â€¢ Not much news out of day one of camp â€” the big story in Hawaii papers is how excited the high school kids at the gym where the Lakers practiced were. In actual news, Odom got some run but no contact, and Phil Jackson said he wants to make a decision on his contract extension before the season starts.
â€¢ John Hollingerâ€™s preview for the Lakers (and the entire West) is out on ESPN.com. Since itâ€™s on Insider Iâ€™m not going to give away much info, but here is the bottom line â€” he predicts 43-39.
He (and most of us agree) that right now the weaknesses are in the paint and at point guard. Where he and I differ is on the bigger problem spot. Hollinger thinks the Lakers have enough depth in the front court to cover their weaknesses (a quantity if not quality argument), where I fret over the lack of quality. He thinks the problem is worse at PG, where the Lakers will ask a lot of Fisher. I think the Farmar/Fisher tandem is going to be a significant improvement at the point from years past.
â€¢ As was discussed in the comments, Hollinger picks Houston to win it all. The consensus in the comments was, well, youâ€™re not impressed. My two cents â€” on paper they are a tiger, and I think the new coach makes them better by the end of the year (the offense should open up), but they have to prove to me they are a San Antonio and not a Utah. Iâ€™m not sold, but I wouldnâ€™t be shocked.
â€¢ For those of us who cannot swing Lakers season tickets, individual seats go on sale Saturday (Oct. 6). Act quickly or those tickets for the one Hawks game will be snapped up.
â€¢ The Isiah Thomas/MSG verdict brings up the contradictions we as sports fans face â€” to use the sausage analogy, we like the end product but may not want to see how it was made (or who was making it). Mike at Knickerblogger does a great job talking about his personal conflicts on the issue.
I think Darren Rovel at CNBC hit the nail on the head â€” all the screaming outside Madison Square Garden will be irrelevant if the Knicks can have fans screaming with joy inside the arena. It is all about wins and losses. Win and the fans forgive you. But if the losses mount for New York, the issues from the trial will be an additional weight. (Hat tip to True Hoop.)
â€¢ In the baseball playoffs, Iâ€™m pulling for Boston. The reason is pretty simple â€” my wife used to live in Boston, is a Red Sox fan, and as anyone married (or in a serious relationship) knows, if sheâ€™s happy my life is easier.
But I have some people I want to see do well. When they played at Long Beach State, I got to see a lot of Troy Tulowitzki and Jered Weaver, and Troy was a personal favorite â€” he was a throwback, a true Dirtbag, a guy who played hard and with passion. Itâ€™s great to see him thrive at the next level. (By the way, also still around from Long Beach State are Cub Steve Trachsel and Yankee Jason Giambi.)