Off-peak times oblige, TrashTalk has taken the habit each summer of making you relive with emotion the greatest moments of the past season. Even in 2021, moreover, despite a summer that had then put all of our vital forces in PLS, but that’s another story. So we go back to our good old formula, we take a few steps back, a few months, and we remember that this 2021-22 season was crazy, from the first day to the last.
For the stats of the magnificent Thunder comeback against the Lakers, it’s right here.
October 27, 2021. The NBA has resumed for almost ten days already and it is already the frequently asked questions on the side of the Lakers. After a Free Agency that saw the arrival of Russell Westbrook and a slew of All-Stars and older role players, it’s time to see the supposed “bulldozer” in action. Like the shivering student in the driving school Clio, LA stalls home entry against the Warriors and Suns. Never mind, it’s only two out of eighty-two games, including one against the NBA finalist from the previous season, not enough to make a Roquefort. We must not forget the instability of the group during the off-season and the period necessary for the team to build automation. Two not very convincing victories against the Grizzlies and the Spurs later, LA has already corrected the situation. Very positive, the calendar for the start of the season is more than favorable for warming up and gaining confidence. After the game at Fort Alamo, the Purple and Gold find themselves with five games to play against OKC, Cleveland, Houston x2 and more OKC, including four at home, and on paper, therefore, this current two-game winning streak has everything to turn into seven. Imagine for a moment, the Lakers at 7-2 to attack the exercise, what better way to shut the mouths of those who are already comparing the Crypto.com Arena with the retirement home at the end of the street? Which brings us to this famous October 27, 2021.
Rob Pelinka’s gang is on the road to Oklahoma to challenge Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder’s bottle class. On paper, not really a debate between the two teams, especially since the Thunder is in full reconstruction and displays a magnificent record of 0-4. Little black cloud on the LA side, LeBron James is not in uniform because of a painful ankle. Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis therefore have the green light to dominate without counting and it is hard to see the local youth preventing them from having fun. Feeling confirmed after twelve minutes, the Lakers are on the move (41-19). AD is doing his work inside, Brodie is converting into the distribution of caviars, Monsieur Suspense has obviously decided to take a vacation. The substitutes contribute, everyone is in tune, the Angelinos’ ride even becomes embarrassing (70-44). And then there is this little revolt before the break, almost anecdotal, but which prompts one to say: why not after all?
We don’t know it yet but the flies have changed souls, the match has changed soul, choose the formula. OKC lets go, LA no longer puts one foot in front of the other like Russell Westbrook, in the oven and at the mill but considerably hampered by a Luguentz Dort who got into his head. In a single quarter, the blues and whites have completely turned the game around and they are even attacking money time in the lead! LeBron James absent, we are then very curious to see if there is a pilot in the Lakers plane. Brodie seems hot to hold the handle but by dint of believing himself in GTA, we don’t imp’. The All-Star leader loses four balls in the first three minutes of money time, validating with mention his first quadruple-double as a member of the Lakers (20 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, 10 lost balls). Despite everything, LA manages to stay in the game thanks to the Brodie-Melo-AD trio. Only here, and how often in the months that follow, money time is a moment that paralyzes Frank Vogel’s men. Bad choices, systems to throw in the trash, shaking hands, and hop here is the Thunder which validates its first victory of the season after counting up to 26 points behind! This is also the first time in the last twenty-five years that the Lakers have lost with such a lead. We’re keeping a low profile in Hollywood and, false spoiler, it won’t be the last time of the season.
It therefore took five games to realize that the Lakers were a giant with feet of clay. Big numbers for the stars but finally a more solid collective at OKC, a Californian teaser of a global exercise that will not go down in local history, well not as we would have imagined.