2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (8) @ L.A.
Round 1 - Game 5
Lakers lead 3-2
Okay, can we exhale a little now? Tonight's victory seemed effortless and Hollywood scripted for an "amazing" 7 game series. It's obvious that home court advantage means EVERYTHING. Thunder can't beat us in L.A. and we cant beat them in Oklahoma City. Since Game 7 is at Staples Center and if we follow this series example Lakers will win in what came out to be a very exhausting battle among the surprising conference bottom seed.
This long first round series can either be a good thing or a fuel guzzling experience that might hurt the Lakers. L.A. can ride this momentum into the second round against the most likely Utah Jazz or come in worn out mirroring efforts from the regular season jet lag away games.
I understand that the Western Conference holds the more competitive match-ups but seeing how easily Cleveland, Boston and Orlando have moved on really concerns me. As a whole they only lost two games where as the favored top Western Conference teams are struggling early on. Denver losing 1-3, Dallas down 2-3 and us failing to close the 1st round sooner than expected. Never mind what the second round holds for us (assuming we pass the Thunder), we need to play with the same intensity as our rivals across the map because if we don't the Eastern Conference will tower over the beaten West with no mercy.
I'm not going to point out notable stats like I usually do because tonight's game was given by an OKC team who gave up in the second half. All they want to do now is fly back home to take their expected W and hope to finish this series with an upset back here in L.A.