I’m sitting here in the aftermath of the Western Conference Finals, still speechless after witness-ing the Black Mamba in action. A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, but we’ll refer to him as #3) called me today and instructed me to remind the world what a SICK player Kobe Bryant is. #3 said: “write about Kobe dropping 30+ in the past 10 of 11 games. Tell ’em about Kobe averaging 33 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds in the series while shooting over 50%.” Those are gaudy numbers, make no mistake. But it’s not only about numbers, it’s about doin’ it when it counts. Prior to the playoffs, it seems like everyone had written off Kobe. Heck, I even awarded the NBA Title to the Cavs before the playoffs even started. Then, after Lebron took a dive, I turned to the only other superhuman in the league in Kobe. I wondered if this guy had anything left in the tank, especially since he looked so mortal, so often, during the regular season. But the truth is, as the Lakers went deeper into the playoffs, this monster got bigger. See, anyone can lead the league in scoring, or win a meaningless game in January. But not everyone can hit a buzzer beater, lead his team to significant victory after victory, time and time and time and time again. There isn’t a fan in the world that wouldn’t trade their entire franchise for this guy. And I’m not talking about the Kobe 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. I’m talking about the present, the 32 year old son of Jelly Bean Bryant who has at least 2-3 finals appearances left in him. Everyone who watches basketball should realize that we are watching the greatest player ever. When I get old and gray and have grandkids, I will be able to tell them my story, that I witnessed the greats, from Magic and Bird, to Jordan and Lebron, but I lived during the time of Kobe, assasin’ of dreams, second to nobody.
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.
There’s one thing that I would love more than a Lakers Championship, and that my friends, is a Celtics’ collapse. Up 3 games to none, it would be AWESOME if the Celtics lose 4 in a row to the Magic. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’m predicting a Boston blowout on Friday, regardless if Kendrick Perkins (technicals) or Glen Davis (concussion) play. The Magic fairy tail is about to end. They did make the series respectable though, but I don’t think it’s enough to save Stan Van Gundy’s job. Frankly, I don’t think he deserves it. If you can’t win with that kind of talent, then hit the road. Everyone knows that Stan’s not an elite coach. Nice to see J.J. Reddick playing well. I thought he would be an NBA bust after his first year in the league. If anyone sees Vince Carter, let him know that they’re playing on Friday. Look for the Celtics’ big 4 play big minutes, get the home court calls, and put the nail in the coffin.
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.
There are some guys that are winners and some that just aren’t. Let me introduce you to Vince Carter, of the Orlando Magic, Mr. Individual. Never won a title as a Tarheel, couldn’t win when he played for Toronto with a then good Tracy McGrady (remember, he missed a game winning jumper because he had to attend his college graduation); couldn’t make noise with the Nets when they had Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson; and now, is trying to fill the empty shoes left by Hedo Turkoglu. I was the first to say that the Magic downgraded when they let Hedo sign with the Raptors and signed Vince. Carter is a “sexy” sign (on paper), but on the court, he rarely shows up when it counts. His last game against Boston, he was 5-15. He’s a good individual player, not a team player. He is was a dunker. Not sure if I’d vote him into the Hall of Fame, as I don’t think that spectacular dunks is a category? 1 week ago, everyone was talking about how the Magic were the best team in the NBA, having swept through the first 2 rounds of the playoffs. And now, after going 0-2 to the old and decrepit yet Wiley and savvy Boston Celtics, the Magic suck and are about to get swept. The main difference between last year’s Magic and this one…VINSANITY. Kudos for dunking over that 7 foot French center in the 2000 Olympics and possibly being the greatest slam dunk champion ever, but ala Chris Webber, neither you nor the team you play on will ever win a title.
Lebron James is gone. Make no mistake, this was his last game as a Cleveland Cavalier. He quit on his team 2 days ago in that 30 point blowout at home. That was evident. He made his point, which was “my team sucks if I don’t drop 50 a night.” But there’s no way he was going to come back and have a monster game, in Boston, after mailing it in 1 game before (even if he wanted to, which he didn’t). Don’t look at his triple double and be impressed by it. 9 turnovers and 8-21 shooting is garbage. The triple double is just Lebron’s way of saying “hey, I showed up, there was nothing more I could do.” Glad Shaq isn’t going to win a title though. Mo Williams, 20 points in the 1st half, only 2 in the second? I wouldn’t stay in Cleveland if I was ‘bron. Go to NY, go to Chicago, go get a new start while you’re still young. Look at KG, look how happy he is in Boston. Too bad it happened so late in his career. I do think that we might have to revoke his “King” nickname. No reason for him to be crowned that until he starts playing like one, when it counts. Guess I gotta cheer for the Magic now, can’t stand the thought of the Cs winning another. When did Rajon Rondo become the best point guard in the league? Mike Brown better start updating his resume…
This was the one that the Utah Jazz could have stolen. Down most of the game until the fourth quarter. The Jazz went up 4 points with less than 3 minutes left, then choke city. I’m not sure it was the Lakers’ defense or the lack of the Jazz’ offense but if the Jazz don’t take the next one, pressure’s on them BIG TIME. Kobe Bryant taking over at the end of the game, again. I was wondering something while watching the last couple minutes, why do the Lakers F#@! around and not put the nail in the coffin? They had about 2-3 chances to go up by more than 1 point in the final 1-2 minutes, and instead of Kobe doing work, Ron Artest takes a stupid 3, or Derek Fisher gets called for a charge on a fast break. It didn’t hurt them this game, or the last game against the Thunder, but when they play a quality team like the Spurs or the Lebrons (officially changing the Cavs name to Lebrons), their gonna get caught. I’m a little saddened by Andrew Bynum’s torn miniscus. He was dominating and now we (Angelinos) have to worry about this. Is it time to put the “injury-prone” tag on him? Pau Gasol doin’ what he does best. 25 pts and 12 boards is nice but the best part is 7-7 free throws. It’s gotta be nice to be able to count on a big man who can stick it from the charity stripe. By the way, Kobe’s gotta stop doing that angry put-bull face, he looks like an idiot.