Lakers 2009-2010 Season Review
Lakers.com – For the second straight campaign and 16th time in franchise history, the Lakers emerged from a long regular season and tough playoff run to stand alone as the champions of basketball.
The script may have been written down the road from STAPLES Center in Hollywood, as the title came at the expense of L.A.’s archrival Boston Celtics, who fought Kobe Bryant and Co. down to the final moments of a historic Game 7.
The 83-79 victory produced purple and gold streamers that rained down from the rooftop, celebrating the culmination of a 4-2 series win over Oklahoma City, a 4-0 sweep of Utah, a 4-2 vanquishing of Phoenix and the 4-3 outlasting of Boston.
Internally, at least, the Lakers never lost confidence that they were the league’s best team, that they’d ultimately be holding another trophy while riding down Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles as they did for roughly 1 million supporters.
But the skeptics grew after a regular season that ended on a downward spiral, the Lakers winning just four of their final 11 games due in part to injuries – Andrew Bynum missed the team’s final 15 games and Kobe Bryant four of the final five – and in part because L.A. had locked up the top seed in the Western Conference and looked to be keen on hitting the fast-forward button to the second season.
After the Lakers had taken advantage of a favorable home schedule to start the defense of their 2008-09 title over Orlando with a scorching 23-4 start, the 57-25 final record fell short of coach Phil Jackson’s desired 60 wins.
Even General Manager Mitch Kupchak admitted to some “concern” after the regular season, but his stronger sentiment was one of trust.
“At the end of the day, we’re not talking about an inexperienced roster or coaching staff,” he said. “This team, based on what they’ve accomplished and not just recently deserves the chance to go into the playoffs and make any adjustments that they feel necessary. We all know that no matter what happened 10 days ago or three weeks ago, everybody will be evaluated based on how the season ends.”