Lakers vs. Thunder: A Microcosm of the NBA Playoffs

May 19th, 2012 by Michael Walsh Leave a reply »
Throughout the first and second rounds of the NBA Playoffs one major storyline has emerged: the old guard isn't going down without a fight. 

Illustrated by the current runs of the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, there is no doubt that the veteran teams of the NBA are not yet ready to secede to the era of young guns like Oklahoma City and Miami. The theme has been developing over the past few weeks with these three teams in particular. There is no better exemplification of this theme than the current Lakers-Thunder series. 

After getting spanked in Game 1 by their younger opponents, the Lakers again faltered in the closing minutes of Game 2. That second loss pushed their backs against the wall, similar to an aging dad playing his high school son in a game of one-on-one to 11, losing 9-3. The Lakers, like the father, still had a few tricks up their sleeve. An old-time post move perhaps, lost on the youths who never saw Kevin McHale play. 

With that move, the Lakers won Game 3 on the shoulders of a classic Kobe Bryant fourth-quarter performance. Kobe was able to stare down an opposing star that is 10 years his ...

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