With nothing left but to wait, and no more Lakers games until their future opponent is determined, SS&R turns its focus on the Eastern Conference Finals. Tune in LIVE as we follow the ongoing battle in the East.
The 2009 Western Conference Champions hats and t-shirts lasted about as long as the official ceremony on Friday night. During the required trophy presentation, none of the Lakers seemed that thrilled or impressed with themselves for getting back to the Finals.
For the Lakers, it doesn't mean anything until they win the Finals – why is why the hats and t-shirts of ever player save Andrew Bynum were promptly removed after the ceremony.
This is as it should be. The Lakers' work is not over yet; in fact, some might say it is only not about to truly begin. The biggest question now, of course, is who they will will be doing that work against. Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, where the Magic have a 3-2 lead and a chance to close out the series at home, could determine this.
We've talked at length about who we want to win the Eastern Conference Finals. Now that the Lakers have a guaranteed slot in the Finals, I put it to you slightly differently: Who do you want to play in the NBA Finals?
Of course, I know that there are different reasons to want one or the other. Even though one may be a more favorable matchup, some Lakers fans may want the harder matchup so that, when the Lakers win, critics will have no excuses to fall back on. So let's make this more specific, and pretend for a moment that "who you want" and "who would be the better/easier matchup" are the same thing (even if, for you, they're not).