Sunday’s disaster notwithstanding, Mike Brown’s D could turn the Lakers into a solid team. That’s OK for you, Laker faithful, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
Another perfect Laker season shot to hell….
I hope this doesn’t come as a shock, but this won’t be one of those seasons with the talk show hosts saying this could be the greatest Laker team ever as soon as it wins two in a row.
This is more like seasons when the talk show hosts say the Lakers should tank the season to get into the lottery.
No, really, the Lakers have had seasons like that, just not lately.
Actually, before blowing Sunday’s opener, they showed enough to suggest they may become a solid team with Coach Mike Brown’s emphasis on defense.
Either because of Brown’s new scheme, or because Derrick Rose, who took 12 shots, pulled back to let teammates do more, hoping to avoid becoming a grease spot by spring, the Lakers held Chicago to 88 points… and two in the first 7:47 of the fourth quarter when they went up by 11 with 3:45 left.
I know, I know, it hurts too much to go any farther with play-by-play….
Unfortunately for the Lakers, no one around here cares about “solid.”
If the team is merely respectable, it’ll be up to its neck in anguish with fingers pointing at Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak, Mike Brown, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton, and, despite his beatific name, Metta World Peace.
This will be a struggle, all the way to the March 15 trade deadline, when the Lakers hope to reload….
Yes, even if Jim Buss just told the Times’ T.J. Simers:
“I think we have a championship team, and that’s without making another move.
“… I don’t understand the thinking that we need saving as a franchise. We have three All-Stars, and we need saving?”
Here’s the thinking, Jimbo:
If you can get Dwight Howard or Deron Williams, better do it, even if you think you already have a championsip team.
Unfortunately for the still-champions-in-their-mind Lakers, they turned out to need saving from themselves, at least, in Sunday’s opener.
Managing not to grind his teeth after playing a key role in blowing it, Bryant said he saw “a lot of positives, a lot, a lot of positives.”
The Kobester barely noted that he and they had blown the game.
As for the emotional blow after their horrific pre-season (having Chris Paul taken away, seeing him go to the Clippers after they withdrew from trade talks to pursue Howard, giving Lamar Odom away, seeing Dwight yanked off the market)… there wasn’t one?
“No,” said Bryant, and nothing else, dismissing the absurd notion as if it was the farthest thing from his mind.
Actually, it was an emotional blow to a team that had been hammered for weeks.
The clearest sign was the absence of Fisher, who was still holed up when team officials chased the press out of the otherwise empty dressing room.
In good times and bad and worse, it has been Fisher who provided the only responsive answers to whatever was going on.
This one was so tough for (after more months of exhausting labor talks in which he would be vilified as a pigeon for the owners), even Fish couldn’t put in an appearance to note the sun would come out tomorrow.
It did by the way. I checked.
That means it’s Monday and the Lakers have another game, in Sacramento!
Of course, if they lost that, they’ll know the dimensions of the problem are even greater than they feared, which was already scary enough.
Nevertheless, as Lakers veterans can tell you, they’ve been to more than one rodeo… at least when the Laker veterans are all back to talking.
They may well be able to hang in there until March 15 when Dwight and D-Will should be on the market for real.
Hopefully for the Lakers, Bynum will be healthy and productive at that point, giving them a young player the Magic or Nets might take if they have to choose between fire-sale offers.
In other words, buckle up, Laker fans.
The good old days from 2008-2011 are over.
This is about trying to set things up so more good old days lie ahead, and nothing is promised them.