Last night the Lakers responded like champions in Dallas. The last time we saw them in the city that Jerry built they fell flat on their faces. Last night we saw a team eager to erase that memory.
Last time we saw Pau Gasol’s name in a headline it was questioning his psyche and how it affected his play. After a physically dominant showing against the Mavericks all the headlines are praising Pau for his inspired performance.
As important as that win was in Dallas, as inspired as the effort was, as impressive as the response to all the recent drama might have been, in the end nothing has changed.
Last season’s wretched collapse in Dallas is still fresh in the memory of this Laker fan. Gasol’s complete disappearance in the playoffs will never be forgotten. The massive gulf that separated the Lakers from the world champion Mavericks of a year ago still exists, in fact it’s wider.
One win hasn’t suddenly turned Jim Buss into a qualified and competent owner. He’s still the same trust fund baby without enough business sense to put in an honest day’s work at Daddy’s office.
One win won’t suddenly make David Stern rethink his communist stance taken on the Chris Paul trade. CP3 is still busy making that other team in L.A. the more entertaining and more competitive one.
One win didn’t magically erase all the doubting and second guessing of the coaching staff. The players are still confused in their roles and unsure of the rotation.
One win can go a long way but for our purposes it only extends to how well the Lakers play in Oklahoma City tonight. Whatever positivity that came from holding on for dear life in Dallas will be gone if we see another lackluster showing against the Thunder.
We’re halfway through the season and the same questions remain unanswered. Whatever solutions might exist aren’t coming to the forefront fast enough. One great game by Derek Fisher doesn’t solve the point guard problems. Just like Steve Blake’s best game as a Laker two nights ago didn’t solve the depth issues.
This team is fatally flawed and if you doubt that then just wait until the playoffs roll around again. What we saw last year in Dallas was no fluke. That Laker team didn’t have what it took to compete with the NBA elite. So how is this year any different with an even more depleted Lake Show?
That win in Dallas was a truly inspired effort, the kind that can yield a banner. But that game in Dallas was also an aberration. We don’t normally see that Laker team on the road. Therefore expecting the stars to align that way again is foolish. If that’s what Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are banking on then they’d be advised not to watch another game this season. What we saw in Dallas was fool’s gold. Anybody who thinks differently is fooling themselves. One game will never define a season, especially when that one game was the exception and not the norm.