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And Another Thing


Momentum is an illusion

We're still hours from tipoff, so we don't know yet if Game 6 of the NBA Finals will be the last game, or if the L.A. Kobes will force Game 7 with a do-or-die performance.

What we do know is this: If the Kobes do force Game 7, whatever happens tonight will have absolutely no bearing whatever on it.

One thing we should know by now about playoff series between relatively evenly matched opponents: Precedent is a wooden nickel. The Lakers won Game 1 handily, prompting numerous yapping sports poodles to proclaim that they had the Celtics' number; the Celtics won Game 2, prompting the same yapping poodles to proclaim that the Celts now had the upper hand in the series.

Then the Lakers won Game 3 and suddenly they were ascendent again. Then the Celtics won Games 4 and 5 on their home floor, and now all the smart guys are thinking the C's have the Lake Show figured out and the series is theirs for the taking.

Of course, that's only true if they win tonight. If they lose, well, then everyone will be saying the Kobes have seized control of the series again.

Nah. All it will mean is they seized control of Game 6. As we should all know by now, there's no such thing as momentum in a playoff series. None.

Ben Smith's blog.