The match-up between the Lakers and the 76ers Thursday was highly-anticipated … two young teams, vying for attention, scrapping it out for who would be labeled “next in line” … “the future” of the NBA. Let’s put it this way, the game lived up to the hype and then some. The Lakers led most of the game. The Shock Exchange expected to see a match up between the point guards Lonzo Ball and Ben Simmons. However, these were two teams going at it, and they got contributions from the starting five, the coaches, ball boys, et. al.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 8, 2017
The Lakers had a double-digit lead at during the fourth quarter, but the 76ers made a blistering comeback. Around the four minute mark they were 11-13 in the fourth quarter. Joel “The Process” Embiid who dominated the undersized Julius Randle, guarding Embiid in Robin Lopez’s stead. Embiid had his way, but the Lakers answered each time. It came down to the last possession with Lonzo Ball milking the clocked. He kicked to Brandon Ingram, who drew double coverage. Ingram went back to Ball in the corner, who faked the shot, drove to the basket and kicked it back to Ingram for the dagger.
What a game! There were no losers in this one. The Lakers learned that when they play defense, limit the turnovers, give maximum effort and get contributions from seven to eight players they can be more competitive than their 9-11 record suggests. For the 76ers, we know about Embiid and Ben Simmons. This team might go as far as role players like Robert Covington and Richaun Holmes take them.
Where Is Shannon Sharpe
Leading up to the game Shannon Sharpe, Skip Bayless and Joy Taylor of Fox Sports chopped it up pursuant to the battle between Lonzo and Ben Simmons. The first time the Lakers and 76ers met Embiid cooked the Lakers for 46 points, while Simmons nearly had a triple double. Sharpe implied it could be worse this time around. Ben Simmons with his “grown ass man” body would fry Lonzo like catfish on a summer night:
Lonzo, half the games he’s played in he hasn’t even taken one free throw attempt. Lonzo right now Skip is very unsure of himself. He’s shooting 31% from the floor, 25% from three, and his father isn’t doing him any favors … Ben Simmons is 6’10 with a grown man’s body … There’s only a year difference in age, but if you look at Ben Simmons’ body, and you look at Lonzo Ball’s body … one is a grown ass man … You [Skip] know what’s gon’ happen … Ben Simmons gon’ start fryin’ him like catfish on a summer night.
The Shock Exchange countered that though Lonzo has struggled at times this year, he would make like dragon, grow a tail and fight back:
Shock Exchange: Simmons will punch him in the mouth; it all depends on how Lonzo responds. The Shock Exchange believes he will make like a dragon, grow a tail and fight back.
That’s exactly what Lonzo and the Lakers did. They took the fight to the 76ers early and often. Lonzo was not being guarded by Ben Simmons, and he tried to exploit the smaller 76ers guards – Jarrod Bayless and T.J. McConnell. When the game was tight at the 4 minute mark in the fourth quarter, the Lakers could have wilted. They kept their composure and went basket-for-basket with Embiid, Covington and Holmes.
Ben Simmons had better overall stats. Lonzo had 10 points, eight assists and three rebound. Simmons had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists. At the end, Lonzo make the play that freed Ingram, and had the big assist as Ingram knocked down the game winner with a silky smooth jumper. Wells Fargo Arena was filled with the aroma of catfish. However, it was Ben Simmons and The Process on the grill and not Lonzo Ball.
On Trump And The Global Economy
The second installment of Trump And The Global Economy Town Hall took place October 24th in Fort Greene. It Featured Professor Lance Brofman, Coconut Rob (Coconut Rob Smoothies), Wuyi Jacobs (AfroBeats Radio) and Ralph Baker, author of Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead.
The event was well-received by the community. We parsed through President Trump’s proposed tax plan and [i] how it was pure economic folly and [ii] high net worth individuals could potentially game the system by shifting income around. Apparently, Kansas Coach Bill Self did this when the state of Kansas cut taxes in the past. We discussed the pros and cons of technology on workers and the economy. How will the economy and country prosper under Trump’s leadership vis-a-vis Obama? What’s behind the verbal sparring with black athletes, ESPN’s Jemele Hill and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?