Monday, May 12, 2008

It was too good to be true

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

It was too good to be true.

The Lakers sweeping through the playoffs like they were the 2001 Lakers with Shaq and Kobe dominating meddling opponents. And OJ Mayo riding his bycicle around campus like he was a true student athlete. If it looks suspicious, often times there's a good reason.

The Lakers weren't going to shoot 52 percent from 3-point range all series. They weren't going to steamroll a Jazz team that lost just four times at home all season.

OJ Mayo wasn't going to leave his questionable decision making and surrounding posse just because he switched coasts.

All you had to do was go inside his dorm room find the plasma tv screen or check out his clothes and diamond studded earrings. His mom isn't a stockbroker, afterall.

It's been a fairy tale season for the Lakers, and it was one for OJ Mayo. Neither of the situations is surprising. It's not going to be an easy road for the Lakers with a stacked lineup of opponents waiting in line even if they get past the Jazz and you better believe Mayo won't soon get rid of this controversy that's only on the fringe of blowing up.

Jordan Farmar is struggling: The former Taft and UCLA star is starring in his own nightmare. He's shooting 1-16 and has four points in the first four games of the series. In the past three games, he has a +/- rating of -40, worst on the team.

What would Walton do? The man who leads the league in blocked layup attempts did it again. With no one near him, Walton took his sweet time, took a dribble and laid up a shot that was swatted out of the air by Ronnie Price. The only people in the league that would have missed that layup are Luke Walton and Luke Walton. Can you imagine if that was Trevor Ariza on that play instead of Walton.
Phil playing mind games:
"I was angry at his teammates for dropping the ball in his lap," Jackson said of Kobe Bryant's overtime strategy. "I felt guys just bailed out on him."
Kobe took seven shots and the rest of the Lakers took three in overtime. You think they bailed on him, or he just tried to take over, despite having a back injury that was obviously hampering his game? At the end of regulation, the Lakers got back into the game with Kobe dishing to his teammates. He had six assists in the fourth quarter. And then he went away from what was working. Usually he can just take over when he wants. But his back wouldn't allow that and he should have realized his teammates could get the job done. It was an uncharacteristic display of misjudgment on Kobe's part this year.
I think Phil is just trying to take the criticism off Kobe and that's a good thing. Kobe's teammates didn't necessarily agree with that assertion, however.
"I wasn't hesitant," said Pau Gasol. "I just tried to help out. The ball got stuck too much. We took too many jumpers."
"I don't know what to say to that," Sasha Vujacic said. "I know sometimes Kobe just likes to take the game in his hands. It's normal."

Ronny's ejection was bullshit: What were the referees reviewing when they watched the videotape? That Ronnie Price only started bleeding when his head hit the floor? That Ronny was going for the ball and Price was out of control? Where was the intent? It was a hard foul. It's the playoffs. This wasn't a Marvin Williams frustration foul or a Brendan Haywood sending a message foul. This was Ronnie Price, a 6-foot nothing backup guard against a 6-10 power forward.

Thankfull, the Lakers, after talking to the league, expect Ronny to not be suspended. If he is, that would be a travesty on top of a travesty.

Some thoughts from a non-Laker fan on the call:

Shane: oh my god
such bullshit
terrible, terrible, terrible call
just terrible
he's like the nicest guy on the lakers
he never EVER is chaep
he hit a guy that is a pussy
when did he become lebron?
i was pissed
flagrant two for that?

What happened to the officiating? After attempting more free throws than the Jazz in the first three games, the Lakers shot 20 less free throws than the Jazz. All of a sudden, the Lakers are being less aggressive, or did the officials call the game differently?

Jazz fans haven't learned:

You would think after all the negative publicity Utah has received for booing Derek Fisher, they would have learned their lesson. Even Jazz owner Larry Miller said there was no ill will in Fisher's decision to leave the Jazz. He took less money. Come on. It's a disgrace to boo a guy with Fisher's character and the situation that he's had to endure.
Kobe says he'll play on Wednesday:

Wholesale changes:
Josh Pastner makes it official, leaving Arizona to become an assistant coach at Memphis. One of Arizona's new assistants Mike Dunlap, a former Denver Nuggest assistant went to Pierce Community College. So that can't be a good sign. An avid runner, he did once run a 100 mile race. So I'll give him props for that.

Arizona now has yet another assistant coach opening. After filling the first two with names that lack recognition as well as guys who aren't big man coaches, I'll continue to lobby for former NBA and Arizona center Sean Rooks. Last seen as a coach in the Long Beach Summer League, Rooks obviously wants to get into coaching and there's no better opportunity than coaching big men at Arizona. Maybe the Wildcats will be able to finally recruit a good big man. It would help when the guy coaching the bigs isn't 5-10.

OJ Mayo likely won't suffer any consequences after the mess he's gotten himself into, but USC, the NCAA, and some others will. Yahoo sports discusses Who's to blame for the OJ Mayo situation.

You know it's coming:

I can't wait for the announcers to call game 5 "pivotal." This coming on the heels of a pivotal game 4 and preceding a pivotal game 6.

The Celtics need a psychological advantage apparently:

The Celtics brass thinks this will work to fix their road woes.

Andruw Watch
Last season, before the Dodgers signed him to that $36 million dollar deal, Andruw Jones hit .222 with 26 homers and 94 RBIs last season. Now, I wish he would put up those kind of numbers this year.

I went to the game on Saturday, the one in which the Dodgers mustered all of three hits and fell 5-0 to the Astros. I've never seen a Dodger crowd hate a player this much. And we were sitting in the good seats, not the pavilion or reserve section. Granted, we were a part of the yelling and berating Tubby Jones, but the crowd actually mockingly cheered every time he took a pitch. And there weren't a lot of those because in his first at bat, he swung and missed on three straight pitches.
Jones said he's embarassed by his production thus far.

Good, he should be.

And finally,
The most riveting and intense video ever. This blew me away. And it's not even sports related.

No comments: