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Los Angeles Lakers Prove Once Again They Are Not Tough Enough

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04:  Ron Artest #96 of the Houston Rockets is knocked back by Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 4, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Bare KnucksAnalyst IMay 6, 2009

I know it was only one game, but the other night’s Rockets/Lakers game showed that the Lakers have not changed a thing from last year.

The Lakers lost to the Celtics last year for one reason and one reason only—lack of toughness. That is also why they lost to the Rockets last night.

Going into last night the Lakers were averaging 106.6 points in the playoffs. The Rockets held them to only 92 points. The Rockets were physical with the Lakers all night long and you could see the Lakers players were visibly frustrated. The Lakers started to become tentative to bang down low so they started to jack up three after three. They shot 17 threes in all and made only two of them. That is 11 percent if you were wondering.

You can not win ball games with numbers like that. It was not just physical toughness either—the Rockets were mentally tougher last night as well. Every time the Lakers made a run, Rockets had an answer. The Lakers took one point leads three times in the game and on average those leads lasted only 14 seconds. It also needs to be pointed out that the Lakers were at home and all this still occurred.

The answer in the offseason by most experts seemed to be Andrew Bynum. All I heard was next year will be different with Bynum. Well last night they had Bynum and all last night showed was that he is still favoring that knee. That does not sound too tough to me. Chuck Hayes even forced Bynum five feet off the block and Bynum fired up an air ball hook shot.

Chuck Hayes is 6 inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter then Bynum. That is embarrassing. [Read more...]

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