Lakers Choke on Red’s Cigar and Mauled by Big 4 in Game 5

The Los Angeles Lakers are beginning to look like a little bit of history repeating.

If those players not named Kobe Bryant could go back to Game 1, they’d be able to read fantastic press clippings about their height, strength, balance, power and grace.  They could read of the glorious flow of their manes and the quest for precious sweat from their brows.  These same Lakers could read of their former glory and of the ease with which they dispatched a team that knows how to lose.

The Zen Genius will have to unpack his ego, er, um, back of tricks and pull out an elixir yielding optimum effort from his talented band of Tin Men.

For me, last night’s game yielding 10 signature plays.  The first seven defy description…those blistering shots made by Kobe Bryant from east, west, north and south at the beginning of the third quarter.  They sho’ wuz pritty, but at the end of the barrage, the Celtics lead was bigger than when it began.  So much for optimal effort and execution from an elite player.

How about those other plays?  Only 3 left.

Exhibit A:  Rondo rips Bryant from the rear.  (Wasn’t that a foul?)  Breaks down court as his teammates corral the loose ball.  Rondo streaks to the goal and scores.

Exhibit B:  Derek Fisher floats to cover Ray Allen; Kobe Bryant descends to the baseline and establishes position for a rebound.  He is joined underneath the backboard by seven-foot point forward Lamar Odom.  The Celtics drive the lane and the shot is missed.  It’s off the glass into the waiting arms of…Rajon Rondo who has just over both Bryant and Odom to tip in a missed shot.

Exhibit C:  Celtic ball out of bounds.  4 seconds to cross half court.  Garnett to Pierce — almost out of bounds.  Pierce falls backwards and whips a two-handed pass to a streaking Rondo who reaches back, snares the ball and scores ahead of Ron Artest.

I’m guessing that these three plays made the highlight reel.  It was really all you needed to see.  Game-Set-Boston.  On to LA.

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