Fast Break Thoughts

Darius Soriano —  April 29, 2010

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With two days off inbetween games for the Lakrs, it’s again time to take a look around the rest of the league.

*Fear the Deer.  And if you don’t, at this point the Hawks probably should.  Kurt penned a very good piece on the Hawks (and their coach’s lack of innovation in the closing minutes), but at this point I just want to give all the credit in the world to the Bucks.  They’re playing hard (what Scott Skiles teams do) and are executing down the stretch of games.  And, again, how about that Brandon Jennings.  He’s getting into the lane and running his team, but have you seen the ice water in his veins FT’s that he’s made in the last couple of wins?  Sure I named Curry my ROY, and Tyreke is a beast, but only Jennings is still playing.  This kid can play.

*Speaking of the Hawks, they’re the only top seed from the east that is still trying to win a series.  Orlando swept, Boston handled the Heat, and Cleveland took care of Chicago.  This is in stark contrast from the Western playoffs where the higher seeded Lakers and Suns both lead 3-2, but Dallas and Denver look like they may not advance as they trail 3-2 in their series.  So you know, if the series hold their form and every team that leads their series advances, the Lakers would face Utah in the next round and either San Antonio or Phoenix in the conference finals (should the Lakers beat Utah).  This getting way ahead of things, but if there was a poll taken on what teams the Lakers would like to face on their way to a Finals berth, I would bet that Utah and Phoenix were  near the top of that list.  Again, I don’t want to put the cart before the horse (game 6 vs. OKC is a very important game for the Lakers), but things may yet break well for LA on their path to advance in these western playoffs.

*I love Ron Artest just for quotes like “My defense is so unbelievable, I don’t really care about offense right now.”  I know the timing seems a bit awkward for some healthy patting oneself on the back, but I don’t care.  This is classic Artest.  Plus, it’s true.  His defense is unbelievable right now.  One more game against the league’s best scorer though, Ron.  One more game.  (linked by Phillip this morning.)

*What is next for Dwyane Wade?  Will he stay in South Beach?  If he does stay who will join him?  Amare?  Bosh?  Boozer?  Do you realize that even if Miami singns Wade and another max guy, that they’d still have (an estimated) $10 million to fill out their roster?  How does a Wade, Bosh, Haywood, Felton nucleus sound?  What if Wade decides to leave?  Can you imagine him in a backcourt with Rose with Noah and Deng flanking them?  Lets just say I’ll be watching what happens with Wade this summer with keen interest.  Lebron may be the big fish, but Wade can change the balance of power in the East depending on how his situation plays out.

*I know that the Lakers have been guilty of complaining after referees calls go against them.  We’ve all seen Kobe, Bynum and Pau do their fair share of staring, yelling, and gesticulating after fouls.  And while I always thought that Duncan (as much as I love him) was one of the worst complainers, I think Dwight Howard had him beat in Orlando’s series against the Bobcats.  Go check out the Dwight Howard “foulumentary” that Eddy Rivera put together over at MagicBasketball.net.  Honestly, if I were Howard, I’d be frustrated at some of those calls too.  But, he was complaining after a lot of those – even the obvious ones.  I really dont’ think it helps your cause with the refs when you never just raise your hand and say “that one was on me”.  I’m just saying.

*Interesting stat that commenter jodial mentioned in the comments yesterday:  After the Lakers win over the Thunder on Tuesday, they’ve improved their record to 8-0 in the last three years in game 5’s.  Sure, it helps to have a lot of those games 5’s at home, but I also think that it’s pretty impressive that the Lakers have been able to win all of those games.  I mean, the Lakers closed out Orlando on the road in the Finals of their last game 5.  I don’t think it’s a fluke that in a very important game (either a series clincher or a chance to go up 3-2) that the Lakers have really played well.

*Lastly, and this has nothing to do with hoops, there any boxing fans out there?  Who do you have in the Mosely/Mayweather fight on Saturday?  Personally, until Mayweather loses, I’ve got a hard time seeing him go down.  But, I think Shane has enough speed and more than enough power to make things hard on Floyd.  Let me know what you think on this one.

Darius Soriano

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32 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. Sadly, Mayweather is too fast and will spend the entire fight jabbing and dancing. I expect a boring fight with a Mayweather win. The only fighter than can challenge the speed of Pretty Boy is the other Manny P – and Pretty Boy would not last 6 rounds with him.

  2. Wade’s staying in Miami, unless Pat Riley absolutely blows it.

    Derek Fisher bringing that veteran toughness to a playoff series again this year. Last year, it was Luis Scola who felt his wrath. This year, he’s expanded beyond the court.

    Seriously, though, the Oklahoma City media failed on this one. Read Fisher’s statement. I doubt he would lie on something that can be so easily fact-checked with a police report. The OK City media broke a story one year after it happened. That’s worse than Ric Bucher.

  3. mayweather is a better technical fighter and much faster, but mosely is much stronger and has good hand speed. if mosely can connect, lights out for mayweather. another way to look at it is to compare hatton in his fights against mayweather and pacquaio. i think mosely is slightly better than pacquaio. it took mayweather 10-11 rounds to beat hatton. it took pacquaio a lot less. hatton is not a great fighter, but it shouldn’t have taken mayweather that long to beat him. so i’m going with mosely. should be a great fight. and the undercards are good too!

  4. Also, to a couple threads before – an Ariza/Kobe/Artest/Pau/Drew lineup would be fearsome defensively, but I don’t think there would be enough ball-handling in that lineup on offense. Against a team that pressures and traps well, we’d be vulnerable. It’s a really intriguing thought, though. I’ll file that one away for the future, when we can talk about such things.

  5. Here’s hoping for a win tomorrow, I don’t see us losing but anything can happen but the main thing I expect to see if Kobe on Westbrook again and OKC forcing Kobe to go through multiple screens to chase.

    As for boxing, I’m truly hoping “Sugar” Shane wins this match, something tells me he’s going to pull out an upset and win with a KO…that or I’m just dreaming.

  6. Boxing is soooo missing the boat by having everything PPV. There are so many people who would get excited if more of the marquee events weren’t PPV. I know that’s the only way they make any real $$, but having a few big fights on national tv might help bring back some of the casual fans who might actually give a flip about a sport that’s been outpromoted by MMA.

    As for our Lakers, we have to have the bunker mentality for Friday. Help your buddy out and look out for one another. Take the best shot, not a last-second in the shot clock rushed shot. Dive for every loose ball and pound the glass. Don’t let the game come to you – take it. And be prepared to weather the storm.

    Go Lakers!

  7. Hopefully #24 has gotten some rest and has a little spring in his step tommorrow night. It will be on Kobe’s shoulders to carry the team on the road, in front of a raucous crowd. The injury free Kobe has made his mark in the league has the cold blooded assaisain, does the injured Kobe have a few tricks up his sleeves.

    Role players play less of a role in the outcome of the game on the road, so I expect a hard fought game for 48 minutes. The bigs cannot allow the crowd or the officials to get in their heads and start to complain. They will have to play through the adversity and remember that this is Ok not LA, so expect to not get the same calls and go up strong. If Pau, AB, and LO would have this mindset from the tip to the final whistle, everything will be chill in LaLa land.

  8. Mayweather’s speed and defensive style will probably earn him a unanimous decision, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Sugar Shane aka Pomona’s finest knock his ass out into retirement.

    Either way, I want to see Pacquiao take on the winner.

  9. Not going to lie, actually laughed out loud to myself a few time readings Mr. Simmons article today…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/100429

  10. Taylor,
    This little ditty killed me!!!!

    115. Shaquille O’Neal
    Seemed a little winded in Games 4 and 5 of the Chicago series after hosting “Saturday Night Live” last weekend.

  11. UCDcrazypostman April 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Hey well this is my first comment on the site though I’ve been browsing for about a year now so here goes.

    I am really impressed with Jennings and the Bucks right now. It was pretty obvious most of the year that the Cavs, Magic, Hawks, and Celtics were going to be the top 4 teams in the East, but I was really impressed with the Bucks every time I saw them play. I had them pegged as the one team that I thought could pull an upset in the East in round one (along with Charlotte if they drew the C’s or Cavs but they drew the Magic and we all know how that went). I thought there was no way that was going to happen when Bogut went down but Scott Skiles has that team playing outstanding basketball. He wasn’t really on my coaching radar before this series but he definitely is now. The Bucks will probably getting completely dismantled against a deep Orlando team next round if they get through but it would be a major step for that team if they could complete this winning series against the Hawks.

    On an unrelated note, has anybody seen this video of the phantom foul called on Camby last night?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaZIAXJJDKQ
    He was literally like 10 feet away from Nash and still managed to get a foul? I’m normally not one to needle the refs but that sort of call is just inexcusable in a big time game 5 playoff game. If that was a fourth personal on Gasol or Bynum I would have been livid.

    Anyways here’s hoping for a couple good games tonight and a laker victory tommorow. I would sport my Gasol jersey to class tommorow (we haven’t lost when I wear it to class) but its against dress code in the manufacturing lab. Hoping for a Laker victory in Kings country.

  12. Mosley has enough to beat the fighter formerly known as ‘pretty boy’. He needs to keep his punch count up and to keep a close distance. Mosley has a great chin so maybe Mayweather’s hands will finally betray him. Shane has been through wars, he looks more dangerous than ever training under Naazim (see margarito fight), Shane has nothing to lose, he doesn’t need money, he is a four to one underdog, and he knows this. He has made a career out of fighting the toughest fights, his opponent is known for ducking them.

    I expect Mayweather to fight southpaw for much of the fight, I expect him to step on Mosley’s toes and dance toward Sugar Shane’s strong side. He won’t take risks. He won’t get hit often enough to be hindered, and Mosley knockouts are because of volumes of punches.

    For Mosley to win, he needs to do what no one has ever done before.

    For Mayweather to win, he needs to do what hes been doing his entire life. I’ve never even seen him get hurt, he has never been behind in a fight.

    My heart wants Sugar Shane to knock Floyd on his ass, but my brain knows Money Mayweather only accepts bouts he will win. PBFMMJr. in 12

  13. My best friend Jack is Mosley agent at CAA. shane has some personal problems. Wife. And also swithched trainers from his dad. While he is working hard in Big Bear I don’t see Shane winning this. The payday for Floyd is the Pac fight which could be the biggest ppv of the last 5 years. Can’t see him letting that go.

  14. What was Derek Fisher doing in a waffle house, anyway, be it now or last year?

    He looks too fit to be eating that stuff.

  15. sas taking it to dallas. pho on its way for a date with them…

  16. It’s fun to hear other (supposedly thuggish) teams called out as soft:

    http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_14981133

    So much for Dallas’s special season. The thing is, they definitely have more talent than they did in 2006. Much more versatility. But the league has gotten better since then.

    But even though they lost, man, was Roddy Beaubois a revelation. There’s been so many ‘next Tony Parkers,’ but this guy is the closest I’ve seen (but much better defensively). It was fun to see that stretch with Beaubois and George Hill going back and forth. I remember, at the beginning of this decade, promising signs from a young Emanuel Ginobili. I feel like tonight, we might have gotten a glimpse of the guards of the future for these 2 Texas teams.

  17. G. Hill’s block on bayless was awesome. I’m so glad that Hill has been playing well the past few years. That training staff has to be doing something illegal!!!

    i say that in jest. So, any good games tomorrow?

  18. Ray,
    It has long been thought that the Suns training staff is a big believer in HGH for basketball players… so I don’t know if you were joking or not.

  19. I would love to get access to the Suns’ doctors for my own injuries. They really have a new-age approach, they get results. This is a serious question – does anyone know what sort of physical therapy philosophies they use, and if there are similarly trained doctors/trainers available to the public? I have some issues no physical therapist so far has been able to do anything with, so if anyone has any information at all, that’d be greatly appreciated.

  20. what is hgh?

  21. Aaron,

    Aren’t there random drug tests in the NBA?

    Or are you just being a Mayweather?

    Yes I’m filipino. yes I hate Mayweather. Go mosely.

  22. Hrm, if the Jazz eliminate the Nuggets, we won’t be able to see how Ron fares against Melo in a full series… ;)

    And if Orlando emerges from the East, we won’t see how Ron fares against LeBron or Pierce.

    None of which I really mind.

  23. Snoopy,

    Not to get all uppity, but may I suggest that you (and other bloggers) drop this “thug” label for describing basketball teams or players. When there are fights in baseball or hockey, players or teams are rarely called out as “thugs”. In fact, most fans experience elation at the shows of exotic-intensity. The thug label isn’t applied to players in these sports if they’re caught drunk driving or abusing their wives/partners. Moreover, I’ve rarely ever heard anyone call a white person a thug. It’s a pretty racialized term and I would reconsider using it.

  24. 21 – First off, look at my comment. I prefaced thuggish with ‘supposedly.’ I was mocking the way much of the media likes to slap a foolish ‘thug’ label on a team to oversimplify things.

    I can understand where the tension comes from, because I can understand seeing the term that way.

    Personally, I think people who like hockey for the fights are absolute idiots. I think, and have called, John Rocker, an absolute thug. I think Jerry Buss and Tony L. were as big idiots as Charles Barkley for drinking and driving. I’ve And I think there’s no denying that Kenyon Martin’s behavior, both on and off the court, is sickening. He tries to intimidate and inspire fear with masochistic acts of toughness, and even turned on his own teammates. He displays what a lot of us would characterize as thuggish behavior, regardless of his background. When Jason Williams used a racial slur against an Asian-American fan, I felt the exact same way about him that I do about Kenyon Martin. It’s not always about race, and I say this as a minority.

    I absolutely loathe Kenyon Martin and his behavior, and it has nothing to do with his skin color. I could call him nincompoop, ninny, or moron, and it wouldn’t raise as much ire from you. And yet I’d be using these labels in the exact same way others would call him a thug. My meaning wouldn’t change.

    Like I said, I can understand where others would use the term with racial undertones. But I think you’re going too far if you’re trying to imply racism in my particular comment. I’m a minority and the last thing I would do is stoop to that level.

  25. I’d like to submit that from now on we call Chauncey and co the Smuggets- Chauncey and J.R. Smith in particular. I love seeing those guys lose.

  26. Great Blog, I wish I could be writing about my team in the playoffs…. if you are interested in the rants of one of the few loyal Timberwolves fans, check out my blog Timberwolves Basketball

  27. Snoopy,

    I realize that you weren’t calling them ‘thuggish’, but referring to the media label; however, there’s no reason to use the term (even in reference to others’ words) unless you’re being critical of the expression. I read your word choice as such: the opposite of “soft” is “thuggish,” when in fact you may have been better served using the words “tough” or “tenacious”.

    As a white (Arab-American), I’ve never heard the word “thug” or “thuggish” used to describe a non-minority group involved in socially undesirable acts, only blacks, hispanics, italians, etc. In my opinion, the appropriation of the term by minority people is an act of redefinition (i.e. Tupac and T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E.). But for us to use the term in the culturally dominant-judgmental way, to describe a basketball team, we’re legitimizing that mode of thinking, a mode that needs serious reevaluation.

    [/sociologist]

    Darius, I’m sorry if I’m waxing too much politics, but I think it’s good for Lakers fans to ac’ right.

    Lets go tonight, Lakes.

  28. i have a hunch we pinoys would treat PBF-Sugar match as a Pacman match. something to get our minds off the elections. haha but i doubt manny would challenge the winner, arum’s a douche.

    wonder which laker team shows up today. hmm

  29. Phillip has a new post up showing video and picture examples of the improved offense we discussed on Wednesday.

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/04/30/a-look-at-the-lakers-game-5-offense/

  30. darius, I don’t know if it’s just me, but the last RSS live bookmark feed I’ve gotten was for Philip’s April 28th post (Lakers return the favor)

  31. Tsuwm
    I’ve had that problem before. Maybe try deleting FB&G from your RSS feed, then reentering it? That usually works for me.

  32. Snoop-
    You can contact the Suns staff via email form the Suns website. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

    And if you act like a thug, you are thug so get a grip Kareem.