The Lakers have been out hustled, out rebounded, out prepared, and most of all, the Lakers have not been mentally prepared for this series.
If someone sat down and really thought about it, it would actually make perfect sense why the Lakers are playing so timid.
It's because this Laker team was designed to fit around Kobe.
Now lets not rag of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, and Derek Fisher, I mean without them this team is obviously nothing.
Whats wrong with this picture though?
Whats wrong is: no one on this Laker team has the "kahunas" to stand up to Kobe and no one has the "killer instinct" that can take over a game when the team isn't doing well.
I guess it's ironic that I am writing this article just after Kobe went ballistic on the Celtics by himself during the second half.
I'm guessing that last nights game is still fresh in your memory so lets go back in time and take a look at what happened.
At the beginning of the second half, the Lakers were down six at half and everyone could see that "look" in Kobe's eye that, this half was going to be the "Kobe Show."
Right off the bat Kobe started to take over the game.
One shot after another the ball hit nothing but net.
The Celtics could do nothing but continue to return punch for punch, and they did.
When I said Kobe took over the game, I literally meant that Kobe took over the game BY HIMSELF.
Where was Gasol, Artest, Bynum, Fisher?
Oh, they were sitting back watching Kobe do his "thing."
This is the biggest problem the Lakers have.
Not rebounding, shooting free-throws, and defense, it is the Lakers lack of mental toughness.
Like I said it's not the other players fault.
It's merely Kobe's.
Everyone knew that when the Lakers had a weak minded, super star calibur Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, a star, also weak minded, and Ron Artest, a freak on the floor, but a puppet controlled by Kobe, that this team's performance would be based on what Kobe did on the floor.
When Kobe wanted Pau and Bynum to get touches, this team never lost.
When Kobe lost trust in his team and scored forty, this team usually lost.
Now I'm not saying that there aren't games when Kobe needs to take over, because every super star must face that challenge in many games, but Kobe has bad timing when it comes to this aspect of the game.
In last nights loss to the Celtics, Kobe obviously took over the game. He couldn't miss. The problem was, his team mates could not get a stop on the other side of the floor.
So in a sense Kobe was just preventing a blow out, not pursuing a much needed victory.
Why does Kobe have to be the only superstar to always be surrounded by weak minded players?
Even dating back to the Shaq-Kobe team.
This is why Kobe will never learn.
He can't stand having another strong willed player on his team.
Kobe truly believes that if someone is strong willed, that player will get in his way.
Why can't he just accept the fact that he needs help.
Just look at Jordan, Magic, Bird, they all learned to accept the mere fact that they need more than skilled players to win games and championships, they knew that they needed strong minded players that can help the team win basketball games.
Kobe needs to understand that no one man can beat a team.
This may be cliche but it could not be any more true.
I'm not saying that the Lakers would have won last night if Kobe got his team more involved, but I am saying that it could have been a better game.
Heading back to LA and the Staples Center, the Lakers now must face two opponents, the determined Celtics, and themselves.
Because Kobe surrounded himself with a weak team, he must now deal with discouraged and scared Laker team mates'.
This is why Kobe should had got at least someone like Gasol involved.
If Pau could have got some baskets and got himself going, he would have at least had some confidence going into game 6, now I'm not sure what he is going to think.
Even someone like Bynum should have played more merely to get rebounds and get touches on the offensive floor, but no.
Kobe now has lost trust in his team and we all know what this means.
1 vs. 5 basketball here we come.
And guess whose fault it is?
Honestly I can't say it is all Kobe's fault.
In fact I am going to leave this answer to you guys.
Who's fault do you think this is?
Or the Lakers?
The answer lies in your minds, think really hard and come up with your own answer to this underlying problem.
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