Archive for March, 2011

I really don’t hate the guy. I just dislike some of the things he does. And most of his fans.

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I just can’t stop talking about Carmelo Anthony!!

It took three hours, three overtimes and 139 points, but the Los Angeles Lakers got a hard fought win against the Phoenix Suns. And in the process they gave us the Game of the Year.

I have watched a lot of games this year and not one of them came close to this one.

This game had everything. From a blown 20 point lead to clutch 3 pointers by Channing Frye to Kobe hitting big shots and Ron Artest dunking on an improbable breakaway and kissing his biceps in celebration. If you didn’t like this game then you just don’t like basketball.

The Suns came back from a 20 point second half deficit to tie the game at the end of regulation. Watching the Lakers blow another big lead like that reminded me of the old Lakers. The Lakers that would continually take games off. Even in the playoffs. The Lakers that would get bored and the only way they could get any excitement was to let every team back into that game and try to pull out a win in the last seconds.

The first overtime ended with a very questionable shooting foul on Lamar Odom. Channing Frye makes all three freethrows to send the game into its second OT.

And just a thought here. When did Channing Frye become Mr. Clutch? Its come to the point that when he shoots a three pointer even I think, “Yeah, that’s going in.”

Frye hits another three near the end of the second OT to put the Suns up with 50 seconds left. Then Pau Gasol gets fouled but doesn’t get a pretty obvious goaltending call in his favor. But he does hit two freethrows with two seconds left to tie the game.

Ron Artest came up big in the third OT, scoring five of his 18 points in the last two minutes. Its always good to see Ron Ron do well. Not only because the Lakers usually win when he plays well but because his post game interviews are always so great.

Kobe Bryant had a season high 42 points and almost messed around and had a triple double with 12 rebounds and 9 assists.

I’m sure the Lakers will be happy to get Andrew Bynum back so he can play some defense and they won’t have to score 139 points to win the next game.

The Lakers are a very impressive 14-1 since the All-Star break and seem to be peaking at the right time. It remains to be seen if they will win another championship but the seem to be on the right track.

Even I have to admit this is a pretty sick dunk!!! Would like to see a little more effort on the cabbage patch, though.

I made the case earlier that when the  New York Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets they were not going to win a championship. And that simple statement caused all kinds of hell to break loose.

I went through a lot just to get that article published. The guys at Global Grind (where I have published many articles)were hesitant to put it up on their site. They said that Carmelo was a “friend of the site” and thought the peice was too harsh on him. After two days they lsaid they would publish it and iterally dumped it in the middle of the night. 2 am to be exact.

And then there were the New York fans themselves. I caught so much flack from them it was unbelievable. I was called a “hater” a “know-nothing” and a “shill for the Lakers.” (That last one is only partly true, by the way.) And now that the Knicks are a mere 6-6 since Melo arrived and the Nuggets are 9-2, Knicks fans are starting to bitch like only they can.

Normally, I hate to say “I told you so” but to Knicks fans I will gladly say it: I told you so!

It’s not that I think Carmelo is a bad player. I think he is a very good player. He’s just not a Championship Caliber player. He will make your team better but he is not the savior many New York fans thought he would be. So now all the “longtime” New York fans are wondering if this team will do anything in the playoffs. This is, of course, providing they even make the playoffs. I’m not sure playing .500 ball is going to get you into the playoffs. Even in the Eastern Conference.

Nugget fans, on the other hand, are very happy. Their team is playing great ball. Watching them play, you see the ball moving freely, the scoring is distributed more evenly and the entire team is playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Even head coach George Karl is happy. He has been talking about getting a “clean slate” to work with now that Melo is gone. And I say, good for them. They had to put up with Carmelo’s tantrums for too long. It’s like getting out of a bad relationsip. The breakup can be very messy but you always feel beeter once they are gone.

Incidentally, the New Jersey Nets, who were continually mentioned as a landing spot for Melo, are 5-3 since they acquired Derron Williams instead of Anthony.

So everyone is happy. Except the New York Knicks and their fans. The world is back to normal.

Losing four games in a row is never fun. Losing them in spectacular fashion can be down right maddening.

This is what has happened to the Miami Heat recently. 

After Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls some of the Heat players were actually crying in the locker room after the game. And of course every two-bit sports caster came up with the oh so clever, “There’s no crying in basketball,” line like they just bested Shakespeare.

A lot of people are enjoying the Heat’s misfortune right now. Most of it is just piling on. It is the flip side of all the fawning the media gave to them this summer. So many people were predicting this team would win 70-plus games. Many were predicting they would easily eclipse the all time win record held by the 95-96 Chicago Bulls. Most of those “experts” probably feel really stupid right now so they are doing a 180 and trashing the Heat. Luckily some of us didn’t drink the Kool Aid and tried to keep a (somewhat) level head about this.

It’s almost sad to watch as LeBron James continually fails to make the game winning shot at the end of close game. It gets even more uncomfortable watching him continue to try game after game and come up short.  It’s like watching Kevin Costner in “Tin Cup” desperately trying to clear that water hazard, only to send ball after ball into the drink. This is bordering on epic failure.

After the game, LeBron said he apologized to his team for letting them down at the end of games.

If he wants to stop letting his team down he should do what he has always done in crunch time; pass the ball to someone else. I have said it time and time again, he just does not have that killer instinct to finish off games. He has always been great when his team is blowing out an opponent. But when the game is close he continually comes up short.

When Dwyane Wade said that the world was happy because the Heat were losing I think he turned off that last few supporters they had outside of South Beach. No one wants to hear any of them whine or pretend they area martyr.

They brought this upon themselves. From the LeBron’s ill-conceived “Decision” to the ridiculous way they we introduced to Miami to the stupid “Heatles” moniker they tried to name themselves, they have put a target on their backs. So they shouldn’t be surprised when people take great delight in their failure.

The Miami Heat have gone out of their way to make sure they are noticed. To make sure the spotlight is on them. And they got it. But you can’t just have all the attention on you when things are going your way. You have to be ready to deal with the backlash when times are tough. And make no mistake, times are tought for the Heat right now. And to end on another oh so clever line, “It’s time to see if LeBron and company can handle the heat.”