Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lakers await Cavs-Magic winner
      In the end, George Karl was wrong. The Nuggets weren't  the better team. In two sideline huddles heard and seen on television during the Western Conference finals series, the Denver coach, in what now seems like an attempt to motivate his players, said the Nuggets were better than the Lakers.
       Maybe in the two games it won, Denver was the superior club but in the long run the Nuggets never believed Karl's assessment.  This was fairly evident in the Lakers' overwhelming victory Friday night at Pepsi Center, where they lead by almost 30 points in the fourth quarter.
       The Lakers, inspired by Kobe Bryant's leadership, finally showed a killer instinct that has been missing since Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat. The team used to have it all the time when Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar won five NBA titles together. Coach Pat Riley always said that he never had trouble motivating his players because Kareem and Magic, through their will to win, did that for him.
        It's the same for athletes in other sports. Tiger Woods doesn't just want to beat you by five strokes; he wants to bury you by 10. Chris Evert and Billie Jean King dominated women's tennis because, as King once said, "I was afraid to lose." 
        It'll be interesting to see tonight of LeBron James and his Cavaliers can will their way to a Game 7 with a victory in Orlando. James has the heart of champion but he is finding that the road to an NBA title is a lonely one.

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