Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NBA 2011 Opening Night Notes

Hand gesture ... TECHNICAL!!!
The Heat lost and the Lakers won. Get used to hearing that once the playoffs roll around.

With all eyes on LeBron for his Miami Heat debut, he proved the old adage that you can take the King out of Cleveland, but you can't take the underachievement out of his teammates. I've heard that since I was a kid and never quite understood it until last night. James attempted to carry the team with his shooting touch in the second half and wound up with 31 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 8 turnovers in a loss to the defending Eastern Conference champs. Those were the kind of stat lines that Kobe initially got killed for in his early post-Shaq seasons. But oh well, it was just one game against a tough defense and Miami's got 81 more games to figure out how to creatively come up short before the postseason begins. Having the rest of his team shoot a collective 38% from the field? That's just unoriginal. Props to Chris Bosh for being scared to death by his twin Predator KG (8 points on 3-11 shooting) and Dwyane Wade for having a rusty hamstring (4-16 shooting and 6 turnovers). With James Jones slated to get all of Mike Miller's shots, it's going to be a long road to recovery hinging on that thumb.

Two Celtics notes: Shaq gained 100 pounds since his Cavalier postseason debut and Paul Pierce pulled off a day one version of his oh-my-God-I'm-injured-and-embarrassed-in-a-heap-on-the-ground-so-I-better-be-dragged-back-to-the-locker-room-so-I-can-make-my-triumphant-reentrance-two-minutes-later-with-no-ill-effects-of-my-potential-career-ending-injury shtick. It's pretty much what he's known for now.

Now onto the Lakers-Rockets! Yao is gonna be good, even in his limited minutes. He managed to foul out in his short stay, but he did all of the incredibly Ming-y things last night that made him such a pivotal force before his foot collapsed. Kevin Martin will effortlessly thrive as mass point producer as long as he has Yao and Brad Miller at the high post looking for him on cuts. He's always been a great scorer, but now he'll prolly finally be efficient. Aaron Brooks resumed his role as a Laker killer with 24 points and 9 assists, so that was refreshingly painful.

But the Lakers found a way to prevail. Shannon Brown pulled off his best Kobe impression in the fourth and notched 4 threes to finish with 16 late points. Thankfully, Kobe also pulled off his best Kobe impersonation throughout the first three quarters and managed 27 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, and only 1 turnover. I was gonna write a column about how stupid it was for everyone and their mom acting like KB's crappy preseason shooting was an actual issue that proved his decline with age, but Kobe replied last night with his game and a win so I wouldn't have to. They're the two-time defending world champions, three-time defending western conference champions, and now they've upgraded their roster. Steve Blake surprisingly took over for Derek Fisher in crunch time and knocked in the dagger to add to the last of his three triples on the night. Matt Barnes worked his butt off and forced some action while he was in there, pulling down 5 boards and finishing with a +12 plus/minus score in his 16 minutes of playing time. Theo Ratliff notched two blocks in his limited time and will continue to do that every night in relieving Pau until Bynum makes his way back. The Lakers have their eyes past the Heat already. Get ready for the three-peat.

Oh, and Gasol had 29 points and 11 rebounds. That's pretty good too. And nobody cares about the Suns-Blazers.

... and Free Enes.


  1. "he proved the old adage that you can take the King out of Cleveland, but you can't take the underachievement out of his teammates."

    You can't just go around making up adages. Who uses the word adage anyway? Being a journalist doesn't mean you get to use whatever words you want.

    In other news, Miami sucks.

  2. hahaha yes, the Miami 30-point blow outs are all a fluke. LET ME OVERREACT TO THE FIRST NIGHT!!! the day after that 1st loss, bill simmons frickin wrote a 5,000,000-word column about every reason why the wade-lebron combo couldn't possibly work in retrospect ... now he's gonna start an endless cycle of retrospective retrospects.


so what did ya think about whatever the heck i wrote?