The players insist they’re not too worried following the series opening loss – least of all Kobe Bryant, despite the marvelous defensive job done by Shane Battier – and they probably shouldn’t be, but fans and some media members aren’t going into tonight’s matchup with calm nerves.
For whatever reason, Game 1 reminded certain folks of last season’s NBA Finals. Because, you know, ’09 Rockets = ’08 Celtics.
From the OC Register:
In a blatant condemnation of his team, Phil Jackson made abundantly clear that the Game 1 result was no surprise whatsoever to him. See, this 2009 Houston team is similar to that 2008 Boston team in the ways of physicality and toughness, zoning up with dedication on defense to keep Kobe Bryant out of that precious paint.
And until another NBA Finals is completed, the Lakers remain in the record books that team … the one that wilted in the face of the Celtics’ extra effort, grew so tentative amid adversity and fundamentally cracked when its pretty passes were deflected and soft jumpshots wouldn’t fall.
Indeed, these were the Lakers of the 2008 NBA Finals, more concerned about getting shots up than keeping the opponent down.
I must’ve missed the memo informing us all that Houston — which, up until two nights ago, was 0-4 against the Lakers this season — was a defensive beast of a team, well on its way to a championship.