Back on Mar. 29, following the Lakers' loss to the Hawks, I started saying that the Lakers should opt for rest rather than pursuing the best overall record.
Two days later, the Lake Show lost again to the Charlotte Bobcats, continuing the weirdest dominance by a below-average team against one of the Association’s best.
This further justified the argument that the Cavaliers were starting to run away with the best record and the Lakers should rest.
Three days after the Bobcat loss the Cavs have all of a sudden dropped games to the Washington Wizards (who treated the game as their NBA championship) and then earlier tonight got absolutely destroyed by the Magic (who wanted to bounce back from a disappointing home loss and show they belong in the NBA's elite).
This brought the Lakers within one game of the Cavs in the loss column and all of a sudden I’m rooting for the Lakers to keep the normal rotation and go for the season sweep against the Houston Rockets (which they successfully accomplished).
Now the Lakers are only one game behind the Cavs and it’s a race to the finish.
Another loss, and I’ll probably vow for rest again.
But my dilemmas of resting starters and rooting against the Cavs and Celtics are much simpler than the majority of fans.
As teams jockey for playoff position or try to get into the playoffs, the teams they are rooting for change on a nightly basis.
Last night on TNT, the Nuggets played the Jazz and the majority of the Western Conference was rooting for the Jazz to knock the Nuggets off the West’s two seed and top of their division.
Earlier tonight, everyone was rooting against the Jazz and for the Minnesota Timberwolves instead.
As the regular season comes to a close in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and the handful of teams fighting to get into the playoffs will be rooting for and against each other.
In the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Hornets, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns will be doing the same.
In the meantime, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers stay primarily focused on each other while the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics do the same.
Too bad everyone but the Lakers can’t lose every night.