphatic fashion) and once again dropping the ball against the tough Utah Jazz team, Mike Brown was fired as head coach after a dismal start of 1 W with 4 L.

With Brown’s firing as head coach, the chances of seeing Phil Jackson back in the City of Angels and coaching the Lakers is at an all time high. The management reportedly went on to ask Jackson to have his job back and Phil REPORTEDLY meditated on whether he will come back (like a Zen). The world and the Laker Nation waited on the edge of their seats but the stars did not align properly. In a shocking turn of events the Lakers hired former Coach of the Year Mike D’Antoni, who is known for his high octane offense that he ran with Nash and Amare Stoudemire (now playing for the cross conference rivals the New York Knicks) and the rest of the Phoenix Suns. The Suns enjoyed a huge amount of success with D’Antoni as he brought the Suns back a top of the NBA mountain though not winning an NBA title, D’Antoni’s Phoenix team was beloved because of their offensive style of play which relies on running, quickness and agility to outscore opponents and leave them to dust. While D’Antoni who previously coached the New York Knicks (with Amare and Carmelo Anthony and once with Chauncey Billups now playing for the Los Angeles Clippers) to a minimal success (though he introduced the world to Linsanity by giving him a chance to play and run the injury riddled NYK team).

Tasked to bring this Laker Superteam together D'Antoni continues to contribute to the Laker slide.

Tasked to bring this Laker Superteam together D’Antoni continues to contribute to the Laker slide.

Everything seems to be sunny in LA, with Nash returning to the floor and Howard slowly getting his groove (and to some extend up to this time he’s slowly getting his grove back) and Gasol and Kobe providing veteran leadership the Lakers looked or seemed to be heading to the right direction.  Though the WINS are not coming in bunches the Lakers are still finding their identity with D’Antoni and the coach finding the right spots for his players and how to slowly drive the D’Antoni system into the teams persona, then suddenly a bad dream struck. The Lakers suddenly lost 6 straight games to the East Coast Rival Philadeplhia 76ers, Staple Center Rival and City Rival The Los Angeles Clippers, Conference Rival the Denver Nuggets, The Houston Rockets, another rival in San Antonio, and the young OKC Thunders. With their Win Loss card at an atrocious 15 W to 21L the Lakers rebounded with solid wins against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers and the improving Milwaukee Bucks, the future looks bright despite Pau’s injury the Laker fans are looking with much optimism against Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Though the Lakers lost the game due to bad late game decisions, people have seen improvement and the Lakers are ready to jump and kick into high gear, this was also Pau’s first game after sitting out because of an injury though they were sparingly used together by D’Antoni, due to offensive efficiency. They played horrible the next game eventually losing to the Toronto Raptors (where Howard was ejected in the game with a questionable Technical Foul) and took on the Chicago Bulls @ the sold out United Center, the game where D’Antoni named Earl Clark as the starting Forward while Gasol and his US$ 17-19M ass would have to come off the bench in favor of Clark and Howard despite having a solid Olympic run with Spain. The Lakers on the other hand we’re a disgrace against my favorite team. The Bulls hounded Howard, forcing him to pass off, loss his balance, turn the ball over, miss the FT, shoot bad shots, and sit on the bench for most of the game. While Kobe had a rough night against Bulls sophomore guard/forward Jimmy Butler making him shoot the ball horribly. Gasol on the other hand had a solid outing with 15 points and 12 rebounds it wasn’t enough to help the Laker cause. The Bulls loss was also famous for Craig Sager talking to Pau and the world was able to hear it first hand.

After having an awesome MVP like Olympic performance Pau finds himself in the Laker bench

After having an awesome MVP like Olympic performance Pau finds himself in the Laker bench

Now, Pau Gasol I talked to before the game—he is not at all happy with the decision. He says, “I have never been a role player in my life; I don’t like it right now.”

I said, “What about a possibility of maybe your time with the Lakers coming to an end with the All-Star break…the trade deadline?”

He said, “It certainly looks like a possibility to me.”

The Laker drama just never ends, while in between days off Bleacher Report and its loyal followers went abuzz about what team would need the services of Pau, though articles suggests that teams such as theMavericks (where Marc Cuban declared they will make moves, they too having a disappointing 2012-2013 campaign), The Minnesota Timberwolves, and even their opponent a few hours from now The Memphis Grizzlies had their names thrown in a fantasy/rumor mix of trade possibilities for the Spaniard. While that was happening, Kobe has also voiced out his frustration by telling Yahoo! Sports that:

Former MVP Kobe Bryant voices his opinion on the Laker struggle

Former MVP Kobe Bryant voices his opinion on the Laker struggle

                      “Obviously, this isn’t working,” 

And to take a line from Y! Sports. On the issue of Howard’s belief that the ball simply doesn’t go through him enough on offense, Bryant rejected the premise.

And Kobe’s response was a chilling.

“I’ve tried to go out of my way to get him the ball,” Bryant told Y! Sports. “Sometimes I end up looking like an idiot, because I get up in the air, I’ve got a shot, but I try to find him. But he thinks I’m going to shoot, so his back is turned. I’m trying to think about getting him the ball a lot – take care of him as much as I possibly can. It takes me out of rhythm a little bit, but I’m fine with that. If that’s going to help our team, I’m more than willing to do that.”

And you can read all about his frustrations in this article just follow the link below.
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–kobe-bryant—this-isn-t-working–101830224.html

In that video as well Shaq went out of his way and even said that:

They (the Lakers) probably won’t make the playoffs.

To make matters worse or worst or maybe beyond that, Howard was reportedly growing unhappy( http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/8871264/sources-los-angeles-lakers-growing-concerned-unhappy-dwight-howard ) apparently he hasn’t signed an extension and a Howard trade is also a possibility. Sorry but the story was written while I’m trying to finish this so perhaps I’ll write it in my next piece.

If the problem cannot be fixed it's safe to say that the Lakers won't have this celebratory high fives in-game and postgame.

If the problem cannot be fixed it’s safe to say that the Lakers won’t have this celebratory high fives in-game and postgame.

Either way people can attribute the Laker woes to either of this stuff that I thought of.

1. Bad coaching. To echo the sentiments of Bill Simmons, if you can’t put your best players in your gimmick system then something is wrong. Just like I said in all D’Antoni’s team, they can’t guard a parking lot.

2. The Lack of Chemistry, can be attributed to bad coaching as well and perhaps the wrong mix of players in one team, Magoo Marjon of FTW sports even went on to say that the Lakers should look for a bar fight where they can be together and build chemistry from there.

3. Jim Buss. Damn this guy made some bad decisions this year, he didn’t hire the right replacement since he fired Mike Brown (where he should have stayed patient) and not keeping the primadonna named Dwight Howard. Howard hasn’t signed an extension which puts the Lakers in danger, imagine at the end of the season and if the Lakers didn’t make it to the playoffs or make a strong run at least in the Conference Finals, Howard might be out of town again. “Good job”.

With that I close this piece and with a heavy heart and say that if they don’t Fire D’Antoni, Free Pau Gasol or Dwight Howard, or at lest they can’t find the right chemistry to run their team and of course Jim Buss suddenly tries keeping all the pieces together and in a way make some moves or at least make them accounted for their millions and millions of fans. With that I see them struggling to make the playoffs with 41 games left they should start this Laker Superteam working.

Thanks to BleacherReport and DailySportsPages.com for the pictures.

Special thanks to BleacherReport and Yahoo Sports for insights and opinions and of course the quotes.

Mid way to the season the lakers are 17 – 24 Win Loss card.

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Alaska Aces, Now A Force To Reckon With

For a team that went ninth place in the Governors Cup, to coming up with just two wins short of a Finals berth in the PBA Philippine Cup, I should say Alaska coach Luigi Trillo and his hardworking coaching staff have done a tremendous job for the Aces this conference.

Trillo didn’t have a disappointed look at all even though the Aces failed to forge a seventh game in their Game 6, 83-78 loss in their Philippine Cup semifinals series Friday night (Jan. 4) at the Cuneta Astrodome.

I feel the Aces have what it takes to be a perennial championship contender in the coming years, now that Trillo got the players he needed.

JV Casio, Mac Baracael, Gabby Espinas and super rookie Calvin Abueva have played superb basketball this season, blending well with veterans Sonny Thoss, Cyrus Baguio and Dondon Hontiveros, which saw Alaska push the semifinals series to a sixth game against two-time Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text.

At the same time, Alaska was just one of two PBA teams (the other Barangay Ginebra) to have beaten Talk ‘N Text this conference. The Tropang Texters finished the 14-game elimination round with a 12-2 card to earn the no. 1 seed entering the quarterfinals.

The Aces earned the no. 5 seed, but managed to score a 2-0 sweep of the Meralco Bolts in the quarterfinals to arrange a best-of-seven semifinal meeting with the Tropang Texters.

“In this game (Game 6), I think we held on valiantly. The nice thing is we have a good platform to start from,” said Trillo in a post-game talk.

With a bunch of young players to build on, the Aces only need to get the right import for the Commissioner’s Cup set to open on Feb. 8.

Trillo already said they are just awaiting the response of former LA Laker backup slotman DJMbe.

Reposted from the website

http://richavady.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/alaska-aces-now-a-force-to-reckon-with/

many thanks to him for allowing me to copy/repost his piece

A RANT ON THE PHILIPPINE FILM INDUSTRY

Back in 2005 or 2006 I had my say with how I’m disgusted with the way our film makers and the company that produces them make their movies. I went on to say that films with social issues and shows importance of how to find a solution to a recurring problem gets ignored, and now let me add that statement by saying, that the producers and the film makers would rather swim in avarice than present us something that will make us think and look at life in another perspective.

It is sad that I guess there are only a handful of us voicing out this travesty, that while films like Thy Womb who gained International Recognition outside the country gets by passed by the Filipino viewing masses, and it is also said that the Emilio Aguinaldo biopic (and a biased one at that) sucks when it comes to box office performance, while films like Sisterakas and One More Try gets recognition (won 3rd Best Picture and Best Picture respectively) while those 2 “breath of fresh air” Films where either pulled out in case of Thy Womb or is suffering because of a poor box office performance. 

It is also sad that, film producers and movie makers are continuing to make this type of movies, and trends and rack up huge money at the box office while Indie films only got limited time screening and at times screened at far fetch places. It is sad to see that a lot of mainstream directors and artists stay with the same formula over and over again (now the new trend is the 3rd party), even to the point that some of us are using it as a basis in our relationship, the woman asking the man to do this crap that Piolo Pascual has done in one of his movies. 

Gone are the days when movies meant so much to us, movies like Himala, Oro Plata Mata, Fight for Us, Gabi na Kumander, Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag, Jose Rizal, etc etc (and a whole lot of others featuring superb actors and actresses like LT, Gina Alajar, Johnny Delgado, Christopher De Leon, Jay Ilagan, Phillip Salvador, Fernando Poe Jr. etc etc) and “modern day masterpiece” such as Panaghoy sa Suba, Baler, Death Row and ohers are in my opinion considered a gem compared to the typical love stories we see everyday or every disgusting piece of shit Bong Revilla and Vic Sotto can think off, yes just like Panday 1 and 2 the Revilla era. 

With that said I will say that Philippine Cinema is still in the respirator, not because of poor box office performance but rather due to the lack of variety and stories that will captivate us and inspire us everyday.Because in MY opinion today’s movies would make the Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda turn to the Darkside of the Force, today’s Filipino movies will make Batman team up with the Joker to wreck havoc in Gotham City and it’s also bad enough to make James Bond build bombs for terrorists.

entry inspired by article written by Ilda of getrealphilippines.com 

here is her piece 

Filipino films: they don’t make us think