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Bullets of Sunday's NBA Action:

February 8, 2009

  • Kobe and Lebron will always be judged against one another. The strange part about this inevitable is that they're not even from the same generation of players. Kobe is 30 years old. Lebron is 24 years old. Kobe should be far and away better than Lebron is right now. Kobe is part of the Tim Duncan and KG generation, which means he's actually closer to the end of his prime, while Lebron hasn't even entered his. That's something to think about because that means that Kobe has a slim window to set the bar before Lebron really gets rolling. 

  • Lamar Odom's 28 points showed why the Lakers were smart to hold onto him.  I really feel for any GM that has to deal with a player like Odom.  His length and athleticism combined with his ability to go comatose make him a lot like owning New York Avenue, Tennessee Avenue, and St. James Place in Monopoly.  On the one hand, you're glad to have a monopoly of something, but deep down you know it won't win you the game unless you've got something else to go with it.  Fortunately, the Lakers have Kobe, Gasol, Fisher, and Ariza, which is like having Boardwalk, Park Place, and all the Railroads.  Still, I bet Mitch Kupchak has serious inner debates with himself every time Odom's name comes up in trade talks, as he thinks to himself, "Gee, it really would make sense to move him and pick up all the red or yellow property, but I just feel so attached to him.  I see him sitting next Luke Walton on Baltic Avenue and think that Lamar is the only guy left from the Shaq trade to Miami.  It's a comfort to have him here."

  • Mo Williams must feel like he got taken in the Madoff Scam because his absence from the All-Star game is a fraud with what he's invested into the first half of this season.  He looked like the best player on the floor for the Cavs at times today.

  • As a Spurs fan, I loved seeing the two biggest shots of the game hit by Bonner and Roger "Snake Eyes" Mason.  Bonner played well all game, finishing just 2 points shy of his career high with 23 points.  It was good to see Mason hit a big shot in a game where he really didn't play well.  His biggest plays prior to hitting the go ahead shot were dropping a defensive rebound and committing some dumb fouls.  Maybe Mason's real nickname should be Medium Shot Rog because he's got a little Horry in him.  Maybe we should call him Horry-Lite.

  • George Hill, playing with a stinger in his shoulder, came up with an important seven points in the second half.  He showed some moxie for a rookie playing on the road.  

  • Manu Ginobili appears to be hitting his stride.  I wrote earlier today that his health in last year's conference finals gives me some hope that a healthy Manu might make a difference this year.  His 19 points today had him appearing with a bounce in his step.  He also came up with the game-clinching steal.  The team was clearly better today with him on the floor.

  • Manu's health combined with how well Bonner, Snake Eyes, and Hill have been brought into the team's rotation have not only made this team younger, but these factors have also given this Spurs team the greatest chance of improvement among the four contenders.  The Cavs solved their offensive shortcomings with the addition of Mo Williams.  The Lakers are a Finals team without Bynum, and with him, I think they win going away.  The Celtics are the same team from last year, minus a a couple of key role players.  This Spurs team, however, has two new starters that are allowing guys like Bowen and Oberto to sit on ice for the regular season, which is another lesson taught by Robert Horry--the playoffs are the only thing that matters.

  • After today, I'd rank the four contenders as follows:
4. Boston Celtics
They lost to the Lakers and the Spurs this week.  Also, they have the weakest bench of all four teams.  Seriously, what happened to these guys?  If I'm a Celtic fan, I'm hoping the bench is waiting for the second half of the season to flip the switch, but Big Baby doesn't strike me as that kind of guy.

3. San Antonio Spurs
Today marks the 31st game in a row this team has won when it scores over a hundred, and it can't be said enough how much the inexperienced guys need success in these type of games before the playoffs start.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers
I believe they've got the best player in the game.  They've also got one of the deepest supporting casts.  Mo Williams is the only other guy playing at an All-Star level, but this team has a lot of bodies; and most of them play defense.  The one who doesn't, Wally Szerbiak, scored 16 points today, shooting 4-5 from behind the arc.

1. L.A. Lakers
Bynum got hurt, Kobe killed the Knicks with 61, and they beat the Celtics and the Cavs.  They beat the Cavs while Kobe was receiving an IV.  They're pretty good.

1 comments:

John said...

Overall, it wasn't a convincing performance by the Spurs especially the way they threw their lead at the start of the 3rd quarter. But they showed their resilience to win games likes this.

I would not write off the Celtics but after losing to the Lakers and Spurs at home, you might wonder are they still the best as they were last year.

For me, that steal from Manu was priceless. Terrific defense and pressure that forced Ray Allen to commit the free passage foul.

His health was always questionable this season. Well after this game, people must agree with me that he is back to his best. Considering Parker was off the mark, Manu step up like he was the All-Star.

Check out my re-cap and let me hear your views.

http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2009/02/nba-news-manu-steals-help-spurs-beat.html

February 9, 2009 at 12:52 AM

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