No need to be alarmed yet, but the L.A. Lakers are not looking good early into the preseason. After dropping their opener to the Timberwolves in London, yesterday the two-time defending NBA champs took an L against defending Euroleague champion Regal Barcelona in Spain … Kobe Bryant shot 2-for-15 from the field, finishing with 15 points only because he was making his free throws. (As a team, L.A. went 0-for-14 beyond the arc.) Over his last three games — two exhibitions and Game 7 of the Finals — he’s shot 8-for-42 from the field, or 19 percent. Kobe’s supporters will remind you that he’s down to like two or three good fingers on his shooting hand, but then his detractors will ask, “So why hasn’t he gotten that hand taken care of?” Either way, shooting is just as much about your legs as it is about your hands, so maybe there are still some knee issues going on … Pete Mickeal (from Cincinnati) led Barcelona with 26 points, 13 boards and 7 assists, while J.C. Navarro added 25 points and 6 dimes. Ricky Rubio went scoreless (0-5 FG) with 3 assists. Pau Gasol led L.A. with 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Lamar Odom had 12 and 18 boards … Maybe LeBron left Cleveland because they showed him their plans to change the court and the uniforms. We know it’s still early, but we don’t see the new look becoming something that grows on us. And it’s yet another reason to never watch the Cavs on League Pass … And apparently Mo Williams needs to watch out, because Boobie Gibson is gunning for his spot as The Man in Cleveland. Byron Scott has been raving about Boobie after he scored 18 in the team’s first game, and last night Boobie was moved into the starting lineup, where he tied for the most shot attempts (10 pts, 4-12 FG) in a loss to Washington. John Wall put up 12 points, 9 dimes and 3 steals for the Wizards … Other stat lines from Thursday’s preseason games: Big Baby Davis scored 20 and Nate Robinson had 17 points off the bench in Boston’s win over the Nets; Acie Law had 19 points (10-10 FT) to lead the Grizzlies past Atlanta in overtime; Kevin Martin dropped 21 points as Houston beat San Antonio, while Yao Ming posted 5 points, 7 boards and 3 blocks in 12 minutes; Deron Williams went for 15 points, 6 boards, 5 dimes and 3 steals in just 24 minutes to help Utah get past Portland; Blake Griffin put up 18 points and 13 rebounds in the Clippers’ win over Sacramento; and Dirk Nowitzki dumped 30 points (11-13 FT) and 10 rebounds on the Bulls in a win. But why was Dirk even playing 34 minutes in a preseason game? With Joakim Noah‘s reckless a** running around, you’re just asking for an ankle injury … And speaking of self-inflicted disaster, what’s up with the Nuggets trying to turn Shelden Williams into Patrick Ewing? Word out of Denver is that George Karl is pushing Shelden to break out of that offensive slump he’s been in since, oh, Duke. “I haven’t been in that position since college where the ball comes to me and they expect me to shoot it,” Williams told the Denver Post. “So I have to kind of get back to how I used to be and get comfortable with that and build confidence. I haven’t felt like this in a long time.” Good luck with that … We’re out like Shelden Chamberlain …
Smack / Oct 8, 2010 / 4:31 am
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