What Are The Laker’s Going To Do Now?
I was talking about the playoffs with a buddy yesterday and he asked me what do I think about the Lakers/Thunders series. I told them I don’t think they can win. I explained in order for L.A. to pull it off, they would have to duplicate their performance from Game 7 of the Nuggets series, where Kobe wasn’t jacking up bad shots and keeping Bynum and Gasol involved… 4 times. His response? “How many games is that going to happen?”
So here we are with the Lakers in a 0-2 hole. In some ways tonight’s loss was worst than the Game 1 shellacking. Tonight’s game was played at L.A.’s pace. It was a slow physical game, that kept OKC out of the open court. The Lakers also made some great defensive adjustments limiting KD and Westbrook for much of the game. In stark contrast to Game 1 where OKC did what they wanted, when they wanted. The Lakers were up late, it was their game to lose.
With 2 minutes left in the game L.A. went up 7 points on an Andrew Bynum post up. OKC called a time out and that was all she wrote. The next L.A. possessions were an exercise in Hero Ball 101. Kobe took bad shots, turned over the ball, and the lead shrank, but Kobe kept shooting, until he finally shot his team out of the game.
Now the series head back to LA for back to back games Friday and Saturday. OKC has the younger legs, and a great record in back to back situations this season. Things aren’t looking so good for the Lakers. But that’s why we play the games. Will Kobe be able to stick to the script that got L.A. the lead in tonight’s game, keeping Gasol and Bynum involved and not forcing up bad shots? Or while he yet again be tempted by the siren call of Hero Ball and try to win it all by himself?