Lakers Examiner: Let’s play a game. Read the quote below and try to fill in the blanks:

The ______ keep surprising everyone but themselves, and now they’ve got a chance to pull off the ultimate stunner: knocking out the Los Angeles Lakers. The scrappy, undermanned _____ pushed the Lakers to the limit in their series with a decisive victory…

If you’re a Laker fan and you penciled in “Oklahoma City Thunder,” congratulations! You’ve officially hit the panic button!

The quote actually comes from an ESPN.com recap of Game 6 of last year’s Western Conference semifinals matchup with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets, who saw their only offensive force, Yao Ming, go down in Game 3 with a broken left foot, gave the Lakers all they could handle in the series.

For those of you that don’t remember, Game 6 against Houston was an embarrassment for the Lakers. They were out-hustled, out-played, out-everythinged, as the Rockets built up an 18-point halftime lead and never looked back. Here’s what Kobe Bryant had to say after the Game 6 loss:

“We just didn’t start the game off the way we should have. We didn’t execute right. They jumped on top of us.”

The series made experts question whether the Lakers truly had what it takes to win the NBA Championship, and many counted them out.

Sound familiar?

Continue reading ‘Before you panic, remember the Houston series’

  • LakersFirst

    Exactly. This series with Oklahoma is very similar to last year’s 7 game series with the Rockets. Like last year, the Rockets were undersized but played with a lot of passion and energy much like the Thunder is now doing. However, the Lakers ultimately prevailed, albeit in 7 games.

    Oklahoma is very similar. They are undersized (they really have no big men) but they play with a ton of energy. To be honest, I think the Lakers will still win this series, but the way they are playing, they will do it in 7 games.

    Also for the weak hearted Laker fans, who say the Lakers suck because they are struggling against Oklahoma. Remember, Oklahoma won 50 games this year, they are not a bad team.

    Also, keep in mind, there is not one top seeded team in the west that is winning their series. Dallas (2 seed) is down 1-3 to the Spurs, Phoenix (#3) is tied 2-2 with an injury plagued Blazer team and the Nuggets (#4) are down 1-3 to a really injury plagued Utah team.

    The Lakers and their 2-2 series with Oklahoma is their own doing. They simply are NOT playing with the type of passion and intensity that Oklahoma is playing with. The Lakers need to match their energy.

  • justdogm1

    so your saying live in the past………….ignore the present?

  • Djzzero2009

    i feel you about that, we should win this, but the only thing bothering us the chances of getting championship this year. I mean i’ve been a laker fan since forever and never gave up, but if we keep playing like this we won’t get a championship.

  • http://thetruthrenaissance.wordpress.com/ BE_A_LakerFan

    No panic from me. This is what the playoff’s are all about. People need to relax. We got this.

    Lake Show!

  • hoop247

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzrHadF_FUE
    WATCH THIS AND GET FIRED UP

  • double

    We’re just a different team without Sasha. ;)

    • http://facebook.com/jaimeq Jaime Quintanilla

      Seriously. We’d be down 3-1 right now.

      • Robert

        Hey man. Double is right (although he meant to be sarcastic). Remember that Sasha annoys the f*** out of players, and takes them off their game. Remember that he used to periodically get elbowed in the face by frustrated players? He may not be as fast as those fast guards, but get them in 1/2 court, and he would really bother them.
        .
        Also, he was playing with energy the last few regular season games, and (believe it or not) was a spark for the rest of the team. Yes, hard to believe. Which means the other players are just going through the motions. We need a spark. We also need a few more players that can actually shoot the ball, and make baskets. Any Lakers there fit the bill?

        • 09champs!

          I agree. C´mon Jaime, you´re a member from TLN staff and bashing Laker players?
          Sasha indeed was playing very well and slowly getting his shooting touch back and working his back into the rotation. Hopefully he´ll be back after this series and contribute.
          Believe me, all Shannon and Farmar are doing is just giving Derek and Kobe a little bit of rest, ZERO contributions, so getting Sasha back and playing might elevate the other player´s game.

  • Wilt

    we will see if bennette salvatorre(ref #15) is refing we are done we never win when he is there.

  • Justin M.

    True, but in the houston series houstons best players were brooks, artest and scola. Now the Lakers are playing a team with Durant, Westbrooke, and green. Lets stop comparing this series with Houston

  • justdogm1

    built in excuses, the refs ,the injuries……..how about alot less threes and start taking the f ing ball to the rim……playing smart,or go down as the biggest chokers in NBA HISTORY.

    • double

      amen.

    • kindsir

      double amen.

  • Robert

    The Lakers were going with 3s because they appeared to be ‘fearing’ the OKC shot blockers. OKC was the top shot blocking team in the league, and they gave the Lakers trouble the 1st 2 games, remember?
    .
    Here’s the solution (and it isn’t my solution, it belongs to Lisa Leslie, the great basketball player for the LA Sparks, who mentioned this on the show after the Laker’s loss):
    .
    2 words: pump fake.
    .
    That’s it! Watch the games with OKC. As SOON as any Laker preps to take a shot, the OKC player jumps high in the air. Perfect! So, the Lakers should pump fake, get them to jump high, then one dribble, move forward toward the basket, make a shot. That’s it!
    .
    You SHOULD be seeing more pump fakes (other than Kobe, who already should know this) with other players.
    .
    OK, there’s one more thing (another ’2 word’ solution) that they should do on defense.
    .
    2 words: flagrant foul
    .
    YES, I said it. Remember when Fish elbowed Scola last year? That was the turning point. OKC needs to be whacked, to let them know who’s boss. Ok? This is the playoffs, not the regular season. Time to get physical. Come on Ron-Ron – calling you out (like he’s gonna look at this web site). Just one ‘clothesline’ on Westbrook (a la Kevin McHale on Kurt Rambis), and he’ll think twice before making a dunk.

  • only one laker fan

    Thats Laker basketball. No lay up rule in effect.
    Cooper and mo Lucas would hammer guys in the paint.
    But Bynum and Pau are soft as marshmellows.
    Kobe did you foorget how to drive to the hoop ?
    Dont let these young punks out stage the MOMBA.
    LAKERS KICK SOME ASS.

  • lakerman34

    The only difference is, the Rockets didn’t have Kevin Durant.

    • lilkobe24

      o_O not just only durant ;p

  • Robert

    Actually, last year the Rockets had …. Ron Artest, remember? Remember that he did some damage in some of those games against the Lakers? That was his ‘resume’ for his next job with the Lakers.
    .
    Sooo … he needs to do what he did last year – this time – against OKC.

  • Touch MEE

    The end of a legacy of the great Kobe Bryant rides on todays game. If the Lakers lose Kobes legacy will go down the drian and the 1st round loss will be THE biggest upset in sports history. Has anyone ever come to grips that just maybe OKC is just a better team. It’s a true shame cuz Kobe has to deal with so many injuries. If the Lakers lose today the baton will be passed on to Lebron James. This night can be the most humiliating of my life. I think its time to throw in the white towel. Sorry !