Originally Posted by All Net
You don't expect the Lakers to win the title then?
I agree with the post stating Lakers won't be able to beat the Cavs at 80%. Bynum needs to improve but he won't need to be amazing...just soild. Lamar has to play like in did in round one.
If I had to bet a paycheck, I would have to say no.
I base this on feeling that we do seem to be operating at around 80% of what we could be. From mid December, through the first part of February, this was a team on a mission, although little things started to crop up when Farmar got hurt in late December. Surprisingly, when Bynum went down, the team seemed to barely miss him. . . . for a while.
After that road trip where we beat Boston and Cleveland, the air was slowly leaking from our balloon. Lack of focus was the first symptom as no lead was safe and we even gave away some games we should have put away because of it. Then it just looked like the guys were run down.
I kept thinking they were just cruising during the dog days but the funk just got worse. When it was time to get firing on all cylinders during the last few weeks of the season, it actually got worse.
Starting out against Utah, we were pretty flat, but got the job done in a most unimpressive way.
Meanwhile, other teams like Houston, Denver and Cleveland have been playing some of their best ball of the season, peaking at the right time.
Fisher is really struggling with his shot and he needs way too much help on D lately. If his shot was falling, it might offset the other issue.
Our alternatives to Fisher are inconsistent at best. Brown has been a breath of fresh air as far as expectations go, but I don't see him ready to take a starting role. Farmar and Sasha are seemingly regressing.
Bynum is going to take more time to get back into form and he's getting rookie-like treatment from the refs with respect to fouls.
Pau looks like a shell of himself lately. He truly appears to have no gas in the tank right now.
Lamar is the only one with some fire in his eyes. He's busting his butt.
I don't know if Kobe's finger is bothering him, but his outside shot has been very fickle and he cannot drive to the hoop like he used to. The speed is not there anymore. He really has to work for his shots a lot harder than in the past.
As a team, the ball busting D we were playing earlier this season is rarely seen in recent months.
Denver and Cleveland on the other hand are playing really well together and seem as loose as a goose. Right where they want to be. This ain't your grandma's Nuggets. Cleveland has been consistently strong with very few lapses and Houston did not get the memo that explained that they were supposed to lay down for us like Utah did.
Now we lose Game 1 at home in a pretty lackluster way. Where there's smoke, there's usually fire and I smell smoke.
Painful to say it, but I'm just not getting that championship feeling right now.
Sorry to be a wet blanket, but just being honest.