Forget the fact that Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets are deadlocked at 2 games a piece with reigning world champion Los Angeles Lakers. That’s not enough cause for Lakers fans to panic, they’ve seen this before. But when Kobe Bryant is on crutches just four games into a three-peat playoff run, it might be a cause for concern.
A lot of credit has to be given to Chris Paul and the way he has willed his team to a 93-88 victory. Paul registered a monster triple double in Game 4 with 27 pts, 15 assists, and 13 rebounds. At the same time, how is Chris Paul grabbing 13 rebounds over the biggest frontcourt in the league?
There are more questions that the Lakers have yet to answer about this year’s team, like when is Pau Gasol going to show up and whether Kobe Bryant can consistently shoot with efficiency.
All panic aside, as I said earlier, we’ve seen this from the Lakers before. The Lakers know what it takes to get to the NBA Finals and win, they’ve proven that.
Right now, this is the NBA Finals for the New Orleans Hornets and they’re just playing harder. In a seven game series, the better team almost always wins. It may take them six, it may take them seven, but there’s no way the Hornets are beating the Lakers, with or without Kobe Bryant, at least, you would have to assume so.
But it’s not because of New Orleans that things aren’t so la la in Hollywood. The Lakers have been able to get away with this disinterested play in the past, but the league is stronger now, more balanced. Can they continue to turn on the showtime when they please and still win? There’s a hungry Oklahoma City Thunder team that might have something to say about it.