Friday, May 8

Roshambo: or Why the Lakers are in Trouble

Earlier this week, I asked who would step up to protect the stars on the Lakers. After game 2, my Derek Fisher guess assessment proved to be correct, although wondering if Fish had it in him proved fallacious. The bad news for the Laker faithful is this is only the 2nd round of the playoffs and Fish has already used one of his bullets, meaning he has maybe one more if and only if the team makes the NBA Finals. Fish's crosscheck of Louis Scola was not only intended to send a message to the Rockets, but also to his big men. It's virtually impossible for a guard to be an enforcer. Guards are like scissors in rock-paper-scissors, they cut through paper (officials) often earning fouls on others that they haven't deserved and big men are like rocks, they can crush guards (particularly in the message-sending department) and are often vulnerable to ticky-tack calls by paper--think Andrew Bynum. For a pair of scissors to even get noticed by a rock they have to hurl themselves in a conspicuous manner that cannot be ignored. Now that Fish is on the collective radar, it will be difficult for him to "protect" Kobe and Lamar(?) without earning, at minimum, an ejection. With plenty of games left, someone else needs to step up, because the physical play will only intensify through the remainder of this series and beyond. As it stands, I'm not sure if any of the Lakers' "rocks" are willing to throw.

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