Remember how everyone was going ga-ga over the Lakers new "defensive" mindset?
Yeah, that didn't last long… right Lamar Odom?
"We're not making it hard enough for teams, as far as around the basket, as far as our defense. At the beginning of the year, maybe the first seven or eight or 10 games, we had teams that quit. It was like, 'This is too hard. We know we can't stop them. And they're making it hard for us on defense.' "
"Now, I feel like teams feel like we're going to let them back in the game," Odom said.
This was maybe the easiest prediction in the world to make. How long have we been saying that the Lakers have done ZERO to add any toughness to that team? And a month ago, I explained exactly why that Lakers defense was bound to fail.
Earlier this season, the Lakers were hovering around the top of league defensively. Now they're 15th in opponents ppg (Milwaukee and Charlotte give up fewer points). Boston is a hair behind Cleveland in that category. LA is 6th in opponent's FG% (Boston is #1), which tells you that the Lakers are the same old run-and-gun team.
But here's a question: How long can they run and gun? Some Lakers fans are starting to fear the worst… the decline of Kobe Bryant. Don't think that international competition… especially after a long post-season… doesn't have an effect. And while everyone is sounding the "old" alarm for the Celtics… Kobe Bryant is now 30 years old too. And he's got a lot of miles on those legs. A lot of playoff runs.
So here we are, setting up EXACTLY like last year. The Lakers are great offensively (#1 ppg), and mediocre at best defensively. The Celtics are great defensively, and pretty damn good offensively (#7 ppg). And we all know that defense wins championships. We proved it last year. And right now… history is preparing to repeat itself.
On the ninth day of Christmas, The Celtics gave to me…
9 Tommy Points
8 course dinners for Big Baby
7 C’s in double figures
A 6 year deal for Rajon Rondo
Fiiiiiive minutes for Scaaaaaaaaal…….
4 monster blocks from Perk
3 point bombs from Ray and Eddie
2 straight Finals losses by the Lakers
and a ring for Tony Allen’s pinky!