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Lakers' Game 5 Defensive Implosion

Hardwood Paroxysm

When you give up a 109 defensive efficiency mark, several things have gone wrong in your team’s life. You presumably made the Finals by being good at defense, and certainly, that’s how the Lakers did it. In fact, despite how brilliant their offense can be when it’s moving and clicking and working and not just watching Kobe pull up and launch from 25 feet, the Lakers’ defense has been responsible for their top seed in the West and their romp through the Western Conference Finals.  And yet in Game 5, they suffered lapse after lapse. Some of it was little things, like the spacing you give Paul Pierce to avoid him getting baseline. Others were medium size things like positioning in transition and running off shooters. And then there were the massive, catastrophic failures that...

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