Once upon a time, not so long ago… I used to criticize the Lakers for not being able to crush lesser opponents. For letting them into games, and sometimes losing.
But vs Cleveland?
Well… geez. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen an LA team crush a team like they did with the Cleveland Cavaliers. C’mon: 112-57? That’s video game stuff.
LA put in a performance of historic proportions, quite literally. It could have been directed by Cecille B… no Lakers team has ever held a team to 57 points. Ever.
But anyway, going to stay away from overly verbose superlatives on the game – nor look at how truly terrible a position Cleveland find themselves in at the moment, as I really don’t want to kick a team that’s down, and very few teams have been as down as the Cavs are now.
Instead, perhaps focus on what was good in the broader scheme of things.
- There was an element of nastiness in the Lakers tonight, that I’ve not seen since the beginning of the season. There has to be a mean-streak and a degree of arrogance in any champion, and the Lakers have started to get that back.
- LA got out to an early lead, and never relented. Their focus was phenomenal, regardless of who was on the court.
- Very few of the key Lakers played significant minutes – Kobe, Fish, LO & Blake played 24 or thereabouts. Drew played 28, and Ron-ron 27 (of all the starters, I would have liked to see a few more minutes for Artest!). Pau had 31.
- End-of-the-bench rotation guys Devin Ebanks, Derrick Caracter and Joe Smith saw quite a few minutes this game… and in particular I was quite impressed with them, but in particular Caracter. Guy is strong. And as Stu Lantz said during the commentary of Caracter, “It may not always be pretty, but it’s always effective.” Spot on.
- Ron Artest played well. I don’t mean to labor the point, but Ron Artest played well!!!
- LA’s D was good. Ok, the Cavs aren’t a good team. Clearly. But holding any NBA team to under 30% shooting for 57 points is impressive of itself (surely even Heat fans could acknowledge that!).
- Balanced game from the Lakers. Very well spread scoring, with seven guys getting double digits. I’m a bit surprised that I’m happy when Kobe only shot 13 points. But 13 points he got (5-10), and I’m happy. Along the way he also got 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. No turnovers. Bliss.
- Just quietly, LA have won 5 in a row… always nice.
- Of course, any win like this has to have a certain amount of luck involved. And the ball definitely fell LA’s way in this game… just ask Shannon Brown.
Next up, Golden State Warriors – very next day.
Now, the Cleveland game means nothing. Do it again.