Since I was highly critical of the Zenmaster, it’s only fair he gets credit for the Lakers improved performance in Games 5 and 6….
Finally, Phil Jackson made adjustments to the New Orlenas pick-and-roll and forced Chris Paul’s teammates to make plays….
And since Paul is surrounded by a CBA-caliber supporting cast, that’s the formula to beat them….
One question, though: With 18 points and 12 rebounds, why in the hell did Andrew Bynum only play 29 minutes?….
As usual, he dominated inside and the Hornets had nobody to guard him, yet he spent nearly half the game on the bench. And out of those 18 points, probably 12 of them were on his own….
If Bynum played 40 minutes a game and had a coach who actually featured him in the offense, he’d be a 25 point, 15 rebound player and an All-Star….
Unfortunately, his coach refuses to play him more than half a game and doesn’t hold his teammates accountable for ignoring him in the post….
Pau Gasoft has to start playing better, because the Lakers are not going to three-peat if this continues….
Gasoft got pushed around and bullied by Carl Landry, who is about 6 inches shorter….
Instead of abusing the pint-sized Landry down low, Gasoft got pushed off the block and settled for jump shots and fall aways….
In the second round, Gasoft is up against Dirk Nowitzki, another softie….
They should call this matchup the Charmin Challenge….
No more fall aways, pump fakes and 20 foot jump shots, though….
Once again, the Lakers have an advantage with the length of Gasoft and Bynum and should get past the Mavs in 5 or 6 games….
They also don’t have to worry about a super quick opposing point guard who’s going to kill them with the high pick-and-roll….
For once, Derek Fisher is as slow as the opposing point guard and the Lakers don’t have to be concerned about Fisher’s terrible defense….
It’s usually a given that Fisher’s opponent is going to blow by him, make lay-ups and break down the defense, but in this case the point guard won’t kill the Lakers….
Which means the high pick-and-roll, the Lakers biggest defensive weakness, won’t be as big a problem….
This appears to be a good match-up for the Lakers, because they have a size advantage and Kidd won’t shred them….
And whom do the Mavs have to guard Kobe Bryant? DeShawn Stevenson, Peja Stojakovic, Jason Terry?. The Bean should have a field day in this series….
The Mavs are a very good offensive team and have a dangerous bench player in Jason Terry….
But If the Lakers shoot quickly, ignore Bynum and don’t defend, they’re in trouble….
In my opinion, it will be on to OKC for the Lakers….
Tonight’s stupid coach of the night is Atlanta’s Larry Drew, who did everything in his power to lose his team’s close out, Game 6 win over the Magic….
My pet peeve is coaches who don’t foul or guard the 3-point line in the final seconds, and Drew completely screwed up the final seconds….
Fortunately for him, the Hawks got lucky and won in spite of his poor coaching….
With five seconds left, Atlanta had a 3-point lead and the Magic inbounded the ball. As Jameer Nelson dribbled and the clock ran down, I was shocked at two things: 1) The Hawks didn’t foul him and 2) All five Hawks players were INSIDE the three-point arc….
I was dumbfounded at Drew’s stupidity, because the only way his team could lose was if the Magic made a three-point shot ….
While Nelson dribbled, Dwight Howard set a pick on J.J. Redick’s man and J.J. wound up wide open with two seconds left….
Absolutely incredible that one simple screen could free up one of the best shooters in the NBA in such a crucial situation. No switch, no help, no communication and every Atlanta player INSIDE the three-point line….
As Redick squared his shoulders, got a great look and went up for the shot, I was calling for Drew to be fired….
It didn’t dawn on Drew that Orlando might try and set up one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters for a final shot? And to warn his players to switch every screen and deny Redick the ball? And to foul someone to avoid the three-point shot? And to put all five of his players BEHIND the arc to take away the three?….
Unbelievably stupid and it was only blind luck that J.J. missed the shot and the Hawks escaped. Drew’s coaching richly deserved a loss….
There’s a reason the Hawks have a reputation as the NBA’s dumbest and worst closing team, because it’s richly deserved….
I know Atlanta moved on, but I’d seriously consider firing Drew if I were the GM. Idiotic coaching like that in the final seconds cannot be tolerated and will eventually come back to haunt you….
While watching Portland get closed out by Dallas, I thought about how good they’d be if they listened to me and drafted Kevin Durant….
In the month before the draft a few years ago, I was on the air literally beging the Blazers to take Durant over injury-prone Greg Oden….
I was calling the potential Oden pick “Bowie-Jordan II” and urged Portland to learn from their franchise-killing mistake mistake in 1984….
I had Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard on as a guest and practically ordered him to take Durant; whom I believed was going to be a superstar….
I patiently pointed out the similarities between Oden and Sam Bowie: Their history of injuries, height and a superstar player they should take first….
Pritchard insisted they hadn’t made a final decision yet, but I could tell by his comments it was going to be Oden; another franchise-killing blunder….
As I pressed Pritchard and guaranteed him he was going to get fired if he took Oden, he hung up on me….
It was great radio and very entertaining, but in this case I was Nostradamus. Oden turned out to be a stiff, Durant a superstar and Pritchard got fired….
Why doesn’t anyone listen to me?….