The Lakers were my pick to win the championship this season since the conclusion of the last one, except now they are down 3-0. I thought that the Mavs could beat anyone in the West except for the Lakers. If they were playing any other team I would have picked the Mavericks to win.
Enough with me trying to defend my incorrect pick. The defending champions are down 3-0, and no NBA team has ever come back from 3-0. In recent memory I recall the 2007 Chicago Bulls (lead by Hinrich, Gordon and Deng) forced a Game 6 against the Pistons down 3-0, and the 2010 Orlando Magic, lead by the then-offensively-challenged Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, a washed up Vince Carter, and Ra$hard Lewi$, also forced a a Game 6 (this one against the Celtics).
But think about this for a second. The stat that has been circulating the news and associated media is that teams that there have been 98 teams facing an 0-3 deficit, and none of them have ever come back and won the series.
I don’t know that many of those 98 teams, but I want to think that a majority of these teams never had a shot to win their series. I wish I had the numbers, but I’d like to think that somewhere close to 90% of these teams were swept, or eliminated in 5.
Then there are a couple teams that have come back to force Game 6, two of them I have just mentioned. When the ’07 Bulls and ’10 Magic were attempting their historic comebacks, they gave some stats and I think there may have been one or two teams that have come back and forced a Game 7 before succumbing to their opponent.
But this Laker team is different, and if there was any team to do the unthinkable, it would have to be this team. There couldn’t be a better set up for what could be one of the greatest title runs in NBA history.
10 things that make the comeback possible.
- Kobe Bryant – This one is the most obvious. He is the greatest perimeter player of this generation, and is already telling people that he thinks a comeback is plausible. Kobe is chasing that elusive 6th ring that puts him in similar company as His Airness.
- Phil Jackson and the 3peat – There are some pretty crazy Phil Jackson stats. Phil Jackson has never lost a playoff series as a coach when his team takes Game 1. Here’s another stat. Every time Phil Jackson wins a championship, he wins them in 3s.
- Lakers have another gear – I am not a Laker fan, but I have watched a fair share of Laker games. The Lakers always have another gear, whether it be Kobe on God mode, the length of their frontcourt coming up huge, or the Lakers just not being able to miss from 3.
- Pau Gasol – Gasol has been pretty pathetic this postseason. His numbers are down and his shooting percentage is way below the 50s. When Gasol gets going, he’s a top 5 post player in the NBA, and if he gets back in stride, that should open up a lot of things for the Lakers.
- Dallas Mavericks – The Dallas Mavericks have been well-documented to choke and underperform. The Mavericks blew a 2-0 series lead in the 2006 NBA Finals, lost in the first round after a 67-win season (give credit to the Warriors on this one though). They’ve also lost the the 7th seeded Spurs in the first round, but that can’t exactly be counted as an upset.
- They are the Lakers – Do you think the first team ever to do the unthinkable would belong to a storied franchise like the Lakers or a mediocre franchise like the Minnesota Timberwolves?
- Referees – Building off of the last point. If a comeback does happen, I expect the Lakers will to win to contribute to about 90% of the comeback, with the officials pitching in the last 10. Expect a few uncalled for ejections and some questionable whistles here and there.
So much for 10 points, but I couldn’t think of anything else. I think this is the perfect set up for a historic comeback and it just sounds like a story that could happen and will be told many seasons from now. Right now the pecking order of the teams I am rooting for are the Memphis Grizzlies and then the Dallas Mavericks. Jason Kidd really wants that ring.