Terry Daniels

My VOA colleague Terry Daniels is a big Los Angeles Lakers fan, and he sometimes wears his Kobe Bryant warm-up suit to the office after a victory by the two-time defending National Basketball Association champions. I haven’t seen Terry in his Kobe outfit in awhile, though, and I think Terry realizes the Lakers are going to have to travel a difficult road to a third straight NBA title.

As I write this, the Lakers are tied with the New Orleans Hornets at two games each in their first round playoff series.  The Hornets stung the Lakers April 24th, 93-88, with New Orleans getting a spectacular “triple-double” performance from star guard Chris Paul, who tallied 27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds.

James Aniebiet

Sonny Side of Sports fan James Aniebiet checked in from Nigeria following Paul’s brilliant all-around game:  “The Lakers are really struggling this season.  Meanwhile, that was a terrific performance by Chris Paul.  His triple double was staggering.”

There have been other terrific performances during the first round of the NBA Playoffs.  Serge Ibaka, the only player in the NBA from Congo-Brazzaville, tied his career high with 22 points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds to help lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 97-94 victory over the Denver Nuggets.  The 21-year-old Ibaka, in only his second year in the league, is part of a young and dangerous Oklahoma City squad that could challenge the Lakers for supremacy in the NBA’s Western Conference.

In the Eastern Conference, the 17-time NBA champion Boston Celtics are the first club through to the second round of the NBA Playoffs after a 4-0 sweep of the New York Knicks.  Boston’s next opponent should be the Miami Heat, featuring the talented trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The Celtics lost to the Lakers last year in a thrilling seven-game series in the NBA Finals.  It was a result that delighted Terry Daniels, and yes, helped bring his Kobe warm-up suit to VOA once again.