Blog Entry

Lakers are up against history now

Posted on: May 5, 2011 1:26 am
Edited on: May 5, 2011 1:50 am
Posted by Royce Young

The Lakers have dug themselves quite the little hole here. Down 0-2 to the Mavericks and the series has yet to go to Dallas. Not very good times for the back-to-back champs.

Here's an interesting bit of NBA history though: Only three teams in NBA history have ever come back to win a series after dropping the first two at home. The 1969 Lakers who came back against the Warriors, the 1994 Rockets who came back against the Suns and wouldn't you know it, the 2005 Mavs who came back against the Rockets.

Fourteen teams have gone down 0-2 at home and three have come back. That's a percentage of 21.4. That's actually better than the overall number of being down 0-2 in a series. In NBA history, teams that fall behind 0-2 period have went on to lose 94.3 percent of the time. Only 14 of 245 teams have come back from 2-0 in a best-of-seven series.

So what I'm trying to tell you is again, the Lakers have dug quite the little hole. The last time the Lakers dropped both at home was 1976-77, when they fell behind to the eventual champion Portland Trail Blazers.

Fans at Staples Center booed lustily, left early and basically gave up on the Lakers as the Mavericks held a double-digit lead for most of the fourth quarter. A comeback in Game 2 was out of the question but I think all of us agree: The Lakers aren't done until they've lost that fourth game.

Maybe the wounds from the Mavericks collapse against the Heat in the 2006 Finals are still a bit fresh. The conspiracy theorists are already lining up Danny Crawford for Game 3 in Dallas. And of course, we're talking the Lakers. You know, that team with Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson? It just seems that this isn't how it ends for them. It's hard to get past it.

But history is telling us different. Charles Barkley said on TNT after Game 2 that the Lakers are done. They very well may be, but the Mavs know it can be done. They're the most recent and one of three to ever do it. It can happen. Though it's hard to ignore how much better the Mavs have looked and the fact these Lakers have shown a number of holes, starting the last few weeks of the regular season.

It's 2-0 and Dallas is entirely in the driver's seat. The Mavs have complete control. Game 3 will really swing things because all it takes is a win and the Lakers are back in it. But if Dallas can take down the Lakers a third straight time, well, history smiles even more favorably there -- no team has ever come back from 3-0.

Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2011 12:14 pm

Lakers are up against history now

So, what are the odds that Joey Crawford is a ref for Game 3?

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2011 11:20 am

Lakers are up against history now

Maybe this just comes from being a Mavs' fan used to their losing history, but Game 3 feels like a must-win to me. Go up 3-0 against the champs and I'll start to feel a little better.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2011 8:47 am

The statistics make sense

Of course teams who fall behind 0-2 by losing the first two at home have better percentages than the general average for teams falling behind 0-2.  Playing the first two at homes means a team has a higher seed and is likely the favorite coming into the series.  So it stands to reason that those teams would be the ones most likely to be able to come back from an 0-2 hole.  The statistic isn't surprising at all.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: May 5, 2011 2:52 am

Lakers are up against history now

Wow.  Didn't see that coming.  What was the number on that train? It went through L.A. so fast...

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