What's up to all my die-hard Laker fans out there who are just as disgusted as I am on this Easter Sunday. First of all, I have made several observations of the Lakers during this season and now in the playoffs, and what I have seen is quite disturbing. As much as I would like to think that somehow Kobe and Co. will just magically make a run through the playoffs, and end up winning the title to culminate Phil Jackson's last year coaching with a three-peat, but I just can't see it right now. The first four games of this series should not have been this much of a struggle for the two-time champions. They look old. They look slow. They look soft. They look confused at times. They definitely do not look like a dominant team anymore.
Everyone knows how talented the Lakers are and how they have one of the biggest front court tandems in the league in Bynum and Gasol. They have one of the greatest players in the game in Kobe Bryant. They have one of the most versatile players with a great combination of skill and athleticism in Lamar Odom. However, despite having all of those things going for them, they currently find themselves in a dogfight series with the number 7 seed New Orleans Hornets. I do not buy the constant theme that the Lakers just underestimate their opponents or that they just play better when their backs are against the wall either. I am starting to believe that the Lakers, as a whole, are not a tough team when it comes to the physical aspect of the game.
Everyone who has ever played the game of basketball has known a player who was extremely talented and full of potential, but as soon as that player got pushed around a little bit, he was just as bad as a 4th string point guard on a D-League Team's bench. Unfortunately, one of the Lakers' bigs falls precisely under this category... Pau Ga-Soft. For a 7'1 power forward, his game as of late has been anything but 'power'. Of course his numbers were a little bit better than the first few games where he started off averaging a dreadful 8 points a game, but when the game was on the line what did Pau do? First he bumbled up a pass from Kobe that would've resulted in a easy dunk or layup, and then soon afterwards when he had the opportunity to convert a 3-point play in the closing minutes, he bricks the extra point. To make matters worse, our newly crowned 6th man of the year didn't bring his A-game either totalling 6 points for the entire game.
Maybe the Lakers are just tired of winning. Maybe they don't wanna play rough with all these guys who are out there getting sweaty and yelling whenever they dunk the basketball. Maybe they want to be able to say, " Gee wiz, at least we won two years in a row! What else do you all want from us?" Maybe ol' Father Time is knocking on the door of this Lakers Dynasty and the end is closer than we all think. Or maybe we just have too much faith in a team who has won championships to the point that they no longer have the hunger to go on the grueling task of getting 14 more wins and hoisting the Larry O'Brian trophy all over again. Maybe this is just the end of the road. Or maybe they just need to realize that none of these teams are going to give them that championship... they have to go out there and take it... BY FORCE!!