The Lakers Are In

Trade Rumors, BURIED. Check.

Regular Season, TOPPED. Check.

Denver, DONE. Check.

Jazz, NO MORE. Check.

Spurs, SPANKED. Check.

Sometimes, I almost want to agree... that... whoever has the best player on a seven game series, that team usually wins (Miami-Wade over Dallas, Bulls-MJ over everyone else, Celtics-Bird in the 80s, Magic-LA in the 80s too, Shaq-Lakers over Reggie, Iverson and Jason Kidd, Spurs-Duncan over Billups, Kidd, Allan Houston). Safe digits... 75% likely, the best player's team wins. This is the case with the SPURS -Lakers West conference showdown. KOBE BRYANT is the best player. His team won. He finished off the Spurs with a variety of moves in the second half. Every Bryant shot, air is sucked out of Spurs' will.

But credit too should be given to the following...

  • Lamar Odom for not sucking each time he's got his customary slump. Finding a way to contribute and somehow able to deliver some needed points at crucial stages.
  • Derek Fisher. For showing up and playing Tony Parker well (with the aid of Lakers' team defense). True to his form, he's the Spurs' Curse. Remember the 0.4 secs? Remember the Barry-non-call?
  • Sasha Vujacic for harassing the hobbling Manu Ginobili all the way to the CR. BTW, he's the MOST WANTED GUY in San Antonio for creaming game 5 with the unnecessary three point shot made, game already won.
  • Ronnie Turiaf. Tired of using this... but really, he gives so much energy off play, on bench but still able to contribute on court. He's one of the Lakers' glue guys and unlike other "energy guys," Ron actually contributes. He had key defensive moments against Timmy. And for just him, going PONY TAIL during the most important game of the season, that was the lucky, ahhm, charm.
  • Jordan Farmar. For his energy and point production this Game 5. BTW, unknown to many, he's also the undercover scout for LA, reporting directly to Brian Shaw. With Farmar's ears, he's able to hear opponents bench huddles some 40 feet away.
  • Chris Mihm. For acting like he is really excited and for eating up some cap space. Had there been enough cap space, Mitch Kupchack could have signed these guys... Sprewell, Payton, Juwan Howard, etc.
  • Luke Walton. For being there when Kobe needed him the most. See, he's Kobe's favorite punching bag. He's Kobe's outlet. Whenever Lakers play bad and Luke is on court, expect Kobe venting some heat on Walton. BTW, nice corner three from Walton.
  • Vlad Radmanovic. He's Mr. First Quarter Man. Quick 10 points, easily. Plus, he found a way to give up his love for SKIING for the betterment of the team.
  • Pau Gasol. After Bynum knees went AWOL, we, Lakers fan should appreciate the GIFT FROM Memphis. Plus, how could you not love this guy, he plays with passion and team concept in mind. In fact, he's on track to break the world's record for most career HIGH-FIVES given and received. (Currently, RONNIE MAGSANOC holds the record with 27,124 career high-fives.) Seriously, never mind that some of Pau's inside shots are soft, somehow rushed, looks half-baked. Without Pau, I don't think Lake show goes this deep.

As for the Spurs... Though it ended 4-1, this isn't a L.A. massacre. Could have been 3-2 SPURS leading, you know. Manu's clearly injured but he played thru it and didn't give excuses. Tim Duncan played great. Parker played well, as the usual Tony Parker. But, in the end, Spurs were too tired and a little old for the Lakers. The Lakers are fresh, very well coached, have a pool of reserves, they played well and got the BEST BASKETBALL PLAYER.


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