Making a Statement

Posted by By at 26 March, at 22 : 30 PM Print

There were doubters.

The Los Angeles Lakers were playing the worst ball of the year.  Between January 16th  and February 16th the Lakers went 8-8.  There were far too many naysayers who questioned whether or not this year’s version of the Lakers had enough in the tank to win another NBA Championship.  Dujuan Johnson made reference to the Lakers woes in a past article.  Why not?  They were struggling.  They were playing like a .500 team in a conference that demanded excellence.  A .500 ball club was not going to repeat as NBA Champion.  Kobe Bryant was hurt and playing like it.  The Lakers were tired, and beginning to show their age.  With 10 of their 14 roster players over the age of 30, they appeared to have lost their lustre.

Until Kobe decided to put his team (once again) on his shoulders.  The Lakers have gone a remarkable 14-1 since the All-Star break and the troubles of the month prior are no longer.  The team has been rejuvenated and are playing like a reigning champion should be.  Ron Artest is beginning to play aggressively like he did last year and looks like he is determined to try and win another ring.  Pau is being Pau.  He is dominating inside the post and is averaging close to a double-double during the Lakers current streak.

It’s scary to think that the Lakers are coasting so easily through their schedule.  Dominating wIns over Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Orlando, Dallas and Portland has reminded us just how dominating the Lakers can be when they want to be.

And the apparently is the big question.  Do the Lakers want to be dominating?  Are they simply making a statement right now that the 8-8 run the Lakers had before the All-Star game was nothing more than them taking it easy.  Are these Lakers going to the rest of the schedule easy or will they continue this dominance for the remainder of the regular season?  It’s a tough question considering the physical condition of the roster.  Kobe Bryant is battling knee and finger pain.  Andrew Bynum is still recovering from off-season knee surgery and looks like it at times.  Matt Barnes has recently returned from knee surgery and is still taking it easy on the court.  This is a banged up Lakers squad yet have only lost once in the past 15 games.

It’s scary to think about how unbeatable this team would be if they had a 100% healthy Kobe Bryant.

Whether or not they continue playing like this for the rest of the way is anyone’s guess.  What is certain is that I definitely wouldn’t want to be an opposing player who has to guard Kobe Bryant as the shot clock ticks away with the game tied and only 10 seconds left in game 7 of a Playoff Series!

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  1. Nicholas, 9 years ago Reply

    The Lakers were playing possum. They are what many people call closers–they show up in the 4th. We can apply that same theory to the entire season. They were a tired team, so they rested (8-8), and showing up in time for it to matter. In the end, they will be representing the west, and their slow start will be irrelevant. But will they win against the Bulls (my prediction for the east contender)?

  2. Jonathan, 9 years ago Reply

    Good luck to the rest of the NBA. A pisse doff Kobe and team will be too much to handle for anyone!

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