Posts Tagged ‘basketball’

Video Game News! All about FPS. 17th July 2012

EA confirms Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 is coming. More importantly, it is likely to be coming on a next-gen console. Furthermore, you can pay £50 to get beta access, right now. Just go to the Battlefield home screen on your console/PC.
The statement that was released was eager to keep fans interested in Battlefield 3, stating “it still has plenty of life left in it” with “3 more expansion packs on the way”.
It seems like EA want us to stay interested in BF3 and just let them work on BF4 given how it was a mistake that this information was released.
But hey, Battlefield 4 is definitely a thing and will most likely appear in 2013. To find out what needs to be improved in BF3 for BF4, you should read this. 

New MD3 DLC now available.

Were you one of the millions excited for Terminal? Me too. Now (if you are an elite member/own an Xbox 360) you can start playing Terminal, Offshore and Decommission. Terminal will be released free of charge a day later for non-elite members. Haven’t heard of Offshore or Decommission? (Courtesy of CVG.)

Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot

Decommission

  • A graveyard of rotting [or add decommissioned here] ocean liners has not only given birth to a shantytown of locals, but a mid-sized Multiplayer Map populated in chokepoints; providing the perfect setting for shoreline-based combat.

Offshore

  • Trapped on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean, you have nowhere to go but directly at your enemies in this new Multiplayer map boasting helipads, cranes, and countless perches for snipers eager to pick off the competition. Did we mention to look down or else you may fall off?

Offshore sounds incredible. I’m thinking a slightly gloomier Highrise with a few more choke-points. Hopefully the entire map will sway from side to side too….

Metal Gear Solid 4 to PS Vita?

Four years after it’s release, MGS4 is being updated with a trophy patch. Why now?
Next month marks the 25th anniversary of the Metal Gear series. In an event happening on August 30th, Hideo Kojima has said he will be announcing something related to his “vision of connecting people”. He says it will involve transferring. (For those of you unaware of what this is – transferring saved game data between two devices, e.g- The MGS2 + MGS3 HD remakes on PS3 and PS Vita).
During the Vita reveal in Japan last year, Hideo showed MGS4 working on a Vita, so we all know it could happen.
All I know is that upon hearing this news, I would be devastated if I couldn’t take down Liquid Snake on the bus.

Battlefield 3 custom competitive matches now available.

These new competitive matches let players set game settings, team sizes, maps, unlocks, and other goodies at their own will. The best part is that these custom matches will still be tracked by EA, so they remain as competitive as ever.
The only downside? You have to rent a server from EA. There isn’t much way of figuring out what they charge unless you have experience in this. So have you rented one yet? What’s the damage?
It’s a brilliant idea for EA to make more revenue and give players the power that most hackers have.

I leave you with
Man auditions for child’s quickscoping clan. Hilarious.
Behind the scenes of NBA 2K13 with Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin.
Man buys $1.2 million worth of video games. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NBA Big men move fastest.

With the season over, basketball fans everywhere can now only concentrate on one thing. Trades. Who do we need? Who do we want to get rid off? Who needs resigning? The last week has been filled with news mainly from the movements of 7 footers.

    Anthony Davis was the number 1 pick in the draft and he will begin next season with the New Orleans Hornets. After they lost Chris Paul, Anthony Davis may be the key to putting a smile on New Orleans fans faces. I also met Emeka Okafor’s wife a few months ago. I’m sure he is excited to have Anthony play alongside him. This is pointless information but I thought it was cool. We watched a Lakers game together in the airport. Groovy.

Blake Griffin has made public that he intends to sign a 5 year extension deal with the Clippers. It also looks like Lamar Odom will be joining him in LA again. Odom had a horrid time in Dallas. I’m sure his move is 50% Chloe Kardashian wanting to move out of Dallas though… Interestingly, Chris Paul has declined a 3 year extension offer on his current contract with the Clippers. Could Paul be on the move?

   Kevin Garnett has resigned with the Boston Celtics for a further 3 years in a deal worth $34 million. This is huge news for Rajon Rondo. Not only do the two get to keep playing together, but the chances of the Celtics Big Three staying together are now much more likely. There were heavy rumours that Ray Allen was on his way to Miami Heat as he was in search for one more championship before retirement. We know that Paul Pierce will never leave the Celtics. Maybe they can all try one last time? I know we’d all love to see it (and then see Rondo head to the Lakers…)



Pau Gasol 
is looking like cannon fodder for the Lakers as they try to shuffle their playing cards. Their salary cap is pretty much at a full now, however Gasol could bring in an established player or give them more money to offer to unsigned free agents like Jason Kidd, Deron Williams and Steve Nash. I can’t see it happening as Mitch Kupchak is eager to resign Ramon Sessions who has also stated he looks forward to a long career with the Lakers…..I hope you’re practicing that 3 right now Ramon.

   Finally, Dwight Howard has provided the most entertainment in the trade market over the last few days. He decided to sign a 1 year extension on his current contract before suddenly requesting a trade to the newly placed Brooklyn Nets (New Jersey Nets). He is property of Orlando for the next 12 months but since he now has back problems it may not be worth keeping him to then lose him for no money/players. It would be more sensible to trade Howard now whilst you can still get something worthwhile in return. This could then see Deron Williams stay with the Brooklyn Nets in what would be a newly formed and fearsome team in the Eastern Division. Furthermore, Jason Kidd is best friends with Deron and is hoping to play with him next season, maybe as a number 2 point guard for the Brooklyn Nets? Sounds juicy doesn’t it?

Either way, I’ll just be happy that there will be a new team capable of stopping Lebron and Miami. 

P.s- Steve Nash, Toronto ain’t got soccer like LA! Come live near your best friends David Beckham and Landan Donovan, Kobe will love your constant passing to him.

Oklahoma City come up short with free throws.

It was a night where defence was the real winner. Both Miami and OKC upped their defence in Game 3 that saw Miami come through victorious. Miami now lead 2-1 in this series involving two of the most well matched teams the league has seen for a while. Make no mistake, every game so far between these two giants has been decided by 1, maybe 2 possessions. So when Oklahoma shot 62% of their free throws, it’s stunning that they only lost by 6 points considering Miami hit almost 90% of their free throws. This, ultimately was where Game 3 was won and lost.

Kendrick Perkins Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat gets set to attempt a technical free throw attempt in the first half against Kendrick Perkins #5 and James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

    Miami started strong again. The 1st quarter was filled with points in the paint for Miami. they made 10 of 11 shots in the paint and missed 10 of 11 jumpshots. 20 of their 26 first quarter points came from inside. The play by play read, “James layup, James layup, Wade layup, James layup”. I was initially very worried things would crumble for Oklahoma again. However, Oklahoma made many of the shots they missed….check that….they made many of the make-able shots they missed in Game 2. So at the end of the 1st the score was 26-20 Miami.
OKC then sharpened up defensively. Switching between a zone and man-to-man defence, Miami began to struggle getting into the paint more as they started to take more jumpshots. Sefolosha had a wonderful highlight play by stealing the ball of Lebron and sprinting up the other end for an alley-oop. Sefolosha was fantastic again all night defensively. The steal on Wade in the final minute gave OKC a huge chance to win the game.
Derek Fisher also added a lot to the game. He made a three with 5.19 on the clock in the second period. This was the same 3 that he missed in Game 2, the same three that, had he made, Oklahoma would have won Game 2. Not only that but he did something he never accomplished at LA. He played very, very well defensively. Playing full court on Chalmers was genius. It meant that by the time Chalmers had found Lebron or Wade, there were only 10/11 seconds left on the clock. This led to numerous shot clock violations and turnovers for Miami.

   We’ve already covered the free throws as why Oklahoma lost, but there was one other deciding factor.
Kevin Durant’s foul trouble. He lost 8 minutes of playing time in the 3rd quarter after OKC were up 60-53 when he took a seat on the bench. The Heat then went on a 16-7 run and led at the end of the third 69-67.
My opinion? His 4th foul was complete bs. I refuse to believe that it was a foul considering it was near identical to the foul that was not called on Lebron at the end of Game 2, as Durant put up the game tying shot. What is extremely endearing is Durant’s reaction to both the Lebron foul at the end of Game 2 and his foul trouble in Game 3, “I just try to play aggressive on both ends of the floor”, “I just missed the shot”. He makes no comment on the officials decisions, something incredibly rare in sport today.
In contrast, what does Lebron do after he missed a 50 foot buzzer beater in Game 3 at the end of the 2nd? Immediately complains to the ref after no foul is called…

Yes, Miami were the better team again but only thanks to some moo points ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLwYpSCrlHU)
Durant has been in foul trouble before but he wont be every game. Oklahoma will not shoot 62% from the free throw line again. Harden will not finish in single digits again. Both of these teams are so evenly matched that it takes something out of the ordinary to win games. Game 1 was decided by Nick Collison’s offensive rebounding. Game 2 by Battier’s shooting, and Game 3 by rare free throw misses. Both Miami and Oklahoma are so well matched that this Championship will not be won by skill, because that is a given. It will be won by unforced errors and who doesn’t drink their Gatorade.

Some final points for you to mull over and respond to;

  • Did you notice all the empty seats at the beginning of second half? I guess mohitos take a while to make!
  • The technical foul called on Scott Brooks in the 2nd was bs. The ball was deflected out off Haslem but was called Miami ball. Brooks got frustrated and started arguing it should be OKC ball…just as all the OKC players did. The call was immediately reversed and it was an Oklahoma inbound. Yet, the technical foul was given.
    This is the NBA Finals. We all know that every possession counts. So are you really going to call a technical for a coach being passionate on a call that he was right on?! At least Wade missed the free throw.

Miami flops in Game 1.

Were Miami terrible? Or were Oklahoma brilliant?
       To be honest, Miami were pretty terrible. One shocking statistic- Durant and Westbrook ended on 63 points, 16 rebounds and 15 assists. Lebron, Wade and Bosh ended on 59 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists.
       Miami were the better team for the first half, thanks mainly to the 3 point shooting of Battier and offensive aggression of Chalmers who had 13 and 10 respectively at the half. That said, how often will Miami shoot 60% from 3 point land? Oklahoma were still shooting a better field-goal percentage (<8%) by halftime, they weren’t worried. This is what Oklahoma seem to have done consistently against the best teams all year. Stay within striking distance before erupting and taking over. 
     I spoke in my preview of this series how the game would be won by the supporting cast, not the big 3 of either team. Chalmers and Battier were giving Miami the lead at the half. Then Sefolosha and Collinson took over the supporting roles. Sefolosha had Lebron in his back pocket all of the 4th quarter. There is a reason why Lebron only had 2 points in the first 8.13 minutes of the 4th. Collinson had one massive offensive rebound, tipping it out to Durant who hit a three. Not to mention Collison’s 10 rebounds and 8 timely points. 
     We can’t ignore the impact that Westbrook and Durant had. Wade is terrible at transitional defence, so when Westbrook starts moving through the gears and has the ability to pull up for a two or drive straight into the bucket, OKC usually wind up with a +2 on their scorecard. I remember Lebron in an iso move during the 4th, it took about 15 seconds and he ended up hitting a 3 point play from the free throw line. He seemed pretty pumped after this. Durant than casually brought the ball up on the next play before pulling up almost immediately, and sinking a 3 pointer. 
    Durant and Westbrook had 41 points in the second half alone. The whole Miami Heat team at 40. Lebron still scored 30 points but Wade forced too many low percentage shots and ended on 19. So we can assume Wade and Lebron will finish with 30 each a night? Ok, so what about Harden?
     He can finish with 20+ points if he wants and yet only had a 5 point game. If Wade or Bosh increase their points, OKC still have Harden who can hep out. It seems insane that Westbrook and Durant beat Miami almost single handedly. They just needed a little help on defence from Sefolosha, something he can do better than any NBA player, and a few rebounds from a 7 footer (Collison).
     I strongly believe that OKC can win these Finals in under 6 games. Unless Lebron has another 45 point game and Wade plays like a superstar and drops 35….it would still be a close finish to the game.
    Let me know what you think in the comments, who will win tonight? Will Lebron go carzy again? Will that be the downfall of Miami? Several Miami players are known to have commented on how Miami doesn’t feel like a team and how they wish there was more ball movement instead of just Iso plays of Lebron. 
    Lebron tried to win it by himself in Cleveland, it doesn’t work, just ask Kobe. Until Lebron realises that he has some great outlet options in Bosh, Battier and Chalmers, I doubt they will get near the trophy. Even Cole showed that he has some talent during the regular season and he didn’t even play on Tuesday. The Miami coach basically played 6 players on Tuesday and only two of them shot the ball in the last 24 minutes.

Lebron Will Be Stopped.

             I recently watched the documentary that follows Lebron James through his High School years, ‘More than a Game’. Considering how much I dislike James as a person, the documentary manages to highlight a human and dare I say loveable side to him. There’s no doubt he is the best basketball player on the planet at the moment (with an exception to my ‘My Player’ in NBA 2K12), but is he the most valuable? Now that Miami are without the interior presence of Chris Bosh we will see just how valuable he is.
             I’m under the assumption that should anything happen to James, Wade or Bosh, then Miami would still be favourites for the Championship because of how good all 3 players are. However, Indiana made it very clear that the Heat are not the same team when all the 3 superstars aren’t on the floor. Boston revealed this flaw during Game 3 of the Eastern conference Finals. I am however writing this from the air so I’m unaware of the Game 4 result.
             Game 3 highlighted how much length the Heat lack. With Bosh out of the squad, Battier has been forced to play more minutes. With Kevin Garnett in the form he has been in, it wouldn’t have been a surprise for him to post impressive numbers in this series. The number of balls that were thrown over his markers head into the paint during game 3 was insane. He found it so easy to switch on his marker and get basket side. With Rondo as the point guard, Boston were getting a lot of easy buckets. It should also be noted that when Boston play without Kevin Garnett in the playoffs, they concede 29 more points per game on average. Boston doesn’t really have much right to still be in the series and I wouldn’t be surprised if Game 4 ended as a W for Miami. The fact remains however that without Bosh, the Heat have a very big weakness, one that Perkins and Ibaka cannot wait to exploit (assuming OKC beat SAS).
             Oklahoma are a jump shooting team. For a while I thought this would be their downfall against the Lakers. Can they really shoot over 50% from the floor every night?! Unfortunately they can as someone always seems to step up. The talent in the squad is so deep. Westbrook had a terrible game offensively in Game 4 against San Antonio. He is also one of the most passionate players in the league, so even though his shots weren’t falling, his “hustle” stat was maxed out at 99 all night long. He made a lot of key defensive plays.
             I know what you’re thinking- so how many did Durant score? Durant was very, very quiet for the first 3 quarters of the game. It’s how he operates and what he did every game against the Lakers. The man literally turns on a clutch button and starts draining everything in the last 12 minutes, it’s unbelievable. So how did OKC win a few nights ago of Westbrook and Durant were so quiet during the first 3 quarters? James Harden continues to fill the shoes of 6th Man of the Year. Not only that, but Ibaka ended up with 24 points of 10 for 10 shooting. Perkins played more aggressively than I’ve ever seen. Even when certain players don’t show up for OKC until the 4th quarter, or at all in Westbrook’s case, they still have players that put points on the board. Is this the case for Miami?

                                                             Hell no.

             Wade and Lebron have been carrying that team since Bosh has been injured. Yes a few of their players have scored 10/12 points off the bench but they don’t contribute anywhere near as much as Harden and Ibaka have.
             I’m certain that Miami will beat the paint attacking team of Boston, but OKC will provide a very different challenge to Miami. I feel that it would be a much more exciting final than if San Antonio were to overcome Oklahoma.

             Apologies if I hurt your feelings by writing negatively about James. I just really don’t want him to win a ring. A thin line divides arrogance and confidence. A line that Lebron is somehow impervious to.

            
            

Why the Los Angeles Lakers won’t win the Championship.

There I was, about to shoot my arms in the air and scream like a child as i watched Kobe’s arching 3 drop towards the basket. 2 seconds left in Game 5 against Denver and the Lakers are down by 3. 
“Kobe! To send the game to overtime!”

He misses. Deflation.

“Sessions with the rebound! They have one more chance!”

Barely a second on the clock, Sessions shoots a prayer from behind the arc and all of a sudden I know the shot will go in and the Lakers will win. Their 3 point shooting had been the only thing keeping them in the game. Prior to Kobe’s final shot, the Lakers had made their last seven 3 pointers. kobe had made his last 4. They had no right to be in this game but now Sessions was about to send the Staples Center into a frenzy…

“He misses! Denver take game 5” and the series is now poised at 3-2 Lakers.  

I watched Game 4 where the Lakers were completely dominated in the mile high city. I had a mountain of negative comments i could have made about the Lakers that night. Unfortunately I didn’t find the time to blog my thoughts until after today. So i though the lakers would close out the series and my points would be silenced. 

Jeez, how wrong can you be. The lakers were arguably worse in Game 5 even though they only lost by 3 points. One of the commentators said of the Lakers when they went on a scoring run in Game 4, “That’s the problem, the Lakers just have so many offensive weapons that it’s impossible to defend them all”.
This may be true, but hasn’t every team in the League had a shooting hot streak for a few minutes this season?

We can look at the positives of LA going 2-0 up with Bynum’s 15 blocks, Gasol’s assists, Sessions facilitating skills, Kobe’s brilliance and the bench points of Blake, Barnes and Hill. However, now all of these players have lost their touch because Denver has understood how to play them. Just as every team will.

We’ll start with Sessions the new point guard. He started with LA so well, pushing the tempo and finishing with over 15 points and 5 assists each night. Nothing spectacular, but consistent and much better than Fisher. The one aspect Fisher had on Sessions- his 3’s.
With this in mind, think about how well Bynum was playing…..when he wasn’t double teamed. Denver obviously had to stop Bynum somehow so they threw two men on him at every occasion in Game 4. Now it truly astounds me what Bynum plays like when he has two men on him. He reminds of that kid in gym class that would get the basketball and awkwardly shuffle his feet, travelling, whilst having no idea what he should do with this big orange ball he now had. 
Bynum simply can’t pass out of a double team. Now if I was 7 feet and over 200 pounds playing with two men on me, I like to think I would be able to simply pass the ball out to the open man.
For Bynum, this is impossible.
Yet when he manages to pull of this incredible feat, the ball usually winds up in the hands of Barnes, Sessions or the new step in small-forward, Ebanks. All three of whom have struggled all season with 3’s. 
LA are not a perimeter shooting team. Denver realised this and changed their defence accordingly.

Now back to Sessions. As he brings the ball up towards Bynum and looks to pass into the post, the Denver point guard has started dropping back to block off the pass. This leaves Sessions with a good 4 feet of space to shoot a 3. Unfortunately he lacks the confidence still to hit that kind of shot. Something Fisher had no problem with. If Bynum is open, send it to the post for him to work, if not, shoot your open three. 

How about Pau Gasol? He was on fire as the offence started running through him in the high post. He would sit there every night and pick impossible passes with his height and quick hands, often finishing with double digit assists. He is not in the team to score big. He is the best big man passer in the league. So why for the last 2 games has he stopped this and started shooting more? He was 1-9 in the first half of Game 5 from the field.

Ebanks isn’t giving much but he isn’t expected to. Elbow World Peace will be back in 3 more games and Ebanks has been quietly solid in his place…for a third string small-forward.

Matt Barnes however has not stepped up in place. His three point shooting has been woeful. Even if he has ended the games with 10 points he has not shot his perimeter shots when LA has needed him to.

Jordan Hill had a great couple of games finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds of the bench, Unfortunately, he has just been found guilty of domestic abuse so we probably won’t see him on the court much longer.

What does all of the above do? Convince Kobe that he needs to do everything himself. Sometimes, he can. More often than not, he can’t. Yes he did finish with 43 points last night with a clutch 4th quarter. Yes he still takes outrageous shots. But you have to remember that Kobe is one of the few players who truly believes that every shot he takes, is definitely going in. Now I know i’d rather someone like that take the most shots, regardless of the fact that we all want him to keep shooting. Why? It’s entertaining. We enjoy watching our favourite sports stars or even just talented sports stars being put under pressure to pull through. Jordan Hill shot a buzzer beater in game 4 at the end of the half that went in. It was not exciting and i barely smiled.
Kobe shot one at the end of a shot clock after spinning out of a triple team. I practically leaped out of my seat as he flicked his wrist before seeing the ball bounce off the rim.

The commentator was right when he said LA have plenty of offensive weapons. Even Steve Blake has stepped up with his 3’s. But they become easy to defend against once you understand you need to keep Gasol from passing, Sessions from driving, Bynum from having one marker and World Peace from…playing.

Defending kobe isn’t an issue. Defend the rest of LA and Kobe will undeniably become more frustrated. His 43 points were lucky, make no mistake. He finished 14-32. It could easily have been 7,8 or 9-32. When that happens all the other team needs to do is play their offence against Blake, Sessions and the smaller guards who simply can’t defend the paint once someone drives in. Bynum’s help defence is shocking. (Don’t let the one game of 15 blocks fool you, it was the first in the series.)

Now LA have to go back to Denver where they will blame the thin air after they lose again before coming back to LA for the decider. One game that I am not entirely confident about them winning.

Let alone any of the games they play against Oklahoma City if they get through… 

Why the Lakers won’t get past the first round of the 2012 Playoffs.


 Kobe Bryant explained earlier in the year that he already knew the Lakers new offence, just weeks after Brown had been appointed as Coach. I thought this was incredibly impressive before realising that their offence consisted of just 3 plays.
1)   Isolation of Kobe Bryant.
2)   A post up of Gasol or Bynum.
3)   An erratic, low percentage shot by any other Laker.
 Furthermore, these plays appear at the same times of each game. The Lakers usually lead at the end of the 1st quarter and that is for one simple reason- they consistently run their offence through Bynum and Gasol in the paint. The ‘twin-towers’ as they are known both have over 50% shooting for the season where as Kobe only has 44%.(10 for 24). The one flaw with this is how Bynum still has no idea what to do when he gets double-teamed. He undoubtedly does. This means Kobe feels more need to take the game into his own hands. It seems insane when the Lakers are the 3rd best NBA team in the paint with an efficiency rating of 8.6 yet Gasol/Bynum average just 12 shots a game.
 The second quarter of an NBA game sees bench players run the floor. The Lakers are rated 25th in the league (out of 30) in bench efficiency. They manage just 20 points on average a game. The lowest in the entire league.
The end of the 3rd and whole of the 4th quarter regularly see Kobe (whom I love) try and beat the other team by himself. Yes, he has started passing more, but when you’re passing to Jason Kapono, Troy Murphy and Steve Blake you probably won’t see positive results. This gives Kobe even more of a reason to try and win the game by himself.
 Since the loss of Lamaar Odom, it has become more obvious that the Lakers need more players to end in double figures. Kobe, Gasol and Bynum are the only 3 who can, but they only average around 60 points between them each game. The franchise have achieved their lowest Points per Game average for over 50 years with 92 points. When Phil Jackson was Coach, this number was 3 digits. This can be related to their current 3 point percentage per game – 28%. Against Boston the other night, Fisher went 0-7 from downtown. Against New York, Steve Blake went 1-8. Against Charlotte, Kobe went 2-11. Jason Kapono was signed this year specifically for his 3 point shot. Currently he holds a 33% record from behind the arc.
 Even Gasol was practising 3′s in the off season. He claims he wouldn’t leave a training session without making 10 in a row. Furthermore he claims he made 25 in a row.
Gasol is a post and paint player. He is not an outside shooter. His length is what gets him double figure rebounds. The fact that the Lakers sometimes look for Gasol on the 3 point line show how they are simply running out of idea. Also, with Kobe Bryant running out of time on the clock of time, I can only worry for the Lakers.
 The Lakers have almost all the puzzle. Bynum is now an all-star. Gasol is the best technical power-forward in the league. And for all his faults, Kobe, is still Kobe. He passes more and the fact he went four games in a row of scoring over 40 points with a torn tendon in his shooting wrist speaks for itself.
 All that is left is finding a semi-decent small forward and a facilitator. The SF must score in double figures consistently. Ron Artest, sorry, ‘Mettaaaaaaa World PEACE!’ is a shell of the former player he was. He averaged over 15 points a game at his old clubs and was voted defensive player of the year in 2004. Furthermore he has the physical frame to manage defending players like LeBron James and Paul Pierce.
 Derek Fisher is one of my all time favourite players. The fact that he has played almost 550 consecutive games in the NBA speaks for itself and his body shows all the hard work he puts in. However, he is not athletic enough to run the floor for 35 minutes a night. Especially with this shortened season. Players like Rose, Paul, Rondo, Rubio, even Nash- they all draw in players when they drive in because they are good enough to shoot in traffic and are quick enough to break down strong defensive players. This open up free players on the perimeter as defenders are drawn into the paint. Nash and Rubio are masters of doing this and then executing a perfect pass and always finding an open man with an easy shot. I can only dream of what the Lakers would be like if the NBA hadn’t declined the Chris Paul transfer.
 On top of all of this, we must remember that their coach is Mike Brown. Someone that couldn’t handle LeBron at Cleveland. Someone that said Kobe can do what he wants after he went 2 games of shooting 20% games. Someone that got ejected from a game and then consequently banned for one more for complaining about the lack of foul being called on Gasol…..when it was a clean steal.
 I am a Lakers fan and it pains me to write all this. I still don’t think you can ever write them off. Fisher and Bryant are two of the most clutch players in the game at the moment. Finally, with Gasol and Bynum playing as they are, they can surely only get better.
 Surely.
 Right?