Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  April 5, 2008

• The Lakers are not going to win the NBA title this year, and it is my fault. I want to apologize to all Lakers fans in advance.

You see, my wife and I are expecting our third daughter in early June. We’re excited, although a little nervous that moving from two to three kids means a change from man-to-man to zone defense.

But before you say congratulations, understand that this likely will cost the Lakers any shot at the title. My first two daughters were born during the NBA playoffs as well. The first was during the 2004 Lakers/Pistons NBA Finals. Don’t think I need to remind you how that turned out. The second daughter came two years later: Just at the start of the Lakers/Suns first round playoff series. You remember, the one the Lakers led 3-1 before falling apart.

I fear that baby three means another playoff loss. Understand that I, personally, would gladly trade a host of Lakers titles for another daughter, they are the light of my life. But I want to apologize to all of you for what is to come. I really should have tried to have a daughter during the baseball playoffs, it’s not like the Dodgers were going to win a series anyway.

• Of course, the other thing that could keep the Lakers from the title is the way they are playing defense right now. With Gasol in the lineup the Lakers offense can outscore teams, and that may be good enough for a round-one win (depending on the match-up) but unless the return of Bynum somehow improves the perimeter defense and rotations as well, I’m not sure the Lakers can win three series in the West.

• That said, the offense is really clicking and it is a lot of fun to watch right now. And that was a gutty little win last night by the Lakers,

• Following the discussion Reed started in the last post, there is a new poll up on the right hand side about who you want to see the Lakers face in the first round of the playoffs.

• Finally got around to making some changes in the sidebar. Among them, a cutback in the number of blogs linked to. Back when I started this site in 2004 it was fairly easy to link to every NBA blog out there, but in a sign of how much the community has grown that is very difficult to do now (and is constantly changing). What I’ve decided to do is put in some of my reads and favorites, and I’ll try to keep that up to date but I can’t list everybody anymore. I’m sure I left some good sites off of that list (I was working off an old list) so if you think I forgot something or need to add a site send me an email. By the way, all of those listed are fan blogs, I did not put in the mainstream media blogs. That could change.

Also, I added a section for other LA Sports Blogs, listing just a few favorites. I will gladly add to that list, send me emails (for example, I’m not sure what is considered the best USC football blog).

• Now, on to nomuscles recap of last night:

We’ll pick this up at halftime.
Lakers played a second quarter that left Jason Kidd feeling confident about his shot at Jason Kapono’s three-point crown. He’s been that wide open. Dirk was really feeling it. Hitting jumper after jumper over the Lakers outstretched hands. They need to go at him on defense. He can’t move side to side and forces the Mavs defense into giving help. Ira Newble actually got to play for a few seconds at the end of the half. He’s wearing number 14 and sporting a great farmer’s tan. Kobe may need to come out in the second half with a lot more aggressiveness. One last note, my ears are bleeding from John Berry’s “analysis.” If he somehow caught laryngitis right now, I don’t think I’d be particularly upset. In celebration, I’d probably pop open the Yellow-Tail sparkling wine that is sitting in my fridge…calling to me…mmm… oh sorry. I got sidetracked. Lakers down by 10. 54-64.

3rd Quarter
11:40 – On Dallas’s first possession, JET is isolated on Gasol and this looks like it’s going to be ugly. Yep, Terry threatens to take it to the bucket but Gasol gives him enough space to make sure he doesn’t catch any diseases JET might have. JET pulls back and hits a 20 footer. Whoa Nellie! Phil calls a timeout. He’s pissed about that possession. That’s a new record for earliest timeout by Phil Jackson ever.
10:08 – Lamar corrals a rebound and takes the ball up the court. On the semi-break the Space Cadet dives for first base. Safe! Refs call a foul on JET for tripping the Space Cadet. The announcers are refusing to announce the game. Guess who is telling us about how competitive and tenacious Kobe Bryant is? Yes, that’d be our good friend, John Berry. Someone Tonya Harding him please.
9:20 – Mark Cuban is here. We’ll see if he sends eye daggers at any Lakers girls tonight. I bet they’d promise to never blog again if he did.
8:40 – On nationally televised games, the allowable sponsorship rules are different. Those alien disc things used to wipe the sweat off the floor have the Lakers logo on them. Usually they have the Foot Locker logo on them. More useless knowledge for the faithful Forum Blue and Gold reader. You can thank me later.
7:18 – I guess I should mention the Lakers are making a little run and playing good defense. Mostly spurred on by Kobe’s activity on offense. They are down 4, 66-70.
7:02 – they have quickly realized their mistake and give up a Jason Terry layup and a foul. He misses the free throw.
6:48 – MVP chants get synchronized during a Kobe free throw. The first time the chant gets started, usually when nothing notable has happened, it’s always disjointed. It’s like a collective MVP stutter. This one is nice and loud.
5:38 – Dirk drives the lane and does his best Dr. J impression. Scoop layup.
4:32 – Lakers got sloppy. Jason Kidd steal leading to a fast break layup. The lead opened up to 11. I’m not really sure how that happened. Plenty of time left but this feels like the Mavs game to lose.
“In a game like this, something stupid will try to happen. Stay focused.” ~Avery Johnson in the huddle. Jason Terry plays along and points to his head. “Right here.” That was quality. I love the coaches being mic’d up.
3:36 – Pau gasol gets a nice bucket in the post against the tall German after Dirk had educated Lamar on the proper use of the reverse pivot going baseline at the other end.
3:00 – Kobe hits a contested three right in Devean George’s grill. Lakers down by 6.
1:40 – Kobe gets beat to a rebound by Josh howard. Lazy play. And he fouls Howard as well.
1:21 – The MACHINE! Throws up the three and JET gets him across the arm. He converts the 4-point play, the old-fashion way.
0:40 – Tyron Lue shows us why he impersonated Allen Iverson during the 2001 Finals. Famar had to immediately seek medical attention from Gary vitti for his shattered ankles. Boy that was a little embarrassing. I was embarrassed for him.
The quarter ends with the Lakers down by 7. 80-87.
Lisa Salters interviews PJ during the break. He’s so smart that I can’t understand anything he says. Oh wait, he makes the point that we aren’t stopping anything Dallas wants to do. On that, he and I agree whole heartedly.
4th Quarter
11:50 – Newble is out there again. Mike Breen tells us this is the first time he’s checked in but we know that’s not true.
11:31 – And Newble grabs his first rebound! And Farmar hits a three! Lakers down by 4.
11:05 – Kobe Bryant and Bynum start making out on the bench. Just checking to see if you’re paying attention.
10:30 – Lakers decide they don’t want to take the lead too soon. Down by 8 again. Oh nice. Vujacic hits a three to bring them back within 5.
9:10 – lazy pass by the Mavs leads to an easy layup by Son of bill.
8:52 – Yikes! The tall German just rises up and drains a three. Nothing but bottom. That was nice.
7:40 – Lakers playing well here. Down by 1!!!! 94-93. Some great hustle tracking down rebounds has given us some life. Credit Ronny Turiaf a little bit here. Kobe’s on the bench and Famar is making great decisions as the distributor.
7:02 – When the play ends up with Luke Walton taking an off-rhythm jumper over the Tall German, that’s not what I’d call execution.
6:15 – Lamar does his patented miss the first, make the second routine. Pau gets subbed out after just checking in
5:48 – Lakers down by two. Lamar puts on his Kobe Bryant cape. It forces the wearer to take the defense one on five. Possible side effects include getting caught in the air and throwing the ball to the young lady sitting courtside. Involving the fans, that’s what being a Laker is all about. He smiles at his silliness. I throw the remote at the TV. Lakers down by 2.
5:00 – Dirk is going to win this game for the Mavs. He can’t miss.
4:44 – MAN SAUCE! Jordan Farmar flies down the lane. Draws the blocking foul on Josh Howard who got a great view of Jordan’s belly button.
4:09 – rough stretch for Josh Howard. He just drew a technical foul for throwing his headband on the floor. It’s a good thing the refs called that. He might’ve caused permanent damage to the vintage maple finish. Kobe hits the technical. Lamar has a chance to the bring the Lakers within 1 on free throws. He changes it up and misses the second one. Lakers down 2. 101-99. Lawler’s law is on the line here.
3:45 – John Berry describes Kobe’s “great body control.” Excuse me while I take my mind out of the gutter. Kobe ties the game with his free throws. 101 – 101. All we need now is some Dalmations.
3:17 – Lamar earns a double double with his tenth rebound right here. Great work boxing out Dampier.
2:44 – Mavs take a 1 point lead on a JET free throw. He bungled the first one.
2:17 – With the shot clock winding down, Kobe uses a burst of speed to leave Josh Howard on the three point line questioning his career choice and as the defense collapses, he finds Lamar on the wing who takes it strong to the rack. Makes the tough layup around Dampier. LO wants a foul called, he’ll get none. Lakers take their first lead of the game.
1:42 – After Kobe blew a layup against the intimidating presence of Dirk, Jason terry gets two free throws to put them up by one.
1:29 – Brain fart for the machine. He turns the ball over and then commits the foul putting the Mavs back on the line. Howard hits 2. Mavs up by 3.
1:14 – Lamar fakes Dirk into standing still. You might not believe that it was the fake that caused the Tall German to remain motionless since it’s not much difference than his usual defense, but I assure you it was. Lamar is able to get the right-handed layup to fall. Lakers down by 1. And they get a stop. Back they’ll come.
0:40 – LAMAR ODOM FOR MVP LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Give and go from gasol to odom to gasol. Gets the layup and the foul. I didn’t see if Gasol tried the jersey pop or not. I hope he did. Gasol gets the free throw. 108-106 Lakers on top.
0:35 – The Staples Center crowd is on its feet! Chants of DEFENSE fill the arena. Dirk isolated on Pau and his uterus gives birth to a turnover. That may do it for the Mavs. If the Lakers get a bucket here the game will be over.
0:17 – Kobe drives to the hole and draws the foul on Howard. Two free throws will pretty much put this one away (never say never). He makes the first. And then we get a nice view of Dampier’s stretch marks. I could’ve really done without that. Thanks ESPN. First John berry, then Damp’s womanly scars. Kobe makes the second. Four point lead. 110-106.
0:09 – good defense by Pau. Aww poop. That opened the way for Dampier to grab the offensive rebound. Two point game. Dallas mugs vujacic to put him on the line. He hits the first. And the second. Avery Johnson can be seen drawing on a white board. You think he’s writing the list out for who is bring what to the post-game pot luck? He might as well be. This one is in the pooper.
0:03 – MAN SAUCE! Jordan Farmar will have none of Jason terry’s three point shooting. He blocks him from the side. Ball out of bounds. On the inbounds, Farmar isn’t done. He deflects the inbounds pass and it goes out of bounds. 3.1 seconds left. Very solid play from farmar tonight capped by these two efforts.
0:00 – Pau bothered (Possibly fouled) Dirk’s last shot. No good. Time expires. Big win tonight.
Oh exciting! Lamar is being interviewed by Lisa Salters. Oh darn. He’s making sense tonight. I’m disappointed. I would’ve loved to see a repeat of the other night when he was as high as a kite. I love how basketball players have to bend down to hear the reporter. We are being treated to a great view of the top of Lamar’s noggin. Unfortunately, even in HD, it’s not clear whether he uses a razor or clippers. He starts answering questions before she’s done asking them. Maybe he thinks the interview will go quicker that way. Haha great moment there. Lisa asks him about the glue holding that cut on his head together and how I feels. He says it’s “alright though, now I got two lumps in my head. One in the front, one on the side. But it’s not gonna mess up my handsome game.” Classic.

Kurt

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39 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. I think I can comfortably stop watching Laker games and just wait for the game break down from nomuskles. Keep up the good, witty work.

  2. Okay, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Lakers 3-0 when Nomuskles writes a play by play? Hmm? More to the point, we were a -10 last game with him not writing the play-by-play and a +12 when he did. That’s a net +22. That may have led the team last night.

    Nomuskles gets my game ball.

  3. why can’t cuban stay at home for once?

  4. 11:05 — I had milk thru the nose… It was Halarious!!

  5. Great effort by Lamar last night. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to agree that the lack of effort on the defensive end is probably going to cost us a shot at the title. Even when fully healthy, I’m not sure how much of a defensive asset Pau is going to actually be in the playoffs. It’s really going to come down to:
    1. Bynum coming back healthy and clogging the middle, grabbing rebounds and blocking/altering dribble penetration.
    2. Vastly improved perimeter defense; switching, hustle, desire, etc.

    As we all know, the playoffs are about timely shooting but mostly, rugged and passionate defensive effort. The highest scoring teams during the regular season don’t win NBA titles. The teams who are able to impose their will, defensively, are the ones who win titles.

    Unfortunately, at this stage of the game, the Lakers defense has regressed. PJ needs to get them focused on D again before it’s too late. Not one to shout “the sky is falling!” but unless we see the defensive effort move from it’s current grade of a D to atleast a B+ there will be no title in Lakertown.

  6. atrocious defense except in spurts. hopefully they can extend said spurts to entire quarters (mental note: never say “spurts” again).

    thanks again for the great play-by-play, nomuskles…your jokes and the nice, tough rally to win just barely allow me forget how annoying and obtuse john barry is:

    “The Lakers’ defense is near the bottom of the league in points per game allowed at 102, but near the top in FG% against, at 44. Sometimes the stats don’t tell the whole story”

    uuuhm, john, i think they do just that, buddy. it’s called pace. maybe you should do a little homework before you go on national, live television.

  7. The “Bynum Saves The Defense” theory states that the Lakers’ perimeter defense will be improved by the guards’ and wings’ knowledge that there is more than just an open lane to the basket behind them, so they won’t be standing halfway between their man and the ball all the time (a.k.a. the not-really-a-help defense). It’s up to the team to prove this theory during the playoffs.

  8. i like the poll on the side. Nice addition that enhances the site.

    I am only going to do the live blogs when I watch the game without my girlfriend. If we watch together, I prefer to just get excited (or upset) and enjoy (or despise) the moments with her. Plus, I make extensive use of the DVR, pausing and rewinding to get the time stamps. That gets annoying if you’re trying to enjoy the flow of the game. So we’ll probably not have one tomorrow but we should have one for the portland game after that.

    Anyway, glad to hear you enjoy them. Also, I realized that I spelled John Barry’s name incorrectly. Maybe that makes me the moron. hahaha.

    I would love to take credit for these wins, but I was at the Short Shorts game vs. Boston and we got trounced. That’s at least a -30 right there. So i’m working to dig my way out of that hole.

    Kurt, welcome back from your hiatus. Congratulations on the upcoming bundle of diaper changes despite the lakers’s impending doom.

    With a playoff series now guaranteed, is anyone interested in arranging a meet-up to watch the games at a local sports bar?

  9. 3rd girl in a row? I wish you luck.
    This year I stopped coaching boys to experiment how’s coaching female basketball and uh, they are much tough to deal with.
    Try to go for 2 more and you’ll have your own starting 5!

    Now talking reall ball…
    When I see Dampier playing against the Lakers I can imagine him wearing the All-Star jersey. We are really thin at the C, and Gasol is not a defensive force.

    I’m really looking forward to see how Ariza and Bynum mesh with this team now.

    God, for how long will we see THIS Lamar Odom? I mean we all knew he had the talent but this month he’s been just playing agressive, with great shot selection, moving the ball, feeding other teammates and being a terrific rebounder. LO is a real factor right now.

  10. 10. No way will there be a starting five. Let’s just say three was not something we pictured long term.

    8. I know and and somewhat of a believer in the “Bynum saves the defense” theory, I think he helps because we are not protecting the rim consistently. But we had better get perimeter defense, before that, when Bynum gets back he is only going to play coming off the bench.

  11. Great recap from nomuskles, as usual. “Alex, I’ll take ‘Dave Barry does Laker play-by-play’ for $400, please.”

    Incidentally, isn’t it “Jon Barry”?

  12. The Dude Abides April 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    The two main reasons our perimeter defense breaks down are our PGs getting beaten via dribble penetration or the high pick and roll, or our SFs getting beaten by a quick SF on the other team. Last night, it was Vlad or Luke getting beaten by Howard. Once we went to the small lineup in the 4th, Kobe stopped Howard’s penetration and Sasha hounded Kidd, and our D improved.

    Luke does a better job against the bigger SFs. He did an amazing job on Carmelo in one of the home games against Denver earlier in the season. Carmelo normally likes to post up shorter or slighter SFs, and Luke kept him from doing that effectively. If we take a look at the other playoff teams in the West, SFs like Howard aren’t so common. I think Kirilenko is the next quickest SF who can also handle the ball well, with Carmelo close behind. However, dribble penetration from Kirilenko isn’t Utah’s main focus, and because Iverson handles the ball so much for Denver and Melo is their only real post threat, dribble penetration from the SF won’t be much of a problem if we face either team. So, it’s back to our PG, and in the 4th quarter, we can put Sasha there if he have to. He stays with the other PG better, and even if he’s beaten, he never quits on the play.

  13. Warren Wee Lim April 5, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Congratulations nevertheless Kurt Hellin, I too am expecting another daughter in late this month or early May.

    I always kid about this but I usually tell my friends that my target was to have 5 boys to make my starting 5. Instead, with baby girl #2 on the way, I just told them I made the cheering squad first and the team will come later.

    Baby Girl #1 was born in June of 2005. If I remember it correctly, we missed the playoffs that year. We landed #10 in the lottery and drafted some guy named Bynum who was a project.

    Baby Girl #2 is expected May 1st. Then again, I want her to arrive earlier so that she would share the same birth month as I. This year we are headed for the playoffs.

    I believe my babies brought good luck. The 1st baby, Adrienne Grace “drafted” Andrew Bynum. The second one, on her supposed 6th month in the underbelly, Feb 1st, traded for Pau Gasol.

  14. “Jawn Bearie” doesn’t deserve his name spelled correctly – he must earn it with accurate and appealing analysis.

    Proficient at Individual Actions…another way of saying “We can’t defend them.”

  15. Hi Kurt,

    As a loyal Laker fan/guru, you have a unique opportunity to use the “daughter curse” constructively. You need to decide which team is likely to cause the most playoff difficulty for the Lakers–and buy tickets to that town and make arrangements.

    Here are some suggestions to consider. Do you and your wife know of good maternity wards in any New Orleans or San Antonio hospitals?

    If you and your wife are willing to do your part, maybe Jerry Buss would cover the expenses?

  16. 11: Agreed, Kurt. I’m afraid that the rest of the Lakers subscribe to the “BSD” theory too, and are banking on the fact that Andrew will return as at least a reasonable facsimile of his old defensive self. They (and we) are either in for a rude awakening or a big sigh of relief, unless they find a way to play — for 48 minutes — the defense that we’ve seen them play in quarters or sometimes halves. They just need to go out and do what they need to do, from the opening tip.

    Even though Drew will be coming off the bench, I think Phil leaves him in to close out games if he can bring the rebounding and defense. As we saw yesterday, even if #17 is rusty on the offensive end, having Kobe, Pau, and the alien that has taken over Lamar’s mind and body can be a deadly combo for opposing defenses to try to stop.

  17. Warren, thanks and congrats to you. Actually, I really like having girls.

  18. hrm, poll is fun and interesting. maybe it’s the dallas thing that’s influencing things, but i like GSW over HOU.

    can’t wait til the LA-NO game. as much as people like to downplay the importance of MVP, i just like the added hype it brings to games. with the possibility of #1 seed hanging on the balance, late in the regular season as well as the MVP, i think that’s as good as a regular season game will get.

  19. Congrats on the pending birth of your third daughter. My wife and I added our third kid back in August, and I have to say the zone is not nearly as effective as the man defense. If you don’t already have one it is probaly time for a van or a big SUV (three car seats is a huge pain).
    Bynum coming back isn’t going to make a huge change in our defense until he is in game shape. He will most likely pick up some cheap fouls instead due to slow rotations. Even when he is in game shape our point guards will still not be able to stop penetration, but his length and shot blocking will help to mitigate our perimeter weaknesses. Trading LO for any reason other than a mandate from Buss to save some cash (which isn’t completely unreasonable considering how much Pau costs) would be insane. He is a monster rebounder who works beautifully with Pau in the triangle. I know his defense, particularly closing out on three point shoooters, is sometimes questioned, but his defensive rebounding is vital to the team.

  20. Before everyone gets too gaga over Lamar’s impressive performance against Dallas, they should temper their enthusiasm by noting that Lamar did not score a single field goal outside of 15 feet. The one time Dirk fell back and let Odom shoot a jumper (in the fourth quarter), Odom missed.

    A great part of his success against Dallas was the Mavericks’ overzealous double-teaming of Kobe Bryant, as well, leaving him to play a 2 man game with Pau against a helpless Mavericks defender.

    I understand that Odom was taking what the defense was giving him and that is great, and he should continue to attack the rim and the paint – but what about when the defense gives Lamar jumpers only and packs it in? Is he going to be able to make them pay?

  21. That quick timeout was hilarious haha!

  22. Warren Wee Lim April 6, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Actually Kurt, me too. I always thought they were so cute and cuddly esp now that my almost-3-yr-old can be asked to turn the aircon on and get me some water. For real.

    I must admit I wanted the second one to be a boy but hey, I can’t complain. Its naturally a blessing first and foremost.

    Maybe for the third one, a blue stork would come rather than a pink one. But I won’t be in bad company if the 3rd stork wore pink once more. I’d be like you!

  23. when will bynum play?

  24. I call the 3rd child the Backbreaker.

  25. Anon- Bynum is shelved until playoffs. So is Ariza. PJ doesn’t want to risk further injury to either of these guys, but they will continue to practice with the team.

    Going to the game tonight. I am attending a reception dinner along with other Kings fans. Several friends, albeit Kings fans, have told me that the Maloofs (owners) hosted these dinners and fielded questions. I know this is not the Buss family, but do any of you have any good questions for the Maloofs?

    The only one I can think of right now is, “Last year they tried to pass two measures that would increase sales tax by 0.25% in the city of Sacramento and its proceeds would help to build a new arena for the Kings. Unfortunately, surrounding cities (folsom, Roseville, El Dorado, etc.) have higher per capita incomes and are more likely to approve the vote since they can easily afford season tix. Why didn’t you ballot the measures in those cities?”

    It would be like the Buss’ asking Inglewood for a tax increase versus Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc.

  26. Nomusk – As another member of the anti-hair club for men, I assure you Odom uses a razor blade to get that smoothness. An electric just doesn’t get that close.

  27. I think Lamar should just attck the basket. His jumpshot has been inconsistent all season, so why not just be aggressive and attack the basket like he did against dallas? His long arms gives him a perfect penetration player along with his size. Lets just hope Lamar keeps it up.

  28. nomuskles…what’s your defination of “local”? and I am spoiled by my 70″ HD screen, so the local sports pub has to have a quality viewing ability as well. but i’m up for it depending on where, when, etc.

    something to consider…
    we all saw LO become a “going to the hole” beast against Dallas. and we want to see more of that, on that I think we can all agree.
    but, don’t forget what (I think) had swayed him away from that style of play.
    I think that is/was LO’s desired style of play all along, but the REF’s had taken that away.
    don’t you all remember how many times LO was called for charging when he used to go the the hole with authority? it seems like the refs always went against him on the block/charge call, and even I felt it was consistently unfair, (ie;wrong).
    I think that resulted in LO getting too many fouls, and sitting on the pine as a result.
    so to preserve his time on the floor, what we saw in his way of adjusting, was to avoid that drive to the hole, play more on the outside.
    then PJ called him out on that, told him to drive and we saw the result of that, (and the affect of having PAU down there with him, can’t overlook that).
    my hope is that LO continues to drive hard, take it to the hole consistently, and that the REF’s also take notice, and adjust their calls. we know this can happen, look at how they adjusted on Wade that year in the finals, we see, almost like a mandate from the top, the ref’s start to favor certain players, and their moves.
    let’s hope we get to see this happen for LO.
    what a difference that would make for our playoff hopes.

  29. chris h,
    I don’t think the refs ‘favor’ certain players, they just call things in a particular way. Lamar was frequently charging (my opinion), I think because he prematurely makes up his mind what he is going to do and then just ‘puts his head down and does it’. This is the standard problem with players being called for charging – it is why Fish is successful with this defense. Usually the game moves slower as players become more experienced. I don’t think this is the case with Lamar. I don’t know why, but he doesn’t seem to think ’2 moves ahead’ while playing. He is a tactical player, not a strategic one. This is one reason he should not handle the ball at the end of games, but be the receiver and finisher only. Yes, he can pass, but he doesn’t think about who he is passing to or what type of crowd he is passing into. The Dallas play where he jumped up into the air under the basket, then tried to find someone to pass to is a perfect example of this mentality.

    Yes, he had a great game against Dallas, but he also had his share of ‘brain farts’ during the 4th qtr. This in addition to his habit of making 1 of 2 freethrows most of the time.

  30. I’m watching New Orleans play Golden State right now, and Chris Paul already has a triple-double. This is impressive. But what I’m noticing is that Paul DOESN’T DRAW A DOUBLE TEAM. Can you imagine if Kobe were single-covered for a whole game? It’s not right to compare statistics between the two, as Kobe is in a whole different class when it comes to defenses geared to stop him from producing.

  31. Kurt,

    While our defense is atrocious, our offense is flowing well… An while we cannot win the title without playing defense in the playoffs, the fact that our offense is flowing will improve one thing… energy during the 4th quarter.

    We’re making the other teams work hard on defense and run from side to side, which is leading them to score less in the 4th quarter. Maybe we can have those defenseive spurts when the game is on the line…

    Again, we can beat anyone out West except for ths Spurs… it will depend on luck…

  32. Kurt,

    You have it all wrong. The third daughter is a charm. This is great news.

  33. Renato Afonso April 6, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Oh, congrats on the daughter… Four women at home, you should be an even more interesting read in a few months ;)

  34. Tonight’s game is an absolute trap game. Sacto still has a great home record, has won 4 in a row, and 5 of 6, including wins against Denver and Houston. We had better not come out lacksadaisical like we have the last… SEVEN games.

  35. I actually didn’t think the Laker’s perimeter D was that bad against the Mavs. They did a good job preventing dribble penetration (unlike against the Cats or Grizs). Also the Mavs had very few wide-open shots. The Mavs were red hot in the 1st half. The big problem was the Lakers inability to prevent offensive rebounds. This is where Gasol’s ankle seem to affect him the most. He was pushed around even more than usual. This combined with Odom having to defend Dirk on the perimeter meant that the few shots the Mavs missed were being rebounded by them.

    In the second half, the Mavs missed more shots and Lamar was superhuman, guarding Dirk on the perimeter and still getting back to grab the defensive rebounds.

    Watching the Suns/Mavs game a few observations.

    1. You gotta be impressed by Shaq. I really think he is better now than he was when the Heat won the title.
    2. The Mav’s defensive rotation against the PNR is even worse than ours. They lose in the 1st round. No hope.
    3. At home the Sun’s bench of Barbosa, Diaw, and Giricek is very good.
    4. Its just wrong, plain wrong to be playing Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” as the segway music into a ABC commercial (as wrong as playing Emigrant by Led Zeppelin).

  36. Bill Bridges, I just watched the second half and after the fourth quarter I’m not that sold on the Suns (every time I watch them they don’t seem to be that impressive, but I have not seen that much). But I agree, sometimes you forget what a force a motivated Shaq can be (although we can do better defensively I think than the hustling but undersized Bass).

  37. Hey, is there a link to the interview you are talking about where Odomater is high as a kite? i would really enjoy seeing that.

    thanks!
    manfo

  38. new Kings preview up