Lakers News and Rumors Recap: Lakers Can Make it Over .500

Dwight HowardSitting at .500, the Lakers are in a good position to continue their stunning play as of late and uphill climb towards spot #8 in the West. With Kobe scoring 42 points last game and having 12 assists and seven rebounds, this game is sure to also be a showing of what the Mamba’s got. The Lakers play the Toronto Raptors this evening, who just overcame a five game losing streak Wednesday night with a 98-71 victory over the Phoenix Suns. But if there was ever a time for L.A. to propel themselves up the Western rankings, it is NOW.

The Raptors acquired small forward Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies before the trade deadline,greatly bulking up their roster. In this game, Dwight needs to be as defensively powerful as he was Wednesday night to make sure this Lakers team wins. Kobe will also have to bring some offensive heat, which he definitely has been doing so the last seven games. Bryant has averaged 35.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists, with a 56.4 percent shot from the field and 47.2 percent for three-pointers.

The Lakers assigned Robert Sacre and Darius Morris to the D-League’s D-Fenders on Thursday. I predict we will see the two of them very soon; both players have shown much promise off the bench, and rather keep them sitting and getting stale, it is beneficial to the team and both men to get some minutes with the D-Fenders. Especially on a roster that has seen injury after injury this year, you can never be too careful.

Last night, Kobe Bryant appeared on Jimmy Kimmel to talk everything Lakers, shoes, and what the Mamba does on his day off. If you missed the bit, make sure you check it out here.

For the rest on the pregame report, click here. Also make sure you start your weekend right by checking out Lakers Nation’s pick for dunk of the week.

Toronto Raptors (24-38) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (31-31)
7:30 PM PST, March 8, 2013 

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
CA
TV: TWCSN

Raptors Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Andrea Bargnani
C: Jonas Valanciunas

Key Reserves: G Alan Anderson,  G Terrence Ross, F Amir Johnson

Lakers Nation News

Staples Center Beer Prices Not As High As You Might Think

Lakers Dunk Of The Week: Kobe Bryant Schools Josh Smith

Kobe Bryant’s Continued Dominance Cements All-Time Legacy

Dwight Howard Discusses His Results With The Posture Shirt

Pau Gasol Saw ‘Encouraging’ Results After Running Drills

Lakers News: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says He’d Coach Milwaukee Bucks

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant Makes Appearance On Jimmy Kimmel Live

Lakers News: Robert Sacre, Darius Morris Assigned to D-League

Lakers vs. Raptors Pre-Game Report: Lakers Look for Continued Momentum

Lakers News

Breakdown: Kobe led the comeback in New Orleans [Silver Screen and Roll]

Battling back from deep deficits, the Lakers showed a lot of heart [Silver Screen and Roll]

Preview and Chat: The Toronto Raptors [Forum Blue and Gold]

Final 20 Games Infographic [Lakers.com]

World Peace: Dwight Learning to be Leader [ESPN LA]

Dwight Howard Should Stay in L.A. [ESPN Insider]

Laker Girl Jenny’s Game Day Routine Lakers.com]

Hornets Postgame Numbers [Lakers Blog]

Lakers Hope Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard are Complementary Figures Again [LA Times]

Dwight Howard Blames Media for Twisting That Thing He Said About Nobody Wanting ex-Magic Teammates [Ball Don’t Lie]

Can Rockets Hold Off Lakers?  [ESPN Insider]

Lakers Just 2-13 Against Top Five Teams in the Western Conference [LA Times]

Another Plot Twist for the Lakers [OC Register]

Bryant Posts Rare Stat Line in Big Comeback Win [20 Second Timeout]

In Keeping Kobe Bryant, Not Shaq, Jerry Buss Made Right Call [LA Times]

Power of Howard’s Positive Thinking is Growing [OC Register]

Look at the Lakers, Look at the Math and Utah  Should be Nervous [ProBasketballTalk]

Up Next for the Lakers: Friday vs. Toronto [LA Times]

NBA News

A Weekend at Sloan, and the Pluses and Minuses of Advanced Analytics [SB Nation]

Looking Into the Crystal Ball for Fates of the Celtics, Hawks, Rockets and Warriors [ESPN]

Rookie Watch: Best of 21 [ESPN Insider]

Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis Has Gone Vegan, and is Talkin’ Tofu [Ball Don’t Lie]

Rudy Gay and the Nebulous Benefit of ‘Star Power’ [SB Nation]

Derrick Rose Has Been Cleared to Play, Reportedly, Yet Rose is Hesitating in His Return to Action [Yahoo Sports]

2012-13 NBA Playoff Odds [ESPN]

Sessions Out 2-4 Weeks With Sprained MCL [NBA]

‘Scary’ Plane Incident Has Chicago Bulls Borrowing Rides [ESPN Chicago]

Rudy Gay Takes Issue With Grizzlies, Embraces Challenge With Star-Hungry Raptors [Yahoo! Sports]

Who Is the Funniest NBA Player? [Grantland]

Thunder Overcome Hot Shooting from J.R. Smith to Outlast Knicks [ProBasketballTalk]

Heat’s Focus Remains on Big Picture, Not Win Streak [NBA.com]

Twitter Responds With Their Pickup Game NBA Comparisons [SB Nation]

Smith’s 36 Not Enough vs. Thunder [ESPN New York]

Rick Carlisle Kindly Requests That You Stop Talking About the Mavericks’ Many Starting Lineups [Ball Don’t Lie]

Ten Drops of NBA Knowledge [Daily Dime]

Irving’s Knee Still a Concern for Cavs [NBA.com]

Can the Pacers Snap Heat’s Streak Sunday? [ProBasketballTalk]

And You May Ask Yourself, How Did I Get Here? [Grantland]

Hornets’ Austin Rivers Out 4-6 weeks with Broken Hand [Eye On Basketball]

What A Long, Strange Trip [Hardwood Paroxysm]

Mo Williams Says Botched Clutch Layup was the First He’s Ever Missed [The Basketball Jones]

How the Celtics Stole a Win in Indiana Over the Pacers [SB Nation]

Can Rockets Make the Playoffs? [ESPN Insider]

Royce White: Through the Looking Glass [The Dream Shake]

Suns’ Gortat Season Likely Over After Injury [NBA.com]

Michael Jordan is Getting Married [ESPN NBA]

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