The NBA playoff schedule 2010 looked clear for the Lakers early on. Most figured the NBA playoff schedule 2010 would be brief in round one for Kobe and company. After all, the defending champs were facing the youngest team in the postseason, who had just moved from Seattle three years ago. The first two games seemed to suggest no problems ahead, although the Thunder pushed the Lakers closer than expected. Yet no one saw any ominous signs – but now that the NBA playoff schedule 2010 will include a first round Game 6, panic is setting into Los Angeles.
The Lakers went into Oklahoma City up 2-0, and then went up 15-3 to start Game 3. A sweep looked assured, or at least a 3-1 advantage going back home. Instead, the Thunder rallied back to take Game 3, and then treated the Lakers like the Clippers last night, in a Game 4 thumping.
Now the NBA playoff schedule 2010 is going to be much longer for the Lakers in the first round than they hoped. Heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5, the doubts and complaints will surround Los Angeles, as Oklahoma City rides in with nothing to lose. Of course, few still expect the Lakers to lose two more games to the Thunder – though a Game 5 upset would change that.
Even if the Lakers breeze through to round two, the NBA playoff schedule 2010 will get much tougher after that. One of these years, Los Angeles will flip the switch back on too late, and pay for it by losing a championship. Since these Lakers aren’t as overwhelming as last year’s team, and since the West is closing the gap, this could be the year they learn that lesson.
Of course, the Lakers have proven they can flip the switch and get away with it. Last year, they lost three road games to Houston in the second round, but easily won the series at home. After that, they got their wake up call and pounded Denver and Orlando in five games.
Although they can turn things on before they get to the brink, they can’t make a habit of it in this NBA playoff schedule 2010. But as long as they don’t lose at home in a key spot, they will be safe until the NBA finals.
The Thunder still might not be the team to send the Lakers home, but they have already made a big statement. With Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, a big bench performance and a hysterical crowd, Oklahoma City took advantage of their first big stage.
But although they may be the team of the future, the Thunder want to be the team of right now – and advancing through the NBA playoff schedule 2010 would do it. Until they win in Los Angeles, however, the odds are still against them – even if the Lakers haven’t woken up yet.
The Lakers’ ability to rally back will be tested earlier in the NBA playoff schedule 2010 than they hoped. But their first real statement game will come on Tuesday night at 10:30 pm est.
News OK- “Getting even: Thunder sends message, ties series with Lakers at 2-2”
FOX Sports- “Lakers should be embarrassed by loss”