I went to Utah for Game 3. What I saw frightened me. Amidst all the turnovers and missed opportunities I finally remembered what I had known all along: the Lakers are mortal.

As my friend Ryan and I approached closer and closer to home, I heard a song that basically summed up how I felt about the Lakers shortcomings and my subsequent departure from Salt Lake City.

For a second there I thought you disappeared.

It rains a lot this time of year.

And we both go together if one falls down.

I talk out loud like you’re still around.

No noo.

And I miss you.

I’m goin back home to the west coast.

I wish you would put yourself in my suitcase.

I wanted to take the Lakers home and make it all better. I couldn’t in good conscience leave them there, in hostile territory with two less allies. I wish I could have restored the sheen and invincibility that they had so honorably achieved.

And then I realized that the Playoffs are supposed to be this way: gritty, hateful, nerve-wracking. Without that, it is just, well, nothing.

After throttling the Hurrrnets and Spurs in the last weekend of the regular season, coasting through the First Round and the first two contests against the Jazz I had forgotten that the Lakers are prone to turnovers and poor execution every once in a while (exhibits A and B Charlotte and Memphis). Add in a tweaked back, the disappearance of Jordan Farmar and the fact the Energy Solutions Arena is about as quiet and tranquil as a mental institution and it nearly made sense that the Lakers dropped Games 4 and 5.

The good news is that the were just a few breaks short of winning both contests, and while it doesn’t put another in the win column it should reassure them that a series victory is well within reach.

To complete that goal, the Lakers must win tonight at Staples Center. They must continue to hold serve and protect home court because if they do not, they are faced with the daunting task of and elimination game at Energy Solutions on Friday night. I would prefer to gouge my own eyes out than deal with those rabid and overzealous Jazz fanatics salivating over a second consecutive Western Conference Final. So lets hope to see the Lakers be the team that rolled to 10 wins in a row tonight.

I never do this. Ever. But tonight is big. It is bigger than I could ever explain with words. Fan up. If you are going to be at Staples Center, yell and scream until you are hoarse. If you are sticking at home, put on ALL your Purple and Gold and make a fool of yourself. Trust me, you will always remember that.

I guess I will point to that song again: We both go together if one falls down.

Playoff Update! -

Well, the Hurrrrrrrnets have the Spurs on the ropes and are one win away from their first Conference Finals in team history. David West had a gigantic Game 5 in New Orleans last night notching 38 points and pulling down 14 boards while keeping Tim Duncan under control on the offensive end allowing him only 10 points.

Back East, the Pistonitas took care of the Magic in Five and the C’s are still winless on the road in the playoffs. Honestly, it is hard to focus on ANYTHING else besides the series at hand.

Television -

National: TNT (Kevin Harlan & Doug Collins)

Radio -

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

Utah: KFNZ All-Sports 1320 AM (Ron Boone & Rod Hundley)

Injuries:

Lakers -

  • Out: A. Bynum (Knee), T. Ariza (Foot)

Will Play: K. Bryant (Pinkie, Back), D. Fisher (Foot)

Storylines -

Ronny vs. Ronnie: With Ronny Turiaf being spared a suspension from the league office for his flagrant two foul on Ronnie Price during the second quarter of Game 4 Sunday afternoon, lets see if there is any bad blood brewing between these two Ronny/ies. Odds are that Ronny bludgeons Ronnie with Kobe’s MVP trophy by the first T.V. timeout

Kobe’s Back: Kobe tweaked his back. That is about all I know More importantly if you didn’t know, you must be living on Mars or Antartica. Come on. It is Kobe; he will be fine. The only thing that could keep him out of a game is a severed extremity or a realllllllllllllllllly bad tummy ache.

Varsity Challenge -

(Prize – A free kick in the balls to a Jazz fan of your choice.)

Besides Derek Fisher, name the last player to bounce from the Jazz to the Lakers.

  • Kutmasta Kurt

    Good preview….to answer the question, would that be the Mailman back in the Hall of Fame year?

  • Shril

    A must win!!!!

  • Laker for life

    LAKERS HAVE TO WIN TONIGHT. I EXPECT KOBE AND THE REST OF THE LAKERS TO COME OUT WITH A VENGEANCE AND PULVERIZE THE JAZZ. I HOPE I CAN SEE ARIZA PLAY TONIGHT, IF NOT, AT LEAST SEE HIM SUITED UP FOR THE GAME. LET’S GO LAKES!

  • jack

    we need this one. then it be one love baby.

  • osm0nd

    Hahaha nice coconut records reference… GO LAKERS!!!

  • http://www.hard-wood.org/?cat=34 Billy Kupchak

    it nearly made sense that the Lakers dropped Games 4 and 5

    *edit*

    shouldn’t it be Games 3 and 4? :-D

  • gugy

    We must win, if not, bye, bye Lakers.
    Simple as that.

  • LakeShowtime

    Lakeshow will show up for sure, I hope that Farmar does, he needs this game big time, it’s a huge plus that Turiaf didn’t get suspended. Go Lakers!!!!

  • Theman

    Byron Russell

  • as1084

    varsity challenge: karl malone

  • orange county chris

    answer..Karl Malone…take that in the balls you jazz fans.

    lakers in 6 games. kobe goes for 12+ assists tonight. jordan and the space cadet finally show up tonight.

  • Vida24

    Its a Do or DIe…

  • True Lakers Fan

    Karl Malone

  • MILO

    [Comment ID #35772 Will Be Quoted Here]

    hahahah lol lol lol

  • berks24

    come on laker fans!are you scared?we are going to win there is no way the jazz will win the series.they only win in OT in KOBE’s back and the bs calls on throwing out ronnie!and i hope kobe will still be kobe.what happen to denver will happen tonight when he bounce back with 49 from a bad game.he is the MVP and always be he started it last summer and he will finish it this summer…..the lakers nation follows cause we believe…..08CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!…….

  • junjun

    we’ll take this one, is on.

  • DCLAKER

    OURTIMEISNOW.com,STAPLES CENTER(for those going to the game)needs to be jumping and I mean LOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUD!!!

  • GotAce

    Were winning fa sho
    WINN!!

    GO LAKERS
    -Phant0mified.

  • RitchQB

    Very huge game, but the pressure is still on the Jazz because they haven’t even come close to winning at Staples this series. Ok, sure they got close enough to scare the Lakers a little, but never did they have control.

    To answer your question about the last Jazz to bounce over to the Lakers. I think it was Bryon Russell cuz didn’t he come after the Mailman?

  • varsityoptimism

    jazz-holes.
    Photobucket

  • DCLAKER

    I COULD LITERALLY BEAT THAT GUY HALF TO DEATH FOR THAT!DUDE LOOKS LIKE A WASHED UP KIDDY PORN DIRECTOR,STRAIGHT GUMP!

  • http://nbafan24.webs.com kbfan24

    [Comment ID #35815 Will Be Quoted Here]

    lakers will kick the hell out of the Jazz

  • Big Phil

    Since we have Ariza back, please keep the Fluke the Puke on the bench! plz! 80% of the time we leading, the lead declines whenever he’s in the game.

  • KOBEISKING

    GUYS WHY WAS I BANNED!!!!!!!!

  • KOBEISKING

    OMG PLZ UNBANN ME!!!

  • Rpoc

    [Comment ID #35815 Will Be Quoted Here]
    Holy ish…. a black guy at a Jazz game….. with their colors!! I thought it was just a sea of mormons.

  • http://www.myspace.com/androsaysitsok androsays

    glad farmar showed up today