Sunday, April 10, 2011
HONEY, WHERE'S THE SWITCH?
* The triple-post offense typically begins by creating a sideline triangle between center, corner/guard and wing/forward - a myriad of options with a premium on spacing and ball movement, creating opportunity for the open man. And sometimes, the guys just jack it up from outside while Phil studies the wood grain beneath his throne.
The Lakers lost to Denver, lost to the Jazz, lost to Golden State and then lost to Portland; a whacked-out game that saw them nearly shut out of the 3rd quarter before blitzing back on a 12-point run. Didn’t matter, they lost another ugly game out of a batch of ugly games and it’s their third four-game skid of the season, this year’s model is screwier than Mr. Toad’s wild ride.
You can love the Lakers like you love mad-mood children, harder to pin down than quicksilver. They play as bad as bad can be, prompting articles about their imminent demise and then go on a destroy-all-monsters binge, hop-scotching from belligerent to finger-dimple-cute, ‘see, we’re playing now mister’, before daring you to see what’s on the other side of the island.
* The blind pig - an automatic move to relieve pressure on the guards, quickly abandoned when Kobe dribbles the ball for 14 seconds before bricking it from three feet beyond the three-point line, thus denying the Chameleon Swan, the opportunity to miss a point-blank shot.
Denver stopped all forward motion, whether the team admitted it or not - they were on a 17 and 1 tear toward catching the Spurs for top seed and it was the only thing on their minds. That notion was consigned to the scrap heap shortly thereafter. Phil Jackson might have had another goal, home court advantage against the Bulls in a coming-together of biblical last-stand proportions. That’s now gone as well, Chicago’s six-game streak has guaranteed them HCA and how cruel a sendoff for a legendary lion if he were to be beaten where it all began?
* Arm-bar, flexing arm and holding in front of chest so that the forearm is parallel to the floor. Primarily a defensive tactic used in a variety of ways, most of them violent. Showcased to good effect by Ron Artest with the added biceps-kiss. Artest’s sweet science has been one of the few bright spots lately.
Basic wisdom would tell anyone with a rudimentary sense of roundball that the Lakers’ strength is in the inside-out game - pound it into a couple of 7-footers and add a serving of Kobe, healthy or not. Of course, that’s too simple - our zany group would rather run rampant down the hallways, trailing toilet paper and pulling fire alarms and if anyone’s looking for more salient analysis, feel free to click the links but reader beware - their knives are sharper than mine:
Elliott Teaford says the Lakers look lazy in defeat.
Mike Bresnahan calls them defenseless.
Dexter Fishmore calls it an offensive attack of profound ineptitude.
Brian Kamenetzky examines the lowlights.
Darius Soriano wonders if it's more a matter of fatigue.
I honestly don’t know what to make of this team anymore, they’re champions with a coach who’s won more than anyone and when they fall apart it’s called a lack of effort rather than a lack of potential and it makes it all the more frustrating - this is all or nothing time, a couple more games and then it's into the post-season but the malaise will go away, right? They always revert to form and sweep us off our feet in incandescent fashion - an unstoppable machine and the national sportscasters aren’t always there for the lows, they catch the marquis performances and our stars are usually dialed in at that point, someone in the wings having been at the switch until it finally fires up and it’s lights, camera, action, and the accolades flow like a snake-oil salesman. Only problem and I hate to repeat, but there’s been three four-game skids now and we’re all just rolling the dice that it doesn’t happen in a seven-game series because then we’re done, it’s over, there’s nothing here to see, folks. Curtain down.