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Thursday, May 17th, 2012 at 10:22 am  |  90 responses

Post Up: Lakers Blow Late Lead

Plus the Celtics take a 2-1 lead in Philly.

Celtics 107, Sixers 91 (BOS leads 2-1)

by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam

All season, the Boston Celtics have been encapsulated by the doubt and criticisms of what they can’t do. They’ve heard it all—too old, too taxed, too fragile. As recent as last week’s series-clinching victory over the Hawks, the veteran-laden group has been forced to defend itself. The general thinking was (and regardless of a big Game 3 victory, still is) that at some point they would have to surrender in the war against age and attrition. If they would lose, we reveled in that feeling of knowing—the feeling of I told you so, of being right. But if they would win, we’d acknowledge it transiently, registering it as nothing more than a deviation from their inevitable fate.

If Wednesday night was any indication, maybe we—not KG, Rondo, Pierce and Co.—are the ones who need to check ourselves in the mirror. Maybe we’re too jaded to realize that in the NBA age is a number, not a definition or a death sentence. Maybe we don’t realize just how valuable Rajon Rondo really is, or how Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett still have second and third gears. Maybe we underestimate the weight of cohesion, of flawless execution. Maybe, just maybe, the Celtics will be the ones wearing those Eastern Conference Champions caps, proudly smiling and waving their middle fingers at the world, soaking in that very same feeling of knowing.

Look, being honest with myself, I know there’s no cause for a parade. It was one game against an upstart 8-seed, and if the Celtics are going have any say in who wins the title, games like last night are the expectation. Get beat at home by an inferior team, come right back and punch them in the mouth. But Game 3 was the prototypical Boston Celtics litmus test, perhaps one of too many in an unforgiving lockout-ridden season. It was the type of game the Celtics have built their name on; backs against the wall, with pressure to prove (at least in our minds) that they’ve still got it, pressure to regain homecourt advantage, and ultimately, pressure to restore order.

In Game 3, you could say order was restored. Boston started off slow, missing its first seven shots of the game, and fell behind 33-28 at the end of the first. In the second quarter, though, the Celtics activated their defensive clamps, eliminated the mental mistakes and imposed their will. Led by Garnett (more on him a minute), they went on a 14-2 run that turned the 5-point deficit into a 47-39 lead. Boston clicked on offense, at the same time holding the Sixers scoreless for over 5 minutes. After Lou Williams (13 points) and Thaddeus Young (22 points) briefly ended the scoring drought, the Celtics didn’t relent. They promptly went on a 14-4 run that had them up 60-49 at the half. As ESPN Stats & Info noted, the Celtics didn’t score their 60th point in Game 2 until midway through the fourth quarter. In Game 3, however, they scored 60 points in the first half.

Coming of out the break, Boston didn’t look back. They won the third quarter 27-16, were up by 20 for much of the fourth, and cruised to a lopsided 107-91 victory. Rondo dominated all evening, finishing with 23 points on 9-16 shooting with 14 assists, 6 rebounds and only one turnover in 40 minutes.

Paul Pierce, too, dominated. After a rough start to this series, averaging about 10 points per and battling through a painful knee injury, Pierce had a statement game, showcasing unrivaled energy, crazy bounce in his legs and the angry, Yeah buddy, this is what I do! grin that’s become somewhat of his trademark. The Truth finished with 24 points on 6-17 shooting, and added 12 rebounds and 4 assists. His game was summed up best on two plays in the first quarter, when he rose up through the lane for back-to-back dunks in a 25-second span. Last night, Paul Pierce caught two victims at the rim… ‘nough said.

As for Kevin Garnett, it’s time to start placing his name in the Playoff MVP conversation, especially if factoring in leadership. Garnett continued his abuse, scoring 27 points on 12-17 shooting, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing 4 assists in 30 minutes. He had 13 points in the second quarter take-over, sinking contested turn-around jumpshots at will and making Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen and the rest of the Sixers frontline look like food. They were the buffet, and Garnett was at the head of the lunch line. With his recent display of brilliance, Garnett has become a microcosm of his team, embarking on a by-any-means mission to restore order.

Ponder this: of the all players still in the Playoffs, only Kobe, LeBron, Durant, Wade, and Westbrook are averaging more points than KG (20.3). And only Andrew Bynum is averaging more rebounds (11). After all these years, the Big Ticket is still doing it, and doing it at a level that none of us thought was possible, at least not consistently. Garnett even drew double teams at several points last night, making it clear that Philly has no answer for him. And if Rondo and Pierce stay hot, it’s also clear this series could get out of hand quickly.

The question, of course, is whether Boston can sustain this level of play. If they are as engaged as they were on Wednesday, they can beat anybody in the League, and certainly dispose of the seemingly confused Sixers. If they come out flat in Game 4, well, then I guess we’re in for another litmus test.

Thunder 77, Lakers 75 (OKC leads 2-0)

by Nima Zarrabi | @NZbeFree

Steve Blake floated to the corner and Metta World Peace couldn’t resist. He was open. And with Kobe Bryant cutting from the inbounds play about 25 feet away with a defender draped on him, the ball came to Blake, who launched a 3-pointer with less than six seconds left in the game that bounced off the back iron and sealed an eventual 77-75 win for OKC in Game 2. Bryant was visibly upset about not getting the ball but it would have been a difficult pass for MWP to make.

The Lakers struggled offensively down the stretch, failing to score on their final six possessions of the game’s final two minutes. Up 75-70, Bryant had a pass stolen away by Kevin Durant, who raced down the court for a layup to cut the lead to 3. Bryant then bricked a turnaround that led to a bucket by James Harden on the other end. With the Lakers up 75-74, Bryant missed a 3-point attempt and Durant gave the Thunder the lead on the other end after driving to the right side for an easy floater. With 18 seconds left, there was plenty of time for the Lakers to get a last shot but as Kobe dribbled out the clock for a final look, the Thunder had a foul to give and guard Thabo Sefolosha made a smart play by fouling Bryant with 5.7 seconds left as he tried to drive past him.

That forced the Lakers into their scattered final inbounds play where Russell Westbrook lost sight of Blake in the corner. “What they did the last few minutes there, they just made gambles, “Kobe said. “It’s not something we’re accustomed to seeing, just flat out risks defensively. Durant did it and got a steal, Westbrook did it and caused a turnover. It was a little unconventional.”

Durant was sensational in the clutch and put together a nice all-around game, finishing with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. “This team is tough,” Durant said, sitting alongside Westbrook at the postgame presser. “Our DNA is always to keep pressing and to keep our composure.”

The Lakers did a much better job defending Westbrook and the Thunder’s pick-and-roll, keeping their bigs out to contest. They played the Thunder tough throughout the game, putting together a much better showing than their bleak performance in Game 1, but they were dismal down the stretch. “The last two minutes we didn’t do a good job executing offensively or defensively,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. “We felt like we let one slip away.”

The Lakers were led by Bryant and Andrew Bynum, each posting 20 points, while Pau Gasol added 14 points and 11 rebounds. The struggles for point guard Ramon Sessions continued—he managed only 2 points and zero assists in Game 2.

Despite the stinging loss, Bryant remained positive. “The biggest thing for us is that we found some things out defensively that we think are effective,” he said. “They did a great job, it was a great comeback by them. They got themselves a gritty win and not it’s on us to go back home and defend our home court.”

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  • Riggs

    The celtics made me a happy fan yesterday (they really should be 3-0 right now). That laker loss is boggling but steve blake had a really great look and that was a flip of the coin (is that his shooting spot anyways?)

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaberr

    This should be an interesting comments section.
    *grabs popcorn & ice tea*

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think you will be disappointed.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Well said, Darksaberr…. Also makes Myles’ story from last issue that much more interesting. ICYMI: http://www.slamonline.com/online/the-magazine/features/2012/05/hunger-games-kobe-bryant/

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And to be fair. Kobe played fairly unselfishly during the game. I mean, he took 25 shots, but he also made some smart passes and generally did the right thing for most of the game.
    But then, after pounding the Thunder inside all game, he switched to hero mode, starting getting turnovers and taking wild shots, and missing some decent makeable shots. And Harden also started killing. And that was the game.

  • http://www.google.be/imgres?q=NO!+meme&um=1&hl=nl&sa=N&rlz=1C1AFAB_enBE454BE454&biw=1600&bih=763&tbm=isch&tbnid=L3l0ZW3D5dDSDM:&imgrefurl=http://forthesakeofscience Max

    Can someone get me the real stats on Kobe in the clutch?
    Or how many gamewinners he has made in how many attempts?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    Yeah thats what irked me the most…Kobe was fine with feeding the bigs for 46 mins and it was working … but then he wanted to takeover and fu*cked everything up…..this is the game the Lakers should have won..I can’t see the Lakers winning both of their home games

  • Fat Lever

    Or Riggs, the Sixers should be up 2-1, if Lou Will doesn’t jack up that terrible 3 in game one. See how that works, dealing in the hypothetical? It is what it is, the C’s smacked the Sixers last night. Hawes is a joke of a big man, he can’t get out of town fast enough, even faster than when the fans wanted Iguodala out of town. He is shook of Boston’s front line, it’s so obvious. And I still dont understand why teams back up off of Rondo in the halfcourt, it allows him access to passing lanes. And for someone with his passing ability, it’s ridiculous to give him that advantage. So far, this series has gone as expected for me. I figured after 3, the Sixers would be down 2-1. Now they have to show some heart and come out in game 4, not fold when it gets tough, play straight up D, and get out on the break.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    “What they did the last few minutes there, they just made gambles.” Really, Kobe? Some might say it’s a bigger gamble to attempt a lazy pass over a superstar with one of the longest wingspans in the league.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Kobe played the dumbest basketball in the last 2 minutes of a game that a superstar has ever made in the history of mankind. That pretty much sums it all.

  • Mike From Spain

    Kobe shot the Lakers out of the game. That’s all it is.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    …then Mike Brown, didn’t even…oh f@ck, nevermind…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    There’s almost no doubt DFish would have made that open corner shot. Still props to Blake for taking it and not trying to pass it to Kobe. Don’t know how LA can come back from this. They played almost perfectly how they wanted it and still lost it. In the words of the Immortal Mark Jackson, ” The operation was successful but the patient died.”

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The offensive display last night hurt my eyes.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Hero ball failed last night.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Out of curiosity, if the Thunder lost the game, would Scott Brook’s coaching be criticized? It was clear how the Lakers adjusted to play the Thunder. Brooks seemed content with living with contested jumpers and would have died by them were in for the gifts at the end.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I criticized him last night. Nothing new from him

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    No because the media would have found a way to place all the blame on their favorite whipping boy, Westbrook.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    What JT said… Brooks wont be criticized until it’s too late

  • Mike From Spain

    Kobe shot 9 of 25, Gasol and Bynum combined shot 14 of 30.

    Say what you like , the bigs should have got more shots. At the rate they shot, if you gave 10 bad Kobe shots to the bigs, they would have won.

  • shutup

    I think Westbrook has to adapt instead of forcing a square peg in a round hall, he was getting to his mid-range spot at the free throw line and now the bigs are attacking his shot, he just needs a small Rod Strickland hesitation type up fake and he will get the big in the air and be right around him for a floater or with his athleticism a thunderous dunk. Was it me or until that final buzzer buzzed the second time I though Kobe was gonna pull it out. Even though the Lakers lost they exposed some gaping holes in the Thunder’s sets and when and if the Spurs and Thunder meet next round, The Spurs are going to live in those cracks.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I am criticizing Scott Brooks no matter what. Holy sh*t, if I see them run another basic high pick and roll with no other action I am going to….do absolutely nothing. Because I completely expect the Thunder to run the same play all game long every game. The Lakers adjusted their defense (something Mike Brown is great at as a coach) and the Thunder STRUGGLED. So ugly.
    .
    The Lakers offense was even more hideous, especially when they were actually running their offense (you know, that point when the offense was the only weapon the team had with Kobe and Bynum on the bench…y’all remember, those possessions that resulted in a Metta World Peace brick festival)

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Yeah, Russell was clanking it. But the offensive set of Oklahoma was just “shoot the ball if you’re 20 ft away from the rim”. It’s like professional players playing in an amateur league type of halfcourt set.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Epic OKC comeback is epic.

  • shutup

    square peg and round hall, lmao. Reminds of the line “throwing a hotdog down a hallway”

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    On that note, there was a screenshot someone posted and it looked like Kobe just passed it to Durant. LOL

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    I’m getting a little concerned for the Lakers. We played a really great 46 minutes last night and made the necessary adjustments from game 1 and OKC played like crap and they still won by 2. We had a brain fart in the last 2 minutes. Also thought it was funny when Harden caught Metta with that elbow lol

  • Riggs

    @FAT: this game is the reason why your hypothetical remark makes no sense and mine does. Had the 6ers beaten boston as bad as this then that would be something else, unfortunately for you and them, they have not and probably will not as well.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kobe Bryant in 5 games against the Thunder this year, is 39-118 and 4-18 from 3. Ugh

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Nbk I was getting ready to gloat today and say that we’re going back to CALI CALI to grab these two games but that’s when I turned the channel at the 46 minute mark.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    Co-Sign AP 11:12.

  • Ill Smith

    I spent the other day defending Scott Brooks’ coaching…..then I saw the game last night. He really just allows Russ/KD/Mr T to do whatever they like on offense & made ZERO adjustments when their jumpers weren’t falling. To play devil’s advocate though, I don’t think he can trust Ibaka/Perk to get the team’s buckets so maybe his hands are tied? Idk, I just know LA is looking on the verge of sweep #2.

    Oh & those Celtics looked niiiiice. KG must think Szzzzerbiack & dem are on the team I’m not sure if he’s played this well since he came to Boston. As long as he keeps stripping Spencer Hawes of his manhood nite in & nite out (no prison love) we still take it in 5. Now if only Indiana could pull off the upset…..

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Smith to be fair KG was tearing it up during the finals in 08 but he was a monster last night. Once he got it going in the 2nd it was over from there and he was fueling the defense.

  • Fat Lever

    Riggs, games 1 and 2 were close games that could have swung either way, which was my point about hypotheticals. I know game three was a definitive win, that game is not in question. You say Boston should have one game 2 because it was close either way. Well, I countered that you could apply that same logic to Game 1 for the Sixers. Either way, it makes no sense. What happened, happened. I hate this hypothetical sh!t. Like when a football coach says, well, we lost 3 games by 3 points or less. We make a play here or there and now we’re 10-6 instead of 7-9. No, you’re 7-9 because you couldn’t make those plays. Sh!t happens for a reason, the law of averages is true.

  • Ill Smith

    @T-Ray True true. But he was still racking up MVP votes back then. Here we are 5 years later & still posting the same #’s as that championship run. That’s remarkable for a dude turning 36 in a couple days.

  • Andrew Woods

    On ‘First Take’ they were applauding durants ‘clutch’ gene and saying he is the undisputed ‘best’ closer now. Then they used his 11-27 shooting in the final two minutes to drive home their point….lol…..i have lost my faith in objective journalism

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    It’s remarkable that he’s doing it. But to be honest I think he could have been having these numbers all 5 years except for the time he was injured. As much as I hate the Celtics I would watch them and see KG pass up wide open shots. Now he’s being more aggressive and looking to dominant so now sports media is surprised but frankly I’m not.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    Andrew Woods. WTH kind of percentage do you need from someone for them to be clutch? 11-27 is not bad at all. AT ALL.

  • Ill Smith

    KG in 08 Playoffs: 20.4/10.5/3.3/0.9 blocks/50%
    KG in 12 Playoffs: 20.3/11/2.1/1.7 blocks/55%

  • Ill Smith

    Just understand if he keeps this up the Celtics WILL be in the Finals. Bosh or no Bash he’s taking Miami out (not to mention they suck at defending the 3 & we got the best shooter of all time).

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Lakeshow
    11 for 27 is 40.7 percent.
    Um, that’s Jason Kidd level shooting. Brandon Jennings level. That’s not good. Sorry.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    It’s insane it’s like he has new life or something. Regardless if they face Indy or MIA KG is gonna eat them up especially since he’s playing the 5. Hibbert can’t guard him when he steps out and Joel is too tiny for him.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    Uhh Allen. Yes that is good.
    Were talking about the most difficult shot to make in the NBA game. Pressure situation, with the hardest defense possible. I do not respect anyone’s opinion who thinks that someone should shoot a higher percentage during crunch time than someone during their normal flow throughout a game. Jason Kidd shoots 40% on WIDE OPEN JUMPERS. I don’t like going all UFCML, but you must understand this point. Brandon Jennings shoots 40% on layups. KD shoots 40% on game winning shots. That’s fantastic. Sorry.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Actually, I apologize. I read your comment, then read the one you were commenting on.
    So, I saw you say 11-27 was good without the context of it being the final two minutes.
    I still think it’s not “good” but it’s not horrible because you are right about the difficulty of shots increasing. If Durant is a 50 percent shooter during the game, he shouldn’t shoot 40 percent in the clutch. There should be a drop off, but not one like that.

  • Fat Lever

    I’m with LakeShow on this one. Especially for a superstar, when the opposing teams sole purpose is to either deny him the ball altogether or make it as difficult a shot as possible without fouling(and remember for the most part, refs swallow their whistles in that situation unless the foul is ridiculously egregious). I’d argue that 40% under those circumstances is pretty remarkable.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Undisputed fact: DWade could run over a box of kittens and day-old puppies and the refs may be a little harsh and call a blocking foul on the box.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    LOL^

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    Sorry, shoulda given you the benefit of the doubt before I went all Unfrozen Caveman.
    It’s not great by any stretch, but i’ll take it every damn time out of my crunch time guy.
    Nick: LMAO. Wade is truly unique isn’t he. LOL.

  • Dagger

    If I remember correctly (it was on TrueHoop a while back) before this season Bryant shot 28% in the last minute of a close game. 41% puts Durant among the league’s most efficient players in the “clutch.”

  • Andrew Woods

    In the context of a defense solely focusing on you then I guess its good but not great. But if u told me that I can guve KD the ball and he will have a 40 percent chance by himself to score on the last possesion or I can run a set play that ‘should’ have a higher success rate then i’ll pick a set play. I cringe when I watch late game situations because this is the template we leave for our kids to follow. so its ok to play team ball and make the correct basketball play all game untill the final two mins of a close game?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Shooting 40% in the clutch is good but not exceptional. Melo is around 43-44%, so by defualt he’s the best in the clutch.

  • Fat Lever

    Andrew Woods, good point. But as a Sixer fan, I’ve watched Doug Collins preach ball movement to get this team open looks because we don’t have a KD for defenses to focus on. Then for some reason, in the last 2 mins of a close game, Doug decides to allow them to play iso/hero ball with….Lou Williams???? Makes no sense. At least the Thunder have KD to try and bail them out. I’ll let you guess how well Lou Will running iso’s at the end of close games fares for Philly.

  • Andrew Woods

    BTW, im suprised no one brings up the point that after blake missed and the thunder rebounded with 3.5 secs kobe was to frustrated to foul the thunder player. A lot can happen in 3.5 when u r only down 1. So instead Gasol rushes over to foul and left the lakers with 1sec to play with,a foul to give. I understand Kobes ‘greatness’ but his lapses are just as profound to me. Look no further than when he gave up in the phoenix suns series yrs ago

  • Andrew Woods

    Fat Lever: I understand and agree. Have a superstar in my opinion should make running a set play with ball movement a obvious coaching decision because of the pressure it puts on the defense. The opposing team more than likely will overload on the side the superstar is on and u r a few back screens from getting a good look or back door lay up. Its the same frustration I have with the heat. If they would just run a play that involved their three stars in constant movement we would never have these asinine debates of who should b closing at the end of games. To me it should always be, ‘who is open for a high percentage shot’…..but im no phil jackson so I could,be wrong

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    17 The Myth

    Two weeks ago, before Game 1 of the series against the Jazz, Popovich was asked whom he’d be starting at center, and he answered, “Tim Duncan, like we have for the last 15 years.” And thus the lamest ruse in recent NBA history finally came to an end. After two decades of being called a power forward, of showing up on All-Star ballots as a power forward, of engendering debate about whether he’s already the greatest ever at the four, the Spurs have come clean. Tim Duncan’s a center. Always has been.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I did notice that Andrew.
    Kobe pissed me off with his reaction. As Dennis Scott noted, Kobe was happy when Blake hit that clutch shot in Denver, but then he gets up set when he misses in LA.
    But Kobe has carte blanche to miss and make without comment from his teammates. Horsepucky.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    I didn’t read what nbk just wrote.
    Duncan sure is a great Power Forward though huh?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NBK
    He was a center while playing with David Robinson? Maybe in skillset but not in position. Hell, not even in skillset if you go by the centers of the past.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Oh I was just copying and pasting that from that article from Sports Illustrated. I thought that was interesting. — But Duncan really has played PF the majority of his career.

  • Andrew Woods

    Kobe’s mentality is his greatest strength along with his greatest weakness. Having two all star big man and a defensive speacialist mask his basketball vices….that is untill he gets frustrated and implodes

  • Ill Smith

    @Andrew Woods I peeped that too. Like I said, Kobe is a gift & a curse gotta take his petty BS just as much as you take that killer instinct. Can’t lie though I’m loving this Let’s Bash Kobe Day :D

  • Andrew Woods

    I respect Kobe’s….i dunno ‘courage’ I guess but I just dont like the example he sets for up and coming basketball players.

  • shutup

    @NBK I think Pop was having fun at the medias expense and it went over their heads and they ran with it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Shutup, probably. But there is definite truth to that, Duncan has played a ton of mis-labeled Center over the years. He is not at all the exclusive PF that the media generally tries to portray him as.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I love how clowns on TV are making excuses for Kobe’s performance last night, “he was gassed”, “his knee was hurting”. The media still to this day refuses to place any blame on Kobe whenever the lakers come up short in the playoffs. It’s amazing that there are so many excuses lined up for a man that is continually compared to the ultimate post-season performer.

  • Andrew Woods

    @Jtaylor21: I completely agree. Lebron gets stoned at 27, some of it deserved. But Kobe has become the ‘peoples champ’ in ESPN’s eyes. When in all honesty Kobe hasnt had a ‘great’ season in almost a half a decade. Especially when your comparing him to who he aspires to be, MJ.

  • Heals

    @Fat, Lake, Ap and Andrew; that’s tough. My example would be PP34 in game2 versus Atl, stat wise it was kinda awful, but in the context of his team for that game and the opposing team’s game plan it was an awesome performance. Here’s Fat’s favorite, “IF” Kob hits 1 more J he’s in the clear, but that’s how it goes. Ditto Ap @2:50, just a disgusting display (nothing new with him) to me. Your a 16 year vet stop acting like a petualant star trying to win for the first time. Just once I love to see a teammate “check” him. I feel as though Bynum has been close, but just doesn’t want to go there…

  • http://slamonline.com 19821982

    Without anything remotely interesting to add, I’ll just say this post-up was one of the best in a while.

  • Andrew Woods

    @heals, thats a great point. They might have to trade Bynum, not because they want dwight but because I dont see him willingly taking a back seat to kobe and kobes attitude toward the game. In two yrs Bynum will be a 22-10 lock and those numbers should,make any player the focal point of any offense. But I doubt kobe will dull his appetite for shooting 24 times a game at a 43% clip

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Not to jack this discussion (ok, jacking this discussion!) but someone in another post claims Lebron is the best ATHLETE on the planet. I don’t necessarily think so.

  • http://slamonline.com 19821982

    ^Umbrella Claims like “best athlete” are pretty much pointless unless you narrow down the criteria… In the four major US sports, Bron could probably fair well enough in the NFL to get a steady paycheck. I’d assume he can’t play baseball, and I’d pay money to watch him try and skate. He’d get his ass handed to him in MMA, and unless he tackled Mayweather it’d be a long one round fight. Is Lebron an amazing athlete? Yeah, he’s huge and he’ll run most people and things over. Is he the best? Maybe him and Mike Tyson could discuss that…

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Nick, that’s stupid. He’s not the best athlete; have him compete in track and field at the Olympics and see how he does.

  • Andrew Woods

    Maybe most amazing athlete def not best. But to be 270 and move how he does is off the charts. In high school it was rumored he ran a 4.45 40 as a 16yr old kid.

  • ti-sizzle

    Kobe sucked harder than Caboose in jail. Lakers goin down like Lakeshow’s mom!

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Not best athlete in a particular event, but he’s DEFINITELY an elite physical specimen. His combination of power, speed, size, leaping ability, and co-ordination are off the charts. Would he get dusted against elite mma fighters and boxers right now? Would he lose to power-lifters who are almost twice his weight in a “dead-lifting” competition? Of course! But give him the 15-20 years of learning any of the martial arts the same way most pro fighters do and he would be an absolute terror. I’ve only trained in mixed martial arts for about 6 years but it instantly becomes glaringly obvious that you cannot teach size, speed, and explosiveness. And those attributes translate to almost every sport.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    My mom does go down. This too is true.

  • ti-sizzle

    Meathead is right. Being skilled in an area isn’t the same as being “the best athlete”. Physically gifted people can succeed more in a greater number of sports with training. Whereas the unathletic person who happens to be good at one sport won’t fare well in others. Speaking of farewells, Andrew Woods’ mom had to get kicked out my crib last night. She doesn’t understand the words NO TEETH.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Wow sizzle, that was uncalled for.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well if you are referring to basketball as the sport that includes the most various athletic actions then in a sense LeBron is the best athlete on earth. But generally, that title is reserved for decathletes.

  • Heals

    Hijack, that’s grand theft Nick! Just joking, but good Q man. I tend to lean towards multiple sport athletes (Kenny Lofton types)…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    I was thinking the same thing. Basketball strength and agility is great but it may not be as great in other sports like maybe NFL level football. The type of leg, core and upper body strength needed to play certain positions in football far exceed what is needed at basketball. Also, while NBA level basketball requires great conditioning and Lebron is likely amongst the top conditioned NBA players with Ray and Eric Dampier and Andre Blatche!, his level of conditioning compared to bikers, distance swimmers, runners and bikers is definitely lower. He may be at the top of the charts in vertical jumping but I wouldn’t be surprised if dudes like Megatron or the OSU WR? might be better in the range of space that they can cover in a target area.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    This sizzle character has mocked me on a couple threads now. I’m so proud; I finally have become enough of a regular to have a hater. A momentous day!

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Best athlete, I’m gonna say Craig Alexander. Dude won the Ironman Triathlon the last 3 years at age 36-38 and holds the world record time at a shade over 8 hours. 8 hours to do a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. That’s inhuman.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Caboose has a point about triathlon participants, but to me, running, biking, and swimming seems like cardio, cardio, and another form of cardio. I think we all have different criteria when it comes to defining an athlete.If we’re gonna go with multiple sport athletes, I’d take Hershel Walker. All-Pro NFL running back, member of the US olympic bob-sledding team, and now professional MMA fighter at 40 something year old at less than 4% body fat. Google his picture, he makes Lebron look lanky.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Good point Meaty. I mean yeah, it’s hard to judge what “athleticism” means. I mean, you could even consider the world’s strongest man the most athletic since he can bench more than double what any NBA player can. I think by any criteria though, it shouldn’t be Bron.

  • hero

    epic meltdown by the “great” kobrick

  • hero

    to max: kobes carrer stats in gamewinners 7/25
    comapare i to lebrons 5/12.
    you got the point.
    the most over rated player of all time kobrick

  • Mike From Spain

    I always see Bron huffing and puffing when playing. He’s a tremendous athlete in regards to explosiveness, strength, power. But he’s just not built as endurance athletes are (they usually are skinny and small) ‘The best athlete’ title is relative…

  • Scott

    Caboose, calling another man ‘Meaty’ really says a lot about you…and none of it is good.

  • phillip

    Did anyone see MWP just “rock bottom”ed the Thunders? Nick Collison setting screen was literally pulled down by MWP’s arm, without a call.

    I was like, Thunder’s gonna lose this time…(that was before Lakers slowly screwing up)

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