The 2010-2011 Lakers are the most frustrating team I have ever followed closely. When they show up they are unbeatable. There are too many games, however, when they seem to check out mentally. They don't play with energy and focus, and lose to teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now in the conference semi-finals, they are down 0-2 to the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers lost the first two games at home. Mark Medina of the LA Times says the Lakers are done. It's hard to disagree.
On the Stephen A. Smith show a few weeks ago George Karl said the Lakers' problem is mental fatigue. You see, a season is 82 games long. When a team goes to the finals three years in a row, they play extra games. The Lakers have played four seasons in three years.
In this time the Lakers have gotten three years older, too. Kobe's body is banged up after 15 years in the league. Earlier this year he said his knee is bone on bone -- no cartilage left.
It looks like it's all catching up with them. Now on top of it all we hear the team has "trust issues." They don't trust one another. This too might be the result of mental fatigue.
If this series were a Hollywood movie, it would be set up for a big Act III thrilling comeback. The Lakers win three games to bring it to a game 7 and then win on their home court. It could happen. I believe three teams in history have come back after losing the first two at home. Maybe Phil Jackson has some Jedi mind tricks he can play.
I'll be rooting for them on Friday, but realistically, I think Mark Medina is right. The Lakers could show all the heart they can muster, but they just might not have it. You can push the accelerator to the floor, but if there is no gas in the tank...