Lakers Pull it Together
The Lakers decided to show up on Wednesday night as they showed their fans, opponents and more importantly themselves what this team is capable of. Andrew Bynum returned to the starting lineup and pushed Lamar Odom back to the bench this proved no problem for the current Lakers MVP as Odom scored a team high 24 points leading his team to a much needed 103-88 victory.
Less than 24 hours after a smack down delivered by the western division leading San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers put together for a full 48 minute effort against the New Orleans Hornets. The Lakers held the Hornets to just 18 points in the second quarter and a lowly 41 for the first half. The Lakers defense hasn’t been the problem of late though, as they broke out of their offensive funk to erupt for a 59 point first half.
All five starters for the Lakers contributed for a complete team effort as Bynum made his much anticipated return to the starting five. This return gave Pau a big break as he was able to match up against power forwards instead of centers. This gave the 7 foot Spaniard a helpful size advantage and it showed as he came through with 11 points on just five shots while shooting 60% from the field he also collected a team high 12 rebounds. Getting his starting position back gave Bynum a much needed boost, as he was able to contribute 18 points of his own, and was able to block 1 shot and alter several others. This Lakers size advantage finally showed why it is an advantage to have two 7 footers on the court together. The Hornets had trouble getting to the rim all night.
Kobe was also able to contribute with 20 of his own, and was able to keep his shot total under 20, with only 14 shots. This is the way all Lakers fans expect their team to play night in and night out. This is the way the Lakers will need to play if they want to give Coach Phil Jackson his record 4 th 3-peat.
This was more than just a win, this victory showed life from a team that was crushed Christmas day by the Miami Heat and dropped their third straight on Tuesday night. The Lakers went on the road to beat a good team, and they did it convincingly. The question is, is this a sign of things to come? We should find out on Friday as the Philadelphia 76ers will visit Staples Center. Hopefully the Lakers will celebrate the New Years Eve holiday in a little more style than their last holiday.
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer
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