Just some things that have been on my mind lately…
After watching last Thursday’s Spurs-Pistons matchup I am completely convinced that Detroit is the best team in the league. I don’t know that things will be that way for the rest of the season and into the playoffs, but I don’t see those guys losing too many games any time soon. They’re not as good as those mid-’90s Bulls teams, but I could see them winning 67 games without much problem at all. They’ve solved their scoring difficulties from years past, they still play top-notch defense when they need to, their bench is contributing, they take care of the ball, they don’t foul; the list goes on and on. The only team I see that could hold a candle to them is San Antonio once they get everyone healthy and on the same page. Miami might get their stuff together and surprise me, but I’m skeptical. Phoenix could definitely do it if Amare Stoudemire came back at even 70 percent, but I’m of the opinion he should play it safe, sit the whole season and come back next year. So until further notice, Detroit is who you should be paying attention to. Ignore what ESPN is force-feeding you.
Speaking of that Detroit-San Antonio game from Thursday and things that ESPN force-feeds you, why did we hear so much about Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James? I understand that they’re two very talented and exciting players, but should we really be focusing on that instead of the game featuring the season’s best teams and reigning conference champions? Granted, the game turned out to be pretty entertaining. I just don’t like the precedent it sets. As it is now, we’re getting these Shaq vs. Kobe things every Christmas and even today on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There are the Carmelo Anthony/LeBron games that few people seem to care much about. It just shouldn’t be the case that the game is trying to promote individual stars ahead of the things that they know are tried and true. Maybe that’s just my opinion, though.
Which brings me to my third thought: Why are we on Kobe’s jock about scoring a lot of points? Yes, he’s averaging nearly 35 per game, a feat last accomplished by some Jordan guy, if I’m not mistaken. Yes, 62 points through three quarters is obscene, especially since the opposing team only managed 61 up to that point. Being the first guy to score 45 points in four straight games since Wilt Chamberlain is quite silly as well. Despite all that, the Lakers are only a few games over .500. They’re not even the best team in Los Angeles at this point. In the midst of that scoring streak, he gave Mike Miller a premeditated elbow to the windpipe that resembled something you’d see while watching WWE, or F or G or whatever letter they’re using now. And let’s not forget about those indiscretions in Colorado. All I’m saying is that maybe we should focus on results on the court and less on individual achievements.