Los Angeles Lakers: “Never Underestimate The Heart Of a Champion”

May 10th, 2010 by Josh Hoffman Leave a reply »
Even after the Los Angeles Lakers seized all the momentum by holding their home court and taking a 2-0 series lead against the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals, Game Three had all the makings of an L.A. letdown.

For one thing, EnergySolutions Arena (home of the Jazz) is arguably the most hostile environment of all the venues that house the remaining playoff teams (the Lakers and Staples Center, the Suns and US Airways Center, the Celtics and TD BankNorth Garden, the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena, the Magic and Amway Arena and the Hawks and Philips Arena—for all you who suffer from short-term memory loss).

To add stale popcorn to a mundane movie, the Lakers had yet to truly pull out the urgency card during this postseason. Considering Game Three was as close to a must-win for Utah as Wesley Matthews' eventual tip attempt with under a second left, I would have been no less surprised if L.A. had a 2-1 series lead heading into Game Four than I was to hear that BP's stocks were rapidly sold leading up to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

As expected, the Jazz jumped out to a strong start, holding the Lakers to just 17 first-quarte ...

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