The Los Angeles Lakers get their first back-to-back wins on the road this season with overtime victories against the Memphis Grizzlies 116-111, and New Orleans Hornets 107-101.
The irony in this feat is that for one, they are 43 games into a 66-game season, and two deficiencies on the road are foreign concepts to this team, an organization that has won two of the last three NBA titles. Having that mental toughness on the road is what has allowed the Lakers to develop that championship mettle in past and recent years. Now they struggle to beat the likes of Memphis, and a more disappointing New Orleans team.
But I digress, for the mere fact that the Lakers are finding their way, and there’s no need to be critical of progress, especially when you’re in first place of your division.
Tuesday’s double overtime win against the Grizzles could be a potential first round playoff matchup. This game, for the first time all season would showcase two things: the Lakers will to win on the road, and Andrew Bynum’s maturation into becoming “that dude” on the block.” Kobe Bryant aka The Black Mamba, had a typical day at the office scoring 34 points, with 9 rebounds and 5 assists, but it was Bynum’s “Shaqesque” output of 37 points, and 16 rebounds that ultimately allowed them to get a big and much needed win on the road.
Wednesday’s game against the Hornets, put the Lakers in familiar territory on the road, as they went into halftime down by 14 points (54-40). But once again, the Lakers had a “first time this year resiliency on the road moment” and clawed their way back into the game to force overtime. The Lakers Big Three did most of the heavy lifting, as The Mamba scored 33 points, Bynum went all “Shaq-like” again with 25 points and 18 rebounds, while Pau Gasol had a nice double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. The veteran trio of Derek Fisher, Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes capped of the comeback with timely contributions in the second half and overtime to secure the victory.
When there’s a will, there’s always a way, and for the first time this season, the Lakeshow are showcasing that type of mentality. Evolution can be a beautiful thing to watch if it completes its process full circle. This Lakers squad is still work in progress, but for once this season, they seem to be going in the right direction, and there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for this team. The Lakers must finish out the week strongly with home games against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Utah Jazz to distance themselves from the Los Angeles Clippers aka “Lob City” in the Pacific division standings.
Will their be a new addition or subtraction to this current version of the Lakeshow? Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss have until the 3 p.m. deadline on Thursday to figure it out. This could be interesting!
To be continued……
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Written by Arthur Kai