Pulse of the Fan: some poll questions on the Lakers-Suns series
Just when we thought this series was over (at least I thought so anyway), the Suns and Lakers are now tied, 2-2, in the Western Conference Finals. I didn't feel surprised with the Suns winning Game 3. I expected the Lakers to take the series in five games. Phoenix plays better at home and the Suns would feel more desperation facing a 2-0 deficit. I did, however, feel surprised that the Lakers didn't make the proper adjustments in Game 4.
I had mentioned in a radio interview this week the importance of the Lakers taking Game 4 because of the large difference a 3-1 lead makes compared to a 2-2 tie. The Lakers would face a series-clinching Game 5 at home, would spur further doubt about the Suns' chances and would prevent the Lakers from traveling back to Phoenix for a Game 6. With Phoenix tying the series up, however, the Suns now have greater confidence they can actually compete with the Lakers, have better chances with another home game and are planting doubt among the Lakers about whether they can make the proper adjustments. Of course, we had seen this scenario play out when the Lakers and Oklahoma City were locked in a 2-2 tie, only to see the Lakers win Game 5 in dominating fashion and win Game 6 in clutch fashion.
Nonetheless, the Lakers surely don't want to be in this position, knowing that clinching the series early will give them extra days of rest before presumably facing Boston in the NBA Finals. But what do readers of the Lakers blog think? Below the jump is a wide range of poll questions that will capture the pulse of the fan. I will then follow up Thursday with an analysis piece based on the vote results.
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Photo: Phoenix center Louis Amundson tries to get to the basket after pulling down a rebound in front of Lakers forward Lamar Odom, left, and guard Kobe Bryant during Game 4 on Tuesday. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.