“The Lakeshow,” fresh off a 6-1 road trip seems to have found their way through the storm. Although the majority of their opponents were sub .500 teams, theses challengers served their purpose for the defending champs - who are back on track playing Laker basketball. Let’s recap the last four games of the rodeo.
We begin in our nation’s capital,where the champs found themselves taking on the Washington Wizards for the second time in a week. Andrew Bynum was making his seasonal debut for L.A. against a depleted Wizards teams. No John Wall equals no problem for the Lakers. The Lakers dispatched the Wizards 103-89 with the Mamba scoring 24 points (including 12 straight in the third quarter – having missed 3 free throws) and L.O. putting up 18 points and 10 rebounds. Bynum scored 7 points with 4 boards and 2 blocks and will need more time to get back into game shape.
Next stop Indianapolis. Road teams have to be weary on back to back nights and the Lakers made sure they didn’t fall into that trap. T.O. (Terrell Owens) made a cameo at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Lakers pull away from the Pacers and win 109-94 to avenge an early season home loss. The Mamba pours in 31 points, Pau Gasol scores 28 points with 8 rebounds ad L.O. had 13 points with 17 boards. Next destination Philly.
Before the Lakers took on the 76ers on Friday, Kobe invited several of his teammates to his alma matter Lower Merion High to rededicate the gym. It was a heartfelt gesture as The Mamba is used to mixed reception from Philly fans. The next night, the Lakers were in a dog fight with the upstart 76ers through three quarters. Kobe suffered a minor injury on his shooting hand (turned out to be a finger sprain). In the 4th quarter, L.O. led the charge with 28 points and 8 rebounds as the Lakers took care of 76ers 93-81. Gasol posted another double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. The Mamba ends up with 9 points but is still happy with his team’s performance Homecoming weekend.
Last stop Toronto. Sunday afternoon games are always suspect at tip off. On the last game of the roadie, it’s easy for a team to just look forward to going home. These are the defending champs. The Raptors tried to make it interesting, but the Lakers controlled this game from start to finish taking down the Raptors 120-110. The Mamba scored 20 points on a sprained finger and Gasol adds 19 points and 8 rebounds. Bynum has his first solid performance in his fourth season game, as he scored 16 points along with 7 rebounds. La La Land eagerly awaits the return of “The Lakeshow.”
The Lakers take care of business on the road as champions do. This road trip was more about focusing on accomplishing objectives night after night no matter the opponent. For the most part they did just that. They have weathered the storm and look to be back in sync, with15 of their next 20 games at the Staples Center.
The Lakers play just two games this week. The first is a Tuesday night contest against the Bucks. This game is a tune up for the heavyweight bout that will take place this Saturday, but the Lakers need not take the Bucks lightly. The heavyweight bout is the Lakers first look at the Miami Heat featuring “Miami Thrice.” The Lakers have a losing record on Christmas over the past several years and hope for a rare win against the Heat. Will this potential NBA Finals preview be a Merry Christmas for”the Lakeshow?” This should be interesting!
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Written by Arthur Kai