As the NBA All-Star weekend approaches with the conclusion of the first half of the season, critics are skeptical as to whether the Los Angeles Lakers will capture a three-peat this season since the squad has yet to prove it can win against top-ranked teams.
The Lakers have played 51 games this season and hold fourth place in the league with a 35-16 record, yet not one of those victories have come against the top three teams. The well-respected L.A. franchise has dropped games against the Boston Celtics, which are 37-12, the Miami Heat, which posses a six-game winning streak with a record of 37-14 and twice against the league leader San Antonio Spurs (42-8).
At this point as a devoted Laker fan, I started to doubt the club, what kind of championship team with the same starting five from the previous year, could not win a single game against a top team. If Kobe Bryant and the team cannot accomplish a notable victory now, how could the Lakers compete in the playoff when things are increasingly intense?
When the playoffs start, will things take a turn to the past when Bryant placed his teammates on his shoulders and put up outrageous numbers just so the team could win, or is this in fact the end of the Lakers’ run at championship?
I got my answer in the recent round two of Lakers/Spurs game, and although the Lakers only lost by one point on a last-second tip-in by Antonio McDyess, the team received a contingent offensive effort from everyone, but had defensive lapses, which tells me nothing has changed with the team.
Therefore, I am sticking with my guns and saying that the purple and yellow dynasty will continue to thrive and achieve a third consecutive title this season and Phil Jackson will add another ring to his record-breaking collection.
It was difficult to stick with the Lakers after all those losses to those very good teams.
It all started with a well-anticipated game against the transformed Heat, which acquired forwards Chris Bosh and LeBron James through free agency last summer. The Lakers were humiliated and bullied on their home court in a devastating 96-80 loss in which the trio of James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade combined for 69 points.
Next, Laker star Bryant lead the camp to Texas to face up against conference rivals Spurs where guard Tony Parker ran around the Laker defense and dropped 23 points in helping topple the Lakers 97-82.
In the rivalry of all rivalries with the Celtics, you would think the Lakers would come out with more aggressiveness and they did, well I take that back, Bryant did. The 13-tme All-Star was fired up as he dropped 41 points, but yet again, his team struggled to make significant contributions. Boston defeated the Lakers 109-96 with a well-rounded effort.
This is not the first time the Lakers have had problems to start the season and definitely will not be the end. Critics and commentators are going to say what they want, but when the playoffs start, the Lakers are going to show up with confidence like they always do and the critics will not be able to do anything but rave about the Lakers’ success like they always do.