Sorry for the delay, folks. I'm at Buffalo Wild Wings, and so far only Happy Daze is here. Where are the other 21 people who voted that they would DEFINITELY be here??
Today, it's about who wants it more. And I don't mean the championship – I think it's clear the Lakers want this championship more than anybody this year. I mean this game. Who wants this game more? Here are the relevant factors:
- I have a hard time thinking the Magic believe they can win this series. I know they still believe they can win a game, but do they really still think they can win the series? And if they don't, do you really think they can bring their best, most desperate game, even though they don't actually believe it will matter?
- At the same time, this is an elimination game from the Magic, and they're known as a team that fights hard. By this line of thinking, they should be extremely desperate, and that could come into play.
- For the Lakers, it's possible that they could also be affected by how unlikely it is that the Magic will win. If they honestly believe the Magic don't have a chance to win the series, they may not feel the need to play with desperation tonight.
- On the other hand, as we've already said, the Lakers are extremely hungry. Throughout these playoffs, they have played better and better, harder and harder, the closer they get to being able to taste this championship. They'll never be closer to this until they win it. So close to their ultimate goal, the Lakers should be hungrier now than ever, and extremely passionate.
So, which of these factors rules the night? That will determine, to a large extent, the result. And if both teams play with desperation? Expect a close game at the end, which I believe favors the Lakers.
It's game time! Sound off in the comments – this just might be our last game thread of the year!