It’s actually quite a befuddling sight to see how far behind Kobe the rest of the team has been in this series, especially given the magnificent performance in Game 1. It was just 11 days ago when the Lakers looked poised to lay the smack down in this series and extinguish the demons that have been plaguing the team for the better part of two years, despite last year’s title run.
The need for Pau and Lamar to ramp up their games goes without saying. While he certainly has been exhausting himself in trying, Kobe can’t beat a team as strong as the Celtics with individual greatness.
There really isn’t much in the way of X’s and O’s left to discuss, debate and contemplate at this juncture because most everyone will agree, the same old song will continue to be sung – play solid defense, win the boards, win the game. Second chance points are monumental for us given Boston’s outstanding initial defense in shutting down our triangle offense.
It’s either win or endure another painful summer, one that many of us, if not all of us, may never recover from. I certainly can’t conceive doing so and if you consider all elements, this may very well be the last Lakers-Celtics Finals matchup for yet another 20 or so years. So, the idea of being apart of two losses to them is a fate that I’m not at all prepared to accept.
Whatever plight and pain we may potentially bear as fans however, pales in comparison to what it would mean to Kobe Bryant whose legacy hangs in an unjustly delicate balance, if the Lakers are not able to battle back and defeat Boston. As unfair as the reality may be, the basketball world will judge and perhaps even largely remember Kobe for what he does with the sliver of a lifeline that the Lakers are currently clinging onto.
So, with all of that said, let’s forget Game 1 through 5. Those are done and over with, vanished memories of what is past. Don’t even utter words mentioning Game 7 though because what lies ahead in Game 6 will be the the most challenging test each player on this Lakers squad has ever been presented with.
Following the 2008 loss to the C’s, we all spoke of how things would have been different if we had home court and the presence of Andrew Bynum. Well, we have both now so there has never even been a time for making any excuses in this series. Suck it up, go win the ball game.
If there’s anything to rest our heads on, it’s the fact that the Houston Rockets most recently overcame a 3-2 series hole in the 1994 NBA Finals with the final two games at home against the New York Knicks, which is an exact parallel situation that we now face. This is more than achievable, but we all know that it’s not going to happen if the Lakers play poor defense and don’t attack the glass as they have in the last six quarters of basketball.
As I’m sure we can all attest, the greatest insult to us as fans would be to witness another malaise ridden performance tonight from the Lakers. I pray not necessarily for the result, but that we see our guys play 48 minutes of inspired, gutsy basketball, dragging their hearts around the floor as they fight to stay alive and force a historic Game 7.
Kobe, Derek, Pau, Ron, Andrew, Lamar, Jordan, Shannon, Sasha, Luke, Josh, D.J. and yes, even you Adam, all eyes are on you. It’s winning time.
This is exactly what we all wanted Laker fans and you know what?
I wouldn’t have it any other way. Let’s go Lakers!!!