Home > Uncategorized > I’m Dreaming of a Resurgence to This Year’s Lakers Team

I’m Dreaming of a Resurgence to This Year’s Lakers Team

Kobe Bryant looks like he is back at the level of ability “we the fans” had all hoped he could still perform at! Unlike Chauncey Billups coming off an ACL tear the year before for The Clippers, The Black Mamba looks like he is going to be able to play full tilt – if last night was any indication of what to expect. Yes, The Memphis Grizzlies were undermanned – trying to win without Marc Gasol, Quincy Pondexter or Mike Conley. But even when Kobe hit the deck, in the 4th Quarter, and stayed on the floor, clutching his knee, there was hope beyond the initial gasp that he would be okay. Even as he hobbled up & down the court for a few plays, you just knew he was going to be alright. Right?

In a season marred with injuries, again, there are people on various social networks calling for The Lakers to fire Gary Vitti! Injuries are part of the game, and, sad to say, but the harsh reality is our younger generations seem less interested in doing the preparation for success well (stretching, conditioning, diet, etc.), so get used to the pattern of behavior that suggests success is expected without the work ethic – among your average, everyday players. Kobe Bryant isn’t geared that way. Nick Young doesn’t appear to be oriented that way, either: he has come out to play this season, so far leading the team in scoring but showing his peers across the league that he can play better defense, too!

The Memphis Grizzlies, on paper, to start the season, looked good enough to be a Top Five team in the Western Conference! But they haven’t lived up to that expectation, yet. Who did they lose off last year’s roster? Just their head coach, right? I wonder how well The Lakers would play if they lost their head coach? They played better tonight: The Lakers. Whatever they were doing with roster moves the previous night in Atlanta, I’ll never know; but, Pau Gasol came to play against his brother’s team, the team he was traded to The Lakers from (in exchange for the rights to signing Marc Gasol). I wonder… Yes, I will say it: (I almost chose not to!) I wonder if Pau Gasol was auditioning for what he hopes will be his new team? He played great!

Lakers 96, Grizzlies 92 (Recap).

Kobe played great!

Nick Young played great!

Pau Gasol played great!

Didn’t I say that already? But do you believe it? The whole team played very well together last night, overcoming a couple surges by The Grizzlies with momentum swings of their own. Pau, Kobe & Nick all made shots to kill momentum that would carry Memphis back to an even score. Xavier Henry just used his physicality to bully through The Grizzlies a la Zach Randolph style to get shots up and over the rim – earning a few trips to the free Throw line, in the process. The Lakers played with grit, with determination – I love their “Never, ever give up” attitude!

Our “X-Man” needs to improve off a fairly poor 63% FT% (imho), but I like how feisty he is. His tenacity, his motivation, his passion, his drive – whatever you want to label it! – makes a big impact on the outcome of each game! Normally, that description is most given to Jordan Hill; but, he was on the bench, in foul trouble, much of the game. If our “X-Men” (plural), if that name were to ever stick to our bench players, could regain a rhythm from 3-point range that’s been off-kilter recently, a game like this one would’ve been over sooner; but, outside of Wesley Johnson blocks, and a high effort from Jodie Meeks (playing meekly in Kobe’s return, struggling to find his identity perhaps), there has been a fall off on bench productivity that was a key to our success! Answer: Injuries. Solution: Better health. And that takes time this team may not have in a very competitive conference.

It’s very difficult to determine exactly what it is that The Lakers plan on doing, as there are so many mixed signals coming from players, coaches and the media right now about trade possibilities, reasons why this guy or that guy is playing or not playing, when to expect injured players to return, etc. It seems to me that the “trust” level of anybody tellling each other the truth and it being believed is at an all-time low for this organization. That’s an ownership problem. Maybe the coaching staff knows certain things, maybe they don’t; but, if that performance by Pau Gasol last night is any indication of what he is still capable of doing, then the Lakers should keep him – and work with him, to make an offense that works to his strengths. the 2-man game Kobe & Pau had going last night was effective. But, if it was just an audition, an effort by Pau Gasol to showcase his talents to a team he would rather play for, then I would not be at all surprised to see his skill set mysteriously diminish back to a vague uncertainty of sporadic moments of (in)effectiveness.

If you check the stats for the game, The Grizzlies took more shots, and almost every other category was fairly even – except for blocks. The Lakers blocked their way to a win! And, a couple strategic 3-pointers from way beyond the arc by Nick Young with 6:30 left and Kobe Bryant 2 minutes later just took all the belief out of the Grizzlies that a comeback was even remotely possible. Even so, the game was close to the end; but, credit The Lakers for controlling the tempo, for making shots, for protecting the ball, for playing together on both halves of the court! It was a quality win. I say that, admitting to you I didn’t see all of it “live” – instead, I saw the 1st Quarter at work, listened to the 2nd Quarter driving home, briefly peaked at the game as we loaded up the family to go to one of my daughter’s school for a Christmas musical… I then used my Android Smartphone’s Lakers “app” to keep my mom, dad & I updated on the progress of the game, waiting late into the night to watch the game on replay! It was a great game!

Go, Lakers!

I hope Kobe’s knee is okay… When is Farmar coming back?

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