When a hitter is in a slump in July — let’s say, hypothetically the entire Dodgers roster — there seems to be a game or two where he starts hitting the ball hard but still can’t buy a hit. You can feel the slump’s about to end, it just won’t.
Mike D’Antoni sounds that way talking with Newsday about the Knicks current six-game losing streak. They hit one right on the screws Saturday against Oklahoma City, then Kevin Durant went all superstar on them.
“I feel a little bit like we did with Denver, when we kind of came off our little malaise,” Mike D’Antoni said early yesterday afternoon (a Knicks loss earlier this season when they went on to win 13 of 14 after it)… “I feel like we’re doing OK. I feel like we’re getting back on track,” D’Antoni said after conducting a workout that dealt mostly with late-game execution and what it will take to beat the Wizards Monday night at the Garden. “Nothing physical. More mental stuff.”
If you want to snap losing streak, playing at home against the winless-on-the-road Wizards is some of mama’s home cookin’.
Which is good, because the two games after that one are the Heat then on the road in Atlanta, two tough ones. So maybe the Knicks are not going on another 13-of-14 run. Especially if Raymond Felton continues his slump. But maybe he’s due to hit a few on the screws and see if they fall in.
Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.
There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.
Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”
Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.
Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.
That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.
And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.
MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.
Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.
Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.
Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.