Pivot Points: Los Angeles Laker Thoughts, Verbal Shots, and Things of That Sort

Laker Thoughts

Fellow featured columnist Tom Delamater recently penned an article concerning the Los Angeles Lakers' record against the top teams in the league, and his piece raised some very interesting points.

Tom's musings were echoed by the commentary team covering the Dallas-Los Angeles game Wednesday night and a version of the same question was posed to former New York Knick guard Mark Jackson.

Jackson said beating a team in the regular season instills the confidence needed to believe you could defeat the same team if paired with them in the postseason, but he also said that confidence rarely holds up in the face of a superior team.

Jackson made the comparison based on one of his seasons with the Knicks, in which New York was swept in the regular season by the Philadelphia 76ers, only to later return the favor when the teams were paired in the playoffs.

His assumption was the better team will manifest during the course of a seven-game series, and the regular season is only a snap-shot of what one could expect to see in the postseason.

There is evidence to back Jackson's words up and you only have to look as far as last season for confirmation. During the 2009 regular season, the Orlando Magic swept the season series from the Lakers, in two games which were far from close.

But when the two were paired in the NBA Finals, the Lakers made quick work of the Magic, dispatching them in five games, and dispelling any notion of relativity between regular season dominance and the postseason.

Furthermore, the Lakers' 7-8 record against top teams should be of little concern, because the only contender which swept Los Angeles was the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The only other top team whom the Lakers have yet to defeat are the Denver Nuggets, which Los Angeles plays twice more. They split the season series with Dallas, and defeated the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks ...

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