LA Lakers

Around the Rim: Kobe takes over, downs the champs

1. L.A. K.O.’s S.A.
San Antonio didn’t have Tim Duncan or Tony Parker in the lineup on Thursday and Kobe Bryant didn’t care. Bean racked up 30 points and seven rebounds in the Lakers 102-97 win over the injury ravaged Spurs. Bruce Bowen, yes the offensively challenged Bruce Bowen, finished with a team-high 22 for the Spurs after scoring a season-high 23 against L.A. in a victory last month. The Lakers have now won four consecutive games, giving them a whole new outlook on the Pacific Division standings as they sit just three games behind the first-place Phoenix Suns. Los Angeles must quickly turn around for a track meet against the Warriors tonight, a team they defeated by 10 points last Sunday. Golden State has slipped in the standings a bit after putting together a nice run following their 0-6 start and should be desperate for a win over their division rivals. Being victorious would give the Lakers only a half game lead for second place in the Pacific.

2. Three wasn’t to be

Just when it was starting to look like Miami was on the rebound, the Gilbert Arenasless Wizards come to South Beach and win by 13, 104-91, snapping the Heat’s only win streak of the year at two games. DeShawn Stevenson led the way for Washington, scoring 26 points while Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood all finished with double-doubles in points and rebounds. The Heat’s starters were stone cold once again as the bench scored over half (46) of the teams points. Shaquille O’Neal’s begging for the ball was completely ineffective as the Diesel put up just six shots in the game for seven points to go with six boards. After the game, Pat Riley sounded like a broken record, publicly blasting his guys for their weak efforts.

There’s no excuses,” Riley said. “There are none. I have none. The players should have none. … Tonight, we didn’t hardly even try

3. Iguodala-dala bill, ya’ll!
Since Gilbert Arenas isn’t on the court at the moment, he’s decided to put on his GM hat and started blabbering about player’s contracts and who’s worth what on his blog. Now, Arenas has a lot to say on the matter, a lot; however, what really jumped out at us was Agent 0’s opinion concerning Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala.

I know after A.I. left, you were supposed to be that No. 1 guy, but, the way he plays the game, he doesn’t have that. He’s not that type of player. He’s a second guy. An assistant coach told me a great story about him. When he was in Arizona, he said he was like 9-for-11 from the field and he apologized to the team for shooting 11 shots. From that day on, I just called him Scottie Pippen. He’s a Scottie Pippen type of player. A great, overall player. He’s your glue player. You need a superstar and then you need him. So $12 million is good for you. Nothing more and nothing less. Be happy with the $12 million.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Kobe Bryant vs. San Antonio 38 min, 30 pts (FG: 10-24, 3FG: 1-4, FT: 9-10), 7 reb, 3 ast, 4 stl

Friday’s Game to Watch: New Orleans (14-8) @ Dallas (14-9)
New Orleans is one of the biggest surprises in the West, rushing out to a 14-8 record behind the play of Chris Paul who is averaging 21.5 points, 10.0 assists, 2.8 steals and 4.0 rebounds per game. As of now, only half a game separates these two in the Southwest Division with the NOLA sitting in second place followed the Mavs in third. Big D has gone flat after winning nine of their first 11 games, losing seven games in the last three weeks, including a 112-108 overtime contest with `Nawlins. CP3 was just shy of a triple-double with 33 points, 12 assists and nine boards. While Dallas still has one of the better records in the league, a big time win over their sudden division rival would be huge for the Mavericks’ collective psyche. Of course, the same thing can be said for the Hornets who appear to be legit for the first time since Zo and Grandmama were patrolling the paint.

Buzzer Beater: By now we’re sure that you’ve seen the new NBA self promotion commercials. You know, `NBA: Where amazing happens‘. Well, in case you were getting bored of the original commercials, here’s the league’s latest go-round with the concept.

Of course, the NBA is also `Where some really bad dancing happens‘.

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