Postcards From LA, Vol. 2: One Fan Tracks His Lakers Through the 2009 NBA Playoffs

The Last Postcard From LA

By: Christopher Thell

Like watching a sinking ship, as frenzied passengers attempt to flee in life boats and rescue crews rush in too late, the Lakers 88-86 loss to the Utah Jazz last night was disturbing to watch, provoking feelings of disgust and disillusionment.

Pau Gasol is a wimp.

Andrew Bynum is a foul-plagued bust who will always be injury prone.

Derek Fisher is old.

Trevor Ariza can’t make the jumper when it counts.



Kobe is past his prime. Put Dwayne Wade on this team in exchange for Bryant and they win the title for sure this year – but with Kobe, after having to endure this disgusting display of basketball that was Game 3, I’m not so sure.

My Dad texted me when the Lakers took a 64-51 lead in the third quarter after trailing by as many as ten in the first half: “Championship balls.”

And I agreed. To fight back from a horseshit first half in which The Purple and Gold shot 30% from the field and looked grossly out of synch all night (Kobe one of the chief conspirators, going 1-10 in the first half), the Lakers had fought back to climb into a comfortable 13-point lead.

But, after valiantly fighting back on the road in an arduous environment, the Lakers once again blew the big lead.


Think about it – do Jordan’s Bulls blow a 13 point second half lead?

More Lakers Fan soul searching, after the jump…

As bad as Lakers fans like myself want to believe that (reference Volume 1 of this series) The Lake Show has what it takes to command the title this year, I don’t really believe it.

I think they’re too soft. I think they don’t play tough enough defense when it counts; and I don’t think they have a chance in hell of containing LeBron.

Anyway, shit. Bitter, I know. Downcast. But what the fuck?

Remember all that nasty talk Jerry Sloan was blathering about? Honestly, do you think the Lakers are nasty enough to win a title?

Man, I feel bad even writing stuff like that about Kobe. As I sit here and compose this, a Kobe T-shirt is draped over my chair commemorating his 81 point game against Toronto a few years ago, a birthday gift from my little brother.

My point, Dude, is that it’s going to be precarious playoffs for Lakers fans. Nothing is guaranteed. Deron Williams proved that with 2.2 seconds left Thursday night, as the Jazz climbed back into this series.

But, here’s the deal. If the Lakers are real title contenders, they will come out and kick the Jazz’s ass Saturday night, as Kobe atones for his 5-24 shooting performance in Game 3 and asserts his will upon the contest, leading the Purple and Gold to a rousing, for all real purposes, series clinching victory.

Or, if the season’s tradition holds (carrying over from last season’s horrid Game 4 Final’s loss in which the Lakers blew a 24 point lead), Los Angeles will at least eke out a seven point victory after blowing an 18 point third quarter lead.

That’s my prediction.

The Lakers will win Game 4, but unconvincingly, deepening the enigma of their championship endeavor.

Do the Lakers truly have Championship balls?

More Postcards From LA:
Volume One

The popular Postcards From LA series is back for a 2009 Lakers run at the NBA Championship. As long as the Los Angeles Lakers survive through the 2009 NBA playoffs, Empty the Bench’s West Coast correspondent Christopher Thell will be submitting a local fan’s take on his beloved Lakers’ postseason trials, tribulations and successes.


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