Tuesday, May 5, 2009

VSR: Rockets having a Flashback against the Lakers

Game One felt like a time warp. Back when Yao Ming was starting to come around and fulfill his promise. Ron Artest is back in 2004 as one of the game's best two-way players before the infamous brawl with Detroit and their fans. Shane Battier got flashbacks of 2001 when he was the best player in college basketball and doing everything to help Duke win. Aaron Brooks looks like he did in 2006 when he was Pac-10 Player of the Year.

And suddenly the Lakers look like they were back in the Finals against Boston. Kobe hoisting up jumpers as the supporting cast suddenly grew inconsistent and overwhelmed by a more physical team. All occuring after breezing through an earlier opponent

Welcome to the second round. Where the Twilight Zone becomes reality and the regular season becomes a distant mystery

The Lakers swept Houston during the regular season but in Game 1, they looked rusty and sluggish from a 6-day layoff. The offense looked stagnant and while they hung in there, the Rockets wouldn't fold like the Jazz. Rick Adelman is a tough-minded coach and he has enough players to not just frustrate Kobe (Artest and Battier) but challenge the front court.

The bench was non-existent. Lamar Odom had a quiet night (9 pts, 5 rebs) but he was louder than everybody else (a combined 9 pts and 2 rebs from Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown and Josh Powell). They'll step up in Game Two but this was a reminder of the NBA Finals when nobody consistently brought their game.

Kobe had 32 pts on 31 shots. Battier plays some of the best defense on the Mamba because he doesnt challenge shots, he goes right behind the arms and shields his face. I won't be surprised if Kobe has to work for his points in this series which means more will be required from Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum.

As my buddy M2 pointed out, there's another guy having a flashback. Rick Adelman has gone back to 2001-2002 when he coached the Sacramento Kings and gave the NBA one of its best rivalries this decade. He's got shooters, a quick PG and a toughness that the Kings never had up front.

The Lakers need to wake up and have their motor going the entire game. Shots will fall in Game Two that didn't in Game One. I'm not too worried because you remember what happened to the Black Mamba after she got smacked around in Kill Bill? Yea, ask O-Ren Ishii and Vernita Green how that cold steel felt.

1 comment:

  1. MMhmm... M2 here, folks. I agree with the man. Similar sentiments here: http://downtownster.com/2009/05/houston-blasts-off/

    Thanks V!