Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What I Did on My Spring Break...

As the Lakers take a week off of basketball I guess we have some time on our hands to reflect what's happening around the league.

Apparently DeShawn Stevenson feels the needs to be the Roddy Rowdy Piper to Lebron's Hulkamania. This is going to work out his dreams. Since 99% of all Wizards fans are pleading with DeShizzle to STFU and stop poking a lion (or whispering to a bear, same analogy, same result), it would be hard for one to believe you could alienate the 1% of the fans left. done and done.

Turns out Karl Malone really loves mean it...He REALLY loves kids. yuk.

And guess who David Stern loves...The Celtics of course. I'm not really upset that the hullabaloo between the Celtics and Hawks didn't wind up in suspensions. But I did find it funny that our fearless leader decided to not use his stern (yup, i said it) judgment in handing out penalties. Players did move toward the action reminiscent of last years Suns, and KG definitely did shove a ref. I guess the Celtics bloated egos getting popped was punishment enough. After all, you have to feel bad getting punked by a guy named Zaza (this one's for the real fans out there!).

Spring break is over next week, and on a serious note we can use this time to heal. I don't believe in the "getting rusty with too much rest" theory. I'm happy if the Jazz/Rockets go 7 and we have time to work on our game plan(s). I'm sure we'll use our well deserved time wisely. I'm really hoping for the Celtics/Lakers finals. I can't wait to see Jeebus Shuttleworth pout his way to a ringless exit, after all he is a sensative guy.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

We Made Them Eat Their Parents

I know this series isn't over, but... when you have one of your star players yelling at the coach "don't just sit there!" and then later saying that the entire team quit, well, it doesn't look good.

The Good Guys played much better defense, but frankly didn't shoot all that well, especially from the free throw line. That could've been a 30+ point win.

So, since I'm a jerk, I like to go see what the good folks posting on the Denver Post website have to say:

"this team is a "F" joke...your playoffs lives are at stake and this is how you respond especially @ home...I will not be staying up late here on the east coast watching this ******* on monday"

"Still all four MC, GK, Carmelo, and AC need to be put in a sack and thrown off the bridge."

"okay, here's the upside. if LA sweeps, 100% guaranteed that George Karl gets fired."

and my favorite: "Just goes to prove that a surplus of tats does not a basketball team make."

Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness, mmm, yummy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Phoenix Spurs

I am very happy to watch this series because Shaq-Duncan is fun. The teams are well matched.  The coaches are good and their adjustments clever. The players exciting and sound.   And most of all,  Two men enter, one man leave.  

I love THE 405.

Bryant continued on Monday to compliment Mitch Kupchak, saying the Lakers' general manager had gone from an "F to an A-plus," and also added some colorful texture to his thoughts on the franchise.

"I love our team here," Bryant said. "I love what we're doing here. We have a great relationship, we have great chemistry. We have all the pieces in here to make a run for a long time. I've always wanted to be here, but I just felt like I was in a position where I didn't really have a choice," Bryant said of the tumult last year. "They wanted to go in an opposite direction. My legs aren't as young as they used to be. But I love the weather, I love my '63 drop-top Impala. I love the 405 and I love my guys."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First in the Pacific, First in the West, First in the Hearts of Their Countrymen

Let me start with a word that David Mamet claims to have coined:


I don't think any of us expected the #1 seed, but here we are. Someone send flowers to Ron Artest and JR Smith. Or, scratch JR, we'll deliver those in person in the first round. And then a HUGE win on Sunday; I know they didn't have Ginobili, but that second half was a paddlin' like the Spurs took out the school canoe.

Best of all, we got the exact playoff matchup across the board that I was hoping for. Have you seen the bottom half of the bracket? That very easily could've been us playing the Suns first round, Spurs second round. Now? Nuggets->Jazz->Spurs->Celtics, The Laker Championship Ladder. A tall task, but not impossible by any stretch.

So what do you think about these matchups? Let's ignore the East for the first two rounds, although the Wizards-Cavs series should be watchable.

Lakers (1) vs. Nuggets (8)
Frankly the Lakers should sweep, but the Nuggets shoot their way into one win, and the Lakers throw one away on one of those 4-for-17 Kobe nights where no one picks up the slack. Gotta gotta gotta win the first two at home. Game 1 Sunday at Noon. No jinx, Lakers 4-2.

Jazz (4) vs. Rockets (5)
Rockets have home court advantage. They also have someone named Carl Landry getting significant minutes. I'm selfishly rooting for the Rockets, but only if I don't have to watch them play. I do like Deron Williams, but I'll get to enjoy him driving right around Fish for six or so games next round. Jazz 4-1.

Hornets (2) vs. Mavs (7)
Did the Lakers do the Hornets a favor in a way by showing them 'playoff intensity' the other day? If that helps them not be shell-shocked in game 1, they win the series. If the blow game 1 to a fired up Mavs team, Mavs win the series. Which, Mavs 4-2.

Spurs (3) vs. Suns (6)
Yee-ha. This oughta be fun. Will Horry be healthy enough to clothesline Steve Nash? I fucking hope so. These teams hate each other, which probably means the Suns will play like bitches and lose when a flop isn't called at some critical moment. ESPN and I certainly wouldn't mind the Lakers getting the Suns in the West finals, but, Spurs 4-3.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Like The Fear

I do declare, that was quite a lovely evening of basketball.

First, I get home in time to see the Suns game out of reach early in the 4th, which meant that a win by the Lakers would clinch the Division. Nooooiice.

Second, as I'm getting ready to leave, Sony calls and convinces me to watch that hilarious hockey check by VladRad on Tyson Chandler. Great to see him fired up, but the adrenaline didn't seem to do much for his outside shot.

Third, I played a very entertaining 3 hours of basketball down in the Mont. With 16 guys we played rotating winners/losers court 4-on-4, and my team never lost despite having a 10-year-old as our fourth. There is some pretty decent talent there mind you -- mostly in the 21-29 age group, including a few guys that play on the Ohlone college squad. In the fifth game the one loudmouth hick in a gym full of otherwise classy, no-argue players, rolls his ankle untouched on some ridiculous fading 3-point turnaround jumper. It wasn't too bad, but he threw a hissy fit and basically challenged my teammate to a fight, claiming he was pushed. The best part: the remaining 15 of us all told him to go home an not come back. Oh yeah, then we ran full with subs and my team won a 20-min. timed game by 2. Nooooiice.

Was there something else? Oh yeah, Fourth: I get home well after midnight, sore but satisfied (no homo), and get to watch that great Laker win over the Big Easy CP3s. Someone 'ruined' the outcome for me, so that 3rd quarter only stung a little. But a salve was at hand: that dunk (above) by Kobe was incredible -- the slo-mo really does it justice. And speaking of justice, that clinches the division and moves the Lakers to the #2 spot and a potential 1st-round match-up with our bitches the Mavs. What do you think, Stu? Nooooiice.

So did the MVP race just turn back in our favor? I'm still not buying it. If the players or coaches or GMs voted, Kobe would win in a landslide. And yes I know that a couple LA Times 'informal poll of voters' has him winning, but the 'journalists' that vote are lard-ass haters extraordinaire (this not an opinion, but a verifiable fact). And as we've seen in the difference in Obama vote totals in open caucuses vs. balloting, there is something about the privacy of a voting booth that clarifies the mind and allows the voter to proceed with complete irrationality and unfettered bias. Also, most of the writers are white, and white people do love assists.

Never mind that CP3 is sort of a defensive liability -- sure he gets some nice steals, but so does Baron Davis, and so did Smush Parker. Can anyone seriously watch last night's game and think, wow those two superstars really battled it out? You mean Kobe and Pargo? And since stats can't tell the whole story, it should come down to the intangibles of Leadership, Indomitable Will, and, I don't know, how about Which Player Strikes The Most Fear Into The Hearts Of His Opponents? (Answer: Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. And KG second.)

If it comes down to this "who is most valuable to his team" nonsense, I might have to go with Lebron James. That Cavs team wouldn't win 20 games without Lebron. But is anyone worried about them on the playoffs? Or the Hornets? It is to laugh. There are three and only three contenders for the championship right now: Celtics, Spurs, and Your Los Angeles Lakers. You feel that fear? It's because we're close.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Please, please tell me this is wrong

The Lakers are a terrible defensive team with Gasol, Fisher and Vlad on the floor. All three are consistently beaten by their man, fail to help with effective authority, and none of them rebound (Gasol has averaged 9 rebounds p.g. only once in 7 years). You have one guy (Kobe) killing himself on D and one guy (Lamar) getting rebounds and everyone else is a liability. Its like Phoenix with Amare, Raja and no one else.

The problem is, that you need a stout defense to dig out of these 10-15 point deficits they keep giving up to Charlotte, Memphis, Portland and other elite teams. But they don’t get any defense from their 3 starters and comebacks are regularly stopped by a couple wide open threes, offensive rebounds, or uncontested lay-ups. The problem is compounded because the Lakers routinely have a warm milk and turkey pre-game meal and fail to do anything in the first quarter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Who's Not Honoring Me Now? VII

A couple of these are older -- Crouse for example is punishing the Lakers for those two bad losses. As far as the Lakers go, big deal. But those two losses will absolutely cause Kobe to lose the MVP award to Chris Paul. I'm not sure that anything that happens in the next week will change any of those grudge-holding, homerish, fatass writers' minds. Guess Kobe is the new Jerry West (also MVP-less). Logo2!

#3 - Sagarin/
#5 - Schuhmann/
#7 - Crouse/
#4 - dime magazine
#4 - Hollinger/
#4 - Steyn/
#3 - Burns/
#5 - Murphy/
#6 - Ludden/yahoo
#5 - Pincus/

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ba-da da da da, I'm' It!

What a fantastic game by Lamar last night... not only rebounding like a madman, D-ing up Dirk as best anyone can when he's in a zone like that, and just generally raising the energy level of the team, but what the hell was going on with a couple of his backdown post moves that ended in fancy finger-roll flips? You know what I'm talking about? Spinning them into the hoop like he's playing in a charity game and just having fun.

Bynum or no, the Lakers start playing a little better D for an entire game, and this team is a serious contender. The Mavs couldn't miss a shot, and yet were only up 10 at the half. You knew that would make the nervous, and sure enough... anyone else notice that Josh Howard starts to seem inconsequential in crunch time?

Do we really care if we face Dallas or Houston? I'd rather have either of them than the Nuggets right now.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NBA Champ Odds

NBA Title Favorites:

Lakers 2-1
Celtics 2-1
San Antonio 4-1
Suns 11-2
Pistons 8-1


At season’s beginning Lakers were +$2,200