Today, we basically just steal from one of the best NBA writers on the Web, Kelly Dwyer. This is his recap of the ugly Lakers win against Phoenix last night from Ball Don’t Lie:
So, am I the only one who isn’t pulling a Chicken Little routine with the Lakers right now?
This team is 18-3, that’s 18 wins in 21 games (geesh), and to listen to ESPN’s broadcast last night, you got the feeling that their time had come and gone. The Lakers are listless. The Lakers don’t play defense. Magic and Kareem would have never let this happen.
Except, they did. Just about every team “let this happen.” Holes are holes, and Los Angeles’ veteran backcourt sometimes allows for too much dribble penetration. Big deal. Damon Stoudamire used to kill the Bulls. They still won 72 games.
Even with those holes, the Lakers are still third in defensive efficiency. But combine a Kings loss with a talking point gone mad and some anecdotal evidence as a tremendous offensive team from Phoenix managed to (shock horror) get into the lane a few times, and you have a nauseating watch.
The Lakers won, mind you. They won by five and did it against a Suns team that played very well. The Suns earned that 50.6 shooting mark from the floor, and the “Shaq didn’t play, the team was sad about the trade, Nash only shot 2-12” elements don’t bother me in the slightest. Honestly.
It’s an 82 game season, and the Lakers are on pace to win 71 of them. I don’t think they will, but I also don’t think I’m going to bleat and moan and pretend this team is anything less than fan-flippin’-tastic.