Lakers News and Rumors Recap: Lakers Have to Overcome Jazz

165114416_10The Utah Jazz lost their game last night to Denver, placing the Lakers back in the eighth seed in the West. If they continue to play well, L.A. fans should be seeing their Purple and Gold in the 2013 playoffs. Nothing is for certain, but the Mavericks have already lost the season series, 3-1 Los Angeles, which puts Utah as seemingly the only competitor.

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The NBA needs the Lakers in the playoffs. Bottom line. I was told yesterday by a disgruntled Salt Lake City fan that the Jazz pull a great crowd and have a lot of fans, which would be reason enough for them to be just as wonderful in the playoffs. Don’t get me wrong; the Utah Jazz do have a great fan base. In fact, Bleacher Report did a list in October 2012 that placed the Jazz at No. 9 and the Lakers at No. 11 for best NBA fans. But when it comes down to it, Utah still isn’t the Lakers.

The Lakers are one of the most recognized sports franchises in the world. Being in the playoffs will not only generate the continued prowess of Los Angeles in the U.S., but all over the world. The team boasts one of the best players of all time on their roster, Kobe Bryant. When you watch him play, you can’t help but love the game of basketball. To add to the list, the Lakers are also incredibly profitable. Almost every game in the Staples Center was sold out this season.

Lakers fans are everywhere, are mighty, and bring tremendous game power. I bet you, wherever L.A. plays, people will come flocking to the stands in Purple and Gold. From a fiscal standpoint, and an excitement stand point, David Stern wants Los Angeles in the playoffs over Utah. End of story.

Kobe will get them there. He’s been playing like it is the playoffs for months. Despite injuries to fellow teammates Metta World Peace and Steve Nash, Bryant has been determined to look at what he’s got to work with, and mold into whatever character the Lakers need that night. Not only that, but Dwight Howard has been tremendous as of late, bringing much needed defensive abilities lacking on this roster for a long time.

Injury Update: After missing Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, it seems that Steve Nash will be out again on Friday when the Lakers take on the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center. Let’s hope he gets better in time to face the Spurs in round one of the NBA playoffs.

Lakers Nation News

Lakers News: Steve Nash Doubtful Friday vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Lakers Nation Reacts: Which Number Should Kobe Get Retired?

Shaq on Relationship With Kobe: ‘We Never Had a Real Dislike’

Lakers News: Injury Update On Metta World Peace’s Torn Meniscus

Shaq: Lakers’ Big Fond Memory Turns Clock Back…For A Night

Lakers To Fix Retired Shaq Jersey Flaw Before Friday’s Game

Video: Breakdown of the Lakers Win Last Night over the Mavericks

Lakers News

Video Breakdown: Dwight Howard’s Defense Keeps Getting Better [Silver Screen and Roll]

On a Night Honoring a Laker Legend, the Current Stars Played Admirably [Silver Screen and Roll]

Shaq’s Jersey Retirement was Fun, but Also Bizarre [Silver Screen and Roll]

Wednesday And-1 Links: LeBron, Kobe Among the Most Clutch in the League [ProBasketballTalk]

Kobe’s Off-Ball Work Key to Sustaining Stronger Defense [Forum Blue and Gold]

As Needed, Dwight Howard Steps Up [ESPN LA]

Podcast: Kobe Bryant Does the Lakers a Solid, D’Antoni’s Future, Bieber’s Monkey and Bad Tattoos [Land O’Lakers]

What a Game for Earl Clark [LA Times]

Bryant Maxing Out His Minutes, Production [Lakers Index]

Lakers Send Darius Morris, Robert Sacre Back to D-Fenders []

Mark Cuban Calls Phil Jackson “First Housewife of the Lakers” [ProBasketballTalk]

Will the Lakers Make the Post Season? [ESPN]’

Lakers Practice: Pau Gasol [LA Lakers]

Kobe Bryant’s Selfish Unselfishness and the Lakers’ Best Hope for the Playoffs [Grantland]

Could Kobe Play in Europe? [Yahoo Sports]

With Jazz Losing at Utah, Lakers Climb Back Into Eighth Place []

Metta World Peace Off Crutches, ‘Excited’ for Return to Los Angeles Lakers’ Lineup [ESPN Los Angeles]

Chick Hearn Calls the Iconic Kobe Bryant to Shaquille O’Neal Lob [Land O’Lakers]

Shaquille O’Neal Steals the Show on the Night the Lakers Retire His No. 34 Jersey [Ball Don’t Lie]

Mark Cuban Pokes Fun at Phil Jackson [ESPN]

Splash, Episode 3: Kareem Dodges a Bullet [Grantland]

Kobe Bryant’s Triple-Double Pushes Lakers Past Mavericks, Likely Spells Doom for Dallas [Ball Don’t Lie]

Shaquille O’Neal Says He Never Had ‘Real Dislike’ for Kobe Bryant []

Lakers Set to Fix Mistake on Shaq’s Retired Jersey Before Friday Night’s Game vs. Grizzlies [ProBasketballTalk]

Shaq: Dwight Howard Must Step Up [ESPN LA]

NBA News

JaVale McGee, Outspoken Mother to Get Reality Show [ProBasketballTalk]

NBA Power Rankings: Heat in Control [Yahoo Sports]

Tracking This Year’s NBA Draft Class: The Top 5 Prospects In The Final Four [Dime Magazine]

Chris Bosh’s Home Burglarized, $340 K in Goods Stolen [ProBasketballTalk]

Ex-NBA Player Javaris Crittenton Indicted on Murder Charges []

Former No. 1 Overall Pick Greg Oden Returns to Watch Portland Trail Blazers [ESPN]

Hawks’ Pachulia Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery []

Memphis Grizzlies Sign Keyon Dooling for the Rest of the Season []

Geno Auriemma Pans Mark Cuban’s Suggestion of Drafting Brittney Griner [ESPN]

The ‘How Is This Guy Relevant?’ All-Stars [Grantland]

Sacramento or Seattle? Duel for Kings Could Drag On []

Throwback Thursday: The Knicks’ First Eastern Conference Title [Knicks Now]

Report: Gary Payton elected to basketball Hall of Fame [ProBasketballTalk]

Bradley Beal of Washington Wizards Done for Season With right Leg Injury [ESPN]

Bobcats Sign Guard Pargo for Rest of Season []

Taj Gibson Reportedly Didn’t Tear MCL [ProBasketballTalk]

Groups Representing Sacramento, Seattle Vie for NBA’s Kings [ESPN]

Beyond The Heat, East Is Still Wide Open [Hang Time Blog]

Corey Brewer Talks Madness, Free Agency and Why He’s Always Smiling []

Why Miami Heat Weren’t Fined for Resting LeBron James, Others []

Steve Alford, Andy Enfield, and the State of College Basketball in Los Angeles [Grantland]

LeBron, Wade, Allen, Chalmers All Out for Heat Friday [ProBasketballTalk]

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