I don’t get all that pumped up for the All Star game, although I think the H-O-R-S-E competition can be fun (I refuse to call it by the corporate name). But this beauty — from the people at Didn’t Draw Iron — should help. It’s a 2009 All Star Preview done 1980s style.
• I suppose this is a Lakers blog so I should say something about the Lakers, but that loss in Utah doesn’t bother me much. It was a schedule loss — second night of a back-to-back after a tough road trip, while the other team (a potentially very good team) is sitting at home for two days resting. The Lakers looked flat, tired and I can see that. Get some rest over the break and let the fun start with Atlanta next Tuesday (that is no gimme).
• What are the greatest Lakers All Star moments?
• Really interesting breakdown by Kevin Pelton on Amare Stoudimire. The conclusion — Shaq isn’t why his numbers are down, the fact that the Suns have gone away with the pick-and-roll at the top of the arc Nash and Amare is the problem. That play was nearly indefensible; I’m not sure why you’d go away from it.
• Speaking of Basketball Prospectus, here’s a great read on what is going on at UCLA this year — their offense is very good. (They lost last night because their defense was off and Arizona State couldn’t miss, they shot 61% from three.)
• Going to be a really interesting trade deadline, not just because of Amare, but because if you were the GM in Denver or San Antonio or New Orleans right now, wouldn’t you be looking for a little move that could push the team onto the Lakers level? The bigger question than even if that move is out there is if the team’s owners will allow them to do it right now. Teams are fighting to cut payroll, so somebody willing to take a little on could get a steal. But who is going to do that.
• Speaking of that, ESPN is reporting Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon to the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Sounds to me like Toronto is trying to free up some cap space early to keep Bosh in town. Also, certainly Marion (if he can be resigned at a fair price) is a good fit if the Raptors are trying to build a running team. I’m just not sure what they are trying to build. As for Miami, pretty much a lateral move I think. Maybe Beasley can play the three now and feel a little more at home.
• I love what Bill James said about the A-Rod situation: “Baseball allowed a situation to develop in which it was in the self-interest of players to use steroids. Now we are very angry with people because they did what the system rewarded them for doing.”