Done here…

1 12 2008

Was fun at wordpress, but moved on.

Still at http://with-malice.com/





Tough luck Toronto

1 12 2008

November 30th – Toronto Raptors (8-7) at Los Angeles Lakers (12-1)

The man who would be MVP (at least… he says he could be) playing against the man who is (reigning) MVP.
Yup, that’s right: Chris Bosh is in town to play Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Bosh’ll get every chance to show exactly what he’s made up, going up against the Lakers, who haven’t lost to the Rap-pack at home in 7 years.

Toronto have really yet to impress, regardless of the start to the season that Bosh has had. Sitting a game over .500, the Raptors looked at the start of the season to be one of the teams to beat out East, with the addition of Jermaine O’Neal, and the expected emergence of Jose Calderon. O’Neal does look the goods, if somewhat frail still… and Calderon has impressive – all in addition to CB4’s near-MVP-like play… yet the Raptors still manage to lose games that you’d think they’d win. Losses to Boston are explicable, but losing 83010497AB023_Mavs_Lakersto teams like Philadelphia (perhaps the biggest under-performing unit in the NBA thus far) and New Jersey – both at home – beggars explaining.

They have their work cut out for them against a Laker unit that hasn’t enjoyed a start like this for several years. Gasol, Bynum and Odom make life very, very difficult for opposition big men – there’s simply no respite. Trevor Ariza has been phenomenal off the bench, with his play he should be in 6th Man conversations (as a ‘true’ sixth). And Kobe is still Kobe, despite playing the fewest minutes many a year.

LA will win this one.
By 9.





No Cigars for Dallas today

29 11 2008

Dallas Mavericks (7-7) at Los Angeles Lakers (11-1)

The last time the Mavs played the Lakers, LA managed to only just eke out a win.  Dallas come to town with high hopes and a fully-loaded Dirk Nowitzki.  Dirk’s been firing of late, averaging a handy 28.8 points and 11.6 boards over the last five games.  Even tho’ the Lakers boast one of the best teams in the NBA at both ends of the court, Dallas would have to rate themselves for this game.

Phil being phunny...LA.  Quite simply they are the cream of the crop at the moment.  Used to be that if you shut down Kobe, then you shut down LA.  Not any more.  Even when Kobe’s not hot now, LA are winning… and by a league-best average of 14+ points per.  You can’t just stop #24, you have to stop the entire team. No-one’s playing big minutes yet, largely because they haven’t needed to. It’s a well-balanced team that comes at you from all angles. Phil’s got them playing very, very well.

Dallas have found recent form that might come close to doing that. Having won 5 on the trot, not only is Nowitzki playing well, but you can also look to wily ol’ veterans Jason Terry and J-Kidd as well. Funny that. You have to wonder if it’s the lesser impact of a somewhat distracting owner.

The Lakers will be looking to extend their own 5 game winning streak, and move to an impressive 12-1 thus far this season.
I see that happening. LA by 17.





Happy Thanksgiving

28 11 2008

To those of you in the USA…





Go

27 11 2008

There comes a point in most undertakings in life where it’s time to walk away.  When two (or more) parties are involved, it becomes a little tougher, but the theory remains the same.  Sometimes it’s best to just get the hell outta Dodge.No hearts here...
Kenny Rogers was right smack on the money with his song The Gambler.

“You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”

There aren’t many better images than this for where the New York Knicks and Stephon Marbury now find themselves. It’s the classic stare-down. New York doesn’t want to just tell Marbury to get out, and there’s too much money on the table for him to walk away.

At the beginning of the season, the New York Knicks embodied by Donnie Walsh and miscreant...Mike D’Antoni made it abundantly clear to Stephon Marbury that he was in no way, shape or form part of their plans for the future. Fast-forward to now: two massive trades involving guards Jamaal Crawford and Mardy Collins (and forward Zach Randolph) occurred. Then an injury to Nate Robinson… and health concerns for new-Knick Cuttino Mobley – this left the Knicks with only two healthy guards: Chris Duhon and Anthony Roberson. Marbury was told prior to at least two games (against the Bucks, and the Pistons) that if he wanted court-time, it was his for the taking.

Marbury’s response?
No thanks.

Whilst his refusal to have anything to do with the Knicks (other than cash paychecks from them) must be infuriating for the Knicks hierarchy, the implications for Marbury himself are even greater.

It’s easy to understand Marbury’s continued refusal to play. The Knicks made their opinion of him clear, but now that they need him, they turn up on his doorstep cap-in-hand and expect it of him. Most people would have the same reaction: thumb their nose at the arrogance displayed by these people.
But they’d be wrong too.
The powers that be...Aside from the fact that it’s a reasonable request made by the people who give him a very sizable amount of money, it could have repercussions on his career post-Knicks.
There was every possibility that a team would pick up Marbury for a deal once he finished with the Knicks (which could be any day now). But his “no thanks” and refusal to be a part of the team are indicative of an attitude that might end up making him as big a pariah in basketball as Barry Bonds is in baseball.

What should the Knicks do?
Cut their losses and run – they’ll be paying him the money any way. Marbury’s very presence is a cancer. He’s clashed with pretty much every authority figure within the New York office – Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas, and now Mike D’Antoni/Donnie Walsh. This is a man that was once called “the most reviled athlete in New York” (New York Daily News).
It’s well past time for New York to bid Stephon Marbury adieu.
Know when to walk away and know when to run.





2010… a basketball Odyssey

27 11 2008

Enough said...

Thanks Frank (of eTrueSports)…





No love for NJ in LA

26 11 2008

November 25th – New Jersey Nets (6-6) at LA Lakers (11-1)

The Nets of New Jersey.
The NBA’s blandest franchise? Have to come close. Cleveland were bland, until they got to play luggage to LeBron (and you can probably count on two fingers how much longer that will go on). Milwaukee? No, they have good beer. Nope, it’s NJ.

Cap'n Jack and some bum...Who does this team belong to? Devon Harris? Or Vince Carter?
Hard to say, but they bring their team into a pretty tough version today against the 11-1 Lakers.
Not that the venue itself is particularly daunting… well, ok – the lighting’s awesome (at least, it is for Lakers’ games), but the crowd itself are pussy cats. ‘Cept for Cap’n Jack – but he’s so over the top he’s almost like a caricature at any rate.
No, it’s not the venue, but who resides there that make this a tough trip.
The Lakers have opened this season on a mission. There’s a surprise. And they are playing the best defense I’ve seen a Laker team play in many, many years.
That’s not to say they can’t lose. Sooner or later, they’re going to – I have Christmas Day penciled in as a big game… ok, probably before that – but just LOOK at their schedule! Post this game, 2 days rest, then Dallas, 2 days rest, then Toronto. Then look at December: first 3 weeks they barely see a team with a better-than-.500 record!
One’d almost think David Stern loves LA or something.
Oh, wait a sec…

Anyway… Yes, LA will lose – and probably soon, but it won’t be today.  LA by 14 here.