Have you ever had a recurring random thought about something bad happening ? What about a dream so vivid and real that it wakes you up from a deep slumber and you don’t want to go back to sleep for fear of re-entering the very same scenario? I have a feeling the rest of the playoff participants from the Western Conference have been experiencing something like this for awhile, even more so, the last few weeks of the season. Players from those teams may deny it, but I believe it has happened. As the season has played out for the Lakers, they have been in one must win game after another, their playoff hopes hanging in the balance with every move they made or didn’t make on the court. This Lakers team has been many things to many people this year, but at the end of the regular season, you have to say they have been resilient if nothing else.
When Kobe blew out his achilles, this team was faced with an adversity unlike any other they had been asked to endure all year. Each player on the team had to look at themselves both individually and collectively and ask the question. Are we going to regroup and try to salvage a playoff berth or retreat into the summer and worry about it later? The answer was emphatically we are going to regroup. The Lakers answered the challenge, and with the help of the Utah Jazz losing their last game of the year, find themselves with the golden ticket in their hands. This is bad news for the rest of the West. The Lakers have new life, new energy, and the most dangerous thing of all, new belief in themselves.
The Lakers will enter the playoffs on a serious roll. As their season was winding down, they were playing every game with a heightened intensity and kicked into survival mode. That is what a team has to do in the playoffs. They have to overcome obstacles, rise above, and survive to play another day. The Lakers have been doing that for the last two weeks, and will coming riding into their first round match up with the Spurs battle tested and confident. It is my opinion that teams should have finished the Lakers off when they had the chance. The failure to do so has now given life to what once looked like a near extinct creature. The Lakers are alive and well, and they are headed into San Antonio to wreak havoc. There is nothing more dangerous than a team that wasn’t supposed to be in the playoffs, suddenly finding themselves with the same opportunity as every other team. The chance to hang a banner, get fitted for rings, have a parade. Oh and by the way, I think this team may have done that a couple times before.
Starting on Sunday the Lakers will have a chance to serve notice to the rest of the league that the purple and gold monster is alive and well. Many teams have been dreaming of what the playoffs would be like without the Lakers. Countless Lakers haters have been waiting anxiously to declare the Clippers as the new kings of L.A. Funny thing happened on the way to the end of the season. The dreams turned into nightmares, and the Lakers crashed the party. Get ready Spurs. The Lakers are coming! The Lakers are coming!