Lakers give one up just to break the monotony

SAN ANTONIO -- The Lakers are so boring.

Why are we even here?

It's steaming hot and the only thing this city has going for it is the River Walk -- where everyone walks around a winding, polluted river, maybe catching a table by its side for dinner and watching the garbage float by.

There's also the Alamo, named for a rental car company, I believe, but none of it is Boston, and isn't that what everyone is really waiting for?

Maybe if the Lakers were more interesting, a lifetime sentence of three days in San Antonio would be all right. But we already know what's going to happen.

The Lakers are going to win. And then win again.

That's how it's gone so far. When they went to Salt Lake City for a couple of games, I stayed behind with the granddaughter, and I hear they lost.

I wouldn't know. I'm 10-0 with the Lakers, and each of our guys is great, the "we take just one game at a time" cliches flowing freely, and everyone else stinks.

The thrill of sports is the unexpected, an occasional Lakers defeat maybe and our heroes digging deep to fight back and win the next day. As the TNT or TBS commercial goes, "We know drama."

The Lakers don't.

They lose, and at least we can take a closer look at everyone without first patting them on the back.

The other day I get this e-mail from "bw," who wrote: "In the midst of all this Laker playoff euphoria, why haven't you cast a spotlight on Luke Walton's shooting?

"Have you seen it? What is he now, about two for 40? And other than a fifth-grade girls' playground game, have you ever seen a shooting form to match it? Have you noticed the deathly silence from the Laker broadcast team whenever he slams another brick off the glass? How many years is this guy signed for?"

First of all, he makes "deathly silence from the Laker broadcast team" sound like a bad thing.

But as for Walton, I repeat, the Lakers are 10-0 while I've watched them play, and if Walton is that bad, who cares?

I checked, though, and although he's two for nine against the Spurs, it's not exactly two for 40, and if you add up all the playoff games, he's 33 for 66, and that's darn good.

I suppose I should be concerned when the e-mailers are tougher on the Lakers than Page 2, but how does anyone pick them apart while they're doing so well?

I'm now reduced to checking out what the guys from ESPN are wearing. Marc Stein is sporting a Cal State Fullerton tennis T-shirt from his days at the school as a ball boy, but surprisingly Ric Bucher isn't wearing a Kobe jersey.

But that's it unless the Lakers go human and stumble here, but how can a team win by 30 and two days later lose to that same old team?

I guess maybe if Derek Fisher doesn't make the trip. Where was he? I had no idea he was even in uniform until the referee called a technical foul on him.

Lamar Odom makes a low pass to Pau Gasol and Gasol shows him up when the ball goes off Gasol and out of bounds. He bends down low again, letting Odom know he can't catch it there, and then raises his arms showing everyone where Odom should have passed the ball. Maybe that flies in Memphis, but not here.

But then Gasol is always seemingly blaming someone else when things don't go well. Usually it's the referees, and enough already.

Manu Ginobili, by the way, who made no excuses for his horrible play so far in the series, is bombing three after three over Sasha Vujacic. Vujacic should know where a three-point shooter likes to get the ball, but he continues to give Ginobili space.

Later he looks to the sideline with disbelief when Tim Duncan makes an unbelievable shot over him -- like Phil Jackson can do anything about it. Enough already with the grimaces, just play.

Odom, meanwhile, is one for 10 at one stretch and a disaster at the free-throw line. Would someone please tell him he has no balance at the free-throw line. He begins with legs spread, and then just before shooting takes away his own base, accounting for every wobbly attempt. No excuse, none, for the way he shoots free throws.

If someone locates Fisher, I suspect Vladimir Radmanovic will be with him. My guess, they're out to lunch.

Too bad they didn't take Vujacic with them. He would have had the same amount of threes in the game had he not come to the arena.

Bryant shoots one free and misses. Holy Utah, what's with that?

I swear, even the Spurs' cheerleaders are looking better than the Laker Girls, a 49-point swing from Friday to Sunday here, some drama, and a series that is no longer boring.

Isn't it great? One more loss here, and how much fun would it be returning to Staples Center, the best of three against the defending champions, Lakers fans a little nervous, and now that's entertainment.

The Lakers winning it all in the end, of course, or someone is really going to have to rip into the bums.

WHY AM I not surprised that an ultimate fighter who runs away from Page 2 loses every round unanimously Saturday night in Las Vegas? Just surprised Tito Ortiz even showed up.


TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Scott Willard: "Let me begin by telling you unequivocally that you should be ashamed by your written words. This column tells me quite a bit about your character, or lack thereof. Calling Mr. Ned Colletti a 'schmoozer' belies a man of great character . . . so I hope you slept well last night after you filed your column. Mr. Colletti and his interest in such causes (as Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA) are what God wants from every man. Perhaps it would serve you well to visit some hospitals on your own. I would imagine you would be less inclined to write columns such as this. I pray you take the time to apologize to Mr. Colletti . . . "

I'm sorry he doesn't spend more time with the kids in the hospital . . . and away from the Dodgers.


T.J. Simers can be reached at To read previous columns by Simers, go to

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