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NBA: Lakers Come Through in the 4th….   Share

20 May 2010

Since NHL conference championships resume on Thursday, the main sporting fare last night was Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  The stars were out in force as Danny Devito, Bruce Willis, Hillary Swank, Tom Cruise, and Jack Nicholson all were visible courtside during the broadcast.  This is a common occurrence due to the Lakers popularity and success over the years.

The Lakers increased their series lead to 2-0 by handily defeating the Suns 124-112.  The game was uneventful until the end of the 3rd quarter when the Suns tied the game at 90-90 after trailing by an average of 8-10 points throughout.  Both teams traded baskets until about the five minute mark when the Lakers and their superstar Kobe Bryant woke up and finally pulled away.  The Suns will now need to significantly step up their game if they hope to contend when the best of seven series heads back to Phoenix for the next two games.

The Lakers and the Boston Celtics are firmly in the drivers’ seats of their respective conference championship series which means a probable Boston/LA matchup in the NBA finals.  This is good for the NBA in that both teams represent championship laden, large markets with substantial star power on each side.  Between the two, the Celtics and Lakers account for 32 NBA titles and have already met in the finals 11 times.  It’s one of the best rivalries in sports, with historic grudge matches in the 80s between Hall-of-famers like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird..

One liner:  “Kobe got his pocket picked.” This is a reference to Kobe Bryant’s failed attempt at showboating.  In last night’s game, dribbling through his legs five times consecutively only to be instantly “picked” (ball stolen by his defender)  by a “scrub” (lesser known, supporting player) who then took it coast-to-coast (the length of the floor) for a slam dunk.

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The Basics

The NBA is divided into two Conferences, the Eastern and West conference.  Each conference has eight (8) teams vying for their respective championship in a best of seven series playoff.  The winners of the Conference finals meet in the NBA finals in June.   Much like baseball, no one really cares about the regular season unless it involves some traditional rivals (Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics is the current gold standard).


Conference: A group of teams, usually geographically associated.  In the case of the NBA, there are the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Triple Double: When a player achieves double digits in three of five statistical categories (points, assists, rebounds, blocked shots, and steals).  For example a player with, 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in a single game would have attained triple double.

Rebound: After an attempted shot that does not go in the basket, the act of retrieving the ball after the miss is called rebounding.  The player that retrieves the ball gets a rebound in that statistic column.

Assist: When a player gives the basketball to another player who then immediately scores.

Fast break: A play in basketball in which a team moves quickly down the court in an attempt to score before the opposing defense can get set up