Rejoice! Celebrate! For with the addition of Steve Nash, the Los Angeles Lakers actually look competitive and are playing inspired basketball! Sound the trumpets! Ring the bells! Shine bright like a diamond!
The Lakers were able to score an impressive home win against the New York Knicks despite 34 points from Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers looked balanced and efficient on a national stage for the first time all year. Steve Nash scoring 16 points and dishing 11 assists while controlling the entire pace of the game. Kobe Bryant scored 34 points, notching his ninth straight game scoring over 30 points.
A NBA Christmas Day win is an encouraging one for the Lakers, in which they were 5-9 on Christmas Day games win Bryant. The Lakers are now 9-9 under coach Mike D’Antoni and are 14-14 for the season, placing them 3rd in their division. A soft schedule helps, but the last two victories are against playoff caliber teams (Golden State Warriors and Knicks).
This recent five-game winning streak is encouraging for a franchise who has failed to meet their high expectations all season-long. A healthy Nash and a MVP-caliber Bryant may be the best backcourt tandem in the league on paper. With Dwight Howard able to contain and control the paint on both sides of the court, and Metta World Peace scoring 20 points off the bench (technically), the Lakers are finally putting the pieces together, and its passing the eye test so far.
With the return of Nash, the Lakers finally look poised and ready to make a run. Their body language is different. If Nash can continue to play at this pace at 38 years old (he’s played 40 minutes in each of the last two games), the Lakers could be who we thought they would be before the season started.
Here’s to Kobe’s mink and ugly grey jacket combo!
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