Opening Night Thoughts
Posted by hiphopmama on October 29, 2008
I didn’t get a chance to watch either (nationally televised) game all the way through, so I can’t in good conscience give a true recap. But here are my thoughts after watching what I could:
- Poor Greg Oden. Is it destined to be this way? No official word yet on the exact injury to his right foot or how serious it is, but it’s not a good look to play your first regular season game when you’re already in your second season, then go out after two quarters with another knock. Tough luck for the Blazers. When he was in the game, his defense stifled the Lakers somewhat – notice the qualification there – and helped spark some Portland fast breaks. Without him, their playoff hopes look to be slim again. Fingers crossed for him. UPDATE: The injury is officially a “mid-foot sprain on his right foot.” The x-rays came back inconclusive and he’s scheduled to have an MRI.
- The Lakers looked solid in the most crucial area tonight: defense. They contested shots and kept their intensity up, even the starters we’re accustomed to seeing pack it in on occasion. Indications of the offensive mindset were good as well. Kobe is able to score pretty much at will, but he has slowly learned to rein it in for the sake of the team, and he did so again tonight. He shone when he needed to in the third quarter, but he got into the groove of the game more methodically, accumulating an impressive statline and managing the game effectively. He’s gradually making it easier for me to root for him personally as he develops this more humane aspect to his personality. Gradually.
- Trevor Ariza makes me nervous. This has been the case since the Finals last year, when Phil decided to play a line-up that included Farmar, Vujacic, and Ariza while leaving D. Fish, Luke Walton, and Vladimir Radmanovic to languish on the bench. I’m not his Grand Imperial Majesty, but I could not fathom how those three players – with their combined big game experience next to nil – could possibly be favored over the oldies but goodies. Only Phil knows, I guess.
- What is up with Phil Jackson sans facial hair? Has this happened before and I just didn’t notice? Because it’s really tripping me out.
- Sasha Vujacic has the hairstyle of a soccer player. It’s nothing new, and I guess it’s not that surprising given his continent of origin, but after watching European football the last few months I couldn’t help but notice. The flowing mane, the mini-hairband – it’s all very Sergio Ramos.
- I’ll give Boston one bullet point, my last of the night. I gotta say, I actually felt happy for (some of) them getting their rings tonight. I’m very glad KG finally won a title, so it was nice to see him get to enjoy that moment. Paul Pierce, though, was the one who really earned this one, sticking with Boston all those years, many of which were simply dreadful, and being overall a class player. It was really nice that he got to experience the fulfillment of finally getting there. Hopefully it’s for the last time, though.
Cleveland 85, Boston 90
Milwaukee 95, Chicago 108
Portland 76, LA Lakers 96