At some point, the Lakers need to sit back and reassess everything. Waiting on Pau Gasol and Steve Nash isn’t going to cut it. Blaming the coach won’t work either, not after you just sent the last one to Chick-fil-A barely a month ago. The NBA version of Ocean’s Eleven is a mess right now, and last night, they were caught with their pants down against one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. During the first half of their eventual 100-94 win, Cleveland was hitting on all cylinders, going up by 15 and leaking out on the break at every opportunity. At times, it felt like an intramural game: the Cavs would get the rebound, turn and launch a nearly full-court pass to cherry picking teammates. Anderson Varejao (20 points, nine boards) dunked on L.A.’s whole frontline. Dwight Howard (19 points, 20 rebounds) looked scared to get fouled, and then C.J. Miles (28 points) was hooping out of his mind. Remember when the Lakers were supposed to go after Miles this summer? He hasn’t played much this year, and it’s almost like Byron Scott was keeping him on ice for this game in particular. The dude came out looking like an All-Star while the Lakers looked like they hadn’t practiced in a month. There was a play early in the third quarter where Metta World Peace did a little Cupid Shuffle in the post – he should’ve been called for a travel – before kicking it out to Jordan Hill, who didn’t know what he wanted to do so he just decided to take some one-legged-looking jump shot that was like something you’d see out of a fourth grader … Then in the fourth quarter, Kyrie Irving (28 points, 11 assists) went to another level, surgically extracting L.A.’s heart – the one Mike D’Antoni says they don’t have – in repeated isolations and pick-n-rolls. With the broadcast team chanting “HE’S BACK!” Irving put an in-and-out move on Dwight Howard that had the big man jumping the wrong way, and then finished with an and-one at the rim. Irving is the runaway League Pass MVP. It’s not even close. In his first game back from injury, he took the Cavs from one of the most boring teams in the league to near the top in “watchability.” … Scott compared Irving to Kobe (42 points) in the pregame, and said the one thing he must still prove is whether or not he has Kobe’s drive. Bryant, even at his age, seemed like the only Laker who cared, and if he’s playing this well and the team is STILL losing, what does that say? … Afterwards, the Clippers’ official Twitter account tweeted “LOL” at the Lakers loss, then quickly thought better of it and erased the tweet … And according to @SportandoBasket, Smush Parker signed a contract in Croatia with Cibona Zagreb yesterday, so there’s that, Laker fans. He’s not walking through that door … Keep reading to hear about the unsung heroes in New York’s win over Brooklyn …
Smack / Dec 12, 2012 / 12:18 am
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