Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  March 28, 2006

A few little bullet points to get to before the potential first-round playoff match up on Thursday.

• The polls are open: After a hiatus, the polling feature has made a return. Unfortunately, due to a glitch I can’t figure out (I am useless at HTML, it’s quite sad), it got bumped to the bottom of the right-hand column of links. But it’s there and ready to go.

The question is: What team would be best for the Lakers to face in the first round of the playoffs?

My two cents: Dallas is the best match up for us. San Antonio has Bruce Bowen to slow Kobe and a really quick point guard, our biggest weakness defensively. Phoenix has a really quick point guard and the personnel to expose our second biggest weakness, defending athletic big men who can play away from the basket. To beat Phoenix the Lakers would need to play their slow-it-down, Phil Jackson style of the triangle and control the tempo. And nobody seems able to do that to Phoenix.

Dallas on the other hand, while better defensively this season and with a good point guard in their own right, has nobody who can slow Kobe. That means they are going to let Kobe get his and try to stop everyone else — risking another 62 — or they can focus more on Kobe and dare the other Lakers to step up. And Odom has been doing that better lately. Now, I wouldn’t bet the Lakers win a series from Dallas, they have a lot of firepower and balance, but the Lakers stand a better chance and would at least make a series of it. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to make Mark Cuban sweat a little.

• Pump Up The Jam? Are the Lakers pumping in crowd noise at Staples Center? I know it’s a fairly common practice for sports teams these days, and the Boi from Troy (a good sports blog of LA that was early to the game and gives us the quality Sports Illustrated seems to think blogs can’t do) said he noticed it when he was at a recent Laker game. Personally, I get to a handful of games a year, taking a friend’s season seats above the luxury boxes (with the real fans) and I haven’t noticed it. Has anyone else?

(Not that you were wondering, but I don’t really talk about what I saw live at games as opposed to on television because the aforementioned seats don’t provide a ton more insight than watching the game on television. The view is different and you notice some things (like spacing), but you’ve got to be a lot closer to get the details. On the bright side, I always love to pay $8 for a beer.)

• Speaking of the games on television: Damn-it FSN — stop interviewing stars while the game is on. Those second-quarter interviews are distracting and useless (the James Worthy interview was the exception to the rule). I guess this comes down to basketball fans vs. casual fans who want entertainment, and Fox has decided the casual fan wins. The interview with Spike Lee the other night netted just one interesting thing (that he was at the legendary Willis Reed game seven) but was little more than a movie promo and a chance to watch James Woods eat nachos while seated next to him. Spike just wanted to watch the game, it was pretty clear. Same is true of us at home.

• If you want another look at possible Laker future options, the Orange County Register takes a look at future plans.

• I know Supersonics fans may have a little more time on their hands the way this season has unfolded, but enough time to start your own comic? Danny Fortson Cyborg Smasher, it’s pretty damn clever. And as I can’t draw a stick figure, I’m impressed.

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  1. notreallyimportant March 28, 2006 at 7:52 pm

    I urge no one to read that OC register article. All it will do is get you hopes up, because just about every scenario presented is almost completely out of the question. (But oh would I be happy if one of those deals happened, except the Arenas one, that just doen’t make sense.)


  2. notreallyimportant March 28, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    Also Keith Van Horn is a free agent this summer. would it be possible to pick him up, or will he be worth too much? (He can really shoot the three.)


  3. We don’t need a white Brian Cook.


  4. yes, that second quarter interview crap seems mostly devoted to promoting fsn’s parent company crap.

    i thought that was irritating enough… did you see the laker highlight reel with clips from that new ‘ice age’ cartoon mixed in? made me want to vomit.


  5. I’m sure there is sweetening on the crowd noise;
    it’s probably the same reel they use at Dodger Stadium
    accompanying the “noise meter” animation
    and the “Car Wash” handclap clip.

    I hate it personally, and I know there are
    fans showing some spirit in the rafters–
    they’re most evident when Kobe’s shooting frees.

    Other than Norm Pattiz, people “down low”
    some of them are “too cool” to root but not too cool
    to jaw on the phone or chat with their guests,
    some others probably want to guard the persona,
    if they were watching at home, they’d be talking to the TV
    I’d rather they act like fans and later for the image.
    The Forum seating seemed to allow the “stars”
    to blend in with the civvies so it was easier to be themselves and get into the game atmosphere.

    That said, one of my favorite images is the reaction
    after the Horry shot at Staples where the whole house
    just ex-plo-ded.
    Beautiful. No sugar added.

    Also let me lift my voice in praise of L Tanter
    on the P-to-the-A.

    He is the antithesis of the hype yelpers in other venues
    especially the Memphis Grizzly announcer–
    ( o my aching tympanic )
    who, by the time he finishes saying Pau Gasol’s name,
    3 plays have gone by.

    So, yeah, I hate the hype,
    I’d love to see Staples rocking
    like a Final Four crowd every night
    ( I do my part when I’ve been there )

    For the $$ you part with, the live action
    always should be on another level than broadcast.

    Then maybe you don’t need the $8 beer
    to keep it festive.

    “Too many steps…”
    – 5 –


  6. 5, don’t get me wrong, I love going to games. I love the people, the palpable excitement, the experience. I’m just saying breaking a game down with TiVo gives me things sitting up high does not for this blog.

    And I’ll add, I think the people in the bottom part of the bowl at Laker games are more into it than, say, Los Angeles Kings games. That’s the times you really see the diference between the corporate seats and fans.


  7. O yeah– I’ve seen those palookas
    and oftentimes wanted to tap them topside
    with a foam rubber stick and say,
    “Get in the game or give that seat
    to somebody who cares.”


  8. Toooooo many steps…


  9. “On the bright side, I always love to pay $8 for a beer.”

    I think you’d get more Beer oz/$ if you bought the $10 beer. Just my suggestion. I wan’t Laker fans to maximize their experience, and this is my way of helping.

    Mark me down for someone that thinks the Lakers have a better chance beating San Antonio than it does beating the Suns. If only the first round were still 5 games (it should be).


  10. chris henderson March 29, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve always liked the “Beers of the World”, at least you are getting a real beer and not a watered down draft. (they pour it from the bottle into a plastic cup)
    I’ve heard rumors that Amare is down in PHX, possibly for the rest of the season…anybody know what’s up with that rumor?


  11. I need to remember the Beers of the World thing, I tend to forget about it.

    Amare is likely out for at least the remainder of the regular season, from what I read.


  12. notreallyimportant March 29, 2006 at 11:52 pm

    Anybody been voting on that best sneaker commercial of the year thing? I say its impossible that Jordan’s doesn’t win. That is simply an excellent commercial, it inspires so much emotion and recaptures the glory mj.


  13. I haven’t voted, but I’m with you, how do you not vote for the classic MJ ad?


  14. you guys DO know that it’s purple, not blue, right? right?


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