It's been almost five months since the end of the Los Angeles Lakers playoff run, enough time to give former coach Phil Jackson some time to reflect on last season's disappointing finish for the Lake Show. Phil joined "The Waddle and Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago Thursday and spoke about the fizzle the went on in tinsel town at the end of last year.
"There is nothing that could have gone worse for a basketball team than the way we finished our season last year," Jackson said, "Struggling with New Orleans ... and going into the next round [against Dallas] we needed everyone to start playing well and we just couldn't find that little magical thing that you always hope you have as a coach, the chemistry that makes a team work well."
The Lakers seemingly improved as the playoffs went on during their back-to-back title runs of '09 and '10, but strugglied mightily through the 2001 postseason, eventually being swept at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. Jackson saw the writing on the wall after game one of that series.
"To lose an 18-point lead in the first game [against the Mavericks], not being able to outscore your opponent on your home court in the fourth quarter," he said, "to give them life in the very first game of the Dallas series was foreboding what was going to happen to us. We didn't have the ability to play in the clutch like we had in the previous years."
Maybe if there's a season, the Lakers can figure it out this year, sans Jackson and his 11 championships of experience, of course.