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Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Highway to Perfect 10 won't come easy
With Miami and Dallas anxiously waiting in the wings, L.A.'s road to a perfect 10 start since the all-star break will not be easy. Speaking of, is it safe to say that the all-star break is officially the start of the Lakers season? It seems that the Lakers good but I guess not good enough first half is stealthily making its exit in the shadows of L.A.'s latest streak. Considering Miami's headlined issues and Dallas losing by one tonight against the Chis Paul-less Hornets, both teams will be eager to bounce back. What better stage to do it on but at home against the defending champions.
All season long the champs have been criticized when faced with a loss especially if those losses happen to come consecutively (oh no!) but critics often forget that every team brings their A game when playing us. If L.A. has an average game then any opponent has a chance to meet their objective. Lakers always have to be "that" perfect team. If they're not, critics come rushing out of the woodwork with red pen in hand.
With the recent scrutiny exposing Miami's structural problems from James opening shop rather than closing it; how D. Wade needs to have the rock to end games; shed tears in the locker room; and the lack of a low-post presence, look for the Heat to [attempt to] make a Laker streak-ending statement at home. Their recent loss to Portland only adds more fuel to the fire over in Miami.
Dallas won't be any different. They'll also bring their A game like every other team does. Dallas has already proven successful this season beating L.A. by 9 back in February. Losing streaks for Dallas average to just about 2 losses so they don't intend to change that. Thanks to Jarrett Jack's 21 point contribution and team 8-0 final minute comeback run to come out with the W, Lakers are climbing the Western Conference standings slowly by surely.
These last two away games for L.A. will either answer many questions or remind critics that L.A. cannot win when it matters against the leagues elite. We shall see.