The Lakers have a preseason game tonight up in beautiful downtown Bakersfield. If anyone sees the game and has comments post them, as it again is not being televised. Since there are no game thoughts, here are some general ones.
â€¢ Smush Parker apparently is going to be the Lakers starting point guard after all, according to Phil Jackson via the OC Register. They like his defense and â€œmoxie.â€ Aaron McKie would still play key minutes, particularly at the end of games, Jackson said. For the record, this scares me â€” Smush has been okay, but none of his past NBA performances, his Summer Pro League effort or what I saw on the one televised preseason game showed he was ready to be a starter. Man, are the Lakers thin out top.
â€¢ A must-read on ESPN about coach John Wooden turning 95, from my favorite of their writers, Eric Neel. For two years in a row I attended the John Wooden Basketball Camp as a kid and have some very fond memories of those times and experiences, not to mention I daily put in practice things I learned there. Starting with how to tie my shoes properly.
â€¢ So itâ€™s the young kids ruining the NBA and we need an age limit?
Over at the APBR board (for the stat minded), poster Jambalaya did the work and found last year there were 38 players ages 21 and younger who played in the NBA last season, with 23 of them logging at least 500 minutes (average of 6 a game) and eight averaged at least 25 minutes a game. All together, they played about 7% of the total league minutes available in the regular season. Those players average PER rating (weighted by minutes played) was 14.8, right at the league average of 15. And they are likely to get better.
â€¢ How about the Raptors losing to Maccabi Tel Aviv in the preseason? In Toronto. I love that the game is now this global and the best from Europe can play with an NBA team. And while it was a preseason game for maybe the NBAâ€™s worst squad, remember this â€” the best player for the European champion Maccabi last season was Sarunas Jasikevicius, but he wasnâ€™t there because he signed with the Pacers for this season.
â€¢ Count me in the majority in the poll completed yesterday on this site â€” Iâ€™m picking Indiana to come out of the East. Thatâ€™s what 49% of you said. Miami (second in the poll with 30%) is going to put up a lot of points, but can they play defense? The guys they brought in are (mostly) not as good defenders as the guys who left. As for Detroit (14%), I think Flip is a good coach but not as good as Brown. Plus, picking them just seems too easy.
â€¢ I thought about putting up a â€œWho will win the Westâ€ poll next but the only question in my mind was whether San Antonio could beat the over/under of 95% of your votes.