Lakers 114, Dallas 107. Dallas, you are the train that thought you could. Sadly, you just can’t. Dallas was up the majority of the game. Even when Dallas was playing lights out and the Lakers were smoking weed, Dallas was only up single digits. That’s the difference my friends. After the Lakers woke up from food coma and blazing, they finally started to play and play without panicking. It was just execution down the stretch. Fluidity. No nonsense. Kobe was about as nasty as D-Wade (formerly D-Fake) was tonight down the stretch.
Carlisle, save yourself the grief. Your squad is fake and always will be. 8th seed is all you can hope for at this point. I’m getting tired of even hating on you guys. I’m out.
Though the Lakers are preaching teamwork and are touting the NBA’s best record, there is more to it than meets the eye. During the matchup on November 18th against the Chicago Bulls, we finally saw the first glimpse of internal beef within the Laker organization in a long time. Because of all that Kobe drama a couple years ago, it seems as though every Laker has gone out of his way to be best buds for the sake of team chemistry, real or imagined.
However, there is no need to be worried. Basically, Trevor Ariza was upset that Sasha took a contested three even though Ariza was wide open in the corner. After the Lakers play defense on the other side of the floor and a timeout was called, you can see Ariza getting into Sasha’s grill on the far right portion of the clip. In fact, he actually pointed his finger in Sasha’s face. This seems like a fairly extreme gesture for this to have been the initial flare-up. I just can’t see Trevor being that upset over this one play. Perhaps this is but one episode of a reoccuring pattern of beef between the two.
It could be that the Lakers’ depth is starting to chip away at these young professionals’ egos due to lack of playing time to go around. Sasha’s minutes have been down this year even though shooters need to stay on the floor long enough to get into a shooting groove. Luke Walton doesn’t even play anymore. Remember a couple years ago when he used to start? Remember how devastating it was to the team when Luke got injured in the ’06-’07 season? If Luke were to get injured now, it would barely get any press. Though we sports fans might think that some of these guys would love getting paid while sitting on the pine (Stephon Marbury), most do not. Sasha and Trevor are both young men who are out to prove something and want to see playing time. That’s why Turiaf left for Golden State. He wanted minutes.
But what if I’m wrong? What if these two scrap? Who would win? Ariza is a bit taller with more reach, but looks a bit weak. Sasha looks like he gained some muscle over the summer, but he looks like a lover not a fighter. Perhaps he could resort to choking Trevor with his hairband. Anyway, let’s hope that this fake beef never gets out of hand.
In the meantime, I leave you with this clip. This chest bump from Trevor decimated Sasha. Hilarious. Was Sasha being a sissy or was Ariza just waiting for the perfect time to knock that damn Slovenian to the floor? You be the judge.
Say what you want about the Class of 1984 and the Class of 2003, but the Class of 1996 is just too sick. During the Lakers/Pistons matchup on Friday, November, 14, 2008, Allen Iverson surpassed Elgin Baylor on the NBA All-Time Scoring List, while Kobe Bryant surpassed both Larry Bird and Gary Payton on the All-Time Scoring List.
So far, it looks like Allen Iverson will stay ahead of Kobe on the list, unless Kobe plays a gang of more playoff games than Allen Iverson or something. If Iverson stayed in Denver than you could imagine Kobe closing in on A.I. more, but now that Iverson looks to be playing more postseason games in Detroit, it doesn’t seem as likely. Despite Kobe’s ridiculous couple seasons as scoring champ, most of Iverson’s Sixers career revolved around him scoring most of the points. Kobe entered the league onto a veteran Laker team as a second option, which is why Kobe is so far behind A.I. Had Kobe been on the 2005 or 2006 Laker squad for the past 12 years, Kobe would be on par with or ahead of A.I. in this category. Props to both. Here is the Top 30…
|1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||1,560||15,837||6,712||24.6||38,387|
|2. Karl Malone||1,476||13,528||9,787||25.0||36,928|
|3. Michael Jordan||1,072||12,192||7,327||30.1||32,292|
|4. Wilt Chamberlain||1,045||12,681||6,057||30.1||31,419|
|5. Moses Malone||1,329||9,435||8,531||20.6||27,409|
|6. Elvin Hayes||1,303||10,976||5,356||21.0||27,313|
|7. Hakeem Olajuwon||1,238||10,749||5,423||21.8||26,946|
|8. Oscar Robertson||1,040||9,508||7,694||25.7||26,710|
|9. Dominique Wilkins||1,074||9,963||6,031||24.8||26,668|
|10. Shaquille O’Neal||1,051||10,476||5,478||25.1||26,431|
|11. John Havlicek||1,270||10,513||5,369||20.8||26,395|
|12. Alex English||1,193||10,659||4,277||21.5||25,613|
|13. Reggie Miller||1,389||8,241||6,237||18.2||25,279|
|14. Jerry West||932||9,016||7,160||27.0||25,192|
|15. Patrick Ewing||1,183||9,702||5,392||21.0||24,815|
|16. Charles Barkley||1,073||8,435||6,349||22.1||23,757|
|17. Robert Parish||1,611||9,614||4,106||14.5||23,334|
|18. Adrian Dantley||955||8,169||6,832||24.3||23,177|
|19. Allen Iverson||837||8,035||6,056||27.7||23,156|
|20. Elgin Baylor||846||8,693||5,763||27.4||23,149|
|21. Clyde Drexler||1,086||8,335||4,698||20.4||22,195|
|22. Kobe Bryant||874||7,526||5,673||25.0||21,817|
|23. Gary Payton||1,335||8,708||3,265||16.3||21,813|
|24. Larry Bird||897||8,591||3,960||24.3||21,791|
|25. Hal Greer||1,122||8,504||4,578||19.2||21,586|
|26. Walt Bellamy||1,043||7,914||5,113||20.1||20,941|
|27. Bob Pettit||792||7,349||6,182||26.4||20,880|
|28. David Robinson||987||7,365||6,035||21.1||20,790|
|29. George Gervin||791||8,045||4,541||26.2||20,708|
|30. Kevin Garnett||1,009||8,188||4,017||20.4||20,557|
Lakers 106, Mavericks 99. Although this was the closest thing to a nailbiter this season for the Lakers, the game wasn’t as close as it might have seemed. This game was actually already lost by the Mavericks when Kobe Bryant was actually born, again when they thought that Dirk Fakevitzki was a star player, then again when they thought they were going to be real by getting Jason Kidd. Sure a lot of shit has happened since then, but all of those factors have culminated into this loss today on November 11, 2008.
Newsflash Cuban! Your team sucks not because of the coach or lack of a point guard. You suck because of the usual reason why teams suck or don’t suck – the players. You retardedly gave away an all-star caliber point guard in Devin Harris. Probably the only real players on the team now is Jason Kidd, Gerald Green and Brandon Bass. Sure, Josh Howard and Jason Terry are good offensive players but they are one-dimensional players essentially who will fall by the wayside as they age since they have no other skill set to fall back on. Gerald Green is surely rough around the edges, but the kid’s got talent. He reminds me a lot of J.R. Smith of a couple years ago. Sick as fuck, but just gets too cocky in the fourth quarter and takes Kobe-esque shots. Oh well, that’s better than being fake. The other players aren’t too pretty to look at either. Jerry Stackhouse is Jerry Stackhouse. Erika Dampier is a slight improvement over Kwame Brown, while the other players just don’t matter enough.
As far as their “star” player goes, Dirk is an excellent spot up shooter. That’s why he owns 3 point contests because those shots are shot in a vacuum – no defender, balls are on racks, etc. However, once he’s on the move, he can’t seem to gather himself to take a technically sound jumpshot. His legs are like action-figure legs and don’t seem to have the flexibility that human athlete legs are supposed to have. As you all know, legs are the foundation for a jump shot or layup, so if they are being fake then the shot will be as well (See Exhibit A). The next knock on Dirk’s shooting technique is his constant need to fade away and fall down on jumpshots (See Exhibit B). He might as well shoot lying down. Kobe’s fadeaways are controlled and serve a purpose. Dirk will shoot these shots over Allen Iverson from 8 feet away. Unreal. If he can learn to stay on his feet and shoot shots standing straight up, he will drastically see improved results and possibly more wins. Until then it’s fake city for Fakevitzki.
Okay, I’ll stop the Mavs-hating. I’ll only do this 3 more times this year I promise. Back to the game. The best stretch of the game came just after an explosive Gerald Green dunk that put the Mavs up 81-76 at the start of the fourth, when a 7-0 run featuring a Sasha Vujacic three, Lamar Odom finish in the lane and Trevor Ariza two-handed flush from the baseline gave L.A. a lead it would not concede. Nine points in the next two minutes from Kobe Bryant, some of which were of the truly special variety, helped build an eight-point Lakers lead, and a collectively strong defensive effort that limited Dallas to 20 fourth-quarter points sealed the deal. This is a testament to the fact that the Lakers can play horribly for most of the game and still pull out a win on the road. This game was won through defense and bench play – two telling signs of playoff success.
The Lakers have everything to look forward to. As far as the Mavs go, they could have spent their Veteran’s Day running errands or going to their daughters’ volleyball game or something. Instead, they decided to waste people’s time.
I know it’s too early in the season to tell, but let’s face it. The Rockets are not as real as most people think they are at the moment. Yes, Ron Artest brings another dimension to this Rocket team because he can create for himself and defend. However, T-Wack and Meow Ming are just not real enough. You have to slow the game down basically to slow motion for Yao to be effective. As far as T-Wack goes, he’s more beat up than Paris Hilton’s v_g_na. On one sequence, T-Wack fell down and I almost thought his career was over.
I think most of the Rockets’ hype is due to the fact that the West is getting relatively weaker and so they seem to shine more. The Spurs are too old, the Mavericks are just too fake (2-4 so far this year), while the Suns and Jazz are pretty good , but we all know they are not actual contenders. Yes, the Hornets are definitely one of the brighter spots in the west, but most people agree that their bench is too thin to really go far in the playoffs. Therefore, sports analysts are just looking for someone in the west to pit against the Lakers as the favorites to come out of the west and the Rockets just happen to be that team.
However, I must give the Lakers some credit for tonight’s win. Their defense is looking like Celtics defense. The Lakers are even leading the league right now in rebounds per game. Tonight’s defensive statline looks like this: Bynum, Kobe, and Odom had 2 steals each, while Trevor Ariza had 3. Pau and Bynum had 3 blocks each, while Odom and Kobe had 2 a piece. Though Kobe was molesting Artest all night, this weakside block on Yao was the highlight of the night.
Look familiar guys? Backtrack to one of the Lakers/Rockets games from last season where Kobe stuffs the shit out of Yao weakside. Yao, you need to do your moves a bit faster and stop being blocked by someone a foot shorter than you are. This is becoming an annual thing dogg.
Against good defensive teams that clog up space in the paint and swarm around the perimeter, it’s important for opponents to have great ball handlers who can create shots for themselves. The Rockets, like the Pistons in the east, just don’t have much of those guys. That’s why Aaron Brooks was the only Rocket today to really do anything because he was out there creating shots for himself. Teams like the Lakers and Celtics push teams too far away from the paint. Not only does this spoil the amount of real estate the offense has to work with, but it also disrupts the angles at which passes can be thrown and received. This is where swarmy perimeter defense looks to make steals. Even if they can dump a pass to the center, he will most likely be too far away from the basket to make a good post move and will most likely be too poor of a ballhandler to take it in deeper. This is where they get jacked again. This is why against teams like this, ballhandlers and shot creators are absolutely necessary.
Similarly in the Pistons/Celtics game today, Will Bynum was one of the few sparks on offense for the Pistons against the defensive Celtics. This is probably why Detroit got Allen Iverson. Detroit doesn’t have a lot of creators like Rodney Stuckey or Will Bynum. This is the beauty of the Iverson trade. Now Iverson just needs to be okay with going out and taking 20 shots a game instead of passing so much. He was very hesitant on offense today.
What I’m trying to say is that although the Rockets boast some good talent, I still don’t think they have that go-to guy you could always count on to score in the 4th quarter. Both the Rockets and Pistons have good lineups, but there isn’t a clear cut pecking order as to who the go-to guy is. Detroit is hoping that Allen Iverson is that guy. The Rockets will have all season to figure that out before they are finally tested in the Playoffs. Is it Artest, McGrady, Yao, or is it Aaron Brooks?
Last night in Denver Kobe shocked the sneaker community by debuting a new sneaker that includes the upper of a Nike Hyperdunk along with the tooling of the Zoom Kobe IV. While it was an under the radar move and there’s no word on any such shoe releasing, there’s several ways to analyze the move by Nike and Kobe.
Both the Hyperdunk and Zoom Kobe IV feature identical cushioning set-ups, with heel Zoom Air and Lunar Foam units embedded into the midsole, but the lone difference between the two is surely in the traction department. The Kobe IV features a perfectly squeaky and trusty herringbone pattern along the entire forefoot, while the Hyperdunk incorporates recessed grooves to handle its traction duties, and can become a bit slippery once some dust collects. Did Kobe switch simply for better traction? Both shoes have a similarly exacting support outrigger, carbon fiber spring plate and a radiused heel for great heel-to-toe transition. Or, is Kobe not yet ready to debut his 5/8 cut Zoom Kobe IV, and for now relying on the higher cut of the Hyperdunk? My guess is that although the Zoom Kobe 4 will have a more casual appeal to it, Kobe simply cannot wear a low-top shoe to play at such a high level. Therefore, it has the cosmetics of the Zoom Kobe 4, with the basketball fit of the Hyperdunk. We’ll see if he ever rocks the true Zoom Kobe 4 full-on in an actual game.
Every time Kobe sets foot in the Pepsi Center, it’s always a night to remember. The city of Denver is notorious for giving him grief about the infamous rape case about 4 years ago. This is why, in typical Kobe fashion, Kobe always returns to the scene of the crime and owns the Thuggets. On a night where basically every Laker was in foul trouble and couldn’t get a rhythm going, save Pau and Kobe, Kobe scored 14 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to seal the deal against Denver. What can I say, Kobe is just good at playing when he’s pissed off.
Also, Melo cut his cornrows off for the first time since his NBA career started. Now if only he could learn to make a layup in traffic or just anything other than a jab-step pull-up jumper…
If you’re looking for the reason why Melo cut his hair, peep the following…