I needed a break from the end of the week post this past Friday. You know, the ones that I have called “welcome to the weekend“. I wasn’t sure what we were going to see this weekend. In fact, now that I can look back at it, we saw history. Heading into these NBA playoffs, the Kobe era Lakers had never met the Dirk led Mavs in a playoff series. In a way, we have still never seen a Lakers – Mavericks series, if you get my drift.
However, on Friday, the Lakers looked like they were going to make it a series with the Mavs. That is what made their eventual loss that much more shocking. They collapsed here, in the series and especially in Dallas. Today the Lakers put the cherry on the shut sundae that was their series with the Mavericks. I think Sunday’s effort can be summed up in one screen capture…
This potential Artest layup could have cut the Mavs lead to 17. Instead, this embarrassing miss led to another Dallas run, a 25 point deficit, and a rare Phil Jackson timeout.
From there the Lakers lost it. Losing it included the ejection of Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum. The Bynum play being particularly awful. Kobe’s reaction to Bynum’s despicable actions is classic. It’s hard to ever feel bad for Kobe Bryant. However, in this game, it was hard not to.
This is the type of series and storyline that goes a long way to keeping me a sports fan. It certainly wasn’t the competition on the court that made these last four Mavs – Lakers games interesting. To the contrary, it was the storylines that kept this series interesting.
As Phil Jackson walks into the sunset, for now at least, his team did not have the heart to end strong, nor the class to end like the champions they were.