Maybe it was the visit with President Obama. Maybe it was the return of Andrew Bynum. Maybe it was the fact that Sasha Vujacic registered the final DNP-CD of his Laker career. Whatever it was, the Lake Show gave an inspired effort during their 103-89 win.
To be sure, this isn’t anything to brag about. Minus John Wall, the Lakers had no excuse not to crush the Wizards. Still, they played like champs on both ends of the floor and most important of all put forth a complete effort from start to finish.
Nobody was happier to see Bynum return than Pau Gasol. The Spaniard looked like the efficient MVP candidate of yore. Without having to log long minutes, Gasol posted 16, 9 and 7 in just a half hour of court time. Where has that been?
Kobe Bryant did his thing in limited PT too. Mamba had one of those nights when you could tell he was trying to send a message. 24 points on just 13 attempts and in only 23 minutes says it all. KB24 even had a rare (these days at least) two-handed throwdown on an oop. What’s even rarer was Bryant blowing three throws in a row. Oh well, can’t be perfect but there is no shame in striving for it.
And that’s exactly what the Lake Show did tonight. They went out and played like a team striving for perfection. Ron Artest was even in double figures. Now that’s rare.
As for Drew, well, he looked rusty as you’d expect. Still, he had his moments. You can see the difference already as the Wizards weren’t able to simply stroll into the lane for uncontested layups when Bynum was in the middle.
It is worth noting that Nick Young is turning into a bona fide Laker Killer. The Valley native led the Wizards with 21 off the bench following the 30 he dropped last week in Los Angeles.
Anyhow…this was a refreshing sight. While there were moments of sloppy play once a large lead was opened, the overall effort was up to par for a team with title aspirations. No time to rest though. Tomorrow it’s time for revenge as the Lake Show rolls into Indiana.