Let me start by saying, I'm not a Laker-hater. I'm not a huge L.A. supporter or anything, but I like Kobe Bryant. Now, I don't agree with some of the stuff he's done over the years, but I like him as a basketball player. The guy is clutch, and anyone that says or thinks otherwise is just totally ignorant.
Having said all that, what transpired today in Game 4 against the Mavericks was nothing short of flat out pathetic.
|Photo by: Raj Skalij
The whole charade reminded me of the 1991 playoff series between the two-time defending champion Detroit Pistons and an up-and-coming Chicago Bulls squad led by, you guessed it, Phil Jackson. The Bulls would go on to sweep the series and in the closing seconds of Game 4, Chuck Daly pulled his starters and they proceeded to walk off the court and into the locker room without shaking hands with the Chicago players. Instead of going out with some dignity, they walked off like a buncha toddlers throwing a hissy fit.
Now, fast-forward to today's game. It all came full-circle.
The Lakers are the two-time defending champions. This is their legendary coaches swan song season. But instead of going out and trying to salvage something out of the series, they lay down like a buncha losers and get swept all the way back to Los Angeles. Nice. I've never once thought Kobe lacked in the heart department, but the entire team played today like a squad that was just ready to call it a season and go home. So not only were they totally heartless, they were gutless as well.
Don't get me wrong, Dallas deserves loads of credit. Obviously they did some things right to win by a final score of 122-86.
Jason Terry tied a playoff record with nine 3-pointers, and the Mavs matched NBA postseason marks with eleven 3's in the first half and twenty for the game. Dallas made 63% of their shots from behind the arc (20 of 32) and 60% of their total field goals (44 of 73).
|Photo by: Ronald Martinez