- The Season's Over -

Postcards From LA, Vol. 3: One Fan Tracks His Lakers Through the 2009 NBA Playoffs

May 11, 2009


By: Christopher Thell

I was trying to fathom what kind of personal job performance would be equivalent to the Lakers atrocious play in their 99-87 Game 4 loss to the Yao-less Houston Rockets on Sunday afternoon.

This is a fun game that fine readers such as yourself can play along with at home. If you were going to give the kind of performance at your place of employment that the Lakers did on Sunday against the Rockets, what would it look like?

For me, it would be roughly equivalent to showing up to work two hours late, grossly hungover and still wearing the same clothes I was donning the day before (but now reeking of Don Julio), and then proceeding to carefully roll and spark a huge blunt which I smoke until I pass out underneath my desk, not awakening until 4:45pm; at which time I furiously send out two dozen emails before heading back to the bar at 5pm sharp (and yes, I’m talking directly to you in that last sentence, Mr. Pau “18 points in the meaningless 4th quarter” Gasol).

The thing is, regardless of your current occupation, I’m guessing that if you performed like the Lakers played on Sunday, you’d be fired.

Really. It was that bad. The Lakers were outrebounded 43-37 by a team starting a 6’6” center and allowed Aaron Brooks (34) and Battier (23) to both notch career-playoff highs in points.

The play of the game that epitomized the Lakers evening occurred at the end of the 3rd quarter when, with seven-tenths of a second left, Ron Artest inbounded a perfect lob to Aaron Brooks for a lay-up over Jordan Farmar, who was caught asleep on the play. Brooks basket made it 83-54 to end the 3rd quarter, the Rockets largest lead of the contest. Game effectively over.

The Lakers were basically caught sleeping from the opening tip, as the Rockets jumped out to a 29-16 first-quarter lead, led by Battier’s 12 points (3-3 from beyond the arc). The Rockets shot 55% to the Lakers 37%, and without Kobe’s 9 first-quarter points, the score would have been even uglier.

You kept expecting the Lakers to finally rouse themselves from their slumber, but with the exception of a spirited 4th quarter when things had long been decided the Lakers never looked like they wanted to be there – like they were ready for the intensity of playoff basketball.

I still can’t quite believe what I witnessed. I feel like I’m in a bit of shock, the reality of the giant egg that the Lakers laid in Game 4 not fully registering yet. As Denver and Cleveland play dominating basketball while cruising to 3-0 series leads, The Lake Show is getting its ass kicked by the Rockets’ JV team.

What the fuck?

In the last installment of this series I had questioned whether or not the Lakers possessed championship balls, but after this disturbing loss, the more pressing question is this:

Do the Purple and Gold have any heart?

More Postcards From LA:
- Volume One
- Volume Two

The popular Postcards From LA series is back for a 2009 Lakers run at the NBA Championship. As long as the Los Angeles Lakers survive through the 2009 NBA playoffs, Empty the Bench’s West Coast correspondent Christopher Thell will be submitting a local fan’s take on his beloved Lakers’ postseason trials, tribulations and successes.

3 Comments »Posted by ETB Contributor on May. 11, 2009 at 6:00 am in NBA

3 Responses

Do the Lakers know its Playoff time? What an embarrasing loss. Not just the outcome, but the way they approached and played the game. They seem lethargic, having a very bumpy ride in the second round.

Posted by: r.i.p_petrovic on May 11th, 2009 at 9:16 am

f*ck! that was disgusting. i couldn’t even watch the 2nd half…

Posted by: Dub City on May 11th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

There is abundant blame to go around and you could write about any starter or any reserve in the most disparaging way and be correct, but I will comment on Mr Andrew Bynum. What is most disturbing is that this Laker’s team had the talent and potential to cakewalk to the finals, where there could have been an amazing finals matchup of epic proportions between the Cavs and Lakers. I saw Bynum play on the road against the T-Wolves just days before he suffered his knee injury. He was a DOMINANT force who looked absolutely unstoppable. He scored at will and rebounded at will against a then-healthy Al Jefferson. That day, it looked like the Lakers were the clear favorite to win the NBA title.

Now, Bynum looks EXACTLY like he did as a rookie – tentative with one stupid foul after another and then one hang-dog look after each missed shot and stupid foul until he goes and sits on the bench and mopes some more. He should have had an opportunity to TOTALLY dominate the midget-version Rockets on Sunday, but he has regressed all the way back to his first months in the league.

The Lakers will win Tuesday, and may advance to the Western Conference Finals, but they now have ZERO chance of an NBA title. And as Jeff Van Gundy (who rarely says anything insightful) correctly says about Bynum apologists who cite his youth, “If he’s old enough to cash the big checks, then he’s old enough to contribute”.

Posted by: gurf morlix on May 11th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

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