Friday, June 5, 2009

One down, three to go

The 2009 USA Olympic team was dubbed The Redeem Team but that same moniker could just as easily be used to describe the Los Angeles Lakers squad of this season.
Despite the inconsistencies, lack of focus and rollercoaster ups and downs we’ve witnessed from these Lakers this season, heir ultimate goal of redemption in losing last years Finals to the rival Celtics began tonight with an emphatic 25 point victory over the still winless in the NBA Finals Orlando Magic. Orlando’s only other appearance was when the original NBA Superman Shaquille O’Neal was patrolling the paint in Disney World along with the original puppet, Lil Penny Hardaway, Nick Anderson, Dennis Scott and the rest of the bunch that got swept by Hakeem Olajuwon‘s Houston Rockets. Dwight Howard is the modern day Shaq in that he’s the most dominant big man currently out there, but he’s not on Shaq’s Most Dominant level just yet. He struggled matching his uniform #12 in points in his first Finals game proves that. This series is far from over, but I’m confident the Lakers are on a mission and will not be denied.

The pre-game pep talk by the enthusiastic, Tommy Lasordaesque Magic coach Stan Van Gundy focused on the fact that the media was again making the game about the bigger superstar, Kobe Bryant. The same thing was the case in Orlando’s previous match-up against the LeBron’s.
Prince James may have left the court without the proper congratulations to the Magic team that ended the ring dream so abruptly, but he left it all on the floor and ultimately, that’s what he’s paid for. As so eloquently stated by Charles Barkley over a decade ago, athletes are not role models. That fact is on display nightly with guys like Barriod Bonds, Roger Clemens, T.O., Michael Vick and Pac-Man Jones getting so much attention. Then again, Paris Hilton, Spencer and Heidi and Brittany Spears are what the public seems to want to pay attention to rather than the socialization of this great nation, but that’s for another blog. My point is, Van Gundy was right, this series IS about Kobe Bryant. His indomitable will to win and dedication to the goal of winning will be the difference between the two teams.

Andrew Bynum came out swinging, scoring the Lakers first four points and si of the first ten accepting the challenge of stopping the man-child Howard. For all the criticism young Drew has endured by many, at times even myself, is a testament to his potential. At the ripe age of 21, he is expected to be the stopper of Superman redux and looks to be capable of the task at hand. Some have called him over-rated, soft, selfish, timid, useless and much worse. Most don’t realize this kid is only in his sixth year of organized basketball…but in the era of microwaves, 3g speed internet and instant gratification, some things take time to develop…give it some time and you may find this protégé of the greatest center of all time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, hopefully will get angry at some point and transform into a monster.

Until that time comes, the deadly venom, the head of the snake, the most driven athlete I’ve witnessed since MJ will continue to carry the young Lakers to the mountaintop. It surely doesn’t hurt that Phil Jackson, veteran Derek Fisher, and a team with a monstrous chip on its shoulder is who he goes into battle with. It was nice to see Orlando guard Jameer Nelson get out there after spending the better part of the season on the injured list with a bum shoulder, welcome back kid. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, KG in Boston is a prime example. Had he not gone down with a knee problem I whole-heartedly think the Celtics would have been the East’s representative in these games. I would have preferred that scenario for payback reasons, but when the rings are handed out it doesn’t say who they beat to get em….just World Champions.

The road to redemption continues:

One down, three to go.


  1. Rob' aka Bleed'

    Well the Lakers certainly took care of business last night. And then some ! The Magic were pitiful and they looked completely like a rudderless ship adrift at sea.

    All of their mainline players looked abysmal. As there's no other way to describe their performances.


  2. Rob'

    You ought to love the piece below . As in the case of those previously stated just click on the text to view . This particular piece I know'll definitely draw your ire.

    Congress Stay Out Of The Business Of The NBA ....

    As and when you're ready I'll look forward to reading your comments.

    tophatal ..............

  3. Al,

    The Magic may have been intimidated by the bright lights of L.A. and the Finals, I expect they were a bit shell shocked but should bounce back and make a series of we know,the Lakers have a tendency to let teams back into it. The Lakers all had sub-par games other than Kobe, so both teams have lots of room for improvement.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see a sweep, but then again, I wouldn't be surprised to see it go 7 games...

    The only way I'd be surprised is if the Lakers lost the series.

  4. Rob aka Bleed'
    The Magic ought to know enough about the bright lights and the big city to begin with. It's not as if O-Town the city not the boy band is some sort of rural outpost. What happened to them were as if they'd been a victim of a mugging.
    They seemingly got caught short and can't seem to remember what if anything happened at all to them during the incident.

    If they continue to play in that vain then this series'll be over before we know it.

    Thanks for chiming in by the way with the comments on the pieces written. It was greatly appreciated.


  5. Rob aka Elk
    Dropped this bad boy for your perusal as and when you're ready.

    Who's Now Getting More Bang For Their Buck ? Kobe , LeBron ? Or Quite Possibly Nike .... ?

    Game two ought to be truly pivotal for the Magic. Lose and they may well have placed themselves in an irretrievable situation. Win and they have the momentum back with them . And then have placed themselves back into the series. Now we'll see how they stack up when facing real adversity.

    tophatal .................