Kobe takes a bite out of Denver

10.23.09 8 years ago 50 Comments

Kobe Bryant

One sequence defined last night’s Lakers/Nuggets national TV preseason game: In the second half, after Kobe Bryant had already come out of the locker room with That Look in his eye, he pulled off his new favorite move on Kenyon Martin; getting him in the air with a pump fake and spinning a quick 360 to his left, dropping a jumper as K-Mart harmlessly floated back to Earth. Then on the Nuggets’ ensuing possession, Kobe jumped a passing lane and finished with a breakway one-hander, slapping on the bottom-teeth snarl as an exclamation point … The Lakers won fairly easily, getting 23 points (8-17 FG) from Kobe, and 17 and nine boards from Lamar Odom. Carmelo led Denver with 28 points in 31 minutes — we’re going to go ahead and predict he leads the NBA in scoring this year — and Chauncey added 19 and six dimes … With Andrew Bynum (shoulder) and Pau Gasol (hamstring) sitting out, DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell got a lot of playing time. Although one of our boys e-mailed during the game that “Josh Powell is Nene without the talent,” he wasn’t bad; definitely better than the Nene look-alike who used to ball at the NYC gym a lot of us play at that we’d nicknamed “Nono Horrible” … Mbenga was kind of a beast, though, blocking seven shots. You know how you’re supposed to reward your big man for protecting the rim and running the floor? One time Mbenga swatted a ‘Melo finger roll, then beat his man downcourt and was wide open under the basket. So of course nobody on the Lakers even looked at him, which led to Derek Fisher jacking a three from the corner. After that shot missed, L.A. got the offensive rebound, and again nobody looked at Mbenga before Kobe jacked a three … Is anyone in New Orleans concerned that the Hornets have consistently looked like ass in the preseason? Last night they got smacked by 34 by the Warriors — albeit without David West (ankle) and Chris Paul (flu) in the lineup. Bobby Brown started at PG for CP, just further proof that only bad things can happen when you have to trust a guy named Bobby Brown … Anthony Morrow dropped 34 points (13-19 FG) for GS, while Corey Maggette scored 23 and Stephen Curry racked up 14 points, 10 assists and six steals … It seems every team in the NBA is dealing with a flu bug, so it’s funny to see how they choose to describe why a certain player is sidelined. For example, the Hornets said CP and Julian Wright had an “upper respiratory cold” last night, while most teams just go with “flu-like symptoms.” But for the Warriors, Andris Biedrins was listed as “under the weather.” If we can use old-school phrases that have no actual medical information, can somebody report that a player “Needs some Tussin” one of these days? … The Blazers laid a 20-piecing on the Suns, as LaMarcus Aldridge celebrated his new contract extension by putting up 17 points, nine boards and three steals and writing “F*** yo’ couch!” on his sneakers … Speaking of weird injury descriptions, the Suns reported Goran Dragic out with an “infected fifth toe, right foot.” That’s a little too much detail, thank you. Good luck getting the image of Goran Dragic’s discolored pinky toe out of your head today … Are there four players in the NBA you’d pick to be on your side in crunch-time before Tim Duncan? Is Duncan even the best crunch-time guy on the Spurs when they’ve got Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker? Lots of questions in having Duncan as #5 on the list of 30 go-to guys; go HERE to see if you buy the answers … Oleksiy “Buckets” Pecherov played the role of Al Jefferson on Thursday, posting 20 points and 10 boards while starting at center in Minnesota’s win over the Pistons. Rodney Stuckey had 25 points and Rip Hamilton scored 21 in the loss … The night after serving the Grizzlies 35 points, D-Wade struggled through a 3-for-11 brickhouse (13 pts) in a loss to Atlanta. After the game, Wade summed up his performance to reporters: “Didn’t hit no shots,” was all he said … Did you see the Magic Johnson/Isiah Thomas story that broke yesterday? Magic and Larry Bird have co-written a book about the Celtics/Lakers rivalry of the ’80s, and in it, Magic says Isiah spread rumors about being gay or bisexual after the HIV announcement. Magic also admits he and Michael Jordan led the effort to keep Isiah off the original Dream Team. If the first part is true, it does make the second part more understandable, but from a pure basketball standpoint it sucks that Isiah was held off the Dream Team over some personal vendetta. Does any of this change your opinion about Magic or Isiah? And what about the possibility that Jordan straight-up lied in his Hall of Fame speech when he claimed there was no beef with Isiah? … We’re out like Bobby Brown …

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