The Los Angeles Lakers have spent near every day since the turn of the New Year trying to get back to this point, where the cosmos align, where all the traffic is going the same direction, Wilbon and Kornheiser are both in studio, and they have a .500 record. After their win against the Atalanta Hawks, that’s where the Lakers are. The only thing standing in their way of winning more games than they’ve lost, is the best team in the Western Conference, on the road. It’s either bad timing, or a perfectly timed measuring stick for the Lakers
The last time theses 2 teams met, the Lakers were almost at their lowest point of the season, but nevertheless the Lakers won in heroic fashion. This was the debut of the facilitating Kobe, and he passed and dished his way to 14 assists, 9 rebounds, 21 points, and a Lakers victory. That Kobe has faded in the recesses of our fandom. The scoring Kobe (it’s strange to say there was another kind) is back after scoring more than 30 in his last 4.
Kevin Durant scored 35, and Russell Westbrook was held to a quiet 17 in this matchup. But the Lakers also had Pau Gasol play 35 minutes. 35 minutes is a lot of time to make up against the front line of the Thunder which crash the offensive glass so effectively.
But the Thunder, who aren’t a deep team, should be one of their big 3 thinner for this matchup. In the Thunder’s victory over the Clippers, Serge Ibaka threw a hard cross directly to the “manzone” of Blake Griffin. It was blatant and disrespectful, and perhaps more so since Ibaka denies his intentions. Ibaka should have been suspended a game and fined. Think about it this way–what if Metta World Peace had done it? He likely would have sat down for a whole week of games at least.
It’s only the best team in the West, on the road, standing between the Lakers and an over .500 record. This could be the measuring stick they needed.
LA Sports Hubsters, WIll the Lakers get over .500 tonight?