Lakers are repeating the downfall of the Pistons in the 1990s
Posted December 04, 2012 - 06:49 AM
Detroit Pistons (1988-1993)
1988: Lost NBA Finals (4-3) versus Los Angeles Lakers
1989: Won NBA Finals (4-0) versus Los Angeles Lakers
1990: Won NBA Finals (4-1) versus Portland Trail Blazers
1991: Lost NBA Eastern Conference Finals (4-0) versus Chicago Bulls
1992: Lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round (3-2) versus New York Knicks
1993: Couldn't make the Playoffs
Los Angeles Lakers (2008-2013)
2008: Lost NBA Finals (4-2) versus Boston Celtics
2009: Won NBA Finals (4-1) versus Orlando Magic
2010: Won NBA Finals (4-3) versus Boston Celtics
2011: Lost NBA Western Conference Semifinals (4-0) versus Dallas Mavericks
2012: Lost NBA Western Conference Semifinals (4-1) versus Oklahoma City Thunder
2013: Can't make the Playoffs??
- Both teams reached 3 consecutive NBA finals.
- Both teams won back-to-back championships.
- Both teams were swept in the following year.
- Both teams lack the drive and determination to succeed again.
- Both teams lack athleticism and energy.
Even though the Lakers have acquired multiple star players and made coaching changes, they have consistently been playing worse and outclassed by other elite teams in the NBA. Compared with their excellent performance in the 2008-2010 seasons, the Lakers right now seem to be rudderless, losing their traditional identity of strong inside-outside offense and playing porous defense.
Someone says that the return of Phil Jackson could stabilize the team and catapult them to glory again. But judging from the 2010-11 season, Jackson was simply a lameduck and lost control of the team. I really don't think he could significantly energize the team even if he returned.
Someone (namely Mike D'Antoni) says that Steve Nash could be the panacea for Lakers' problems. But is it really the case? His situation is reminiscent of the Karl Malone's injury in 2004, which was lingering and hurt the Lakers in the final that year. Even if Nash is healthy, can he coexist with Kobe offensively? Defensively, will he be a liability that creates career stats for point guards of opposing teams? (Some may argue that Kobe can guard PGs but it is undeniable that Kobe has been significantly slower defensively in recent years.) I really doubt Nash is really that omnipotent for the Lakers.
Someone says that another blockbuster trade could save the Lakers. But I think that it is the wishful thinking of many people. Winning championships is not about the mere acquisition of stars, but the construction of team chemistry. The trade for Pau in 2008 was so successful because he could perfectly fit in the triangle offense and work with Kobe and Lamar, resulting in seamless team cohesiveness. But the Lakers right now are like a balloon without air. In terms of talent, the current Lakers squad is comparable to the most successful teams in NBA history. But the problem is that the whole team lack the collective determination to win it all. On the court, our players don't have energy and passion. As for the management, it is making riduculous decisions after ridiculous decisions. How can such a team win the championship? The acquisition of one or two players obviously cannot solve the deep-seated problem of the team.
Lakers fans, do you still have hope about the current Lakers team?
Posted December 04, 2012 - 07:03 AM
Posted December 04, 2012 - 07:35 AM
As always, I'm here as the Debbie Downer. We were swept, and it sucks to know that every other team the Mavericks played (including Portland) won at least one game. Portland actually ripped out two wins in that series.
It's possible that every other West team, besides the Hornets, would've toppled us, including the Grizz. Miami, Boston, Chicago...we would've lost to all of them in the Finals.
It's crazy to see just how similar our franchise (most recently) is to the late 80's/early 90's Detroit Pistons, also.
Lost Finals 4-3 vs. Lakers (1988) - lost to one of our rivals
Won Finals 4-0 vs. Lakers (1989) - beat our rival
Won Finals 4-1 vs. Blazers (1990)
Lost ECF 4-0 vs. Bulls (1991) - eventual champs
Chuck Daly (coaching legend) leaves one year after the loss, DET brings in Rothstein for a year, get rid of him for Don Chaney, who lasted three seasons, and a coaching mess develops.
Los Angeles Lakers
Lost Finals 4-2 vs. Celtics (2008) - lost to our rival
Won Finals 4-1 vs. Magic (2009)
Won Finals 4-3 vs. Celtics (2010) - beat our rival
Lost WC2nd 4-0 vs. Mavericks (2011) - eventual champs
Phil Jackson is gone, in comes Mike Brown (who isn't that great, relies on offensive assistants far too much), and...well, maybe a coaching mess develops?
Of course, Detroit didn't fare well in the 90's, and I doubt we go that long without another championship...but still, it's funny to see how it all turned out like that.
We have work to do. I'm not saying we have to rebuild, but...okay, we need to find a little athleticism (starters or bench), fix our PG situation immediately, and make sure we have legitimate backup bigs. Player-wise, Bynum is going to have knee injuries for the rest of his career, so he has to go (hoping that's why we are extending him), and before Gasol turns into Troy Murphy, we have to let him go as well. If it takes rebuilding, we need it.
The current core is done, unless Kobe finds the Fountain of Youth.
Posted December 04, 2012 - 08:06 AM
Posted December 04, 2012 - 08:37 AM
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Posted December 04, 2012 - 11:51 AM
Posted December 05, 2012 - 06:45 AM
Yes, Lakers and Pistons have completely playing styles.
strange similarities, but two completely different teams and franchises and of course types of players.
But the manners in which they collapse are more or less the same.
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