Monday, March 31, 2008

LAKERS WIN IN OT!

The Wizards seemed like they would never go away, but the Lakers prevailed 126-120 in overtime. If LA can't defend the three, they cannot win big in the West. DeShawn Stevenson finished with eight long balls. Do I need to go on? Kobe should be the only player in a Lakers game to get eight threes (well maybe Vujacic
, he shot the lights out). Phil Jackson needs to really get on them for that.

LA had a chance to win it late in regulation. The play they ran was perfect: Kobe penetrated in and forced the Wizards defense to collapse and double him, then he threw the ball out to Derek Fisher who missed an open three. I have concerns with Fish and KB24. Both of them are injured (Fish has a foot problem, Kobe a finger problem) and it seems to have affected their shooting. Kobe has suffered from the free throw line, missing more than he usually does. Fish just needs to get his feet set and only take high percentage shots. It was good to see Chris Mihm back on the floor. He wasn't effective, but he is starting to get his legs back. DJ Mbenga had a nice game as well, maybe they can develop some consistency before Bynum and Gasol comeback. That would be huge for the Lakers. The front line is already terrific, but they need more of a bench presence.


Someone has got to get an award on the Wizards side. They are fifth in the East (I know that's not saying much) and they have suffered through tons of problems, Agent Zero (Gilbert Arenas) has missed just about the whole season and Caron Butler missed about 20 games. I know nobody's thinking, but consider them for something.

A reader namer Melvin recently commented on my last post. Here's what he said:
Ugly game by the rockets... After the streak, I haven't seen them play like a REAL contender... i think its not fair to say scola doesn't have offensive skills, he's even a scorer in argentina right?
Let me respond to that. I'm sure Scola does have offensive skills, he just shouldn't be at the forefront of the Rockets offensive attack. He is a part of a unique group of players that bring tons of energy to the game. He can do it on offense and defense, but Tmac and Alston should lead the team in that regard. Thanks for your contribution and keep it coming!
Photo by: Gus Ruelas

Sunday, March 30, 2008

SPURS BLOWOUT ROCKETS!

The Spurs hosted the Rockets and crushed them 109-88. Bad defense caused this loss, there's no other real excuse. San Antonio was able to shoot over 50% from both the field and the three point line. Finley was shooting the lights out and it has to carry over for the Spurs to win the West. It didn't matter if it was penetration, or the in and out game, the Spurs offense was very effective and efficient.

Despite this, the Rockets played a lackluster offensive game as well. First of all Luis Scola led the team in scoring. No knock to his offensive game, but he shouldn't lead the team in scoring. That jumped out at me when I was looking at the stat sheet. Tmac and Alston combined for 26 points. They shot a combined 9-36 from the field. You don't even need to see the game to know the Rockets played horribly.

They have got to gain the same defensive tenacity
they had during their 22 game winning streak. If they can't play close to that level, the playoffs will be a tough task.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

SPURS BEAT THE MAVS!

The Spurs beat the Mavs 88-81 in a playoff-like game. The Mavs really played good ball for one half. They led at halftime, but it was all down hill from there. The Spurs got out to about a 14-0 run when Dirk went down. That injury looked really bad, but I think it will come out a little better. After that, San Antonio had command the rest of the way. As if it could get any worse, Stackhouse and Manu got into a little scuffle. Mavs coach Avery Johnson was furious and got a technical, if I was out there I would've wanted two technicals. Some of the great coaches like Phil Jackson and Don Nelson thinks it can help a team. This could have been a very similar situation.

I don't think this is the year of the Mavs in Dallas. Dirk will probably miss some time, or not perform to his usual ability. Kidd looks a little lost, he's still very much uncomfortable. Mark Cuban has got to feel bad, his body language portrayed that.

If Dirk misses time, you really have to consider whether they will make the playoffs. The Warriors are breathing down their necks and the Nuggets can compete too, with a couple of wins (and Dallas losses).

Friday, March 21, 2008

THE MIAMI REPORT... IT'S EMBARRASSING!

The Heat are an embarrassment. A team that went 44-38 last year, they've won
only 12 games out of a total of 67. Do you hear that, Riley? It's the D-League (minor league to the NBA) calling, they need a team to fill the Florida market this year. This team is really that bad. To make it worse, just about all the important players who were a part of the championship run have tanked the season. It's not that they had ANYTHING to play for. Right now the only thing they're in contention for is last place in the East and a really high lottery pick.

Riley doesn't even want to coach this team anymore. He wants to scout this team back into a contender next year. Next year could be a lot better, but there are still questions to answer. Do Wade and all of the players want to give this team a second chance? Does Pat Riley want to coach next year? Would Shawn Marion even fathom coming back to this squad? If not, Michael Beasley is the perfect fit for Miami. He would fill Marion's spot, although not as much of an all around player, he would still be affective.

Miami fans just need to wake up at training camp next year and hope this season is a bit better. There are a few bright spots: I really like Dorell Wright, his future is bright and he has blossomed this year. Good luck to Miami in the future, but for now this is one of the biggest disappointments I've seen.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I have recently added an Entrecard to the left side of my blog. I am hoping that all of the other website owners that have a card will help support my card. In return, I will drop my card for you and we can earn credits. For all of the web site owners who need new ideas to help campaign for your site. Entrecard.com is the place to go to get a card.

Watching the ABC games right now and they are pretty good. LA and the Rockets will come next, this should be the most entertaining game of the day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT!

Tonight on Pi day (for all you math lovers), some terrific basketball will be on that you should consider watching. Utah will come in to Boston in an attempt to stay strong in the deep-deep Western conference. The game tips off at 7:30 Eastern time and you can catch it on NBA League Pass. Boston hasn't been as hot, with the Rockets on the incredible run and just about every other team in the West. Cassell's affect on the Celtics will be on display, he needs to prove they can beat the top teams in the West. I like the Celtics to win because their home crowd takes them to new heights. The Jazz should be close, but they are playing in Boston, so it should be tough.

Pau, Kobe and the rolling Lakers will play in the house of the Hornets at 8pm Eastern. Some want to hype this game as a match up of MVP candidates, but I could care less about that. These teams have great players all around: David West, Peja, Bonzi, Odom, Farmar, and spot up shooter Derek Fisher. Those are some key players from these teams when you don't include the number one options. The Hornets win if two things happen: Kobe does not have an incredible scoring game, or if it comes down to a last second three for the Lakers. The Lakers succeed if: Kobe goes off and the Hornets trail for a large part of the second half. It's a toss up, but the Hornets do have home court on their side.

Also, the Rockets will try to defend their large winning streak against the Bobcats. 21 games doesn't seem possible, but it is going to happen tonight. The Bobcats should bring the best of their game, but it won't be enough, this teams got the momentum. I think the media will pressure this team so much that this streak will end soon enough. This is not a team that the media constantly hordes on a normal basis and now that they are the hottest team in the league, the media will crowd in, wondering how this team will keep this streak going. The Lakers will present a huge challenge to them, both teams are smoking hot and could be apart of the Western playoff fight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Recently, a comment on my site was posted by a user named Aurelie. I'm fine with people commenting, but I would rather receive it by email. You can click on this link, or look at the description of my blog. Just so you know, Aurelie wanted me to add a Boston Celtics widget, which I will do after I post this (I was looking at it and it didn't seem to work yet). Continue to comment if you've got something for everyone to see, otherwise email me!

Thanks, Aurelie!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

SUNS BEAT THE SPURS AT HOME!

In what was a tight game from start to finish, the Suns were able to grind out a win over the Spurs 94-87. The Suns were clearly focused in this game and it should help them gain momentum for an end of the season push. The Suns defense was the best I've seen since the Shaq deal; they played Tony Parker very well down the stretch. Grant Hill and other bigger players made it tough for Parker to use his much improved jump shot against them. A few turnovers late in the game helped fuel the Suns offensive attack. I think Shaq looked really comfortable with the Suns tonight, his best performance yet.

But I still have one question about this new look team: can they keep up the intensity they brought to today's game? Will this team have a problem similar to Shaq Laker teams? Those teams felt that they could pump up the volume when the bright lights were actually on them. A test of these big questions would be how they play against a sub .500 team--let's say the Bobcats. They need to bring the same defensive tenacity they did against the Spurs as they would against the Bobcats (even if they are up 15 in the fourth). I think that if Shaq can hone in on the Suns defensive strategy, the defense will drastically improve as a whole.
Photo by:
Ross D. Franklin

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The NBA has complied with a team's protest (for once) and tonight the Heat and Hawks will start play with 51.9 seconds left and the Hawks up three points. To me this request should just be forgotten now. None of these teams will have a severe playoff presence and I'd rather see the Heat play less with their recent performance.

Here is a funny video about the whole thing:


The Hawks are on the outside looking in, they still have a chance. I'm hoping Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson can propel them past New Jersey (they need a lottery pick more than the Hawks). I remind you this is the D-League of the NBA that is the East, so anything can happen (unless you are the Heat).

Also, on the subject of the Heat, why not let Pat Riley go watch the NCAA? He could see some actual talent (sorry Wade, you're good) and speed up the Heat's journey back to prominence.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

LAKERS BEAT THE MAVERICKS IN OVERTIME!

Led by Kobe's best performance so far this season, the Lakers beat the Mavericks 108-104 in overtime. This game lived up to my expectations for sure. You could sense the importance of this game on both sides, it was a true playoff atmosphere. Dirk had a chance to tie the game late with a three, but air balled that shot and Odom hit a free throw to win it for the Lakers. You have to question Dirk a little bit based on his performance with game winning shots. Sure, he hit the shot to force overtime, but I still don't really have complete trust in him taking the last shot.

The defense on Kobe was too weak for them to stop his (and the Lakers) momentum. Changing up the defense frequently out of time outs, etc. could have forced LA to not be as effective on the offensive end. JKidd surprised me with that miss on a free throw that also would have tied the game late in overtime. He had a look on his face that he knew he would miss, can't have that in the playoffs. I expect him to become more comfortable by the end of this season and shine in moments like these.

The Lakers really needed to stop complaining about foul calls. They need to be more professional and keep it in their head, even if they were truly fouled. It's fine to debate on some calls, but they over did it time and time again. Kobe should have gotten a technical at one point, he should know better. Phil Jackson should make a point of this to his team, so they can focus on what's at hand: the game. I thought the officiating crew called the game very well, they treated the game with the right amount of severity on both sides.

PREVIEW OF SUNDAY'S ACTION!

Today, starting at 1pm Eastern, ABC kicks off a doubleheader. The new look Bulls will come to the Q (Quicken Loans Arena) to face the Cavs. The part of this game that entices me is that these two teams were involved in a big three team trade recently (see
this post
). Those players, who were traded should consider this a showcase to prove their former team wrong for trading them.

That will result in a battle between these two teams. The Bulls don't have much to play for, they are 12 games under 500. and maybe a lottery pick would send them in the right direction next year. LJ (LeBron James) needs to have another wonderful game to put the Cavs on top. A triple double performance from James would not surprise me.

Then, at 3:30 Eastern time, Dallas will try to make some noise against the Lakers. This is the game to watch, if you plan on watching any today. LA is playing some of their best ball this season, Kobe, Pau and Odom have really settled into their roles. Dallas is still adapting from the JKidd addition and this will be a test of how they can perform against a top team on national TV.

I predict that the Cavs will win the first game. LeBron has forced this team to play well and is performing magic on the court in every game. Could he be an MVP? Maybe, but it is more of an individual effort than a team effort. They aren't the best team in the league and everyone knows it. But, the NBA does love to award individual talent, though.

I am leaning towards Dallas squeezing by LA. They want to prove themselves and they will do whatever it takes to win this game. I'm not saying LA can't steal this game, I just think that Dallas wants to show that they can play. A triple double for JKidd would be expected in a big game like this.