Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Who wears short shorts

The Lakers wore short shorts and wound up on the short side of a second blowout loss to the Boston Celtics. The 110-91 drubbing came while Trevor Ariza wore Michael Cooper high socks and Magic Johnson knee pads, Kurt Rambis rocked his old glasses and mustache, and most players' spandex underwear was longer than their shorts.

You can't blame the shorts for a 35 percent shooting effort, the worst of the season. Especially when the Lakers went back to the regular size shorts in the second half and continued to work on their mansion by laying bricks. Kobe's 6-25 and 0-6 from beyond the arc isn't going to do it either, and I bet his arch nemesis Ray Allen felt pretty good about that.

It just goes to show you the Lakers still have a long way to go. Call me crazy, but I'm still more scared of the Suns and the Spurs than I am of the Celtics. When you play this hard for 82 games, you will have a hard time sustaining that energy throughout the playoffs, and that's even if everybody stays healthy. I know Rajon Rondo didn't play, but the Celtics have been a model of stability thus far. They haven't been through any adversity together. What happens when they hit rough waters? We'll see, but I'm not ready to crown them the team to beat. The road to the finals goes through San Antonio and Phoenix.

Because of New Year's festivities and other assignments, I didn't get a chance to talk about the win over the Jazz. Here's what I wrote right after the game. Obviously this was before the Lakers laid an egg against the Celtics. Goes to show you that the same team can look completely different just a few days apart.

The Lakers reminded me of those old Army commercials last night.
"Be all you can be."
You couldn't play much better than the Lakers played last night. A season high 34 assists, on 43 field goals. A season high 75 points in the first half. Kobe 32 in three quarters. All five starters in double figures. The bench scores 41 points. And sitting out the starters in the fourth.
Doing it against a Jazz team who blew you out earlier in the season and booed Derek Fisher for no good reason feels even sweeter.

Wild about the Cats: As much anxiousness and anticipation I felt in preparation for the Arizona/Memphis game, it was all quickly drained when I saw Jerryd Bayless on the bench in street clothes. This was supposed to be a measuring stick game and it wasn't. At this point, I think Bayless is more invaluable to Arizona than Chase Budinger. Plus the Bayless/Derrick Rose matchup would have been fun to watch. But without Bayless, it was almost like there was no reason to play the game. Arizona had no chance and the game wasn't even fun to watch. The Wildcats put up just 24 points in the first half and had trouble scoring all night long. Back in the day, (or for the past 20+ years) Arizona was known as one of those teams that didn't need a shot clock. Without Bayless, the Wildcats often got into their sets after 15 seconds already ran off the clock. The ball movement was poor and the result was poor shots at the end of the clock. Regardless, it would have been a completely different game with Bayless in there and thus there's nothing to take out of the game for both teams. Just a wasted trip to Memphis and a wasted game.

In good news: Chris Mihm is out 3-4 weeks with a sore Achilles.
Now if only Mihm's injury is contagious to Kwame Brown. For all of you who've re-fallen in Love with Mitch Kupchak, remember he resigned Mihm to a two year contract this offseason. Good times.

Thanks to the BCS for not having a single bowl game worth watching so far. I can't remember the last time the Bowl season has been this bad. Cheers to one day having an eight team playoff format.

As always, an updated Lakers +/- (through 30 games) Lakers: 19-11, 6th in West

Fisher +94
Kobe +154
Turiaf -16
Odom +85
Mihm -16
Walton +93
Bynum +134
Farmar +60
Radmanovic +144
Brown -3
Vujacic +13
Crittenton -42
Karl +5
Ariza -44

Up Next: vs. Philadelphia Friday 7:30 p.m. PST FSN

Check it out: My Daily News article on Hart winning the Hart Classic behind Michael Montgomery, who scored 36 points and is going to Cal State Fullerton on a baseball scholarship

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