2009 Lakers Rockets Playoff Matchup

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Lakers Rockets 2009

2009 Lakers Rockets Playoff Matchup

In 2009 the Lakers were thought to be the team to beat. They had won over 60 games and were second only to the Cleveland Cavaliers in total wins in the NBA that year. It was thought little stood in their way between the start of the playoffs and an NBA finals appearance against the winner of the eastern conference. The experts were wrong. The Lakers Rockets playoff match up proved to be a great series and almost sent the Lakers home for the summer.

The 2009 Rockets were not considered favorites in the playoffs, in fact many thought the Lakers would beat them in five games. The Rockets were without the oft injured Tracy Mcgrady for the whole series and lost Yao Ming after game three of the series. After Yao Ming was injured many thought the series was all but over, they were in for a surprise.

Even though they were down 2-1 when they lost their superstar center, the Rockets were able to extend the series to seven games. Ron Artest was key to helping the Houston Rockets stay in this series. He played defense against anybody he was asked to cover and scored when he had to. Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest seemed to have a rivalry going on with each other during the series. The Lakers Rockets series kept NBA fans nationwide glued to their television sets waiting to see who would prevail. Many fans couldn’t believe the fight that the Rockets put up without two of their superstars.

While the series ended in game seven with a 19 point Lakers victory, many people gained a great deal of respect for the game Houston Rockets and for their superstar Ron Artest who had a never say die attitude and played hard until the very end. It seems that Ron Artest grew fond of the Lakers and Kobe Bryant during their series, as he went on to sign with the Lakers during the free agency period in the summer of 2010.

Analysis: When is a deal not a deal? When it's a DUMP!

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Lebron

The Bucks traded their best player, Richard Jefferson, for a trio of decent but not winning players. The Milwaukee Bucks have sent a message to their fans—“We lost with Richard Jefferson. We lost paying the NBA Luxury tax for being over 71.5 million. So this year don’t bother watching us. We are going to save money and dump the 2009-10 season.”

Like all the NBA teams that are dumping payroll this year and next, the excuse is that “we are preparing to make a big splash in the free agent market in 2010.” Don’t believe that for a second. No major free agent is going to go to Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland (if LeBron leaves), Washington, Oklahoma City, or any other of the cold weather and traditionally mediocre teams in the league.

The reason that teams get away with these half-truths is that all sports fans are gullible. As a Cavs and Cubs fan, I include myself in that group. We all believe that all we need is one more really good player to bring a title to our long suffering team.

There are several BIG names in the 2010 free agent pool. But the pool is not nearly as deep as it looks.

CLE – LeBron James

The future of the Cavs begins and ends with James. If he leaves, it ends for sure. No free agent would ever come to Cleveland except to play with LeBron. There is a 33% chance that LeBron will stay in Cleveland. I believe it will depend on what the Cavs do this off season. If not, he is bound for Orlando, LA, NY, or maybe even San Antonio.

Miami – Dwayne Wade (Player option)

Wade is the most valuable PG available in the next 2 years. He will likely move to a contender. The Bucks fans don’t have to worry. No way will Wade or any other big time FA go there.

Bos – Paul Pierce (Early Termination Option ETO)

The BIG 2.5 (Ray Allen is only half) is getting older. We saw this year how important the loss of Kevin Garnett was. If Pierce leaves, the Celts are the 4th or 5th best team in the East. The team will do whatever it takes to keep him. Allen will also be unrestricted in 2010 and will likely be allowed to leave.

Hou – Yao Ming (ETO)

Since a group of Chinese businessmen bought into the Cavs, there have been rumors of Yao going to Cleveland to join LeBron. Don’t bet on it. Yao may well take a hike if the team loses more of his support. Ron Artest is a free agent this year, and Tracy McGrady is a free agent in 2010. If they both stay and the Rockets bring in someone else, he will likely stay. The problem that the team faces is that Yao is the only young C in the pool. He will receive a lot of offers.

ATL – Joe Johnson

There is no way that a team that is young and building is going to let a scorer go. Johnson will be super-glued to the Hawks roster. With the Hawks coming along nicely, he won’t leave.

Milw – Michael Redd

Redd will likely put his house up for sale this year because the housing market is down. That should give him plenty of time to sell the house prior to him leaving the Bucks. He is the one player that might go home to Cleveland but only if LeBron is there. Since Redd is a SG, he is not exactly what the Cavs need the most.

There are a lot of other players including Amare Stoudemire (ETO Suns) who is an oldie but goodie.

Most teams are using the 2010 season of LeBron as an excuse to lose now and save money. But we all get lied to a lot, so why the NBA team owners be any different.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA,Trades,free agent,LeBron,Dwayne,Wade,Pierce,Allen,Ming,Yao,Redd,Stoudemire,Bucks,Jefferson,Cavs,Rockets,Celtics,Lakers,Magic,Knicks,Spurs
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  • Published: May 14th, 2009
  • Category: NBA Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on NBA Playoffs—What have we learned?

NBA Playoffs—What have we learned?

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Bulldoz

Here comes Lebron and the Cavs!

We would like to thank the Hawks for participating in the playoffs. Please pick up your parting gifts as you leave the arena: The Cavs are serious! The Cavs are undefeated in the playoffs so far. They are disposing of the undermanned competition by an average of nearly 20 points a game. This team for the first time in franchise history looks like it has no intention of taking a game off let alone allowing a team to beat it in Cleveland.

The team seems to be totally focused on winning and that focus is provided by Lebron James. He has the will to win regardless of the situation and has willed the team to comebacks against some of the best teams in the league during the regular season. Now, he and his mates are making playoff teams look like the Washington Generals against the Globetrotters.

Don’t expect them to get pressed by any team until the finals.

Boston is struggling with the Magic: This version of the Celtics is a shadow of the team that won the championship last year. They are hurt and seem to be using that as an excuse to explain losses to an inferior Magic team. The Celts were lucky to win Game 4 and that luck will not continue. The Magic will win the series as soon as they begin to remember to get the ball to their superstar Dwight Howard in the last few minutes of a game. Magic win in 7 games.

The Lakers seem to take games off: How else can you explain the Lakers losing to Houston in Game 4 even though the Rockets are missing their biggest piece? The Lakers looked like a team that expected the Rockets to give up after C Yao Ming went down with a foot injury in Game 3.

Kobe Bryant doesn’t seem to have the ability that Lebron does to keep the team focused. In addition, Andrew Bynum struggled while Yao was on the floor. Even in game 4, the shadow of Yao seemed to be effective against Bynum. Bynum recovered in game 5 and helped the Lakers take a 3-2 advantage in the series.

Now that Yao is out for the rest of the playoffs, the Lakers will win the series. Had he been healthy, the Lakers would have gone down in 6 games. However, the Lakers will have to get focused in a hurry if they are going to get to the finals. They are probably the deepest team in the league but they had better take Denver more seriously than they have Houston. The Nuggets will not be an easy out.

Owner Mark “the punk” Cuban is going to blow up the Mavs: Look for a lot of changes in Dallas after the season. They are not competitive now and need to upgrade their team overall. The bench has been particularly unproductive in the playoffs this season except for Jason Terry. The trade for Jason Kidd was like throwing a piece of spaghetti against a wall to see if it’s done. It has not worked out like the Mavs thought.

It looks like Erick Dampier got old all of a sudden. The Mavs have tried to shake up the starting lineup without much success. Look for a lot of changes in Mav Land. Unfortunately, the exit of Cuban will not be among them.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA Playoffs,NBA,Cavilers,Celtics,Lakers,Nuggets,Magic,Cuban,Maverics,Rockets,Yao Ming,Lebron James,Kobe Bryant,Bynum,Kidd,Howard,Terry

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