It’s an off day for the Lakers in Barcelona, so while they enjoy some tapas we’ll cover a variety of topics from around the league and add in some other random thoughts.
*The pre-season is a time of gelling and improving as a team in order to get ready for the season. So, in a way, results don’t matter as much as seeing a progression by the team and an increased level of execution as the season gets closer. So on that note, I think the Lakers had a pretty successful outing on Monday (despite the loss) and I hope to see a bit more progress in tomorrow’s game against FC Barcelona. And while that’s a game that Gasol really wants to win, I couldn’t care less about the result as long as the guys play hard, smart, and together as a team. Oh, and staying healthy would be really good too.
*One Laker that isn’t healthy is Andrew Bynum. Could he be the next Yao Ming? And that’s not meant in the global icon, multiple time all-star kind of way.
*And while we’re talking about staying healthy, things aren’t going so well for the Heat in that department right now. In the first few minutes of the Heat’s first game of the exhibition season, Dwyane Wade pulled up lame with a strained hammy. This doesn’t look like anything serious and Wade (though known to have injury issues throughout his career) will seemingly be fine, but I thought Ira Winderman had a good take on this over at PBT when he states that for all intents and purposes we haven’t learned anything about Miamias the Heat lost an opportunity to further this experiment of playing these three specific guys together when Wade went down. I mean, we already know that Lebron and Bosh are excellent players. And that when push comes to shove either of those guys can create/score/exert his will on the game. The point of this part of the season for these guys is to get comfortable playing with each other. With Wade out, that’s on hold. I’m not saying this will matter a lot in the grand scheme of things, but I would think they’d rather start finding their comfort level now, not put it on hold until Wade is ready to go again.
*When Gilbert Arenas played for the Warriors I got many chances to see him play both live and on TV. He had charisma, flair, and a joyous approach to the game that made him stand out. With the Wizards that same joy and love of the game continued to shine. So, needless to say, after all he’s been through in the past few years, it’s kind of sad for me to hear him say things like this: “I lost all feeling a long time ago. Basketball is basketball. It doesn’t matter what floor I’m on.” Chris Tomasson of FanHouse has more from Arenas here.
*I don’t do much pushing of products or make too many recommendations to buy things on this site. However, the latest Basketball Prospectus book is now on sale and while I have not yet read it, I’m going to. I have a feeling that you’ll want to as well.
*I must confess, I love good food. A lot. I’m not a picky eater, but I love quality stuff (and things with bacon in them). Long time readers know that Kurt used to frequently talk about Top Chef and I’ve always been a guy that watches a ton of shows on Food TV and try my best to emulate those folks and make some good dishes myself. I bring this up because long time FB&G contributor kwame a. (aka Abe Apraku) has just opened a restaurant in South Pasadena called Mix ‘N Munch Cereal & Grilled Cheese Cafe that you should go check out.
*Lastly, I’m itching to do another mailbag soon. So, if you have any questions that you’d really like answered just click here and send them in with ‘mailbag question’ in the subject line.