The Lakers took it on the chin on defense Friday night, the Dallas Mavericks slicing them up with a steady diet of pick-and-rolls. At times last season, the Lakers had trouble with their pick-and-roll defense.
Let's face it. The Lakers have defended the pick-and-roll serviceably twice in the last three years: December 25, 2008, and February 5, 2009, and they absolutely had to win those two games to rebuild their self-esteem. The prior June we saw how well they played defense against a team highly skilled at the pick and roll, and I expect that same team to be even more dangerous when deploying the pick and roll with a revamped line-up that includes Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels, and an improved Glen Davis.
There's also that little thing called D-E-S-I-R-E.
The bad taste at Waltham still lingers from last season, and I'm not just talking about KG's injury and the loss to Orlando in the playoffs. Paul Pierce had four dates circled on his calendar the day the schedules came out, two of those being on 1/31/10 (a Sunday) and 2/18/10 (a Thursday). Anyone doubt the rest of the Celtics have those dates circled, too?