Lakers Rumors & News Recap: When a Mascot Beats a Big Man

Yesterday, both Steve Nash and Steve Blake were ruled out of tonight’s home game against the Indiana Pacers. Neither Nash nor Blake participated in the team session of this morning’s shoot-around. Tonight will be the eighth consecutive game with Blake being absent due to an abdominal strain, which was not expected to be this serious of an injury.

Even worse, Dwight Howard let it slip that he had his worst day at shootaround today. How bad? He challenged the L.A. Kings mascot Bailey to a free throw shooting contest, and lost. Dwight Howard’s struggle at the free-throw line is something the organization and fans know well. He remains below the 50 percent mark this season.  But to add insult to injury, Howard asked Bailey to play on the main court, and lost that contest too. Frustrated, Howard demanded a three-point competition. Bailey still made five three-pointers before Howard did, in a lion costume. Hopefully he does better tonight.

The Lakers will play the  Indiana Pacers tonight, who have gotten off to a very poor start this  season (6-8). Star forward and leading scorer from last season, Danny Granger has missed every game this season with a left knee injury and is expected to miss at least two more months. However, the Pacers were contenders last year in the playoff race and many of their players have returned. The Lakers come off their best performance of the year, earning their first road win of the season on Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks.

Kobe is a game time decision tonight, as he has been suffering from flu-like symptoms all day. Kobe currently leads the league in scoring with 26.9 points per game. Kobe also leads the team in assists with 5.1 per game. Not having him on the court tonight will be a struggle, especially with Nash and Blake still out. If Kobe sits out, head coach Mike D’Antoni will likely go with backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks to replace Kobe in the starting lineup.

For more on the pre-game report, click here.

Indiana Pacers (6-8) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7-7)
7:30 PM PST, November 27, 2012
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: TWC Sports Network

Pacers Projected Starting Line-up

PG: George Hill 
SG: Lance Stephenson 
SF: Paul George 
PF: David West 
C: Roy Hibbert

Key Reserves: G Gerald Green, F Tyler Hansbrough, G D.J. Augustin

In honor of Chick Hearn’s birthday today, Lakers Nation has decided to offer a special bargain on our Chick Hearn t-shirt. To receive a discount on the Chick Hearn t-shirt, all you have to do is use the promo code “ChicksFridge” at checkout.

Lakers Nation News

Lakers Rumors: Raja Bell Wants To End Up With The Lakers

Shootaround Report: Steve Nash & Blake Updates, Howard Loses Shooting Contest

Kobe Bryant Praises New Offense For Efficient Season Thus Far

Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Game-Time Decision vs. Pacers With Flu-Like Symptoms

NBA News: Brian Shaw Shocked With How Lakers Treated Phil Jackson

Lakers Rumors: Team Not Interested in Moving Gasol, Yet

Lakers Nation Wishes Happy Birthday To Chick Hearn

Lakers Nation Video Exclusive: Jordan Hill Practice Interview

Lakers vs. Pacers Pre-Game Report: Lakers Look to Build Momentum

Lakers News

Pau Gasol Not Being Shopped by Lakers [Silver Screen and Roll]

Gasol’s Struggles Linked to Knee Issues [Silver Screen and Roll]

Conditioning, Learning the New System [Lakers Index]

Dwight Howard Loses to Kings Mascot in Shooting Contest [Inside the Lakers]

Preview and Chat: The Indiana Pacers [Forum Blue and Gold]

Indiana Tries to Find its Groove Against Lakers [Indy Cornrows]

Nash and Blake Out for Tuesday [SB Nation]

Keys to Lakers Succes, From Dwight [LA Times]

Bryant Breaks Down His Improved Efficiency [ESPN]

Quote Round Up: Monday Practice [Basketblog]

Kobe Bryant with Flu-Like Symptoms, Game-Time Decision Against Indiana [Inside the Lakers]

New Coach, New System Can Be a ‘Shock’ [Lakers Blog]

L.A. Lakers Assistant Dan D’Antoni Says Learning Offense is a Work in Progress [Daily News]

Some Laker Art For Your Walls… [Forum Blue and Gold]

Clippers Slipping, Lakers Hold Fast in Rankings [SB Nation]

Mike D’Antoni: Jordan Hill’s Role Has Changed to Increase Tempo [LA Times]

Steve Nash, Steve Blake Recovery Time Table Still Unclear [Inside the Lakers]

Phil Jackson Says Lakers Coaching Decision a “Midnight Coup,” but Fair [ProBasketballTalk]

NBA News

Six Spurs Score in Double Figures in Pasting of Wizards [ESPN]

A Few Under-the-Radar Stories in Jazzland to Watch [SLC Dunk]

Jason Kidd Misses Game Against Brooklyn Nets Due to Back Injury [ESPN NY]

Mark Cuban Thrashes NBA Sponsor Power Balance Bracelets [ProBasketballTalk]

Thunder Dominate First Half, Rout Bobcats 114-69 []

Nets Knock Off Knicks in OT in First Brooklyn Meeting Between the Two [ESPN]

Video: Thunder’s Russell Westbrook Goes Boom  [Eye on Basketball]

Bucks Rally From 27-Point Hole to Stun Bulls 93-92 []

OKC Rides 40-Point Halftime Lead Past Bobcats [ESPN]

Chris Paul in the Post [Hoopspeak]

Royce White’s Unclear Intentions [Hardwood Paroxysm]

Kings’ Aaron Brooks Fined $25K for Mouthpiece Toss [ProBasketballTalk]

Deron Williams of Brooklyn Nets Says He’s Playing Through Sprained Wrist [ESPN NY]

Power Rankings: Heat on Top With Parity Out West []

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