I have to admit that I was on the verge of losing hope when the Lakers fell 20 points behind the Lakers in the third quarter of their game against the San Antonio Spurs. But Kobe Bryant, who had been pretty quiet until then, took over the game and virtually willed the Lakers to the win. Jordan Farmar and Vujaicic also brought a lot of energy on a night when Odom and Fisher weren't quite on their game.
I don't expect it will be an easy series. The Spurs may be getting a little long in the tooth, but they are the defending champions and an excellent team. Tim Duncan may be the best power forward playing now, and maybe ever. I expect them to bounce back from what must have been a demoralizing loss and give the Lakers all they can handle.
As I've mentioned before, I'm strictly atavistic in my sports loyalties -- quite primitive for a guy who makes a living with his brain. I fell in love with the Lakers back in the Baylor-West days, when they were terrific but the Celtics were great. It will seem like old times if it's a Lakers-Celtics final again. The Lakers lost my wife when Kobe Bryant did whatever he did with that girl in a Colorado resort, and there's little doubt in my mind that he was up to no good even though he beat the rape charge. But he seems to have grown up some since then, and he has developed into probably the best basketball player on the planet.