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Tag:Matt Barnes
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:32 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 9:39 am
 

Report: Lakers considering offensive mutiny

The Lakers are facing serious problems on the road. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The Lakers' loss to the lowly Wizards isn't causing panic. But it's definitely got the Nation of Lakerland in an uproar, inside and out. The Lakers' inability to win on the road where they are now 6-14 on the season is a huge black mark on their championship-caliber record. It makes two losses in two nights to lottery teams, with the Wizards truly one of the league's worst teams. It involved a 21-point blown-lead, a dagger from Nick Young, and Kobe Bryant shooting 31 times. Thirty-one-times for thirty points. 

So in this time of trouble, Mother Laker has of course came to them, speaking words of wisdom: "throw your coach under the bus and try and run the offense you want on your own." From ESPN.com: 
Bynum publicly invited the bulk of the responsibility for the Lakers' second straight loss to a lottery-bound straggler from the Eastern Conference, but sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com this week that there is growing concern among some Lakers players as to whether first-year coach Mike Brown and his staff have the X-and-O wherewithal to fix a Lakers offense that is averaging its lowest per-game point total (94) since before the advent of the 24-second shot clock in 1954-55.

Brown's effect on the Lakers' defense has been undeniable, but sources say the team's ongoing struggles on the road -- with L.A. dropping to 6-14 away from Staples Center following a loss in Detroit and blowing a 21-point lead to the undisciplined Wizards -- have some veterans longing for a return to the trusty Triangle offense preferred by Brown's predecessor, Phil Jackson.
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers players have concerns over coach Mike Brown's X's and O's - ESPN Los Angeles.

The report goes on to say:  
Sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com that multiple players have continued to meet privately since the initial team meeting to discuss running elements of the Triangle offense again.

"The players want to unify," one source with knowledge of the situation said. "They know how to win, and they want to fix this. I don't know if they can, though. "
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers players have concerns over coach Mike Brown's X's and O's - ESPN Los Angeles.

Yes, because clearly, when I think about who should be organizing an offense behind their coach's back, I think of Matt Barnes, Metta World Peace, Andrew Bynum, and Steve Blake.

If the report's on target, that's an abject disaster for Brown and Lakers' management. Players considering overthrowing a coach's offense in favor of what they want to do, which happens to be one of the most complex offenses to run? It should be noted that no coach outside of Phil Jackson, with either Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant in his prime, or Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, have been successful with the system. So basically this is a terrible idea.

This kind of talks is what comprises a coach losing his team, so the report's pretty volatile. It's been less than a full season for Brown and with the players unrest showing in both their effort and talks like this, the Lakers' most drama-filled season since Kobe Bryant's trade demand in 2007 is threatening to break apart one of the most dominant teams of the last half-decade.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:45 am
 

This is how the Lakers win

The Lakers shut down the Clippers and in doing so found their model for success this year. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore


The Lakers have struggled this season to establish any sort of identity. They look lost often times on both ends. Some of that is a new system, their first in really over a decade (we won't talk about the Rudy T year). Some of that is new personnel, with so many new pieces and the gaping hole where Lamar Odom used to be.

But in their rematch win over the Clippers, they found their model. Even distribution of offense between Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Byum, and emotional swarming defense from the reserves. Metta World Peace steps up to deliver key play after key play and the Lakers slogged Lob City into a swampish mode. When the Clippers aren't able to operate in space, their decision-making becomes suspect.

Now, it was still a come-from-behind win over the "little brother" in which the Lakers needed Metta World Peace, who has not played well in two years to come through in the biggest way possible, and a 32-14 free throw advantage, and a series of disastrous decisions from the Clippers (like a late Blake Griffin three attempt which he was out of bounds on), and for Chris Paul to look extremely rusty in his first game back from injury. But separate from their opponent, it gave the Lakers a sustainable approach.

All season long the Lakers have relied on inconsistent, unsustainable approaches. Kobe Bryant cannot score 40 per game against quality opponents shooting 30 times and have the Lakers winning. Andrew Bynum cannot get 25 touches. Matt Barnes cannot be the only role player contributor. They have been relying on flawed approaches, yet still winning enough, which shows you the talent on a Lakers team that seemed lost without Lamar Odom. But the Clippers game was different. They knew what they wanted to do, and for the first time this season, they bent their opponent to that will, to that team concept. It was an entirely new type of Lakers win, even if it seemed similar to other slots in the W column. 

It was the first time this season that we saw the Lakers' defense as it is supposed to be constructed. This was the idea. Heavey action for Pau Gasol in the post, as Gasol had a monster game. Andrew Bynum dominating with size. Kobe Bryant being Kobe Bryant (he only took 17 shots!). And a defense that forms a wall around the perimeter and attacks the handle aggressively. It's not pretty. It's not Showtime. And it has a long way to go. But that's how the Laker are supposed to play under Mike Brown. That's how it's supposed to go down.

And the result is very much what Lakers fans have come to expect. A win.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 7:17 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 2:19 am
 

3-on-2 Fast Break: Clippers vs. Lakers



3-on-2 Fast Break is a weekly feature here on Eye on Basketball where our intrepid bloggers tackle two questions, comparing two elements. This week, we focus on Saturday night's showdown at Staples between the Los Angeles Cippers and Los Angeles Lakers. Follow Eye on Basketball on Twitter and like us on Facebook

1. Let's keep it simple. Which of these two teams wins on Saturday night and why?  

Royce Young: Lakers. The Fighting Kobes are in a really good rhythm right now. Kobe is playing great, Andrew Bynum is looking dominant and all the pieces are fitting together. The Clippers kind of put all their eggs into the basket of beating the Heat and while I'm sure they'll be up for the Lakers, they've got to get past that overtime win first. And don't think the Lakers have forgotten everyone getting all excited about the Clips sweeping the two exhibition games at Staples in early December. People were talking about the changing of the guard in L.A., but those games didn't count. This one does. 

Ben Golliver: The Lakers have some serious positive momentum going thanks to a four-game winning streak which could become five if they top the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. That the Clippers get two rest days heading into this one while the Lakers are stuck with the back-to-back gives Lob City an edge, but that probably cancels out the revenge factor that the Lakers are feeling after getting wiped up in two highlight-filled preseason games. Chauncey Billups has hit double figures and shot at least 6 free throws in four consecutive games for the Clippers; they will need his production if they are to keep pace with Kobe Bryant and company. Chris Paul finally had his signature game with the Clippers, scoring 27 points and making 11 assists in a Wednesday win over Miami and he gave the Lakers fits in last year's playoffs. I see him doing it again on Saturday to give the Clippers the win.

Matt Moore: The matchups here are enough to make your head spin. All-Star, phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime guards? Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. Behemoth young centers with size, strength and defensive ability? Andrew Bynum and DeAndre Jordan. Crafty veterans on the wings? Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, Steve Blake and Matt Barnes against Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams. Power forwards with huge scoring ability who are almost unguardable? Pau Gasol and Blake Griffin. It's a tight set of matchups. I like the Clippers in this one. We saw what Paul was able to do against the Lakers in the playoffs last year, and they haven't upgraded a defender to guard him yet. On the other end, Pau Gasol doesn't like it when things get physical and the Clippers are in-you-face as they come. Bryant can swing this as he can any game, but I like Lob City to open up and outrun the older Lakers. 

2. We know Kobe's going to score, Griffin's going to dunk, CP3 is going to dish, and Pau is going to do Pau things. But what's the big unknown in this game that will end up deciding it?  

Royce Young: Points in the paint. Who gets the most easy baskets? Both teams are pretty solid defensively and both teams have players that can fill it up. But jumpshots only carry teams so far, especially late in games. The Lakers have Bynum and Gasol who are paint monsters, while Griffin gets a lot of his easy in transition. Execution will be tough because you know this game will be physical. It's going to come down to the little things like free throws, turnovers and again, easy baskets in the paint. Both teams can defend it well, but who is going to break down the other defense enough to score simple points. 

Ben Golliver: 
The answer to the big unknown question is always Andrew Bynum. He poured in his career-high 42 points against DeAndre Jordan back in 2009 and he's shown spurts of serious offensive productivity in this young season. Given that the game is on the second end of a back-to-back there's no guarantee that Bynum can fully exploit what is an exceedingly difficult match-up for Jordan. The only person who can keep Bynum off the offensive glass in this one is himself. The Clippers are second-to-worst in rebound rate on the young season and Jordan can be bullied with Bynum's width and strength. 

Matt Moore:  
Turnovers. The Lakers have turned the ball over a stunning amount this season up until the past few games, also notably the best games of Bryant's season. The Lakers are last in turnover percentage differential, while the Clippers are top-four in that same category. The Clippers also rank 3rd in transition offense according to Synergy Sports. The Lakers are ninth in transition defense. If the Clippers can get out and run, that's going to put more wear and tear on an older and banged up Lakers team. But if the Lakers get to grind it out, expect the Lakers' superior experience to win the day.
Posted on: December 23, 2011 10:58 am
 

The Lakers are not a fan of Lob City

Posted by Royce Young

Matt Barnes doesn't get along with a lot of people. It's kind of been his thing in the NBA during his eight NBA seasons. He's an enforcer, a goon, a tough-guy -- whatever you want to call him. He tells it like it is and then takes that act on to the court. Remember, he punched a guy in a pro-am game this summer.

In the Lakers second preseason game he gave Blake Griffin a nice little shove for apparently no reason and did his fair share of talking. Why? Because he's not a fan of Lob City. Via ESPN LA:

"They have a lot of reason to be excited, but all the celebration after dunks and all that kind of stuff, I mean, I just kind of think it looks amazing and it makes 'SportsCenter,' but I mean, let's just play basketball ... They act like they won the dunk contest after every dunk," Barnes said. "So, as players, people aren't going to tolerate that."

I think Barnes has things confused. They don't act like they won a dunk contest, it just looks like it because Lob City's dunks are kind of ridiculous. He probably just forgot what all that looks like playing for the Lakers where the guy with the most hops on the roster is probably some D-Leaguer that's getting waived this week.

Pau Gasol was frustrated with the Clippers as well and you're going to love his reason why.

"I think we were upset that they were flopping a little too much," he said.

That's right. Pau Gasol was unhappy with someone flopping. It really is a new Los Angeles. Barnes took the baton and added onto that, specifically about Griffin.

"He's an amazing athlete and an amazing player but he does flop a lot," Barnes said. "You're too big and too strong to be doing that. Then he wants to talk.

"... He's a special athlete. Probably one of the best athletes I've ever seen, but all the flopping is unnecessary. That's the way he plays and it works too, they call it, so you can't be mad at him for it ... I looked at [the replay] and yeah, my arms did get extended but [Griffin] flailed everywhere like I threw him to half-court."

Here's the thing: Barnes is right. Blake Griffin has a horrible habit of exaggerating fouls. If he gets a small pop in the nose, he whips his head back like he just got drilled by Manny Pacquiao. If he gets pushed, he throws his arms out like he's belly-flopping. I mean, remember this? It made Andre Miller look like Brian Urlacher.

Thing is, Griffin has been told his whole life by his parents, coaches, friends and whoever else that everyone on the court is out to get him. He's been told that they're playing intentionally rough with him, that the refs aren't being fair because he's bigger and stronger. So it's just something he thinks. Hence the exaggerating. It's annoying, but it's just how it is.

The moral of the story is, the Lakers aren't really digging this whole Lob City thing. They've tried to be nice about it, but after all the woofing they likely heard over two preseason wins, they're sick of it. They're the team with the banners in Staples, not the Clips. 

And just so you know, the next meeting between the two teams is Jan. 14. Expect some fireworks.

Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:26 am
Edited on: December 22, 2011 12:46 am
 

Video: Matt Barnes flagrant foul on Blake Griffin

Posted by Ben Golliver

It's good to see that the lockout changed absolutely nothing about the NBA. Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes? Same person. Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin? Same person. Put the two together and it's a recipe for a royal rumble, even in a preseason game.

Barnes has carved a niche for himself as a hard-fouling, take-no-mess, massive-chip-on-the-shoulder psuedo-enforcer who isn't afraid to muddy up a game with his antics. Griffin is the NBA's poster boy for posterizing, a marketing jewel who flies above the rim with ease.

The two men came head-to-head during a Wednesday night preseaon game in Staples Center, when Barnes opted to shove Griffin to the ground, using both hands, for no apparent reason. He was immediately issued a flagrant foul one for his action and veteran official Bill Kennedy stepped in to ensure that Griffin would not retaliate.

A minor skirmish erupted as a bemused Griffin walked down to the other end of the court, and play resumed without any additional incident.

Here's the video of Matt Barnes' flagrant foul one on Blake Griffin.


Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: December 5, 2011 10:16 am
 

Barnes says Dwight Howard wants to come to L.A.

By Matt Moore  

Interesting element in play right now. The lockout is still in effect, which means players can't be fined, which means Matt Barnes can say whatever he wants. 

Like, oh, say, telling the press that both Dwight Howard and Baron Davis have talked to him and said they want to play in L.A.

From ESPN LA:

 

The key quote? 

"I've talked to both of those guys and they want to be here, so we'll see what happens."

Technically, Barnes isn't tampering anyway. He's just saying that both of those guys have said they want to be here. Davis is at least a candidate for amnesty, so he's a possibility if he'll take a reduced salary. But Howard of course is under contract. 

The bigger problem is this continues a pattern. It's easy to pass this off, to say this is just one roleplayer saying Howard wants to come to L.A. and there's more to it. But we keep seeing the same things, whether it's talk of LeBron wanting to play with Wade, or Chris Paul toasting to playing in New York, there are rumors and whispers and small elements that seem to light the way for a small market star headed to a bigger one, and then it happens. And then everyone acts surprised.

Howard will deny it, and say he loves Orlando, and all the while, the same pattern will keep spelling Howard to the Lakers. Maybe Matt Barnes was just messing with the media. But in the meantime, Magic fans have to be sick with the fact that everyone keeps laughing about how obvious it is, that they're about to lose their second franchise center in fifteen years to the Lakers.

(HT: IAmAGM.com
Posted on: December 3, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 10:05 pm
 

Free Agency Buzz 12.3.11: Howard eyes L.A.?

 

Posted by Ben Golliver

On a shortened schedule with the conclusion of the NBA lockout, free agency is going to be fast and furious. To keep track of all the wheelings, dealings, rumors, and reports, check Eye on Basketball daily for the Free Agency Buzz. 

Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011

9:51 p.m.
  • DraftExpress.com reports that 19-year-old Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, will not be released by Lithuanian club Lietuvos Rytas so that he can join the Toronto Raptors during the 2011-2012 NBA season. The Raptors selected Valanciunas knowing that they might need to wait a year for contract purposes but a report surfaced earlier Saturday that said Toronto would investigate his potential availability now that the lockout has ended.
6:39 p.m. 
  • The Oregonian reports that Portland Trail Blazers restricted free agent center Greg Oden will undergo a medical evaluation on Thursday that could lead to him being cleared for contact. Oden is expected to return to the court no earlier than January following a Nov. 2011 microfracture surgery. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft hasn't played in an NBA game since Dec. 2009.
2:27 p.m.
  • ESPN.com reports that the Toronto Raptors might hold off on making a free agency splash until next summer because they don't have a chance of landing Memphis Grizzlies restricted free agent center Marc Gasol and because they would need to amnesty someone to be able to make the big-dollar offer. 
  • The New York Post reports that the New Jersey Nets have a "quiet confidence" in their ability to sign Denver Nuggets free agent center Nene Hilario, with the Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets seen as the top competition for his services.
  • HoopsWorld.com reports that he Indiana Pacers would investigate a sign-and-trade for Memphis Grizzlies free agent center Marc Gasol with center Roy Hibbert to dangle as bait. The site also reports the Pacers have interest in free agent guard Jamal Crawford.
11: 50 a.m.
  • SI.com reports that the trio of top-flight big men that are free agents -- Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler and Denver Nuggets center Nene Hilario -- are all looking for the biggest payday possible: "According to sources, Nene, Chandler and Gasol all set their early asking prices in the neighborhood of maximum-contract territory, starting at $14.8 million for Gasol, $17.7 annually for Nene, and $20.7 million for Chandler. There is plenty of crossover in their respective lists of salary-cap-friendly suitors, with the Nets, Rockets and Warriors appearing to be the hungriest shoppers, and the Pacers and Trail Blazers strolling the big man aisles as well."
  • The Boston Herald quotes Billy Duffy, agent for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, in response to recent trade rumors involving his All-Star client: "It’s just disturbing. It’s disturbing for everybody. It’s disturbing for me. It’s disturbing for him, because it makes one think, ‘Where do I stand in this relationship?’ Particularly because he’s a darn good player, and this is a very successful franchise, and he’s one of the key players on the franchise. When the uncertainty of your situation becomes a prominent topic — not just within your household, but on a national basis — it is a bit challenging."
  • The Boston Globe reports that David Falk, agent for Celtics forward Jeff Green, "hopes" he can reach a new deal with the Celtics and that his client "feels like he has unfinished business in Boston."
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:29 pm
 

Matt Barnes sets record straight on Eva Longoria

Posted by Royce Young

Don't worry you guys, Matt Barnes is going to clear this all up. He's totally not dating Eva Longoria. Wait, people thought he was dating Eva Longoria?

Evidently they did because of a bunch of pictures of the two hanging out in New York City. Longoria has already denied it but now it was Barnes turn.

Via Sports Radio Interviews, Barnes was on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and the last question he was asked was about that:
"Eva and I are friends. We are working together. She has an amazing cancer foundation as well, so we are working together and setting up an event for 2012. I know everyone likes to read and everything and hope or talk bad about situations, but Eva and I are just friends.”
If somehow you weren't aware, Longoria divorced from Spurs point guard Tony Parker last year. And it's a relief to know Longoria and Matt Barnes are friends. Because Barnes isn't exactly the type of guy you'd picture following Tony Parker. Or maybe he is. Go from the clean cut Frenchman to the tatted bad boy.

I just realized what I'm writing about. End this lockout please.

Barnes was asked about that and gave the response we've heard roughly 2,000 times from every player who has been asked:
“Man I hope so. I hope so. It’s starting to be that time now where everyone is itching. We are supposed to be playing now. Earlier in the summer we were supposed to be on vacation and now the ball is supposed to be tipped up. I think everyone is starting to itch a little bit, so I hope so.”
I hope so too so I can go back to not caring about your personal life.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com