Kobe Bryant returned on Sunday night after missing about 8 months of ball due to an Achilles injury. The Raptors were without Rudy Gay who just got traded to Sacramento. The Lakers, well they were without an inside presence. And so they lost.
Here are the cons of the night: Pau Gasol sucked. He was muscles around, couldn’t get a shot off, and his body language was horrible. I’m glad this is his last year in purple and gold. He also made Amir Johnson of the Raptors look like Bill Russell. Johnson finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds. Another problem is Robert Sacre. Great Mark Madsenesque cheerleader, but this guy shouldn’t be getting any minutes at this level, let alone starting for the LAKERS?!?!?! They need to start Shawne Williams. At least he opens up the floor and can hit a 3. One more problem for those Lakers’ guards,, fouling jump shooters is a no-no. Basketball 101…
As for Kobe, looked a bit rustier than I expected. Too many turnovers (8) and was trying a little too hard to be a distributor. Seems like he also lost a step and the quickness is not there anymore. I’ve gonna wait ’till I pass judgment on him but I expected more than 9 points from him.
Pros: The Lakers bench, they finally have one. Nick Young and Jodie Meeks are instant offense. Jordan Hill is a hustler. I just don’t know why he can’t develop some post moves. Xavier Henry seems a little meatheady but 17 points in 14 minutes… D’Antoni’s gotta find a way to put him in the game. This team is not a contender for the finals. IF they make the playoffs, they will get swept in the first round. But at the very least, it makes the rest of the season a bit more interesting. I gotta admit though, they played a lot better with Kobester on the bench… I’m just saying… Makes you think about that 2 year extension.
Is it just me or does Steve Nash suck? I know he’s 40 or 400 years old but the Lakers’ signing him last year was so promising…. I never thought that he would be this big of a liability. Now, he can’t play on back end of a back to back games and is constantly injured. It’s sad to see a 2 time MVP fall like this. And I’m not even talking about the heist job he’s pulling on the Lakers, 3 years at $27 million? So disappointing…. I’ve never seen a worse group of point guards on a team: Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar. Nash is average under 5 assists a game and under 7 points a game… are you kidding me? Can’t wait ’till the end of the season for the Lakers to clear up some cap space and some some real players and not these Div 3 scrubs…
What are the chances the Indiana Pacers beat the Miami Heat? What are the chances my San Antonio Spurs (that’s right, I said MY Spurs) can get a break this NBA Finals and play the Pacers? My guess is that the Heat will beat the Pacers in 7 but wouldn’t it have been nice if head coach Frank Vogel didn’t f-up game 1? Indiana would be up 3-1 right now and just chillin. Instead, they’re tied 2-2, and have to start from scratch. I believe the odds of winning the series are in favor of the game 5 winner so I’ll definitely be rooting for the Pacers. Indiana has played the Heat tougher than anyone this post-season and I’m giving them about a 35% chance to pull off this upset.
On a side note, I do think the NBA needs to crack down on all this flopping. It makes me sick. Back in days of the Detroit Pistons and Celtics v. Lakers, any player would get knocked out if they ever flopped like Lebron and David West did the other day. The $5,000 fine they levied on these guys is a joke (unfortunately, his name slips my mind right now). Oh well, they don’t make them like they used to and clearly the game has changed. I must say though, I’m actually enjoying these finals. If you have any good karma left, throw it the Spurs way. They deserve to win. They will win. They’re the prototypical franchise with ideal players. No complaining, no talks about contract extensions. Heck, Parker and Duncan don’t even have twitter accounts! With that said, let’s go Spurs!
Am I the only basketball fan outside of Oklahoma City that can’t stand Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka? Perkins, scowl and everything, plays dirtier than most but complains about every call. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have him on my team, but he is so dirty. Did anyone see the play against Houston last night where he HELD Chandler Parson’s hand to prevent him from playing D against a 3-point shooting Thabo Sefolosha? The worst part of it was that the ref was right there and didn’t even make the call. I understand home court but this was ridiculous. How is that basketball? You can’t see it from this pic but there’s a referee standing direclty behind Perkins.
As for Ibaka, he just annoys the heck out of me. Somebody tell him the finger wag after a block was coveted by Mutumbo. While the PF is a stud, his 13 ppg and almost 8 rpg don’t do him justice. I just don’t understand how this guy became a tough guy after just 4 years in the league? I wish the Charles Oakleys and teh Bill Laimbeers were here to knock him on his ass. And how did this guy slip to the 24th pick in the draft? Oh well, looks like the winner in the West is going to come down to the Clippers and Thunder. But the way these 2 guys are playing, I don’t think the Clippers bigs are ready to mix it.
If you’re wondering why the Lakers can’t get over the .500 hump, look no further then their biggest problem, coming from their biggest man, Dwight Howard. He’s shooting .485 from the free throw line. Called “free” for a reason. Called “charity stripe” for that same reason. Yet big Dwight, who runs up and down the floor so lackadaisically, just can’t seem to put it together. Imaging how frustrating it is to make a stop on the defensive end, come down with the ball, get it to the big guy who gets fouled, is sent to the line, and misses both free throws. And its not happening once a game, he went 3 for 14 from the line yesterday. I mean talk about demoralizing to the rest of the team. You can see it in Kobe’s body language. You can even see it in Nash’s body language. Missing freethrows has gotten contagious. I bet you didn’t know that Howard made 67% of his freethrows in his rookie year? Howard is a perfect headcase. You knew in the first quarter that he wasn’t gonna have a decent/respectable day from the line. You can see it in his eyes. Try to focus for pete’s sake. We’re not asking for much, just 50%. Just run up and down the court with energy. You have bad hands. That’s why people don’t pass you the ball often. You goaltend at least 1 shot a game. I’m frustrated. What good is it going to do for the Lakers to make the first round of the playoffs. So we can all watch them get swept by the Thunder? I’m predicting that they’re not going to make the playoffs so we don’t have to worry about it. The Lakers should’ve traded Howard before the deadline. Big mistake by Jimmy Buss. Then again, so was hiring D’antoni.
Having watched all the Lakers games this season, the level of frustration has not only surpassed my wildest nightmares, but depending on the game I’ve watched, every Laker has taken a piece of the blame. I can’t just blame Mike D’Antoni. I do remember though how much better the NY Knicks became after they fired him. But c’mon, a team with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard and you can’t even win 50% of your games? Here’ my take, if anyone cares: Steve Nash: I understand he’s old, but c’mon, how many momentum killing turnovers can you have… CLEAN IT UP. Kobe Bryant’s biggest problem is holding onto the ball too long and taking WAAAAYYY too many shots…SWING IT AROUND BUDDY! Dwight Howard, I know you’re injured but ho about some intensity. You’re supposed to be Superman for pete’s sake…. and STOP SMILING! As for Pau Gasol, I honestly feel for this guy. He’s been playing out of position for a long time now. Get your ass on the block. Stop shooting anything outside the paint. And DEMAND THAT YOU START!!! I’m watching the Lakers up 10 points against the Jazz at the half but I’m not feeling comfortable. The Lakers always blow it in the 2nd half. Let’s see if they can pick up their 3 win of the year… I mean it almost February, why not!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am pumped about the NBA season which is set to kick off Tuesday night! Maybe it’s because I’m a Lakers homer, but c’mon, you gotta admit Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant on the same team sounds intriguing? How about the Clippers adding Grant Hill, Odom and Jamaal Crawford? Will Blake’s knee hold up? The scariest move for me was the Heat signing Ray Allen. A consistent shooter on a dangerous team like that. I have them as favorites to win it all. I like what Boston did in picking Jason Terry but it ain’t gonna be enough. Not only are KG and Paul Pierce 1 year older, but they have no depth. I can’t wait for the annual Knicks’ Amare v. Carmelo drama to begin. With Harden gone from OKC (BIG MISTAKE), I can’t see the any legitimate threat for the Lakers in the west. Not even Iguodola in Denver is gonna make a difference. Then again, isn’t it true that every NBA team is 1 injury away from going to the cellar? Look what happened to D-Rose and Chicago. Truth be told, I don’t even think he’s coming back this year. Chicago might end up being a lottery team. Hang on folks, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!
So it seems that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban got his feelings hurt when Jason Kidd left his team in the offseason for the New York Knicks. Let’s ponder the move: Mavericks were on a downhill spiral after winning the Championship 2 years ago. They lost Jason Terry. The Lamar Odom project was a failure. The Knicks on the other hand have a roster filled with stars in Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks are headed to the playoffs while the Mavs are slowly on their way to the lottery. I don’t blame Kidd and frankly, even if the Knicks sucked, and it was his decision, he was a free agent. As for Cuban, apparently he is not used to people “defying” him and not getting his way. Sucks…. Welcome to the real world. I know you’ve been there before but your loud mouth has clouded your view. Believe it or not, they’ve done a decent job retooling this offseason, adding Darren Collison, OJ Mayo, Chris Kaman and even an over-the-hill Elton Brand. Cuban’s mistake was not hanging on to his roster, specifically Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea, after winning the title and bring them back for another run. Oh well, I wouldn’t worry about Jason Kidd, he wasn’t going to make much of a difference. My guess is that the Lakers and the Thunder and gonna put a whoopin on the Mavs this year.
This is the second game in this series between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics that Lebron James has had the ball in his hands at the end of regulation with a chance to win it. Game 2, with a MUCH smaller Rondo guarding him, Lebron took a fadeaway 20 foot jumper and bricked it. Luckily, he had Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem to pick him up in overtime and pull of the win. Today, with time winding down and the game tied, the Heat have Wade pass the ball to Lebron, who instead of trying to create something, dribbles out most of the clock then throws a WILD pass to Haslem who is forced to take a sideways fading 15 foot jumper. What type of leader is this guy? I’ve never seen anyone be so afraid of having the ball in his hands in crunch time. I used to think that everyone was being hard on the so-called King but after watching these playoffs, I’m selling my stock. As for Wade, how about jumping into that sorry Marquis Daniels and get three freebies at the charity stripe. This Heat team might get past the Cs, only because they have homecourt BUT there is no way either one of these teams beat the winner of the West. Long live the King… NOT!!!
Deja vu all over again…Los Angeles Lakers blew another 4th quarter lead tonight, just like they did in game 2. Instead of being up 3 games to 1, the Lakers just kissed their season and hopes of a Championship… GOODBYE. I blame Kobe for game 2’s loss. I blame the team for this one. Changing of the guard, well that happened last year when the Lake Show got swept by Dallas. This was just a reminder for all those Angelinos that thought that the Lakers were going to pull this series out. There’s something toxic, cancerous about this Lakers team. It reminds me of Shaq’s last year. Andrew Bynum was dominating the 1st half. 2nd half, M.I.A. Blame the others for not getting the ball to him. Blame Bynum for not getting open. Blame Mike Brown for not drawing up plays for Bynum. Pau Gasol, I’m done defending this guy. Step aside Dirk Nowitzki, here’s the posterboy for softness. Ramon Session, disappointing is all I can say. Lakers bench, what bench? Kobe Bryant, Kobe Bryant… Too many errors, too many mistakes, too many bad shots too, too many turnovers. How easy was it for Westbrook and Durant to score? GEEZ, James Harden looked like a superstar. The Lakers are gonna get blasted next game. I promise you that they will lose by double digits. As for the offseason, now would be the time for Jimbo Buss to make a name for himself. Put everyone on the block. Get some heart on this team. To have 3 all-stars on 1 team and no get past the second round for the 2nd year in a row is a joke. If this same team returns next year, you can expect another playoff torching. Buss should call Sterling and maybe join the two teams.