David Stern, soon to be remembered as the NBA’s greatest commissioner – once he’s retired and everyone stops moaning about everything he does – once joked his ideal matchup was “the Lakers vs. the Lakers.” Actually, a league is best served when both conferences are balanced; when there are glamour teams involved at the end, but also when all teams have a fair chance. To see what glamour teams are worth, look at what the New York Yankees’ long run has done
Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks … Yes, we’re all used seeing to the Lakers and Clippers in separate strata but, aw, you guessed it. Just over a year since Chris Paul almost became a Laker and turned into a Clipper instead, we’re now also used to those La-La land-themed last-shall-be-first-and-vice-versa stories. Of course, the Lakers never really stop being the Lakers, and the Clippers never really stop being the Clippers – so far.
The Knicks are for real? Improbable as their comeback is, unlikely as they are to keep making 41% of the 29 threes they’re launching each game, yes, they’re for real. This is fabulous for the NBA, which has done as well in recent seasons as a recently scorned league can without a respectable team in New York.
I thought of making the Spurs No. 1 for knocking off Memphis – my fourth team in four weeks to fail its audition at the top – but I was afraid Gregg Popovich could give his whole team a week off. With the Spurs 5-0 on the nine-day trip ending in Miami, Pop sent home Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green to rest up for the Grizzlies, whom they beat in overtime two nights later. All it cost was
The Lakers dropped from seventh to 15th in SheridanHoops.com’s NBA Power Rankings, while the Clippers dropped from one to nine. CineSport’s Noah Coslov & SheridanHoops.com’s Mark Heisler discuss.
Mike D’Antoni made his actual sideline debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. Still recovering from knee replacement surgery since his hiring 10 days ago, D’Antoni had been coaching the Lakers in practices and speaking to them before games until Tuesday night, when he guided the club to its third straight win, a 95-90 home victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Let me get this straight. The No. 1 Clippers lose GM Neil Olshey, who pulled off the Chris Paul trade after letting his contract run out, start a GM search as free agent signing period begins and get Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and three or four more guys whom the Lakers – with their 29th-ranked bench – would die for?