Out for a month+
1. Lame-ar Odom
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently leading the Pacific Division by ½ game. Now that Lamar Odom is expected to miss at least a month of action, the Lakers can expect to fall a bit in the standings. Phoenix is finally getting going after a slow start and the Clippers are playing unusually bad compared to recent years. Both will try to take advantage of the Lakers misfortunes, but Kobe Bryant will have something to say about that. For some reason, I dont think Kobe will have a problem hoisting up an extra eight to ten shots per game. But Odom was the teams leading rebounder and assist man, thats a role that will probably not be taken over by Bryant. The Lakers will have a difficult time continuing their winning ways without the teams second best players as they go on the road for 15 of their next 25 games.
2. Artests Advice
Allen Iverson got some support from someone else who knows what its like to demand a trade and then have to wait for the process to unfold, Sacramento King Ron Artest. The NBAs bad boy said that he can sympathize will Iverson during this ordeal, but he also said that A.I. should get the trade over with as soon as possible and get back onto the court. Artest sat at home for nearly a month before Indiana shipped him to Sacramento. But if Artest is hoping that Iverson will join him with the Kings, he might want to think twice. Team owners, Joe and Gavin Maloof, both said that the team was not interested in a trade for Iverson. But, then again, the two high-rollers also said Artest wouldnt be coming to Sacramento either. The next day, Artest was posing for pictures in his new Kings jersey.
3. Golden Nuggets
Where does Golden State keep getting these guys? First it was Monta Ellis. Then it was Andris Biedrins. Now, its some guy named Matt Barnes. Not to say that these guys arent good to begin with but, Barnes has averaged 4.3 points and three rebounds per game over his past three seasons in the league. Last night, however, Barnes exploded against Sacramento for 32 points and 11 rebounds. Baron Davis is doing a great job of distributing the ball to these relative unheard-ofs, but the credit has to be given to coach Don Nelson. Nellie has always been superior at getting the most out of his talent. This year in Golden State has proven no different. Unfortunately, you can squeeze every drop of game out of this roster and theyre still going to miss the playoffs.
Tuesdays Player of the Day: Matt Barnes vs. Sacramento 44 min, 32 pts (FG: 13-22, 3FG: 6-9), 11 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk
Wednesdays Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (15-6) @ Dallas (14-7) Dallas has been struggling of late after running off a 12 game winning streak. They are 2-3 since then but can find comfort in the fact that they are 8-3 at home. Los Angeles has been mediocre on the road this season where they are 3-3. This will be the first game for the Lakers without Lamar Odom and you can expect to see a show from Kobe Bryant in his absence. Dont forget that last year Kobe scored 62 against Dallas, and he didnt even play in the fourth quarter.
Buzzer Beater: Scott Padgett sure does know how to bum out a home crowd of 18,392. Last night with 1:16 left in the game, Padgett went to the line with two shots and his Rockets trailing the Lakers, 94-92. Padgett proceeded to brick both attempts which lead to an eventual 102-94 loss for Houston. If he plans to ever average more than 12 minutes per game, he has to produce when given the opportunity to do so. However, after that showing, he had better get comfortable on the bench. Enjoy riding the pine, Padgett.