The hopes and dreams of all of Laker Nation rests in the hands of two players, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. If the Los Angeles Lakers have any shot at making the playoffs, this duo will have to lead the way and that is exactly what they did Tuesday night.
Both players led the team with 21 points as the Lakers got an important NBA Western Conference win over the Memphis Grizzlies, 96-92. Gasol also added nine rebounds and three blocks, while Bryant contributed five rebounds and four assists.
It is a good sign for Laker Nation as they get the second win in Bryant’s “comeback,” however, they are only 2-4 since he returned on Dec. 8. The victory itself is also not all that impressive as Memphis was without Pau’s younger brother, Marc Gasol.
Marc or no Marc, it was still a confidence booster for Kobe and company as they continue to build chemistry and Bryant gets his legs back underneath him. Tuesday night’s victory is also a view of what Los Angeles must due in order to make it to the postseason. Bryant and Gasol must be a dynamic big-little combo and score 40-plus points as a duo each night. It is the only way the Lakers have any shot at competing in an incredibly competitive West.
If they do fail to make the playoffs, it shouldn’t be Gasol who goes, it should be Mike D’Antoni. His basketball philosophy just doesn’t seem to fit the roster in L.A., but that is a different article for another time.
Los Angeles’ schedule doesn’t get much easier the next week as they will play the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors before a Christmas Day showdown with the Miami Heat. The Lakers will need to cherish each win, because they might be hard to come by for the next couple of weeks as Bryant gets back to form.