Lakers are now 10-1 since the all-star break only losing to the Miami Heat. A BIG reason for the success of the second half surge is No. 17 Andrew Bynum. In his last 11 games Bynum is averaging 12 pts. 13 rebs. and 3 blocks. He's a defensive monster and the Lakers are reaping the benefits from his inside presence.
The usual 1-2 punch in Kobe/Gasol now have the jab fans have been waiting for all season long. With Bynum now contributing in a major way Kobe can afford to have an off night and not have to address his team and more importantly the media afterward.
The Kid can play! We've all known that but we just didn't know when he would start to play. Apparently he's decided to turn it up at the beginning of the midway mark. The champs are playing at their true potential now that they have an entirely healthy squad.
It's now time to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride to another Lakers 3-peat.
The chronicles of the injured and relentless Kobe Bryant.
Hyper-extended knees, sprained wrists, sprained ankles, broken index fingers, cuts, bruises...Kobe's pained/played through them all. Last night was another reminder of this as Lakers fans feared the worse when they saw team captain land awkwardly. As Kobe jumped up to regain control off a tipped ball he came down turning his ankle. I haven't seen an ankle turn that severe in years.
The combination of Gary Vitti's Mr. Miyagi healing powers and Kobe's backbone produced yet another miraculous comeback. Just as quickly as he turned his ankle, Kobe turned right back into the game to put in some more work and help his team triumph over the Mav's 96-91.
This type of determination and passion for the game is why Kobe Bryant is THE BEST basketball player on the planet, PERIOD. The only complaint you'll get out of him is to the officials. For coach PJ the only thing more reliable is his pension plan.
Here's the video in case you missed last night's scare.
With Miami and Dallas anxiously waiting in the wings, L.A.'s road to a perfect 10 start since the all-star break will not be easy. Speaking of, is it safe to say that the all-star break is officially the start of the Lakers season? It seems that the Lakers good but I guess not good enough first half is stealthily making its exit in the shadows of L.A.'s latest streak. Considering Miami's headlined issues and Dallas losing by one tonight against the Chis Paul-less Hornets, both teams will be eager to bounce back. What better stage to do it on but at home against the defending champions.
All season long the champs have been criticized when faced with a loss especially if those losses happen to come consecutively (oh no!) but critics often forget that every team brings their A game when playing us. If L.A. has an average game then any opponent has a chance to meet their objective. Lakers always have to be "that" perfect team. If they're not, critics come rushing out of the woodwork with red pen in hand.
With the recent scrutiny exposing Miami's structural problems from James opening shop rather than closing it; how D. Wade needs to have the rock to end games; shed tears in the locker room; and the lack of a low-post presence, look for the Heat to [attempt to] make a Laker streak-ending statement at home. Their recent loss to Portland only adds more fuel to the fire over in Miami.
Dallas won't be any different. They'll also bring their A game like every other team does. Dallas has already proven successful this season beating L.A. by 9 back in February. Losing streaks for Dallas average to just about 2 losses so they don't intend to change that. Thanks to Jarrett Jack's 21 point contribution and team 8-0 final minute comeback run to come out with the W, Lakers are climbing the Western Conference standings slowly by surely.
These last two away games for L.A. will either answer many questions or remind critics that L.A. cannot win when it matters against the leagues elite. We shall see.
Los Angeles Lakers (45-19) vs San Antonio Spurs (51-12)
Regular Season Series: Spurs 2-1
Streaks: Lakers W 7, Spurs L 1
Since the all-star break Lakers are reminding critics that they are still a championship caliber team going a perfect 7-0. Tonight was absolute confirmation of it. Everyone keeps talking about a switch that the champs have locked out and tagged out for the playoffs. Apparently the playoffs started Feb. 22nd.
Lakers have just gone bonkers since Kobe's MVP performance. It's as if the team had this magical meeting to suddenly start playing like we all know them to be.
Not easy opponents to say the least. Four of the seven teams with winning records, Atlanta, Portland, OKC and now San Antonio. Playing OKC and SA showed fans a divisional preview of the upcoming post season. Come playoff time, if we play like we did recently against Oklahoma City and tonight against San Antonio, then I have no problem forecasting to the East for potential opponents come this June.
Since the break, team statisticians have gotten carpool. Here are the standout averages from the past 7 games. Kobe is averaging 25 w/ 6 assists. Gasol is averaging 18 w/ 10 rebs, Bynum is averaging 12 boards, and Ron Ron is averaging 11 pts w/ 2 steals.
Lakers shot .467% FG while the home team shot a dismal .360% going 31-86. Only one San Antonio starter scored in double figures. Parker scored 14. If it wasn't for Gary Neal and George Hill scoring a combined 29 points to make this game somewhat interesting, Laker Joe Smith would've gotten a season high.
Matt Barnes made his debut since his Jan. 7th sprained right knee injury. He helped defensively when Artest took a breather and helped crash the boards with 6. The usual 1-2 punch in Kobe and Gasol did the most damage tonight scoring 47 together (KB 26-PG 21). Their points alone toppled their opponents first unit production. Lakers bench played well. Shannon and LO punched in with a combined 17 points, 8 assists and 8 rebs. Here's the clip in case you missed Brown's flying act.
The best team in the league looked human tonight. They lost this game early scoring only 13 to L.A.'s 34 points. From beating the Miami Heat by 30 just nights ago to losing by 16 tonight, this goes to show that the champs have what it takes to beat the leagues elite despite what skeptics say.
This remix version of Wiz Khalifa's Black & Yellow is AWESOME! It showcases DJ Skee hitting the turntables, his band playing the background melodies, Game and Snoop Dogg spitting their flows and Lakers Shannon Brown, Matt Barnes and Ron Artest representing the Purp & Yellow.
If you didn't know already, Skeetox is comprised of DJ Skee behind the turntables mixing vocals and acappelas while a six-piece band plays along. DJ Skee has remixed hip hop, pop, electro and rock with hits from Drake to Marvin Gaye to Guns 'N Roses and Led Zeppelin.
Lets make this DJ Skee remix directed by Matt Alonzo the official Lakers theme song! Don't get me wrong the Showtime era Randy Newman's I love L.A. and the recently adopted Brian McKnight KCAL9 I Love L.A. are all good but you have to admit that this version is definitely catchy. I've heard many failed attempts at Lakers themed songs but this one is a definite hit. I'm not partial to rap music, in fact I'm that guy who has KBIG, The Wave and KOST preset in his car stereo (Yes I just admitted that) so take it from me when I say that this song should be a serious candidate for the Lakers newest theme song.