NBA musings with malice

31 10 2007

Not that I’ll do a wrap-up of EVERY game, but the first three of the season… well, that’s important. My thoughts on the season openers…

  • Anyone else here surprised as hell with how well Portland played tonight against the Spurs (SA 106 – P 97)? Henry finds the way the Spurs play BOOOOORING!Hell, it’s almost as if they started believing in themselves post acquiring the big guy who’s now out with microfracture surgery… I know I’m impressed.
    They really did threaten the reigning champions, and even tho’ San Antonio continued to do what they always do – win – there were times when I thought the Jail Trail Blazers were in with a shot. Kudos to them, keep it up. And kudos to the Spurs too. Even tho’ I find their brand of basketball oh-so-bland & yawn-inspiring, their version of ‘The Big Three’ keep going.
  • Utah (U 117 – GSW 96) look like being a real threat again this year – Boozer’s a monster. Deron Williams continues to develop into one of the better point-men in the league too. And unsung Paul Millsap – a great third option. Boozer was a man amongst boys, 32 points and 15 rebounds, and Golden State just had NOTHING they could throw at ol’ Carlos to slow him down. Missing resident crazy Stephen Jackson certainly will hurt the Warriors, as will a very nasty schedule to begin with.
    I think that Golden State are a team that runs very hot, and very cold. Early dysfunction is really nothing to be too worried about… I get the feeling that this is exactly what that team thrives on.
  • Kobe appears to be playing with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s good news for the Lakers… while he’s still a Laker – 45 points, 4 assists & 8 rebounds is a good night at the office. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for LA’s premier franchise (no… the Clips don’t take that yet), and they fell short against Houston, Shane Battier hitting a tie-breaker trey with seconds left to carry Houston home 95-93. Yao was a juggernaut with 25 points, 12 rebounds (4 offensive) and 3 blocks, and the Lakers big men – Brown, Bynum & Mihm – could only equal that total when added together.
    Kobe Lite T-Mac was in good form too with 30 points…
    Houston could be good this year, but they’ll have to play better than this.
    Meanwhile LA? Everyone’s watching them with the same morbid fascination we pay to an impending car wreck…

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NBA – Previews from Blogfrica… The Pacific

31 10 2007

 Welcome to the final instalment of the NBA Previews from Blogfrica!  Today we’re looking at the Pacific Div. of the Western Conference… the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden St. Warriors3 of last year’s 8 finalists came from this division… promises to be exciting this year too!

Don’t forget to check out the other previews – South East Div.,Atlantic Div., Southwest Div., Central Div. & the rollicking North West!!

Golden St. Warriors
Golden State of Mind

Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Lakers
Forum Blue & Gold
With Malice

Phoenix Suns
Bright Side of the Sun

Sacramento Kings
Sactown Royalty

CelticsBlog NBA Page & the complete list of previews at Celtics Blog!!

Top Sports Stories in Japan…

31 10 2007

Rina’s dressed for successBright ‘n’ sunny day…

Today’s top stories in sports in Japan:

  • Brazil to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Dragons slaughter Fighters in game 3, 9-1 (NPB Japan Series)… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Handkerchief Prince adds another title to the swag (University Baseball)… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Wie to pass on Japanese Men’s event… [Mainichi Shimbun]
  • Matsuzaka’s popularity skyrockets… [Japan Times]

NBA – thoughts with malice

30 10 2007

During the last NBA season (well… end of it) I was just finding my feet. Now I’ve found them (still somewhat wobbly), but from time to time I’ll post on the NBA and give my thoughts on situations. Feel free to disagree.

  • As is probably obvious, I’m finding the situation with Kobe & the Lakers more than a bit of an irritation. Either trade the guy, and let’s move on, or shut Jerry up. Doctor Buss is making it very, very difficult to just get about playing. Sad thing is, with it going the way it’s going, either way – the season’s still going to be a write off. I’m just watching it now with the same morbid fascination as someone watching an impending train wreck.
  • Gogo soft-rockWhat’s with Boston? Just like the 70s soft-rock band of the same name, they have a nice look… but at the end of the day it’s just not Led Zeppelin. Sure, the Celtics are going to be better than last year… but that’s no stretch. Beyond the Big 3 of Garnett, Pierce & Allen, not a helluva lot to offer… and the big three? Let’s explore:
    – KG… Well, KG’s KG. But those knees aren’t going to hold out forever. But I do see this season as not being the year they break down. KG’ll be big.
    – Paul Pierce… sorry Celtic-fans, but Pierce is 30 years old – and he’s not a young 30. He battled foot-injuries last season, and whilst I hope that he can come back big-time… I don’t think we’re going to see the slashing Paulie of old. Not that he’ll need to be for the Celtics to enjoy some success.
    – Ray Allen… another I haven’t bought into just yet. A 32 year old guy who reaped a great pay-day, but is he worth it? Ankle problems have to be a non-issue for him to prove that once again, ‘He Got Game’.
    Don’t get me wrong… a good team indeed, especially in the East. But there could be perhaps 2 teams in the East that will perform to a higher standard (Chicago & Detroit), and there are 3 maybe 4 teams in the West that are still better – San Antonio, Phoenix, Dallas… and maybe Houston (should Yao stay healthy). BostonBoston’s relying on a second year point-man and a roster with no depth beyond it’s starters. And they’ve hocked the franchise to arrive at this point.
    Maybe I’m wrong… and they’ll be world beaters. But at the moment, I don’t think so.
    Boston, your 3 year window has begun.

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Top Sports Stories in Japan…

30 10 2007

Kasumi NakaneAnother day, another 89 yen after tax…

Oh well, today’s top stories in sports in Japan are:

LA Thrown Under The Buss?

29 10 2007

la_lakers.jpgMan… the Lakers…
I gotta pre-empt this all with a statement:
Yes, I am a Lakers fan. But that doesn’t make me blind to the glaring flaws in the franchise, nor does it fill me with an unrealistic hope that this roster can take us to the Promised Land of the NBA Finals. I’m a fan… I’m not stupid. Maybe a lil’ bitter…

Where to begin?
Well, let’s start with that at this very late stage, with games to begin in but 2 days time, I am still uncertain as to whether Kobe Bryant will be a Laker. Yup, I know that there have been articles written by me in the not-so-distant-past that have declared it beyond sense to trade Bryant, but recent developments have me realizing that Doctor Buss has pretty much lost it… and as such is actually beyond sense. So who knows?

kobe2.jpgThe thing about the current incarnation of the Lakers that frustrates me the most is that they are operating without a plan. Mitch Kupchak seems to operate without any true sense of direction, and Jerry Buss seems to be behaving on flights of whimsy. Such is the franchise at the moment that although possessing the best player in the game, they cannot get beyond the first round of the playoffs. Rather than surround Mr Bryant with good players, players that would compliment him, the supposed premier franchise in Los Angeles has – ever since getting rid of Shaq – placed players on the floor that are untested… or past their used-by-date, or simply cast offs no longer desired by their original team. Deals made have been bad (Kwame Brown anyone?), or not made. The franchise seems unwilling to make deals on fringe players that would make the team better, even after Buss promised both Bryant and Jackson to do as much as he can to make the team better… yet the franchise seems poised to make the block-buster deal of the century, perhaps bidding adieu to Kobe Bryant.

Make no mistake: there’s no getting equal value for Kobe. Read the rest of this entry »

NBA – Previews from Blogfrica. The Southeast

29 10 2007

Second-to-last lot of previews from this most excellent collection… The Southeast division: Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks
and Charlotte Bobcats From this group of teams, I see good things for the Magic…
[Don’t forget Atlantic Div., Southwest Div., Central Div. & North West previews!] Read the rest of this entry »