Tough test ahead

I know, Lakers fans. Things are going great, right? Fantastic, really.

But how good are the Lakers?

Looks like we’re going to find over the next two weeks or so.

Once Kobe and Co. get through Sacramento (tomorrow), the Clippers (Friday) Sacramento (Sunday) and Toronto (Tue, Mar. 11), they’ll face the toughest stretch of the season.

Road games at New Orleans (Mar. 14), Houston (Mar. 16), Dallas (Mar. 18) and Utah (Mar. 20) will tell the story.

It’s not make or break – and we all know we can’t truly assess this team until Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza return – but it sure will be interesting to see how the Lakers fare on the road against teams with a combined 155-82 record.

By the way, while yesterday’s 52-point performance by Kobe was reminiscent of a number of scoring explosions he’s had in the Post Shaq era – and that wasn’t always a good thing. But Lakers fans can take comfort in this observation:

Prior to this season – and specifically the arrival of Pau Gasol – it was almost required that Kobe carry that sort of load for the Lakers to be successful. Even when he did, there was no guarantee the Lakers would prevail.

Now, it’s almost a luxury.

When the Lakers are getting production throughout the lineup, as they have pretty much the whole year, they don’t need Kobe to go off.

But it sure is nice to know Kobe can still dial it up a notch when the rest of the team is struggling – as was the case yesterday.

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  • https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5960079060443099547&postID=2519250472528773666&pli=1 Dr Len

    Split the road and sweep the home and the Laker’s will have 60 wins. Home court till the finals.
    Phil Coach of the year and Kobe player of the year.

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5960079060443099547&postID=2519250472528773666&pli=1

  • Jeffs Aho

    Glad to see Kobe play well today. I fail to see how he affects a game other than scoring. For somebody to be considered the best player in the game, hes got to do more than scoring. Players on the team are looking for direction and inspiration during this tough road trip and it seems looking at Bryants corner yields absolutely nothing.

    MVP? No way. As I wrote in previous entries, Chris Paul and Lebron should be top contenders.

    As for Kobe pundits, heres a thought. Why do you bestow the award upon Bryant things go well. For example, during Lakers winning streak when Bynum was still in the lineup or when Gasol first joined the Lakers. But when those players go down, the excuse for Bryants poor play is the result of injured players.

    When the times get tough, its when one see the true value to a team. Its when theres an injury to the team, the team leads its best player to STEP UP. Not fizzle and cower in the corner. Bryant himself has said. Its time to walk the walk. Enough talking.

    MVP? Certainly not on the Lakers.

    -Jeffs Aho

  • Jeffs Aho

    Another interesting tidbit. Lamar said during post game interviews that he would’ve liked the ball more since he was dominating Luis Scola down in the post going 7-10 today.

    Curious how Bryant, a player with supposed high basketball IQ, couldn’t recognize what was working down low and proceeds to jack up 33 shots.

    Bryant said later that he will go back to the gym and work on the arc of his shot. Really? It took him 33 shots to realize that his shots weren’t falling today? Yet he proceeds to fire every chamber in his gun like there’s no tomorrow?

    Here’s an idea Kobe. Instead of saying things like, “I can score whenever I want”, “I take what the defense gives me”, “I can make in-game adjustments on the fly”, WHY DON’T YOU DO IT INSTEAD OF JUST SAYING IT?!?!?!?

    Walk the walk!!! TALK IS CHEAP!!!

    -Jeffs Aho