Well, it was a very good game until Gasol put it away with some timely buckets down the stretch. Hand it to the Lakers, they played a good game and won. Now the questions will rise again: Who is the better team? Do the Celtics miss Posey? Do Ariza and Bynum (and team defense) mean the Lakers are better this year?
Make no mistake. This one hurts. Any loss to the Lakers is worth 5 losses to the Bucks or Wizards in my heart. Losing on Christmas is a lump of coal in my stocking that I could have done without.
With that said, we can still point to our banner. This wasn't game 8 of the Finals. That series is over and in the books. They can never take that away from us.
Likewise, this game will have little to nothing to do with the outcome of the Finals this year (unless home court advantage comes down to one game). The Celtics still get to host the Lakers in Boston later this year. And it isn't how you start the year, it is how you finish it.
These are all things we have to tell ourselves to make us feel better. These are things the Laker fans don't have to tell themselves today. That stings.
The only silver lining: If you thought the Celtics were motivated before, wait till they let this loss sink in. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself.