If the Los Angeles Lakers want to achieve the same type of greatness that North Carolina did during the NCAA Tournament, they are going to have to get their act together. In the first game of their 2009 playoff run, the Lakers defeated the Jazz 113-100, only covering the 12 point spread by one point.
With a 22 point lead at the half, the Lakers showed a total disregard for the point spread, allowing the Jazz to outscore them 33-24 in the third quarter. Thankfully Kobe Bryant bailed out his teammates with an outstanding fourth quarter performance.
The game came down to the final 10 seconds giving Laker bettors heart attacks. After Deron Williams hit a lay up denying the 18,997 fans in attendance two free tacos, Lamar Odom carelessly had the ball stolen by Kyle Korver of all people. Only down by 13, the Jazz had an opportunity to cover. Thankfully Williams, who had already ruined the night, attempted a three point shot that missed, rather than going for an uncontested layup that would have covered the game for the Jazz.
The spread for game two has opened up at 11.5 in favor of the Lakers. During the NCAA Tournament last month the North Carolina Tar Heels covered the spread in all six games. The efforts of all players not named Kobe Bryant during the second half on Sunday night indicates that the Lakers will not even come close to achieving this feat.
With a struggling economy Lakers fans and bettors deserve more from this 75 million dollar team. At the very least two free tacos.