It was good to get a win last night after losing five in a row, but wow…. it was like pulling teeth. The Lakers continued their end of the season MO, sleepwalking through most of the game against the Spurs’ bench no less. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli were not playing which should have made the game easier.
We forget though that the Lakers respond to situations different than other teams would. Instead of taking advantage and crushing the Spurs full-force, they let their foot off the gas pedal and played with a lackadaisical air about them.
Almost all of the announcers said the same thing last night, the same thing that I’m sure most of Lakers Nation has been thinking (or at least hoping): they are a bored veteran team waiting for the playoffs to begin. They have a good sense of who they are as a team and what they need to do to get that edge back. If the Lakers win tonight, they will have tied last season’s win total, so it’s not like they’re completely floundering.
To be fair, the starters played well. Pau finished with a double double (17-17), Derek Fisher was driving in the paint instead of hanging around the three point line, and Ron was hustling like usual. Kobe had 27 points and turned on the Mamba mode at the end of the game, which was great to see- he hit a huge three and pumped his fist with under 3 minutes to go in the game.
He struggled in foul trouble for a majority of the game and picked up his 15th technical as well after being flagged for an offensive foul (his 4th of the game with the 3rd quarter only half finished). I have never seen Kobe so angry…. He walked over to the bench and punched the chair and threw his towel down, just snarling and cussing and generally looking livid.
Next: A Fallen Giant