So the Lakers are down 0-2 and the haters are out in full force (as they should be), the “experts” are calling them dead in the water (a bit premature), and the weaker-minded “fans” are doing their best Chicken Little impersonation (Oh ye of little faith). I prefer to look at things in a more practical manner,:
- The Lakers have more room for improvement than Dallas has. Dallas has played up to, or pretty damn close to their full potential, and LA hasn’t and it’s not because of anything Dallas is doing either*. The Lakers haven’t been consistent in running their offensive sets to completion, and the few times that they did they were able to get easy shots inside the paint or open, makable shots on the perimeter. LA just has to trust the offense that has served them well over these past three years.
- The Lakers aren’t capitalizing on their size advantage inside, and it’s not because of any particular thing Dallas is doing defensively*. Their downfall tonight was impatience on offense, as it has been for most of the season. (Sense a trend?)
- The 3s weren’t falling…again. This is the story of the series, where the Mavs have made 3s and the Lakers haven’t. Some of them were good looks that just didn’t go down, so as long as the Lakers stay patient (again) and maintain good spacing the shots should start to fall.
- It’s a seven game series. Last I checked, a team only moves on after winning four games. I like LA’s chances of winning Games 3 & 4 in Dallas, at which point the Mavs should start to feel the pressure.
All good things must come to an end, but I don’t think this is where the Lakers end their title defense. LA’s issues are largely correctible and Dallas can’t play any better*. Can’t wait for Game 3, it should be epic.
*How do I know these things? Call it a gut feeling. I’m sure there are some advanced metrics out there that can be used to effectively declare this series as a Dallas W, but I think I’ve watched enough ball to hazard a few guesses.
You could say he was parting the Blue Sea, but that would imply the Knicks were actually playing defense.
What should you do, you ask? I’m not one to give out unsolicited advice, but since you asked:
- Lose the headband. Male Pattern Baldness has claimed many a victim, and you’re just prolonging the inevitable while looking a bit foolish. This could be your Jerry “Receding Cornrows” Rice moment, so don’t let it come to that. Get Maverick to hook it up Schick/Gillette/Old Spice/etc. Boom. The next one will cost ya.
- Ball the fuck out. There are actually people out there that think Kevin Durant has surpassed you, and Kobe, and D-Wade as the clear cut best player in The League. Um, aren’t you the reigning two-time MVP, at the age of 25? Didn’t you take a team of scrubs (check their stats) to The Finals in only your fourth year in the league, at the age of 22? Moving to Miami didn’t rob you of borderline illegal combination of physical gifts, ability, basketball IQ, and desire that made you the best player in the league for the past three years or so. Prove the Decision-fueled haters and racists wrong. Play your ass off, and win. (In the interest of full disclosure, count me among those turned off by the spectacle around, rather than the substance of, The Decision. A simple “Miami” tweet/fax/Broussard-leaked soundbite would have sufficed, in my opinion.)
- Be patient, your time is nearly here. As top-heavy as your squad is, the competition is fierce. Boston is still the deepest, most experienced, and most cohesive unit in basketball. If they stay healthy you’re not beating them this year, your squad is too little, too untested. The Lakers are the two-time defending champions, and thanks to how you spent your summer they’ve been somewhat ignored by lesser-informed souls. It’s their year. Don’t worry about it dude, remember you’re 25, time and circumstances are on your side. Leave the legacy insecurities to the bitter, nervous old men.
Give us your aged,
Your broken down veterans,
Chasing fading dreams.
New York Knicks
Slowly but surely
Rising from the ashes of
New Jersey Nets
The road to Brooklyn
Requires patient growth. Don’t
Ed signed these guys, but
Quick wings and slow bigs don’t mix.
Doug might not make it.
Who runs Canada?
Is it Dre? Is it Demar?
It’s lottery time.
Every NBA season is marked by several concurrent themes: the champions defending their turf, teams/players on the rise (see: last season’s 5 Under 25 series), aging veterans solidifying or tarnishing their reputations, etc. For the purposes of this blog’s season preview I have chosen to focus on Redemption.
Everybody loves a good comeback story – if you don’t, it might be time to consider some serious introspection – and there are several juicy ones out there that I find worthy of exposition. Over the next few weeks I hope to shine some light on these stories, big and small, in discussing the members of my 2010-11 Redemption Squad. First up will be the one and only Gilbert Arenas, representing for the point guards.
Just a short PSA: The blog is not dead, it is merely on a hiatus as real life has intervened, yet again, but I hope to be back to my sporadic posting schedule once NBA training camps re-open in the next few weeks.
Filed under: NBA, Uncategorized | Tags: better late than never, brawls, mailing it in
…somebody throws a chair. Thanks Nenad.