When your best isn’t good enough it just might be time to shake things up. Mitch Kupchak intimated as much this week and that could just be the only solution to solving the continued Purple and Gold blues in Los Angeles.
In what was perhaps their most inspired effort of the season the Lakers still came up short. They fought hard, battled back time and time again yet couldn’t come up with one rebound when they needed it most.
Kobe Bryant was one board short of a triple-double. In previous years we would have seen a Hollywood ending. Bryant would have corralled his 10th rebound and the Lake Show would be able to rub the noses of the haters in the sweaty armpits of the downtrodden Spurs.
Unfortunately that was all a fantasy.
The reality is that the Spurs got second chance after second chance in the closing seconds until Antonio McDyess tipped the final nail into the coffin.
Lamar Odom was clutch down the stretch. That wasn’t enough.
Kobe played facilitator getting all his teammates involved. That wasn’t enough.
Pau Gasol celebrated his All-Star appointment by getting back to his efficient ways. That wasn’t enough.
Even Ron Artest played with renewed passion and energy. Not even that was enough.
For the Lakers this loss was the worst omen of all. Their best just isn’t good enough anymore. Whatever the reason. No matter the excuse. Doesn’t matter what happens next. The writing is on the wall and it is impossible to ignore.
This team doesn’t have that championship it. They have played down to inferior competition and failed to step up to superior opposition. Last night they tried to hit the switch but the light flickered and then faded before the final buzzer.
It is time for a change. A drastic change. Whether that comes via trade or simply by the locker room leaders unleashing hell remains to be seen. One thing is for sure. If things continue the way they’ve been going then we’re all going to be watching the Finals on the couch come June.