Has anyone seen my Lakers? You know that former championship quality basketball team from L.A.! They’ve been missing in action for quite some time now and fa/iled to show up at all for the fourth quarter of game five! Yeah, Last night they got run over by a much more aggressive, much younger Oklahoma team whose starters could all be playing for college teams. Their average age is a mere 22.4 compared to the Laker starters whose average age is 29.2! They looked a hell of a lot older than that last night as the Thunder ran circles around them from one end of the court to the other. At one point in the second half Kobe virtually had to jump out of the way of an oncoming Russell Westbrook, a move indicative of the Thunder’s powerful play and the Lakers dismal defense. Yeah, the Lakers looked pretty bad.
It was quite disappointing, not to mention embarrassing, to watch how badly the Lakers choked in the fourth quarter. Even Kobe the one ma n team looked bad in the fourth quarter. He scored 42 hard fought points but even that wasn’t enough to slow down the Thunder. They were simply unstoppable! Once they got rolling in the fourth the Lakers never had a chance to retake the lead. It was over. The look on Paul Gasol’s face said it all. He looked exhausted and like he was fighting to catch his breath through most of the final quarter. Kobe fought hard to the bitter end, and perhaps if his teammates had stepped up, it would have been close, but Kobe couldn’t win this one alone. He appeared to really want it, but the rest of the team didn’t want it badly enough. Where were they? Where was World Peace when we really needed him? You know as well as I do that if Fish hadn’t been traded he’d have been out there with Kobe giving his all for his beloved Laker team. Instead he was on the other side, the winning side. I don’t think he took much pleasure eliminating the Lakers, but he did what he had to do. I wish him well and hope he goes on to win another championship ring, he deserves it. The Lakers let him go because he was too old. Well if that’s the case they better make some big changes in the off season because there were a lot of old and tired looking Lakers on the court last night.
Now don’t get me wrong, I truly am a Laker fan, but unlike a lot of fans out there I don’t believe team is spelled “K-o-b-e.” It takes the entire team playing cohesively as a single unit to come out on top. They haven’t played like a winner in a long time. After allowing the first series to go 7 games, I told my son before game one of the Thunder series that the Lakers looked tired and that I thought they’d be eliminated in six. Ever the Laker fan and quite the optimist he disagreed and said they’d win it in six. I wish he’d been right. I really do. Oh well, there’s always next year! Wait a minute, isn’t that what we said last year?