NBA: So the Los Angeles Lakers Lost to the Boston Celtics, No Big Deal

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers were trounced by the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter of Sunday's matchup. Bryant had 41 points, but it was not enough to beat Kevin Garnett and company, who are still one of the NBA's best squads.

Think Bryant, Phil Jackson and the rest of the Lakers are worried?

Probably not, and you shouldn't be either.

Some are sounding the alarms, while others sounded them after the loss to the Clippers or the Christmas Day debacle against Miami.  

I politely and calmly suggest that those actions are premature in light of the marathon-like feel of the regular season.  The idea that you can write off any supposed contender in today's NBA is ill-fated and neglects that a season is not a sprint.  Any team can get hot or round into shape at the right time to make their run, as a few teams have shown in recent seasons.

Jackson's Lakers are poised to do the same thing this year because they understand a few key lessons the public appears to learn, but deviate from every time their training is tested.

As the Lakers stumble into January at 33-15 (still good for second in the West, by the way), here are a few encouraging axioms they have at the front of their mind.


Showing your hand in the regular season is foolish.

The allure of the best record and home-court advantage in the playoffs is strong.  The Lakers have had it each of the past three postseasons as the West's top seed, and seemed to have needed it all three times as they rounded into shape.  

However, things have followed a different script in the East.  

The last two Eastern Conference Champions (Orlando in '09 and Boston in '10) have not enjoyed home-court advantage after the first round.  Instead, they've relied on peaking as a team at the right time.  Orlando beat Cleveland in 2009 in five games ...

About the Author