Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five

Quote of the Day: Lil’ Wayne says Kobe Bryant is the GOAT


“He’s inspired not only songs, but he’s inspired me in life in general just the way he attacks things, the way he never backs down, the way he fights through injury. …. I believe he’s the greatest player to touch a basketball.”

—Lil’ Wayne, being interviewed at Staples Center during Game 5 of the playoff series against Denver Tuesday. (Hat tip to IamaGM.)

That game is what divides people about Kobe on the court — he was both the only reason the Lakers were in it and why they got away from what won them three games in the series. He scored 43 points and because the other Lakers were passive in that game he willingly took on more and more of the offense to push for the win — he had 32 shots, the rest of the starters had 34 combined. The Lakers got away from beating Denver on the inside. Late in the game Kobe helped he Lakers make it close with three straight three pointers in the final 2:30, but then he missed his last three shots in the final minute, each more difficult than the last. What you think of Kobe’s performance in that game speaks to what you really think of Kobe.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.