The Los Angeles Lakers advanced to the Western Conference Finals with an 89-70 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of their series. And Kobe can breathe a sigh of relief. Even without Yao Ming for some of the series, the Rockets still pushed the Lakers to the brink of elimination and for Kobe to a career-crippling defeat. Kobe has faced so much scrutiny over the years for his character, his skill, his attitude, but this was a bit different.
This was Kobe vs Shane Battier. People have always wondered how good Kobe is, if he can carry a team to a championship, and if he is as good as Jordan (he’s not). This time though it was is Battier better at defense than Kobe is at offense. This was new to Kobe.
This Rocket team has limited scoring, especially with Yao out, but has great defensive players in Battier and Artest amongst others. Could the defensive stalwarts of Houston outlast Kobe and his Lakers?
Battier played defense on Kobe like Kobe had never faced before throughout the entire series. Every shot, Battier has his hand millimeters from Kobe’s face. He fights through screens and hip checks every possession. He pushes Kobe around and forces him to his inefficiencies. Still, Kobe hits a shot and struts back up the court saying, “He can’t guard me” Continue reading “Kobe Survives”
The Houston Rockets walked into Portland as a slight underdog, but left the overwhelming favorite to win the series. After a 108-81 victory Saturday night, Houston is now in great position to move on to the next round. Yes, it is only one game, but this was quite a dominant game.
They shot 58.5% from the field and out-rebounded the Trail Blazers 44-30. In every facet of the game, Houston outplayed Portland. No one on Houston played too many minutes (Shane Battier played the most at 37) and so no one was over exerted.
The offense was precise and destructive, but the defense was the star of the game. The Blazers shot just 41.7% from the field and were 1 of 11 from 3-point- range. This wasn’t just a bad shooting performance by Portland. This was a great defensive performance from Houston. Every shot was contested.
- LaMarcus Aldridge, who averaged over 18 points a game during the regular season, mad just 3 of his 12 shots and scored only 7 points.
- Brandon Roy, the only bright spot for the Blazers, shot 10 of 23 from the field for 21 points, but even that was still below his 22.6 season average. Continue reading “Rockets Make A Statement”
Not a big sports day today, but there are a couple of stories that deserve discussing.
Knicks, Marbury Saga Continues:The New York Knicks and Stephon Marbury continue to live without each other as Marbury grieves over the death of his father. The Knicks have given Marbury as much time as he needs, but he is having trouble in the situation. This comes after Marbury left a game against Phoenix before the game started, because he was taken out of the starting lineup. The Knicks have fined Marbury $200,000 and the two continue to argue over whether he has to pay it. In practice today, Knicks’ coach Isiah Thomas was asked whether Marbury would return to the Knicks this year. His response: “I don’t know”. The organization needs to move past this distraction and try to regain some respect from the rest of the league. If Marbury is really having a tough time dealing with the loss of his father, he should take as much time as he needs and join a team where he can make a positive impact.
All Star Voting Updates in NBA, NHL:Fan voting for the All Star was released today for both the NHL and NBA. These are only updates as their is still time left to vote for your favorite players, but it seems that fans are doing a good job selecting the starters. In the NBA, the current starters for the East would be Kevin Garnett, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade, and Jason Kidd while the West would counter with Yao Ming, Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, and Carmelo Anthony. I agree with nearly everyone one of those choices except for one, Tracy McGrady. How can Chris Paul, who is averaging 22 points and 10 assists per game not make it over T-mac? McGrady averages 23 points and 5 rebounds per game. I know that Nash is dishing out 13 assists per game, but for the Hornets to be at 18-10 right now is a testament to how much Paul means to the team. Paul deserves the spot. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 12/27/07”