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These Lakers are hard to believe in

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#1 Makaveli


    where will i go?

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Posted May 21, 2009 - 11:13 AM

Q: "What have you learned about yourselves as a team?" (Asked during the post-Game 7 Lakers-Rockets press conference)

A: "That we're bipolar." (Kobe Bryant)
The Lakers came out of Game 1 against the Nuggets, to a man, talking about only two things: guts and effort.

Kobe, Phil, Lamar, Pau. All saying the same thing. How their "effort" won the game; how they "gutted it out." It was so far from where they just had come. In their last series against the Rockets, the words "guts" and "effort" seemed to be associated only with the other side. Houston didn't seem to have a problem, L.A. did.

But then this. The Gut-Out. The Exquisite Effort. The Beautiful Struggle. Game 1 versus the Nuggets done -- Lakers win.

But ask yourself -- with all the honesty you can muster up, without saying it out loud to one of your Laker Hater friends" -- do you still believe in them?

Yes, them. Those who reside on basketball's dark side, the same way the Yankees do in baseball and the Cowboys do in football. The NBA's Evil Empire. Them. Do you still believe the Lakers will win it all? Do you still believe in the Lakers the way you did at the beginning of these playoffs? Is this still the team you, in your heart of hearts, want to continue to believe in?

Those are the questions you must answer right now, before we can go any further in this quest.

Game 1 was only one game, but it was a game that said a lot. It showed us, for the first time in the playoffs this year, the team many of us expected to see when the "real" games began on April 19. Focused on getting back to the Finals. Prior to Tuesday night, it seemed like the Lakers team that showed up for every game was different every game. Dominant in one game, Keystone Cops the next. And on top of that, the Lakers showed no pride on the court. Like the ring was important to them, but how they got there -- or how they looked getting there -- meant nothing.

None of us knew what to take from that, what to take from them. The Lakers never panicked, but they never seemed like they cared all that much either. Facial expressions … body language … sound bites … nothing seemed to bother them, or matter to them. It was as if they were telling the world: "You all don't get it. We're here for the ring, but we're not about to make this any easier than it needs to be."

They were like the brilliant kids in high school who come home with C's because that's all they need to get by.

TNT's Kenny Smith has said he still thinks the Lakers will win the chip, but he has also said what millions of people (OK, maybe a couple hundred thousand) are thinking: "The Lakers don't deserve to win the championship." Charles Barkley went one step farther -- he feels the fact that the Lakers are this talented and playing the way they've been playing is "a shame." Almost as if they were disrespecting the game and the league.
And it is who the Lakers are that irritates us most. Especially those of us who bleed purple, yellow and white. Yes, the Celtics went through something very similar in the first two rounds last year, and they still came away with rings filled with rocks. But this is different. Getting pushed to the brink by a sub-.500, inexperienced Atlanta squad and a LeBron hell-bent and driven Cleveland squad is much different than getting pushed to the limit by a Houston team sans Ming, Mutombo and McGrady.

This time last year, the Celtics left you wondering whether or not you still loved them. These Lakers? They're leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth.

So, do you still believe at all? Or do you just believe to a lower degree? With less faith?

Did the way the Lakers played Tuesday night bring you back to where you once were? Back to the beginning. When no one could walk up to you and say anything negative about the Lakers.

Are you back there yet?

Or, are you expecting Kobe's words at the top of this column to continue to be true?

You wish it all could go away in an instant, don't you? You wish that the Lakers team you came into the postseason believing was unbeatable would just return, so that the indecisiveness that has taken over your basketball soul could disappear.
Wish it was just that simple.

Need the Lakers to return to being the best team in the NBA? Yeah, there's an app for that.

I know how you feel.


#2 ILLWiLL20


    Chick and Stu

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Posted May 21, 2009 - 11:16 AM

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#3 Air Apparent

Air Apparent

    "Never underestimate the heart of a CHAMPION!"

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Posted May 21, 2009 - 11:16 AM

it doesnt matter how you win..as long as you win..and we sound like a broken record when we point out the celtics last year..but that is a prime example

the fact that lakers are in the conference finals even after all the horrible defeats shows that they are still capable of pulling it off




    But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.

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Posted May 21, 2009 - 11:25 AM

Even if the lose the next 4, i'm still gonna believe


#5 revgen



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Posted May 21, 2009 - 11:28 AM

Yes, them. Those who reside on basketball's dark side, the same way the Yankees do in baseball and the Cowboys do in football. The NBA's Evil Empire. Them.

I disagree.

What characterizes the Yankee's is a team that spends money buying up veteran free agents on the market. The Celtics are closer to the Yankees than LA is.

This team is closer to the young Florida Marlins team that won the world series a few years back. Kobe is Pudge Rodriguez, while Pau and LO are the other 2 vets. The rest are young (under 25), yet talented players who are coached by a coach who's considered too old by many people on this forum.

Edited by revgen, May 21, 2009 - 11:31 AM.

#6 Junayd


    Based Prophet

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Posted May 21, 2009 - 11:29 AM

They need to play like that every night if they want to win a titile.

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“i have more respect for a man that lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong.
than one who comes up like an angel but is nothing but a devil.”

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