by Jake Appleman
Before we get going, a big thanks to Anthony Gilbert for the ride. It’s much appreciated, dude.
– In the hallway outside of the visitor’s dressing room, I’m pretty sure I hear Keyon Dooling quote Jay-Z’s line “I ain’t animated, like say a Busta Rhymes.” Of course this leads me to wonder: if Devin Harris is Busta Rhymes (unlike Keyon, his game is very “animated”), who is Dirk (compared by Sam Rubenstein to Busta in a recent issue)? Maybe he’s Beanie Siegel because he “keeps three shooters like the Mavericks” and his game is “short and to the point like Nash is.” Maybe Beanie (Dirk) and Busta (Devin) were the pre-Kidd incarnation of the Mavericks. So there’s Dallas and I can only wonder about Debbie…Hip hop lyrics and legendary porn; just a typical Friday night inside my brain…And it don’t stop…
– Nets Assistant Coach (and former Vancouver Grizzlie) Roy Rogers goaltends a Brook Lopez mini hook during a drill. Lopez demands a burnt biscuit with gravy.
– I eat dinner with some members of the IZOD Center security team. They’re all talking about traffic and when they talk about a sign that fell I think they’re talking about Seinfeld. In fact, that would be an interesting new show for Michael Richards: offended patrons dropping street signs on him from above; signs like “Say no to Racism.”
– Russ stands for dinner, without a “will pay for chair” sign.
– The Lakers finish off their intros with some ring around the rosey skipping shit that I can’t describe any better than that. The Nets go for the more lighthearted hokey pokey-esque finish to their circle fun.
– Sasha “Machine” Vujacic boxes DJ Mbenga’s body, landing pretend blows with clenched fists of metrosexual fury.
– Kobe airballs a fadeaway over the appropriately named Trenton Hassell. Speaking of Trenton Hassell, he should record a YouTube video of himself hassling customers with free upper bowl Nets tickets at the Trenton train stop. Speaking from experience, he would be best suited to head to whichever track has the Septa waiting to take people to Philly.
– It’s Derek Fisher 7, the New Jersey Nets 5. Shortly thereafter, Fisher would be on pace for 76. He didn’t reach it, of course, but math is fun.
– Vince gets careless on an exchange bounce pass to a cutting Devin. I want Vince Carter, once in his career, to play the perfect basketball game: 14-14 from the floor, 6-6 from three, 11-11 from the line, 45 points, no turnovers, 10 assists, 7 rebounds. One victory over an unsuspecting opponent. The reason I bring this up is because he could come close.
– Jay-Z is courtside…NOT WEARING SUNGLASSES…His jacket seems like it was dusted with gold, which is entirely possible. I need to get at that dude. I should be a ghostwriter. Sell him or his label some fire. There was a dude on page 34 of the most recent XXL (Killa Cam cover) that looked like he could use some. When you’ve written an entire album’s worth of material that’s the same title of said dude’s mixtape, you tend to think about these things.
– VC flips in a pretty floater off glass. Between five Lakers. 18-16, Hollywood.
– It’s great to see the IZOD Center mostly full. I haven’t seen it this full since the Cavs-Nets series almost two years ago.
– I’m sitting next to my friend—gasp if you need, I’m totally serious—Charley Rosen. For those that need more, Charley and my father are buddies. Charley offers that the Nets love to front the post. He isn’t on board philosophically with this is and, not surprisingly, Gasol burns the Nets for an and one after getting fronted by Josh Boone. Before you pooh-pooh this as bias, just know that Nets coach, Lawrence Frank, the longest tenured coach in the Eastern conference, reads Rosen, too. Check your radar for a potential change in strategy.
– REVERSE SHOWTIME: VC finishes the oop off of a pretty Devin Harris alley.
– Trevor Ariza knocks down a long jumper. Loving that development; remember, he’s an All-Apples selection.
– I’m pretty sure Gary Susman is mispronouncing Sasha’s last name on purpose: Voo-ja-Chich? Erm…
– The Lakers are showing little ill effect in their shot-making on the second night of this back to back. Gasol and Fisher are particularly impressive. Kobe would be off, but he’s dealing with various knick knacks and bugaboos.
– Kobe abuses CDR with a blow by, behind-the-back feed to Gasol for a flush. 39-27, LakeShow.
– Jordan Farmar goaltends a Jarvis Hayes layup into the basket. I assert that this should count for four points: the two he subtracted and the two he added.
– If Brook Lopez were an Outkast album, he’d be The Love B Lo.
– The Nets are frazzled and confused without Vince and Devin on the floor (VD w/o VD!). CDR is especially mistake-prone. This is unfortunate because, after some noticeable growth, I was hoping to see him do well against the big boys. At least Bobby Simmons is there to follow his shot. 43-31, Bollywood.
– A tech is called on Josh Powell. This is somewhat surprising because I wasn’t aware Powell had earned the right to argue.
– DJ Mbenga checks in to team with J-Pow on a quest for world domination. Hopefully, they don’t try to argue with anyone postgame.
– If I don’t have to watch another Mbenga eight-foot fadeaway again, I’ll be happy. He’s too muscular, overbearingly muscular one might say. Dude is like the hunchback of Notre Congo.
– The Nets have done a great job rebounding missed free throws, and rebounding in general. That and an ability to find Brook Lopez rolling to the rim have kept them in the game so far. For what it’s worth, Phil Jackson would criticize Pau Gasol’s first half rebounding after the game. And that’s about the only bad thing you could say about his performance.
– Kobe is 1-9 from the floor. I’m wondering if the living mic embodiment of MJ/LBJ sitting courtside is bothering him, but I’m going to guess no. Remember kids, shooting is very much mental.
– Kudos to Lamar Odom for consistently sticking the midrange J.
– The Nets need to see a camel (trust me on this, I recently saw a camel) because they can’t get over the hump. They tie the game and the Lakers immediately go on a game-changing 16-0 run.
– When I tell Charley that the Nets are 6-15 at the stripe, he quips “the Lakers play great D at the foul line.” If there’s anyone that knows about Laker foul line defense, it’s Rosen. Or Roland Lazenby.
– It’s Front-Runners Ville all up in here. I can’t stand it. Really, all of you are true Lakers fans?
– The Lakers have 18 steals. Bernie Madoff demands royalties.
– Pau Gasol, animated after an offensive foul, is fun to watch, though I wish he’d complain louder, and in Spanish. “Madre mia! Porrr Faaaavvvvvvoorrrrrrrrr.”
– Open threes for Keyon Dooling and Jarvis Hayes help the Nets cut into the deficit. Hayes, whose jumper spent the first half in the freezer, would find his inner toaster and help the Nets throughout the frame. He’s frustrating case: one half you’re begging him not to shoot, the next half he’s spot-up-tastic.
– Josh Boone’s touch—and I mean touch as it pertains to all facets of the game (layups, free throws, ball handling around the rim)—leaves a lot to be desired.
– Turnovers are severely derailing the Nets’ cause. Had they taken better care of the ball, they might have been able to pull this one out.
– The Nets go zone, but it’s a swiss cheese zone. Charley calles it a donut zone because there’s a giant hole in the middle. Russ calls it the O-Zone.
– Brook Lopez’s jumper needs some work. Stay close to the basket, big man! Know where your bread is buttered.
– The Lakers struggle to land the knockout blow.
– The face Lamar Odom makes after the game sealing putback pretty much says it all.
– We waited for Kobe. Yeah…