All Balls Don’t Bounce

Completely Random Sports Non Sequiturs From A Completely Random Hip Hop Head

Posts Tagged ‘lebron james’

Random Notes

Posted by hiphopmama on March 16, 2009

Sssabrosa!

Sssabrosa!

I’m too lazy to write anything coherent, and there’s nothing particularly new to report anyway, so here are some stream-of-consciousness ramblings. I can’t promise they’re all relevant to this blog’s usual subject matter.

  • Kobe Bryant was named Western Conference Player of the Week, with Lebron James picking up the Eastern Conference nod. MVP race, anyone?
  • Good piece over at the LA Times Lakers Blog about why the Lakers should be hoping for a first round match-up with Dallas. The main argument is that we match up well with them, with Gasol guarding Nowitzki and no one to pick up Pau. It doesn’t hold up quite as well if Josh Howard is healthy, because the small backcourt advantage can be neutralized, but they still make some good points. I think the biggest reason we would want to see the Mavs in the playoffs is because we own them psychologically. And because I love to see that sad clown look on their Neanderthal coach’s face when we beat them. Poor little millionaire.
  • Buying a house is way too involved a process. I can’t really complain because we have a bomb real estate agent helping us along, but the whole system feels like it’s set up to trap you in some legal hole that you didn’t see coming. And we wonder how we got into this real estate mess…
  • Barcelona should sign Diego Lopez. I know they’re making overtures to Chelsea for Petr Cech and they certainly do need to upgrade their current model, but they don’t need to go too far to find a suitable replacement keeper. I saw some amazing stuff from two Diegos in goal this weekend – Atletico’s Lopez and Almeria’s Alves – both of whom looked sprightly and assured between the pipes. Their confidence in securing dangerous balls and their athleticism in making amazing stops were in stark contrast to the uneasiness you feel when the ball approaches Valdes in the box. He’s decent enough, but for that team he just doesn’t cut it, especially when you make the inevitable comparison to his Real Madrid counterpart. Then again, no one holds very well in that test.
  • The-Dream’s new album “Love vs. Money” is really fucking good. For the first time in 2009 there are finally multiple albums coming out (and/or leaking, I won’t specify which) that I want to hear, but I can’t get to them because I am so stuck on this new Dream shit. This man has some kind of Midas touch. His songwriting is so good I even like the track with Mariah on it. And don’t even get me started on all the hilarious one-liners on here. My favorite changes daily, but right now I’m stuck on, “I’m all up on you like a white tee on a thug.” Or maybe, “Your body’s the cup, my body’s the coffee, and I’m brewin’ it, while we’re doin’ it, to Kelly’s 12 Play.” He works his formula for all it’s worth (“ella, ella, eh, eh”), but it never gets old. He can brew my coffee any day.
  • Is there a better name in all of sports than Simao Sabrosa? I just can’t get over that one. And with his scintillating free kicks, the names feels so appropriate, which makes it even better. The thing that gets me is that he goes by “Simao,” which appears on his jersey. If any of my names was Sabrosa, I would refuse to be called anything else. I would’ve been that obnoxious kid during roll call. Substitute: “Simao?” Me: “Sabrosa, please. Thanks.” 

And I’m spent. Off to enjoy some Easter candy that probably won’t make it to Easter. Till the 76ers tomorrow.

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6-0*

Posted by hiphopmama on February 9, 2009

*Subtitle: Lakers Regurgitate Celtics Performance Against Cavs (happy, D?)

Total domination

Total domination

LA Lakers 101, Cleveland 91

(41-9)

What a road trip. I can’t say I’ve seen one better in my decade and a half of close NBA viewing. Coming off a tough double-overtime loss to the Bobcats, we embarked on six games in nine nights, including facing off with two of our biggest rivals, and we suffered nary a loss. The first four teams weren’t anything to write home about, but the fact that we never slipped up against even one of them, and without Andrew Bynum, says a lot. That’s not something this team could have pulled off earlier in the season, that’s for sure. And then to cap it off with wins against the Celtics (on the second night of a back-to-back) and the as-yet-unbeaten-at-home Cavs – wow. 

In case you didn’t already know, Kobe was sick for this one. Like, disgustingly sick. Throwing up before, during, and after the game sick. Receiving IV fluids sick. The man looked half dead, but he somehow still played 35 minutes and contributed 19 points, none bigger than the two he drained on an in-your-face fade-away against Lebron when the lead had shrunk to 4 points. That was essentially the nail in the coffin, and Kobe’s night was complete. He staggered off the court and into the locker room before the final whistle blew, leaving his teammates to celebrate in his wake.

No one stepped up bigger in his absence than Lamar. I don’t know where this new burst of confidence came from, but I hope it’s here to stay. He doesn’t look hesitant anymore, firing up shots when he’s open and slashing his way through the lane at will. He managed a season high 28 points and 17 rebounds while virtually carrying the team in the second half. Quite simply and without over-exaggeration, he willed us to come back and claim the lead in the second half. We closed out the first half dismally, letting the deficit balloon to 10 points much too quickly, so we needed something special coming out of the locker room. Lamar provided it. After receiving the IV at halftime, Kobe looked reenergized for the first part of the third quarter and, along with some clutch shooting from Fisher, he helped chip away at the Cleveland lead. Then Odom took over, making layup after layup and scoring 15 points to put us up 5 at the end of the quarter. He didn’t score as much in the fourth, but he was there for every loose ball while the bench went to work on the Cavs, extending the lead to as many as 10 before Lebron and Ilgauskus teamed up to whittle it down to 4. Pau carried us the rest of the way, drawing fouls and making free throws to ice the game and end the Cavaliers home unbeaten streak at 23. 

It was a stunning performance for a number of reasons. Finally besting the Cavs on their home court was definitely a big one, since plenty of good teams had come in there and failed to get a result. Even bigger was the way we carried it off with smothering defense in the second half after looking unconcerned with D in the first. The Cavs finished the game shooting 39.7% from the field and under 30% for the second half. We held Lebron to 5-for-20 shooting and a meager 16 points (although he did add 8 rebounds and 12 assists), well below his 28 a game average. We were again exposed by – no surprise here – a good perimeter shooting big man and a quick point guard. Ilgauskus stretched our already thin interior defense past where it wanted to go with his dead-eye looks from the baseline. Mo Williams darted in and out of the lane too much as well. And, of course, we were still burned much too much from the three point line. As I said, the Cavs shot under 40% overall, but they were 47.8% from beyond the arc. Fucking Wally Szczerbiak (even his name is an abomination, first and last) scored 4-of-5 from distance behind his stupid mask, and Williams was 3-of-4 himself. James, pure shooter that he isn’t, was just 2-of-8 from three point territory, but much of that comes down to him being the one to take the tough shots in sticky situations. In the end he couldn’t make either the jumpers we forced him into or the free throws he was awarded, so we cruised past them to the finish line.

Once again, we were too deep for our opponent. Kobe was a shadow of his full self, despite the crunch time performance, but we still had plenty left in our arsenal to draw on while the Cavs sputtered down the stretch. The second team really blew the lead open to start the fourth with Kobe, Pau, and Fisher all on the bench. That meant that Farmar, Sasha, Ariza, Powell, and Odom (and briefly Mihm) not only held their own with the best the Cavs had to offer but increased the margin between the two teams while the starters sat. I know, Odom is technically a starter now, but you get the point. Our bench is really, really good, good enough to win us games against tough opposition. Right now, I don’t see anyone else who can stack up against us in that department.

And so we return home with the best record in the NBA with two games left to play before the All-Star break – Oklahoma City at home on Tuesday and away at Utah Wednesday. However those last two games go, we will head into the break with over 40 wins and, possibly, single digit losses. That’s quite a feat considering the stumbling we did in the middle third of the season so far, and I’m happy to say we’re hitting our stride and picking up the pace right on schedule.

Highlights:

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Iverson Officially A Piston

Posted by hiphopmama on November 3, 2008

The trade officially went through, sending Allen Iverson to Detroit in exchange for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and class of 2006 center Cheikh Samb to make the money work. McDyess supposedly has no interest in playing anywhere besides Detroit, so he will be forced to either retire or buy out the rest of his contract with Denver. 

The logic of this really eludes me, from both perspectives. Knowing that McDyess won’t even play for them, I can’t see any benefit for Denver, except that AI was never going to work there when Melo was the primary ball hog. (There ain’t enough room for the both of ’em.) So Chauncey for AI was pretty much a straight swap that leaves the Nuggets down a big time scorer but up a less selfish playmaker with a couple of titles. 

As for the Pistons, the consensus seems to be that they are clearing cap space to make a play after this season for the big name free agents on the market. The most intriguing of these hypothetical scenarios sees Detroit being a prime destination for LeBron James in 2010, with Dumars pulling the strings to perfection behind the scenes. It’s no secret that James wants to go to a team with title aspirations, and Detroit definitely has that pedigree. It’s not quite the big market town he was looking at in New Jersey/New York, but the Jay-Z connection appears to have been faltering of late, making Detroit’s steady hand in management look all the more enticing. 

It’s all just speculation at this point, though. What we do know is that for now, this weird trade has indeed taken place, with the Pistons and Nuggets essentially swapping Billups for Iverson (and McDyess leaving the picture). How it will play out is anyone’s guess. My own take is that it makes little difference for either team over the rest of the season, leaving the Pistons somewhere around the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture and the Nuggets languishing at the margins of respectability. From there on out, who knows.

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