With rejection in the form of boos and jeers reigning down from the rafters and one of their star players ranting about “trust issues,“ the Los Angeles Lakers looked the part of a spurned and dejected lover Wednesday night as they whimpered away now down 2-0 in their Western Conference semifinal round playoff series against Dallas following their stunning 93-81 defeat.
“Be careful what you write, be careful what you write,” warned a stone-faced Kobe Bryant, seemingly in denial over his team’s now miniscule chances of becoming just the fifth team in NBA history to three-peat and only the fourth to win a seven game series after dropping the first two at home. “If you want to make history, you have to do historic things, “said Bryant.
For the suddenly combustible champs, it all hedges on chemistry… and finding someone to guard the red-hot shooting Dirk Nowitzki (24 points on nine of 16 shooting) might prove a winning formula as well.
“It’s obvious that we have trust issues, individually,” said Lakers center Andrew Bynum. “All of our 13 guys have trust issues right now. I think it’s quite obvious to anyone watching the game—hesitation on passes, and defensively we’re not being a good teammate because he wasn’t there for you before— little things. And unless we come and discuss them, nothing is going to change.”
Just how shaken are the fickle L.A. faithful over the now desperate plight of their one-time heroes? Even alpha franchise legend Magic Johnson felt compelled to tweet in on the action.
“I have never seen a team take it to the Lakers at home in back-to-back playoff games,” Magic tweeted. Thing is, Bryant would probably have to admit that same thing— the warrior in him just want let him.
“Desperate? That’s a strong word,” said Bryant. “I think whey you play desperate, you don’t play your best basketball. What we need to do now is relax, focus on what we’re doing wrong and the mistakes that we’re making, and we have plenty to review and lock in on that. You couldn’t possibly expect this to be easy. We’ve been playing with fire the last three years. Now we finally got what we deserved.” -Glenn Minnis