We know who the best power forward in the league is already (i.e. Kevin Love), but the best in-game dunker in the league right now, hands down, is Blake Griffin. This kid is just ridiculous. And during the Lakers|Clippers game Wednesday night, Griffin kills Pau Gasol not only once, but twice. (The second really was murder)
We’ve heard this story before, but with different players. Many said that Jordan shot too much, but he also has 6 championship rings to basically say “who gives a shit.” Did Iverson shoot a lot? Yes. But he was also forced into a role for most of his career that certainly didn’t help his chances of winning a title. He needed a true point guard to create shots for him. He wasn’t built to shoot 20+ times a night, while trying to hand out 10 assists consistently.
What about Kobe Bryant? You know, the man who reportedly slept with over 100 women behind his wife’s back in Los Angeles, who has 5 championship rings to go along with a career average of 19.4 shots per game (Remember, that’s just average). Now, turning 34 in August, Kobe’s aging. He has a bad knee, an arthritic finger on his shooting hand that in turn, altered his shooting style, and now has a torn ligament in his right wrist (an injury that would sideline most, but he’s Kobe).
Kobe is Jordan tough and has his work ethic, so what’s a wrist injury? You’re probably asking yourself, “what’s a wrist injury in basketball you moron?! It’s everything!” It might be everything to everyone else, but not Bean. His jumpers are still falling and that beautiful baseline fade is still fallin’, nothings changed except his dreadful 20 percent from 3s.
Yet, he continues to shoot those 23 shots a night this season:
“I shoot, I shoot,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wajnarowski. “ You’ve known that for 16 years. I’m not changing my game. If the defense is not doubling, I’m going to score. If I’ve got a good look, I’m going to score. My teammates know that. But I also give them the ball, too, and set them up.
“But at the end of the day, I’m a scorer first.”
Yes, he’s averaging the third-highest shot attempts of his career (23.5 in 2002-03, 27 in ’05-06) just to get his 27.6 points per game, but he’s still shooting 44 percent from the field.
Which, for Kobe, is just about right.
Other than Bryant and Gasol being the main focal points on offense, big man Andrew Bynum has finally come into his own. And, more importantly, he’s healthy (knock on wood). In his first six games back with the Lakers, Bynum’s averaging a phenomenal 18.8 points and 15.7 rebounds a night (11 defensive rebounds).
L.A. might have the best Big Three on paper right now in the league.
As Dime Mag’s own Sean Sweeney pointed out today, despite the Lakers having arguably the best trio in basketball right now, they’re still average offensively with their 94 points per contest. Their defensive could be better, too, with their allowance of over 100 points a night, which places them at 15th in the league.
L.A. missed out on their much needed point guard when the NBA decided to pull the plug on the Chris Paul trade. Hell, they couldn’t even get J.J. Barea. They’re slow, their perimeter defense is almost non-existent, and the exact same can be said for their “tough guy” Matt Barnes.
So what will the Lakers do before the March trade deadline to better their chances at advancing further in the playoffs? Dwight Howard, maybe? But would you really trade for him if Bynum’s playing this way? Because, as of right now, Bynum’s the best big man in the league. Could they maybe snatch up a guard from their neighbor’s down the street (Clippers)? Who knows.
But one thing’s for certain: “I’m going to do what I do,” Kobe Bryant said. “I’m not changing.”
We all know that Kobe and Carmelo are tight both on and off the court, but him and Lamar are even tighter. Kobe isn’t known for expressing his feelings unless it’s about losing a game, but when it comes to losing your best friend, one of your leaders and your best bench player for nearly a decade, it’s hard not to express those feelings. For those who don’t already know, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to dump their Sixth Man of the Year in Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for nothing (and by nothing I mean a measly $8.9 million trade exemption). Absolutely nothing. And when Kobe’s unhappy, he doesn’t hesitate.
“I don’t like it,” Bryant told ESPN reporters. “To be honest with you, I don’t like it.”
“You’re talking about the Sixth Man of the Year last year,” Bryant said. “He played lights out. I don’t understand the criticism of reality shows and this, that and the other. I don’t get it. I don’t understand that. He had his best season last season, clearly wasn’t a distraction and he played his ass off. I don’t get where that comes from.”
Kobe’s right, how could you trade someone who meant so much to the team for absolutely nothing. Not just to any team, but to a team who beat you in the playoffs last year on the way to an NBA championship. Not only that, but they also just gave Dallas the best forward trio in the league with Lamar, Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, and the more reporters asked Kobe about the situation, he came back with “Now I’m getting pissed off.”
With Lamar gone, it now opens up room to get Dwight Howard, but there’s no way that the Magic deal him without getting another one of the Lakers big men in return: either Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum (probably Bynum since they’re losing a center). As of right now, the Lakers didn’t get better, they got worse. The Knicks amped up, Boston’s stacking up, hell, even the Pacers are becoming a threat. So where do the Lakers go from here? Well, as of right now, your only choice is Dwight Howard. With letting go of Lamar Odom, the team deserves that much. Kobe deserves that much. The fans deserve that much.
The Boston Celtics are out here making moves! It all started with constant trade rumors floating around that Boston was working on a trade with New Orleans to bring in Chris Paul for the year — although they had hopes of him signing a long-term deal — which, eventually fell apart after the Lakers hopped aboard with the Houston Rockets to bring Cp3 to L.A., while the Rockets received Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom went to New Orleans (lucky break for Bean-Town if you ask me).
On Friday, Boston worked a deal with the Orlando Magic that would send PF/C Glen “Big Baby” David down south in exchange for Brandon Bass (not sure exactly what either team gets out of this because one is better defender while the other is a better scorer), but I must admit that Davis’ skills depleted after he was given more minutes and Bass is more athletic and little bit tougher in the paint. There were also reports of the Celtics being extremely close to signing All-Star forward David West, which would ultimately land him a 3-year deal worth around $29 million — another undisclosed player — and would send Jermaine O’Neal to the Hornets. With the recent re-signing of Jeff Green (1-year deal), Boston looks to be right up there in competition with the Knicks and Heat (Chicago hasn’t made any kind of moves for another SG).
They now have a bunch of young scorers coming off the bench at nearly every position (fellow Purdue teammates JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore now have big opportunities to earned playing time in a shortened season), but the really need to address the situation at center. A longer off season will certainly help keeps the Celtics older players fresh, especially since they have one of the hardest road schedules in the league, and I’m sure Rondo is going to play lights out after the rumors have diminished and he’s finally gotten over the Kendrick Perkins trade.
Who’s Charles Oakley, you ask? He’s the greatest NBA enforcer of all-time. He’s the guy who makes Kenyon Martin look softer than Pau Gasol. Hell, he even once flagrant fouled K-Mart by throwing him down by his throat. He’s Michael Jordan’s dear friend and personal bodyguard, and during his interview with Hoopsworld, he put an end to all the talks about how or why LeBron James is the closest thing in the league to the Greatest Player of All-Time (Jordan).
“I wouldn’t put them in the same conversation,” he said. “It took awhile for Michael to win championships, too, but they have a different swagger, a different demeanor. If I would compare anybody to Michael Jordan, it would be Kobe Bryant. Point blank. I know LeBron well; he don’t have what Michael have so I’m not even gonna discuss that one. To be a superstar, [LeBron] has to go back to his fundamentals…work on his post game, work off the ball.”
Everything he said in the above statement is true; Kobe has the demeanor, the determination and the killer instinct like Jordan did, but he’s just not him and never will be. As for ‘Bron, his post game is nonexistent and he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. Seriously, though, can we stop will all this talk from now on? Oakley’s already spoke on it, so who’s going to step up to him and say otherwise? My guess is no one.
This play summed up the Cleveland Cavaliers’ victory over the Los Angeles Lakers last night. Christian Eyenga blew past Kobe baseline and then yammed one all over Pau Gasol’s grill. Ballgame. NBA 2011 All-Star Weekend is now here…
After the Celtics took care of business against the new look Miami Heat on the NBA’s opening night, the Los Angeles Lakers accepted their 2009-2010 NBA Championship rings in front of a rocking L.A. crowd. It was cool see Phil Jackson shout out the former Lakers as well as each player give their teammates a nice little introduction.
Shaq gave his props to Kobe and the Lakers last night after they won the 2009 NBA Finals via his Twitter.
The 2009 NBA All-Star Reserves were announced last night on TNT.