Live Updating from Thunder-Lakers 2OT thriller at Staples:
I’ve decided this is an important game going for the playoff landscape, and that it deserves some recognition. Lakers are up 109-104 against the Thunder, the team widely regarded as the West’s best shot this season against the Heat or Bulls. So, I’m going to ramble on about this game in review, just enjoy these thoughts:
So the thunder crunch time team is Westbrook, Thabo, Durant, Ibaka, and Perkins. Lakers roll with Blake, Kobe, Ebanks (? but Metta is out), Gasol, and Jordan Hill. Bynum & Sessions ride the bench with Bynum at 10 points, 8 boards and Sessions. Jordan Hill is going insane.
I always liked that trade of Fisher, it meant this Lakers team could compete at the premier level in the West, and potentially a 6th ring for Kobe. That fisher and the corresponding Sessions trade really improved the Lakers two biggest needs. They had to improve their point guard position and get someone faster who could push the ball, so Sessions has shown to be a huge upgrade in that department. It would allow Blake to then command a different pace. The lakers also needed to improve the depth at the bigs as they’ve really missed having Lamar for crunch time. The emergence of Bynum as the league’s 2nd best center has been a benefit of loosing Lamar, however McRoberts and co. haven’t helped off the bench for quality minutes.
Oh the game just went final… Lakers 114-106, huge win. Playoff implications. Will Continue to Update
In case you’ve been under a rug or haven’t been watching TV at the moment or paying attention to ESPN, you may not have heard about the Metta World Peace incident. Exactly as the announcer called it, “thats not only an ejection, that’s gonna be a suspension.” So you can expect Ron to be out until at least the start of the playoffs, and could easily be into the first few games based off his past problems. We’ll see what Stern’s mood is when it happens.
The Lakers and Thunder are locked into the 2 and 3 spots respectively, as OKC has only 2 games left to make up 2 games in the loss column. The Spurs can lock the top seed soon, their magic number is 3 to clinch home court throughout. If the lakers have a game lead of the Clippers, but could still fall as far as the 5th. If that were to happen, they would either still play at home against the clippers or play in Memphis for up to 4 games. I think that they’ll end up getting these Thunder in the 2nd round, with a possible match up against San Antonio in the Western Conference finals await if they win. That would be a great finals by the way, imagery of to early to mid 2000s when the Spurs and Lakers won everything. Based off how well they played today, I think they’re as strong as any team in the west, I really think they could end up playing the heat in the finals. What a great matchup that would be… then Kobe and Lebron/Wade/Bosh would play in the Olympics. I think a seven game series against the Thunder would be a fantastic series, either team is capable of winning, but at least we now know that the Lake-show can beat the Thunder in a close game, and is now a deep team. Many have said that Derek Fisher signing for the Thunder could backfire, and that playing him decent minutes could be a bad move. He played 14 minutes today, but played well with 5 points (2/4) with 2 assists. Imagine Fish in a game-winning situation back in Staples… does he hit that shot?