Lakers don’t make it interesting

Even with Coach Phil Jackson and MVP Kobe Bryant, the team that was favored going into the Finals lets itself get steamrolled by Celtics. The difference between the champs and chumps is striking.

  • Pin It


If Phil Jackson is supposed to be the best coach in the NBA, then how come he didn't send Vladimir Radmanovic off to another continent to do some snowboarding this last week?

Some strategist.

It's over, all right, the Celtics champs with an exclamation point – Jackson outcoached, the Lakers outplayed, and as a group, your God-like heroes blew it.

They are an embarrassment. They went into the NBA Finals favored, the Celtics suffering injuries to several of their starters along the way, and still the Lakers could not measure up.

The Lakers had a 24-point lead at home, the best coach and player on their side, and they gagged.

Their greatest claim in the NBA Finals is the fact the Celtics didn't clinch the title in Staples Center, the Lakers' closing mantra: "Not in our house," and how pitiful is that?

They should have been going to Boston in Games 6 and 7 with the chance to win one game and win it all, but instead they only proved they aren't anywhere as good as the Celtics and certainly nowhere near as tough.

Those with purple blinders on, of course, will say, "good for the Lakers, it was a fine year and they overachieved."

Balderdash. If you want to go back to July, OK, but this is a team that had the good fortune to add Derek Fisher to its roster and later the highway robbery that is Pau Gasol.

They lost Andrew Bynum, and maybe there are better days ahead if Gasol and Lamar Odom ever track down the Wizard of Oz and acquire some courage and heart.

But even without Bynum, the Lakers still had their big three, including the MVP, and most everyone saying they were the team to beat. And then they whipped themselves.

They were one of two teams left standing with the chance to win it all, Jackson in position to pass Red Auerbach, and Kobe Bryant in position to have his preseason tantrum answered, and they blew a 24-point lead.

How can anyone be the very best, and explain that blunder?

The Celtics played this series like every possession meant something – even when down by 24, Kevin Garnett as intense as Bryant, Paul Pierce just as good and Doc Rivers schooling the Zen Master.

The Lakers underachieved when it counted the most, Odom, Fisher and Radmanovic going belly up in the first half of Game 6, a contest the Lakers had to win.

They even had the referees on their side at the start, five years from now maybe everyone learning the league really wanted a Game 7, but even that wasn't enough to help these quitters.

They got steamrolled, everyone across America sitting in front of their TVs hoping for drama, and the Lakers acting as if they can't wait to go home, trailing by 26 with nine minutes left in the third quarter.

The difference between the champs and chumps was striking, the Celtics up by 27 points with a pair of ex-Clippers playing for them, and then by 38 in the fourth – until Odom exploded for a free throw.

Make all the excuses you want, and Lakers fans will, but the Lakers lacked the competitive drive the Celtics exhibited from start to finish in this series.

  • Pin It