One Person's Opinion
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Tuesday, June 08, 2004
PLAYING THE LAKERS:
The Pistons were up by 6 late, fouled Shaq to create a three point play, and then allowed Kobe to touch the ball in the last seconds, which gave rise to a 3 point shot which inevitably dropped to tie the game and send it to overtime, where the Lakers won.
This happens all the time. Remember Derek Fisher against the Spurs? Remember Kobe twice against Portland when the Lakers needed to win to clinch the division?
When teams play the Lakers, and they take a single-digit lead late into the game, they have to assume that Kobe or somebody will hit 3 pointers. That means Shaq gets a concession layup to cut the lead to 4, rather than tough defense and a foul allowing the Laker deficit to be cut to 3. And that certainly means that anyone who touches the ball before Kobe gets fouled on the last possession-- 2 shots for Shaq or Luke Walton, both of whom got touches before Kobe.
You can't coach against the Lakers the way you would against any other team. No team I have ever seen is so effective in the last seconds. Not even the Bulls with Jordan.
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