Memo To Lakers Fans: Give LA-Boston Dream Final A Rest, Focus on Phoenix

Pat MixonSenior Analyst IMay 24, 2010

PHOENIX - MAY 23:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands on the court in the second quarter of Game Three of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at US Airways Center on May 23, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Attention Los Angeles Lakers fans!

Quit thinking, talking, and focusing on the Boston Celtics.

The NBA Finals aren’t here yet. Remember where you are. In the Western Conference finals playing a real team. This isn’t NBA Live. The Phoenix Suns are a real opponent, not to be underestimated or looked past.  

Sure, we'd all love, and can’t wait for a Finals matchup with Boston—that is a slice of NBA heaven. But dream scenarios can wait. They'll have to. 

Lakers fans are guilty of spreading this wish, brushing off Phoenix like a fly. But this Boston dream has turned viral, and it's everywhere.

I can’t turn on anything, watch anything, nor read anything, and NOT see something about a potential Lakers vs. Celtics Finals. The only team holding up their end of the bargain so far are the Celtics, who are poised to sweep Orlando from the Eastern Conference finals tonight.

Meanwhile, the Lakers' loss to the Suns Sunday night changes everything.

No one can deny the two games in LA showed the Lakers' prowess. The Lakers will win this series, but only if they focus. And, that goes for LA’s fans as well, who can't take the Lakers' current 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series for granted.

Just like in a real game, the sixth man has influence. And, in a world where thoughts turn into reality, fans need to keep their mind on the ball, which is Phoenix.

Don’t think this is true? Well, Phil Jackson wasn’t upset the day of Game Three at Andrew Bynum for no reason. Did anyone catch Jackson’s quote regarding Bynum’s comment of a potential LA-Boston Finals?  

"There's a moment we'll call a brain cramp in our business. He [Bynum] wasn't thinking very clearly right there,” Jackson said.

See how the virus grows?

Let’s get back to what’s right in front of the Lakers and their fans: the Suns.

More importantly, the Lakers need to win Game Four on Tuesday night to reclaim dominance, and control this series. Nothing is more important to the team or their fans. Quit looking past this round.

Last night, the Suns threw out a desperation zone defense at the Lakers, and it worked.  It kicked in my dreaded formula of long shots + long rebounds = Suns fast-break points. The Lakers failed to attack the zone, and they paid for it.

Yes, the key word in that sentence was failed.

It was a choice, and they settled.  And missed. They missed outside shots like there was no tomorrow. That can’t happen on Tuesday, or you can throw all the dreams of a Boston-LA Finals out the window. If you think the Suns are possibly back in the series after Game Three, another win and. ... well, I won’t even go there.

See what I mean? It’s all about focus.

The Lakers and their fans lost their edge leading up to Game Three. It’s human nature, but the Lakers spoiled their fans with their dismantling of the Suns in Games One and Two. We can’t say that now.

The Lakers need to figure out and attack that zone, and fast. With the Suns incapable of handling the Lakers in a man-to-man defense Jackson and his staff need to adjust to Phoenix’s zone, and they’ll be fine.

Regaining focus and an attack mentality will win Game Four for LA. And, that’s the only talk that needs to be done right now.  So, please. No more discussion of Boston, at least for now.

Someone once said what you hold in mind, you get. Well right now, Lakers fans are holding in mind Boston, and not beating the Suns first. I want everyone to get back to the present moment, and start remembering the Lakers are playing a real team, a highly capable one. 

Let’s collectively visualize winning this series, then we’ll start back to the fantasy coming true of a Boston-LA Finals.