The D.A.Y. the Lakers lost Lamar

By Sam Rubenstein

For the past five days or so, I feel like I’ve been writing and reading this: “A.I. A.I. A.I. A.I. A.I. A.I.” Is this thing happening? I really don’t have time for another Ron Artest situation, where it goes on and on and on. Put Allen on a new team please. You’re wasting one of the great talents of our time. And now, back to the land of NBA action.

The Lakers nearly blew a 27 point lead over the last 9:45 of the game, which is funny since they were playing the Rockets, a team that tries to blow leads like that every night. T-Mac is out indefinitely with back spasms, which you could see coming this year from 5,000 miles away, hence his low spot on our top 50 over the summer. Yao was scoring at will against one-on-one matchups early on, but once L.A. started to double, Houston fell behind. They came back on the strength of their feisty young guys like Luther Head and John Lucas, but couldn’t finish off the comeback. Phil had pulled Kobe out of the game with that 27 point lead, with Kob already icing his knees. After the game Kobe called it “the weirdest game I’ve ever been a part of. That’s the first time I’ve put the ice on and had to come back out and play. It’s almost like Red Auerbach smoking the cigar.” He knows the history of the game. Too bad his coach had a running grumpy old man feud with Red. Kobe led the Lakers with 23-8-7, and hit a crazy hanging fading double pump going baseline on Battier, hanging in the air and coming up for oxygen on the other side of the basket. He actually goes to that move a lot. Not many can. Yao had 26, Luther had 21, but the big news from the game is that Lamar Odom sprained his knee and they’re calling is a moderate MCL sprain. He could miss a month. Lamar has been the glue on the Lakers all year. I have a feeling that one of his teammates is about to start shooting a lot more. He might have to.

Matt Barnes is the new Kevin Martin. Barnes, who has spent most of this season playing with incredible efficiency in limited time, is now getting more run and starting to put up numbers. Matt had a 32 and 11 game on 13 of 22 shooting, including 6 of 9 from three. Kevin Martin wasn’t bad himself, matching those 32 on 10 of 18 shooting including 3 of 7 from three. With J-Rich and Murph sitting with injuries, Nellie’s team got big contributions from lots of places: Biedrins had 20 and 14, Baron had 13 assists, and L’il Dun and Pietrus both topped 20 points. The Kings are disappointing me. Other than Kevin Martin, Ron Artest scored 22 and John Salmons had 18 and 10 off the bench, but what’s up with a Ron Ron team allowing 126 points?

As I’m writing this, I have Mike and Mike on ESPN radio on. Yeah, it’s not the greatest show in the world, but at least they don’t take random personal shots at SLAM and our readers (YOU!) like some other blog plagiarising personalities on their airwaves. I don’t want to say his name, because that’s the only thing that a guy as lowly and pathetic as him craves. I don’t want to give him any more publicty and I don’t want his baseless, offensive trash to be responsible for us getting more exposure. Anyways, Mike and Mike just had the Scott Layden of the Mets, Steve Phillips on the air. He’s still pretending he’s a GM. This is the perfect winter for him to be playing make believe with all the crazy contracts being handed out. Mo Vaughn. If Steve were still in the game as a real GM (no disrespect to the site, which has more authority and knowledge than Phillips does), there’s no telling how many $200 million dollar contracts he would have put out there. This is their expert, a guy who was overmatched by Scott Boras, the agent that runs baseball, and is so irritating, he’s the one guy that is able to generate sympathy for A-Rod with his own barrage of personal attacks out of jealousy. Comical. I’ve stayed away from rampantly making fun of ESPN lately, cause they’re such an easy target these days. But if they’ve got shock jocks taking shots at us for no reason, I should say something. I don’t want to say anything too clever though, cause he’ll just rip it off and claim it as his own.

Okay, the Nuggets won this game and are obviously the much better team. But give Lang this one moment of happiness: Marvin Williams on Marcus Camby. Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Bogut will never do it like that. Oh wait, I forgot that we’re not allowed to glorify a losing team making an exciting play cause losing a basketball game is the worst sin in life. I know that sportscenter would never show a higlight of a losing player dunking on a winning player. The Hawks hung in there for three quarters, until The Squirrel got them. Earl Boykins scored 9 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. Joe Johnson missed another game due to injury, and Josh Smith led Atlanta with 21 and 10. Melo was held to a lowly 26 points. Camby grabbed 17 boards and blocked 4 shots.

The Sonics finally got on board with the Oden lottery ball program, finally losing a game with Ray Allen out with an “injury.” Luke Ridnour missed a three at the buzzer in a game where the Sonics hit just 1 of 6 threes. The Sonics only took six threes? The Seattle Supersonics? Someone had a strategy meeting! The Bucks hit 1 of 13 threes. Coming into the season, you would have thought this was a Ray-Redd teacher-student shooter’s delight. Not on this night. Redd scored 22, Ruben Patterson scored 21, and Rashard Lewis led Seattle with 26, and Bogut hit the winning free throw.