Just a few thoughts that came to me while I was field dressing a moose.
• If you haven’t seen this, the Lakers are now going to charging higher ticket prices for “premium” games. As a guy who used to have a part of season tickets (friends and I went in together, before we had to put that money toward kids), I saw this coming. Other teams and other sports were doing it, and in a revenue-mad world it was just a matter of time. I know this policy bothers some who see it as another thing keeping the “real fans” out of Staples Center. Personally, it doesn’t bother me as long as there are discounts for having to watch Memphis or other bottom dweller teams as well. I think this is just the way the market is moving, not just in the NBA but in sports across the board.
• Andrew Bynum, tech nerd.
• As a general rule of thumb, trade rumors at this time of the year are less reliable than the ones you hear even in February. And those are usually, um, fertilizer.
• A little Kobe/MJ talk.
• We spend a lot of time here talking about the Western Conference, for obvious reasons, but as I’m starting to really look at the season up ahead I think the East could be just as entertaining this year.
Boston obviously will be good again, but they will be a year older and they lost some depth with Posey gone. How healthy will they be this season? How hungry? You know KG will be but what about Pierce and some of the role players? Can Detroit really improve and if so how — more minutes for Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson? Can they get Kwame Brown to accept a role and fill it? I like what Cleveland did this off-season, it may not be as much as LeBron wanted but it was an improvement. I think come April and May they could be the biggest challenge to Boston. Then there is Toronto, if JO is right and meshes well with Bosh, there is a very good sleeper team. They could be a team that starts iffy but is rolling when it matters. Orlando is going to be good as well, mixing in with that group.
My opinions are not fully formed yet on the East (or the West or the Lakers) but there are some good and well-matched teams to follow in that conference.