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ON THE CONTRARY, LAKERS ARE JUST FINE.



Byline: KAREN CROUSE

PHILADELPHIA - Maybe I've been hanging around Lakers coach Phil Jackson
For other people with the same name, see Philip Jackson.


Philip Douglas "Phil" Jackson (born September 17, 1945 in Deer Lodge, Montana) is the current coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, an American professional basketball team.
 too long. That would explain my serenity in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost
 of the monumental upset that apparently is brewing right under my nose.

It could be I've got smoke from the burning incense in my eyes In My Eyes was a Boston straight edge band that spearheaded the 1997 youth crew revival along with Ten Yard Fight, Bane, The Trust, Fastbreak and Floorpunch. The band and its members were a part of the hot bed that was the Boston music scene in the late 90's and early 2000's. , but when I look at the first two games of the NBA Finals The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association.

The team winning the Eastern Conference Finals earns one of the two berths in the championship round, with the other going to the team that wins the Western Conference Finals.
 I see a Lakers team that is quite capable of beating the Philadelphia 76ers here today in Game 3. If that happens I don't need to squint squint: see strabismus.  to picture the Lakers grinding out two more victories at First Union Center to close out the best-of-seven series in a tidy five games.

From my view, the Lakers have a lot to feel good about after nearly winning Game 1 despite getting a sterling performance from only one of its starters, Shaquille O'Neal Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal (pronounced "shak-KEEL") (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq, is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). , and gutting out a nine-point win in Game 2 despite scant production from their starting forwards.

Alas, evidently I am marooned on the Isle of Isle of  

For names of actual isles, see the specific element of the name; for example, Wight, Isle of.
 Perspective. Indeed, don't be surprised if my next column comes to you in a bottle.

Everywhere I turn, pundits are sending up flares on the Lakers' behalf. SOS SOS, code letters of the international distress signal. The signal is expressed in International Morse code as … — — — … (three dots, three dashes, three dots).  dispatches are all the vogue.

One out-of-town column from the Lakers' 98-89 victory on Friday pointed out that Philadelphia ``lost by just nine points.'' My guess is the same writer would have noted that Tulane relinquished only an eight-run lead in its 13-11 loss Friday to Stanford in the College World Series.

Then there was the Philadelphia cheerleader, er, writer who began his Friday game story by suggesting if the defending champion Lakers ``aren't careful, they may not get another chance to revel in victory in front of their home crowd.''

Yeah, the Sixers could win the next three games to close out the series but keep this in mind: The Lakers haven't suffered three losses in a row during Jackson's two-year tenure as head coach.

In that same span, the Lakers have won four consecutive games plenty of times. Remember the Alamodome? Remember Arco Arena?

I guess that makes me Pollyanna to think the Lakers can pull it off one more time and make those tickets to Game 6 at Staples Center as worthless as objectivity apparently is among some beat reporters here.

The journalists who would have you believe that the Lakers' players seen pumping both palms heavenward in these first two games merely were trying to keep the sky from falling ought to brush up to paint, or make clean or bright with a brush; to cleanse or improve; to renew.

See also: Brush
 on their Lakers history.

In the Western Conference finals last year, the Lakers relinquished their home-court advantage to the Portland Trail Blazers The Portland Trail Blazers are a professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise, based in Portland throughout its existence, entered the league in 1970 and has won the NBA Championship once, in 1977.  via a 29-point loss in Game 2 at Staples Center. They proceeded to Portland and won the next two games at the Rose Garden, typically a thorny place for visiting teams.

I read with the same smug amusement that Jackson might as well copyright the various dispatches spelling disaster for the Lakers just because they allowed a gritty, gutty Philadelphia team one last gasp Friday after building their lead to 13 points with 7 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

That the Lakers held on to win by nine shows they aren't exactly bankrupt in the grits-and-guts department.

It can leave you breathless, watching how quickly the tide of public opinion can change. The Lakers' margin of victory was six points or less in three of their four victories over Sacramento in the second round and nobody was suggesting that the Lakers needed life preservers then.

Of course, that was back when they were riding a six-week crest of consecutive victories which was carrying them ever closer to history's shores. The 76ers ended the Lakers' bid for a 15-0 postseason, and no sooner had history left Staples Center than hysteria swooped in to take its place.

Otherwise sensible people are overreacting at the first sign of a challenge to the defending NBA NBA
abbr.
1. National Basketball Association

2. National Boxing Association

NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (=
 champions. Well, I have seen the culprit and it is us.

The higher the Lakers soared against San Antonio in the Western Conference finals, the higher the media raised the bar of expectations, only to yank Yank

steamship stoker vainly tries to climb the social ladder, then fails in attempt to avenge himself on society. [Am. Drama: O’Neill The Hairy Ape in Sobel, 339]

See : Failure



(jargon) yank
 the padded cushion from under them when the inevitable fall came, in Game 1 of the Finals.

The Lakers are the real professionals. They're staying in the moment, taking one game at a time and leaving it to the Fourth Estate to build the Great Wall of Hysteria.

Good god, enough bricks, already, and I'm not talking about O'Neal's free throws.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

How much time left do Kobe Bryant (8) and Allen Iverson have to talk about who wears the shorts in this series?

Tom Mendoza/Staff Photographer
COPYRIGHT 2001 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 10, 2001
Words:776
Previous Article:ALUMNI GAME: BLASTS FROM THE PAST WEST WINS ALUMNI SHOWDOWN BUT FUN IS WHAT MATTERS WEST 16, EAST 8.
Next Article:BIG-TIME LEAP FOR SMALL-SCHOOLER PETERSEN.



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