During the 4th quarter of last night’s Lakers-Celtics game, I started having nightmares about 2008. With Andrew Bynum not playing, the Celtics were dominating the offensive boards, getting to the basket and pulling away to win….
So now it’s 2-2, Bynum’s status is up in the air and the Lakers are in trouble….
Another disturbing thing about the loss was Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo did not play well; yet Boston still won the game going away….
It was eerie watching the fourth quarter, with Pau Gasol getting pushed around trying to play center, Derek Fisher getting torched defensively and Lamar Odom allowing his man to get to the basket and score….
The Celtics scored 36 points in the 4th quarter, mostly with their bench players, and the Lakers were on their heels and in retreat….
The Lakers are a very good defensive team when Bynum plays, becuase they have great length and good balance….
But when Gasol has to play center and Odom is the PF, they’re a bad defensive team….
Just look at the embarrassing offensive rebound numbers; with the Celtics grabbing a whopping 16 while the Lakers had only eight….
With Andrew playing the first three games, the Lakers were dominating the glass; Thursday night they looked soft….
Odom was okay offensively, but allowed Big Baby Davis to have his way around the basket; resulting in 18 points and four rebounds in only 22 minutes….
Lamar is a very good player and as talented as any big man in the NBA; but he’s also timid and soft when you push him around. Especially against a team like Boston….
Every time he allowed Baby to get to the basket or get a rebound, I yelled at the television and begged Phil Jackson to put Bynum into the game….
I don’t care if his knee is swollen, he needs to wrap the damn thing, put on a brace and get the hell out there. Everyone on the team should look in the mirror and ask themselves “What would Kobe do?”
You know Kobe would play through this and probably go for 40 points….
This is why they pay Bynum $10M a year; for situations like this. The team needs him and probably can’t win without him….
We all loved the way Derek Fisher played on Tuesday, but last night he got lit up by Nate Robinson and couldn’t have guarded him with a whip and a gun….
Time after time Robinson went by him so cleanly that Fisher should have had a red cape and a sword. In a Bull Ring, the fans would have been shouting “Ole!”
The fourth quarter was difficult to watch, because the memory of 2008 is still fresh. Odom and Gasol were getting pushed around, Fisher was getting beat defensively and Kobe was frustrated and taking low percentage shots….
The crowd was chanting “Kobe Sucks” the Celtics were rolling and I was worried watching Bynum sit on the bench….
Thankfully the calender didn’t say June of 2008, because I was having a “Twilight Zone” moment….
There’s no blaming the zebras for this one, either, because the fouls and free throws were even….
This came down to defense, hustle and heart: Three areas in which the Lakers were sorely lacking….
Game 5 in Sunday, which gives Bynum two days to treat his knee and get ready to play….
If I’m Jerry Buss, I’d bring in the Dream Team of orthopedic surgeons and knee specialists and work on Andrew around the clock. Drain the knee, heat it, ice it, shoot it up with pain killers and do whatever it takes….
Hell, if it takes flying in Jose Canseco and injecting a steroid cocktail, I’m all for it….
Bynum has all summer to fix his knee and Sunday’s game is far too important for him to sit….
He plays, he plays big minutes and he comes through….
Anything less is unacceptable, because Magic Johnson Kobe, Michael Jordan and all of the great ones would get out there and perform….
It’s now up to Andrew to show all of he’s tough, has heart and can play and win championships through an injury….