Christmas is for the Kidz

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Phil Jackson shops at the same store as Pee-Wee Herman and the Cat in the Hat

What more was to be expected on a day intended first and foremost for the children of the world? With three of the NBA’s youngest teams on display in the Lake Show, Blazers, and Sonics, the young’ins showed their Christmas spirit with an entertaining pair of games. And the Cavs/Heat played too.

Cavaliers 96, Heat 82

  • Bullet #1: This game was really boring
  • Luke Jackson proved to be utterly useless all game long. His lone bright spot was missing a jumper in the final ticks of the first half that Old Man Wade tipped in as the buzzer expired. Jackson could be seen throwing the MJ lingering fist-pump as Wade motioned with two hands (like that old “N Sync” video) that the basket was good.
  • … I really have nothing else to say on this game. LeBron dunked a few times and jumped in the air to pass a lot times, Varejao did typical Varejao things (15 points, 7 boards, 234,000 amps), and Gooden apparently still has his beard bet going on with DeShawn Stevenson.

Lakers 122, Suns 115

  • Amare Stoudemire had a mohawk fade (as did Dorell Wright—-did everyone steal this style from Ricky Soliver back in his Iona days or did he get that from someone else too?) and two horizontal lines cut into the back of his neck. If cuts in the eyebrow are gangster and lines above your ear are stylish, what are lines on the back of your neck? He looked straight from a Star Trek re-run.
  • Last season I tormented my cousin Jeff (huge Lakers fan—to the point of getting a signed Kurt Rambis photo for Christmas) by calling Andrew Bynum “The Big Soft” ever time he tip-toed around the block and missed lay-ups instead of ramming home easy finishes. I called to apologize yesterday.
  • Then Vujacic came on. I immediately took back my apology.
  • Trevor Ariza gave Grant Hill a Christmas card before the game. It read:

“Merry Christmas Grant,

Wanted to let you know how happy I am for you and your youthful playing this season. Glad to see you’re well. Good luck in the game today.

-Trevor Ariza

P.S. Almost forgot to give you your present. Enjoy the holiday aroma of deez

Grant was confused by this, and he turned the card over a few times trying to find the rest of the P.S. Two minutes into the second quarter, Hill asked Trevor what the card meant. Trevor smiled.

  • Steve Nash’s aggressiveness on offense this year continues to strike me as a detriment to the team’s success. It’s not as if he is forcing himself into bad shots (he was 8-18 yesterday, and is shooting 51% from the floor on the year), the team just loses its motion the more he shoots jumpers. Nash doesn’t dribble all the way through the lane as much as he did in year’s past, nor does he drive and elevate (a few inches) for a lay-up as a decoy so he can hit the now open post man freed up from the rotating defender. Don’t get me wrong, he still had 14 assists, but things just aren’t the same.
  • And Diaw really sucks now. That could be partly why Nash shoots more.
  • Is anyone else as saddened as I am that, with each passing game and concurrent underwhelming performance, it seems more and more certain Amare Stoudemire will never be the same player he was pre-surgery? Tim Duncan isn’t sad, but I hope the rest of you are.
  • If you told me at the start of the season that the Lakers would be 18-10, 2-0 against the Suns, with a happy Kobe Bryant, and playing Luke Walton and Ronny Turiaf infrequently, I would taken your keys and called you a cab.
  • Kobe Bryant is hands down the best player on the planet. As an early New Years resolution, I will write this statement at the end of every section I mention the Lakers in from now on.

Portland 89, Seattle 79

  • Greg Oden looked bloated.
  • My Mom was convinced the game was being played simply because the two teams had holiday colors.
  • In order to play on the Blazers, you apparently must be tall, skinny, and on the Nicole Richie diet.
  • If Wally Szczerbiak never made another basket again, that would be cool.
  • Kevin Durant reminds me a lot of Allen Iverson early in his career with the perpetually pulled trigger on his jumper, low shooting percentage, and undeniable amount of potential.
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