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Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself

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Inspiredlovers AddText_08-21-07.48.08-1 Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself Sports NBA

Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself

Since the NBA is in its 75th season, the league scheduled certain games between specific teams at specific times to honor what happened on those days in the past.

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The Lakers will feature in an NBA 75 classic matchup against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Jan. 7 at 10:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.

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On that day in 1972, Los Angeles drubbed the Hawks, 134-90. It marked L.A.’s 33rd win in a row, which is the longest winning streak to this day in the league’s history.

Now, it’ll be LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook taking on a fiery young core in Atlanta comprising Trae Young, John Collins, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter and plenty of other notable talents.

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Inspiredlovers Laker-1972 Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself Sports NBA

 

First part of the history here on this link

Later that night, the Lakers squeaked by Baltimore, 110-106, as Gail Goodrich scored 31 points and Chamberlain grabbed 25 rebounds. The team’s record was 7-3, but it came after a 4-0 start. If the Lakers kept playing without effort, Sharman threatened, there would be fines for everyone.

“Me, too,” he told the Times. “If I can’t get the message across, I’m failing, too.” The year before, Sharman had fined himself $100 while coaching the ABA’s Utah Stars.

Though the streak began on a nondescript November evening, Sharman says its foundation was established the previous summer when he decided he wanted to initiate a morning shootaround.

“Management told me that Wilt might not go for it,” Sharman recalls. “So before the season began I took him to lunch and he said, ‘Bill, I’ve known you a long time. I don’t like getting up early in the morning, but if you think it’ll help the team, then I’ll do it.'”

The shootaround had worked wonders for Sharman. As a player with the Celtics, Sharman had noticed his free-throw percentage jump after he began practicing in the mornings. He won seven NBA free-throw titles, but only after he began morning workouts did he shoot 90 percent for a season – which he did three times. He thought early practices increased his muscle memory and confidence for each evening’s game (Sharman employed the same routine in coaching the American Basketball League’s Cleveland Pipers, a team owned by George Steinbrenner, to the ABL championship in 1962).

 

Inspiredlovers nba_a_west2_195 Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself Sports NBA

Associated Press
Jerry West, shown against Houston in the Lakers’ 28th consecutive win on Dec. 27, 1971, led the NBA with 9.7 assists per game in 1971-72.

The Lakers’ starting five averaged 98.4 points per game during that 1971-72 season, thanks to the one-two punch of West and Goodrich. The two combined for 51.7 points per game, the most ever by a backcourt tandem. The split was essentially democratic – 25.9 points per game for Goodrich and 25.8 for West.

“It was easy to play with Gail,” West explains. “I knew where he was going to be. He was very clever. He knew how to get open and how to make people foul him. He knew how to make jump shots and get in the lane.”

Playing with a high-scoring guard for the first time, West won the assists title with 9.7 per game.

“At that time guards shared one and two,” Goodrich says. “I would go 7-for-10 and then go 1-for-8 and [assistant coach] K.C. Jones would say, ‘Keep shooting.’ It was the saturation method – just keep firing.

“Also, we viewed film, and I had never looked at film before. We were concerned about who we were going to play – our execution. … We were putting the ball in Jerry’s hands a lot. In crunch time he was the best. I wasn’t fighting him for the ball. He was such a great team player. If I got open he would get me the ball. He helped me out defensively.”

Says West: “We knew where everyone was, and if someone made a mistake everyone was there to help you. On defense, we would not let teams reverse the ball, and we would keep it on the sideline, and we had Wilt back there so people weren’t going to get any layups.”

Close games were the exception.

Inspiredlovers images-2021-08-21T191338.807 Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself Sports NBA

“We just started killing people,” West says.

Substitutes Flynn Robinson, Pat Riley, John Q. Trapp and LeRoy Ellis could expect increased minutes during blowouts. The team played Sharman’s up-tempo style, averaging 123.3 points during the streak.

“That team emitted so much confidence, man,” said former Knicks guard Walt Frazier, who guarded West. “They methodically overwhelmed you. Chamberlain was doing his thing. The backcourt was dynamic. As time went on, it was uncanny just how easily they were winning games.”

Los Angeles chalked up New York as victim No. 3, 103-96. The streak climbed to five in Philadelphia, 143-103. Seattle was 12th on the list, 139-115. The 13th in a row came against Detroit, 132-113, as Chamberlain contributed 31 points, 31 rebounds and six blocks.

“The players are taking pride in the winning streak,” Sharman told the Times afterward. “Wilt is saying, ‘C’mon, let’s keep it going.'”

 

Inspiredlovers nba_a_goodrich_195 Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself Sports NBA

Associated Press
Gail Goodrich played in all 82 games in 1971-72 and led the Lakers with 25.9 points per game.

The first gut check came against Phoenix while going for 20 straight to tie Milwaukee’s record, set the previous season. It was L.A.’s third game in three nights. The game went to overtime, but “Stumpy,” – a name given to the 6-foot-1 Goodrich by Baylor – sealed the deal, racking up seven of the Lakers’ 15 points in overtime in a 126-117 win.

Inspiredlovers Laker-1972 Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself Sports NBA

“We had a very tiring travel day yesterday,” Sharman explained afterward, noting a bad plane connection from Houston to Oakland. “We had to go almost an entire game with our regulars because it was so close.”

The record breaker came two nights later on Dec. 12 against Atlanta. It was the Lakers’ fourth game in five nights. They led 96-95 with 61 seconds left. Shortly after that, with the 24-second clock winding down, Goodrich couldn’t find a shot. Then he whipped a pass to Chamberlain for a dunk with 39 seconds left. They ended up winning 104-95.

The game bore an imprint of Laker versatility. Wilt had 24 boards – 11 in the fourth quarter – as the Hawks led 77-75 entering the last period. Goodrich scored 32 points, and West added 26. Atlanta’s Walt Bellamy battled Chamberlain – with each playing all 48 minutes – and posted 22 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

“The players really wanted it badly,” Sharman told the Times, “and that’s why they were so tight in their shooting. As a consequence, we never got our running game going. So we had to grind it out the hard way. All the teams we’ve played lately have been loose, and they’ve been up for us. … A lot of teams have won championships in the history of the NBA, but nobody has done this.”

But without a title in the end, the streak would be all for naught.

 

Inspiredlovers nba_a_wilt_195 Will the Lakers vs Hawks history of Jan 7 1972 repeat itself Sports NBA

Associated Press
Wilt Chamberlain sacrificed his offensive game in 1971-72, but he led the Lakers by playing 42.3 minutes per game at age 35.

Los Angeles reeled off 12 more to reach 33 in a row. The team’s record loomed at 39-3 when the Lakers traveled to Milwaukee. The Bucks were the defending champions, having won 66 regular-season games the previous season.

“They could match up pretty well with us,” Goodrich remembered. “Kareem was the MVP. We were seeing the changing of the guard. They had Oscar [Robertson] and Lucius Allen.”

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Dissatisfied Max Verstappen speaks of a ‘bad day’ and is disappointed with Lewis Hamilton

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Dissatisfied Max Verstappen speaks of a ‘bad day’ and is disappointed with Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen did not get further than the seventh fastest time during the second training for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, after setting the fifth fastest time in the first session in Imola. Charles Leclerc was again the fastest.

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Verstappen stated at the start of the second, Friday session that his RB20 already felt a lot better than in the first training. Yet he rode ‘only’ the seventh fastest time.

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Two last attempts to set a fast time on the soft tire came to nothing. After Verstappen had already been affected by traffic during attempt one, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton then got in his way. Verstappen was clearly not happy with that and made this known in words and gestures. Hamilton immediately apologized and said to his engineer over the on-board radio that he would have liked to have received a warning that Verstappen was approaching him. Leclerc and Verstappen’s teammate Pérez also had a fight later in the session following a similar incident.

Verstappen: ‘So it happened again’
“That is not the first time that this has happened,” Verstappen said at the time with Hamilton. “You always try to remain calm, but it happened again. At the same time, I don’t want to talk about it too much because that wasn’t our problem today. We didn’t have the speed and we have to solve that. It was difficult to find the right balance, I didn’t feel comfortable in the car and it was very easy to ‘lose’ the car. Today was just bad. There are really things we need to improve to be competitive tomorrow.”

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Ferrari driver Leclerc lapped in 1.15.906, making him just under two-tenths of a second faster than Oscar Piastri (McLaren). Behind this followed the surprising Yuki Tsunoda, Hamilton, George Russell, Carlos Sainz and only then Pérez. Verstappen was half a second slower than Leclerc in that fastest lap, Pérez added an extra tenth.

Racing simulation also did not go entirely according to Max Verstappen’s plan
In the final phase, the drivers all focused on the long run with a view to Sunday’s race. That race simulation also did not go entirely according to plan for Verstappen, who shot straight again. Although the lap times of almost all drivers fluctuated back and forth during those long runs.

“The long run was also very bad,” Verstappen was clear. “Do I have confidence that things will get better tomorrow? It can hardly be worse than today. It seems that others have taken a step forward and for us it was not a good day.”

Verstappen also searching during the opening session in Imola
Verstappen was also dissatisfied during the first free practice, earlier in the day. He expressed his dissatisfaction over the on-board radio. The three-time world champion did not get further than fifth place in the opening session.

Apart from the Racing Bulls, all teams brought quite a few updates to Imola, which were extensively tested during the first session of the weekend.

Although Verstappen drove the fastest times in the first and third sectors, he lost a lot of time in the middle part. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) was ultimately fastest for the Italian public: 1.16.990.

Sergio Perez and Verstappen more than two tenths slower than Leclerc
Mercedes driver George Russell conceded a tenth to Leclerc’s time at the beginning of the afternoon, followed shortly afterwards by his teammate Carlos Sainz. Red Bull drivers Sergio Pérez and Verstappen were more than two-tenths slower than Leclerc.

With about six minutes left on the clock, Verstappen was making an improvement, but he shot straight ahead. That happened again in the final minute, without serious consequences. He was therefore unable to complete an ideal lap at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Red Bull has also introduced a major update in Imola, just like Ferrari and Mercedes. McLaren already did that two weeks ago in Miami. The winner there, Lando Norris, rode the eighth fastest time during the first training.

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“It’s Getting Hotter”: Chase Elliott Refuses to See Eye to Eye With Dale Jr and His Suggestion

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“It’s Getting Hotter”: Chase Elliott Refuses to See Eye to Eye With Dale Jr

It’s no secret that Chase Elliott is one of the most dominant active drivers on short tracks. Throughout his career, the #9 Hendrick Motorsports driver has brought in more than a handful of top fives and even wins at tracks like Martinsville. That being said, NASCAR and Goodyear’s short-track tire package dilemma has seen that notion change. With the rise to rumors of a short track losing a date in favor of a venue like Mexico, Dale Earnhardt Jr shared the prospect that NASCAR is making way for more intermediate racing.

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However, not every stakeholder believes this is the right direction to head in. Despite Chase Elliott’s drawbacks at short tracks lately, the HMS driver believes that the answer to NASCAR’s dilemma isn’t moving away from the problem.

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Instead of increasing the focus on intermediate tracks, Elliott believes the sport shouldn’t over-saturate type of racetrack.

Alongside Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr has been one of the strongest advocates for short-track racing. But with the new packages failing to make good on their promises, Junior interpreted recent rumors of Richmond losing a day as NASCAR altogether shifting away from the format slowly. But Chase Elliott believes this gives rise to an alarming pattern.

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The HMS driver believes that choosing to exploit the quality of certain tracks may end up backfiring in the long run. He shared with media ahead of the All-Star Race, “The races at the mile-and-a-half stuff has been really good. But I don’t think that’s always a reason to get more of them. I always feel like less is more. The Bristol Night race is the perfect example of less is more because you go there once a year, it’s super exciting, everybody loves a Bristol Night race, and it’s because it only happens one time a year, it makes it special.”

Adding to his argument, Elliott also highlighted how road-course racing seemed to lose its charm as of late. Compared to when there were only two events on the calendar, the frequent visits to road courses had diluted its exclusivity. Elliott shared, “I just think that that the more you do that and you lean in one direction and add more more more, you can easily make things that are exciting stale really quickly. So I think we just need to be careful not to do that.”

Going over better solutions, Elliott felt that making the Next-Gen car more suited to tackle the short-track dilemma would benefit the sport more. Not only would the calendar retain diversity in the type of tracks, but it would also allow each weekend to have its unique charm. The HMS driver concluded, “I would rather see a better product on the short-track stuff than take them away. I don’t think they’re taking them away, but I would hate to see a movement away from that, just because it’s an important part of our sport.”

It’s safe to say Chase Elliott is eager to protect short tracks from taking a hit on the Cup Series calendar. Speaking of which, the #9 HMS could prove his point further with his return to another glorious short track, this time in a late-model car.

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NASCAR War and Fame: Dale Earnhardt Jr Exposes the Consequences of Denny Hamlin

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NASCAR War and Fame: Dale Earnhardt Jr Exposes the Consequences of Denny Hamlin

When Denny Hamlin created 23XI, he already had his plate full. Facing a 36-race Cup schedule and curating a weekly podcast was bound to take a toll on him. But Hamlin had a simple answer for the media when they were curious about why he does it all. He said, “It’s what I love to do.”

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And even while managing three avenues: running a business, driving, and talking about motorsport, Hamlin fetches Cup wins every other weekend nowadays. The hectic life that he chooses to live as NASCAR’s foremost speaker is one not many can persevere and maintain. Dale Earnhardt Jr, another podcast owner like Hamlin, sheds light on this as he dissects Hamlin’s busy schedule.

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Denny Hamlin’s upbringing was imbued with discipline and hard work. His parents went all-out to support his racing career, as they incurred debt and sold their classic cars so that he could get in a race car. But Dennis Lou, Hamlin’s father, was adamant about a work ethic. “I’m not going out there and working on your race car for you. If you want to do it, you go out there, you learn it — and then when you wreck it, you have to figure out how to get it back to the racetrack.”

That work ethic reflects on all the hectic projects that Hamlin diligently sees through. In a recent interview with Rubbin is Racing, Dale Earnhardt Jr emphasized as much while hailing his podcast rival. “Denny is up for it…Denny’s got a personality and he’s in it…racing, and this is his life…He has his hand in every cookie jar, right. He’s a driver, he’s a car owner, he’s in the podcasting…Certainly, his takes on his show get a ton of attention. He flexes that muscle on all those fronts.”

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Hamlin may be sturdy enough to handle all these duties, but other veteran drivers are unwilling to go through that stress. Dale Earnhardt Jr shed light on this aspect: “So that can be really exhausting. And I think some drivers are like, ‘You know, I don’t feel like doing all that. I’m busy enough, I’m content.’”

Balancing racing life with family life and juggling podcast sessions and ownership duties requires you to have a steady mindset. And Denny Hamlin’s unique opinion of his life helps him. “I live in chaos. My life is chaos, and I thrive under chaos… The more (crap) that is stirred up around me, the more I come at it.”

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