Never mind losing three in a row, the real issue is that our highly vaunted offense is an increasingly distant memory. I don't know if it's Artest that clogs it up, or Bynum and Gasol not communicating, or Kobe taking on the world by himself — but we have to admit that the triangle is not what it used to be.
Teams seem more and more able to disrupt our offensive flow, or we just can't get into one. If what we saw today was any indication, this team isn't the baddest collection of pickup players around. If we just play "whatever" ball, with no scheme, then we're going to get beat.
The ABC-TV crew is really hard to listen to but they made one good point today: Without the 20 turnovers the Magic would have blown the Lakers off the court. This was an easy 110-95 kind of game, but Orlando's bumbling kept us in it.
I don't see us taking down either Cleveland or Orlando, and maybe not even Boston if we manage to get out of the West. That said, I think both Dallas and Denver will beat the Lakers if we continue to play this way. The Lakers might not even have home court throughout the conference playoffs.
The Lakers "aura" is gone now. Everybody knows that they have a chance to win. There won't be any "deer in the headlights" teams this year. We used to win some playoff series before they even began, when there was no hope on the other side. We may still have the best record but, in reality, we're just another contender in the West. It's going to be a monster task just to get to the finals. If we do, what might we have left in the tank?
Fisher looked decent today and Kobe is Kobe. Other than that, WHO IS PLAYING AT PLAYOFF LEVEL???
Jackson has 18 games to figure something out, to get them ready.