Hey Jordan — Leonard called — He wants his ears back!

As the prosperous new Star Trek warps past $100 Million, Ariza, Farmar, and the Lakers topple the Rockets to land in the Conference Finals, while Scalabrine, Pruitt, and the Celtics are beamed away

Prime Directive #1:  Eliminate all trojans.

That’s exactly what Orlando did last night — They knocked out the last two ex-trojans standing — by terminating Boston in Game 7.  It was magically delicious, as the Leprechauns were dominated for most of the game, and devoured for good in the 4th quarter.  Boston had one run late in the 4th, cutting the lead to 12, but the Magic responded, pulling away again to win by 19, IN Boston.

For Bruin fans who have always been Laker fans, the Celtics are the NBA equivalent of the trojans.  They are the Rival who is to be rooted against at almost any cost.  Even though the Celtics might be a better match-up for the Lakers in the Finals than Orlando (in case LeBron gets hurt and Cleveland doesn’t make it), most die-hard Laker fans were thrilled to see all the empty seats in the Garden as the game wound down.  Sure it sucks that Boston is missing Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe due to injuries, but they got their Title last year against the Bynum-less Lakers, so Boston gets no sympathy.  And there’s no point in rooting for a rematch of last year’s Laker-Celtics Final, because the Revenge would not have been Sweet at all, with Garnett in street clothes.

All this Laker Love and Celtic-hating was already a tradition, even BEFORE the Lakers signed Bruins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (as an Assistant Coach), Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza to contracts, and BEFORE the Celtics added ex-trojans Brian Scalabrine and Gabe Pruitt to their roster.  But NOW, it’s truly a no-brainer.

Of course, Pruitt hardly ever plays, but Scalabrine became a key player for the Celts in this Series.  His outside shooting ability would be necessary for them to beat the (currently) more talented Magic team.  But in Game 7, Scalabrine came in with no confidence, and it was so bad that he made his home team fans moan in agony in the opening minutes of the game.  As the Boston Offense adeptly passed the ball around to get Scalabrine a wide open shot, he hesitated, and then passed the ball away, passing up the great look, and upsetting the (wisely) anxious crowd.

The moaning got to him, because he then forced 5 shots, 4 of which he missed.  He had a chance to really enhance Boston’s momentum during a 4th quarter spurt, but his brick gave the Mo all back to Orlando, who is now riding it all the way to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers, in what should be another fantastic series.

Since there are no Bruins or trojans on Orlando or Cleveland, Bruin fans (and ABC) will probably be rooting for the Cavs, just to set up the much-desired showdown between LeBron and Kobe, the League’s two best players, hands down (with respect to Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade).   That would be fine, but if you look at the box score from yesterday, you’ll see that Trevor Ariza actually outscored Kobe, and those points came when it mattered, not during garbage time.

The point is, it’s not a one-on-one game.  If the Lakers end up beating Cleveland (and I don’t mean to disrespect Denver, who will give the Lakers plenty of Tribble), it does NOT mean that Kobe is better than LeBron.  It might mean that Kobe has a better team, including two Bruins, who are contributing more and more each game.

On Sunday, the Lakers took control early, with Ariza leading the charge.  Trevor scored 9 early Points, making Houston pay dearly for leaving him open.  Idiots.  He’s been drilling shots all season long, and, after a brief slump, again at a high clip for the last few games. 

When the desperate Rocket bench came in, they couldn’t make up any ground, because Jordan Farmar was solidly running the Laker ship.  Even though he went only 1-5 from the floor (like Scalabrine), he contributed in several other ways — With good Defense on Aaron Brooks, 3 nifty Assists, 2 Rebounds, and a Steal.  The Lakers led by 10 after 1, and 20 after 2, on their way to the 89-70 Game 7 victory (with their Phasers set on “stun”). 

With Derek Fisher still struggling on both ends of the floor, Bruin fans are starting to call for Farmar to be re-inserted into the starting line-up, but with the Nuggets and wily Chauncey Billups up next, the savvy veteran Fisher will be a very valuable Starter.

And Farmar wasn’t the most impressive Bruin out there on Sunday.  Ariza’s 15 points and sharpshooting were what tore the Rockets’ whole game plan apart.  And on a day where Kobe was not as hot as usual, Ariza earned his whole season’s salary in one afternoon.

And so did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  His protege Andrew Bynum had his best Playoff game of the year, as he and Pau Gasol finally exploited the Yao Ming-less Rocket front line.  The Lakers’ Twin Towers dominated the paint, with put-backs, blocks, and an all-around much tougher attitude.  If they continue to show that fire, Denver’s Mile High altitude may not be enough for the Nuggets to get to the NBA Finals. 

And speaking of a Mile High, that’s how I felt when coming out of the IMAX showing of Star Trek on Saturday.  Having worked on various Star Trek TV shows and feature films, I had serious reservations about what J.J. Abrams was going to do to the franchise.  But the film is excellent, emotional (even if you are half-Vulcan), exciting, entertaining, visually pleasing, with good stunts, good explosions, and even some good drama and character development.  But the main thing is that it is VERY COOL to see the origins of the characters that you grew up with.  With one notable exception, the relationships and personalities remain intact from the original series, and you can’t help but smile the FIRST time they utter their personal catch-phrases.  Can you say “Nuclear Wessel?”  So NO, you don’t need to be a Trekkie or Trekker to like this film, but it certainly does add an element of enjoyment, as there are plenty of reverent moments and classic references, including a certain little furry creature in the background of a later scene.

I don’t like Time Travel, because there are always too many possibilities and ramifications left unexplained or unexplored, but I was still able to follow, and thoroughly enjoy this story.  It helps that the acting of the new Enterprise crew is stellar — Just when you expect a Shatner-like bit of overdramatically-delivered dialog, Abrams has them instead go subtle, keeping audiences believing and drawn in.

All in all, a great effort that ensures that this series will go on for another decade at least.



  1. UCLADal Avatar

    Great pic T-H! LOL!! Go Lakers!