Trending Lakers: Who’s Up And Down During NBA Finals?

la-sp-lakers-nets-photos-20121120-007As hard as it is for Lakers fans to stomach the idea of watching the Spurs and Heat in the NBA Finals, it’s almost time for the team to be center stage of the NBA world.

Of course, this summer will be filled with Dwight Howard rumors, questions about Pau Gasol’s future, will Metta World Peace opt-in? and who will be signed to help the bench.

Let’s take a look at players who are trending up and down ahead of the free agency storm.

Trending Up: 

Kobe Bryant: 

For one thing, Bryant won his case against his parents as they tried to sell his memorabilia without his consent and he received a full apology from them.

The love for Kobe didn’t stop there as the WSOP invited him to their event in honor of the passing of Dr. Jerry Buss, but Bryant had to decline due to his Achilles injury. It’s also amazing to watch Bryant conduct interviews these days as he’s becomes so much for fun/brutally honest.

Bryant has been asked millions of times about Howard and the state of the Lakers and he continues to motivate the organization to make moves as he hopes to pursue another NBA championship.

Darius Morris:

Anytime the Lakers do a Vine video of your workout routine, things have to be good, right? Morris was seen improving his jump shot and he made 500 of 523 three-pointers. Now, I don’t know where this “shot” was during his brief stint as starting point guard, but it looks like Morris is set on putting in the work during the off-season.

Morris isn’t under contract with the Lakers next season and there is a chance the organization moves on from the former Michigan product after he hasn’t progressed at the rate I’m sure he and management had hoped.

Earl Clark:

While Clark hasn’t been heard from since the Lakers were eliminated, but looking at the landscape of players ahead of free agency, Clark is sure to cash in this summer.

Yes, Clark said in his exit interview that he would love to come back to the Lakers, but his ability to defend the perimeter and shoot the open jump shot might make him too pricey for Mitch Kupchak.

Trending Down

Dwight Howard:

Another week, another time for Howard to get killed by the media. This week it was Robert Horry, Charles Barkley and Shaq. Whether it was Shaq saying he was too nice or Barkley saying he can’t be a franchise player, Howard’s free agency will be looked at through a very small microscope.

Many Lakers fans are over him, resigned to the fact that he won’t be the player they hoped for and want to move on from the seven-time All-Star.

If he does return to LA it might not be with arms wide open and if he does bolt to Houston, many will say they couldn’t be happier as Howard’s first season wasn’t too good.

Lakers Fans: 

Obviously, this isn’t a knock on every Laker fan out there, but come on everyone: the Lakers ARE NOT in the NBA Finals. If you’re thinking, why does that statement need to be written and in caps no less, well because several people on Hollywood Blvd. believed they were.

Jimmy Kimmel took a crew to Hollywood and asked several people about the Lakers in the NBA Finals and even got someone to say the Lakers would win the Stanley Cup. Good job, good effort everyone.

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