The Lakers’ post-season storylines are a pretty slim volume right now. We’re in a bit of a holding pattern aside from shedding a couple pretty decent assistant coaches and to be honest, the Bernie Bickerstaff interim romp was one of the highlights of the season.. Darius wrote about assets yesterday and that’s about the only game in town, studying our cards and considering the possibilities. Wholesale changes may not be in the books this summer. Signing Dwight is a priority, he’s a franchise cornerstone. We all hope that Kobe will come back strong for the final year of his contract. I’m not particularly keen on trading Pau unless meaningful long term value is returned. As for Steve Nash, he’s pretty beat up. Maybe his imprint comes from mentoring but it’s doubtful we have any meaningful generational metamorphosis until the summer of 2014.
For the here and now, it’s about the playoffs. The second round is shaping up in epic nature. The Knicks and Pacers are one-all. Chicago stunned Miami on their home court and are playing with free money tonight. Memphis and OKC are tied up, a tactical battle orchestrated by a couple crafty old point guards in Lionel Hollins and Scott Brooks. And then there was the double-overtime Spurs-Warriors battle the other night – GSW came agonizingly close to a huge upset. Game two is tonight.
Dave McMenamin for ESPN LA hands out grades to the Lakers coaches and management.
The Great Mambino gathers the SS&R crew for a roundtable – the worst season in Laker history?
Lucas Sheiner & Ben Pickman for BustaSports with a Jordan Farmar interview as he looks toward an NBA return.
Eric Pincus for the LATimes wraps up Steve Blake’s year, his best as a Laker although injury-shortened.
Sam Smith for the Chicago Bulls blog writes about Jimmy Butler, getting it done.
Kelly Dwyer for Ball Don’t Lie on George Karl earning Coach Of the Year.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss for Warriors World on reasons for optimism.
Racm for Pounding the Rock with a preview for tonight’s Game 2 of the Spurs/Warriors series.
And finally, from the ESPN archives, a print interview with Lionel Collins conducted ten years ago, reflecting on the ’77 Championship Portland Trailblazers.
What’s next for the Lakers? Nothing that won’t wait for another day. The draft is still six weeks away and debating the number 48 pick really isn’t exactly barn burner material. This is the place where I’d normally go on about the winding road or some such nonsense but I got nothing. Signing off now.