8 thoughts on the Lakers’ demise
1. I feel the Lakers’ loss quite a bit more than the Spurs’. Maybe it’s just me being an Angeleno, but then again, I never felt that sold on the Spurs. The team played so different from their Tim Duncan-peak game, it was hard to look at them as a scrappy champion. The Lakers, after last year’s emergences from late season mediocrity felt like they’d be tough to kill.
2. With that said, the funny thing about a dynasty-type team that has been shown to perform better in the biggest game is that eventually, it’s inexactly one of those situations where the team will sputter.
3. Something that is noteworthy though is something that Silver Screen and Roll actually pointed out: When Kobe Bryant’s teams go down, they do so with utter surrender. Obviously it’s unreasonable to call Kobe weak mentally. We see how he’s willing to play through pain something heroic.
I don’t think there can be much doubt though, that when it comes to being the guy who will find to the death for a (possibly) lost cause, that ain’t Kobe. When we knock LeBron James for blinking last year against the Celtics when it became clear his team was overmatched, we should at least remember that proven champions have shown plenty of similar tendencies.
4. Now the question on everyone’s mind is whether the Lakers should blow up the team. I think they are crazy.
Reports of the Lakers’ demise have been greatly exaggerated.
No, you don’t blow up this team simply because they played poorly and lost. This is the same team that went 17-1 out of the all-star break. Any team that can do that, still has IT. It’s just damn hard to win a title.
5. How could they get swept if they’re that good? Because it’s a heck of a lot easier to get swept than anyone realizes. The Lakers would have been up 2-1 instead of down 0-3 with a few good breaks. So with a couple bad breaks you can end up in an almost unwinnable situations, and then if you give up…
6. btw, although I wouldn’t blow up the team, I’d certainly do everything within my power to acquire Dwight Howard if I could. Literally, no player would be untouchable. I’d even trade Kobe – though I doubt that’s really the deal the Magic would look to make. More realistically, I’d trade both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum for him if I was sold that Howard would resign with me with enthusiasm and drive.
As far as the changes I’d expect to make going in ’11-12:
Consider whether it’s time to increase Bynum’s prominence in the offense. His track record and immaturity aren’t encouraging, but in the playoffs he wasn’t simply the best Laker big man, he was arguably the best Laker. Short of a Hail Mary acquisition of Howard or another A-list star, Bynum is clearly the guy they have to expect to be the man within the next few years if they are going to remain a contender. Banking on that is itself a Hail Mary, and it makes sense to get everything out of Bryant & Gasol they can, but if Bynum’s ready to take on a bigger role, that growth needs to be encouraged.