By Jason Wojciechowski on February 6, 2008 at 7:49 AM
Let me tell you how excited I am about this new Lakers team. Kobe Bryant shot 3-13 with seven turnovers and didn't get to the free throw line a single time, yet L.A. won by 15 on the road. That's why I'm excited.
How'd they do it? Pau! 24-12-4 on 10/15 shooting in your debut will endear you to a lot of the team's fans. Also Lamar Odom, having the kind of game that he can really have now that he'll be the third or fourth offensive option: 14 points on four shots (13 free throw attempts), 15 rebounds, five assists. That's a tremendous game. The best thing about that line is how typical it is of Odom to put up a 14-15-5-type line. To have a guy doing that consistently as your third or fourth best player is a tremendous luxury.
I probably didn't need to tell you this, but San Antonio successfully defended its Heavyweight crown with a 27-point victory in Indiana. New point guard Damon Stoudamire started for the Spurs and scored eleven points in 22 minutes. Seven players scored in double digits and Tim Duncan had an all-too-typical 19-15-6 line. (Note, though, how similar that is to Odom's line. Note now that Duncan is the best player on his team. Note again how far down Odom ranks on the Lakers. Note also how my giddiness about L.A. is making me actually make an honest comparison between Lamar Freaking Odom and Tim Duncan, one in which I start going, "Hey, you know, Odom's actually more versatile than Duncan, so ...")
The new Heavyweight data is below.
2007-08 Current beltholder: San Antonio Spurs
Next title match: Wednesday, 2/6, at Washington. This is a back-to-back for both teams. Don't be fooled, because that's the only similarity between these two teams. San Antonio will keep the belt for another day.
2007-08 Title Bout Records: