Amazing to see such a talented team play with so little passion. Still a second season to go, but if anyone can honestly say they have great confidence in a deep playoff run at this point, I surely need a pair of those rose-tinted glasses.
As I sit here still kinda shocked at the Cav loss, it struck me that as a Laker fan, I have been so spoiled by the franchises greatness. Only a hand full of years and teams have really been that disappointing and many, many years the Lakers truelly live up to the expections we have, the last 2 as an example. We all knew they would win, never doubting it, even down 3-2 last year. You just got a sense they would win both in LA.
In the 80's, every year you knew they would play in June. It was a gimme. After Kobe and Shaq's 1st, did we ever think they would lose again? I honestly felt if they stayed healthy they would win 5 in a row. 3 was nice.
This year felt similiar didn't it? It seemed that Phil would undoubtedly go out another 3-peater. Kobe would match Jordan in so many ways. We had some bona-fide contenders out there to keep the competitive juices flowing, pretenders to our throne. Some key new faces to add hunger and drive. A year built on expectation and assurance. First 10 games or so, we knew, right?
What a shame something has happened to this team that has robbed it of any expectation except failure and really is there a real reason to expect anything else? The body language of this team and it's up/down patterns of interest, sometimes even in a quarter, do not bode well.
If this most talented Laker team in 22 years loses in anything other than the Finals it will rank up there with '04 and '84 as the most disappointing Laker teams I've seen. Most of us remember '04, Shaq's last flameout, as the Lakers, clearly the most talented team, internally imploded in the Finals, against an inferior Piston team,( regardless of K. Malone's injury). '84, again the better,much more athletic team, who was not prepared for the mental and emotional trials of playing the Celtics, gave away 2 games and lost in a heartbreaking fashion to our most hated rival. Hated so much to hear how much better Bird was than Magic. Hated so much to see M.L. Carr waving that white towel.
If the Lakers do not radically change, we are going to see and hear some bitter things this summer. Kobe will never be able to catch Jordan in the public's opinion. LeWade and Dwames will be lauded ad nauseum over him. Heaven forbid the Celtics win. They will be crowing about really being the best team for 4 years in a row without injuries. You know Pierce or Perkins will say it. If SA wins, many will say Duncan is the best player of the last 10-12 years instead of Kobe. He will have 5 rings, so there is that. Some will even say SA is the best team over that time period, too.
Well let us hope that over the last 25 games and playoffs, the Lakers can surprise us and play beyond what has become low expectations. This team with low expections? What a shame!