With a win tonight against the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers will advance to the Western Conference semi-finals to face the Oklahoma City Thunder. This potential match up will be fascinating and entertaining for several reasons.
First, it will be the first time the two teams play each other since this vicious play:
Metta World Peace — formerly known as Ron Artest — was suspended 7 games for that elbow, which left OKC guard James Harden with a concussion. It will be very interesting to see how the OKC fans treat World Peace. My guess is not very well.
Another reason this series will be fascinating: earlier this year the Los Angeles Lakers traded away their heart and soul, Derek Fisher (the only player with Kobe Bryant for all 5 of his championships), to OKC. It was a shock to the Lakers community, for although Fisher is not the most talented or youthful player, he is without question one of the best leaders the NBA has ever seen. During the last few seasons, everyone on the Lakers looked to Kobe Bryant for guidance; Kobe looked to Fisher.
Derek Fisher has hit countless big shots for the Lakers in crucial situations. Check out a couple of them below from the 2009 Championship series against the Orlando Magic:
Despite his poor performance this season, I would not be surprised if Fisher hit a game-winning shot against the Lakers at a critical point during this series, in what would be a potent serving of karma.
Lastly, if you just like watching good basketball, this series will not disappoint, as two of the best players in the league — Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant — will be facing off against one another.
Of course, the Lakers still have to beat the Nuggets in 1 out of the next 3 games in order for them to advance. Check out the game tonight at 7:30 PM Pacific on TNT.