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I Found the Problem: The Mavs were Better

I am sick. The Lakers of this era have always been a bit frustrating. They are the most talented team I have watched. Yet, they have lacked effort and focus at times.

They went seven games with the depleted Houston Rockets in 2009.

They got surprised by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2010.

They lost game one to the New Orleans Hornets.

They blew a 16 point lead to lose game one to Dallas.

They have lacked  focus. They have lacked consistency. It has cost them many games.

Not last night.

It wasn’t the case last night. The Lakers didn’t lack effort. The Lakers didn’t look bored. The Lakers didn’t look disinterested.

The Lakers looked beaten.

That is what made this game so hard to swallow.

Dirk was Dirk. I can never believe that the one-footed fade aways that guy shoots find the bottom of the net. But they do and they always have with consistency.

Tyson Chandler played great defense in the second half. The Lakers turned the ball over and shot dismally. Steve Blake was a nightmare. Pau Gasol was getting booed on his home court (leave it to Laker fans. He single-handedly saved the era). JJ Barea looked like he was John Stockton out there. Ron Artest was punching guys with 25 seconds left because he seemed to want next game off.

Last night, the Lakers wanted to win. They just got beat by a better basketball team.

Lakers fans, we have a problem. 

This is what makes Game 1 so angering. There are going to be games like this one. There are going to be times when everything goes wrong. There are going to be games where a team can’t get it together. There are going to be games where great teams dismantle other great teams. The best teams have them.

Champions, though, win the other games. They win home games when they’re up 16 points. They don’t spot great teams a 1-0 lead. When the Lakers did that, they may just have forfeited their hopes for a championship. Game 2 is where we all noticed the trouble they were in. It was Game 1, however, that sunk them.

Isn’t that a great picture for life? The moments we think don’t matter have great significance. The only thing we get is the present, but sometimes we self-sabotage, thinking we can pull things together in the future.

Could a miracle happen? Sure. The Lakers have pulled off miracles in the past. They have history’s best coach and a great cast of talent. Will a miracle happen? Probably not. They have no margin for error. They have to be perfect.

I’m afraid “The Final Stand” is about to end in the second round. The Lakers have no one to blame but themselves.

So I’m sick.

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