That one hurt: Thoughts on L.A.’s Game Two Collapse
It was one of those, I just got punched in the gut type of feelings that you can only get from sports or by actually being punched in the gut (which by the way I would have preferred over that Lakers loss).
I didn't feel like this after game 1's 29 point blow out loss. It was kind of expected after the Lakers were coming off a hard fought and emotionally draining game 7. I didn't even think I would feel like this before the start of game two, when I begin mentally preparing for the fact that OKC might just be better than the Lakers this season.
Kobe and Co. couldn't hold a late game lead
But as the game wore on and the Lakers stood their ground and refused to back down, I started to believe that the Lakers could win this series. By the middle of the 4th quarter with the Lakers up by a point and Metta playing excellent defense, Bynum and Gasol looking engaged, I begin to let my mind wander. If we go back to L.A tied at one game a piece we could easily go up 3-1 and end the series in 6.
When the Lakers had built their lead to seven with less than two minutes left in the game, I did a Chick Hern and mentally put the game in the refrigerator. Just as I begin to think that OKC was just too young and too inexperienced to beat the Lakers, Durant was hitting the game winner and taking a 2-0 lead. I was floored. I felt like I had just been punched in the gut.
I understand that basketball has no barring on real life and the things that truly matter are my wife and daughter. But there is a small place in the bottom of my soul devoted to sports; a place where sports matter. It is a place where wins and losses resonate with me like a wave crashing into a beach. And in that place, I was completely crushed by that Lakers loss.
I don’t know if the series is over or if the Lakers can make a dramatic comeback. I went into this match up not wanting to get hurt, I kept my emotions guarded tightly. But after that loss, I am fully invested. I just don’t know if I can take another loss like the one we just suffered. I’m still not over it, and if the Lakers get eliminated, I’m probably going to be sick about it all summer. I think its time for a long walk.