It wasn’t supposed to happen. If there’s anyplace the Los angeles Lakers are expected to win it’s on their home court. After all, we wouldn’t want to upset Jack Nicholson and the entourage of celebrity Lakers fans would we? The Houston Rockets did just that. In a physical and bruising game that saw Min leave with a knee injury, only to return, the Rockets got an early lead on the Lakers and simply refused to yield.
It’s an auspicious beginning. Jumping on top early in a series is one of the keys every coach looks for. Doing it in the Lakers house is just a huge bonus that Houston can’t afford to blow. Even heading back to Houston at 1-1 in the series is a big advantage. Suddenly the vaunted Los Angeles Lakers, long ago crowned the representative of the conference, look beatable. Certainly there remains the question of whether Ming can sustain the kind of beating he took through a seven game series. But hey, the Rockets took the Lakers in Los Angeles. Suddenly, anything is possible.