Well, as my mother always said, Better late than never.
She actually never said that, she just yelled at me and told me that I'd better turn my shit on time. Sorry mom.
The good news for Lakers fans is that your team played well on Thursday night. The better news is that they could have won by 30 if they wanted to.
The Lakers won this series for a few reasons, but none that everyone doesn't know at this point - they are the biggest team in the league, they pound you to death with their inside offensive game, they outrebound you on both ends of the court...and that's before me even talking about Kobe Bryant.
The Lake Show scored a relatively low 98 points (though, not surprising against a suffocating and well-coached NOLA defense), but had pretty balanced scoring; Kobe with 24, Bynum with 18, Lamar with 14 and Pau with 16. And that's what is the most problematic part of the Lakers' offensive attack - sure, you "held" Pau to 16, but Drew had 18. Kobe shot 6 for 16, but that attention you paid to him helped Shannon Brown score 8 points in 18 minutes. It's a "pick your poison" problem with the Lakers. Locking down on one player just means another one will pick up the slack.
But besides the dominance of the bigs inside and the varied Lakers offense, one of the primary reasons that the Lakers won this series is that they have one of the best disruptive perimeter defenses in the league. Even with Derek Fisher's well-chronicled defensive shortcomings, the Lakers play the passing lanes to perfection, which enabled the Lakers to get pall to turnover the ball 3.7 times during this series, as opposed to 2.2 during the regular season. Also, after watching a healthy dose of NBA basketball this year with my new favorite/spare-time-crippling service, NBA League Pass, I can safely say that maybe only the Celtics drive perimeter players into two man defensive traps than the Lakers do. How many times during this series did you see CP3 or Jarrett Jack or Carl Landry stuck in the corner with the ball, with an impenetrable wall of human in front of them? A lot. And even if that sentence sounded strange to you, or maybe even creepily and oddly familiar, that's why despite the incredible play of the inside, the Lakers are the most multi-dimensional teams in the league.
Bring on Dallas.