Shaq-Suns not GERMANE after L.A.’s 130-124 VICTORY makes Phoenix gNash their teeth like OSMONDS; Kobe MOONWALKS on the Suns for 41 (26 more than O’Neal), but this momenTITO belongs to Gasol, the THRILLER who’s a Man among Boys, as Lakers get ’em by Six, in the end
Just wait until Bynum and Ariza come back!
The Los Angeles Lakers served notice to the rest of the NBA last night, when they went TO Phoenix and beat the Suns 130-124. The game marked the Suns debut of Shaquile O’Neal, but the spotlight was stolen by the Lakers’ new Center, Pau Gasol. Even though Kobe Bryant was outstanding with his 41 Points, it was Gasol who made the difference. No offense to Kobe, the best the game has ever seen, but his first 30 Points each night are now taken for granted. But with up-and-coming Center-Phenom Andrew Bynum still recuperating from an injury, the Lakers are relying on Gasol to make them forget that Shaq used to fill that spot.
With 29 Points, including a huge Slam Dunk AND ONE in crunchtime, Gasol showed the National ESPN-TV audience that the Lakers are near-LOCKS to make the NBA’s equivalent of the Final Four. The Western Conference will have the Lakers battling the upstart New Orleans Hornets, along with the Spurs, Baron Davis’ Warriors, and the Dallas Mavericks, who LOST their first game with the off-the-court headcase Jason Kidd, to New Orleans last night.
Phoenix will no doubt get better, as Shaq starts to gel with his new teammates. But the Lakers will improve even more, with the re-insertion of Bynum and Trevor Ariza into the rotation. With Jordan Farmar also continuing to gain the trust of Head Coach Phil Jackson, there should be a couple of Bruin/Lakers seeing a lot of action in the NBA’s version of the “Final Four,” but Shaq — who didn’t look too bad last night, especially as half of a Big Man duo with Amare Stoudamire — might just have to watch Kobe take it to Baron on TV. Since he always likes to give himself “Big” nicknames, how about “The Big Spectator?” He ought to like that one better than our second choice: “The Big Couch Tater.”
Speaking of couch potatoes, here’s what we believe to be the fullfillment of our final obligation to that rash of requests for pictorials of individual students from the Spirit Squad. The subject is one who is NOT under-represented in our pages over the last year, so it was harder to find photos that haven’t already been posted, but, as always, the search itself was hardly a “chore.”