Another loss in Houston. Rockets win 95-80.
"The panic in Lakerdom is wasted energy on this team; the fact is, they likely will show up in all their glory on Sunday. The challenge really is letting go of the expectations that will come against Denver. And beyond."
"A heartbeat was detected this time and even displayed. But it wasn’t enough on a night when the Lakers proved again that the other guys have hearts, too, and this isn’t a good time of the year to be skipping beats...They didn’t punch back until it was too late Sunday. They started swinging soon enough Thursday and still couldn’t knock out an opponent that walked into the ring with its two biggest fists tied behind its back."
(True. The Lakers played with much more energy than they did in Game 4, but they simply did not/could not execute.)
"Here’s the irony. The Lakers would have probably done the five-game thing had Yao stayed healthy. For all of Yao’s skill and for all the matchup problems he presents, dude is gentle. And, uh, it’s readily apparent that the Lakers big men are still gentle. With Yao clogging up 40 minutes/game, that leaves less minutes for the exact type of big dudes that give the Lakers problems — Outlaws. Chuck Hayes, Luis Scola, Carl Landry, Ron Artest — that’s a pack of short-stack renegades who like the taste of blood in their mouths. Lakers big men are graceful and skilled, yes; but they’re also some shy dudes....
...It’s Phil and Kobe’s fault. They are probably the two most arrogant men in the league. Every coach is beneath Phil and every player is beneath Kobe. That’s actually true, but it doesn’t matter. The product of their haughty nature is an arrogant squad that seems to think it can turn that proverbial faucet on and off."
Click on through for the rest of your Lakers Links...
" If the Lakers don't win Sunday, they will be a historic disappointment."
(This is just another bogus attempt to show that Shane Battier can "guard" Kobe. Read any of David Friedman's 20 Second Timeout articles to find out how this is simply not true.)
"At some point you have to consider the possibility that the Lakers just are who they are now, not what we thought they were.
Right now at least, they are not the dominating team that steamrolled the Western Conference and conjured up visions of 70 wins earlier this season.
Nor are they the offensive powerhouse that blasted Cleveland and Boston on their home courts back in February."
"The way this is going I'm going to have to ask the question again, although I already know the answer: THIS IS EMBARRASSING."
"The Lakers aren't vaguely that team any more. Now they're not awesome, or favorites to win the title, or assured of coming out of the West, or even getting into the West finals, for that matter."
"He has been crucified for admitting that most of his problems have been mental, rather than physical, in returning after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. And he's a key part of a Lakers mystery: Since his absence seemed to be a key reason L.A. lost to Boston in the NBA Finals last June, why hasn't his return helped the team this season?"
Here's the new Kobe/LBJ Nike Puppet Commerical to make you laugh off the frustration: