The only thing worse than the talent discrepancy the Lakers hold over the Rockets is the “gives a sh**” discrepancy the Rockets hold over the Lakers. Other than Aaron Brooks, Luis Scola and Ron Artest, what healthy Rockets’ player could even make the Lakers? Carl Landry? Fine, he’d replace Josh Powell as the Lakers’ on-bench mannequin. Kyle Lowry? He might good enough to take Shannon Brown’s eight minutes or so. Maybe.
This series has become a series about desire. Other than Kobe Bryant, I’m not sure any Lakers have any desire. Phil Jackson? He seems to just be keeping girlfriend Jeannie Buss and her old man happy en route to collecting another ginormous paycheck. Hell, even if you think Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza played with a little heart, that’s still only three players. Meanwhile, the Rockets played like their mothers’ throats would be cut if they lost.
Mark Jackson was right to say he won’t pick the Lakers, should they advance, over the Cavs or Nuggets. On paper, the Lakers have more talent than either of those teams. No question about that. But championships aren’t won on paper. They are won on 94 feet of hardwood, with sweat and guts. The only sweat coming out of L.A. recently was provided by Manny Ramirez, following his latest drug test. The only guts coming out of Hollywood nowadays can be found in its cheesy, mass-produced horror films.
This performance made me sick to my stomach. It made me suggest that the Lakers should trade “Passive” Pau Gasol to the Atlanta Hawks for a package of Josh Smith and Mike Bibby. It made me actually wish the Lakers had Ron Artest instead of Lamar Odom. It made me tweet that I was about to carve this in my ceiling. It made me admit, right here, right now, that the Nuggets will likely spank the Lakers after Kobe pulls out all the heroics in Game Seven.
Looks like we’ll have to settle for three championships this decade, Lakers fans, because that’s all we’re going to get.
Video Highlights: (after the jump)