If you live in the Los Angeles area, this morning you would think that the Los Angeles Lakers just won the NBA championship. After last night's convincing victory over the Boston Celtics in game one of the much-anticipated NBA Finals, the headlines are a virtual love-fest. For example:
- LA Daily News: Lakers make Celts look like old news
- LA Times: A bad old time for Celtics
- OC Register: Lakers deliver the smackdown to Celtics
- LA Times (they have like 16 Lakers writers): Lakers set ring tone in opener, 102-89
You get the idea.
If you've ever read anything I've written, you know that I'm not a Lakers homer. If anything, I'm harder on the Lakers because I've been around them for so long, and it eventually gets me into trouble on certain Lakers fan sites (see: thelakersnation.com - comments section).
I never take it personally, and I feel that despite their criticism, the die-hard Laker fans appreciate a dissenting voice in a sea of Laker propaganda.
However, this time I have to admit, the praise is all deserved.
I was expecting a knock-down, drag-out, series where the Celtics pushed the Lakers physically and emotionally to a game seven. I'm not saying we won't still get that, but game one was certainly far from it.
The Lakers were firing on all cylinders: Pau Gasol exorcised his demons from 2008; Boston seemingly forgot how they defended Kobe Bryant two years ago; Ron Artest proved himself to be the defender they severely lacked; Andrew Bynum played his role to perfection, making us wonder what might have been if he had been healthy in 2008.
No doubt, the game was eye-opening. Will the Lakers be able to keep it up? Who knows.
The Celtics are making adjustments as we speak, and you know they're going to come out fired up next game. If they figure out a way to keep Kobe and Pau at bay, will the others be able to step up?
There are many things that are still unknown in the series, but game one did teach us one thing for certain: If they play to their capability, the Lakers are clearly a better team than the Boston Celtics.
But that's a big "if".