Amazing (lack of) Grace

21 11 2008

November 20 – Los Angeles Lakers (8-1) at Phoenix Suns (8-4)

Wow.  Just wow.

I’ll pre-empt the following with an acknowledgment that Shaquille O’Neal is playing the best basketball he’s played for – quite literally – years.  He hasn’t consistently put up numbers that he’s putting up now since he left LA.
Phabulous Phil - machiavellian?  Really?And now, he says he’d go back to LA. He’d finish his career there, if he had the chance.
Oh yeah, and now apparently it was Phil Jackson’s fault that he didn’t get along with Kobe.

The sooner that Shaq takes ownership for at least being partly to blame for the way he departed LA, the better.
It was Kobe’s fault.
It was Jerry Buss’s fault.
It is Phil Jackson’s fault.
How about it being (at least partly) Shaquille O’Neal’s fault?

Anyway – sidetracked there! But if the above doesn’t provide some motivation for the Lakers, nothing will.
LA rides into town the only team that’s unbeaten on the road thus far this season, and I don’t see any reason for it to change in Phoenix. The Suns are a good unit, but still getting used to the new coach Terry Porter – a vast move away from the 7 seconds run under Mike D’Antoni. There have been a few hiccups thus far, and as a result Phoenix are only 3-2 at home. Porter’s system seems to favour O’Neal – he’s playing the best basketball since the ’03-04 season (his last in LA).
Pau-er over the Bulls...O’Neal will have his hands full on Thursday tho’ – two aggressive 7 footers in Gasol and Bynum. And let’s not forget that there’s really no resting against LA, who are running a combination of Gasol/Bynum/Odom – with 2 of them on the floor at pretty much all times. For Phoenix to have any sort of a chance, Amare Stoudemire will have to bring his defensive ‘A’ game, and then some (Amare’s not exactly well-known for his defensive prowess).

The match-up between O’Neal and Bynum will be most interesting, as both have something to prove. Bynum, matching up on the guy who declares himself to be the best ever, and may well be. O’Neal on the young guy who replaced him at LA. LA the team he said he’d like to finish his career at.

And Phil… I place money on a wry grin on his face when the game kicks off on Thursday.
LA by 8.

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16 responses

21 11 2008
Soph

I’ve always felt Shaq was the culprit. Usually when 1 person can’t let something go, maybe they have a vested in it……….. I feel bad for the Suns, I think they get pole-axed tonight.

21 11 2008
brumbygg9

still looking for the preview of the Celtics and Pistons……

21 11 2008
mark

Shaq wants to finish up in LA, because hes a fan of the city. But does that rule the Clippers out?

21 11 2008
brumbygg9

Shaq wants to go someplace warm where we he thinks he can pick up another ring…. I think we can safely assume that rules out the Clips

21 11 2008
mark

Well he would get to live nad work and play in LA and he doesnt need to do it with Jackson or Kobe. And if he wins a title with the Suns, which is always possible, maybe his thirst shall be squenched?

21 11 2008
brumbygg9

Let me be the first to say publicly that the regular season is a waste of time. Let the Celtics and the Lakers play a first to 15 season and give ’em the rings! Obviously the class of the NBA once again as the Pistons and Suns discovered today.

21 11 2008
mark

wow, thats a bold statement 10 games into the season….

21 11 2008
brumbygg9

yep, that’s why I’m the first to say it!

21 11 2008
mark

let me re phrase that than. a “stupid statement” not a bold statement..

21 11 2008
withmalice

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the gloves are OFF!

Just the way we like it here…

I understand what Rob’s saying, and I also understand it from Mark’s perspective too.
Rob’s just basically saying that everyone not wearing green/yellow at the moment are sucking at times… Mark’s taking what Rob said literally.
You’re both right.

21 11 2008
mark

im just saying that 10 games into the season is too early to say that 2 teams are guaranteed to be playing for the title. Thats not my opinon its common sense

21 11 2008
brumbygg9

I hear what you are saying Mark, and i agree that it’s awfully early to be making predictions about the finals. But having said that both teams look waaay too good to not get out of their conference. While anything can go wrong over the course of a season I just wanted to get my wild prediction in early. and trust me, if (when?) it happens I’ll be pointing back at this post and declaring that I am a golden god!

21 11 2008
Soph

Lebron for Champs, Cleveland ginally gets its title.

22 11 2008
withmalice

That would mean that LeBron will not only have to continue playing the ball he’s playing now, but to step it up a notch again. Quite frankly, I don’t see them beating LA/Boston.

And Rob? Yes, you’re very smart. Pointing to the teams that were in the Finals last season, both of which are playing the best basketball in their respective conferences at this (admittedly early) stage. You have a fine eye for this.

22 11 2008
withmalice

Rob… you asked where was Celtics/Pistons.
Sorry.

If you guys ever have a game that you particularly want me to preview, lemme know (on my most recent preview), and I’ll try to get to it.

22 11 2008
mark

All this talk about the best teams, just want to throw it out there, Orlando is on a 5 game winning streak and have won 9 of their last 10. A weak Divison yes, but thats still impressive.

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