Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
Perhaps a preview of what we can expect from the Mike D’Antoni led Lakers it was all L.A. down the stretch as the Lake Show beat the Suns last night 114-102.
Unlike their last outing against the San Antonio Spurs the Lakers were able to close with confidence as they outgunned the Suns in a furious fourth quarter.
Unlike what we saw from the Lakers under Mike Brown this team has suddenly found an offensive rhythm and a defensive determination.
Since Brown left town the Lakers have won 3 of 4 and now find themselves within 2 and half games of the Clippers for tops in the Pacific. Last night the Lakers surpassed the Suns in the standings. Though tge Lakers are still one game below .500 it seems only a matter of time until they’re back above water.
As has been the case all season long, Kobe Bryant led the charge dropping 31 points. There was also a glimpse of what could and should be the norm all year long as Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol posted dueling double-doubles. The Laker bigs combined for 34 points and 22 rebounds easily owning the Suns in the paint.
Perhaps the most welcome sight of all for the Lakers offensive outing was Metta World Peace finding his range as he sank 5 triples en route to a season high of 22 points.
Results like these were becoming increasingly hard to come by under Brown. He had clearly lost the locker room no thanks to his lack of vision. At no point did you ever get the feeling as if the Lakers had a true identity under Brown.
While the team is still in the midst of another transition you can see signs of the talent finally blending together. L.A.’s 114 points is something that Coach D’Antoni will want to see on the regular. He should also want to see his new team play a little more D than they did last night. But that will all come in due time…hopefully.
Right now it’s a no-brainer that firing Brown was the right move to make. Given the team’s response since his departure there is no doubt as to what was holding back the title hopes. Now it’s on D’Antoni who is slated to make is debut Sunday to take the improved play and shape it into championship caliber execution.