Lakers Disappear in Game 4, Lose to Yao-less Rockets
This Los Angeles Lakers team is a confusing group.
In a game where the Houston Rockets were without their marquee player Yao Ming for the first time in the Western Conference Semi-finals, the Lakers lost horribly. This game was considered a "gimme" for the Lakers because the Rockets seemed to be grounded with the absence of another All-Star. But instead of flashing the "Killer Instinct" that surfaced in Game Three, the Lakers faltered and were blown out.
If the Lakers expected that the Rockets would keel over and give up after another setback, they were dead wrong. Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier stepped up big time for the Rockets, leaving the Lakers looking at a level 2-2 series, instead of leading 3-1.
As a big fan of the Lakers, this is just maddening. In Games Two and Three, the Lakers performed at a level where they could crush the Rockets completely. But perhaps after seeing that their opponent was significantly weakened, they decide to lower their effort correspondingly. This is just the type of game that casts a huge doubt on whether the Lakers can fully get into a mode where they dismantle their opponents with reguality and consistency (something the Cleveland Cavaliers have been doing almost perfectly).
Game Four was just a complete and utter letdown from the Los Angeles Lakers. I can only hope that they will find the series interesting again and show up in Game Five.