May 7, 2011

L Isn't Just for Losers...It's for Lakers

To call game three of the second round of NBA playoffs last night between our Dallas Mavericks and the L.A. Lakers (the team of my youth) a nail biter is putting it mildly. We got on the train after an early dinner at Mockingbird Station with plenty of time to walk around and soak up atmosphere...which last night meant listening to live music, looking at a couple of Ducati bikes on display, and watching a few crazed fans in wacky outfits (if you dress up crazily enough, they let you stand in a section for the entire game for free).

Once inside we put on our "The Time Is Now" blue t-shirts everyone was asked to don (and those who wouldn't were embarrassed into it by the "shirt cam" that relentless honed in on the scofflaws).

As for the game itself, the Mavs got off to a bad start, but eventually came back to lead.

Then they went down again, and with scant moments left, began to come back as a result of a couple of game-changing three-pointers, the first by Peja Stojakovic, the second by Jet Terry. Nowitzki, who scored 32 points, was named "player of the game," but without that shot by the wish-he-still-looked-like-this Serb, I don't think things would have turned around.

In the end the Mavs won by a healthy margin. At the start of the game the chant was "Beat the Lakers." By the end it was "Sweep the Lakers," in reference to the now 3-0 lead we have over Bryant et al. I hope that's the case, but at this point it's nearly impossible for the Lakers to come back. No team has ever been down 3-0, and I should know. The Mavs almost came back a few years ago, but didn't. That was the year they choked less than usual during the playoffs.

Watching the game was incredibly frustrating because even after losing year after year after year in the playoffs, the Mavs continue to stick with their same outside game. I've watched several coaches come and go, and it doesn't matter; the Mavs refuse to shoot within the paint. Yes, when their 3-point game is on, it's fantastic, but is it too much to ask that they be able to add some lay-ups into the mix? Honestly, I don't think so.

When we got on the train to go home, a gaggle of adorable teen-age girls got on at the West End, with a guy, probably one of their dads, and though they hadn't been to the game, they knew all about it. Everyone was in such a party mood that the smack talk began when one of the girls mentioned she was going to "Cali" for the summer. (Note to cute girls "Cali" natives don't call it Cali.)

Even after that faux pas, we were all having such a good time together that after she said she was a Lakers fan, I felt confident enough to tease her in return. In my very first ever bit of smack talk, while making the L is for Losers sign on my head, I said, "L isn't just for's for Lakers!" The whole back section of our train car—including the cutie—erupted in laughter, and then we were back at Mockingbird Station. The perfect end to a really fun night.

On Sunday we'll be watching game four, this time on television, to see if the Mavs make a clean sweep. With Ron "I need anger management" Artest back from his one-game suspension for hitting J.J. Barea in the face, who knows what'll happen?


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