Cheap Shots #102.

Note: Posting will be sporadic to non-existent this weekend, as I’m headed to L.A. for a friend’s baby shower and (hopefully) a Super Bowl party.

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Pau Gasol to the Lakers: Pencil the Lakers in for at least the Western Semis this year. Depending on how Gasol and Bynum mesh when he returns, they’re a threat to get to the Finals. Mortgaging two first round picks in 2008 and 2010 for this better pay off, Kupchak — but at least Kobe can’t say he wasn’t trying to build a winner this year. [Memphis Commercial Appeal]

That’s A Sick Front Court When Bynum Gets Back: Odom, Gasol, Bynum up front with Kobe and Fish in the backcourt. Nasty, nasty, nasty business — with Farmar, Ariza, Turiaf and Walton (when he recovers) coming off the bench. That’s rollin’ nine deep.  We’ll see how the chemistry works.

In Related News, Henry Abbott Could Be Psychic: Or just really good at analyzing trades that make sense. [TrueHoop]

More Trade Wishing: J-Kidd to the Nuggets? Interesting — move AI to 2-guard, have Kidd distribute to him and ‘Melo — but I don’t see how it works. [Rumors and Rants]

The Wire and Its Characters’ NBA Equivalents: I love these things, but I am easily amused. [You Been Blinded]

More Specter, NFL, Matt Walsh: An addition to the prior mention on the Pennsylvania senator asking about the Patriots’ videotaping: why is Matt Walsh making noise now? It just seems weird in terms of timing, when he was likely known to folks earlier in the season.

Still Waiting on Santana: Less than two hours until the deadline for a contract extension, and the impasse is mostly over years on the contract. It does neither party any good to finish this off, because if the trade is voided and doesn’t go through, Santana will be playing in Minnesota the whole season and the Mets look like absolute fools.

Jon Tenuta to Notre Dame: As “assistant head coach for defense”, apparently. Consider Corwin Brown on notice as far as keeping his defensive coordinator title if the Irish aren’t better on D this season. (The real problem is Weis’ supposed offensive genius, but the coordinator on the other side of the ball always gets blamed first.) EDSBS has a great take on this. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Gene Upshaw, As Penned by Gary Smith: The SI scribe wrote a great article for the mag this week on the NFLPA’s much-verbally assaulted exec director. Anything Gary Smith writes is a must read. [Sports Illustrated]

For Your Super Bowl Party: A recap of all the food made for this NFL season at Ladies. I’d like another pizza roll myself.

Vote For Shockey!: Truly an all-American platform. President Shockey should nominate Clinton Portis (a fellow U alum) to several Cabinet positions: Sheriff Gonna Getcha to Homeland Security, Dr. Don’t Know to Health and Human Services, Inspector 2-2 as Director of National Intelligence, Dollah Bill to Commerce, Coach Janky Spanky to Education, and Southeast Jerome doing double duty at State and as National Security Advisor (he’s a big Kissinger admirer.) [Snarkastic]

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