Seeing a Lakers team swing back and forth between brilliant and boring is nothing new. We’ve seen that before so the 2012 version of the Lake Show is pretty much a rerun in many ways. Of course the last time we saw them go seven games against a (with all due respect) lesser opponent they went on to win the title. Not at all saying beating Denver 96-87 in Game 7 means they’re headed back to a parade. That’s still very doubtful.
Then again, when Pau Gasol “gets his ass in the paint” and Andrew Bynum bullies instead of pouts this team is pretty unbeatable.
Just to prove that they painted themselves into a corner by going seven games in the first place. Then in another easy close-out game they blew a 16-point lead only to bounce back to win in thrilling fashion.
Naturally Kobe Bryant hit the shot that ultimately sealed the deal. Who else was going to provide the Hollywood ending to this melodrama? Justin Timberlake? Wrong. The Backstreet Boy or whatever he was backed out before the final whistle.
Then again you don’t need to watch every last second to know that when two seven footers just fall short of putting up two 20-20 games, you’ve got to try damned hard to lose.
The Spaniard bounced back from the worst night of his playoff career with a 23, 17 and 6 night. That’s a game that would be a career night for most folks. Can’t expect Gasol to have this kind of line every night. But is it asking too much to at least try?
Same for Bynum. He wasn’t great but by giving it the old high school try he messed around and went for 16 and 18 with ease. Oops…I should try and not use the easy button when talking about anything Bynum related.
It’s is admittedly unfair to say this one went L.A.’s way because of the bigs alone.
Steve Blake would take offense to that. Metta World Peace would be downright defensive of the opinion that his performance highly affected the outcome.
Blake had his best game as a Laker. Stevie Ballgame dropped 19 with 5 of 6 from deep.
World Peace was a defensive nightmare making Danilo Gallinari a waste of space. Metta also provided some offense with 15 points, the type of production you need from the small forward position…especially when you’ve got Kevin Durant to deal with next.
And just to bring this back to where every Laker conversation starts, Kobe played the role of provider dishing out 8 dimes. Andre Miller said the Nuggets dared Kobe to trust his teammates. Denver’s double-team only gifted open looks to L.A. and they made George Karl pay dearly. It cost the Mile High city any more pro hoops until October.
The real kicker is that it took all this effort just to get to Oklahoma City.
Hey, it’s the playoffs and every team left standing still has a chance at the chip. Bring on OKC!
I’ll take this kind of effort any night even in an L. Yeah, I said it. I’d rather be proud of a hard-fought loss than apologetic for a win…well…not exactly. I’ll take any kind of win. Here’s to getting at least four more this year no matter how many tries it takes.