I knew this day was off. For one when I woke up to see Skip Bayless spouting nonsense ab..."/> I knew this day was off. For one when I woke up to see Skip Bayless spouting nonsense ab..."/>



I knew this day was off. For one when I woke up to see Skip Bayless spouting nonsense about the Blazers. Yes everything became white noise after I heard him say ‘They are for real’. We’re pretty much screwed tomorrow against the Raptors for that. I swear if Stephen A Smith says anything positive about the Blazers I will in fact bang my head into a wall repeatedly. The national coverage was refreshing at first but I kind of liked when they just didn’t talk about us. Guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

This trangression was followed up by reading Bill Simmons refuse to apologize for saying the Blazers would be horrific, downgrade LaMarcus Aldridge and talk about Brandon Roy’s non-existant bum knee. If he had talked about the heel….ok. But he keeps talking about this knee thing as if he wants it to happen so he can be right. Don’t even get me started on his thoughts on D-Wade. Have people really forgotten the things he did in the 2005 Playoffs? He pretty much single-handedly won the Finals. And to top it all off as if that wasn’t enough I was embarrassed thanks to an e-mail that berated me for not putting Chauncey Billups in the top 5 PG’s in the game. Complete error on my part he’s better than Paul and Williams. The man has to hold together that starting lineup of raging egos every single year. And he also has to run whatever nonsense Flip Saunders throws at him. Add to that he has a Finals MVP (although he kind of ruined the lineage…Bird, Thomas, Jordan, Duncan, O’Neal….who is Chauncey Billups? I pray my child asks me this so I can text Coup about it).

But none of that could be topped by the picture on the upper right of your screen. Allow me to remind you that I saw this picture with no warning. I saw no headline, no text, no article, all I saw was Michael Jordan in a Bobcats practice uniform with a ball in his hand. Blasphemy was my first thought. Followed up by me literally almost throwing up. The adrenaline was running through my body at a rapid pace and my stomach was queasy like I was flipping channels and just saw my daughter on Cinemax. ”No..he wouldn’t…would he? No. No. He would not come back to the Charlotte Bobcats.” Thank goodness I found out he just practiced with them but dear lord Bob Johnson needs to keep him as far away from that court as possible. My heart wouldn’t be able to take seeing MJ running up in down in the white and orange of the Bobcats. I can barely stomach this damn picture. This is much worse than Magic being in that 3-on-3 thing during the All-Star weekend a few years back…at least he had the Lakers uni on.

Now to get my mind off of that awful, awful sight and the horrible thoughts that have been running through my head all day…lets see what happened in the NBA tonight.

(Oh lord I just saw MJ on SportsCenter…who let people film this? Nailed a couple fadeaway jumpers which proves that he could make that shot in his casket. I can still barely watch it.)

The Lakers beat the Bulls 103-91 and neither of my predicted scenarios took place. What did take place was Phil Jackson returning to Chicago (how could I forget that?) and showing off just how damn good he is. You have to give him kudos for finally getting this thing to work out. I mean the Lakers had six guys in double figures. Kobe wasn’t even the leading scorer and he didn’t score 20 points. If I tell you that fact and that fact alone you likely would have guessed the Lakers got killed. Until now. Sasha Vujacic with 19 points in 20 minutes officially has removed himself from the Worst Player of the League award…that will probably be rotated in between the T’Wolves and the Knicks for the rest of the year. Back to the game the Lakers’ new found depth was too much for the Bulls. I really like this Laker team as long as they stay healthy. I guess all that pressure that Kobe puts on his teammates has finally worked out for he better. The Bulls really shot themselves in the foot especially in that 4th quarter. They cut the lead to 3 (86-83 with 6:28 left in the game) but the Lakers responded with a 15-2 run to make it 101-85 with 2 minutes left basically winning the game. During that stretch they either missed jumpers or turned the ball over. Can’t do that in the 4th quarter. And as much as I praised Hinrich earlier I have to get on him now. I’ve never been a big fan of players who barely have more points than field goal attempts, especially when its a point guard. Hinrich tonight went 7-16 (yucky), 0-4 from behind the arc (extra yucky) had 17 points (boo), 8 assists (ok) and 6 turnovers (bad news bears). Your point guard can’t have that many turnovers if you’re going to be successful. At least Ben Gordon only shot 9 times…which is by the way the first time this season he has shot less than 10 field goals in a game. Hmm.

As sick as Bulls fans might be I’m guessing the few Nets fans left are probably more ill. They’ve had a particularly raw stretch losing 5 of their last 7. The two wins came over Cleveland (YAY!) but two of those losses came against New York (BOO times a thousand). What makes it worse is that the Nets are an abysmal 5-10 at home on the year. They have zero home court advantage thats how a team like Sacramento can come in and get a win. Honestly…have you seen a Nets home game this year? Their arena is usually half-packed with all the energy of a funeral. I think Jay-Z announced he wasn’t going anymore…which of course means we’ll see him there next week. Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Back to the Nets its a shame because Jason Kidd is wasting near triple doubles, Vince Carter is stealing money and Richard Jefferson is having a hell of a year but won’t be rewarded for it. We know they are a three person team and a couple positives for the Nets and there semi-faithul to think about are:

New Jersey hasn’t been known to jump out of the gates in the past few years. Right now they have fallen to 10-15. Last year they were 10-14 on December 18th. Two years ago they were 11-12 on December 18th. Nothing out of the ordinary is really happening with these guys.

They are missing Nenad Krstic. When he’s healthy he gives them a low-post scorer, rag on the guy all you want but he is much better than the Malik Allen/Josh Boone combination right now. Those guys are good and can have roles but they can’t replace what he can provide.

Sean Williams is proving to be a shot blocking machine. 8 blocks tonight (on top of 11 points and 7 rebounds) that’s a good pick for the future. I’m glad Lawrence Frank is letting him take his bumps in the starting lineup he’ll be better off for it. (Brief sidenote: does anyone else remember Frank’s first year when the Nets were really good and everyone thought he was a genius? Yeah me neither)

You play in the Wide Open East. Any team with a Big 3 like that can get hot at the right time and make a run to the playoffs. You more than likely won’t do much when you get there but anything is possible. You definitely can’t be scared if the Hawks are only up on you by a few games.

And those were my positive notes for the Nets and the six fans they have remaining. But there are plenty of positive things for the rest of us NBA nuts to look forward to tomorrow.

Hell of a doubleheader on ESPN tomorrow. Detroit travels to Boston in what could be both the return of a rivalry (more on that tomorrow) and an Eastern Conference Finals preview. Also known as Boston’s first REAL test. They’ve failed their earlier Eastern Conference tests losing at Orlando and at Cleveland. We’ll see if they buck the trend against what should be a motivated Pistons team in a rejuvenated Garden.

  • Oh I almost forgot about the second gam
    e. Phoenix at Dallas…no big deal. I might have to blog these games now that I think about it. I’m interested to see how good Phoenix is (I may have overrated them in a win over the Parker-less Spurs) and how far Dallas has fallen.
  • Blazers look to bump that streak to 9 with a home win over Toronto. Working in their favor? Toronto will be on a back-to-back after a gross game against the Clippers tonight. Working against the Blazers? Skip Bayless saying positive things about them. If Tim Legler says something we may lose every game the rest of the season.

    The potential for the worst game of the season in Cleveland at New York. Offensively challenged may not be the word for it. I’m also cackling at the thought of an MSG crowd turning on the Knicks and openly cheering for LeBron to demolish them. And any sort of Zach Randolph argument needs to die, he’s not a winner in this league I’m sorry.

    Miami going to Atlanta in a game that Shaq should dominate but more than likely won’t. Because he’s not Shaq anymore. If he doesn’t murder Horford, Mr. Candace Parker and Zaza Pachulia he will be referred to as Shaquille from now on. Remember I said that. Now why I’m interested in this game…Miami needs a win desperately and Atlanta needs some consistency. On paper it could go either way because no one knows which one of these teams will show up.

    And I think I’ll keep it at 5…it’s more gimmicky that way. Plus I believe my head is going to explode as I listen to the combination of Jamal Mashburn AND Jalen Rose on NBA Fastbreak. Somebody please help me.