Where have the Lakers been hiding the heart of a champion? Sometimes all it takes is effort. When the Lakers act like they give a crap they tend to kick the crap out of the competition.
Game 5 wasn’t a must win by any means. No disrespect to the Hornets but this squad has been in worst spots against much better teams on a much larger stage. So you’ll excuse me if I wasn’t on the edge of my couch tonight.
Truth be told though I was concerned that we were going to see another lackluster performance after New Orleans hung 32 on the scoreboard in the first quarter. But that was before Mamba made the world forget he had a bum wheel. He also made Emeka Okafor remember that KB24 was a dunk contest champion once upon a time.
What makes the greats so special is that they can sense when they need to do something to turn the tide of a game.
Kobe’s monster throwdown in Emeka’s mug lit a fuse. A fuse that sizzled on the court then exploded in the crowd at Staples. The place blew up and helped spark a run in the second quarter that pretty much ended this game.
Before you knew it the drama was over as the Lakers cruised to a 106-90 victory to get to within a win of ending this series.
Like I said, when the Lakers give a little effort they have no troubles with NO.
How this series has gone this far remains a real mystery.
Pau Gasol still isn’t playing anywhere near as well as he did against the Hornets in the regular season. Yet his mediocre16 and 8 were still better than the 13 and 9 Okafor and Carl Landry combined for.
Toss in another 18 and 10 from Andrew Bynum and all it took was the Lake Show flexing that superior size to dominate the paint.
But that is what you expect these guys to do every time out against the Hornets. What made the biggest difference was the hustle. No second chance points for NO meant more possessions for the Lakers on offense.
That’s just simple math. Toss in a little common sense , sprinkle in a touch of effort and you have a winning gameplan.
You know CP3 is going to get his. He didn’t drop another Oscar Robertson but 20 and 12 is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, those are the kinds of stats that usually net wins. Again, all it took was effort. The Lakers made Paul work much harder, forcing him to give up the rock early then look for his shot late.
Trevor Ariza is clearly out to prove something in this series. He had another great game dropping 22 yet that still isn’t enough when the Lake Show has balance up and down the box score.
Kobe led the way with 19 on only 13 shots. He was one of 6 Lakers in double figures.
And all it took was just trying a little harder.
I hate to keep beating this dead horse. All season long we’ve seen this broken record skip. Perhaps they just thrive on drama. Problem is when the Lakers finally show up there really isn’t much drama at all. Let’s hope they do us all a favor and spare the false drama of a Game 7. That would just be a big letdown for anyone expecting to see a competitive game.