This is becoming an all too familiar theme for the 2010 Los Angeles Lakers. For the third time in the playoffs, the Lake Show finds itself in a 2-2 tie. And for the third time the series standing is a direct result of what Phil Jackson describes as his team’s “Jeckyll and Hyde” nature.
Of course, they’ve always found a way to right the ship and slam the door shut. Oklahoma City and Phoenix both got a brief taste of victory before Kobe and Company slapped that taste out of their mouths.
Matching the effort put forth by their opponents has been the biggest problem the Lakers have faced all season long.
With Big Pussy Baby drooling all over the parquet, KG slapping the floor like a WWE referee and Bushwick Nate screaming like he just hit the game winner in the second quarter, the Celtics were up for the challenge. Even if it is all show, they exert the effort to match their attitudes.
Simply put, the Lakers must match the intensity of the Celtics.
In Game 3, there was little doubt as to who the aggressor was and there was little doubt as to what the outcome would be.
Cut to Game Four and the same could be said of those puke green punks from Beantown. They took the fight to the Lakers and the Lakers rolled over.
There was nothing special about Boston’s win. No amazing gameplan. No complex defensive scheme. Just good ol’ fashioned hustle.
The most telling stat of this series thus far has been rebounding.
Whichever team wins the battle of the boards wins the game.
Rebounding, like defense, is a mind state. You’ve got to want it more than your opponent.
Andrew Bynum’s knee certainly played a large role in the Lakers absence from the boards. Without their best interior defender, the Laker D was looking fit to be sold at Krispy Kreme.
Make no mistake that even without the Altered Beast the Lake Show is still more than capable of defeating Boston. Of course they’re going to need Lamar Odom to carry his weight. Having an active LO on the boards is a sure fire way to take the life out of TD Garden on Sunday.
KB24 not turning the ball over would be a huge help too. But when four guys in Purple and Gold are just standing around watching Kobe doin’ work against five guys in green then its inevitable that the rock is going to end up in the hands of a C.
For the Lakers, finishing off the Celtics is going to be like Jubei trying to finish off Lord Gemma. These old dogs aren’t going down without a fight and it’s up to the Lakers to take it to them in Game Five.