Fancap: Grizzlies Send Struggling Lakers to Third Straight Defeat
Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant prepares to take a free throw against the Denver Nuggets during the second half at the Pepsi Center in Denver on November 11, 2010. The Nuggets ended the Lakers season opening eight game winning streak by the score of 118-112.    UPI/Gary C. Caskey Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

I’m not one of those fans who panics unnecessarily when the Lakers lose. I definitely get upset, especially if they lose a game I know they could have won. Last night was the first game of the season I felt that way. I was angry. It is one thing to feel as if the other team deserved to win, but it’s another issue to feel as if the game slipped through your fingers.

As much as I hate losing any game and convince myself that we can win everything on the schedule, I also know how unrealistic that is. The playoffs are what counts. Having said that, I do find it a bit troubling that they’ve now lost three in a row and five games overall. The Western Conference is looking much more difficult that I originally imagined, so playoff seeding and especially home court advantage is going to be crucial.

My heart would have sunk last year if I thought the Lakers had to win Games 6 and 7 in Boston. Maybe they could have, but it’s a frightening thought- one I don’t want to contemplate this coming June (knock on wood). The Lakers are known to slack off a bit in the early months and again in March/April, but they’ve been playing hard so far. I really don’t want to see them temporarily lose that competitive edge. It’s only five games, but it’s also already five games.

Tonight’s contest is going to be crucial. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers respond, especially in the second game of a back-to-back. The Rockets are tough opponents and it took a 3 from newbie Steve Blake to win on opening night. Hopefully the Lakers will buckle down, show up and play the great team oriented basketball we’ve come to expect from our guys.

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