Opening night's most famous appendage is only rivaled by D Howard's back.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Kobe is keeping the Mavs on their toes as they prepare for tonight's game.
By now, any fan or follower of the NBA is familiar with the article, Brian Windhorst, NBA writer for ESPN.com, published on Thursday about the Lakers eyeing Lebron James.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Talk about Lebron doing anything and expect the pot to get stirred.
Top 10 Reasons LA Won't Win the Championship This Year.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Even with Dwight and Nash many don't pick the Lakers to win this year. Here's why.
Below are the Top 10 reasons Los Angeles won't win the title this year. This is drawing from other teams of similar build as well as an analysis of their existing pieces. Los Angeles is loaded with talent, but talent doesn't always equal championship rings and these are the reasons why.
#10 Metta World Peace is wild.
World Peace is a solid defender, but his offense is sketchy and his ability to control himself in pressure situations is horrible. Look for him to have another incident this year as he continues to age and get more frustrated with his slowing body. It's not a matter of if, but simply when World Peace will go nuclear.
#9 Pau Gasol is weak.
Gasol simply doesn't pay with the heart of a champion. Now that he is the 3rd or 4th option in the offense it won't be as glaringly obvious, but having people on your team and on the court that lack desire is a killer to team moral. Look for Kobe to continue to get pissed with Pau.
#8 Dwight can't shoot free throws.
When the game is on the line Dwight can't touch the ball. This is the same problem the Clippers have with Blake Griffin. The Lakers can overcome this by simply having everything flow through Kobe and Nash, but having your key big man not able to touch the ball is a serious weakness.
#7 Nash's defense sucks.
Steve Nash is a wiz at no-look passes and floaters in the lane, but lateral movement and man-up defense isn't one of his strengths. This will be exploited when he is matched up with speedsters like Russell Westbrook. This will be a key matchup the Thunder will exploit. This is why the Thunder are still stronger than the Lakers out West.
#6 Dwight's attitude
Dwight is known as a happy-go-lucky guy. He has always been much stronger and more talented than his competition. Unfortunately, this has made him weak. Dwight is not tough. He does not have the heart of a lion like Kobe. He has the heart of a kitty like Pau. This lack of mental toughness will be spotlighted in the playoffs.
#5 Kobe pressing
Kobe want's his sixth championship more than anything. He knows time is running out on both his career and the Laker's ability to hold this squad of players together. Look for Kobe to up in Pau and Dwight's faces early in the season. This could backfire with Dwight who isn't used to being scolded publicly.
#4 Mike Brown needs a spine
The Zen Master not only knew how to win, he knew how to let his leaders lead, but also how to keep them within his system. Mike Brown is no Phil Jackson and doesn't command the type of respect needed to keep massive egos in check. If things get bumpy early in the system look for Mike Brown to start catching some of the heat.
#3 No Toughness.
The toughest player on the Lakers is Kobe followed by Steve Nash. Where LA doesn't have grit is underneath. They lack the big men with muscle that are willing to both hit the floor and set a bone-crushing pick. Their big men are more pretty and gritty. Teams like San Antonio and Oklahoma City that don't suffer from this same prima donna mentality will exploit this lack of toughness.
#2 LA wants results.
Look for the temperature to be turned up as the Lakers struggle early in the season. They may even loose some early games to the Clippers and be threatened with losing the crown of their home town. Los Angeles has extrememly high expectations for the Lakers and if things start going south look for egos to get bruised and fingers to start pointing.
#1 First year together.
The Miami heat didn't win the first year their Big Three united in South Beach. The Lakers are no different. No matter how much talent a team has, it takes time for players to find their roles and fit together. The Lakers have the advantage of having winners already on the roster, but so did Miami. Look for the Lakers to win in year 2, but not their first year with this grouping of players.Read More
Kupchak brings Dwight Howard to Lakers
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: This is only the most recent in a career of shrewd moves since Kupchak became the Lakers general manager.
The Nets have reportedly entered into contract talks with their own Brook Lopez.
Hoopsvibe Very Quick Call: It's now or never for Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets deal.
Lopez, a restricted free agent, is reportedly talking to the Nets about a max deal; either 4 years for $58 million or 5 years for $78 million. The other thing to consider is that if another team puts in an offer to Lopez, he can't be part of a trade to another team. Also, if he doesn't agree to a sign and trade it would stop a deal for Howard until December 15th, because that is when players who signed with teams in the offseason can be traded.
Believe it or not, the Howard to Nets saga has been going on for about a year now. If it doesn't go down now, how awkward would it be for him to spend the season in Orlando? Speaking of awkward, if the Nets are forced to rely on their own "in-house" guy in Lopez, would that make things weird and screw up chemistry? Either way the Nets need a back-up plan in case they don't actually trade for Howard, and Lopez is it.
But how much worse would that be? Or, would it even be bad at all? We all know Lopez missed all but five games last season due to a foot injury, which is never what you want to have your big man suffer through (see Rik Smits, Yao Ming). But when healthy, Lopez has produced, with career averages of 17.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 1.6 bpg. But obviously, Lopez is nowhere close to the defensive player Howard is, or the rebounder. But he is a solid big man.
The other question is, if the Nets do actually get Howard, are their enough basketballs to go around to keep everyone happy? Joe Johnson has to shoot a lot to be productive. Deron Williams likes to score as much as any PG in the league. Gerald Wallace likes to score. Howard needs to be the center of attention at all times, so even though he's saying he wants to go to the Nets, could he even handle being an after thought on the offensive side? How long would it take for him to complain about that?
If Dwight Howard going to the Nets has any chance of happening, it's going to have to happen NOW.