Down 3-2 in the NBA Finals against an old foe that keeps finding new ways to beat them, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to need a big Hollywood ending to escape this jam with another championship.
That’s exactly where they’ll make their last stand against the Boston Celtics.
Game 6 is back home tonight at Staples Center, where the Lakers are 9-1 in the postseason.
Two straight losses in Boston led to a dire series deficit for the Lakers, who hadn’t even trailed in any previous playoff series this season. The Celtics have won three of the past four games, and they’re responsible for Los Angeles’ only home loss of the playoffs.
For all their struggles in Boston, the Lakers realize they only have to defend their home court to win their 16th title.
“We have a challenge, obviously, down 3-2,” said Kobe Bryant, who scored 38 points in Game 5 while his struggling teammates managed only 48. “We let a couple opportunities slip away, but it is what it is. Now you go home, you’ve got two games at home that you need to win, and you pull your boots up and get to work.”
If L.A. survives tonight, a champion will be crowned Thursday in Game 7.
IZZO UPDATE: ZZZZZZ
Tom Izzo wouldn’t even tell one of his young campers if he wants to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers or stay at Michigan State.
Izzo was at his basketball camp in East Lansing, Mich., on Monday when a boy tried to get the scoop, inquiring about the coach’s interest in jumping to the NBA.
“Bad question,” Izzo said. “Those guys up there want to know that.”
Cleveland wouldn’t mind an answer either.
But Izzo had nothing new to say Monday night, declining comment to two reporters waiting outside his office.
Clearly, Izzo would like to know whether he would have LeBron James to coach next season.
A person familiar with the situation, however, told the AP that James has not spoken to Izzo about Cleveland’s coaching vacancy and has no plans to get involved in the Cavaliers’ search.