Tag:Kobe Bryant
Posted on: December 13, 2010 8:06 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:33 pm

Shootaround 12.13.10: Nuggets GM talks Carmelo

The Denver Nuggets spin with the Carmelo Anthony situation, Avery Johnson says Kobe Bryant could be better than Michael Jordan, the Miami Heat could let an asset go to waste, the Sacramento Kings owners whoop it up while the Los Angeles Clippers owner trash talks his own players and two Western Conference big men are on the mend. Posted by Ben Golliver
  • Denver Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri tells the New York media that he feels the situation with Carmelo Anthony is "promising." Writes the New York Post: "Ujiri told a throng of reporters that Anthony's sentiment is different than when he came aboard. 'I think it's encouraging that he says that (he's open to re-signing)," Ujiri said. "From when I got on board until now, that's encouraging. We have had a lot communication. "I'm sure everybody thought he'd be gone at training camp," Ujiri added. "It's promising that he's still here."
  • Yahoo! reports that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been taunting his players from his courtside seats during games, including point guard Baron Davis. What a mess. Here's Davis' quote on the matter: “There’s nothing I can say. I have no comment on that. You just get to this point where it’s a fight every day. It’s a fight. You’re fighting unnecessary battles. I’m fighting unnecessary battles."
  • Roundball Mining Company takes a minute to reflect on Denver Nuggets coach George Karl's 1000th victory. The site highlights a turning point. "As time passed, Karl seemed to find a healthy balance between caring enough on the court and not caring too much.  His passion appeared to return, largely thanks to the trade of Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups."
  • New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson on Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, as quoted by the New York Post. "[Bryant] could arguably be 1. In some polls, he'll be 2," the Nets coach said yesterday about the players he has seen since he entered the NBA in 1988. "He could be 1-A and Jordan can be 1-B or Jordan, some polls they'll be flipped. Fortunately I had a chance to play against both of them and now played and coached against Kobe. And boy, sometimes they're looking like the same player."
  • The Sun-Sentinel reports that there is a good chance the Miami Heat will allow their Disabled Player Exception, acquired from power forward Udonis Haslem's long-term injury, to go unused.
  • Here is a hilarious behind-the-scenes visit from FoxSports.com with the Kings owners during the Miami Heat's recent trip to Sacramento. The Maloofs run the gamut of emotions throughout the course of the game, eventually concluding that LeBron James is better than Kobe Bryant.
  • Speaking of Western Conference big men returning from injury, the Deseret News reports that Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur could be "within a week or two."
Posted on: December 11, 2010 12:58 am
Edited on: December 11, 2010 1:23 am

Derrick Rose makes own statement about torch

Derrick Rose delivers in the clutch for Chicago while Kobe Bryant is in a bit of a late-game slump.
Posted by Matt Moore

Kobe Bryant still holds the torch. He still has at least one more championship left in him, and Derrick Rose has much to learn about how to be a champion in the NBA. And Kobe definitely won't be passing Rose that torch any time soon, as he said earlier today .

But that might be okay, because it would appear Derrick Rose is well on his way to taking it, after a scintillating performance to close out an 89-84 win over the Lakers in Chicago Friday night. What's odd is that it was a similar game for both stars, both good and bad.

Both players had 5 rebounds. Bryant had seven assists to Rose's nine, while Kobe hada single turnover to Rose's four. Bryant's 23 points came on 23 shots, Rose's 29 on 25. So we're not exactly talking about hyper-efficient basketball. It was a defensive struggle on both sides, and one that the Bulls simply seemed to break away from in the closing minutes.

Rose hit a monster three-pointer falling out of bounds as the shot clock expired off an inbounds play with 5:30 left to push the lead to double digits. He also scored 5 points in the final 1:30 of the game while Bryant finished with two badly missed contested threes and two free throws in that same time span.

It was a continuation of a disturbing trend for the former MVP and five-time NBA champion. It's December, which means it's meaningless, and betting against Bryant in May is something you can go do all on your own, but it is a trend worth noting considering Bryant's no longer a spring chicken. Consider the following:
  • In LA's "too close for comfort" win over Washington, Bryant missed a 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining, which allowed the Wizards to close their deficit to a single-possession before closing it out. Bryant is still able to create fouls when he decides to play savvy instead of launching shots, as he did at the 1:02 and :10 mark. Bryant also missed a jumper in the middle of that time frame.
  • Bryant did seem to have it in LA's "seriously, too close for comfort" "road" win over the Clippers, nailing two huge shots in the final 42 seconds. Being guarded by Eric Gordon who is considerably smaller probably helped with that, but it's important to note that Bryant has played well inside of the final 1:30 of a close game lately.
  • The Rockets game was probably the low point of this stretch , where Bryant missed three three-pointers in the final 1:30. With 2:16 remaining, Bryant hit a second free throw to make it a three-point game. The Lakers would lose by 12. The big issue in this one was the same as in the Bulls game, with Bryant electing to take early-shot-clock loooong  threes. Those same shots he used to hit with amazing regularity.
  • Against the Grizzlies, it was bad-good-bad , with Bryant missing a three-pointer at the 1:34 mark, hitting a layup to close the game within 2, and then having significant trouble on the final possession. Mike Conley turned the ball over and Bryant got the outlet from Gasol. Getting to the lane, Bryant said later he lost his handle, which could be true. But even with a lost handle, he could have recovered for a shot had normally-earthbound O.J. Mayo not come up with a terrific defensive contest to force Bryant to kick to Artest who had a potential game winner blocked.
  • Against Indiana? A jumper with 1:10 to go, then three misses (two three-pointers, similar to the Rockets game in attempts), finishing 3-8 in the final four minutes.
  • Against the Jazz, Bryant was on fire, but then in the final 1:30, had one turnover and no shot attempts.
Was this the entirety of Bryant's play in the last two weeks for the Lakers? Surely not. The Lakers also obliterated Sacramento. Bryant has still been the featured scorer in all these games, if not the leading scorer. And let's stress this again: it's December . The Lakers are still arguably the best team in the league, and they could not care less about this stretch of games. They don't play for now, they play for June and the three-peat. Furthermore, they're in need of star performances because of their lack of depth due to Andrew Bynum's injury.

But the question has to be, does Bryant need  to be taking these kinds of shots? They're still in almost all these games, which shows how good the team is overall, and Bryant is definitely part of it. But at least right now  (not in June), it would appear that the Lakers would be better off focusing on creating quality shots rather than hoping Bryant bails them out with long, contested threes.

It should also be noted that a quarter of the way through the season, Bryant is shooting his lowest field goal percentage (44.1%) since 04-05, as well as his lowest three-point percentage (30.5) since 00-01. His free throw shooting (85%) is up 4% from last season, which has kept his true shooting percentage from being historically bad for such a stellar career.

It's entirely possible that Bryant's still recovering from surgery, or that he's simply in a standard shooting slump. If it seems like I'm hedging here, it's because, well, it's Kobe freaking Bryant. But there's no way of getting around the fact that Bryant has not been clutch during this bad streak of games for LA. Nothing to worry about in December, but something to note as we watch the season progress regardless.

As for Rose, the legend continues, and he is now shooting well above his career mark from the arc. Adding that element to his game makes him a much different player, even as his pull-up jumper still is in its infancy. After a drubbing by the Celtics in Carlos Boozer's second game back, the Bulls are now on a roll, and look deadly in every phase of the game.

Two careers, one filled with championship trophies and a history of clutch, the other just getting started. Even in a game where December contests go completely unnoticed, you have to wonder if this isn't the type that will be remembered when Rose's career is looked back upon. Each step is a legend, and all that.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 6:24 pm

Kobe's not passing (anything) to Derrick Rose

Posted by Royce Young

Everyone keeps waiting on the older generation of NBA stars to start passing the so-called torch to the younger, rising group of stars. The old dogs like Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Kevin Garnett hear a lot about all the up and comers.

No doubt there's a ton of talent in the league right now. And no doubt there's probably as much young talent as there's ever been. I mean, start going down the list. John Wall, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, basically the entire Thunder roster... the league's going to be set for a while.

But that doesn't mean the older players are ready to hand over the reins by any means. Especially Kobe Bryant. We should all know better.

After the Bulls lost a tight game to the Lakers last month, Kobe had a brief conversation with Rose. So a reporter asked Bryant if there was anything metaphorical to take from that. Anything to suggest that the torch is being passed to Rose. And Kobe answered in the only way we should've expected. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

"Oh, sure, but I ain't passing s---." Then Kobe was asked if Rose has to come and take this torch from Kobe. Bryant grinned and said, "He can certainly try."

Obviously Kobe is one of the most hyper-competitive guys to ever play so it doesn't matter if he's 40, he's going to think he's still the best out there. Michael Jordan said a few years ago that he still thinks he could play with just about anybody in the league. That's how the great ones look at their ability and their grasp on where they stand in the game. It's not like someone's going to just come and take away their perch.

Though at some point, things will be about Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Griffin, Wall, Tyreke Evans and the younger class. But like Kobe said, there's no passing it. Those guys have got to come take it.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 2:50 pm

The NBA Quarterly All-Star Teams

Posted by Royce Young

It's never too early to start thinking about the All-Star Game. Well, I take that back. It probably is too early. But I wrote the body of this post before the intro so I'm pressing on anyway.

We're a quarter of the way done with the 2010-11 NBA season. Everybody has at least 20 games under their belt. We've learned a lot. The Heat can be good, the Spurs are great, the Lakers oddly struggle at times, Blake Griffin is exciting and Boston won't let you score... ever.

But on top of that, a few players have started that whole breakout thing. And a lot of the old good ones have stayed really good. The NBA truly has a ridiculous amount of talent right now. Seriously, this is a great time for the league. Except for that lockout stuff but I'm not going to mention that.

So because I think a lot about non-important things like the All-Star Game and Chick-Fil-A sauce, I began to notice how tough it's going to be to narrow down a 12-man roster for both conference. If there were an At The Quarter All-Star Team, it would already be quite a task to select that.

So naturally, here's my At The Quarter All-Star Teams:


PG: Deron Williams (21.8 ppg, 10.1 apg)
I'd say the starting Western point guard spot is the toughest to pick in the whole league. Look at the candidates: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Stephen Curry. But Williams is the starters right now because he's commandeering an elite Western team, along with having terrific numbers.

SG: Kobe Bryant (26.6 ppg, 4.5 apg)
Kobe is the type of player that will probably be an All-Star Game starter for life since the fans vote make that happen, but it's well-deserved at this point. He's second in the league in scoring and is having a classic Kobe season. Big shots, big plays and big numbers on the biggest stage.

SF: Kevin Durant (27.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
By his standards, he's struggled a bit. His percentages are a bit down, he's missed a few games because of an ankle sprain and then a sore knee and he's seen his teammate Russell Westbrook steal some of his Thunder. But KD still leads the league in scoring and is still the leader on a very good Thunder team.

PF: Dirk Nowitzki (24.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
If I were voting, Dirk would be getting my MVP vote. Which would be weird because the season's only 25 percent done and I also don't have a vote. But Dirk is having one of his finest seasons and leading the hottest and second best team in the league (tied with Boston at 17-4). The Mavericks have found a new identity behind defense and ball pressure, but Dirk is the same old awesome Dirk.

C: Blake Griffin (20.0 ppg, 11.7 rpg)
Remember when the West used to be so stacked with big men that figuring out the starting front court was a nightmare? It's not that way anyone. There's been a shift to point guard in the West for those issues. But really, who do you start here? The best "center" is probably Tyson Chandler and maybe Al Jefferson right now. Both have been good, but I'm going to fudge and give it to Griffin. His numbers are worthy at 20-12, but he's everything that an All-Star should be. He has the league buzzing, every night is a potential highlight-fest and he's the most can't-miss guy going. To me, if we're selecting an All-Star team right now, he's got to be on it.

Russell Westbrook, PG: Westbrook leads Western point guards in scoring, plus he's got better "LeBron" numbers than LeBron at 23.7 ppg, 8.6 apg and 5.5 rpg.

Chris Paul, PG: Weird to have CP3 on the bench considering he's in the top two or three for MVP, but again, the West is stacked. His team's little slide lately isn't helping either.

Manu Ginobili, SG: The best team in the league doesn't have an MVP candidate? Who says so? Because Manu is certainly playing like one, at least in my mind.

Monta Ellis, SG: Ellis barely gets the nod over Eric Gordon who is also having a really good year. They score virtually the same amount but Ellis has simply been a bit more efficient.

Luis Scola, PF: The Rockets may be struggling and disappointing, but Scola hasn't. Coming off a big World Championships where he raised expectations for himself, Scola has lived up to it in every way.

Kevin Love, PF: He's leading the league in rebounding, and it's not close (15.5 per game, Joakim Noah is next at 12.3). This season there have been 11 20-20 games. Love has six of them.

Tyson Chandler, C: The last spot is where things get a bit hairy. Chandler has been having a re-birth of a season with the Mavericks, protecting the rim and playing solid offense. And just barely does he get the nod of Al Jefferson for the lone center on the roster simply because playing both ends counts for something.

Tough cuts: Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay.


PG: Derrick Rose (25.1 ppg, 8.1 apg)
Rose wondered why he couldn't be an MVP candidate before the season. And there's no doubt he should be, if only he could get his team to win a few more games. But he leads all point guards in scoring (fourth in the league) and is dishing out a career-high assist average. Rose is the total package right now at point and really, one of the top two or three players in the entire conference.

SG: Dwyane Wade (22.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
His numbers are down a bit, but there's an obvious reason why. I'll be honest, if there was another really impressive shooting guard in the East, Wade wouldn't be such a lock. But because the East is pretty thin there (Stephen Jackson? Ray Allen? Vince Carter?) Wade is the starter by default.

SF: LeBron James (24.1 ppg, 7.3 apg)
Despite what his numbers say, he's still the most talented and gifted player in the game. And it's not like the stats aren't excellent anyway. He's just set a bar so high for himself there that all of a sudden 24-7-5 doesn't look so great.

PF: Amar'e Stoudemire (25.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg)
Not only are the Knicks winning, but Amar'e has been fairly awesome this season. He's third in the league in scoring and has just broken a franchise record held by Bernand King for most consecutive games with 30 points (six). That's like, pretty good.

C: Dwight Howard (20.9 ppg, 12.1 rpg)
Forget the fact there's not a ton of competition here. Howard has maybe been the most productive NBA player this season. He's scoring at a career-high rate, plus putting up his typical big rebounding and blocked shots numbers. His developing post game is no joke and he's becoming the total package at center.

Rajon Rondo, PG: His 14.1 assists per game are obviously eye-catching, but he's also turning it over 4.0 times a game, second in the league.

Raymond Felton, PG: Yep, seriously. He's playing on a winning club and his numbers are great! No really, they are! Look at them, I promise I'm not lying!

Ray Allen, SG: Nothing spectacular from the league's best shooter, but his stats are solid, his team is good and he's already hit a number of big shots just a quarter of the way in.

Danny Granger, SF: Come real selection time, he might get squeezed for a bigger name, but he's made the team once. He's a great scorer and now that he's on a decent team, he's deserving.

Kevin Garnett, PF: As long as he's still moving his way up and down the court, he's an All-Star. Plus, don't look, but he's actually having a pretty darn good season.

Roy Hibbert, C: A chic pick for Most Improved, the 7'3 Pacer big man has a well-developed game. Post moves, power moves and even a distance jumpshot.

Andrea Bargnani, C: Probably a stretch especially since Al Horford likely deserves it more, but Barge Nanny is sixth in the East in scoring and in his last few games has really looked fantastic, punctuated by a 41-point explosion against the Knicks Wednesday.

Tough cuts: Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Paul Pierce, John Wall, Shaquille O'Neal
Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:56 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:16 pm

Kobe Bryant gets high school gym named after him

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is being honored by Lower Merion High School, his alma mater, with its gym being named after him. Posted by Ben Golliver


Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is, without question, a basketball nerd. His attention to detail and work ethic are extraordinary, and he's been known as a top-level gym rat ever since he entered the NBA. And what more could a gym rat desire than his high school gym named in his honor? That's exactly what Bryant is set to receive later this month, when Philadelphia-area Lower Merion High School, where Bryant won a state title in 1996 and famously took R & B singer Brandy to prom, will dedicate Kobe Bryant Gynasium. The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Bryant, who jumped straight from high school to the NBA, used an old Ivy League trick, making a sizeable donation to help get his name on the building.
This year, Bryant, the perennial all-star and face of the Los Angeles Lakers, donated $411,000 to the Lower Merion School District. The gift, the largest ever to the district, is to help fund "a series of inspirational, interactive, and educational displays" at the newly completed, $100 million high school.
The school board voted to name the gym after Bryant, citing not just his donation but a history of support for the school, whose Aces basketball team he led to a state championship in 1996.
ESPNLA.com quotes Bryant, who sounds pretty stoked by the news.
"It's cool for me," Bryant said. "That's obviously where playing in the NBA kind of became a realistic goal. I put a lot of work in, a lot of hours in that gym, with a lot of people that support me and still support me to this day. It will be cool to go back there."
That Bryant is being recognized in this manner while still playing professionally at a championship level makes one wonder what honors will be left for him during his retirement? That's what is known as a good problem to have.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 11:49 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 11:50 pm

Lakers loss leads to ominous stat

Lakers lose fourth in a row, which leads to push-come-to-shove streaks, one of which must end. Posted by Matt Moore

One loss is a laugh-off. Two is an annoyance. Three is concerning. Four? Four losses in a row? That's ominous.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost 109-99 to the Houston Rockets Wednesday night, pardon me, the 5-12-entering Houston Rockets for their fourth consecutive loss. why are four losses, even ones as apoplectic as these, significant whatsoever for a championship-proven team in December?

Because of this, courtesy of Andrew Siciliano of FSN :

So that's pretty ominous. The Lakers aren't struggling because Kobe Bryant's out injured or because Pau Gasol is out injured (though Pau is struggling because of the lack of center depth with Theo Ratliff out and Andrew Bynum Andrew Bynuming). They're struggling because they're having significant lapses at the defensive end (Shane Battier scored 11 straight on them in the final minutes for crying out loud), and on offense, too often a no-longer-29-year-old Kobe Bryant is constantly putting up bad shots. On key possessions Bryant opted for the 40-foot-three-pointer shots instead of using all his knowledge and craft to create easier opportunities, extend the game or work for a quality shot.

The other trend that the 4-game streak omen is up against? Phil Jackson has never failed to complete a 3-peat. Given the fact that LA has five months to get it right, Andrew Bynum returns in a few weeks, and this team could not care less about the regular season and they're still only losing these games by a handful of buckets, we should probably bet on the latter trend holding up.

But it still should be noted that the Lakers right now? They're not very good at all.

Posted on: December 1, 2010 1:11 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 1:11 pm

Game Changer 12.1.10: Kobe won't put down the gun

Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: Lakers drown in a pool of Kobe

Kobe Bryant shot 9-25 last night, and given the chance, I'm pretty sure he'd shoot 18 of 50. For whatever reason, Bryant is unable to comprehend that more and more there are nights where he "doesn't have it" and continues to keep shooting the Lakers out of games, despite the fact that their offense makes it nearly impossible not to produce when executed with any reasonable set of effort. Bryant got hot in the third quarter of this game, and then:

That happened. And then more of that. Generally, lots of that. But the bigger problem of course was LA's defense, as noted by Silver Screen and Roll :

The Grizzlies ' point total of 98 doesn't look like much out of context. That's just pace masking deplorable defense on the Lakers' part. The Grizzlies' 88 possessions were the fewest of any Laker opponent this year, and their 1.11 points per trip is well above the season average for the Laker D. The problems tonight were mainly on the perimeter. Derek Fisher was egregiously bad against Mike Conley , who burned him off the dribble over and over. When Conley didn't have the ball, Fish frequently wandered away from him for no apparent reason, leaving him wideass open to make 4-of-5 three pointers. Conley, who's no one's idea of an All-Star point guard, finished with 28 points on only 16 shots (including free-throw possessions). I'm sure I don't need to tell you that 28 is far and away Conley's season high.

Kobe Bryant 's defense wasn't much better. He looked utterly indifferent to competing at the end of the court. On numerous occasions he simply refused to guard Xavier Henry . Literally, all the X Man (no idea if anyone really calls him that) had to do was jog around a light screen or even just walk to a different part of the court, and Kobe wouldn't follow him. Henry came into this game averaging five points a night and finished with 12.

Xavier Henry's emergence was downright baffling last night. His shot release is something akin to a sideways-launched screwball with the release time of a short documentary film but last night it was falling. The Lakers gave it to him, trusting the rookie would fail. He did not.

The final two possessions of this game were downright baffling. Conley dribbles off a Marc Gasol pick, Gasol rolls, and Conley attempts to throw a lob pass over Pau Gasol. Conley was right with his decision, wrong with his execution, and Pau took it away with those long meaty paws. Fast break to Kobe, who takes O.J. Mayo into the lane, Gay comes over to help, Kobe hesitates, then jumps. O.J. Mayo is not a tremendously athletic "burster." He has great top speed but not great leaping ability. He jumped higher than I've ever seen him jump, forcing Bryant to kick out to Artest who had Rudy Gay close on him. Game over.


Amar'e Stoudemire: 35 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

Danny Granger: 37 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block


Raymond Felton has gotten it. Not "is starting to get it." He has gotten it. Amid his 21 point, 7 rebound, 10 assist, 3 steal performance in last night in a win over the Nets, Felton took a high pick from Stoudemire and rolled right. As the defense sagged baseline to cut off his approach, he bounce passed to Stoudemire who finished with a fury. It was Nash-like. It looked straight out of Phoenix circa 2006. And it's the precise kind of play that Felton needed to make earlier in the season that he's making now.

With Felton on an absolutely ridiculous binge as of late, the Knicks find themselves right back in the thick of things. Felton is never going to be Steve Nash, ever, ever, ever, but if he's a dirtier, sturdier, better defensively version of Steve Nash? The Knicks can go places, like a first round playoff entrance. And after a decade of failure, that's a huge start.

The Knicks are coming around and fast.




Brook Lopez gave a commanding performance in a loss last night, the first time he's looked like himself this season. He had the mid-range short-J going, which is a huge part of his game.

Roy Hibbert again looked phenomenal, even though his dominance wasn't needed with Danny Granger destroying everything in his path.

Tim Duncan had a very Walton-esque (as someone described it on Twitter) triple-double with 15 points, 18 rebounds, and 11 assists. Golden State had no answer for anything the Spurs are doing and have really fallen back into their bad defensive habits of seasons past.

Tyreke Evans is not right. Maybe it's the ankle, maybe it's the attitude, maybe it's coaching, but he is simply not the force of nature he was last season. For whatever reason, moving him to shooting guard has not worked out. Even if he may not make logical sense at the point guard position, if your team plays better with him there, how can you argue against it until you get a better backcourt partner than Luther Head?
Posted on: November 24, 2010 10:30 am

Kobe's Christmas Grinch Shoes are gross

Posted by Matt Moore

It won't be the first time people alledge that Kobe Bryant has a heart two sizes too small, but it's the first time he'll look the part. Leaked yesterday were Kobe Bryant's "Grinch edition" shoes which he'll be wearing on Christmas Day against the visiting Miami Heat. They are ... ahem ... Grinch-like:

So that would make LeBron little Cindy Lou Who, that's who.

Can we go ahead and get this out of the way? The Lakers are going to kill the Heat on Christmas. Even if the Heat get it together over the next month, there's simply no way they'll be able to deal with the Lakers' size, cohesiveness and overall talent. The Heat's Big 3 are better than the Lakers' Big 3 (as in, take Kobe, Pau, and any of their other five solid star players), but they also haven't learned to play together and the Lakers' Big 2 seem to be a might bit better.

Stealing this win for LA, in LA, is going to be easier than taking candy from ... you know what? Nevermind.

(HT: Sole Collector via The Basketball Jones )
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com