Posts Tagged ‘Kobe Bryant

11
Jun
09

O-Town and the Magic?

First and foremost, Orlando, what a game you played on Tuesday.  75% in the first half from the field and 64% for the game.  You guys played lights out.  I just wanted to say congratulations on your first ever NBA Finals win.  It must be nice to get over that goat.  Good luck in these next couple games because Kobe and co are ready.

As a Laker fan, I could not be less worried about going into tonight’s game.  The Magic shot an NBA record in field goal percentages, got a couple home court whistles (Luke Waltons charge), and Kobe stunk the joint up in the fourth.  Yet the Lakeshow almost won.  Can you imagine how demoralizing that must be for the Orlando Magic.  They are probably thinking that in order to beat the Lakers they have to shoot lights out and break some sort of record.

The reason that was the first and last game Orlando will win in the finals for a long long time is several.  Dwight Howard has one move and one move only.  He always goes with the sweeping right hook.  He never likes to turn baseline when he has a guy post up.  Every time it is to the middle of the key and a right hook.  The Lakers bigs will pick up on this and force him into shots he does not feel comfortable with.

As a shooter you know if you had a good game previously there will be a little let down going into the next game.  The problem with the Magic is all of their guys got hot on the same night.  What would have kept this series closer is if you had a select few guys get hot in different games.  Not have your whole team either hot or cold on the same night.  Game one they shot 29% from the field, game three they shot 64% from the field.  It is a hit or miss with this team.  The Lakers will make their adjustments and no way will the Magic shoot at that level again.

Kobe Bryant, stellar first half, not so stellar second half.  He is going to have that fire in his eyes once again and not let this game get away.  I am guessing we will see the Kobe we saw in game 6 against the Nuggs.  Distribute and then take over at the end of halves.  He will be on lock tonight, do not expect him to miss free throws.

One last final note, was it me or did it seem like armature hour when the tinsel/confetti operator made it rain premature?  Talk about being anxious to get that first win.  Orlando enjoy this one because it will be your last finals win in a long long time.  Do you remember that band from the late 90’s O-Town.  They had a hit song All of Nothing, this title pretty much sums up the Magic, they either make all their shots or nothing.  Yet like O-Town the Magic will be gone and out of peoples minds very very quickly.

The Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic

O-Town

O-Town

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03
Jun
09

Don’t worry Orlando, we have you covered

Besides being healthy in the NBA finals, the biggest difference from last year opposed to this year for the Lakers, is the variety of teams they played against and styles they saw in the post season.  Each round was a different style and match up that the Lakers had to play against and make adjustments.  These various styles thus have prepared them to match up and know how to play the Orlando Magic.

The Magic starting five for the post season has consisted of Rafer “Skip to my Lou” Alston, Rashard Lewis, Courtney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu, and Dwight Howard.  Lets start by breaking down each player and who they most resemble from the previous teams the Lakers have faced.  Alston is most like his young counter part who took over his spot in Houston, Aaron Brooks.  The guy is a great ball handler and very quick.  Like Brooks this guy will take an open shot so you have to stick home with him.  I feel that Fish will do a decent job on him, but we will be looking to let Farmar get most of the minutes due to his speed on the defensive end.

Courtney Lee is shooting 45% from the field in the playoffs and 30% from down town.  Out of the four shooters on the floor for Orlando he is the one Kobe will be helping off of.  We want to make him beat us.  On the offensive end this is where we will have our best mismatch with him defending Kobe.  I find Lee very similar to Ronnie Brewer of Utah.  Kobe will be free to roam around and help with other defensive assignments simialr to what he did in Utah.

Rashard Lewis, is big and can shoot lights out.  He reminds we of a better shooting Lamar Odom.  Lewis shoots well for a big man and spreads the floor for the magic.   The player most like Lewis in which the Lakers have faced would be a guy similar to Okur.  Even though Lewis is quicker than Okur, chances are Gasol will be able to keep up with him.  If they decided to pick and roll then the Lakers will be fine to switch on the pick with the lengthy Ariza and Gasol.

Hedo, I despised this guy back when he played for the Kings.  Another bigger forward who can score from any where on the floor.  Ariza got a great warm up defending Mello in the previous series.  If Ariza can slow down Mello then for sure he can have an impact on Hedo.  I feel that this is the X factor.  If we can keep Hedo quite we can win this series.

Time to break down Dwight.  Dwight is a man child, a super freak.  The dude takes his vitamins.  Luckily we have two seven footers to clog up the lane and make the paint a living night mare for Howard.  Where he will get his points is late switches or slow to help.  It is essential Bynum stays out of foul trouble.  There are possibly chances that Phil will suite up Mbenga to throw one more man at Howard with size.

The Lakers trip to the finals is four wins away.  Lets see if they can do it.  Game time tomorrow at 6…..

26
May
09

Denver is Hardcore with a capital H

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about game four of the Lakers Nuggets series?   Chris Anderson aka Bird Man, tattoos, J.R (I am a huge THUG) Smith, Dante Jones’s play is so dirty you might see it on Red Tube, or the lack luster hustle and effort by the Lakers?  To me, all of those things come to mind in that particular order.

First and foremost, the Lakers stunk the joint up in game four.  There were two or three guys that came to play, Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol.  Bynum and Gasol were a stretch.  Second off the Nuggets killed the inside and cleaned those boards the best they knew how.  It was truly a one sided game all 48 minutes.  Props to Denver for sticking one to the Lakers.

OK, now is where I talk about what was running through my head last night.  Lets start with the obvious.  Denver has a lot of tattoos.  No I take that back, the Lakers have a lot of tattoos, the Nuggets, well when they play Carmello, Smith, Anderson, Martin, and Carter together, it looks like something you would see on National Geographic’s show “Taboo”.  I don’t know what is going on with that high altitude but I am truly thinking of becoming a tattoo artist and setting up shop right next to the Pepsi Center.  Better yet, the Nuggets organization can hire me to become the team Tattoo artist.  That way it can be another perk for the players to sign with the Nuggets.  Hell, maybe LeBron would want to play for Denver on that alone?

Chris the Birdman Anderson, this guy has been through a lot over the years and it is great that he cleaned up his life and made it back to the NBA.  Should we really feel bad for this guy though?  Should we jump on his pity train?  What about Joe Schmoe who is now three years sober and is holding down a steady job at Best Buy finally being able to put food on the table for his little girl?  Just because Anderson is in the NBA does not mean he is any better than the thousands of recovering addicts in this country.  Time to bounce from that pity party.  When I become a parent I want my child to have Chris Anderson as a role model.  “Kids, this is how you save money, I am going to use the needle that was used for your first tattoo and then use it to shoot up with heroin, grab that giant rubber band over there for me.”  Ohh yeah and what is with these alter egos, “So Chris what is the Bird man?”  “I don’t know you are going to ask him.”  That answer was super douchey.

J.R. Smith, the guy can shoot you into a game and can shoot you out of a game.  Him and Kenyon Martin are the Rasheed Wallace of this NBA generation.  These two guys are strung so tight I would not be surprised if some time in their career they one up Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson.  I love when J.R. Smith makes a three and he is talking shit like he is at Rucker Park the whole way down the court.  Settle down bro, you just light up Sasha Vujachic.  He is shooting 15 percent from the field this series and is averaging more turnovers than points per game.  That right there is straight ballin, no………it really is.  You are super hard core.

K-Mart, sick nickname, if you have another child you should name him Wallace Martin, then he could be Wall-Mart.  Settle down out there man.  The NBA is not out to get you.  Stop bitching at the refs every time a foul is called.  If you hold Pau’s arm as though you are walking down the aisle with him on your wedding day, then that is probably going to be a technical.  On that note, you did look super hard though.  As Mr. Cuban once said, you are just a Thug.

Danita Jones, the only reason anyone knows your name is because of Kobe Bryant.  You are the sacrificial lamb, which enables J.R. Smith and Mellow to guard Kobe when the game is on the line.  The sole reason you get to start the game is because the Nuggets know you will not do anything except foul Kobe.  They don’t want you in the game when it counts, you are just a scrub.  I would recommend you stop pushing Kobe when he is not looking, and for sure not trip him, because without Kobe, you would be just another no name NBA player.  Settle down my friend.

One final note, back to the “Birdman”.  Watch how he plays the game.  Every trip down the floor he is the last one down.  He trails thus giving him the ability to get a running start at getting blocks and boards.  It is smart on his behalf and it makes rebounds and driving dunks that much easier.  This type of play excites the crowd, especially when he flaps his wings like a bird.  I think since Kobe’s nickname is the Black Mamba, every time he runs down the court and does something sick, he should lie down on the floor and slither back to the other side of the court.  Or possibly if LeBron does one of his towering dunks maybe he should get on all fours and run back on D like the king of the jungle.  All I am saying is that unless you are staring in Angeles in the Outfield three, chill out on the flapping on the wings.

Peace out Denver Thuggets-

20
May
09

Thank you Mr. West

Jerry West, the man who told the Lakers to take a gamble on Kobe Bryant at the ripe age of seventeen.  Jerry West the logo of the NBA.  Jerry West, the guy who just said that LeBron has surpassed Kobe.  As a Laker fan, all I can say is thank you.  Thank you for igniting that fire under the former MVP.

Just yesterday Jerry West publicly said that LeBron was a better player than Kobe.  He still gives Kobe his accolades for being the best closer and finisher, but Bronbreezy has surpassed Kobe in the NBA world as best player.  No longer is Kobe king of the NBA.  He had his one year to shine and get that MVP, now it is LeBrons turn.

Kobe, made nothing of the situation.  He said that if he paid any attention to who’s the best in the NBA he would go crazy.  It is something that you really just do not get wrapped up with.  Yet for Kobe Bryant, he did hear, and he did take this one personally.

For Denver fans, they saw just a glimmer of what is to come.  Kobes mission to show the logo he still has what it takes to be the best is just starting.  Will Kobe do it?  If he wins the championship, I would say it is safe to say the NBA is his once again.  All Kobe wants is a chance to go up against that guy whom his mentor said just surpassed him.  To show his is still the elite of the elite.

All I can say as a Laker fan is thank you Mr. West.  I know that there was an altieor motive behind that publicized comment of yours in regards to the two best players in the NBA.

17
May
09

The Nuggets are good, the sole reason the Lakers will not lose

The Lakers took possession’s off, they didn’t play defense, and they barely escaped the undermanned Houston Rockets.  What is going to happen in this next series?  According to Chuck (Sir Charles) Denver wins.  We all know the Lakers are the most talented team in the NBA, yet as we have come to ask the whole Houston series, where is the heart?  Where is the intensity?  Where is the fight?

According to everyone the Lakers will not match up with Denvers physicality, intensity, or day in and day out fight.  I beg to differ.  As I said earlier and as we all know the Lakers are deep and extremely talented.  They have a history of getting a big head and thinking that they are entitled to get to the finals again.

Going into the Houston series, the Lakers were laid back.  They had not lost to this team once during the regular season and felt as though they would walk all over them.  Game one was an eye opener as Houston stole home court and the first game.  Phil and the boys made their adjustments and went on to win games two and three.

Yao Ming goes down with an injury and the Lakers get complacent once again.  The Rockets stomp on the show and the Lakers answer back with an even bigger spanking.  Game six the Lakers had the Rockets with their back against the wall, and once again the boys in Purple and Gold got complacent.  Game seven well the Lakers new they had to come to play and that is what they did to clinch the series.

The reason the Lakers will win the Denver series is because Denver is good.  There were four must win games for the Lakers this season.  Two against Cleveland and two against Boston.   The Lakeshow won all four of those “statement” games.  When they have to come and play they will do so.  As bad as that sounds, this is the Los Angeles Lakers team we have become used to seeing.

The reason the Lakers will not be complacent to the Nuggets, because they are a good team.  The Lakers almost lost this last series to a not so good Rockets team.  If they do the same against this team, well its game over.  Due to the fact that the Nuggets are far better than the Rockets it then makes the Lakers all that much better and have them bring their intensity.

Houston was that wake-up call in which all Lakers and Laker fans were looking for.  With a small line up, it allowed Bynum to get extra minutes to get his confidence back to a level near what it was when he got injured.  A speedy Aaron Brooks helped the Lakers figure out how they best defend against the pick and roll.

If Bynum comes out and plays the way he did in game seven, the Lakers play with energy, and they guard the pick and roll the same way they shut down Brooks in game seven they will get the series 4-1.   After all that said I am hesitant in even remotely thinking that there will not be a repeat performance of games four and six from the Lakers.  Lets see what they are made of.

Buttnuggets here we come-

10
May
09

Where is the heart?

I have been dreading opening up the laptop and pushing these keys for the last hour and a half.  Emotions running through my body as though I have been dumped, cheated on, and let down.  For ninety-one games I have sat quarter-by-quarter watching the “most talented” team in the NBA attempt to make it back to the NBA Finals and hang one more banner in the rafters of Staples Center.

All season long we knew this could be the year.  We had the pieces put into place and the motivation of being embarrassed from the previous years Finals fueling our fire.  The Lakers came out of the gates hot and on a mission.  The first fifteen games of the season, the Lakers looked unstoppable and hungry, the way King James and the Cavs look now.  Then the boys in purple and gold got complacent, got relaxed, and developed a very bad habit.  It was the first time since the departure of Shaq where the Lakers seemed as though they could score at will.  We had Bynum and Gasol putting up All Star like numbers inside.  Kobe and Fish held down the outside.  Odom and Ariza averaging double doubles.  Vuj and Farmar off the bench, making them look like the Bench Mob of the Kings back in the early 2000’s.  It was pure offense.  Yet we all know pure offense does not win Championships.

This season in Laker land was good, not great.  We did not drop a game to Cleveland of Boston. Yet in the back of my mind as much as I wanted to ignore it, we took trips on the defensive end off.  We relied to heavily on our offense.  All season long I have had to listen to Jeff Van Gundy and Marv Albert say the Lakers took plays off, settled for threes, and did not close teams out.  The Lakers would turn it on when they needed to and turn it off when they were up by sizeable leads.

All season long the Lakers would get up twenty in the fourth, have Kobe and Gasol on the bench, and some how be up by five with three left.  It even got to the point in several games where the guys knees were iced up and they had to take the ice off to bring the starters back in.

Why could the Lakers not hold the lead?  Why could the Lakers not show that intensity that we all know they are capable of?  Why do they take plays off on the defensive end?  Is it because they are too talented?  Is it bad habit?  Is it the laid back nature of this city and state I love so much?  What ever it is, it needs to change.

What I witnessed today, as Erving “Magic” Johnson said at halftime was straight up “embarrassing”.  I know I am not in that locker room, and I do not play professional sports, but seriously Lakers.  What is the deal?  You were up 2 games to 1 and Yao is out for the remainder of the playoffs.  You had a chance to put Artest and the Rockets on the ropes, yet you did not.  The game was over after the first five minuets of play.  Did you think the Rockets were going to give you the series?  Did you think they were going to just not show up?

I thought that the game one loss was a good thing for Los Angeles.  I thought it was going to be their wakeup call.  I thought it was going to fuel the fire.  I was correct, well for two games.  Yet as the Lakers have done all season long, they have blown the lead, they have let the “underdog” back in it, and given the guys in Houston confidence.

I have to hand it to Battier and Brooks.  They straight up killed it today and sent yet another message to Los Angeles.  They played great.  Houston came and laid it on us from the tip off.  As the series shifts back to Los Angeles all I can do is sit around and wait.  Wait to see how the Lakers come out, with their backs against the wall while the Rockets are playing with house money.

Can the Lakers play like we all know they can or will they play like we have seen them play all season long?  Do the Lakers have that killer instinct?  Allen Iverson said it best; “I would rather have more heart than talent any day.”  Today the heart beat out the talent.  Lets see if the talent can get that heart, lets see if there is any heart in Los Angeles.  As a die-hard fan it is difficult to question my team like this but when are they going to play the way we know they can?

I guess we will find out Tuesday at 7:30.

08
May
09

Lakers Answer with physicality

I still have nightmares of the NBA finals from last year.  The Celtics held serve at home.  The Lakers won game three, lost a million point lead in game four, and won game five.  Game six, well that’s when the nightmare started.  The Lakers were soft, under tested, and humiliated.

As I said in my previous Lakers Rockets article, I think that game one was a great thing for the Lakers.  They found out that they can not cruise through the playoffs the way they did through the season or the previous year.  They are finally being tested.  Last game the Lakers got up fifteen and the Rockets would not go away.  Luckily they went into half with a nine point lead and maintained it in the second half of play sealing the victory.

In that half, the Lakers looked like a team from the 70’s and 80’s.  They had a similar resembelance of the Celtics last year.  They got in the other teams face, played physical, and showed them that they were not going to be pushed around by the NBA bad boy Ron Artest and the Houston Rockets.

As we all know Derek Fisher will be gone for tonight’s game after De Cleating Louis Scola.

Fish has been kicking it with Rey Maualuga....Fight on

Fish has been kicking it with Rey Maualuga....Fight on

I feel that this will once again benefit the Lakers.  As much as I love Fish and his leadership on the court his shooting has not been there for the playoffs.  He has shot 26% from the three point line and 42% from the field.  His defense has been in question going against the speedy Aaron Brooks.  Shannon Brown will most likely get the start.  Shannon is faster and a better defender than Fish, he also has been shooting the ball relatively well and brings an energy to the court.  Did anyone see him hit is elbow on the rim going for that block against Scola in the first half last game?  Yeah the guy has hops.

With Fish out Farmar and Vuj will both get significant PT and hopefully will step up to the challenge.  They will not be playing in “dead time” and trying to prove themselves yet playing within the offense when it counts.  If either of their games are on it should be  a lot of fun for Lakers fans.

Last but not least, lets look at Kobe and Ron Ron.  Ron has a short fuse and Kobe knows how to get under his skin.  Artest has been killing it from the field as of late and the Lakeshow needs Ariza and Odom to step the D up on him.  When it comes to defending Kobe, Artest and Battier are the toughest it comes.  They will ware Kobe out and make him trust his teamates.  As long as the other Lakers are knocking down then they shall be fine.

The Lakers once again need to pound the ball inside and get Yao into foul trouble.  With Yao in foul trouble that keeps Bynum out of foul trouble and on the floor longer.  If we can do this then the Lakers will force the Rockets into a shooting team which makes the odds stack up even more against them.

Tonight is going to be a hostile environment to say the least.  The refs are going to call a tight game, making the chances of Yao and Bynum to pick up some cheap fouls.  If the Lakers execute and stay tough, then there should be no problems getting one if not two W’s in Houston.

Game time 7:30 pacific, lets go lakeshow-




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