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.

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What kind of car does Kobe drive?

12 07 2008

I don’t know… well… now I do.

When I first started watching this, I thought it was just a lame send up of Kobe’s jump over the Aston Martin.  By the end, you know, I thought it was pretty funny.





Shaq puts the ‘C’ in rap…

24 06 2008

Stupidity. Comes in many forms, and often people who should know better get caught up in it.

Shaq should know better.

This was funny… but this was also stupid. I’m betting there were more than a few lagers consumed prior to this. And ripping on Ewing and Kareem?

Oh well… I guess there’s no telling him.





Blogsifting: The Truth is Out There (and it’s not Paul Pierce)

12 06 2008

Wow… a helluva lot going on in the NBA – finals, fixing, Stern vs Donaghy… riveting stuff.

Can the Lakers get up in game 4? Will the Celtics get a step closer? Does David Stern really expect Tim Donaghy to come up with a cool million?

Check out some of the better pieces on the interwebby at the moment:

  1. Postcards from LA – an excellent summation of what one fan believes LA must do to win. Empty The Bench (not the suggestion, just the blog!).
  2. Lists? We all love lists… here’s one from Epic CarnivalTop 10 Upcoming Tim Donaghy Allegations (penned by the excellent DMtShooter)…
  3. eTrueSports breaks the story that has the NBA no longer keeping score. I dunno… a lil’ skeptical on that one…
  4. Heh… some levity amongst it all. Brahsome shows Kobe dropping an obscenity on ESPN. Whoops.
  5. LABallTalk takes a look at game 3 in ‘Lakers Survive, Kobe Astonishes‘.
  6. The ever-astute Awful Announcing calls out JVG.
  7. Inevitable… at least, that’s how Hardwood Paroxysm sees it. I agree.

Stay tuned… lots more sports (especially NBA) to come…





There Can Only Be One… KG or Kobe – who YOU got?

6 06 2008

And it begins…





Blogsifting: The Eve

5 06 2008

Imminent.

Should not even have to say what I’m talking about… if you’re reading this – you came here, you know.

Some stuff worth reading on the only thing I’m really thinking about at the moment…

  1. An absolutely phenomenal piece on Kobe by Kelly Dwyer over at Ball Don’t Lie.  Sheesh… would that I could write like that!
  2. This was fun, over at Cuzoogle.  No prizes for guessing which way they’re leaning…
  3. eTrueSports are always good for a laugh – The Battling Bakers is no different!
  4. LABallTalk will be hosting a live-blog of game 1.  As good a place as any to get your yap on.
  5. MVN Lakers Library‘s Ed Ziti explores what he sees as the Celtics Game Plan
  6. Forum Blue & Gold explores the formation of the rivalry that exists between Boston & LA… good read.
  7. Hardwood Paroxysm has their Finals Preview up – Parts 1 & 2… Definitely – as always – a worthwhile destination…




Heart’s racing – Lakers out of the FIRE

22 05 2008

Sheesh…
Holy down-to-the-wire, Batman!

This may ramble quite a bit as my heart’s having palpitations… hell. It’s doing a Megadeath riff at the moment…
STILL quite amazed that the Lakers won this one.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the guys at AOL Fanhouse for pointing me in the direction of TNT NBA Playoffs Live – OF ALL THINGS THAT ARE GOOD AND HOLY -THANKYOU! Sheesh… able to watch the games as they unfurl, and ahead of even the TV? You gotta understand – I don’t get full coverage here in Japan, just the odd game – so this is HUGE for me (and for those outside the US).

Prior to the game’s beginning, if you told me that the end result would have both teams scoring under 90, then asked me who would be the winner, I would tell you the Spurs. But the 89-85 scoreline went the other way. ‘Twas the Lakers who’d run out winners in the end.

Certainly didn’t look like unfolding that way earlier on. The first half saw Kobe only take 3 shots for 2 points, and the Lakers went in at the half 8 points down (51-43)… the third quarter saw the Spurs open up a nasty run, and move to a 65-45 advantage.
Honestly? I felt sick to my stomach.
But then something amazing happened.
Kobe Bean Bryant came alive.

Earlier this week I declared that the Spurs were Lazarus-like in their comeback from 3-2 down in their series against the Hornets – The Lakers certainly did their own rise-from-the-dead impersonation during this game.
Phenomenal.
As stated earlier, Kobe had 2 points in the first half – he finished with 27 for the game with 9 assists and 5 rebounds. His team-mates were there in support, I guess they’d want to be after the sweet watches Kobe landed on each of ’em (including one for Andrew Bynum – a class touch). Vujacic – who’s normally known for never having a look that he didn’t like – did an absolute number defensively on Manu Ginobli. The supreme Argentine flopper player finished with 10 points on 3-from-13 shooting.

I almost feel for Tim Duncan. Almost. Laying down the law in the paint, ol’ Timmy had 30 points, 18 rebounds and 4 blocks. With a performance like that, you’d have to be sure that San Antonio steals the game. He has to be wondering what more does he have to do.
But it just was not to be.

With about 4 minutes to go, I made the comment on a Live-blog (one of two I took sporadic part in)

“LeBron James, take notes please…”

And that’s the difference. James is a great player. Phenomenal. His game 7 against the Celtics was one for the ages. And he has no-where near the support that Kobe now has. But at the end of that game, he clanged. And that’s simply a fact, no matter how many points he scored earlier.
Harsh?
Maybe… but the guy he’s most often measured against showed exactly why he has the reputation of being a stone-cold assassin with ginsu-knives for teeth (nod to HP on that, sure I read something like that description somewhere there…). With less than a minute-and-a-half to go, Kobe pulled up and hit a jumper that was positively Jordanesque. It put the Lakers ahead for the first time.

Kobe was simply all we expect him to be… all an MVP should be.

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Want some more? Excellent wrap up over at Hardwood Paroxysm…