Lots of work to do and some grappling memories
Not bad, eh?
Knee drained? Check.
Huge game? Check.
Dominant performance? Check.
Yeah, the dude’s pretty good.
Now, because of other, more pressing matters, I kind of zipped through game on a replay rather than watching it intently talking with some of you but what struck me was how easy it was for Bryant to drop 40 on the Suns, despite not making a shot for almost the entire first quarter.
Yes, he is a matchup nightmare and the best player in the game today but the Suns need to put up some more resistance to his drives if they are going to have any chance at making me look smart.
(And I’m sure that’s in the back of their minds).
You can pretty much forget about the fact Channing Frye disappeared or that the Lakers operated pretty much unmolested in the paint because if they can’t make Bryant work harder to get his numbers, they have no chance whatsoever.
A team can live with a guy getting 40 if it takes him 35 shots to do it; to let Bryant get 40 on 23 shots is ridiculous.
The Suns have shown over the course of the season that they are at least a passable defensive team, the amount of regression they showed in that aspect of the game on Monday night had better be an aberration.
If not? Don’t want to think about how fast this thing may be over.
Now, we all know that a seven-game series is never won in the first game and all the Lakers really did Monday was what they were supposed to do, win the opening game on their home court.
So I offer this as caution:
Neither that series, nor the one in the East, is over by any stretch of the imagination. As has been pointed out repeatedly here, there’s very little “momentum” from game-to-game in the post-season because coaches and staffs go off and make adjustments after each night, giving the next game an entirely different dynamic.
So while it was disheartening for Suns fans on Monday, just as it was disheartening for Magic fans on Sunday, the telling sign will be how both losers react before Game 2. And I figure they’ll react pretty well and both of these series will have some juice before they’re done.
Oh, I’m not going to mention that Kobe had his knee drained and went off for 40 in his first game back as compared to another guy who may or may not have had, say, an issue with another joint and came up small.
I’m not going to. Honest.
I’ve only had the, um, honour of covering one NBA draft lottery; it was in Secaucus, N.Y. (which his American for “tiny strip malls off interstate”) and the year LeBron was the big prize.
You’re a TV studio audience, the “drama” lasts about eight minutes and then you’d repair to a tent they had set up outside the studio to talk to whoever you had to talk to and then go write.
The enduring image?
Sitting with Glen Grunwald at a table in the tent, sipping a beer after the lottery had all been broken down and the story had been filed and thinking he looked more glum than I maybe had ever seen him.
I wonder if he knew then that the powers-that-be above him had decided KO had the inside track on the vacant coaching job?
So a guy goes to the wrasslin’ with Super Son and one thing comes to him – well, many things, actually but we’ll get to others later:
The line between Baby Faces and Heels is blurred.
You don’t know who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy anymore.
This Cena fellow, who looks like a good guy, seems to handle himself pretty well and is the champ, gets a mixture of boos and cheers and I can’t quite figure out why.
Neither can a lot of the fans, apparently, because after he beats up the one guy, he gets mugged by some interloper, is smacked around, challenged to some impromptu match and when he wins that, it’s all cheers.
Maybe it’s just me.
Back to the lottery:
We all know the Raptors have a snowball’s chance of winning (it’s 0.6 per cent, you ninny Smith) but there was a time …
Yes, we know they came from way back to win in 2006 when they got Bargnani with the fifth-best chance, right? (No, we’re not debating the relative merits of that pick).
Well, hope you all remember that in 1996, coming off a rather below-average inaugural season, the Raptors actually won the lottery but were precluded from having the No. 1 selection thanks to the awful expansion agreement they were subjected to.
Anyway, they end second and choose Marcus Camby and, just so you know, Isiah Thomas has told me often he would have taken Camby at No. 1, despite the presence of Allen Iverson, because the Raptors had that Stoudamire guy to build around.
Things I didn’t see at the grappling:
No one getting the other guy to submit using the Camel Clutch.
Lord Athol Layton.
Zany “managers” ala Miss Elizabeth or Jimmy Hart (although seeing the original Valet Virgil was kind of cool).
Mean Gene Okerlund.
A Snake. A Hulk.
And I’m sure there’ll be more as the minutes pass and I try to get this done.
Over and under on HWSNBN’s points tonight: 22.
A scheduling note: With Monday Night Raw out of the way, we’re back to normal here for the next couple of nights.
I’ll be around right around 8 to go through the results of the lottery for a little while and then it’s Game 2 of Orlando-Boston, which I think is a pretty big “must-win” outing for the Magic.
Wednesday night? Sure, Lakers-Suns at 9 and then a couple of nights off for rest and relaxation, if you don’t mind.
In keeping with our theme:
Dontcha dare miss it!
You cannot get away from it. Ever. Anywhere.
Some dude named Santino or somesuch is in the ring to open the night’s festivities Monday and he’s prattling on to some Russian dude (who was a modern-day incarnation of Nikolai Volkoff, I figure) about something or other when he says something along the lines of:
“You know, like when Chris Bosh leaves!”
And another expert chimes in.