“If you want to make history, you have to do historic things.” – Kobe Bryant
The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in the basketball equivalent of the black hole. Down three games to none against the Dallas Mavericks going into a win or go home Game 4 in the Big D on Sunday afternoon, the Lakers have no choice but to try and do something that has never been done before in the storied history of the NBA. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series.
Kobe’s quote seems to fit into the Hollywood drama that comes with being on the Lakers or being a Lakers fan, and so does the idea of the Lakers making history by winning this series. The plot is set – Lakers down 3-0 to the Mavs’, the defending champions are on the brink of being dethroned, team in turmoil, and legendary coach Phil Jackson’s final stand.
If there is one team in the history of the NBA who has the talent, moxie, and ability to shock the world, it’s these Lakers. Like records are made to be broken, history is made to be rewritten, but not without some help. In order for the purple and gold to continue their dynastic run to a three-peat, they are going to need to adopt some traits from other Lakers players, both past and present.
1. Basketball IQ – Jerry West
Jerry West is forever immortalized in NBA lore as “The Logo”. West was not the most athletic player, however, but rather possessed a greater understanding of the game of basketball than most of his fellow players. The figure on the NBA logo is not one that shows someone flying through the air for a spectacular dunk, but simply encapsulates a cross-over dribble, or a blow-by. West was always one step ahead of his defender, or who he was defending, like that kid in class who would always answer questions first, and be the first to tell you that your answers were wrong.
These Lakers have not been using the great basketball IQ they possess, especially late in games. The fourth quarter meltdowns on both offense and defense, have been mainly because of a simple basketball concept: execution; or for the Lakers, a lack of execution. The purple and gold have some of the smartest basketball players in the NBA today, but they need to exercise that quality, and no time is better than now.
Next: Magic Man