After losing five in a row, they definitely should have something to be worried about right?
Yes, their run in the 2011 NBA playoffs might be imploding before it begins, but the Lakers don’t think so. “The ailing patient is starting to recover,” Coach Phil Jackson said Monday, smiling as always, figuring the Lakers played pretty well against Oklahoma City until almost the end.
Five consecutive losses? Sure. Three in a row at home? Fine. An indigestible final three minutes Sunday against the Thunder. Whatever. All these don’t seem to faze the Los Angeles Lakers one bit.
“Everybody wants to put the nail in the coffin,” Kobe Bryant said. “We’ve all been there before.” Yes and no. The Lakers were 3-6 down the stretch in the regular season a year ago and that turned out fine for them. But there’s never been a championship ending for a Lakers team with a five-game losing streak. Never.
Their latest hiccup was surrendering 120 points to Oklahoma City. They haven’t shown desire for an entire game since losing to Denver on April 3. They’re so banged up and their roster is so chock full of years that they couldn’t even conduct practice the day before playing the San Antonio Spurs this Tuesday.
Yes, the big, bad Spurs come to town Tuesday, only they might not bring all their six-shooters, which would be perfect for the struggling Lakers who are basically limping to the playoffs.
They have the luxury of playing their starters fewer minutes than usual, having wrapped up the Western Conference last week, and are hinting they might not go full-bore until the playoffs begin this weekend.
Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan each played fewer than 30 minutes in the Spurs’ 111-102 victory Saturday over Utah.
The Lakers could use a break, even if it comes courtesy of a rival.
Which team will win the 2011 NBA Championship? Bodog sportsbook has the odds.
Chicago Bulls 3.75
Los Angeles Lakers 3.75
Miami Heat 2.75
Dallas Mavericks 19.00Comments