This hectic NBA regular season is coming to its conclusion. With that comes the beginning of the second season or as some refer to the playoffs as, the real season.
Despite the Lakers 5-2 record without Kobe Bryant we all know there is no chance of finding success in the postseason without Mamba’s services. In some instances the Lakers have looked improved without Kobe.
Last night in Oakland the Lake Show played an unselfish brand of ball that yielded a season’s best 34 assists. Of course the night before, against the West’s best Spurs, the Lakers looked more like the Bobcats.
No matter your opinion of the Lakers without Kobe the fact is he’s coming back in time for the playoffs and he’ll be playing. That’s why it is important for the Lakers and Bryant to redevelop a rhythm after his two weeks of inactivity.
Currently the Lakers are on course to take on the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. That’s definitely the preferred opponent as Memphis is a team L.A. wants no piece of. With games against the Spurs and Thunder on the near horizon the Lakers are facing a tough couple of must-wins if they’re to avoid the Grizzlies.
As for Kobe, he was able to do a two hour workout yesterday and all signs indicate he’ll play Friday. That’s good news for the Lakers who must want revenge after the embarrassing loss in Staples just two days ago. These are still regular season games but the playoff atmosphere is here to stay. Of all things Bryant brings to the table his intensity is what will be most vital of all. Say what you will of his game but Bryant’s work ethic and demanding nature are among the biggest reasons why he’s been a crucial part of 5 championship teams.
Some have gone as far as to say Bryant was helping the team more during brief stint as an assistant coach than he was as a player. No need to ever give that notion much thought. But there is something to be said for Bryant being able to get some perspective on his teammates just before the playoffs. Not only is L.A. gaining their best player, they’re also adding a coach on the court to the playoff roster. That too will be something the Lakers are going to have to adjust as the “real season” starts.