Yes, to those who are wondering, this is a picture of last year's championship team.
Man, I miss them, especially Trevor Ariza, but don't tell Ron Artest I said that.
It feels like the Lakers don't take the game seriously enough sometimes. Kobe may give a 110 percent effort every game and Pau may provide solid numbers, but the rest of the Lakers are such a mystery to me.
What motivates them?
It seems nothing does, even if it's the difference between wins and losses.
Even last year the Lakers underachieved in many eyes. I know they won the championship, but during the regular season there were some games they merely did not show up just because they were the Lakers.
Isn't that a horrible attitude?
I guarantee that if the Lakers had played hard and played smart, they would have won close to 70 games last year.
This is not the point though.
We are talking about the current Lakers team and what the future may hold for them.
Today's loss to the Phoenix Suns was another disappointment and it's getting to a point where Lakers fans are getting used to losing a couple of games.
If this Lakers team had half of the mentality of the "Showtime" Lakers team, this would have been a five-game series at the most.
Well, this is obviously not the case.
This is arguably the most talented NBA team right now. I mean, when you have Kobe (still considered a top-five player), Pau Gasol (a borderline superstar), Ron Artest (a tenacious defender and a strong leader), Derek Fisher (a classic veteran), and Andrew Bynum (a promising center), I mean, how can one deny them greatness?
The Lakers are proving everyone wrong in this aspect.
I am one of the biggest Lakers fans you will probably ever come across, but I am merely stating the obvious. This Lakers team is underachieving.
The Lakers should have beaten the Celtics two years ago and they should have won this current series. But of course, they diminished their chances of "sucking the life out" of the Suns when they had the chance.
Yes, they had a chance of sweeping the Suns, but because the Lakers decided to relax in Games Two and Three, they let the Suns regain their "heat."
I can understand the Lakers relaxing and throwing games in the regular season, but in the playoffs? Really?
I am not saying they are throwing games, what I am saying is that they refuse to take the easy way out. Instead they built another mountain that they need to climb.
The only people they have to blame are themselves. What a shame.
Now lets not give up though because I sure am not.
I still fully believe that this Lakers team can win this series and beat the Celtics next round. But let's clean this mess up first.
Here's the reason why the Lakers will clean up their own trash: The Lakers have a man named Kobe Bryant and the Phoenix Suns have Amare, two-time MVP Steve Nash, and their solid bench players consisting of rising star Goron Dragic, a dead-eye shooter in Jared Dudley, (and though Channing Frye went a horrifying 1-14 in the first three games) Frye and Leandro Barbosa still prove to have somewhat of an effect on the game. Tonight's win obviously showed this.
Let's not take anything away from Amare or their bench. They beat this Lakers team two games in a row and I tip my hat to the Suns.
Remember now, the Lakers are 46-0 when they are up 1-0 in a series under Phil Jackson, so don't lose hope.
It is also Kobe-time now.
This is when Kobe is at his best and I truly believe that this Lakers team will adjust their horrid defense and they will overcome this speed bump on the road to another championship.
Lakers, it is time to stop fooling around and dreaming of achieving revenge next round, please take care of "your mess" first.
Otherwise, this Phoenix Suns team will continue to burn you until there isn't anything left. This is no joke or test, this is a hot-streaking Phoenix Suns team waiting to prove everybody wrong, including you, the Lakers.
“We believe in our bench.”-Alvin Gentry