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Lakers hit the easy button, cruise to a 101-77 victory over Golden State

Nov 10, 2012, 1:06 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

In the middle of the third quarter, with the Lakers enjoying a double-digit lead, Kobe Bryant went to the free throw line. Typically, this is when Bryant is serenaded with the familiar “MVP! MVP!” chants from the Staples Center crowd. But that didn’t happen.

It wasn’t because Kobe was having a bad night – quite the opposite. He was toeing the line between distributor and scorer wonderfully (27 points, 7 assists), and the Lakers offense, despite some serious bricklaying from Metta World Peace, actually looked pretty smooth en route to a 101-77 blowout win over Golden State.

So why wasn’t Kobe getting his MVP chants? The Lakers faithful surely couldn’t have come to a collective decision that those chants, in Game 6 of an 82-game season, sound ridiculous. So what was this? Who is…Bill? Oh, right.

“We want Phil! We want Phil! We want Phil!”

The chants grew louder and louder – even free tacos wouldn’t evoke so much emotion.

The fact that the Lakers were finally defending better, chasing the Warriors’ shooters off the 3-point line and sending them into the teeth of the defense, was secondary. It didn’t seem to matter that the Lakers, finally, weren’t toasted in transition or on the offensive glass.

Mike Brown’s firing serves to a greater point. Slow progression is not something the Lakers or their fanbase know. If they aren’t playing like a championship team, regardless of the circumstances, there has to be changes. With Kobe Bryant’s clock ticking, there is no time for patience. With Dwight Howard’s contract expiring, there is no time for patience.

Right or wrong, Mike Brown is gone. The Lakers got the nice “dead coach bounce” – the blowout win after canning your coach. Happens all the time, but this was an impressive victory nonetheless. The Lakers played inside-out, and felt less “forced” offensively. It was more simple. The offense could best be described as “our players are better than yours, watch this” instead of the forced handoffs and general awkwardness of the five previous games. There were lots of positive takeaways defensively as well, particularly holding one of the league’s best shooting backcourts (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson) to a 12-for-32 effort.

But the defensive numbers, as great as they are, didn’t resonate quite like the chants did. The people want Phil Jackson – the players want Phil Jackson – and until he’s back giving reading assignments and administering zen lessons, this will be a distraction. This won’t go away. Not even when the Lakers are in the middle of cruising to a much-needed victory.

Interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff didn’t inherit Mike Brown’s team – he inherited Phil Jackson’s shadow, just like Mike Brown did. Good luck with that.

  1. gopokes0714 - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    most pathetic blog. any passing thought on the Lakers is breaking news apparently.

  2. gopokes0714 - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    I guess there was only one game in the NBA today. thanks NBC. Just like Obama, all talk, no substance

    • jimeejohnson - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Kleenex and Depends factories doing big business thanks to all the whining Conservative LOSERS!

    • cantonbound13 - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Go pokes, aren’t to late for your kkk meeting?

  3. jedifriedchicken - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    We want Phil! We want Phil! We want Phil!

  4. BigBeachBall - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    How will the assistant coaching staff work? All of jacksons assistant coaches have jobs in other programs now… In other cities….

  5. gopokes0714 - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Phil doesn’t want you!

    Think about it. What’s in it for him? He has more money than he could ever need. His reputation can’t get any better. But if everything doesn’t go perfect, it puts a dark spot on his reputation, and ends the greatest coaching career of all time with failure. There a lot of risk and little reward for him.

    Laker fans asking for Phil are incredibly selfish. Has this man not done enough for LA? You want him to sacrifice his career because your front office made bad decisions? pathetic.

    • blueintown - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      Based on money, reputation, and success, there hasn’t been much in it for Phil since about 1998. He could have walked away after number six and gone down as one of the greatest to ever coach the game. Competitor’s don’t rest on their laurels. A twelfth championship is what is in it for Phil. And in case you didn’t notice, the period at the end of his career is currently a four game sweep in the western semifinals. Not exactly ideal.

  6. hoodheisman - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Today was not about getting rid of Mike Brown. It was about clearing the deck for Phil Jackson. Fortunately there’s no luxury tax on coaches.

  7. e39er - Nov 10, 2012 at 5:30 AM

    You guys are her complaining about Phil not coming and he’s not the savior…money and rings talk…he’ll be back that elusive 12th ring is too great for him to just walk away, unless you guys are paying for Phil let’s sit back and enjoy basketball

  8. lemfaxx - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:21 AM

    11 is enough. 12 is too much. He is the right coach but this is not the right time. Everybody can coach this team but no way they can adjust the speed of the gear…

    • mytthor - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Yep. Too many championships.

  9. magicbucs - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:45 AM

    Lakers will lose the next 4

  10. dpeter11 - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    I hope Phil tells the lakers and all the laker fans to eff off

  11. 69jaredallen69 - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    We get it you love the Lakers but there are 29 other teams..,this isn’t

  12. mazblast - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    It makes no difference who has the title of coach of this team. His Kobeness runs the show, and as Brown just found out, if Kobe ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

  13. spthegr8 - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    That is pure speculation. I’ll give u a fact tho. The Magic got BLOWN OUT last night. LMAO!!!!!!!! Man the “TROLLS” are on this post!!!!!

  14. dwirk - Nov 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    This laker team is right up Phils alley. Doesn’t have to wait for pieces to be acquired. Can come in sit on his throne and coach via Skype while in Montana.

  15. ermur22 - Nov 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Better watch out for the 4-0 NYK!!

  16. rickeydynamite25 - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    What cracks me up is all the intelligent dummies out there saying Phil won’t work out because of the triangle,,,, like the triangle is the only thing he knows,, as if he can’t make an adjustment. Did it ever occur to anyone that Phil can run a standard offense while spoon feeding small portions of the triangle along the way so they’re not overwhelmed with something completely foreign. Common sense ladies and gents.

  17. cantonbound13 - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

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