No disrespect to the Jazz and Jerry Sloan, but allowing a team that is playing without two of their best players to hang as uncomfortably close as the Lakers did in both Game 1 and 2 is unacceptable, plain and simple. After the opener last Sunday, I did my best to give our bench a splash of positive reinforcement, but I have no problem admitting that it gets rather painful to watch them play sometimes and their discombobulated style makes absolutely no guarantees about our return to the NBA Finals.
Nothing about this series has been impressive from either team. The first two contests basically played out how I thought they would. We’ve been owning points in the paint (118-100), pounding them on the glass (101-78), shooting a high percentage (54%) given our huge advantage in the post, and playing solid defense (42% shooting by Jazz). Part for part, we’re doing everything we should be doing except…playing with a killer instinct.
For whatever reason, neither Phil, Kobe, or Derek can keep the team focused when we go up by 14-16 points. Instead of inflicting merciless destruction on the Jazz, we go into what is now our patented “lull” and allow Utah’s second unit nonetheless, to scratch and claw their way back into the game. Frankly, our lack of enforcement upon potential blowouts is really beginning to test my patience.
NEXT: Content with mediocrity.
[phpbay]Lakers, 3, “”, “”[/phpbay]