In last night’s Heat – Lakers game, the Heat had The Bron in the lineup (despite being sick), but The Wade sat out with his ankle injury. Even without The Wade, the Heat dominated the game. Kobe shot a horrible percentage but took more shots than Pau “the Gas Man” Gasol or Andrew “Great Potential” Bynum (as usual).
The Heat led by 21 entering the fourth quarter. Still, Mike Brown left his starters on the floor until the bitter end. When Kobe entered the game around the 10 minute mark, announcer Steve Kerr admonished Brown to take all the starters out. Kobe banked in a three and the lead was down to ten with two minutes left. But did the Lakers ever really stand a chance in the fourth? No. It was a waste of effort for the starters to stay in the game. The Lakers play at Orlando tonight, and Kerr correctly noted that, with the condensed schedule, the Lakers should have focused on tonight’s game rather than the lost cause last night, once it got out of hand.
This is the same argument I’ve been making for the Celtics. Even if the Lakers win tonight, they missed an opportunity to rest some guys during a back to back. Teams with older players need to start taking the condensed schedule seriously. It doesn’t matter that the Lakers closed the deficit to 11 points last night — they still lost, and their starters are going to be drained after tonight.
Edit: The Lakers went on to lose to Orlando by 12, of course.