A quick look at and some random thoughts on some of the things that have crossed my web browser in the last week or so…
*Well that was fun. Like I mentioned last night and Phillip did this morning, the game against the Pacers was a thorough beatdown and should serve as a nice springboard for the Lakers’ upcoming roadie. Keep playing like this and the wins will follow.
*Don’t look for the Lakers to pick up one of the recently released vets or street free agents looking to latch on to a contender. Just remember, in the playoffs rotations shrink to 8-9 guys and the Lakers are already set with the guys that they trust in those roles. I mean, do you really think that any player off the street could beat out one of our top 8-9 guys for minutes down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs? I don’t.
*On opening night against the Clippers, the Lakers received their championship rings. Sadly (unless you’re a Lakers staffer reading this right now) you were not invited and did not get one. Well, here’s your chance to get one of those diamond clustered beauties.
*Speaking of championships, a long time mantra of this site is that the Lakers will go as far as their defense takes them. Currently the Lakers are number one in defensive efficiency. I think that is the factor that we should all be looking at when examining the Lakers post season chances more than any other stat or storyline that gets thrown out there by any media expert. And, again, I think Artest deserves a lot of credit. Just a month ago, he looked plodding and was not moving well. Since then, he’s lost some weight (and is looking to lose a bit more) and is moving so much better. The man is putting in the work needed to help the team.
*And speaking of defense, you don’t get to be good on that side of the ball without pushing the envelope when it comes to the rule book. So it makes some sense to me that, based on a poll of current players, Artest and Kobe appear on this list of NBA’s dirtiest players. Reggie Evans is a given. My only question is, why no Celtics?
*My two cents on the Shaq injury: Cleveland won’t miss a beat. Shaq is a physical presence in the middle, but Cleveland is the Lebron show. If they can go without their starting back court and reel off a bunch of wins, they’ll do just fine plugging in Varejao at Center and giving more minutes to Hickson and Jamison. They’ll also play Lebron at PF (where his PER is even better than at SF) and call it a day. However, come playoff time and a potential match up with Orlando and a likely-to-be-rusty Shaq is back in the fold?
*Over the years, I’ve loved HBO. Some of their series (The Wire, The Sopranos) have been some of the best TV I’ve seen. But I love their sports coverage too. So, it’s no surprise that my DVR is already set for this Saturday.
*Yesterday in the game wrap, I mentioned that SF is probably the most stacked position in the league. It helps when Lebron, ‘Melo, and Durant play that spot. But PG is close. And over the next few years it will get even closer or surpass SF as the deepest and most talent rich position in the league. You already have CP3 & Deron (the league’s elite) with guys like Kidd, Billups, and Nash playing tremendous ball with no real indication of slowing down much. Plus a secondary group of some veteran and young guys like Parker, Baron, Jameer, Rondo, and Brooks. Then, you add to that group second year studs like Rose and Westbrook. Now, look at this year’s rookie crop of PG’s. Evans, Curry, Jennings, Lawson, Collison, Flynn, and we haven’t even seen Rubio yet. Yikes.
*I just want to give a quick tip of my cap to two sites that are making me smarter about this game that we all love. HoopData and NBA Playbook are just tremendous places for NBA info and bring the average fan insightful information every day. I really can’t say enough about the statistics, breakdowns, and visuals that you get from these sites. Great, great work.
*Lastly, are you going here? If you are, let me know. I want to hear about your experience.