Lakers Optimistic Going Into Game 3, Despite the Weight of History

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 16: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots over James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 16, 2012 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Thunder beat the Lakers 77-75. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

From ESPNLA.com

"I don't think we have many pieces to pick up," said Lakers center Andrew Bynum after the team's brief practice and extended film session on Thursday. "We know exactly how to defend them now. We're actually confident"

In true Andrew Bynum fashion, the Lakers' young center proclaimed a sort of nonchalance when discussing how the team will be able to put themselves back together after a crushing 77-75 loss on Monday in Oklahoma City. But, unlike the past few weeks, the rest of the team seemed to echo Bynum's sentiments. Said Pau Gasol in that same interview session:

"That's behind (us), that's behind really," Gasol said. "We have a great team, we have a great desire and even though we're playing a very tough opponent and we're behind in this series, we still believe in our chances. We got to fight until the end, obviously. (Friday) is an important, crucial game. Crucial game. Both games are crucial. To be able to go back to Oklahoma with the series tied and put the pressure back on them, that's where our chances are."

Whether it's just posturing or naivete or stupidity, the Lakers seem to be supremely confident going into tonight's absolute must-win in Staples Center. The statistic we've pounded over the head with is that Kobe Bryant's Lakers have been in a 2-0 deficit eight times before, with LA only coming through once (in '04, against San Antonio, in part thanks to Derek Fisher's 0.4 miracle shot). History's not on the Lakers' side, and neither really is the momentum. The only silver lining of Game 2 has to be that the Lakers held an explosive OKC team to just 77 points, and controlled the pace of the game from beginning to nearly the end. And then you know what happened. Crap.

In other news, the San Antonio Spurs won their 16th game in a row with a Game 2 victory over the hobbled Clippers. A pre-season afterthought in regards to title contention, the Spurs now look like the consensus favorite to collect their 5th championship.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and continued to crumble without Chris Bosh, as the the Indiana Pacers crushed the Miami Floppers Heat, 94-75 to go up 2-1 in the series. The Pacers owned a 52-36 rebounding advantage, with Roy Hibbert gobbling up 18 boards, just 3 less than the entire Miami starting five. During the game Wade (who finished with 2 for 13 shooting) was shown to be arguing with coach Erik Spoelstra, as his teammates tried to calm #3 down. The ship be sinking down in South Beach.

Finally, the collective passion of Lakers fans seems to have gone awry yet again. Steve Blake and his wife Kristen received death threats via Twitter after Game 2, which was capped off by a Blake wide open three-point miss that would have won the game. Whether or not any of these threats were actually serious, truly shameful behavior from Lakes fans.

C'mon everyone, let's keep the positivity going. Onward to Game 3.

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