Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Since Andrew Bynum has gone down with a damaged MCL, the Lakers have:
1) Won 6 straight games on the road.
2) Halted yet another Boston Celtics double-digit winning streak.
3) Hung the first home loss on a Cavs team that hadn't sniffed a loss at the Q since last season.
All these milestones weren't supposed to happen according to some pundits, who because of the loss of the big fella in the middle were supposed to fold up and allow the tougher, stronger teams from the big bad eastern conference to run all over them.
But some interesting things happened along the way:
1) 61 aka the Roger Maris game.
Mr Kobe Bryant solidified his spot as the League's best player by dropping 61 big ones on your New York Knicks, setting the all time scoring record in that building along the way. (Sidebar: Pau Gasol had 31 in that game as well, but no one spoke about it.)
2) Someone woke Lamar Odom up.
Seriously, I hate that it took Drew tearing his knee up for this to happen but L.O. woke up Sunday in Cleveland and went to town, showing a toughness I hadn't seen since ..... um ..... Miami? Ok, ok, Lamar has never been lauded for his toughness, but hey 28 pts, 17 rebounds is always gonna be a good look in an important game like last Sunday's contest. Follow that up with a 12 point, 18 rebound effort against the hapless Thunder yesterday and one would think Lamar has finally stopped hitting that snooze button, either that or he realized that he'll be a free agent at the end of the season and this may be the nice chance to rack up some big $$. Whatever it is, his uptick in minutes, coupled with the production is most welcome in La-La land.
3) Pau expletive Gasol.
My man rated PG turned in some NC-17 performances for the majority of the first half of the season. If the Lakers happen to win the chip this year, (all signs point to Si) then Dr Jerry Buss needs to send his next 3 years of draft picks to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for nothing at all. If he wants to push the issue, maybe some tickets to Graceland, but that's it. For the 2008-09 campaign, Gasol is putting up averages of 18 ppg, 9 rpg and close to 4 dimes per contest. And that was WITH Bynum in the lineup. What happens now that Drew is out for the rest of the regular season? Buckets, that's what.
What does this rambling post teach us class? Well, it should put the league on notice that the Lakers have learned from last year, and have grown as a result. They now know what is expected of them, and what they have to do to make it to the promised land, with or without the services of a Mr Andrew Lee Bynum.
Posted by Zee at 12:32 PM