L.A. Pro Sports Update 3/9
L.A. Lakers: Three more games for the Lakers meant three more losses. Despite their team dropping matchups to the Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks, Lakers fans did not have to look very hard for good news this past week. Prized young forwards Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram are both developing well, as is point guard D’Angelo Russell. Ex-agent Rob Pelinka was also introduced as their new general manager this week and received a glowing endorsement from former client Kobe Bryant.
Player of the week: Power Forward Julius Randle: (Last three games) 10.3 points per game, 12.3 rebounds per game, 6.3 assists per game
L.A. Clippers: The Clippers went 2-2 this past week, beating the Celtics and the Chicago Bulls but losing to the lowly Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves. They slipped to fifth place in the Western Conference behind the streaking Utah Jazz, who will likely become L.A.’s opponent in the first round of the playoffs. In his first extended stretch of action since returning from injury, point guard Chris Paul is averaging over 20 points per game.
Player of the week: Power Forward Blake Griffin: (last three games) 21.0 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game
L.A. Kings: The Kings earned a split in their games this week, taking a 3-2 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 2. Center Anze Kopitar scored by ricocheting his shot off the Leaf’s defenseman Nikita Zaitsev to end his 13-game scoreless streak. Goalie Jonathan Quick came up clutch in the shootout, blocking all three of Leaf’s shots. The Kings faced the Vancouver Canucks on March 4 and came away with a 4-3 loss. Kopitar, center Trevor Lewis and defenseman Alec Martinez all scored in the losing effort, with Martinez also chipping in an assist.
Player of the week: Defenseman Alec Martinez: (Last two games) 1 goal, 2 assists
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks gained a shootout victory over the Nashville Predators on March 8, giving them an important advantage in the hotly contested middle of the Western Conference. Goalie Jonathan Bernier allowed three points in regulation but was excellent in overtime, forcing the game into a shootout and getting enough stops to allow right wing Patrick Eaves to score the winning goal. The Ducks currently hold the fifth playoff seed in the West with just under six weeks left in the regular season.
Player of the week: Right Wing Patrick Eaves: (Last three games) 2 goals, 2 assists