The Nightmare

Last night, when I laid down to rest, I found none.  No ease, no comfort, no relaxation in the thoughts that raced through my mind upon entering the dream world.  Just a single face.  A single vision.  Taunting.  Smiling.  Pure dagnasty evil staring me right in the face and creating the greatest horror, tension, and pain to my very core.  I knew misery and it knew me.  For one night, I was in Hell, with a demon’s face my only friend.

When I awoke from my dark, evil dream, I started along with my daily routine, not noticing things for quite what they seem.  But when I cracked open this laptop, imagine my surprise, when I saw a replay of the things in my mind: a nightmarish vision through a Firefox window, evil incarnate, hope eradicated, and painful dissonance everlasting.

Photo from the 2009 Playoffs tumblr.

I have seen this face of Derek Fisher, and to see him is to know pain.

Kobe smacks Jameer Nelson in the jaw (incidentally) with an elbow, and Derek Fisher steps into his second well-timed contribution of the night; In the wake of those events, as a defeaning silence overtook the Orlando crowd, Fisher stood, motionless, letting his smirk do the talking.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is a bad, bad man.

And this Lakers team is a bad, bad team.  Fish, Kobe, Ariza, and Pau are stone-cold killers.  They would kill your greatest hopes and dreams without a moment’s hesitation, and rather than react in typical fashion with a strut or a chest pound, they smile in the face of the Magic’s almost certain demise.  Missed free throws and poor shot selection may have made the Magic stumble in the dark, but it was still up to Fisher and company to deal the final blows.  If the Magic choked, it was because Derek Fisher was strangling them.  A year ago, the Lakers, collectively, may have wavered.  This year’s model holds none of the same indecision, and that’s why they’re one win away from the championship.  All-time greats the 2009 Lakers may not be, but they’ve taken care of business against a tough Magic team under the most scrutiny imagineable.  Kobe’s done his work, Pau has been incredible at times, and Lamar Odom has led an entire supporting cast in filling the team’s most gaping holes. 

All of this came through in one fiendish smile, in excellence, moxie, and resolve personified.  Fish smiles not because the Lakers live, but because the Magic dies.  That’s the mindset that it took to elevate these Lakers to their eventual throne, and take note: we’ve just seen the awakening of something truly powerful.

Seth Carstens