Posted on: November 3, 2008 8:11 pm
 

Lakers Week 1

So far so good!

3-0 and looking as impressive if not more then most us thought.  Three wins spoiling a season opener for the Blazers and home openers for the Clippers and NuggetsHere's a little recap for the week that was opening week

Blazers at Lakers (Opening Night)

Well it was much anticipated, Lakers vs. Blazers, a very familiar rivalry rejuvenated now.  I liked the comment that Nate McMillan head coach of the Blazers made which was "The Lakers are the present, we are the future", but what I liked even better was Kenny Smith (who by the way picked the Rockets to dethrone the Lakers this season) corrected Coach McMillan by stating "The Lakers are the future and the present"...Well opening night certainly was a memorable for Lakers fans and forgettable for Blazers fans.  Much was hyped about this much anticipated matchup, Mychal Thompson (a former Laker & Blazer and now the Lakers color guy on AM 570) proclaimed the Blazers as the runner ups to the Lakers in this years West Finals.  A nationally televised game on TNT, Greg Oden vs. Andrew Bynum, Brandon Roy vs. Kobe, Rip City vs LA LA land!

When it was all said and done, the Lakers gave the Blazers a harsh reality check that they are no where close to being the super power that some experts have made them out to be.  Greg Oden gets injured a couple minutes into the game (out 2 to 4 weeks) and looked very raw and akward offensively, the Lakers defense was the major stand-out as they played tremendous team defense.  Kobe and Ariza locked down Brandon Roy and the Lakers front court did exactly what we know they are capable of which was nothing easy inside and forcing teams to make outside low percentage shots.  Andrew Bynum didnt put the numbers that we know he can but none the less played a key role in holding down the interior.  The Lakers start off the season with a 20 point Blazer extuinishing.

Lakers at Clippers

Now to get the first of 19 back to back series out the way and spoiling cross town rivals (okay more like the red-headed step child) better known as the Clippers home opener.  It may be the new look Clippers but its still the same old sad song and dance.  The Lakers jumped on them early but let Baron Davis and Clippers get back into the game about mid-way through the 2nd quarter, and from there it turned into a good old fashioned Clipper massarce.  The bench came in and sparked a 17-0 run to pull away and by the start of the 4th quarter the Lakers starters were basically told to call it a night.  Every Laker scored more times then my hot mature promiscious neighbor has been scored on, every Laker had at least 4 points with 8 of them in double figures.  Baron Davis stated that the Lakers are the bar and it was a reality check for them to see how far they are from it.  Kobe scores 16 and the Lakers still win by 38!?!  you know it was a good night!

Lakers at Nuggets

The first real road test and against one of the highest scoring teams in the league last year.  7-0 last year against the Nuggets including a 4-0 sweep in the first round of the playoffs, but the Nuggets playing their home opener and with a chip on their shoulder started off the game matching the Lakers strive for strive.  Of course the Lakers shot atrosiously in the first half shooting in the 30-40% range all game, which was also a foul plagued game which saw Kobe, Bynum, Odom and Vlad Rad with 3 fouls each by half-time.  The Nuggets looked like they might just pull it out but that was until the Black Mamba himself awoke in the 4th scoring 14 of his 33  Despite all the Lakers shooting woes, in the end they pulled out a 7 point victory.

Note: The Nuggets traded away Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons earlier today in exchange for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess.

"We really haven't done anything"

According to Kobe...I know us fans can get caught up with the early season success and hype of our team, but its good to know that Kobe seems as focused, grounded and as driven as ever....good read:

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp
?story_id=10439

D- fence!

After the Clippers game, Andrew Bynum stated that one of the teams goals was to hold more then 6 straight opponents to under 80 points per game which would be an NBA record after they held the Blazers to 76 and the Clippers to 79.  While they did allow a few more against the Nuggets at 97, the Lakers did manage to hold their first 3 opponents to under 100 points, not too shaby if you ask me.

Cleary the main thing that stands out is how improved the Lakers team defense looks and in particular Andrew Bynum.  For the non-observant eye, before you start to criticize Andrew Bynum by just analyzing the stat sheet, just watch the game when he is in there.  Andy is doing exactly what is being asked of him which is being a defensive presence.  There were a number of shots that he altered against the Nuggets, Clippers and Blazers and a number of shots that opponents are thinking twice of taking.  Already his impact has been greatly felt. 

Show me the money and the bar!

Andrew Bynum celebrated his 21st birthday with a whopping payday from the Lakers.  4 years, close to $58 Million..You can pick up your jaw from the floor now.  This was actually a smart move on the Lakers part, the deal is really a 3 year window for Andy where he is gauranteed $42 Mill, his last year though is an option year for the Lakers if they choose to pick it up or not.  Now all signs lead me to believe that Andrew is the real deal and in these upcoming 3 years, we will all get to see how great he can be.  The deal might have actually helped the Lakers out in the long run. Rather then taking a chance and not meeting the deadline of Oct. 31st by waiting to see how Andrew does this year and allowing him to become a restricted free agent, the Lakers made the smart move by locking him up now and saving the headaches in negotiating with him next off-season.  With a couple of teams with cap space next year, Andrew could have been offered a max deal which would have been worth around $17 Mil to $18 Mil per year that the Lakers would have to match, by signing him now they save some significant cash to use to resign some other important pieces.

Next in line for Contract Extensions

Well the obvious is Kobe as he does have an option to opt out but lets take a look at Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza.  If the Lakers dont resign Lamar this coming off season, they clear about $14 mil off their books but Lamar is open to a pay cut if it means a longer term.  When asked if he was willing to take a paycut he had this great analogy:

"Who wants to take a pay cut?" Odom said. "Nobody. A garbage man, if he makes $8 [an hour] one day, he at least wants to make $8 or $9 the next day. He works every day. He doesn't want to take a cut."

I think every week I do this blog entry I will cite a Lamar Odom quote and call it "What Lamar say now?" Oh and when Lamar was asked what he wanted to be for Halloween, he said he wanted to be Rick Flair, can you just imagine a 6-10 black Rick Flair outside your door on Halloween nght yelling....hooooooooooooo, give the Nature Boy some candy, baby!

As for Trevor Ariza, a home grown product and isnt too worried about it either.  He stated that things will take care of itself, unfortunately for him his agent is also the same idiot David Lee that represented Andrew Bynum and couldnt keep his mouth shut which probably resulted in Andrew not getting a max deal.

Where's Pauldo?

The trend has been to get Pau started early and let Kobe handle the second half.  Well Phil wants more balance from Pau in both halves citing we want to use all our weapons and will look to give him more touches in the second half.

Reboundersssss, mound up!

The Lakers have collectiely out-rebounded their first 3 opponents 148 - 114...still dont think Bynum would have made a difference in the Finals last year?

Who you calling soft?

Earlier last week Vladimir Radmanovic was asked by Steve "Hater" Hartman (local Sports talk Radio DJ) how Vlad Rad felt about being called "soft"?  Vlad responded "Tell them to say that to my face", I got your back bro, now back to listening to terrible Euro-trance music with Sasha!

Apparantely Phil also doesnt feel the Lakers had shed away their "soft" image (I put this in quotes because I don't believe we are a soft team...cant be a soft team and run through the west like we did)  He explained that

"Mentally they were a tough team, but physically they weren't a tough team," Jackson said of last season's Lakers. "We're not a bunch of wrestlers or tough guys who can slug it out. We haven't solved that problem. I think quickness is what we've tried to do to eradicate that. I think speed is going to have to help us do that."

While i get his point, its just nice to know we are playing in the NBA and not the WWE!

Future Forecast:

It will be a slow week this week for the Lakers with only 2 games scheduled, Wednesday against the Clippers on our homecourt (not like it will ever be their homecourt) and a possible West Finals preview with Houston coming to Staples.  It gets a lot tougher the week after with Dallas, N.O and Detroit on the schedule.

Stay Tuned!

 

Category: NBA
Tags: Lakers
 
Posted on: October 27, 2008 2:45 pm
 

Los Angeles Lakers Season Preview 08-09

After a tumultous, frustrating & chaotic off-season...oh wait that was last year.  I guess we just arent accustomed to having a quiet off-season but this was a welcomed one.  Here's my take on the Lakers upcoming "championship caliber" season.

THE BREAKDOWN

Perhaps the best move we did was not to make a move.  The return of Andrew Bynum to an already contending team is comprable to adding a big name free agent.  Along with Andrew's return, getting back another vital piece in Trevor Ariza can only be a good thing. 

Key losses: Ronny Turiaf, while we will miss his spirit and charisma, not to mention his all out effort and hustle, there just wasn't going to be enough minutes for Ronny with the return of Andrew that would justify the type of contract that he was tendered in Golden State.  The Warriors will use him more then we would have so he deserves it, there's not a better locker room guy in the league then Ronny and I wish him all the best...and a hopeful return back home when he is done in Golden State (hey we got D. Fish back!)

Key Additions: Besides the return of a healthy Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza, the loss of Ronny Turiaf was countered by the addition of Josh Powell.  I am a fan of this kid (except for the kwamish braids) and he has been decent in the pre-season.  He is a solid bench player, a big physical body and while he wont replace all the intangibles that Ronny brought to the table, he will be sufficient enough when needed.  Last season towards the end of it when Chris Kaman was sidelined, he did a solid job filling in for the Clippers.

Resigning The Machine Sasha Vujacic was also a big move.  A lights out shooter, streaky at times but dangerous, a pesky defender and key role player.  He had a breakout season last year which earned him 3 more years and $15 Mil deservingly so. 

Stand-Outs

Andrew Bynum:  Potential is the word that is always being thrown around with this kid.  I have to admit there was a slight moment of concern during the first couple of pre-season games but he progressed like he has his whole career as the pre-season rolled along.  I thought that his biggest challenges would be playing with the lingering concern about his knee and with the way he has been playing, it looks as if that injury never happened.  Another challenge would have been to get better acclimated with Pau Gasol offensively and after they looked "slow and clumsy" in the first 2 pre-season games, it looks like they are starting to gel beautifully.  As the regular season progresses, its only going to be a matter of time before we see a Tim Duncan/David Robinson type of combo down low. 

Jordan Farmar:  I was one of those who had some doubts if Jordan could be our future PG, but the kid was nothing short of impressive.  His confidence is almost parallel to Kobe's.  I like that he is the mind state where he doesnt feel that anyone can stop him from getting to the basket.  His jumper has looked impressive along with his long range.  He looks active on defense and always looking to push the ball offensively.  His decsion making has vastly improved and he looks to be a true leader for us.  I have high expectations for Jordan Farmar, I look for him to be Paul Revere to our Minutemen!

Trevor Ariza:  Lightning in a bottle, thats the best way I can describe him.  What I have noticed the most in the pre-season is the array of skills Trevor possesses.  He can slash to the basket, always aggressive, always active on both ends...when one part of his game isnt working, he elevates another part.  Trevor may not be the starter and for a good reason, he is still a bit raw and given the dynamics of the starting squad, probably isnt the best fit as a starter...but he will be a monster coming off the bench, he's like redbull, if red-bull was on speed!

Question Marks & Concerns

Lamar Odom:  When the biggest problem or question mark you have is where to put Lamar Odom, then is that really a problem?  What it is, is a welcomed problem.  After pouting about his role in the beginning, Lamar was accepted it and looks like he has adapted to it in the latter parts of the pre-season.  Lamar is going to be instrumental in our run, we all know he is at his best when he is un-noticed and is relieved on any pressure.  The bench role suits him perfectly which gives the Minutemen a valuable weapon.

Health:  Injuries are a part of the game, last year we were able to overcome injuries and still had a shot to win it all.  Even as deep as we are, injuries have to be contained in order for this team to play at its max potential.  This team if healthy has a chance to be one of the most powerful and versatile teams the league has seen in a very long time...with that said lets all knock on wood that we dont see the same types of injuries we did last season.

The Dynamics: 

Starters: Vlad Rad looks to be the starter at the SF after Phil tinkered and experimented with the lineup throughout the preseason.  I am at an understanding that this would be the best option because Vlad will be able to spread the floor better then Lamar or Ariza could.  My hopes are that he regains his form when he was with the Sonics and Clippers where he was a deadly sharp shooter.  He is the ex-factor.

As I mentioned it will only be a matter of time with them.  Bynum is an unstoppable force, at times he does look like he is trying to do a little too much whereas he is only asked to rebound and be a defensive presence.  He reminds of a young Kobe in the sense that you cant contain this kid's talent, we had growing pains with Kobe too but we all knew that he was something special.  I think Phil wants to unleash his potential in small doses much like it was done with Kobe but in a more controlled manner.  Pau is making a concentrated effort to look for Andrew as is Kobe and the others.  Andrew has a great supporting cast around him to set him up for success, but as it is in any young potential superstar, patience is a virtue!

Pau and Kobe's numbers will slightly diminish from the norm and thats not really a bad thing.  Minutes will be down for Kobe, as will points per game.  With presence of Andrew, I look for Pau's scoring numbers to go down as he wont have to be the primary Center in this lineup, but I look for his assist numbers to be better.  D. Fish is still a rock at the PG and his veteran presence is alone a valuable asset.  There will be a lot more reliance of D. Fish perimeter game as he will also be able to spread the floor effectively.  His is a bit older but D.Fish has always been a bulldog for us.

The Bench Mob: Or also known as the Minutemen feature a lineup good enough to be an up and coming team themselves.  With Jordan Farmar, Lamar Odom, Sasha Vujacic, Trevor Ariza & Luke Walton, this will be one of the fastest and most active lineups.  Their ability to run at a much more faster pace style then our starters will give us a great edge against teams that are one dimensional defensively. 

Role Players:  Sasha Vujacic will also benefit from Andrew Bynum in the lineup.  Although he wont start games, he will be there at the end as he is one of our deadliest and also one of our more consistent shooters.  He is an inter-changeable player that can fit in both with the starters and the bench players.  Luke Walton is always an anomaly, he could be as valuable as he was in the Denver series or as non-existence as he was prior to that and after that.  If we can get anything better then we did last season from him, then its alreay been a success in regards to Luke.  Chris Mihm can also be in that category, injuries have plagued him for the last 3 seasons but it does finally look like he is in actual game shape.  While I dont think he will ever be the same player he was when we first acquired him, he will be heavily counted on if there are injuries sustained to our front court. 

Longevity:

Of course no dynasty has ever lasted just one or two seasons.  With the impending financial questions that need to answered in order to lock in our key pieces, the Lakers have some questions to address.  The main one being, Kobe Bryant who has an option to opt out after this season...there might be a realistic chance that Kobe can go to Europe and take the ridiculously lucrative offer that he will be presented and honestly who wouldnt.  But it would all boil down to whats more important, to play on an international stage or to solidify his legacy here amongst the best players in the world. 

Andrew Bynum is our future, but understandably pre-cautions must be taken, better safe then sorry.  Andrew and his agent are looking for the max and want it before the season starts, but the Lakers are taking the safe bet and waiting and seeing what he can do in the season ahead.  If he has the season we know he is capabale of then he will warrant what he is looking for.

Lamar Odom has been the center of trade talks with concerns to the Lakers seemingly almost forever.  But with the uncertainty of his role now with the team and for the future, the Lakers could look to move him by mid season if he cannot adjust or they can just let him walk freeing up cap space to resign other hopefulls like Trevor Ariza.

The Outlook:

I know we have high expectations and why not.  With as versatile, deep and motivated team as we have ever had in recent years led by one of the greatest if not the greatest coaches of all time, this team has the markings of a championship dynasty.  This year could be something special given they gel the way we know this team can.  The western conference doesnt get any easier this year.  Houston is a legit contender with Artest and are just as deep, the Hornets have added a nice weapon in James Posey and I look for them to be in the mix all season long with the Lakers.  Utah is still a strong team. S.A and division rival Phx may have lost a step or two but are still formidabble foes.  The rest of the west is better with the emergence of the Blazers and Clippers and teams like Dallas and Denver can be either a hit or a miss.  With that said, we still rolled through the west in the playoffs last season short-handed so my real concern is shot at redemption.  Boston can always that they may have exposed us but the reality is that Boston didnt face a complete Lakers team and this year barring any crucial injuries, I am hopefull that we can redeem ourselves and if we happen to run into the Celtics again, the Lakers can show them and the rest of the league what a true champion looks like!

Predictions:

Record: 63-19 - best in the league.

Andrew Bynum - Most Improved Player

Mitch Kupchak -  GM of the year

Kobe will unfortunately not win the MVP, Lamar Odom will probably not get traded but will not get resigned with the Lakers.

The Lakers will dominate in the playoffs and will redeem themselves in a rematch vs. Boston as they will beat them 4-1 in the Finals with the championship clinching game in Boston.  Kobe will win Finals MVP.

Category: NBA
Tags: Lakers
 
Posted on: October 15, 2008 2:37 pm
 

Lakers Team Report 10/15/08

Whats up Lakers fans, thought I'd drop some recent news on our purple & gold.  I got some posetive feedback from my first report and the public will get what the public wants...Dateline: Los Angeles

Kobe to Greece, here we go again!

Well the Kobe to Europe Rumor Mill is at it again, reportedly a $60 Million offer is on the table for the Kobester with a bunch of extra perks. Along with the contract like a private jet, his own staff, a villa, his own yatch, the works basically has been offered to Kobe by the Greek Olympiacos.  I'm sure we have all heard this and might even be a little nervouse, lets be honest with ourselves, who wouldnt take that deal??  But I'm here to put your mind at ease at least for the remainder of the season, turns out that this may all be speculation...FIBA regulations doesnt allow any club to court a player that is under contract and Kobe is under contract for the remainder of the season until he can opt out in the off season.  I'll be honest if Kobe decides to venture elsewhere, I certainly hopes he takes this offer if it is indeed presented to him next year, I couldnt stand to see him in any other NBA uniform except for the Lakers.

 http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop
/0-35-52/Kobe-Bryant-to-Greece--Hol
d-On----.html

Dr. Phil

As we have all noticed Phil has been tinkering with the lineup alot to try to find the right combination and its not over yet.  He has started Odom, Ariza and will even tinkered with Vlad Rad to see the best unit we can put out on the floor.  Not even the players know what Phil will put on the floor, when Pau Gasol was told by a reporter how he felt about starting at center, he responded "I'm starting at Center??"  I guess Phil is really playing god with this roster, but I have faith in God...I mean Phil, that he will put out the best lineup for us out there, afterall you dont win 9 titles, completely rebuild a mediocre team into a contender and not pick up a few things along the way.

Starting Space Cadet??

Maybe Phil knows something we dont, but looks like our favorite astronaut Vlad Rad has tenatively been given the starting job.  He will start this week vs. Barcelona.  Phil seems to like the way the team plays when Vlad Rad is in there although I suspect that Vlad will return to form and sooner or later Ariza will take that spot.  Its not set in stone that Vlad will remain the starter, thank goodness.

Lamar okay with coming off the bench

Lamar is flip flopping more then a fish out of water.  After initially being open to coming off the bench, he was then up in arms about it as to go as far as stating Phil must have hit his head on something.  Now it looks like Lamar is coming back to his senses (maybe he was the one that hit his head)  Maybe its the realization that this is his contract year and he knows that the Lakers have something special which he doesnt want any hand in messing up.  He has been mainly practicing with the 2nd unit where I think he can be a great candidate for 6th man of the year and his attitude has dramatically changed from the first couple of games where he looked lathargic and unmotivated.  Lamar faulted his alter ego "Odom" for his moment of stupidity:

"That was like my alter-ago talking," Odom said of last month's outburst. "Seriously. That's Odom. Not Lamar. I'm being dead serious. I'm a good locker-room dude. I don't want to be detrimental to the team, especially, like, how this is a championship-caliber team."

Whatever Lamar is smoking, please pass it this way!  Lets hope we dont hear from "Odom" again.

The Twin Towers coming together

Probably the news we have all been wanting to hear.  Prior to the season starting Phil didnt like the chemistry of our 2 giants saying they looked "clumsy" but as we all knew that slowly but surely they are getting better and looking better.  It's only a matter of time before these 2 will start living up to the hype.  Both see each other as a compliment to each other, both are looking for each other.  The couple knocks on them is that Gasol is trying to adjust to playing the wing where before he was accustomed to the paint and the other knock would be tranisition defense.  I think in due time once they really get acclimated to each others games, they will know when to to crash or who will crash the boards and when to step back into transition.

The Machine's ankle 

Turns out Sasha sprained ankle was a small avulsion fracture which will keep him out 10-14 days.  He is hopefull to get in a couple of pre-season games in for tune-up.  10-14 days isnt too bad considered "The Machines" replacement parts have to be ordered from Slovenia...thank you, thank you I'll be here all night!

Stalking Luke Walton

First thought that comes to mind is why Luke Walton??  Stacy Elizabeth Bashear, 34 was arrested for stalking Luke.  She had been following him to practice and repeatedly asking him to sign basketballs.  He did sign them but she continued to harrass him to sign more.  She then followed him around all day and finally Luke got a little nervous when he spotted and called it in.  Ahh yes how I miss the psychotic twitch of the eye from one of the many ladies whose hearts I have broken, just be happy Luke that you didnt have slashed tires in the morning...geez I never knew saying "I think we should be friends" would turn out like that.

Lakers renew at 99%

Lakers season ticket holders renewed at 99% even with the ticket prices being hiked up, wow thats crazy...I want to know who the 1% was that didnt renew, I have a suspicious feeling they were Clippers fans otherwise known as Lakers haters who thought they would crumble last year...oh those Clippers fans, they're like the red-headed orphan child that we adopted cause we felt sorry for them.

Ignorance is awesome!!

Especially in Redneck Minnesota!  Apparently some hill billy radio talk show hosts Chris Baker and Langdon Perry otherwise known as Cleatus and Billy Bob accused Magic Johnson of faking AIDS.  Magic responded to the comments they made as "stupid" but come one Magic you cant expect much from them, they have sex with their sisters and eat roadkill for supper!

Sources:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baske
tball/nba/lakers/

 

Category: NBA
Tags: Lakers
 
Posted on: October 2, 2008 6:25 pm
 

Lakers Team Report 10/2/08

Ahhh Lakers basketball is in the air and it wont be much longer now folks!

A few tid-bits for you guys through the first couple of days of training camp...sources courtesy of the LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baske
tball/nba/lakers/la-sp-lakersfyi2-2
008oct02,0,3274713.story?page=1

Lamar at Point??

Okay so earlier this week I initailly praised Lamar for welcoming the idea of coming off the bench followed by dissapointement in him that he wasnt too fond of that idea to begin with...but the last couple of days he has actually been running the point instead of D. Fish.  Fish has moved into the SG slot and Kobe to the SF.  Now I absolutely love the idea of Kobe at the SF and it kind of makes sense that Lamar is open to playing point.  We all now that he is not nearly as aggressive as he should be and tends to defer to others but at the point he can definetley create for others and get them involved.  He handles the rock very well for a 6-10 guy and has decent court vision, we all know that the Triangle doesnt necesarily utilize the PG so I kind of like the idea, lets see how it pans out

Mums the word for Ariza

Trevor Ariza is taking the "My name is Bennett and I aint in it" approach to the Phil's comments that Trevor could start if the Lamar Odom experiment doesnt work which is the right thing to do (note to Lamar Odom)  Dont get me wrong I love the way Trevor balls but is he really ready to take on a starting role, I guess I would have to see more from him before I can be that confident in him to start. 

Kobe on Tape...

No its not another tape of Kobe telling Mitch to ship Bynum out, this particular tape is in regards to his pinkie.  With some strengthening excercises over the summer for his pinkie he can now go tapeless.

Andrew the All-Star?? 

The kid has got high goals and one of it this season is to be an All-star.  I have been singing his praises all off season long and I t hink this is an achievable goal for him if he continues to progress at the rate he has been.  Of course Phil is making sure the kid doesnt become too full of himself and keep him humble which is why we have Phil here, he said Andrew looked "tired" and Andrew responded "Man, he always says that" haha.  I have high hopes for Andrew and I'm counting on him, turning from "Bynomite" last year into "Bynum the Beast" this year...get your ballots ready Lakers fans!

Josh Powell filling in... 

When the Lakers signed this guy I thought it was a nice pickup that no one was really talking about and so far he has looked impressive.  Phil has been very impressed with his tenacity in grabbing boards, he has given the Lakers big men fits on the boards, wont let anyone box him out.  I thought he was a solid pickup and will be a perfect if not better replacement for Ronny Turiaf.

Sasha goes down

Now for the bad news, looks like Sasha suffered a sprained ankle after he landed on the foot of DJ MBenga, nothing serious though for The Machine, he will be tuned up and ready to go!

Just kidding!

Of course Kobe was just kidding about playing in Europe, he actually cleared the air on the PMS Show (local sports talk radio show in LA), leave it to the pop media to blow it out of proportion

Did Sun Yue get mono from riding the mono-rail?

If you are a Simpsons fan you know where I got  the subject header above from haha.  Sun is so siked about being in LA, I'm sure he was up in Hollywood on a drunken binge and made out with some dirty ladies, they do call mononucleosis "the kissing disease".  Looks like he is out for a few weeks, thats too bad I really wanted to see what he was made of.

Category: NBA
Tags: Lakers
 
Posted on: September 30, 2008 6:13 pm
 

2008-2009 NBA Predicitons

So that I can tell you all I told you so at the end!

 Western Conference

1) Los Angeles Lakers (63-19) - Healthy Bynum becomes the beast of west, MVP Kobe got a taste of what it felt like again to be back on top - he will be as focused as ever, killer starting lineup, young bench players have been battle tested now and will be better, Lamar Odom finds his calling off the bench as he is seriously in consideration for 6th man of the year

2) New Orleans Hornets (61-21) - Chris Paul will edge out Kobe for the MVP, Posey adds to an inexperienced bench, Peja stays healthy and has best season yet becoming an all-star.  West and Chandler stay relatively healthy, Hornets and Lakers go down to the wire like last season for the best record in the west.

3) Houston Rockets (55-27) - Rockets health remains a factor, T-Mac has a solid season, Yao an all-star again.  Artest takes some time to adjust to the Rockets, the bench not as key of a factor as they were last season when they kept the streak alive, still have a solid season but not better then the Lakers or Hornets.

4) Utah Jazz  (54-28) - Key injuries keep the Jazz from reaching max potential but they benefit from playing in a weaker division as the Nuggets fall dramatically.  D-Will leads league in assists, Boozer has sub-par season riddled with injuries and inconsistent play. Regardless D-Will & Utah's physical play carrie s them to division title.

5) San Antonio Spurs (51-31) - Age finally rears its ugly head but you are fooling yourself if you think the Spurs are done for.  Manu Ginobli goes in and out of the lineup due to injuries.  Tim Duncan has a solid season but shows a little bit of age.  Spurs make a a big mid-season trade to make one last run at a title shot.

6) Phoenix Suns (50-32) - The Suns are no longer the Run-N-Gun team of past seasons. Shaq's impact is felt greatly, some in posetive ways and some in negative ways.  Amarie has MVP type season but Nash's numbers suffer the most as it becomes very clear that he is struggling to adjust to Shaq.  I also forsee a big trade in the works for Phoenix as they also make one last attempt to make a run.

7) Dallas Mavericks (47-35) - Dirk has a solid season but inconsistent play from J. Kidd and J. Howard are a factor.  Cuban frustrated with the teams decline shops Howard and eventually trades him as he comes to the realization that he needs to redefine this team. 

8) Los Angeles Clippers (45-37) - Baron Davis revives the Clippers franchise as they fight off Golden State and Portland for the final playoff spot by virtue of tie-breakers as all 3 teams finish with the same exact record..  Al Thorton benefits the most from Davis as he becomes the leading scorer on the Clippers and has an all-star caliber season.  Their reward is a first round match-up with the Lakers!

Eastern Conference

1) Boston Celtics (60-22) - I dont see them having the type of dominating season as they did last year given the east has improved vastly but they will still be the beast of the east.  Pierce will have a dominant season as he will be an MVP candidate, KG will dip down just a bit.  They will be spectacular at home. 

2) Orlando Magic (56-26) - Dwight Howard will dominate as usual, they will be a well balanced team and I see them winning more home games then they did from last season.  Pietrus shows that he was a valuable addition as he shows his full potential only making the Magic a stronger offensive team. They are still lacking in the front court.

3) Detroit Pistons (53-29) - Most people see this is a make or break season, its probably only a matter of time until this team is dismantled and it could be this year.  After getting off to a slow start, moves will be made by the trade deadline, but it wont be a fire sale or a financial move, the Pistons will trade talent for talent. Some big names like Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups could be the ones out.  This team will have a different look from the beginning of the season to the end of the season.

4) Toronto Raptors - (50-32) J'Oneal revives his career in Toronto, not only returning to form but transforming his game to better compliment Chris Bosh.  Moon and Calderon have solid seasons, Raptors play the role of the team that no one wants to see in a 7 game series.

5) Philadelphia 76ers - (46-36) - After a slow start for Elton Brand, in the second half of the season he adjusts leading the Sixers.  AI becomes an unstoppable force as he has best season yet.  The Sixers edge out the Wizards for the 5th seed.

6) Washington Wizards - (44-38) - The Big 3 of Arenas/Jamison/Butler stay relatively healthy throughout the season.  Arenas amongst the top 3 in scoring.  Wizards with an impressive home record, not so much on the road. 

7) Cleveland Cavaliers - (42-40) - A frustrating season comes to a screeching hault as the Cavs try to do everything possible in hopes to retain LBJ.  LBJ puts up great numbers as usual but still doesnt have enough too make a serious run.  Cav's make another mid season move to try to accomodate LBJ with a supporting all-star caliber player but will it be enough.

8) Miami Heat - (40-42) - The Heat edge out the Bulls for the final spot.  At first I didnt have the Heat in the playoffs at all but after seeing D. Wade  return to form in the Olympics left no doubt that he is back.  Marion will adjust well, but Beasely will struggle his rookie season.  Miami may give the Celtics fits in the first round but wont have enough.

Other preditctions:

MVP - Chris Paul beating out Kobe in closest MVP race ever/Denver has fire sale by mid-season, big names being traded/Knicks improve vastly but fizzle out at the end/Marc Gasol is the biggest suprise of the season as he has ROY type season/Oden has sub-par season but shows promise/Sacramento Kings trade Brad Miller/OKC struggles to sell out games in first season/T-Wolves worst record in the league and this time they get the #1 pick in next years lottery.

Post Season Predictions:

Western Conference

Round 1

1) Lakers vs. 8) Clippers: Lakers sweep 4-0

2) Hornets vs 7) Mavericks - Hornets 4-1

3) Rockets vs. 6) Suns - Rockets 4-3

4) Jazz vs. 5) Spurs - Spurs 4-3

Round 2

1) Lakers vs 5) Spurs - Lakers 4-2

2) Hornets vs. 3) Rockets - Hornets 4-3

Western Conference Finals

1) Lakers vs 2) Hornets - Lakers 4-2

Eastern Conference

Round 1

1) Celtics. vs 8) Heat - Celtics 4-2

2) Magic vs. 7) Cavaliers - Magic 4-3

3) Pistons vs 6) Wizards - Pistons 4-2

4) Raptors vs. 5) 76ers - Raptors 4-3

Round 2

1) Celtics vs 4) Raptors - Celtics 4-3

2) Magic vs 3) Pistons - Pistons 4-3

Eastern Conference Finals

1) Celtics vs 2) Pistons - Celtics 4-3

NBA Finals Prediction

1) Lakers vs 1) Celtics

Lakers win 4-1, they lose the first game at home in an overtime thriller but regain control in Boston...they clinch the title in  Game 5 at the Boston Garden and totally redeem themselves from last years showing as Kobe hits the dagger shot to put the nail in the coffin in the final minute of the game.  Kobe gets he Finals MVP, Bynum is dominant and proves that he was the missing piece, the city of Boston goes up in flames!

2008 - 2009 NBA Champions

Los Angeles Lakers 

Category: NBA
Tags: Lakers
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com