Tuesday, February 1, 2011
RETURN OF THE WITCH
I was deep into a couple of epic rambles when losses killed my flow - sometimes the whimsy just don’t fit. It’s beginning to feel like an endless tape loop - pressers, posts and Slava-centric journals present rational explanations, all mentioning the same old switches and the regular season versus playoffs. Except, that a pattern of something less than excellence develops and that’s not what you want from a championship team, not matter how you try and spin it.
The loss to Sacramento was a classic Lakers head-scratcher, our onetime cow-town rivals were 10 & 33 coming into the game and thoroughly dominated in the paint - rookie center DeMarcus Cousins and backup power forward Sam Dalembert combined for 45 points - Bynum, Pau and Odom had only 25. The loss to Boston felt worse. I’ve never much liked Sunday afternoon games for the Lakers, they’re often too entrenched in patio brunch mode. Still, they had a chance in the 4th (due primarily to Kobe’s 41 points) and ran into an invisible wall when it came time to step up. Archon on an FB&G thread mentioned that Pau seems to have aged 6-7 years lately in some inexplicable Quantum Leap. Seems logical to me.
Coach Jackson describes repetitive actions in "The Last Season"; the necessity of going through a physical routine seven times before it ingrains into muscle memory, the fact that most players need a couple years to grasp the triangle’s complexities. This year’s starting lineup has an aggregate of 28 years in the system. With losses stacking up are we really concerned about the X’s & O’s or is it as simple as a lack of purpose and effort?
Sometimes you just have to look at what’s most obvious and tangible. The team’s playing like crap, they’re pod people, replicants, something you hide in a closet for a rainy day and foist on an unsuspecting public. Haha, very funny; I want my team back now? Phil doesn’t seem overly concerned and neither do key members of the squad - Derek Fisher says he isn’t "getting bunkered on ups and downs" and Odom’s preaching calm and patience. Somebody’s concerned though, Mitch Kupchak doesn’t like the way the team’s playing and says he'll consider a trade if things don’t improve.
Houston comes to visit tonight. Phil joked about suicide, gallows humor for his avowed last season. Thursday brings the Spurs, in the midst of their annual rodeo road trip and I doubt there will opportunity for much levity. I don’t like writing about malaise and witchy seasons, I want to revel in a glorious 3-peat as much as anyone. So far however, it comes in tantalizing bits and pieces and I’m left with a gnawing, disquieting hunger as yet another winter storm front blows through the nation. I wouldn’t complain if the team were to discover its soul right about now.