Hey Guys,

We’re counting down the days till the start of the new season, and it’s about time for everyone to be making predictions. This year, instead of just doing one prediction, I decided to go out and interview one blogger for every NBA team.

The bloggers whose opinions we will be graced with over the next few weeks are the best of the best, as all of them have featured in Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie basketball blog’s Blog Association, where Kelly Dwyer has been profiling the best team-centric NBA blogs out there. If you have any inclination of increasing your knowledge about the NBA, these are the blogs you need to read and subscribe to. (I know I will be!)

Today, we are honored to interview Lee and David from The Dream Shake, in my opinion the best Rockets blog out there period. Lee and David were gracious enough to make time to answer some questions in the midst of everything going on in Houston regarding Hurrican Ike. We at TLN wish them both a speedy resumption of normal life.

Jonny: Out on a limb, although backing it up with solid reasoning would be cool too, what do you think the ball park for the Rocket’s 08-09 regular season record will be, and do you think it will be enough to make the playoffs in the West?

Lee: Last year, with Yao out for a good portion of the season (though only 10 of the 22 wins in a row), the Rockets went 55-27, the year before that they went 52-30, they’ve done nothing but get better since those two season. Adding Artest and to, obviously, a much less extent Brent Barry, should make the Rockets a favorite to get a top 3 seed. Disaster in every single way would have to strike to not make the playoffs at all. Disaster in the form of different players having injury plagued seasons would have to happen to not be a top 4 seed.

I say they win 55-62 games this year. I know that’s crazy, but name me one team that matches up “well” with them. There are teams that match up decently, but I guarantee that the Rockets are not a team anyone will look forward to playing. Adding in Artest should do nothing but increase team chemistry (yes, it’s possible I am overlooking the crazy factor). It should allow Battier to come off the bench and expend every ounce of energy to defend and spot up shoot. It should also allow Artest to play with the two best players he’s ever played with, allowing him to go even more into a defensive mind set and only take over offensively if the other two aren’t getting it done.

He had no problems chemistry wise with his one Adelman year and I don’t expect him to have any in Houston , especially not in a contract year like this. He may be crazy, but I don’t believe that he is stupid.

David: I already did a game-by-game regular season analysis and concluded the Rockets would win 58 games – a franchise record, I believe, but just short of the magical “60″ number. Artest + Good Health could be worth another 5-7 wins… so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rockets somehow found a way to win 62. I’ve also already predicted (guaranteed?) that the Rockets go undefeated in February. Again.

Jonny: Again, out on the said limb, what do you think the ball park for the Laker’s 08-09 regular season record will be, and do you think it will be enough to win the West?
Lee: The Lakers should get better as well, adding Bynum back to the team (he’s not going to become a ghost right, he’ll be back?) should make them better. Here’s the problem though, they created some great chemistry last year with Bynum out. How does he fit back in? Does he kill that chemistry? Does moving Gasol to PF make his game less impactful (I say yes to that, I don’t think Gasol is as good as he played last year)? Does Gasol come completely out of the post? What happens? Is the triangle the right offense with a good offensive PF? I’m thinking back and can’t remember, other than Horace Grant, when Phil Jackson had that.

All in all though, Phil Jackson is a top 3 coach in the NBA, if not the best, so I’m betting he figures it out. I’d say that the Lakers are in exactly the same spot as the Rockets 55-62 wins and a likely 1-3 spot.

And since I put those two teams out there, my top 3 are 1. Houston 2. New Orleans 3. Los Angeles.

That said, I do believe that combination will all finish within 2-3 games of each other and it’s just as likely to be LA or New Orleans in 1 or 2 and the Rockets in 3. Utah is a wildcard, but Jerry Sloan teams have a tendency to not win the games they should, so unless they figure that out in his 89th year of coaching I see them as the 4 seed.

David: As always – it begins and ends with Kobe. Last year truly was a dream season for him that had a nightmarish ending (seriously? How the hell did he get outplayed by Paul freakin’ Pierce?!?) Also, Andrew Bynum is a 7′ tall variable right now. That’s all he is really. He’s 21 years old now but he’s already been hit with otherworldly expectations. And for what, exactly?  Right now he’s the new generation Kevin Duckworth (RIP, Duck). 13 points and 10 rebounds is solid… but unspectacular. And may cause Laker fans to go insane if he doesn’t dramatically increase those numbers.

Even with Gasol around. I say the Lakers backslide a bit… Kobe undergoes surgery on the pinkie in January… yet they still finish with 52-55 wins. Enough for homecourt advantage. And a first round matchup with San Antonio in an odd-numbered year.

Jonny: How do you feel the Rockets match up with the Lakers over a 7-game series?

Lee: I’m not sure this word really captures it, but “well” is what I would say.

Let’s break it down:

PG – Rafer vs. Fisher or Farmar – If it’s Fisher then this is a push, if it was Fisher 03-04 I’d give it to him in a landslide. Farmar can’t handle Rafer, and that’s a sad indictment to the LA PG position

SG – Tracy vs. Kobe – Kobe , Dave believes he’s the best player in the league, I believe he’s the second best behind Chris Paul. Either way, 1 or 2 it makes him better than Tracy who I would put around number 20-25

SF – CrazyPills vs. Odom – RonRon, CrazyPills, No Layups, whatever you call him, Lamar Odom can’t hold his jock. Even if Ron comes off the bench, Battier is the better player

PF – Scola vs. Gasol – I’m trying to think of one thing that Gasol does much better than Scola. [Gasol] was the better player last year by a decent margin, but Scola only started half of the year and his first game as a starter coincided with a 22 game win streak. Scola is a much better hustler and rebounds the ball better in traffic. It’s advantage Gasol, but not by the margin that the average fan would think on name only.

C – Yao vs. Bynum – I don’t care if Bynum has the best year of his career, he isn’t on the same planet with Yao on either end of the floor. Yes, he’s more athletic, but Yao is a beast. I know at least a few of your readers will balk, but not the ones that know anything about Yao Ming that Bill Simmons didn’t say.

That match up looks pretty good to me. And it really doesn’t get into the benches. No one on the Lakers bench is as good as Shane Battier or Carl Landry (provided he signs). Maybe Sasha Vujacic is equal to Landry, but Farmar? Walton (who I love, but come on)? Chris Mihm (to whom I say Hook’em Horns as I am a proud grad of The University of Texas)? Seriously, looking at that bench, I’m thinking the Lakers may have overachieved a bit last year. Kobe really IS that awesome.

All in all, the Rockets win that series in 6

David: Yes, Kobe is that awesome. And I *know* he is the best player in the league. While Lee just hopes that maybe on some days Chris Paul is. But the Lakers’ one big advantage against the West last year (other than Kobe) was size. Size at the SF, PF and C positions. Size which the Rockets can match… or at least match-up with defensively. Gasol + Bynum + Odom is not necessarily better than Yao + Scola + Battier/CrazyPills. And we get to bring Landry and Dorsey off the bench. Whereas the Lakers no longer have Turiaf for that role. That’s going to be a huge loss for you…

I’d say the Rockets would win in 6 if we had homecourt.

Jonny:

Lakers fans are split down the middle on Odom; some love his versatility, others hate his inconsistency. As an opposing fan, how do you rate Odom?

Lee: Odom is extremely overrated at times, yet extremely underrated at other times. It is a really strange phenomenon. I’m in no way a Lakers fan, but he frustrates the bejezus out of me. I wouldn’t want him on my team, his inconsistency is too much to deal with. Rafer Alston at PG is actually a pretty solid comparison, and Rafer drives me nuts.

At times though, Odom looks like the superstar his set of skills say he should be. He has put together a good, long, NBA career and he’s typically solid. I honestly think his son dying irreparably damaged his career, though in no way can you blame him for that. I just had my second child on August 27th and I cannot imagine that heartache. He was a much better player before 2006 though the stats do not necessarily show it, watching him on the court does.

David: Odom is cursed. The dude has the talent level and all-around skill to be the next Oscar Robertson. But he has the personality of a role player. He never has developed anything close to a killer instinct. And – to make it worse – he’s typically the kind of player that disappears when things do not go well early on. This was his personality before the tragedy with his son, too – that may have only made it worse.

Jonny: What do you think of Kobe ‘s decisions to put-off surgery on his injured pinky?

Lee: On a personal level? I think it was fantastic. I liked that he was so dedicated to Team USA that he decided his country was more important than his pinky comfort. If I was a Laker fan that hated the United States of America ? I’d be upset.

Now that he is putting it off again, I’m not sure what to think. I do believe he will regret it in the long run, but maybe not this year.

David: In Kobe I’d trust. If he says he doesn’t need surgery – I’d trust his opinion over a doctors. Even if that doctor is Doogie Howser.

Jonny: What is your perception on Bynum? Lakers fans have him pegged as the next *insert hall-of-fame center*, yet the rest of the league doesn’t seem to hold him in such a high regard.

Lee: The rest of the league does not hold him in that regard because Yao Ming and Dwight Howard are the only two real centers in the league, I guess unless you count Shaq still. Bynum has a chance to be special, but botched knee diagnosis’s don’t really help ones career to take off. Let’s remember, even before the injury he was averaging only 13 PPG and while he had 10 RPG, it’s on a team where there are no true rebounders other than Odom. He should, just by sheer nature of size and only one other rebounder, get 10 a game.

In comparison, during Yao ‘s third season, after never playing American ball before, he was putting up 18 and 8 on a team that was all about defense and had an abundance of rebounders. Bynum has no complete offensive skills yet (though there were some flashes) and in my limited views of him, isn’t a great passer. Yes, he’s young, but Yao and D-Ho were young entering the league too.  Statistically Howard’s and Yao ‘s rookie years were on par or better than what Bynum did last year before he was hurt. I like Bynum and think he’s got a big chance to join those two guys at the top of the center game, but I want to actually see it before I shout it out.

David: See above comments. Right now Bynum is no better than Kevin Duckworth or Benoit Benjamin. To even compare him to Yao is insulting to one (Yao) and unfair to the other (Bynum).

Jonny: Congratulations on the addition of Ron Artest, many Lakers fans wanted to see him in Purple and Gold. In general, what do you feel the best-case and worst-case scenarios are for the Rockets.

Lee: Best Case: He gels with the team, Battier comes off the bench effectively, Ron scores 25 one night and 12 the next and the pattern goes throughout the season with him giving the team what it needs on that particular day. The Rockets in that scenario should win the championship and Crazy Pills should get a big contract from them.

Worst Case: Honestly, I don’t think he goes crazy or anything, I just can’t see it. Worst case is that he gets hurt, or Yao and Tracy get hurt, or all of them get hurt and it’s a lost season. For those saying his craziness is inevitable, I just think you don’t have any clue what you are talking about. And if yelling at Utah saying there will be no lay-ups is crazy, then I hope he DOES go crazy:

David: There is no worst-case scenario. The Rockets are willingly gambling because the window-of-opportunity for Tracy and Yao is rapidly closing. And even if CrazyPills loses his damned mind and does something stupid again – it’s an expiring contract. By 2010, that would leave only Yao under contract. I think boy genius Daryl Morey would figure out a way to use that to his advantage if such a “worst case scenario” ever developed.

Jonny: The knock on the T-Mac/Yao Rockets has always been that neither of them can stay healthy at the same time for very long. Do you feel this is fair, and how do you feel the addition of Artest alleviates at least T-Macs risk of injury?

Lee: I will answer this one quickly; Artest does very little for TMac’s injury risk and nothing for Yao’s. Either they stay healthy or they don’t. Yes, TMac’s problems have partially stemmed from overuse, but that’s not going away with Artest, his body has already taken the pounding. Yao ‘s injuries have been of the freak variety previous to this year and now he’s had a problem that people thought could happen. Here’s hoping there are no freak injuries and that Yao ‘s body can hold up.

David: Tracy has never really been “injured” – he’s been “hurt” (go re-watch The Program to understand the distinction). Yao has legitimately been injured. But with fluke/freak injuries. Then again, men who are 7’6″ and 320 pounds were never designed to run back and forth in 48 minute intervals. Artest’s value may be in getting Tracy to stop crying about little things and to fight through rough stretches of the season. Artest’s mere presence will keep Tracy from whining in the middle of the season.

Jonny: What are your thoughts on the “player exodus” from the NBA to Europe ? Do you think a Kobe or a LeBron would ever seriously consider leaving the NBA?

Lee: If you want a good description of what it’s like playing overseas, I suggest people read a fellow former Longhorn Gabe Muoneke’s blog here. It’s not the life you live here, it’s hectic and not nearly as safe. Yes, there are leagues where that is not completely the case, but no high profile player is going anywhere soon. First off, as a low level American you are expected to make your team win, period. As a LeBron or Kobe , you better make your team win or fear for your life. That may be some hyperbole, but probably not that far off.

Basketball players are gods in America ; Soccer players are gods everywhere else. LeBron and Kobe have more money than they can ever spend, upping from $20MM to $50MM cannot possibly be that big of a draw. Now, what is a draw is all the other amenities, the fact that the Euro has typically been strong and that the owner’s in some places don’t care about money and just want to win. With that they could be willing to go even higher, give out stock in their companies, houses, etc. That’d be pretty hard to pass up.

In the end though, I don’t see the egos of the top echelon guys letting them leave to play in a glorified pick up game to them. Also, all that being said Josh Childress’s agent is an idiot for letting him go there.

David: Kobe and LeBron aren’t going anywhere until they are over 40 years old. Just not happening.

Jonny: What got you into blogging? How do you feel about it as a news medium?

Lee: Dave and I were emailing back and forth and, while looking for a Rockets blog to read, realized there wasn’t one. Dave suggested that we do it and we decided then and there to create TheDreamShake and have been writing since. I truly enjoy it. I don’t write as often a I’d like because I get paid to do something completely different and have two young children, but I find it cathartic as well as fun at different times. With our move upcoming to SBNation I’d expect us to write even more. The media’s “typical blogger” lives in his mother’s basement and is in high school or works at blockbuster. We live in Texas where there are no basement’s, we do love our Moms but neither of us have lived there since we left for college, both went to major Universities and have fantastic jobs. I try to never put my opinion out there as fact and to go with that I’m extremely sarcastic and somewhat foul mouthed. I love blogs; I even read the newspaper blogs over the newspaper articles 80% of the time. I’ve found they get information out sooner and while they may not be necessarily as accurate all the time, I still find that this is what I want. They breed conversation in a way that the newspaper never did. I also find them more exciting and accessible than even ESPN. I can always read a blog entry where often times I can find highlights and lowlights with ease.

David: I got the idea because no one else had a Rockets blog. And a year ago, that was infuriating. So – instead of complaining about the lack of a blog, we just decided to start our own. Why not? It seems to have worked out well so far!

Thanks again to Lee and David for their time and Insights.. Please DO NOT troll The Dream Shake, even if you think their ideas are totally off base. Remember, on the Internet, you and I represent Lakers fans everywhere. Lets try to give ourselves a good name.

  • Zen Master

    Although those guys tried to be fair with their analysis, I’d say they over-exaggerated the Rocket players’ abilities. Odom over Battier any day, even if LO has an off night. Because no matter how off he is, he still gets some points, lots of rebounds, and assists.

    -Alston and Scola were extremely overrated by the Rocket bloggers.
    -Artest is a beast, can’t disagree with that.
    -TMac’s skinny body will get banged around until he beefs up.
    -I don’t think those biased bloggers ever mentioned any of their team’s weaknesses. That is why they are biased. If they’re gonna give long answers to every question then they might as well address weaknesses. One being that Yao is weak and has little stamina. He struggles down the court EVERY game. You get statues like Kwame or Bynum to push him around? He’ll soon get too tired to shoot those fadeaways.

    They weren’t balanced at all. I hated the interview. All they did was praise their players and rip on each young Laker player.

  • albert

    Wow….
    shane better than odom?
    saying are bench isnt that really good?
    pau over scola by alittle bit?
    and how can he talk about chemistry with drew,
    when artest history in the league joining their team

  • Zen Master

    Oh, and Kobe 2nd best in the league behind Chris Paul? You gotta be kidding me! Who knows if Artest isn’t gonna beat up a teammate behind the cameras! And like I said in the 1st message, these 2 fools are biased as hell. They’re not pro bloggers, they’re just one-sided Houston fans that decided to they were gonna talk things their way their styles on a series of blogs.

    Tracy never really got hurt hah? He’s whining they say? Who are DAVID and LEE to decide what’s real pain or what’s “a little ouch?” What the hell? There are many injuries that no human being can play and still be effective on the field/court! Who plays with a severe ankle sprain? Who runs down the court with pulled back/groin/hamstring/quad muscles? Who plays with a broken bone? Yeah Kobe can play with a torn ligament in his pinkie because it probably doesn’t hurt much, just uncomfortable. But don’t you dare tell us that you can score 21 points in a 21 point pickup game against good street ballers while you have serious pain!! Even if someone can play through pain, they really shouldn’t want or have to because a 100% healthy bench player WOULD BE BETTER FOR THE GOOD OF A TEAM than a hurting starter!

  • Zen Master

    Lee: “We live in Texas where there are no basement’s, we do love our Moms but neither of us have lived there since we left for college, both went to major Universities and have fantastic jobs. I try to never put my opinion out there as fact and to go with that I’m extremely sarcastic and somewhat foul mouthed.”

    All that trash talking better not be facts in his mind, as stated by Lee in this quote. I’m surprised that these 2 alums of major universities aren’t more reasonable or broad-minded. They think things their way, not from every possible direction. “Foul mouthed” is the right way to describe them. We’re glad they admit it.

    Mark my words. I’m NO self-righteous man who will argue every opposition in my way. It’s just that THESE TWO BLOGGERS ARE THE MOST NARROW-MINDED, BIASED BLOG WRITERS I’VE EVER READ FROM.

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog jonny

    I didn’t think the Bynum – Chemistry issues slant was entirely fair, nor did i paticulary agree with the Battier over Odom claim, it’s their right as Houston-first bloggers to hype their team up.

    part of this experience is learning what other bloggers think about their team and how they view us. Lakers fans talking about Bynum as the next great center seems just as narrow minded to the rest of the league as these bloggers claims of Yao’s unassailable greatness to us

    to be fair to them though they do mention that part of Yao’s injury problems are due to his size, which suggests that they are aware of it’s impact on his game. you also have to realize that Yao is pretty close to automatic from 15ft and in. plus he is one of the best, if not the best, FT shooter on that team.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    If I’m not allowed to be biased about my own team in my own freakin’ blog… what the hell is the point then?

    We never said Battier > Odom. What we said is that Battier matches up well with Odom. And that in a team game, in a 7 game series, we’d like our chances against the Lakers. Even though the Lakers have better “individual” players.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    Oh, and Zen Master… I said Tracy has never been “injured” because it’s true. Kobe played through a pinkie injury that is going to require surgery. Surgery – something McGrady has NEVER had to go through. Hence the “hurt” v. “injured” comment.

  • Showtime

    All shall be revealed soon.

  • Diehardfan

    If I was asked to compare the Lakers to the Rockets I would defenitely be bias to. But c’mon. How can they even hesitate to compare Scola to Pau. That answer should of just been one work long…PAU! Seriously, they are just reaching. On a two on two, Scola and Battier vs Pau and Odom! please! Finally, the most ridiculous thing is the following: They describe how Odom disapears when it counts the most. Excuse me! who does that sound like on the Rockets team? At least they acknowledged Odom losing his child as part of the reason. What is t-mac’s excuse for disapearring “when it counts”?

  • domz

    No more reasons and excuses, dave..

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    I must say I am highly amused that you think we are overvaluing Rafer and Tracy… the two guys we have ripped to shreds more than anyone else. Rafer sucks. Tracy disappears. These are facts.

    But just because Tracy disappears doesn’t preclude Lamar Odom from ALSO disappearing. And Lamar’s penchant for disappearing in close games has been well-documented over the years. It’s not some new theory I am espousing here for the first time.

    Also, Luis Scola is a badass – you will see first-hand this year.

  • http://thedreamshake.com Lee – UofTOrange

    Zen, I have to take issue with a LOT of what you said. I was specifically asked questions which I specifically answered.

    I don’t expect the casual fan, or even the Lakers centric fan to understand just how good Scola can be and already is. Compare the stats and you’ll see the numbers, compare the court time and you’ll see the truth. Gasol is a very good player but I feel like some think he’s great, he’s just not. And I’m calling someone great a top 30 player. You can’t seriously think he’s a top 30 player can you?

    You are calling me biased and then I see people say that the Rockets bench with Battier isn’t better head and shoulders over the Lakers bench? Really? I broke down the players, there is nothing incorrect there.

    Why do you care if I like CP3 over Kobe? I still said he’s at least the 2nd best player in the league. It’s not like I said Yao or Tracy were better. I sucked at the Kobe teat and you still whined about it? Not everyone has to like the same players. Dave loves Kobe, I didn’t see you pointing that out. I personally like the player that gets his entire team involved every single play. Kobe is fantastic, he’s the best one on one player, does that make you happy? He’s not the best team player, if you think he is, then I can’t help you.

    The game is a team event, it’s not a one on one event. I couldn’t care less if you think a 2 on 2 game would be one by one twosome or another. The NBA is a 5 on 5 game where bench players are prominently involved. And in the team game, I honestly believe the Rockets are better. What did you think I was going to say? The Lakers will win 81 games but lose the last one to to stay humble? I said that it will come down to your team, my team and the Hornets. Do you believe there was something biased about that? I chose my team, I bet you are choosing your team. Either way, I said they’d be damn close and the Rockets could easily be the 3 seed to the Lakers or Hornets 1 and 2 seeds.

    You talk trash about Artest, but don’t act like you wouldn’t dump Odom a year ago for a chance at Artest this year.

    Battier vs. Odom, you are being a complete homer to say that Odom is the better NBA player. Yes, Odom could win one on one, but not 10 out of 10 games, so what? Back to my previous point, this isn’t a one on one game. This is a team game. Battier for the Rockets is worth a whole lot more than Odom for the Lakers. When I did comparisons I was doing in the vein of how they would play on these teams. And that’s not even considering that Artest is most likely our starter and he would destroy Odom on both ends of the court in a team or one on one game.

    I didn’t rip on any Laker player. I said Kobe was the second best player in the NBA. I truly like Odom but you vastly overrate him. I think Farmar has potential but isn’t exactly a great NBA player, please tell me that you do not think he is. I like Bynum, I know for an absolute fact that Laker fans horrendously overrate who he is. Hell, even Kobe didn’t like him much until last year. I like Walton, I like Derek Fisher, I love Chris Mihm as he is a Longhorn. Show me where I “ripped on each young Laker player”.

    Anyone that thinks we love Rafer is pretty funny. The first post our blog ever had ripped him to no end. One of the basic tenets of our site is that we generally don’t like him. But every team in the NBA would take him over Fisher. 70% would over Farmar with his age and potential being the difference there.

    I talked about the Rockets chemistry AND the Lakers chemistry. What was incorrect about what I said? I think that both may have issues, but both will figure it out. I actually gave you a basketball discussion about Bynum coming back into the fold and Gasol having to play all 4 and Odom playing all 3. What is wrong with that? It’s completely true and I’m not the first to say it. When Bynum is in the post, Gasol won’t be for the most part. His game last year was predicated on his dominating down low and a lot of that will be taken away.

    Lakers fans get a bad rep for the most part for being utterly biased. Did you really rip on me for supporting my team? I was complimentary to the Lakers, I was extremely complimentary to Kobe and called Phil Jackson the likely best coach in the league. Don’t just read what you want to. I was asked about the Rockets and I answered the questions.

    As far as not pointing out our weaknesses you are incorrect. I pointed out injuries and health pretty clearly. Those are the weaknesses. We were already a top 2 D last year, adding Artest isn’t going to make that worse. We also added to our offense which last year did pretty well despite completely changing the system. Injuries are our weakness, plain and simple. The Rockets won 12 games in a row and absolutely dominated during that stretch with Yao, no team could stop us during that stretch, period. Then they won 10 in a row, including one over the Lakers I might add without Yao. So, umm, what did you want me to say? The Rockets suck? I won’t, because it’s not true.

  • mr.laker19

    Alston
    McGrady
    Artest
    Scola (Landry who is a beast off the bench here)
    Ming

    vs.

    Fish
    Kobe
    Odom (or Ariza I know)
    Pau
    Bynum

    This a very interesting and exciting match up. Lets start with the bench. Their bench consist of Head, Battier, Mutombo (if he can still walk at 80), Landry and a rookie who’s name I cant recall right now but he dropped some big numbers in summer league. Against our guys, Farmar, Ariza, Sun (get well soon), Vlad, Dookie I mean Luke, Mihm, and Daccos. Our bench is younger and hopefully has a fire from the dissapointment in the finals, theirs is older and more experienced with a few very promising young guys. We are fairly even now but as the season goes on I think our bench will become dominant.

    Now Point guard. Fish vs. Alston. Alston came alive last season and torched us when we played them. He is quick, can score from the outside, and is fairly unstoppable when he gets hot. But I personally think last season was a one time performance and his numbers will not be as good this year. Fish, you pretty much know what you are going to get from him which is good for a point guard because it brings in consistency. He will knock down open shots, make plays for others when needed, and flop when necessary. Both aren’t going to average double figures in assist any time soon but I guess Alston gets a slight edge as of now.

    Kobe vs. Mac. Macgrady… the brides maid, never the bride. I really dont like McGrady but he has some incredible talent really. Far as straight up skill he might be a top 5 player. But he is missing something that takes you from just pure talent to elite status, CLUTCHNESS!. He hangs himself every time he gets in a position where he could put his team on his back and carry them to victory. And Kobe… we all know about him. BESt EVER PERIOD! Kobe wins this by a mile.

    Odom vs. Artest. Artest is a very physical player on both ends of the court and has the skill to still drop 20 plus on somebody. I really wish we could have him on our roster. But Odom brings a lot of different things to the table. He can pass, run a offense, rebound on both ends, and score when he uses his left hand inside. Artest is better from the outside, but Odom brings a lot of different things on the offensive end that Artest cant. Odom isnt bad on defense, its just Artest is great. Overall I still give a very slight edge to Odom. But that is completely up in the air.

    Pau vs. Scola. Scola is also a hard nose player with very little skill set but still gets the job done. He is not going to break out the arsenal on you on the block but he has a big body and some how he finds a way to will the ball in the basket. Pau is just the opposite. He has all the moves you want in the post, can score with either hand, can pass, and rebounds decent. But he lacks a necessary aggressiveness it takes to bang with the best down low. Scola has a long way to go, Pau is in his prime right now and his moves are to smooth to be stopped. Pau gets this one.

    Finally the big guys Bynum and Yao. Yao is the best center in the league right now overall. Howard doesnt have any moves at all besided dunking and laying up the ball a foot from the basket. Yao has alot range on his shot, which we saw this summer in the Olympics. He also has a huge body that is impossible to move if your name isn’t Shaq. He can also score with either hand, blocks, and rebounds. But Bynum is the future. He is the third best true center right now and I believe has the potential to be the best. He has the dangerous combination of athleticism, a arsenal of moves, and a fierce competitiveness. He is stronger and even faster than he was last year which is scary to think about. He also gets it done on the boards, can pass better then people think, blocks shots and plays great overall defense. Even though Yao is the best right now, Bynum out played every big man (besides Garnett) last year and I expect a repeat performance this year but better. Bynum over Yao.

    The Rockets will be better this year. They will compete. But its our year baby. Lakers> Rockets.

  • Andy

    “Surgery – something McGrady has NEVER had to go through.”

    Hang on – he had surgery on his knee and shoulder just a few days after the playoffs ended this year.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    ” a rookie who’s name I cant recall right now but he dropped some big numbers in summer league.”

    I shouldn’t have even bothered to read the rest of your message. If you can’t get a basic fact right, you have no credibility. I can only assume this rookie you refer too is Donte Greene. You know, the guys we TRADED to get Ron Artest!?!?

    Also – the Rockets bench is (in order of ability): Shane Battier, Brent Barry, Chuck Hayes, Aaron Brooks, Joey Dorsey and Luther Head. Dikembe isn’t signed yet.

    Bynum over Yao? Hahahahahahahaha. Let’s see, “true” centers better than Bynum right now: Yao, Howard, Shaq (still), Chris Kaman, Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby. And I’d even throw Greg Oden’s name in there…

    Again, remember, it’s a team game. You can stack up all the individual all-stars you want and still lose by 25 (see, for example, the 2004 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team).

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    also, my other favorite: “but Odom brings a lot of different things on the offensive end that Artest cant.”

    Really? is that so? Hmmm, let’s go to the stats!

    Odom: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/o/odomla01.html (career 15.6 ppg, best season = 17.2 ppg)

    Artest: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/artesro01.html
    (career 16.0 ppg, best season = 24.6 ppg and has 6 seasons greater than Odom’s best ever season of 17.2 ppg)

  • lalball81

    [Comment ID #51062 Will Be Quoted Here]

    You guys make some great points. But you guys horrendously underrated Andrew Bynum. I’m assuming you just didn’t get to see him play much before he got hurt. For the first half of the season he was putting up lines like 28 and 15, or 18 points, 18 rebounds, and 4 blocks. He was doing that at 20 YEARS OLD. He simply couldn’t be defended in the paint.

    Now that his knee is 100% healthy again, you expect a pedestrian 13 and 10 out of him? Guys who have seen him play often are expecting 19-20 ppg with 12-13 rpg. He was putting up those numbers and better every game when he was a starter. I don’t expect his production to take a dramatic dive this upcoming season.

    And Bynum was never a chemistry problem before he got hurt, and he won’t be one once he comes back. He just wants to get back on the court and play with the guys, and a front line of Pau, Odom, and Bynum is scary.

  • Biasedhater

    WOW Dave, I can’t believe your harpin on someone that didn’t know a name, when you get on here and blog like a biased a** hole. DUDE Kaman, Camby, Tyson Chandler,better than Bynum? didn’t you see Bynum SMASH all of these players last year? or do you just the rockets play? Lets talk about chemistry if you guys are sayin Rockets are going to have a better chemistry. First off who made it through one of the toughest western conferences EVER last year???? and matured GREATLY as a team? NOT THE ROCKETS. That experience is going to be huge for this Lakers squad next year. And second, Bynum disrupting the team? since when has that happened? Artest on the other hand, that’s all he knows how to do. This Laker team knows the missing piece on this team is Bynum. Our Team just got better and we were two games away from winning it all last year. Now on to Yao. I like him don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a great center…. for half a game. Yao’s got a great shot from outside and good inside game. But if he can’t even go all out for a full game? it’s just gonna get worse. But what we saw from bynum last year before he went down, is a glimpse at what we are going to be seeing this year. He has a bright future ahead of him. ONE THAT YAO WILL LOOK AT IN AWE. Rockets are going to be good, but Kobe, Bynum,LO, Pau, and Phil are just too much for them. Ask Adelman if he likes to matchup with the lakers. This is Lakers year baby!

  • Mr. L

    Okay, now I know that you two were very biased (Laker fans are too but right now I’m not being biased). Rockets are a top 4 team. I agree with that but I do not believe they can beat the Lakers in a 7 games series. And I especially don’t see them sweeping the Lakers in the regular season. Also not many people outside of Laker fans know how good Bynum is. You say he’s a 13-10 guy who showed sparks but is not that good. However before he got injured (I forgot what month) but the avg was about 16 pts and 11reb (something like that). And his stats were just going up and up before the injury. I don’t blame you for this but to say that Kaman and Camby and Chandler are better is riduclous (Maybe on defense since Bynum is young). Maybe he’s not the next hall-of-fame whatever but he certainly is on his way to become a all-star. But I still admit that right now Yao is the better player (C’mon now, he’s noe of the 2 best centers in the NBA. He would be the clear cut number 1 if only he didn’t get injured all the time). Also the Lakers bench was considered by many to be the number 1 bench last year (maybe not in the finals). The rockets have a pretty good bench though. Also you guys keep saying that chemistry stuff. The Lakers have better individual players than the Rockets but that doesn’t mean they have crappy chemistry. Just because Bynum comes in doesn’t mean their chemistry is going to get screwed up. They are for sure going to be a different team than last year, espcially with the new generation twin towers now in place. Lakers have good chemistry and will most likely keep their good chemistry even if the playing style will change a little. Also the triangle offense doesn’t matter if there never was a good scoring pf in it before. When Phil came to LA after Chicago he never had a good center like Shaq, but he used the same triangle. The triangle is not based on a single player, it’s based on the whole team so the pf issue will not be a problem (if you understand how the triangle works then you will get what I’m saying). Okay now that I said all this stuff and you Rocket bloggers are prob thinking of ways to rip me I have 2 more things to say. First I believe that the Rockets will prob beat the Lakers only once this year but in a seven game series I see the Lakers winning in 5-6 games regardless of home court (though the Lakers will most likely have it if they meet in the playoffs). Second, although I may sound like I hate the Rockets, I actually like the Rockets. They’re my 2nd favorite team after the Lakers. I love Yao, he is currently my favorite center in the NBA (after this season though I think it might change to Bynum depending on how much better he gets). So I’m not a Rockets hater. I AM a Spurs and Celtics hater though but that has nothing to do with this.
    Anyways, those are my thoughts on this blog and the comments that I read.

  • http://thedreamshake.com Lee – UofTOrange

    Overall, you were about 50% ridiculously biased in that write up and 50% just a little biased. I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with you saying that Bynum is even on the same planet as Yao right now. Yao IS the best center in the game (and you respectfully acknowledge that). Bynum could possibly be a very good center. He does not have Yao’s skill set on offense and hasn’t outproduced Yao at similiar ages on the defensive end. I know people like to act like Yao isn’t a good defender because ESPN keeps saying that incorrectly, but that is preposterous. Jeff Van Gundy thought he was pretty damn good, and that’s about as good a compliment as you can get. He held his own with Shaq from game 1 on the defensive end, that’s all you need to know. There have been numerous crazy athletes at center and other than Hakeem, Shaq and Wilt (two Lakers not bad), there haven’t been a lot to take advantage of that athleticism. I hope Bynum can do it, but you are wishing upon a star when saying you’d rather have him than Yao. That’s just silly. I promise you your coach, GM and owner would trade Bynum straight up for Yao faster than our GM could say “Just kidding”.

    Odom is not in any single way better than Artest. On offense Artest is a better pure shooter, a better post up player, a better ball handler, a better passer and a better slasher. Odom is a better no factor on a lot of nights. On defense the gap is phenomenal. Are you serious with your comments? Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing Odom does better other than be a nice guy. And again, I REALLY like Odom. I wanted him on the Rockets when he left the Clips in the worst way. But there is not a chance that anyone that is not a Lakers fan thinks he’s even close to the complete player Artest is. One on one or with a team, Artest would own Odom.

    I broke down the benches. Ours is better, it’s not even arguable. But I guess I can show you ours again now that we got ANOTHER guy in Landry that is better than any single player on your bench.

    Rockets
    Battier – As of right now he would be second in the running for 6th man of the year behind Manu. If you argue this, I can’t help you. Battier can and has shut down Kobe, how many other players can say that?
    Landry – Singly better than any young player on your bench. That’s not arguable. Sasha is not very good and Landry’s per 36 destroy any on the Lakers bench. Check the per 36 from last year, you won’t believer your eyes: http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=landrca01&y1=2008&p2=vujacsa01&y2=2008&p3=farmajo01&y3=2008&p4=waltolu01&y4=2008
    Chuck Hayes – The worst free throw shooting form since Chris Dudley. He also happens to be able to guard every position but PG and has. The guy has no one singular great skill but has a ton of very good defensive ones. He’s an offensive liability.
    Brooks – Young, but at the very least equal to Farmar. Both have a lot of potential, unfortunately Brooks is really short. So I’d give Farmar the potential category and the ability right now category. But if that is your best bench guy, then OUCH
    Barry – A better shooter than anyone on your bench, and it’s not close. He is old though
    Dikembe (Hopefully) – We ask him to rebound and block shots, he does this very, very well. You have no bench player that does either thing as well as Deke
    Luther Head (who sucks, you won’t see bias there) – He had potential, but is a terrible ball handler. In short, he sucks
    Mike Harris – A better rebounder than anyone but I guess Mihm on your bench. And this is a 0 day contract type guy.

  • John Ireland

    This is too funny, apparently rockets fans think we are overating the lakers, I feel they are doing the same with their team.

    grunge dave, bynum over yao.. I have to agree with you. Yao is the better player at this point in time. However I feel our bench is a bit stronger than the rockets simply becuase I feel the Rocket roster has to much duplication..meaning there are players on your team that all share the same skills. I think the Lakers definetely have more versatility in their lineup while the rockets have more defensive toughness. All in all the one thing I feel puts the Lakers over the Rockets is Kobe…but I guess well just have to wait and see….

  • http://thedreamshake.com Lee – UofTOrange

    Oh, and something I thought about. No other two teams have had centers in the same world as the Rockets and Lakers. A decided nod to the Lakers for having better overall but still, the Rockets have some all time greats. My rankings of greatest centers of all time: 1. Wilt 2. Hakeem 3. Kareem 4. Kareem 5. Shaq Now that we have that out of the way

    Rockets
    Elvin Hayes
    Moses Malone
    Ralph Sampson (overall obviously he didn’t have a full career, but I do seem to remember a certain 1986 tip in ;-) )
    Hakeem Olajuwon
    Yao Ming

    Lakers (Damn 3 of the top 5 of all time, 4 of the top 15 IMO)
    George Mikan (I guess he counts for LA)
    Wilt
    Kareem
    Shaq

    Not too shabby

    Quick fact, the Rockets were the only team to keep the Lakers out of the championship in the 80s.

  • http://thedreamshake.com Lee – UofTOrange

    To John,
    If you are going to have an X Factor, Kobe sure as heck is a hell of a good one to have. And I truly believe the Rockets have the better starting 5 and the much better bench. If the Lakers are going to beat them, it is going to be all Kobe, all the time. I think it would be a hell of a series. I also think we’ll get to see it this year, so I guess we’ll see!

  • mr.laker19

    I admit, the Rockets bench is better right now, I said that. But when those old side busters Barry, Mutombo, and Battier get a few games under their belt, they will fold. I tried to be nice, but now I have to be frank. THE ROCKETS SUCK! Ok. Why are you B!tch Azz Hoes even arguin wit me. Yall cant even get out the first round! Yall suck. T-mac is yall best player. Yao who is good but inconsistent will probably play fifty games. He didnt even look that good this summer against USA. Get over it guys, we wont see you in the West finals and if we do, we will launch you rockets back out of the playoffs where you belong. How bout you guys worry about getting out the first round before you talk about what I said. By the way fucc yall

  • John Ireland

    Off topic but since were talking rockets, when you have a chance go to nba.com and check out the highlight from the finals the year the rockets played the Knicks. Incredible to watch Hakeem and Ewing go at it……back when the nba had real centers..

  • mr.laker19

    FUCC THE ROCKETS HOE! Im tired of these Rockets fans man. Oh and Lee you a real hoe, while you talkin about me forgettin a name, unless its another Kareem I dont know about, you put his name twice if you want to get technical. So personally you can break down my nuts in yo mouth. Oh and I almost forgot, GO MIZZOU TIGERS HOE!

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    I think there are some misconceptions here:

    1. I like Andrew Bynum. I really think he’ll be good one day. BUT right now he has not done anything that Kevin Duckworth and Benoit Benjamin did in their day. Yes, Bynum had some AWESOME games last year, truly truly awesome. But he has yet to display any semblance of consistency. Then he got hurt. Missing this much time is not going to help his growth. (And while potential is great, Bynum is not above Camby, Kaman and Chandler yet as far as actual NBA production.)

    2. I picked on Bynum because the mere thought of comparing him to Yao is laughable.

    3. Last year, the Lakers had one of the best benches in the NBA. I loved watching them. The problem is that your BEST bench player just signed with an in-state rival. And there is no clear-cut 6th man on your bench now. Whereas the Rockets have Battier.

    4. I like Lamar Odom in theory, but I think in the end we are all going to view his career as a disappointment.

    5. The following players suck and I will not hear arguments otherwise: Rafer and Luther.

    Oh, and next to the Rockets, there isn’t a team in the NBA I watch more than the Lakers. Kobe is my favorite player next to Reggie Miller to have never had an association with Houston. I make time to watch his team play.

    I may be biased (hell yeah I am), but I do back it up with facts and stats whenever possible.

  • lakers4realz

    dave and less…biased…plain and simple.

    I used to live in houston, for one year…

    one thing you guys cant beat…is the fact you live in #$@# texas…

    Lakers greater than Rockets anyday…

    I wont even bother arguing or saying anything else..you also spelled “overespousure” wrong…

    I hate all that is associated with texas..

    screw UT…screw everything texan..

    thanks

    LAKERS 4 life.

  • http://hzmdesigns.com Kam Pashai

    [Comment ID #51078 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I guess its only about time that the NBA starts developing talent at center. With the emergance of Bynum and Oden, along with players like Yao and Howard, this could make an intresting decade.

    Oh, and nice username! Ha!

  • http://thedreamshake.com Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51079 Will Be Quoted Here] Sorry, 4 should have been Russel

  • http://www.myspace.com/androsaysitsok androsays

    andrew bynum overrated? in 35 games played last year he put up 13 and 10 with a 63FG%. oh and he’s only 20.

    and btw, a friend of mine recently went to a conference where bynum was interviewed and met the kid himself. apparently he has BULKED up.

    and luis scola? 28 years old 10 and 6 with a 50FG%. yep, we’ll see alright, some upper level mediocrity.

    and i don’t know if you understand this about gasol or not, but next year, he’ll be playing in his NATURAL pf position. yes he’s considered a softy, but now he doesn’t have to spend so much energy banging with the bigs. and i’m sure you all (talking to laker fans and rocket bloggers alike) saw how pau tore it up in the olympics. and back to luis scola…

    http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/08/olym/men/teamPlay/play/p/competitioncode//eventid/4004/fixeddate//langid/1/langlc/en/season//teamnumber/362/roundid/4004/playernumber/28569/opponentteamnumber/237/opponentplayernumber/22714/fe_teamPlay_playStat.html

    check the numbers, gasol averaging 19 a game with a RIDICULOUS 68FG% to scola’s 19 and 58FG%. i’ll give it up to scola for putting up numbers, but gasol only slightly better than gasol? please. oh and btw, gasol, 3 offensive rebounds/4 defensive rebounds a game to scola’s 2 and 4, and this is the FIBA people, i’m sure you all saw how rough and physical it was. again, luis > gasol? not even worth discussing.

    and the bench overachieving? the benchmob put up 73 against the bulls last year. and the stats… averaged 31 points and a 44.8FG% with a 35.2 efficiency rating (source = http://www.hoopsstats.com/basketball/fantasy/nba/los-angeles-lakers/bench/stats/08/13/7-1-id) to the rockets 30 point average, 45.2FG%, and efficiency rating of 34.3. (http://www.hoopsstats.com/basketball/fantasy/nba/houston-rockets/bench/stats/08/10/7-1-id)

    now lets take it to the team level in which the rockets bloggers oh so highly praise their team over the lakers. the lakers received an efficiency rating of 125.8 (source = http://www.hoopsstats.com/basketball/fantasy/nba/los-angeles-lakers/team/stats/08/13) to the rockets 109. before i continue, one note… YES I AM A LAKER FAN, HOWEVER THESE ARE NOT BASED ON BIAS OR SPECULATION. THESE ARE PURE HARD FACTS AND STATISTICS.

    now, the rockets bloggers are saying how adding bynum into the mix will disrupt our chemistry. how so? all laker fans AND espn, foxsports, yahoosports (you name it) sports analyst agree on the fact that only greener pastures lay ahead. as i’ve mentioned pau gasol is moving back to his natural 4, a healthy and young bynum back to the starting 5 spot, with odom moving to the 3. and we still have some guy named kobe.

    now over to the rockets. yes you’ve added artest, yes i wouldve given my left nut to trade him for odom, but thats in the past. somebody in this blog mentioned how the rockets bloggers singled out the lakers team chemistry when bynum is back in the mix… when adding Artest who has proven time and time again that he is F*CKING crazy is a situation way more susceptible to cause damage to a team chemistry. remember, the lakers have had bynum for 3 years now and gasol has proven himself in the half year (and post season past the first round… can any one of the rocket players even throw in an argument here?) that he is more than capable in the triangle.

    so i don’t understand how one can clearly say rockets over lakers in 6. if it was based on pure numbers, it would be REAL close. i myself would not even say LAKERS in however much number of games(despite me being a laker fan… i’m being unbiased).

    however, the rockets bloggers decided to add in the whole TEAM chemistry thing. now it’s time to get biased. based on what I’VE stated and the FACTS AND STATISTICS given, how can one even pick the rockets over the lakers? actually i take it back, i’m not even being biased right now, lakers over the rockets in a 7 game series.

    btw, efficiency rating = ((Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) – ((Field goals attempts – Field goals made) + (Free throws attempts – Free throws made) + Turnovers))]

  • http://hzmdesigns.com Kam Pashai

    “3. Last year, the Lakers had one of the best benches in the NBA. I loved watching them. The problem is that your BEST bench player just signed with an in-state rival. And there is no clear-cut 6th man on your bench now. Whereas the Rockets have Battier.”

    I have to respectfully disagree here. Our top player off the bench last year was Sasha. Luckily, he’s back with the team. Watch out for Trevor Ariza to make a big impact (likely) off the bench this season. He came in mid-season for us and didn’t even get a chance to play along side the ‘Gasol team’. Trevor was a starter for us, before getting hurt.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51085 Will Be Quoted Here]

    So, you think Sasha is better than Shane Battier?

  • John Ireland

    [Comment ID #51085 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Ronny our best bench player? I think not. He was probably the best locker room presence and a good energy guy but not the most productive guy off the bench. Don’t get me wrong he will be missed, but it’s not his productivity that we’ll miss!

  • http://hzmdesigns.com Kam Pashai

    1. The point I was trying to make is that Ronny Turiaf was NOT our best bench player like he stated. In fact, he’s been easily replaced.

    2. Sasha is not better than Shane. He COULD be around Shane’s level this upcoming season, but I don’t see that happening. The kid is a work-a-holic and apparently he’s been very focused this off-season on taking his game to the next level. On the other hand, I can see Trevor Ariza making a Shane Battier like impact. He has it in him, and we know it, we’ve seen it.

  • gshock626

    so both dave and lee have the rockets winning in 6 over the lakers in a 7 game series……….puahahahahahahaha!!! i’m glad you guys admit you’re biased. lakers fans are obviously biased, but at least we’re in the majority this year. almost all the ratings that i’ve seen have the lakers coming out of the west. i guess america’s biased towards the lakers…

    that lucky tip in 86 by sampson should’ve never happened… i remember that vividly, and my reaction was exactly the same as michael cooper. i was on the floor asking myself, “what just happened???”

  • John Ireland

    [Comment ID #51088 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Agreed

  • mr.laker19

    Lee, your problem is you base everything you say off of statistics which is fine, but any body who really knows sports knows that stats only tell one part of a long story brother. First of all while your retarded behind was lookin up stats, did you bother break down Bynums stats as a starter? Did you compare his minutes per game to the other center that your retarded friend said like Camby and Kaman? Did you look at the stats of the games when he played against those other good centers such as Chandler which he torched? Or maybe, just maybe, did you actually watch him play more than the two times he played the Rockets on national t.v.? Because I watch games buddy. Thats how you learn who is good and who’s not and Im not the only person who thinks Bynum has the potential to be the best center one day. So look deeper into the stats Azz hole!

  • Brian

    this guy Lee is a comedian. Lee, if you ever get a chance to read this post i would greatly appreciate it if you give me a response. I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve never seen a bigger byass fan than you in my life. First, you have guts to say that Battier is a better player than Odom and yet you give no explanation to your opinion nor apply any facts that backs up your theory. Like Odom, Battier has been starting since hes been drafted. But unlike Odom, Battier has NEVER been a core player in a system that he’s played in. On the offensive end, Battier is a decent shooter AT BEST while Odom (remember, hes a PF and PF isn’t suppose to be a good shooter and we all know he is just an average shooter) brings pretty much everything you can ask for (hes a great passer, i mean he can play point guard and hes freaking 6’10!!). I admit Battier is a better one-on-one defender but that’s as far as i will go. Odom on the other hand is one of the best rebounders in the league and a much better shot blocker. Bottom line is Odom is a much more efficient and effective than Battier (just compare their career numbers in EVERY category…). I can’t believe I had to defend Odom from someone who thinks Battier is better than him…what a joke.

    And Oh God, don’t even get me started on Scola vs. Pau Gasol…

  • http://www.myspace.com/androsaysitsok androsays

    lee and kam pashai…

    now i’m not saying sasha vujacic is better than shane battier or anything or the other way around… but the way the numbers are looking, i TRULY believe sasha is gonna be better and more valuable than battier in the very near future..

    vujacic is getting to be known as a great defender, even shutting down melo (causing melo to choke him, haha that sh*t was funny), averaged 8 points a game last year and shot a SCORCHING 43% 3pt%

    battier is one of the top defenders in the league, averaged 9 points a game last year and shot a 37% 3pt%.

    now put this into perspective, battier put these numbers up as a STARTER who averaged 36 minutes a game whereas vujacic put up these numbers coming off the bench and playing a little over 17 minutes a game. oh, and vujacic is ONLY 24 whereas battier is 30 (where many analysts say players tend to hit there prime).

    many might say vujacic isn’t better than battier NOW, but he will be

    (btw, stats straight out of nba.com)

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51091 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Actually yes, and if you could read, you notice I put exactly those stats in the Q&A section. I also mentioned that this was not as good as what Yao and DHo did at similar ages. You are really giving Lakers fans a bad name. I’m guessing you don’t care though, which is a shame.

    I watch a lot of basketball, Dave watches more than anyone I know other than the guys that get paid to do so. I’d venture to say he watched more Lakers games than anything other than Rockets games. We’ve both said it repeatedly, we have no problem with the Lakers.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51091 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Oh, and I’ve watched Bynum plenty, more than enough to make an opinion that HE HAS A LOT OF TALENT AND POTENTIAL. Did the all caps get it through your head? I like the kid, I think Lakers fans (of which you are proving right now) vastly overrate WHERE HE IS RIGHT NOW. His potential is obvious, I can see that in one game. His stats show where is is right now as a player, and they, nor he are elite AT THIS MOMENT. That could change this year.

    And I gave an honest opinion that chemistry could be an issue for the Lakers. I have no idea if it will or not. It’s just an opinion, and one that not only I have put out there. Again, I THINK PHIL JACKSON WILL FIGURE IT OUT.

    Why am I having to do this, you saw me saying something 8% negative about the Lakers and forgot the 92% positive. It’s no wonder you guys have a bad name as fans. The vocal minority knows only what they are told by the other vocal minority about basketball.

    And I mean no disrespect to this blog or Lakers fans in general. TheLakersNation does a great job of getting info out there and covering the Lakers and I like that. I think the Lakers will be VERY GOOD THIS YEAR. I also think that they are one of four teams that could/will win the West and/or the championship this year. What about that is unclear? What about that is bashing the Lakers in any way?

    As for the pathetic insults, my two year old is more clever than that. Give me a break

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51093 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Now THAT is a productive conversation. I respectfully disagree with any implication that Sasha and Shane are even close as defenders or intangible guys (though I could be reading into it as you didn’t flat out say it). I will say that he is a better offensive player, and that it is clear. I looked further at the stats and you are correct, he’s a better player than I gave him credit for. I still think for this year, where this conversation started, Shane is clearly the better overall player. We were talking about how they match up today, not how they match up 3 years from now.

    3 years from now I say Landry is the best player of all of them. But Sasha and Farmar are clearly better than Shane and Rafer respectively at that time. Bynum I still say won’t be better than Yao, but I think that is because Yao will be at his peak and Bynum will just be starting his. Scola will still be below Pau and McGrady may be retiring.

    I also don’t get any hate towards Scola. He’s been dominating in international play and has been the leader/best two way player on an Argentine team that has featured Manu (who has said Scola is Argentina’s best player), Noccioni and Oberto, all NBA players. Gasol is clearly the best player for his team too, but it’s not on the same level as Scola’s, though pretty good. So stats that close don’t tell the whole story.

  • DCLAKER

    WTF are ROCKETS FANS doin’ on LAKERNATION.com? 1st HOE – SEPH and his band Merry $ic-Smellers (SMELL – #ICS as we call’em)invade our territory,now we got The COCKETS,pitiful.

    Well,since your on hear….CHAMPSIN’09,’10,AND 11.com,TAKE DAT!!

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    Can someone please translate DCLakers’ gibberish for me?
    Thanks!

  • http://hzmdesigns.com Kam Pashai

    [Comment ID #51099 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I wish I could. lol

  • beyah

    As a Laker fan, I have to say that I don’t think what Lee and Dave have been saying is too far fetched. The Rockets have been growing every year, and the addition of Artest and Barry should be huge. It’s all speculation right now, of course, as is the impact we feel Bynum will have. Bynum individually is not one of the top 3 centers in the league at this time. He hasn’t proved a thing yet, and on this I agree with you. I also agree that Scola is a beast. I see why you say they are close in valuability, if not just because we really could have used a bruser like Scola in the finals last year. Gasol simply lacks the tenacity we needed in that situation. I love Battier also. I saw him D up Kobe in that one game last year better than I’ve ever seen anyone do. Keep this in mind though. Lee, you are entitled to your opinion, but Kobe is flat out the best there is in this game today. You mention this is a team game, and for the Laker’s TEAM, Bynum is going to be a monster. The way Kobe sets him up is a thing of beauty. Bynum has been shooting like 60% from the field because he has the perfect assets to complement Kobe’s game. He takes those lob passes and finishes with the best of them. He’s very athletic, and can disrupt the offense of any center in the league. I do have my concerns about Pau moving to the 4. But I think that Bynum is so complementary to any team, not taking up too many shots, and not necessarily clogging up the paint, that there is tremendous upside to be considered here. We are each biased towards our own teams, of course, but we should all admit that it’s all speculation at this point, because no one can be sure how the chemistry will actually be for our respective teams.

    I’ve always thought that our bench is overrated. But this year I feel that Odom will play a much larger role with the second unit. And with all the length and versatility we have on our team, we can throw many different waves at you. Odom plays 100% better when he is the man on the floor. I think if he comes off the bench this year, he will be the favorite for 6th man of the year (just my opinion). Trevor Ariza is someone I hold in high regard, and I think with the huge stars we have on this team, his role as a lock down wing defender will be key.

    As far as a head-to-head match-up with the Rockets: We will see. I think if the Rockets are healthy, they will be a force to be reckoned with. But our guys have proved they have what it takes to go far into the post-season, so at this point I believe your speculation reaches farther than ours. I would like to thank you for your statement on how ridiculous it was that Paul Pierce “outplayed” Kobe Bryant. Pierce didn’t have to face the fiercest D in the league completely focused on him, and the talk going around about Pierce possibly being the better player was flat-out preposterous.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com Lee – UofTOrange

    Kobe setting up Bynum is not to be overlooked, I definitely agree with that.

    And it’s not like I said DWade was better

  • lakaluva

    A 20 year old Bynum is already better than Benoit and Ducksworth. Both of those guys were career underachivers, while Bynum would have been most improved last year if he had no gotten hurt. I love how when mentioning Bynum he brought up chemistry issues, but had no concerns when talking about Artest, infact, he even questioned why people would think there would be a concern with Artest… IM GLAD WE DIDNT GET THAT COO-COO.

    I could be wrong, but didnt we have one of the top three benches of last season???

    How did Pau play obove his head when he only put up numbers that he always put up.

    I can name plenty of teams that match-up well with the Rockets… how about Utah…lol.

    I pray that we play them in the playoffs. If you take away that 22 game hot streak they went on, they dont even make the playoffs last year.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com Lee – UofTOrange

    Taking last year’s Rockets stats and comparing them to an improved roster that added a third star is a little silly

    Yes, let’s take away win streaks, that’s the stupidest argument in sports. “They wouldn’t have done anything if they just didn’t X” Well guess what, they DID do that

  • Mr. L

    Man, so much crap talking going on here.
    Lee and Dave are Rocket fans. Therefore they will be biased for the Rockets. We are Laker fans and therefore we will be biased for the Lakers. We’ll just see what happens in the season THEN we’ll talk the real smack depending on what happens.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    “[Bynum] has the perfect assets to complement Kobe’s game.”

    since when did Bynum become a 19 year old white girl?

    /had to

  • beyah

    By the way, I don’t think CP3 is so clearly better than D-wade. Paul has been great for ONE season. He is still one step below the likes of Kobe and Duncan in my opinion. You can argue that Paul is as impactful on offense, maybe, but he does not make the difference on their defense. Not even close. Being a Rockets fan, you of all people should put that side of the ball in a higher regard, seeing as it’s the defense of your very team that even set you up for a first round exit. Kobe has been refining his game for 12 solid years now. You can not even compare their arsenals at this time. It’s disrespect to those that have already ben there. And one more thing, neither Yao nor T-Mac has ever shown they can pull it off in the clutch. I know you’re about to say, “I already said T-Mac disappears and Yao can’t stay healthy.” Exactly. YOU said it. That team is built of a bunch of talented losers to this point, and just because you added a champion in Barry and an enforcer in Artest doesn’t mean you have the edge. Ask all the experts around the league. Do you truly believe there would be many, if ANY of them picking the Rockets over the Lakers in a seven-game series?

  • lakaluva

    Wow Lee, I have no problem with being biased because you should be, but you mean to tell me that you cant find 1 single thing Odom is better than Artest??? How about rebounding? Artest dribbles while looking at the floor!!! Odom is a much better passer, and Im not talking statistically, but just from seeing the court and hitting the open man. For your information, we have a blog on this very site about trading Odom for Artest, and Im willing to bet that MOST Lakers fans did not want that headcase on our team. Im going to visit you guys mid-way during the season and remind you of the praise that you are giving Artest and your lack of knowledge of how good Bynum is. At 20 years old, Bynum is in the third position in the league, and most sports writers would agree. To put Kaman, Tyson, and Camby over Bynum shows your lack of respect for Bynum’s game. He destroyed those guys and we have plenty of video to prove it.

  • beyah

    [Comment ID #51106 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Was that really necessary, Dave? You were reaching for that one. I would have rather heard a real response from you. You guys had been very professional up to that point. Besides, you have to be way more witty than that to make that kind of comment on a Laker web site.

  • http://hzmdesigns.com Kam Pashai

    [Comment ID #51106 Will Be Quoted Here]

    That’s low, and quite unnecessary.

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com grungedave

    [Comment ID #51110 Will Be Quoted Here]

    awwww, calm down. I’m a huge Kobe fan. Which means when I joke about Kobe’s predilection for 19 year old white girls, I do it with the appropriate respect.

  • lakaluva

    Artest a star!!! Of what team??? I know he has been begging to be treated like a star, but that remains to be seen. Stars make the allstar on a regular basis. Im going to make a not so bold prediction and say you guys dont get out of the first round again. Now, the gloves are off… no more being cordial. You take an alchololic (Rafer), a cry-baby (TMAC), an oversized zombie (Yao), and a bi-polar psycho (Artest), and guess what you come up with… I’ll let you two geniuses figure it out.

  • beyah

    [Comment ID #51112 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I heard all the pro Kobe comments you made, and you had some very good insights. I knew you didn’t have all ill-intent when making that comment, I just don’t think the correlation between the quote and your joke was very witty. It was a reach. So you were TRYING to find that link somewhere, and for the record, you can’t just say you’re a fan and then speak as freely as you wish. It’s like the guy with one black friend who thinks he can say whatever he wants. I don’t take anything on a blog about a sports team personally, but all I’m saying is pick and choose, brother. Pick and choose.

  • http://www.myspace.com/androsaysitsok androsays

    [Comment ID #51110 Will Be Quoted Here]

    look i’m a laker fan and i agree it wasnt necessary, but there are insults pouring in left and right from lakernation bloggers towards TWO rockets bloggers

    its the duty of fans to be biased, but if you’re gonna slander the other team and be biased towards yours, at least provide some facts and stats to make this argument at least a little bit sensible. an insult thrown in with a great rebuttal is way more effective than a simple “rockets are hoes”

    besides, though unnecessary, that sh*t was pretty funny

  • beyah

    All nonsense aside, I would like to know whether or not you think most people who know about basketball would pick the Lakers or Rockets? And yes, we are all biased towards our own teams, but don’t you feel that our “bias” is shared by fans of other teams as well, while yours is only seen by Houston fans?

  • lakaluva

    Anyone still laughing at Kobe getting some white trash azz four years ago is childish, and deep down probably wishes he was in jail. Lets all start telling Magic AIDS jokes while were at it.

  • http://hzmdesigns.com Kam Pashai

    [Comment ID #51118 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Or maybe we can just stop it riiiiight here. End.

  • beyah

    [Comment ID #51116 Will Be Quoted Here]

    First of all, I agree that many of the Laker fan posts up ’til now have been much more uncalled for. But don’t post up my quote and talk about people saying “rockets are hoes” because I’ve been nothing but respectful. I can appreciate a little Kobe humor every now and again. I’m not related to the guy. I honestly didn’t find Dave’s comment very creative. And just because some kids want to talk some trash doesn’t mean these pro bloggers need to return fire(Although again, I was not hugely offended by the comment. I’m only throwing that in there in response to your statement). By the way, can we just drop this now?

  • mr.laker19

    Dave, Ima beat yo azz if I ever see you bra. All you do is talk sh!t man. Thats unnecessary. From the start, all I said was I think the Lakers match up well against yall and you and that fag Lee start bumpin yall gay gums. Ima beat yo azz.
    And Lee, you just dont understand do ya dummy. Those are not the stats I was talking bout. Can you read? Maybe you need to come to Mizzou where I am and get a real education. But it probably wont help yo country azz no way. How do I give Lakker fans a bad name bra? When if you actually looked at the stats you would of saw that Bynums games against Kaman, Chandlar, Yao, Howard, and Camby, he out played them. WHERE ARE THOSE STATS YOU COUNTRY AZZ HOE? HUH? Please make a Rockets suck COCCk website so you and your buddy dave can chat and jerk eachother and leavee our site the hell alone.

  • mr.laker19

    And shout out to the other real Laker fans thats wit me against these fools, lakaluva, Mr.L and others. Holla!

  • DCLAKER

    My gibberish can be translated as well that…that..that name…WHO THE %%%% IS GRUNGEDAVE?Are you the one takin’up ALL this space on OUR SITE! WELCOME,M’F’ER!Did you understand that? Now I’m really goin’ to make feel unwanted…when was the last time Houston won anything…ok,that’s too easy…R U WINNING THAT ‘CHIP THIS YEAR..ok, that’s too easy too,to the point I have no answer,it’s already etched in stone…or on a trophy,hahaha.

    …And this crap about Bynum not being better than Yao IS REALLY BS,I mean,c’mon GRUNGE,your makin’ my stomach hurt with that one,again,no answer…WE ALL KNOW WHO WINS…I know my REAL LAKER FANS should know.

    Where’s ICKERFAN when you need’em. My gibberish,my $$$…remember this,I don’t know about the rest of Lakernation but I DON’T TAKE KINDLY TO STRANGERS!!!

    DCLAKER.com,and please get out the 1st round…T-MAC IS THE BEST…no Yao is…Austin is…….no KOBE IS!!!

  • DCLAKER

    …And by the way,PEACE OUT TO “mr.laker 19″.I was reading comments your in the SHOUTBOX and I had to say…$$$$ the COCKETS!

  • lakaluva

    Pro Bloggers!!! Beya, stop kissing ass. These two assholes represent the majority of Laker haters across the world. Their disdain for Kobe is extremely obsessive. This is typical for Laker haters. You know, its quite easy to have an objective conversation without going in the gutter with it. They are not pro bloggers, they are just two Rockets fans that have opinions. One thing Ive noticed about Rockets fans is, they are extremely cocky when the season starts, but unlike Lakers fans, when the season is over, you dont hear a peep out of them. Fucc these two guys, and choke on another first round loss. Dont come in here disrespecting our player/players and expect to leave without a verbal assault.

    Oh, and I love the asshole that claims that an iunjury is only an injury if you have surgery… what a fucktard!!! I guess a sprained ankle, hyper-extended knee, dislocated shoulders are not injuries.

  • http://www.myspace.com/androsaysitsok androsays

    [Comment ID #51096 Will Be Quoted Here]

    i think battier is a better defensive player than sasha (note that i said, sasha = great defender, battier = top defender), and that sasha is still a bit immature mentally (ex, when he let ray allen past him going straight to the hole during the champs, i’m guessing he thought the big guys had it covered… wrong idea, STICK TO YOUR MAN, battier never would’ve committed that mistake), but the fact that he is an offensive machine (ha, no pun intended) added to his ability to defend way above average proves his potential to soon be better than what battier ever was.

    however, i hope that he wasn’t just playing like that because it was his contract year. hopefully, his taste of the nba champs and the emotions he displayed at the laker’s loss to the celtics will catapult him from being the poor man’s manu to a superstar all his own.

    and i agree with yao being better than bynum. yao averages (year in year out) an efficiency rating of 25 while bynum (in the 35 games he played last year) got an efficiency rating of 21. i agree that bynum will probably never be as good as yao is when he is in his prime and perfectly healthy, but there is a chance. the biggest factor in closing the skill gap between the two is bynum’s age. has a LONG way to go in the nba; he is being trained by one of the most prestigious big men in nba history (kareem), is coached by arguably one of the best coaches in nba history, and is in the company of arguably one of the best who has every played the game. and at the tender age of 20, was ranked top 10 in most efficient centers last year before going down. (http://www.hoopsstats.com/basketball/fantasy/nba/playerstats/08/6/eff) we’ll see how things play out this coming year.

    i also agree that scola is good. but he’s already 28, and i don’t mean to be a douche, but how much better can he get. the same thing can be said about gasol and his skills, however, gasol placed #4 in that same list of top CENTERS with an efficiency rating of 24 (remember now, he’s going to be playing his natural 4 position next year), while scola put up an efficiency rating of 13. this is in the nba now, not FIBA.

  • mr.laker19

    All day baby, good lookin out DC, holla back homey.

  • Jloyola

    Wassup Everyone! Its has been a long time since I last posted

    This TOPIC is one of the best since TLN was born.

    Since Stats is one of the major discussions here
    Lets Break Some Numbers Down.

    Lets start of with the 22 game winning streak of the Rockets Last Season

    1. vs GS (Non Playoff Team) 111-107
    2. vs Ind (Non Playoff Team) 106-103 = NO Jermaine O’Neal
    3. vs Mil (Non Playoff Team) 91-83 = No Michael Redd
    4. vs Min (Non Playoff Team) 92-83 = Jefferson outplays Yao
    5. vs Cle (Playoff Team) 92-77
    6. vs Atl (Playoff Team) 108-89
    7. vs Por (Non Playoff Team) 95-83
    8. vs Sac (Non Playoff Team) 89-87 = No Garcia(best bench player)
    9. vs Cle (Playoff Team) 93-85
    10. vs Mia (Non Playoff Team) 112-110
    11. vs NO (Playoff Team) 100-80
    12. vs Chi (Non Playoff Team) 110-97

    Wins against Western Conference – 5
    against playoff teams – 1 against NO (Most Impressive win during steak)

    After Yao’s Injury

    13. vs Was (Non Playoff Team) 94-69 = No Gilbert or Caron
    14. vs Mem (Non Playoff Team) 116-95
    15. vs Den (Playoff Team) 103-89
    16. vs Ind (Non Playoff Team) 117-99 = No O’Neal or Tinsley
    17. vs Dal (Playoff Team) 113-98 = No Nowitzki
    18. vs NO (Playoff Team) 106-96 = No David West
    19. vs NJ (Non Playoff Team) 91-73
    20. vs Atl (Playoff Team) 83-75
    21. vs Cha (Non Playff Team) 89-80
    22. vs LAL (Playoff Team) 104-92 = No Gasol, Bynum,or Ariza

    Wins against Western Conference – 5
    against playoff teams – 4

    Different story here due to injuries or suspensions to the team’s top players

    Having a 22 game winning streak is very impressive, but when you break down the numbers, alot of those wins were against the EAST (The JV of the NBA as said by Stephen A Smith) and against teams who didnt have one of their KEY players in the game. None the less it’s still impressive

    How many Rocket fans actually believe they still would of had that 22 game winning streak if key players actually played even if Yao didnt get hurt?

    HEALTH IS A MAJOR CONCERN WITH THE ROCKETS NOT CHEMISTRY

    In the last 3 years Tracy has been averaging about 61 games a season missing about 26% of the season.

    05 – 47 games played
    06 – 71 games played
    07 – 66 games played

    In the last 3 years Yao has been averaging about 53 games played missing about 36% of the season.

    05 – 57 games played
    06 – 48 games played
    07 – 55 games played

    In the last 3 years Artest has been averaging about 64 games a season missing about 22% of the season (injuries and suspension)

    05 – 66
    06 – 70
    07 – 57

    Yao is no doubt the best center in the league he can play with his back to the basket, face up, rebound, close out lanes, blocks, and alter shots, but Yao has TWO major drawbacks – Health and Stamina.

    Plus with Yao playing in the Olympics this past summer I believe (IMO) this season will be no different.

    Now on to the Lakers. I believe our biggest concern this year is not Health or Chemistry, it’s if Andrew can maintain or improve with the same type of production (offense and defense)he did last season.

    I can see why alot of NBA fans overrate Andrew Bynum, he’s only had half of a good season, but Andrew is still the 2ND best center in the league skill wise (Howard doesnt really have a post up game, plus he plays against the east with no REAL centers or Big Men*)

    *Rasheed was the back up center in the 2008 NBA ALL STAR GAME

    BUST OUT THE SKY HOOK ANDREW!!!

    If for some miracle the Houston Rockets are Healthy this season I believe it will be Lakers vs Houston in the Western Conference Finals with the Lakers having Home Court Advantage because our division is alot weaker than Houston (Dal, SA and NO)

    Winner = Lakers

    Why? Experience!

    BRING IT ON HOUSTON

  • lakaluva

    And then they go back to their little Dream Fake site and try to diss TLN.

  • http://www.myspace.com/androsaysitsok androsays

    damn, great post jloyola

    thats what i’m saying to, we’ll see when it all comes down

    CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SEASON TO START!

  • Jloyola

    [Comment ID #51133 Will Be Quoted Here]

    thanks bro…

  • http://thedreamshake.blogspot.com Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51117 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I will say that “most people” aren’t me. However, I will say that no, because typically people aren’t insightful, and that includes mainstream media writers. That being said, Hollinger thought mathematically the Rockets were the best team in the league last year, so it’s not completely insane to think some would think the Rockets could win. A majority? No, not likely, but that doesn’t sway my argument. They would say that the Rockets weren’t better last year and this year there is too much in the air with Artest and health. I’m okay with people saying the Rockets wouldn’t win the series, I have absolutely no problem with that. But to dismiss the possibility is to say you don’t know basketball very well. The Rockets have an extremely large possibility to win the championship. The Lakers do too, and you haven’t found me saying that isn’t the case.

    I am just one person with my opinion, I welcome others that are informed. A lot of people on this blog I would put in that category. A few, I think you can see the ones, don’t know what they are talking about and aren’t educated (through schooling or life)enough to get their point across without insults and cussing at me.

    Honestly though, I couldn’t care less if a lot of experts would pick the Rockets in a 7 game series with the Lakers. The Lakers are a perennial top 3 team in the league, the Rockets to be fair don’t have that history. They have been to the championship 4 times and won 2 and have been to the conference finals another handful of times and to the playoffs more often than not. That alone could bias writers to the Lakers. I will also add that people from Houston are extremely cordial for the most part and some of the nicest people you will ever find. They are passionate but aren’t the kind that typically write to sports writers bitching them out for a slight. You’ll see that taken as a lack of caring. We sell our games out most years like everyone else and care about our teams but I see this discounted all the time. The point being, writers and TV personalities choosing the Lakers in a series isn’t really telling me anything but the Lakers are good. I know that, you know that, we all know that. I’m saying I think the Rockets are better, you are welcome to disagree. I think I’ve explained my position pretty well and left it open for the fact that my opinion is just my opinion.

  • SamV

    okay so I couldn’t read this whole article, i was getting too irritated. I wish these guys would type in bynum on youtube and see what this kid is doing at 21. I didn’t like that they pointed at his youth in one part, then compared his 3rd season to yao’s…and bynum started putting up huge numbers right before he got hurt. In general, what these guys have to say is very biased. How is bynum not a true center? Can someone explain?

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51122 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Do me a favor, and your fellow Lakers fans a favor. Learn something other than text speech and then come back and talk with the adults.

    Calling someone a “fag” is pathetic, childish and comes out of the lexicon of a 14 year old. Seriously, grow up.

  • Lakers 24 7

    I hate it when people say that Bynum isn’t that good just because he was putting up 13 and 10. Yes, those are decent numbers, but his stats WERE going up after every game. If Andrew had stayed healthy, theres no telling what kind of numbers he would’ve been putting up by the end of the season. Not to mention that Kwame Brown was starting over Bynum in the beginning of the season. Plus, Bynum lead the league in field goal percentage with 64% and he had the second-most dunks behind Dwight Howard.
    25 points and 17 rebounds the game before his injury? Not bad, huh.

    We’ll see when the season starts.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51119 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Ya really, that’s not even on the same planet. I can assure you (as Dave is on a flight to San Fran right now) that he in no way has anything to say seriously negative about Kobe. He was joking, it was obviously a joke. I do find it a little silly that few are taking the Lakers fans to task for calling people “fags” and generally being disrepectful 12 year olds, but people are jumping on Dave for trying (and frankly somewhat succeeding) in being funny.

    I can tell you that both of us have flat out sad we don’t believe the allegations against Kobe for a second. You would probably even find that on the blog somewhere.

    And, as someone that thinks Magic is the second greatest player of all time, I also don’t think we’ll be making any fun of him.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51122 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Did you just compare an education at Missouri to an education at The University of Texas? That’s laughable in every way.

    And that’s funny, those are the stats you pointed out. I couldn’t care less what he did against those inferior teams. I do think that Bynum is going to be great. You are pathetic if you can’t see that yet.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51128 Will Be Quoted Here]

    If you think we don’t like Kobe by now then you are illiterate, plain and simple. I can’t believe I’m explaining stuff to someone with no knowledge of spelling or grammar.

  • http://youtube.com/MvpGoesToKobe LakersNewDynasty08

    Hey please dont do these fkin interviews anymore I am sick of these biased faggets that ride on there teams dick! Pau just a little better then Scola. SUCK MY DICK. Artest and Battier better then Odom??? SUCK MY DICK. Kobe second best player after Chris Paul??? SUCK MY DICK. Rockets in 6 Games when they can’t get out of the first round??? Once Again SUCK MY DICK!!!!!! Yao wasn’t out 2 years ago. Why did they get knocked out of the fisrt round in 06 then fkin idiots Artest is not that good. Everyone on this site wanted him on the Lakers but me. I have no respect for that son of a bi*tch. IF YOU THINK TLN SHOULD STOP DOING THESE INTERVIEWS TYPE 1 IN A RESPONSE TO THIS COMMENT!!!!!

  • lakaluva

    No, no, no… please do these interviews. This was a great idea by whoever thought of this. There are NBA fans and bloggers that are much more respectful and less childish than these two clowns. They talk as if they have never seen Bynum play, but at the same time praise Scola… SCOLA!!! He is a Turiaf playing on a scrub team.

    Boston
    Lakers
    NY
    Spurs
    Suns
    Hornets
    Heat
    Pistons
    Clippers
    Raptors
    Dallas
    Wolves
    Utah
    Blazers
    Orlando
    Hawks
    Wizards
    Cavs
    Sixers

    Are all teams that Scola would NOT start on, yet they act like he is the second coming.

  • DwiZ

    As a laker fan, I obviously hold bias to my fav team

    But the rocket fans seem to be seriously undervalueing Trevor Ariza. He also had shown flashes of brilliance prior to being hurt, and is a decent defender

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51132 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Here’s what I wrote: See the comments over there for some epic back and forth.

    Yes, I totally dissed TLN.

    I like this site. Some of you? Not so much

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    Seriously, where are the 5 or so other replies I put up?

  • DCLAKER

    This is why I love being a Lakers fan…CUZ WE DON’T TAKE THAT “BS” FROM KNOWBODY.

    Now you have a real problem Houston.

  • Mitch4Pres

    HA! these guys r hilarious. battier better than odom????????? if they cant admit odom is better then something is wrong

    our bench is wayyyyy better than their bench how could they say that? sasha, farmar, ariza, a healthy walton (remember he averaged like 11, 5, 3 once) vlad rad hitting 3s, etc. who do the rockets have battier and landry? HA!

    I love how people who dont watch/follow the lakers love to talk about how bynums numbers werent amazing. they fail to realize that bynum didnt even start until like 10 games into the season so his averages were messed up. if they would just look at the last few games he played when he started to hit his stride theyd understand why we hold him in such high regard. but w/e i guess i cant blame them for their ignorance.

    rockets in 6 hahahahaha oooooook
    fisher farmar>alston
    kobe>>>>>tmac
    odom>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>scola
    bynum>>>>>rockets bench
    lakers in 5 or 6 easily especially if they have home court

  • TAFTBASKETBAll

    WTF IS THIS???

    ok let me break down the truth

    PG: Farmar’s athletic ability will murder Alston.

    SG: 1 word KOBE need i say more?

    SF: Lamar has big height on Artest but Artest will lock down but i think it will be t-mac vs odom and artest vs kobe ok i cant be that biased like this donkeyhole
    they edge us out

    PF: ARE U EFFING KIDDING ME SCOLA CANT TOUCH GASOLS SHOE!!!!! ALL SCOLA CAN DO IS SHOOT HIS LITTLE JUMPER FROM 7 FEET

    C: ALL I HAVE TO DO IS SHOW U THIS

    IMA CLOSE THIS DISCUSSION

    SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP

  • http://twitter.com/nugge7 Jim Murdoc

    [Comment ID #51147 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Sorry, WordPress thought your posts were spam since you did a bunch of replies. I had to manually accept your responses.

    Hopefully, that fixes it. :)

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51138 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I didn’t say he wasn’t good. He’s definitely good and has a buttload of potential that honestly I hope the kid reaches. Really, how many times do I have to type that today? All I said is I think Lakers fans overrate where he is right now. I don’t think you can possibly overrate his potential, the kid is crazy athletic, has a decent shot and seems to space well on defense. That kind of ceiling really can’t be overrated.

    But for anyone that would want him over Yao, good have him. I’m extremely happy having the best C in the game today.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51151 Will Be Quoted Here]
    Ya, I had to take a break and then couldn’t hold my tongue, or is it my fingers?

    Thanks

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51136 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Yao was an All Star and a dominator on both ends in his third year for a complete season. That’s my point, Bynum has a ridiculous amount of potential, but let’s not act like he has been able to use it much yet.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51150 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Cute, a guy dunked on a center! YEAH, that never happens so Yao must suck, right? Give me a break. Hakeem got dunked on by Kevin Johnson, does he suck too? Shaq has been dunked on by numerous guards too.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    Okay, so H2H for Bynum (and I’m only doing this because you asked me to, I think Bynum is going to be really good)

    But, to say he is better than any of these guys other than Chandler is just wrong today. All of them have better stats over the whole year than Bynum and while in these games, he held his own, that tells me that maybe he isn’t getting up for games when it’s not against a formidable opponent? I really don’t know, just speculating. While he does have outstanding skills and potential, he hasn’t put them together consistently. Like it or not, 13 and 10 is still the average. Having some great games just makes it worse, it means he had some really awful ones as well. His per 36 numbers were 16 and 12, so that tells me it’s not because of a few short appearances, it’s because he’s just not quite there yet. Hell, this may be the year, but I think I’ve proved my point, he’s damn good, but he’s not to great yet.

    Everything in Minutes – Points – Rebounds – Assists – Block Shots – Steals
    Last season vs Yao (Yao owned both occasions)
    Yao 40+M 25P – 12R – 3A – 3B – 1S
    Bynum 19M – 4P – 4R – 2A – 1B – 3S(Nice)

    Yao 36+M – 26P – 13R – 5A – 0B – 3S
    Bynum 17M – 6P – 9R (impressive) – 2A – 1B – 0S

    Last season vs Howard (Howard had him on points and rebounds and Bynum got him on the other areas. Given the two teams, I’d say Howard got the best of the encounter, but not by smaller margin than expected, Bynum certainly didn’t dominate Howard)
    Howard 36M – 17P – 8R – 0A – 5B – 0S
    Bynum 28M – 10p – 6R – 1A – 7B – 0S

    Last Season vs Kaman (Again outscored and rebounded, but go the blocks by a good margin, still I didn’t see this game so I don’t know who got who, but he didn’t dominate Kaman)
    Kaman 38M – 18P – 16R – 3A – 0B – 1S
    Bynum 30M – 14P – 9R – 3A – 6B – 1S

    Last season vs Camby (One game stand still, one game some advantage Camby. Bynum did not dominate either occasion)
    Camby 31M – 11P – 9R – 1A – 3B – 2S
    Bynum 26M – 12P – 13R – 0A – 1B – 0S

    Camby 38M – 0P – 20R -1A – 1B -0S
    Bynum 25M – 2P – 2R – 2A – 3B – 2S

    Bynum vs Chandler (Bynum was better, he didn’t exactly dominate but he was clearly better. I think that Chandler is a lot better than he really is because of CP3, I am not one that though Chandler was better today)
    Chandler 33M – 10P – 9R – 0A – 1B – 0S
    Bynum 30M – 8P – 13R – 1A – 2B – 0S

    Chandler 36M – 11P – 7R – 0A – 0B – 0S
    Bynum 28M – 17P – 9R – 4A – 3B – 0S

    And for kicks Yao’s rookie year versus Bynum’s 3rd year, remember this is after 3 years of NBA ball and a lifetime of American ball:
    Yao : 29M – 13.5P – 8.2R – 1.7A – 1.8B – .3S
    Bynum : 28M – 13.1P – 10.2R – 1.7A – 2.1B – .4S

    You don’t want to see 3rd season versus 3rd season, though to be extremely fair to Bynum he’s 20 in his 3rd year and Yao was 24. I personally think the American game transition for Yao more than makes up for that but still, it’s not really fair.

    Just a side note to reiterate, I think Bynum will be very good, he’s just not all the way there yet.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    And Scola H2H versus Gasol, to illustrate my point

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/h2h_finder.cgi?request=1&p1=scolalu01&p2=gasolpa01

    Scola got better in each game and did all of that damage in many less minutes, not as the starter. Yes, Memphis sucked, but Gasol still got his. The gap just simply anywhere near as big as some of you think it is. Gasol is clearly better, I said that already, but some of you can’t actually read apparently, just want to jump to conclusions

  • http://truebluejazz.com CB Jack

    Yawn. Are we done being in love with the “preseason” Rockets? C’mon how many times do we hold this team to high esteem only to watch their superstars melt down in the postseason? Don’t tell me that Ron Ron is enough to change this squad. The Rockets don’t need a numbers guy to move out of the first round of the playoffs, they need a guy who will step up in the locker room and provide the leadership and stability that Tracy McTeary can’t provide. “People” (Lee included) are acting like Ron Artest is THAT guy?! This is insanity. Apparently CrazyPills passed out crazy pills to the entire city of Houston and “Rockets Nation”. A few years from now Rockets fans are going to wake up from this intoxicated stupor they have put themselves in, take off the beer goggles and say to themselves “We said THAT about Ron Artest? I was more wasted than I thought”.

    Look Rockets fans, you have a great team. You had a great team the past two years. Your team tends to play amazing at the end of the regular season, but guess what…your guys are not winners.

    As for Lakers fans. Lakers need some kind of huge trade or scandal to go down because I swear I have read everything there is to read about this current Lakers squad. From Sasha being 6th man of the year, to Turiaf being most improved, to Kobe being a walking Jesus. I will admit that the Lakers are hands down the scariest team in the West (can we please take New Orleans out of this category already?), but please try and put a logical perspective on your team aside from “Lakers are the best sports team to ever live in the history of living sports teams in sports”.

    Aside from the generic Lakers banter, I loved the chat with The Dream Shake, they are my favoritest mostest hated of rival blogs (we have a great history), this is the kind of stuff that non-Lakers fans want to read (for what it’s worth…which I take is not much). Lakers blogs have it rough because it’s hard to be the first blog to write about something, thanks to every USC dropout and every 30 something Orange County single white male lawyer starting a Lakers Blog. I guess that is why our blog is a Utah Jazz blog. If we don’t write about it…nobody else will.

    Live long Lakers fans and feel free to look us up when it comes time to put a Jazz Q/A together.

    Great blog and thanks for the fresh take.

    CB Jack
    http://www.truebluejazz.com

  • bounty

    seriously
    pro-bloggers?
    for real?
    got to be kidding me.

  • beyah

    [Comment ID #51135 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Fair enough. You believe in your team, as you should. The Rockets do look scary on paper, and once they got Artest and Barry I told a friend of mine that I thought they would be the only team for the Lakers to look out for in the west if they stay healthy and are able to gel. Those are two big “if’s”, but certainly not far-fetched. I believe that not only are our young players getting better, but also that this is the year when Kobe finally puts it all together; the total package. The young guys got some valuable experience, and tasted the bitter defeat. They’ll be ready. With Bynum healthy, and with all the chips on everyone’s shoulders, this is going to be the fiercest team anyone has seen this decade…and they’re only getting better.

  • beyah

    [Comment ID #51163 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Ok, I don’t even know what a “pro” blogger is in the first place. This is the first site I’ve ever posted comments on, and don’t know the ways of the internet world. I just figured since these guys had their own site, and our guys respected them enough to interview them…whatever. I still think that these guys made good arguments, and many of their comments (especially opinions) have been misconstrued. I don’t agree with many of their thoughts, but they’re entitled to their own opinion. We don’t need to automatically go into defensive mode just because they have a point of view that doesn’t mirror our own. Throughout all the chaos it’s possible to make out a pretty great argument that went on between LA and Houston fans. It’s good to hear an outsider’s point of view from time to time instead of preaching to the choir all day.

  • Jloyola

    Bynum stats for 07-08

    stats by month

    October 4.0ppg 4.0reb 1.0 blk 33.3 FG%
    November 11.4ppg 10.7reb 1.47blk 59.2 FG%
    December 13.9ppg 9.1reb 2.69blk 66.1 FG%
    January 17.3ppg 12.2reb 2.33blk 70.0 FG% in 29.5 minutes!!

  • http://mvn.com/nba-cavaliers Amar Panchmatia

    Rockets guys,
    The only thing that will make these Lakers fans like you is if you agreed to get down on your knees and get in line to blow Kobe or said that Andrew Bynum is better than Shaq ever was. Then when you’re asked about how your team compares against theirs, you must say that it would be a four-sweep and how you wished you had Kobe and Phil and how you are green with envy and how every Laker fan is a God.

    Trust me: I know. Look at my interview on this representing the Cleveland Cavaliers as proof.

    Jonny’s a great writer and great guy, but the fans on here make me hate the Lakers, even though I have absolutely nothing against the franchise and organization.

  • Freshh

    What a chump

  • mike

    i dont understand yall…… thiz iz where lakers fans come this site was made 4 lakers fan get yall azz outta here go post that B.S !!!!!!!!!!! Ssomewhere else we dont care wut yall think get out the 1st round then talk yall sound crazy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if ur not a laker fan stop posting yall B…S HERE !!!!!!!!!!!!! LAKERS 4 LIFE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET OUT NOT WELCOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mr.laker19

    Lee, I hate you man. But you are right, I need to stop being so personal with you. The point is I feel like Bynum will be better than Yao. I know a lot of Rockets fans that hate Yao because he is to soft, slow, and weak. I defend him all the time. I actually think he is a great player, I just think Bynum has more potential than he does. T-Wack is really my biggest problem really. He has the skills to be a hall of famer one day. But for some reason he just can’t get it done. Artest is really REALLY good. But who knows what exactly your team and our team will look like with these new line ups. So Im officially signing off from this, good luck to the Rockets, I have no problem with them, just with the people who come to our sight arguing with us over whos team is better. Its stupid. We are Lakers fans. We think they are the best. Period. Peace

  • Mitch K.

    Don’t need to talk about Kobe’s unfaithful past as if average people don’t do it, because it’s a common thing. And stay off that topic.

    Stats aren’t everything, Lee and Dave. Hustle, energy, presence, or other related words don’t show up on stat sheets. Like how Ben Wallace is a much better player than his stats show.

    Who ever compared Bynum to Yao? The most I’ve heard was people’s anticipations toward the battles of the great centers. Bynum v. Oden, Bynum v. Yao, v. D-Howard, vs. Shaq.

    You 2 bloggers, especially Lee, seem to be letting more loose each time you post. Relax. No need to present yourselves like you are raging men. A part of being distributors of information has to do with patience. You can be a little biased and free-roaming when you speak, but doing so means you have to accept that people might get too critical towards you. Don’t mean to get off topic, but that’s how communication works. Too much negative against the opposition and too little on your side, biased or not, will trigger negative feedbacks.

    I mean, think about the early stages of this blog beginning from the interview answer to the blogger’s first replies. Pretty much the only criticism on their own team were Yao’s injuries and Rafer sucks. Then look at all the mud balls thrown to the Laker players.

  • Mitch K.

    Oh, one more thing. If you’re gonna play “prove/accomplish first and talk later,” fine. You agree Bynum and Sasha will be good in the future but you argue that you’re talking about the PRESENT? How about the Rockets prove they can get past the 1st round, get their “chemistry” to work with RON-RON, and live to see T-Mac + Yao play at least a full season! Actually, that would be to easy of expectations cuz that’s only 1 season. Try doing it for 2 since you’re hating so much on the youth and potential of the Lakers.

  • Mitch K.

    First they were all wild when they were answering the interview questions and replying for their first time.

    NOW…………..yes……….. JUST NOW that they’re trying act righteous, fair, “unbiased.” Hypocrites.

  • Mitch K.

    [Comment ID #51156 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Bynum BARELY played any ball in high school and jumped straight to the NBA while Yao was the golden prize of China where they probably trained him to death since he was, IDK, 7 yrs old? Then he played Chinese ball, then the NBA. Exactly why people say don’t compare 20 yr old to 24 /or/ a guy that makes 8 digit numbers a year to a guy still under rookie contract.

  • lakaluva

    I love the way Lee compares Bynum to Yao. Yao’s rookie season he was a 22 year old professional with a polished game, and Bynum was a 17 year old raw talent. At 28 Yao is as good as he will ever get. Bynum on the other hand has more potential than any big man in the league. You guys keep saying that you like Bynum but with comparisons to Benoit Benjamin, (the guy who brought two left shoes to a game and couldnt play) I hardly take you serious. If PJ plays Bynum 35 minutes a night, he will easily be a 20/12 guy and leading the league in blocks. But aside from that, the Rockets will always be under the toe nails of the Lakers, get ready for another heartbreaking season.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51194 Will Be Quoted Here]

    At no point in time have I said I was unbiased. I’m a biased mofo when it comes to the Rockets. I am NOT biased against the Lakers, my views of them can be taken completely away from any views I have about the Rockets. My views are educated yet still my opinion. I didn’t care from the beginning if you took them or left them.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51196 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Or, you know, you could actually read what I wrote where I said it was unfair to compare them. You know, or you could make something completely up, either way…
    You are welcome to your opinion, I wholeheartedly disagree with a lot of it. Yao was very far from polished and the Chinese team and coaching system was absolutely terrible until Del Harris got there after Yao was in the NBA. Bynum was a HS McDonalds All American and played all four years in HS at least from what I can see. Again, I do think it is unfair to compare them at this point. It’s not unfair to say that Yao is the superior player and will be this year as well. That’s about as close to fact as it can be.

    Oh, BTW, What I ACTUALLY wrote:
    “You don’t want to see 3rd season versus 3rd season, though to be extremely fair to Bynum he’s 20 in his 3rd year and Yao was 24. I personally think the American game transition for Yao more than makes up for that but still, it’s not really fair.”

    I compared a lot of players to Bynum because someone specifically said I should. I took those stats that were said to wow me and showed that while he was good and held his own, he didn’t dominate any of those players. I compared Yao to him because people are trying to say that he’s better which is ill informed and asinine. Does he have the potential to be better? Sure, but so did a lot of players that didn’t fulfill their potential. Don’t get mad at me for doing what someone on here asked me to do.

    Again, if I have any specific point for Lakers fans to take away about Bynum: You overrate where he is today. You do not overrate his potential (well some of you do but I’m sure I overrate Yao’s). You are biased for him and I’m cool with that.

  • gshock626

    lakers fans are not overrating where bynum is today. he’s that good. up until the time he got injured, bynum was a fast and improving center that seemed to get better by the game. we all know stats don’t tell the whole story…

    if you’ve seen his games, you’d know bynum is a very unselfish player. he often looks to pass before looking to score, and sometimes he does this to a fault. sure, his game is not polished. yes, his potential shines brighter than his achievements. but for a high school kid to come into a system where he isn’t the focal point and make such an impact at such an early age speaks volumes.

    i rarely ever post stats when i blog. stats only make for good references, nothing more. what you see in person (or through the tube) is a much better gauge for one’s abilities.

    lakers fans have seen their fair share of great centers. i’d like to think we’re not too shabby at evaluating the next big thing.

  • Lakers 24 7

    INCREASE THE PEACE!

    LET’S LET THE TEAMS DO THE TALKING!

  • gshock626

    oh, and one more thing. it wasn’t just last season’s performance that has us lakers fans praising bynum and claiming him as the next big thing. for me, and i’m sure for many other lakers fans, it started after shaq and bynum’s first meeting on the basketball floor a few seasons ago.

    during one exchange shaq put back a dunk off a missed shot over bynum, which led to bynum falling shamefully to the floor. the next trip down, bynum spun baseline around shaq and dunked on the big aristotle. and on the trip back to the heat’s side of the floor, bynum gave shaq a good shove as if to say, “nobody embarrasses me like that! not even you shaq!”.

    now tell me, how many players, let alone a young kid fresh out of high school, would’ve had the nerve and confidence to shove shaq AND dunk on him during their first meeting??? i’d say not many, if at all. that was when i knew this kid was special, and those are kinds of things that statistics don’t show: heart and confidence.

    that was something lakers fans will never forget. and that’s one of the reasons so many of us are ecstatic about this upcoming lakers season: the emergence of andrew bynum.

  • kb24isback

    Yao is good but I really see him as just a 7’6 center with a lil touch around the rim theres nothing really exciting about him. Yes he averages about 22 and 10 but its nothing to really be afraid of in the playoffs imo hes soft. He’s gonna to big and to slow to hang with the leagues best C’s in a couple of years anyway. I think bynums career will be better.

  • Lee – UofTOrange

    [Comment ID #51228 Will Be Quoted Here]

    A “little” touch? Honestly, no disrespect meant, but have you watched Yao play? Even against the Lakers who he has been phenomenal against? His shooting is among the greats. He has range to 18 and last year added the emphatic dunk to his arsenal. Yao’s shooting skills are up there with the greatest of all time. His offense is fantastic and he has more moves than any center since Hakeem and before him Kareem. He’s a heck of a lot more than just tall.

    This is my last reply, good luck to the Lakers this season. I fully expect to see you in the Western Conference Finals