2006–07 Los Angeles Lakers season
|2006–07 Los Angeles Lakers season|
|Head coach||Phil Jackson|
|General manager||Mitch Kupchak|
|Place||Division: 2nd (Pacific)
Conference: 7th (Western)
|Playoff finish||First Round
(Eliminated by Suns 1-4)
|Television||FSN West, KCAL|
|Radio||AM 570 KLAC|
The 2006-07 Los Angeles Lakers season was the 59th in the NBA and 61st overall. The season ended with the team being eliminated in five games in a rematch against the Phoenix Suns from the 2006 playoffs in the First Round.
The Lakers finished in second place in the Pacific Division, 7th seed in the playoffs. Ultimately, even though team captain Kobe Bryant was the leading NBA scorer with 31.6 PPG, the Lakers were defeated in 5 games by the Suns.
In the NBA draft, the Lakers, as expected, chose young talent. In the draft, the Lakers selected Jordan Farmar, the PG for UCLA with 26th pick. Los Angeles also traded their 51st pick (Cheick Samb) to the Detroit Pistons for SF Maurice Evans. The Lakers also had a trade with the Dallas Mavericks, trading away a future second round pick for J. R. Pinnock.
|1||26||Jordan Farmar||Guard||United States||UCLA|
|2||51||Cheick Samb||Center||Senegal||WTC Cornellà (Spain)|
|2006-07 Los Angeles Lakers roster|
Injuries and surgeries
Besides the signings, L.A.'s most notable move was the injury bug. Kobe Bryant, the reigning scoring champion had successful surgery on his knee and would decline playing for Team USA at the 2006 World Championship, where they finished 3rd, with bronze.
Center Chris Mihm, who was the starting big man before having an ankle injury, also underwent successful surgery and was not expected to play at all in the upcoming season.
The beginning success
The Lakers started their season opener hosting the Phoenix Suns, the team who knocked them out of the playoffs. Kobe Bryant was out, allowing Maurice Evans to play in his place. Centers Kwame Brown and Chris Mihm were out on injury, forcing Bynum in their place.
Even with two of their starters out on injuries, it didn't seem to affect the team, as Odom led the team until Bryant recovered. The next night at Oracle Arena against the Golden State Warriors, Odom had stats, almost recording his first triple-double of the season, 22 points with nine rebounds and nine assists. Ronny Turiaf, known for his sideline celebrations, had career-highs in almost every category, including 23 points and nine rebounds for a 110-98 win. Bryant also sat this out.
By March, the Lakers were in disarray. Radmanović was fined $500,000 for lying to the organization about his injury, Walton, Brown and Odom were playing on injuries, and despite some 40-point games, Bryant was unable to stop the Lakers fall. Coach Jackson suffered his first seven-game losing streak of his career in result. It seemed impossible for the Lakers to make the playoffs. Bryant decided to step his game up even further.
In the March 16th game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Bryant recorded his second-highest outbreak of his career with 65 points, single-handedly winning the game after being down by 12 with four minutes in regulation.
He continued by getting 50, 60, and another 50 in games against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets respectively. By doing so, Bryant recorded the second-longest streak of scoring 50+ points in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain. Two days after his game against New Orleans, Kobe ended his streak in a game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles with 43 points. Bryant's high scoring month continued. He scored 53 in an overtime loss against the Houston Rockets two games later.
But Bryant's scoring binge, which led to the team's five-game winning streak, was followed by the aforementioned seven-game losing streak. Throughout the season, the Lakers were 14-6 in games where Bryant scored 40+ points.
|x-Los Angeles Lakers||42||40||.512||19||25–16||17–24||10–6|
|x-Golden State Warriors||42||40||.512||19||30–11||12–29||6–10|
|Los Angeles Clippers||40||42||.488||21||25–16||15–26||8–8|
|3||x-San Antonio Spurs||58||24||.707||9|
|7||x-Los Angeles Lakers||42||40||.512||25|
|8||x-Golden State Warriors||42||40||.512||25|
|9||Los Angeles Clippers||40||42||.488||27|
|10||New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets||39||43||.476||28|
|12||Portland Trail Blazers||32||50||.390||35|
Record vs. opponents
|2006-07 NBA Records|
|New Orleans/Oklahoma City||2–0||2–0||1–1||0–2||1–1||0–4||2–2||1–1||1–3||3–1||1–1||2–2||2–1||3–1||1–1||2–0||3–1||1–1||—||2–0||1–1||0–2||0–3||1–2||3–1||0–4||2–2||0–2||1–2||1–1|
Despite stumbling in the playoffs with a 42-40 record, after finishing March and April with a combined 9-14 standing, the Lakers felt something to prove. The Phoenix Suns had something to prove too. With a 61-21 record, the Suns hoped to avoid last season's epic seven-game series and steam-roll through the playoffs.
In the first game, the Lakers started out strong, with Bryant showing his usual scoring dominance with 28 points, holding the Suns to just 39 points. But the Suns, led by Leandro Barbosa led a furious comeback, highlighted a buzzer beater from just in front of the half-court line. L.A. lost the game 95-87, and Bryant having 39 points. But any hopes of putting up a better fight in the second game was soon dashed.
The Suns crushed the Lakers by 28 points, a 126-98 victory in Game 2. Phoenix defense held the Laker starters to just 51 points, while all six Suns, including all starters, scored in double-figures. Down 0-2, the series went to L.A. for a Game 3 which the Lakers won 95-89 before losing badly at home in Game 4 as Steve Nash dished out 23 assists in a 113-100 win. The Suns went back home and took Game 5 119-110.
West First Round
(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers
|Phoenix Suns 113, Los Angeles Lakers 100|
Staples Center, Los Angeles
|Los Angeles Lakers 110, Phoenix Suns 119|
|Phoenix wins series, 4–1|
US Airways Center, Phoenix
Last Playoff Meeting: 2006 Western Conference First Round (Phoenix won 4-3)
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
Awards and records
- SG Kobe Bryant
In their most notable move, L.A. signed three-point specialist PF Vladimir Radmanović to a five year/$31 million contract from cross-town rivals Clippers. Addressing the need for veterans, they also signed PG Shammond Williams for a one-year, $5 million deal. To make ties with existing players, L.A. signed Brian Cook to a 3-year extension.
- Lakers’ star needs 8-12 weeks to recover, will be ready for NBA season
- LAKERS CENTER CHRIS MIHM UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL ANKLE SURGERY
- Bryant, Nowitzki, Duncan also part of All-NBA team
- Camby, Bryant, Bell round out All-Defensive team
- No booing this time as Kobe wins All-Star MVP
- Ex Clipper Radmonovic Plans To Sign With Lakers
- Lakers Add Guard to Mix
- LAKERS SIGN BRIAN COOK TO CONTRACT EXTENSION
- Mavericks Sign Devean George
- Los Angeles Lakers TRANSACTIONS
- 2006-07 Waivers