Saturday, January 26, 2008

No State for Wounded Men

Take away the 3rd quarters of the last two games and the Lakers win easily, but that 66-31 combined whipping leaves a mark. I'm not sure what this means, but I've always thought halftimes were about coaching adjustments. I'm just sayin'. At least we're gone from Texas until March.

Anyway, certainly no time to panic. I think if you had asked any of us on October 30th if we'd take a 27-14 first half of the season, we'd have said Yes Please. How about a first half MVP? Yes Please. Right now we're solidly in that elite top tier, with the Spurs, Celtics, Suns, Hornets, Pistons, and Mavs. Not too shabby.

I figure a top tier team should be favored in every home game, period, and favored on the road against any team not in the top tier. That would lead to a 72-10 season, so getting upset every fourth or fifth game would lead to wins in the mid-50s -- right where the Lakers are tracking.

Here's how the season has broken down vs. this 72-win ideal:
Oct.....(1-0)....(0-1)....Losses: HOU
Nov....(12-3)...(9-6)....Losses: NO, @MIL, NJ, @UTA; Wins: @PHO
Dec....(14-0)..(10-4)....Losses: ORL, @GS, @CLE, BOS
Jan....(8-3)....(8-3).... Losses: PHO; Wins: @NO

Only three of those losses really stand out in my mind: Houston, @Milwaukee, and New Jersey. Lucky shot, couldn't miss, and one rotten egg. Again, not too shabby.

After a home game against Cleveland tomorrow, the Lakers play 10 road games in a row leading into the all-star break. That's 1 top team (DET), 3 B-teams (TOR, WAS, ORL), and a ton of mediocre teams (NY, NJ, ATL, MIA, CHA, MIN). An ideal 9-1 record mitigated by 2-3 "upsets"... 6-4 would be reasonable. Is 7-3 too much to ask in their current injured state?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where Are They Now: Sedale Threatt

Sedale Threatt was sort of the Captain of the Bad Days -- that dim post-Magic era when we looked on the floor and saw some of our favorites (Byron, Worthy, Sleepy Sam, AC) out there slogging through a haze of mediocre seasons, until the rebuilding process kicked in with Nick, Ced, Eddie, Fish... finally paving the way for the Shaqkobean mini-dynasty. He was a good floor leader, great defender, and even led the team in scoring once; too many nights he was the only reason to watch.

I always liked Sedale, and not just because he once punched Danny Ainge in the face (sadly, not as a Laker). I can still hear Stu: "Sedale looooves going to his left to shoot." What is he up to nowadays?

About 14. Kids. By an unknown number of mothers. One son -- Sedale Threatt, Jr. -- is a college quarterback with pro potential but doesn't really know his father. I read somewhere that he had 7 or so kids just since moving to Australia several years back, where he has played a little pro-ish ball and currently he coaches at an And1 camp. Apparently Sedale Sr. is still partying like he's in his 20s, when he was known in Lakerland for enjoying a nice time out on the town with a special lady friend or two.

Good on you, mate... er, except for the whole being an absent father thing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More evidence of global climate change

The Heat have cooled off considerably -- hard to do when they were chilly from the get-go -- and now own a 12-game losing streak.

I only care because this is former Laker Promiser and Deliverer of Back-to-Back Championships Pat Riley's longest losing streak ever. Look what they've done to my brain, ma! (They picked it like a chicken bone and I'm-ah just about to go insane, mama.)

The Heat are hovering around #28 in most of the rankings, and you hear a lot of comments about injuries, losing Kapono and Posey (!?), etc., but really you have to go back to the original trade for Shaq. The cost/benefit was clear: a 2-3 year window to win a championship or two, followed by having to carry an aging, injury-prone, and increasingly irrelevant center on their roster eating up cap space and making any rebuilding process nearly impossible. To quote Airplane!: "They bought their ticket, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash."

This is the same dilemma the Lakers had, and they chose plan (ko-)B. And how's that working out for them? Currently the youngest (and, uh... heaviest?) of the elite teams.

Knicks @ Heat tonight... set your tivos to stun.

[Evening Update: Make it 13. The Heat score only 15 in the 4th, can't contain Lil' Nate, and Shaq goes for a Kwame-esque 10 & 5 with 5 TOs.]

Friday, January 18, 2008


Lamar played 45 minutes, scored 19 points, 19 rebounds (13 offensive), 1 block, 5 assits, 2 turnovers . That was a very good game. More, please.

Then there was Kwame. Kwame, Kwame, Kwmae.
  • In a Sports Illustrated poll of 242 NBA players, Kwame Brown received the most votes for the question, "Which player gets the least out of the most talent?" Brown received 17% of the votes, followed by Clippers forward Tim Thomas (10%), New York center Eddy Curry (7%), New Jersey guard-forward Vince Carter (6%) and Memphis center Darko Milicic (5%).
  • Abdul-Jabbar, now a Lakers special assistant coach, was asked if he was able to convey to Brown the fundamentals of playing center."It's hard to get through to him," said Abdul-Jabbar, who passed off the question to Jackson.
  • Said the coach: "I've called him a knucklehead from time to time. You've got to lead him to water, then force him to drink."
  • Added Jackson: "I've told him, 'When Kobe shoots, you've got to go get the rebound.'

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who's Not Honoring Me Now? V

Wow, a couple of #1s. Probably not deserved -- as usual, Sagarin and Hollinger seem to be the most reasonable. But appreciated none the less.

Then again, the Lakers are FIRST IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE as of today by a half game over SA, Dallas, Phoenix.

Meanwhile, Meija the Hater writes his rankings comments all about the Lakers and how this injury will hurt their "elite" status, while leaving them at #6 below New Orleans and others (despite a better record and, let's see, an embarrassingly lopsided win in NO last week.)

Good news is, the Suns lost to the CLIPPERS last night (Walton: "You mean Clipper legend Brian Skinner?!?"), so the Lakers are in 1st all be their lonesome in the Pacific.

#3 - Sagarin/
#1 - Schuhmann/
#6 - Meija/
#1 - dime magazine
#3 - Hollinger/
#4 - Steyn/
#5 - Burns/
#3- Murphy/

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chris Webber, P.J. Brown and DJ Mbenga

Why does Turiaf tomahawk guys when he goes for blocks? He contested collison, and changed Collison's shot into something that was ugly, but then swunghis arm down and sent him to the line. He does that frequently.

Lamar looked lost and useless against Seattle. He is always late on rotations.

Lots of Ronny and Kwame is going to make me, Jackson and Kobe sick. LA Times:

In an update provided by a team source, Chris Mihm is at least two weeks from returning, if not longer, from a sore right Achilles tendon.

Thus, the Lakers are sifting through the free-agent bin and coming up with such names as Chris Webber, P.J. Brown and DJ Mbenga.

The Lakers were intrigued by Webber a year ago and have been in contact with his representatives. They think he fits the mold of a triangle-offense player -- good passer, good jump shot -- but are concerned about his physical condition.

Webber, who will be 35 in March, has not played since last season. He averaged 11.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 29.9 minutes in 61 games with Philadelphia and Detroit, but did not re-sign with the Pistons after their playoff run.

He has been contacted by other unspecified teams and will make up his mind this week, his agent said.

"We've talked to the Lakers organization several times prior to Andrew's unfortunate injury," said Webber's agent, Aaron Goodwin. "Obviously, they're a much better team with Andrew playing than they are without him. I think [Webber] will make a decision where he's going to play this week."

Unlike last season, a starting spot is not a prerequisite for Webber, Goodwin said.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stu being Stu

Stu Lantz is the best play by play guy in the business, bar none.

Stu: Kwame has got to put that dunk down. The foul didn't effect the shot and when you're putting down a two hand dunk, you've got to finish it.

Norm Nixon: But Stu, he got hit in the eye, he was rubbing his eye.

Stu: He was rubbing his eye because he missed the dunk. He should've dunked it and then he wouldn't have to rub his eye.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Trapped in the Closet, part 41

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You may remember me from such Laker moments as The 2000 Championship Season, and Getting Traded for Horace Grant:
Former Miami Heat star Glen Rice was charged Friday with felony battery after Miami-Dade police said he beat a man he found hiding in his estranged wife's bedroom closet.

Rice went to Christina Rice's home near Coral Gables Friday afternoon, demanding to know the identity of the man she was with and asking why the man was in her house, according to a police report. Glen Rice then quickly found Alberto Perez, 37, hiding in the closet, police said.

Perez called 911 about 1:30 p.m. after Glen Rice hit him several times on the head and Perez was able to run out of the house, police said. Perez's facial injuries, mainly a laceration on his forehead, required nine stitches, according to the report.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pleased as punch how I feel after the Lakers demolished (abused, humiliated, ran roughshod over) the Hornets on their home floor. Bynum outplayed Tyson Chandler, defenders mostly stayed home on that mouth-breather Peja, and when Chris Paul drove everyone stayed in the passing lanes and turned him into a scorer only (5 assists total).

And the bench came in and held and/or extended the lead, rather than being sloppy with passes(Farmar) or forcing shots (Kwame). Leaving Kobe or Lamar in with that unit really helps.

Big, big win. All the more amazing that the game was basically over halfway through the 1st quarter. As Chris Paul said, "I don't think it was so much of what we didn't do as what they did well."