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Kobe Leads LAL Back to the Playoffs

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by RokSki, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    After defeating the Seattle Sonics tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers have assured themselves of a spot in the NBA's Western Conference Playoffs.

    As a frequent - some may say 'incessant' - critic of Kobe Bryant, I felt it was my obligation to 'man-up' and start a thread to give him and his team their 'props' in light of this development.


    The Lakers playoff fortunes were, unsurprisingly, aided by the ineptitude of their crosstown rivals, the Clippers.

    Despite beating the Lakers head-to-head twice in the last two weeks, the Clippers were unable to keep the pressure on their LA brethren, dropping a Sunday home tilt to the 32-47 Sacramento Kings.

    If the Clippers fail to qualify for the postseason, today's choke job will long be remembered and rued.

    But the Clippers' loss was the Lakers' gain.

    Coming into tonight's game against league doormat Seattle (5th worst record in the NBA) at Staples, the 40-40 Lakers desperately needed a victory. The stage was set for The Kobe Show, and Bryant did not disappoint.

    Scoring 50 points on a paltry-by-his-standards 25 FGA, Kobe led the Lakers past the Sonics. After a strong first quarter, the Lakers finished solidly in the 4th quarter to seal their playoff birth.

    Unlike recent games where Bryant's FGA # relative to his next closest teammate's reached as high as a 4X ratio, Bryant's 25 attempts were but 2.5 times as many as his 2 closest teammates, Maurice Evans and Luke Walton, who each attempted 10 shots.


    Making the postseason - a foregone conclusion for the storied Lakers in almost any season in their history - has to be considered a major success for Bryant and the team.

    In a season where: 1) The Lakers set an LA franchise-record mark for worst home loss; 2) HOF Phil Jackson had his first two 7-game losing streaks of his illustrious coaching career; 3) The Lakers will finish with the worst-ever record for any Phil Jackson-coached team (including his CBA teams); 4) The Lakers have played to the tune of the 3rd-worst record in the league (14-27) since Jan. 17 and 5) The Lakers have beaten only 1 team with a winning record since the All-Star break, any ending to the season which did not find the Lakers in the draft lottery is an achievement.


    Bryant, lauded for a 2-week stretch of high-scoring performances against some of the lesser teams in the NBA, can now focus on restoring his tarnished luster without having the additional burden of explaining why a team he led failed to make the playoffs for the 2nd time in 3 years.

    It's been a long calendar year for Bryant. Faced with criticism that he 'quit' against possible first-round opponent Phoenix in last year's game 7 of his Lakers' series against the Suns, Kobe had to deal with being labeled a 'dirty player' this season after several elbows to the heads of opponents landed him multiple 1-game suspensions.


    The Lakers will match up with either the aforementioned Suns or Dallas Mavericks, depending on whether LA ends up as the West's #7 or # 8 seed. The Lakers are 1-3 against each team this season, and Amare Stoudemire has already been quoted as saying that he believes Phoenix will make short work of the Lakers if the two teams meet in the postseason.

    If the Lakers do fall in the first round as most experts predict, the current 3-year Kobe-led run will be the franchise's worst since 1991-4, when LA missed the playoffs once (93'-94') and were eliminated in the first round the other two campaigns. Despite Kobe Bryant's superstar status, his 3 seasons as team leader have produced a slightly sub-.500 record, overall.

    Knowing Kobe's competitive spirit, he is likely itching for a rematch with the Suns to exorcise whatever demons yet exist from last year's 7-game playoff showdown which saw his Lakers seize a 3-1 series lead. Whether he and the Lakers will have a better chance against a Phoenix team with a healthy Kurt Thomas and a returned Stoudemire is debatable, but that remains to be seen if the matchup materializes.

    For tonight, after a long season of frustration, disappointment and unmet expectations, all such projections and prognostications can wait.

    Because tonight, the Lakers - led by All-Star MVP Bryant - are in the NBA's 'dance,' and that means they still have life. Kudos to them.
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Oh, Jesus Fucking Christ. ::)
  3. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    Hey, gotta give props where they're due.
  4. Oz

    Oz Active Member

    You're right. Put Kobe on the Celtics and they would probably be the eighth-best team in the East. Dude knows how to elevate a team to greatness.
  5. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    Put Kobe on the Celts and they're the East's sixth seed. You must remember there's a lot of suckitude east of the Mississippi River
  6. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    Hey, man, this is my 'positive' Kobe thread.

    You said it, not me. :)
  7. GimpyScribe

    GimpyScribe Member

    As a Lakers fan, I'd kill to have two players as talented as Paul Pierce and Al Jefferson helping Bryant on the Lakers. Odom is the best non-big game player there is and everyone else is Kupchak crap (except Turiaf and Farmar, they've shown a ton of potential this season). Mark my words, Bynum will end up no better than Olowokandi was. Not enough desire to want to be the best.
  8. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    Putting Paul Pierce and Kobe together? That would be a recipe for disaster.
  9. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    Yep, or not much better.

    That dunk over Shaq will be about the extent of his career highlight reel.

    Kup and Lil' Buss blew it not getting Kidd or someone else for Bynum.
  10. Oz

    Oz Active Member

  11. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    If those two teamed up, I would never have to worry about writing ideas for about 7 more years.
  12. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

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