The Lakers Showed Up

Last night was evidence that it’s too soon to bury the champs.

Jim Rome
May 04, 2021 - 9:12 am
Anthony Davis

USA Today

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If the Los Angeles Lakers were rocked on Sunday, the champs got off the mat last night at Staples. That was a big time performance. You might even go so far as to call it a statement win. Statement being: we’re back.

Not my words, MIND YOU, BUT the words of Anthony Davis after he had a block to ice the game.

That was a big-time FINISH to a big time effort by Davis. 

It was so big that Magic Johnson tweeted after the game: Anthony Davis was huge tonight without LeBron and Dennis Schröder, scoring 25 points in the Lakers big win over the Jazz!

And a lot of people were clowning Magic for that tweet, because a lot of people have nothing better to do than clown Magic for his tweets. And when you do that, you just show that you don’t get it. You show that you have nothing better to do than clown a guy who has nothing better to do than troll everyone else

When he tweets out a fact or a statement on the game that has absolutely no insight, that’s the bit. That’s the brand. That’s the joke. And he gets a ton of retweets and favorites as a result.

So he made a mistake on this one, and? Get over it. Because here’s another truth, dopes, most of that tweet was correct. In fact, almost all of it. 

Anthony Davis was huge. The game was last night, which means that “tonight” was accurate when Erv tweeted it. And the Lakers were without LeBron and Dennis Schruder.

Also, Davis did have 25 points and the Lakers did get a big win over a team. It’s just that the team was the Denver Nuggets, not the Utah Jazz. But so what? Who cares?

So he typed the Jazz instead of the Nuggets. It happens. It happens to us all. 

I just love the fact that he didn’t take it down. He stuck by it. When you come with a scorching hot take like the one Magic came with, you can’t take it down just because you got one word wrong. You stand by it. 

So he got a word wrong. You’re going to kill him for that? He got 20 of the 21 words in the sentence correct. That’s a 95% hit rate. How about we focus on the good news, for once?

Jeez, if a basketball player made 95% of the shots he took, he’d be the greatest player ever. And you want to come for this guy just because he got the team wrong.  

Sure, he appeared to think that the Lakers had played the Jazz, when in fact they’d played the Nuggets. At least he was in the same sport. It’s not like he said that Anthony Davis was huge in the Lakers win over the Yankees. Or the New Jersey Devils. Or Manchester United.  I have news for you, I’m not convinced it was a mistake: at this point, I think Erv or whoever is at the controls of that feed, put in their on purpose to get people like me and the rest of you to react. But I’m on to you Erv or whatever intern you gave your phone to: I’m not saying you’re a good analyst: you’re not: you’re one of the worst, but there’s no way you’re that dumb with it. No likes or RT’s from me, Erv, because I’m on to your dude. 

Anyway last night wasn’t about Magic Johnson or his tweets. It’s about the Lakers and how they showed up against the Jazz or the Nuggets or whoever they were playing.

Because they had to have that. And they got it. They beat a red hot, western conference opponent and they did without two of their best players. 

Beating the Nuggets on May 3rd doesn’t mean they’re going to be holding the trophy again when it’s all over, but last night was a reminder of why you can’t throw dirt on these guys yet. 

Lose that game and everyone has their shovels out. Lose that game and everyone’s talk about how father time is still undefeated because now he’s kicking LeBron’s ass: lose that game and everyone’s talking about how starting a season 71 days after the last one ended, was just too much to ask: especially for a guy with as many miles as LeBron, and a guy like A.D., who always seems to get hurt, even in the best of times. Lose that game and everyone is burying the Lakers.  Hell, win that game, and there’s still no shortage of people burying the defending champs.

But that didn’t happen. Somehow, the crew who, honestly, mailed it in on Sunday came back with a vengeance on Monday. 

I’m not saying they can flip the switch, but it sure looked like they did. That looked like a totally different team last night. They played with intensity, they battled, and they looked more like themselves. 

But it’s not just about getting a win to move them ahead of Dallas in the standings. It’s about the fact that they played with urgency. They were motivated. They were a unit. They knew that they had to have it last night. 

And by the way, did anyone anywhere really think the Lakers were just going to shut it down? Sure, the last couple months have been rough, but did you really think they were just going to tap out and quit? Did you really think the defending champs would just shut it down, pull the plug, and shout “1-2-3 Cancun” when they break the huddle?

C’mon man. I know they’re in fifth place and a game ahead of playing in the play-in tournament. And I know they’re pissed about the possibility. Just like every other team that’s in sixth, seventh or eighth place is pissed about it.

And I get why they are. Before this year, if you were in 7th or 8th place, you’d wrap up the regular season and go into the first round of the playoffs. They’re already in. Now you have to enter a tournament for the right to enter what you already in, in years past: That’s more work and more stress on top of what they already have in a really difficult season. 

But crying about it isn’t going to help, because that play-in tournament isn’t going away. And despite LeBron trying to break off whoever came up with the idea, that’s not happening either. If being the defending champs and having to play in the play-in sucks, big dawg, embrace the suck. Because you know what would suck even more, missing the playoffs altogether, especially after you made it sound as if you running back was a mere formality after you and A.D. came back.  Last night was evidence that it’s too soon to bury y’all, but everyone’s still got their shovels out. Trust that.  Everyone except Erv who is still celebrating your huge win over the Steelers last night.