To those of you looking for LeBron James and Kobe Bryant to lead your fantasy teams to the land of milk and honey, write this one off as a tax expense. The King James version took Thursday night off and is questionable for Friday against Indiana as he is being rested for the playoffs. Kobe sat out the Denver game last night with a minor knee issue and could miss a few more as Phil Jackson is inclined to rest him.
There aren’t too many bigger fans of LeBron than me and I know the Cavs have home court advantage throughout locked up, but come on man! If he isn’t nursing an injury, why lose his edge by sitting? Would Bird or Magic have sat in a similar situation?
I don’t get the resting thing in sports. One competes in an athletic contest, has a few drinks at Lotus, gets some digits, and then goes home to bed. Do un-hungover professional athletes remain tired the next day? Are their bodies not recovered, as in the case of LeBron, two days later? Doesn’t muscle memory set in after playing 3-4 games per week for six months? I could be way off base on this, but I feel for his owners. Wait a minute, 29.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 8.6 apg, 1.6 spg, 1.0 bpg!! All right, screw his owners… they should be thanking their maker for stupid numbers like that.
I can’t believe there’s a movement for Stephen Curry to claim Rookie of the Year honors over Tyreke Evans. I don’t care what Curry’s numbers are, and they are spectacular, but Evans is the clear choice. The Kings won for only the 25th time tonight, but without Evans, they’d be battling the Netropolitans for the extra ping pong ball. Given 40 minutes a night, there are about 97 guards in the NBA and about a dozen in the Yeshiva League capable of equaling what Curry is accomplishing in Don Nelson’s system. Curry may be the greatest thing since ice cream or he may be an overrated, modern-day version of Allen Leavell. We don’t know and while Nellie is running the show we never will.
There were only three games in the En Bee Ay last night. Let’s see what transpired.
Chicago 109 Cleveland 108 – Without LeBron, the Cavs nearly knocked off a team desperate for a win to get into the playoffs. The disappointing Mo Williams may have enjoyed his best game of the year in this one, finishing with 35 points (6-11 3-pt fg) and 10 assists. Derrick Rose continued his second half onslaught and paced the Bulls with 24 points and 10 assists. Kirk Hinrich added 23 points (8-12 fg) and Joakim Noah exploded for 17 points, 15 boards, four assists and four blocks.
Sacramento 116 LA Clippers 94 – Evans murderlized the Clippers with 28 points (12-19 fg), six rebounds and seven assists in the easy win. With Spencer Hawes done for the year, Jason Thompson notched 22 points and 15 caroms in a starting role and we could see similar results the rest of the way. Chris Kaman led the Clips with 23 points (10-16 fg), six boards and a couple of blocks.
Denver 98 LA Lakers 96 – Carmelo Anthony finished with 31 points and three blocked shots, including a last second swat of a Derek Fisher shot as the Nuggets squeezed past the Kobe-less Lakers. For the record, the Lakers are now 4-2 without Bryant in the lineup, the two losses by a combined three points to Boston and a desperate Denver team. El Lay has now lost five of its last seven, and if this keeps up, Kobe will undoubtedly have Paul Gasol shipped to the Celtics for a re-invigorated Rasheed Wallace. J.R. Smith contributed 26 points and five threes in this one and should be started by owners in need of long range marksmanship the rest of the way. Gasol had his typical 26-13-5 with three blocks and Ron Artest awoke from a long winter’s nap to drop in 22 points with three threes.
Huge night Friday with 13 games on the docket. Suns at Thunder and Mavs at Blazers should be interesting.