And indeed it won't be.
Following an extremely disappointing Game 2 loss Wednesday night at Staples, a very calm Kobe Bryant met the media and acknowledged the challenge facing the Lakers. Down 2-0, needing to win four of five with three to play in Dallas, history says the champs are in serious trouble. Only three times in the NBA has a team lost the first two games at home, then gone on to win a seven game series. As a franchise, the Lakers are 2-16 when falling behind 2-0.
If it was only math plaguing the Lakers, they'd be in better shape. Unfortunately, their level of play an equally large problem. Larger, really. Dallas has, for most of the two games, been the better team. The Lakers have serious issues with execution on both ends of the floor to address, and very little time to do it before Friday's Game 3. Add in slumping players like Pau Gasol and a potential suspension for Ron Artest, and it's a lot to overcome. Particularly when tacked on to the big picture challenges of attempting to reach a fourth straight Finals.
"It's hard, but you couldn't possibly expect this to be easy," Bryant said. "If you want to make history, you have to do historic things."
By NBA standards, coming back to win this series would qualify. Still, despite the obstacles, Bryant warned against the Lakers becoming desperate. "[It] is a strong word. I think when you you play desperate, you don't play your best basketball. What we need to do is relax, we need to focus on what we're doing wrong, and the mistakes that we're making, and we have plenty to review. [We need to] lock in on that and go into Game 3 and minimize those mistakes. Playing calm basketball but with a relentless energy. And I think if we do that, we'll be fine."
As for the prospect of heading out on the road needing to win, Bryant seemed unbothered. "To me, it's no different," he said. "We're not very good at home the last two games, so going to Dallas might do us some damn good.
Good stuff in the video, too, on Pau Gasol, deficiencies handling Dallas' pick and roll, how large a problem Dirk Nowitzki presents, and more. Kudos, too, on an absurdly well-tailored suit. I had to resist the urge throughout his Q and A to go to the podium just to feel his lapel.