In a scene reminiscent of the classic Generalissimo Franco SNL skit, the Dwight Howard back saga has become a running narrative that can be plugged in at will from now until whenever he suits up for his first game as a Laker. I won’t mention anything else about his rehab progressing on schedule at this time, as it is not prudent to fully exhaust one’s journalistic resources too early in the game. And personally, I’m totally fine with the casual nature of this. The NBA media has an army of operatives whose primary focus is the 24-hour news cycle. I haven’t seen any footage of Dwight struggling to get into his Bentley Mullsane, so I’m not worried.
In our top story tonight, Arash Markazi at ESPN Los Angeles reports that Dwight Howard’s back rehabilitation is on track.
There has been some attention paid very recently to Kobe Bryant’s work to eradicate homelessness in Los Angeles. It’s a cause he is quite seriously committed to. Ben Bolch at the L.A. Times has the story.
C.A. Clark at Silver Screen and Roll sets the bar for basketball rivalries.
Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk writes that former Laker Matt Barnes has decided to sign with the Clippers. It’s good to see him land somewhere.
Ryan Ward at Lakers Nation writes about Derek Fisher’s free agency options.
The S.I. Tracking Blog has an update on Leandro Barbosa’s job search.
It has nothing to do with the Lakers, but I loved this piece on Matt Bonner by Ananth Pandian for Hardwood Paroxysm.
I’m not interested in bringing presidential polemics to FB&G in any real or measured way. There’s fans of basketball from every spectrum and that’s as it should be. However, I read the new Michael Lewis profile of President Obama for Vanity Fair last night, and have to say that the section on basketball is quite apart from either side of the aisle. I doubt we will ever again have a sitting president, this devoted to the game.
– Dave Murphy
On paper Clips have a top 3 team. If Lamar is the player he was for the Lakers they’ll be a tough out for anybody. And if cp3 can’t get to the WCF with this team we may have to re-evaluate his standing as the best PG in the league.
Lakers have the best rivalries in the league. Boston, Clippers, Portland, Okc, Kings. And teams like Phoenix, Dallas, GS despise them. Everybody hates winners.
Do fans hate the Lakers because they beat them or because their arena is flooded with purple and gold?
Paul has only made it to the WCF once in his career as many as Melo. Nash went a few times recently in 2010. Rose has taken his team to the ECF. Parker just did with Spurs. Cp3 is labeled a floor general and a unanimous best PG in the league. It’s time he lived up to that label with wins and not stats and efficiency.
How many times did Kobe get out of the first round with only Lamar by his side? Teammates matter. CP3 is a top two PG in the NBA and probably the best. I was on the DWill bandwagfon (because of defense) but I switched over.
Aaron: Let’s not make excuses for Paul. I actually spoke too soon he’s never made it out the 2nd round and was horrible vs Spurs this past postseason. His current team is loaded it’s time he live up to the aura of greatness that is thrust upon him.
Isn’t it a knock on Paul that he hasn’t been out the 2nd round?
Its not a knock. Chris Paul carried a Hornets team with David West as its second best player. A PG is only as good as his supporting cast. If Magic Johnson was leading those Hornets teams. I can guarantee 100% that Earvin Johnson would not be able to carry those teams to a title. Earvin Johnson won because he had an incredible supporting cast. Even better then the supporting cast Kobe has ever had with Kobe as the alpha dog.
Even with all the additions Chris Paul has gotten. I dont know if they will be able to reach the Confernce finals. Blake Griffin is one sided player with my deficiencies in his offensive game, especially his free throw shooting. Lamar Odom is 33 years old and is notoriously known for his bad diet and candy eating ways, I dont know if he will be able to bounce back to the level he had with the Lakers. Matt Barnes has show time and again that he does not know how to perform under pressure, Lakers fans know about his inability to play in the playoffs. Jamal Crawford is notoriously known as a ball hog and chemistry disrupter. Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill are on thin ice with breaking any bone on there body.
If you think about it, this Clipper team could do well but they have so many combustible parts. But not only that there are two clear cut teams that are superior in talent which wins basketball games, OKC and LAL.
I dont see this team getting past 2nd round even with the parts they have combusting.
Chris Paul at the end of the day is still the #1 PG in the league. Laker fans were drolling to have him last year.
” … If Lamar is the player he was for the Lakers they’ll be a tough out for anybody …”
A mighty big “IF”!
peter: You make some great points and I was definitely excited thinking he was going to be a Laker. But at some point he has to back up the label of best PG with postseason wins. Can’t keep getting by on efficiency and floor generalship.
Looking at what Rose, Westbrook, Parker, Rondo have done these past few years in the postseason is trumping Paul’s regular seasons. Paul is better than those players by a slim margin but he has to justify that in the playoffs.
@Kevin_ he always plays big in big games, that’s what you want, all the point guards you mention have had one thing, great Team Mates, the closest CP3 had as was mentioned above was Tyson Chandler in his early years. all the PG’s you mention above all have atleast two other Legit Players on their team, Rose(Deng,Carlos Boozer)*this one might be the only exception*however the Bulls are probably the deepest team in the league* Westbrook(Durant,Harden,Ibaka) Parker(Ginobli,Duncan) Rondo(Pierce,Garnet,Ray Allen) this is his first year with the Clips, finally fully recovered from his knee pains as well.
you will see an even better CP3 this year, there’s a huge reason we(the Lakers FO) was going to give up so much size for him. ***just remembered he had David West** however at the end of the Day… in the playoff’s they are normally facing the Lakers… and lets not forget in 2010-2011 playoffs he’ pretty much carried that NO team, and almost knocked the Lakers out in the first round.
Phil Jackson please come back and coach OKC. The Triangle is perfect for OKC Durant and Westbrook and Ibaka. I would trade Harden and get parts that would better fit the system, he is in a contract year anyways.
David R.: All I’m saying is he hasn’t advanced past the 2nd round ever. As bad as it was on McGrady’s resume that he didn’t get out the 1st round. It’s not as big a blemish but Chris Paul has to find a way to advance.
Rondo, Westbrook, Parker = Finals
Nash, Rose, Deron = Conference Finals
Paul = 2nd round
He has to get to the next level.
@10 – Kevin
Just to be fair – Neither Rondo/Westbrook or Parker have gotten to the finals being the best player on their team. (I know, Parker won the Finals MVP, but that was still Duncan’s team).
Its very rare that the PG is the best player on the team and the team makes the finals. I can think of a few times its happened:
But its not like they got there alone. Magic had Worthy and Kareem. Isiah had Dumars and Lambeer. Payton had Shawn Kemp. Iverson had a Junior Varsity eastern conference.
Chris Paul is doing just fine. They’ll be a tough matchup for the Lakers next year.
@Kevin_ enjoyed your points, i think both sides have a case, Those who think Paul’s been playing great consistently for a while, and those who think he still needs to step it up. – just don’t let it it be this year.
T. Rogers says
Someone on OKC’s team would need to develop an adequate post game before they could run the Triangle.