Basketball Never Stops………….. It only Rotates [originally posted 12/21/13 on sportsblog.com]

Not much going on here at home front.

Some miscommunication cost me a chance to see the Jayhawks live in person last Saturday. They were some good seats too. I was so depressed that I slept through tip off and sludged my way through the second half.

Jayhawks won. My boy Embiid cemented his status as my favorite current Jayhawk on the roster. I was so ecstatic about his up and under baseline move that I didn’t realize he was on his way to getting 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks. If I’m the right team in next year’s lottery, and I got my shooting guard spot locked up, (say like Orlando) I’m taking Embiid if Parker is already taken.

The rest of the game was pretty ho hum. They did what they were supposed to do, and I honestly was so distracted about not being there (and needing to finish my grad school application) that it wasn’t very enjoyable. So enough about that. I’ll have more to say about the team after Georgetown ( I couldn’t tell name a single player on this year’s roster. I had to look up where Otto Porter got drafted). This week has been all about the NBA. After spending a great deal of time watching the games last week, this week has been kind of quiet.

A few quick hitters before I settle down tonight to watch Spurs-Warriors play:

I love watching the Lakers telecast. The pregame is awesome with former teammates “Big Game” James Worthy and Byron Scott. I think it’s really cool that the Lakers franchise still find ways to stay linked to past players. Plus it sometimes makes for cool moments like these.

Found out right before the start of the Lakers-Thunder game that Kobe would guarding Westbrook. I had a feeling that Russ would be licking his chops. [I just found out like 30 seconds ago that Kobe is out for 6 weeks with a fractured knee. It may be time for him to start taking PED’s] Russ played pretty good with 19 and 12 assists, but KD went HAM with 31 points, 8 boards, 5 dimes, and 4 steals. Lakers as a team were over matched from the start. And now things won’t get too much better with Kobe out for another 6 weeks.

So maybe they should shelve him for the year? Lottery pick this year and they get some top flight talent. I ain’t gonna lie. If two years from now, the Lakers have Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, I’ll be tuning in big time to watch them play. Which I gotta say, I’m not disliking Kobe as much as I used to. You can tell he was happy to be just playing again. He was smiling more in the game against Phoenix than I seen him grin all season last year. I also gotta admit that he’s a pretty amazing distributor when he wants to be. I saw him make some sick dishes the other night, he had 13 assists for the night, and he didn’t even play in the 4th quarter. This period of Kobe reminds me of when I started digging Barry Bonds for his candid quotes and “don’t give a s#$%” attitude.

The Thunder have a better team than I gave them credit for. Their bench is much better this time around. It looks like Reggie Jackson took the experience from last year and learned from his increase in playoff minutes. Jeremy Lamb is much better than I expected him to be. I still haven’t seen much from Perry Jones III to have an informed opinion, but Steven Adams is a legit big to bring off the bench. If they had another center besides Kendrick Perkins, I’d feel comfortable about penciling them in for the Finals. It’s still crazy to me that they “couldn’t afford” Harden but are paying Perkins. It’s true that Harden’s defense is suspect, but he’s a better team defender than people give him credit for. I think Houston’s defense is so bad that it makes him look worse than when he was on OKC (better team defense than Houston). Plus Harden has to be the guy on offense. It is asking a lot of him. Then again, they are paying him a lot of money.

There is a great Jonathan Abrams article on Oklahoma City native (and former Jayhawk) Xavier Henry. I’m a big fan of Abrams (in my opinion, he and Andrew Sharp are the best writers on the Grantland staff) I was hoping to see him bring the boom in front of his hometown folks but the game got busted open so early that the story line fizzled pretty quickly. He did have some decent plays though. The article answers a few questions that I had about why he had trouble early on. I didn’t realize he was only 22. It seems like it was forever ago when he signed on with KU.

The Indy-Miami game was another (pardon the pun) “heated” contest. It certainly had that level of playoff intensity.I usually try to avoid any game involving Eastern Conference teams (more on this in a second), but this has been worth the stop down both times I’ve watched them play this year. I was just remarking to my housemate how much it bothers me to dislike someone who used to rep the crimson and blue when Lebron almost got in Mario Chalmers grill during a (here it comes again) “heated’ time-out.

Udonis Haslaam held Lebron back, but it initially looked like Mario was about to get socked. Earlier in the game I decided that I was no longer on the fence about Chalmers after his “extra” during a hard foul on my boy “Born Ready” Lance Stephenson. I think Mario is a punk and there is evidence to prove it. The main reason I dislike Heat players are Dwayne Wade and Mario. They both play dirty and try to behave as if they are not. It would be one thing if they owned it–but they don’t. It’s the same reason why I disliked Stockton and Malone years ago. That’s not Jayhawk basketball Mario. Why don’t you and Elijah Johnson take that mess overseas somewhere, will ya?

I may have to get League Pass before it’s all said and done. I purposely avoided the Cleveland-Portland game because hey–it’s the Cavaliers– and missed one of the best games of the year (according to Lebron). I felt way more remorse about missing the dueling point guards , than missing Lillard’s game winner against Detroit (I watched it up until OT because the Warriors were playing the Suns–seemed anti-climatic once it was certain that they were playing an extra 5 minutes) on Sunday. I been streaming the games on certain illegal websites for free, but the problem with that is that you can’t go back and watch replays of the games you missed. League Pass is at least good for that. I don’t have enough free time to watch Eastern Conference basketball in the hopes that I’ll catch lightening in a bottle. Perhaps when I’m finally getting paid to cover bad hoops–but even then it’ll be begrudgingly.

UCLA vs. Duke tonight as well. I’m hearing some hype coming out of the PAC-12. I’m gonna have to ch-ch-ch- check it out. Check back in with me next week. Hopefully this holiday break I can restart the running “Lovable Losers” series.

Peace.

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