Posts Tagged ‘NBA finals

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…..

31
May
09

Same song different day for Cleveland: The Kings new territory?

Cleveland, rough night last night.  I feel for you, from sweeping the first two round of the playoffs, to a difficult series against the Magic.  Last nights loss probably brings back similar feelings of Jordan and Ehlo, the Tribe falling short against the Marlins, or the rough seasons of the Browns.  The only thing that keeps you guys as fans hopefull is the great Jim Brown and his Super Bowl victory, he tried to bring his swagger court side during these playoff games.

As a Laker fan and Los Angeles sports fan, I have not been deprived of a championship in my short life time, yet somehow I know what you are feeling right now.  You see, Cav fans and Laker fans are not to different in recent years.  Take the Lakers post Shaq era.  Kobe a superstar in his prime, vowed to win another championship with out the Big Diesel.  His supporting cast Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, and a bunch of nobodies.  Two out of the next three years Kobe and company made it to the playoffs.  For three years it was Kobe against five players.  He was good and good enough to make it to the playoffs but there is only so much one  man can do.  Two losses to the Suns two years in a row = a pissed off Kobe.

Angry Kobe was not fun and we all remember the antics of him saying he did not want to play in Los Angeles that one very long long summer.  Mitch Kupchick did not trade Bynum for J O’neal or J Kidd.  Laker land was in shambles.  Kobe was not happy, yet no one was offering the Lakers anything reasonable for him.  Then came the arrival of Pau.  Kobe had a sidekick, another All Star on his side.  Life was good in Laker land once again.

The Lakers walked through the playoffs last year.  The Celtics were tired but tested.  To make a long story short, the Lakers were soft.  The Celtcis embarrassed us on our home court and in the final game.  It was a long season but we knew we would be back.

Lets jump over to the Cavs now.  LeBron is the best player in the league playing with a bunch of nobodies on his team.  The only reason Mo Williams was an All Star is because Chanuncy got traded to the West and Allan was injured.  Verajo and Z, well they are good but not all stars.  Yet, this whole season LeBron made his teammates around him better, and they walked to the playoffs with the best record in the league.

Come playoffs the first two rounds the Cavs looked as though there was a new 23 legend in town, and he was not shooting a jumper over Ehlo.  The team was winning by twenty points and LeBron was playing no fourth quarters.  Yet, they were not getting battle tested.

Enter stage left Orlando Magic.  The Magic just came off of a seven game series against the reiging champs.  They were tested and they were hungry.  On paper they had a much better team as well.  The X factor like the Lakers was the MVP, the King.  He did what he could for two games.

Come the fourth quarter for every game this series, the ball movement stopped, the plays were not being called.  It was Mo Willaims brings the ball up and passes to LeBron.  Cavs players stand around and watch the King battle with five other players.  He tired, and he did as much as he could do.  Ever so reminescent of Kobe and co.

Cleveland, in order to have a glimmer of hope to get another title to your grief strickn town, you need to some how find a way to resing the King.  All season long we have heard the rumors about New York.  I bet you had a pit in your stomach after the game winner Bron hit, and the first guy he goes up to after the game was Jay Z.  You do realize he owns the Nets?  You do realize he has been in LeBrons ear since the age of twelve?  You do realize there is more of a supporting cast there then in Cleveland?  I guess the only true question is, will the Nets get LeBron or Brooklyn first?

I would love to see LeBron play with one team his whole life, its time for you guys to start Lobbying to bring some super star to Cleveland.  Otherwise it might be a long long decade until you get another first overall pick in the draft.

19
Apr
09

Kaliphornya’s favorite fan from Boston….truly

If you have been keeping up with the blog for the past couple of days, you would have seen me go back and forth with a passionate reader and avid Boston sports fan.  JonTookEm recently just sent me the best comment that this site has received.  I am not going to reply and rip it apart because frankly there really is not anything to rip apart.  Well except the very end, but I will let you see for yourself.  Thank you very much JonTookEm…..Feel free to comment whenever you want.

Hahaha.
Great responses. Love the passion there.

What kind of fan am I? I love the Celtics, but I am also a fan of basketball and realize that it probably isn’t in the cards for them this year. There is a big difference between being naive and thinking that my team can win because I want them to and knowing that there are 2 other better teams in the NBA this year. Of course there is still a great chance for them to win, but is it likely? Probably not. Will I win and lose with the Celts during the playoffs? Of course.

In terms of the comment, “You might forget about the fact that not every good team can win everywhere”, that was a typo on my part. I meant to say that, “You might forget about the fact that not every good team can win every YEAR.” Oops. I can see how that would confuse you.

Yes, this team was injury ridden so it must be a curse from Paul Pierce’s “fake” injury. It probably has nothing to do with the fact that KG has logged 1,000+ games or 10,000+ minutes of game time? Nah, probably not. Leon Powe doesn’t have a history of knee injuries, either. No. he doesn’t… Scal having lots of concussions? That’s a freak accident. Tony Allen? Yeah, multiple injuries. Rondo? Lots of twisted ankles.

But look at the entire league: overall piss poor quality because of injuries? Yeah, I think so.

But let’s be real with each other: are you really going to get this serious and this pissed about me calling your curse stupid? Because it is. If you really believe in curses, you need to go back and do redo your undergraduate work in WAKE UP DUDE THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS CURSES. Maybe your school didn’t require those courses, but they are worth checking out.

Wake up. There are no stupid curses. The team had injuries like so many other good teams this year (Spurs, Lakers, Hornets… shall I continue?).

If you’d like to have a pissing contest about which city is title-town, go ahead. You win by numbers. Is that supposed to make me feel bad? Well… this might ruin your day, but it really doesn’t ruin my day. I like my team because I grew up watching the Sox and the Celts with my family, especially with my older brother who was/is someone I always looked up to. Sports have always had meaning to me because of how much fun I had playing sports and being an athlete on a team (middle school, high school, and college). I love being part of a group all rooting for the same thing and hoping for the same outcome. I don’t love sports because my city has won more sports. Please.

I’ll close with all of my picks for the NBA playoffs. This is from what I think will happen, not what I want to happen. What do I want to happen? See the Celtics raise #18 and prevent Phil Jackson from moving ahead of Red in most titles won.

IN THE WEST:

(1) Lakers v. (8) Jazz  :  Lakers in 5 (the only thing tough about this pick was should it be in 4 or 5 games)

(4) Blazers v. (5) Rockets  :  Rockets in 6 (I got to admit: Ron Artest and Yao Ming = Craziest duo in the NBA and crazy enough to shut down the all Blazers except B-Roy)

(3) Spurs v. (6) Mavs  :  Spurs in 7 (I just can’t see the Mavs playing good enough defense and Timmy giving one great series before his body gives)

(2) Nuggets v. (7) Hornets  :  Nuggets in 6 (I feel uneasy about this pick, but which Hornet can guard Melo? Chauncey can put up a fight against CP3)

(1) Lakers v. (5) Houston  :  Lakers in 6 (this is too bad because Houston would have had a chance at the WCF if they had finished as the 4th seed)

(3) Spurs v. (2) Nuggets  :  Spurs in 6 (this has everything to do with me thinking that the Nuggets will self-implode because they won’t know how to play in a semi-final round and Coach Pop exposes this despite the fact that Timmy falls apart; by the way, I hate this pick and I know I am going to be wrong here but it doesn’t matter because the Lakers make it out of the West)

(1) Lakers v. (3) Spurs  :  Lakers in 5 (easy)

IN THE EAST:

(1) Cavs v. (8) Pistons  :  Cavs in 5 (Lebron chews through Rip Hamilton while kicking Rasheed Wallace in the face as his right arm extends back 30 feet behind him during a tomahawk dunk; who on earth will guard him in this series?)

(4) Hawks v. (5) Heat  :  Hawks in 7 (this was a tough one: can D-Wade really carry his team through 7 straight grueling games? Plus the Hawks have taken 3 games to 1 this season)

(3) Orlando v. (6) 76ers  :  Orlando in 6 (Everyone will start spitting the old rhetoric that I’m sick of, “Orlando is a legitimate team with a real chance of taking down Boston and to give the Cavs a series”; they’ll fold to the Celts if they even get there)

(2) Celtics v. (7) Bulls  :  Celtics in 6 (I’d rather see the Celts play the 76ers, but whatever; the Celts will have a tough match-up against their bigs (Miller, Noah, Tyrus Thomas) and their hot shooting (Salmons, Gordon) and the ever-improving play of Derrick Rose. Whatever, I am not saying the games won’t be close, but if you do player-to-player match ups, the Celts come out on top very easily with Rondo, Pierce, and Ray Ray; plus our bench is infinitely better than their bench so suck it)

(1) Cavs v. (4) Hawks  :  Cavs in 6 (Atlanta will make it look tight, but then Lebron will chase down a Joe Johnson fast break and block his shot off the backboard so hard off glass that the ball will actually go through the backboard; who on earth will guard him in this series? Sound familiar?)

(2) Celtics v. (3) Orlando  :  Celtics in 7 (I still believe that without KG, the Celts can still take this series; Perk is the secret in this match up– he’s guarded Dwight Howard so well this year; but most importantly, Stan Van Gundy can’t out-coach Doc and the Celts bench is deeper, which will be important because games will be tight and this series should go to 7)

(1) Cavs v. (2) Celtics  :  Cavs in 6 (It doesn’t matter that KG is out– it really doesn’t; their bigs are better and Lebron is Lebron because he is really, really, really, really, really, really good)

Lakers v. Cavs  :  Cavs in 6

Lebron will remind us of those special players that not only won a regular season MVP (he must, right?) but also a Finals MVP. Lebron will also remind us of loyalty: he stuck with the Cavs, and the Cavs stuck with him. He will cry. Then everyone else on that damn team will cry because Lebron showed/said it was ok. And it will be really, really, really, really, really, really emotional, but also really, really, really, really, really, really awesome to see Lebron dethrone Kobe as the most dominant player in the game and walk away with 2 things Kobe wanted: a title and a Finals MVP (during the ‘99-’02 run, Shaq was a 3-time Finals MVP).

Great reply JonTookEm, I have the playoffs shaping up the same way with the exception of the end result.  The X factor as far fetched as this sounds is Lamar Odom.  It will not be easy but Phil will pass Red.

13
Apr
09

Lakers road to the Finals

Today with a win over the Indiana Pacers the Cleveland Cavs and LeBron James have locked down home court advantage until the end of the season.  This comes to a team who has only lost one game this entire season at home.  An impressive feat none the less for the King and company.

As a Laker fan it would have been great to lock the best record in the NBA down.  Needless to say I am not scared.  The Lakers beat Bron Breezy and the Cavs at home this year.  Some say whopdedo but lets look back to that game.  It was the last game of a six game road trip.  On that trip Andrew Bynum went down with an injury on the first game.  When the Lakeshow played Cleveland, Kobe was very sick and played limited minutes. Lamar stepped up and had a break out game this season, all in all it was a great victory.

As the playoffs begin, I am very excited because really the only teams the Lakers need home court advantage against are the Boston Celtics and Portland Trailblazers.  The Lakers are zero for their last seven games against the Blazers in Portland and we all saw what happened last year when Bean town had home court advantage.

As everything stands now, the Lakers will face the Utah in the first round.  I am predicting that we will lose only one game.  The next round we will face the winner of Houston and Portland.  I am guessing that Houston’s experience will prevail over the young streaking Portland team.  Neither of the two scare me.  In the Western Conference Finals I am predicting a Los Angeles New Orleans match up.  Once again there will be no problems and it will be nice to see Byron Scott make it that far.

Cleveland in the mean time will make it through to the finals, but will have a much harder time starting with Detroit in the first round.  They then have the possibility to face Orlando, Boston, Miami, or Atlanta which are all good teams and have a decent record against the cavs.  They will be tired.  With this aside the Lakers match up very very well against the Cavs.  We have the ability to go tall and clog the lane with two seven footers.  We have the ability to put lock down defenders on the perimeter.  Defense wins championships and we have a clear shot at this.  I can’t wait for June.

LeBron vs Kobe-




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