Two funny things happened last night:
The Lakers treated the New Orleans Hornets like they were another one of those rebuilding, under .500 teams, and people were actually excited about an Arizona/ASU basketball game, completely disregarding the fact that the Wildcats had won 24 of the previous 25 games.
Turns it out they were right. It was a great game. I also have not yet seen it, except for highlights, but several people failed to allow the tivo process to work effectively. Apparently, people can only withhold the score for one night, so watching a game on tivo the next day is a no go.
Anyways, I can't be happier with the progress the Lakers have made and I fail to see any similarities between this year's team and last year's squad which had a similar record at this point in the season. Remember, the Lakers started last year 26-13 before Phil Jackson decided to demote Andrew Bynum to the bench. Let's hope he doesn't have a brain cramp again.
The Lakers destroyed the Hornets in every aspect of the game during a 109-80 rout. The bench played well, the first unit played well, and Kobe once again didn't even have to score more than 20 points. He had 19 to go along with 7 rebounds and 7 assists.
On the other hand, I can't be any more saddened by the state of Arizona basketball. Fans and message boards are already moaning about Kevin O'Neill's inadequate coaching, the Cats' best player continues to ride the pine with an injury, already being "day to day" for four games, and the depth on the team is so weak, O'Neill brought freshman Zane Johnson in to play 8 minutes, ridding him of his redshirt season.
The Wildcats lost 64-59 in overtime, and spurred conversation of an actual rivalry.
The best player on the floor wore a Maroon and gold uniform. Who would have thought that the most talked about freshman in the state of Arizona would not be Jerryd Bayless but James Harden.
I'll continue to say this, without Bayless, Arizona will have trouble making the NCAA tournament, and with him, the Wildcats are no better than a No. 7 or 8 seed.
Up next: at Houston, noon PST, ESPN2
This makes me happy: The Suns are having chemistry issues.
Say goodbye to those USC football championships: A first look at the book about Reggie Bush reveals the Trojans controversial saga involving their former Heisman trophy winner is far from over.
As always, an updated Lakers +/- (through 34 games) Lakers: 23-11, 5th in West
Up Next: vs. Milwaukee Friday 7:30 p.m. PST ESPN
More girls' hoops: My Daily News article on the Muir girls basketball team, which is 14-1 to start the season.