It’s over for the Lakers. It’s over and what’s even more daunting is that the Lakers’ abrupt end at a bid for a third-straight title ended just as catastrophic as their journey began on the parquet floor of the Boston Garden.
In all of Phil Jackson’s time coaching, coaxing and motivating his players, all he ever wanted them to accomplish, besides winning, was living in the moment—to be present in each and every moment and not just when things were going their way.
Nothing ever seems to go your way when you’re on the wrong side of a sweep.
For the majority of the game the Lakers had one foot in Dallas and the other in their preferred vacation destination. It must’ve been difficult to watch Jason Terry shoot them out of the playoffs or Peja Stojakovic shoot himself back into the greatest-shooter-of-this-decade discussion. Times sure got tough in the Mavericks 122-86 point defeat of the Lakers. And when times got even tougher, when Dirk Nowitzki established his shot was going to continue to fall and J.J. Barea worked effortlessly to unravel the seams of the Lakers defense, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum decided neither of their feet belonged on the maple-bleached floor of the American Airlines Center.
Odom and Bynum took themselves out of the game physically, though they had already mentally checked out long before opening tip. They did so in the most embarrassing, un-impressive and egregious of ways imaginable.
In short the Lakers were just plain bad. No one, not Kobe Bryant, not Phil Jackson and certainly not the rest of the players deserves to be excluded from the list of who’s to blame for the Lakers early playoff exit.
Next: Lakers never regained that championship edge they had
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