If beauty is in the eye of the beholder then only Tyrone Hill would have thought tonight’s MLK Day clash at Staples was attractive. This one was less Lakers-Mavs than it was Knicks-Heat in the 90’s.
Beautiful ball this wasn’t.
But it only takes one second of ecstasy to erase hours of pain. By now we should all be accustomed to Derek Fisher providing those magical moments but each time it happens you’re more surprised than the last.
In a game that was looking more forgettable than the third installment of The Matrix along comes D-Fish to finish off an otherwise hideous contest.
Was it a case of bad offense or was it just great defense that created a lackluster snoozer in Staples? The reality is that it was a combination of both as the Lakers and Mavs did their best to take the NBA back to the pre-shot clock era.
Only two Mavs scored in double figures while Kobe Bryant’s 40-point streak came to an abrupt Tim Tebow-esque halt with 14 on 7 of 22 shooting. After a seriously frightening 7 point third quarter it was looking like the Lake Show would collapse in the clutch yet again.
That was until Fisher got it going. Yes, D-Fish, he of 4 points per game this season dropped 9 of the Lakers’ last 15. Included in those 9 big points was a sick steal and layup, a clutch jumper from the elbow in transition…oh…and a ruthless three that ripped the heart from Dallas and sealed the deal for Los Angeles.
To quote Shaq, “Yak-Yak!”
Don’t the Mavs know better than to leave Fisher in these situations? Contrary to what Rick Reilly thinks, KB24 does pass the rock from time to time especially if he sees Dirk Nowitzki giving Fisher more room than Rosie O’Donnell at the Rio buffet in Vegas.
After the game, when asked about the latest entry in his book on clutch Fisher simply said, “This is what I do.”
We may bemoan those moments when younger, quicker guards burn Fish like an unprotected evening with Paris Hilton. Still, there is just no substitution for being cool in the clutch.
It might not have been a great game of hoops but the ending will be remembered for years to come thanks to Derek Fisher just doing what he does best.