It’s a little hazy after the weekend, but we’ll fight through the fog. I got thrown for a loop on Monday, when I logged onto NBA.com, and one of the headlines read: “Bobcats need more Maggette”; never thought I’d see that.
After a weekend in which 11-of-the-14 road teams emerged victorious—and all the Jeremy Lin craziness—it was just an odd thing to see.
But both the Lakers and the Clippers are returning to LA from their little six-game road trips, so with the majority of their trips already covered, I’ll let you know how they look as they wander back home.
Following that summation, I might as well discus the All Star lineups, because it’s something for which I’ve had little time to dissect, and I can’t wait to do so.
The Return to Los Angeles. I said I’d be impressed if the Lakers went .500, and that’s what they did, so how do I feel? The same.
LAL still has trouble away from their building, and this problem doesn’t appear to be going away, so we’d better get used to it.
The Lakers got three at home and three on the road before the All Star break, including a home-and-home with the Suns, and a back-to-back in Dallas and in OKC, so I’ll beg you’re forgiveness as I repeat myself: If they go .500 I’ll be impressed.
LAC returns to Cali with 4-of-their-6 contests won, yet their trip didn’t end as well as the Lakers’ did, for the Clips were handed a loss by the Mavs just as they were doing so well.
They avoided the same pitfalls that plagued the Lakers (one due to scheduling and the other due to going second) as they missed the happening known as Jeremy Lin and took the 76ers seriously.
It also helped that they were given a game by visiting Charlotte, but the teams don’t make the schedules, they just benefit from them. And LAC gets 3-of-their-last-5 games at home (including the Wizards tonight), but they do have a trip to Portland and the Spurs coming to town, so it’s not all wine and roses for the Clippers and bread and water for the Lakers.
Hey Now, You’re an All Star. Starting for the East is Melo, LeBron, Derrick Rose, Wade and Dwight Howard, and you’d have more of a problem trying to find a reason to take any of them off of that list, than you would finding a valid replacement.
The West has Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Kobe, CP3 and Andrew Bynum, and where you could argue that LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love mean more to their collective units, and have put up better numbers, this is after all a popular-vote process, so you get what you get. They made it in as reserves, too.
Speaking of reserves, the East had a few bumps in their process. Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Paul Pierce. That’s good. Andre Iguodala and Joe Johnson. Okay. Roy Hibbert and Deron Williams. Not so much.
Replacing Williams is easy: Rajon Rondo. Hibbert just made me angry, because they could’ve taken one of two obvious choices: JaVale McGee (who led the NBA in blocks for the majority of the year, even though now he finds himself percentage points behind Serge Ibaka) and Joakim Noah.
Personally, I’d rather have Drew Gooden on the roster than Roy Hibbert, or even another Milwaukee Buck, Ersan Ilyasova (look him up; he’s good).
Western Conference reserves went a lot smoother. Aldridge, Love, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook. Very good. Dirk Nowitzki and Marc Gasol. Good. Steve Nash?
I thought he’d be fine—until articles I kept finding online wanted Monta Ellis instead. Hopefully, I’ll only have to explain this once.
Numbers wise, Nash looks like the West Coast’s version of Jose Calderon, an assisting fiend on a lackluster team; on the floor, however, he’s a freak of nature. In fact, he’d probably have the same set of numbers with D-Leaguers running the floor with him.
So this is no contest. Monta Ellis makes Monta Ellis better, yet Steve Nash could take guys off the street and find them open jumpers and easy lay-ins.
TV Time. Tonight on NBATV we have MIA/IND and WAS/POR; Wednesday MEM/NJN on NBATV and POR/GSW on ESPN; and Thursday is a TNT doubleheader of BOS/CHI and LAC/POR.
The Blazers’ three games in three nights are on TV for all to see, so enjoy…