-Kobe Bryant’s ankle injury isn’t quite as bad as he thought it was. That is certainly good news for the Lakers and their fans, thousands of whom forgot how to breathe at the Staples Center last night.
It’s funny how unfazed I was as a Lakers fan watching Bryant clutch his right ankle. Don’t get me wrong, Kobe missing a prolonged period of time is not something I want or would be able to handle, but I can’t get Lamar Odom’s first two games of the season out of my head. Those terrific performances without Bryant and the season long above average play of the team as a whole gives me hope that the Lakers can survive if Kobe can’t go tomorrow night. With that said, I’d prefer it if he can go.
-Eddy Curry’s play over the last seven games has writers and bloggers alike amazed, and while the resurgence is surprising considering he’s doing it with the whole heart issue, and for the Knicks, I think everyone is forgetting the corner that Curry turned at the end of the '04-'05 season. Remember, he was a HUGE part of the Bulls resurrection towards the end of that season, and when he went out with an irregular heartbeat, the Bulls playoff chances took a colossal hit. Curry has always had the potential to become a force inside offensively, and it’s nice to see Isiah Thomas realize it and work the offense through him rather than four shoot-first point guards.
-On a side topic, those who think John Paxson gave up on Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler too soon are, in my opinion, not aware of what happened in Chicago. First, neither player was a Paxson draft pick. Secondly, I don’t think Paxson ever questioned either player’s ability on the floor when he decided to move them. Pax decided he wouldn’t stand by and watch Curry play with a heart risk without gaining more knowledge, and whether you agree or not, when Curry refused to take a DNA test, Paxson felt he had to move him to the Knicks. That wasn’t a decision based on what Curry was doing on the floor. In Chandler’s case, I think it was becoming clear he needed to go elsewhere to get right mentally. If Paxson didn’t value him, he never would have re-signed him to a big money contract. From where I sit, it seemed that Chandler was never able to live up to the pressure of being traded for Elton Brand. He’s a perfect example of a player just needing a change of scenery, and the Bulls made the move they had to make once they added Ben Wallace. So, the point of all of this is that Curry and Chandler's success now doesn’t mean the Bulls made a mistake, it's just a reminder of how their plans changed. That’s just my opinion.
-What a surprise it was to fire up the HoopsHype rumors this morning only to find a story about the Clippers denying that they were shopping Corey Maggette. You don’t say?
-I’m watching the Blazers and the Pistons go down to the wire and I'm thinking about this Zach Randolph to Detroit trade rumor. Sure, he'd help the Pistons. Yes, I know what he and the Portland fans have been through the last couple of years. And yet, I don’t think I’d mess with this Portland team if I were their General Manager. Perhaps I’m naïve, but Randolph sounds more mature in this SI article, and the Blazers have loads of young talent around him. They are two years away from being the team everyone in the league is afraid to play.