Maybe this is arrogant, but I am writing this in the third quarter of the game. I consider myself a typical Laker fan, at least as far as extremely dedicated fans go. And speaking for my peoples, I think our attitude towards our team mirrors the team's attitude in themselves - extreme arrogance. As soon as the Lakers heard they drew the New Orleans Hornets in the first round, a team let out a collective snicker and I wouldn't be surprised if someone wrote on the locker room white board "HANDLED". They absolutely owned NOLA in the regular season and they just lost their second best player to injury. The show let their overconfidence take over. They took this team extremely lightly and everyone, including the fans and the media, forgot that Chris Paul is one of the best players in the league. They played without passion and let guys like Aaron Gray, Willie Green and Jarrett Jack beat them.
But that's all in the past now. The Lakers didn't play their best last night, but forced enough turnovers and played excellent defense after the first quarter to win. The Mamba Monster was awakened and Kobe unleashed a couple of dunks now reserved for only a few precious times during the year. Pau and Andrew were once again playing 7-footer volleyball and Derek Fisher is slowly morphing into Playoff Derek Fisher. Most importantly, the Lakers have pushed the Hornets to the brink. And since losing game 6 to the Celtics in 2008, the Lakers have played 9 games in which they could close out the series. They have gone 8 - 1 in that span, with the only loss coming against the Houston Rockets in 2008, who I have compared these young Hornets to in the past. Hopefully the Lakers look at this game as an opportunity to end the series and rest up before a potential dog fight with Portland or Dallas.
And yes, I finished writing this before the end of the third quarter. We won by 16. It's not arrogance if you're right - it's confidence.
Good thing this is the internet, otherwise I'd probably just have gotten punched in the face for that line.