Originally Posted by texasdave
I agree that when the Lakers come out motivated that OKC has almost no chance at all to win the game. But why not sweep The Thunder and get a week off as opposed to dragging things out for six or seven games? How exactly does that keep the troops fresh? And you keep letting other teams hang around for a game seven and you might find yourself flukishly out of the playoffs earlier than expected. Phil Jackson may want to rethink that strategy. This is analgous to all those track runners in the Olympics who don't advance through the heats because they were trying to save something for the finals. You can't do anything in the finals if you don't make it there.
Well it's worked 10 times so maybe I'll trust his judgement.
I think the best analogy is to a tennis player who's down 4-1 in the 2nd set of a 5 set match. Sure he can put all his effort into winning the next 5 games before his opponent can win two. But even putting out full effort, there's a good chance he may still lose and because tennis of course resets itself every set(sorry no pun intended) he would gain nothing.
The smarter play is to do what you can to make the other player work hard to win the 2 games without working as hard yourself.
That said it can certainly come back to bite the Lakers and has on a few occasions.