ONE more win and the Los Angeles Lakers are in the finals of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Western Conference playoffs.
The Lakers haven’t been this close in the last six seasons—all of them but garbage as the Angelinos miserably failed to enter the playoffs in each of them.
But now, at the rate things are going for them in the so-called NBA Bubble at Lake Buena Vista, Florida, since July 31, the Lakers might yet make it happen—reclaim the lofty spot they are used to occupying for so long a time.
The way the Lakers dismantled the Houston Rockets yesterday will tell you where I am coming from. Their 110-100 Game Four victory was another display of vintage Laker dexterity.
Should the Lakers complete their series-clinching 4-1 victory on Sunday, Sept. 13, it could add to more NBA trivia.
One, a win will see the Lakers repeat history, duplicating their 4-1 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
Two, the Lakers winning tomorrow will have duplicated a rare 4-1 clincher coming from an opening game loss.
OK, you want more trivia?
Mayo The Third says that kind of triumph is called a Backdoor Sweep.
“The Gentleman’s Sweep happens when a team holding a 3-0 lead loses Game 4 and next wins Game 5 for a final 4-1 count,” Mayo The Third says.
The Gentleman’s Sweep was what Miami achieved in dealing Milwaukee a 4-1 defeat in the East semis playoffs.
Victoria Azarenka climbed back from a rare opening set rout of a loss yesterday with power shots and an incredible poise to complete an amazing 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Serena Williams in the US Open semifinals in New York.
Azarenka ended a seven-year finals drought, avenging a 2012 championship loss to Williams in a battle of mothers before an empty Arthur Ashe arena in New York’s famed Flushing Meadows.
I will wake up at dawn tomorrow to watch Azarenka, 31, from Belarus, battle Japan’s Naomi Osaka, 22, for the crown starting at 3:30 a.m.
Although a Grand Slam winner herself already, Osaka, a 2018 majors champ and seeded No. 4, will find the unranked Azarenka a tough nut to crack.
I adore Osaka, but I choose Azarenka.