The Los Angeles Lakers managed to narrowly escape the Staples Center last night with a 101-100 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Led by the Black Mamba’s vengeance, the Lakers were able to claw their way out of an 18-point deficit they faced midway through the third quarter. Kobe Bryant finished the game with another 30-point effort (his seventh straight 30-point game) to go along with 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Dwight Howard had a solid double-double of 16 points and 18 rebounds, while Metta World Peace (who came off the bench) and Jodie Meeks scored 17 points apiece. Pau Gasol returned to action for the Lakers last night, and although his stat line of 10 points and 9 rebounds weren’t great, he still managed to be productive when he was out on the floor. After Gasol gets back into game rhythm, the Lakers hope to be getting back the Pau of two years ago.
What does last night’s win say for the current state of the Lakeshow?
There are several ways to look at it. Last night’s game could have been their worst loss of the young season, or a defining moment for a struggling team trying to find their way. And although a come from behind win against a far inferior team at home nonetheless doesn’t scream Lakers resurgence, it does display that this current Laker team actually has some type of fight in them.
The main issue is that head coach Mike D’Antoni has to utilize his team properly, and help establish an identity for this wayward group of players (outside of Bryant of course) wearing the purple and gold. As they wait for the return of Steve Nash, D’Antoni has to find a way to take advantage of Gasol’s strengths, keep developing the young players off the bench, and make sure he includes Antawn Jamison in the mix (I’m still scratching my head on the DNP next to his name last night, was he hurt?), because now is the time for the Lakers to dig themselves out of this big whole they’ve created for themselves if they really want to surge back into the playoff picture as a possible top 4 seed.
The Lakers hit the road to play an improved Golden State team on Saturday. Which Laker team shows up to play that game is the current million dollar question for Laker Nation? Then there’s the proverbial Christmas trap game for the Lakeshow (in which they have a sub .500 record over the last several Christmases) against the New York Knicks. It’s unfortunate that we have arrived at this point so early in the season, but all the fans in Lakerland want for Christmas from their team is a 14-14 record. Hopefully, they can satisfy the Laker Nation wish list.
About the Author
Written by Arthur Kai