Slate Cleaned For New Season

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Anyone suggesting that they’re ready to pick playoff favorites based on what we’ve seen the past few days is free to make those predictions, if they dare.

Basing anything on the final days of the regular season is a dangerous proposition, as we found out last season. In case you forgot, the Lakers stumbled down the stretch in late March and early April before going on to claim their second straight Larry O’Brien trophy in late June — over a Celtics team few predicted would be close to winning a title themselves after their uneven regular season showing.

The path of the coming playoff storm is so hard to predict, will take so many twists and turns and always leaves us more surprised than we imagine we will be (which is the main reason we’re choosing not to read too much into the Lakers’ current five-game slide or the Celtics’ .500 play in their past 10 games).

We’d love for the Heat’s stomping of the Celtics Sunday to mean something more than it did, but both teams know better than to assume it will have much impact — if any at all — on what could transpire if they meet again in the postseason.

It would make life much easier on us if we were sure that the Bulls’ impressive finish to the regular season translates into anything more than just good vibrations at the end of an 82-game marathon, but we should all know better than that by now.

The Nuggets’ post-trade deadline revival could very well be the story of the season’s second half, only to be wiped from our memories in a matter of days if they can’t duplicate that same type of success in the first round.

And who (at least in New York) doesn’t want to believe that the Knicks’ seven-game win streak, punctuated by more Carmelo Anthony crunch-time heroics Sunday, isn’t the foundation for a furious postseason rally to come?

The bottom line? In the past 10 seasons, only two teams that finished with the league’s best regular season record have gone on to win the NBA championship — the Spurs in 2003 and the Celtics in 2008. So you can understand our reluctance to base anything off of those simple metrics alone.

The playoff field is set, but the seeds are still up in the air thanks to some surprise complications — like the Lakers’ slide. More from my main man Dave McMenamin from ESPNLosAngeles.com:

“We grew complacent a little bit,” said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. “We got caught.”

Their five-game skid undid their success, as the Mavericks are now tied with the Lakers at 55-25. (Although the Lakers hold both of the first two tiebreakers by virtue of winning the Pacific Division and taking the season series 2-1).

Suddenly, L.A.’s back-to-back games against San Antonio on Tuesday and Sacramento on Wednesday aren’t just about resting starters in advance of the playoffs (as Bryant said the Spurs are likely to do). It’s about fighting to make sure that 17-of-18 run wasn’t in vain.

“We got to a point that we need to bounce back. Obviously we must win these next two. There’s no room for error,” Pau Gasol said. “We got to a point now where every game will be a playoff game for us. That’s how important these next two games are. They’re must wins if we want to keep that second seed.”

The loss to the Thunder wasn’t as bad as the laughers against Golden State and Portland. They corrected their turnover problem until they didn’t, coughing up just one through the first three quarters and then giving it away nine times in the fourth. And their defense, which [Kobe] Bryant classified as “horrible” after the game, wasn’t as bad in quarters 2-4 as it was in the first. They gave up 36 points on 63.6 percent shooting in the first period and then “just” 28 points a quarter on 52 percent shooting after that. So that’s some kind of progress.

Gasol is right about one thing, there is little room for error now that the slate will be clean for the new (post)season in the NBA. And that goes for the Lakers and any other outfit that fancies itself a championship contender.

141 Comments

  1. Reggie says:

    From: Reggie, Misamis Oriental

    Oh come on why these entire puss for the best Teams and Players of the NBA? Let not your heart rule over your heads!
    Have you seen the intensity and tenacity of the Lakers in both the offensive and defensive boards displayed by the Lakers in their 17-1 records? The Lakers winning in a very wide margin of 20 and more points over the major NBA playoff Teams while losing against NBA Teams not of playoff caliber?
    Expect to see a Lakers Team that will completely devour its opponents in the playoff in the play of games and in the NBA Finals! WANNA BET!
    Posted: 1:21 pm
    April 14, 2011

  2. lakers will lose in 1 round

  3. the lakers is still the team to beat i pick the lakers to win 4-2 first round 4-2 second round 4-3 in thired round and 4-3 or 4-2 in the finals i am a magic fan but lakers is still to beat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. David (from aussie) says:

    Lakers 17-1 after all-star break huh. Well if my math is correct it onyl takes 16 to win the championship yeah. In saying that it is not going to be easy for any team for that matter. Very excited about these play-offs with so many potential upsets we could be seeing a OKC V Heat final, or Magic V Portland final. So strap yourselves in people and get ready for an exciting prospect of drama.

  5. spursfan says:

    everyone needs to stop trash talking the spurs. “they are not a playoff team.” my a**… they have been in the playoffs the past 10 years. they live in the playoffs just as the lakers do. so stop acting like this is all new to them. after all, they already have championships under their belt… and all these comments about them getting old.. come on. the lakers are old.the celtics are old. the spurs core group is old but they added some nice pieces to the team and i dont know if u have heard of them but they can shoot the 3.. gary neal, matt bonner, steve novak, and GOERGE HILL. #1 team in the league and #1 in 3 pt percentage. —– and to all those that said that the SPURS had the #1 record in the league because they were playing easy teams pretty much can shut ur mouth now. its the end of the season and SPURS are still #1 in the league. oh and thats even with the lakers making an all star break run and the spurs losing 6 straight… #1 baby GO SPURS GO!!!

  6. Love2Flatter says:

    Everyone has the right to back ur team, GO SPURS GO!!!

  7. BeliSRB says:

    Dave,don’t post such stupid comment please,, “a lot of teams have a guy that’s about as good as Kobe is right now” don’t act like idiot..

    • KOBESUX says:

      You sure showed Dave with a well structured argument complete with facts proving him wrong! Dave sounds like he knows what he is talkin about to me

  8. Sarge says:

    I’m not entirely sure what to think about some of the comments here. It kind of hurts my head.

    Anyway, I’ll freely admit that I’m rooting for the Spurs. Have for years, and it’s not changing now. They’re far better than I ever expected them to be, even with the six-game slide. Okay, four of those games they didn’t have Duncan, and lost in the waning moments of games, but it was still panic-inducing.

    There are quite a few teams I don’t want to see them play. OKC, Memphis, or LA. I think they could beat them, but those teams are dangerous enough that it could break either way. Denver is an enigma right now, as well. Who’d have thought they’d be better without Carmelo?

    Above all, I’m just hoping that someone other than Miami or LA wins. But they’ve certainly got the talent to do so.

    Regardless of what happens, though, this year’s playoffs should be great. I’m almost convinced that any team in the West could take it all outside of NO, and the top four of the East are scary as well. It’s gonna be _crazy_.

  9. Kikz says:

    LAKERS –> BACK TO BACK T0 BACK —> MEANS 3-PEAT
    LAKERS ALL THE WAY.

  10. Dave says:

    Lakers will repeat but not so much because of Kobe, a lot of teams have a guy that’s about as good as Kobe is right now, but because their frontline is one of the best frontlines of all time.

  11. Die Hard Lakers fans are still keep their fate on their team. But as what I said before this should be the reality check and Phil knows best on this that is why he will not be returning next year. It would be hard for them to win this year…the way they show it…it would almost impossible for them to win in the West…. Miami Heat is the most dangerous team right now.

  12. Dave says:

    If you put a gun to my head, i would guess the finals will be Lakers over Miami in 7 games.

    Miami – All the LeBron haters need to take a look at the monster games he turns out when the pressure is on – such as in Cleveland the first time or in L.A. on Christmas, Bosh is motivated to prove everyone that he is part of the big 3, you have probably the best closer in the game in D-Wade, but most of all they look like a team that is all on the same page and that is very hungry to win, hungrier than any other team in fact. If Joel Anthony plays reasonably okay and the shooters knock down open 3s they will get to the ECF having only lost 1-3 games..

    L.A, – As for L.A. the simple fact is with Bynum, Odom and Gasol all playing hard, nobody can beat them. That’s just too much length and skill to contend with.

  13. Ed says:

    What was the Lakers record in the last ten games of last year? 4 and 6 is what it was and what happen in the palyoffs? A championship that’s what. So everyone calm down the the Lakers are just bored. I think they’ll win the last two games of the season and wrap up second place. Then they will be on their way to winning their third championship in a row.

  14. Kevin says:

    Everyone is saying Boston and L.A. are the teams to beat…. Why? I can understand L.A. for one reason, you have to beat the Champs, to be the Champ… Other than that, L.A. is overrated.. Everyone fails to mention how old Fisher is, how old Artest is, the miles on Kobe, the injury prone Bynum…. Lost Interest is the reason for the five game losing streak…BS they were trying to hard to win at the beggining of that losing streak, cause they were still trying to get the top spot… In every game their full team has played and have been out played… They are done, their bench is so overrated… They may be playing to avoid teams now that they lost a shot at the top spot… They’re trying to minnesota into playoffs so they could have a chance.. Turn on, turn off…BS they’re not a light swith, they’re human, and their body is getting the best of them now…

  15. Tech boy says:

    Ok,after my comment everyone will have a much clear picture , who will be champion…
    IMAGINE , you have 5000 $ for betting on a playoff Champ…And you must place a bet ,all 5000 $ . What will be your bet ? Miami ? I don’t think so… Oklahoma or Portland ? Don’t make me laugh. Reality is different. For everyone with a little brain, first choice will be LA and second (Healthy) Boston.

  16. Lakers3peat says:

    It just amazes me how all the haters are coming out of the woodwork because of this little slump the Lakers are having as of late. Where were you bandwagoners at when the Lakers went 17-1 after the all-star break? Maybe the Lakers want everyone to believe that they dont have what it takes so they can slip up like they did before the All-star break, then show up in the playoffs with the same tenacity that was displayed afterwards.

    • KOBESUX says:

      Because when the Lakers are winning they are the best in the world, but when they lose its a ploy, these games dont matter, we won last year or some other excuse. Never heard a Laker fan say we playing bad now but we should come good

  17. dvo.city philippines says:

    Lakers will gonna stand tall in the playoff that’s for sure!!;-)

  18. Get_use2it says:

    Although I’m from LA, and the Lakers of course is my favorite team, I still believe Lakers and Celtics are the two teams to beat throughout the 2011 playoffs. This is going to be one of the greatest playoffs I have ever witness being that there has been so many changes to the NBA rosters. I Love it!

    I know we say it’s hard to predict the finals match, but I will put it out there if nobody else wants to say. LAKERS (of course) vs. Celtics.. Yes Again. The HEATS aren’t ready for what is coming next week. Maybe two more years together and they’ll be the team to beat in the NBA.

    Yes the Lakers are on a 5 game slide, but just like this blog says. The same thing happen last year, and what team city had the parade… I LOVE LA. When the Lakers went on that All-star run, it was a statement to the NBA teams that they can turn on the Showtime whenever they want. And that’s what’s scary about a team. Because just when you think they’re down. The Black Mamba strikes, and his eggs starts to hatch. Get ready NBA fans, this is going to be fun! Cant wait till Saturday!!!

  19. Jammer says:

    everybody here just hates on the lakers because they are scared of what they can do playoffs… i am a celtics fan and i witnessed my favorite team go down because of what the lakers have… the lakers are just a team with good players, and the one player can bring it when it’s time… Hoping the Celtics win… but i dont think so.

  20. Just a Fan says:

    Hey #1 Knick fan, what are you talking about? You say the Lakers had it easy in last years playoffs. The playoffs are never easy! You have to win 4 seven game series against the best teams in the NBA to win a championship! Learn a little about the game of basketball before you post a blog!

  21. ismaelsalih, jr says:

    the lakers have a strong line-up, the intensity is not there, hope that they can re-group and start the playoffs right.
    as this point, kobe is inconsistent, jackson needs someone to fill-up the shoes of kobe. it will be a very rough road ahead for the lakers, if they will win the conference final they will be very lucky, if they don’t stay aggressive they will end up with only winning at least the first round.

  22. Just a Fan says:

    Man this Gary dude trash talks the Lakers with every single blog. What’s with this dude! Man can you talk about anything in your blogs besides the Lakers. You must spend every waking hour thinking about them and hoping they lose. LMFAO. You know more about the Lakers than I do and I’m a laker fan!!!! Get a life already!

  23. Lolita D. Castor says:

    Good luck Lakers!

  24. richuncle says:

    Thunder looked great beating the Lakers on their homecourt. Nobody wants to play the thunder in the Playoffs, and they are the best team since the Allstar break now that the Lakers have lost 5 straight. I see the Thunder going deep into the Playoffs. They can still get the number 2 seed if they win their last 2 and the Lakers lose their last 2 and Dallas loses. Thunder will be a tuff out this year. I think they have gotten better since the trade with Perkins. I don’t see anyone beating them. In the East it will be Miami or Chicago. In the Finals I think OKC will go all the way.

  25. Erik Jr. says:

    I’ve loved the playoffs since I got hooked watching Michael Jordan. Hopefully the Lakers won’t repeat, never could stand kobe and I’m tired of the fans rioting like rabid monkeys rather than celebrating like human sports fans . . .

  26. L8KrrsS cHaMpS¡ says:

    OncE PlayoFfs begin ThE blAck mAmba iS gOiNg to dEsTroY TeAmS in cRuNch time jSt lIkE hE DId lAst YeAr! haha LaKers aRe ThE Bst no DoubT!

  27. HEAT TIME BABY!!! says:

    It’ll be fun to watch a HEAT-LAKET Finals Showdown. Though the Heat managed to stay below the Bulls in the East same with the Lakers just a few games under the Spurs, who would not like to watch a Lebron vs Kobe battle?

    These 2 great teams will surely meet in the finals, imagine how scary Lebron is during playoffs and how Kobe manages to perform — its game time!!!

    This is where Lebron will show his “F” haters to hush as he will have ring number 1 on his finger

    GO HEAT !!!

  28. John Sr. says:

    Laker are just buying time before the playoffs. It’s not worth the gamble to play too hard and battle it out in the paint. A twisted ankle, strained knee or any injury willbe a huge game changer. They don’t want to risk any injury to any of their big time players!!! Gasol and Andrew had a scare last week that could’ve really hurt the Lakers. It’s better to save their bodies for the playoffs and go all out then!!!

    Next season’s introduction goes…

    Your 3-Time Defending World Champions Los Angles Lakers!!!

  29. lakers3 says:

    Homeboys its lakers all the way…I like chicago but lakers better…wen the playoffs start, its game time for lakers n spurs isnt a playoff team, they suk in the playoffs

  30. PLAY OFFS PREDICTIONS says:

    The Lakers are over-rated and over-played.
    They look very tired … as of late. Not good.

    They are now being sucked into a downward spiral and this negative momentum will kill them early in the Play-offs.

    EARLY EXIT FOR THE LAKERS. YES .. YES … YES !!!

    SPURS will win the WEST and go against the BULLS in the FINALS.

    SPURS = 2011 CHAMPS

  31. Dylan says:

    I’d still bet on the Lakers. I have less confidence in them to win it this year than the last two, mainly due to the competition, but they have so much skill when they turn it all on. They won’t lose to OKC, Russell Westbrook will probably put a clinic on Derek Fisher, but we out defend and out skill OKC the rest of the way down the roster, with the exception of Kevin Durant/Ron Artest. It would probably be another 6 game series.

    I could see a seven game series with the Lakers and Spurs, actually going either way. But I can also see OKC taking the Spurs out. However, San Antonio matches up extremely well with the Lakers. It would be who plays harder, who wants it more, etc. which I would bet would be the Lakers, but that home court advantage could be the key.

    So for the west, my top picks are:
    1: L.A.
    2: OKC
    3: SAS

    As for the east, I wouldn’t bet. The top 7 teams all look to be pretty good to be honest. Chicago, Boston, and Orlando will definetly come out of the first round. Now I don’t doubt Miami’s pure skill as much as I just believe a revitalized New York team or a surging Philadelphia team can upset the still hot-out-of-the-oven Heat. I think I’m one of the few people that believes Orlando can make a third straight appearance in the conference finals. Dwight Howard is an absolute force to be reckoned with, and Jason Richardson can score with the best of them. If Gilbert Arenas shows a shade of his old self, and Hedo Turkoglu brings his 2008 self to this playoffs, they can compete with the squad in Chicago. However, I think Chicago is ready to take off for a start of a dynasty.

    My top picks would be:
    1. CHI
    2. ORL
    3. BOS

    And I would only think Boston could have a real shot at taking out Los Angeles. But no matter what the final round match up is, I think this will be one of the most exciting playoffs we’ve had in a long time.

  32. After25YearsOfWatching says:

    Although I’ll always root for Chicago (thx MJ), I predict the Celtics to win the east. To many superstar carrers are at stake and I think they’ll play there best ball when their backs are against the wall.

    It’s so annoying that it looks like LA gets the ONLY 2 teams in the west, which no team fears (Hornets & Mavs). Huge disrespect if they are that lucky and can breeze into the western finals. If they’d beat Portland, OKC, Spurs and Celts or Heat (which they are definitely not able to) then they would deserve respect, but I sense that luck is on their side once again.

  33. DaZeN Master says:

    We all know the Lakers are in a slump. However, the Spurs are just a good regular season team. There will be a 3-peat in Laker land, and Phil Jackson will retire with 12 nba championships. Now for all you Spurs fans, the run is over for you guys. There will be an end to Tim Duncan as he is washed up and so is Manu. Go Lakers baby!!!!

  34. axe says:

    the black mamba will strike in the playoff,,,, just watch it

  35. Tom says:

    I don’t care how any team plays in the regular season i’ve watched too many NBA seasons and too many NBA post seasons to know that, how a team plays in the regular season doesn’t mean anything. i’m a knicks fan and it’s possible to win a 1st round series but i know it’s really not gonna happen haha. but i will say i don’t think there is a team in the NBA that can beat the lakers 4 times in a week….not in playoff basketball.

  36. #1 knick fan says:

    i feel bad for celtic fans. if the celtics do not get a championship or dont make it to the finals.

    blame one person on that celtics organization that retarded Danny Aige guy. who trades of their best defender and makes the okc the best defensive team, lol. one of the biggest mistakes in celtic franchise history.

    knicks will be in 2nd round and then lose.

    lakers will be unable to go to nba finals, if they do, d-rose and the bull will destroy the lakers in the finals.

    the bulls or the heat will be in the nba finals. while the lakers have a chance to be in nba finals but okc and spurs r a huge obstacle in front of the lakers.

    the lakers had easy in playoffs the last two years. this year they r dealing with 2 juggernaut teams, spurs and okc.

    lakers and celtics good luck cuz u aint gettin a championship this year. maybe…… next year. haha.

    nba finals bulls or heat vs. spurs or okc

    • lakers3 says:

      y u bein a laker hater…lakers can beat the bulls n bulls arent gunna win this year cuz its jus too early..couple more yrs for bulls n lakers get bak together in playoffs…SPURS ARENT A PLYOFF TEAM get tht stright homeboy

  37. SpursFan says:

    It’s funny when the Spurs lost 6 in a row, ‘They were too old/tired/found out… etc’ but now that LA does it ‘They’re experienced/know what they’re doing… etc’

    • KObE oG BYRANT says:

      BECUASE THEY WON 2 TITELS IN A ROW AND LAST YEAR WE WENT INTO THE PLAYOFFS 2 OF 6 AND STILL GANG BANGED EVERYONE .. IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE A KAJER FAN ..

      • Gary says:

        They got taken to a six game series by the first time Thunder, and same with the Suns, they went 7 games agaisnt they Celtics who were pretty banged up. You think it’s gonna be a walk in the park to beat teams like Portland, Memphis, Spurs, Dallas or Oklahoma then have to face possible the Bulls or Miami? (sorry Celtic fans not seeing it). Just stay tuned and by the way learn how to spell your teams name.

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        NAME ON PLAY THAT CAN SCHOOL KOBE OR EVEN COME CLOSE TO GUARD HIM … HIS BEEN THE BEST IN THE WORLD FOR ABOUT 13 YRS .. GET A LIFE U HATER … AND GET OF KOBES NUTS U NO HE’S THE BEST

  38. KOBESUX says:

    The cracks are appearing, the lakers are gone! Maybe next year HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

    • KObE oG BYRANT says:

      UR FAVORIT BASKETBALL PLAYER THINKS KOBE IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD … ANYOTHER STUPID COMMENTS?

      • KOBESUX says:

        My favorite player is anyone who schools kobe, so i have quite a few fav players. Its sad your so deluded

    • KObE oG BYRANT says:

      NAME ON PLAY THAT CAN SCHOOL KOBE OR EVEN COME CLOSE TO GUARD HIM … HIS BEEN THE BEST IN THE WORLD FOR ABOUT 13 YRS .. GET A LIFE U HATER … AND GET OF KOBES NUTS U NO HE’S THE BEST

      • KOBESUX says:

        Nice comment for a 4 year old, doesnt make any sence at all. Are they going to teach you proper english this week at school?

  39. Ava says:

    I am getting an adrenaline rush just thinking of the playoffs. I could hardly wait to see what all 16 teams has in store for all their devoted fans out there. Like most of you have indicated, I cannot make any predictions for this post-season but I can safely say that as long as Kobe Bean Bryant and Kevin Maurice Garnett has a say in this years’ proceedings, we are most likely looking at a Lakers/Celtics showdown once more. Bryant and Garnett are by far the most determined players in the NBA. They are certainly not going down without a fight. They are sensing light at the end of the tunnel and nothing is going to stand in their way of achieving that ultimate goal. But only one can be the winner. Would it be the 14 time All-star, 1 time NBA champion Kevin Garnett & the Celtics or would it be the 13 time All-Star, 5 time NBA champion Kobe Bryant & the LA Lakers ………… Only time will tell!!! I absolutely love this rivalry!

  40. Kevin Durant says:

    Lol you guys. You know who’s gonna win this.

  41. Spurs NO DOUBT!!! says:

    the only two teams i see as i threat to the SPURS are memphis and OKC these two teams have great teams they play there hearts out the lakers might be champs but they dont compare to the spurs memphis or okc i can see one of those 3 teams making it to the confrence finals not lakers i think the lakers are a bit over rated for this season they where great but i think the light has dimmed for the lakers there will be a new champ this year and it wont be the lakers or boston

    GO SPURS GO!!!

    • KObE oG BYRANT says:

      SPURS A LOT OF DOUGHT!!!!

    • unbiasedobserver says:

      better watch out for the sleepin beast that is the celtics buddy

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        SLEEPIING BEAST? DONT U REMEBER THE LAKERS KILLED THE SO CALLED BEAST LAST YEAR? TRY TO TAKE CARE OF NYK .. AND THE ONLY BEAST LIVES IN THE WEST WEARING PURPUL AND GOLD

        KINGS HAVE RINGS

  42. PURPandYELLOW says:

    LA.kers top B.ull.S in FINALS. 4 – 3
    “its going to be one hell of a game”

  43. Kb24 says:

    LAKERS WILL GET THAT THREE PEAT

  44. Kb24 says:

    Lakers may be looking bad going into the playoffs but everybody should know how they play in the playoffs. Lakers went to 3 finals n won 2. its going to be 4 finals n there going to win there 3 for a Three peat!!!! Go LAKERS

  45. LakeShow fa Life says:

    I read some of the post and it seems that some have the same predictions I have about the possibilities of seeing a Lakers vs. Bulls finals. Of course this year it will not be easy for the Lakers to walk away with the championship, however, this is how I am going to put it. The only way the Lakers lose the championship is if they beat themselves. As someone mentioned….I don’t believe there is a team out there that can compete with the Lakers when they bring their “A” game. Especially when it comes to a best of 7. The Celtics are the only team that could pull it off only because they have that experience against the Lakers. And I am saying it out of respect. This is not to discredit any of the other teams talent. There good, but their best game does not compare to the Celtics or the Lakers. It will indeed be a crazy playoffs worth watching. The Bulls are good this year. The Spurs always come ready when the playoff hit even with their age. However, this championship will be staying put in L.A. if the Lakers show up. I am going with a Lakers vs Bulls but would not mind seeing a round 3 match up with the Celtics due to history and respect.

  46. Alan says:

    This is San Antonio´s year. Since 1999 theyve been winnin the finals every 4 years (1999, bonus 2001, 2003, 2007), this year is the fourth one after their last championship so its duncan taking it home im sorry.

  47. michael says:

    you guys act like this doesent happen ever year #laker nation

  48. champ27nnj says:

    playoffs win or go home… PERIOD… cant wait lets go lakers thats y we win the title cause of all u haters u keep us goin..

  49. JL says:

    JUST ONLY 5 WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE PLAYOFF AND NBA FINAL.

    BAKC TO BACK TO BACK :)

  50. GD74 says:

    LAKERS ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL DAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. BeliSRB says:

    Idiot :)))))))

  52. got_watcha_want says:

    Dear NBA fans,

    Here we come!

    Yours Truely, OKC Thunder

    P.S. Thanks Boston for all you help in trading us the heart of your defense.

  53. BeliSRB says:

    I’m a Laker fan and I don’t use those excuses,neither the most of LA fans,you know it..we just play bad and that’s it..but same thing happens last year and we still won championship…can you be sure same thing won’t happen now????? Don’t hate them couse they have that luxury to play bad and yet again be #1..LA team is way to strong to diss them lake that..

    • are we in playoff yet? says:

      Number 1? You guys are fighting for the number 3 seat and OKC might send you to fourth place. You won’t be able to get through Portland in a playoff series. You guys are going nowhere……..By the way, it is nice to see Kobe shooting and missing so much……Although if I shoot 50 times a game, I would probably make a couple and shoot 40% also. hehehhehe

      • Max Ivic says:

        We’ll see come june. Fair enough for having an opinion, but in 2 months all lakers fans will be laughing in your face

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        check kobes regular season stats and chek his playoff stats they tell a story

  54. matt24 says:

    i agree with MARAVILLA the LAKERS are toooo much!!!!! and you nhow that 3PPPEEEAAAT no matter what!!!

  55. seewhatyouwanttosee says:

    Miami will win, hopefully and the bulls i am glad you all see that nothing has changed but their approach during the regular season…props to sekou

  56. smoke1 says:

    Ya the lakers are in a slump but I still have faith they will do some damage in the playoffs, because once the playoffs start the cats out of the bag baby oh ya and he is mad

  57. MaraviLLa says:

    Silly Laker fans: Top ten excuses with every Laker loss lately: I should email Letterman

    10) Phil is a genius, we are just resting up
    9) Lakers can turn it one like a light switch, they are soooo much better than everyone else
    8) Winning is so boring. Yawn …..wake me up for the finals
    7) Just wait, the Lakers are built for the playoffs
    6) Boston limped in last year during regular season and look what happened to them
    5) Combination light switch and resting excuse
    4) Not worried, no problem, and…Excuse me a minute my figernail-less nubbs are bleading again.
    3) The Spurs and Celts are old. Who is this Rose? Lebron got no rings.
    2) All the great teams have a 7 game losing streak right before the playoffs….3 peat baby!
    1) We’re good enough, we’re smart enough, and gosh darn it our 90 million payroll franchise can buy rings and banners. We are ENTITLED, Stern says so.

  58. xabaza says:

    i Think lakers has chance to win third Championship and kobe’s 6th RING! i Believe That Kobe WILL DO IT!!

  59. HelloEveyone says:

    Thunder all the way! Probably take the bulls or knicks in the east, nice to see the knicks back in the playoffs after so long, knicks and bulls in the eastern finals would be a nice old school matchup.

  60. GD says:

    i want the celtics to win it…..but itll be the year of the blazers….wait and see…..

    • al respect the game says:

      tsk tsk. dream on.

    • clutch says:

      no matter how much i love the celtics and the OK city crew ur right i believe it is the year of the blazers, gonnab e the cinderella story of the playoffs this year just like butler and Vcu were in march madness

      • OKCKD35 says:

        If the blazers can beat the thunder, we got the 3-1 series this year, we got their number. yeah they got us once this year but just keep in mind it was something crazy like 6 games in 8 days or 7 in 9, something rediculous, and we wore out at the end, wont have such luck in the playoffs!

      • Kb24 says:

        WELL TO BAD THIS ISNT COLLAGE

  61. SpursDaBest!! says:

    Told you Spurs are the best!! Just 2 games left till we start Crushing Competion, bring on Memphis, Hornets, Thunder, Nuggets, dallas,Blazers, and La… This the year of the All Mighty!! Keep Hating on The team its just Pushes them More.

    • Wait a Minute says:

      OKC vs SAS- OKC in 6 ( OKC… OKC… OKC… This team will be a cataclysmic disaster for the Spurs, every position covered, Speed, Defense, Offense, Talent, Athleticism, Tough. They got it all. Personally I think the only team that can beat them is the Lakers.)
      DAL vs SAS- SAS in 6 ( Sorry Dallas, I just have no faith in the Mavs. Especially without Caron Butler.)
      POR vs SAS- SAS or POR in 7 ( ALL BETS ARE OFF IN THIS ONE)
      NOH vs SAS- SAS in 5 (Without David West, I don’t see them going anywhere)
      MEM vs SAS- SAS in 5 (no disrespect to the Grizzlies, i think they’re just too young and without Rudy Gay.)
      DEN vs SAS- SAS in 6 ( Nuggets are good, Spurs are great.)
      LAL vs SAS- LAL IN 6 ( I know people say this OVER AND OVER, but Andrew Bynum is truly the difference maker in this series, also, in 08 when the Lakers beat the Spurs without Bynum AND Ariza, they started Lamar Odom and Sasha Vujacic and the Lakers won the series in 6! Just saying.) Spurs, stay away from OKC and L.A. and you’re going to the Finals.

  62. prof says:

    from playoff time the Lakers and Celtics will lead the way…so much for the season records..in the end my favorite team the purple and gold will be the last team standing…although there is some doubt i still believe in the Lakers and Phil Jackson will make an exit with another 3 peat…

  63. earth_visitor.Z says:

    “The bottom line? In the past 10 seasons, only two teams that finished with the league’s best regular season record have gone on to win the NBA championship…”

    No, the bottom line is that the trend does not portend the future. Professional sports is existential – today is all that matters. Winning is all about physical and psychological health, how well the team collaborates, and of course, skills. Those will be my criteria as I place my bets going into the playoffs.

    • Jake says:

      Although 82 games seems to give a pretty good measure of a teams physical and psychological health, chemistry, and skills. The best teams in the regular season are usually the best teams in the playoffs even thought the correlation isn’t perfect.

  64. KObE oG BYRANT says:

    LAKERS CAN GO IN THE PLAY OFFS WITH THE 8TH SEAD AND IN THE PLAYOFFS AND STILL 3PEAT

    KINGS HAVE RINGS

    • SpursDaBest!! says:

      Gonna have to give those rings up to SAN ANTONIO SPURS!! we will make them cry like we did in “03” after there 3peat. Kobe and Fisher crying on National TV!! Dont Belive me YOUTUBE it!!!

      • ASY says:

        I agree, Western Conference might be the spurs show time

      • al respect the game says:

        well u spurs might want to concern urselves with OK city waiting for you in the second round. thats the futre team of the west. if u get though them, then ok, u can take the lakers out. cause trust me, LA would rtather see the spurs than OK city. i mean common, we blow u guys out in ur house and we have not been able to blow out Ok city in a long time. trust me, you spurs should be more concerned about Ok city.

      • Big J says:

        @ Spursdabest; as a Lakers fan I remeber that year after the 3-peat. The Spurs did not make the Laker cry that year. But I do recall seeing Duncan cry at the hands of the Lakers. At any rate, this post-season is going to be epic. I am not worried about the Lakers last 5 games, my take is after the Dallas game they slowed it down because of the near injuries to Bynum and Gasol. When the playoffs start, they are going to kick it up to the next gear… you know, THAT GEAR, the one that all of the other teams have not used for the past 2 years at least… well maybe the celtic but that gear is a little worn.

      • Gary says:

        @ Big J, LA never had to kick anything into gear the past two years. They sat comfortable at number one. They need to kick it into gear NOW or lose the 2nd seed. Also teams are healthier, more experianced and stacked this year compared to the past two years. Anyway LA will make a hell of a playoff run but I doubt it ends with a championship.

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        KEY WORD WAS AFTER THE 3PEAT

      • Gary says:

        @ Kobe NO G Bryant, what sense would that make for him to be comparing LA’s team now to the first 3peat? 2nd of all same thing goes for that year that I just said about these past two years, they were sitting at the top of the West and were primed and ready to take it. Wasn’t looking like they do now.

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        HEY GARYY .. I GUESS UR A LITTEL SLOW SO ILL SAY IT AGAIN … IF THE LAKERS R SITTING ON THE TOP OR AT THE BOTTOM , IF THEY GET TO THE PLAYOFFS HEALTHY ITS A 3PEAT… DOES IT MAKE SENCE NOW?

    • Gary says:

      Haha then why did they always work so hard for the top spot? Even last night why did they try so hard to beat Oklahoma if the playoff seeding doesn’t matter. But hey I guess I’d be saying that too if my team just dropped five and looking to be in third.

      • Michael says:

        Last time i checked SA lost 5 in a row too

      • Gary says:

        Yeah and they stayed on top of the west, lol!

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        DID U SEE THE GAME THEY PLAY NO DEFENCE AND IF THEY CARED ABOUT TOP SPOT WE WOULD OF HAD IT LONG TIME AGO.. ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS GETTING TO PLAYOFFS HEALTHY

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        KEY WORD IS AFTER THE 3 PEAT

      • Gary says:

        Right they don’t care? That’s why Kobe made that stupid face he makes when he’s mad last night. That’s why they fought back to take the lead then lose it. G T F out of here cause you know they played hard and just lost. NO EXCUSES!

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        YOU REALLY THOUGHT THE LAKERS WERE IN A MUST WIN GAME MODE AGINST THE OKC? THEY PLAYED NO DEFENSEN ON THEM AN MANAGED TO KEEP IT CLOSE … GET REALL IF THE LAKERS WANTED TO THEY COULD OF WON BY 30… ALL THEY WANT TO DO IS GET TO THE PLAYOFFS HEALTHY

  65. seth says:

    sekou nice article.. always watch the beat as much as i can… anyway, about the playoffs.. yeah this will be a very interesting one… like most filipinos… ima huge laker fan….i hope there wouldnt be any upset in the west concerning the lakers…kobe isnt what he was a couple of years back but he can still light up the scoreboard when he chooses to… so i still think think the lakers can pull off another three peat.. that is if they can stay focused.. and just a few weeks back they showed that if theyre focused no one could practically stop them.. not even miami(though they never won a game against the heat this season)..the regular season is different from the playoffs.. bynum really is a force tobe reckoned with.. gasol is gasol.. odom is terrific off the bench and kobe .. well despite what everyone says, i think still is the best. so if the lakers just focus.. theyre gonna be celebrating in june again. hopefully there wouldnt be any upset…

  66. ALMOND T says:

    PLAYOFF TIME!!! This is LAKER TIME BABY!!!
    This is where the DEFENDING CHAMPS Show up
    THIS IS WHERE EVERY GAME COUNTS.
    THIS WHERE AND WHY THE LAKERS ARE THE TWO TIME DEFENDING CHAMPS!!!

  67. Gary says:

    I’m still willing to bet LA doesn’t 3peat. That team is good but they are wearing out and if they end up having to go through Portland or Dallas, then Spurs or Thunder I’d say they would have nothing left for a finals match against the Bulls or Heat.

    • al respect the game says:

      iam a laker fan and i agree they might not 3peat but common, the road in the east is not easier. i mean, chicago is going to face orlando( howard in the post) and miami or boston( and i dont need to say much about those defenses). i mean rose would be worn out and then have to run into LAs 3 7 footers. common men, thats a tall order for a PG, and u know without rose chicago does not make it to the finals. its gonna be a dog fight in both conferences. and the fact is the east have the better defensive teams, top 3 i beleive. so hear they gonna get worn out too.

      • KObE oG BYRANT says:

        @GARY…….. IT SO SAD HOW BAD OF A LAKER HATTER U R.. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE THE LAKERS BEAT UR TEAM TO MAKE U HATE THE SOON TO BE 3 TIME CHAMPS?

  68. don juan montolla says:

    man for the past 3 years i have requested a 3 week vacation to watch the lakers in the finals. and they have made it. so my request goes in today to get another 3 weeks to see my lakers in the latter part of the playoffs and in the finals…GO LAKERS!

  69. Andrei Sorin-Toma says:

    I totally agree with Tanki in what he said about the dangerous “dogs” that bark around the big Teams…I’m sure it will be a more interesting playoff than the latest …but don’t underestimate the other big three of the league…Carmelo, A’mare and Billups…they still got shoots to shoot and things to proove…

  70. #TeamHeat says:

    This is going to be the craziest playoffs I’ve ever seen. The HEAT looked real good against BOSTON yesterday, so I feel more comfortable when we meet them in the second round. CHICAGO and ORLANDO is also going to be a great series. I expect multiple 7-game series in the first and second round.

    • ASY says:

      Rember Rondo did not paly his game either. As Rondo goes, so goes Boston. Heat have not won the battle yet, until the last game of the eastern conference final.

  71. george says:

    There are a lot of strong teams in both conferences. The playoffs will be great! I think that the Lakers, Spurs and Celtics have more chances than the other teams, because they are more experienced, but there is no guarantee they will survive against their contenders. We shall not forget that NBA’s motto is “where amazing happens”.

  72. Zar The Knicks Fan says:

    mann……..i am new yorker so naturally i dislike celtics but i did not want to see them lost yesterday. I rather have my knicks playing Heat than celtics in the first round.

    anyway GO KNICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mr. eleven says:

      after the result of heat-celtics game yesterday, do u still prefer your knicks to compete against heat after the heat beat the celtics by 23 points? i don’t think so…

      It’s either Celtics/Heat to face your Knicks, They would win a game or two, but not a series. They could win, i mean it, they could possibly win a series…..in your dreams! ;)

      • tata says:

        I’d bet against the Heat in a Knicks series.

      • unbiasedobserver says:

        the heat beat the celtcs once, and that was with injuries to shaq and jermaine, you realy think that the heat will be able to compete in the paint againt shaq AND garnett??? i dontthink so i would get down on my knees and pray for the heat if i were a knicks fan

    • al respect the game says:

      i agree. i want to see that too. it can still happen tho. boston just needs to win their next two and if miami drops one of the next two, boston holds the tie breaker. but the bottom line is they need shaq back, otherwise its pointless.

      • ASY says:

        It is hard to predict what will come out of the playoffs. Knicks might win, Celts are tough, Chicago are tought, so wait and see.

  73. dirk45 says:

    I can’t remember a season with so many teams looking like they could come out on the top. There are at least 6 teams in the west that could advance to the finals (judged by the games we’ve seen after the break) and nearly as many in the East, even if CHI. MIA and BOS seem to be a bit ahead (though the Knicks may protest here).

    Whatever will happen, I will definitely enjoy a great playoff season – whatever will happen, Being from Germany my heart clearly lies with the Mavs but I’ve seen enough playoffs to NOT be disappointed.

  74. Tenki says:

    This could be the wildest post-season in years, not just because of the potential rematch of last year’s Finals, but also because of the new dogs in the block going all out to prove something (i.e. Oklahoma, Miami, New York, Chicago). Everybody wants a piece of the championship pie, and I don’t think a prediction is going to be easy. The Lakers and the Celtics are the teams to beat in their respective conferences, but they don’t have the best records that should give them the home court advantage everyone is dying for. New York doesn’t play defense, but somehow thing are working in their favor with Carmelo running the show. The Thunder has become way much tougher in the paint, and so is Dallas. Spurs are back in their winning ways. Portland found their new MVP in Aldridge. CP3 has found a new stage to showcase his talent. Memphis has got enough potential to pull off an upset. Chicago is at the top in the East, but they could have their hands full against Orlando in the second round. Philly is back in the playoffs. Miami is a dangerous team now. Crazy playoffs right now.

    • xxgalzi says:

      It is true. The Lakers and Celtics are still the team to beat in their conference. Chicago is now the top seed in the East showing that they are a dangerous team. Meanwhile, the Spurs are at the top of their game (I think they are better now than they were when they won 3 championships). Dallas is suprisingly good this season as well. The Knicks don’t have defense but they have Carmelo and Stoudemire. Orlando is still a contender in the East and the Heat, obviously, made the playoffs but has a lot to prove in the East (they might face Knicks or Philly in the first round, they might face the Celtics, Philly or the Knicks in the 2nd round, and they might face the Bulls, Magic, Hawks or the Pacers). The Thunder are still young and obviously they are good this year, I just don’t think they’re winning the championship this year (maybe for the years to come). Here are my playoff predictions (if the playoffs started today): First Round: West: Spurs beat Grizzlies (4-1), Thunder beat the Nuggets (4-3), Mavs beat the Blazers (4-3), Lakers beat Hornets (4-2). East: Bulls beat Pacers (4-1), Heat beat 76ers (4-1), Boston beat Knicks (4-2), and Magic beat Hawks (4-2). Second Round: West: Spurs beat Thunder (4-3), Lakers beat Mavs (4-2). East: Bulls beat Magic (4-2) and Celtics beat Heat (4-3). Conference finals: West: Lakers beat Spurs (4-2). East: Bulls beat Celtics (4-3). THE FINALS: LAKERS BEAT BULLS (4-2). I’m not a Lakers fan (I’m a Knick and Celtic fan), but I don’t think there is anyone in the league who has the capability to beat the Lakers in a best-of-7 series. Sure, they’re in a little slide right now, but they might just be fooling us (like before the All Star break) and they might just change gears and go into their top form.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        They tried to change gears last night, wasn’t enough!

      • jeff says:

        mamon q eres hahahahaha espero q te kedes cn estas mierdas cuando los playoff empiezen

      • reylo says:

        good analysis

      • Mark R says:

        @xxgalzi Very bold to lay out your bracket now, but you dont seem to have any upsets. I think the Blazers may just have something to say about that, aswell as the Thunder. How about the Knicks? They’re on a 7 game win streak right now after starting off horribly after the ‘Melo trade…

        http://hoopnholla.com/basketball-blog/5-teams-that-could-cause-a-playoff-upset/

      • DFJ3 says:

        the Lakers that ran off the 17-1 are the Lakers that will be seen in the Post Season. This current 5 game skid is nothing more than a lack of interest. Coasting it out. OKCKD35, get real. I’ve seen the games. They just aren’t putting any effort forth. Like the homie xxgalzy said, there is not a team that is built to beat the Lakers in a 7 game series. Even the Celtics, didn’t feel that they had the right pieces to beat the Lakers. That’s why you have Perkins and Robinson now. Bynum abuses Perkins. Gasol smokes Ibaka. Artest bullies Durrant. KOBE KOBE KOBE. Last nights game was not won by superior talent. It was won by greater desire. When the Desire is equal, the superior talent will win. 82 game regular season?? We may as well be talkin’ ’bout practice, man… Are we talking about practice??

    • al respect the game says:

      u got that right. it is very exciting

    • prix says:

      As the season end with a great BANG! I cant help but to be sad and excited as the playoffs nearly begins…It just sadden me to see both great team turn into a joke before playoffs began, L.A 5 straight loses just remind me of a team once been great but now ends with a great disapointment, looks likes they are playing garbage and not basketball..maybe L.A and BOSTON nees to join UFC next year..they dont belong to NBA anymore..,and for Boston I cant say anything but THEY ARE DONE!.. Bulls and Miami just burn them to the ground,THEY ARE HELPLESS! so old and weak! and SPURS, forget about them,we all know we dont need to waste are time for them.. TEAM TO BEAT…OKC…BULLS…HEAT………..x-factor…NY…BLAZERS!!! I cant wait for the playoff!.. 2nd round exits for BOSTON and LAKERS..