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They were behind the NBA 8-ball last night, urgently needing a huge Game 5 win…or else. Luckily, they finally pulled it together by using this wacky thing us working stiffs call “effort” and came away with a victory that might (or might not) turn around their post-season, which we kinda sorta figured would have them headed to the NBA Finals. What a relief!

How ’bout them Orlando Magic?

Oh. The Lakers? Yep, them too.

Funny thing about Orlando.テつ Going up against the never-quite-good-enough Atlanta Hawks, they’ve spent four games stinking up the Eastern Conference, before finally getting serious and making sure they were up 23 by halftime last night and never letting the Hawks get back into it.テつ (That, of course, isn’t quite the Laker Way.)

Here’s what’s so fun about the NBA playoffs: after every game, whoever loses is suddenly facing a calamity that would make Frank McCourt continuing to own the Dodgers look mild.テつ Orlando went into last night’s game down 3-1.テつ One loss later, Atlanta faces the old “We better win game six at home or we’re going to get killed back at their place and we’ll never live down our epic collapse!!!” dealybob.

It’s always fun when it’s somebody else’s crisis, isn’t it?

Here in the land of the 16-Time World Champions, things are a little less tense than they were 24 hours ago, but since we’re talking Lakers, we’re hardly sure the fellas have woken up and decided to take things seriously.テつ How were you enjoying the show when Our Heroes were down nine at the end of the first quarter and allowing New Orleans to shoot infinity (okay, 80+) percent from the floor?テつ You were screaming, “Dammit!テつ Jump out on Ariza and Belinelli when they square up behind the arc, you slackers!!!,” weren’t you?

It felt better when Mamba dialed the calendar back about a dozen years for those two tomahawks, didn’t it?テつ It felt a lot better than that when they went up 11 at the half and 18 late in the 4th, huh?テつ Best of all, we now have the sense that Kobe’s foot was fine all along and he was just playing mind games with the Hornets (oh, and his teammates and all of us too) for the last couple days.

Now there’s just the minor matter of winning one more game, preferably Game Six in the Big Not-So-Easy Thursday night, considering that, if the Lakers lose that one, WE’LL BE DOWN TO GAME SEVEN, WHERE ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN, AND IF THE LAKERS DON’T BEAR DOWN FOR THAT ONE, IT WILL BE BASKETBALL ARMAGEDDON!!! Do you think they’ll decide to give it a go?テつ We’re not so sure, particularly given last year’s first round Game Six, against a much better opponent from Oklahoma City, where they escaped by the skin of a last-second Pau putback with half a second left that avoided a Game Seven.

Have we mentioned how much we love the NBA playoffs, where anything can happen, and whatever does happen will probably stress you out almost as much as the thought of Frank McCourt getting deported to the moon would bring joy to every member of Dodgers Nation?

Oh, and have we told you how much we don’t like Frank McCourt recently?

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April 27, 2011 at 10:45 am | Basketball, KCAL Crew, KCAL Rocks, Sports | No comment