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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 3:45 pm  |  54 responses

Links: Orlando > Lakers?

Plus, Shaq moves on up…

by Lang Whitaker

Susan asked me to do another post today on The Links because she was tired of looking at the photo of the bacon shoes from yesterday’s Links on the home page. Which is sort of ridiculous, since Susan is the most carnivorous person I’ve ever met. She literally detests vegetables, an admirable stance to take in this day and age of heightened awareness of healthy eating.

(One day a few weeks ago, Susan and I were walking out of the office together at the end of the day, and I mentioned needing to go by the grocery store to buy food to fix for dinner. Susan asked what I was making, and I told her I was leaning toward shrimp. “I had shrimp last night,” she said. I asked her what she ate with the shrimp, and she said, “Pretzels.”)

Anyway, instead of bacon shoes, today let’s rock a new photo from Shaq, one he tweeted earlier today. He posted a photo of his new hairstyle, which he referred to as a “George Jefferson fade.” Weezie!

shaqfade• Wifey and I have a trip coming up this summer and I was thinking I might need to buy some outdoor-type gear. Late last night I was shopping online, looking at rei.com and some camping/hiking sites like that. Then I thought maybe I should check out the web site for Dick’s Sporting Goods.

And let me just tell you that URL for Dick’s Sporting Goods isn’t exactly what one might assume it could be. I’m still a little shaken by that experience.

• Got an email from my Dad this morning…

This morning’s AJC gives the NBA Finals matchups thusly. Do you agree?

Bynum/Howard — edge Magic
Gasol/Lewis — edge even
Ariza/Turkoglu — edge Magic
Bryant/Lee — edge Lakers
Fisher/Alston — edge Magic
Reserves — edge Lakers
Coaches — edge even

Seems to me this gives the overall edge to the Magic.

Well, if you tabulate it, that’s Magic 3, Lakers 2, Even 2. So yeah, advantage Magic. I do disagree a little with the results of their match-ups. For instance, I’d definitely rank Gasol ahead of Rashard Lewis. And as bad as Fisher has been this offseason, I’m not so sure that he’s a drop off from Rafer — they’re about even defensively and while Fish doesn’t have the ability to explode offensively like Rafer does, perhaps Fisher’s steadier play is more beneficial to the Lakers long-term than Rafer’s sporadic performances are to the Magic.

But the real head scratcher to me is ranking Phil Jackson even with Stan Van Gundy. Really? One of the best coaches in the history of basketball is only even with the coach criticized by his own best player just a few weeks ago?

• Before the Cleveland/Orlando series, I knew the Magic had a good record against the Cavs during the regular season, but I still picked the Cavs to win it. Well, this year in the regular season, Orlando was 2-0 against L.A. (Although, as Hollinger points out, Jameer Nelson went for a combined 55 points in those two games. Jameer might be returning to action in the postseason, but there’s no way he’s averaging 27.5 ppg.)

• Thanks to Howard Beck for the shout-out today in his New York Times article about Kobe.

• Good read on Mark Cuban’s court case against the SEC. Interesting that Cuban’s lawyer wrote a book that essentially argued against the argument he’s now making on behalf of Cuban. The lesson? Never invest in a company called mamma.com.

• Hey Bulls fans, check out who my main man Chad Ford says your team is considering with the 16th pick. Tyler Hansbrough! If they draft Hansbrough, I might have to buy his jersey for Russ.

• A week earlier, C-Fizzle also had this note that I missed, which must be the grossest NBA Draft note yet…

Pittsburgh’s Sam Young is getting a lot of love after toughing it through a workout in Indiana last weekend. Young was injured in his first workout in Toronto when a piece of the device that measures vertical jumps became lodged in his left biceps while Young was testing for the Raptors.

The Raptors struggled to get the piece dislodged, and Young had to have it removed at the hospital. He had the wound bandaged with some gauze and was back killing in workouts by the end of the week.

Ugh.

• Our friends at Complex put together A History of NBA Sore Losers. Some good stuff in there — don’t think I’ve ever seen that Webber clip.

• Finally, I caught the new Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien last night and thought it was pretty good. They need to move Andy to the couch but all in all I really enjoyed it. Here’s a clip from the show where Conan visits a Lakers game. (BTW, I went to Hulu.com to find that clip and on the top of the page it said: “Popular Searches: The Tonight Show | Vampire.”)

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Susan Price

    I do NOT detest vegetables. Steak is just much more fun.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Susan Price

    Oh, and zucchini. Fried zucchini is yummy.

  • Ken

    I can’t believe you’re giving Kobe the edge over C-Lee…

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    Goo stuff, but, umm, Howard Beck doesn’t really read SLAM does he? He thinks that Kobe vs Kobe was previous issue before last?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    @Susan: If its fried, in oil, then it no longer qualifies as a veggie. Sorry.

  • Feng

    Vegetarian FTW

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Lang, you do remember Phil being outcoached by a certain Doc in Boston last year, right? And everyone laughed at the notion that it could happen the week leading up to the series? I think Stan’s a little bit more solid in his all-around coaching ability than Mr. Rivers is/was.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Justin Walsh

    I detest vegetables. Power to the people Susan, power to the people. Tzvi, I do see him twittering with SLAMfam quite a bit so I wouldn’t doubt he reads it. Maybe Howard meant a previous and not the previous. Aaaaanywho, Shrimp and Pretzels? Can not win with it. Can not play with it. Can not coach with it. CANT DO IT!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Shrimp and pretzels sounds incredibly fantastic.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Susan Price

    There are stuffed mushrooms from a Spanish restaurant in the West Village called Sevilla, and they are amazing. And they are vegetables.

    Tzvi, you are just plain wrong.
    Eboy, fantastic, indeed.

    Oh, and I love how Papa Whitaker used the word “thusly.” Awesomeness.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Shrimp and Pretzels should be the name of Susan’s blog.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Susan is slowly making me very hungry……….and amorous!

  • huh?

    Hey Lang, did you ever attend a Late Night taping when Conan was in New York? I have been waiting for Conan to come to L.A. for five years…now I just got to get tickets somehow, someway.

  • Khalid Salaam

    so everyone’s picking the magic now? so predictable…btw susan doesn’t detest vegetables. now bread, thats another story…..also, sam young is crazy underrated. a very physical, very athletic wing player who can play in the league from day one. maybe not a starter..but can contribute to a good team’s success

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @huh?: Never did get to a taping, no. I’m sure it can’t be that hard to get tix, though.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    @ Susan: W-r-o-n-g? I am unfamiliar with that word? What does it mean? I can’t hear you, I can only this celery that I am eating crunching. Ummmmmmm

  • http://mindyourbusiness@nosybutt.com Allenp

    Aren’t mushrooms a fungus? Do they count as vegetables?
    This is not the first time a SLAM staffer has accused Lang of making stuff up.
    Just call him Mr. Glass.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@nosybutt.com Allenp

    And I’m picking the Lakers.
    Kobe wins his matchup. The point guard matchup is a wash. Hedo does not kill Ariza off the bounce or in the post. The big problem, obviously, is Dwight. The Lakers are going to play Odom a lot in this series to reduce the advantage the Magic have with their small lineup. So, Gasol has to handle Dwight down low, or it’s a rap. That’s a big job for the very soft Spainard.

  • JoeMaMa

    I’m so sick of Bosh getting disrespected.
    Shaq gets calls. Bosh called him on it. And cranky ol’ Shaq talked some junk. Either way, Bosh is a baller. I still hold out hope for him staying in Toronto, but even if he leaves, he’ll get 1000000000000 times more respect than VC.

  • huh?

    @Lang: Well, I was looking at their website and apparently it works on a lottery system, and I’m not the luckiest person when it comes to lotteries.

  • eddie habba thinks

    lots of posters here need to get outside and run some ball of their own. sheesh people.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    khalid, the magic did beat boston and cleveland (with a game 7 trumping AT boston to boot). they’re not to be taken lightly. i don’t know if the point guard match up is a wash, skip has the ability to go off for one game in this series… fish is past the going off point in his career. but i agree with allenp, the big unknown is how pau will defend on dwight. he won’t match up vs lewis because bynum won’t play much. i give LA the edge because they have homecourt but i wouldn’t be shocked if orlando pulls it off. they can beat teams with one player putting up crazy points, they’ve just proved that. so LO and Pau have to step up, kobe alone won’t do.

  • luke

    Guess Shaq’s gotta do SOMETHING for people to hear his name….how desperate.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Let’s be honest: Phil is good. Better than good. Great. His resume is nearly flawless.
    Let’s NOT forget though, that he’s had the best basketball player ever, (ARGUABLY) the best small forward ever, (ARGUABLY) one of the top 3 centers of all time, and the best player of the 2000′s (not counting The Answer) playing alongside him.
    Howe much of those ‘ships were really made from “great coaching”, and how much of those ‘ships came from having multiple hall-of-famers on each squad?

  • Jackie Moon

    Teddy – you forgot, he also had Michael Jordan.

  • foolio_iglesias

    @Teddy-Zing!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    “And let me just tell you that URL for Dick’s Sporting Goods isn’t exactly what one might assume it could be. I’m still a little shaken by that experience.” That was a epic lol you just cause lang. As a frenchman and a spainishman speaking a broken combination of both languages would tell you ‘Sucks para vou’

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    I am not going to say the reason WHY, women should eat vegetables. But it is a very important reason, same with not eating ALOT of meat!!!

  • GOD

    SVG>Fphil. If Fhpil had been coaching the Magic, they would have lost to the Celts.

  • http://SI dfields

    duh kobe wins his match-up…we dont even need to mention it…thats how far kobe has the advantage….im telling u guys…kobe is going to destroy!!

  • http://www.nba.com JE

    11:02 pm marks one of the dumbest comments in this website’s history.

  • Declan

    Hey teddy bear, it takes a great coach to make all those great players and different personalities work without anyone complaining too much and ruining chemistry. Phil is a master.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Oh man, the “Dick’s sporting Goods” line was GOLD, SOLID GOLD!
    As for Lang emulating Simmons (on purpose or not) by bringing up his interactions with his Dad regarding B-Ball in these posts, that’s kinda cool (considering the Sport’s Guy hate amongst other Slamonline writers)

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Umm, Lang? Hulu is limited to the US only, you know, in case your international readers wanna see whatcha talking about, only to get a black screen, and thus GET POOPED ON!! But thanks for the short Conan review, hope they start airing it in Singapore too.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    You live in Singapore now, Darksaber? Awesome!

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Oh yeah i do. It is quite nice, Teddy.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Susan is into fried Veggies? Try grilling paprika on a coal barbeque…heaven!

  • larrylegend

    lakers reserves better than magic’s? r u kidding me?

  • ABIMATOR

    Magic in 5!!!

  • Hello? Wilt Chamberlain is that you?

    2 of the Magics 3 “edges” are not that great. Howard does have a fair edge on Bynum though but not as much as Kobe has on Lee. All these straight black and white “edges” are more shades of grey really. Lets get to game time already!

  • http://Nicekicks.com MeloMan22

    @Declan: im pretty sure the majority of coaches in the league right now could have coached any of Phils teams to the ship

  • Cizzo

    Shaq-fu is do-do!

  • mj23

    Shaq’s new hairstyle looks a lot like jeff van gundy’s.

  • mj23

    Bulls better not draft Handsborough!!!

  • mj23

    Hansbrough reminds me of Mark Madsen, and is probably a worse pick then Eric Montross. Bulls..Please do not draft Hansbrough!! I would rather take Nocioni back, but no Hansbrough.

  • http://www.www.com nate the great

    bulls will draft handsborough.
    i wanna see who the bobcats draft.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    SVG = Phil….Seriously????

  • dAnieL Lee

    D Fisher has not looked good throughout these playoffs, he looked as though he’s drawing an old age pension out there at times.

  • MalanaCream

    Gasol>Lewis – He can grab more rebounds, he has a better D and can score as much points as Lewis. Lewis is just better from the 3 point line.
    Fisher>Alston – I like alston, but fisher always hits some big shots, and for me is a better guard at all.

  • MalanaCream

    the Key point in this series for me , is if Bynum will be dumb enough to commit 5 fouls in 3 seconds, as he is used to. Because if he will, good luck for the lakers, cuz I can’t see any other player guarding Superman for more than 20 mins without get foul trouble or let him score 50 points.
    Anyway we have to wait to see if SVG will make Superman have more the ball… By the way Phil = SVG WTF?????

  • chintao

    11:40 pm marks the umpteenth time a sheep has posted on these boards. Casual observation and cursory analysis indicate that it does not take a great coach to win with a roster that consistently includes the game’s most dominant players. Also, how does the G-coach-OAT get outcoached by George Karl, even for just a nanosecond?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com Dacre

    TYLER WITH THE 16TH PICK!!! FINALLY SOMEONE OUT THERE CAN SEE THE SOUNDNESS OF THIS GUY GOING IN SIDE THE TOP 20!!!

    You wont regret it Russ, if the Bulls do get this guy!!! Winner all the way right there.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Wooo, just saw the first 2 episodes of Conan’s new show, Lang. The energy is great, Will Ferell and Tom Hanks seemed genuinely pumped to be there (as usual when Conan is the host). Love that the theme music and Max are still around, that LaBamba still gets special mentions. But i dob’t quite get Andy’s role. How long before he leaves again? Well, only 1 more member missing: TRIUMPH!
    All together now: COCO, COCO, CO…..

  • chintao

    I got a winner in my nose that could be Pyscho-T.

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