NBA REVIEW – WEEK 20 – MARCH 13, 2011

WHY HE’S KOBE BRYANT AND NO ONE ELSE IN THE NBA IS

The above photograph of Laker superstar Kobe Bryant shooting in an empty American Airlines Arena in Miami on Thursday night is unique only because it was taken after Los Angeles lost to Miami 94-88 in a nationally televised game. Let me write that again because I’m fairly certain that you think I made a mistake: This photograph was taken after the game.

Call me crazy but considering none of the Lakers’ perimeter players were perfect from the field in this game, it seems that once they received word that Kobe was still in the arena, putting in work so to speak, they should have cancelled whatever plans they had for South Beach that night and headed back to the arena and joined their co-captain on the court.

But I guess that’s why he’s the most successful from high school to the pros player in league history, the number six all-time career score in league history (he should pass Shaq for 5th place sometime next season, whenever that is), a 13-time All-Star, a 2-time Finals MVP and is working towards a second three-peat and his sixth ring and they’re not.

THE TRENDY STORY OF THE WEEK

Superstar coach Phil Jackson perfect fit for superstar Miami Heat lineup  Could Phil Jackson fool everybody and take over in Miami after his supposedly last season as a NBA coach? Based on the theory that anything is possible, sure, it could happen. But, I’m going to take PJ at his oft-repeated words this season and say that whatever happens this year with the Lakers, he’ll never coach in the league again.

WILL MARK CUBAN EVER SHUT THE “F” UP?

If there’s a NBA owner who gets quoted more than Dallas’ Mark Cuban, especially when it comes to matters not pertaining to his OWN team “They (Nuggets) hit a home run [when they traded Anthony to the Knicks]”, please let me know who it is. Hell, we can go months out here in LA without hearing a peep out of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who by the way, has won 10 Larry O’Brien Trophies during his ownership run while Cuban’s Mavericks have only been to the Finals once (2006) and they blew a 2-0 lead to the Heat then. 

HAS IT REALLY BEEN 20 YEARS?

Champion Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan and Co. re-live that first championship season — 1991

1990-91 Bulls honored – Photos

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Madison Square Garden ticket prices skyrocket 49 percent for Knicks

 

 

“Dagnabbit! At these prices, I won’t be able to dress like a Knicks munchkin much longer!”

IT TAKES A MIRACLE (OR CLOSE TO IT) FOR THE NETS TO GET A SELL-OUT AT HOME

Not when the Lakers with Kobe Bryant and native New Yorkers Ron Artest and Lamar Odom and New Jersey born-and-raised Andrew Bynum came to town. Not even when the star-studded Miami Heat rolled in with the playing firm of Bosh, James and Wade on their roster. The woeful New Jersey Nets (yes I know that’s redundant but humor me, okay?) drew only their second sellout crowd of the season (the first was against the Knicks last month) Friday night when they played the, hold on to your seas here, Clippers. And before you say, “Wow, I guess Blake Griffin’s winning the Slam-Dunk Contest this year has made him a big draw on the road”, it appears that the Nets had some help from above. Nets Turns out it was “Gospel Night with the Nets” and that meant a post-game concert by Grammy Award winner, Reverend Hezekiah Walker and his group.

Breaking bread with Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Blake Griffin has an unlimited future  

Any move will cost the Sacramento Kings

For Masai Ujiri, Journey to N.B.A. via England and Nigeria  

Serby’s Sunday Q & A with… Chauncey Billups  

THEY SAID IT

“I’m with [ESPN’s] Bill Simmons on this. We have to take Michael Jordan out of the equation. Stop comparing anyone to Michael Jordan. It’s just not fair. He was remarkable. Kobe’s in his own sphere.

He doesn’t shoot the same percentage [.455] as Michael [.497]. He has the same characteristics as Michael, but he’s not the same player. It takes nothing away from him — he’s a great player in his own right.” – Lakers coach Phil Jackson when asked who is better, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan.

Guess again

Devin Harris, on his first thought after being traded from New Jersey to Utah: “Playoffs, baby.”

Guess again

San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, to ABC before getting two points and seven rebounds in the Spurs’ loss to the Lakers: “I’m older and slower and not as good as I used to be, so I’m happy to be in a system that works.”

We thought about it, though

Boston Coach Doc Rivers, after losing to the Clippers: “No one cried. We lost the game. We’re good.”

Maybe they can do lunch

Miami president and former Knicks coach Pat Riley on New York General Manager Donnie Walsh, who was in Indiana during the ’90s “Hicks-Knicks” rivalry: “Donnie probably still thinks I’m Hannibal Lecter.”

Peer review

Doc Rivers, on coach of the year candidates, including the Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau, his former assistant: “I love Thibs. I’ve said since the middle of the year, there’s nobody’s team that’s changed more. But my vote: Doug Collins, Nate McMillan, Tom Thibodeau, in that order.”

Like a decade or two

Utah GM Kevin O’Connor to NBA Confidential’s Sam Amick, on the departure of Jerry Sloan: “It happens. Whether it’s Tom Landry or Don Shula or it’s Red Auerbach. Those guys meant so much to the franchise that there’s an adjustment period.”

THE WEEK AHEAD

Mark Heisler’s NBA game of the week: San Antonio at Dallas, Friday  

RANKINGS, WE’VE GOT RANKINGS! (my comments)

Mark Heisler, Tribune Newspapers, March 12, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Records and statistics through Friday’s games.

1. Bulls 46-18 (2): On 37-10 run, will be underdogs once before hosting Celtics on April 7. Da Bulls a legitimate title contender? You bet they are.

2. Spurs 53-12 (1): Bad news for Lakers; can’t catch up unless they play a lot more. Age and injuries are the keys to Spurs’ chances of holding their 5th gold ball in June because as Elvis once sang, “It’s Now or Never.”

3. Mavericks 47-18 (3): Went 17-2 before Tyson Chandler sprained ankle, back in time for Lakers. Back just in time for Saturday’s loss. 

4. Lakers 46-20 (5): Who out there wanted to keep Andrew Bynum? Hey, all Lakerdom had your back! I for one, never, ever wanted to trade Big Drew. Now, if he can just remain injury and ink-free for the rest of his career.

5. Celtics (4) 46-17 (4): Latest in line from Bill Russell to Kendrick Perkins: Nenad Krstic 5-2 as Celtic. Excuse me while I go laugh at the sheer absurdity of this sentence…Okay, I’m back now.

6. Heat 44-21 (6): Will get help next season. Problem is staying together now. Wins over the Lakers aside, just not big enough to win a ring this year.

7. Thunder 41-23 (7): Hit wall: 64-32 from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 13, 2011, 14-10 since. Perk is on the way!

8. Nuggets 38-27 (9): Melo who? 7-2 since trade. Assists up five a game over last month. Regret not trading Mr La La sooner?

9. 76ers 34-31 (14): Doug Collins’ Energizer Bunnies stun Celtics, 31-18 since 3-13 start. Okay, I was wrong; he can still coach.

10. Magic 41-25 (8): Tried it without Dwight Howard in home loss to Trail Blazers, didn’t like it. Will like it even less when he’s a Laker or Knick in two years.

11. Trail Blazers 37-28 (12): In surprise, Vulcans who dangled Nate McMillan to this point, extend him. Vulcans are a tricky, uh, exactly what is a Vulcan?

12. Grizzlies 36-30 (13): Last time they made playoffs, Jerry West was GM and Gasol there was Pau. Look, if the U of M men’s team can win the Conference USA tournament on free throws, anything is possible. Well, anything but a “good” Tyler Perry film.

13. Hornets 38-29 (11): With no Chris Paul, came from seven down in last 1:13 to beat Mavs. See # 10.

14. Knicks 34-30 (16): With Chauncey Billups out, Toney Douglas breaks out, averaging 15, shooting 53 percent. Across the board 49% ticket price increases to watch somebody named Toney Douglas? Hey, I wonder if his folks were boxing fans.

15. Hawks 37-28 (10): Roll your eyes if this is familiar: 33-18 on Feb. 5, 4-10 since. Rolling my eyes vigorously.

16. Suns 33-30 (15): Season series with playoff rival Memphis over. Grizzlies won it. This wouldn’t have happened if Steve Nash was still a Sun. What’s that? He still is a Sun? My bad.

17. Rockets 33-33 (17): Chase Budinger crashes starting lineup, averaging 17 since break. This white man can jump!

18. Clippers 25-41 (21): Almost paradise: Beat Celtics, got beaten by Nets. Yeah, well, they are the Clippers.

19. Warriors 29-36 (20): Whatever Andre Biedrins was once, he’s averaging 5-8 last two seasons. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry: your future former Warriors.

20. Jazz 34-32 (19): Still going (down): 3-9 since Sloan era. It’s Obama’s fault!

21. Pacers 27-38 (18): Frank Vogel falls from 7-1 to 10-11 as Chuck Person’s name surfaces. That’s just how fast “The Rifleman’s” coaching stock has risen since he joined the Lakers’ staff last season.

22. Bobcats 27-38 (22): So much for Paul Silas as first to make it work post-Larry Brown. Uh. Well. See, what had happened was…

23. Bucks 25-38 (23): Does he have ID? Brandon Jennings shoots 17-30 over two. It’s the Bucks, no one cares.

24. Nets 21-43 (24): Just went 2-0 starting Bench Mob backcourt, Jordan Farmar-Sasha Vujacic. Laker fans are speechless.

25. Wizards 16-47 (25): Alert Red Cross: 1-29 road team has 11 of last 17 out there. Talk about a horribly misnamed team…

26. Kings 15-48 (26): Let me get this straight: There are two cities that want them? People want to see Tyler Perry movies; go figure.

27. Timberwolves 17-50 (27): En fuego, for them: Just went 4-4 after starting 14-47. Yawn.

28. Raptors 18-47 (28): Still going (south): Started 8-11, 11-36 since. C.O.N.T.R.A.C.T.I.O.N.

29. Cavaliers 12-52 (29): Luckily he’s owed only $28 mill. Coach: Baron Davis’ knee 65-70 percent. Clippers actually came out ahead on a trade for once.

30. Pistons 23-43 (30): Clueless to end: Tracy McGrady ponders staying or going like someone cares. A once-proud franchise quickly sinking to same level as Sarah Palin’s poll numbers.

Hang in there Japan – at least you’re not Haiti.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: