First off, I would like to apologize for the long delay between posts. Finals are over, and I am now home with easy access to Time Warner so I will now be better.
Now, I would like to discuss yesterdays game. I will admit that I was anticipating a blow out as I am sure most of you were as well. On the way to Staples Center my father and I were discussing even making a pool in Mike Alder’s box about how much the Lakers would lose by. I will admit that I even compared this game to the Globetrotters vs the Generals.
You may wonder why I would go to a game if I was expecting such a blood bath, but the answer is simple: tradition. For the last four years my father and I have gone to every Christmas game. Instead of eating Chinese food like most Jews, we watch the Lakers (usually) lose.
I was prepared for a 25 point spanking by the Heat. However, the Lakers came out strong and the Heat came out weak. We were playing really hard and fighting for the win. I was impressed by the Lakers and growing less impressed with the Heat.
The highlight for me was when Nick Young was lighting up LeBron James on both ends of the court. He was hitting these ridiculous Kobe-esque shots against the first team all defense player, and he was also stealing the ball from him or stopping his shots. I think we may have a new LeBron stopper on our hands. Additionally, LeBron was completely flustered. I have never seen this guy, or any player of that magnitude lose his cool and try to just keep taking shots because his ego was hurt. I would like to also point out that NIck Young is our bench player, so Mr. MVP got showed up by a 6th man who up until this year no one even knew. Next time someone brings up the “Who is better: Michael, Kobe or LeBron?” debate, I will bring up this game as an example as to why LeBron does not belong in the conversation.
Now that I have brought up the positives, I do need to talk about the negatives since we did in fact lose the game. It may come as no surprise to my regular readers that I am going to blame Mike D’Antoni.
First off, why wasn’t Nick Young taking LeBron in the second half? Nick Young controlled him in that first half and most importantly, he got our team energized on both ends of the floor. As someone who was actually at the game, I can tell you that Staples Center was going crazy when Nick and LeBron were taking each other. He closed the gap to end the second but more importantly, it was the best sequence of offense and defense we had all game. I do not understand why D’Antoni cannot do anything consistently. You should stay with what is working. Instead, he went small and put Young on Wade, but Wade ate him up and that won the game. Which brings me to my next point.
Why was Jordan Farmar in the end of the game? Farmar was having a terrible game. He ended the game with 4 turnovers but his walk/double dribble to a wide open basket was his worst offense. That turnover sealed our fate. I know that we struggle without a point guard; I even wrote about it. However, Jordan is streaky at best and yesterday he was definitely rusty. This was not the game to play him 33 minutes. Again, Mike should stick with what works, and yesterday he wasn’t working.
Now Mike D’Antoni can freak out again and tell me to root for someone else if I don’t like how he is running things, however I would like to point out that I have stuck with the Lakers for 21 years. I have stood by: good coaches, bad coaches, championships, rape allegations, etc. Mike should remember that his job is contingent upon him winning and the Lakers have never been shy about firing coaches, even those that date the owners. So, since you are neither winning games or the fans affection, I wouldn’t get too comfortable unless things sour between Jeanie and Phil.