TrueHoop: Danny Ferry
The Lakers need Lamar Odom as much as Lamar Odom needs the Lakers. Jarrett Jack heads to Toronto, while Eddy Curry remains unmovable. And the big powers in the East make some tweaks to their benches.
Kurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold: "Don't delude yourself into thinking the Lakers are better off without [Lamar] Odom -- the best proof is that last season he led the Lakers in +/-, the Lakers outscored opponents by 16.4 points per 48 minutes when he was on the floor. Second was Kobe [Bryant] at 12.1. The simple truth is that good things happened for the Lakers when he was on the floor. He came up big in the playoffs. His versatility cannot easily be replaced. There are some intriguing pieces on the Heat roster ([Mario] Chalmers, for one) but any move the Lakers make here is not going to make a title more likely. Can the Lakers win a title without Odom? Yes, but the margin of error is now non-existent. [Andrew] Bynum has to be healthy and playing at his peak. Artest has to fit in swimmingly. Bench guys like Sasha [Vujacic] and Jordan [Farmar] cannot struggle for long stretches. Everything has to go right. And that's a lot to ask."
Mike Kurylo of Knickerblogger: "When the Knicks acquired Eddy Curry, he was supposed to be the future of the franchise. Although there were signs that he would never reach that level of play (namely every stat but fg% and pts/36), his size and flashes of scoring lead many to believe in his potential. In 2009 Eddy Curry had his most disappointing season, playing a grand total of 12 minutes and scoring only 5 points. Immediately after the season ended, Curry vowed to get in shape, and immediately began twittering about his work out regimen. In the weeks since, his private trainer 'leaked' that Curry lost 30 pounds, and Eddy appeared before the Knicks brass at the summer league. It appears that Curry is doing what he does best. He appeals to the optimist in Knick fans, while producing almost nothing."
Jared Wade of Eight Points, Nine Seconds: "In the end, however, Jarrett [Jack] isn't worth $5 million a year - at least not to a Pacer team that still has [Jamaal] Tinsley's devastating deal on the books, will be paying Mike Dunleavy to rehab his knee for at least another six months, and is significantly overpaying for the production of both Troy Murphy and TJ Ford. I really liked the fearlessness and aggressive penetration Jack showed so consistently last season, but Bird was right to let him walk for that price. It would have been great to keep Jarrett around at something like three years/$12 million, but he played his way into a better offer from Toronto and no Pacer fan should fault him for that."
(Photos by Noah Graham, Jeff Zelevansky, Harry How/NBAE via Getty Images)
Boston and San Antonio proudly bounce back in Game Two. Gregg Popovich didn't win coach of the year -- but his disciple in Cleveland did. And how can Philly and Houston possibly top their Game One efforts?:
Matt McHale of By the Horns: "You wanted playoff drama, you got playoff drama. This game had everything: Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles ... Okay, okay. That was actually The Princess Bride. But this game sure had its share of fairytale-like elements. A proud but ailing champion. A fierce and determined underdog. Mortal combat. A duel for the ages. And, of course, a thrilling last-second victory. Unfortunately, the Bulls were not the recipient of tonight's happy ending…the Celtics won 118-115 to even this best-of-seven series at one game apiece. But what a wild ride it was. I literally cannot summarize this game. It was way too epic, far too full of twists and turns, a million little momentum shifts and heroic deeds. (I'm pretty sure the live broadcast saved a burning orphanage and walked several little old ladies across the street…maybe even rescued a kitten from a tree.)"
Rob Mahoney of Two Man Game: "Much like Saturday, the Mavs were hit in the mouth early. But all the moments in Game 1 where the team seemed gutsy or resilient were vanquished under Tony Parker's (38 points, 16-22 FG, 8 assists) thumb. The Mavs trapped, they switched, and they hedged…or at least they engaged in defensive sequences that remotely looked like they should have been those things. I'm not sure that Parker is ever fully solvable if he has the mind to drive at will and the determination to break a team's spirit, but it's certainly possible to slow the guy. The Mavs couldn't even accomplish that much, and the myriad of strategies they threw at TP were poorly executed due to technique and personnel."
Timothy Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell: "Great people surround themselves with great people. Put differently, Mike Brown was already a good coach when Pop hired him. Pop saw a great coach in Brown, and that's why he was hired. If we're going to tag Pop with genius, it's the genius of discretion. He's been smart enough to surround himself with the right people.
Dan Gilbert understands this principle. He went out and hired smart people from a smart place. He hired Danny Ferry. Danny Ferry hired Mike Brown. Mike Brown hired Hank Egan. When Brown's Cleveland offense was criticized for being too stiff, Brown spent time with Ettore Messina. The Spurs are very careful about maintaining their culture. When they bring in a player or hire front office personnel, they're highly selective. They're looking for Spurs. They're looking for intelligent, professional, hard working, and, generally speaking, good people. Whenever someone new comes in, they're immediately and always surrounded by people who contribute to their success. The story of the Spurs is found in those that follow."
THE FINAL WORD
Celtics Hub: Boston's Game Two adjustments on Derrick Rose.
Rockets Buzz: How can Houston top Game One?
Philadunkia: Can the Sixers maintain the momentum?
(Photos by Brian Babineau, D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)