I have never been punched in the face.

I would imagine that it feels somewhat similar to this.

I cannot quite breathe correctly; I am having a difficult time seeing straight and the only thing on my mind is revenge.

The Lakers fell down 2-0 in their series with the Boston Celtics Sunday evening after a dizzying rally that included an NBA Finals (written in cursive) record 7 three-pointers in the Fourth Quarter, yet they ultimately fell short, losing 108-102.

Luckily, falling behind 24 points to the Celtics barely fazed these resilient Lakers, whose 41-25 Fourth Quarter brought them to within 2, going into the final minute of play.

Unfortunately, the elements going against the Lakers, namely the Bill Simmons “Aberration Guy” of the century, Leon Powe and an inept officiating crew, prevailed.

All things aside, the Lakers find themselves in dire straits heading back to Los Angeles, with not only their Season on the line, but also their Championship aspirations hanging in the balance as well.

In early April, when it finally dawned on me that a Championship was well within reach this year, I decided that even if this years Lakers squad fell short of that Larry O’Brien Trophy, I would be okay, for they overachieved.

This team is ahead of schedule, I told myself.

Frankly, now that each one of the dudes proudly displays that same trophy on the right side of their jersey, falling short this year is not so cool with me. They are here. It seems as if they were destined to be here. This season has had so much magic surrounding it, It seems fitting for it to end with a ring and a parade.

It turns out the Celtics were not going to play patsy. It turns out that the NBA Finals (written in cursive) were not some coronation for these Lakers. If this year is destined to end with a Championship, it will truly take the will and execution of a Champion.

Those hopes are not yet dashed. They have not entirely disappeared. The picture is just a little murkier now. In Game 3, the Lakers have the opportunity to begin to restore clarity and lucidity to that dream; to undo the damage they did to themselves in Boston; to show that not only do they want this Championship, but that they need this Championship.

As I, and many others around this city have said: “Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night!”

Television

National: ABC (Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy & Mark Jackson)

Radio

Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)

Boston: WRKO 680 AM (Sean Grande & Cedric Maxwell)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Out: A. Bynum (Knee)
  • Will Play: K. Bryant (Pinkie)

Storylines

Hunger, Desire, other cliché sports motivators: This is it. Lose and the hole gets so deep, not even Paul Pierce’s leg falling off can save the Lakers. Kobe & Crew need to come out with guns blazing at Staples Center because if they don’t; there are going to be some verrrrrrry unhappy millionaires (not to mention incensed TLN writers).

Can The Lakers Buy A Foul?!: Leon Powe had three more free throw attempts than the entire Lakers team in Game 2. LEON POWE!!! That’s all that needs to be said about that. Ridiculous. You’re on notice, David Stern.

Varsity Challenge

(Prize – an opportunity to kick the crap out of the Leprechaun on stilts seen before Celtic Home games)

Leon Powe’s 21 points off the bench in Game 2 was improbable and retarded. What other Celtic scrub had a similar performance in 1985?

  • BIGAL

    f9ck the celtics

  • ShortDiezel

    this is a MUST win game.. the Lakers need us fans more than ever.. if you are going to the game.. do NOT sit down for one minute.. yell until your lungs collapse..

    this is our house.. our time.. our championship to win

    Lakers need to be aggressive.. and I mean aggressive.. drive to the basket each play.. make the refs accoutable this game… crash the boards.. and give it to them

    LAKERS IN 6!!!!

  • http://youtube.com/darkice18 darkice18

    if there was ever a time to yell at the top of your lungs its tomorrow at STAPLES CENTER! Laker fans YELL AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS BRING LIFE AND ENERGY TO OUR TEAM!!! ITS OUR TIME!

    LETS GOOO LAKERS!! TAKE CARE OF HOME COURT…WE GOT THIS!

  • Lakes on 3!!!

    DIE HARD LAKER FANS KEEOP YOUR FLAGS UP!!!! I was driving around today and saw half the amount of flags then I usualy do…Keep the faith, our boys WILL come through.
    Lakes In 6!!!

  • lalball81

    The Boston Garden crowd is nuts, 10X better than Utah’s crowd. You’d think they won the championship on every made basket. If there’s anything we can take away from playing in Boston, it’s a lesson in crowd energy. We could desperately use some of that in LA. I know the fans can do it, I’ve seen it before. There’s no better time to show that energy than tomorrow.

  • kobe4ever

    darkice 18, Lakes on 3 –> d@mn I needed that, thnx. LA STAND UP!!!

  • LAKER

    the lakers are destined to win again… this year is still up for grabs… so i say clasp onto the fact that there is still a chance hold onto the courage to still believe in our purple and gold… beat those green wearing…injury faking… ref bribing….sons of the hated celtics… we can still do it… we have the chance… we can’t waste it… the celtics are a great team… but i believe our purple and gold is where amazing happens… lakers in 7

  • Majic “Big” Johnson

    Keep the faith Lakerland… Keep the faith..

    Go Lakers!

  • http://www.deluxpro.com WheresTheParty?!

    The NBA is become more like WWE with the bad refs. We know you want to milk it out but please, don’t make it too obvious.

  • Kobe Forever

    Lakers will take Game 3,4,5 at Staples Center and win the series in 7 games. I believe the Lakers can bounce back and beat the Celts in 7 because they want the Championship more than the Celtics.

  • pio2u

    Lakers will win four in a row!

  • Celtics0-4

    Believe in that we are the ones choosen to win and win the evil celtics. This are our time ,are new ear starts!!Lets go Lakers in 6!!!!!

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    well,
    i hope i get this right…
    lakers winning the 3 games in LA,
    being realsitics, probably they will lose game 6
    and it will come to the wire in game 7
    but in a game 7, kobe will not let us lose…

    GO LAKERS!!!, AND FOR THOSE OF YOU GOING TO THE GAMES IN LA, PLEASE LAKER FANS,, WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THEM, AND EVERYTIME THEY SCORE, SCREAM AND CHEER AND GO CRAZY, THE LAKERS ARE GIVING US A VERY GOOD SEASON,
    NOW LETS RETURN SOME PART OF THAT SUPPORTING THEM…

  • 123KID

    im with you lakernation!!! im effin tired of all these boston bandwagoners startin to come outta the depths of hell. even if we dont get those calls, we still gotta pull out a blow out.

    and to the rest of the laker fans, scream to the top of your lungs, in your car, at your work, at school, at the bar, at your house, with some homies, and especially in and out of the staples center.

  • gugy

    Have faith people.
    Lakers will win. Either on game 6 or 7. BUT, we must win all 3 games in LA.

    Go LAkers!

  • Thomas

    You know I try to look at the favorable and sencible way and don’t try to blame the other team or officiating or anything of the sort, partly because I have relitives in Sacramento and Kings fans are notorious for blaming everything, everyone and their mothers for their loss besides themselves. But on the eve of the biggest game in the season and the possiblity of losing a championship I’m letting it all hang out. David Stern is an a**hole for trying to get this Finals to go seven games to get more money by hiring the officals that he did and paying them to call everything in the Celtics favor. I HATE, HATE!!! Paul Pierce. I’m a Christian and I know that we are not supposed to hate anyone but there aren’t many more people that I hate more than Paul Pierce right now. He’s a pussy for trying to fake the “sprained knee” that no one outside Boston believed unless they were being paid to (ESPN anylists)and then just the way he exists puts me into a rage. I cannot stand him…going down the line, I couldn’t care less for what happened to Leon Powe in his childhood and I hate ESPN for airing that story just to rub it in the Lakers and their fans faces. Whats past is past and I’m sorry that it happend but there is nothing we can do to change the past….I hope someone like Sasha puches that guy in the face every time he drives to the basket or gets a rebound. Look do what ever is nessicary to win!!! History doesn’t lie. It worked for the Celtics in ’84 so it should work for the Lakers!!! Kick some Celtic a**!!! GO LAKERS!!!!

  • Neo-Laker Era

    [Comment ID #38941 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Well, I’m certainly glad youre not a Doubting Thomas. ;-)

  • Sopi

    We have a new champ this year!!

    2008 NBA CHAMP: NBA Referees
    2008 FINAL MVP: David Stern

    I love this game. where amazing happens!~

  • shakobe

    this is a must win game and its more then just lakers vs celtics… its Los Angeles vs Boston….. get on your feet LA were bringing home the title this year lets go LAKERS… yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!! everyone get your laker gear out tomorrow one city one lakers one nation. la baby all the wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    LETS GO LAKERS AND LETS GO FANS……………….

  • http://myspace.com/lakersdynasty999 Steve Avery

    2 Lakers tickets left sec 304, only asking $325 ea if you mention TLN. email lakersdynasty999@gmail.com ASAP if you want them!

  • LakersAllDay

    20+ Points: Kobe, Gasol

    10+ Rebounds: Gasol, Odom

    2+ Blocks: Turiaf

    3+ 3-Pointers: Sasha

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe

    Point Margin: Lakers by 9

    Out On A Limb: Lakers Sweep The Home Games

  • joseph

    man! fakers all the way… didn’t i told you never underestimate these celtics.. you have no idea how hungry Kg, pierce and allen for that ring! as much as how kobe plays you fakers are too soft bwahahaha…
    tell your bunnies odom and gasol to trade places with your laker cheerleaders! bunch of sissy players!!!

    celtics in 4! booyah!!! hibachi style

  • varsityoptimism

    [Comment ID #38962 Will Be Quoted Here]

    eat an ass!

  • Remy

    ONE GAME AT A TIME!! MAKE BOSTON PAY A PRICE…DO NOT LET THEM OUT WITH A WIN NO MATTER WHAT, WE MUST TAKE THEM THREE TIMES!!! BUT ONE GAME AT A TIME!! LETS GO!!!

  • Smush Walton

    Someone please ship that A-hole Joseph back to Boston where he belongs. He is only taking up space – a walking piece of excrement.

  • Showtime

    Shut the hell up Joseph and take your crap somewhere else.

  • http://www.deluxpro.com LakersTickets

    Why do celtics fan come on our site?! LOL Doesn’t make sense. Oh wait it does.. The celtics don’t have a site like ours LOL… they are too cheap and they have no real fans .. just bandwagon fans.

    Hey. When you’re playin 8 on 5 of course you’re going to win.

  • http://losangelessource.com/lakers/ Lane

    Obviously the Lakers need to control this contest. Getting into an 0-3 hole will probably be too much to overcome.

    Why do they out stats up that say things like: The Lakers are 0-5 in Finals series that they trail 0-2, and three of those were against the Celtics. Meaningless historical information from previous eras.

    Lane
    http://LosAngelesSource.com

  • http://www.myspace.com/akosijan janice

    lakers fan would be furious tomorrow!
    i can feel it!
    have you seen the video @ staples during game 2?
    where there is a celtics fan?
    oh man!
    this is going to be a great game 3!
    i can feel it
    i can feel that they’re going to beat the crap out of celtics!!
    go go go lakers!!

  • Ira

    It’s on! One game, one thought, one conclusion: WIN! The crowd, the team and all the people who support the Lakers will transmit their energy to make it happen! It will over take the fakery of that Celtic team.

    Let’s do this!

  • KOBEISKING

    [Comment ID #38962 Will Be Quoted Here]

    get lost you dumbass cunt

  • jack

    its kobe time. lets do it.

  • DCLAKER

    Something to keep in mind for my Laker hopeful.I was listening to Steve Harvey show this mornin’ and Dwayne Wayne was on there and he said he wants Lakers tp WHIP Boston ’cause everybody has written LA off and he wants his former teammate,LO, to win because of the tragedies that has occured in his life.

    Now this caught me as interesting and I didn’t think of this during the 1st 2 games,WHY HASN’T ANYBODY TALKED ABOUT LAMAR’S JOURNEY?This is I can’t stand David “I’M KOBE’S NO.1 HATER” STERN!

  • gugy

    DCLAKER,

    I think they will have a story about Lamar and some other Laker at the home games. At least I hope so. Maybe tonight on the halftime we will watch Lamar’s life struggles.
    LAkers in 6!

  • DCLAKER

    I hope so,gugy.I’m just messed up mentally about the way this series is being called and the way Our team is being effected by it.

  • gugy

    I know man, but I am hopeful the refs will benefit the Lakers on their home games. Fu cKin David Stern wants this series to go to 7 games so the NBA ca$h in.
    The final game 7 will be up to the best team to win the prize.

    Go Lakers

  • RC

    The bottom line is the Celtics offense is the kind of offense you play at the playground! They swarm and hack and attack with no organized intent. This is how the Celtics get the foul calls! They even confuse the refs! Not one Celtic plays their own position!

    Lakers have to be able to defend this type of playground play! Probably a combination of zone defense with some rotation to insure extreme man to man coverage.

    Laker defense is looking for some semblance of orgznized offense from the Celtics and it doesn’t exist!

    Come on Lakers you have to adjust your defense to not let anyone get open and most of all don’t allow KG or PP in the paint. Force the Celtics to take the outside shot, get the rebound. Laker defense will spur Laker offense. Then LO and Pau can start to open up the lane a go full attack mode!

    Let’s go Lakers!!! Take care of business! Laker fans aren’t giving up on you!!!

  • DCLAKER

    Perfect comment,gugy.

    LAKERNATIONSTANDUP.com,Maybe I’m too close to Boston(East Coast)but I agree with Bibby,THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST FAIRWEATHER FANS I HAVE EEEEEEEEEEEEVER SEEN,STRAIGHT UP HATERS!!!

  • long legga lai

    kobe needs to start calling out his teammates like larry bird did and call them a bunch of sissies. maybe, that’ll light a fire under their asses! kobe is the only one who wants it. you can see it in his eyes.

    lakers in 6.5!!!!!!

  • T-Dub

    If Odom don’t show up, we aint winning S H I T! If this guy disappears at home, we must ship his A S S out! 4 years, no more excuses! He needs to play Big….not just ok!

  • http://youtube.com/MvpGoesToKobe LakersNewDynasty08

    Lakers in 6!!!!

  • BringDFishBack

    20+ Points: Kobe, Odom, Fish.

    10+ Rebounds: Odom & Kobe.

    2+ Blocks: Odom & Turiaf.

    3+ 3-Pointers: Fish & Farmar.

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Odom.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 25.

    Out On A Limb: Lakers start the game on a 20-0 run.

  • adjeff

    Good Preview,
    Lets do it Lakers, Its now or never!

  • cakewake

    Geez, I thought that the series would be more interesting than it has been so far. Maybe the Lakers could win 2 at home. Somehow I even doubt it. The Celt’s are better than I thought. Maybe the series could be salvaged. Time will tell.

  • vintij

    Every game is a must win from now on. Except for game 6 if it even gets that far. Keep this in mind, this is a 5 game series now, we must win 4 out of 5. Does that sound impossible or what, maybe but 3 of those 5 games are in LA so that is a big advantage. After today, we will find out if the lakers really are too young to hit the big shots, if they lose today, series 99.9% over, if they win today and lose on thursday series 89.5% over. So lets pray the lakers at least take these first two games at home.

  • K0be08-09

    20+ Points: Kobe, Odom

    10+ Rebounds: Odom & Kobe.

    2+ Blocks: Turiaf.

    3+ 3-Pointers: Fish & Farmar.

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Odom.

    Point Margin: Lakers by 39.

    Out On A Limb: Lakers start the game on a 21-0 run and end the game with a 21-0 run.

  • http://myspace.com/plummerrocks Machinehead18

    20+ Points: Kobe, Gasol

    10+ Rebounds: Gasol, Odom

    2+ Blocks: Gasol, Turiaf

    3+ 3-Pointers: Sasha

    Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe

    Point Margin: Lakers by 5

    Out On A Limb: The refs will be on our side for all the home games, just to set up a game 7.

  • DCLAKER

    To those going to the game,please for us on the East Side of America,I WANT Y’ALL TO NOT ONLY BOOOOO THE HEEEEEELL OUT OF PAUL PIERCE(OR ANY CELTIC,LARRY BIRD TOO IF HE’S THERE)BUT PLEASE YELL OUT “DRAMA QUEEN,DRAMA QUEEN” FOR US!

    $$$$THESMELL-TICS.com,WE WILL WIN 3 STRAIGHT AND HAVE ONE OF THE GREATEST COMEBACKS EVER.DON’T GIVE UP LAKERNATION,NOW IS NOT THE TIME!!!

  • LakersFirst

    Just saw an interview from Magic Johnson and he is absolutely right. In summary, he said the following:

    – The Lakers must play with a sense of purpose

    – Why are the Lakers leaving Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for wide open 3’s. We know they can shoot them, why are they being left undefended.

    – The Lakers have been playing good defense at times, however, they fail to get the defensive boards. Crash the boards! Get the defensive rebounds. NO SECOND SHOTS ALLOWED!

    – Where is our bench? The bench needs to come and play.

    – There is no way we can only shoot 8 or 12 free throws a game and expect to win. If you’re only getting 8 to 12 free throws a game, then you’re not being aggressive and attacking the rim (those are the words from Magic, not me).

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #38962 Will Be Quoted Here]

    What kind of f*g ends his post by saying “Hibachi Style”. You deserved to get your a** kicked for just saying that!

  • banuelos_714

    A HURRICANE IS ABOUT TO HIT THE CELTICS….HURRICANE 24
    AND DA BIG TICKET IS AT HALF PRICE TONIGHT
    WE TAKIN THIS TONIGHT
    WE TAKIN THAT RING THIS YEAR
    GOOOO LAKERS!!!!

  • e

    kill boston

  • varsityoptimism

    “we have to study our opponents and study ourselves.
    we have to learn from our mistakes.
    we all have special skills.
    now we have to refine them.
    we need to get back to basics.
    and no matter what happens, we’re going to work together to overcome every obstacle”
    -coach gordon bombay!

    TONIGHTS THE NIGHT!!!!

  • long legga lai

    paul pierce’s knee goes out tonight.

  • west213

    GUYS IMAGINE THIS:

    Lakers wins game 3, 4, 5. The series is 3-2 lakers.
    Then they loose game 6. The series is 3-3.
    Finally its fourth qourter with 5 secs left Lakers down by 2 and KOBE knocks down a game winning three.

    HHAHAAHAH and BOSTONS ARENA EXPLODES!!!!!!!

  • DCLAKER

    I’M GETTIN’THE FEELIN’ SOME PEOPLE ON THIS AREN’T REALLY LAKER FANS,FO’ REAL! STOP HATIN’OUR LAKERS OR GET THE HELL OFF THIS SITE!!!

  • Big Phil

    Come on Lakers! Pau/LO/Vlad, wake up and concentrate…the reason why Lo and Vlad are in foul trouble is because of their lazy a$$ defense.

  • Big Phil

    F@ckin take LO out of the game…his head is in his a$$ and has been for the entire series…he’s not doing anything out there. Why are guys leaving Ray Allen open on 3’s?

  • Go Lakers

    Wow! Most important game of the Finals so far, and 4 of the 5 Laker starters have not shown up with their hearts into the game…I feel really sorry for Kobe. You can just see the frustration on his face during the timeouts. When are the other Lakers going to show up?!

  • Smush Walton

    What the hell is Lame-ar doing? Is he drugged out of his mind? The biggest game of the year and the same old walnut brained Lame-ar is back! DAMN!

  • Smush Walton

    We’ve got too many no shows tonight – Lame-ar, Fisher, Pau. We’re in big trouble – WAKE UP CALL!!!

  • Big Phil

    WTF is Lamar doing…he’s screwing up the game for us as usual…PHIL and REST OF COACHES TELL LAMAR NOT TO SHOOT OR DRIBBLE…JUST REBOUND AND PASS TO KOBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anytime he starts to juke around and dribble like a guard, there is a 99% chance it’s a turnover. Too much time with Puff the Magic Dragon has turned his brain to fertilizer.

  • Smush Walton

    Nice layup to end the 3rd Lame-ar. Get rid of Lame-ar he is mindless – what a F-ing DUNCE!

  • Smush Walton

    Thank God – we finally put dumbass Lame-ar on the bench! Lame-ar is the poster child for potheads.

  • Big Phil

    OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT WAS THE DUMBEST PLAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA BY THE DUMBEST GUY (LAMAR) IN THE LEAGUE…WHY THE F DID HE HAVE TO DRIVE IN WITH LESS THAN 21 SECONDS IN THE GAME…JUST F IN HOLD THE DAMN BALL U F IN WORTHLESS PIECE OF SH~T MORON OF THE UNIVERSE LAMAR!

  • Big Phil

    LAMAR JUST CONFIRMED HIMSELF TO BE THE GOD OF BONEHEADS!

  • Smush Walton

    KEEP THE BALL OUT OF ODUMB’S HANDS! HE’S A TRAINWRECK!!!

  • Sfn

    WE DID IT!!!!!

  • gugy

    wow, man, jesus!

    We won, but it was hard.

    We need to play much better as TEAM. Pau, Lamar, Fisher and Vlad need to step up big time. Props to Kobe and Sasha the machine!
    I hope the Celtics play bad next game. We need to win all games at home. Boston is a good team and they are giving too many headaches to the Lakers.

    Go LAkers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Smush Walton

    KG had countless moving screens. They finally called him at the end but good grief it is ridiculous – time after time!

  • lakerferlife7

    wow stop hatin on LO…hes gnna have 18 and 10 on thursday..and all of u will be sayin how he is the key to the lakers succes

  • Rpoc