Found October 31, 2012 on Fox Sports West:
LOS ANGELES The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of work to do, and less than 24 hours in which to do it. Otherwise, their most promising season in a few years will be off to an 0-2 start. They were beaten by the Dallas Mavericks 99-91 in their season and home opener, and will take on the Blazers in Portland Wednesday nighta place in which the Lakers have had much trouble winning over the years Kobe Bryant spoke to the crowd before the game, ending his short speech with "Enjoy the show." They didn't... Missed free throws killed the basketball stars. The Lakers went 12-31 from the line, a putrid 38.7 percent. Center Dwight Howard was the main culprit, clanging 11 of 14 "I'm thinking too much when I'm up there," Howard revealed. "Gotta make it, gotta make it. I gotta stop thinking like that." I think he's on to something there. In practice his form is smooth and he connects on a large majority of his free throws. Not thinking about it, just doing it Hall of Fame big men who were terrible career free-throw shooters: Wilt Chamberlain (.511), Bill Russell (.561) and O'Neal (.527) all were excellent practice shooters. Couldn't do it in a game, though Russell was somewhat of an exception during his run of 11 championships in 13 seasons. It's said that in the fourth quarter of gamesregular season or playoffshis FT percentage was in the .800 range Back to Howard. Overall he had a good debut in gold and purple, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds He was 8-12 from the field, but fouled out with 2:02 remaining in the game Dallas forward Elton Brand said the Mavs weren't playing "Hack-a-Dwight" but they were aware of his problems shooting free throws "Better to foul him before he gets the dunk or layup," Brand said. "That definitely puts the odds in our favor with him shooting free throws." Poor free throw shooting put the Lakers in precarious positions throughout Shaquille O'Neal's eight-year tenure as the starting center. It looks like the future could be similar with Howard and his .588 FT percentage But if they win three NBA titles with Howard at center, it will all be forgotten, right Shaq? "We will make shots from the free throw line, I'm confident of that" coach Mike Brown said. Yeah, but the question ishow many? What should really upset the Lakers is that Dallas toyed with them in the second half when they didn't have Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman available. "We did great considering our two 7-footers were out," Brand said with a big smile It's just one game, but the Lakers looked out of sync for most of the 48 minutes. "They didn't look like comfortable running their offense the way they wanted to," said Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, part of the TNT broadcasting crew along with Kevin Harlan The Lakers have played 101 regular season games in Portland, winning just 41. Last year they lost their only meeting at the Rose Garden, 107-96 Clippers owner Donald Sterling was at the Lakers-Mavs game Tuesday. His team has its opener Wednesday evening against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center. "We'll have to see about making this place jump (Wednesday) night." Before the game, Brown said he hopes the offense is rolling smoothly after the first of the year, or at the latest after the All Star break. Note to coach: If it takes that long, you might be watching the second half of the season from your lovely home And it might be a good idea to get the defense up to speed soon, too Let's all remember that it is just one game. If they lose to Portland, then you can begin to panic

Howard's effort not enough for Lakers

Dwight Howard's 33 points and 14 rebounds were not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 116-106 loss to the inspired Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. Nicolas Batum had 26 points and the Blazers led by as many as 19 in handing the Lakers their second straight loss to open the season. Damian Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the June draft, had 22 points and 11 assists...

Could Magic be too average for own good?

For the uninitiated among us, lets set the record straight: New Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigans most critical misstep this summer was not merely the act of trading franchise center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. After all, it was plain to see that the Howard-Magic relationship had fallen into such a state of disrepair, the cloud hanging over the team growing...

Lakers Struggle Again…Drop To 0-2

Dwight Howard is fouled as he goes up for a dunk. The Lakers got huge games from both Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, but turnovers and bad defense did them in again, as they dropped to 0-2 on the young season, with a 116-106 loss in Portland. For the second straight night, the Lakers floundered and flailed, and were again unable to mount any real consistent play in dropping yet...

Nicolas Batum throws down on Dwight Howard

When he’s not attempting to punch dudes in the junk during the Olympics, Portland Trail Blazer, Nicolas Batum, spends his Wednesday nights posterizing perennial defensive players of the year. Watch Batum take Pau Gasol to the hole and finish hard in the face of shot-blocking extraordinaire, Dwight Howard. Yikes! This jam by Nicolas Batum came with about 7:00 minutes to go...

Big Baby ready for starring role

Last year when Dwight Howard went down with a back injury, Glen Davis really stepped up in his absence. Davis’ numbers went up and he averaged 19 points a game in the Magic’s first round playoff loss to the Indiana Pacers. With Howard shipped off to L.A., Davis is hoping his streak of solid play will continue, and he’ll become the go to guy in Orlando. Never short on confidence...

Denver Nuggets Season Preview: Philadelphia 76ers

Following the Dwight Howard trade, the Denver Nuggets were able to snag Andre Iguodala and brought him to the Mile High City, but how will the addition affect the Nuggets when they face off against the Philadelphia 76ers? Series Matchup 2011-2012: 1-0 Series Matchup 2012-2013: October 31st and March 21st Ty Lawson has shown improvement [...]The post Denver Nuggets Season Preview...

NBA's Western Conference hard to figure

MINNEAPOLIS In June, a fake Twitter account pretending to be a credible NBA beat writer tweeted that a deal sending Dwight Howard to the Lakers was done. The Internet exploded for a quick second before everyone took a closer look and realized they'd been royally duped. It was a lesson in caution and a weird example of the efficacy (or inefficacy, depending on how you look at...

Magic Day Video: Darrel Armstrong with the steal and dunk

I had to consult with Crossover's second in command, Phillip Rossman-Reich, for the video for Orlando Magic day. Apparently, former Magic guard Darrel Armstrong is adored in Magic nation. Yeah, who knew? But as Phil told me the reasons why Darrel is so loved is because of his heart and hustle. Something the 2012-13 Magic squad is going to need considering the team is left in...

Lakers or Fakers. Is it Championship or Bust in LA?

The Los Angeles Lakers have just come off arguably the best offseason in franchise history.  Star point guard Steve Nash and superstar center Dwight Howard were signed in hopes of bringing Los Angeles back to the Finals and its 17th championship.  Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers also introduced their new head coach Mike Brown, brought in due to Hall of Fame-er Phil Jackson’s...

Sources: Howard, Paul Briefly Planned On Joining Forces With Mavericks

Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have discussed playing together since 2009.

Kobe Says There’s An 85% Chance He’ll Play Tonight

The Black Mamba told Beto Duran that he’ll just have to wait and see how his foot feels after shootaround. But that there’s an 85% chance he’ll be on the floor. My money says there’s a 1000% Kobe will be playing tonight, he has to show Dwight Howard how it’s down in LA. Brooklyn Nets 2012-2013 Preview

Now that the drama of trading for Dwight Howard is over, the Nets can focus on trying to become a legit contender in the East. They traded for Joe Johnson to pair with Deron Williams which instantly gives them one of the top 5 back courts in the NBA. If Brook Lopez can stay healthy and build off of his 19 points and 4 rebounds average for his career he could give the Nets a valid...

Kobe day-to-day as Lakers prep to open season

EL SEGUNDO, CA -- What would a Laker season be without some Kobe Bryant drama at some point? This year it came a bit earlier than the team and its fans expected. Content with his newly rebuilt team of Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison, Bryant seemed very happy throughout the preseason, averaging 20.4 points, 4.8 rebound and 3.4 assists in just 28 minutes per game. While...

Mavs spoil Lakers' unveiling of new stars

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers discovered on opening night that four superstars do not a team make. The Dallas Mavericks, meanwhile, discovered life without their one star isn't quite so glum. With Dirk Nowitzki out after knee surgery, Dallas marched into Staples Center and spoiled the Lakers debuts of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, taking a 99-91 win Tuesday. It...
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