You Worried About the Lakers?
I am going to take full credit for the Lakers 111-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of their first round playoff series Tuesday night. Until this game I really haven’t been paying attention to the Lakers since they don’t allow us at LAist press access and the Kings who do were making a playoff drive of their own. But with the Kings’ season over as of Sunday, it was time to refocus my attention on the Purple and Gold.
The Lakers were waiting until I gave my full attention to them before they played in any recognizable championship form. Kobe Bryant decided the pain in his [insert body part of choice] was insignificant enough to take on the challenge of guarding Russell Westbrook. The team decided to show me they can make an effort to fight for every loose ball.
I have to admit it was a pretty sight to behold, and since by that point the Detroit Red Wings were killing the Phoenix Coyotes in their Game 7 I had no other distractions and kept my focus on the game at hand.
It’s quite striking how this series is playing eerily like the Lakers’ second round series against the Houston Rockets last season. They had problems containing a young team with a lot of speed. After alternating wins in the first four games, the Lakers thoroughly crushed the Rockets in Game 5 118-78 seemingly having had enough of the gnats.
But remember the Rockets came back to win by 15 in Houston for Game 6 before the Lakers restored order in Game 7 with a 19 point low-scoring victory. So basically the Lakers aren’t out the woods yet. This Thunder team is far more talented than the Rockets team last year, so don’t expect the Lakers to come out of the Ford Center on Friday with a victory if history dictates anything.
Laker fans just need to repeat this mantra: The Lakers have home court.
Now doesn’t it make you feel better?
The Boston Celtics in 2008 went seven games in all of their series leading up to the NBA Finals never winning on the road. So just as Kobe responded to a reporter on Monday in practice, “Who is saying our backs are against the wall? It’s a 2-2 series. What the hell is going on here?”
I sure as hell don’t know, but I’ll be paying attention now. And seeing how the Dodgers are performing, it looks like it will be all Lakers all the time.