The Empire Strikes Back
Weeks after the nixed Lamar Odom trade, the Lakers have gone on a (10-5) streak after making several aggressive moves in the trade market. The Lakers were pungent on the glass and shot blocking, so what did they do? They traded for the underappreciated Cliff Robinson, who also bring scoring to the table through 14 weeks is #2 in 3 point shooting percentage. The Lakers and Celtics have also managed to work out a deal in which the Lakers have sent a little known, but productive rookie, Chris Porter, in exchange for Aaron Williams. But biggest splash the Lakers made was for Rodney Rogers, who they have placed as their 6th man after leading Grizzlies in scoring for half the season. This move seriously bolsters the Lakers bench and now they have a serious candidate for 6th man of the year. When asked about the trade and the effect Rodgers has on the Lakers, team leader Grant Hill had a few words to say, “It’s always tough to see teammates leave, but that’s the business. Rodney provides a scoring punch for us and the ability to play and guard 4 positions. He’s certainly a started in this league, and it just speaks volumes of his professionalism and his desire to win that he’s willing to come off the bench for us.” With the Lakers and Sonics surging, and the Suns’ life cycle appearing to be more of a black hole than a supernova, the Pacific division is up for grabs.
The All-Star Break: It’s All Good in the Inglewood
The All Star break marks one of the biggest happenings of the NBA, teams start playing for real and the real battles begin for playoff seeding. All of the pretenders have usually peaked by this point and we see who’s going to be there for the long haul. The All Star game also notes some great accomplishments for a number of professionals that signifies they’ve made it to the top of their professions. Both Stephon Marbury and Grant Hill were selected to the team making the Lakers were one of the few teams who had two stars at the game. Team leader and All NBA First team front-runner Grant Hill commented on the honor,” It’s always great to be named to these teams and partake in the festivities, but my goal and the goals of this team come first in my mind. We are zeroing in on trying to win our division and win a championship. All the awards and other accomplishments don’t matter in L.A. without that championship.” Stephon Marbury, nicknamed Starbury had a little different sentiment, “This is a dream come true. This ranks up higher than last year being named 3rd team all NBA. I think this solidifies that I’m a top point guard in this league, and coming from where I come from; That just doesn’t happen.” Once the All Star Game did roll around both Grant Hill and Marbury represented the team well and were a big part of why the West won by 35, the second largest margin for victory ever in an all Star game (40 was the largest in 1992).