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.


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…

Blogsifting – Do you feel you’ve been rehabilitated?

10 05 2008

Oh ye gods. Busy at the moment – busier than a 3-legged dog trying to bury a bone on a marble floor, and that means some important things have been left by the wayside… like telling you what you should be I’ve been reading.

  1. Neate Sager’s take on the Hockey. Over at Epic Carnival, but you can catch Neate over at Out Of Left Field. Sometimes…
  2. Chuck Barkley. Gotta love him. Love him all the more over at The World Of Isaac.
  3. Richie Sexson’s mind-fart. Get the details from the excellent Five Tool Tool.
  4. Ed Ziti from MVN Lakers Library writes his impressions on the entire Mike D’Antoni episode.
  5. Red’s Army has a laugh at a Laker-fan having a dig at the C’s… almost funny clip tho’!
  6. You’ve Been BlindedJason Whitlock interview. Damn good reading.
  7. Over at Ball Don’t Lie, Kelly Dwyer tells it like it is with the Lakers loss to Utah in game 3.

Blogsifting – Going Nuts!

16 04 2008

NBA Finals JUST around the corner, so this long-overdue episode of Blogsifting goes out to other NBA blogs (sorry, keep forgetting I’m not an NBA blog, With Malice… just resembles one sometimes):

  1. First up – a blog with something that’s close to my heart, Forum Blue & Gold. Celebrating the same thing as I am at the moment…
  2. CelticsBlog runs out their version of the season’s Awards – no surprises who gets their MVP!
  3. The Hawks are in the playoffs – go yap about it with FOULEDOUT!
  4. Or… you could discuss April 15th‘s state of play at Give Me The Rock.
  5. Hardwood Paroxysm explores the opportunities that avail themselves to the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs
  6. Irish Warriors – a glance into The End.
  7. Carolyn over at And One (Cleveland Cavaliers) explores the game that ended messily: 76ers vs Cavs.

The Road Home

31 03 2008

Inside 10 games now, and the battle for the West (top end this time!) is really hotting up.  Currently New Orleans sit atop the rankings, and the Spurs share the honours. 
LA Lakers, Phoenix, and Houston are all but a game, game and a half back. 
The Jazz are 3 games behind the NO/SA pairing, and with the schedule they face, it’s unlikely they’ll be in the fight to be top. 
For that matter, given the way Houston have been playing post-streak, we can probably Horneyseliminate them from the discussion too.

So that leaves us with New Orleans, San Antonio, the Lakers, and Phoenix.  Yes, other teams are a mathematical shot, but hey – the earth could stop spinning on it’s axis tomorrow and we could all fall off the planet too.  Shoganai.  So, Hornets/Spurs/Lakers/Suns… and what’s the road home like for them? 
New Orleans face: @Orlando, @Miami, host New York, GSW, Utah, @Minnesota, @LAL, @Sacramento, Clippers, @Dallas (6 away games, 4 home)
San Antonio will see: GSW, @Utah, @Portland, PHX, Sseattle, @LAL, @Sacramento, Utah (4 away, 4 home)
Los Angeles: Portland, Dallas, @Kings, @Portland, Clippers, NO, SA, Sacramento (2 away, 6 home)
Phoenix: Denver, @Denver, Minnesota, Dallas, @Memphis, @SA, @Houston, GSW, Portland (4 away, 5 home)

Of those games, New Orleans has 5 games that would could consider ‘tough’.  The Spurs have 5 as well.  LA has 3, and Phoenix 6 (ok, I’m counting Houston). 
For argument’s sake, let’s say that New Orleans wins 7 of 10, San Antonio 6 of 8, LA 7 of 8, and Phoenix 6 of 9.  That would mean that the Hornets finish with a record of 57-25, SA 57-25, LA 57-25, and the Suns at 55-27. 
Egads man! A three-way tie? Well, if that occurred, it would make life interesting, and would rest on who won what games. Currently the series season between the Hornets and the Spurs is a tie, LA & NO – New Orleans has a 2-1 edge, vs LA the Spurs hold the same. Both play LA in the last few games.
I don’t believe it’ll be a tie – call me a pessimist but I cannot see LA going 7-from-8 in the home stretch. I mean, I hope they do… I just think they’ll find a way to lose a game they shouldn’t (like the last week we’ve seen from them).

ItchyAt the lower end of the 8 it’s even more interesting, because someone from the nether regions of the standings is going to miss out. Currently Denver, Golden State & Dallas are all tied. If it were to remain that way, then by rights of how their games have gone the Golden State Warriors would miss out.  But… their last games are:
Dallas: @LAC, @GSW, @LAL, @PHX, seattle, Utah, @Portland, @seattle, NO
Golden State: @SA, @Dallas, @Memphis, @NO, Sacramento, Denver, LAC, @PHX, seattle
Denver: @PHX, PHX, Sacramento, @Seattle, @LAC, @GSW, @Utah, Houston, Memphis
GSW finish that run winning 5 of 9. Denver lose 3 of their last 9.
I see Dallas dropping somewhere between 4 to 6 games, and not making the playoffs.

I think the end standings will be:

  1. New Orleans Hornets
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. LA Lakers
  4. Utah Jazz
  5. Phoenix Suns
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. Denver
  8. Golden State

As I said before: find the man who thought of lottery protecting the 2008 pick in the Kidd deal, and give him a raise.

Blogsifting: Dancing, & Other Stuff

19 03 2008

OMG… yeeeOWSERS!Been busier than a three-legged dog trying to bury a bone on a marble floor… but I have had time to have a look around. Here’s what you should be reading (other than stuff here!):

  1. J.E. Skeets asks the important questions. This time, the question asked is: “If the playoffs started tomorrow, which opponent would you most (and least) want to see in the first round?” Ball Don’t Lie
  2. reports on a TwinCities report on KG Tanking… ouch.
  3. Awesome, awesome piece on Lance Allred over at Hardwood Paroxysm
  4. Over at MVN Lakers Library, Ed Ziti wraps up the Lakers win over the Mavs (my take on that later)…
  5. Oh wow… a blog that never disappoints to come up with quirky stuff – Pyle of List. 2008 Tournament of Villainy: Cartoon Bracket. Where do they get this stuff?
  6. Storming The Floor ranks the chances of the Big East in the NCAA Tournament…
  7. Making The DanceSleepers, Upsets and Odds to win it all

Blogsifting – Setting Suns & High Rises

6 03 2008

Scrumptious…  (can somebody warn me if they see Jeff Wong headed this way?)Well, some nice hits on my NBA TV Redux bit (thank you  More NBA: raise your hand if you think Phoenix made a mistake trading to get Shaq?  Man… getting hammered by Denver today (126-113) doesn’t really make ’em look that good, huh?  Supposedly got him to shore up their defense, but losing 5-out-of-8… and each time scores being above 116 (3 scores over 120) – not looking too hot on the D.  And LeBron’s 50/10/8???  He musta felt ripped off when Kobe went for 52 the other night…

Anyway, time to show some link-lovin’!

  1. Over at The World Of Isaac5 Tips for a Good Meltdown
  2. Tony Riazzi writing at PRAY FOR MOJO waxes eloquent on Tropicana Field naming rights
  3. DMtShooter writing at Epic Carnival (same guy from Five Tool Tool) calls it like it is on the Oakland A’s.
  4. Kurt over at Forum Blue & Gold – the pre-eminent Lakers blog out there – discusses the need for ‘The One Big Piece’
  5. I find it poignant that the most excellent FOULEDOUT! puts up a vid-clip of Dirkus Circus on the day his suspension was given!  FO has such a sense of irony!

Err… yibbidah yibbidah, that’s all folks!