Yup, our worst fears has finally come true. The Lakers waited until the playoffs to start playing the worst basketball of the year. Their lack of urgency has been the main contributing factor for them being down 0-2 to a really good Dallas Mavericks team. This is not the type of team that I think can overcome this kind of deficit to a team with a player like Dirk Nowitski. The Lakers just look like they are ready to just hang it up this year. It looks like the road to that championship trophy is just wearing them down, and they don't have the fight in them. They are without a doubt the most unmotivated team in the playoffs right now, and it shows in their play.
As a realist, I have come up with the conclusion that this current Lakers team cannot compete with the level of overall talent that most of the remaining teams in the playoffs have right now. For the last two years, this team's biggest strength has been their size. However, this year that size has become more of a liability and a weakness in some areas. The size that the Lakers have in Bynum and Gasol has been constantly exploited by quick, speedy point guards either by penetrating to the basket, or by running pick and rolls to create mismatches. This one fatal flaw, is the reason why teams all across the league no longer fear the two-time defending champs. And it also seems like the Lakers do not possess the personnel to contend the constant threat of young, athletic guards who can cause havoc by screening and rolling all night long. I mean, let's face it... they let J.J. Barerra (who is not that young in the first place) come in the game and put a seemingly close game out of reach in a 2-3 minute time span. Once again, the Lakers could not find the ability to overcome adversity when it really counted... in the 4th quarter.
Mitch Kupchac, and the Lakers front office have overlooked the importance of having a fast point guard in this triangle system, and it is now coming back to bite them in the you know what. Any team who has a fast point guard will give us problems, and it just so happens that this year's MVP happens to be one of those type of players. This series is not over yet, but that fat lady is definitely warming up her vocal cords. Tonight's showing in front of the home crowd was well deserving of all the 'Boos' that rang out. These guys don't really want to win the championship all over again, you can tell by their body language. They just want to go home and take a nap, or finish taping a reality show, or make a rap song, or watch AC Milan play soccer. From the looks of it, basketball is the furthest thing from their minds right now, and they will find out sooner than later that there is a team that is willing to take their spot at the top and be called 'champions'. Maybe this group of guys aren't appreciative enough of holding that title.
Looking forward, it looks like Charles Barkley may be right after all. It most certainly looks like the Lakers are done. It doesn't even look like Phil Jackson even cares any more. It seems like he can't even motivate his players to even TRY to play hard anymore. And when it gets to that level, you know what has to be done. It is time to rebuild in the offseason. Dwight Howard for Pau Gasol looks like a pretty good move in my opinion. If we bring in a young fast point guard along with that, it would really make a difference for Kobe in the twilight of his career. Because, from the look of things, the Lakers are in serious trouble and need help... IMMEDIATELY!