From Mike Bresnahan, L.A. Times: It’s only one game into the season, and the Lakers have an easy schedule until late December, but Bryant’s progress will continue to be monitored until he shows signs of regaining the burst and lift he possessed before his right knee started hurting toward the end of last season. He said he was fine after playing 37 minutes against Houston. “I felt good,” said Bryant, who had seven assists.
From J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Give me The Blake Show over The Lake Show. With Blake Griffin finally on the court the Clippers are the most interesting team in Los Angeles right now. Not the best, not the one with the most potential, just the most intriguing during the interminable regular season. The Lakers’ story will be told in the spring. Kobe Bryant already sounds bored by the tedious process. If you saw a graphic equalizer for his media interviews over the past week it would look like this: —————-. The Clippers, thanks to Griffin, figure to be a nightly discovery throughout the winter. And if the coming months are anything like his coming out party Wednesday night, you’d better get ready to pop every last kernel of Terrell Owens’ popcorn.
From Mark Medina, L.A. Times: Ron Artest’s website apparently drew so many visitors looking to buy raffle tickets for his 2010 championship ring that it crashed. “We understand we’ve nearly crashed RonArtest.com,” CNN host Larry King said to Artest, who appeared Wednesday on King’s show. “So we’re going to give you an alternate site. You can go to NetRaffle.org. That’s NetRaffle.org. So we’ve crashed your site. … We have destroyed your site. The site is exploding.”
From Andy Kamenetzky, ESPN Los Angeles: Blake told Brian and me during our Media Day show he wasn’t pulling a Ron Artest and placing the blame over a failure to Three-peat on his shoulders. As he noted, championships are won and lost by teams, not individuals. That doesn’t mean, however, there was not relief in immediately demonstrating his worth to a demanding fan base right off the bat. “It’s just nice to start off and show people you belong. I’m happy to be here and I want to contribute,” acknowledged the Maryland University product.
From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen and Roll: As history tells us, revolutions hardly every occur peacefully, and this one is no different. There may not be any bloodshed, but there are plenty of battles being waged over the usefulness of advanced stats. One such battle has come to the fore, perhaps almost by accident: the question of whether the Los Angeles Lakers or the Miami Heat will win the NBA championship. Miami is the paper tiger (it is as yet unknown whether they are also a real tiger), a team made up of such overwhelming statistical parts that their power cannot be ignored by the statistically inclined. Statistical models aren’t as fond of the Lakers.They view the Lakers as a good team, to be sure, but they focus on certain things about the Lakers (their age, their somewhat underwhelming point differential last year) as evidence that they might not be championship-quality this season. But, the Lakers have two straight championships backing up their case, and a team chock full of all the qualities that stats non-believers will point to as not showing up in a box score.