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Preview: Comments on Hardwood Paroxysm: Lakers-Spurs Game 1 Thoughts

Comments on Hardwood Paroxysm: Lakers-Spurs Game 1 Thoughts





Updated: 2012-12-28T05:37:26.493-06:00

 



You don't publish all the comments you receive?Ver...

2008-05-23T18:28:00.000-05:00

You don't publish all the comments you receive?

Very interesting. :-)



I agree, put the cam on Turiaf!

2008-05-23T17:26:00.000-05:00

I agree, put the cam on Turiaf!



You guys have it all wrong. The TNT cam should be ...

2008-05-23T14:42:00.000-05:00

You guys have it all wrong. The TNT cam should be on Ronny Turiaf ... priceless.



As a Laker fan but not always the biggest Kobe fan...

2008-05-22T15:20:00.000-05:00

As a Laker fan but not always the biggest Kobe fan, I've never not had respect for #24 (the artist formerly numbered #8). It's funny that people say that he got the MVP coz he's learned to be trust his teammates. If you look at his stats, for the last 7 or 8 years, he's averaged well over 4 or near 5 assists per game. He hadn't won the MVP coz the Lakers didn't have the support around him. It's one thing to pass to Brian Grant (late career) and Smush Parker (any day of the week), it's another to have Lamar Odom, Gasol, and Fish. The Lakers have not been an outstanding team for four years and the MVP rarely goes to a great player on a mediocre team (Andre Dawson an exception). Whether you like or don't like Kobe (not speaking specifically to Hardwood Paroxysm) one should respect him. Just watch the guy. It's like watching Jordan. You really wonder if he is human sometimes, if blood runs through his veins, like you say, his scoring is so totally predictable at times.

As you said, I think you have to be a brave (or stupid, or maybe Sir Charles) to bet that at least one of Lamar and Manu won't come back big. I think if Lamar is more aggressive, the Spurs could be blown out. That's the only way I could possibly see that happening. Lamar really is the X factor. I agree with you about the TNT cams. That was a great decision by TNT. I hope they will continue to do it....and as you say.....how about watching a guy like Robert Horry or a smart, athletic player like Brandon Roy....or put it on Eddy Curry and see that he never comes back to play D. Or Iverson and gain even more respect for how hard that man works. Anyway....great post!



HP, that was one of the best takes I've ever read ...

2008-05-22T10:49:00.000-05:00

HP, that was one of the best takes I've ever read on Kobe Bryant, and not because I'm in the camp that thinks "he's always been this good" but rather because I agree with you that this is something different. I think Kobe has always had this potential in him, and has had the skillset for a number of years, but he's never understood the game anywhere near as well as he is showing right now. One of the biggest indications that Kobe not only is understanding things better, but that he has the Lakers understanding things better is the low amount of 3-pt attempts. The last time the Lakers lost at home, to Memphis on March 28th, they attempted an insane 45 3-pt shots, with Kobe taking 17 himself. Last night the Lakers showed a lot of discipline and poise, even after being down 20, and only finished with 10 3-pt attempts for the game, with Kobe only taking 3.

Going into this series I assumed Parker was just going to destroy the Lakers because Fisher is way too slow to guard him, and I'd basically forgotten about Jordan Farmar after what he'd done in the first two rounds, but clearly Farmar is a pretty good foil for Parker. They're actually fairly similar players, being that they're the same height and weight, and are both deceptively athletic. Parker, of course, is infinitely more skilled and controlled, but Farmar may stand a decent chance of sticking him a bit in this series, as opposed to being the roadkill he was for Deron Williams in the last round. It makes sense that Williams would abuse Farmar though, since his strength is in his ability to out muscle and bully smaller PGs, while Parker just wants to blow past his defender. Farmar should get a lot more minutes in this series than he did in Round 2.

The broadcasters were saying last night that for some reason Manu just does not play well against the Lakers, but I don't know how much stock you can put in that. I can't figure out why that would be. IMO Manu should absolutely eat the Lakers alive unless they put Kobe on him in full lock down defensive mode (which they won't so they don't totally wear Kobe out). Sasha Vujacic played Manu surprisingly well I thought though, almost out-Manuing Manu with his tenacity and general annoyance.

I gotta give Pop a ton of credit: I don't think Odom's bad game was an accident. I think Pop knew that was a bad matchup for them and somehow figured out a way to totally destroy Lamar Odom. I think Manu will bounce back for Game 2, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Spurs really had something going on out there to totally disrupt Odom that they'll continue to employ throughout the series.



Yea....it was pretty funny with Manu skipped strai...

2008-05-22T07:32:00.000-05:00

Yea....it was pretty funny with Manu skipped straight to the bench while Pops stared him down.



Actually, I agree with about everything you said. ...

2008-05-22T03:32:00.000-05:00

Actually, I agree with about everything you said. And props to you for giving credit where due.Speaking of which, this little aside really resounded with me:Maybe it was the Spurs. Maybe I've just become a smarter fan of the game since starting to write and cover it so much. Or maybe Kobe Bryant has really reached that level where he's one of the greatest of all time.The "smarter fan" comment really makes sense to me. I, too, only started to really, seriously write about and cover basketball recently. Before that, it was mostly in the form of inexcusably long emails to my friends (one of which was a Suns fan).But when I began writing seriously, not for my friends alone but for others to read... well, it's really changed my perspective. Perhaps it's just a deeper appreciation for the game as a whole, as a result of diving deeper into my subject matter. Perhaps it's because I run a site that could easily be dismissed as "just another raving fan-boy with a blog," which motivates me to approach it with as much fairness as possible. (I think there's something to that — the internet forum flame wars between Kobe fans and haters, each side as irrational and offensive as the other, is my accountability.) Perhaps it's finding (mostly) rational, reasonable fans/writers like yourself who have my respect while at the same time taking the opposite side of the argument, making me more aware of another perspective.Whatever it is, things have changed since I started writing. It's funny, because I always assumed that such a deep appreciation for the game, a willingness to go beyond one's own personal interests, and a desire to pursue objectivity were more part of the official job description, which many fail to live up to. But in my case, I find that those things come not as a prerequisite for the job, but as a result of it.And I don't think, in your case, that it was just the Spurs. I think it's you, and it's Kobe.Regarding Kobe: I both agree and disagree with you. Do I think he has always been this good? Let's get this out of the way now: Absolutely not. No way, no how. To suggest as much would, believe it or not, be an insult to Kobe. It would be to imply that he hasn't improved. And that's just ridiculous. Such an assumption would mean denying human nature itself — especially when you take into account Kobe's insane, excessive, obsessive work ethic. No, he's definitely better.What I disagree with is the idea, peddled by many, that these are skills that he has only now discovered, or developed. His passing game, his facilitating, his ability to get his teammates involved, his leadership... how good a teammate he is. These are suddenly things that, being completely missing from his game before, are now present? That's about as ridiculous as anything I've heard.Was Kobe as good a passer 2 and 3 years ago as he is now? Not likely. But was he a poor one? Re-visit the Shaq-Kobe teams, and you tell me. Kobe was the primary facilitator and distributor on those teams, and he was the best on that team at getting the ball to Shaq.Was Kobe as good a teammate, even in recent years, as he is now? Most certainly not. But that's a far cry from saying he was the worst teammate in the world, or that he was the only one on those Shaq teams that was a poor teammate.Was he as good a leader in the past as he is now? No. He's made great strides in that area. But this is only his 4th year as the team leader (no way a 25-year old kid is going to be seen as a leader by the likes of Shaq, Payton, and Malone).Is he letting the game come to him more? Absolutely. But keep in mind that it was not really his decision to become the "shoot first, shoot last, and shoot in between" Kobe — the one that is now commonly referred to as "the Old Kobe." That was by design, and directive straight from Phil Jackson and Tex Winter. That's not to say he hasn't improved in that area — he certainly has — but t[...]



Was over (sporadically) at the AOL Fanhouse live-b...

2008-05-22T02:25:00.000-05:00

Was over (sporadically) at the AOL Fanhouse live-blog complaining about not being able to see the game... then they pointed me to the TNT thingy... holy crap!
PHENOMENAL.
You guys think it's cool?
Imagine what it does for someone over in Japan who cannot even get cable to show the games?
You have no idea.
Sheesh...
Is it wrong to make a small shrine in my apartment to Ted Turner?



You know what one of the best parts of that TNT th...

2008-05-22T02:02:00.000-05:00

You know what one of the best parts of that TNT thing was? The in-arena mic with no television announcers. I wish I could watch every game like that.