In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like those who aren't ready to resign themselves to soccer and the dog days of baseball season. We still have basketball, for a little while longer.
Last night's game 6 was over, oh, about 10 minutes in. As noted sports analyst Rainn Wilson said, "It was fun watching the Lakers play that very talented & delightful High School basketball team tonight."
Pau Gasol stepped up to Kobe's unspoken challenge to his teammates, finishing an assist shy of a triple-double. Artest and Odom were, dare I say, dominant on the defensive end. Even Sasha Vujacic started raining threes at one point. The Celtics? Their starters couldn't score, which is bad news considering their bench didn't score until the fourth quarter.
Has this been the strangest series, or what? It's like each game bears no relation to any others. Consider the storylines:
Game 1: The Kobe and Pau show.
Game 2: Ray Allen can't miss.
Game 3: Ray Allen can't hit.
Game 4: The Shrek and Donkey show.
Game 5: Kobe goes off, but no other Lakers show up.
Game 6: No Celtics show up.
The 2-3-2 Finals format was meant to maintain some semblance of momentum (and save on jet fuel), but it's almost as if both teams are Leonard Shelby, and have no memory of ever playing each other before.
So, game 7. Boston's confident (or at least Shaughnessy is) because they've won all four previous game 7s between these two teams. Which is important, you know, because Cousy and Russell and Bird and Parish, who all know how to win game 7, will apparently be playing tomorrow night.
No, despite these teams' history together, this series has been, if anything, a series of games devoid of context. Someone's going to come out of nowhere to take the game over. Someone's going to inexplicably lose his shot. Someone's going to run into foul trouble early. Lord knows who.
Forget the season, forget the first six games. It's one game existing in a vacuum. That's the definition — and the beauty — of a game 7.