Phil’s Good Samaritan opportunity

A lot was made of the Nuggets bus breaking down on the freeway on the way to Sunday’s game. But the story is even better than you’ve read. Apparently, Lakers coach Phil Jackson passed by the Nuggets smoke-belching bus on his way to the game. He slowed down, saw what was going on, and that everyone was OK –he said — and then sped off to the Staples Center.

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Nuggets stranded on the 10 Freeway

This is Jill Painter here….
Just thought I’d post an interesting tidbit on the Denver Nuggets wild ride to Staples Center this morning. The Nuggets bus broke down, and players said they heard a pop, then saw smoke and some flames. They quickly got off the bus but had to stand on the freeway near an offramp for 30 minutes before the second team bus picked them up.
“You had a bunch of 7-foot guys on the rail on the highway, Marcus Camby said. “We were just hoping nobody got hurt.
Camby said a police officer arrived before the bus, which helped matters.
Asked if cars were honking their horns, Camby said: “They were kinda rude. It was like, `Get out of our way.’ It was definitely out of our control.”
That certainly didn’t figure into Denver’s horrific defensive performance in a 128-114 loss to the Lakers in Game 1 of the first round of the NBA playoffs.

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Nuggets stranded on the 10 Freeway

This is Jill Painter here….
Just thought I’d post an interesting tidbit on the Denver Nuggets wild ride to Staples Center this morning. The Nuggets bus broke down, and players said they heard a pop, then saw smoke and some flames. They quickly got off the bus but had to stand on the freeway near an offramp for 30 minutes before the second team bus picked them up.
“You had a bunch of 7-foot guys on the rail on the highway, Marcus Camby said. “We were just hoping nobody got hurt.
Camby said a police officer arrived before the bus, which helped matters.
Asked if cars were honking their horns, Camby said: “They were kinda rude. It was like, `Get out of our way.’ It was definitely out of our control.”
That certainly didn’t figure into Denver’s horrific defensive performance in a 128-114 loss to the Lakers in Game 1 of the first round of the NBA playoffs.

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Playoff picture

OK, just to review:

Dallas (50-31) is currently seventh in the Western Conference standings. Denver (49-32) is eighth.

The Mavericks play New Orleans tonight. Denver plays Memphis.

The playoff math is simple. If Dallas beats New Orleans, Dallas is the seventh seed. If Dallas loses and Denver wins, Denver is the seventh seed, by virture of its 2-1 record vs. the Mavs during the regular season.

Golden State (48-33) is out of it.

The Lakers will play the eighth seed in the first round of the playoffs, which start Saturday. The Lakers will most likely open Sunday.

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Who saw this coming?

The regular season is over and all the scribes in town waxed poetic on how surprising, wonderful and weird it all was.

So let’s take an informal poll. At the beginning of the season, what did you really expect from the Lakers this year?

What did you really expect from the Lakers this year?
Honestly, .500 would’ve been good
This! I never doubted you Mitch Kupchak
Seventh seed in the West, first-round playoff loss
I thought Luol Deng would be the leading scorer by the end of the season
  
pollcode.com free polls
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All about Andrew

The Lakers will make the playoffs and probably finish in the top four in the Western Conference, securing home-court advantage for the first round. They might even play the Suns again in the first round.
So, the last bit of intrigue heading down the stretch is:
When is Andrew Bynum coming back?
One possible answer:
Soon.
Bynum ran wind sprints at practice today for the first time since hurting his left kneecap Jan. 13. He had been running on the Lakers’ low-gravity treadmill, but this was the first time he got on the court and ran with full impact. The $75,000 treadmill simulates low gravity conditions and removes much of the pounding of normal running, thus aiding the recovery of a player with a bum kneecap.
Phil Jackson said Bynum would join the team for its trip next week to Sacramento and Portland. Bynum will participate in practices and shootarounds, although how much work he does remains to be seen.
Sounds like he might be ready to play late next week. How much he plays and how effective he can be after such am extended layoff are questions for another day, however.

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Pau’s positive step

Pau Gasol practiced with his teammates and said his sprained left ankle was improved. He participated in all aspects of the workout and it sounded like he might play Wednesday against Portland.
Here are the highlights of his post-practice comments:
“It went better than the last couple of days. Took a nice step forward. Right now, I’m a little sore but I’m feeling pretty good. I’m pretty confident. I’m feeling better and better.”
A reporter wondered about how tough it might be for Gasol to fit in with his teammates after sitting out since he was injured March 14 against New Orleans.
Gasol responded: “It’s going to take a little bit of a struggle individually and, I guess, team-wise also because we’re all going to be out there. Hopefully, we’re going to overcome those little adjustments and those little struggles we’re going to face and still be effective and productive.”

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