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Smack / Jun 3, 2009 / 3:05 am

Obama weighs in on Lakers/Magic, plus Jameer Nelson’s status

They'd take the Kobe-less Lakers five games

They'd take the Kobe-less Lakers five games

Ask an old-timer about how much the NBA has changed, and all they have to do is point to this week’s biggest story leading up to the Lakers/Magic championship series. Almost 40 years ago, the Finals revolved around, “Will Willis Reed play?” Today, you can’t find anybody under the age of 50 named “Willis,” and now the big question is, “Will Jameer play?” Doesn’t quite sound the same coming out of Marv Albert’s mouth as the first one … Jameer did practice with the Magic yesterday, after which Stan Van Gundy said he looked good. Anthony Johnson, who actually suffers the most if Jameer does get some run, told the Orlando Sentinel, “I’m pretty sure he’s going to be given the benefit of the doubt. I expect him to be out there sometime during the series. You got to play the guys who give you the best chance to win.” That’s the issue, though: Does playing Jameer off a four-month layoff give Orlando the best chance to win? … Sooner or later, you knew somebody was gonna hit up President Obama for his NBA Finals prediction. In fact, we’re surprised ESPN didn’t wrangle him in for an “NBA Fastbreak” segment yet breaking down Lakers/Magic position-by-position. Yesterday, before Barack hopped on a helicopter on his way to catch a jet bound for the Middle East, a reporter asked for his pick. “Lakers in six, I think,” Obama said. Seeing as Dwight Howard was able to use Kobe and LeBron muppets as bulletin board material in the conference finals, we’re guessing he’ll keep the President’s words in mind as he tries to take down the Lake Show in this series … In the “We’re stretched for stories” tradition of Bill Walton calling an important Lakers game involving Luke Walton and Bob Griese calling Michigan’s Rose Bowl when Brian Griese was QB, a lot has been made about Jeff Van Gundy working the Finals broadcasts when brother Stan is coaching. “I was a little bit leery of doing the games and I remember speaking to Mike (Breen) and Mark (Jackson) about it,” JVG told the Houston Chronicle. “And I said, ‘I don’t know if I should do the games, because I’m not sure I would be critical of Stan.’ And Mark said, ‘Well, that’s not different. You’re never critical of any coaches.’ So that made a lot of sense to me, because I know how hard the job is.” Jeff added that he’d keep some champagne nearby to “pour over myself and Mark and Mike” if Orlando wins the whole thing … Some of the Dime crew was in Chicago yesterday at the famous A.T.T.A.C.K. Center gym — for reasons you’ll know about soon enough — while some ’09 Draft prospects went through workouts. One notable attendee was Jordan Hill, and as one of our boys put it, “He runs like a senior citizen with hot coals in his shoes, but he hasn’t missed a mid-range shot in about 20 minutes.” … Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said he plans to use Elton Brand at both power forward and center. As for regular center Sam Dalembert, who asked for a trade earlier this year, he might be shipped out now since he doesn’t really fit in Jordan’s Princeton-style system … Doesn’t Deron Williams‘ 19.4 ppg and 10.7 apg this season automatically become more impressive when you realize he did it on an ankle that was killing him? In yesterday’s Deseret News, D-Will said the ankle injury he suffered last preseason (when he got Bruce Bowened by Derrick Rose) bothered him all year long, and didn’t feel any better until about a week or two after the Jazz had been eliminated by the Lakers. “During the season, pretty much every day of my life it hurt; even just walking around a city, or walking around my house, it hurt,” he said. Deron is supposed to stay off the ankle as much as possible for the next couple of months, but says he can still swim, bike and do other stuff to stay in shape. Utah as a team could look vastly different next seasonBoozer, Okur and Korver could all opt out, and Millsap is an unrestricted free agent — but no matter who else is there, we have a feeling Deron is going to be a BEAST. He’ll end that string of All-Star snubs, just watch … We’re out like Jameer (for now) …

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  • YW

    first. i’d like to contradict our president and say magic in 6

  • K Dizzle

    Obama don’t miss lol

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Wonder what they would have been asking McCain had he won?

    Anyway yea I agree that Deron is going to do some serious damage next season.

    Dang it’s not going to be the same seeing “Uncle” Anthony Johnson out there with his old skool self.

    I think the real key to the whole series is going to be Hedo and Ariza. Both make key plays and Hedo brings the ball up so much and sets the offense.

    I guess that whole Kobe and his hurt finger thing is something of the past.

    Foul trouble!

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    When Kobe is done playing, is his pinkie finger gonna be the equivalent of Johnny Unitas’ right hand, where he can barely move it or feel it?

  • BRUCE

    D-Will starts the season slowly so he will always get snubbed come All Star voting. He will always be a 2nd thought. You have CP3 and the other spot belongs to Kobe. And as long as Kobe is in the league that is Kobe spot.

  • Giacomo

    @Bruce
    yeh CP3 and kobe have the starting spots on lockdown for the foreseeable future, but remember there can be up to 4 more guards from the west in the team (2 guards and 2 wildcards from any position) so if he is healthy you KNOW d-will gets one of them.

  • ponky_alolor

    @ anyone who may know, where would Dalembeast land if traded?

    damn, the Finals has got to start. Slow mid-week.

  • fish

    Was watching some of the Denver/Lakers semi last night, and it’s surprising how easy it is to hate on the lakers. Something about them just makes you root for the other team.

    That said I quite like Ariza’s play. He may not be the most passionate player, but it’s easy to appreciate someone who plays a Robert Horry role.

  • Rafa23

    he may be inconsistent, but i really like odom. he can play up to four postitions and is a matchup nightmare.
    and the way he handles himself makes me root for him, especially after everything he has been through personally.
    btw, is this break lasting forever or what? i have really watched and read evrything you can find about the finals, yet we are still more than 1 day away…

  • M Intellect

    I was thinking about it and you have to give SVG his props. I was looking at this Magic roster and so many of their dudes are typically or should inconsistent and he’s got them ALL playing to the best of their ability and whilst playing disciplined, consistant ball.

    Skip is actually running a team.

    Mikael Pietrus has found his niche as the Skynet Bruce Bowen Replica.

    Courtney Lee has found his role, settled into the L and is a contributor in his rookie season.

    Hedo is the only top 10 game closer without top 10 talent and any facial expression.

    Rashard Lewis is making his paycheck look kinda okay.

    Jameer Nelson finally became an all-star.

    Dwight is now mentioned with LeBron and D-Wade.

    Even Gortat is doing his thing when he gets burn.

    I am a Lakers fan and I damn near want to root for Orlando.

  • Doc

    Please, ESPN/ABC: Shitcan Mike “The Puker” Breen. Jackson is a pretty weak analyst as well. I *do* like Van G, tho. An NBA Finals series without Marv Albert calling the game is 2d class.

  • Doc

    Please, ESPN/ABC: Shitcan Mike “The Puker” Breen. Jackson is a pretty weak analyst, but I *do* like Van Gundy. An NBA Finals series without Marv Albert calling the game is 2d class.

  • YOUNGFED…”a.k.a. The Fashionable Bruh”

    Deron Williams will be another Grant Hill. It’s a wrap and I aint talking bout no Ace Bandage. lol

  • Kudabeen

    I don’t think SAm Dalembert is any less of a fit thatn Etan Thomas or Brendan Haywood. At this point it is more about trading Sam for a solid big body that can bang, rebound and protect. Gortat looks good, but I’m not sure what E Jordan looks for out of his center. Jason Smith will be back. He and Speights were looking good last year until Jason was hurt. If he is stronger and didn’t lose much on his shooting touch that is a nice upgrade. I think they should just suck it up and keep Sam if there only other option is playing Elton at the 5 for extended time.

    Eddie Jordan and Ed Stefanski needs to be discussing how to acquire Ramon Sessions. If they can turn Dalembert contract into a real shooter that plays the 3/4 and 1/2 that would be solid.

    Flip that Dalembert contract into Mike Miller from Timberwolves.

    Sign Ramon Sessions. Good starter if Miller walks.

    Thad will either prove he can play in the front court with Brand or come of the bench getting 35 minutes and closing games.

    Brand
    Thad
    Dre I
    M.Miller
    Sessions

    Speights
    Brand
    Dre I
    M.Miller
    Sessions

    Brand
    Thad
    Dre I
    M.Miller
    A.Miller
    Sessions, Speights, Jason, Lou, Reggie off bench. I guess Willie too.

    I just can’t wait to see what real moves will be made and if the Sixers are serious about taking steps forward. Some have Earl Clark falling out of the Lottery, I don’t see that happening, but signing Sessions allow you to just pick the best player on the board. Philly could use a Sam Young, Clark, and even Chase Budinger (I really like him on the Wing. He has a great mix of skills to be an excellent role player. Especially if we don’t move Dalembert for Mike Miller)

  • girlybballuver

    @ 10

    I agree, props to SVG. Seeing how well he has this Magic team playing gives me further fuel for my dislike of Pat Riley and the way he kicked Stan out of the coaching seat in Miami. I mean I appreciate the Chip in ’06…but Riley is such a snake. He could’ve handled that situation so much better. I really liked SVG and I was happy for him when he got the gig in Orlando.

    As far as the finals…I don’t think I’ll be choosing a side. I’m just hoping for another great series. The playoffs have been great this year!!!!

  • Dennis Castro

    @Kudabeen, would you take Lawson if he’s there at 17? I think Sessions would be a nice fit here, but at the right price. I actually think Anthony Parker might be a good option at 2. Low priced player that can help an immediate need and stretch the D when they collapse on Elton.

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    Lakers in six if we can keep the sidelined hooked up with all sorts of twinkies n shit for odom and ab can keep outta foul trouble.if the magic catch us anywhere in the middle of odoms sugar low,we screwed lol.that sed go lakers !!

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    Keep the sidelined laced with twinkies lol then its lakers in four . Go Lakers

  • Kudabeen

    Castro:

    I like Lawson, but I like Sessions even more at PG. He has size, shooting, setup ability to play the position. I think the sixers could solidfy other spots and get a shooter in the draft or in a trade of that pick. Mike Miller would be great, but bringing back Anthony Parker wouldn’t be bad either. I just don’t like him as a starter, but that is contingent on his ability to knock down shots. Parker is a good defender too.

  • boogie

    Don’t you guys have spell check? Man alive….

  • Diego

    Good point by M. Intellect at post 10. Stan Van G. catches a lot of crap due to his coaching styly, but he certainly brings the best out of his crew, e.g, Hedo has never played better than the last couple of years, and he has been in the league forever–San. Ant. and then Sacramento.

    If the coach of the year vote were today, Stan would look pretty good.

    I like Gortat. At first, I thought he was just another big ugly bald foreign guy. (Seems like the Magic has one every year–but I gues Pat Burke wasn’t foreign.) But he plays big and tough, and I would love to see the Hawks take a shot at him; he would give us some size we desperately need. I’d take him over Zaza (whose contract is up) because of Gortat’s much better athleticism. Gortat is going to earn some $ in the near future.

  • chris

    i cannot find a website anywhere that sez anything other than lakers in 6, so it must be true, and the prez sez so, too. the zebras seem to like the lakers, which means superman’s gonna be in foul trouble all 6 games. gortat’s good, only chance i see for magic is if van g plays gortat and howard together a lot, and he hasn’t done that all season; let hedo/lewis/pietrus rotate at the 3/4 with johnson/lee splitting the point, and see what happens!

  • http://www.kingsfans.com Willis

    …….

    my name is Willis.

  • jp2506
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