There are several subplots in the Game 7 match up between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. How will Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum respond to Kobe Bryant calling them out about their game 6 performance. How will Andrew Bynum react to Mike Brown’s benching. Metta World Peace makes his return from a seven game suspension. And of course, the obvious, will the Nuggets momentum carry them on to round two and a face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Lakers wouldn’t be living up to their legacy if there wasn’t soap opera-esque drama coating the game. But how make or break is this situation? Magic Johnson believes that the careers of Coach Mike Broan, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol rest on the outcome.
“They’re going to run Mike Brown first out of town,” Johnson said as an ESPN NBA analyst Friday night. “Then second will be [Andrew] Bynum. Then third will be [Pau] Gasol.”
Mike Brown is in the first year of his deal and I still believe that this gig was way above his overall skill set. Jim Buss made the Brown selection and Bynum obviously is his guy but I think there’s a lot to be said about Magic’s comments. LA is a LAKERS TOWN. While there are other teams, even other successes, the last decade saw the Lakers bring 5 championships to the city. No Football team to dilute the pressure. A Dodgers team that’s just coming out from under bad ownership and questions about the fan experience at the games. Lakers set the standard. Jim Buss may not want to act quickly but the pressure to maintain a viable on court product is palpable.
Lakers can’t go out in the first round, can they?