Stockings, Presents, And Basketball – It’s Christmas Time In Los Angeles
Dec 8, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson watches on the bench during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Clippers 87-86. Photo via Newscom

And that brings us to the Christmas 2010. The Miami Heat. Lebron. D-Wade. No Shaq. The average ticket price for Saturday’s game is $549, up from the usual Staples mean price of $144. Jack Nicholson didn’t make the Christmas game last year. Something tells me he’ll be there this year.

After wading through copious amounts of statistics, game film and conjecture, I believe I have unraveled the secret to the Lakers’ unsuccessful Christmas day outings. At first, I thought it had something to do with Kobe moving to Orange County. You know, the long Christmas morning commute up the five, being in a different county than your children on Christmas, etc. The Palisades were so much closer.

Then, I thought it might have something to do with Phil’s Buddhism. Were the Lakers feeling the Christmas wrath as unbelievers? But Buddhists are so peaceful, it just didn’t seem plausible. Dharma bums in an ideological battle? Please.

After throwing a few other possibilities around, I finally settled on the most obvious. The greatest common denominator, if you will. Looking back at all the stats and watching the games again, one thing stood out above all the rest. Points in the paint. In all of their Christmas Day losses (even before Shaq left) the Lakers are giving up an inordinate amount of buckets inside.

Next: Keys to the Victory on Christmas 2010

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