We knew that the Phoenix Suns don’t play defense. We also know that the Lakers have “momentary” lapses on D but a triple overtime game and a final score of 139-137 is ridiculous. Nice to see Lamar Odom step up and have a monster double double. We all know that Kobe can drop 40 in a game, let alone triple overtime. Big game for Ron Artest coming through in the clutch. Pnonix on the other hand, this teamhas gone from sheik to geek overnight. Remember when they had the starting lineup of Amare, Shawn Marion, Steve Nash? Well, they pretty much gave away these guys. Now they have a trio of Nash, Grant Hill, and Vince Carter. Great team if this was 10 years ago. All these guys, including Nash are over the hill. I know, it suck to say it but that’s the truth. As for the Lakers, we all know they’ve been rolling since the All-Star break. They’ve won 13 of their last 14 games and have 11 games remaining on their schedule. I don’t think they’re gonna catch the Spurs, who are 6 1/2 games ahead of the Lakers but who cares? The biggest challenge for the Lakers are the Thunder and the way things are going right now, it looks like the Thunder are going to have to go through San Antonio before they face the Lakers. Next victim for the Lakers, Clippers at home.
This one shouldn’t have been this close. How did I know that the Lakers were going to blow a huge lead and let this one go down to the wire. It’s gotta feel great to close out a series on the road. You silence the crowd, everyone in Phoenix going to there adobe houses sad… Kobe Bryant showing everyone why he is the best player in the league right now. That’s right, not Lebron. Did you see those shots he took at the end of the game? Unbelievable, that’s all I have to say. And not 1 shot, dagger after dagger with double teams in his face. Amare Stoudamrie decided to wake up in the second half, throwing it down on Gasol. That was nice. Too little too late though. Stupid Sasha Vujacic, almost costing the Lakers the game with his technical, giving Phoenix a 7 point trip and plenty of momentum that made this game close. They should’ve double Tech-ed Sasha and Goran for Goran’s shit talking, but of course, no one ever sees the instigator. Nice to see Ron Artest’s confidence taking off, and just in time for the Boston Series. We’re gonna need him. He was shooting and playing like the Ron of last year. A little disappointed with Pau Gasol’s play. Looked soft on offense and worse on defense. Let’s hope that it’s just a fluke. Even Super Pau needs a day off. Valiant effort by the Suns, but I don’t see Amare hangin’ around. He’s been trade bait for years and frankly, if I were him, I’d give Lebron and D-Wade a call. On to the finals, Boston vs. LA. This is gonna be tough for the Lakers. I have this sick feeling deep in my stomach, hope it’s not a Boston Championship.
This is not the reason why the Lakers signed Ron Artest in the offseason. But it’s definitely the reason Ron Artest signed with the Lakers. Talk about making a play. Ron Artest hit the game winning shot tonight to put the Lakers up 3-2. The first time in a long time that I found myself jump out of my seat in excitement, kinda fell good. The Lakers had the game won, being up by 16 at one point but then let the lead trickle away in true LA fashion and it seemed like Phoenix had controlled the “mo.” Recognizing that Kobe Bryant’s 3-pointer was going to fall short, Artest muscled his way into the paint, grabbed the rebound, and with his own teammate D-Fish banging into him, put the game winner in… Phoenix, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I’ll give it to the Suns though, they played a hell of a game. Big mistake by Coach Gentry not putting in Brook Lopez and Amare Stoudamire in the last play to box out for the boards. This was the game the Suns could’ve stolen, and frankly should’ve stolen. Now, they have to go back to Phoenix and try to muster up some energy to win and then come back to LA. Not sure I’ve said this before, but Steve Nash is sick. Props to D-Fish for dropping 22. Is it time to worry about Andrew Bynum’s knee yet? 2 points on 0-5 shooting in 19 minutes of play? Might be good enough to beat the Suns but we’re gonna have problems against those nasty Celtics.
Did anyone actually think that the Lakers were going to go into Phoenix and close out the deal? I didn’t. That’s not what the Lakers do. They win when they need to and frankly, tonight, they didn’t (win or need to). They’ll will the next one at Staples, drop the one after in Phoenix and then close it out at home, Game 7. Lakers’ bench, sans Lamar Odom, was a combined 2 for 13. Jordan Farmar has got to be the worst player ever. My guess is he won’t be with the Lakers next year. My wish is that he won’t be in the NBA next year. Why can’t the Lakers pick up someone like Goran Dragic of the Suns? Drafted #48 and traded to the Suns? The kid had 8 assists in 18 minutes. Nevertheless, my worry isn’t the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers will get past them. My worry is the Celtics. Toughness, grit, trenches, I don’t know how the Lakers are gonna get past them. But I’ll save that conversation for another blog.
Portland v. Phoenix: The Phoenix Suns have been playing like the Suns of old. Amare Stoudamire finally looks like the beast he was a few years ago. Steve Nash is still one of the top point guards in the league. They’re facing a depleted Portland team without their star Brandon Roy. Marcus Camby is one of those proven “losers” who will never be on a winning team. I like Batum, LaMarcus and A-Miller but they just don’t have enough firepower without Roy. Neither one of these teams is advancing past the second round anyway. I’ll take the Suns in 7.
Dallas v. San Antonio: Remember a couple months ago when the Mavericks were streaking, I think they won 13 in a row? Well, streaks over now. The Caron Butler hype has died down. It’s the Spurs that are playing the best basketball in the West. It’s too bad these two teams had to match up in the first round. While offensively both these teams have the ability to win the game, same ol’ story for the Mavs…no defense, no fundamentals. Enter the “Big F” himself in Tim Duncan, with the best offseason pickup of the year in Richard Jefferson, and you got a recipe for success. As long as Tony Parker can play like he used to, and Ginobli continue what he’s doing, the Spurs should take this series in 6, and the only reason it goes that far is ’cause the Mavs have home court advantage.
Utah v. Denver : This is going to be the most interesting match-up in the first round. I would love to see the Nuggets fail (man do I hate J.R. Smith) but they just have a little more swagger and tougness than the Jazz. Carmelo Anthony is a bonafide superstar that can take over any game and Mr. Big Shot Billups has been to the promised land and knows hot to get there again. I am concerned however about the depth of the Jazz. Paul Milsap has been a bust since signing that big offseason contract extension. Boozer and D-Will are solid but there’s no one else that you can rely on (maybe Okur). Jazz are hurting at shooting guard and small forward, AK-47 is injured. Kyle Korver can only shoot 3s. It’s gonna be gritty but the Nuggets should wrap this up in 5.
Oklahoma City v. Lakers: Now on paper, you would take the Lakers in 4. BUT, the Lakers have taken care of business all year. They don’t put teams away when they should. Their bench has been MIA all year. Kobe’s finger is STILL an issue. Bynum’s health is still in question. With that said, I do expect a HUGE series from Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. Nobody is gonna be able to stop these guys. The Thunder, on the other hand, have nothing to lose. Kevin Durant is having an MVP type season. But that’s it. Russell Westbrook FG% and 3pt% is horrible. Sure, he can drive and dish and dunk but if he can’t stretch the defense with his outside shooting, they’re gonna have problems. Plus, with the size the Lakers have, I don’t think the Thunder is going to do much in the paint. Look for the Lakers to outshine the Thunder, LA in 4 (did I just say that?)
That’s the only way I can explain the Phoenix Suns’ loss to the New York Knicks. Not only did they lose, but David Lee took a shit (excuse my language) on Amare Stoudemire. Let’s compare starting lineups: Suns have Nash, Shaq, Amare, Grant Hill and J-Rich while the Knicks have Chris Duhon, Jared Jeffries, Q-Rich, David Lee and Wilson Chandler? Who? What? HUH? Something is wrong in Phoenix, and I might be mistaken but it all goes back to the Shawn Marion for Shaq trade. The Suns traded quickness and defense for 1/2 court offense and a lot of catchy phrases. Then D’Antoni leaves in the offseason for $$$ in NY and to top it off, they trade Raja Bell and Boris Diaw for J-Richardson. This team still has talent but they’re going nowhere, fast. I hate to say it but they need an escape goat, a shake-up. Sorry Terry Porter, but this team is underachieving, BIG TIME and it’s all your fault. The longer it takes for this team to gel, the older they get. With 3 of their starting five over the age of 34, the biological clock for this Suns’ team is ticking fast. If you don’t agree, I’d love to hear your reason why the Suns are sucking it up. And PLEASE, don’t tell me the Knicks are good.
At what point do the Indiana Pacers decide to perhaps, I don’t know… DOUBLE TEAM Amare? After he drops 25? 35? 40? Poor Jeff Foster, who was posterized by Amare. I don’t know how the Pacers beat the Boston Celtics the other night, and frankly, I don’t how they score 38 points in the 1st quarter tonight. I do know that they had no answer for Amare, who had 49 points on 17-21 shooting, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks. What a stat line! Talk about a fantasy owner’s wet dream. Amare has come a long way after having knee surgery in 2005. I was the first to say that he was only a dunker, but boy, has he proved me wrong. Not only can this guy fill up the stats ala Shawn Marion, but for a big man, he can hit his free throws too (15-15 tonight). If only his team can play some defense, they might actually go somewhere in the postseason instead of being the Minnesota Twins/Atlanta Braves of the league (for those of you who don’t get my obscure humor, it’s a metaphor for being a wast of a playoff spot).
The “real deal” Hornets, sorry Evander. Everybody, look at the makeup of this team. See what a stud point guard can do to a team? Chris Paul, Chef Paul, Lord Paul, Ron Paul or whatever else is leading this team to perhaps the promised land (by promised land I mean playoffs). On Saturday night they once again proved to the rest of the league how good they really are, beating the Phoenix Suns 101-98. Paul, a measly 21 points and 10 assists. On the year, 21.5 points, 9.6 assists, 2.7 steals and 4 boards a game. Not bad for his 3rd year in the league. Hey Hawks, how’s that Marvin Lewis pick working for you?
The Sun has set folks. On Monday night, the Phoenix Suns lost to the Miami Heat 117-113. With the second best record in the west, I find it hard to believe this outcome. Add on their loss the other night to the Minnesota Timberwolves and I’m flabbergasted. Are the players bored? Do they just not care? Is it hard to get up for a game against worst teams in the league? I know it’s early on in the season, but when playoff time comes and everyone’s battling for home court advantage, it’s these games that you look back at and say “We should’ve won that…” Oh well, maybe the Suns are still gelling, I mean with the addition of Grant Hill. OK, maybe not. All I know is that anything less than the NBA title should be considered a failure of a season. With that said, coach D’Antoni can keep playing it off until they get in some serious trouble, or shall I say IF…
On Friday night, the Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons 103-91 at Staples in LA. Kobe Bryant dropped 19 (yawn) and now the Lakers are 5-3. Now I don’t know about you guys, but Detroit is supposed to pound the Lakers. I thought they were a good team. As for the Lakers, I love how Kobe is boys with everyone after he “shat” all over them in the offseason. Which Lakers are gonna show up for the next game is the question us LAians ask ourselves every day. The ones that beat the Rockets in Houston, or the one that lost to them at Staples? The ones that beat the Suns in Phoenix or that ones that lost to New Orleans in Staples? Consistency, that’s the mark of a champion and one thing that the Lakers lack. This team they have on the floor will NO WAY win a championship, or frankly even get to the finals without some serious help, and that’s a fact. So enjoy the win Lakers fans, because with the Chicago Bulls coming in to town Sunday, you never know what to expect.