Lakers Fall into 2-0 Hole with Loss to Celtics
The Los Angeles Lakers are down 0-2 against the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals. Suddenly, people who picked the Lakers to win now look more stupid than ever. (Myself included.)
But the question now is: "Can the Lakers make a series out of the Finals?"
I say "Yes" in reply to that question but the Lakers need to do three things first:
- Get to the free throw line – Yeah, people (including the Lakers) have complained about the disparity in free throw shooting. Why is Kobe Bryant not going to line? Is this another case of non-calls similar to the ones in the series against the San Antonio Spurs? Perhaps the Celtics defense is THAT good that the Lakers all of a sudden become very lame. The key here is to show the grit and aggressiveness shown in the fourth quarter of Game 2.
- Play "Their Game" – and that game is offense– smart basketball characterized by crisp passing and easy baskets. The triangle worked for them against physical teams like the Spurs and the Utah Jazz in the playoffs and the Lakers must regain their composure despite being down two games. The Lakers will definitely find their confidence back in the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
- Don’t get too overconfident – Almost all NBA Finals previews handed the Lakers the Larry O’Brien trophy, similar to the Finals series against the Detroit Pistons in 2004. The Lakers should stay with their upstart mindset that needed to prove something to the world. Yes, the Celtics did have the better regular season record, but people don’t give them credit because the play in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers dethroned the Spurs and beat teams like the Denver Nuggets (who would be a good Eastern Conference team) and the Jazz. This is the time Phil Jackson should dig deep into his Zen Bag-of-Tricks and get the Lakers motivated again.
So, if the Lakers do these three things, we will see a 6 game series with the Lakers winning in Boston. Otherwise, we may see a sweep of the team that should have won the NBA Finals.
[top image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yogma/]