Last night the San Antonio Spurs handed the Los Angeles Lakers their worst home playoff loss in history. A 120-89 defeat to a dilapidated Lakers team has left fans and the team in utter disbelief. With a season filled with such hope prior to its start, this ending is what no fan ever expected.
The injury bug would be an understatement, it was more of an injury plague, and one that affected every single Lakers starter and most of the bench. No one managed to escape it, and this is just something that comes with being an old team and just never seeming to catch that elusive “break” everyone else seemed to get this season.
Regardless of the injuries and which teams had better luck than the Lakers, they still find themselves in an 0-3 hole against the number two seeded San Antonio Spurs. In NBA history no team has ever come back from this kind of deficit to win the series, so the future looks bleak for this years Lakers team. Of course anything is possible in the NBA and maybe this years team could be the first to ever come back from such a hole, or you could be in need of seeking a mental institution that could lock you up alone in a room for being delusional.
After the game on Friday night players were deflated, Lakers players that is, across the building the Spurs were massaging their hands after delivering such a spanking. These following quotes via the Lakers NBA page:
“We respect these guys, and we’re not trying to give them any momentum whatsoever, Duncan said.”
Well that’s a nice way to talk about embarrassing a storied franchise like the Lakers, a team not used to being a seventh seeded playoff team let alone losing by 31 points at home.
Coach D’Antoni weighed in as well,
“The first half, we gave everything we had, and it obviously wasn’t enough,” Los Angeles coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I thought our guys played as hard as they can play.”
It’s almost sad to hear something like this, with as depleted as the Lakers were last night, and clearly they were, they still tried as hard as they could and that resulted in a 31 point defeat. Wow.
At least Howard hasn’t given up hope, even if everyone else likely has,
“It’s been a very tough year, but we’re not going to make any excuses, and we’re not going to quit,” Howard said.
Honestly, what is he supposed to say? We’re done, we have no shot, let’s just throw in the towel and go home? So his statement doesn’t carry much weight, but at least he said it, that’s what counts.
However Ginobili didn’t quite hold back with his statements,
“We saw the opportunity because of their injuries and the lack of length of the bench and the depth of the bench. We really punished them.”
Punished is a great word for what they did to the Lakers last night, truly couldn’t have said it any better myself. He didn’t sugar coat his commentary and he shouldn’t have, although I’ll bet him and the rest of the Spurs are still bitter from the 2004 and 2008 playoffs, in which LA got the better end of those series’.
So, after such a loss the Lakers didn’t only lose the game and likely the series but they lost their luster and overall shine they used to produce for the Laker faithful. I don’t remember watching a Laker playoff series quite as bad as this one, where it’s really just not competitive. Even getting swept by Dallas in 2011 was more competitive than this, and at least it wasn’t in the first round. The Lakers are known for putting on a show with an extremely high entertainment value, and last night that just wasn’t the case. Even in losses the Lakers managed to fight to the end and keep it interesting with that allure that hovered over Los Angeles like a halo.
I know they’re injured but the product on the floor was just not something to be very proud of or worthy of remembrance. The fans boo’d midway through the second quarter and by the end of the game were chanting “We want Phil”, and at this point the chance of the Lakers getting PJ back is about as good as winning this series. The funny thing is that it’s not even all D’Antoni’s fault, the man never got a chance to have his whole team at his disposal, and that’s difficult for any coach, even Phil Jackson.
As negative as this article may sound, I’d like to point out a few bright spots or silver linings from last nights trouncing. Andrew Goudelock deserves to be
considered for a roster spot next season, he played great last night and showed he deserves to be given a chance. Same goes for Darius Morris as he played great as well and stepped up when his moment came. Pau Gasol also posted only the seventh Laker playoff triple double ever, congratulations to the big man for going out there and competing in every aspect of the game. Dwight had good numbers too, putting up 25 and 11 but they could’ve been better for somebody of his caliber. The guys went out and competed, it just wasn’t nearly enough.
Bottom line is the Lakers are done for this season, not much dispute there. Whether they fold on Sunday night or extend it back to San Antonio, the season is over and can go down as a colossal failure. Last nights loss was but a microcosm of the entire season. With a starting line up consisting of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard nobody anticipated it all going down this way, no one saw the team personifying the Hindenburg disaster. Set your sights on next year Laker Nation, changes will be made, injuries will heal, and the Los Angeles Lakers will be in top form to compete for an NBA Championship, mark my words.