2011 NBA Playoff Predictions: Will the Lakers Thrill Us and 'Phil-peat?'

Lake CruiseAnalyst IApril 16, 2011

April 11, 2011: The Lakers try to relax in Los Angeles.  They want to send their coach off like a champion.
April 11, 2011: The Lakers try to relax in Los Angeles. They want to send their coach off like a champion.Harry How/Getty Images

Is it all right with you America if I go ahead and label a three-peat in any major sport the “Phil-peat?”  It is?  Cool. 

Phil Jackson is going for his fourth three-peat as an NBA Zen-master of the triangle offense.  “Big Chief Triangle” is what NBA analyst and former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy calls him.

Van Gundy, for what it's worth, picked the Lakers in a landslide over the Hornets in their first round matchup.  He was calling it like he sees it.

While Jeff has been trying to get away from being known as a Phil Jackson hater, it comes out sometimes.  But for the most part, the notorious Honda driver Van Gundy has been heaping praise on Jackson—the Mercedes of coaches.

Phil’s love for the precision handling of the triangle offense and big time ballers who can get it done are legendary—just like his so-called cocky attitude.  The name “Phil” means love, and America loves to hate him or love him.

Jackson’s role in the NBA has been to star in the role of head basketball coach extraordinaire.  Some of his best known work includes the Jordanaires Fly over the Lakers and Lakers Leave the Leprechauns Without any Wishes.

Speaking of wishes, thrilling basketball is the wish of every NBA fan for their home team.  Jackson has been delivering on the thrill part to the tune of nearly a dozen NBA championships. 

The psychology major and Zen practitioner has won 11 times—and counting.  Like the B.B. King classic, The Thrill is Gone, the Phil is goneafter this season, supposedly.  The co-star on the nightly bill, Kobe Bryant, wants to make sure Jackson retires the right way.

The only way Jackson knows how to win is in threes. Like no other coach in NBA history, the “Phil-peater’s” championships come in threes—on three damned different occasions. 

It could quite possibly be four different times—a feat unheard of in the annals of American sports—if the Lakers blast their way to another title this year. 

Allow me to be the first to say that Phil-peating on four different occasions will never happen again in any major sport.

It will take iron wills from opposing starters, scrubs and coaches to outdo Phil Jackson, and I can’t see it happening this season.  The Lakers are too grimy, too hungry, and too talented—with or without Andrew Bynum, who is going to play in the playoffs—to be denied.

Speaking of denials, shot blocker supreme Theo Ratliff was on the bench during the infamous Kobe slur against a referee this week.  Theo is insurance to help keep the Lakers flying.

Ratliff is a fly swatter—get it? He’s fly and he swats shots—who denies opponents the right to score.  Sitting next to him on the bench was 6’10” reserve Joe Smith, undeniably a good pickup.

Haters can deny it, but the trucking along Lakers are the team to beat in this year’s playoffs. 

Yeah, they lost five in a row down the stretch.  Lest we forget, though, they limped into the postseason last year and ended up going back-to-back.

Last season marked L.A.’s third straight appearance in the NBA Finals.  This season would make it number four in a row. 

Message to media types: get ready to row, row, row your boats out to the Montana lake area where Jackson lives, since that's where he'll be conducting any rare interviews when he's retired. 

That’s how Jackson gets down, and how he’ll be living it up once the fourth Phil-peat is secure.