Wednesday, November 01, 2006



Okay, maybe the Lakers aren't championship material just yet, but holy freaking crap, last night convincing comeback win over Phoenix, without the services of Black Mamba or Kwame, is plenty of reason to get SUPER-excited about the season to come.

Lamar Odom (34p/13r/6a/3s) showed the form I'd been hoping he'd deliver. Looked like a bonafide superstar out there. But perhaps even more welcome is the apparent arrival of the 19-year-old, Andrew Bynum. 18 points and 9 boards in his first career start? Get outta here!

When you figure that Kobe and Kwame being inserted into the mix will only make this team a tougher proposition... oh my, there's a chance to do some special things in the '06-'07 season.

Now, last night's comprehensive win over vaunted Phoenix will mean nothing if the Lakers can't come back tonight and win at Golden State. This team is young, so focus needs to be a priority. Still, I'm savoring this win as much as I'm sure they are. One down, eighty one to go.

Phoenix, as least on the surface, looked to be at full strength and firing at midseason form in the first quarter. They looked downright scary. A closer examination, however, revealed that as the game went on, Amare Stoudemire slowed down -- telling me and the rest of the world that while he is still gifted physically, he needs a few games to regain his basketball playing shape. Also, when the Suns shooting went cold, their defense failed on every level. Like Charles Barkley said at halftime, if the Suns are really going to win the NBA title, they need to improve their D, because they can't shoot 70% from the floor every game.

And what of Chicago's 42-point blowout of Miami? Yipes! I didn't see the game, myself, but to me, it seems more like an idictment of the Heat than praise for the Bulls. Two things I'm not convinced of: 1) This year's Bulls are a serious contender for the Eastern Conference 2) San Antonio wasn't the best team in the NBA last year.

Anyway. Lakers! Maurice Evans and Vlad Radmanovic contributed to the cause last night, too. Infinitely better than Devean George and Medvedenko. The dead weight seems to be gone from this team. Seems to be.

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