Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Recession: Pre Hibachi-LA Lakers


Grr...Grr...That was the feeling deep inside the pits of Kobe Bryant and the Laker's bellies as they came up short once again in the NBA finals to the surging Celtics, 4-2. That is also the feeling of my stomach as I sit in AP English furiously waiting for lunch and trying to finish this preview for the fans of Bachi. I say that I'm hungry because some statements that might be said in this preview may label me as a "crazy, ignorant 16-year old ignoramus" but I'm not people. I'm hungry for more. The city of L.A. is hungry, the Lakers are hungry and most important, Kobe Bean Bryant is hungry for more. You don't won't to be inside the belly of a beast and Kobe looks determined this year to engulf his competition alive. Now let's think back to last season. No one saw that season for the Lakers coming. No one. At least, we all knew that the Lakers would be a mediocre team at best as long as Mr. 81 would score 40 a night. Most didn't even expect more than around 40 wins. We all knew for a fact that the Suns would be one of the top seeds out West and the Lakers would be fighting to just get in a playoff series. But things didn't run out the we thought, huh? Kobe actually became something called a team player, Derek Fisher brought leadership at the point position. Bynum proved he was way more of an asset than Jason "Quick Sand" Kidd, Lamar Odom displayed at times that he could rule the world if he wanted to, he just refuses to do so, and the Grizzlies made everyone in LA wear Grizzlies apparel for months as they made possibly the worst trade in NBA history. But hey, I'm not complaining. The Lakers blew the west out of their asses and made it all the way back to the Finals for the first time since 04. But the question is, can we get an encore? Do you want more? One last time I need y'all to roar.......yes the whole Laker faithful is ready for a repeat plus a little more: the NBA championship. Can Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Fish, and Lamar make it happen or will they be left standing in their lockerooms, starving for that elusive chip? Kobe said it's dinnertime and I'll be damned if anybody stops the head honcho form getting his grub on.
-Point guards-7.5- Fish and Farmar
Last year Fish gave the Lakers what Smush Parker could never give them, leadership and a decent jumpshot. Fish was great at running the triangle offense since he had been with LA during their championship runs until '04. He took immense pressure off of Kobe during the season. Derek's leadership is what makes him so special to this team as he provides Farmar with wise council. Farmar had a breakout year last season as he averaged 9.1 ppg. That 9.1ppg came in just over 20 minutes of game time, so he was very efficient with his minutes and provided a great spark off the bench. Phil likes Farmar's jumper and athleticism so expect Farmar to get far more playing time than last year. Farmar just needs to get better at handling the team under pressure as the NBA finals showed that he still needs some work but he is getting there.
-Shooting guards- 9.5- Kobe, Kobe, Kobe, Sasha?
Obviously the ranking is so high because of Kobe and his ego. Kobe finally won an MVP. Good. Super. Dandy. Let's go have some cookies and koolade huh? Kobe knows that without a championship, every award feels less than what it really is. This case is no different as I expect Kobe to steadily keep his performance up and have another MVP-caliber season. Expect Kobe to get a little rest this year with the emergence of jackass Sasha into a good streaky three point assassin. I'm still not sold on the guy but he does knock down shots and his defense is pretty solid(besides him letting Ray Ray make him look like a confused puppy lost at Petsmart). But the key is for the Lakers to rest Kobe, who in the Olympics, sometimes played like age was finally getting to know him and have conversations with him on how his knee is doing.
-Small Fowards-7.5-Trevor Ariza, LO, LLLLUUUKKKKEEE
You may be wondering why the hell am I putting Ariza over LO? Well if you've read around lately, the Zen master has been quoted as saying that he feels LO is going to be better this year suited at the sixth man spot. LO is said to have a problem with that and quoting that "Phil must have hit his hear." No, Lamar, I don't think he has gone off his rocker yet. They have tried Lamar as the second option but that was way to much pressure for him. They then tried him out as the third option and that was going kind of good until the finals hit ashore and Keving Garnett took away LO swagger pride with one amazing and-one move. Now if Lamar starts, he is looking at becoming the fourth option behind KB, Bynum, and Pau. LO brought this on himself as being one of the biggest enigmas in NBA history. One day he will give you 20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assits, and 2 steals. The next game he will give you a horrid 6 points, 6 rebounds with a measly 2 assits. Can the real Lamar Odom make his way to the Staple Center? I'm done with my plea to LO every year so all I can say is when Lamar is playing ball and running the fast break at the 1, LA is nearly impossible to stop. Ariza was a surprise last year as he came in and played good defense and offense for the couple of games he could suit up for. He will relieve Lamar at the three and bring versatility and athleticism to the Lakers offense. Luke Walton will be a bench warmer in the 3BA by December.
Power Foward-9.0- Gasol, Odom
Pau form early in the season and the Olympics or Paula from the NBA finals? Pau will be manning the 4 spot and I don't expect anymore pussy outakes like the ones he had with freakin Leon Powe, KG, and Kendrick Perkins. In his first full year in the triangle, expect Gasol to average a double-double. With Bynum in the lineup with him, Gasol will be free from the five man position and he will be able to dominate other smaller power fowards (height wise) such as Boozer and West. Odom can play this postion as he did last year where he was a matchup problem for other defenders on a nightly basis. When LA wants a small, quick squad, expect Odom to fill in for Pau.
Centers-10.0- Andrew Bynum
I have all the faith in the world in Andrew Bynum. He says that he is 110 percent ready to go, but he looks 150 to me. The kid has gotten stronger, he has added an array of new post moves, and he has supposedly increased his vertical by 1 inch. This boy is the truth and he only played 28 minutes a game and averaged 13 and 10. Don't be surprised if Andrew competes heavily for an All-Star berth as he will get plenty of opportunities to dominate in the paint with his fellow twin tower, Pau. Andrew brings that toughness that LA was missing in the finals against the Celtics. My predictions for Drew: 16 ppg, 11 reb, 2 blks. Gasol can also play heavy minutes here if the situation calls as well, like he did last season.
Bench- Farmar, Vujacic, Walton, Vlad Rad
The bench mob lost one of its most blithe members in Turiaf, who was a fan favorite and a high energy type guy. Famar and Sasha will see the most minutes and will be looked on the have big career years. Especially Farmar. People, including myslef are wondering if he is still the point guard of the future. Vlad Rad isn't my favorite but he drops a long ball here and there so he is pretty decent.
Prediction
Another 50 plus win season and a NBA championship against the Sixers. Yes those Sixers. LO is still the key to the puzzle of success as well as Kobe continuing to be a great team leader. All in all, expect the hunger pains to end for the Lakers and their beloved fans this year.
It's been fun. See you Monday on the Warriors preview.
Play wit it.

10 comments:

RV said...

Game 6 of the conference finals. In Houston. Rockets up 3-2. 6 mins left in the game and Gasol picks up his 5th foul as Yao goes to the line for his 17th free throw looking to push the lead to 10. Bynum is already gone with 6 fouls. What do you do?

Hursty said...

@RV-Panic if your an L.A fan.
Go nuts if your from Houston.
DP-Im going to edit the picture and add one from Media Day instead (one which doesnt have a watermark all over it) with Kobe, Pau and Bynum (its a much better pic).
Im also going to edit out all the strange grammar you seem to have. Peace!

Hursty said...

17th free throw? Jeez, Yao must be on fire. Lead is definitely going to 10.

Eboy said...

This is funny and incredibly innacurate. DP, your my boy and all, but when you take on previews of your favorite squad try to be objective 'cause this shit sounds tired and lame.....and the Sixers? C'mon son, you're better than that.

Hursty said...

So E, you going to do the Miami one for us? my email is jhurst@live.com.au leme know. Same with TAD and the Pistons.

B. Long said...

What up Donkey Punch! Of course I have to agree with the 50 wins and the ring but your reviews on the postions are a little flawed. Especially considering that Phil has been running L.O. at the point this week during camp. I can't really jump on that Sixers wagon in the East yet until I see them play about 25 games. I have a feeling Khalid is gonna be extremely disappointed.

Hursty said...

Heat vs. Wolves in the Finals 2009. Bet on it.

DP said...

I like the criticism, guys because this was not good. and I don't know what you mean by strange grammer, hurst. inform me. Donkey Punch is nice. Better than double penetration, B. Hopefully the Warriors preview will be more critical because I'm going to bash the hell out of them.

Hursty said...

@DP- I went through and edited all your stuff grammar wise. There were missing words and punctuation marks where they shouldnt have been/were missing throughout the text. Also, the paragraph on Fish being a veteran and knowing the triangle made very little sense, it still doesnt in my eyes even after editing. Sorry to bash, but proof-reading is a good idea man.

Hursty said...

btw, Donkey Punch is a movie now, but it has very little to do with the actual uh, event.
I know that it was a play off DP and yeh, well, just taking the extra little step with the joke *now sounds like a dick to everyone reading*.

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