Posts tagged “Pau Gasol

NBA MVP prediction: Kobe Bryant


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant may win the 2011-2012 NBA MVP after leading the league in scoring for almost the entire year. Photo by: Aaron Frutman / Flickr

With the NBA regular season winding down, some hardcore fans may already be pondering about who will win this year’s MVP award.

Certainly, there is a handful of superstars deserving of the honor, but the award is about more than just leading the league in scoring, rebounds or assists. An MVP has to truly be a leader, who would change the whole dynamic of their team if they were absent from the starting lineup. Think about when Michael Jordan retired from the NBA to pursue a baseball career. The following season, Scottie Pippen definitely didn’t get any MVP love and the Chicago Bulls simply weren’t the same.

So when I look at this year’s field of possible deserving candidates (in terms of what they do for their teams) for the 2011-2012 MVP award, there is really only three players — Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love — who fit that profile. The only problem is, Love’s Timberwolves have already been eliminated from playoff contention, so don’t expect him to even sniff at the trophy until Minnesota is better. And Dwight Howard’s absence from the Orlando Magic because of back spasms has only proven that he is the heart and soul of that team after Orlando slowly slipped further and further down the Eastern Conference standings once Howard started to miss more and more time.

So that leaves Kobe. Will he run away with the MVP award? Maybe not. After all, right behind him are superstars Kevin Durant and LeBron James, who rank No. 2 and No. 3 in the league, respectively, for points per game. But how much would Durant’s Thunder and James’ Heat be suffering if they weren’t there? Miami certainly could hold its own with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh running the show and you have to believe Oklahoma City could do the same with its depth.  (more…)

Advertisements

Lakers overcome preseason debacle with solid trades at deadline


BY MATTHEW VINSKO, Couchsideshow.com contributor 

The Los Angeles Lakers acquired point guard Ramon Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday afternoon. Photo by: Bridget DS / Flickr

December, 2011 was a time to rejoice for basketball fans. After 161 painstaking days, basketball was set to commence on Christmas Day with a plethora of games set to kick off the NBA season in style. What wasn’t to like?

But December wasn’t pleasant for Lakers’ fans. No, I’m not talking about the opening day loss to the Bulls in a nail biter; I’m actually one of the few people proud of the Lakers for putting up that much of a fight against the reigning MVP without Andrew Bynum. What made opening day sour for many a Lakers’ fan was David Stern’s controversial overruling of a three-team deal that would have ultimately landed Chris Paul, arguably the best pure point guard in the league, in the same backcourt as ‘The Black Mamba,’ Kobe Bryant.

That was OK, though. For the most part, the same team that won back-to-back titles was intact, albeit two years older.

But it wasn’t OK for Lamar Odom, who was shipped to the Dallas Mavericks for a first round pick in order to clear up salary cap. Odom, apparently the sensitive type, couldn’t stand the thought of being included in the trade that would have sent Paul to L.A. Trading the reigning Sixth Man of the Year for a draft pick can be excused considering the Lakers’ salary cap issues with regards the luxury tax. Financial woes aside, the 2012 draft is already being considered one of the deeper drafts in recent history, so no harm, no foul, right? (more…)


Lakers look OK despite Odom deal


The L.A. Lakers traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for cash and a future first-round pick this offseason. Photo by Bridget Samuels/Flickr

BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Lately I’ve been finding myself arguing or disagreeing with people about the Los Angeles Lakers.

It’s funny to me because I’m not a huge fan of Team Kobe. I’ll admit that the boys in yellow and purple are fun to watch. I would even like to see them win the NBA Finals again because I respect Kobe Bryant as a player. And because those are my feelings, I’ll go to bat for the Lakers from time to time. I have recently defended L.A. because a lot of their fans do not like the fact that the front office traded Lamar Odom for nothing and weren’t able to make successful swaps for either Dwight Howard or Chris Paul.

(more…)