Lakers News and Rumors Recap: Counting Down Until Sunday

Playoffs-IPADPlayoffs start Sunday at 12:30pm and as we all know they will progress without Kobe. This week, we asked Lakers Nation fans which player needs to step-up in Bryant’s absence, and 48% of you said Dwight Howard. Pau was the next in line, but not even close. He got 25% of your votes.

In his past two games, Howard averaged 21 points, 17.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. His defensive game has really improved recently. With Blake, Pau, and the bench stepping it up on the offense, Dwight’s defensive game will be crucial this playoffs. The Spurs are an experienced team but a key to winning this series will be diminishing their points. Howard will get some help from Gasol, who has been averaging 18 rebounds.

The Lakers may get back one star for this Sunday. Nash participated in his first practice today since being sidelined with hip and hamstring soreness. After today’s practice, this is what he had to say:

“I’m very optimistic that I’ll play on Sunday…”

Nash has had his ups and downs this year, starting the season with a broken leg while also trying to adapt to playing with Kobe Bryant. Nash explained where his mind is right now:

“To be honest with you, it’s been a tough year for me….but when I’ve been healthy I’ve felt great, as good as I’ve ever felt. The biggest issue for me this year was trying to find a niche playing alongside Kobe and playing with new teammates and I feel like that really started to come for me the last kind of month and a half or so.”

Lakers Nation! Show your pride! Brag to all the haters in your office that your Los Angeles Lakers made the playoffs by sporting some sweet new desktop wall art. Don’t worry; we also have phone and iPad backgrounds. Get to downloading!

Lakers Nation News

Lakers News: Lakers Nation Says Dwight Howard Needs to Step-Up

Lakers Dunk Of The Week: Jodie Meeks Dribbles, Dunks, Scores!

The Script of the Lakers’ Season Continues As the Team Must Step Up

Lakers News: Steve Nash Optimistic To Play Sunday Against Spurs

Lakers News: Jeanie Buss Named New Managing Governor For Lakers

NBA News: Cavaliers Reportedly Interested in Hiring Mike Brown

NBA News: League Announces Flopping Penalties For NBA Playoffs

Lakers Wallpaper: Playoffs Series Schedule For Lakers, Spurs

Lakers News

Video Breakdown: Spurs Offense Against the Lakers [Silver Screen and Roll]

NBA Playoffs-Lakers/Spurs Positional Breakdown: Guards [Silver Screen and Roll]

Behind a Stupendous Defensive Effort, the Lakers Earned Their Way Into the Postseason [Silver Screen and Roll]

Lakers Hope They’re Not Spaced Out in Playoffs [LA Times]

Report: Lakers’ D’Antoni to Return [Yahoo! Sports]

Lakers vs. Spurs Playoff Preview: Looking at Offense and Defense [Forum Blue and Gold]

Lakers First-Round Playoff Tickets on Sale Saturday Morning [LA Times]

The Official Art of the NBA: Lakers [Rare Ink]

The Los Angeles Lakers Ground Their Way to a Playoff Berth [ESPNLA]

After The Gold Rush [Forum Blue and Gold]

Coach Kobe Bryant Strikes Again, Messages Pau Gasol During Game [LA Times]

Lakers Still Playoff-Bound After Rocky Season [Yahoo! Sports]

4/17/13 Lakers vs. Rockets Gallery []

Postgame: Dwight Howard | video []

Postgame: Pau Gasol | video []

Postgame: Steve Blake | video []

Postgame: Antawn Jamison | video []

Postgame: Mike D’Antoni | video []

NBA News

Eastern Conference Playoffs Preview [ProBasketballTalk]

Friend of Heat’s Ray Allen Among Those Hurt at Boston Marathon []

NBA to Fine Players for First Flop in Playoffs [ESPNLA]

Lawrence Frank Has Been Let Go as Detroit Pistons’ Head Coach [Ball Don’t Lie]

NBA Playoff Schedule 2013: TV, Times for NBA Playoffs []

How Hot is Vinny Del Negro’s Seat? Well, if They Lose to Memphis, Very. [ProBasketballTalk]

Sacramento Fans Rejoice, Reflect on Possible Farewell to Kings []

O.J. Mayo of Dallas Mavericks to Opt Out of Contract [ESPNLA]

Byron Scott is Out as Cleveland Cavaliers Coach [Yahoo! Sports]

Western Conference Playoffs Preview [ProBasketballTalk]

Ranking NBA First-Round Playoff Series by Entertainment Value [The Point Forward]

2013 NBA playoffs – Breaking Down the Western Conference Playoffs [ESPN]

Warriors Head to Denver Lacking Playoff Experience [Yahoo! Sports]

NBA Playoffs 2013: Storylines to Watch: Can Anyone Beat Miami Heat? []

Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 Playoff Previews: Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks [Ball Don’t Lie]

2013 NBA Playoffs – First Round – Spurs vs. Lakers [ESPN]

Marcin Gortat Says Lack of Character in Younger Players a Big Problem for the Suns [ProBasketballTalk]

X-Factors for All 16 Teams in NBA Playoffs []

Hornets Officially Change Name to New Orleans Pelicans, Launch New Website [The Point Forward]

2013 NBA Playoffs: West Players to Watch [ESPN]

Hornets Officially Change Name to New Orleans Pelicans, Launch New Website []

Marcin Gortat Says Lack of Character in Younger Players a Big Problem For the Suns [ProBasketballTalk]

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