Q&A; of the day
Question: "I think we need to move the name 'The Big Three' from Boston to L.A."
-- Charles Barkley, TNT analyst
Answer: OK, so it's more statement than question, but Barkley's Wednesday night on-air observation will carry some weight if the Celtics continue to struggle on the road (0-5 in the playoffs). Barkley was obviously impressed with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant in Game 5 (a combined 69 points, 23 rebounds and 16 assists), although Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were strong in the Celtics' Game 5 against Cleveland (combined 66 points, 26 rebounds and nine assists). To be settled in a few weeks, perhaps?
Best-case Lakers scenario
After tonight, the Lakers can start game-planning for Tim Duncan's post game. Or conjure up ways to stop Chris Paul. Either way, the Lakers want to watch a Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals, not take part in one.
Worst-case Lakers scenario
Mehmet Okur (Mehmet Okur?!) continues to be spot-on with his outside shot, and the Lakers have to spend their weekend worrying about a Game 7 on Monday.
A Trevor Ariza surprise?
Coach Phil Jackson praised the defense-minded small forward after Thursday's practice, so much so that it seemed possible Ariza might sneak into tonight's game. "He looked like he's much more comfortable [Thursday] than he did Tuesday, the last time we had practice," Jackson said. "We're just going a day at a time with this."
My dad said the Lakers would win by two, but he wasn't there for both loud losses in Utah. I hate to be the spark of any family problems, but I'm guessing there will be a Game 7.