The Los Angeles Lakers are bored. The regular season just doesn’t excite them anymore. Needless to say, the Memphis Grizzlies in January just don’t get the same respect as the Boston Celtics in June.
It’s just that simple. This team could care less about the regular season. It happens when you make three straight trips to the Finals. It happens when you eat steak every night. Suddenly, a Jumbo Jack just isn’t as appetizing.
Not making excuses or even excusing the Lake Show for their approach lately. Just stating the obvious.
This team hasn’t forgotten how to play the game. Kobe Bryant knows he’s shouldering too big a burden on offense. Perhaps it does take the occasional Phil Jackson tweak to remind KB24 to give up the rock. Pau Gasol knows he needs more touches. But it’s not like the Spaniard is being frozen out of the offense. Sometime she just needs to get a little more selfish.
What we’re seeing is more disappointing than it is shocking. Every year after winning a title PJ’s teams typically lose a little more focus. Not that they don’t care about the regular season. It’s just that for them the season doesn’t truly start until the playoffs begin.
Now where this does hurt the Lakers is when it comes time for the seeding. For a team that can’t wait until the big games begin this squad is certainly putting themselves in a bad spot. Nothing like a massive uphill climb to get those competitive juices flowing again. But that’s what this team needs in order to get motivated.
Things are bad but they’re not as bad as being portrayed. This is still the best team in the league and thus far the only competition has been themselves. When the Lakers show up ready to play, focused and determined, they’re unbeatable. But when they’re looking further down the road than they are at the obstacles directly in front of them, they’re easy prey.
Flipping that switch isn’t easy and for a team with their goals, the Lakers are finding it even more difficult to hit that switch in early 2011. I’m not saying what we’re watching is acceptable. But we’d better get used to it for the time being. Nothing is going to change until the situation is dire. That’s about the only thing that will motivate these Lakers and that’s what we’re all waiting for so we can get another glimpse at championship hoops.