In my last post I was realistic about the Lakers, who lost last night to the Mavericks and are now 0-3 in the series. To hell with realism, now I will be a homer, a fan.
The Lakers could win. They need four in a row. No team in NBA history has come back from 0-3, although as Kobe quipped, it happens in hockey all the time. This is highly unlikely, as the Lakers have been playing horribly while the Mavs are firing on all cylinders. Dirk Nowitzky is playing like a superstar.
The Lakers just need to look at the game on Sunday this way. Can they win a game against the Dallas Mavericks? Of course, they can. They have done it before. A game is a game. They can win a game.
Most of all, Pau Gasol must find himself again. He's been a face on a milk carton during the playoffs. No team can lose its second best player and win. (What if the rumors are true that Pau is playing bad because his girlfriend dumped him? Dude, that is so... beta male.)
If the Lakers win on Sunday, they return to Staples Center (not "the" Staples Center, BTW), where they could win again beneath Jack Nicholson's benevolent gaze. Then they go back to Dallas for game six, where the Mavs feel the pressure to win, return to form and collapse. Then it's game seven in LA, the series tied, and the Lakers win a game against a nervous Dallas.
It's as easy as that. The Lakers have Dallas right where they want them.
First, the Lakers need to play for 48 minutes on Sunday, something they have not done. They must find a way to surmount their mental fatigue. They will have to reach down deep and take their execution up a step.
They need to find the heart of a champion. The eye of the tiger. (Have I missed any cliche?) If they find the will to win, it's not impossible that they do it.