Ok so last night’s game wasn’t the prettiest win this season, but it proved something. Kobe Bryant, when he puts his mind to it, can accomplish anything he wants. The Lakers took a huge lead throughout the game and figured going into the end of the 3rd start of the 4th Kobe and the starting lineup would be done for the evening. Not close. The Thunder went on a 15-2 run that brought them at one point within 1 point. I was sitting at home wondering when Phil was going to put Kobe back in the game. The next stoppage of play, Kobe was back in. From that point the game was over. Kobe came in and dropped 10 quick points in the first 2-3 mins he was in there……..I believe. This gave us enough cushion for me to feel comfortable about winning this game. The second squad should thank Kobe for saving them last night.
Kobe ended up with 36 points on 13-21 shooting. He started the game slowly, but like always came on late. The supporting cast was consistent throughout the game, just not overpowering like we should have been. I expect the Lakers to DESTROY teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder. There is no way in the world that a team like The Thunder should be anywhere in contention to beating us, or even getting close in a game with us. That is something that we are going to have to address come playoff time. If we put a team on the ropes, we can’t let them back into the fight. We have to drop them like Tyson use to do to boxers in his prime. If our second team can learn that and apply that, I predict 16-0 run in the playoffs.
Pau had 14 points last night to go along with his 8 boards. I would like to see Gasol put up a little bit better numbers, but I’ll take it. Lamar had a relatively quite night with 8 points and 8 boards, the way that he has been playing of late. I expect with some better competition he will step up his game again. The one player though that I cannot stop talking enough about is Trevor Ariza. What a GREAT pickup. Since coming over from Miami he has been instrumental in locking down opposing teams from scoring. He only had 8 points last night, but it’s the little things that he does that makes a difference. Harassing the other teams best players. Coming up with HUGE steals or blocks in crunch time. And every now and again he has hit the big shot. What more can you ask from a second squad player? I just wish the rest of the reserves could get on the same page right now and finish games off so our starters can rest themselves for the playoff run. Hopefully that will happen during the end of the season.
Our next game is at home Thursday, against the Phoenix Suns, who are on their way out of playoff contention right now. The only player right now that is a bright spot for Phoenix is Shaq. With Amaare out for the season, and Nash out with an injury this SHOULD be a runaway game for us. With the history that we have with the Suns I wouldn’t put it past the Lakers to beat them by 20+ points. After Thursday we go on the road for the weekend with stops in Denver on Friday and then Phoenix on Sunday. Oh what do you know, we get to beat the Suns twice in the same week. This I like very much. Make sure you stay tuned and watch Kobe (on his way to his second CONSECUTIVE MVP award) and the Lakers continue their dominance over the rest of the league. I LOVE THIS GAME!
Copyright 2009 – E. Mendez