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Lakers’ Notes

October 8, 2020

The Lakers in both Minneapolis and L.A. are an astounding (24-8) in prelims/rounds before the “quarters.” They are (36-12) in quarters, (26-9) in L.A. based best of 7 quarterfinal series.

As cited before they are an incredible (26-5) in semi-final play as the Los Angeles Lakers and (32-9) overall.

Only in the final round is their record not great, (16-15) almost certain to be (17-15) having gone (5-1) as Minneapolis and to this point (11-14) as L.A. However, they were once (0-7) as L.A, losing 6 times to the great Boston Celtics, during their major North American sports league’s greatest 11 titles in 13 seasons.

Boston was once (7-0) vs the Lakers in final round play, they are now (8-3).

The L.A. no cover win in #4 (a Herro shot at the buzzer cut the margin to 6, in a game L.A. was minus 7 plus) marked the 9th time they have gone up (3-1) in the final round with a game 4 win. They won all nine of those series and also six of the final rounds, when they lost game 4, having gone into that contest with a (2-1) series lead.

Frank Vogel’s Lakers are 7 point favorites to make game 5 another very meaningful final round game in Lakers’ annals. If Miami prevails, I am afraid it would only help ABC, as (I usually would never say this) I really see almost no way Miami could win 2 more after that.

Starting with final rounds 50 years ago, the New York Knicks won 2 of 3 Friday night tilts, including the decisive 7th, handing the L.A. team an aforementioned 7th loss in as many final rounds as the Los Angeles Lakers.

I can recall Jerry West still making 2 free throws late in the hopeless (for he and L.A.) contest and how much I wanted him to get a title. He did (more on that still meaningful title in the next paragraph) but I also recall him at the other end of the Forum parking lot and I wondered why I cared so much about him. The Jerry of today, who clamored for “his” Clippers to face the Lakers, a bargain his team failed to live up to and his appearances with one such as Dan Patrick, surely makes me wonder.

Yet Jerry will always be a favorite to me and when on a Friday night in game 4 of the ’72 Final, Jim McMillian led an “O.T.” triumph that put “my” ‘Lakes” up (3-1) with a title 2 nights later (Wilt wore that padding and even Bill Russell, who yes was a good friend but one who mutually did not speak with Wilt for many years after criticizing him for not playing at the end of Bill’s Celtics #7/final triumph at L.A. in Bill and Sam Jones’ last game that gave the Celtics that incredible 11th crown in 13 seasons, praised Wilt to the hilt (it rhymes, but was not such great praise).

In ’80 Earvin “Magic” Johnson had 42 points, unsung Jamaal Wilkes 37 as L.A. barked as an 8 point road dog at Philly with its over rated Julius Erving now owing the Philly fans 4. The Friday night tilt was on delayed tape.

1984 had its similarities to Mr. Orwell’s book for L.A. as Machiavellian Arnold “Red” Auerbach and the no air conditioning Boston Garden keyed the Celts #5 home Friday night win which was followed by a game 7 win, led by the great Larry Bird.

However, in 1985, game 5 after another heartbreaking L.A. game 4 final round loss to the Celts (the great Denis Johnson hit at the buzzer, “tied” to win that tilt and what a sham that Denis, who far sadder died far too young, was not named as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players upon that league’s same # anniversary in 1997), was in L.A. on a Friday night, the first of the four cited here to have been and L.A. won the tilt and subsequently #6 in Boston, despite Mr. Auerbach (face it, most, as in Johnny Most their broadcaster, times Red won) protestations that L.A. could not win another at Boston Garden. (I am pretty sure he said “no way.”)

The only time I have ever or very likely will ever meet the great player, Michael Jordan I recalled to him, one of the biggest of many big shots, he “hit” in his great career.

It occurred in #3 of the ’91 final series on a Friday night in L.A. The clutch shot near, if not the end of regulation time got Mr. Jordan’s Bulls into overtime, in which they prevailed for the second of 4 straight wins and the first of 6 titles.

Finally, in ’01, in circumstances similar to tomorrow’s Friday game 5, the Lakers wrapped a series in which they were heavy favorites with a 4th straight win. It was on a Friday night.

Jim McMillian Bologna.jpg
Jim McMillian, pictured above. He died on a May 16th, a date of one of 4 Lakers’ “0” year crowns, with a 5th and 4th in the last 5 possibilities, so likely.

There is/was a “0” year death link involving U.S. Presidents and in song or not, one wonders if “Jimmy Mac,” or for that matter, anyone dead is coming back?!

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