So we adopted a Rescue Dog this week. The funny part about it was that everything happened so quickly: At noon I received an email that a friend who needed to give her dog away, and by dinner my girlfriend and I were driving home from Beverly Hills with our new dog.
The whole process was a bit surreal because we didn’t wake up that morning thinking we should get a dog, let alone a Rescue Dog. Don’t get me wrong, we wanted a dog. I just always pictured us getting a puppy that I would train and mold from Day 1. So when we got home with what was essentially someone else’s dog, I had no idea what to expect. That’s probably why a few vivid and potentially scary scenarios ran through my head as I was trying to fall asleep that night.
Scenario 1: We just brought home the dog from hell. Tomorrow morning I will wake up to find my carpet spotted, my couch chewed up and trash scattered across my kitchen. This will continue throughout the month of March until I finally lose all sanity and unleash a freak out that dwarfs anything Tom Hanks did in Turner & Hooch.
Scenario 2: We lucked into picking up the best dog on the planet. We will take him to the dog park where the other owners will be envious of my unbelievably well behaved canine. We will train him to fight crime and cure cancer. He will then go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Oh come on, if our President can win the award for doing nothing, why can’t my dog?
If you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with the Lakers. Well, I see my experience last week as surprisingly parallel to what the Lakers are going through right now.
The Lakers are entering the dog days of March with 11 of 15 games on the road, 4 sets of back-to-back games and a stretch of 5 road games in 8 nights. Needless to say, the Lakers are at a crossroads that could end in one of two markedly different scenarios.
Scenario 1: The Lakers burst through the gate hot, annihilating the competition with a power that only a defending champion can harness. Thereby, striking in fear into the rest of the league and taking firm control of the NBA’s best record going into April.
Judging from their 2-3 record to start the month (which easily could be 1-4 if Kobe doesn’t hit ANOTHER game winner Tuesday night against Toronto), I think it’s safe to say that is not going to happen. Which leads us to…
Scenario 2: The Lakers continue to suffer from a season long “Championship Hangover” that would make Zach Galifianakis jealous. You know it’s been a tough season when the Lakers’ most impressive wins came WITHOUT reigning NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant. After dropping the 3 games in a row last week, it’s safe to say the only person in LA who had a worse weekend than the Lakers was Avatar Director James Cameron. You gotta feel for good old James right now. Can you imagine watching your ex-wife rip the Best Director AND Best Picture Oscars from under your nose after you just spent 12 years creating your life’s masterpiece? He must have punch-danced his way out of the Kodak Theatre in a fit of rage, right? Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy… And suddenly the Lakers current plight doesn’t look so bad. But if this swoon continues, the Lakers might stumble into April with the second or third best record in the West. You think Denver, Dallas and Utah aren’t paying attention? If the Lakers don’t wake up from this slumber it might be Lights Out in May, not June.
So what will determine which scenario plays out? Let’s take a look at 5 key subplots to follow during the month of March.