We're reaching the tail-end of the 2012-13 NBA regular season and it's clear that the Lakers only have one thing in mind - making the playoffs.
Having won 4 of their last 5, and Kobe guaranteeing the postseason, Laker fans should feel as confident as his comments. This season's fluctuating team stats still hold doubt in skeptic's minds but you can't ignore two things that player stats can certainly back up.
Kobe Bryant Passing Wilt Chamberlain
Kobe's 31,089 points currently has him ranked #5 in the NBA All-Time Regular Season Points Leaders list falling short of Wilt Chamberlain who has 31,419. For those who passed Pre-Algebra with a C-, that leaves a mere difference of just 330 points.
Hmm, there's 23-games left in the regular season so if the Black Mamba averages 14+ points in those remaining games he will become the 4th leading scorer in NBA history. All this of course if he remains healthy and stay's in the vicinity of his 27 PPG average. Who are we fooling, Kobe will suit up if he only had one leg but by then we would be calling him Kobe Lean Bryant. Put a fork in it folks, this new accolade will be his coming into the playoffs.
Stave Nash Passing Mark Jackson
We all know that Mitch's smartest off-season move was picking up Steve Nash. Nash instantly brings a Hawking-like IQ but with more mobility. His court vision has awarded him (as of today) 10,166 assists in his 16+ season career. He's is currently ranked #4 in the NBA All-Time Regular Season Assists Leaders list. Mark Jackson's Top-3 status is in serious jeopardy. Jackson's career 10,334 assists is a dangling 169 more than Nash.
Bring out the calculator again, with 23-games left in the season, Nash will have to average 7+ APG to surpass Jackson right before the playoffs. Well, Steve is already averaging that many so all he has to do is play consistently better.
Not bad momentum entering the postseason at the expected 8th spot. Lakers will need any kind of favoring swing against the elite teams in their conference right off the bat.
Baseball references by design - is it April yet?