Monday Morning Point Guard
Shouldn't we just hand the Los Angeles Lakers the next two NBA championships and fast-forward to the summer of 2010? If the first few weeks of this season have proven anything, it's that the Lakers are the league's best team -- even Shaquille O'Neal cannot deny it -- and too many teams are spending this year focused too heavily on two years from now.
The New York Knicks declared their candidacy for the LeBron James Sweepstakes last Friday with two trades that were predicated on freeing up cap space when James is eligible for free agency in 2010, but could also help the team in the short term.
Knicks President Donnie Walsh traded his two highest scorers -- Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph -- in deals that landed Al Harrington, Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley. Those three players (whose deals expire in 2010) will make their Knicks debut on Tuesday against the aforementioned James, who has been an object of affection for many teams this year.
This summer, the New Jersey Nets traded Richard Jefferson to create cap room for James, who is good friends with Nets minority owner Jay-Z. And, within five minutes after the Detroit Pistons traded for Allen Iverson, there was already speculation about how Detroit had the cap space to lure James. It's good to be the King.
As for right now, the Lakers (11-1) continue to make light work of their Western Conference foes, as they completed another round of annihilations, winning each of their past three games by double digits. The scariest part of the Lakers' dominance is that Kobe Bryant isn't putting much wear and tear on his body. The blowout wins have allowed him to average just under 34 minutes a game -- the fewest since he was an Afro-wearing hotshot coming off the bench.
The defending champion Boston Celtics are also riding high on a five-game winning streak, and the Dallas Mavericks have bounced back from a five-game losing streak to win their past four games -- even as former Wizard Jerry Stackhouse gripes about his future with the team.
The Oklahoma City Thunder likely made Latrell Sprewell happy and canned P.J. Carlesimo with the team off to a 1-12 start, while the only time the Wizards can get Gilbert Arenas on the court is to pose for pictures with his wax figure. Given the state of the Wizards' season to this point, can that wax figure shoot?
And while it was mentioned as a game to watch in last week's FourCast, the best regular season of the season was played in Toronto on Friday night, when the Nets defeated the Raptors 129-127 in overtime as Chris Bosh scored a career-high 42 points and former Raptor Vince Carter had 39 and won the game on a alley-oop reverse jam. I was interviewing Sixers guard Andre Iguodala at the conclusion of the game and he went bananas.
"Did you see that? He dunked it backwards! He dunked it backwards, to win the game, like it wasn't nothing!" Iguodala shouted.
If you didn't see the highlights, check out the video below:
The weekly awards follow . . .
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