LeBron James

USA Today

2018-19 Lakers

They aren’t making the playoffs.

March 05, 2019 - 9:41 am

I hate to be the guy who says, “I told you so,” but Laker fans, I told you. I told you that last night was a game you absolutely had to have. That You had to get over on little brother. Especially after losing to Phoenix on Saturday. Especially after being eviscerated and glossed “goofballs” by Snoop. And I told you that I didn’t want to have to come in here and run back everything I said just 24 hours after I said it. But here we are. Here the bleep we are! 

Because the Clippers just humiliated the Lakers 113-105 last night at Staples. The Clippers went into their house, punched them in the face, ate their grub, drank their beer and got with their lady. It was that bad. Especially in the second half. 

Again, that was a kill or be killed game for the Lakers. The one game, where ANYTHING freaking goes: all their pride and the entire season was the online, so you do whatever the hell is necessary to get a win. Anything. Anything. Instead, they did nothing. This isn’t exactly breaking news: but, the Clippers are better. They’re the better team. They just are. What you didn’t expect, though, was to see how much tougher, how much nastier and how much more motivated they are than the Lakers. Weren’t the Lakers playing for their entire season, and their jobs? Weren’t’ the Clippers supposed to just lay down and die this season? Clearly, it’s the other way the around. The Lakers are the goofballs and the Clippers are running circles around them both on and off the floor. On the court and in the front office. 

Calling this season a disaster for the Lakers does not begin to do it justice. The question is, is this the most disappointing season in Lakers history?

And before you answer, don’t sleep on the incredible trainwreck that was the Kobe, Dwight, Steve, Pau, and Metta season that ended in a first round sweep six years ago. Let’s not forget how truly awful that was. 

You want to know what’s even more humiliating than that awful memory, Laker fans? That’s the last time your crew has reached the playoffs. So this is both the worst season ever AND the best season in six years. And to the question, which one is it? Can it be both? Yes. Hell yes!

And if you want to talk about what happened last night, and why they lost another must win game, that’s easy: it’s all the same reasons this season has been such a catastrophe and they’re on the outside looking in. 

- They’re busted up. 

- They can’t shoot a lick on the perimeter. 

- And the next player any of those goofballs defends will be the first.  

You’re not gonna win a helluva lot of games, if you can’t put the ball in the hole, can’t keep the other guy from doing it to you and you can’t put your five best guys on the floor, who already weren’t good enough. Fact is, everyone has injuries, so no one gives a damn about them. And the injuries aren’t the reason they can’t shoot and they can’t defend. 

There’s a ton of blame to go around with the Lakers: in fact, there’s no one pulling a check there that doesn’t deserve some of the blame. And I’ll get there, but first. Put some respect on the clippers.  They earned it.  Because they’re better. And they actually have an identity. And that identity is toughness. I’m not saying the Lakers don’t have an identity; they do: it’s an aging, busted up LeBron and a bunch of goofballs. 

This Lakers team finds a way to beat themselves every night. 

The Clippers are tough as hell. They’re ready to give you the hands every single night.  The Lakers don’t have anyone like this guy, my man, Patrick Beverly:

Listen to the question that set that up. Beverley is being asked about whether, when he was a kid, he played with someone who played like him and he immediately goes into the fire he had going into this game. That wasn’t the question, but the truth is, it didn’t matter what the question was. Pat Bev had the answer. And his answer was they were going to kick the Lakers’ ass. Period. No matter what he was asked he was going to answer, we’re here to kick their ass. 

And he wasn’t done either:

They are the best team in LA. And the numbers don’t lie. And neither do your eyes. Patrick Beverley was getting in guys faces, Montrez Harrell was going through their chests, and Danilo Gallinari was murdering the Lakers from all over the floor.

Like I said, Pat and the Clippers are tough as hell. The Lakers are not. I don’t want to single anyone out unfairly, but do you really think that Patrick Beverley was going to be intimidated by Alex Caruso?!? 

The Clippers are everything the Lakers aren’t. The Lakers aren’t physically tough, and they’re not mentally tough. They broke down physically first and then mentally at the trade deadline when they couldn’t pull the trigger on Anthony Davis.

And then whenever, they had to have it, had to step up, they stepped into the ring and got knocked the hell out. Often times by teams that shouldn’t have been able to carry their jock. 

And whenever things start going against the Lakers, they fold. When the going gets tough, they quit. They miss shots on offense and then miss assignments on defense. And a lead turns into a deficit and a close game turns into a blowout.

Hell, aside from LeBron and Rajon Rondo, who else played last night? Seriously. Can you think of anyone else who was on the court? Maybe Reggie Bullock clanking open looks and the balding guy who looks like Steve Blake’s dad or grandfather, but that’s about it. 

The Clippers, meanwhile, traded their best player at the deadline. They were supposed to be giving up on the season, trying to miss the playoffs, keeping their lottery pick, and focusing on free agents. Instead, they’re coming out every night and clocking fools. And goofballs like the Lakers. And then flexing. 

Then again, this is nothing new with the Lakers. They got LeBron, and brought back Magic and hired Rob Pelinka and yet somehow, nothing has changed in the last six years.  They are the Kobe-Dwight team, but with less star power. They’ve been flailing around, looking for an identity for years, chasing stars, usually missing on them, and the only thing they can come up with is that “we’re the Lakers.” Right, and? Because right now, “we’re the Lakers” means missing the playoffs for a sixth straight season. 

And not only are they going to miss the playoffs this year, but they have to consider the possibility of shutting down LeBron. I can't believe we're at that point, but not only is it a question, it's a very strong reality.

He’s clearly not right. They aren’t making the playoffs. Why would you keep running him out there, using up minutes on his legs, and running the risk of further injury? I know that he’s already saying he doesn’t want to do it, but if you aren’t going to make the playoffs, there’s no point in risking it. Isn’t that right, Dirk!

What's more humiliating for the Lakers - shutting down LeBron and keeping him out of meaningless games at the end of the season? Or not shutting LeBron down and running him out there in meaningless games at the end of the season?

Nobody was expecting a title in year 1, but missing the playoffs and possibly shutting down LeBron early? How’s that taste, Laker fan?  BETTER YET, HOWS IT LIVING IN A CLIPPERS TOWN AND RUNNING AROUND WITH A BIG DUMP IN YOUR PANTS.