The Los Angeles Lakers are in familiar grounds for the second straight playoffs series. They are up, 3-2 and a chance to advance to the NBA Finals for the second
However, there are some questions going through my mind as the Laker fans at the Staples Center celebrate following Los Angeles’ pivotal 103-94 Game 5 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Could the Lakers really finish it off come Friday (Saturday in Manila)? Could they sustain the momentum they now have at hand? Will they crash the boards the way they used to in Game 5? Will Lamar Odom play with more consistency?
Will the Lakers’ bench contribute more consistently? Will the Laker defense starve the Nuggets’ offense like they did in Game 5 against Carmelo Anthony (did score 31 points but shot only 9-of-23 from the field and 1-of-4 from beyond the arc)?
Will they be mentally tough going back to Pepsi Center so that they could finally finish off the Nuggets and take a few days off before playing in the NBA Finals?
These are barrage of questions that go through my mind right now.
Questions that I was thinking of especially since the Lakers were also up, 3-2 against the Houston Rockets in the semifinals, following their smashing 118-78 win also at the Staples Center. Only to find the Rockets back at their heels with a Game 6 win that forced a winner-take-all Game 7.
Of course, the Lakers went back to attack mode in Game 7 to seal the deal, 89-70 and advance to the Western Conference Finals against the Nuggets.
Though some people might say the Rockets series is entirely different from the Nuggets series, the point is the way they have approached the game, which at times seem inconsistent.
Denver does have more athletic guys to contend with—aside from Anthony, the Nuggets still have JR Smith, Dahntay Jones and the two bruise brothers Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen who are not afraid to mix it up and bang bodies against LA’s Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Odom.
Well, Laker coach Phil Jackson had been there a lot of times in the playoff battle. He certainly will do everything he can to prepare LA for a game-clinching Game 6 win.
The only question is, “Will the Lakers be committed to finish off the Nuggets?”
What do you think?