I Saw A Film Today, Oh Boy: Notes From 3/17/09

  • Courtney Lee isn’t going to be a superstar. But damn if he isn’t going to be one of those guys you wish was on your club. He’s got some veteran savvy in the noggin’, great acceleration at the rim, and terrific stroke. He works inside the offense and takes direction from the veterans. He blistered the Cavs twice at the rim with a very Tony Parker like drive. He did that weird thing where he drivesto the elbow, hesitates for a bout a half tic, then shoots straight at the rim. Lee is a great example of how a late first round pick can turn into a significant contributer. If you guys see Phoenix in the hall, please give them this note.
  • I’m coming to terms with the new LeBron James. And by new, I mean since Andrew Bynum put him on his ass in the first Cavs-Lakers game. He’s starting to attack the rim again, which is good to see. But if he finds the officials aren’t giving him the benefit of the doubt? It’s off to the mid range jumper! Hi-o, cheerio! James’ jumper has actually improved in the last month since he started shooting them at a higher rate. Practice makes perfect and all that. He’s using every facet of his game to the fullest extent. Wade’s doing something similar, but whereas you constantly fear Wade will burst into flame and then shoot through the roof to return to his brethren in the sky, James seems like each possession he’s fully rested. James played 42 minutes tonight and looked completely rested when he nailed the game winner.
  • If you’re Orlando, what do you do with that game? You had a nine point lead. You led by one with less than a minute to go. You went under the screen, cut off the baseline, and forced James into a pull-up three pointer. Can you really be mad at yourself? Is that a letdown? Conversely, do you think Ayotte, Wunderlich, and Nies wake up tomorrow, sit straight up in bed and go “Oh, God. We called three seconds with less than 30 seconds left in a two point ballgame between the two best teams in the East. What have we done?”
  • Bill Walker had one of those games that they show later during local broadcasts to embarass veterans with how silly they were as rookies. He posterized Brad Miller after a whistle and picked up a technical. This is after picking up about 7,000 fouls in six minutes. You know Doc would have strangled him if he had another guard/forward/trained llama.
  • Kirk Hinrich did one of the old school ball fakes that absolutely shredded Walker. When Hinrich is in full form, constantly making steals, blowing past defenders, and most importantly, actually running an offense, this team has another gear. I will now wait for Trey to blast me for this.
  • Earlier in the year, Gary Payton and Chris Webber were chuckling about the Bobcats visiting the Lakers. Ahmad Rashad kept saying “The Bobcats are playing well. This one will be interesting.” Payton and Webber laughed at him. They weren’t laughing when the Cats walked off with the win. Yet there was Payton tonight with a crying mask, saying Chicago would look like this. Whoops. Don’t feel bad, Gar, I lost $40 this weekend trying to predict the Bulls.
  • The Celtics are now 4-6 with Marbury, and have more injuries than the Walking Dead.

BRILLIANT!

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.