Volume 96, Issue 3

Thursday, June 6, 2002
 
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SPORTS

Hockey's version of the "good ol' boys" going down in six

Lest we forget "slamma jamma"

Hide your children

Lest we forget "slamma jamma"

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

It's already the beginning of June and amazingly the National Basketball Association play-offs are still unfolding. I was still being breast-fed when they began...

The Gazette looked into their torn-up, free basketball from a Pizza Hut promotion in the late 80's and garnered this certifiable analysis on the NBA final between the wicked which of the west – the Los Angeles Lakers – and the New Jersey Nets.


Back-court:

The Nets own the strongest point guard in the league in Jason Kidd. The Lakers own the strongest overall player in the league in Kobe Bryant. Both of these stars will inflict pain on their opposition.

Therefore, it's the other guards who will decide the advantage in this one. Having Derek Fisher and Rick Fox starting in the back-court along with Bryant gives the Lakers instant credibility in terms of experience. The Nets, on the other hand, have Kerry Kittles manning the shooting guard spot and Lucious Harris and Brandon Armstrong coming off the bench.

They're all solid guards, but because of the experience of the LA guards and Bryant's ability to shut down the elusive Kidd with his taller frame, the Lakers get the nod.


Front-court:

Unfortunately for the Nets, one man decides the advantage in the paint and his name isn't Todd MacCulloch – it's the "Diesel," Shaquille O'Neal.

However, the Nets have an ace up their sleeve.

New Jersey can throw three big men at the monster in the middle – MacCulloch, Aaron Williams and Jason Collins.

Unfortunately, Shaquille O'Neal has reinvented himself at the free throw line, which could spell complete decimation for the Nets.

Robert Horry is the perfect sidekick in the front-court for O'Neal – everyone has witnessed his mastery this post-season.

The Nets own their own dynamic duo in Kenyon Martin and Keith Van Horn, but no matter how hard they try, the man-child O'Neal is just too large a presence down low. Advantage Lakers.


Intangibles:

The Lakers have experience, a winning attitude and are the collective pick of all sane people to dominate the series.

However, the Nets are hungry and want to show the world they're no Freddie Prinze Jr. – all style, no substance. Come to think of it, does Prinze Jr. have any style?

Both teams have reasons to reach for glory, so this one's a wash.


The Call: Lakers in five

It's not a matter of if, but a matter of how long the Nets can fight of elimination. The Lakers have been tested by the Sacramento Kings, persevered and are still extremely potent

However, The Gazette also said there was no way in a sane world that the New England Patriots could beat the St. Louis Rams in last February's Super Bowl.

If the Nets want to dethrone the Lakers, they must run, run and run some more while placing their collective hopes on Shaq reverting to his old inept self when he gets to the free throw line.

Unfortunately, the Nets aren't in Kansas anymore.










To Contact The Sports Department:
gazette.sports@uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 2002