Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Houston Rockets: The Inevitable Issues of a Finesse Team

By Steve Han

Get ready for another roller-coaster season, Laker fans. This is what you’ll get with these Lakers. They’ll win most of their games, but most of those wins will come at the cost of sheer frustration.

The common consensus has been that those with champions’ mentality are wired to be great consistently, rather than flipping the switch “when it matters,” but the Lakers have won back-to-back championships while playing like a team deserving of praise one night, but profanity the next.

Many Laker fans, myself included, have criticized the team over the last couple of years for its inability to bring it night in and night out. But after watching them squeeze past the Houston Rockets on opening night, I’m inclined to believe that it’s not the Lakers who choose to turn it on and off. It’s the trend of modern basketball X’s and O’s that prevents finesse ball clubs from being able to play their customary game.

Gone are the days when high scoring and pure basketball skills were enough to pad the win column. The games are now fixated on playing physical, tough, and rugged. So seeing how basketball is being played nowadays, it’s all but impossible for a team with its core built on finesse players to be able to put in dominant performances on a nightly basis.

Then how did the Lakers win over 70 per cent of their games in the last two seasons?

For one, the Lakers may have won games consistently, but a lot of those were hardly dominant wins. In fact, the Lakers record after the All-Star break last season was 16-12. In the last 10 games of the season? 4-6.

The true strength of the Lakers lies in the fact that they’re just about the only team capable of playing championship caliber basketball without having to be overly physical or tough. While lack of physical toughness can never be overcome with skills alone, the La...

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