The Lakers had a nice first quarter in Oklahoma City to kick of the second round. That the team faded badly coming off a grueling seven-game series should surprise nobody, and that’s taking nothing away from the Thunder. They were squarely on their game and Russell Westbrook would not be denied. The resulting chatter, much of it outside the Lakers’ cyber beltway, painted a more forgone conclusion. The reality however, is that we’re not quite there yet.
This is a couple days old but still brilliant, Zach Harper at HoopSpeak on MWP’s mind games.
Kevin Ding at the OC Register asks if it’s time for another classic game from Kobe?
Actuarially Sound at Silver Screen and Roll, puts out the call for more effort.
Interesting story in Yahoo Sports courtesy of Jeff Latzke from the Associated Press, about Kobe’s philosophy on taking charges.
Mark Heisler at Sheridan Hoops takes a serpentine turn through L.A.’s two parts of the elite eight.
In other tangentially related news, Mark Medina from the L.A. Times reports that Devin Ebanks was fined $25,000 for taking his shirt off and Andrew Bynum was fined $15,000 for not talking to the media. Okay, you know what? The players shouldn’t have called off their lawsuit. They should have just cleaned out the league for every penny.
The Lakers are a team that much of the blogging intelligentsia loves to hate. There are facile reasons why, but I suspect the resentment and causal links run far deeper than my limited attention span allows. Still, I don’t mind taking pot shots. Let the best of six series begin.
– Dave Murphy