This position will be fruitful for years to come especially with the rise of Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap. Long time underrated guys such as David West are no longer on the top 10, but they remain very useful if you come by one. Long time stalwart and future Hall of Famer, Tim Duncan, is no longer on the top 10 either. The time has arrived. It’s sad to see him go. The present and future are still bright for power forward aficionados. Stats are up to date as of December 2, 2010.Read More
Lakers forward Lamar Odom is putting his differences with Matt Barnes in the past. Barnes will officially be introduced as a member of the Lakers on Tuesday.
"He's a teammate now," Odom said while in Las Vegas for USA Basketball training camp on Saturday. "That was an on-the-court issue and he has a Lakers jersey on now, so it will be no big thing."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They'll be fine.
Last year, Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom clashed when the Orlando Magic battled the Los Angeles Lakers during a regular season game in early March.
After the game, Odom told reporters Barnes behaved like 'an action figure' and 'monkey'. Barnes woke the next morning, read Odom's comments, and declared viral jihad on Mr. Khloe kardashian via twitter.
"Morning yall up early w/ the babies watchn Dora. Seems Lamar can't keep my name out his mouth maby I need 2 put my sons [expletive] diaper n it [sic]."
Of course, Barnes' intensity was a big reason the two-time defending champion Lakers signed him this summer. He'll defend. He'll hit the three. And he'll hold others accountable.
Like former Laker foe Ron Artest, he'll click with the guys. Chances are, him and Odom will get along.
-- Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Since losing Tony Allen to the Grizzlies, the Celtics have warmed to the idea of signing Matt Barnes, according to an NBA source.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Losing Tony Allen may be a positive for the Boston Celtics.
While Allen's defensive game improved during the playoffs and in the NBA Finals, he had limits on offense. Defenders would slough off the athletic swing and dare him to fire away from the perimeter.
Matt Barnes is Allen's equal as a lockdown defender, but also stretches defense with his three-point range and intimidates. For instance, Barnes averaged 9 points per game last year with Orlando, mostly on a steady diet of outside shots.
However, the Mohawk's greatest asset is his intensity. In 2007, he was an integral part of the Golden State Warriors improbable upset of the Dallas Mavericks. And last season he declared viral jihad via twitter against the Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom.
Barnes is reportedly announcing where he'll sign today. The mighty green-and-white is hoping he'll pick Boston and provide an upgrade on Allen.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Derek Fisher received an offer of the veteran's minimum from the Heat over the weekend, but he is likely to re-sign with the Lakers.
Fisher reportedly received a $2.5 million offer for next season from the Lakers. He has been seeking a two-year contract with a starting salary closer to the $5 million he made last season.
"The Raptors would like to get something in a sign-and-trade for Bosh, but they likely won’t deal him in the East. The Lakers are expected to offer Andrew Bynum, a legitimate low post center, and Lamar Odom, and take back Jarrett Jack, whom the Raptors would like to move."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: All they can do is make the best of a bad situation.
After all, franchise face Chris Bosh seems destined to leave the Toronto Raptors as a free agent when the market opens July 1st. Executive Bryan Colangelo admitted as much at a recent press conference.
There's no easy way to lose a 26 year old superstar. However, there's an easier way.
For instance, if Chris Bosh joins fellow free agents LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade in Miami or Chicago, he'll likely leave a year and $30 million on the table. And the Raptors will get nothing in return.
If Bosh inks a deal with the Raptors as part of a sign-and-trade, he can get the longest term and most money available. And the club can get something back, which is better than nothing.
Enter the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time defending champs are offering Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom for Bosh and Jarrett Jack.
Such a deal would achieve two things. First, Bynum is a legit five-man. His length, size, and ability to plug the middle would transform the Raptors into a more defensive side. And skilled post Andrea Bargnani could slide to the four-spot, his natural position.
Second, Bosh would be out west. He wouldn't be in the same conference. He wouldn't drop into Air Canada Centre several times a year with his new superstar teammates. He wouldn't win championships with the the Bulls or Heat. And all of this would allow the Raptors to save face.
Of course, the ball is in Bosh's court. As an unrestricted free agent, he holds most of the cards.
All Colangelo can do is offer a sign-and-trade. Joining Kobe Bryant and the NBA's best team may be enough for Bosh to re-consider his plans to partner with James and Wade, especially if he gets the maximum term and money.
This is the Raptors' only card, so Colangelo better do everything to play it.
Kobe Bryant has become a strong advocate for Bell, a former nemesis. After missing most of the season with surgery to repair ligaments in his non-shooting wrist, Bell is still expected to be a coveted bench player among contending teams.
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: No surprise here.
Sure, Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell engaged in a bloody war when the Los Angeles Lakers met the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 Western Conference Quarter-Finals. And sure, they exchanged elbows on-court and insults off-court.
However, these two squashed their beef following that memorable playoff. Bryant and Bell use the same agency, so their paths were bound to cross and when it did they discovered they liked each other.
And Bell would be perfect for the purple-and-gold. He can defend. He can knock down three-pointers. And his intensity would ensure complacency does set in.
Best of all, Bell would make the Lakers’ nasty defense nastier. He could come off the bench to form a terrific stopper unit with Ron Artest, Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom.
Expect these former foes to continue their new found friendship as teammates. And the strong, the two-time world champion Lakers, will be even stronger in 2011.
Got thoughts on Bell and Bryant joining forces?
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Boston Celtic fans may call her `the ugly sister`, but Khloe Kardashian knows how to reward hubsand Lamar Odom for winning an NBA Title with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Various websites are reporting that the reality television star bought Odom a white Rolls Royce Phantom as a victory present. Word is her little gift cost a cool four hundred thousand dollars.
Watch the clip below to see Lamar`s new ride, and get at us with your thoughts in the comment box.
Portland is showing strong interest in Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo WIlliams. The Blazers have been making calls to check on him.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Williams would fit in 'Rip CIty'.
After all, Cleveland's current table-setter is able to play both on-and-off the ball. He can handle the rock, run the offense, and use his jumpshot to prevent defenses from double-teaming stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy.
Williams is also easy company. Teammates and coaches enjoy being around him, and he'd likely gel with an already close Blazer squad.
Of course, it's never that easy.
Williams is a sub par defender, who has a reputation for going MIA in the playoffs. He also two years and a player's option left on his contract for a total of $27 million. Worst of all, his presence might upset temperamental veteran Andre Miller.
Why are the Blazers really interested in Williams?
Executive Kevin Pritchard is on shaky ground and needs some headlines to solidify his standing with the organization. Remember, last year, Pritchard was willing to overpay free agents like David Lee, Lamar Odom, and Hedo Turkoglu -even though these forwards wouldn't have helped much.
This isn't the way to run a professional sports team, but issues have existed in the front office for some time.
For instance, Tom Penn, the Vice President of Basketball Operations, was mysteriously fired in June for reasons that remain unknown. And there are has always been rumors that Pritchard and Coach Nate McMillan don't get along.
Maybe Portland acquires Williams. Maybe Portland goes in a different direction. One thing is certain: changes will take place in the Northwest.
Got thoughts on this?
Beating Boston for the first time in a Game 7, the Lakers came up champions again after trailing in the last quarter of the last game of their season.
Kobe Bryant, the finals MVP, scored 23 points despite 6-of-24 shooting and the Lakers won their 16th NBA championship Thursday night, dramatically rallying to beat the Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game 7 of the NBA finals.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In game-seven of the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers showed that defense wins championships.
After all, tonight’s game was supposed to be a dream match-up between the Celtics and Lakers, but – at least on the offensive end – it resembled a bit of nightmare.
Both teams couldn’t execute their offensive sets. Both teams couldn’t hit shots. So both teams dug-in, defended, and battled.
Take the victorious Lakers: Kobe Bryant, the Finals MVP, shot a horrendous 6-for-24 from the floor, but grabbed 15 huge rebounds; Pau Gasol pulled in 18 tough rebounds, which offset his missed chippies and free throws; and Ron Artest – who thanked his psychiatrist in a classic Ron-Ron post-game interview – hit clutch shots, however, his greatest contribution was battling Celtic superstar Paul Pierce.
As a group, the purple-and-gold overcame a 13-point second-half deficit and won their second consecutive championship by getting stops. For instance, they held the Celtics to just 79 points on 40% shooting from the floor.
Lamar Odom sparked the turnaround. The forward entered the game in the third quarter with the Lakers trailing 49-37 and looking desperate.
Odom used his considerable length and versatility to score, rebound, and most importantly, provide energy. And his contribution was far greater than his modest stat line of 7 points and 7 rebounds.
Boston led for most of the game and looked capable of pulling off the upset to win their second championship in three years.
Their offense went cold for long stretches of the second half. For instance, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the Celtics’ top scorers, were a combined 8-for-29 from the floor.
And the talented bench – which so often provided a lift when the starters struggled – had little impact. Of course, the reserves were short-handed with Rasheed Wallace replacing the injured Kendrick Perkins in the starting-five.
Tonight, Bryant’s Lakers defeated the Celtics for the first time in a game-seven duel, something greats like Jerry West and Magic Johnson failed to accomplish.
Winning back-to-back championships cements this team’s place in history. And their leader and best player, Bryant, keeps solidifying his standing as an all-time great.
And the Lakers, the NBA’s glamour team, achieved this feat with grimy, blue-collar defense.
Got thoughts on the Lakers winning game-seven and consecutive championships?
The Lakers have the best player, but Boston's depth of big-time playmakers will prevail in a game like this. I count eight Celtics -- the four current or former All-Stars in their starting lineup, plus Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson’s and little-used Michael Finley, a three-point shooter with the potential to become this game's Steve Kerr -- who have it in them to make the big shot. The absence of Kendrick Perkins may create more offense for the Celtics, and they'll make up for his rebounding with a team effort led by Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Anticipate nothing less than a tightly wound classic played to a tempo that suits Boston.
Click here for Ian Thomsen's official game seven prediction and more analysis from the CNNSI crew.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Boston Celtics are deserving of respect.
Consider their road to the NBA Finals. First, they took out Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat -despite some questionable tactics from Kevin Garnett. They made the Cleveland Cavaliers – the NBA’s best team in the regular season – implode, which, unfortunately, gave us an extra month of The LeBron Watch. They then coolly took out the Orlando Magic, the reigning Eastern Conference champions, in six games.
This was a most improbable run for a club that was supposedly dead, gone, and over at mid-season. Clearly, they saved their best for last, though.
The green-and-white have now pushed the defending champion and heavily favoured Lakers to the limit. The secret to Boston’s success: inspired team play on the defensive end.
Look at the NBA Finals: they’ve mostly contained Ron Artest and Lamar Odom; they’ve battled superstar Pau Gasol; and they’ve made the immortal Kobe Bryant look surprisingly mortal.
Doc Rivers’ crew is an all-time great defensive team. They can hang with any of Phil Jackson’s Chicago teams that had notable defenders like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. And they hold their own against Detroit’s Bad Boys and any of Pat Riley’s squads in Los Angeles or New York.
Offensively, somebody different carries the load each night. For instance, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo have all had moments.
Of course, reserves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson – also known as Shrek and Donkey - won game four of the NBA Finals. And the defending Sprite Slam Dunk Champion went off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.
That said, the Lakers have the edge in the decisive game-seven. Here’s why:
1) Home-court matters: The purple-and-gold is a different team at home. They’re confident. They’re nasty. And they’re arrogant.
2) No Perk’: The Celtics will miss Kendrick Perkins. They lack the size to win the paint, and contain Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
3) Kobe Bryant: He’s the best player on either team. He’s the best player in the NBA. And he understands tonight is a legacy game.
Bryant – if he wants to be considered an all-time great – can’t afford a loss. After all, five championships are far better than four. And two losses to the arch rival Celtics in the NBA Finals would be devastating.
Expect Bryant to drop a Jordan-like effort. And HoopsVibe News expects the Lakers to win.
Prediction for game-seven of the 2010 NBA Finals: Lakers 95, Boston 88.
Got thoughts? What is your prediction for game-seven of the NBA Finals?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Lamar Odom is grabbing rebounds and bouncing a little when dribbling up-court. Ron Artest doesn't resemble a lost tourist in the triangle. Pau Gasol asserts his will in the paint. Instead of pacing the sideline and dropping quotes about collecting oneself, Phil Jackson is laying back in his throne -also known as The Ergonomically Correct Chair. Kobe Braynt is 'facilitating' rather than scoring. Sasha Vujacic, the self proclaimed machine, is knocking down three-pointers, alienating opponents, and styling his straight-outta-Slovenia do. And those celebs' rocking courtside seats at Staples Center are flashing their Hollywood smiles for ABC.
If you haven't guessed it, these are signs the Los Angeles Lakers are winning. However, there is a notable omission: Shannon Brown's highlight reel jams.
The purple-and-gold always seems to win when the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Gets On Up like Jodeci and rocks the rim for two points.
(Yes, HoopsVibe News is referencing the classically cheesy R&B group from the 1990s. And sadly, HoopsVibe News is old enough to legitimately do so.)
Consider game-six of the NBA Finals. First Brown rammed home a one-handed breakaway jam and then he rubbed his man off an Odom back-pick, grabbed an alley-oop toss and converted an amazing jam.
Both dunks inspired teammates and fans. Not surprisingly, the Lakers won game-six of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
And they're hoping -at least in California - that Brown repeats his aerial antics in game-seven, even if it's got that Jodeci thing going on.
Got thoughts? Did Brown Get On Up like Jodeci.
Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers emphatically extended the NBA finals to a decisive seventh game with a 89-67 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 on Tuesday night.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Two days ago, Kobe Bryant demanded his teammates 'man up and play'. Well, the Los Angeles Lakers - both individually and collectively - fulfilled his request on Tuesday evening.
The purple-and-gold dominated every aspect of game six, building an early lead through tough defense, infectious hustle, and inspired play. The Celtics never mounted a serious challenge and the Lakers cruised through the second half to an easy win.
The difference between games five and six was obvious: Bryant had help. Loads of it.
For instance, co-star Pau Gasol had a double-double, but - best of all - the Spaniard imposed his will down-low; Ron Artest hit shots; Lamar Odom stopped complaining about the flu and got active; and Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Sasha Vujacic provided energy off the bench.
Two specific plays stand out. First, Artest was so confident he over-dribbled and still sank an improbable fall-back shot. Second, Farmar out-hustled Celtic Rajon Rondo for a loose ball by sacrificing his body and diving on the floor.
Bryant aside, no Laker looked confident or sacrificed in game-five.
As a group, L.A. played superb defense. They challenged every shot. They provided helped. They got stops. They won the battle of the boards. And they held the Celtics to 67 points, the second lowest total in NBA Finals history.
Meanwhile, Boston resembled a team with a one game cushion. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo were outplayed by the Lakers' big guns. The bench - which had been so effective earlier in the series - looked awestruck.
Of course, Kendrick Perkins' injury didn't help. The rough and tumble post sprained his knee early in the first quarter and never returned. His status for game-seven is unknown.
With or without Perkins, the green-and-white must re-establish their presence in the paint and show greater urgency on Thursday.
In fact, the Celtics should consider Bryant's advice and 'man up'. Or the Lakers will win what has become a one game, do-or-die NBA Finals and will hoist the Larry O'Brien championship trophy.
Got thoughts on game six? And what's your prediction for Thursday's game-seven?
"I haven't been sick all season … now I'm sick in the Finals," said Odom after the Lakers' 92-86 loss to the Celtics here in Game 5. "Had to put my hard hat on just to get out of bed. It was tough.
"We get to go home and I'll be in my own bed in my own house," he said. "And get to see my wife."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Lamar Odom missed the press conference where Kobe Bryant told his Laker teammates to 'man up and play'.
Complaining about the flu, wanting your own bed, and needing to see your wife doesn't exactly qualify as manning up. In fact, it's copping out.
This, however, is typical Odom.
At his best, he's a wonderful talent, capable of playing all five positions and stuffing every category in the box sheet. At his worst, he's a passenger, disappearing in the clutch and sometimes for entire games.
So Odom is a enigma, which is unfortunate for the Lakers because he's their barometer. When he plays well, they rarely lose. When he struggles, they become vulnerable.
And what Odom shows for game-six and seven will determine if the Lakers can come back against the Celtics.
Got thoughts on this?
This is another episode in the long series called, “Can anybody other than Kobe score?” In the game 5 episode called, “The one where Kobe gets hot in the 3rd quarter,” Pau Gasol still has not shed the “soft” label. Ron Artest’s offense is crappy. People will make excuses for him not being familiar with the triangle offense. That is crap. Man up. This is the Finals. Boston’s defense is just that good to make him look dazed and confused.Read More
Come on Los Angeles. You’re better than this. Shout outs to Shrek and Donkey AKA Big Baby Glen Davis and Nate Robinson. They stepped up when it mattered. Davis added 18 points and Nasty Nate provided 12 points. Lamar Odom disappeared as usual with 10 points in nearly 40 minutes of game time. Andrew Bynum could not get his game going, which resulted in Phil Jackson yanking him out early. The nagging injury is really affecting him.Read More
"Maybe the best chant ever heard at a sporting event, to Lamar Odom at FT line: "UG-LY SIS-Ter"!. Clap-clap, clap-clap-clap."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Nothing is off limits in the NBA Finals, especially between the Celtics and Lakers.
Odom went 5-for-5 from the floor for 12 points to go with 5 rebounds. Best of all, he was active. He attacked the basket, avoided foul trouble, got into the open court, and played multiple positions.
In fact, this was the versatile forward's best game of the NBA Finals. Perhaps, the "UG-LY SIS-Ter" chant served as motivation.
Got thoughts on Boston calling Khloe Kardashian ugly? Get at us in the comment box below.
Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Derek Fisher added 16 to lead Los Angeles to a 91-84 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night and give the Lakers a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
Bryant had 25 points after three but did not score for the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter. That's when Fisher took over, adding four key baskets after Boston winnowed a 17-point first-half lead to one point.
The Lakers regained home-court advantage they had lost when Boston took Game 2 in Los Angeles. Game 4 is Thursday night in Boston.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In basketball, there’s a saying that ‘you can’t teach the height’. In game three of the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics couldn’t beat the Los Angeles Lakers’ height.
It didn’t matter that Kevin Garnett turned back the clock with an inspired performance. It didn’t matter that Rajon Rondo was brilliant. It didn’t matter that the green-and-white’s bench had a big second half.
It also didn’t matter that Kobe Bryant had an off shooting night or that Ron Artest struggled with foul trouble.
On Tuesday evening, the Lakers were bigger and stronger and ultimately better. For instance, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom were especially effective in the middle, disrupting passing lanes and contesting shots with their length.
Size was one factor. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce’s poor play was another.
Allen, who hit an NBA Finals record 8-three pointers in game two, missed every shot he took in game three, while Pierce wasn’t much better, going 5-for 12 from the floor, and ending with a disappointing 15 points.
This was Pierce’s second consecutive sub par performance and it came on the heels of his claim the Celtics ‘ain’t going back to LA!’
Of course, one of the Lakers’ smallest players, Derek Fisher, played like a giant. The veteran went 6-for-12 with 16 points, which included a courageous 5-for-7 shooting display in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory.
Yes, height was the difference in game three. So was the size of Fisher’s heart.
Got thoughts on game four? Get at us in the comment box below.
These have been forgettable games for Lamar Odom, a sixth man gone asunder in the most important series of the season.
The Lakers aren't playing Phoenix any longer, as Odom could definitely attest, the 14 points and 11.8 rebounds he averaged in the Western Conference finals apparently a thing of the past now that the Lakers are playing Boston in the NBA Finals.
Odom had a five-point, five-foul debacle in Game 1 that somehow got worse Sunday in Game 2, when he finished with three points and five fouls in the Lakers' 103-94 loss.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He is the Los Angeles Lakers’ barometer.
When Lamar Odom has his A-game, the Lakers are unbeatable. No other team can bring a versatile, play all five positions type off the bench?
But Odom is somewhat of an enigma. Most of the time, he's brilliant. Some of the time, he disappears.
For instance, former coach and ABC broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy often calls the four-man a top thirty player in the NBA.
At times, such praise is warranted. Last year, he was brilliant as a sixth man for the purple-and-gold. And years ago, he looked like the second coming of Magic Johnson when he led an upstart Miami Heat squad to the second round.
Odom's reputation for going MIA prompted Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire to call his 19 point, 19 rebound performance in game one of the Western Conference Finals 'lucky'.
Unfortunately Odom has vanished through the first two games of the NBA Finals (he's averaging a sub par 4 points and 4 rebounds). This doesn’t bode well for the Lakers, so here’s how Coach Jackson fixes the situation:
1) Go to Odom early and often. The coaches must put him in the game no later than half way through the first quarter.
2) Get him involved. Derek Fisher or Kobe Bryant, the veteran leaders, should call a play or two for him in the half court set.
3) ‘Run, Lamar, Run’. Odom needs to use his length and athleticism to score easy points in transition.
4) Get on the glass. Odom is at his best when grabbing rebounds. The other parts of his game follows suit.
Got thoughts on how the Lakers get Odom going?