As Mark Jackson would say. . . ."Phil Jackson is a bad, bad man".
Here's what happened in the last 15 seconds of the Lakers/Magic game, . . and why even though they look very vulnerable this year, you still have to fear the Lakers.
So, Vince Carter is at the free throw line trying to put the Magic up by 3 points with 9.7 seconds left. The Lakers have one 20-second timeout left to use.
Vince bricks the first free throw. The Camera pans over to Phil Jackson and his assistant coaches. One of them must have asked "Should we call time out if he makes this?". . . the reason I think that is because the camera catches Phil turning to his assistant, shaking his head and saying "It's 9.7 seconds, it's perfect". What? What exactly is perfect about that? Phil is playing mind games. . that's what. Phil is in their head. . . . .almost.
Vince makes the 2nd free throw and Kobe takes the ball out, goes up court, and misses the game tying shot, . . no timeout taken.
--Kobe after the game said "Even though we lost, we saw what we wanted to see" What? This is what comes with being a champion and having ultimate pride, er. confidence in your game
--Many times coaches won't call timeouts at the end of games because they want to catch the defense off-balance. And Phil usually skips timeouts to let his players figure stuff out for themselves on the floor. But, that wasn't the case here. . . It was a made free-throw and the Magic were waiting for the Kobers, er. Lakers.
--Which brings me to my next point. . . Kobe is the worst passer with 10 seconds left in the game that I've ever seen. Phil even gives him this look afterwards like "M.J. would've passed that to Paxson". Kobe has guys wide open all over the floor and takes a terrible shot each time. Sometimes, he makes them. It cost him in the Finals last year, and it won't be the last time. Kobe needs to remember that John Paxson, and Steve Kerr won 2 titles for M.J. . .and when M.J. hit his iconic shot over Bryon Russell. . . he wasn't double covered.
--Carmelo does not have the same problem, and is way, way more clutch than Kobe.
--This is a microcosm of why other teams should simultaneously fear the Lakers and consider them vulnerable. They have ultimate confidence: "9.7 seconds. . it's perfect". . . they also brick off-balance jumpers and go into the lockeroom and say "we saw what we wanted to see". Pride comes before a fall, and before a championship. We'll see which direction the Lakers take.