i think there's a lot of truth to this. and i think it explains the lakers up/down syndrome over the last few years. when you are just a championship contender, you work like every game counts. once you've won won (or two or three), you realize that it's a hella long season and that the real goal is just being in good enough position to have a decent seed in the playoffs. fans care about these mid-season games (i almost through a beer through my tv set last night), but i think the player perspective is different.