Note: due to continued f*** ups with their much-advertised, little-supported International League Pass broadband system (which has pretty much shut down since the playoffs arrived, happily), I’ve only watched the two ESPN games so far. So frustrating. I can heartily recommend not giving the NBA any of your money next year, no matter how tempting it might be. The system just doesn’t work.
Anyway, so the Kobe Bryant show did a really nice job on the Thunder last night, in what was one of the strangest games I’ve seen in a while. The Thunder were just manic, as their 17 (!!!) blocked shots/17 turnover performance will attest. And even though KD was able to make it happen a bunch more than in the first game, there was always the sense that LA were going to take this one home.
And, grudgingly, I’m coming round to the idea that this is an LA team you have to respect on some level (the same way you respect the IRD, I guess), and being a straight up Laker Hater is just a bit too easy. They won smart, dirty, tough and fair, hit shots when they needed to, got stops when they needed to, and generally played like NBA champions. The kind who might be banged up and aging, but still know how to break the hearts of a group of young men when their minds are focused.
And they did it all despite having both Ron Artest and Derek Fisher in their starting five. Which kinda boggles the mind. It’s like Phil Jackson’s playing chess against himself at this juncture, putting himself in ever more desperate situations just to keep himself interested. Because that pair are just awful. Continue reading