I'm not sure about you but I found last night's All-Star game to be the worst in years. Turnovers, turnovers and more turnovers, lack-luster play, the same guys hogging the ball...it got to the point where I found myself more enthralled with the new Knight Rider movie on another station!
There were some highlights like Chris Paul's MVP-esque performance, some great double-lob alley-oop passes between Kidd, James and Howard, and the usual comedic verbal sparring captured on film, but otherwise, I think I would have rather watched the D League All-Star game instead.
Some random notes and observations however:
-Chris Bosh was ok. He seemed to force the issue at times and at others he looked hesitant. He just didn't have the power game to score in close over the likes of Boozer and Yao and therefore got blocked and stripped a few times. He was given lots of playing time, it's just too bad he didn't stand out a bit more.
-I'll say one thing though in regards to CB4, he and Dwight Howard sure look good playing together as their styles of play are a perfect compliment to each other.
-Watching Dirk Diggler last night gave me visions of Bargs for the first time. His drives to the basket, up-fakes and pull-up jumpers all made me think of Andrea, which is probably a good thing. However I'm hoping the comparisons stop there as I'd rather not see Bargnani get crammed on or blocked the way Dirk did towards the end of the game.
-Watching Kobe on the sidelines as the West failed to win the game made me laugh. His facial expression seemed to say "if I was out there right now, there's no way the East would be winning..."
-Anyone else sick of all this Jason Kidd talk? It sounds now like the trade is back on barring a Keith Van Horn protest, and right now I'm actually hoping that Keith DOES throw a wrench into things. I used to be huge Kidd fan in Dallas and even Jersey to a certain extent but now I really think he and Vince deserve each other's company for the rest of their careers.
-Didn't like the Kapono trade talk from Peter Vescey prior to the game. For those who missed it, Vescey was discussing how Kapono is basically wasting away in Toronto and he again questioned why Colangelo paid as much as he did for a player who is sitting on the bench so much. Vescey therefore was saying that BC should look to deal him to get something of value back. Vescey is perhaps correct in that Kapono isn't being used correctly, but the reasoning behind his argument was of course way off base. Vescey claimed that the lack of productivity from Kapono was due to playing time (stuck behind Delfino and Moon) when in fact, Raptors' fans know that it has more to do with the point guard situation and Kapono's defense than anything else. The whole situation was yet another reminder of my feelings toward Vescey; the stuff he knows, he REALLY knows but then he also tries to extrapolate on situations that he's clearly under-informed on. But hey, this isn't much different than the majority of NBA "experts."
-Speaking of which, is giving grades to players' performances in All-Star events not the biggest space filler ever?
-On an off-court note, I think the NBA has done a great job getting involved in the New Orleans community and from the sounds of things, the All-Star weekend was a huge success in that capacity. Kudos to the league.
-And finally, mixed emotions on the new Knight Rider show. Not sure if last night's movie was meant to be a prelude to a series, but if so, not a bad start. They kept part of the original music, had a decent cast of characters, and even the Hoff made an appearance! We'll see where it goes from here as some of the acting was a bit too 90210ish, but there's nothing like a little 80's nostalgia to get you through a dull All-Star game.
Cleveland has a slightly tougher stretch on paper as they finish off March with games against Houston, Indiana, Washington, Memphis, Milwaukee, Boston and Minny.
Orlando on the other hand has the toughest go of all three teams facing Detroit, the Raps, a surprising Philly squad twice, Sacramento and Jersey.
The Raptors need to capitalize on this stretch if they want that third spot as March and April present much tougher challenges.