Bottom Up Bottoms Up !
OK the NBA beckoned in the ‘Era of the Dynasty’ as LeBron James and his minions would anoint it. And by all accounts the NBA hierarchy led by Commissioner David Stern welcomed this all in with wide open arms and the welcoming smile of a child who’d found a brand new toy to play with. Granted with the league facing a financial shortfall of some $450 million by Stern’s own estimation and you can well understand his reticence were the season to go up in smoke.
Slide show for your perusal .
Last night the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers raised their title banner at the Staples Center and at the same time were the recipients of their title rings. In the midst of the convened press were the Hollywood glitterati , the fans themselves along with David Stern , team coach Phil Jackson , Lakers’ owners Dr Jerry Buss and Philip Anschutz . The Lakers themselves were feted by their fans before their season opener against the Houston Rockets .
What might be all the more unbelievable about this all is the fact the Lakers are now playing second fiddle to a story that for all sense and purpose was created widen the scope and appeal of LeBron James . The player’s offseason move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat was a comical circus event from start to finish , never mind the fact much of it was manipulated by the player in order to gain wider press coverage. And less we forget the vented anger of Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert whose anger was well chronicled by the press and fans at large. Along with James’ move to the Heat were the signing of Chris Bosh and the re-signing of guard Dywane Wade by the organization. Much of this all was overseen by Heat President Pat Riley .
The Heat opened up their schedule against the defending Eastern Conference champions the Boston Celtics at the TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston , Massachusetts . Doc Rivers’ ___ team also underwent some roster changes with the acquisition of free agents Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal joining the team’s trio of future Hall of Fame players Ray Allen , Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce . Now as much as the Heat are presumed to be the prohibitive favorites within the conference to win not only conference title they’re also seen as perhaps the only team within the league with a genuine chance of the dethroning the reigning champions the Los Angeles Lakers. Though from my own perspective I do believe that the Chicago Bulls , Orlando Magic and Celtics could prove those prognosticators favoring the Heat to be wrong. As good as that Heat triumvirate appears to be I do foresee that team having problems over the course of the season. The team was built to have and reap immediate dividends this year in spite of what James and his teammates are saying. Anything short of the NBA title this season would be viewed as an utter failure on the part of the Heats fans and hierarchy albeit that they’d like for us all to take an opposite view of their ambitions.
Though last night’s game between the Heat and Celtics was somewhat entertaining with the playoff atmosphere being displayed by a boisterous and vociferous Boston crowd cheering on the home team. By what was evidenced with the effort put forth by the Miami Heat it was clear that on this night it was the Celtics who came to play and the Heat were left bewildered. Solid contributions from the Celtics’ starters led by Ray Allen who led the team in scoring with 19 points with there also being a productive contribution also coming from the team’s point guard Rajon Rondo . And while you could see that the Celtics were playing as a cohesive unit. The same could not be said of the Miami Heat and for their coach Erik Spoelstra although there wasn’t a real great cause for concern I’m sure that he’d have felt a great deal more satisfied had his team come away with a victory instead of a decisive 88-80 loss to the Boston Celtics. Bosh , Wade and James accounted for fifteen of the team’s 17 turnovers on the night and though LeBron was his customary self leading all scorers with 31 points. James will no doubt shrug this all off as merely a learning process but he knows more than anything else his every move with the team will be under microscopic scrutiny by the NBA fans and press alike . He will not only be judged by his play on the court but perhaps even more so by his every move off it .
The Lakers for their part made sure that their season’s debut was a victorious one against the Houston Rockets led by the return of their All Star center Yao Ming . And it has to be said that with his presence this could very well be a team that will make their presence be felt in the postseason. The game itself was thoroughly riveting and highly contested with the Lakers pulling through in the final moments of the game with a 112-110 victory over their conference rivals. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol would lead the Lakers’ team scoring with 27 and 29 points respectively .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
Though no one will deny that the Lakers will be viewed as the outright favorites within the Western Conference and perhaps make a successful return to the NBA Finals . It has to be said that they will be rigorously challenged by other teams within the conference who view the Lakers as the target with the bullseye on their back. I for one fully expect the Lakers to ward off all challenges during the regular season but once the postseason comes around then from thereon in just about anything is liable to happen. The usual contingent if teams we expect to mount a challenge to the Lakers may well be there. But I’d like to think that the likes of the Oklahoma Thunder , Portland Trailblazers and Golden State Warriors can make a name for themselves and their presence felt not just only in the regular season but also perhaps in the postseason as well !
What thoughts if any do you have concerning this NBA season ? And do you as such feel that there has been far too much hype created over the LeBron James’ move from the Cavaliers to the Miami Heat ? State your thoughts on the topic and any other concerning the NBA and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !
NB: NBA news
NBA standings by Division
NBA team by team statistics
Alan aka tophatal …………………… 🙂
Trey Songz feat’g Nicki Minaj ………. “Bottoms Up”
Eye candy Suelyn Medeiros