More NBA on Aussie TV? You asked for it and you got it with ESPN Australia/NZ announcing today their decision to increase the amount of games broadcast on Australian televisions including regular season, playoffs and all star weekend. You can find the schedule below and find out more by hitting the link below!
I had the absolute please of viewing the fantastic new ESPN documentary last titled ‘The Announcement’.
‘The Announcement’ in question is the announcement Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson made to the world informing them he had contracted the HIV Virus. As usual with ESPN documentaries you know you can expect a sports film of the highest quality, some of the biggest names commenting and probably a few tears.
‘The Announcement’ wasn’t any different. It jumped straight into Magic and Bird tussling it out in the 1979 NCAA finals to Magic’s rookie year with the Lakers in rapid time.
It focused a lot on Magic being somewhat the ‘King’ of L.A, almost an attraction if you will to a whole Nation let alone just residents of Los Angeles. ESPN obviously didn’t touch too much of the subject of Magic’s ‘partying’ and rightly so. Magic’s wife Cookie was a prominent face throughout the documentary and she showed nothing but love and support for Magic, despite him so obviously betraying her sexually.
The team doctor talking about getting Magic’s results back was heartbreaking, and the detail Magic discussed in his having to go home and tell Cookie was intense. Magic did go on to say he wasn’t sure he could have lived with himself if he had have infected Cookie, and their soon to be born baby. Intense!
The build up to the announcement was brutal, from his secretive plan from the media (displaying it as flu like symptoms) to pulling a team meeting and breaking down in front of them was so brutally honest of Magic. These are details he still could have kept to himself to this day. ESPN used actual footage from the huge announcement and showed just how it shocked the sport and the world.
The documentary did this historic moment in sport a huge justice, with its subject being one of the most loved, respected and general good guys of the sport. It’s displaying of a hero rising to fame, gaining respect from all his peers, to the HIV, to people fearing him because of it, to him making people aware and gaining nothing but that respect back made for a fantastic watch, although an emotional one.
Today sees the Lakers travel to Dallas for the first time since the Mavericks swept them out of last year’s playoffs. Last time they met however, a Derek Fisher clutch 3 ball sealed the win for the Lakers.
Can Dirk and his men march to victory against an issue-plagued Lakers?
Find out on NBA.TV League Pass at 1:30PM Eastern
They’ve always been a bogey team for LA, and today the Lakers need this win against the Blazers to stay in touch with the top teams in the West. Early this morning the Lakers were ranked #9 in the power rankings, but that could change if a loss to Portland at home becomes a reality today. The Blazers without Aldridge could prove to be a weakness for them however.
Can the Laker bench pick up some slack and take the pressure off Kobe? Can Andrew Goudelock again prove he is worthy of a starting five spot? Can our big men Pau and Drew pull off another great game?
All these questions will be answered at 2:30PM Eastern on NBA.TV League Pass. Dont miss this!
The Suns are looking for some payback this afternoon against an inspired, Kobe Bryant-fronted Lakers squad.
Unfortunately the game is not being broadcast on Australian TV, however you can all the action live on NBA. TV League Pass at 12:00PM Eastern!
The Suns showed some dangerous signs on Saturday with Steve Nash, Marcin Gortat and ex-Laker Shannon Brown pulling the Suns within striking distance down the stretch. Kobe Bryant has always publicly stated his hatred for the Phoenix Suns, and regularly scores big when playing them. It always makes for an interesting match up and today should be no different.
Can our Lakers push the win-streak to three?
Can the Lakers new found mentality stand up against the experience of Steve Nash and the Suns?
It’s game day in LA and Australian fans can watch all the action from Staples Center LIVE on ESPN and from 2:30PM Eastern with the replay being broadcast at 8:00PM
Game updates by Rodman
1st Q – 5:53 – The tea leaves are hinting at a memorable night for Andrew Bynum. Early prediction – 30/15 game. As usual, the Lakers are having their way on the rare occasions they dump it inside. Both teams are shooting a lot of jump shots…so far only the Suns are making them. Metta World Peace again looks like the worst rotation player in the NBA. Suns up 12-9.
1st Q – 2:50 – Bynum goes to the bench after a 3 minute, world-class impression of the invisible man. He kills Gortat on back-to-back possessions to open the game, then inexplicably doesn’t see the ball for the rest of the quarter before picking up a frustration foul on offense. Kobe is getting into the paint but not finishing. Ugly first quarter for LA.
End of 1st Q – Lakers bench brings the energy but can’t cool the Suns shooting. LA needs to slow down in the second Q and force the Suns to defend Bynum + Gasol in the halfcourt. Kobe looking at another sub-40% shooting night. Lakers lucky to only be trailing by 4…25-21.
2nd Q – 8:55 – With Kobe on the bench the Lakers make concerted effort to go through Bynum, who responds by defiling Robin Lopez on multiple possessions. Who woulda thunk it??? Phoenix struggling to find the basket with Nash on the bench, though Michael Redd is having mini-flashbacks. Game tied at 31.
2nd Q – 6:14 – The Lakers bench takes the lead with energy, defense and accurate outside shooting from Murphy and Goudelock. Matt Barnes having an outstanding game on both ends of the floor. Please, Mike, don’t give Peace a chance. Lakers up 42-35.
End of 1st Half – Kobe finds his shot and his way to the line as the half comes to a close. Bynum not quite scaling the heights I predicted, but still looking dominant when getting the touches. Matt Barnes was the game-changer. Hopefully he gets early 3rd quarter minutes. If the Suns open the half as cold as they finished the last this could get real ugly. Like, Metta World Peace ugly. Lakers up 57-48 and looking to make a rare foray into 100+ point territory.
3rd Q – 10:17 – Metta World Peace hits a contested jumper. I’m speechless. I am without speech. Lakers up 61-56.
3rd Q – 4:35 – Metta World Peace gets the block, runs a one-man fastbreak and ends up shooting the ball by blindly throwing it up over his head. Twice. Kobe feels the pain of basketball fans the world-over and plays iso-ball to the tune 11 consecutive Laker points, before lobbing to Bynum. Lakers running away with this one 76-63.
3rd Q – 3:20 – Kobe having one of his famous 3rd quarter breakouts with 16 points in under 9 minutes, totally blowing the game open in the process. Barnes is continuing from where he left off in the 1st half. Suns offering no resistance. Lakers running amok 83-63.
End of the 3rd Q – Shannon Brown hits back-to-back threes to make it somewhat interesting for the gambling community. Metta World Peace is the only Laker to have a negative +/- with -1. Matt Barnes has +18. Lakers up 87-73.
4th Q – 8:40 – Suns make mini-push with Bryant and Gasol on the bench. Expect both to be back soon to put this to bed. Gortat putting up nice numbers for Phoenix with 17pts, 15reb. Lakers up 91-80.
4th Q – 3:34 – Lakers somehow forget to box out Shannon Brown. Don’t tell me he didn’t throw down thousands of vicious dunks during Laker practices over the years…Lakers still looking good at 99-90, but need to guard the 3-point line.
Lakers win easily 111-99. Some feeble Suns defense and some hot Kobe shooting (36pts, 9reb, 6ast on 14-25) helps the Lakers to their best offensive game of the season. Outstanding games also by Bynum (17pts + 14reb) and Barnes (17pts, 7reb, 2stl on 6-7 shooting).