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Tag Archives: Kobe Bryant

Thats right Phil, One more year

Not to far into the off season did the Los Angeles Lakers have to wait to find out their coach Phil Jackson would be returning for another season in which he says, “It’ll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.”

Phil Jackson has 11 titles to his name, 6 with the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan days and 5 with the Lakers.

GM Mitch Kupchak said he is very happy Phil has returned, complimenting him on all his accomplishments with the Lakers and touting him as the best coach in NBA History and with Jacksons record who could not agree.

Terms of the contract aren’t finalized but it is reported Jackson will take a pay cut to remain in LA as he and Kobe hunt for their three peat next season.

-Timmy Dimas

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Nothing like a Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers Finals to really wrap up the season before the much anticipated free agency class of all time.

Lakers and Celtics will face each other tonight at the Staples Center at 9pm. Kobe Bryant THE BEST PLAYER in the league and the KING of the RING will go out tonight and play basketball the way he knows best and that’s by taking over the game and scoring at will.

The Celtics Paul Pierce I think will be the biggest factor for tonights game and the rest of the series. Ray Allen can score yes but isn’t the total package. If his three point shot isn’t working then the rest of his game dies. Kevin Garnett isn’t the explosive player he used to be. He still has the passion every night on the court but I’m not trusting him to do much for the team other then be the leader. Rajon Rondo will be another factor but I feel Pierce will be the go to guy. He can shot, drive, rebound and defend. It will be interesting to see if Doc Rivers puts him on Kobe or will Ray Allen take the defensive stand and let Pierce worry about his offensive game.

Andrew Bynum is a question mark for tonights game. After getting his knee drained Monday and then it swelling up again two days later it is unsure how many minutes he will play and that could be a factor for this Laker team as it was in 2008 when Bynum was out with knee problems and Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol couldn’t handle the toughness the Celtics show.

Tonights game I’m giving to the Lakers. Its the opening game at home and I don’t think Kobe want’s to go down 0-1 to start the series.

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40 points and a Win

So the true question is … when does The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns series actually start. What we witnessed last night, I personally hope, isn’t what we should expect for the rest of what could be a short series. Kobe Bryant on the other hand witnessed what he wanted for the rest of the series.

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and made sure people remembered he was still the best in the game. The Lakers last night seemed unable to do anything wrong. Shooting a remarkable 58% from the field for the game. Pau Gasol scoring 21 points and Lamar Odom with 19 off the bench, the Lakers were looking like the champs from last year and they showed no sings of slowing down.

Phoenix on the other hand. Well they did score 107 points right? That still wasn’t enough. The Suns, a team who on average this post season allowed 95 points or less to their opponents gave up 62 points in the first half and 128 for the game. I don’t think Phoenix got the fact that they aren’t playing The Portland Trail Blazers or The San Antonio Spurs. They aren’t playing Brandon Roy, Manu Ginobili but playing Kobe Bryant. Grant Hill met the floor a bunch of times including in the final seconds when Kobe crossed him up and Hill slipped. The Suns need to stop Kobe for they stop anyone else. Kobe runs the Lakers win. Kobe nonexistent, the Suns have a better chance.

I don’t think this series is over though. I think the Suns will regroup and next game will be a lot closer at the Staples Center. The Suns can score at will and when they are on their is no stopping them. Hey they shot 49% from the field. They just need to guard a lot better and keep LA on their feet.

Game two is scheduled for Wednesday May 19th. Lakers hold a 1-0 series lead as the Suns look to steal a game away. Maybe they should call up the Celtics for a little bit of advice on how to do that.

-Tim Dimas

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It’s that time of the year. Two teams who worked all season to get to this point and are four games away from their ultimate goal and eight games from achieving their ultimate goal, the NBA Championship. In the Western Conference Finals we have the Phoenix Suns, the run and gun team of the league and the Los Angeles Lakers, the team everyone wants to hate because they win every year but root for them because they want to say they rooted for the champs. Lets back-track for a moment and explain how these two teams got to where they are.

The Phoenix Suns finished with 54 wins and a #3 seed in the Western Conference. In the first round they took on the Brandon Roy-less Portland Trail Blazers winning the series 4-2. Yes, I said the Roy-less Trail Blazers and, yes, he did play but it wasn’t the Brandon Roy who could take over the game. Eight days removed from knee surgery, it was a surprise he even went. Even so, the Suns won the series and would go and face the monkey that has been on their back since the 2004 playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs. The Suns would shock probably the whole basketball world by defeating the Spurs in sweep fashion. Hey, even I had to check my computer three days later to make sure there wasn’t a virus going on. Never the less, they now face the Lakers.

For the Lakers, they finished the season with 57 wins and the #1 seed in the Western Conference; no surprise there. They would go and play the surprising team of the year, the Oklahoma City Thunder, in the first round. While most experts predicted an easy series, Kevin Durant and company gave the Lakers all they could handle, running the series to six games, and almost seven, had Pau Gasol not hit the game winning lay-in. The Lakers would win the series 4-2 and face the Playoff Injured Utah Jazz. The Jazz played without Andre Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur, both out with injuries. The Lakers would match the Suns and sweep the Jazz.

Now on to their match up. Here are some keys for both teams if they want to win this series.

Suns

Don’t try to match the Lakers – The Lakers are the far more superior team, talent-wsie. With Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher and of course Kobe Bryant, The Lakers are the favorites to win this series. Not so fast though. If the Suns can keep to their strengths and run the floor how they like to, this could be a long series for LA.

Steve Nash from the beginning – Nash isn’t young anymore but that hasn’t slowed him down. He has been on a complete tear this post season in both series against Portland and San Antonio, why stop now? Nash needs to play his game, get to the lanes like he always does and either get his two points or feed it easily to one of the four players on the court.

Don’t get slowed down – The Suns aren’t known for letting the shot clock run down. They run a drill in practice in which they have to score in 7 seconds or less. The Suns need to run and use their athleticism to over-match the Lakers, who do have some athleticism, but aren’t known for their transition defense–big plus for Phoenix.

Lakers

Get big – The Suns aren’t a huge team. Aside from Amar’e Stoudemire, Phoenix is a relatively small team. With the twin towers of Bynum and Gasol, the Lakers need to throw the ball down low and use their big men in the paint.

Kobe Bean Bryant –At the end of the day, the Lakers win when Kobe is on his A game or even on is B+ game. Kobe had some difficulties in the first series against the Thunder, but against the Jazz he was on a tear so for LA’s sake, they better hope Kobe goes Black Mamba all series long.

Transition Defense & Pace of the Game – I know that’s two things in one, but those are the two main components of stopping the Phoenix Suns. Steve Nash & Co. do not want to play a half-court game. They aren’t as effective that way as when they run loose. So, if the Lakers can slow them down, then the Suns have a lot to worry about and the Lakers will be smooth sailing.

Key Match Up – Kobe Bryant vs Grant Hill.

Grant Hill has to be ready to bump knees with Kobe, literally. I know fans out there will say Hill doesn’t have knees anymore but he has to go rent a pair if the Suns will have a chance in upsetting the best player in the league and his team. We have seen what happens when Kobe gets disrupted in a game. Grant needs to be a hill and slow Kobe down and keep the ball out of his hands. This will be the match-up that will be a huge factor in the series.

Prediction – As much as I would love an underdog series, I just don’t see the Lakers losing. Sorry Suns fans, but the ageless wonder Grant Hill and the two time MVP Steve Nash will not be advancing out of this round to go to the Finals. Look for the Lakers to take this in 6 games, but these will be some of the toughest 6 games LA has played in a while.

-Tim Dimas

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