Plaschke: I Was Wrong: These Lakers Can Win The NBA Championship

Photo of author

in early November, after lakers Having lost seven of my first nine matches, I gave up.

“Lakers Stink,” I wrote,

By early April, they were looking tired and disoriented and I threw in the towel.

“The Lakers are not a championship team,” I wrote.

On a raucous May Friday night in the .com Arena, I'm absorbing the deafening cheers, brazen supremacy praises, and choking for my words.

These Lakers definitely don't stink.

The Lakers are absolutely a championship team.

breathtaking as a statement Austin Reeves Like Half-Court, the Lakers ended the reigning NBA champions by coming within eight wins of one of the most unexpected titles of their own, and if you don't believe them , you never will.

They 122-101 win Depicting a reality that looked real even as streamers fell and Randy Newman sang to win the Western Conference semifinal series four games to two over the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers can do this. They really can do this.

“It's unbelievable, man,” said the coach. darwin ham, “It's been one hell of a ride that I hope never ends.”

Seriously, it ain't over until it rings a finger.

The Lakers have the experience and depth to beat the top-seeded but untested Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals starting Tuesday.

He has the defense and toughness to beat any of the three potential opponents in the NBA Finals.

They have a championship roster, a championship scheme, a championship connectivity, and now a championship belief.

“The roster that we have, the talent that we have … that was our whole thing before the playoffs,” said Reeves, whose halftime buzzer-beating blast from midcourt typified Friday's Laker dramatics. “If we go in, we really think in a seven-match series we're going to be tough to beat.”

See also  SAI Makes It Necessary For NSFs To Tag Girl Coach With Feminine Athletes Throughout Journey | Different Sports activities Information

Agreed. It's real, it's happening, it's a remix of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol's two title seasons from more than a decade ago, a remade roster and a concentrated brutality and all kinds of Lakers magic.

This, from a team that started 2-10. From a team that was 34-37 and out of the postseason with 11 games remaining. From a team that was pushed to overtime by the Timberwolves in a smelly play-in game.

“I didn't expect it, I didn't think so… I would lie to tell you that I did,” said d'angelo russell,

The Warriors also did not expect this. Their flashy shooters were blanketed on Friday by a cohesive Lakers defensive scheme that ultimately drained the Splash Brothers, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson coping with some cannons of their own while shooting clinching 14-for-47. Happened.

How's that for a series-ending situation? The Lakers won the night when he made three-pointers – 13 – as the most shooting team in history.

Forwards Rui Hachimura, left, and Jared Vanderbilt celebrate on the Lakers bench during their Game 6 win over the Warriors.
Forwards Rui Hachimura, left, and Jared Vanderbilt sit on the Lakers bench during their Game 6 Friday night crypto. (Gina Frazzi / Times)

How's that for a series ending streak? The Lakers became the first team in 10 years to deny the Warriors at least one win on the road in a playoff series, covering 28 games.

So don't worry, the Nuggets have -court advantage in the conference finals. The Lakers beat Memphis and Golden State without home-court advantage and, oh yeah, no one can beat them in crypto, where they've won their last nine games.

Since the roster was reworked at the trade deadline – Russell Westbrook was sent out, Russell and Rui Hachimura brought in – the Lakers have been oblivious to outside noise and surprisingly focused on each other. .

See also  "That Type Of Temperament": Sunil Gavaskar Names One Participant Who Ought to Have Been Half Of India Squad For Eire T20Is | Cricket Information

Russell said, “Once we got out there, you could tell people liked each other, people wanted to play for each other, it was contagious.”

The result is a sense of resolve that was evident in their last two close-out games at home. They defeated Memphis by 40 and the Warriors by 21.

This latest effort was a combination of the usual sweeping and surprising efforts. LeBron James scored 30 in a playoff game for the first time in three years. Anthony Davis came out of a wheelchair to grab 20 rebounds. Reeves delights his visiting family from a farm in Arkansas with 23 points. Lonnie Walker IV 13 makes his usual phone-booth-exit appearance.

“I felt like if we ever had an opportunity to upgrade our roster and get some more balance around myself and AD, I thought we could make a run,” James said. “I felt like we could make a push through the rest of the regular season and then go into the postseason. And Rob [Pelinka] And the front office, they did that. He did so. And then it was up to me and Eddie to take that step forward.

The decider started with a surprising Lakers avalanche.

James Lepp. James Lepp. Russell Jumper. Davis Lep.

Warriors miss. Warriors miss. Warriors miss.

The Warriors missed 15 of their first 19 shots, the Lakers made nine of their first dozen shots, and with 4:40 left in the first quarter, the Lakers led 27–10 and it was already over.

In the final moments before halftime, even as the Warriors closed the gap, the Lakers provided a rich, final touch that really finished it off.

See also  Report: Chiefs to release DE Frank Clark after contract talks fail

On the Warriors' last possession of the half, Davis blocked a shot by Donte DiVincenzo. On the Lakers' ensuing possession, Reeves hit a half-court Hail Mary Heave at the buzzer to give the Lakers a 56–46 halftime lead.

The noise was almost unimaginable. The excitement continued throughout the break. This newly found Lakers mojo once again filled the building. That 10 point lead felt like 100.

“You don't make many of those,” Reeves said. “But it felt good when I shot it.”

It soon got even better.

The beginning of the end began with 8:11 left in the third quarter when James scored on a layup to give the Lakers a 17-point lead, causing Haim to jump and scream while Russell tackled rapper Jack Harlow and the Lakers took a 17-point lead. fans everywhere danced. And hugged.

Moments later, after an alley-oop dunk by Davis following an inbound steal by Davis, an enraged Draymond Green was assessed a technical foul and the Warriors were benched.

“We were as close as possible tonight for 48 minutes,” James said.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Jack Nicholson led the cheers on the giant video board and that was that.

Two series down, two to go, and Hamm said it better than the word-glazed columnist could ever have penned it.

It's unbelievable, man.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,