Posted on: April 21, 2009 9:00 am

2008 NBA Playoffs

 This year's playoffs thus far have been plenty exciting, and I'm a little bit late on getting my playoff previews out since I've been out of the country.  I am not suprised at the outcomes of some of the first few games however.

Cleveland vs. Detroit

Well, game 1 was no contest, but I had expected Detroit to put up more of a fight.  Depending on whether or not they decide to throw in the towel, they may take a game from Cleveland.  But is Detroit, as a .500 team even really worthy of playoff contention?  Especially with the late season collapse?

Boston vs. Chicago

I look for the Chicago Bulls  to take this series.  Not simply because of the Game 1 victory on the road and the strong performance in Game 2.  The Bulls finished up the season pretty strong.  They are young, like the Atlanta Hawks were last year, and hungry.  Boston is hurting, and maybe only their talent will pull them through this.  Boston killed the Bulls on the boards in Game 2, and Chicago could have really damaged the C's chances if they were able to rebound better.  Noah, you have to take it strong to the hole.  I have always been a Rajon Rondo hater, but, the kid can play.  He had a great game, and is a bright spot for the Celtics this season.

Orlando vs. Philadelphia

Look for Philly to take this series.  Once again, not because of the Game 1 road victory.  Orlando peaked early, then fell off toward the end of the season.  Philly has had some on again/off again performances this year.  Victories over the Lakers and Hawks, but then later blown out by some weak teams.  If they bring their A-game they can take it.  The Magic should just pound it inside to Howard.  Seriously, Howard has tons of talent.  Now, if Orlando can pull this series out, I don't look for them to get past Chicago in the second round.

Atlanta vs. Miami

Game 1 was a surprise, maybe to everyone but the Hawks.  I would like Atlanta to pull this out.  They have a fiesty hungry team.  Gotta watch out for D-Wade, he has had a monster season.  Atlanta can also take Cleveland, I think.  They have just enough disrespect to take it to the Cavs.

LA vs. Utah

Tough matchup possibly for the Lakers, but I look for a sweep.  Could be the Homer in me.

Denver vs. New Orleans

Denver is obviously improved over last year, while NO is struggling.  Can they turn it around?  I have this stigma that Denver is and always will be over-hyped.  Enver (No D).  Maybe Billups is what they've needed all along.

San Antonio vs. Dallas

Tough matchup to call.  The Lakers would've had an easier time with Dallas than Utah, as SA would've had an easier time against Utah than Dallas.  But these teams matchup well, in Dallas' favor.  Suprising Game 2 blowout by San Antonio.  Winner will have a tough series ahead of them.

Portland vs. Houston

Another surprise.  I looked for Houston to win, but not like that.  Expect a closer rest of series, but Houston should take it.  They are a much better TEAM without Tracy McGrady.  McGrady is a great player, but not for Houston.  The sum was less than their parts, if that makes sense.  Portland is a tougher matchup for the Lakers in the second round, but I look for Houston to pull through in this series.

Posted on: January 26, 2009 8:32 am

Some Key Points

Obviously, how far the Lakers' run in the playoffs goes is going to hang on how far Kobe Bryant is going to take them, but there are a few other key elements that I think are going to have to come into alignment.  The first of these is the play of Andrew Bynum.  He is going to have to put in solid 15-10 games against guys in the middle who can play.  Whether or not he does, will be an indicator of how well the Lakers will do.  Sure Pau Gasol's numbers have been down the last couple-three games.  Of course it's because Bynum's numbers are up, but Bynum needs to establish himself.  We all know what Gasol can do, especially offensively.  The next key element is Lamar Odom.  He needs to stay around 10 pts, 10 boards, and keep his assist numbers up.  He is so versatile, he can go off at any given game for 20-15-10, then turn around and have sub tens the whole way across.  Of course, Farmar's return yesterday was a big spark, and if he can contribute the rest of the way, it's going to help the Lakes close out.  He is a force multiplier.

Now here is probably the biggest key for the playoffs: Trevor Ariza.  This guy plays with fire, is cat-quick, and can really go off on the defensive end when he wants to.  Here's the thing, he's still young, so he plays with a high level of intensity every moment he is out there.  Sure he makes a dumb mistake now and then, goes for a risky steal and gets burned now and then, but I think it is what the Lakers need to have that defensive burst.  Plus, he can come off the bench (I'm sure sometime down the road he'll be the starter) and guard someone like Paul Pierce.

As we head down the stretch, with the All Star break coming up, we need to stay injury free, have quality play, and get a defensive mindset. 

Category: NBA
Posted on: June 13, 2008 9:21 am

Go With What Works And Play To Win

Laker fans, it's looking rough right now.  And it's not as if the Celtics have been making the Lakers look bad.  The Lakers are doing it to themselves.  The Lakers have to look at what got them here, what's working, and get back to playing their game. 

What I'm looking at, is the Lakers are up by 21.  Sure, Kobe wasn't hitting his shots.  But start taking the ball to the hole, don't wait until you're tied up or down by 3 to start driving for layups. 

Odom was killing the Celtics, and disappeared for the rest of the game.  I can't blame Odom for that, I'm not even sure how much he was in the game after the first quarter.

The Lakers can take the next three games, but they need to play smart.

Category: NBA
Tags: Celtics, Lakers
Posted on: June 9, 2008 7:57 pm

Gonna Fly Now

Well, Laker fans, we are down two games to none in the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics.  Is it time to panic?  No, I don't think so.  I'm not basing my lack of panic to the fact that the Lakers almost pulled off an incredible upset last night.  I'm more basing it off the fact that those were tough games in Boston, but the Lakers now have three home games to pull. 

What I'm getting at, is that the Lakers have played...let's just say that they haven't played to the level at which they are capable.  Not necessarily because Boston has been forcing them to play poorly, but they have been causing a lot of their own problems.  And what it reminds me of, is when, in Rocky II, Mickey trained Rocky to fight with his right hand.  Then all of a sudden, Mickey yells out, "Now!" and Rocky goes back to fighting southpaw.  This is the same kind of changeup the Lakers need.  Go back to playing the ball they know.  

Category: NBA
Posted on: May 24, 2008 7:34 pm

Lamar Odom is a BEAST!

Okay, so I was watching the Lakers game last night.  I've been thinking about it, instead of concentrating on my research paper on "Public Opinion." 

You hear all the announcers, and read all the articles that have come out this year, and they all talk about how much the emergence of Bynum and the acquisition of Pau Gasol have affected Lamar Odom and the increase in Odom's production.  Well, I figured I would finally officially comment on Odom. 

He is a straight BEAST! This guy has had a great season.  He gives a solid effort every night, whether or not it shows in the box scores.   He pulls in rebounds and can score with the ball, but his ball handling...the way he pushes the ball up the floor is suprising for a big man.  Odom is listed as 6'10", 6'11" sometimes, depending where you get your info.  I saw him in Atlanta at the Hawks game this year.  He's bigger in person. 

Anyways, I'm looking forward to Game 3 on Sunday.  Go Lakers!

Category: NBA
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