What in the name of Keith Kloss is going on around here?
The Los Angeles Clippers won a playoff series for only the second time in their LA existence – a game seven on the road at that. The Los Angeles Kings are in the conference finals, and already have a 1-0 series lead. The Los Angeles Dodgers own the major’s best record at 23-11.
…And then there is the Los Angeles Lakers, who after scratching and clawing their way to a game 7 win against the Denver Nuggets Saturday night, head to a world of trouble in Oklahoma City.
Before game one tips off in a few hours, simply put, I don’t see the Lakers winning the series.
By at least showing up for the entire series and winning a game, they will save themselves the embarrassments of last year’s debacle against the Mavericks. This just in, Peja Stojakovic made another three pointer!
Kobe Bryant is an assassin.
Andrew Bynum bears a similarly close resemblance to the above-mentioned adjective – as in an ass. Serge Ibaka will further expose the “all-star” who only plays whenever he wants to and writes checks his ass can’t cash. On a completely separate note, I predict Bynum will let his mouth run him out of town this offseason.
I don’t even want to begin about Mike Brown and his assistant coach castoffs. I can rant about that until game three.
Pau Gasol is a dirty look from Kendrick Perkins away from a season ending psychological injury.
Metta World Peace will need to channel into Ron Artest if the Lakers are going to win the series. This is the only out I see for the Lakers.
The developmental parallels between the Thunder and the late-90s Lakers are strikingly similar. Once the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant era began in 1996, the Lakers endured back to back beat downs to the hands of Karl Malone, John Stockton and the Jazz and then Tim Duncan, David Robinson and the San Antonio Spurs. After going a combined 1-12 in those games, they learned to win under Phil Jackson and, well, you know the rest.
1996-97 – Lakers lose to Jazz in conference semi-finals, 4-1
1997-98 – Lakers lose to Jazz in conference finals, 4-0
1998-99 – Lakers lose to Spurs in conference finals, 4-0
2009-10 – Thunder lose to Lakers in opening round, 4-2
2010-11– Thunder lose to Mavericks in conference finals, 4-1
2011-12 – ?
OKC has endured their growing pains through their one-two punch of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder has already learned how to lose to the Lakers, and if this year’s three regular season games serve as any indicator, they’ve already learned how to win – convincingly. Thunder in five.