Can the Los Angeles Lakers Close it Out on Sunday? Probably Not

Greg HuntoonCorrespondent IJune 12, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 11:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a block shot on Mickael Pietrus #20 of the Orlando Magic in Game Four of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 11, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  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 Elsa/Getty Images)

Let me start this article out by saying clearly that I have picked the winner in each and every game since the middle of the Lakers vs. Rockets series.

I haven't come close on the margins (thanks to extremely lopsided blowouts, in both directions, I might add), but I have called the winners. If I was a betting man, I'd throw my house, two cars, and kids' college funds on the Lakers in a game following a loss.

They just don't lose back-to-back games.

Tonight was no different. Down twelve at the half, and facing an Orlando team desperate to pull the series even and keep their hopes alive for a realistic shot at the title, I knew the Lakers would hold true to form and follow their close defeat Monday night with an emotional and momentum crushing win.

It's the seventh time this postseason that the Lakers have responded to a loss with a win. And I think that it's going to happen one more time. Something tells me that Superman is going to pile his team on his shoulders come Sunday, and they're going to win another close game in front of their fans to close their home season out.

They'll board a plane, fly to LA, rest up, practice a bit, and then get bounced out of the Finals on Tuesday night at the Staples Center. Read the news boys, Kobe has big games to follow up losses. Especially if he has a poor game in the loss.

So all of you Laker fans: hope for a lackluster performance from your superstar on Sunday evening. It'll make Tuesday that much more eventful. Kobe will bring the house down, and hoist up his fourth gold statue late Tuesday night.

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Let me also take a moment here to publicly apologize to Derek Fisher. Fish, you're the man, and I'm sorry that I've spent the last two series posting tweets pleading for more Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar.

With the Rockets, I didn't see how you could keep up with Brooks. With the Nuggets, I was sure we'd get better offense from the other two in your rotation.

As I've been calling for your playing time to be reduced, Phil had your back, and we all are thankful that he didn't listen to all of our bellyaching and armchair play-calling (Maybe there's a reason he has 9.75 rings).

You've been clutch before, and tonight was no exception. Your performance in these Finals has been completely redeeming for you, and I hope that you get to enjoy a little bit of the fruits of your perserverance tonight.

Kudos to you, and to your coaches and team for sticking by you through some frustrations. It was all worthwhile tonight.

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