Derek Fisher's strange season continues.
The reserve Thunder point guard is now in the odd position of watching his former Los Angeles Lakers teammates compete in a first-round series against Denver that has now gone seven games. Even more unusual is that a Lakers win in Game 7 will mean Fisher will have to play his old teammates in the second round two months after being a mainstay of the Lakers.
What's it all like for Fisher?
“It's obviously a unique position,” he said. “I very rarely watched the Lakers play an opposing team. It's been maybe two other times in my career. But at the same time, I'm watching it with the same perspective of that could possibly be the next team that we face. And so I'm watching tendencies, I'm watching things that I want to utilize if we do happen to match up with them.”
But Fisher's outlook has changed now that the Nuggets have stormed back to tie the series at three games apiece after trailing 3-1.
“Because that series has changed so much in the last few days, (Thursday) night I started to watch more of what the Nuggets are doing out there on the floor and their tendencies and what their guys like to do,” Fisher said. “So it's been weird all the way around. But I feel like I'm in the good position of being on that team that no matter who it is come Monday night, we're going to have to be ready to go.”
WELCOMING WORLD PEACE
After serving a seven-game suspension for elbowing James Harden, Lakers forward Metta World Peace will now rejoin the team for Saturday's Game 7 against Denver.
Many analysts have said World Peace could be the difference-maker the Lakers need to close out the series. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant even said following L.A.'s Game 6 loss at Denver that World Peace is “the one guy I can rely on night in and night out to compete and play hard and play with that sense of urgency, play with no fear. I'm looking forward to having that on my side again.”
Fisher said Friday that he expects World Peace to have an impact.
“A player as talented as he is and what he brings to their team on both ends of the floor, I don't think it can hurt having him out there,” Fisher said. “He's another guy that they can use to facilitate the game offensively. Defensively, he's a guy that they can use to match up with certain guys on the Nuggets roster.
“So I don't think there's any question that they miss him. But it's a tough position to be in to come back into a Game 7 scenario. But knowing him personally, I'm sure he's looking forward to getting back out there on the floor and he'll find a way to probably make a difference out there to try and help be a positive contributor to the Lakers.”
When a throng of fans greeted the Thunder at Will Rogers World Airport last Saturday following the team's series-clinching Game 4 victory at Dallas, a “Beat L.A.” chant soon broke out.
Fisher was one of many Thunder players who couldn't help but get caught up in the moment. Asked if he was pumping his fist, Fisher admitted “a little bit.”
“Yeah, I just kind of got into the moment,” Fisher said. “I'm normally not a very demonstrative guy. But for those fans to come out that late at night for us advancing in the first round, you know, that was pretty special. And there was just a certain type of energy that was there and I got into it.
“And that's what we plan to do if that's who we face next. But if we don't, I guess our fans will come up with some other chant that they can figure out for the Nuggets.