Candyman and Mountain ‘Drew Rust the Rockets

Rockets Fail to Blast off

Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers, 79-88

The stage was set for the media to take any angle they wanted. They could have blown up the Kobe Bryant vs Shane Battier matchup, Ron Artest’s return to the lineup, Ron Artest facing his old team, Trevor Ariza coming back to L.A., or Ron Artest throwing Trevor Ariza’s shoe. The possibilities were limitless. They had no way of knowing that Kobe and Shane would only dance together in spurts, Artest would be a non-factor, or that Ariza’s shoes would remain on his feet. Well, the latter was probably assumed to be true.

Instead, it was Lamar Odom who stole the show. Lately it seems like Lamar having good games is as rare a sight as seeing him use his right hand. It just doesn’t happen enough for us to consider it a common occurrence. Oddly enough, he has good games like tonight’s when he uses his right hand. The Candy Man lit up the stat sheet against the Rockets, scoring 17 points, corralling 19 rebounds, and dishing out 9 assists, meaning he was one assist short of a triple-double(if you’re unfamiliar with the Lakers, even this is more common than the usage of extremities on the right side of his body). Lamar is apparently allergic to triple-doubles, but he has a sweet tooth for winning. Thanks to him the Lakers hardly noticed the absence of Pau Gasol as L.O. cleaned up the glass better than Windex. He missed most of his outside shot attempts yet he still managed to shoot 7 of 10 from the floor. Houston couldn’t keep up with him because they have only one player taller than 6’9″, and he’s busy being pregnant.

Andrew Bynum wasn’t half bad either. The young Laker center added 24 points of his own, 11 of which came in the 4th quarter, and grabbed 8 rebounds during his time on the floor. Kobe didn’t have to dominate in the final quarter like he usually does because Mountain ‘Drew had defenders at a clear disadvantage. He took whoever was guarding him to the box, scoring both with his back and front to the basket. We’re used to seeing the former, due to his size, but he has become more consistent with his jumper recently, which allowed him to keep his defenders guessing tonight.

Look out for Jordan Farmar. He’s been playing very well lately. Tonight, he got off to a great start in the 2nd quarter while the Lakers were resting some starters, but picked up some early fouls and was then relegated to the bench. I thought it messed up his rhythm a little because when he came back he missed 4 straight before finally breaking the trend and knocking down a jumper. His confidence seems to be growing now that he’s getting more minutes than Shannon Brown, and that can do wonders for the Laker bench.

On the Houston side of things, Carl Landry is an impressive player. Even more than Farmar, his confidence is at the source of his stellar play. Don’t be surprised to see him beat out Dallas Maverick Jason Terry for 6th Man of the Year honors(Too bad he couldn’t keep his teeth in the process. Speaking of which, I think Landy secretly poisoned Dirk in that game. Since Landry’s teeth raped Dirk’s elbow, Nowitzki hasn’t been the same, averaging 7 less points than before “the incident.” He hasn’t recovered psychologically, maybe? My money’s on poison. I’m convinced. And now, the two are forever linked.). A few times I noticed him calling for the ball down low and sealing his defender with ease. He was getting great position on the Laker bigs and taking them down too deep for them to contest his shots. There was a stretch in the middle two quarters where the Lakers had Josh Powell, then DJ Mbenga, and finally Mountain ‘Drew on him, and he blew by each and every one of them with his face-up game. The kid can play, but that name is just ridiculous. The only people I can think of when I hear the name Carl are Karl Malone and Carl Carlson from the Simpsons. I’m sorry, but it’s really hard for me to take it serious. The Simpsons is just embedded in me because I grew up in the ’90’s.

Trevor Ariza had some wicked dunks tonight, too. After being defended well by L.A. and missing a few gimmes, the kid blew by Kobe and elevated over Lamar for a two-handed throwdown. It was amazing.

Mavericks Outlast Pistons in Dallas

Detroit Pistons @ Dallas Mavericks, 93-98

An under-manned Detroit Pistons team rode into Dallas with high hopes, but scampered out a despondent group thanks to Jason Terry. JET lit it up off the bench tonight, scoring 26 points to help send the Pistons home winless. Terry did most of his damage on the perimeter, just inside the three-point arc. JJ Barea wasn’t getting it done for the Mavs, prompting head coach Rick Carlisle to give the bulk of the guard minutes to last year’s 6th Man of the Year. The Mavs then made short memory of a sluggish 14-point 1st quarter by scoring 32 in the 3rd and 30 in the final. MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki pitched in his usual effort, adding 22 points and 12 rebounds. While we’re on Dirk, can someone please get a petition started to get him to stop wearing that lame hair-band? That thing looked ridiculous when Mike Miller wore it, and it hasn’t gotten any cooler since you started sporting it. I understand, Dirk, that you’re worried about your hairline receding, and that this has prompted you to grow your hair out as a response to this mild crisis. I get that your hair gets in the way of your play, and that’s why you have the band. I get that. But you need to ditch the hair-band before you lose all the street cred you’ve worked so hard to build in your 12-year career. Before the ridiculous band, you were fast climbing my short list of favorite non-Lakers. Call me shallow, but this has you stalled at like top 6 right now with no potential for improvement. I know that it is such a high honor to be on Anthony Burrola’s favorite players list, so please, ditch the band. For me; for your reputation; but most importantly, for America. Oh wait, you’re German. Nevermind.

Stop smiling, lose the headband, and cut your hair. You look ridiculous.

Denver Wins One for the Gimper

Golden State Warriors @ Denver Nuggets, 122-123

Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony were absent yet again, but honestly, who doesn’t win against Golden State? In a nutshell: rookie point guard Ty Lawson scored 20+ for the third straight game, Kenyon Martin made me regret dropping him from my fantasy team by posting a 27-point, 13-rebound effort, and Monta Ellis and Corey Maggette combined for 67 and still lost. Man, that sucks. I swear Warrior head coach Don Nelson is drunk during these games. Have you noticed that he NEVER wears a tie? It’s always the blazer over the turtleneck and his beer belly hanging five inches over his belt. Golden State needs help. Fast.

Giant Killers Slay D12 and the Magic

Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers, 90-97

Someone really needs to talk to Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy. For three straight games Dwight Howard has had terrible outputs for a player of his caliber. Tonight he scored only 11 points while grabbing 15 rebounds. He did so while shooting the ball only 6 times. SIX TIMES! Sound that out phonetically, for effect. Dwight Howard is a top 10 player in my eyes, and for him to be deferring to an aging Vince Carter, or an injury-prone Jameer Nelson, something’s just not right. That guy needs to touch the ball 20+ times a game. Say it with me Stan, it’s INSIDE-OUTSIDE, not OUTSIDE-INSIDE. That’s how your offense needs to flow. You’re relegating one of the best players in the game to a defensive juggernaut but offensive outcast, most likely because you want to keep him fresh for the playoffs. Understand that the kid’s not even 25 yet, meaning he can take it. Let him take it. Stop shackling him, because you’re robbing Orlando of wins, and you’re robbing us fans of entertainment.

Meanwhile, Indiana has quietly beaten another top 5 team. This is something they are starting to do with alarming frequency. As a Laker fan, these guys scare me. Avoid Hoosier-town if at all possible.

Nash and J-Rich Spoil ‘Reke’s Return

Phoenix Suns @ Sacramento Kings, 113-109

If you’re a Kings fan, you have to be feeling a little bit dejected right now. This loss makes three straight close games against playoff teams that your team couldn’t close. First Los Angeles on New Years Day, then Dallas, and now Phoenix. All the while, Israel’s best-kept secret, Omri Casspi, is having a breakout week. The displaced Israeli native is a 1st round draft-day steal that you have to credit Sacramento for nailing. Their first selection was the physical Tyreke Evans, who had a near triple-double tonight with 27 points, 11 boards, and 7 assists, and then they select Casspi. The young King is averaging 22.5 points, 8.25 rebounds, and 3 three-pointers(on 60% shooting from downtown) in his last four games. For the season he’s averaging 13.2 ppg while shooting 49.8% from the field and 47% from three-point land. And it’s not like he’s shooting a three-pointer here and there, this guy launches 3.2 three-pointers a game, connecting on 1.5 of them. It’s insane. Has there ever been two legitimate Rookie of the Year candidates on one team before? I hate to say this, but good job, Sacramento. Damn good job.

By the way, we all know the NBA is a landmine for nicknames, both good and bad. From gems like the “The Answer” to duds like “Durantala”(totally lame), or “The Truth”(which is actually an awesome nickname, I just can’t say that because it’s Paul Pierce’s), players seem to thrive off nicknames more than any other sport. What the heck do you call a guy named Omri Casspi? Seriously, think about it. His name is already incredibly unique and cool in its own right. There’s almost nothing you can come up with to enhance it. You can do the traditional T-Mac shortening, but that’ll just make it O-Cass, which sounds more like a Teriyaki restaurant me and my buddies frequent than a nickname. Come up with a nickname for him if you can, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Memphis Annexes Portland

Memphis Grizzlies @ Portland Trailblazers, 109-105

The Grizzlies have passed the .500 mark for the first time since Hubie Brown was their head coach. This is amazing. They’re ahead of CP3’s New Orleans Hornets in the Southwest Division Standings, and tugging on Houston’s jersey for the 3rd spot in that division. Credit head coach Lionel Hollins for using anything he can to light a fire under these guys. They have a nice core group of OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol, and they added Zach Randolph over the off-season, enhancing their front court and depth. These guys are balling. I am so impressed with their play as of late. This is their 4th straight win, improving them to 18-16, and with the way things are in the bottom of the Western Conference, they have as good a shot as any other team to sneak in at the 8 or 7 spot.

R.I.P. Jeremy Thomas, class of 2005

We weren’t friends, but you were friends with my friends, and they all had nothing but great things to say about you. My deepest condolences for you, your family, and your loved ones. You will be sorely missed by all of the above.

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6 Responses to “Candyman and Mountain ‘Drew Rust the Rockets”

  1. sam Says:

    the only time I can think of 2 rookies contributing as much as tyreke and omri have are battier and pau. just looked it up and shane actually put up 15, 5, 3, 1.6, and 1 in his rookie year. surprising

    I wanna see grizzshow and okc in the playoffs this year

  2. Gene Says:

    They had David Anderson guarding Drew lmao

  3. tony pham Says:

    great blog my friend!

  4. Daniel Cool Beans Lee Says:

    Sacramento heart break

  5. mikemacias Says:

    chase budingr was a steal and he went to arizona(zona) too. not a surprise at all

  6. Quick Updates for 1/16/10 « An Epic Mess Says:

    […] sit Kobe, grow the goatee again. Alright, you caught me. Just the first part. I just figured since I got Dirk Nowitzki to cut his hair I might take a shot at getting Phil to grow his facial hair out […]

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