*The NBA has just named its All-Defensive Teams and its All-NBA Teams and Kobe Bryant was named 1st team on both. I know that we celebrate Kobe a lot around here, what with the game winners, his ability to play through injuries, and his overall will to win. But, this type of recognition should never just get glossed over. Once again, Kobe has been deemed one of the best players in the league and being able to say that never gets old. Personally, I think Kobe probably should have been named to the 2nd team All-Defense, but I can see how his reputation and still strong play on that end got him back on the 1st team for the fifth straight season. (On a side note, my picks for 1st Team All-NBA were exactly the guys that got named. However, on the second team, I had Duncan and Bosh instead of Amar’e and ‘Melo. I just think Bosh was too good this year, irrespective of his team’s record.)
*Speaking of the All Defensive Team, one guy that didn’t make either the first or second team is Ron Artest. Which, to me, is a shame. Maybe I’m biased because I watched nearly every minute of his season, but Artest played elite level defense in the 2010 campaign. He guarded the other team’s best wing player for the majority of each game and played as hard as possible while also being pretty damned effective. In several games this season, he just ruined guys like ‘Melo, Durant, and Granger while being a major key to the Lakers team defense efficiency. If I had a vote, Ron would have been a 1st team member and would have gotten my 2nd place vote for DPOY (behind Dwight Howard).
*Have you been watching the Suns/Spurs series? You need to be, if you’re not. And not just because of those pretty Nash/Amar’e P&R’s or Ginobili’s new face accessory. Watch for the post game pressers where coach Popovich is at the podium. I still favor Phil’s style when speaking to the media, but Pop is just fantastically mean.
*Lakers fans are in a conundrum. Do we root for Cleveland or Boston? Can’t both teams lose? Anyways, I find this series intriguing because of all the subplots – Boston’s age, Cleveland sports fans’ suffering, and most off all the drama surrounding Lebron’s elbow. Is he hurt? Is it being over played? I’m never one to question an injury with a player because I’m not that guy, I don’t feel his pain, and who knows how hurt he really is. However, if I was going to question his injury, I’d go straight to the source. You know, by actually asking Lebron’s Elbow. (I love twitter.)
*Speaking of twitter, what’s going on with Chris Bosh and his suddenly overactive account? First he’s asking where he should go. Then he’s asking if he should leave at all. Now, he removes any and all information pertaining to Toronto or the Raptors. For a really good take on the matter, go read what Trey Kerby penned over at Ball Don’t Lie. I think he’s spot on, here.
*In yesterday’s Lakers Stock Report it was pointed out in the comments that there was no reference to Phil Jackson. For the record, I think Phil is doing a great job per his usual standards. I think there were some that questioned why he didn’t put Kobe on Westbrook earlier in the OKC series, but I think it’s fair to say that Kobe was legitimately banged up and barely looked up to creating his own offense, much less exerting energy chasing around young Russ. So, to me, I understood the delay in changing up the match ups. As for his status as the Lakers coach going into the future, I have no clue. Phil speaks in riddles to the press and I have no clue what his plans are. I do think, however, that he understands the talent he has with this Lakers team and how that talent (plus his coaching) gives them a legitimate chance at 2-4 more title runs. And while I don’t expect him to stay around for 4 more years, I also don’t expect him to leave a situation where the pieces for success are laid out the way that they are.
*Since we’re talking talent, how about that team in Orlando? Uh, they look pretty good. When I got home from work on Tuesday, I turned on the game, saw the score, and thought it was a mistake. I know the Hawks beat the Bucks fair and square, but does anyone actually think Milwaukee would have been blown out by 40? Atlanta needs to figure out what they’re doing or they’re liable to get swept out of the playoffs just like Charlotte was.