This is who the Los Angeles Lakers are.

A team that has had a dash of damn near everything but consistency in a season that has no rainbows but plenty of rain. With each step they take towards morphing pessimism from those who watch every dribble of the basketball in this atrocity of an 82 game season into optimism (or, in most cases, cautious hope), the Lakers can't help but send it all crashing down to the ground in as starkly deflating a fashion as possible.

The plane has taken off and reaches heights in a beautifully blue sky that we had always hoped for with this team. When it comes time to believe, time to buy-in, we're handed our parachutes and given the thumbs up. Time to glide through the skies.

Before we've prepared ourselves and gathered our courage, they push us out of the plane. The immediate panic of looking down at the world so far below us as the free-fall commences begins to subside. Much like the agita they provide us during nights like last night. As Dwight Howard cringed in pain, once again aggravating the torn labrum in his boulder shoulder, the Lakers were still clinching onto a lead. With the seven game road trip beginning a loss to the Phoenix Suns would be tragic. There's no way they squander this game, right? There's just no way they let such a critical game out of their quivering hands. They can't.