Beyond the obvious — that would be making some jumpers and not getting dragged into the oubliette by Kobe — one thing that needs to happen for Orlando to have a chance in today’s Game 2 is for them to get some production out of the point guard spot. The Lakers have shown a weakness in letting opposing PG’s get savage buckets on Derek Fisher, from Deron Williams to Aaron Brooks to Chauncey Billups. In Game 1, Rafer Alston showed he can get past D-Fish off the dribble with no problem, but Skip needs to make something happen once he gets in the lane. And Jameer Nelson looks like he hasn’t missed a beat, so Orlando should have an advantage there … Another question is how will those two split the minutes? Skip admitted that Jameer’s more-than-expected PT in Game 1 (23 mins) threw off his rhythm, and Stan Van Gundy said Skip is still going to start while Jameer probably won’t play as much as he did (for health/rust reasons, not Skip’s ego). “As far as Rafer, having that affect his play in the second half, that’s up to him,” Van Gundy said. “If I’m looking from the outside, that sounds like an excuse.” Agreed … Now about that “stopping Kobe” thing: What would you do if you were Van Gundy? Mickael Pietrus did about all he could do and still got 40 dumped on him. And if Courtney Lee wasn’t overwhelmed, it sure looked that way, and the Lakers definitely targeted the rookie. So maybe Lee gets less time on Kobe and Pietrus gets more. Ideally you’d like to throw Rashard Lewis on Kobe from time to time, but he needs to be in the paint guarding guys like Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. Or, how’s this for a defensive lineup: Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat sticking the bigs, Hedo on Ariza, Rafer/Jameer on the PG’s, and Rashard on Kobe? That could work … The NBA has a press conference scheduled for Sunday in L.A. where there’s supposed to be a “major announcement,” and the rumor mill says it could be that the NBA Draft is moving to the Staples Center in the near future. That would be a little inconvenient for the Dime crew in that we couldn’t just hop the train to 34th Street and be in the center of everything at MSG, but otherwise we’re not complaining about Southern California in June. The Staples Center is reportedly trying to get the NFL to move its draft there as well … Speaking of the draft, projected first-round pick Jeff Teague strained his MCL during a workout the other day, and is shutting it down for the next couple weeks. The Wake Forest PG still hasn’t hired an agent, so if his stock drops, he could still go back to school … The WNBA had the good sense to tip off its season on an NBA Finals off-day. Candace Parker (baby) sat out the national TV opener between L.A. and Detroit, which her team still won easily while Dwight Howard’s parents were in the stands … If you’re gonna watch one team in the WNBA this year, check out the Sparks. In addition to Candace, they’re loaded with Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Betty Lennox and Marie Ferdinand-Harris. That’s a ton of championships, MVP’s, Finals MVP’s, Olympic gold medals and All-Star nods on one team. Think the ’03-04 Lakers after they got Gary Payton and Karl Malone to join Shaq and Kobe, and you kind of get the idea … Mike Fratello wants back in. According to the Sacramento Bee, the 62-year-old has been reaching out to the Kings about their coaching vacancy, but the team hasn’t given him an interview. For now, it looks like the job is going to either Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis, or Paul Westphal. (And seeing as they haven’t made an announcement yet, our feeling is that Rambis will be the guy, they just have to wait until after the Finals.) But if you’re running the Kings, do you give The Czar of the Telestrator a shot? … We’re out like another blowout …
Smack / Jun 7, 2009 / 12:07 am
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