Lakers News and Rumors Recap: A Chance for a Suns Redemption

Kobe Bryant, Michael Beasley, Shannon Brown, Markieff MorrisWith a generally successful Grammy road trip, the Lakers did come home with a thorn in their side. The game against the Suns was utterly disappointing, with D’Antoni and other players stating the team should have been 5-2 with another win against Phoenix.

Tonight is a chance to get that Suns win and make up for last week. The Lakers are finally back at home. They have an all-time record of 131-92 against the Suns with a 86-26 home record against Phoenix.

Keys to a win tonight include lessening turnovers, taking shots early to gain a lead, and playing a consistent game through the entirety of the fourth quarter. More importantly, the team chemistry has to be solid, especially a jelling relationship between Kobe, Nash, and Dwight. With Pau out, the team need its three biggest stars to play together in rhythm.

The player who has been under the most scrutiny has been Howard. The past few days former NBA players have come out to judge the center. Former Lakers small forward Rick Fox had this to say:

“I am not seeing a guy that wants to be here. What Howard is giving, isn’t championship behavior.”

He continues with comparing Dwight to Lakers past:

“Unfortunately for him, in Los Angeles, you’ve got a legacy of great players that have shown the city what commitment looks like. I’d like to see actions from him that tell me that winning is the most important thing to him, and that he wants to be a Laker.”

Strong words, but Fox wasn’t the only one with something to say. Gary Payton who played for the Lakers in 2003-04 spoke out on his ESPN SportsNation segment. He tells Kobe that he’s still the best player in the NBA while at the same time telling Dwight to “get it together.” You can watch the rest of the segment here.

Good news; Earl Clark is suffering from a sore foot and underwent an MRI this morning. He was thought to be unable to play, but reports dictate the MRI has come back negative (the guard has no structural damage) and Clark will be suiting up. The Lakers need Clark, especially since he has been averaging 12.3 points and 9.3 rebounds since his breakout game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 9. Overall, he has 8.1 points and 6.3 rebounds for the season.

For rest of the pregame report, click here.

Phoenix Suns (17-35) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (24-28)
7:30 PM PST, February 12, 2013
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: TWC Sports Network
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) 1330 KWKW (Spanish)

Suns Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Goran Dragic
SG: Jared Dudley
SF: P.J. Tucker
PF: Luis Scola
C: Marcin Gortat

Key Reserves: F Markieff Morris, Michael Beasley, Shannon Brown

Need a last minute gift for Valentine’s day? Get your honey tickets to the Lakers vs Clippers game coming up on Thursday. I promise any L.A. fan would go crazy over this present. I also believe the Lakers will win, as I don’t think Kobe wants to break my heart on the National Day of Love.

Make sure you stay in touch with Lakers Nation no matter where you are:
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Lakers Nation News

Lakers News: Despite Sore Foot, Earl Clark Set To Play Tonight

Lakers News: Earl Clark To Receive MRI On Injured Right Foot

Gary Payton Praises Kobe, Tells Dwight Howard to “Get it Together

Lakers News: Howard Wants to Play in All-Star Game Despite Injury

Lakers vs. Suns Pre-Game Report: Lakers Return Home After Grammy Road Trip

Lakers News: Team Has “No Immediate Plans” To Add To The Roster

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant Says Dwight Howard Conflict is Manufactured

Practice Report: Lakers Admit Ineffectiveness of Pick-And-Roll

Lakers News: Rick Fox Says Dwight Howard Needs to Change Attitude

Lakers News: Rick Fox Thinks Dwight Howard Has Loser’s Mentality

Lakers News

The Lakers Need to Carry This Effort Into Their Upcoming Homestand [Silver Screen and Roll]

Game Preview: Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers [Silver Screen and Roll]

Los Angeles Lakers Interested in Louis Amundson [Silver Screen and Roll]

What Mike D’Antoni, LA Lakers Must Learn from Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns Career [Bleacher Report]

The Problem with Hating Kobe [ESPN]

Lakers’ Pau Gasol Says He Won’t Need Surgery on Foot [LA Times]

Preview and Chat: The Phoenix Suns [Forum Blue and Gold]

Dwight Howard Wants to Play [ESPN]

Coach Mike D’Antoni Says Every Laker Knows His Role [Lakers Now]

Lakers Not Looking to Acquire a Big Man [ESPN Los Angeles]

Monday Practice Roundup [Lakers Blog]

LA Foolish to Not Listen to Offers for Dwight Howard [Bleacher Report]

Dwight Howard Says He’s Playing Through A Lot Of Pain, but It’s More Than That [ProBasketballTalk]

Preview: Lakers vs Suns [LA Times]

Lakers’ Road Trip Ends, Drama Continues [OC Register]

Kobe Bryant Downplays Lakers Drama [ESPN]

Kobe Bryant Blasts Media, Calls LA Lakers Drama ‘Manufactured’ [Bleacher Report]

Metta World Peace’s Recent Struggles Highlight a Bigger Problem [Forum Blue and Gold]

Earl Clark to Have MRI on Sore Right Foot [Lakers Now]

Lakers need Dwight Howard on Board [ESPN]

Nash’s Anger at Howard Very Real [OC Register]

LA Front Office Foolish to Ignore Frontcourt Issues [Bleacher Report]

Lakers Try to Put Drama Behind Them as They Return From Long Trip [LA Times]

NBA News

Short-Handed Spurs Beat Bulls 103-89 [Yahoo! Sports]

Beal Scores 28 as Wizards Beat Bucks 102-90 [Yahoo! Sports]

Anderson, Lopez Lead Hornets Past Pistons, 105-86 [Yahoo! Sports]

Without Williams, Nets Rally, Beat Pacers in OT [Yahoo! Sports]

Paul, Griffin Help Clippers Cruise Past 76ers [Yahoo! Sports]

Smith has Double-Double as Hawks Hold of Mavericks [Yahoo! Sports]

Ridnour, Timberwolves End Road Skid, Beat Cavs [Yahoo! Sports]

Josh Smith Trade Rumors [SB Nation]

How Each Team Stacks Up Entering the 2013 All-Star Break [Bleacher Report]

Derrick Rose Injury: Bulls Star Hints at Possibility of Sitting Out Season [Blog a Bull]

Comparing LeBron to Jordan [ESPN]

How the Spurs Hum Along Without Their Stars [SB Nation]

J.J. Redick Says the Magic Have Told Him They are not Shopping Him []

Anatomy of LeBron James’ last 65 shots [Heat Index]

Trade Targets: ‘Buy-Low’ Options [ESPN Insider]

Wizards Have a Strong Core We Can Only Hope Stays Healthy [SB Nation]

TrueHoop TV: Royce White is Back [True Hoop]

Brooklyn Nets Struggling Badly Due to Mix of Indifference, Injury, Unimpressive Shooting, Iffy D [Ball Don’t Lie]

Could Jordan Average Double Digits At 50? [ESPN Video]

NBA Power Rankings, Week 16: Validation for the League’s Elite [SB Nation]

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