Yesterday, both Boston and the Lakers were down 0-3. It was apparent that neither was going to win its series. Yet the Celtics won Game 4 in Boston, knowing that all they have to look forward to is the Knicks’ inevitable series-clincher in New York. Meanwhile, the Lakers lost to San Antonio in LA. Can we conclude anything from these two performances? Even though, without Rondo, the Celtics had almost no chance of advancing, they were well aware they didn’t dare let their long-time, ticket-buying fans down in an elimination game. Apparently, the Lakers’ relationship with their fans isn’t quite as intimate as that of the Celts.
On TNT’s pregame show, Kenny Smith even exclaimed that he’d heard Jack Nicholson gave his tickets to his cousin. Which, of course, was absurd. Because Jack has a relationship with the Lakers that’s stronger than a series sweep (against - he’s witnessed the flip side), even if it’s his favorite team getting blown out twice in a row. He remembers the past - and looks forward to the future. Whatever (and whomever) it brings.
For the record: how many people who were criticizing the way Mike D’Antoni coached yesterday’s game would have wanted to switch places with him? And for those foolish enough to say yes, do you really think the outcome would have been any different because of your brilliant bench manuevering? If you do, there are talk show hosts and hundreds of callers waiting to abuse you on the Subway fresh take hot lines, #1-25.
Truthfully, Boston had a shot at winning yesterday and the Lakers didn’t. For that game, they’d lost their their starting small forward and top four guards - one of whom happens to be one the top three players in the game. They were so decimated with injuries, nothing could have been done against the Spurs. Nothing.
Whether or not that is true for the entire season will remain a mystery. The saddest part of the entire year is the truth behind Charles Barkley’s statement regarding the Lakers’ pitiful performance in Game 3:
“It’s not too many times you can take the Lakers +30 - and lose.”