bringitWhile watching the NBA Playoffs preview this week, a startling revelation began to form in my mind.

During the entire synopsis of the bracket conducted by ex-ball players/coaches/etc., our Los Angeles Lakers were only mentioned for about 10 minutes, and the dominant themes were Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum. While the seasoned veterans bantered about the “sure things”, the “big comebacks”, and the teams to beat, it became more and more apparent that the Lakers’ arrival in the playoffs was not headline news.

Their presence in post-season is expected, and foreseen as no big surprise. A colleague brought up another speculation, “Where is all the magic this year?”, and to an extent, I have to agree. The Lakers of the 2007-2008 season sailed all the way to the Finals in quite possibly the most aggressive playoff race in NBA history. We rid ourselves of those that did not necessarily fit the “Laker mold” (for example, our fumbling friend Kwame Brown), and laid the foundation for what appeared to be another potential Laker Dynasty.

With the addition of Trevor Ariza and Pau Gasol, as well as, the re-signing of previous Laker great Derek Fisher, the concern surrounding Kobe’s departure from the Lakers began to subside. Despite a bumpy start, the new line-up quickly gained strength. Their growth as a team during this period brought a spark in the Lakers that I hadn’t seen in quite some time (I would say since Shaq left, but that is merely opinion).

The level of uncertainty last season, and the relative excitement over this new “Dream Team” (so to speak), provided the anticipation and enthusiasm to escalate. We were grateful to make it as far as we did last year and were over enthused about it the entire way. But this year, it is much, much different. While still very excited as always to see my team succeed, it felt as if it was projected all along that they’d be where they are.

This season has been plagued by, dare I say it, standards. Everyone in the line-up knew their role and where they belonged. The loss of Bynum would change those roles for a good portion of the season, leaving the Lakers to adjust as they went. Games we should’ve won by a landslide, turned into disasters. There was a predictable quality about this team because we are already familiar with their potential. We KNOW they are the best team in the NBA, and we expect that of them. That is why, when we lose, it doesn’t feel like we tried our hardest because, if we did, we would’ve won!

Personally, I think that this year’s post season is going to be even more eventful than last year. Finally, some of our boys are stepping up in ways they never had before, AND Bynum didn’t get to play in the post-season last year, a shot at redemption? I’d think so.

  • sketch

    Great Read! This year, the Lakers aren’t the headliners because they are expected to be there in the Finals! The expectations of the “experts” for the Lakers to win last year was perplexing to me at best. I looked at the boston line-up up and down and thought “WTF are they talkin about? The boston 3 and their supporting cast were definitely better than our last year team!” We didn’t have our center and Ariza had barely come back from his injury. We had a chance, yes, but we had to play our best the entire time otherwise…and we all know what the otherwise was or is.

    This year was looking like a repeat of last year until Bynum came back and came back strong! Now the Lakers definitely are the favorites and should plow through the Western Conference playoffs and run all over whomever they face in the Finals! boston sans the gimp (garnett) have no chance! The magic is just an illusion! And LeHype is well…all hype! The only thing that worries me is that the NBA, media, and the refs all seem to want to give LeHype every call in the world and anoint him as the next heir to the League!

    They are so intent on “MARKETING” LeHype that they’re totally taking Kobe Bryant for granted! I hope that Kobe sees all of this and takes it extremely personal and go off on all of them and show them that the best player in the NBA is still Kobe and that he’s not ready to relinquish it just yet! And that the title belongs to him, the Lakers, the city of L.A. and all of the Lakers fans!

  • Andu

    What the fuck? Since when is Bynum the second man of Lakers?

    Second man of Lakers is PAU GASOL, not Bynum. Bynum is the third man.

  • imfasterthanur

    [Comment ID #68399 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Amen brother. I*’m praying Kobe takes it extremely personal and demolishes the league for the next few years.

  • nyla

    [Comment ID #68404 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I don’t know if I’d even consider him that right now either. lol People are overrating Bynum!

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