Here is your LIVE GameThread for Lakers @ Rockets, pivotal Game 6. Comments update automatically, so jump on in and sound off on the Magic-Celtics game that is already underway (come on, Magic!), and the Lakers game that is soon to come.
The Lakers have an opportunity to close out the series in Houston tonight. But to do so, it will take a much better effort than they gave last time they were in Texas. The trap here is that there is potential for the Lakers to once again feel overconfident, after blowing these Rockets out by 40 on Tuesday.
After the jump, some encouraging quotes that suggest that the Lakers team we hope to see just may be the one that shows up tonight.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
The Los Angeles Lakers didn't act like a team that won by 40 points Tuesday night and perhaps that is the good news. The Lakers say they need to come out with the same intensity in Game 6 Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
"We have to come out exactly how we came out and how we played for 48 minutes (Tuesday)," Pau Gasol said. "We have to come into the game knowing it's going to be a high-level competition and knowing that you're going to have to earn it. They're not just going to give it away, and we should know that by now."
... Or as Kobe Bryant put it, "This isn't some chump team we're playing."
Via the Daily News:
No one was in a celebratory mood before, during or after the Lakers' practiced Wednesday afternoon. No one talked about the 40-point whipping they handed the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series Tuesday night.
Well, they spoke of it, but only in terms of playing with the same sort of intensity and efficiency in Game 6 tonight in Houston. In fact, they talked about the need to play with greater intensity and efficiency if they hope to eliminate the Rockets.
Via the AP (ESPN):
"Every game, you've got to rebuild your momentum," [Kobe Bryant] said. "It doesn't carry over. You've got to re-establish what you're trying to do out there on the floor. The energy and effort we played with (in Game 5) is not going to be enough on Thursday."
The Lakers are saying the right things... even acknowledging that they can't just play as well as they did on Monday, but that they actually believe they need to play even better than that. Encouraging words -- but then, when have they not said the right things? We'll see how it translates onto the court.
Go Purple & Gold!
Which Lakers team will show up for Game 6?
This poll is closed
First round Lakers -- giving away big leads in the 4th quarter
Game 2 Lakers -- start hot, cool off, then go on to grind out a win
Game 3 Lakers -- close in the first half, decisive win in the second
Game 4 Lakers -- underestimating their opponent, overestimating themselves... here comes Game 7
Game 5 Lakers -- no funny business, it's business time... this series ends here, with a blowout