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Two Lakers dive for a loose ball (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

NBA Hot Takes

Is it a distant memory of 2002, or a hallucination?

After watching two surprising games during the first two days of the NBA season, I just had to throw in my two cents. As a true blue Laker fan, I can make the following claims for the next twelve hours:

  1. The Lakers and Kings sit atop the Pacific Division, ahead of the Clippers and the Warriors (who occupy last place).
  2. Luke Walton has begun another amazing undefeated streak to begin his official career as a head coach.
  3. Walton is an early candidate for coach of the year by using a ten player rotation and getting his young team to run and hustle for the first time since the Show Time years. Two players even dove for the ball at the end of the game to recover a ball stolen from MVP candidate James Harden.
  4. Swaggy “D” is now the Lakers’ best perimeter defender and was their best option to contain James Harden. (I told you this could be a hallucination.)
  5. A Laker not named Kobe got into time trouble, jacked up a terrible three pointer and made it to give the Lakers a critical four-point lead with 1:47 left in the game.
  6. In the last 9:14 of the game, the Lakers made 8 of 9 free throws, had four steals, blocked two layups, and out rebounded their opponents 12–9, including a key tip-in. That’s a lot of fourth quarter defense, in spite of giving up 71 points in the first half.

Sweet dreams, Laker fans. It may be years before we can make any of these claims again!

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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