Wednesday, May 14, 2003

BASKTETBALL GODS SHOW A LITTLE LOVE: Maybe this is like the year the baseball gods removed the demonic powers Mariano Rivera had in the World Series against the Diamondbacks. Perhaps the basketball gods have decided, in their wisdom, that Robert Horry had made enough series-killing three-point shots. And so, it rattled out. Of course, there's no reason to resort to mysticism when you can argue that in a season where Shaq and Kobe have not had a lot of help and thus where Horry has had to play a lot more minutes in the regular season than he's used to he's bound to be worn down in a situation where he's usually fresh--in other words, if there was a moment in his career where he was going to miss that shot--his shot--last night was it.

And maybe, for once, the Lakers just aren't lucky this year. What did Napoleon say? "All very well and good, but tell me one thing; is he lucky?" Kobe even admitted it: "We're a tough team to put out....It has something to do with luck, something to do with our grit, our fight. Game 6, we're going to give it our all." Except they didn't have the luck last night, and may not have it this year. If the Spurs are smart, they'll realize they've been granted the kind of miracle a championship team needs and smother the Lakers in Game 6. If they don't, I do not like their chances in Game 7.

And Tim Duncan really blew it last night, leaving Horry open, and he knew it. He had the most sheepish look on his face when Sager was interviewing him after the game, like he was embarrassed to have won. Hopefully this morning he wakes up and says to himself, "HEY! We won," and calls Tony Parker and tells him that and they go out and push the Lakers over the cliff. Remember, Spurs, aside from Kobe these are not the same Lakers of years past; they're either diminished or Jannero Pargo. And you can beat Jannero Pargo.

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