May 14, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) handles the ball while being guarded by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha (2) during the second half in game one of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Laker Mantra: It’s Just One Game

Say it with me now: It’s just one game.

Keep repeating it.

It’s just one game.

Say it like you mean it.

It’s just one game!

You’ve got to believe it.

It’s just one game.

I wish I could say what we saw in Oklahoma last night was a surprise. But let’s be honest, every Laker fan had the same concerns going into this series. We all know how these games will go. I mean there are only two options.

1) The Thunder blowout the Lakers with an offensive barrage the Lake Show could never match.

2) The Lakers win in a tough, gritty, grind-it-out style of play.

That’s how it has gone all season long so why would it change now?

The excuses are all built in for the Lakers in Game 1. They were tired coming off of the seven games against Denver. OKC was rested and ready to go, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah…

We’ve heard them all but this is the NBA playoffs where excuses are reserved for LeBron apologists only. Kobe Bryant would tell you fatigue isn’t a factor. It can’t be when you’ve painted yourself into this corner as the Lakers have.

No denying that the Thunder showed all their offensive glory in Game 1. Normally we’re accustomed to being able to blame the Lakers for something when they lose large. Problem was last night they didn’t just roll over as usual. Instead L.A. put forth a solid effort but their good just isn’t good enough.

But all is not lost. Say it again.

It’s just one game.

No playoff series is ever over after one game no matter what that first contest reveals. Seeing Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol stick around to talk strategy long after the game was over shows this team is much more engaged than they were against Denver.

That’s a good sign.

From the jump Bynum was aggressive and involved instead of aloof and indifferent. That’s a good sign.

None of the Lakers looked at all like they were even considering putting their fingers on that panic button after the lopsided loss to the Thunder. That too is a good sign.

It’s just one game.

Admittedly it was an ugly game that put up plenty of warning signs. But in the end…

It’s just one game.

Keep telling yourself that.

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Tags: 2012 Nba Playoffs Andrew Bynum Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Oklahoma City Thunder Pau Gasol

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