Wednesday, October 20, 2010


(Originally published in an entire season preview on 'Basketball 24/48/82'

Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (R) holds the MVP trophy as Derek Fisher holds the Larry O'Brien championship trophy after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series in Los Angeles, California June 17, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The reigning champions may not look so hot when put up next to Miami's Heat. With that being said however there's just as much shine in Los Angeles as there is in South Beach. Sure it all starts and finishes with Kobe but even when he's down on one knee, recently married Lamar Odom, engaging presence Ron Artest and aisle filler Pau Gasol are a matrimony made in Heaven, or Hollywood to be more exact. It doesn't end there once Bynum's back on the block just like lifelong fan Snoop Dogg said they 'won't stop till the Lakers are on top'. The Lake Show even added a third perimeter defensive specialist in Matt Barnes and a tough nosed, face shooting point guard in Steve Blake. They also made a steal in the draft with 43rd pick Devin Ebanks, a guy who plays the passing lanes, is as athletic, finishes strong, wears the same number and looks like long missed Trevor Ariza. The most important acquisitions for the Lakers however where the re-signing of bench sparkplug Shannon Brown and playoff Horry-esque hero Derek Fisher. Showtime are ready to roll again for the third part of their trilogy. Now with award winner Phil Jackson on the directors chair how can you doubt this picture?

Phoenix Suns

May 25, 2010 - Phoenix, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES - epa02173250 Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash of Canada (R) gives a high-five to teammate Grant Hill after scoring against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of game four of the NBA Western Conference basketball finals at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 25 May 2010. The western conference champions will face the eastern conference champions in the NBA finals.

The Suns may no longer shine as bright or run as fast as they did with Mike D'Antoni but they sure have risen from the flames of the slow burning, brief era of Terry Porter and Shaq. Sure they lost some STAT's this summer but they also filled themselves up with some Turkey in the form of World Championship/NBA talent Hedo Turkoglu. Above all this however they have Steve Nash who continues to defy age, size and race with his MVP and greatest point of all time worthy seasons. Time in Phoenix may have also set for glue guys like Marion, Diaw and Barbosa over the years but the hard, broken nosed Steve Nash still leads a talented group of individuals who will rise again. Just like former All-Star Grant Hill the team continues to defy critics and time once again to become an underdog and outside favorite that still have a bark inside the league elite. Who knows when the sun will set on these Phoenix’s? All is known is that it will be a sad day when it does for a team that is always an absolute joy to watch.

Golden State Warriors

Jan. 20, 2010 - Oakland, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa01998083 Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis pumps his fist after drawing a foul against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, USA, 20 January 2010. The Nuggets defeated the Warriors 123-118. The Warriors wore their retro uniforms from 1962 when they were the San Francisco Warriors.

It may seem like yesterday but it's been a long time since Baron Davis met Andrei Kirlienko at the rim and rocked him, his Utah Jazz, their Western Conference and the league. Still this Oakland team are shining in all their gold proving that the gateway to the Pacific doesn't just lie in San Francisco. B. Diddy may be gone but the Warriors still have many B.I.G. talents ready to go to battle, (so long as they don't fight each other). Monta Ellis more than replaced Baron and now it seems like All-Sophomore Stephen Curry (fresh off Golden United State Championship) is more than capable of supplementing him. Still if Curry and Ellis play like Frazier and Monroe instead of Payton and Cassell they will Knick this problem in the Bucks and have a couple of points to prove this season.

Los Angeles Clippers

Oct 14, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro (left) talks with guard Baron Davis (5) during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center. The Nuggets defeated the Clippers 100-95.  Photo via Newscom

It's hard being the sole sister team in the league when your big brother is the most popular group in the NBA. It's hard staring at all those championship banners after just being eliminated. Still even though we may say this every year there may finally be hope in Clipper land. The LA Clippers have some buzz about them now big man Blake Griffin is about to embark on his Greg Oden Rookie season. Baron Davis also stars for the Clipshow, ready for another rerun. Davis is a major player who may be in the movies but takes his eyes off Hollywood once the purple and gold floor gets taken up to be replaced by blue and white. Soon the 'other' team in Los Angeles may be shooting straight from the clip instead of taking hits to the hip.

Sacramento Kings

Oct 19, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guards Beno Udrih (19), left, and Tyreke Evans (13) during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Clippers 96-94. Photo via Newscom

The Sacramento Kings may have been knocked off their Western Conference throne along time ago but a prince has come to put the crown back where it belongs. Reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans is so good former Kings star Kevin Martin had to exile. Although the Kings could use more players as well as cowbell that doesn't mean the rest of the former Cincinnati Royals family are peasants. Guys like Dalembert, Garcia, Landry, Udrih and Luther Head are good aids to the Kings. What Sacramento needs now is a crowning moment, but in a crowded Pacific, it'll be hard for this team to not get lost at sea. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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