Despite their disinterest in the regular season and wildly inconsistent play, the Lakers are still in position to make a run at the number one spot in the Western Conference. Slowly but surely the stars are lining up. Last night the Spurs went down in Portland while the Lakers held on to defeat the Rockets. Come Thursday the Lake Show could gain another game if they’re up to the task of taking on San Antonio.
The Spurs have rarely faltered this season. How a team with a championship pedigree the likes of San Antonio can have the best record in the league yet still fly under the radar is a real mystery. Actually, it’s not because that is just the nature of the media. They’re not players, they just win a lot.
Phil Jackson had better use whatever tactics he has in his bag to light a fire under his team. Mitch Kupchak is even getting in on the PJ approach to using the media to tweak his team. All that’s left is for Jeanie Buss to blast Kobe and Pau publicly.
Whatever it takes it is time for this team to rise to the occasion. The opportunity to gain two games on San Antonio in three days won’t come around often. Given the way this season has gone the Lakers are going to need any and every advantage they can get for the playoffs. Going through San Antonio isn’t impossible but it is certainly not easy.
The Spurs and Lakers are the most dominant franchises in recent NBA history. You can almost set your watch to one of the two winning a title. Of course that is only the path to a title. Actually winning one could require another swing through Boston. As luck would have it the Lakers get another swing at the green gang in a few days time as well.
But that is looking much further down the road. The immediate future requires focus and a defensive commitment to reverse the poor showing against the NBA elite.
This is a golden opportunity for the Lakers to not only gain ground but to also show they’re still capable of competing with the NBA’s best. These chances don’t come around often. If this team still thinks they can flip the switch then now is the exact time to do so.