Of Lamar, bad singing and Bryan's time to chat
Oh yeah, we’re headed to on Game 7 for sure, don’t you think?
No way the Lakers play that well two games in a row, is there?
Could be shaping up to be a nice weekend because I fully expect a Game 6 in Orlando on Saturday and now a Game 7 in L.A. on Sunday.
What I don’t expect is many to care but we’re going to be dark here in this little corner tonight, big baseball game goes until about 8:30 and I presume a coaches meeting will be required after.
So, no in-game blog but I’ll be back for Denver-LA tomorrow night.
And away we go:
About last night
|MARK J. TERRILL/AP|
|Lamar Odom: X Factor.|
Who is that guy?
I really wish I had a handle on Lamar Odom but the more you watch him play, the more of an enigma he becomes.
In a lot of respects, he was the best player on the court last night, rebounding, scoring, blocking shots, playing defence.
In a lot of respects, he’s been the most disappointing player over the course of the series, invisible for long stretches, unable to make his mark on close games when it counts, passive at both ends of the floor.
Phil Jackson, in one of his more lucid comments, suggests Odom is the X Factor in every game and he’s probably right about that.
The thing with guys like Odom is you want them on your team for precisely the reasons he showed last night. He’s a 6-10 ball-handler with shooting range and an inside game and those don’t come around too often.
The fact Odom’s an unrestricted free agent this summer also adds to the equation. He doesn’t start but he can dominate, I don’t think anyone would suggest he’s a maximum-value player you can build a team around but every good team with realistic championship aspirations would want a guy like him.
If, as many think, a guy like Shawn Marion might get $7 million or $8 million from his current team, how could someone not pay Odom $10 million or even a little bit more?
But if you do, what do you get? Game 5 Odom? Or Games 1-4 Odom?
Tough, tough call.
Oh, this makes sense.
Speaking of Odom, maybe Bill Plaschke has an explanation in this column.
What’s it all mean?
Does the winner of Game 5 automatically win the series, especially if it’s the team with homecourt advantage?
I’m sure the percentages are overwhelmingly in favour of the Lakers (I think I heard last night it’s like 86 per cent that the Game 5 winner eventually takes a series) and I’d agree wholeheartedly if we were talking about any team other than mercurial Los Angeles.
Remember Houston? Same situation and they went on the road and dropped a stinkbomb of a game and the Rockets were far worse off than the Nuggets are.
I see a seventh game Sunday in this one, as much because of Los Angeles than Denver.
What’s up in Denver?
Speaking of the Nuggets, they had to come away kicking themselves for the way things unfolded in L.A. in Game 5.
They were tied going into the fourth quarter, were getting almost any shot they wanted and had pretty much negated Kobe Bryant, who was strangely passive for long stretches.
So what’d they do?
Stop scoring, stop defending and lost.
And this despite a return to form of Carmelo Anthony, whose 31 points showed he was pretty much over the stomach flu and ankle woes that robbed him of anything in Game 4.
This time it was the bigs who let them down, Nene, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen, who were out-scored 54-36 in the paint and simply unable to stop Odom, Gasol and even Andrew Bynum at times.
Stop the presses
Losing team whines about calls – check out this story – and isn’t that doing exactly the same thing that they are upset at Phil Jackson for doing: Planting seeds.
Ban him. Whoever he is
Okay, you know me and anthems so this is a bit of a soapbox issues so if you want to scroll down, be my guest.
I read that some buffoon named Tyrese Gibson bastardized the U.S. anthem before Game 5 in a manner that is as much disgraceful as it is disrespectful.
As Dave Krieger of the Denver Post points out in his column, it’s one thing for baseball fans in Baltimore to accentuate the Oh in the Oh, say, can you see? and one thing for Houston fans to bellow “Rockets” at the appropriate time.
But to change the words to “our Lakers were still there” is shameful.
End o’ rant.
Does this pass for news? Was having a conversation with someone in the Raptors organization, who shall go nameless, yesterday and asked when the much-anticipated hiring of Marc Iavaroni and the rest of the staff might be completed.
“It’s close” was the reply.
Hardly a surprise but I bet some of you are interested.
More Raptor stuff, without it being very big
The most significant stuff that happens at the Chicago pre-draft camp this week won’t happen anywhere near a court: The big goings-on will be in hotel meeting rooms.
Not only is Bryan going to meet with a dozen or so players – meetings that will likely include sports psychologist Dana Sinclair just so she can get a feel the minds of these kids – but he’s also going to run into Henry Thomas, the agent for, among others, Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker.
There will be nothing big come out of it, you have to trust me on that, but the more face time the better, I guess.