The Los Angeles Lakers began their seven game road trip last Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers (which basically was a home game for the champs). It’s normally on these type of trips that:
a) they play against teams who are inferior to them b) learn to overcome their tendency to be complacent, c) develop a nice momentum, winning streak and camaraderie amongst themselves, d) receive an early Christmas gift from Dr. Phil in the form of a book, e) make another annual visit to the White House, or f) all of the above. With the Lakeshow already being three games into this road trip, lets see which one of these answers are correct so far.
The Lakers start off with their pesky, young and talented fellow Staples Center tenants – the Clippers – in a hard-fought contest. Taking care of the Wizards the previous night, the back-to-back had an obvious effect on the flow of the game for the Lakers. Trading blow for blow in the second half, this game would come down to the wire. With three seconds left and the Lakers down by one, Derrick Fisher (another “D-Fish moment”) takes a pass from the top of the key, drives to the hole and hits a tough layup over an outstretched Deandre Jordan for the game winner. Lakers escape with a 87-86 victory. The Mamba poured in 24 points and Chris Brown’s older brother Shannon scored 16 off the bench. Next stop …Chi-Town.
With the day off before the Lakers play Chicago, The Mamba gets interviewed by ESPN’s Michael Wilbon (who my cousin seems to loathe) about all things Laker related and the growth of Derrick Rose. The Mamba praises Rose for expanding his game since last season. Onto Friday night, where the Lakers jump out to a double digit lead against the Bulls after one quarter of play. Dr. Phil, being interviewed at the beginning of the second quarter states that the Lakers should be up by more points, and he’s right. After there quick start, they cool down offensively to end the quarter.
That cool down leaked into the second quarter, as the Lakers scored only 10 second quarter points to go into halftime down by four. The second half was a struggle as the Lakers finally made a push late in the 4th, but it was a little too late. Rose scored two big baskets from which the Lakers couldn’t recover - as they went down 88-84. The Mamba scored 23 points on 23 shots, Pau Gasol had 21 points and 8 boards and Lamar Odom had 18 points and 8 rebounds, with little help from the rest of the team. Rose ended up with 29 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds as the Bulls seven game losing streak to the Lakeshow ended. Next destination New Jersey.
Early afternoon ball games for west coast teams on the east cost normally spell trouble. The Lakers once again managed to jump out to a double digit lead in the first half. The second half was more of a fight against the pesky Nets. The Lakers offensive execution has not been consistent for a full 48 minutes and rears its ugly head at teams they should dispatch with ease. The champs find a way to hold of the Nets behind 32 points from The Mamba as they defeat the Nets 99-92. L.O. scores 22 points with 7 rebounds as he remains a consistent bright spot for the depleted and injured front court. Next stop the Nation’s Capital.
With a day off before they play the Washington Wizards, the Lakers make their annual trip to the White House, as well as the “NBA Who Cares Foundation.” The Lakers trip to the White House was an interesting trip. In past years, players wore suits to the but this year President Barack Obama changed it up a bit by allowing them to wear Laker track suits. The President and Kobe even took a couple of light hearted jabs at each other - with the President gloating about Chicago’s win last Friday against the Lakers. Kobe responded that they [Lakers] are still the champs and that he is a 5-time NBA ring winner. Monday was a pleasant day off for the Lakeshow, but Tuesday night against the Wizards, the road trip resumes.
So to recap this rodeo so far, Dr. Phil gave everybody a book at the beginning of this trip. The Lakers are 2-1 on this current road trip against inferior teams and made their annual visit to the White House. With four more games to go, we’ll see if the appropriate answer for this seven game quest was f) all of the above. Oh and by the way, someone familiar makes his return to the lineup tonight against the Wizards. Can you guess who? This should be interesting!
About the Author
Written by Arthur Kai