No matter what the final outcome of this season will be for the Los Angeles Lakers they did right by dealing away Derek Fisher and acquiring Ramon Sessions. Let’s not even argue that point any longer. Even with Fisher the Lake Show was swept out of the playoffs last year so should history repeat itself with Sessions then it’s just maintaining the status quo.
Sessions is a clear upgrade over Fisher. We saw that with some of his performances during the regular season when Sessions did the unthinkable by posting a couple of 20 and 10 games. We’ve also seen Sessions completely crushed under the pressure of the playoffs.
Now nobody ever expected the arrival of Ramon Sessions to suddenly turn the tide for the Lakers. He gave the offense a new dimension but as a defender is average at best and, let’s be honest, acquiring a new point guard did nothing to help the Lakers and their depth issues.
Sessions alone wasn’t the quick fix this team needed.
Now I fully understand that this is Ramon’s first taste of the NBA postseason. It’s impossible to simulate the pressure and intensity of every possession that comes with playoff basketball. So Sessions is getting a baptism by fire after being thrown into the mix with a team that has title aspirations like the Lakers. It’s easy to understand why he’s shrunk with each passing game.
What is difficult to understand is why Mike Brown isn’t making more of an effort to get Sessions more involved. It’s no secret that some of the team’s vets have requested Sessions slow it down a bit. That’s understandable because given L.A.’s two playoff opponents (Nuggets, Thunder) both thrive in the open court. The last thing you want is to get into a track meet when you’ve got a team full of competitive walkers.
Still, you can’t take away Sessions best asset (his speed) and expect him to suddenly thrive in the half-court.
Than again, maybe that’s been the problem all along. The Lakers so desperately in need of a quicker/younger point guard ignored what would be most important come playoff time. Against Denver Sessions was dropping a respectful 11 a night with 4 dimes and 3 boards. Now that the Lakers are in full on slow down mode against OKC Sessions has dropped to a pathetic 2 points, 2 boards a 1 dime averages in two games.
That’s not even Derek Fisher production. It’s certainly nothing that you’d expect of a starting point for a title contender. Smush Parker is embarrassed by Sessions’ numbers in the second round.
So is it that Sessions is just not the right fit or is he being blinded by the intensity of the playoff spotlight?
Whatever the case the answer is coming soon. Once the season ends the Lakers will have some serious decisions to make one of which is deciding on the future of Sessions. He’s slated to be a free agent and if the Lakers chose to re-sign Ramon then that means someone else has got to. As we’ve learned the Buss family isn’t so eager to pony up for the new luxury tax laws.
But all that is looking much too far down the road. Right here and right now the Lakers need a lot more out of Sessions. Whatever it takes Coach Brown should make a point to get his point guard more involved. He’s not an elite level point guard but Sessions is much better than what he’s shown thus far in this series.