Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't understand everyone's fascination with this Lakers team. On SportsCenter, Tony Kornheiser just said he thinks the Lakers have the BEST CHANCE of any West team to beat Miami. Everyone seems to be so overly sold on them now just because they are a playoff calibur team... Lets break down what they've done against "good" teams (playoff teams) in this run they are currently on:
W by 9 @ Brooklyn
L by 21 @ Boston
L by 9 @ Miami
L by 24 @ Clippers
W by 14 vs Boston
L by 11 @ Denver
W by 1 vs Hawks
L by 17 @ OKC
W by 9 vs Bulls
So basically, they've beaten the mediocre Nets, the even more mediocre Celtics, the plummtting Hawks, and the Bulls starting Nate Rob and Bellinelli, while bringing Nazr Muhammad and Marquis Teague off their bench as their 7th and 8th men. Not only are all of those teams in the East, none of them are particularly good.
I think a lot of times they are down by like 10+ and instead of playing like a team they go -kobe hero ball-, which eventually gets them blowout.
I think Dantoni's and Stave Nash's pick and roll offense needs a guy that can 'pop' as much as he can roll for it to be very effective
Lakers have no identity on offense, they will not win playing basketball the way they play most times.
It's amazing how the Lakers went from being one of the most hated team, and everyone seems to be rooting for them to make the playoffs. I'm a Laker hater, but I must admit that the playoffs are much better with this team in it, and the more completion we have the better.
To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't make it out of first round if they do make the playoffs. Talking about them beating the Heat is ridiculous when they probably couldn't handle Denver or Memphis in a series
I'm not saying its better for them to miss the playoffs, I agree its more interesting when they are involved. But what makes anyone think they are going to go deep, when they have done terribly against all the elite teams this year?
and Jordo...they can't handle Denver or Memphis, but you think they have a shot to beat San Antonio or OKC in the first round?
0-3 vs Clippers
0-2 vs Spurs
1-3 vs Thunder
0-2 vs Memphis
1-3 vs Denver
All potential candidates for them in the first round, all would have homecourt advantage and all PG's would be licking their lips to expose Nash.
Kornheiser generally knows nothing about the NBA. ESPN most likely told him to say something stupid like that just to get the Lakers talk of the day in. Memphis, Golden State, Portland, Utah, and the Clippers are the only Western conference teams that beat Miami this season.
Lebron has averaged 34 a game in the two wins against the Lakers this year. I would assume the only reason anybody would say the Lakers have the best chance of beating Miami is because "Kobe is in LeBron's head" but the numbers show otherwise. Everyone knows the Lakers struggle to get back on defense against younger more athletic teams. The Heat much like the Thunder would run the Lakers off the court in a series. This is total BS.
I think the Clippers would actually be the toughest matchup for Miami. They have an elite PG and great size and athleticism in their front court. Jamal Crawford could do his best Jason Terry impression and be a killer off the bench. They don't have that one guy who can really contain LeBron at all but not many teams do and it is always a team effort to stop him. I don't think the Clippers will represent the West in the Finals but I think they would have the best shot to beat them. I still would take Miami in 7 especially with home court advantage.
The Heat would eat the Clippers alive. They'd put LeBron on Paul, hedge/double every screen and completely take him out of the game with the way that defense loads up, helps and rotates.
The Clippers are a weak half-court team and they can't outrun the Heat.
The best matchup for the Heat would be either the Spurs or the Grizzlies.
The Clippers are very similar to San Antonio offensively. Everything you said about LeBron guarding Paul could be said of him guarding Parker. Vinny Del Negro played 6 years in San Antonio with Poppovich coaching there for half of them. Ginobli is really only as good as Jamal Crawford at this point as a 6th man. Blake Griffin will never be Tim Duncan in his prime but right now I would say they are closely matched. The Spurs have been playing uptempo for the past few years so while they are slightly better than LAC in the half court I wouldn't say it is that big of an advantage. I would take the more athletic frontline of Griffin and Jordan attacking the offensive glass (another Miami weakness) over Duncan and Splitter.
I would say San Antonio is 2nd out of the west teams who could take the Heat out. The only argument that could be made for San Antonio without a doubt is coaching. In a 7 game series coaching is crucial so you could be right about San Antonio being the best matchup based on experience and coaching.
Experience and star power can take you pretty far in the playoffs, Lakers have both and the magic of Kobe Bryant to boot, I personally feel like the Lakers could make an unlikely run and meet the Clippers, Spurs or Thunder in the WCF's, I think thats where the buck would stop but the Lakers are built for the playoffs with Kobe and Nash, Howard will be a huge X factor throughout the entire post season, if he mans up and takes the challenge of stopping everything down low then the Lakers could be dangerous down the stretch
They're developoing good chemistry.
I think you said the magic word: Experience. I'm not saying they'll destroy everyone, but there's a big chance they make a good run if they pass the first round.
Experience isn't going to help them when they play the Spurs or Thunder, two of the leagues elite offensive teams, with that awful defense of theirs. Although Nash guarding Parker, or Metta and Antawn Jamison tag teaming Durant would bring me a lot of entertainment personally. How exactly are they built for the playoffs? Because they are built poorly? They haven't beaten any good teams all year...get over this idea that they are "gelling" because they are beating down Phoenix and Dallas. And "experienced" remember last year, when Dallas was experienced, and were the defending champions who went on a nice run to get in the playoffs? What happened when they faced a team that actually was good in the first round? 4-0 OKC.
I've said this before. The Lakers are the Dallas Cowboys of the NBA. They are over celebrated when they win, and over crucified when they lose. And neither of the two are ever justified. The Lakers are not much than an average to slightly above average team. Do they have talent? Of course they do, you'd be crazy to deny it. But just because of the names they have on a roster doesn't mean they are going to be elite. Or do we need a constant reminder of the over paid back court the Nets have?
Oh and btw, Lakers couldn't hold Miami's jockstrap. They don't have the fire power, nor a defensive answer for LeBron James and Dwayne Wade or even Chris Bosh. The Heat are also one of the best three point shooting teams in the NBA. I'm js...
Your 2013 NBA Champions. The end. Lakers wont get to play them in the playoffs.