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.
First day of NBA Free Agency and looks like the Knicks and the Nets got the jump on Lebron with the first meetings with the King. Seems like the Hawks are gonna give Joe Johnson a $120 million, 6 year contract. That’s gotta go up as one of the most ridiculous contracts ever. I like Joe Johnson, but he’s nothing but a #3 option. This guy can’t lead a team to a Championship. He didn’t do it with the Suns and hasn’t done it with all that firepower the Hawks have.
I am kinda pumped to see where Lebron is going. I’m gonna be very disappointed if this guy stays in Cleveland. If I’m Lebron, Chicago or the New York is probably the best situation. Chicago because they have the best chance in winning if Lebron goes there. A Derek Rose/Lebron combo would be deadly for the next decade. New York would be a good choice because other than LA, its the best place to live. I LOVE the city of New York. Sure the Knicks are in shambles and sure they have a subpar front office. BUT… Lebron on that teams puts ’em straight into the playoffs. If they re-sign David Lee and 1 more free agent (Stoudamire/Bosh/Boozer) the Knicks will be favorites to come out of the East. I’m not sure of the cap implications, but New York better make something BIG happen.
If I’m Dwayne Wade, I’m leaving Miami too. Look at Kevin Garnett. He spent most his life being “loyal” to the Timberwolves and got nowhere. He finally left, and got 1 ring. 1 ring for possibly one of the greatest power forwards to every play the game is a SHAME. Dwayne Wade needs to think about going to Chicago too. It’s a great fit for him. Miami needs A LOT of pieces to become a real contender.
Chris Bosh is one guy who is definitely leaving his team. This guy’s a stud. He’s going to make his team an instant playoff contender, and if they are already, a finals favorite. I see him going to either Miami to play with Bosh or the Knicks. If I’m Bosh, money’s a secondary issue. I look to see where Lebron and Wade land. Teaming up with Lebron is the first choice unless Chicago puts out an offer he can’t refuse. Playing alongside Wade is cool, but in Miami they’re nothing but a second round playoff bust.
I’m pumped about this offseason. Hopefully, teams don’t blow their chances of landing someone big by panicking and pissing money away on the wrong talent. No offense to Joe Johnson, but he’s just not the man. No offense to Darko Milicic, but why the hell would the T-Wolves offer him a 4 yr, 20 million offer? This kid’s been in the league for 7 years, a #2 pick in the draft, and his best year, averaged 8 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. This is why the T-Wolves suck. Not Darko’s fault, just managements fault. Congrats to Darko for getting his.
P.S. I would love to see Dirk Nowitzki end up somewhere else. He’s a good players in a bad system.
Jermaine O’Neal’s career has been a long journey. Being drafted straight out of high school, many, including myself thought that it was a mistake for both him and the Blazers. Of course, I was right. His first four years in Portland were HEINOUS, averaging under 4 ppg and 3 rbds a game. Finally, he was traded to the Pacers where he tore it up, averaging a double double in points and boards. When he was sent to Toronto this season, I thought to myself, now the Raptors are contenders in the East. With 2 dominant big men, they were a sure shot in my opinion to make a deep run. But I forgot that other thing that O’Neal brough with him. Known to most as age. At 30 years old, O’Neal hasn’t played over 70 games in a season since the 2003-2004 season. I’m not saying he’s soft, but… O’Neal has been nothing but disappointing. They’re 16-26, in the cellar of the Atlantic Division, behind (hope you’re sitting) the New York Knicks. Now there’s talk of trading him to Miami for Shawn Marion? Great move for the Raps, but WHY for Miami? Are the Heat looking to get older and shittier? They have a sick young core that is going to be dangerous in 2 years with B-Easely, Chalmers and Flash. O’Neal is not the answer for them or ANY team for that matter. The only team he should be playing for is the disabled list. Though, I can see the Clippers getting him. Why not, that’s where has been big men with large contracts go to die. As for the Raptors, 1 step forward, two steps back. I guess that’s what a team gets for making Jason Kapono a franchise player.
The Dallas Mavericks got their asses kicked by the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. Let’s try that again, the Dallas Mavericks got their asses kicked by the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night, 76-92. That a Raptors team without their starting point guard T.J. Ford. What the heck is going on with this team. Soft in their old age? Is this team done? I’m looking at their roster and I’m just not scared anymore. Sure they have Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard, but that’s it. The rest is full with a bunch of “never was beens.” These include Eddie Jones, Jerry Stackhouse, Erik Dampier, Devean George, and Trent Hassle. I haven’t forgotten about Jason Terry, but he’s a street baller. Mark Cuban better pull the trigger on some big trade, mmm…Kobe, before this teams becomes one of those teams that’s a waste of a playoff spot. No offense Nets, Nuggets, Braves, Twins and Broncos.
And with the 4th pick in the 1998 NBA draft, the Toronto Raptors (traded to Golden State) select…Forward Antawn Jamison. Coming out of the draft, most people forgot about this Tarheel and have shifted their focus to his high flying counterpart, Vince Carter (#5 pick). But now it’s time to give credit where credit is due. Jamison has been doing it, year in and year out. I personally have never heard a peep, squabble or bitch from this guy. After playing 5 years for the Golden State Warriors and 1 for the Dallas Mavericks, Jamison has seemingly found a home in Washington, playing for the Wizards. Yes, it’s true I drafted this guy and that’s why he’s getting some air time. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is scoring 19 ppg and almost 10 rebounds per. His counterpart Vinsane, yeah he’s injured. Jamison has a career average of 19 and 8, and at age 31, seems to be peaking. Anyone would take this guy on their team, as he would be a valuable asset for any contender. As for Vince, I’d take Jamison over Carter any day. Not on a one-on-one, but on my team.