Just back from a great weekend in San Francisco, where I filled in on Thursday and Friday for XTRA Sports 860, the new all-sports station in the Bay Area. It was great to be back on the air again, but it also made me realize how much I miss what I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid; being on the radio….
Thanks to everyone involved with the station and hopefully I’ll be popping up somewhere soon….
Earlier in the season, when Mike Singletary cost the 49ers a road win against the Vikings because of some ultra-conservative play-calling in the final seconds, I predicted that would be the game which cost San Francisco a playoff spot….
Sure enough, the 49ers were eliminated from the post-season yesterday after a predictable road loss to the Eagles….
When you have an opportunity to steal one on the road against the likes of the Vikings, you cannot let it slip away. The NFL is evenly matched nowadays, with several teams fighting for a few playoff slots, so you need to win at home, beat the bad teams and hope you can pull off an upset on the road….
Giving that road game away came back to haunt the 49ers and hopefully it was a lesson learned for Singletary….
He’s very stubborn, set in his ways and does not like to be questioned about his sideline decisions, so maybe he is what he is. But adapting to your situation and playing to win are the hallmarks of all great coaches; so hopefully Singletary will learn from mistakes and get the 49ers back intot he playoffs next season….
Excellent road trip for the Lakers, as they win four out of five and return home 22-4, the best record in the NBA….
But the pressure is on, because the Celtics are healthy, playing well and only a game behind at 21-5. Any slump by the Lakers could cost them home court advantage in a Finals match-up….
And we all know what happened in the 2008 Finals….
Boston is still a little thin on the bench, but the addition of Rasheed Wallace was huge and Eddie House and Tony Allen provide instant offense….
I also fear that the Celtics will add a player or two at the trade deadline, making them even more dangerous….
Yes, their three stars are over 30 and the window might be closing a little bit, but they’re still a great team and capable of winning the championship again….
One star who isn’t a graybeard, however, is Rajon Rondo, who has developed into one of the NBA’s best point guards. He’s averaging 12 points, 10 assists and shooting 53% from the floor….
He still can’t shoot, which is an area the Lakers can exploit, but if he destroys Derek Fisher again it won’t matter….
In fact, I think D-Fish is still wondering where Rondo is located; because in the 2008 Finals, Rondo blew past him time after time….
Question #1: Would the Lakers have beaten Boston in the Finals with a healthy Andrew Bynum; who was playing the best basketball of his career at the time of his injury? Maybe, because Pau Gasol had to play out-of-position and was manhandled trying to play center. As was Lamar Odom, the starting power forward….
Both of them played soft and disappeared when the Lakers needed them most; which goes to show how much they needed Bynum….
Question #2: Would the Celtics have beaten the Lakers again last season had Kevin Garnett been healthy? Maybe, because they had the same team which whipped the Lakers the season before, except for James Posey. We’ll never know, but hopefully we’ll get a Lakers-Celtics Final this season to settle all this….
I know it was great to win the championship last season, but it was a little hallow because it wasn’t the Celtics. Nothing feels better than beating them and this year could be the ultimate test for both teams….
I do know one thing, though. The Lakers sure as hell will not defeat the Celtics unless Bynum dramatically improves his effort. His rebounding over the last month has been abysmal, which shows a lack of hustle….
There’s no such thing as an off night when it comes ot rebounding and defense and Andrew needs to play harder and focus for the Lakers to repeat….
We saw two years ago what happens against Boston with Gasol forced to play out-of-position, so an inneffictive Bynum would force the Lakers to improvise….
And that would not be a good thing….
The good news is Bynum has 50 games left to get his head out of his ass, quit sulking and start playing hard on every possession….
Every time he stands with his hands at his sides while a shot is in the air infuriates me; as does Bynum heading toward the other end while a shot is taken….
If Bynum is playing hard and focused, the Lakers dispatch the Celtics in five or six games….
But if he’s loafing and whining, the Celtics win their second championship in three years….