This past week or so has been more frustrating than I could have anticipated. Going from 17-1 and a chance to catch the #1 seed to losing five in a row for the first time since March 2007 and fighting to keep the #2 seed. Even though you wouldn’t think it, I’m the last person to panic about the Lakers however. Whether it is because I’m prone to making excuses for them or because I have unwavering faith in their abilities and understand how they operate, I rarely worry until the playoffs.
Everyone seems to forget the end of last season. The Lakers closed on such a dismal run that it was a legitimate concern that they could lose to the Thunder in the first round. The didn’t fully get out of their funk until the end of the series either.
I don’t need to sit here and remind anyone how last year turned out, which is the funny part. It’s easy to recall the good memories but the tough road that led to that point often lies forgotten… call it selective memory. The 2009-2010 Lakers finished 57-25, and the current incarnation of the team is sitting at 55-25, so it’s not like they are far off the mark.
Like I said, I’m very frustrated by the Lakers. They are obviously looking ahead to their “second season” next weekend instead of taking care of business now. To be quite honest, I don’t care as much about seeding as some. I know that they can and will obliterate any team in their path once the stakes are higher. It is a veteran team’s curse to know how much and when they can afford to slack off, so to speak.
I’m not saying that Los Angeles hasn’t been trying at least some of the time… but they let a winnable game escape their grasp last night by making rookie mistakes. One turnover in three quarters of play ballooned to nine in the fourth quarter alone, and that is why they lost. The Lakers made too many mistakes down the stretch.