I've been saying it since before the playoffs. Until someone digs the whole six and a half feet deep, drops the Lakers down in, pours four feet of concrete on em, piles three feet of dirt on top of that, then reads a Eulogy for the Lakes, I'll fear em. They've got a way - got one guy bigger and stronger than anyone on the court, got a guy who'll go down as the best 4th quarter performer since... guys named MJ and Reggie, got Malone and Payton, got Fuckin' Fisher, and now... Kareem Freakin' Rush.
(And now I know how Webber felt when he said (this was two or three years ago) that he's always worried about Shaq. Always. I imagined Webber darting around corners in his own house and his own bathroom like a fool, fearing and trying to avoid The Man. That's how I am. People shout, "they've got four-tenths of a second to get up a shot" and I flip out. I smash the TV. I dive under the bed. I fire up air balls in pick up games. I weep. Openly. In public.)
Of course, the Wolves never bothered to dig the hole. You can't do that with a single digit lead - going into the fourth - in LA. In that situation, you expect Kobe to drop a dozen on you and Shaq, even with 5 fouls, to get a couple put backs and a couple crappy free throws. And you expect the cardboard cutouts of the two future HOFers to add a couple of baskets.
But no one expects Kareem Rush to do his best Rex Chapman imitation and hit 6 of his first 6 three pointers. RIP: Wolves.
And, I suppose, you can't anticipate a Derek Fisher prayer with two-fifths of a tick left on the clock. RIP: Spurs.
So now I'm gonna get a little delusional. I'm gonna pull for the Pistons and pray that an Eastern Conference team without home court advantage can do what the two best West Coast teams couldn't: get it to a Game 7 where, I've been telling myself, anything can happen. I know the Pacers would have home court against the Lakes, I know that they have a better record than Detroit does against the West and the same record as the Pistons against LA (1-1), but I'll take the healthier (Detroit), better defensive (Detroit) team. Gotta figure (because I'm still illogically optimistic and not convinced that LA is that good) that any team that blocks nineteen shots in one game has a chance in pretty much any game.