What’s next for the New Jersey Nets?

With new Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets are going in the right direction. Looking to move from New Jersey to Brooklyn and hopefully become the first international team. With the Number 3 pick, which would probably be Derrick Favors. And alot of cap room enough to sign a max agent.This team will be doing fine especially with Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. Hopefully, they’ll get the right coach. Expect them to get some like Mike Fratello or Avery Johnson. As for their cap space of over 15 million, it’s enough to get a max agent (It maybe someone like D-Wade, Lebron James, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson and Chris Bosh just to name a few.) and surround the max agent with role players who have playoff experience. As for their  playoff aspirations as Mikhail said “If everything goes according to plan, playoffs this year and championship will be in a minimum 1 year to a maximum 5 years”. Now their owner Prokhorov,  the 59th richest man in the world is still a mystery wanting to be known in the US, he bought the Nets and is now trying to turn this franchise around, Hopefully this franchise is heading the right direction and hopefully will have a better record  than last year (12-70).

As for their coaching candidates, they are looking at Avery Johnson and Mike Fratello.

Let’s see what they bring to the table:

Avery Johnson

Strengths: Avery first of all is a winner. He emphasizes defense all the time, leading the mavericks to 50 win seasons and 2 60 win seasons. Avery’s gonna bring mental toughness and a defensive mentality, which drastically will help the Nets because they were horrible at the defensive end. Offensively, its gonna be run-and-gun, which is fun to watch like when he was coaching the Mavericks giving the ball to Dirk and let him operate. It would also be a coincidence since he’ll be reunited with Devin Harris, who was his Point Guard for 2 years and now is a one-time All-Star. It could be interesting. An impressive track record of 194-70.

Weaknesses: It’s a short list, but people question his leadership after they lost to Miami in 2006. And the disastrous series against the Warriors in ’07, losing the series embarrassingly. Especially with championship aspirations that season.

Mike Frattello

Strengths: This guy is also a winner. Coaching the high flying hawks in the 1980’s with Dominique  Wilkins and Spud Webb. He has alot of playoff experience; also an excellent teacher , who emphasizes in offense and defense. He is a respected coach and can help any team. He currently works in TNT. He is an intelligent person knows how to approach a game. If it helps, his record 667-552 is pretty good.

Weaknesses: A short list too. The only question for Mike is can he get over the hump. Can he lead the Nets to a championship, who knows?

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NBA Playoff Recap 5/28: The Final Stand.

The Magic Vs Boston. The Final Stand.

The Magic Vs Boston. The Final Stand.

At home with the crowd behind them and a huge upset loss in Orlando, the Celtics nice and motivated, came into game 6 out to prove a point. That is exactly what happened, no excuses about it, the Celtics came in and punched the Magic in the mouth. They told the Magic, pack up and get your bags, because your going home. With all the support in the world, and krypto-nate showing a rare appearance, it was no surprise that the Celtics came out and dominated.

Dwight did all he could do.

These are the same Celtics that everyone ruled out of the title, because they just couldn’t get it going. Now I am NO Celtics bandwagon fan, I am actually a Suns and Magic fan, but you never count out a team that is full of previous championship winners and vets. Anyone with a basketball IQ will tell you that. That is what made them so dangerous in this series, they have been there and done all that before. They have been in a situation in where they had to rely on a Paul Pierce iso or a Rando-KG pick-n-roll, they knew they were going to win, and it showed.

Krpto-Nate came up big when they needed him.

Krpto-Nate came up big when they needed him.

They jumped out to a huge 30-19 lead, and never looked back. Nate Robinson was huge after only scoring 6 points in the whole series, he went on to have a solid 13 points of the bench. (I am petitioning for a “please play krypto-nate more” chant.) He was huge, even tried to dunk on Dwight “superman” Howard. That just shows, the Celtics just weren’t afraid tonight. The Magic played well, just it was too late. Dwight had a fantastic series as did Vince Carter and JJ Redick, (who better play a ton  more next year, he just does everything right), but with a disappearing act done by Rashard Lewis and Vince shooting the ball poorly, the Magic just seemed to be digging a bigger and bigger hole for themselves this whole season.

He proved he could lead them through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, now through a NBA Final?

He proved he could lead them through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, now through a NBA Final?

The Celtics seemed to dominate the whole series and it showed in the final game, they deserved the Eastern Conference Championship. Rando deserved to show everyone he could lead this team, who by the way solidified his spot as a top 5 PG in the game. Good luck in the finals,  Good Luck The Big 3,  Good Luck Rando and Doc, and last but not least Good Luck Bill Simmons.

NBA Playoff Recap 5/27: Ron Artest Plays Superhero For Lakers; Suns Now Trail 3-2.

GAME FIVE

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers

(101-103)

The Lakers and the Suns started a little bit rusty in the 1st Quarter. Neither team would make a field goal until 10:23. And that’s a Steve Nash three. After that, it became a battle of point guards. Steve Nash and Derek Fisher would make shots back-and-forth. Derek Fisher notched 11 points and Steve Nash registered 8 1st Quarter points. Grant Hill played tenacious D, resulting to 2 blocks and a steal. Grant Hill also hoisted a three. Amar’e Stoudemire had 2 blocks as well with 5 points. Pau Gasol would follow after Derek Fisher’s 11 points. He had 7 points. It was a close match-up after 1 Quarter. 23-21 Lakers.

Kobe Bryant, who had only 2 points in the 1st Quarter, scored 13 2nd Quarter points. And, the Black Mamba game-face was seen early in the 2nd. He was bombing from the three-point line. After making 3 threes, the Lakers would extend the lead to 16. After that, it was Lamar Odom for 3 minutes. Odom scored 10 points in that Quarter. The Suns were able to slow the momentum and make the game alot more interesting by dipping the lead to 9. Props to Amar’e and Steve Nash for that. Grant Hill and Jason Richardson would also help ’em out. 54-45 Lakers lead after the 1st half.

Early 3rd Quarter, The Lakers continued their scoring onslaught. Kobe Bryant scored 8 points. Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol combined for 9 points. But, the Suns never showed signs of submitting. With 2:28 left in the 3rd Quarter, Jared Dudley slips in a tough lay-up. And then he gets a 4-point play to go. Speaking of Jared Dudley, he would later end with 10 points. Afterwards, Channing Frye would add a three taking the lead down to 6. The Suns would later rejoice after that 3rd Quarter.

The Lakers would start the 4th Quarter quick. A Lamar Odom lay-up would be followed by a Kobe Bryant three. The Lakers stretched the lead from 6 to 11. They would continue afterwards. The Lakers hit jump shot after jump shot. Then, Steve Nash would then become a scoring machine. He would score on tough ones. He also managed to cut the lead to 3 with an And-1 play. Now, it’s still Lakers with a 92-95 lead. Amar’e Stoudemire would narrow the game with a deuce. Well, it’s 94-95. And one of the Lakers should step-up. Enter Derek Fisher. He shoots a jump shot. Nash would come back with two-jumpers while Lamar Odom would go past the Suns’ big men for a deuce. Now, the Suns are seeing a 3-point lead. Both Nash and J-Rich would miss both their threes. But, Jason Richardson managed to bank in a three in his 2nd attempt with 3.5 ticks left. It made the Laker crowd a bit silent. Laker Timeout. Kobe Bryant would shoot an ill-advised three, thus an airball. But, luckily Ron Artest would grab the loose-ball and would shoot the basket off the board at the buzzer. The Laker fans can feel it now, a third-straight NBA Finals appearance. The Staples Center just got wild and crazy. Final score: 101-103 Lakers.

Kobe Bryant finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. He is now playing complete, rather than just scoring. Ron Artest or LA’s hero, scored 4 points, that’s just about everything he got in the scoreboard. Pau Gasol had 21 points and 9 rebounds. Lamar Odom scored 17 points while hauling 13 rebounds. Andrew Bynum, who is not playing good as a player due to his injury, had 2 points and 7 rebounds. Steve Nash is the Phoenix Suns’ leading scorer and assister with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Amar’e had 19 points and 4 rebounds. The Phoenix Suns’ bench only had Frye and Jared Dudley as their best contributors. They combine for 26 points.

Series now shifts back to the Valley of the Sun. Will the Lakers head back to the NBA Finals for their title defense or should the Phoenix Suns get their chance to compete for the crown? Only answerable once the series ends. We have up-to-date news in here. Stay tuned for more updates.

There was this pic scattered all over the ‘net. And, it’s absolutely false. My friend, Rey Moralde of TheNoLookPass.com, told me to check a video from ESPN.com and he was absolutely right. Props to him for proving this picture wrong.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Jeff Gross/NBAE/Getty Images

2) @ZoDogg34/Twitter/TwitPic

VIDEO CREDITS:

1) Studio727/YouTube

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The Next Generation: John Wall and Evan Turner

This NBA draft in my opinion is way better than the last one except at the PG area. After John Wall, there’s not really a good selection but overall its a very good draft especially the top 5 with Wall then Evan Turner, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors and Wesley Johnson are very talented but we’ll only talk about the top 2: John Wall and Evan Turner for now. Now lets take a good look at these guys:

John Wall

Strengths: John Wall is predicted to go to Washington at number 1. This guy is a super athletic point guard who handles the ball very well and can pass well too. And at 6’4, he can easily torture the smaller point guards in the NBA. He draws alot of comparisons to Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo. I for one think its a mixture of those two with the athletic ability of a Russell Westbrook and the size of Tyreke Evans. He is one unique Point Guard, I think he’s gonna be an all star in the future.

Weaknesses: John Wall isn’t fully developed yet he needs to improve his jump shot. He needs to get better consistency. He has the size to be a lockdown defender and needs to learn how to utilize it especially if he’s tasked to guard Kobe, Lebron and etc. He needs to put up more weight, get stronger and more physical.

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Evan Turner

Strengths: Evan Turner has an extremely smooth game. He takes what the defense gives him. He plays like Brandon Roy, very skilled offensively he makes tough 2’s and has an awesome mid-range jumper. People don’t recognize that  his stats are almost near a triple double. He rebounds very well and facilitates the offense very fluidly.

Weaknesses: People think he’s injury prone after breaking his back in one of the games. What people don’t know is he came out ahead of schedule. He was suppose to be out 2 months but he came back after 4 weeks. He needs to become a better 3 point shooter. But, he doesn’t really need it because of his very good mid-range game. He doesn’t have a long wingspan. So, he struggles sometimes against long defenders. Like John Wall, he needs to add bulk so he can go pound for pound against the strong small forwards.

This post was made by Paolo Palanca, our newest writer.

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Paolo Palanca

NBA Playoff Recap 5/25: LA-Phoenix Series Gets More Interesting; All tied at 2

GAME FOUR

1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns

(106-115)

Both teams started off sluggish. Like Game 2, Alvin Gentry’s zone defense was seen early in the game. And as always, the Lakers would try to make it look futile. The Lakers went to the paint mercilessly using their height to their advantage. They were also hoisting jumpers. Ron Artest leads the Lakers with 6 points in the 1st. Kobe Bryant played facilitator, with some 3 assists. The Suns defense was a bit useless, but their offense was perfect. Grant Hill had 6 points, followed by Jason Richardson with 5 points. Channing Frye still continued his icy-slump in the 1st. We’ll talk more about him later. Both teams were locked at 23 apiece after the 1st Quarter.

The 2nd Quarter was like a bonanza for the Suns. Their explosive bench, went out fiery. And when I say bench, I mean the likes of Jared Dudley, Louis Amundson, Leandro Barbosa, Goran Dragic and Channing Frye. Jared Dudley starts the 2nd, with a three at 11:43. Leandro Barbosa comes next, Louis Amundson follows and then Goran Dragic. Finally, the main story is all about Channing Frye. He broke out from his icy-slump. On the other hand, Kobe Bryant fried some of his Kobe Beef on the court. He scored 15 points in the Quarter alone. The Suns dominated the 2nd Quarter with 41 points. Mostly coming from the 5 bench producers mentioned above. The Lakers would trail after 2 Quarters with a 64-55 Suns lead.

As always, Kobe Bryant will deliver anytime for the Lakers. He scored 16 3rd Quarter points. Only 2 players from the Suns’ team had field goals.Namely, Robin Lopez and Amar’e Stoudemire. Robin Lopez made 2 tip shots. And Amar’e pretty much was everywhere. He was shooting on different angles on the court. Steve Nash and Goran Dragic also contributed in the free throw line. The Lakers would make the game alot more interesting after 3.

The Suns’ bench was inevitable for the Lakers, both on defense and on offense. Their defense was quite great, and their production went to another level. They scored a combine 54 points throughout the game. The Suns would later orchestrate an 18-6 run. Behind, Jared Dudley’s and Leandro Barbosa’s back-to-back threes. At the end of the game, the Lakers would lose all hope. The Suns tie the series with a 115-106 victory.

Kobe Bryant garnered some attention with his 38 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists performance. For some reason, he has been dishing out the ball more often now. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom followed Kobe’s performance with 15 points apiece. As mentioned earlier, the Second Five or the Phoenix Suns’ bench combined for a 54-point performance. Amar’e Stoudemire, who had a 42 point, 11 rebound performance during Game 3, finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Steve Nash had 15 points and 8 assists.

The series now heads back to the City of the Angelic. Game 5 is set on Thursday. Don’t miss it!

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

2) Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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HHC Talks to NBA Players: Ronny Turiaf

First of all, we would like to announce that, one of our favorite players, Ronny Turiaf, is now on Twitter. So, anyone who applauds his energetic play on the court, follow him. This guy loves to entertain his followers. A month ago, he kindly followed me and we even made a little chit-chat about the recent happenings in the NBA.

As of March 25, he’s already come up with 907 tweets. Way back then, he asked some of his followers about getting verified in Twitter, and he also made a contest, in which the winner, who gives him the most followers will win a signed jersey by Ronny, himself. I, who also is a fan, also joined, but I have struggled to the other competitors. I might not win that jersey, but I call it already a milestone of having Ronny Turiaf as one of my followers. It appears that for every mention he gets, he always replies. Now, that’s a 100% reply rating. Hoops Head Central is glad to give him a shoutout. Keep doing what you do, Ronny, because we love it.

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Here was our conversation about a month ago on Twitter:

Mark Locsin: Spurs win Game 3! Oh yeah, we have the lead in the series.

Ronny Turiaf: great series right there!!!!!!!

Mark Locsin: I see! Great pick, Ronny. Where do you think will the Spurs end their season? Semi’s? Conference Finals? NBA Finals?

Ronny Turiaf: tough to say….. conference finals… at least

Mark Locsin: Good pick there, so you’re saying they can’t get past the Lakers?

Ronny Turiaf: not at all. i just dont know this playoffs are so intense and crazy anything can happen. you know.. but lakers are so tough

Mark Locsin: Since you’re saying Lakers are tough, do you even miss being a Laker?

Ronny Turiaf: of course. but more so the friendship with my old teammates those guys were like my brothers. but business is business

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NBA Playoff Recap 5/24: Magic Avoid Broom Service.

GAME FOUR

2nd-seed Orlando Magic vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics

(96-92)

The Magic and the Celtics started off hot, and I mean scorching hot. Both teams made shots back-and-forth. The Magic were pretty balanced in scoring with Matt Barnes leading the way. He made 2 threes in the 1st Quarter alone, plus 1 deuce, ending with 8 points. Jameer Nelson had 7 points and 3 assists. Dwight Howard with 6 points. The Truth, Paul Pierce scored 12 1st Quarter points. I have nothing to say about the 2nd Quarter, since most of the happenings happened in the other half. Magic lead 51-47 after 2 Quarters.

3rd Quarter starts Matt Barnes makes the 1st bucket of the 2nd half with 11:20 ticks in the clock. A scuffle between Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard ensued. Only KG was given a technical. Celtics’ fans didn’t like it one bit. But, they were fired up. The crowd shouted chants of ‘Defense!’. The Celtics put it in their mindsets. Results were Defense turning into Offense. Kevin Garnett had his game-face on and he looked motivated. Sadly, he went 0/7 until the end of the game. Ray Allen scored 7 points in the 3rd Quarter alone. Dwight Howard also scored 6 , with some 3 rebounds.

The 4th Quarter was one hell of a quarter in the last few minutes, Glen Davis contributed alot and the Celtics thought they could win the game. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard worked together, and they seem to know what the other was doing. They take an 85-78 lead after the combined effort. Paul Pierce would rally the crowd for one last time, with a strong flush to the basket. It followed with a Ray Allen three, and an And-1 from the Truth. Game was again tied. Rajon Rondo, who was pretty quiet in the game, stealed the orange away from Jameer Nelson. And Celtics’ fans knew the game-winning shot would go to the hands of Paul Pierce. Ray Allen found an open shot. Sadly, Paul Pierce wanted an isolation play. Magic doubles him, he loses the handle and we head to Overtime–the 1st Overtime of the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

Overtime, no one scores after 2:18 minutes. Until, Jameer Nelson made back-to-back threes. Ray Allen would release his skills from his arsenal, shooting 2 threes too. In the end, Dwight Howard was too much. He would ice the game at 96-92 with an And-1. Paul Pierce also was nothing in that OT. In the end, the Magic celebrate a well-deserved win. Game 5 is on Wednesday.

PHOTO CREDITS

1) Elsa/Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap 5/23: Suns avoid 0-3 series — Lakers lose.

GAME THREE

1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns

(109-118)

Both teams started fiery. The Suns looked for Amar’e to score easy points. And he used Andrew Bynum’s fouls to his advantage. STAT finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds in the 1st Quarter alone. Kobe Bryant pretty much did his work, scoring 15 points in the 1st alone. The Lakers and the Suns were playing ball like it was UNO, a back-and-forth battle. Alvin Gentry adjusted the Suns’ defense, making them execute zone defense more often. And it was successful. The Suns end the 1st half with a 15-2 run, with a 54-47 lead.

The 3rd Quarter starts, Derek Fisher becomes unstoppable. He scores 11 points in the 3rd alone. Ironically, the Suns’ players were just willingly driving down the basket, with Bynum in foul trouble. The other Laker bigs were not playing like they used to, particularly Lamar Odom. Pau Gasol only made 1 block. Kobe still was doing business, Ron Artest was helping out. The Lakers trimmed the lead down to two after three quarters.

Amar’e Stoudemire went on a tear the whole game, scoring 42 points and hauling 11 rebounds. He was too much for the Lakers to handle. He went inside willingly, and he converted he’s oppurtunities. The Suns’ 42 FT’s compared to the Lakers’ 20 FT’s helped the Suns’ causes as well. The Lakers lead the turnover ratio, having 17:7 turnovers against the Suns. The Phoenix Suns might’ve been blessed by the Basketball Gods to win this.

Amar’e Stoudemire, who scored 42 points and had 11 rebounds, lead the Suns in scoring and in rebounding. Meanwhile, Steve Nash, who averaged 14.0 assists/game coming to the game, had 15 assists and 17 points. Kobe Bryant had 36 points. And yes, he played facilitator again with 11 assists. Pau Gasol added 23 points and 9 rebounds. Oops! I almost forgot, Robin Lopez scored 20 points and had a block. Adam Morrison, DND-CD — why’d I even say this? Nevermind!

Lakers lead series 2-1. Planet Orange hosts Game 4 on Tuesday. And they need to win it so badly. Stay tuned for updates, here in HHC.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

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The Big O’ Transactions: Doug Collins Gets Philly’s Coaching Nod

After 7 years of broadcasting for TNT, Doug Collins will be seen once again on the sidelines, this time with the Philadelphia 76ers. This move forces him to vacate broadcasting duties at TNT. Some sources say that the contract will be likely a 4-year deal. Team President Ed Stefanski interviewed 2 more coaches with experience, specifically former Dallas head coach Avery Johnson and former Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell, and some NBA assistant coaches too, but the 58-year old emerged as the victor. He is the 1st offseason move of the Sixers, if I might add.

Yes, that’s Michael Jordan

It was a man named Paul Douglas Collins, who played a vital role for MJ during his young years as a professional. So, if the Sixers pick either John Wall or Evan Turner, they know they’re in good hands. Finally, let’s pray for Doug’s succes in the Sixer’s bench. I hope he brings basketball back to the City of Brotherly Love. After all, the Sixers haven’t tasted NBA Playoff success since 2001. If the players mesh with his system, we’ll see them back at the Playoffs. But hey, it’s too early to predict. In the meantime GOOD LUCK, Doug. You’re gonna need it.

The 76ers’ organization will hold a conference on Friday discussing Doug Collin’s employment. The newly-crowned coach will answer some questions himself too.

Paul Douglas Collins, famously known as Doug Collins had an 8-year NBA career in which he averaged 17.9 points and 3.3 assists.He also garnered a Silver Medal in the 1972 Olympics. Yes, a silver medal. Now, he has had coaching stints with the Chicago Bulls, the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards. He’s overall coaching record is 332-278.

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NBA Playoff Recap 5/19: Lakers seize 2-0 lead over Suns.

GAME TWO

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers

(112-124)

After losing Game 1 to the Lakers, the Phoenix Suns had their minds set to win Game 2. A win could boost their momentum plus they could head home more light-headed. The Lakers on the other hand are trying to win their 8th-straight playoff win and grab a commanding 2-0 series lead. Let’s see what happened during the course of the game.

The 1st Quarter saw the Suns turn the ball over alot. And when I say alot, I mean 7 times in the 1st Quarter alone. The Lakers were pretty much using it to their advantage. Ron Artest always had open-looks throughout the 1st. Ron Artest scored 10 of his 18 points in the 1st Quarter, which includes a three at the buzzer. Kobe Bryant scored 9 in that Quarter with 6 assists. The Suns looked for Amar’e throughout the 1st; he ended with 8 points.The Lakers won the starting quarter with a 34-22 lead.

The 2nd Quarter featured the Suns’ bench. Their bench was scorching hot. Everyone made it a priority to contribute. The Suns’ Jared Dudley was pretty much the main catalyst for his team’s bench; scoring 15 points, shooting a perfect 5/5 behind-the-arc and snatching 3 steals. Anyways, this bench made an unexpected 11-0 run. The Lakers would then put their starters back. The effect would quickly come in as the Laker starters would stretch the lead to 11 after 2 Quarters.

The Suns’ Jason Richardson scored 12 points in the 3rd alone, finishing with 27 points. Meanwhile Grant Hill scored 14 during the 3rd, despite being cold during the 1st 2 Quarters. Hill would later end up with 23 points. Both of them combine for 26 points of the Phoenix Suns’ 34 3rd Quarter points. After the 3rd Quarter, The Suns see themsleves tied with the Lakers.

Now, the 4th Quarter begins. The Suns put their productive bench in while the Laker starters played much of the 4th’s duration. The Suns lost due to the fact that they’re undersized. Not only that, but also because of their lack of defense. In the end, Kobe Bryant, who played facilitator in the game, scored some key buckets to finish off the Phoenix Suns. The Black Mamba scored 21 points and had a career-playoff-high 13 assists. Pau Gasol ended with 29 points while hauling in 9 rebounds. The Phoenix Suns’ captain Steve Nash finished with 11 points with 15 assists. Amar’e Stoudemire scored 18 points and some 6 rebounds.

Even though the Suns lost, Planet Orange still ain’t giving up. Why? Here’s some fact. At some point of the game, the Lakers lead by 16. Then the Suns showed some life. Tying the game at 90 apiece after 3 Quarters. This is still a long series, we still don’t know what else is gonna happen, but hey, we’ll keep you updated here in HHC. Game 3 is on Sunsday, errr, Sunday.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Harry How/Getty Images

2) Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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