John Anderson: "Tell him what he's won!"
Steve Levy: "A Mercedes?"
Anderson: "No, a Nissan Sentra. Not bad. It's wheels. You're a college kid. Chics dig that."
Arizona basketball is like the Sentra right now. It's not always reliable but it's effective and gets the job done. That is when it's clicking on all cylinders. And of course chics dig Arizona basketball, or at least Arizona basketball players.
Jerryd Bayless doesn't think he's 100 percent right health wise, but he sure is playing like he's 100 percent.
Bayless is averaging 24.3 points, and 5.6 assists in his last three games. He's also shooting 58 percent from the field and is 19-20 from the free throw line in that span. The common denominator. All three have been Arizona wins, including an upset of then No. 6 Washington State and a beating of Washington in which Bayless shot 9-11 from the field.
The Wildcats went from 1-3 in the Pac-10 to 4-3 and a tie for fourth with ASU.
Up next: at USC Thursday 7:30 p.m. FSN
Chics aren't digging the Lakers right now and neither am I for that matter. They've lost four of five and Kobe feels like he has to score. Although he scored his 40 points on just 17 shots against the Mavs, the ball movement has slowed to a standstill. And for some reason, the Lakers just can't shake the Cavs and Lebron. Phil Jackson is 1-5 against Cavs coach Mike Brown.
Kobe says he's not worried but the Lakers were 1st in the West just 12 days ago and are now sputtering. After Tuesday's game against the Knicks, they start their nine game Grammys road trip.
It would be nice if the Lakers would actually shoot with nine seconds left and a three point deficit, rather than take a shot when time had already expired. Running a pick and roll when you know the Cavs would trap Kobe probably isn't the smartest thing Phil has done in his coaching career.
Having Luke Walton in the game isn't either. That $30 million deal he received before the year is looking worse and worse. Not only was he not ready to shoot when he caught the ball with two seconds left but judging from the fact that he's attempted three 3-pointers in his last seven games and has made a total of 0, it's not likely a contested three at the buzzer would have had much chance of going in anyway.
Trevor Ariza would have helped too. Instead of Walton holding Lebron to 39 points, Ariza would have been his primary defender and would have at least made it more difficult for the Chosen One.
Also I now feel old because the Kobe Bryant/Eddie Jones matchup on Friday night reminded me of first watching Jones as a rookie and the battles he had with Kobe at practice. He's now 36 years old. Thirty Six. Wow. The veterans in the game were Jones and Fisher, two Lakers I clearly remember being drafted, and now they are nearing the end of their careers.
Chim in the LA Times:
Clippers beat writer Jonathan Abrams discussed the Clippers crowd at the end of his article about the Clippers/Grizzlies game and threw in some stuff from my buddy John Champ.
Champ was the one screaming "that can't be 45."
"The crowd of 11,072 was so sparse that the loudest cheers came from a contingent of three Clippers fans a couple of rows behind their bench.
And how quiet was it, on '70s Night here, no less?
They yelled out Dunleavy's play numbers after he did, just in case a player didn't hear it. When Dunleavy called "45," which resulted in a ball lost out of bounds, one screamed in agony: "That can't be 45."
The Clippers previous road win came against the Grizzlies (13-31), more than a month ago, 98-91."
I have only one favorite team in every sport. I'm very strict about this rule. You can't have a strong vested interest in another team because when you're two favorite teams play each other, some kind of doubt or confusion, even at a small level will kick in. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching other teams play. This year my second favorite team is quickly becoming the Portland Trailblazers. The same Blazers who used to be my most despised team. The team with Rasheed Wallace and Damon Stoudamire and a bunch of thugs disguised as basketball players.
But this Blazers team is different. Forget their recent success or their long winning streak. I still don't think they will make the playoffs ahead of teams like the Jazz and the Rockets. But this is a team who's legitimately humble, enjoys playing the game, and has actual good chemistry. Check out the Oregonian's blog about just how fun these guys are to be around.
Help Rudy Gay withe dunk contest: The Memphis Grizzlies forward is asking people to send in videos to help him get ideas.
So go out there, lower your backyard hoop to 7 feet, grab your video camera, and get started.
Check it out: My Daily News article on Cal State Northridge, which is now 6-0 in the Big West, and its blowout win over Long Beach State.
As always, an updated Lakers +/- (through 42 games) Lakers: 27-15 6th in West
Up Next: vs New York Tuesday 7:30 p.m. PST FSN