The Los Angeles Lakers pulled out a late victory over the mighty Washington Wizards last night, a tall task considering the visitors had lost nine in a row enter the matchup at whatever white-collar fraud company has secured naming rights to the building formerly known as Staples Center. LeBron James & Co. have rebounded from a disastrous start and now sit at 13-16. If the season ended today a lot of contractual obligations would remain unfilled and L.A. would be in the NBA's play-in tournament.
There are many reasons the Lakers have turned things around, including placing attention to detail over the masses' general entertainment value. If you'd like an example, look no further than this 23-second sequence of nothingness that came with 3:11 to play in regulation and the home team protecting a five-point lead. Dennis Schroeder allowed Austin Reaves' inbound pass to roll up the court at its own pace without touching it. And he kept doing that for 23 full seconds, melting about 10 percent of the remaining game away as the Wizards simply watched the clock tick away.
Expertly done. The suspense was unbearable and I hoped it would go on forever. It's a smart strategy more teams should employ before the two minute mark where the game clock can keep on beating while the shot clock waits for play to be initiated.
On a day that saw three 17-point comebacks in the NFL and perhaps the best World Cup Final on record, it's refreshing to know there was something out there for the true sick freaks to enjoy while desperately chasing previous gambling losses.