The Los Angeles Lakers get demolished on the road in Game 1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder 119-90. This game can be summed up in one word.
Yes, the lost was so bad that I had to invent a new word in the English vocabulary to
capture the full essence of how the Lakeshow were basically man-handled.
Kobe Bryant showed up last night, not the Black Mamba who could impose his will on almost any game, not that it would have mattered last night, because the rest of his teammates didn’t come to play as well.
Bryant finished the game with 20 points, while Andrew Bynum actually had a decent night with 20 points and 14 rebounds. But here’s the thing, the Lakers need close to 30 points and 15 boards from him nightly, if they really want to beat the Thunder. And Pau Gasol keeps having these low-impact type of games during the worst time of the year. A 10 points and 7 rebounds out-put will not get it done in this series. There’s no way around it.
Metta World Peace had a solid outing (12 points), but he did not leave his defensive imprint on this game. Although he started off hot (while playing the booed villain in OKC), he cooled off quickly, and eventually became an innocent bystander forced to watch the beat-down unfold.
Sure, the Laker organization has had some unfortunate Game 1 experiences to forget,the most infamous being the “Memorial Day Massacre” in 1985, in which they lost to the Boston Celtics 148-114 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Lakers would eventually go on to win that series in six games, but here’s the reality, that team was filled with Hall-of-Famers and All-Stars, while this team has one sure-fire Hall-of-Famer, and a couple of All-Stars. No comparison at all!
Bryant and his two sidekicks (notice I left out the anemic bench), must play at an elevated level, or the second round of their playoffs will be done in a week, Ala 2011. They can make all the game plan adjustments they want, but they need to find that “heart of a champion” to compete, before this series becomes extinct.
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Written by Arthur Kai