The Los Angeles Lakers will make the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
Two words: Kobe Bryant.
Okay so maybe it sounds like a broken record at this point, but let’s be serious. Until the Lakers are actually out of consideration or the playoffs have begun without them, we are going to believe that Los Angeles will be in the playoffs.
Heading into Tuesday’s contest with the New Orleans Hornets, Bryant is averaging 27.0 points per game, a mark that ranks third in the NBA at the moment. Bryant has made the playoffs in all but one of his 17 seasons in the NBA and while the schedule down the stretch is difficult — it is favorable.
Following their match-up with Hornets, the Lakers will then travel north to take on the Portland Trailblazers before returning home for three consecutive home games against some stiff competition. At the moment, the Lakers are currently a 1/2 game out of the eighth and final playoff spot, so their backs are against the wall entering the regular season’s final stretch. Yet, that’s the way it has pretty much been for months now.
It’s now or never and Bryant is not going to just roll over and let the Lakers miss out on the playoffs here in 2013, it’s just not going to happen. Throw in the fact that the Lakers will be playing at home down the stretch, this could be about the Lakers gathering momentum for the playoffs instead of actually just getting in.
We have seen enough of Kobe over the past 17 years to understand the type of threat that he and the Lakers always provide their opponents. The man has five NBA championship rings, he’s going to play his game and excel with his team’s back against the wall here.
Don’t be surprised when the Lakers are clinching a playoff berth at home next week.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS