We all know what's coming. If they couldn't pull out games 2 and 4, both of which they should have won, how can they possibly put it all together for this next game? Frustration has already set in. Mental break downs and lack of effort in the closing minutes in 2 of the last 3 games has cost this team a very winnable series. Plenty of blame to go around, as there usually is. The sad thing is, it's clear to everyone that the Lakers can beat the Thunder in a 7 game series, if they would just play a solid 48 minutes, as opposed to 47. They don't have to play great, they don't have to run with them, they just have to play a solid game on both ends and not turn it over. Even with all of the mistakes in game 2 and 4, had they only cut out 1 or 2 of them they win both games.
It comes down to a simple will to win, and nobody on this team outside of Kobe has it, I mean really has it. Kobe is criticized for taking too many shots at the end, and I know I'm screaming at him for it too. But when I watch closely and see the body language of the other players at the end of these games, I don't see that will to win. I don't see the effort - there's no fight to get open in the post, to box out, to cut to the hoop, to get a put back, to set screens (why can't any of our bigs set an effective screen???), to make a crisp pass, to take it hard to the hoop.... to take a big shot. We just don't have those players on the team.
I'm really bummed, as I thought after game 3 we had a real shot. I thought the team had learned it's game 2 lesson. It seemed like they understood the level of urgency and commitment needed to win this series. With the veterans this team has, there's no excuse for these types of losses. And I'm pretty sure they'll lay down like they have in the past when reality has set in.
Buck Foston, LA Rules