I have no idea what's coming tonight. None whatsoever.
As I wrote this morning, it's easy to picture the Lakers pulling together as they have for so many big games over the past two seasons, cracking the Boston defense, stifling their offense, and recording a resounding win. Like a lot of people, I believe if the Lakers can get to Game 7, they'll win it. But it also wouldn't surprise to see them continue struggling with ball movement, leaving Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol on an island while the Celtics run a layup drill at the other end.
Anything seems possible.
Of course, the context takes normal Finals anxiety and cranks it up to the n'th degree. It's the Celtics, an opportunity to avenge the loss in '08. This is the series fans- and in more honest moments, players- wanted. To win two straight after the ragged performances of Games 4 and 5, earning Kobe's fifth ring and Phil Jackson's 11th? Against Boston? It would give L.A. its 16th title as a franchise, and easily rank among the best. For the generation of Lakers fans who didn't quite experience the Showtime Era (or earlier), it would likely be the best.
Or it's another in a series of crushing losses to Boston, made worse by the fact Lakers fans would have to watch the Celtics celebrate on the Staples floor.
On one level or another, we're looking at an epic week for Lakers basketball. Epic failure, or epic victory. There is no middle ground.
But- and here's the Question of the Day- isn't this why as sports fans we invest so much in our teams? This is the bargain, right? Wouldn't you risk the disappointment to have a shot at the joy?