We can argue that the Lakers got caught slipping against Sacramento on the second of a back to back which happened to be the night before Thanksgiving. Then the following game against Memphis was one where our bigs were a nowhere to be found and Kobe went 7-23. But the beatdown we put on the Dallas was inflicted by a rejuvenated team that seemed to have a fire lit under them.
The Lakers must find a way to win consistently. But these Jekyll and Hyde showings the Lakers put on makes one wonder if this is the old “flipping the switch” that use to happen during our run to back to back titles. Or is this just a highly overrated team that took advantage of a Dirk-less Dallas squad?
I believe that these Lakers are the most talented team in the NBA and can definitely win a championship this season. However, the switch flipping analogy cannot be applied to this particular team since we do not have our starting point guard and Dwight Howard has not yet fully recovered from back surgery. Though the production of a limited Howard is more than Bynum ever gave the Lakers.
The Lakers are essentially 6-3 because we can simply pretend that the Mike Brown’s 1-4 start never happened. The “trade Pau” talks have to chill as well because we really haven’t seen what he can do with Nash. Dwight made Ryan Anderson look awesome and Nash made Gortat look like an All-Star. Imagine how great Gasol will be when Nash returns.
The month of December will give Laker fans and the rest of the league a picture of this team’s true identity with games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the red-hot New York Knicks. Hopefully Steve Nash can return and the offense can finally be run a true floor general. Perhaps by Christmas Mitch can add a couple of serviceable veterans to the bench(ie Bell and Pietrus wouldn’t hurt).
“With this team, there’s no reason not to win every game,” D’Antoni said after Tuesday’s win against Brooklyn. “That’s our goal. It’s not, `Let’s get two out of three.’ We can win every game we play.” While that sort of confidence can be applied to our Lakers that won back to back titles in 09-10, this cannot be said of 2012’s squad just yet. The talent is there but D’Antoni still has to a lot to prove. If we can consistently put forth a defensive effort like we did on Saturday and run with the big dogs in December, then Coach D’Antoni’s statement validates itself.