Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
For whatever reason people who know better have been content to praise the Lakers for giving a noble effort during losses to superior competition this season. Accomplished men like Magic Johnson gave a tip of the hat to the Lake Show for showing improvement despite not getting the desired results at various times this year.
Shame on all of us for trying to find something to root for when we all know there is but one result worthy of praise for any Lakers team.
Moral victories will never save a man’s job in pro sports (unless Jim Buss is your boss I guess) and even if that were the case these Lakers are out of the moral victory business at this point. Simply put time has expired on the chemistry building portion of the season leaving only wins as the necessary outcome.
Today when the ball is tipped and the Lakers do battle with Oklahoma City there can be only one result that will suffice. Forget about anything else. Nothing good can come from a loss of any kind no matter how closely contested the game is.
Something else I’ve heard entirely too much of is the supposed close vicinity the Lakers find themselves to landing a playoff spot. Sure, the standing will show the Lakers only three back in the loss column but do yourself a favor and crunch a few numbers. If the teams in front of the Lakers play .500 ball from here out and the Lakers can’t string together at least 8+ victories in a row at some point then it becomes obvious how and when this lost season will end.
Reality is staring us in the face and we can longer play the waiting game. Waiting for Steve Nash to return has done nothing to turn the tide. Waiting for Mike D’Antoni’s system to take shape has proven a fruitless cause. Waiting for this team to click is an existential exercise.
Wins and only wins will be acceptable.
If the Lakers can conjure up some sense of pride and play up against OKC then we’ll know there is at least the pulse of a champion still beating. However if in the end they’re still on the wrong side of the final score then nothing will be gained.
The time for winning is here. Time to forget about moral victories. Those should have never been a point of pride in the first place and is big reason why we find a talented team sputtering to make a respectable showing each time they play.