Winning and Losing

The New Orleans Hornets sat on the bench, watching the clock wind down. The players hardly spoke to each other and they certainly didn't smile. The Hornets were about to lose their NBA Playoff game against the Denver Nuggets 121-63. It was the biggest blowout in NBA Playoff history since the Minneapolis Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks 133-75 in 1956.

With the win, the Nuggets took a 3-1 series lead. Which meant one thing for the Hornets: their season was not over yet.

No matter how badly New Orleans lost this game, the Hornets still had to play at least one more game before their season was over. And the best way to get over a tough loss is to go out and play as hard as you can in the next game.

Nobody wins every game. Whether you are just learning to play a sport or playing professionally, you will always lose games. The important thing, especially for younger players, is to keep trying your hardest. If every player on a team tries their best, then it doesn't matter who wins and loses. That's one of the great things about sports. Games are the most fun when everybody tries really hard and everybody can appreciate the efforts of their opponents. When you understand that the other team is trying just as hard as you are, that is called sportsmanship. That is why teams shake hands with each other after the game, to tell the other team that you appreciate their effort.

Another way a team can get over a bad loss is by learning from the mistakes it made. In that game, one of the reasons why New Orleans lost is because it didn't play very good defense. Going into Game 5 of the series, the Hornets knew that they had to play harder when Denver had the ball. And it's not just the players that had to work harder for New Orleans. The coaches had to look at film of Game 4 and see what went wrong, then try to come up with different plays so the same thing didn't happen again.

The New Orleans Hornets and their fans were definitely disappointed after such a tough loss, but the worst thing they could do was to keep thinking about it. The Hornets had a better chance of winning the next game if they worked harder to correct the mistakes they made. They had to think positively and be confident that they could come back stronger. Even though they ultimately lost the series, they played hard in the last game and performed much better.

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