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CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS DON'T LOSE GAMES LIKE THE ONE LAST NIGHT!!!!!!

Actually, they do.  And more than you probably think.

Let me preface this piece by stating clearly for the record that I am in no way attempting to "excuse" last night's loss to Indiana.  Save a brilliant 17-0 run in the third quarter sparked by Trevor Ariza, the Lakers played halfhearted defense, got outboarded 50-41 overall and 19-8 on the offensive glass (albeit against Angry_mob_simpsons a team nipping their heels as the NBA's rebound kings) and hit only 33 of 45 free throws, nullifying some considerable stripe generosity while in enemy territory.  While it's naive to think such deficiencies won't resurface from time to time, they can't be justified, thus I won't attempt to. 

What I wanted to address, however, was the flurry of comments during and after the loss along the lines of this game providing irrefutable proof that the Lakers "aren't ready to take that next step."  That they're not in possession of a "championship mentality."  That "championship caliber teams don't let up, lose focus, or generally do anything other than operate as a hardwood killing machine."  And that, as they say, is nothing but malarky.  Often cliched malarky.  Sometimes fan panicked malarky.  Even malarky rooted in unquestionably (and deservedly) high expectations.  But malarky nonetheless.   

When criticisms like these are lobbied, they often accompany comparisons to the Boston Celtics, a roster considered by many the benchmark for intensity, tigered eyes and general blood thirst. They've taken cues from Kevin Garnett- who's possibly crossed the line between "dialed in" and "the NBA needs to stage an intervention"- and hold a reputation for never taking a possession off, much less entire quarters that could lead to losses or squeaked wins against crummy teams.  Peruse the game log from Boston's hardware season, however, and you find a history somewhat conflicting...

For that matter, some of Boston's wins provided little chest thumping (similar to grumbles coming after Laker wins by a margin under 20)...

Call me a cynic, but I'm willing to bet these losses and unimpressive weren't always a case of inferior teams playing their season's best game to overcome a Celtics squad also playing at peak form. I'll go out on a limb and bet these were contests where Boston played concentration-free and either got burnt or survived by their chinny chin hairs.  The same could perhaps be said about the Celts requiring seven playoff games to down an athletic but mostly inexperienced Atlanta Hawks or a Cavs crew that started and ended with LeBron James.  I imagine many a nervous greenie also declared those contests as hard proof that Beantown's warriors couldn't bring home an O'Brien.  As we learned, not the case.

Does this mean I'm crowning the Lakers in December?  Of course not.  That would be silly.  Kinda like burying them after a SECOND loss in sixteen attempts.  Obviously, things could become problematic if the Lakers make a habit of dropping winnable games.  But at least wait for things to hit that point before declaring DEFCON 1.  And no, focus lost during possessions or even quarters does not an emergency signal.  It's simply part of reality, whether you accept the terms or not.  Keeping one's eyes on the prize doesn't necessarily mean (or require) 24/7 three mile stares or pedals on metal.

And speaking of intensity, were I a Celts fan, I'd be growing alarmed at my team's collecting of T's like they were the one commodity worth a buy on Wall Street.   Their 39 techs lead the league by a sizable margin and Kendrick Perkins has already collected nearly two-third's of his allotment before a one-game suspension.  Dude, nine in freakin' early December?  That's not "intense."  That's not "focused."  It's just stupid, and it's a team-wide issue worth a kibosh.

AK

 
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Decades from now, this will be referred to in hushed voices and whispers as "the malarkey post."

This is the reason I stay away from the Blog after a loss. Too many hyper-reactive Laker fans who think the sky is falling when it's December and you've got a phenomenal team playing 14-2 bball.

Last night was a great game, very entertaining and a good win for Indiana. The Lakers played very poorly and still had multiple ways they could've won, it took an almost perfect storm of negatives for the Lakers to lose by ONE on the ROAD. I don't know how anyone can make any championship predictions based on that, anyone doing so should definitely join KG in this "NBA staged intervention" the KBros are sponsoring.

Ex,

I felt like channeling my "1950's suburbia." And let's be honest. "Malarky" just sounds funny.

AK

BTW, the Perkins link goes nowhere. Now that's some malarky!

KobeTown Mayor,

Thanks for the heads up. Try again.

AK

GREAT post AK. I'm tired of people freaking out. It's an 82 game regular season, there are going to be some slip ups along the way.

My gf often looks at me weird when I harp on her 8 yr old about some of his behavior, usually when what he did, in the context he did it, wasn't all that bad. But what she never understands is that I'm harping on things he has the tendency to do in school, that are his teacher's pet peeves. Stuff that, if we take lightly at home, he's only going to continue to think is okay to do at school and make his teacher's miserable.

Bottom line about last night wasn't about losing to Indiana. It was about the Lakers allowing a team to come back from a deficit they had no right to come back from. And the reason we're so up in arms about that is b/c it happened in the Finals and changed the complexion in the series.

It's a team mentality problem. One that Bynum flat out admitted they have and doesn't know why they have it or how to fix it.

Thank you, AK, for attempting to talk the bridge jumpers down after our SECOND loss of the season.

If you had sat me down before the season started and said, "Hey, Outlaw, what do you think about a 14-2 start?" I would have said, "I frickin' love it, and the Outlaw is just my blog name."

Good teams lose, folks. Then they win again. And again. And so forth. Keep the faith, if you truly have it at all.

As always, Go Lake Show!

Last nights loss was indeed disheartening, but the fact of the matter is, we just lost composure and stopped hustling after loose balls and rebounds. I think all great teams need a quick kick in the behind loss like this to actually stay focused for the whole year and the true final prize. Hopefully, we can rectify the situation tonight, and yesterday's folly of a game will be nothing but a serving reminder of what not to do, ever.

A team mentality problem?

That was awesome. I'm still laughing a little bit.

Malarkey does kinda sound like malady (of the blog). Ha ha ha

Considering how the Lakers played last night was part of the reason they lost in the NBA Finals, when exactly is it okay to get mad about it?

You could use that as a byline, such as:

Championship Teams Don't Lose Games Like That
by Andrew Malarkey

or

NBA Tidbits
By The Malarkey Brothers

Despite AK's spirited rebuttal (and thanks for biting my ALL CAPS!), I stand by everything I said today. Like I said, it ain't the fact that we lost, it's HOW we lost. Shifting into cruise control in the 4th with a 15 point lead is not how it's done. If we play that way in June, no trophy.

Nuff said.

Okay... but is it wrong of me to cheer that the Indiana Pacers extend their win streak to 2 games tonight?

Because, I'm cheering hard for the Lakers and the Pacers (tonight).

AK,

As usual you miss the big picture! It is not alarming that the Lakers lost...........I can agree with you there...........It is how they lost that concerns me. Granted this season is all about winning championships.....NOTHING ELSE!!

Phil's consistant mismanagement of his personnel and his poor substitution pattern in last night's defeat is a huge concern to me..............This guy just can't coach.

All he had to do last night was to bring Kobe back at about the 10 minute mark in the fourth for Farmar and that game would have been over. Why he feels he has to platoon instead of finding the right combination and sticking with it is a major reason for that loss last night.

I see another potential loss tonight because of the defensive breakdowns from our point guards not being able to contain ANYONE!


If that happens.........what will you say then......AK?

Good post, AK, and the Simpson's image was perfect.

Tim-4-Show,

I'm gonna hop that train tonight too! Lakers Pacers!

New Bandwagon, Mamba: Call it the "It's Not THAT We Lose, but HOW We Lose" bandwagon. I be the driver, of course!

Pfunk36,

"Phil's consistant mismanagement of his personnel and his poor substitution pattern in last night's defeat is a huge concern to me..............This guy just can't coach."

Wow, there's an eval I would have never seen coming.

"All he had to do last night was to bring Kobe back at about the 10 minute mark in the fourth for Farmar and that game would have been over. Why he feels he has to platoon instead of finding the right combination and sticking with it is a major reason for that loss last night."

Farmar was also a big part of why the Lakers built that lead to begin with. Beyond that, Kobe entered the game at the nine minute mark with an 8 point lead. The Lakers had plenty of time to regroup and stabilize against an inferior team. Are you actually claiming those 60 seconds between minute 10 and minute 9 "cost the Lakers" more than the final 9 minutes? Or for that matter, the first half when they played terribly? Or the poor rebounding margin? Or them hitting only 33-45 at the line? Or the lousy team D down the stretch with Kobe also on the floor?

Instead, those 60 seconds were the difference between winning and losing? Care to provide a reason why, because that feels like quite a stretch.

"I see another potential loss tonight because of the defensive breakdowns from our point guards not being able to contain ANYONE! If that happens.........what will you say then......AK?"

I don't know. What am I supposed to say? I've acknowledged that Fish and Farmar haven't played great during recent game breakdowns and that PG is the team's weakest area. I would say they need to improve, I guess. But clearly, those two aren't killing the Lakers that much, because they're 14-2.

Here's my question. What will you say if the Lakers win and your prediction was wrong? My guess. Not a thing.

AK

Lakers STH,

"Considering how the Lakers played last night was part of the reason they lost in the NBA Finals, when exactly is it okay to get mad about it?"

You can get mad about it right now if you want. I was unhappy with the loss, too. I was just talking about making the loss into something bigger than it really is, in terms of some kind of vision of the future.

AK

If I'm not mistaken the 95-96 Bulls lost to the Heat who were having a very rough season. Its just one loss, what concerns me more is that we didn't get a lucky bounce. If luck isn't bouncing your way it can make things very difficult.

Hear hear!
I clicked off the blog when I read "Well I guess we really suck...."

Holy schmoses!
It's only one loss.

Some of you need to get some psychoanalysis....

This Laker team is fantastic.
But every now and then they lose focus. But they will learn from this loss and move forward.

I just wish some bloggers would....

AK,

My only point to this message is to give you props for The Simpsons picture. Way to pull out the visual for the 'Frankenstein's Monster - Angry Townspeople' reference.

You know good satire.

I feel this year PJ is doing a way better job at coaching than last year and previous years. But this defeat falls directly on PJ's substitutions in the 4th quarter.

The 2nd unit built the 17 point lead and gave up 8 pts. When PJ caalled tmeout which was the right thing to do but to settle the unit down and maybe one sub. But wholesale changes and then removing Bynum our most powerful rebounder from the game cost us continuity and rebounding. Pacers dominated the offensive boards and retook the lead and game.

AB was also critical of the move. Young man has strong character and speaks his mind. Good signs for future.

But this is again only second loss and in bigger picture should not be that big a deal if we learn from it.

I think its sad that you have to make this point about the Lakers loss to indiana. A lot of the commenters on here aren't true Laker fans. A real Laker fan would never throw the team under the bus after their second loss in early December. As a Laker fan of 25 years I am not worried about the state of the Lakers. I'm just concerned with how many fans are just riding along because of the championship implications. If you are... go be a Celtics fan. Only true fans understand the LAKESHOW is day in and day out.

Ryantific

Chris,

"AK, My only point to this message is to give you props for The Simpsons picture. Way to pull out the visual for the 'Frankenstein's Monster - Angry Townspeople' reference.
You know good satire."

Thanks, although I gotta give props. BK found the pic.

AK

Amazing what you can find when you type "angry mob" into Google.

BK

It never ceases to amaze me how LAKERS "FANS" REACT after a loss... or people saying that a Hall of Fame coach w/ 9 Championship Rings CANNOT COACH????

WHAT ARE YOU GUYS ON????????? LAKERS are a talented and spirited team that means business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's very easy to criticize other people when they screw up right? BUT NOBODY is PERFECT. STOP DEMANDING WHAT YOU CANNOT GIVE YOURSELVES!!!!! and if you are TRUE LAKERS FANS act like it... LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES, TRY TO GET BETTER AND MOVE ON...

OR MOVE OUT!!!!!!! (TO BOSTON............ WHERE ALL MR. PERFECT BEASTS ARE PROWLING...)

** It's Not THAT We Lose, but HOW We Lose BANDWAGON **
*
(01) utzwordl THE BANNER HOLDLER – Driver/Chaplain
(02) MAMBA24 – Riding Shotgun1
(03) KEIFO – Riding Shotgun2
(04) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - Security

>>>CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS DON'T LOSE GAMES LIKE THE ONE LAST NIGHT<<<

That's correct. It's called a "choke", stemming from lethargy and poor coaching and poor leadership from any and all Laker players.

Question for Laker fans: Sure, the Lakers are good, but they are definitely a notch below the Celtics. Rajon Rondo makes the Celtics prohibitive favorites to repeat.

Based on their perfomances this year, Rajon Rondo is a better all around player than K. Bryant?

Dear Peddlers of the intellectually dishonest,

We're 18-2 in six weeks of basketball. We are the world champions. The road to the title goes through Boston.

Do not compare your team to ours. You have not earned the right. Further, when you insult Kendrick Perkins, you insult a legion of rabid fans, who will storm the gates of your castle and crush you under the weight of their fury and loyalty to the beast Perkins.

That is all,

Perkisabeast

We will see you Greenie Weenies on Christmas Day...AND WE WILL BE READY FOR YA!

AK,

You're a cynic.

How dare you use examples of Boston's losses last year as a model for expections?!?!?!

Boston isn't a Championship team. They just play in a place with a lot of banners. There's a difference.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Perkisabeast is intellecutally demented.

We can compare ourselves to any team we want on OUR blog. Furthermore, you also have unleashed rabid fans who crave your green and murky blood. We are not afraid of you. We will not bow down to you, we will not yield to you. We will wage war and win or lose, we will remain, forever and always, loyal to the purple and gold who are the Lakers.

Go back to beantown perkie. You're done here.

Mamba24 please add me to that bandwagon.

" * Three losses to the Wizards, all three with Agent Zero in street clothes, and one in Beantown.
* A loss to the Sixers that put AI's ex-mates over .500 for the first time that season.
* Golden State squeaking past them- the Warriors may have been decent, but nowhere near the Celtics- in a loss book ended by falls to Denver and Phoenix, which I'm willing to bet was followed by "Sure, they're good in the weaker east, but can the Celts beat Western Conference teams" yap. Clearly, they could.

For that matter, some of Boston's wins provided little chest thumping (similar to grumbles coming after Laker wins by a margin under 20)...

* One point wins over a hosted Miami, the Bobcats, and the Wolves.
* More shoddy play against Minny, this time resulting in a two point skate. Sure, KG didn't play, but is The Big Ticket really needed to beat a squad sitting on 10 wins?
* OT needed to beat a Mo Williams-less Milwaukee.
* A four point squeaker over Memphis that sparked "lack of focus" criticism from Doc Rivers. But he was surely mistaken, since, as we all know, the Celtics "never" lack focus. "


This your idea of a winning team all you Celtic trolls?

I especially liked how you lost three to the Wizards. Well done!!!!!!

...and by the way, I LOVE the word malarky.

Excellent choice.

I used the word "malarkey" in my Jr. High School graduation speech. To this day, my classmates refer to it as the "Malarkey" speech. They don't even remember who else spoke, or what they spoke about. But, my speech is remembered (over 20 years later)

Malarkey is a powerful word that should be used with care.

--Fearless

Please post my face at the front of the angry mob.

If you read my angry fermented diatribes from late last night on the game thread, I stand by my two main boisterous points:

1. This team is going to kick everyone's ass.
2. This team is playing FAR below their potential RIGHT NOW.

They are not playing beautiful basketball and they are not playing spirited, coordinated defense.

They are playing well enough to win, but their spirits are not playing with enough competitive fire to continuously improve.

Unfortunately, I fear that they may need a massacre at the hands of Clubber Lang (the Celtics) to get that Eye of the Tiger back.

I hope not. I don't want my Christmas Day ruined. I love Christmas.

The defense sucks. The ball movement sucks. They're not running back to position with an energy of intensity and attention. They're not aggressively trying to make steals or blocks. They're not throwing elbows to get into position for rebounds. They're lacking a certain spring in their jump when they go to the hoop.

They're playing laid back and with routineness.

I say bring on Appollo Creed, Ivan Drago, and Clubber Lang if that's what is need to wake this team up from its duldrums.

However with a coach like Phil Jackson and the best player in the NBA--Kobe Bryant - a True Champion--I just expected more earlier.

The good news is that by my estimate this team is presently playing at 60-67% of its capacity. That leaves a lot of room for growth and improvement.... and its still early in the season and we should expect to see continuous improvement.

We deserve as much as fans, not only for our benefit, but for the benefit of this team because all real fans want this team to be the best it can be for the benefit of these players and these coaches and this owner.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

AK BK,

You're better off trying to disprove E=MC(2) than attempting to talk sense to these Reactionary Sky Fallers. But nice use of the word 'malarky.'

Mamba24/utzworld,

I would like to request your assistance on a vital cause.

For the full week before the Christmas Game against the forces of evil, I would like to work with the two of you to educate all who will listen the importance of a loud and spirited crowd in supporting a home team to victory.

My goal is to due whatever I (we) can to improve the energy at Staples Center for the Christmas Game. I want to see and hear a loud, aggressive, rabid crowd. I want the Celtics to be reminded that they are far, far from home on Christmas Day.

And I want our Lakers to feed off that energy.

As Mamba24 stated, the energy at Staples is far too often too restrained. Christmas Day is no day to continue that false tradition.

I want to educate Laker Nation to the joys of boisterously supporting your team and the honor of getting outside one's self and focusing all your positive energy in supporting the victory of YOUR team.

I invite you to assist me in these endeavors.

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Noun 1. malarky - empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk; "that's a lot of wind"; "don't give me any of that jazz"
idle words, jazz, malarkey, nothingness, wind

Perfect example: "Do not compare your team to ours. You have not earned the right. Further, when you insult Kendrick Perkins, you insult a legion of rabid fans, who will storm the gates of your castle and crush you under the weight of their fury and loyalty to the beast Perkins."

There you have it. Malarky. Idle words. Nothingness. Empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk.

Malarky.


lakers_sth,

You are correct about pointing out that the Lakers seemed to have addressed every deficiency from last year's team, except that one.

Didn't we blow two leads in the Finals in exactly that manner last year? Wouldn't those two lost wins have afforded us the Championship?

Not a source of panic, but indeed a source of concern. We'd just like to know we can fix that "problem" as well.

BTW, there are many teams that never figure that out and still win. What they'd do instead is score so many points so overwhelmingly that they take all the fight out of the opposition, thereby obviating the need to "close out" games.

We might have to do the same. The Showtime Lakers lived on that mantra. Revisionist historians like to think those Lakers always had this killer instinct. But, in reality, they would just overwhelm teams. Put games in the refrigerator early, and let the other squad do all the imploding.

--Fearless

I'd love to assist Jon K, but I'll be in Vegas with my in-laws. Heck, my in-laws and their extended family are so stoned out of their mind, there's a chance I may not even see the daggone game on Christmas Day!

What's very disappointing though...the K-Bros and others Still. Don't. Get. It. So glad you and I (and the few others on our side) see eye to eye.

These cats revel in regular season records (Boston's included). But does the NBA community remember those 3 losses to Washington, blown 1 point games and 7 game series against Atlanta and Cleveland? Nope. You know what they DO remember? The Game Six Massacre. Doc Rivers getting doused with Gatorade. The parade down the streets of Boston.

WE PLAY FOR RINGS!

Utzworld,

"
What's very disappointing though...the K-Bros and others Still. Don't. Get. It. So glad you and I (and the few others on our side) see eye to eye. These cats revel in regular season records (Boston's included). But does the NBA community remember those 3 losses to Washington, blown 1 point games and 7 game series against Atlanta and Cleveland? Nope. You know what they DO remember? The Game Six Massacre. Doc Rivers getting doused with Gatorade. The parade down the streets of Boston."

No, I do actually "get it." You're just missing my point. By application of your logic, the losses I cited would have been a strong indicator that Boston wouldn't have been able to enjoy the game 6 beatdown, Gatorade, or parade. Clearly, that wasn't the case, which was all I pointed out. Anyone who puts too much stock into one loss (like Indy) or the Lakers "only" winning by 15 is strongly overreacting, in my opinion.

AK

AK: Duly noted.

Like I said in another thread, we have 65 more games to shore up this much needed killer instinct. I will say this, having that KI in place on Christmas Day and beyond will send A Message to the Beasts of the East that when you step out on the court, the Purple and Gold WILL BE READY FOR YA!

I'm glad "malarky" was such a hit!

AK

A comment to the author of the blog article. If you are going to mention the Celtics low points for last year to reassure Laker fans for the Pacer loss - I think it is only journalistic integrity you also mention some of the Celtics highlights. For example they had a Texas sweep - the first in many years by any team. Or that the Celtics stopped Houston's long winning streak by annihilating them by 30! Or perhaps that they had the best defensive efficiency in the last 20 years.

Just a few points worth mentioning if we are seeking some sense of objectivity.

BTW, defense will always rule and offense will always be inconsistent!

Go Celts go!!

David Bostone,

Your fanship is making you protest too much. I wasn't being critical of the Celtics at all. I mentioned those losses/unimpressive wins not to discount them in any way, but to underscore how Boston was clearly championship caliber in spite of what some could have considered "red flags" (as fans often do in overreacting). Reread the piece without the defensive stance, and you'll see that's pretty evident.

AK

See, AK? Add a little panache to your vocabulary with "malarky" and the whole blog stands up and applauds!

Once again the magic of panache is revealed.

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

AK,

David Bostone is a tool. Ignore him.

AK, I completely understand your point. We SHOULD expect otherwise incomprehensible losses on the way to a Championship. It happens. It happened during Showtime and it will happen this year.

It just shouldn't happen, so don't expect us to be cool about it when it happens. This team is capable to being better than a "typical Championship team" and we are holding them to a higher standard as a result.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!


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