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Sunday, April 23, 2006 

Random Observations - Lakers vs. Suns Game 1


Openly biased thoughts about Sunday's action in Phoenix...

- The most obvious conclusion to be made from Game 1: Tim Thomas is motivated entirely by money. Thomas, who went 8-9 from the field for 22 points and also snagged 15 boards, had a great postseason once before and it resulted in a maximum dollar contract (6 years, $67 million). It just so happens that the Villanova product will be a free agent this summer (by the way, he left for the NBA after his freshman season). Is this coincidence or could Thomas be a complete dog who only lives up to his potential with dollars on the line? Let's put it this way: the Bulls, who have needed big men all year, sent Thomas home because he was out of shape and didn't give full effort in practice. On Sunday, the announcers stated he was "having the game of his life," as he posted up and hit 3's like he was Dirk Nowitzki. If Phoenix doesn't re-sign Thomas, the team who does sign him this offseason will undoubtedly be disappointed when he resumes dogging it next fall.

- Luke Walton, Smush Parker, and Kwame Brown played excellent games, combining for 48 points. Kobe was less assertive than usual throughout this game and these guys thrived. However, the Laker bench only contributed 11 total points while Phoenix reserve Leandro Barbosa chipped in 15 points alone. With Chris Mihm hurt, Phil Jackson might be better off sending in assistant coach Kurt Rambis than scrubs like Devean George and Jim Jackson. This looks to be a close series and the Lakers might lose this series because their bench is that shocking.

- Tom Petty is the new minstrel of the NBA playoffs. Deadspin is skeptical, but anything is better than Rob Thomas or the Black Eyed Peas. Still, there is a 99% chance that "Running Down a Dream" will be forever ruined for all of us by June. Does anyone know how the NBA arranges these theme songs? Is Tom Petty getting paid or does he just hope to benefit from the exposure?

- Steve Nash is not fun to look at from close range. From a safe distance, he's great to watch dribble and run around, but stay away from his interviews where they pull in tight on his mug. He looks like he doesn't have enough skin to cover his skull. That shit is pulled taut.

- The first time the "American Inventor" commercial ran I kept waiting for the punch line. The over-the-top dramatics made me honestly think it was one of those Geico commercials where the newly wed couple wins their dream house, except its too small. "American Inventor" is a real show??? Who watches this crap?

- With 6 minutes left in the game, the Phoenix fans started chanting "Kobe Sucks!" Kobe responded by immediately taking his man to the rack for a lay-up. He scored 10 points in the final minutes but did not get the call after being raked across the face by Thomas. If you watched the game, you saw the bump develop on his head so we all know that the refs clearly missed this one. Instead of being bitter, I am going to point out that the Tigers swept the Mariners today behind Justin Verlander's 7 innings. Nice work fellas.

- After Steve Nash canned a 3 with a minute left to put the Suns up 6 points, Hubie Brown chirped "in your face!" Thanks for rubbing it in Hubie, don't you have a coaching job to quit? The Lakers lose 107-102, but have shown that they might be able to hang with Steve Nash and Co. If not, and the Lakers are going to get eliminated in Round 1, at least it will be to a team that is enjoyable to watch (except during interviews).

-NJV

I like it. And its a Laker column, who knew.

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