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Harsh reality hits desperate Lakers
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 9, 2013 @ 5:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
EL SEGUNDO – So here come the New Orleans Hornets, that pesky, bottom-feeding team that nearly knocked off the Lakers a month ago before the 25-point comeback in the Bayou that sparked one of their few impressive stretches of this sad-sack season.
The harsh reality for this Los Angeles Lakers group that was so sure it would be resting players and plotting a championship strategy by this point: It’s the Hornets tonight at Staples Center, at Portland tomorrow night, then home games against Golden State, San Antonio and Houston down the stretch; win them all, and – more than likely – the Lakers grab the eighth seed from Utah and the worst-case scenario of sitting at home in late April is avoided.
Or, as best put by a Lakers employee who wished center Dwight Howard well on his way out of the team’s practice facility on Tuesday morning, “Remember now, there ain’t no tomorrow,” the man said to Howard before he entered his car. “You don’t want to go fishin’ early.”
But even if the Lakers (40-37) aren’t reaching for their tackle boxes by late April, there’s a problem that has surfaced regarding their playoff premise that made so much sense back in late January when they were eight games worse than .500: getting in is no longer synonymous with surging. It was always a stretch to say the Lakers could get out of the first round if they got in, but it did stand to reason that the momentum of playing so well in the final few months could carry over at the perfect time. Mix together some improved chemistry with a bit of good fortune, and one never knows what might happen in Laker Land.
Now, however, the air has been taken out of that balloon. Even if they get in, to put it in Danny Green parlance from his spot-on March 12 tweet, “Aint no1 scared of dem.” While injuries to Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and Steve Nash have played a huge part down the stretch, the fact that the Lakers moved into playoff position far earlier than … [For more on Harsh reality hits Lakers as they push for playoffs, click here.]
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