March is almost over. The Madness is nearing its end. With that the last of basketball’s one-and-done style tournaments is coming to a conclusion. From here out the only way to win a hoops title will be to do so by repeatedly proving dominance in a best of seven series.
On any given night the Los Angeles Lakers can compete with and defeat any NBA team. As Kobe Bryant will remind you of whenever he open his mouth these days, the Lake Show still has the league’s best leading man and it’s best low-post combo. With the addition of Ramon Sessions the Lakers are suddenly a reinvented team capable of making life miserable for any hoops team on the planet.
Problem is the Lakers’ lack of depth, have a sudden disinterest in playing defense and suffer from inconsistent coaching which makes for a recipe sure to spoil in any seven game series no matter the opposition.
We saw what happened with last year’s Lake Show when they faced the eventual NBA champion. That series was more unwatchable than a Nick Cage flick.
What do you think is going to happen this time around if L.A. meets OKC in the postseason? Never mind the Thunder though. That could be a Western Finals meeting. To get there the Lakers could face Memphis first which could setup a one-and-done scenario.
Kobe will scoff at the notion that his team can’t compete. You’d expect nothing less of a 5-time champion. The day KB24 starts doubting his title chances will be the moment he walks away from the game. Can’t fault Kobe for looking at the glass as half full.
However for those of us on the outside looking in, we see the big picture. In the grand scheme of things the Lakers have proven little this season. There have been the brief moments of brilliance. But those momentum building wins over Boston, Dallas and Miami were usually followed by soul crushing losses to Detroit and Washington.
In years past the Lakers relied on their ability to “flip the switch” when the time was appropriate. Last season they bumbled in the dark never to find that switch. This time around they don’t even know in which room that switch is located. I’m guessing the only flipping we’ll see is the bird from Andrew Bynum when he’s ejected in the final game of whatever series the Lakers are eliminated from in the playoffs again.