p>The 2012-2013 season, she is now officially 24 hours in the books… meaning we should waste no time in analyzing the 2013-2014 season! We take a look at what just went down, what lies ahead, and where the Lakers fit in. Among the talking points:
- , the Miami Heat successfully defended their title and LeBron James led the charge in spectacular fashion. (37 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, dagger J with under a minute remaining.) Does back-to-back titles mean the Heat roster, periodically vulnerable throughout the postseason, will require no tweaks for a Threepeat? Will LBJ”s now-iconic Game 6 and 7 showings silence once and for all those still questioning whether he”s “clutch?”
- Was this the last realistic shot at a championship for the Duncan/Parker/Pop-era Spurs?
- Vegas has the Heat as a 2-1 favorite to win the 2014 title, with the Lakers at 22-1, and squads like the Pacers, Clippers and Rockets in between. Sound about right, degenerate gamblers?
- Phil Jackson is serving as a quasi-consultant of sorts for the Lakers? Can he and Jim Buss maintain a copacetic relationship? Is The Zen Master actually ideal for such a role?
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The Lakers will apparently enter the stretch run of the regular season with, at long last, all hands on deck. Will it be enough to spark a deep playoff run? Just one of the topics discussed in the new show. Among the high points:
- Pau Gasol expects to play Friday against the Wizards. In the short run, how many minutes will his conditioning and pain tolerance allow him to play? In the long run, will he and Dwight Howard mesh, specifically on the defensive end? In the mean-spirited run, now that Gasol has to wear foot protecting Orthotics, will teammates make fun of him for wearing special shoes the way I made fun of Brian for his as a kid?
- This week on ESPN LA 710″s Max and Marcellus, Antawn Jamison shared how Kobe Bryant, considered among the bigger alpha males in NBA history, encourages teammates to yell at him when he doesn”t give them the ball or misses a defensive assignment. While it”s true Kobe has typically bonded most with teammates who stand up to him, we wonder if the license to yell is truly universal. Which folks are allowed to chew out Kobe and which are better off keeping complaints to themselves?
- Speaking of Kobe and his teammates, he no longer follows them on Twitter, believing it overkill since he sees those guys every day. Will he miss out on any good stuff? Any shot his teammates retaliate? Maybe freeze him out for denting their follower counts?
- With the Denver Nuggets riding a 14-game winning streak and the Memphis Grizzlies markedly better since swapping Rudy Gay for Tayshaun Prince, an already brutal Western Conference has grown that much tougher. Yeesh!
- This guy REALLY wants LeBron James to come back to Cleveland.
The Lakers have three days between games following Monday”s fatigue-laden smackdown in the desert at the hands of Phoenix. Three days to think about what must change going forward, but even better, three days to enjoy the newest Kamenetzky Brothers Land O”Lakers Podcast!
Here”s your rundown…
- Again down Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers rolled with seven players both Sunday at home against the Kings, then again in Phoenix. Mike D”Antoni said before game his plan was, knowing the team had time off coming, , and not dust off anyone from deeper down on the bench. Obviously it didn”t work, because the Lakers were completely gassed, and the signs were there early. What did we think of his strategy?
- What are the larger implications of playing the last two games as D”Antoni chose to do? How legitimate are other criticisms of his work this season?
- As the OC Register”s Kevin Ding noted Tuesday morning, Dwight Howard has fired his longtime business manager (and first cousin) Kevin Samples. (Samples will remain Howard”s first cousin.) Good move or bad?
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outpatient drug treatment
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Mailbag! Should the Lakers try to play their way to a specific first round opponent? Why doesn”t Hack-a-Howard happen more often? Can the Heat break the 33-game win streak set by the “71-”72 Lakers?
All that, plus Brian”s fear of adult twins!