The primary goal of an NBA championship team coming into any NBA season is to win an NBA championship. The Lakers are well on their way to placing themselves in a great position to make their run for their 3rd straight championship. They are currently on pace to exceed last season’s win total and have been playing at a torrid pace by going 17-3 since the All Star break.
The light at the end of the tunnel is now getting bigger and brighter as the Lakers move towards it with focus and determination.
If you ask any Lakers player, they will likely say that they are only focused on the ultimate goal and things like who they match up with in the playoffs is irrelevant. That is the right answer but we all know it’s not true. There are certain match ups that they desire more than others from a competitive stand point or for personal reasons.
After the Lakers got run off the court by the Celtics in game 6 at Boston to clinch the 2008 NBA Championship, the moment stuck in the Lakers mind like a painful childhood memory. The Lakers had a vicious thirst for revenge that went un-quenched until 2010 when the Lakers got their payback by beating Boston in the Finals. The championship trophy won in 2010 was the same as the one they were awarded the year before when beating the Orlando Magic, but it meant a whole lot more to the Lakers because of their opponent and the memories of 2008 that had still haunted them till that day.
This year, there might not be a team like the 2010 Boston Celtics that have the Lakers players obsessed with enacting revenge, there are some match ups that stir up emotions and get their blood flowing more so than others. In most cases, the grudge is due to an individual player on a team that might have ruffled some feathers during the season. Lets take a look at some of these match ups that the Lakers wouldn’t mind running into and over in the playoffs.