The Lakers appear to be distancing themselves from their in-house rivals, establishing a three-game lead over the struggling Clippers as they settle into third place in the Western Conference. New point guard Ramon Sessions was in the starting lineup tonight, thanks to the comfort level coach Mike Brown and the team have with him on the floor, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles. Here's the rest of what's happening with the Purple and Gold:
- McMenamin summed up the comments of Jim Buss, Lakers executive vice president of player personnel and son of owner Jerry Buss, on the Mason & Ireland Show on 710 ESPN. Buss said the team has no interest in trading Kobe Bryant, and that he expects Bryant to play longer than the two years remaining on his contract.
- Buss also rejected the assertion that his fondness for Andrew Bynum gets in the way of deals that would help the Lakers, and said the team was upset when the Chris Paul deal fell through."Basically, we had a deal and the commissioner didn't think that it was a good deal and he has every right to veto it," he said. "It shocked us. I was in (Lakers general manager) Mitch (Kupchak's) office when that happened and I was ducking from things that he was throwing against the wall."
- Using the small sample size of the past week, Brian and Andy Kamenetzky look at the impact new point guard Ramon Sessions is having on the Lakers, while passing along some analysis on the matter from Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe as well.
- Marc Stein of ESPN passes along a scout's take on Sessions' impact as well.
- Brian Kamenetzky looks at how coach Brown is shortening the rotation as the playoffs draw near.