Sure, the Lakers had a key possession taken away by the refs. Let’s not argue that. Let’s focus on something else: The Lakers are simply not playing World Championship basketball.
A look at the series stats gives a few examples of why:
1) Shooting. Who are the team’s primary jump shooters? Obviously Kobe, but we can’t forget the clutch shooting of Fisher. Even Artest is counted on for a LITTLE scoring from the outside. Fisher is 0-8 from beyond the arc, and we won’t even put up Artest’s numbers. The Lakers have been completely ineffective from the outside, and Boston is cheating to the paint as a result. They are giving up the outside shot and the Lakers are taking the bait and missing the shots.
2) Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar. Between them they have almost 120 minutes of playing time and only 34 points to show for it. One of them needs to become useful on offense. Just one.
3) Lamar’s disappearing act. Lamar has played almost 130 minutes and has only 38 points to show for it. Seriously, how can you expect to win when no one is scoring?
4) Lamar is being out-rebounded by Rajon Rondo. Sure, Rondo gets a bit more playing time, but come on…
5) Rondo continually gets layups. The guy is shooting 4-15 from the line, yet he gets uncontested layups over and over. I understand wanting to avoid foul trouble, but seriously guys…
If the Lakers can change any of the five points above, the series will shift in their favor.
Let’s see if they have already given up.