If you needed more evidence that the Lakers' singular focus this season is getting back to the Finals to try and beat Boston, look no further than this little story from before last night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The team's locker room was unusually empty, and it appears that the Lakers were all riveted by the Celtics' overtime clash with the Pacers ... and weren't shy about who they wanted to win. Kevin Ding of the OC Register has the details:
In the training room, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom were among the Lakers in must-see-TV mode. And when on those TVs referee Jim Clark made a questionable ruling that benefited the Boston Celtics, the groans and profanities spewed from the Lakers' mouths.
When regulation ended in that game, Sasha Vujacic walked out of the training room and into the main locker room, visibly upset and shaking his head.
Not only is something like this great for the Lakers' focus, but a real rivalry is great for the NBA. Too many players have off-the-court friendships or business relationships with members of opposing teams, so any animosity we see on the court usually stays there.
It's clear that the Lakers have no interest in the Celtics doing well this season. And they'll get the chance to do something about it personally when the teams clash in a Christmas Day meeting that, quite simply, can't get here fast enough.