Friday, May 30, 2008

Bites and Pieces - Lakers In Final


The Los Angles Lakers are heading back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2002 when they last won it all.

They defeated the defending champs, San Antonio Spurs 4-1. I would have never have thought this series would have ended so quickly.

After watching the series (thanks ESPN) the one area the Lakers matched the Spurs in that no other team seems to be able to do is mentality.

Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson must take the credit for this. Firstly, Phil must have all the guys believing that they can get the job done, then Kobe delivers the killer blows on court.

You can see the positive reaction in his teammates body language when Kobe gets on a roll and just takes over the game. All of a sudden these guys start making plays and then the Spurs have to worry about more than Kobe.

Vladamir Radmanovic is probably the best case of this. Sometimes this guy can look completely lost out there but when he creeps to the baseline for a spot up three and drains it, it becomes active all over the court. Rebounding and defense become part of his package.

Throughout the past decade this has been the Spurs doing this to opposition teams. Certainly not a one man wrecking team like the Lakers, but their brilliant team play just ate away at oppositions over the course of a series.

It will be interesting to see what the Spurs will do to their roster to improve during this upcoming summer. They are no longer "Top Dog" but I have them retooling to have another run at the title. (They usually win in odd years.)

Congrats to the Lakers on advancing and I cannot wait for the Finals, whether it is the Pistons or the Celtics from the East.

Doug Collins seems destined to coach the Chicago Bulls for a second stint. During his first time round his roster had names such as Jordan and Pippen on it.

With a young team and the #1 draft pick the Bulls will improve immediately under Collins.

His record will show that he can get improvement straight away from his teams but where he is questioned is how long can he maintain a groups focus? Already there are non believers out there as far as this hiring goes.

I look forward to seeing what Collins can do second time round in the Windy City.

NBA's Daily Dime

Melbourne Tigers owner Seamus McPeake has added his two cents worth into the drama of the Kings and Bullets.

Former Bullet Mike Hill may be forced into early retirement. All former Bullets players are scrambling to find jobs with new teams. The trouble some of the players face is the number of available spots left around the league and their own player points value.

Greg Vanderjagt will probably have to try and secure a deal overseas as he is rated a 7. There are a few spots remaining for the big man, but most teams only have a points value of 4 left.

The league has painted itself into a corner on this one. If they allow these players to sign at reduced points, teams that have completed their rosters will be all over league CEO Chuck Harmison like a cheap suit.

Wollongong Hawks have sharpened their claws and are ready to pounce on the one time favourite son, Glen Saville.

Somehow I think they will welcome "Sav" back with open arms.

Steve Carfino and his two cents worth.

Anthony Stewart is thinking like Warren Buffet right now. Get in while the price is low. Good luck to Stewie and your Little Red Head mate!

Does Tim Johnston equal Christopher Skase? Tim Morrisey answers the question.

Paul Roos (Sydney Swans coach) knows how the Kings players are felling.

The U/19 Emus squad was announced this week. Townsville junior Damon Heuir gets his chance in early June to be one of the final twelve to make the team.

I can only hope he continues to learn from one of the best every Wednesday night when we scrimmage.

All the best Damon but remember to carry a hand!

I usually do not stray from the sport of basketball on here, but I do make exceptions.

Townsville tennis product JP Smith has just finished his freshman year at the University of Tennessee. Qualifying for the NCAA tournament Smith went onto to the championship game before losing to the #1 seed Somdev Devvarman of Virginia.

Smith will return to Townsville in the next few days and I cannot wait to bump into JP and see if he has picked up the art of trash talking. The soften spoken Smith is a hard man to get a word out of during a gym session.

This is quite an accomplishment and I'm sure Smith will look forward to going one better next year.

Lakers/Spurs Game 5 Highlights

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