All Balls Don’t Bounce

Completely Random Sports Non Sequiturs From A Completely Random Hip Hop Head

Game 6 Editorial

Posted by hiphopmama on May 14, 2009

Lakers Rockets
LA Lakers 80, Houston 95
     Series tied 3-3

I’ve just about given up on this Lakers team. I completely concur with the Forum Blue & Gold post about the Lakers’ lack of mental toughness and inability to learn from experience. They got it exactly right. There is no telling which Lakers team is going to show up on any given night. The best you can do is assume they will alternate good and bad performances, with some allowances for an occasional good or bad streak. They have zero killer instinct, and I’m gonna go out there and invoke Softgate again now. Let me tell you why.

Pau has gone all wet noodle on us. Remember that toughness he showed in the Christmas Day win over the Celtics? Remember how gritty he looked late in the fourth quarter, coming up with key defensive players and refusing to back down to the Boston attempts to punk him? Yeah, that’s all gone. Now, instead of fighting back, he hangs his head, flails his arms, and shrugs his shoulders. Instead of banging with the best of them, he looks timid on the boards. Instead of seeking out the contact, he struggles against 6-6 Chuck Hayes and can’t figure out how to adjust his game to take advantage of his half-foot size advantage. When even the intellectual side of his game has gone, it’s time to pack it up.

It may be an unfair burden to put on one player, but it really all comes down to Pau. Kobe is the team’s clear leader and most important player, but Pau is sort of the compass of the other guys. And the ability of other teams to hang off everyone in their defense of Kobe is in large part a result of Pau’s effectiveness, or lack thereof. When he fails to deliver, it makes Kobe’s and everyone else’s jobs that much harder, and it weakens us incredibly. It has been a non-issue for much of the season, but I’m going to hazard a guess that all those excessive minutes he played when Bynum was out are catching up with him and hurting his play. When you’re tired and everything else has left you, you fall back on what you know. And toughness has never been Pau’s strong suit. You could argue that this Rockets team is just be a tough match-up for him, but I don’t quite buy that either, because he has faced a variety of different players, most of them no more than seventh- or eighth-man caliber, and he has been unable to take advantage of any of them. 

Not that the team as a whole has been much better, but the lack of a legitimate one-two punch has severely hampered our efforts in the playoffs. If I wanted to see Kobe play with a bunch of amateurs, I would bring back Kwame Brown and Smush Parker. They’re shelling out millions for these guys, so it would be nice to see someone other than #24 play with a bit of passion. 

That’s it, I’m done. Off to watch some Brasileirão action I have recorded. It will be nice to see some players actually trying for a change.

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3 Responses to “Game 6 Editorial”

  1. Josh said

    You know what sucks …. I completely agree and I hate to even admit it … but I really didn’t even care when they lost. When the score was 1 to 17 in the first quarter after 9 minutes of play, I didn’t get off the couch – didn’t get upset, didn’t start yelling, sweating, or freaking out. I didn’t care. I don’t care anymore. I really didn’t care about the outcome of this game … that is way sad. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a die-hard, balls to the wall, #24 tattooed on my back (not really), till the last shot LA LA fan. But they have taken the wind out of me … flattened my sails. It’s hard to root and stand behind a team that shows little to no effort in a game (or series of games) that decide the fate of the Laker nation and the outcome of the hard-fought season.

    It’s kinda like dating a skitsofrenick girlfriend named Betsy. You can stick by her and deal with it for a while, but in the end you never know which Betsy you’re going to wake up next to and it’s hard to put the same effort, love, devotion, dedication and perseverance into something day in and day out when it’s a toss up what you’re going to get back.

    I donno … I donno what to say right now. If we win on Sunday, Im not sure we have what it takes to take home the Championship anyways. I just don’t know. I hope they prove me wrong.
    I just realized that this entire comment is probably what my post should say … I guess I’ll copy and paste it.

    -me

  2. Diana said

    The worst part is that Game 7 is at 12:30 on Sunday, which is when I will be leaving for my graduation that goes until 4 or 5. So I am just going to have to ask someone afterwards who won, and the whole time I’m sitting there listening to speeches I’m just going to want a score update, but I can’t have my cell phone on me. Oh, the humanity.

  3. hiphopmama said

    Wow Diana, that is like my version of hell. I was gonna offer to text you updates until I read you couldn’t have your cell phone. You can’t smuggle it in your bra or something?? And Josh, I completely feel your pain. It’s best not to invest too much in this team because they constantly let you down. And it’s not just that they lose but HOW they lose, showing no effort and no heart whatsoever. Disgusture.

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