L.O.N. — L.eBr.O.N.
Palm trees at this year’s championship parade, one way or another.
by Shannon Booher
Last night the L.O.N. offices caught their first solid glimpses of the 2011 title parade. There was lots of sun and boats. Lots of flashes of white. Those L.A. cats are not done yet, but we have seen a vision, and if they keep falling asleep at the wheel, Miami is taking the chip. They looked really, really good.
Line Of The Night:
LeBron James — 35 points, 7 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 board
It is absolutely wonderful watching LeBron play with this much help on this side. It gives him the freedom to dip and dive into various roles on the court — scoring here, setting up there, oh, now he’s organizing the D. The Heat are clicking on all cylinders. Defense. Offense. Coaching. Everyone on the team is involved. Everyone has bought in. It’s all there. They continue to be the most impressive team this postseason, but the sleeping giant that is the Lakers, still lurks.
MVP Of The Night:
Derrick Rose — 1 MVP award
Rose becomes the youngest player ever to win the award in a runaway vote. Dwight Howard finished a distant second. We would get into why we disagree with the selection, but all attention today goes to Rose’s beautiful acceptance speech (skip to the four-minute mark). First of all, he was looking sharp in a navy blue ensemble. Second of all, his heartfelt thanks to his Mom was a special, special thing. Dude is amazing. The way he put life into perspective is something we all could take to heart. Despite too many Dook teammates, Rose has supporters for life in L.O.N.
A Good Talking To Of The Night:
Russell Westbrook — 24 points on 9-20 shooting (most attempts on the team), 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 boards
Russell, Russell, Russell. Yes, we know you won, but that is beside the point. Yes, we know you can get an open 17-footer every time. But have you considered that they want you to shoot that shot? Yes, we know you dribble the ball down the court most of the time. But that does not mean you have to shoot most of the time. Look around you. Do you see that tall, lanky guy over there? His name is Kevin Durant. He is one of the top 3 — possibly the best — scorer in the game. He is also a very polite young man, so we are forced to deliver this message. Believe us, he is thinking it. GIVE HIM THE BALL! YOU SHOULD NOT BE CONSISTENTLY SHOOTING MORE THAN HIM! IT WILL BE YOUR TEAM’S DOWNFALL!
OK, that felt good. We are not sure Scott Brooks has the necessary personality meshing skills to get this team over-the-top. Maybe he needs to take it back summer basketball camp style, and put in a quota. Remember the drill where your team had to pass at least five times or whatever, before shooting? Well, for Westbrook, he is allowed to shoot as much as he wants, as long as it is one less shot than Durant. Shoot 50 times, just make sure Durant shoots 51!
That Ain’t Gonna Work Of The Night:
Michael Conley — 24 points, 8 assists, 2 boards, 1 steal
Very nice output from Conley, but Memphis will not win that way. Oklahoma City clogged up the paint very well last night, turning Memphis into a mostly jump-shooting team. To his credit, Conley (as well as Sam Young and OJ Mayo) stepped up admirably, hitting a lot of key shots. These guys kept the Grizz in the game long after most teams would have packed it up and headed home for Game 3. These guys have that dog in ‘em. But Z-Bo has to, um, Z-bound from this lackluster effort and get back in that paint. He settled for jumpers early and often. You talk trash, you gotta back it up.
Mike Bibby having his giant cross tattoo removed? We need the inside scoop. Is he starting an acting career? Is he replacing it with something bigger and better? What’s the deal?… Chris Paul courtside at the Heat game. Let the rumors begin! Oh, not about where he wants to play, but what was up with his eyes? He had the hat pulled low, with a really strange look on his face… If you didn’t notice, Russell Westbrook drives is crazy. Laughing after he blew that wide open dunk did not help things… We see you, Darrell Arthur. Serge Ibaka left his table just in time though, to avoid his breakfast… Wow, so Kevin Garnett is the healthiest of the Celtics right now?…