The NBA: History and Misery

Kobe passed Shaq on the all-times scorers list,
but the Lakers still lost. Anything wrong with that?
*Unless otherwise specified, all images are from the Associated Press.

“All the battles we’ve been in, the playoff battles, the duo that we’ve been able to form – when you (consider) the championships, it makes it a little more significant.” – Kobe Bryant on passing Shaquille O’Neal on the all-time scorers list.

What is this? Did Kobe just talk about Shaq, and it wasn’t smack?

What is the world coming to?

In scoring 24 points in the first half, Kobe eclipsed Shaq as the fifth best career scorer in NBA history. The thing is, he scored just 4 more the rest of the way.

Kobe went 9-of-10 in the last 12 minutes, helping the Lakers lose their 9th road game this season.

In a way, this game was symbolic of how the 2011-2012 Lakers are probably going to be like as we close out the first quarter of the year. Kobe will defy the limits his age is supposed to impose, scoring almost at will almost all the time. He will be near the top of the season’s best scorers, if not its best one. He will lead this LA team to the postseason again.

But the Lakers won’t win.

Or, at least, won’t win it all.

Because even if Kobe is awesome, even if he’s broken, and set, so many records in his career, he has never done one thing – win without Phil.

And I don’t think he ever will.

This is what I’ve believed since the Lakers “changed direction” by not hiring a Phil Jackson groupie like Brian Shaw. Mike Brown cannot deliver a new set of rings to the Lakers.

Of course, Kobe will try. He will take all the doomsday predictions in stride, and then piss at them.

Because that’s what he does. He defies those expectations. Most of the time, he exceeds them.

Does he have the talent and will to give Mike Brown his first NBA Title?

Of course.

Will he actually do it.


Okay, well, fine, probably not. This is Kobe, after all.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

LAC over ORL, 107-102 (OT) – The visiting clips overhauled a 15-point deficit thanks mainly to CP3’s 29 points and 8 assists, beating the Magic in OT. The price might be a little steep, however, as Chauncey Billups went down with a suspected Achilles injury.
WAS over TOR, 111-108 (OT) – In this battle between two of the East’s worst, the Wiz came out with the sharper edge, if barely. They did look impressive for the most part, before letting the Raptors eat into their 18-point lead, make a game of it in the fourth, and send it into extra 5 minutes. It was an ugly OT, though, as both teams combined for just 9 points, with the Wiz outscoring the Raps, 6-3.
PHI over LAL, 95-90 – Kobe got to take a bite out of history, and Shaq’s legacy, but his Lakers tumbled to yet another road loss. Lou Williams waxed hot in the fourth, helped put the clamps on Kobe, and led Philly to its 13th home win in 16 games.
PHX over ATL, 99-90 – Aren’t these Hawks supposed to be one of the East’s most dangerous teams? Well, someone better remind them, because they’re getting licked pretty bad. This loss to the Suns is their third in a row, and, considering they have Indiana, Orlando, Miami, and the Lakers before their rematch with Phoenix next week, these Hawks had better rediscover their fine form.
NYK over UTA, 99-88 – The Chinese New Year celebrations are over, but one Taiwanese kid isn’t done lighting up the fireworks. Two nights after dropping 25 on D-Will and the Nets, Jeremy Lin (J-Lin?) outdid himself by putting 28 against D-Will’s former team. And this was without BOTH Amar’e and Melo. Suddenly, nobody’s asking when BD will come back.
CHI over NJN, 108-87 – D-Rose played for just 11 minutes due to back spasms, but the Bulls just shrugged it off. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng came up big here, combining for 43 points, as CJ Watson picked up his game after Rose went out, netting a near-triple-double with 14 markers, 11 dimes and 7 caroms. Oh, and Brian Scalabrine received a standing ovation. How about that?
SAS over MEM, 89-84 – The Grizz played their key guys for at least 40 minutes each. The Spurs played Tony Parker for 36, while TD for just 32. And still San Antonio won. Duncan continued his trip-down-memory-lane play, scoring 19 points and collaring 17 rebounds for the Spurs’ 5th straight W.
SAC over NOH, 100-92 – Is DeMarcus Cousins actually maturing in the NBA? Normally when the Kings are down big, he’s one of the first guys to throw his arms in the air and ask for the exit, but this time he was the one who led them back. Cousins scored 12 of his 28 points in the 3rd period to help Sac-town trim the deficit, and then Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton hit the big buckets in the fourth to finish the improbable rally.
HOU over DEN, 99-90 – Two nights after he had a meet-and-greet with Kevin Love’s left foot, Luis Scola tossed in 25 markers as the Rockets beat a bruised-and-broken Denver five. The Nuggets were already without Nene, Arron Afflalo, Timofey Mozgov, and Corey Brewer, but the sucker punch came when Danilo Gallinari asked out because of a badly twisted ankle. X-rays revealed Gallo sustained a chip fracture. Ouch.
OKC over POR, 111-107 (OT) – The Thunder are just the second team to beat the Blazers at home this season. KD and Jet Zero combined for 61 points, but they still needed OT to put LaMarcus Aldridge’s posse out for the count. KD recorded his 5th straight double-double as OKC rebounded after losing to the Spurs two days ago.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) – 39
Dwight Howard (ORL) & Kevin Durant (OKC) – 33
John Wall (WAS) – 31

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Andrew Bynum (LAL) – 20
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) – 19
Tim Duncan (SAS) – 17

DeMarcus Cousins's big game helped the Kings
climb back from an 18-point hole.
Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Jameer Nelson (ORL) – 12
CJ Watson (CHI) & Steve Nash (PHX) – 11

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Rudy Gay (MEM) – 4
A LOT with 3

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Tim Duncan (SAS) – 5
Serge Ibaka (OKC) – 4
A LOT with 3

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Jerryd Bayless (TOR) – 6
Steve Novak (NYK), Kyle Lowry (HOU), & Chauncey Billups (LAC) – 5

Feb. 6, 2012 First Five
C – Dwight Howard (ORL) – 33pts, 14rebs, 2stls, 2blks, 1ast
F – DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) – 28pts, 19rebs, 3blks, 1stl
F – LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) – 39pts, 6rebs, 3asts, 1stl, 1blk
G – John Wall (WAS) – 31pts, 7asts, 5rebs, 2stls, 2blks
G – Chris Paul (LAC) – 29pts, 8asts, 7rebs, 3 treys, 2stls

CP3 led the Clips to a great OT victory over the Orlando Magic.
(image by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Honorable Mention:
Tim Duncan (SAS) – 19pts, 17rebs, 5blks, 3asts, 2stls
Steve Nash (PHX) – 24pts, 11asts, 4rebs, 4 treys
Andrew Bynum (LAL) – 20pts, 20rebs, 3asts, 2blks

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

Next Post »
0 Comment