I have never been much for looking in the rear view mirror, but every once in awhile I find bringing things to remembrance can be a soul cleansing experience. That is, of course, as long as you don’t dwell too long on the past events, even the good ones. Doing something like that can be a dangerous thing my friends. Too much focus on the negative can lead to a bad case of post game depression, and hanging on to all the feel good stuff just makes for unrealistic expectations such as the Lakers hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy ever single year. And so, we begin this journey into the week we just left behind, but we will do so with extreme caution and harnessed emotion. Let’s take a peek into the past shall we?
As far as I am concerned, the games the Lakers played last week brought to mind a few observations I would like to share with you. Now keep in mind, these are merely my opinions, nothing more and nothing less.
Lakers vs. Nets
Let’s start with the game against the Brooklyn Nets last Tuesday. Were it not for the Nets generosity of poor game planning, lousy match-up recognition, and Brook Lopez missing key shots late in the 4th quarter, this should have been an easy win for them. Now I’m not taking anything away from the Steve Blake heroics or the solid defensive effort, but come on now. Pau Gasol hurts his foot, leaves the game early, and the Lakers were already without Howard and Metta. Someone please explain to me how else the Lakers got out of there with the win.
Lakers vs. Celtics
Thursday found the Lakers in Beantown doing battle with arch enemy of the East, the Boston Celtics. This is the one the Lakers were SUPPOSED to win. They come in after a night off, the Celtics had played the night before, & this was gonna be like butter melting over top of fresh popcorn right? WRONG! What a painful display of basketball the Lakers put on. I mean this game reminded me of the time Mike Tyson clocked Michael Spinks in the first 30 seconds of their heavyweight championship boxing match. By the time this one ended the Lakers were the ones with the proverbial two black eyes, swollen lips, & carved up cheek bones. The one saving grace about this game? Everybody in their right mind went to bed by the end of the 3rd quarter and woke up rested with just the bad memory. No Rondo? No problem for Celtics.
Lakers vs. Bobcats
The following night, the Lakers were in town to take on the mighty Bobcats of Charlotte. Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant. Yes I know Jordan is retired, but Kobe always seems to elevate his play when confronted by the superstars of the league. No reason to think he wouldn’t put on a show for MJ’s benefit. Kobe ended with 20 points. The exact number the Lakers trailed by at one point in the game. I’m not making this stuff up folks. The road trip was taking a serious toll, but this was supposed to be a Lakers laugher. This was supposed to allow the starters an early exit with an easy victory in the column, and a little extra rest before heading to South Beach to take on the Heat. Well, the boys were already laying on the beach before they took the court to play, and had to rely on a frantic comeback to get the win. As I like to say from time to time, they really stunk up the joint.
Lakers vs. Heat
Sunday in South Beach, and the Lakers fought and scratched, but just couldn’t overcome the 4th quarter turnovers. The fact they let the Heat push and punk them on the glass all day long was enough to turn my stomach. In my demented mind, the Lakers should have won both games they played this year against LeBron and the gang. The problem is, you can’t make that many mistakes against a team of that caliber and expect to get away with it. This isn’t the Nets we are talking about, it’s the defending champions, who just so happen to have the baddest man on the planet playing for them. Yes, I said it. King James is the best player in the NBA today. Sorry, but that’s just the way I see it.
Lakers vs. Suns
The foe on Tuesday was the lowly Suns of Phoenix. The bottom feeders of the Western Conference came into Staples Center a much welcomed sight. Dinner was about to be served, and they were going to be the main course. I was wrong again. The Lakers once again let the Suns hang around, let them start believing they were actually a good team, and led them to believe they were going to win. The Lakers had just enough in the tank to turn the Suns into the Duns and record the victory. If you are trying to lower your blood pressure, looking for anger management, or trying for more serenity in your life, you picked the wrong season.
Yesterday was Valentines Day. This was the day where things of the heart are the theme. Heavy hearts for Dr. Jerry Buss, owner of the Lakers, and news of his cancer; yet hopeful hearts, as we looked toward the battle with our little brother the Clippers. Last night, of all nights, I expected to see nothing less than a Lakers team full of heart and ready to send a message. My heart said it would happen. My head? Boy the Clippers are good.
But we’ll save that story for next week…